22 July 2017

January Bain Vists with her NEW RELEASE!

Hello January!  Thank you so much for visiting Written Butterfly with me today!  It’s such a pleasure to chat with you.  So tell me…

It’s lovely to be here today with you! Thanks so much for the invite. I look forward to talking books with everyone. 

Q) How did you dream up the dynamics of your characters?

That’s an interesting question! The heroine, Casey Madison in Winning Casey, is the wild adventurous type I would LOVE to emulate. She speaks to me on a lot of levels. That intense connection makes it easier to see a character, endowing them with characteristics of interesting people you would like to meet or even be. Once you know your hero or heroine, and place them are in close quarters in a scene (especially when they are very different personalities from each other as this pair of hot-heads are) the conflict has no choice but to explode! Truman Harrison, the hero in Winning Casey is judged by her as being a stuffy, academic type while she’s seen as a maverick which is loaded with conflict. A lot of hot, intense moments to record at every twist and turn!

Q) Is this book part of a series?  If so, can you tell us about it?

Yes, it is the first book in The Brass Ring Sorority series, a series that is scheduled for at least eight books, all about the exploits of an amazing group of Canadian women helping and supporting each other as they go on wild adventures. Everything from Casey’s going after the legendary treasure of Oak Island’s Money Pit, to Lacey wrestling sharks in the waters off Florida, to all of them pitching in to search for treasures across the globe. I love that Casey digs up gold in the Yukon that once belonged to Soapy Smith, a conman from the Klondike days that actually exited in real life! I just embellished his story a bit, okay, a whole lot! Each kickass goddess in the series will have a dream, a reaching for the brass ring, that the others will do their utmost best to make come true.

Q) Can you give a fun or interesting fact about your book?

That the story is based on a true event in Canadian history, the legendary Oak Island Money Pit that has been turned into a television series.

Q) What gave you the inspiration for your book?

Winning Casey was inspired by wanting to write about a group of women that were fearless in what they do. Not afraid of embracing life, going for that Brass Ring! Casey is such a live wire to write about. Someone I’d want to be if I had unlimited access. She inspires me to be a better person, even while I giggle with her at her exploits. Like all fun heroines, she has her foibles!

Q) Do you have any habits that get you in the writing frame of mind?

I do the exact same thing 7 days a week: wake up between five AM and six AM, drink a gallon of coffee while I write non-stop until I need a break around ten. Then do other stuff, then write, then do other stuff, then write…
As a wise person once said, you got to be there for it to happen!

Q) Do you plan all your characters out before you start a story or do they develop as you write?

Some of both! Writing can be planned down to the smallest detail, but the characters have a way of getting their way, of taking over. It’s an organic experience. It takes so much more than I would ever have guessed to do this. It takes all you got if you want to do it to the best of your ability.

Q) How much real life do you put into or influences your books?

Some for sure. I read a lot of biographies to get ideas for how people really live their lives, I read a lot of history books, I mine everything I can get my hands on! I read a number of books each week, trying better to understand the human condition, how we tick! People are endlessly fascinating to me. And romance, wow, I love the special nuances of a growing relationship. I feel very blessed to get to do this job full time.

Q) What are your upcoming projects?

Lots going on! A dozen more books promised to complete the two series: The Brass Ring Sorority series and The TETRAD Group series. So I better get my ass in gear 24/7 if I want to get them done! And I have more ideas than I could ever have imagined. Seems the more you write, the more ideas come to you.


Think archaeology is just dead bones? Think again.

Headstrong archaeologist Casey spends her life exploring the world for hidden treasure and ancient artifacts. A free spirit, her dedication to her calling means she’s often in conflict with the more narrow-minded higher-ups at the university where she’s employed as an associate professor. Timetables, rules, protocols—they all go out of the window when Casey’s on the hunt.

The inscrutable Professor Truman Harrison falls for Casey at first sight, literally, tumbling into a pit at her feet on first meeting. Now, if he as Casey’s new, detested department head can just talk her into helping him search for the legendary treasure buried in the Money Pit of Oak Island, Nova Scotia, maybe he can also get her to fall into his bed. But first he needs to prove to her he’s not just another tunnel-visioned, box-ticking management ‘suit’.

But the romance of this scorching-hot couple proves to have all the twists, turns, false starts and trick corners of a multicursal labyrinth. Luckily, both Casey and Truman have no small skill and a little bit of practice in navigating those...

Part madcap caper, part serious treasure hunting, the Brass Ringers never fail to entertain or get their way!


“Yet it isn’t the gold that I’m wanting
So much as just finding the gold.”
Robert Service

Casey glared at the stuffed moose head and it stared right back at her, its one broken antler leering.

“What are you looking at? You think this is easy? Who piles this many friggin’ rocks over their treasure, anyway? Yeah, yeah, I know—someone trying to hide it.”

