Call me different, but I tend to think about words. Not only their obvious meaning but also how they feel. I have words I really like–favorites if you will, and some words I don’t particularly care for. My parrot and I play a game called ‘Word of the Day’. It goes like this: I discover some random word and repeat several times to Taz, along with that tagline. Sometimes he picks it up, but not always. And they are usually words like ‘monstrosity’, ‘fortuitous’, ‘incorrigible’, and ‘advantageous’. Taz has quite vocabulary when he so wants to. ‘Poopmiester’ is another word we use a lot. If you know birds, you understand.

Now, some of my favorite words are ‘endeavor’, ‘happenstance’, ‘rhapsody’, and ‘serendipity’.  Those are great words. I also like ‘challenge’ a lot. ‘Silly’ is a fun little word, as is ‘awesome’. They sound like ice cream on the tongue. Taz’s favorite words appear to be “no’, why’, ‘what’, ‘where’s nuts’ and the names of departed dogs and cats.

Some people might be drawn to more sweet or harmonious words like ‘joyful’, and its cousin ‘enjoy’ or twins ‘honey’ and ‘sweet’. ‘Bliss’, ‘melody’, and ‘pleasant’ are idyllic words too.

How about some not so nice words? ‘Bad’, ‘evil’, ‘demonic’, ‘ruthless’, ‘dark’, ‘sinister’, and ‘ill-boding’ are all enough to send chills down some spines. Or pique the interest of those who like thrillers and horror stories. There is also the other negative spectrum of ‘hopeless’, ‘gloomy’, ‘bleak’ and ‘despondent’ to color your world grim.

I love the word ‘rain’, and the action of rain falling, which I am reveling in now as I pen this from the comfort of my wicker chair on the porch. Our sizzling summer temperatures have finally, blessedly, dipped a few degrees to give a measure of relief. A few yellowed leaves tumble to the grassy ground. Birds chirp and twitter as they hop about among the shrubs. What a tranquil scene. If only I could linger in this snapshot of time longer.

One last thought. In 1984, as a child of fourteen, and already an amateur wordsmith, I purchased a thesaurus. It was the perfect investment of my baby sitting funds for my budding writer career/ dream/ passion. I still have that book proudly gracing my reference shelves. It’s held together with layers of yellowed tape, thumb worn and ink marked, but it has been an undeniable help to me over the years. Nowadays, my computer has this  built-in thesaurus feature and it’s okay. Mediocre. Yet I still prefer the old paperback held together with tape.

While cruising down the road recently, I passed an older gentleman selling baskets of peaches from the back of his pick up truck. A car was driving away, doubtlessly with a basket of peaches or two on the floorboards. The old farmer was pocketing the proceeds from his sale in his shirt. And that split moment snapshot made me mentally pause and think. Such is the fodder for our stories: these observations frozen in time.

While I could not immediately think of a place for this scene in any of my current works in progress or upcoming ones. Instead I tucked it away mentally for down the line and considered the POV. If I were ever to write something based on this short scene, what POV would I use? Whose story would this belong to?

We have the farmer who just sold the basket of peaches. He would surely have a story to tell. What went into growing his crops and harvesting them? What about the customers now driving away? Imagine the plans they have for the peaches. Peach Pie? Peach cobbler? Fuzzy navels at the block party this weekend? Peach Ice Cream? Or did they fight over stopping to buy them because one wanted them and the other one didn’t? And now they were going to be late to their destination.

Or what if there is another character? A kid walking along sees the same thing and rushes forward, robbing the old farmer, taking his cash and kicking the remaining baskets around. Peaches roll into the road and grassy shoulder. Punk brat needs to learn a lesson but what is his story?

And we can always have another car come along, the driver witnesses the car driving away and the attack against the farmer. Perhaps this individual has been wanting to do something positive, something to make a difference. Wow…this is the perfect chance. he can jump out and help the old farmer. Yeah!

