Linda Saxy

Author (A.K.A. Linda Bolton)

Month: May 2013

Let’s meet Jane Caroll today! Her wonderful character, Bertha, has given me great words of wisdom!

Here’s Jane!

Describe yourself in one word –
What super power would you like to have –
To jump out of bed in a single bound…smiling and ready to face the day.
What do you do to keep yourself going when you aren’t motivated?
Don’t laugh but sometimes…I just read Bertha. It’s funny that even though I wrote the stories I can still find inspiration from them when I need it. I also write through my frustration a good bit of the time…journaling…not stuff that you would ever read or want to read.
Which comes first the chicken or the egg… I mean the plot or the characters?
Hmmm…for me they came at the same time. Bertha-Size Your Life! is a little different since it is essentially a series of life lessons but even for my novel in progress the character and the plot came to me at the same time. I can already tell that both are taking on a mind of their own…so who knows!
When you set your characters do you use character bios/ sketches or do your characters just land on the page?
Bertha just landed on the page with a big SPLAT! I never did a character sketch per se on her…but I know her very well.
How old were you when you finished your first book?
I was fifty…which makes me really old now. 😉
How long did it take you to write it?
It took about two years from beginning to published.
If you could do everything over (writing your book, or publishing, etc.) would you change anything?
I sold my house when Bertha-Size Your Life! was first released and determined that I could live off the equity until I was making enough money as an author to support myself…I figured two years should do it and I’d have money left over. WRONG. Two years found me broke having spent not only my equity but my 401K as well. I totally felt foolish for a while for having wasted all my money…until I realized…living your dream…even for only two years…is never a waste.
So it would be easy to say that I’d change this or that…that I would have been an immediate success story…been on Oprah…all that kind of thing. But I know that things have progressed just as they were supposed to. I have grown so much as a person…as a writer…I have no regrets. But…I do hear that Oprah regrets not having interviewed me…just saying. 😉
Jane, you have been a fun guest today! Thank you!

Here’s a bit more about Jane and Bertha!

Jane Carroll Bio and Links
Book Synopsis:
Bertha-Size Your Life! reads like a series of humorous short stories but it is so much more. Bertha, a zany redhead, mysteriously appears into the narrator’s life while walking in the park. Quicker than a man can hand off a baby with a dirty diaper, she has moved into her new friend’s empty nest and the fun begins.
Bertha is always up to something and delights in standing on a soapbox while dispensing down-home wisdom and perky advice. She explains The Law of Attraction in a refreshing, humor-filled, practical way that has you going hmmminstead of humph.
Throw in a conniving nemesis, an antagonistic cat, lime green spandex, and high-heels and you’ve got a book that’s sure to tickle your funny bone and leave you wearing your thinking cap as you read and reread each vignette.
Who knew personal transformation could be so much fun? “Bertha, that was a rhetorical question. Get off your soapbox…”
Jane Carroll, Author of Amazon Bestselling Bertha-Size Your Life!, is a Life Coach, Registered Nurse, Reiki Master, Mother, Grandmother, and long-time student of life. She has seen the focus of her over 30 year nursing career change from illness to wellness to wholeness, a philosophy that permeates everything she does. While she enjoys all aspects of her life, writing is her passion and she is currently working on Bertha’s latest adventures.
Bertha-Size Your Life!recently received the MK Traditionally Published Best Book of 2012 Award.

No Stress

I’ve meantioned before that I had tried a dating site. Well…I’m no longer on that one. I moved to a different one and have found the free portion of the site much more user friendly. I have also discovered that dating can be a bit overwhelming.

Why? Because I have so many other things going on. I work a full time job, write (I have a book I so need to finish and get to my publisher), spend time with my girlfriends who are like sisters to me, and, of course, there’s my adorable granddaughter. When do I have time to date? I’m serious. Between checking messages on the site, emailing back, setting a date, showing up…it sucks up alot of time to find out you really don’t click.

What did I do? Decided to not spend any time looking for date. If a guy, not just any guy but a real prospect, sends me a message, I’ll return it. I’ll even go out. But I’m not stressing over it. I don’t need a man. Most of the time I don’t really want company. So, why have I bothered to begin with? Because everyone else makes you feel like you should be looking for someone. Bah! I decided I don’t think so.

Do I have anymore free time than before? Not really. But my migraine headaches have eased up and I am way more relaxed. I really need to write and exercise. I have been such a slug. The weather is nice most days and I need some sunshine. A walk, a run, farmers market…something. Even sitting out, having a cup of coffee and jotting down a few book notes.

