Authors and Books

Wildfire at Midnight by Mary Stewart

I just finished reading Mary Stewart’s book, Wildfire at Midnight. The book was originally published in 1956 and was re-released in 2011. Reading it was such a pleasure that it reminded me why Stewart’s books landed on the New York Times and other bestseller lists...

A Wee Murder in my Shop – The Perfect Escape

I’d like to tell you about a book I just read by Fran Stewart called A Wee Murder in my Shop. For the past few years there has been a constant slate of hard-hitting news stories and sometimes it’s necessary to escape into a different type of drama, one that is far...

Mourning Dove – Memphis, Tragedy and a Bygone Era

I purchased Mourning Dove by Claire Fullerton for two reasons. First, I had read Dancing to an Irish Reel which takes place in my favorite place—Ireland—and thoroughly enjoyed it so I knew I enjoyed her style of writing. Second, Mourning Dove takes place in Memphis in...

The Shadowy Horses – Ghosts, Scotland and Romance

In The Shadowy Horses by Susanna Kearsley, archeologist Verity Grey begins an excavation in Scotland. The Ninth Roman Legion was rumored to have camped there as they marched north from York to fight the Scots, and the owner of a remote manor house is convinced his...

Minor Characters and Decisions Made

I’ve devoted several articles to the journey of the hero, but often what makes a book so memorable are the peripheral characters. Years ago when I was developing software, I created a program for working with brain injured patients; part of their successful journey...

How Stressful Events Make Great Books

Conflict always drives fiction. In real life, we may wish for things to fall into place easily, days go by smoothly, and relationships unfold effortlessly. But in fiction, nothing can be easy—because easy equates to boring. Watch the video below or skip to the text...

Secrets of the Lighthouse

I love a great ghost story, and Secrets of the Lighthouse by Santa Montefiore is a unique one. The first page instantly drew me in as I pictured Caitlin, a young wife and mother, looking at a lighthouse in the beautiful Connemara region of Ireland and a tiny chapel by...

The Hero: Confronting the Inner Saboteur

Our heroes often feel larger than life: Ian Fleming’s James Bond, Tom Clancy’s Jack Ryan, F. Scott Fitzgerald’s Daisy Buchanan, Patricia Cornwell’s Kay Scarpetta or Sue Grafton’s Kinsey Millhone.   But in reality, most heroes are filled with self-doubt at one...

The Girl from Ballymor is a Must Read!

There are many good books but only occasional great ones, and The Girl from Ballymor definitely is one of the great ones. It has reminded me many times over how it was books like this one that caused me to fall in love with reading, which later led to a lifelong love...

What are You Writing to Change the World?

The billionaire Richard Branson recently asked, “What are you doing to change the world?” It is not enough for businesses to remain in business simply to make a few individuals richer; in fact, the opposite is true. Businesses should exist because they bring something...