She took a deep breath, adjusted her white and blue striped canvas work gloves and inserted the heavy red-tipped crowbar under the final stone slab. Air hissed out of her mouth and nose as she exerted her back and thigh muscles to the task, straining to pry it loose.


She sniffed loudly, her nose dripping. The damn soot-covered rocks had been in use as a fire pit. Give it to Hefty, though—clever ruse.

Ignoring the black soot, she leaned against the huge pile of stones and wiped her nose on her hoodie sleeve before shining her flashlight onto Hefty McGee’s journal. She thumbed through the tattered pages, still confident that the university wouldn’t miss the dusty old thing for one weekend.

“Hmm, says here Hefty won a moose head from a saloon keeper in a card game right here in Dawson City. Furthermore, that you lost that antler in the ensuring fistfight when it turned out that the gambler was a poor loser. Know anything about that?”

She tucked the journal back into her hoodie then reinserted the crowbar.

“Okay, here goes!” She attacked the slab with all her might. A loud squeal of protest as rock ground against rock. Ah, it moved. Just another few inches. Grunting, she pushed harder until the heavy cover slid off enough that she could shine her flashlight inside the hole pickaxed into the cave floor.

The sight of a large rotted pile of leather securely wrapped and tied with a cord quickened her breath. On top, weighing the package down, was a small smooth rock, and underneath it a torn piece of brown butcher paper. She pulled it out and shone the light on it.

She read the faded handwritten words aloud, figuring the moose had a right to know, as well. 

“‘Abandon hope all ye who steals Soapy’s Gold. It be cursed. Gave me the pox. Hefty McGee.’” 

Casey chuckled, despite the discomfort of the past few hours of digging in the tight, damp quarters, and gave the moose head a glance. “Just proves, old man, I’m in the right place!”

She thrust her arm inside the large hole in the cave floor and tugged on the heavy parcel. Damn, not enough room to lift it out. The blasted stone needed to be moved farther over. She glanced back at the doorway of the cave. Only a short while and the spring waters of the rising Yukon River would flood the low-lying cave.

“Be nice if you could lend a hand, buster.” She directed her comments at the moose head. It was beginning to creep her out, staring down at her with glassy, lifeless eyes. Okay, so perhaps coming alone had not been so smart, but she needed to know if all her research was going to pay off. And, just maybe, it was about to. Big-time.

The pry bar slipped as the rock jerked under the extreme pressure. It swung in an upward arc toward the moose head, pitching her forward as it did so. It also hit the beast a solid blow on its huge bulbous nose, knocking it loose from its perch on the rock wall and right down onto her head.

The last thought as pain drilled into her brain was that the old miner who had gone to the trouble to hide his stolen gold in the wilds of Northern Canada might have gotten it right. The curse was effective—if one was a klutz.

Casey woke with a start, shivering uncontrollably. Her head pounded from a possible concussion and her clothes were soaking wet. She blinked hard, gingerly touching the top of her skull, and felt a lump as large as a goose egg under her platinum braid of hair. Damn. If she had a mirror she could tell her if her eyes were dilated. But at least there was no blood. She rummaged in her pocket for her cell phone and checked the time. Double damn. She’d been out for more than an hour!

As her vision cleared, she focused on the cave’s entrance. Waves slapping around the opening made her heart race. Swallowing hard against the shock and the pain, she struggled to pull herself to a sitting position. Her brain swam with the effort and she punched the downed moose right in its over-sized moth-eaten nose.

“It’s all your fault! If you weren’t already dead…” Casey threatened. She managed to get to her feet by holding on to the clammy moss-covered stone wall. Trickles of moisture created darkened trails down the ancient walls, dampening her palms.

A flash of something sliding by the doorway drew her attention. Her boat! Left tied to a tree on shore, with the rising waters it’d somehow managed to work itself free. Headache forgotten, she splashed through the frigid water, lunging to snatch hold of it before it drifted away in the current. Swaying dizzily, she managed to tug it inside the cave’s broad mouth. Thank goodness the cave floor sloped down toward the river, otherwise her transport might have floated away while she was knocked out.
She held hard to the canoe’s frayed rope, maneuvering the sixteen-foot boat closer to the treasure. Once she tied it securely to an outcropping of rock, she hauled the offending moose head off to the side, grateful the one good antler hadn’t pierced her skull. She relaunched her efforts to retrieve the booty. Thank God her flashlight was still intact and working.

“No fucking way I’m leaving here without my gold!” she muttered. “God damn it—move, won’t you!” she exclaimed in frustration, pushing as hard as she could manage. It was now or never. At least the weight training was paying off. She put everything behind the effort, every muscle in her body struggling and screaming at her to give it up already.

With an ominous creak like a banshee screaming in the wind, she inched the stone lid off bit by bit, the pit reluctant to give up its treasure. Finally, against the clock, Casey jolted the stone lid far enough off to allow her full access to what lay beneath. With a tug at the rotted string that bound the package, she thrust it out of the way and pushed her hand inside to pull apart the decayed leather.

