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Monthly Archives: May 2018

Linda Nightingale is a native-born South Carolinian who has lived in England and Canada, and now resides in Texas.  Before turning to writing, she bred, trained and showed Andalusian horses for thirteen years.

In 2012, her novel, Gemini Rising , was voted Best Mainstream Novel in the Preditors & Editors Readers Poll. Her vampire romance, Cardinal Desires won the Georgia Romance Writers Magnolia Award in 2013, and that was followed by her science fiction romance, Love for Sale , being awarded Best SF/Fantasy novel of 2015 by the Paranormal Romance Guild’s Reviewer’s Choice, and also voted one of the Top Ten Romance Novels of 2015 by the Preditors & Editors Readers Poll for that year.

Four by Moonlight is her first novel for Class Act Books.

Beverley: Which genre or genres do you write or prefer to write? And why?

Linda: I write what I enjoy reading, I suppose.  I write across the genres from dark fantasy to romantic suspense, paranormal or sci-fi romance.

Beverley: Who influenced you the most in deciding to become a writer?

Linda: My 9th grade English teacher, Mrs. Burriss, who’d allow me to write stories rather than book reports.  I remember one about someone with a pinkish silvery hair running through the streets of London!

Beverley: What gets your creative juices flowing?

Linda: A phrase or lyrics from a song, perhaps.  My Muse is generally the one to introduce me to one character who then tells me the story with other characters joining him or her on stage over the time.

Beverley: Do you have a favorite cartoon character?

Linda: Tweety Bird. Why?  I liked his silly wit.

Beverley: Who would you love most to meet ‘in person’ and why?

Linda: Charles II because he was rowdy and randy and reigned over a lavish court of rather loose morals.

Beverley: If you had an unexpected free day what would you do with it?

Linda: Stay home and write. Since my move, from Texas to South Carolina, I’ve had precious little time to do that.

Beverley: What are you working on now?

Linda: I’m working on 3 projects. One is an erotic romance which is a continuation of “Star Angel” in Four by Moonlight and will be published under my pen name Bianca Swan and will be called Legacy of the Stars ; second is reworking a cowboy story; and third but first in my heart is reviewing the book of my heart to send to my editor. In 6 days, the rights from a previous publisher revert to me! The title is Sinners’ Opera .


An anthology of love in the moonlight…in the paranormal universe.

Gypsy Ribbons – A moonlight ride on the moors and meeting a notorious highwayman will forever change Lady Virginia Darby’s life.

Star Angel – Lucy was stuck in a rut and in an Idaho potato patch. She’d seen him in the corner of her eye—a fleeting glimpse of beauty—now he stood before her in the flesh.

The Night Before Doomsday – All his brothers had succumbed to lust, but Azazel resisted temptation until the wrong woman came along.

The Gate Keeper’s Cottage – Newlywed Meggie Richelieu’s mysterious, phantom lover may be more than anyone, except the plantation housekeeper, suspects.

Excerpt from “The Night Before Doomsday”:

Eyes lined with charcoal as I’d taught them, lips rouged by my own hand mocked me.  A bold hand slid beneath my robe, up my thigh, and gripped my shaft.  The hot vibration deep inside trembled along my organ, growing longer and stiff.

Like a spider’s web touched by a candle’s flame, memories of Home shriveled.

Gentle Magdalene smoothed the hair back from my face, staring at my shocked expression.  “Oh, Azazel.” A fingertip traced my cheek. “Did we hurt you?”

“No.” I clamored to my feet, bewildered by the feelings torturing me.

None would meet my gaze.  Lord of Hosts, if they were afraid of me, I was doubly afraid of them. I’d never felt desire or the effect passion had on the body.  If I had experienced sexual longings, I’d ignored them.  Now, I could no longer pretend.  My body yearned for something I’d believed to be the province of Man and the beasts. 

Ruth winked a painted eyelid.  In her dark eyes, amusement twinkled.

“Ungrateful rabble.”  I tossed my hair back and folded my wings around me, brushing the dust from my feathers.  “I make you alluring.  You repay me by rolling me in the dirt and trying to tickle me to death.”

“You’re an angel.”  Ruth undulated her shoulders.  The lush breasts pointed at me swayed. “You can’t die.”

Oh, but I was dying. More than they could possibly know.  Dying to touch them, dying for them to touch me, caress me there again.  Before my face revealed forbidden desire, I schooled my expression stern.