Except he–or she– is either A) terribly afraid of any confrontation/ danger; B) running late right now and can’t risk being tardy to his/ her destination’ or C) whatever sounds really creative here. No phone booth to change clothing? Gas pedal sticks and he/she can’t stop the car? Big truck behind him/ her and he/she can’t risk stopping now or risk getting run over by an eighteen wheeler blowing its airhorn?

That individual could provide enough interesting stuff to make their own story. Either way, whoever gets to tell this story, it would make a good writing prompt to shake off any writer’s block or stimulate sluggish brain cells. It would be a chance to be funny and write crazy stuff or sentimental or serious. Or maybe one of the characters would have enough to say after all to take over and the snapshot scene would lend support to an entire book.

Prompts and snapshots are all around us when we just open our eyes and imagination to them. Personally, I think it goes something like this…

The farm knows judo and kicks the daylights out of that punk. The passing car is actually the kid’s probation officer who pulls over to the side of the road, lets the trucker go on by and then crosses over the road, grabs the kid and hauls him back to detention where he is reformed eventually. The farmer gets his money back and is reimbursed for the spoiled peaches. The couple who bought the last baskets made it to their destination on time, and used the peaches to make peach and buttercream cake for their son’s birthday, once he got out of detention. Yeah, same kid. He got his just dessert, or fruits of his labor.

How would you write this story?


I was honored and flattered when C.D. Hersh contacted me, inquiring if they could feature their latest release,  The Mercenary and the Shifters, The Turning Stone Chronicles, book four. Of course! It’s a fascinating series and I have no doubt this book is just as awesome as the previous three.

This is a sensually hot, urban fantasy paranormal suspense romance. Don’t you just love the mish-mash genres? I sure do! This book releases today– July 27th, so you can get your copy now. Or really treat yourself and get all four in the series–even better.

CD Hersg cover

The Mercenary and the Shifters (The Turning Stone Chronicles Book 4):

eBook: https://amzn.com/B01I01W2JC


What is this about? I am so glad you asked. Here is the back over description:

When mercenary soldier Michael Corritore answers a desperate call from an ex-military buddy, he finds himself in the middle of a double kidnapping, caught in an ancient war between two shape shifter factions, and ensnared between two female shape shifters after the same thing … him.

Shape shifter Fiona Kayler will do anything to keep the shipping company her father left her, including getting in bed with the enemy. But when she believes the man trying to steal her company is involved with kidnapping her nephew, she must choose between family, fortune, and love. The problem is … she wants all three.

Now, that sounds full of action, and sexy hot romance. Here is an excerpt to whet your appetite:

Mike’s presence in her bedroom as she gathered overnight items for the guesthouse comforted Fiona. It also set jitters off in her stomach. The man was hot and muscular and very alpha. He’d removed a sword and gun from his duffel bag and slung them, along with a bandolier of ammunition, over his shoulder after they’d been attacked. The sight of his weapons and his protective behavior did unfamiliar, disconcerting things to her.

“Does the guesthouse have a phone?” he asked over her shoulder.

Fiona jumped and slammed her palm to her chest. “Jeez, don’t sneak up on me. I didn’t hear you cross the room.”

“Sorry. I didn’t mean to frighten you.”

“After what happened tonight, it won’t take much to make me jump. And, no, it doesn’t. But I’ve got my cell.”

“I’ll need the number.”

“Ditto, on yours.”

“I think you need to take your gun. The one you pulled on me.”

“After tonight, I’ll sleep with that baby under my pillow.”

Mike studied her. “You’re certain you don’t have an idea who might want you dead? What about the group you’re dealing with? What was the name again?”

“OmniWorld? I think I’m more important to them alive, at the moment.”

A knowing smile flashed across Mike’s face, and she realized he’d tricked her into revealing the name of the cartel she’d withheld earlier.

“At the moment?”

She thought about the cargo Mr. Swindell’s associate had forced her to ship. Had he’d lied about the cigarettes? If he had, she needed backup. Hugh trusted Mike. She needed to do the same.

