Friday, November 13, 2015


Recently, we’ve celebrated three holidays—Columbus Day, Halloween, and Veterans Day—and Thanksgiving is upcoming, unless you’re in Canada and have already celebrated that holiday. That got me thinking about holidays the characters in our books celebrate. And that’s a part of world-building.

If you have a fantasy world and/or a futuristic one, have you given holidays a thought? Do the people worship a deity? Is a day of the week set aside for worship? What about honoring explorers or the original settlers of the planet or territory? Annual celebrations?

Did the explorers bring their religion and celebrations with them from their former homes? Do they worship a single deity or multiple ones? Your story, your world.

In Switched Resolution (the 3rd book in my Switched series), an annual celebration honors the Intrepid Ones—those stalwart souls who left their dying home planet and settled on Serenia, so named because it was their hope for their new planet.

In The Chameleon (2nd book in my Outer Rim series), the people on the hero’s planet honor a female deity they call The Matriarch. One day a week is set aside to honor her.

As you write your stories, keep celebrations in mind. 

Diane Burton writes romantic adventure . . . stories that take place on Earth and beyond. She blogs here on the 13th of each month and on Mondays on her own site:
For more info on her books, visit her Amazon Author Page.

Wednesday, November 4, 2015

Identifying and treating a loved one suffering from...NaNoWriMo

by Maureen L. Bonatch 

Dear abandoned non-writer, 

I've received your recent inquiry about the odd behavior of your loved one. It's understood that you use the term 'odd behavior' loosely, as you've come to accept the many unusual characteristics displayed by a loved one who is a...writer.
The symptoms you describe are indeed disturbing, but after a glance at the calendar, I believe I may have found the diagnosis...and the cure. 

I believe your loved one may suffer from...NaNoWriMo! 

Please don't become upset over the unusual term, it's really just an abbreviation for the more cumbersome title, National Novel Writing Month. The good news is that it only lasts for the month of November. Your loved one should return to their normal self—though exhausted, depleted, and often exhilarated—come the start of December. 

Please review this partial list of symptoms to confirm this diagnosis for yourself to see if it does indeed, match your loved one's odd behavior which has become even more...unusual.  


  • Mutters things they claim to be the 'ramblings of characters' (Don't try to commit them yet)
  • A vast increase in their caffeine consumption (Don't point out how shaking makes typing harder)
  • Reducing their hours of sleep to 'get their words in' (Brings a whole new meaning to the walking dead)
  • Began carrying around a laptop to tap away on during all free hours of the day 
  • Started decorating the home office with sticky notes scrawled with illegible partial sentences
  • Stares off into space for long periods of time and claim they are 'working on their story' when they don't hear your repeated questions (This isn't the time to recommend a hearing test)
  • Neglecting basic household tasks (Mentioning Halloween is over so the spiderwebs can go will only anger them- if they hear you say it)
  • Insists leftovers, or sandwiches, make the best meals (Just eat it and smile- or they might write you into their story just to kill you off)
The list of symptoms continues, but basically your loved one is no longer 'there' most of the day. They've 'left' to immerse themselves into their story. Don't try to fight it, or question the rewards of this sacrifice, your writer knows what they are and the lure is more intoxicating than any cult...they can't resist.


  • Toss pieces of chocolate at your loved one if they snarl out acronyms like GMC, HEA or WIP
  • Don't point out their reduced hygiene or dark circles forming under their eyes (see above)
  • Offer to make dinner...or better yet, household chores—because everyone loves clean underwear
  • Read a book and escape into your own fantasy world
  • Suggest a trip to the mall or coffee shop for inspiration for character quirks (ensure you have a tablet  and a pen or you may be forced to seek out napkins & alternate writing utensils)
  • If all else fails...avoid them until December
Remind yourself that this one month will bring your loved one a great sense of accomplishment and...a new story for the world.

Because there are never enough stories

Good Luck,

The Word Whisperer

Learn more about NaNoWriMo

Do you or your loved ones suffer from NaNo? If so, what remedies would you like to share?

Available Now!

Maureen L. Bonatch's stories boast laughter, light suspense and something magical in the hope of sharing her love of finding the extraordinary in the ordinary world.    