Ruth stared at me.

Red lips smiling…perfect white teeth…black hair falling over her face….  

She flung herself into my arms, covered my startled gasp with a hungry mouth.  A warm tongue plunged into me.  I went rigid, considered shoving her away, but a sensation like pain tightened in me.  A need, that I’d never experienced, pulsed between my legs.  I surrendered totally to feeling.

“Ruth, get off him.”  Magdalene’s voice sliced through the haze of passion. “Why do you do these things?  Help me get her off him, Ana.  Azazel doesn’t ask for favors. Help me, Elwen.  It’s not funny anymore.”

Like a blanket, they plucked the heat of Ruth’s body off mine. Ana’s gaze swept down me.  Her eyes widened.  Mortified, I gaped at the tent in my angelic robe.  I had an erection .  Men not angels got hard.  The girls stared at me.  No, they were staring at the long weapon I couldn’t control.

“So the chaste Azazel falls.” Ruth laughed and, thank God, my erection wilted.

Buy Links:

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You can find out more about Linda at:






Twitter: @LNightingale

Michael D. Smith was raised in the Northeast and the Chicago area, before moving to Texas to attend Rice University, where he began developing as a writer and visual artist.  In addition to exhibiting and selling paintings and drawings, he’s completed fifteen novels.

Smith’s writing in both mainstream and science fiction genres uses humor to investigate psychological themes.  On his blog, he explores art and writing processes, and his web site contains further examples of his writing and art. He is currently Technology Librarian for McKinney Public Library in McKinney, Texas.

CommWealth is his first novel published by Class Act Books.

Character Interview:

Beverley: What’s your name?

Allan: I’m Allan Larson, the leader of the Forensic Squad theatrical troupe in CommWealth . The other actors pretend I’m not really the leader and they say Steve Constantine, who owns the coffee shop where we put on our plays, is really the leader, but really, he’s just like a business manager, he knows zilch about the theater. I write the plays, I motivate the actors, everyone knows it’s me.

Beverley: Where did you grow up?

Allan: Right here in Linstar, this fictional town on the Texas coast south of Houston that our dear author has milked before in at least one other novel. That’s another reason I’m the leader, because I know this town and what makes it tick. When I was a kid this place had maybe 20,000 people, now it’s grown insanely to something like 180,000. I’ve seen this place grow up, like a teenager who has to get bigger and bigger shoes every couple weeks. It’s an off-balance, frantic, immature sort of town, and I’m right at home here.

Beverley: During what time period does your story take place?

Allan: We have it set as just contemporary America. Turns out that dear author used the 2017-2018 calendar just to keep his facts straight, like December 14 falls on a Thursday, you know, but all the characters made him not use any actual year dates, because we wanted to keep this thing timeless.

Beverley: What’s your story/back story? Why would someone come up with a story about you?

Allan: See, I starred in this long involved dream the author had a while back and I was such a fascinating character that he knew he had a novel practically already written from this dream. So I’m playing the part of anti-hero in this dream, but you know that even though the author claims that he was somehow observing the Allan dream character from afar, you know how the psychological Shadow works and so obviously when I’m playing the anti-hero in this novel there’s Shadow stuff of the author’s going on. Anyway, in the dream I play this supercilious guy who’s really adapted well to this new property-less society that’s just been set up, and I grab cars, computers, everything I can, and bring all my loot back to this cool mansion I’ve claimed. Meanwhile I’m writing all sorts of obscene poetry and betraying my girlfriend and all that sort of crap. Shadows have to do that sort of thing, you know. There were more parts to the dream, like I get ordered to work in Australia as a detective on a murder mystery case, and later I get sent back to the U.S. because I’m supposed to be emotionally shattered and all that, but those two parts weren’t used because the whole premise of the property-less society in part one was more than enough for a novel. There’s so much stuff about Shadow, paranoia, hoarding, human sexual manipulation, and raw survival, and it’s all centered on me . So dear author had no choice but to write my story.

Beverley: What’s your goal in this story?

