Sunday, November 8, 2020

WeWriWa: Time for a New Beginning


No, this isn’t a political post (though it could be . . .). Sorry to have been MIA but I’ve either been in my writing cave trying to force out words on my new project or in front of MSNBC watching the election unfold. I don’t know which has been more distracting except I’m ready to have Steve Kornacki’s love child for his vote graphing expertise. I don’t handle uncertainty well. I like a well-planned path with few if any bumps. Both of the above have held more suspense than my quarantine-brain can process. And such is the case for my heroine in this introduction to my new romantic suspense.

Willamina Redbone stepped cautiously to the edge of the porch, one hand on her shotgun, the other lifted to shade her eyes against the blistering glare of late afternoon going on evening.  She squinted, trying to identify the lone horseman kicking up dust down her long drive. Just the way he sat the saddle told her more than she wanted to know. A low growl rumbled up from the motley-colored dog beside her.  At her stern, “Sit. I’ll handle this,” he parked his rump but lost none of his aggressive tension.

She held her ground at the threshold of her home the way she would an anticipated battleline, jaw clenched because thoughts traitorously jumped to her appearance. With blonde hair wrestled back in an off-center hair band and lean form lost within a pair of dirty coveralls over a sweat-stained A-shirt, she looked far from ready to entertain. But a-body didn’t dress or smell their Sunday best after mucking stalls.

If Jimmy Redbone had expected a picture-perfect welcome home, he’d come to the wrong place.

I’m ready for a new adventure. I’m holding onto my high hopes. More on my project next week with my word count growing now that I’m not glued to the news. I’m ready for good things!

Happy Weekend and Happy Writing, fellow Warriors!!


Weekend Writing Warriors is a weekly hop for everyone who loves to write! Share an 8 to 10 sentence snippet of your writing on Sunday. Visit other participants on the list and read, critique, and comment on their 8sunday posts.

Spread the word, share the love, warriors - Hashtag #8sunday.

Wednesday, November 4, 2020

IWSG: Writing Gives Me Wings


Our Insecure Writers Support Group question for November is: Albert Camus once said, “The purpose of a writer is to keep civilization from destroying itself.” Flannery O’Conner said, “I write to discover what I know.” Authors across time and distance have had many reasons to write. Why do you write what you write?”

I write to give my imagination wings.

The power of imagination can carry you anywhere, can let you become anything, anyone. Words make any dream possible. And from the time I was a child, I flew with them.

How else could a Midwest girl growing up in an average American town in the ’60 and ‘70s fly a pirate flag, ride with Texas Rangers in the 1800’s, fend off lordly suitors at a Regency gala and be mesmerized by a darkly dangerous vampire? While taking English and History classes, I was widening the reach of my dreams. And when I went from daydreams in my head to words on the paper, I could revisit them . . . and share them with others. 


Trapped at home for nine months, my thoughts have been free to visit any where I wanted to go, maskless and unafraid. Imagination is that magic carpet freeing me and my fellow writers from their isolation. Dream it, do it. Write it down and you can relive it. I’ve gone from cheering on a band of shapeshifters down in New Orleans struggling for their freedom to a U.S. Marshal protecting a witness while discovering a whole new future on a modern-day West Texas ranch . . . just in the month of October! I may have been stuck behind closed doors, but I haven’t been locked away from the world of words and the places they take me!

I hope you’ve been having some marvelous journeys between the pages over these past months and will continue them well into the New Year!!


Purpose: To share and encourage. Writers can express doubts and concerns without fear of appearing foolish or weak. Those who have been through the fire can offer assistance and guidance. It’s a safe haven for insecure writers of all kinds!

Posting: The first Wednesday of every month is officially Insecure Writer’s Support Group day. Post your thoughts on your own blog. Talk about your doubts and the fears you have conquered. Discuss your struggles and triumphs. Offer a word of encouragement for others who are struggling. Visit others in the group and connect with your fellow writer - aim for a dozen new people each time.The awesome co-hosts for the November 4th posting of the IWSG will be e Jemi Fraser, Kim Lajevardi, L.G Keltner, Tyrean Martinson, and Rachna Chhabria!