“I’m handling some freight for them. I don’t think they want to off me, at least until the deal’s finished.”

Mike swore under his breath. “What are you mixed up in, Fiona?” When she didn’t answer he continued, “If I’m going to help, you have to be completely honest with me.”

She cringed at the word completely. Honesty with anyone, at this point, could only be partial. How much could—should—she tell him?

A mercenary soldier lands in the middle of a double kidnapping, an ancient shape shifter war, and two female shape shifters after the same thing … him.

Oh-oh. You just know this is a super book. Take a look at the entire series:

Amazon buy links:

The Promised One (The Turning Stone Chronicles Book 1):

eBook: http://amzn.com/B00DUMODKI

paperback: http://amzn.com/1619353504

Blood Brothers (The Turning Stone Chronicles Book 2):

eBook: http://amzn.com/B00OVNFC8W

paperback: http://amzn.com/1619358271

Son of the Moonless Night (The Turning Stone Chronicles Book 3):

eBook: http://amzn.com/B00XK3E172

The Mercenary and the Shifters (The Turning Stone Chronicles Book 4):

eBook: https://amzn.com/B01I01W2JC

The Promised One bk 1 of cdhersh  Blood Brothers (Turning Stone Chronicles Book 2) SON OF THE MOONLESS NIGHT_805x1275 CD Hersg cover


To find out more about CD Hersh, check this out:

Putting words and stories on paper is second nature to co-authors C.D. Hersh. They’ve written separately since they were teenagers and discovered their unique, collaborative abilities in the mid-90s. As high school sweethearts and husband and wife, Catherine and Donald believe in true love and happily ever after.

Together they have co-authored a number of dramas, six which have been produced in Ohio, where they live. Their interactive Christmas production had five seasonal runs in their hometown and has been sold in Virginia, California, and Ohio. Their most recent collaborative writing efforts have been focused on romance. The first four books of their paranormal romance series entitled The Turning Stone Chronicles are available on Amazon. They also have a Christmas novella, Kissing Santa, in a Christmas anthology titled Sizzle in the Snow, with seven other authors.


Where you can find CD:

Website: http://cdhersh.wordpress.com/

Blog: http://cdhersh.wordpress.com/blog-2/

Soul Mate Publishing: http://smpauthors.wordpress.com/

Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/cdhershauthor

Amazon Author Page: http://www.amazon.com/C.-D.-Hersh/e/B00DV5L7ZI

Twitter: https://twitter.com/AuthorCDHersh

Goodreads: http://www.goodreads.com/CDHersh

CD Hersh bio pics


I sometimes pet sit. One of the dogs I walk takes us through a moss-lined, wooded path under a canopy of green trees and climbing vines. A stream runs alongside. Ahead, near the wooden footbridge, slick with moss, I can hear racing water. Because the dog I walk is a hound, we frequently pause so he can conduct in-depth sniffs of particular odors. This gives me time to notice and enjoy to flowers, ferns, plants, orange-capped mushrooms and small wildlife. I see ducks, squirrels and untold numbers of birds. And insects beyond number.

Today I glanced back to where we’d come. It was a pretty view. Green moss rolled out like a carpet. Trees reached out, touching branches to form an arch. Ferns and flowers made countless bouquets and fallen flower petals formed a white trail, stark against the green. It made me want to go back that way instead of crossing the bridge to the road, like we normally do. I knew what was back there and it was pleasant.

And the whole event, which lasted maybe two minutes before the hound was done sniffing and investigating, got me to thinking. As writers, is it important to stop and think about where we’ve come from? At least once in a while?


Only we can tell about the path we’ve been on, first the road to publication and our journey since. We know how hard or easy it was, how long it took, how pretty of an experience or how painful and terrible. Knowing this, having the memories fixed in our minds, we tend to concentrate on the trail ahead.

