Category Archives: Guest Posts from Authors

Guest post by Erika Gardner: Everyday and Not-so Everyday Magic & Miracles

I am a big believer in miracles and magic. Yes, I write about fantabulous things, magical creatures and wondrous sorcery, but I see quieter magic all around us. People can do great things on a daily basis. The power of a hug, the comfort of prayer, and the outcome of a sympathetic ear all have a ripple effect upon the world at large. One person holds a door for another, then that second person picks up something someone dropped, the third subsequently compliments a friend on something and so on. The positive vibes flow, changing each person’s day for the better.

It’s no less special than the stuff in my books though it’s easier to miss the power of a kind word than a dragon appearing in the sky before. And on that note I’d like to share exactly that. This is an excerpt from my new novel The Dragon in The Garden. This is Daisy coming home. Please enjoy.


“Siobhan,” Turel said. The intensity of his tone caught my ear, and I turned to him. He lingered a few feet away from me, his eyes fixed serenely on a point far away.

I joined him, my eyes on the horizon. The setting sun painted the sky a vivid seascape of blues, pinks, violets and oranges. As the sun lowered to the lowest point in the sky, in the instant before its rays spilled over the back of the world, there shone a beam of concentrated light, as precise as a laser. After a second, the light expanded, becoming a brilliant, white ray. It continued to grow, morphing into a tunnel in reverse, but instead of darkness, it blazed a corridor of light. The white light became prismatic, flickering with a rainbow of dancing diamond sparkles, splashing colors of all hues in front of my dazzled eyes.

Turel enclosed one of my hands in his warm grasp. “It is something to see, yes?” His tone reflected true awe.

“Is this your first time seeing this?” I asked in a whisper. The tunnel became larger, dwarfing us. With my free hand I shielded my eyes. Leia sat at my side, gazing in the distance.

“No, I have seen this many times.” He held out his other hand and waved it at the mighty light show. “But a miracle is no less glorious for having previously happened.”

To my left Tim and Alex continued their ridiculous rock throwing competition. Their stones sailed right through the expanding brilliance they could not see. “Guys, are you kidding me?” In the emotion of the moment, my voice growled, low and hoarse.

They stopped and gave me matching blank expressions. “What?” Alex said.

“Hey, what are you guys staring at?” Tim sounded defensive.

Before I could answer their questions, I heard it. A sweet sound, soft at first, barely a whisper, carried on the breeze. Turel’s smile grew even brighter, matching the shining portal. “She comes.” His eyes shone as they met mine.

Alex glanced this way and that. “Does anyone hear that sound?” he asked.

Tim craned his head. “I hear it. It sounds like bells.”

“Wind chimes,” I corrected, still staring straight ahead. “It’s wind chimes.” The air shimmered. Light danced in an intense aurora borealis. Patterns of colors streaked and swooped in a heavenly painting. One hue dominated the others. The deep shade of jade green spread. An enormous form took shape, dressing itself in swathes of color. The huge outline solidified: graceful wings, a serpentine neck, and a curving tail. Two amber lights appeared like jewels in the viridian air. Everything intensified, heightening each of my senses; the lights pulsed. A beautiful, green dragon hovered in the air. With two mighty beats of her massive wings, she crested then landed behind us. I ran forward with a cry. “Daisy.”

“Damn it,” growled Tim. “I can’t see anything even a bit like a dragon.”

“Unless it’s a super little one,” said Alex, his face downcast.

Turel laughed— a big, belly laugh full of joy. “Gwyrdd, you sly minx, show them. Drop the glamour and let our friends see you.”

Daisy twisted her head to one side in a coquettish gesture and in that voice I had never forgotten said, “Certainly, Turiel, dear one.” Suppressed mirth laced her tone. “How’s this, children?”

When she spoke these last words the music of wind chimes came again, louder this time. As their bright notes sounded around us, I saw the precise instant when both my brother and my first love, the two who believed in me all these years, finally saw my dragon.

TheDragoninTheGardenbyErikaGardner-200To purchase The Dragon in The Garden please see:




erikagardnerauthorpicThis post was written by Erika Gardner. She’s a native Californian, lifelong lover of fantastical adventures, and a dedicated Whovian.  If you enjoyed it, please sign up to receive updates on   Or you can follow Erika on Twitter @Erika_Gardner, “Like” her Facebook page Erika Gardner- Writer and Storyteller. Or check out her contributions to the BBB Blog.


The Reason for Peace


Today I am introducing Deboarah Carney who talks of her theme and reason for her book Buddha. 

One chilly January day in 2012, I was walking with my daughter and grandson along a creek in Sedona, Arizona. I was intrigued because on the map that we were given when we came into the park, Crescent Moon Ranch, there was a location called “Buddha Beach”. I wondered what that was and if I would know it when we got to it.

A little bit of back story here, I had two sons that passed away. One died after a car accident in 2002 and one from a heart attack in 2006.  I’ve been kind of a mess but have been in a better place the last couple of years. Still, I needed to find more peace. I heard that Sedona was a spiritual place and they have vortexes of energy that help many people heal. The park we were walking through had such a vortex.

Through the years I have come across quotes and bits of wisdom that helped me think. Many were quotes by Buddha. As we walked along Oak Creek, I was trying to be in tune with the energy that was supposed to be there and also looking out for this beach. We turned a corner in the path and there it was. Hundreds of rock cairns, short and tall, colorful and whimsical, or gray and stately. I felt very peaceful and started to take photographs of the “Buddhas”, which were mostly shaped like the Buddhas you see in stores and stories, with wide bases tapering down to smaller tops.

