Monday, September 25, 2017

I'd Like to Thank (Drum roll please) A.M.Westerling

I think we can all agree writing is a lonely occupation. Unless you have the luxury of an assistant you can dictate to, it’s all up to you, your keyboard and the characters in your head clamoring for their stories to be told. That’s how we all start, toiling away in secret until the day you finally screw up your courage and tell someone your passion to be a writer. Assuming the person you told isn’t rolling on the floor laughing their head off, there begins your support group.

For me, it was my family. They didn’t really understand why I would want to spend my evenings writing after a full day at work but they respected my desire and gave me the time to do it. I have two sons who shrugged and rolled their eyes a bit but they did impress the girls in their circle by divulging that their mother was a romance author. It must have worked because they both have sweeties now! Of course my husband is my number one supporter but not in the way you think – he’s not a reader and hasn’t read a single word I’ve written. Nope, he’s more interested in helping me with the marketing and research aspect. For example, this past summer, he drove me to Fernie, Cranbrook and Fort Steele in SE British Columbia so I could drop off in person copies of my latest book, Barkerville Beginnings, and information about the Canadian Historical Brides Collection. He’s driven me to Barkerville ( although that was before I knew I would write Barkerville Beginnings ). 

Here are a couple of pictures from our most recent trip to Barkerville.  That's me (left) standing on Main Street

He's also driven me to Fort St. James so I could do research for The Countess' Lucky Charm.

Here I am with my youngest son. The fort is situated on the shores of beautiful Stuart Lake in north central B.C.

Of course I have to thank my friends, particularly the Kananaskis girls, who believed in me, read my early attempts and encouraged me, came to my book signings so I wouldn't be sitting alone and brought champagne to our getaway weekends so we could celebrate in style!

Thank you also to Judith Pittman, for her faith in my ability and for all the great things she does for the authors at BWL Publishing.

However, my biggest thanks go to the Calgary Association of the Romance Writers of America. I can’t begin to say enough wonderful things about this group, their support, their enthusiasm, their understanding, their willingness to share their knowledge about this wacky business that is publishing. It’s a professional organization and gives validation to what I’m doing. I've made lifelong friends and hooked up with my dear critique partners. I attend workshops, monthly meetings and conferences learning about the craft and business of writing with people with the same mindset that I have. They get it. They get why I write. 

 You can find Barkerville Beginnings and the rest of my books on the BWL Publishing website.

Saturday, September 23, 2017

I'd like to thank...

I'd like to thank Grandpa Albert Liddle, a Literature Professor at Antioch College who made Shakespeare and Chaucer live for me. He had issues of The New Yorker back to that magazine's inception and he encouraged me to read the great writing inside and to never be afraid to ask questions of my teachers. 

My Mom who read constantly and haunted the local library, and who wrote for the local newspaper and for letting me read whatever I wanted. 

My Dad who read his childhood books aloud to me, gritty true stories like Tales of an Indian Boyhood, and realistic historical adventures like Claws of the Thunderbird.

4th Grade teacher, Mrs. Keyho, who put on a play that I'd written in the school auditorium where it was viewed by the other 4th grade classes--even if it was a shameless piece of Bambi fanfic.

 Childhood friends from school, Elsa and Gay, and from summer camp, Christine and Liz, who got excited about the historical characters over whom I so endlessly obsessed and who shared my love for history, theater and costumes.

Historical novelists like Margaret Irwin and Margaret Campbell Barnes who shaped my initial ideas about what kind of stories I wanted to tell.  And Jane Austen for being the perfect fore-mother for authors who desperately want to reproduce period voice.

Nolan Miller, Creative Writing Professor at Antioch, who, unimpressed with my freshman efforts, told me to "go out and get some life experience." 

Chris, my husband, who thought we could get by even if I gave up office 9-5 and became a full time writer.

RWA Critique star, Kay Cochran, a brilliant writer and English teacher who used her red pencil and sharp eye on my very earliest stuff.

Kathy Fisher-Brown, fellow BWL author and fellow Revolutionary War buff, for her editing skills, as well as her all-around writer-to-writer companionship. May we tour many, many more battlefields and historic houses together!   

I'm thankful for Libraries, both public and university--in every place I've lived--and now for being able to conduct research on the Internet. You can find out almost anything these days, if you'll just keep your critical facilities engaged and go on indefatigably drilling down.

Jude Pittman, for her initiative, energy, and integrity, and for Books We Love's continuing faith in my work.  She and her husband, my writing partner, John Wisdomkeeper, have made our joint work on Fly Away Snow Goose, a valued experience which has grown me in many many ways. 

 And last but not least, I'd like to thank the voices in my head, those imaginary friends who've been my companions through good times and bad--some of them for more than sixty years. Thanks for sharing your stories!  A Master Passion   ISBN: 1771456744

~~Juliet Waldron

View all my historical novels and all available booksellers at:

Thursday, September 21, 2017

My Support by Katherine Pym

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My best, and most recent support is Jude Pittman, my partner in the Canadian Bride Series. She told me how good the chapters of Pillars of Avalon were, with its in depth historical research and finished chapters that she edited. For this I will be eternally grateful, because...