Let’s rock the neurotic writing world!

Twitter hashtag is #IWSG

Sunday, October 18, 2020

WeWriWa: Under Pressure . . . RISE BY MOONLIGHT


Just two best friends walking home from a high school game when their lives were violently changed forever. Charlotte Caissie and Mary Kate Malone, still dark and light, night and day, even after all those years. Cee Cee went into law enforcement becoming an NOPD detective while Mary Kate sought purpose within the church’s comforting embrace. Yin and Yang, whole in their friendship as they find strength in one another in this scene from RISE BY MOONLIGHT, my latest and final release in the “By Moonlight” shapeshifter series.

“There aren’t any more heroes, Mary Kate, just varying shades of villains.”

“Not villains,” her friend disagreed, kind eyes softening, “just people, flawed because of their humanity.”

Cee Cee’s laugh battled the heaviness about her heart as she argued, “Walking upright doesn’t separate men or women from beasts anymore.”

“Does that change who you know them to be?”

“No.” A softly admitted truth that explored, “And I’m wondering why it doesn’t, considering the things I’ve seen, that I’ve learned about myself, that I take for granted when I should run screaming in the other direction?”

Mary Kate chuckled, blue eyes brightening with pride with her claim of, “You’ve never run from anything in your entire life and I so envied that about you, that you never second guessed, just jumped in to do what was right.”

Cee Cee shook her head, wishing she could be so certain. “Right for me. When did it stop being for the greater good?”

( . . . and the rest of the scene . . .) 

“Probably when you found out there was no such thing. There’s only the best you can do to protect those you love and those who deserve better. That’s all any of us can do. And we can do it without a badge, without a crucifix, without guilt.”

Cee Cee bolted upright, wide eyes seeing clearly. “You’ve decided. You’re leaving the Church.” That altered state of being sent her moral compass spinning.

A slightly sad smile. “Just the institution, not the beliefs or the works. I started the process yesterday. I can’t be true to things I stand for unless I accept the things I am.”

“Wow,” was all she could think to whisper.

“Don’t be disappointed.” Features puckering, Mary Kate snatched up the coffee-free hand to confess, “I’ve always been the weak one when you’ve been so strong. I hid inside the strength of religion because I couldn’t face what happened to us, not like you did.”

If she expected to be shamed or comforted, Cee Cee quickly schooled her. “Bull. I was out on the streets hiding my fear under a crap ton of anger. You rebuilt your strength through others, for others, those who understood what it was like to be helpless and alone. We’ve both done the best we could to rise above what was done to us. We did it by not letting it beat us, by defending those who can’t defend themselves. You had God, I had Max Savoie.” That comparison had her friend rearing back as if shocked by a truth they’d both recognized. “Neither of us could have done it alone, and neither of us could stand by and do nothing.”

Mary Kate blinked, skepticism slowly maturing into a future-altering revelation about her world and her place in it as Cee Cee continued.

“We aren’t victims, M.K. We fight for them until they can fight for themselves. I think that makes us pretty damned awesome, don’t you?”

A slow, spreading smile. “Yes, we are.”

One of the best things about writing an ongoing series is having the space and words to develop strong and unique friendships, and I’ve enjoyed revisiting them over the past few posts. Even if you haven’t read the series, they’re all defined in the final book, RISE BY MOONLIGHT


Max and Charlotte return for the explosive conclusion of the “By Moonlight” series . . .

and the stakes have never been higher!


He’s the Promised One
A Mobster’s attack dog turned legitimate business powerhouse, Max Savoie is the reluctant leader of New Orleans’ shapeshifter clan. They’ve kept to anonymous shadows, working and living unnoticed by the human world until their new Shifter King’s past draws dangerous outsiders who threaten all.

She’s the Protector
A fiercely determined NOPD detective, Charlotte Caissie has sworn to defend her beloved city and her unborn child from both criminals and otherworldly factions at war. While standing boldly at the side of her mate/husband, secrets from the past return to shake the foundation of her beliefs.