She froze and took a deep breath, heart hammering. Was this the moment? Would all her intensive research now pay off? Or was it an elaborate hoax set up by an ornery old conman with a wicked sense of humor?

She touched it reverently, a laying-on-of-hands. Took a deep breath.

This was it. The moment of truth.

And yet, she hesitated, her hands trembling. So much rode on this. Finding the treasure would fund another adventure, her life’s blood. Give her the freedom she needed. Craved.

Open it already!

Okay. Stop shouting at me.

The war within quieted as she slowly peeled back the edges of the musty old covering. Was that a choir of angels singing? No, just her imagination working overtime. Whispers from the past upping the roaring clamor in her head as the color revealed itself.

Shiny yellow nuggets. Gold! Soapy’s stolen hoard!
The nuggets gleamed brightly under the flashlight’s beam. Nestled between the lumps of gold, someone had packed old leather pouches filled with gold dust. She’d found it! She swallowed hard. Glanced back at the cave’s entrance.

Crap. The water was rising. Faster.

Hurriedly, she scooped up the heavy nuggets and packets, flinging them into her backpack and glancing back at the cave’s entrance every few seconds to make sure she could still free herself. Running out of room in the pack, she pulled another black carryall from the canoe’s bottom and loaded it. At the last possible second, she threw in the moose head, knowing she was being loopy. The damn thing must weigh twenty-five pounds, broken antler or not, but he’d helped point the way.

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Bio for January Bain and links:

January Bain has wished on every falling star, every blown-out birthday candle, and every coin thrown in a fountain to be a storyteller. To share the tales of high adventure, mysteries, and full blown thrillers she has dreamed of all her life. The story you now have in your hands is the compilation of a lot of things manifesting itself for this special series. Hundreds of hours spent researching the unusual and the mundane have come together to create a series that features strong women who don’t take life too seriously, wild adventures full of twists and unforeseen turns, and hot complicated men who aren’t afraid to take risks. She can only hope the stories of her beloved Brass Ringers will capture your imagination as you follow their exploits as much as they did when she wrote them.

If you are looking for January Bain, you can find her hard at work every morning without fail in her office with two furry babies trying to prove who does a better job of guarding the doorway. And, of course, she’s married to the most romantic man! Who once famously remarked to her inquiry about buying fresh flowers for their home every week, “Give me one good reason why not?” Leaving her speechless and knocking her head against the proverbial wall for being so darn foolish. She loves flowers.

If you wish to connect in the virtual world she is easily found on Facebook, twitter and writes a weekly blog about her journey on Blogger. Oh, and she loves to talk books…

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19 July 2017

Q&A with Annie Harland Creek on her new Release!

Hello Annie!  Thank you so much for visiting Written Butterfly with me today!  It’s such a pleasure to chat with you.  So tell me…

Thanks for having me Beth.

Q) Is this book part of a series?  If so, can you tell us about it?
This is part two of the Blood brothers series but both are stand-alone books. Kiss of death introduces Derrick and his brother. Both are vampires but they are very different in personality.

Q) Can you give a fun or interesting fact about your book?

David, the protagonist in book two, tried to take over book one so I had to promise him his own. LOL.

Q) Do you have any habits that get you in the writing frame of mind?

When I’m writing love scenes, I play soft music and light scented candles. For fight scenes, I burn incense and play themes from horror movies.

Q) Do you plan all your characters out before you start a story or do they develop as you write?

I’m what they call in Australia, a pantser. I sit down at the computer and the scenes play out in my head.

Q) What are your upcoming projects?

I’m madly trying to finish book three in the series which will re-introduce a couple of the secondary characters from one and two. Unfortunately, book four keeps interrupting. The characters in this story will be very different to anything else I’ve written. I may need to flitter between the two.


The Art of Seduction

Meaghan Lamb has a mission. She plans to use her undercover assignment in the local University to prove, once and for all, that she has what it takes to make a great detective. But when her class is assigned a very hot nude model/artist, her plans turn pear-shaped. As her suspicions about him grow, so does her attraction but how can she allow herself to fall for a man who could be a cold-blooded killer?

David Corel has seen his paintings come to life in the form of a beautiful, blonde art student who seems unable to look at him without blushing. But, is she really as pure and innocent as she seems? Or could she be the campus killer?