There was a woman walking through with a friend and she explained that the buddhas were built by people and then others would come and add to them or change them around, making it a living garden of rocks. I knew immediately that this would be a book, pairing the rock cairn photographs with quotes from Buddha. It felt right. I have a series of several books currently planned, Volume 1 has been well received and I am getting good feedback from it that people are using it as I hoped they would. The underlying purpose to the books is to instill a feeling of peace, to find your Buddha, and to contemplate the quotes. Volume 2 and 3 will also have Buddha quotes paired with the photos, but other books in the series will start to speak about what I have felt while there – Balance.

The rock cairns aren’t all pretty and perfect and you can see where some have fallen, which pretty much goes along with how life is. Life isn’t all pretty and perfect, and sometimes something comes along to knock us down. And then there are the people that help us put things back together and move on.

“We are where we are supposed to be, when we are supposed to be there” – Deborah Carney, 2012.


Thank you Deborah for this lovely post and I for one, will want to read your book. If you would like to know more about Book 1, just click on this link!

To know more about the author, click on her Facebook Page:


Now, fun time! Click on the link below to uncover this missing piece of the jigsaw puzzle:


Where do my stories take me? by Donna Brown

DOUBLETAKETALES_zpse8251a63Donna Brown, author of Double-take tales, talks of how she goes about writing the ‘settings’ in her books. When she writes, she see’s places, smells the atmosphere and hears sounds but let’s hear it from her…


I sometimes have a strange lack of connection with the characters in my stories (as evidenced by the things I put them through) and the same is true for locations. When I am writing, I can see the people and places: I imagine myself standing in front of the police station mentioned in C’est La Vie, or with the locals in the old-fashioned pub in Round Trip, or drinking coffee in the smart kitchen in Poison. I can imagine every smell and sound with such clarity that I know every character and location must be based – at least in part – on an amalgamation of dozens of real life experiences.

During my life I’ve lived in over 20 houses, been to 7 different schools/colleges and lived in several different counties in England. Sometimes I dream of places and spaces that seem familiar but that I can’t quite recollect. Sometimes I dream of houses that have the exterior of one former home and the interior of another.

I can only think that I build the locations as I build the story. I can imagine every setting, the sight and sounds, but if you asked me to map it out, I’d be stumped. Guided tour? Sure, no problem. Written directions? No way, no how.

For years, I’ve wished I could draw or paint. I cannot ever imagine that I will fully share the vibrant images I have in my dreams by words alone. Instead, I will continue to build these stories and though I may not share every detail of a building or every facet of a character, know that they are constructed from hundreds of real life glimpses of places, spaces and faces. Ask me where my stories are set and I’d have to say “everywhere I’ve ever been”.

DonnaYou can find more about Donna by following her Facebook page

Double-take tales is available from:

Amazon US:

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Is Paris My Muse? by Carolyn Moncel

This is a guest post from Carolyn Moncel, who writes about Paris – her setting for her novella, 5 Reasons to Leave a 5 reasons bookLover. She describes it as a city more than a romantic getaway and what Paris means to her characters in her book. Read this beautiful piece that brings to us a lot more than we are used to seeing…


People often ask me to describe Paris.  Almost always, I provide the same reply: A beautiful place still full of mystery.  I moved there with my husband and two young daughters, and stayed for five years before moving to Lausanne, Switzerland in 2007.  Every time I return for a visit, I always find something new and view Paris in a completely different way.  For me, this is what makes setting my stories in Paris so interesting.

However, I must admit that this is my polite answer.  Describing the real Paris actually is a bit more complicated. In trying to capture the essence of the city from my own distinct vantage point, I still struggle because Paris is more than visiting the Eiffel Tower, Luxembourg Gardens, or eating at Les Deux Magots or strolling along the Seine or Avenue des Champs-Élysées.

The real Paris is a contradiction, a Janus coin. It is a place that can propel you forward to meet your future yet compel you to confront your past; it can introduce you to love and heartache all in the same day; and it can teach you everything you need to know about life or nothing all. People (real or imagined) cannot help but be changed one way or another by the experience.

To be sure Paris is a very glamorous, romantic and sexy, and yes, a sexy city, but there is so much more.  As I considered the real Paris a bit more, it made me think about all the realistic stories I could tell about living there. In the beginning, I wasn’t always certain what stories I wanted to write specifically, but I knew which ones I didn’t want to tell.  For example, I knew wanted to avoid the common stereotypical stories.  I had no interest in writing stories about the single girl meeting her dream French guy in the City of Love. I hold nothing against these types of stories (I enjoyed reading them) but living in France as an expatriate provides a unique perspective on life in that you are always an outsider looking in. This is a perfect view for someone like me who really enjoys people watching and observing human behavior.  In Paris, one can do this all day while sitting in a park or nearby café.

Instead I wanted to explore common experiences in order to show that life in Paris is often times no different than living someplace else like Sydney, New York or Akron, or Ohio for that matter. The same problems and worries still find you – but in a prettier place.  So when Ellery Martin-Roulet (one of the main characters in the 5 Reasons to Leave a Lover novella) discovers that her husband of ten years, Julien Roulet, is having an affair with an illegal immigrant; or when Cinnamon Martin helplessly watches while her best friend’s marriage disintegrates; or when Herman Riley must figure out how to go on with life without his beloved wife of 70 years, their reactions to all of these experiences are real and universal.

So I guess at the end of the day, location as a setting is very important to me – they often become minor characters in their own right, but what happens to my principle characters and how they manage recovery is far more important.  C’est la vie.


You can find out more about Carolyn by following her on Twitter:

Carolyn’s book is available to purchase on:

Amazon UK :

Amazon USA:

Follow the link to take part in the rafflecopter to win great prizes!