They have a Problem
Walking a marital tight rope between opposite worlds, Max and Cee Cee’s paths place truth and trust at odds when outside threats force enemies to become allies. The time to take a stand for their family and their future is at hand. Time to rise together for the survival of all they love!

“Every delicious word on the page exhilarates with a sensuous ferocity. Hopelessly addicted.” – NYT bestselling author, Darynda Jones

👻👻👻👻👻
I’m getting excited about Halloween now that the leaves have changed and the temperature has dropped (Frost this morning!). And I’m more than ready to begin celebrating with posts and giveaways during the Bewitching Blog Tours Haunted Halloween Spectacular Facebook Event on Wednesday, October 21st from 10:00 am to 10:00 pm EST! I’ll be (wo)manning the event from 3:00 pm to 4:00 pm EST so drop by to say “WooooooHoo!”, mingle with other authors, and fill up your Trick ‘r Treat bag. And best of all, no Social Distancing necessary! 


I’m also excited to get out and cautiously about for a book signing at the Mitten Word Bookshop in Marshall, MI from 1:00 pm - 3:00 pm on Saturday, October 24th. All authors will be carefully masked at separate tables and eager to see other humans. If you’re in the area, please stop in! I’d love to stick a signed book in your treat bag.

Happy Writing, Fellow Warriors!!


Weekend Writing Warriors is a weekly hop for everyone who loves to write! Share an 8 to 10 sentence snippet of your writing on Sunday. Visit other participants on the list and read, critique, and comment on their 8sunday posts.

Spread the word, share the love, warriors - Hashtag #8sunday.

Sunday, October 11, 2020

WeWriWa: Blessing in Disguise . . . RISE BY MOONLIGHT


I’m taking a look at my favorite couples over the course of my “By Moonlight” shapeshifter series. Some were meant to be together. Some destined to stay apart. My favorites are the ones that end up with one another despite all odds . . . and each other. Dock foreman/ shapeshifter, Philo Tibideaux and Sister Catherine/Mary Kate Malone aren’t what you’d consider “meant to be” but just maybe, they’re a match made in Heaven . . .When these two appeared on the pages of MASKED BY MOONLIGHT, who woulda thought they’d become “a thing.” But in RISE BY MOONLIGHT, they find their way to a happily-ever-after as more than just unrequited soul mates.

Like most, Philo Tibideaux had thought the rise of the Promised One would bring those good times legend foretold a-rolling in. So far, he’d seen death and threat and fear, and he’d had enough of all three. Only the softening presence of Mary Kate Malone kept him from acting on his worries more aggressively.

The vivacious blonde cheerleader he’d once admired from afar had infiltrated his world while tutoring his brother when they were teens, that one bright spot in their hand-to-mouth struggle to survive. Tito thought Mary Kate was an angel. Philo knew she was. An angel far and above his reach even though he’d occasionally catch her eying him with what he didn’t dare call interest.

What could a gorgeous thing like Mary Kate Malone see in him?

( . . . and the rest of the scene . . . ) 

There must have been something he’d missed because there she was when Tito died, holding his hand, drying his eyes. And there at his door again when her system of beliefs began to crumble. He’d asked no questions, held no expectations. Just seeing her every day, scenting her as she slept behind the closed bedroom door, was enough. Until it wasn’t. She’d taught Tito how to read music. And she taught him how to love again.

Writing romance or otherwise, paranormal or otherwise, is full of couples’ tropes: Friends to Lovers, Woman in Jeopardy, Forbidden Love, Second Chance, Soul Mates, Secret Billionaire, Stuck Together, Enemies to Lovers. Through the 15 books of my “By Moonlight” series, I must have touched upon them all. Let’s see, shall we see? 


This image needs to be updated . . . maybe my project for this afternoon. Like I need another one.

How’s your October going so far? My son and I are working our way through our favorite horror/scary shows and movies. LOVING The Haunting of Bly Manor. Super spooky. Are you watching anything from my list? What’s on yours? 