Few of my friends enjoy novels of 17thcentury London. My family says: Hey Kath/Mom, that’s great you have another book out, but I won’t read it. I can’t get past seeing you while I read or hear your voice. 

My sons would definitely hear my voice if they read Erasmus T Muddiman, whose exploits came from them. I’ve often wondered how they reached adulthood considering some of the stunts they pulled. They crawled up the side of the house and jumped off the roof or Tarzaned from the house to the garage. They swung off trees and chased avalanches while skiing. One of my critique partners said her sons weren’t anything like mine, which made me wonder. I thought most boys did crazy things when teenagers. 

My dear husband leaves me alone for hours at a time, and eventually beta-reads my chapters, 5-10 of them at a time. He lets me know if anything doesn’t make sense. 

I dedicate my stories to people but I don’t know if they read them. When I tell them of the dedication, their eyes widen and they say: “Gee, thanks.”  

In the end, I am my most ardent supporter. I constantly think how the plot should progress, have my heroine or hero jump through hoops to keep the narrative moving. I don’t allow them to fight or be too cruel. I must like them, and the story. The ending must agree with my sensibilities. 

After all, besides my critique partners who don’t always read every chapter, I’m the only one who must truly enjoy my story. 

For a short time, Erasmus T Muddiman is FREE. 

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Monday, September 18, 2017

Release Day - Canadian Historical Brides Book 6, Saskatchewan

Celebrating the release of Fields of Gold Beneath Prairie Skies (Saskatchewan) Book 6 in the Canadian Historical Brides Collection by Suzanne deMontigny.  Available in eBook and print at your favorite online and brick and mortar bookstore. 

Set in Saskatchewan following the end of WWI, meet Napoleon and Lea, a courageous couple who struggle against enormous odds to build a life on the Canadian Prairies.

French-Canadian soldier, Napoleon, proposes to Lea during WWI, promising golden fields of wheat as far as the eye can see. After the armistice, he sends money for her passage, and she journeys far from her family and the conveniences of a modern country to join him on a homestead in Saskatchewan.

There, she works hard to build their dream of a prospering farm, clearing fields alongside her husband through several pregnancies and even after suffering a terrible loss.

When the stock market crashes in ’29, the prairies are stricken by a long and abysmal drought. Thrown into poverty, she struggles to survive in a world where work is scarce, death is abundant, and hope dwindles. Will she and her family survive the Great Depression?

Sunday, September 17, 2017

A Diverse Group Supports my Writing, by Diane Scott Lewis

I have many people to thank for their wonderful support over the years. My mother, and my English teachers are the earliest. Recently, for my Canadian Historical Brides book, On a Stormy Primeval Shore:

Here's the blurb: In 1784, Englishwoman Amelia Latimer sails to the new colony of New Brunswick in faraway Canada. She’s to marry a man chosen by her soldier father. Amelia is repulsed by her betrothed, and refuses to marry him. She is attracted to a handsome Acadian trader, Gilbert, a man beneath her in status. Gilbert must fight the incursion of English Loyalists from the American war to hold onto his land and heritage. Will he and Amelia find peace when events seek to destroy their love and lives.

First and foremost I’d like to thank Nancy M. Bell, my fellow author, who sent me research documents, websites and kept in touch with people at The New Brunswick Museum while writing her own novel in the series. She also critiqued each chapter and offered suggestions.

Nancy M. Bell

I thank my Beta readers, all three of them. So I guess they’d be Gamma and Delta, too. Ginger Simpson, Norma Redfern, and for my final draft, Kathy Pym.


My two on-line critique groups. I’ve been with many of these people for over a decade. Their suggestions and expertise is invaluable. These writers include fellow BWL authors Kathy Pym and Anita Davison. Also, authors Maggi Andersen, AnneMarie Brear, Ursula Thompson, and Lisa Elm. In my other group I have Carolyn, Randall, Karen, James, Harry, Lindsey, Kathy and Jane.

Nancy's contacts at The New Brunswick Museum, who guided her to rare documents: Jennifer Longon; Gary Hughes; Ruth Cox.
The Internet, what would I do with you? Formally, I’d research in libraries, including the fantastic Library of Congress. I’d get Library Loans of difficult to find books. I still enjoy libraries, that unreplaceable smell of books, but where I live now in rural Western Pennsylvania the choices are limited.

My publisher Jude for believing in and promoting this series, and the Government of Canada for funding it.

Now for who supports my writing in general, my husband, family and friends. I've dragged my husband off to England through the wilds of Cornwall, over to France, and up to Canada, in pursuit of my research. He's waiting for my million-dollar book deal; he really wants that vacation house in the tropics!