Where do we want to see ourselves? Like the dog and I, we must cross the bridge and trudge up the road to reach his driveway and ultimately home. He has a bone and water waiting for him.  As a writer, I know where I want to me by the end of this year and where I hope to be five-ten and twenty years from now. I have a plan — a footbridge and road– to get me there.

However, as I reflected today, it might be wise to include some reflective study in that plan. Once in a while, I should pause on my writing journey and look back at where I came from. The awkward first starts, the endless queries and just as endless rejections, the first few acceptances. The high of the first time seeing my name in print. The author events, workshops, practice of my craft, networking and the people I have met, seeing my book on a library shelf for the first time, and the list goes on. All the great, wonderful, exhilarating and all the sad, heart-breaking and bad things that have made me the writer I am today.

And in two years or five years I will be a different writer then I am today.

If you are an artist, reading this book will make you want to get your easel, paints and brushes out. Rich details, both in art, location, culture and more, make this a realistic trip to the past. If you are not an artist, but just like romances, or time travels, with a bit of history, this book will not disappoint you.

A time for love in paris

Meet Elise Sutherland, born in Scotland, and now residing in Paris, France to study art. We see Elise at two stages of her life– two ages–and in three time frames. Living as a young mademoiselle in 1975, she borrows an enigmatic book which mysteriously transports her back to 1895. There, she meets master artist Michel Flaubert. Their attraction is mutual, and fast.

Michel is accustomed to nude women, begging to model for his art. Elise is different. He’s never met a woman like her. She’s confident, opinionated, and mysterious. Then she tells him an outlandish tale. Except, she can prove it. Time travel? Incredible. Everything about her lights him on fire. Elise just knows she loves Michel and traveling between her time in 1975 and his time of 1895 is wearing her out. Their passionate love-making leaves her breathless and her time juggling challenges leave her grappling for control.

A choice must be made, a sacrifice offered, a passion of art foregone for a passion of the heart. Who shall be the one to concede?

The answer may surprise the reader. This story will completely immerse the reader in 1895 Paris, in the world of artists, painters and writers in the time before WWII. History comes alive, both 1895 and 1975, and meet up in our present day now, taking the reader along for all of it. Smells, sights, rituals of the time, and more wait in the pages of A Time for Love in Paris in this page turning romance.

This cover says it all: what is waiting at the end of this dark, mysterious passageway?



Libby Klink and Nick Geary, a very unlikely pair. She’s as human as you and I, he’s a Keeper– as close to human as possible.  The Keepers are human helpers, moving among us as needed, lending a hand against the evil forces at work. They sure stay busy with all the craziness in our lives today.

Ms. Neely did a superb job creating alternate realms and deep characters and explaining the paranormal elements. I do wish Libby had questioned Nick a little more thoroughly when he suddenly showed up, spouting this outlandish tale. To me, she seemed a little too quick to accept things that most of us would just not buy into that fast. A little too trusting. However, there is no denying the chemistry between Libby and Nick is good, real– and hot.

For an intriguing and suspenseful paranormal story, this book is indeed a keeper. There is plenty of action and good characterization. I enjoyed it and look forward to the next book in the Crossing Realms Series.


It’s tough being a teenage girl. It’s even harder when your mom is suddenly killed in mysterious, unsolved accident and then you’re uprooted and moved to someplace new. A barren, small, new place that offers little to occupy a mourning, depressed and frustrated heart.



“Watching July” tackles hard issues, sometimes dark issues, like peer pressure, a natural desire to fit in, first relationships and the loss of a beloved parent. It welcomes the conversations of gay parenting as July had two mothers– and now she only has one.

July thinks she might finally be on the right track when she meets the neighbor boy and makes a few new friends. He’s cute and they’re nice. Spoiler alert: Things are not always as they seem.

Soon July can no longer ignore the strange signs around her, warning her the past isn’t behind her just yet.  Someone in this BC Interior town is watching July.

I would call this a gripping tale of youth, love and mystery.


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