Stay safe. Keep hands on the keyboards. And Write On fellow Warriors!!


Weekend Writing Warriors is a weekly hop for everyone who loves to write! Share an 8 to 10 sentence snippet of your writing on Sunday. Visit other participants on the list and read, critique, and comment on their 8sunday posts.

Spread the word, share the love, warriors - Hashtag #8sunday.

Wednesday, October 7, 2020

IWSG: Tales from a Working Writer

Our Insecure Writers Support Group question for October is a good one: When you think of the term working writer, what does that look like to you? What do you think it is supposed to look like? Do you see yourself as a working writer or aspiring or hobbyist, and if the latter two, what does that look like?


When my mom asked me what I was going to college to become, I told her I was already what I wanted to be: a writer (of dozens story bits and pieces), and my English major and Communications and History minors would make me a better, more rounded one.

When one of my English professors saw me years later at a local craft show selling stuffed children’s toys, she recognized me as one of her former students and drawled, “So THIS is what you’re doing with your college education?” I told her rather sheepishly that I was also a writer, to which she replied with contempt, “That’s nice.” After I got home, I got mad, marched into my writing area and announced, “That’s it. I’m finishing a book and selling it.” 


Well, that first book, a hefty, hand-typed tome that did get one request, didn’t sell, but it validated my claim to be a working writer. I wrote four more complete manuscripts before submitted the best of the lot. It sold. I got a request for MORE and sold another of them on a multi-book contract. And all the while, I thought to myself, “THAT’s what I’m doing with my college education!”

A working writer is someone who can’t not write. It’s not a chore – it’s a necessity! (Well, sometimes it’s a chore! See: childbirth, sickness, 8-to-5 job, kids’ schoolwork, moving x 4) A writer is someone who never sees what they’re doing as a waste time. I wrote my first six books long hand while my youngest played in the sandbox, received my first two covers while in the hospital after the birth of son #2. Wrote during nap time, school hours and finally at 4:30 a.m. every single morning because that path of least resistance to family needs allowed me to get my words in. I was still a working writer after two huge industry middle list collapses left me without a publishing house and I had to start over. When our household demanded a second income, I went back into the workforce after a 15-year hiatus and still wrote (see 4:30 a.m. above!). My income supported our family when my now ex was laid off, paid for vehicles, a garage addition, hot tub, and vacations. Divorced and working full-time, it paid for utilities and unexpected needs, and paid for itself as far as promo, conferences, and travel. Now retired, it’s supplementing my Social Security and allowing my Keurig coffee addiction. When someone asks what I do with all my time off, I say, “I’m a writer.” And I’m still working. 


This working writer just released book #70 (!) in August, the end cap of a 15-book paranormal series that kept me happily typing for the past 10 years. 
I’m STILL learning my craft, taking Zoom classes on algorithms, playing in Canva graphics, and even talking to an agent while beginning my next book, a Texas-set romantic suspense, while using an organizing planner for the first time. Writing is NEVER a static occupation. There’s always something new to discover, to try, to get excited about.

I’m Nancy Gideon aka Dana Ransom, Rosalyn West, Lauren Giddings, and I’m a working writer. And I can’t wait to find out more about YOU! 


Purpose: To share and encourage. Writers can express doubts and concerns without fear of appearing foolish or weak. Those who have been through the fire can offer assistance and guidance. It’s a safe haven for insecure writers of all kinds!

Posting: The first Wednesday of every month is officially Insecure Writer’s Support Group day. Post your thoughts on your own blog. Talk about your doubts and the fears you have conquered. Discuss your struggles and triumphs. Offer a word of encouragement for others who are struggling. Visit others in the group and connect with your fellow writer - aim for a dozen new people each time.The awesome co-hosts for the October 7th posting of the IWSG will be Jemima Pett, Beth Camp, Beverly Stowe McClure, and Gwen Gardner!

Let’s rock the neurotic writing world!

Twitter hashtag is #IWSG