“No, no, no.” David protested as he came up behind her and took the brush from her hand. “For a start, this is the wrong brush.” He exchanged the bristle for a sable brush and delicately dabbed it onto the palette. “Think of your brush as a tool.” He said as he put the brush in her hand and held her hand to the canvas. She could feel the hard muscles of his chest on her shoulders as he leaned over her, moving her hand like a marionette. Together they stroked the canvas.
“When you hold the tool, I want you to make slow, seductive movements like this…” he demonstrated downward movements, “the oil makes the paint slide easily, making your brush strokes more fluid.”
It took Meaghan only a few seconds to realise his double entendre. “Control the tool. Move your hand slowly up and down, adding linseed oil when your movements begin to catch. Ah, that’s good.” He pressed against her, his erection rubbing against the small of her back as he continued his play on words. “The tip is very sensitive. Use a featherlike touch for optimum effect. Pay careful attention to the reactions of the canvas. You will sense when to add oil and when you should apply more pressure. That’s very nice. You’re doing well…keep up the pressure…yes, yes…that’s it.” She heard his low, quiet groan and she gasped in response. “As the pressure builds, move faster, faster Meaghan…oh, that feels good doesn’t it.” His voice breathless, ragged as he moved her hand furiously over the canvas.
“Faster…until you can sense that the canvas is at the point where it can take no more, then… add a bit more for good measure.” David stopped abruptly. The painting finished. Meaghan could hardly believe what they had created in such a short amount of time. She stood admiring the work. Her body exhausted as though she had been put through a wringer. Damp heat soaked her dress. She shuddered when David asked her.
“Was that as good for you as it was for me?”


Annie lives on the NSW Central Coast (Australia) with her very supporting husband and two of her grown children. She loves spending time with her granddaughters who live with their parents within walking distance of Nannie and keep her on her toes.

As a former Shotokan Karate Instructor, she loves to write about strong women who prefer to fight their own battles. Her family shares a love of weapons, the nastier the better, but her home is also filled to the brim with books.
Raised to enjoy reading and learning about the supernatural, it seemed logical to eventually write her own stories. After completed University, graduating with a BA in English and Ancient History, she entered and won a short story writing competition which gave her the confidence to submit her work to publishers. Her vivid imagination ensures that she will continue writing for many years to come.

Q&A with Lynda J. Cox on her new Release!

Hello Lynda!  Thank you so much for visiting Written Butterfly with me today!  It’s such a pleasure to chat with you.  So tell me…

Q) How did you dream up the dynamics of your characters?

            West of Forgotten was written many, many moons ago, but I was never ready to let them go into the world. It’s actually the fourth book I’ve published. Harrison and Rachel played recurring roles in the first three books I’ve published and from the small parts they had, it was apparent that Rachel was the one Harrison deferred to most of the time. I knew when I wrote their story, she had to be as strong as they came, and Harrison had to be as strong in his ability to adjust to her. She’s been damaged and if he wasn’t so adept in reading her, the dynamics would have been a lot different. The dynamics were very different in the very first version of this book.

Q) Is this book part of a series?  If so, can you tell us about it?

            Technically, no, it’s not part of a series, though so far all of my books are set in the same small town of Federal, Wyoming. Federal was an actual town at one time, though now it’s barely a wide spot on a spur of the Burlington/Northern Railroad Line.

Q) Can you give a fun or interesting fact about your book?

            I’ve never lived in Wyoming (at least in this lifetime), but Rachel’s intense sense of homesickness when her father sent her away to boarding and finishing schools came from my own sense of being homesick for that place. Rachel always packed some sagebrush in her trunks so she could smell the dried sage when she was banished back East. Every year, when we are on vacation in Wyoming, I cut several sage bundles to take back to Indiana for the same reason. Rachel always had a small piece of white quartzite in her trunks as well. I have a small piece of that white quartzite from the Medicine Bow Mountains on my desk, a piece on my night stand, a piece on the dashboard of my vehicle, and a piece in my purse.

Q) What gave you the inspiration for your book?

            West of Forgotten started with a dream I had. (No joke.) I couldn’t remember much of it, except for one small scene that kept playing in my head. I saw this young woman in an 1870s mourning dress, backed up to a piano and this man standing in front of her. I started asking myself who she was, why she was afraid and why he was trying so hard to allay her fears. It grew from that one scene.

Q) Do you plan all your characters out before you start a story or do they develop as you write?

            I’m a pantster when I write—BUT, I have to know every minute detail about my characters before I start writing. I use a character questionnaire for the main characters and it’s fairly in depth: level of education, phobias, strengths, biggest regret, siblings (if any), greatest ambitions—those sort of things, along with physical characteristics.

Q) How much real life do you put into or influences your books?

            I write historical, so I’m rather limited in tweaking historical facts. However, that real life also influences what I write. And, sometimes, a real historical figure finds his or her way into my books. Who knew U.S. Grant didn’t like to lose at poker? 