Allan: Well, I’m a creative guy, and really, everything I do in this novel is in furtherance of my playwriting and acting career. Like, if I’m going to write a play about fast cars, I need a twelve-car garage full of ’em, you know, and so I need a really big mansion to store ’em in. So while everyone thinks I’m just a Hoarder, which is against the law and which I would never, never do even though the author thinks otherwise, really all I’m doing is trying to survive on a day to day basis. And of course I miss my fantastic relationship with Lisa Arlington and when she won’t get back together with me, really I have no choice but to invoke the laws of CommWealth and demand her to be my sex slave for the next thirty days. I mean, it’s a test case for CommWealth laws and really I don’t know why everyone’s so upset about it. In any case it didn’t work out and that was fine with me, because I never guessed Lisa was so psycho. That was definitely a major stressor for yours truly, by the way. She almost murdered me!

Beverley: What conflicts are you facing?

Allan: Well, for one thing, just to keep my life flowing right for my art, I need to stay a step ahead of this CommWealth inspector who’s investigating me for Hoarding. He has me pegged wrong but issues all these legalistic threats against me. And everyone comes unglued when I bust my chops to get Richard Stapke’s entire literary output published. Sure I didn’t get his permission beforehand but I think he was secretly pleased, and anyway the world needed his art whether he wanted it out there or not. And trying to get Forensic Squad to calm down and concentrate on getting my play Cabaret done is a major headache, because they keep resisting my leadership and meanwhile Richard and Jill are having this affair and Jill’s husband Steve finds out and I’ve got to keep everyone happy, you know, so we can get on with the play.

Beverley: Do you have a plan for resolving them?

Allan: All I can do is just keep exercising my leadership talents, directing the play and all. But then Steve goes off the deep end after learning about Jill and Richard, saying he wants to start this revolution against CommWealth, which anybody can see is flat-out suicide. So I have to exercise my leadership talents there as well, because the only reason I seem to go along with Steve–no matter that dear author supposes it’s just because I have no place to go after Lisa dumped me outside my own mansion at gunpoint, me with no clothes on the middle of a freaking thunderstorm –anyway, the only reason I go along with Steve’s crazy plan is to calm him down, stop this stupid revolution talk, and get everybody in Forensic Squad focused on the important thing, which is my play Cabaret . I still don’t know why people can’t just see that basic fact.

Beverley: Is there anything else you’d like us to know about you?

Allan: Yeah, people get the wrong idea about me. Okay, so I’m supposed to function as the anti-hero in this thing. I get that, but I do feel the author has constantly mispresented me as some snivelling coward manipulator, or that I have these head problems everyone has to tiptoe around. I admit our dear author quoted me correctly in the novel–my lawyers have advised me to say this–because after all anyone can order the book right off Amazon and read all my lines right there–but I still feel it’s all, like, out of context or something. Sure, when the cops opened fire on us when we were holed up in the farmhouse, that was stressful, but really, to make me out to be such a coward about it? C’mon, I have leadership talents, I wouldn’t really start freaking out like that, would I? So my lawyers are talking to the author right now. He’s resisting writing any sort of sequel to CommWealth, but we just might have to force him to do it to set my character straight.

Anyway, any jury would see the author’s bias against me. He painted the cover of the book and although I’m front and center, he made me look like I’m about to throw up. And in this illustration he did on his website he makes me look nasty and petty: . Look, guys, I’m an actor, playing the part of an anti-hero, I’m really a talented playwright leader of a great theatrical troupe. Why can’t people see that?


Blurb for CommWealth:

The CommWealth system, has created a society in which there is no legal claim to any kind of private property. Any object from your house to the clothes you’re wearing can be demanded by anyone, to be enjoyed for thirty days before someone else can request it. As actors in the Forensic Squad theatrical troupe attempt to adapt to this chaos, their breaking of the Four Rules sustaining the system, as several members navigate betrayals, double agents, and murder to find themselves leading a suicidal revolution.

Excerpt for CommWealth:

Rule One – You are free to enjoy the chosen object for thirty days. During this period no other person may request it.

Rule Two – The requestor is untouchable for thirty days by the person asked. Attempts at retaliation, such as demanding unusually large quantities from the original requestor after the thirty-day period, carry stiff penalties.

Rule Three – Once you ask somebody for something, you can never ask him or her for anything else again.

Rule Four – You can never ask for the same thing back from the person who got it from you, not even after his or her thirty days of enjoyment.

Allan shivered at the reflection of his black overcoat and his striding legs on the wet sidewalk. Up ahead someone with a DreamPiston Electronics bag opened a shiny red Porsche glistening with thousands of water beads.

“Okay,” Allan said, “I’ll take your car here.”