Friends mean well, society means well, but we all need to find out what we each need, individually. I’d love to find a great guy that I can spend quiet evenings with, crazy weekends with, and have fun vacations. Can a wait? Sure…There’s no rush.

Arlene R. O’Neil

Broken Spokes by Arlene R. O’Neil

Biography of Arlene R. O’Neil

“Writing is what lights me up,” states Arlene R. O’Neil. “Being a visual writer, I love seeing my work come to life: to take the reader with me on a journey word by word: to touch a reader whether through laughter or tears.” Her current book, “Broken Spokes,” refers to broken bones, broken bike, and broken spirit. It speaks to the reader of determination, of survival, of inspiration.
Born and raised in Connecticut, Mrs. O’Neil moved to South Carolina to work on her second novel, which will relate the roller coaster life of being the parent of a Soldier on active duty. O’Neil says, “My son, SGT Tanner O’Neil, is a member of the United States Army and the joy, pride, and love of my life. After five tours of duty to active war zones, I feel the need to share my experience with other parents in hope of lessening their fears.” SGT O’Neil recently returned from his 5th combat tour.
Currently Arlene lives with her two Labradors, Holly and Bruno, and her adorable pet goats, Paxton, JaeJay, Rupert, Patches, and Frosty. “These amazing characters have helped me through some incredibly difficult times and I love them dearly.”
Aside from writing, supporting her son while deployed, and caring for her animals, Arlene lives on 3 ½ acres of land that her and her beloved animals enjoy.
An author, editor and proofreader, Arlene R. O’Neil may be contacted at




Vicki Johnstone

If you love children’s books you need to meet Vicki and Kiwi! 

Kiwi in Cat City
Book blurb:

Have you ever wished your cat could talk or wondered where he/she goes when you are not around? Kiwi in Cat City is the first book in a series, of which there are six fun adventures so far. They are set in various animal-inhabited worlds, along with the human one, of course.
Kiwi seems like a typical moggie, content to nap in the sun and chase shadows, but she has a secret. She is a magical cat from a place called Cat City. With her two humans, James and Amy, Kiwi finds mysteries and adventures, dealing with catnappings, jewel thieves, giant rats, time travel, haunted houses, Father Christmas, pyramids and more. The fun stories contain positive messages about loyalty, friendship, honesty, bullying and the power of standing together.
Kiwi in Cat City opens on one dark night. Amy cannot sleep and she looks out of the window into the garden to see her cat, Kiwi, transfixed by the moon, which is glowing brightly like a cat’s claw. Waking her brother, James, Amy suggests they follow Kiwi to see where she goes… whether it involves a hunt for mice or something else. Little do they know that with a flick of her tail, Kiwi is going to magically change the children into kittens and lead them on the adventure of their lives to a land they never knew existed in their wildest dreams. In the blue-lit world of Cat City, the budding detectives help Inspector Furrball to investigate the mysterious catnapping of Mr Katz and find out what happened to Madame Purrfect.
The books contain illustrations by the talented Nikki McBroom. Furry fun for ages 9-99.
Author bio:

Vickie Johnstone lives in London, UK, where she works as a freelance layout sub-editor on magazines and as an editor on indie books. She has a thing about fluffy cats and also loves reading, writing, films, the sea, rock music, art, nature, Milky Bar, Baileys and travelling. If sleeping was an Olympic sport, she’d be a contender. Vickie has self-published the following books: Kaleidoscope (poetry); Travelling Light (poetry); Life’s Rhythms (haiku); 3 Heads and a Tail (comedy romance); Kiwi in Cat City (magical cat series for middle grade readers); Kiwi and the Missing Magic; Kiwi and the Living Nightmare; Kiwi and the Serpent of the Isle; Kiwi in the Realm of Ra; Kiwi’s Christmas Tail; Day of the Living Pizza (comedy detective series for middle grade readers), and Day of the Pesky Shadow. Vickie is currently working on a fantasy with a female central character called The Sea Inside.
Author links:
Twitter: @vickiejohnstone
FB author page:
FB Kiwi Series page:
FB poetry page:
FB editing service page:
Book links:
Ebook price: $2.99/£1.99
Paperback price: $7.50/£4.86

Dianne Gardner – Author/Illustrator

The first book of a trilogy, Deception Peak is a young adult adventure fantasy about a teenager, Ian Wilson, who follows his father through a portal that magically appears on their computer screen. They travel into a deceptively beautiful Realm, where horses run free, the wind sings prophetic melodies, and their computer avatars come to life. 