West of Forgotten blurb:

Banished from civilization to the Wyoming Territory, U.S. Marshal Harrison Taylor holds a deed to half the Lazy L. He isn’t sure why his beautiful new partner, Rachel Leonard, doesn’t trust him. He has to convince her he is nothing like the man who abused her and must earn her trust before the escalating attacks at the Lazy L turn deadly.
For six years, Rachel has worked to repair a shattered life. Caring for her son and invalid father leaves little time to keep the Lazy L profitable. She doesn’t want a business partner simply because her father gambled away half of her beloved ranch and most certainly doesn’t desire a husband. Unfortunately, she’s stuck with the former and can’t trust Harrison as the latter.
Unless she can learn to trust Harrison, everything and everyone Rachel loves will be lost.

West of Forgotten excerpt:

A light breeze rustled over the sage and the summer-yellowed grasses. The scent of rain carried on the air. Somewhere in the darkness, in a high-pitched voice, a distant coyote’s shrill yap and trill was joined with another voice. One of the two horses snorted. From the far south-west came a muted, low, long growl of rumbling thunder.
She looked to the horizon. Towering thunderheads were illuminated from within in shades of white and purple and blue as the lightning danced in their heights.
“Is it going to rain again tonight?”
Rachel continued to watch the play of light in the depths of the clouds. She tried to puzzle out why Harrison was engaging in trivial small talk. Perhaps he was on the same uncertain footing she was about their marriage, about Sam’s sudden death, even what it was married couples talked about. “I don’t think so. I think that one is going to miss us. We might get a few drops, but it will rain out before it gets here.”
“Joshua asleep?”
She nodded. “I suppose we should discuss sleeping arrangements.” Just saying those words twisted her stomach with painful knots. “My father’s old room on the second floor hasn’t been used since his accident.” She had to stop thinking of that room as her father’s. It hadn’t been Sam’s room since the day she had found him nearly crushed under the rubble of the mine collapse. There had been no manner to navigate him up and down the stairs.
“We don’t have to discuss anything permanent tonight.” The chair creaked with his shifting weight. He rose from the chair and set his coffee cup on the porch railing, then crossed the distance to her. Without a word, he took her hand and pulled her closer to him. He looked down into her face. “I can continue to sleep on the chesterfield for a few more nights. Not that it would be my first choice…” His voice trailed off.
“I will need to air the room out, change the bed linens, and dust in there, but it would be senseless for you to continue to sleep in the parlor.” She freed her hand and walked a few paces away. She was talking nonsense, hoping to quell her unease. Even the most hastily arranged marriage had a wedding night. Yet he had agreed that for now, they would have a marriage in name only.
Harrison’s boot heels echoed on the porch floor. She startled when his hands came to rest on her shoulders.
“You’re terrified,” he said.
“What makes you think that?” She couldn’t make herself look at him. The knots in her stomach drew tighter, making breathing naturally more difficult, and forcing her heart to race.
He drew his hands down her arms and back to her shoulders. “Let’s start with how stiff your spine is. Or that your voice is shaking. Every time I’ve touched you, you’ve either frozen or you panic.” His breath whispered across the nape of her neck and ruffled the tendrils escaping her severe chignon. He turned her to him and caught her chin on the back of his hand, tilting her head up. “I made a promise, Rachel, and I will not break my word. You have to change the terms of our marriage.”
She forced herself to draw a deep breath when his arms wrapped around her waist and he exerted gentle pressure to bring her against his chest. He enveloped her within his embrace and this time there wasn’t panic or the desperate need to break free hammering in her. Rachel allowed herself to relax.
His cheek pressed into her crown. A self-depreciating laugh broke from him, and she admitted she liked how that sound rumbled in the depths of his chest.
“I really should have my head examined for agreeing to all of that.”
His arms tightened around her. She forced herself to remain within the circle of his arms, the side of her face against him. He must have sensed her sudden unease as he loosened his hold.
“You are an interesting woman. Beautiful, fascinating, and so full of contradictions.” He levered back from her and lifted his hand to cradle the side of her face, the pad of his thumb feathering along the slope of her cheek. “A seemingly very strong woman and yet terrified of a kiss.”
Rachel’s mouth was dry and she couldn’t pry her tongue from the roof of her mouth. Her limbs trembled. Surely he had to hear how fiercely her heart was pounding, so loudly she heard it echoing in her ears.
His voice deepened, grew quieter until it was almost a whisper and she fought the urge to close her eyes and let the warmth in his voice wash fully over her. “A woman with a child but so frightened of intimacy.” He leaned even closer to her, his mouth almost on hers, yet not touching her except where his warm palm held her face.
In the darkness, she could just make out his features. Her hands slid up his chest and she didn’t know if it was to push him away or pull him closer. She was aware her breathing was shallow and she held her breath when he brushed the pad of his thumb against her lower lip.
“You have a mouth made for kissing, my beautiful wife, but I’m not going to kiss you. Not until you ask me. And, I promise, when that time comes, you’ll be asking me to do a whole lot more than just kiss you.”
He straightened and released her, moving away in the same fluid motion. His long strides carried him to the house, up the steps, and then through the door. Rachel sagged, pulling in a ragged, deep breath. A strange ache filled her lower belly, not painful but entirely confusing for its origin. She ran her tongue over her dry lips, staring into the night.
She twisted her head to the house. Part of her wanted to know if this time would be different. Fear of discovering that it wouldn’t be kept her feet frozen, unable to move forward.