Bio: Diane Parkinson (Diane Scott Lewis) grew up in the San Francisco Bay Area, joined the Navy at nineteen and has written and edited free-lance since high school. She writes book reviews for the Historical Novels Review and worked as a historical editor for The Wild Rose Press. She’s had several historical novels published. Diane lives with her husband in Western Pennsylvania.
For more on my novels, please visit my BWL Author Page

And my website:

Wednesday, September 13, 2017

I’d Like to Thank…by Kathy Fischer-Brown

photo © Janice Lang

Reading this month’s “assignment” on the Canadian Historical Brides blog has been fascinating. No two writers, it would seem, do things the same, from our approach to researching and plotting, to the ways in which we find and receive support. While some of us find ourselves on the receiving end of our families’ understanding and encouragement, others find themselves misunderstood and seek affirmation and inspiration in groups of likeminded people.

I consider myself fortunate to have had a number of influential “muses” over the course of my life. Starting in third grade, there was Miss Silverstein, who to my utter embarrassment, read my little stories aloud to the class and hung those gold-starred, neatly-printed-on-loose-leaf products of my imagination on the bulletin board. This was a special honor, considering I wrote them without prompting, just because I wanted to…or perhaps because something compelled me, like an itch needing to be scratched. Then there was Mrs. Barr in fifth grade, Miss Debevoise in eighth grade and Mrs. Cohen in 10th. I’m especially grateful to Dorothy Debevoise, who not only read my first historical novel (poor woman to have been subjected to such a yawner), she also marked it up with suggestions and offered to read it again!

In high school, I switched the focus of my need for expression from penning stories to acting on the stage. I continued to write, but for the most part, except for an occasional poem published in the school literary journal, I wrote late at night when no one in the house was awake to ask silly questions. These scribblings were solely for my own amusement and thankfully have never seen the light of day.

When I abandoned the stage following the birth of our first child, I became consumed with an idea for a novel that came to me in a dream. I knew next to nothing about writing for publication but lots about creating characters, thanks to an MFA in Acting. Back then, in the early 1980s after we moved from Connecticut to Indiana (where my husband accepted a position at a small private Catholic all-girls college), before the internet and personal computers, I subscribed to “Writers Digest” and “The Writer” magazines, pored over each issue from cover to cover, ordered books on plotting and markets. Through the classified section of one of these publications, I found a pen pal with whom I exchanged chapters of works in progress. Maureen and I enjoyed a lengthy working friendship until our lives changed and we lost touch with each other. (We recently reconnected after nearly 30 years; she's writing and publishing again.)

During this time my husband, a retired theater teacher/director and published playwright, read my work and served as a sounding board. In the early years prior to publication, Tim probably knew as much about my stories as I did. Upon returning to the east coast, I found my first writers group. It was an odd bunch, made up mostly of men who saw themselves as God’s gift to the world of fiction while looking down their noses at the few women in the group. Except for Norma Giles, the founder of the group and singular mind, who encouraged me to keep on keeping on, despite the snide, whispered comments and outright guffaws.

Another move followed the birth of our daughter and brought our little family to where we are now, 29 years later. Shortly after moving to Central CT, I found a terrific critique group. Not long after that I joined Romance Writers of America and its local chapter, CTRWA, where I became involved with the best bunch of women ever to wield colored pens. Through their insightful comments and encouragement, I entered Winter Fire in the Golden Heart contest, where it earned a finalist ribbon. For that, I will always be grateful to Nancy, Suzanne, Jan, and Mariana.

I can’t forget my first agent. Ruth took me on because she absolutely loved what has since become “The Serpent’s Tooth” trilogy. Unfortunately, she didn’t live to see the books find their way into print and ebook with BWL.

My dear, departed father also deserves thanks for pushing my first published novel (2001) on all of his friends. He bought a carton-full of Winter Fire paperbacks and handed them out to nearly everyone he knew. I’m sure my mother would have been proud as well.

And where would I be without Matt and Hannah, my grownup kids? Both of them came of age while their mama wrote nearly every day, often into the wee hours, pausing to prepare tea and cookies when the school bus dropped them off and making time to cook dinner, go to parent/teacher conferences, take them to plays their father directed, rehearsals and performances of their own, cub scout and brownie scout meetings, Little League practices, overnights with friends and shopping trips to the mall. Both, I might add, are pretty decent scribes in their own right. If not for them, I never would have learned how to balance my time.

And last, but definitely not least, I am thankful to Judith Pittman, founder and publisher of BWL. I’d been with several publishers before Jude launched Books We Love in 2010. Ultimately, Jude’s vision and expertise in marketing won me over. I’ve been with BWL ever since.


Kathy Fischer Brown is a BWL author of historical novels, Winter Fire, "The Serpent’s Tooth" trilogy: Lord Esterleigh’s Daughter, Courting the DevilThe Partisan’s Wife, and The Return of Tachlanad, an epic fantasy adventure for young adult and adult readers. Check out her Books We Love Author page or visit her website. All of Kathy’s books are available in e-book and in paperback from a host of online and brick and mortar retailers. Look for Where the River Narrows, the 12th and final novel in BWL’s Canadian Historical Brides collection, coming in July 2018.