But when the two are separated, Ian is abducted by a tribe of dragon worshipers and is forced to find his courage. As he struggles for his freedom and embarks on a perilous search to find his father, Ian meets the true peacekeepers of the Realm. It’s then that he learns there is a greater purpose for being there.
The next installment The Dragon Shield will be available early 2013.

Author Bio:Dianne Lynn Gardner
Young Adult Fantasy-Adventure Fiction
Dianne Gardner is both an author and illustrator living in the Pacific Northwest, USA.

She’s been a painter all her life having started at the age of 12 under her mother’s supervision. Her first private art lesson was with a sculptress in California. Excelling in art in school and on to college, her portfolio includes portraits, inspirational works, and plein air landscapes. She was the portrait painter for the Washington Renaissance Fantasy Fair for several years painting 20 minute oil paintings during the fair. She has just recently started illustrating books, beginning this endeavor with a 9′ triptych of Stenhjaert the Dragon, the antagonist in Ian’s Realm

Dianne is an active member of the Society of Children’s Book Writers and Illustrators, and the National League of American Pen Women. Besides the Ian’s Realm Saga (Deception Peak, The Dragon Shield, and Rubies and Robbers which will be released in 2013) she boasts authorship to four short stories titled A Tale of the Four Wizards Series which interweaves with the Saga. She writes for middle grade and young adults targeting boys and adventure loving girls, but adults are some of her most zealous fans of all Her writing definitely falls under the ‘family friendly’ category!

My Guest DeEtte Beckstead

I’d like to welcome DeEtte Beckstead. I’d love for you to get to know her and her great writing. 

Hi DeEtte, 

What is the ideal recipe for a good novel?
A good novel needs equal parts: strong characters, a good plot, and good dialogue that moves the story forward. Carefully mixed with love and poured out into the hands of the readers in such a manner as to not overwhelm them, but to entice them to beg for more.
A good plot should be realistic even if it is a total fantasy. It should fit the overall story and characters. Good dialogue can be used to “fill in the blanks” of the plot or background story. A good novel shouldn’t have a lot of extras that don’t contribute to the story. And it should be written from the heart.
You’ve been contacted by the Association of Libraries from the Alien Planet of Zaolia. They want to know the five most important novels in all of Earth’s history. Which five novels do you give them?
This is also a difficult question! There are so many to choose from! The five novels I would choose are (not in any particular order): 1) Moby Dick  by Herman Melville, 2) Pride and Prejudice  by Jane Austen, 3) Chronicles of Narnia books by CS Lewis, 4) Homer’s  Iliad and Odyssey (yes, I know they are two different books!), and 5) Lord of the Rings by JRR Tolkien.
Other works that aren’t considered novels that I would give them would include all of Shakespeare’s works, Canterbury Tales  by Geoffrey Chaucer, Beowulf. If I could squeak one more novel in, I would also give them The Little Prince by Antoine de Saint-Exupéry.
What was the turning point in your life when you decided to start writing?
For a couple years, my sons had told me about NaNoWriMo and tried to get me to joing them for the November event. Finally, in 2007, I decided I would give it a try. Thus was the birth of Victory, and of my serious writing. My short story, The Christmas Visitors, came from my 2008 NaNo project!
What is or are the genres of your book or books?
Both are Christian fiction, paranormal. There are no ghosts, werewolves, or zombies, but there are demons and angels.
What made you decide to write in your particular genre?
It just sort of happened that way. Once I started writing, the story wrote itself. I am a Christian with strong faith, and it came from that.
When you write do you take notes, organize your characters and plot, or you write freely as you go?
I rarely make notes or organize before writing. If I do, it is a very brief note. I am happiest with my writing that I do freely, letting the story emerge as I write. I have been surprised many times with what happens!
Where does your inspiration come from?
My inspiration comes from observing life. I am a dedicated people watcher. Since I tend to be a quiet, private person, it’s easy to watch people at the mall, in the park, on the bus. I write stories of faith and freedom, whether it is political freedom, or spiritual freedom. I write stories that I imagine has brought someone to the place where he or she is now.
One of my WIPs, however, is the story of my first puppy mill rescue, a 12 year old Maltese whom we named BelleKyra Joy. She obviously is the inspiration for that story.
Do you write about your personal life experiences in your stories?
Some of my personal experiences are in my stories, but usually I write about what I imagine could/would have happened in the situation if…