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Twitter: @lyndacox

18 July 2017

Q&A with Faye Hall

Hello Faye!  Thank you so much for visiting Written Butterfly with me again!  It’s such a pleasure to chat with you.  So tell me…

Q) How did you dream up the dynamics of your characters?

Phoebe Porter, the heroine of Amorous Redemption, is based on the stories I was told of my great grandmother.  Both women share the surname of Porter, but are also very strong women willing to defy society’s rules to survive.  Duncan MacAllester, the hero and bounty hunter sent in search of Phoebe, was a character that developed along the way.  I had originally thought to base him on my great grandfather but he ended up being an even stronger character, one willing to risk everything for the woman he loved.

Q) Can you give a fun or interesting fact about your book?

An interesting fact about Amorous Redemption is the cattle station mentioned throughout – Inkerman Downs Station – was in fact owned and run by my great grandmother’s family.  There last name was Porter.  Until recently it still remained in the family.

Q) Do you have any habits that get you in the writing frame of mind?

I find music always helps get the ideas flowing and makes things easier to start writing.

Q) Do you plan all your characters out before you start a story or do they develop as you write?

I usually have a notepad with basic outline of characters in it – eye color, hair and so on.  There personalities for the most part though grow as the book does.

Q) How much real life do you put into or influences your books?

Every book I have written always has a few real life things in it.  Sometimes it’s just the names of some of the characters.  Other times its actual occupations of people from mine, or my husbands, family tree.

Q) What are your upcoming projects?

I have signed a contract for a book titled Heart of Stone.  I’m waiting for a cover and edits at the moment, but in short it tells the struggles of an Australian slave trader who falls in love with an Irish slave.


Phoebe Porter had run away from her family…from her fiancé…from her life.

Upon arriving in the dusty mining town of Ravenswood, Queensland, Australia, Phoebe was certain she was finally safe from all who wanted to rob her of everything she had…including her life.  That was until she felt herself being swept up in the strong arms of a stranger…a stranger she would soon be surrendering her body and heart too.

This was to be the last job for bounty hunter, Duncan MacAllester.  All he had to do was retrieve Phoebe Porter from Ravenswood and return her to her home of Inkerman Downs Station and to the fiancé awaiting her.  If he could survive this last hunt for this woman then he would finally have the money he needed to reclaim his cattle station and retrieve his life.
When Duncan pulled Phoebe safely from the midst of a bar brawl, never could he have imagined this would be the beginning of one of the most dangerous journeys he had ever made…or the most passionate.

Together Duncan and Phoebe must face not only the unforgiving humidity of the North Queensland outback, but also the men that were sent after them to kill them both.
When Phoebe is ripped from his grasp by the abusive hands of her fiancé, Duncan follows her back to her hometown knowing that he would do anything to protect this woman…even if it cost him his life.