The mustached little twerp looked up. “Ahhh, crap…”

“C’mon, don’t give me any trouble. Gimme the key.”

“Look, it’s raining. And I just got these MP3 players and the new Fappy tablet—”

“Not my problem. Fork the damn key over.”

“Look, my umbrella’s in the car—can I just get my umbrella so my stuff—”

“Forget it. The umbrella’s part of the car as far as I’m concerned. Anything in the car. Besides, I just lost my umbrella a couple blocks back. I’m soaked.”

“C’mon, I just got this car the other day!”

“Don’t hand me that. The sticker on the plate says you got it a month and a half ago. You’re overdue, buddy. Now hand me the key.”

“Dammit! Dammit!”

“Got trouble there?” A bright blue City of Linstar police car idled in the rain. “Got a Hoarder there?” a huge officer grinned.

“Uh, no… not at all…” said the twerp. “I just—I just can’t find the key—”

“Yeah, right—you just unlocked the damn car with it,” Allan said, turning to the policeman. “He is giving me a lot of crap about it.”

“C’mon, sir, you know better than that.” The officer’s name tag read BARCLAY.

“Dammit!” the twerp snarled. He separated the Porsche key off his key ring, thrust it at Allan, then spun around and fastened on a man coming down the sidewalk. “Give me that umbrella! Right now!”

“Goddammit…” the man grunted, surrendering his umbrella to the twerp, who grabbed it and hoisted it above his DreamPiston bag.

“We really got the Christmas spirit here, don’t we?” Barclay said.

“Really,” Allan said. “Some people…” He examined the Porsche key in the rain. “Thanks for your help, officer.”

“Oh, I’m sure it wasn’t really necessary. People are basically good, you know. Give ’em time to adjust and all, that’s what I say.”

The twerp leapt into traffic with his new umbrella and his bag, waving his free arm. A little green car skidded to a halt. The twerp ran to the window and pounded on it. “Give me this car! Right now! Damn you!”

“Jesus…” Allan said. “What a bastard!”

Barclay was out of his patrol car in a second, hand on his hand on his holster. “Sir, that’s not the right way to go about it. We need to be respectful. That’s the CommWealth way.”

Buy Links for CommWealth:

Publisher’s website:


Barnes & Noble:


Also available from

You can find more about Michael at:


Blog: www.

It’s that time for another group blog. This month’s topic is ‘How do you ensure a story has a good beginning, a satisfying ending, and good continuity in between?”

It’s a great topic, but my first thought was, if I knew that I’d be a NY Times best seller. But it is something every writer faces. How do we tackle it and hopefully make it happen?

I’m more of a pantser. I get an idea. Then I start to develop my characters and I start writing to see where I go. I know I need a hook and a few first pages to pull in a reader. I look at what I’ve written, maybe a chapter or two and go back to the beginning. Hopefully by now I’m learning about my h/h. What’s the inciting incident? What causes an abrupt shift in the story? What starts my h/h on their journey? Once I figure out exactly what that is, I write enough information to get the readers interest, and hopefully keep them reading to find out more.

I don’t find the satisfying ending too difficult. I write romantic suspense, so it will be a happily ever after ending. During the journey through the story I’ve gotten to know my characters, their idiosyncrasies, their real goals and they’re challenges getting together. They’ve reached their goals, resolved their personal issues, admitted their love and will live happily ever after.

And the continuity, or sometimes know as the sagging middles, has always been the biggest challenge for me. Keeping the story moving toward the goals, having the h/h grow, address their personal issues and solve the challenges, whatever they may be depending on the genre, this is my challenge. I do draw a basic chart for each main character with their personal issues and conflicts with each other and tick them off as they’re resolved. If I I’m staring at the screen and can’t figure out what to do next I remember what someone once told me. There’s no such thing as writing block, it means you don’t know your story or your characters as well as you should, or maybe you’re trying to make your characters do something that’s against their nature. So I stop, go back and do more research for the story and I talk to my characters.

Hopefully when I start to write again the middle will meet all those issues and proceed smoothly to the HEA. 

I look forward to seeing what the other others have to say. I hope you do too. Join me in checking them out.

Skye Taylor

Marci Baun

Judith Copek

Margaret Fieland

A.J. Maguire  http://ajmaguire.wordpress .com/

Dr. Bob Rich

Anne de Gruchy

Rhobin L Courtright