What is your favorite scene in your story?
I think my favorite scene is the one in the first chapter of Victory when the white pigeon dies and Brown Eyes buries it. That scene came from a real-life experience I had when I started writing Victory. I saw a pigeon at my apartment complex fly into the building and fall to the ground right in front of me. It died a moment later. I buried the bird in a shoebox.  I like that scene because I could write what I really felt in that moment. And yes, I did cry over that little bird.
Thank you so much for sharing with us, DeEtte! Please share your bio and links where others can connect with you and your books!
Author and blogger, DeEtte Beckstead started writing in 2007 when her son challenged her to get involved in the National Novel Writing Month, known by the acronym, NaNoWriMo. The manuscript sat untouched with several others until January of 2012 when a good friend encouraged her to seek publication. The Christmas Visitors is her first published short story, and her current novel, Victory is also her first.
            DeEtte spent much of her childhood playing the piano, clarinet, and guitar, reading, and making up stories. She was active in Girl Scouts, which gave her a  variety of experiences. While in college, she was on the University of Utah Synchronized Swim team, and taught winter camping and survival skills for Girl Scouts. She has spent many years working with people with disabilities.
            Originally from the state of Utah, currently DeEtte lives in New England where she writes full time and works on the editing team of Master Koda Select Publishing. Her other interests include swimming, crocheting, reading, traveling, history, and her grandchildren. In addition, this devoted mother of six and grandmother of twelve has been a concerned participant in dog rescue services for many years.  


Marilyn Monroe and JFK

How much do you know about the iconic actress and JFK?

Join us May 11th, for our online release party for Fateful Night, book 1 of the What She Knew Trilogy!! 

Here’s an excerpt:

The pool at the Cal-Nev Lodge was perfect for a hot day in July.  The water was crystal clear and the scent of chlorine hung in the thick air. Jack was lounging beside Marilyn in his swim trunks as they soaked up the warm Nevada sun.  “Now look Marilyn, you need to understand how things are with me.”
“And how are things?” Marilyn eyed him curiously.
“Do you know the history about this lodge?  My father and Al Capone used to use this place to run bootleg alcohol to Cali.  You know, tunnels and everything.  My family has been in a position of power here in the states pretty much since my dad arrived.”
“Yes, and you hold the most powerful position of anyone in the entire nation.  So why are we talking about your dad?”  Marilyn sat up and applied tanning oil to her legs.
“Because, my innocent girl, it’s all about family.  Everything I do is because of them.”
“That is complete nonsense.”  She had gotten so distracted that the suntan oil flowed from the bottle onto the concrete.
“You don’t have much in the way of family loyalty, but we Kennedy’s always have.  We know that we’ll protect each other regardless of personal cost.  And now, it’s Teddy’s time.  You and I have to accept that.”
“But what about what you want?”  She noticed the streaming oil and popped the lid back on the bottle.
Jack sat up, anger radiating from his pores. “I can see you don’t understand at all.”
Marilyn stood up. “And what exactly am I supposed to understand?”
Jack faced her and poked a finger into her chest to punctuate his words. “I’ll always put the Kennedy political aspirations above that of my family or lovers.”
          Marilyn’s face turned beet red.  She reached up and slapped him hard across the face. “You son of a bitch!” She spun around and darted back towards the lodge.  Stopping, she turned around and spat, “You’re not the only one in danger here.  I’ve risked my life as well!”
          Jack closed the gap between them and took hold of her arms.  “What are you saying? What have you done?”
          She leaned against him for a moment. “I listen and ask ditzy blonde questions.  I learn things and giggle like I don’t get it.  I’m almost certain I’ve been found out though and I’m sure I’m on the ‘list’.”
          “God, Marilyn, you know I can’t protect you with Teddy making his bid for the senate.  What do you expect me to do?”  Jack tried to stroke her hair, but she pulled away with one rapid motion.
          “Do what you usually do for me, Jack.  Nothing.  Just don’t let my death be in vain.  I’ve tapped my own house in case something does happen to me.  Find the wires in the attic and catch whoever comes for me. You will be next, of that I’m sure.”


K.R. Hughes

Hughes is an English major from Amarillo, Texas. She now resides near Atlanta, Georgia. She enjoys writing with her co-author T.L. Burns. They have just finished writing book 2 in the trilogy and are in the editing process.

Hughes enjoys working with budding writers and tutoring English. Her passion is for at-risk teens. She volunteers to help teens realize their potential and find their passion. Hughes has two grown children, Justin and Kayti, and two four legged girls, MayZee and Ruthie.

Find other works by this author in the Historical Romance section, pen name is Kymber Lee, “Treasured Love” and “Lord Tristan’s True Love” are both a fun romp written in Regency England in 1811. Lee (Hughes) wrote these novels for her grandmother who is a huge supporter of her work.