Duncan turned to her, obviously annoyed by her continued stubbornness.  “Damn it, Phoebe.  There are far worse men out there your family could send after you than me.”
“I don’t care,” she replied sternly.  “Either you keep me safe away from what awaits me at Inkerman Downs Station or I shall find a man who can.”
Phoebe stood firm watching as Duncan approached her, his steps measured. 
“Have you any idea how dangerous it is for a woman such as yourself out here in the Australian bush?” Duncan asked her.  “We are miles away from civilization, and practically rubbing shoulders with creatures that either want to kill you or eat you.”
“I don’t care,” Phoebe said, her stubbornness continuing.  “I won’t go back there.”
“But why?” Duncan asked.  “I don’t understand your continued resistance.”
Phoebe felt her restraint crumbling under his continual questioning.  She wanted to appear only a figure of strength before this man, but Phoebe knew her fear would be her weakness.
“Have you any idea what it is like to live in fear each day not knowing what your family has planned for you?” Phoebe asked him, spitting the words at him like poison.  “Have you any idea what it is like being afraid of every man you meet, wondering if this is the man your family has sold you to?”
Phoebe took a steadying breath, feeling her tears threatening, knowing she had to reign back in some of her control.
“I won’t go back, Duncan...not to my family nor to Gordon.  I will not go back to be the wife of some monster to be beaten and raped and treated little better than the scum on the bottom of his boot!”
“But I don’t understand,” Duncan asked, his brow furrowed in confusion.  “If you were my fiancé-”
“But I am not your fiancé!” Phoebe yelled back at him.  “I am nothing more than your redemption!”
“My redemption?” Duncan asked.
Watching as Duncan’s face filled with clear annoyance at her choice of words, Phoebe began to wonder if she should have made that last remark about their relationship over the last few days. 
“My redemption?” Duncan asked again.  “You think I’ve been sleeping with you for money?”
Feeling suddenly nervous at the stony cold tone in Duncan’s voice, Phoebe fidgeted with her fingers uncertainly.   
“Why else would a man like you be so eager to crawl between my thighs?” Phoebe asked, her words far harsher than she had intended.
“Your family paid me to return you, sweetheart!” Duncan exclaimed in an angry tone unlike any she had heard before.  “They never paid me to sleep with you!”
Phoebe struggled to hold back her tears.  “My family would have paid you to do whatever you had to to get me to go back with you, Duncan...including seduce me.”
Phoebe wiped a tear away from her cheek in pure frustration that she should show such weakness in front of this man.
“You are no different to my fiancé,” Phoebe said angrily.  “I am nothing more to you than an exchange of goods for money.”
She couldn’t understand why but Duncan appeared pained upon hearing her words.
“Exchange of goods?” he asked, his words laced with more hurt then irritation now.  “You really think I was paid to seduce you?  You actually think I was paid to sleep with you...to take your purity?”
Phoebe nodded silently, not trusting herself to speak.
Walking up to her, Duncan stopped just inches from her, all harshness gone from his features.
“It was you who walked past me at the waterhole that day as naked as the day you were born.  When I went to you, you didn’t push me away, nor did you tell me to stop.  You welcomed me with open arms, Phoebe.”
Phoebe let out a steadying sigh, knowing what he said to be true.
“I had little choice.  I was scared of what you might to do me should I refuse you.”
Reaching his hand to behind her head, his fingers laced in her hair.  Pulling her to him, his lips embraced hers hard and painful.  Releasing her from his hold, Duncan took a single step back away from her.
“Your family was paying me extra to ensure I didn’t sleep with you, Phoebe.” Duncan spat the words at her.
With that Duncan turned away from her and walked back to the horse, swinging himself up into the saddle.


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Q & A with Isla Dennes on her new Release!

Hello Isla!  Thank you so much for visiting Written Butterfly with me today!  It’s such a pleasure to chat with you.  So tell me…

Q) How did you dream up the dynamics of your characters?

Every writer has a different approach to this, some develop complex psychological profiles for their characters before they start to work of the MS, some are influence by people around them, but for me, once the main characters are established in the first couple of chapters, they tend to develop their own complex personalities from which the relationships and the dynamics between the other characters in the book evolve. It’s like once I develop the characters they in turn write the story. Rarely does a story follow the path I have formed in my head, but like life, the course of a story (for me anyway) is unpredictable and influenced by the journey of my character.

Q) What gave you the inspiration for your book?

One of my inspirations for the book was undoubtedly the savagely bitchy atmosphere that prevailed throughout my own high school years. It really was survival of the fittest. Looking back now, I wonder where those girls are now, the ones who terrorized anyone who didn’t have an inner bitch to call on in times of need. Some of those anonymous bullies play a big part in the book and I hope if my readers take away any message, it is nice girls do win in the end.    

Q) Do you have any habits that get you in the writing frame of mind?

One of the best tips I can offer, is to keep a journal and write in it every day. Writing in my journal, is for me, like a literary warm up. Stretches the brain muscles. It doesn’t matter what crap you write, as no one is ever going to read it (you hope) but it really helps to establish a routine, a habit that is making time to write every day. Once you start to pour our your frustrations, happy thoughts, anger or just what you had for breakfast down in words, the ideas just keep flowing.

Q) Do you plan all your characters out before you start a story or do they develop as you write?

In writing Sex, Spoons & Salsa nothing was planned too far ahead in the story. I knew what message I wanted to relay, which in this case was a warts and all look at peer groups, bad decisions, growing up as an adult and leaving behind toxic relationships. Rather than going down the touchy feely road, I decide that brutal honesty laced with a liberal dose of comedy and more than a little “taking the piss” was going to be the voice of my story.  

Q) How much real life do you put into or influences your books?

Oh my God, if I actually lived out all the outrageous antics of my characters, I would either be writing this from jail or in a strait jacket… But seriously, maybe is it safer to go wild on paper. Some of the scenarios in my books are from my own experiences (I will leave the guessing up to my readers)! But one part that does come to mind is Fiona’s father. My own late father, being a fully paid up, kilt wearing, bagpipe playing Scotsman, gave me plenty of fodder for the story. Although Fiona’s father is not necessarily based on my own dear Dad (no spoon collections in my house growing up!), I did borrow his accent…. And there was the time he wanted me to learn highland dancing….

Q) What are your upcoming projects?  

Well, I am really excited to announce my next book, Heavenly Pleasures, another comedy, will be released on the 7th February 2018, being the first book in the For Heaven’s Sake series.  