Find her:

Writing on her Website
Tweeting on Twitter
Pinning on Pinterest
Flapping on Facebook

Sunday, October 25, 2015

Trick-or-Treat! New Release!

Nothing says Halloween like my 5th Annual Haunted Open House! This year’s Book Party celebrates the release of my new installment in the “By Moonlight” shape-shifter series along with some awesome author guests (including Darynda Jones!), blog hop giveaways and great steals and deals!

First, the new release . . .

“Complex characters, vivid writing and intriguing plot twists keep readers coming back to Gideon’s magical NOLA.” —Publishers Weekly

He feared no man, no foe, no obstacle or challenge . . .

Burdened by the weight of his secrets and his father’s sins, the need for redemption pulls Cale Terriot from his duty to his clan and the arms of his new mate into deadly intrigues in a rival territory. His dangerous masquerade in a high-stakes Shifter fight club is about to be exposed to those who would show no mercy – if he can survive in the ring.

How to protect a prince turned king made pawn?

Fearing she’ll lose her soulmate to the darkness he carries inside, Kendra Terriot, newly made queen in the Shape-shifter House of Terriot, must provide him with an heir in order to save his life . . . and his soul. But first she must risk all to coax him back from the edge of violence inherited with his crown.

Can her love tear him from an unbreakable vow that can only end in death?

“Every delicious word Nancy Gideon puts on the page exhilarates with a sensuous ferocity. Hopelessly addicted.” —Darynda Jones, NY Times Bestselling Author

Cale Terriot is the ultimate mix of naughty and nice – just right for your Trick-or-Treat pleasure. Enjoy!!

Add to that, here’s another sweet treat . . .

Last year’s spooktacular reads, REMEMBERED BY MOONLIGHT (the precursor to UNLEASHED BY SHADOWS) and Indie horror movie novelization IN THE WOODS are available this week at the scary-good price of $0.99! 

Visit my Haunted Open House to fill up your treat bags with more goodies – excerpts, free reads, book trailers and playlists, deleted scenes and other yummies for the tummies.

May all your frights be delightful!!

Nancy Gideon on the Web

Tuesday, October 13, 2015

The Outer Rim by Diane Burton

In the world I created, the Outer Rim is an area far from the Central Planets. Think concentric circles. The Central Planets—those that make up the Coalition of Planets—are at the center. Expanding outward are the lesser planets, those that aren’t members of the Coalition but still civilized. Beyond that is an unexplored region. The Outer Rim.

I think of the Rim as similar to America’s Wild West. A frontier where people go to explore or escape. They change their names so the law can’t find them. As if given a second chance, they start their lives over. Some go by choice, others are taken there then abandoned. The latter was the case with Rissa Dix, the main character in THE PROTECTOR

Rissa had made her own life on the frontier. Where most females work in menial jobs or as pleasure providers, Rissa owns a tavern. She provides food and drink for the rowdy miners who excavate valuable minerals from the mountains near Astron Colony. A fem has to be tough to survive on the Frontier. A tavern owner has to be tougher. Strong enough to hoist kegs of ale and break up fights.

She also has a secret. A secret she never shares so she won’t appear vulnerable.

As more people arrive on the Rim, outposts become colonies that become cities. Crime abounds, especially organized crime. Racketeering, trafficking, drugs and illegal weapons. Most people give gangsters a wide berth and a blind eye. Not so Rissa, Celara, and Jileena.

My Outer Rim series is about strong women on the frontier of space. Rissa (THE PROTECTOR) is tall with broad shoulders. One look and you know she is physically strong. The other fems in the series are strong in different ways. Celara (THE PILOT) has a mouth on her that makes sure everyone knows that though she is short, nobody pushes her around. Jileena (THE CHAMELEON) looks like a dainty fluff brain. Under that disguise, she has a strong will, a determination to prove she’s worthy to run the family business. Each story is a standalone book.

To enjoy the latest, THE PROTECTOR, you don’t need to read the previous books (although I hope you will).

 THE PROTECTOR is available at Amazon ~ Barnes & Noble ~ iTunes ~ Kobo



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