T.L. Burns

As Burns’ co-author puts it “She is the foremost researcher and historical guru for our novel “What She Knew Trilogy.” They have just finished writing book 2 in the trilogy and are in the process of editing it.

Burns is originally from California (desert region, with mountains), spent nearly 20 years in the panhandle of Texas (again, desert region only without the mountains) and now resides near Atlanta, Georgia. In her words “Trees and flowers everywhere!! Even the weeds are green and lush! I feel like I’m living in a postcard!! And, no wind! The desert regions are sooooo windy.”

Burns passion is for at-risk families. She volunteers her time to help the needy, not with a hand-out but with a hand-up. She is married and has two grown sons (best sons in the whole world) and two 4 legged sons, Binford and Digby.

Connect with us:
Fateful Night will be available on Amazon as an ebook May 10th!!  In a few short weeks, you will also be able to purchase the paperback.  Follow the authors for the latest details and how to obtain a copy for yourself.  

What She Knew – An alternate history – What if Marilyn had lived and JFK saved?


I’d like you to welcome my guest today, Heidi Nicole Bird. She has a wonderful book out called Ontario!

“Don’t worry, Ontario, I’ll never leave you. You will always have me here to protect you and your brother.”
Those words from a childhood memory would haunt Ontario Stratton for the rest of her life. Losing her father had been difficult enough, but her life would change even more drastically at the beginning of her senior year of high school. Only weeks into the school year Mrs. Stratton abandons her two children for a more carefree way of living. Suddenly thrown into a very different life, Ontario clings to her brother Eddy, her new legal guardian, and to no one else. Could she trust anyone anymore? Even her best friend isn’t there for her. . .
In order to feel like less of a burden on her brother, Ontario gets a job at the local fifties-style diner. It is there that she meets her new “family,” including the oh-so-intriguing Austin, the only one who can help her truly heal. In time, Ontario discovers that Austin has his own demons, and that he needs her just as much as she needs him. Some things in Ontario’s life begin to come together again, but others continue to fall apart. Though her world seems to be breaking, she is introduced to a kind of happiness she has never known before, and her new found friends show her that maybe, just maybe, she can learn to love again.

I stared out into the dark night as I sat in her lap on the porch.
“Mommy?” I asked quietly. I could feel her breathing as my head rested lightly on her chest.
“Yes?”  she replied softly, looking down at me.
I leaned my head back so I could look up into her face. She looked different now. Sadder. Older.
“Daddy isn’t coming back, is he?”
Mommy’s eyes grew glossy and tears began to fall. After a few minutes she shook her head. “No my dear,” she whispered. “He’s not.”
I nodded slowly and tried to stop my lip from quavering. Daddy had been my best friend. I didn’t think he would leave me like this.
“Are you leaving too, Mommy?” I asked, with fear in my eyes. As I stared her bright blue eyes closed, releasing even more tears, and she started to sob. She held me tight to her and I hugged her back with all my might.
“Don’t worry, Ontario,” she said thickly. “I’ll never leave you. You will always have me here to protect you and your brother.”
I smiled slightly through my tears. I didn’t know why Daddy was gone, but if Mommy stayed maybe I could be okay someday.
I sat bolt upright, suddenly very aware of the cool night air in my room.  As I woke I was panting, and in a cold sweat. I could also feel tears on my face that hadn’t been there before. I stared into the blackness of my room and saw the lingering memory of my mother’s face as she made a broken promise to me so many years ago. That face seemed to be mocking me now the more I stared at it.
Finally I couldn’t handle it anymore and I threw my blankets off and ran over to my bookcase. I didn’t need the light to find what I was looking for. I yanked a large binder from the bottom shelf and began to tear out the pages. Pages full of pictures, and notes, and memories of a mother who had said she would always be there for me, said that she loved me.
Furious tears ran down my sweaty face as I tore at the pages until the entire book had been destroyed. Gasping for breath I fell to my knees, and then gradually, to the floor on the pile of ripped up memories. I lay there, sobbing, until I couldn’t feel the pain anymore. 

Heidi Nicole Bird has been writing for as long as she can remember and it is her favorite thing in the world. Heidi is a regular NaNoWriMo participant and is mostly a young adult fantasy writer, but also likes to write juvenile fiction and other genres. She holds a Bachelor of Arts degree in History from Brigham Young University and she looks forward to exploring the genre of historical fiction. Heidi lives in Utah with her family and three dogs, and loves working from home as a full time writer.

Also by Heidi Nicole Bird, Through the Paper Wall
Links to Ontario:
Paperback                                       Kindle Store

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