In Heavenly Pleasures, we meet Brooke, a self-confessed shopaholic turned reluctant brothel receptionist, as she stumbles through life, trying to live up to her parents’ and fiancé’s high expectations—at the cost of her self-esteem. Who would have thought a group of working girls would help her rediscover her inner strength and finally tackle her personal demons? But at Heavenly Pleasures, quite a lot of things are possible…


Thrown into salsa lessons by her therapist, Fiona stumbles her way from depression to happiness and, numerous disasters later, finally finds her rhythm again. 

As if it wasn’t bad enough to be living back home with her parents after leaving the Two-timing Lying Bastard, Fiona also finds herself socially ostracized after a drunken dancefloor disaster at the Returned Servicemen’s League disco, resulting in her father practically frog-marching her off to a psychologist. Sounds very Hollywood, right? Except, when your parents are Scottish, it goes without saying that any therapist is of the budget variety. 

As part of her plunge into the surreal world of therapy, Fiona’s instructed to have dance lessons to raise her self-esteem, in the process emptying her father’s wallet and threatening the sanctity of his prized spoon collection to foot the bill. And that’s despite Fiona’s three left feet, all of which are rhythm challenged. 

Salsa lessons, secrets and lies, a riotous bachelorette night and a disastrous wedding see Fiona’s life spiraling as wildly out of control as her salsa. With her therapist’s help, she should be able to see the truth lurking just below the surface and finally take back control once and for all—that is, unless her so-called friends have anything to do with it.


“I have nothing. No husband. No friends. No life. Nothing. I might as well be dead!” 

Through a veil of tears, I stared at the wilting rubber plant in the corner and tried to pretend I was anywhere but there. I don’t think I could have been any more mortified. I sounded like a hack Shakespearean actor. 

Crossing her arms over her matronly bosom, Margarita pushed a fresh box of tissues toward me before settling back in her chair. She didn’t appear the least bit put out by my hysterics and I wondered what it would take to get some kind of reaction from her. Talk about detached. Fifty minutes into our first session and she hadn’t even opened her mouth to impart any words of life-altering wisdom? For all I knew, she could be compiling her week’s menus and their subsequent shopping list in her head. Was it possible my father had stumbled across the only deaf-mute therapist in the country? 

“Therapy. I still can’t believe I’m here,” I mumbled tearfully. Had I not been so totally consumed by my own misery, I would have been burning up with shame. “Who goes to therapy, anyway?” I cried, ignoring the frown appearing on Margarita’s face. “I’ll tell you who—celebrities, bored middle-aged housewives, people who’ve taken to curling up in corners and sucking their thumbs. Total nutters, that’s who! Not me.” 

This had to be a mistake. I didn’t belong there. I didn’t want to belong there. I wanted to have my life back. But the very act of coming to therapy was in itself an admission I had failed at being a grown-up and was in need of rescuing. 

On the drive there, I’d made a promise to myself not to get all caught up in that whole touchy-feely crap. Sure, I might have been led dazed and blinking from the dark recesses of my room―and my mind for that matter―clutching a ratty old stuffed rabbit, my normally well-behaved shoulder-length mousy-brown hair long gone wild and my usually striking blue eyes dulled and barely recognizable. But make no mistake, I was there for one reason and one reason only, and that was to get Dad off my back and, in the process, prove to him what a complete waste of everyone’s time and money this was. Alas, once I’d settled into that arse-numbing chair―no sign of a comfy leather couch, much to my disappointment―the silence, combined with the sympathy emanating from every pore of Margarita’s round face, had triggered something in my brain—the blabbing switch. Before I could stop it, my runaway mouth had embarked on a journey of its own, climaxing in my recent outburst, still hovering in the air between us like a bad smell no one wants to acknowledge. 

God, what have I done? Unfortunately, I couldn’t take it all back now. I looked expectantly across to the Beige Linen Oracle—as she was from that moment christened—for any sign she’d come up with the magical solution for my ruined life. I’d done my bit. Surely it was up to her now to sort out this mess? But no, she merely stared back expectantly. 

Waiting for exactly what, I wondered? A complete mental breakdown? By this time, I was little alarmed. Am I a lost cause? Maybe I really was losing my mind. Great, this is all I need. If it wasn’t bad enough to be a twenty-six-year-old recently discarded wife, on top of that I was doomed to suffer the additional humiliation of losing the plot, going la-la, floundering in the emotional cesspool of life without a float. 

Plummeting headlong into Loser Hell without a safety net….



Married, mother of one son and three daughters, Isla Dennes developed a love for writing while employed in her dream job as the owner of a book shop situated in a seaside resort town in NSW, Australia. Not content in simply reading every book in the store, she found herself compelled to create novels of her own.

Had she concentrated more on sales and less on writing she might well have retired a wealthy woman, but writing won out in the end, with the result being a lifelong passion for creative writing across a number of genres, including a brief but regrettable sojourn into horribly sentimental New-aged poetry which is best forgotten.