Tuesday, February 24, 2015


Today I am please to have on my blog a great author and friend 


Stevie Turner was born and raised in London, England. She began writing while still at primary school, but now her children have flown the nest she is able to devote more time to writing women's fiction. She writes about the darker side of relationships that tend to be glossed over. However, she always sprinkles in her special brand of humour as well to sweeten the pill, and so far has written seven novels. Her favourite genres to write in are Romance/Suspense, and Chick-Lit.

Stevie lives in the beautiful countryside of East Anglia, UK. If she's not writing, then you'll find her walking about outside in the sunshine.


Arla Deane sometimes likens her marriage to undergoing daily psychological warfare.  Husband Ric will never voice an opinion, and puts his mother Edna up high on a pedestal. Arla is sick of always feeling that she comes in at only second best to her mother-in-law, who much to Arla’s fury is never told anything by Ric or his sisters that she would not want to hear.  

This novel explores the husband/wife, mother/son, and mother-in-law/daughter-in-law relationships.  After twenty eight years of marriage, Arla, the daughter-in-law, is at the end of her tether and persuades a reluctant Ric to accompany her for marriage guidance. As they look back over their lives with Counsellor Toni Beecher, Arla slowly comes to realise her own failings, and eventually discovers the long-hidden reason why Ric will never utter a cross word to his mother.

Also, adding to Arla’s stress is the fact that her son Stuart will soon be marrying Ria, a girl whom Arla feels is just looking for a free ride.  Arla is convinced that Ria will be no asset to Stuart at all; her new daughter-in-law just wants to be a mother and has no intention of ever working again once the babies start to arrive.  After visiting Stuart and Ria for Sunday lunch, Arla is convinced that her son is making the biggest mistake of his life…..

The Daughter-in-law Syndrome has just been accepted for publication with Second Wind Publishing.  It delves into the complicated relationship that is causing much friction between Grandmother Edna Deane and her daughter-in-law Arla.  In addition it focuses on the sometimes tumultuous partnership between Arla and her husband Ric.

Stevie was kind enough to sit down for a short interview with me. So please sit back and enjoy along with me. 

1. What inspired you to write this book?
The Daughter-in-law Syndrome is my latest book, as yet unpublished.  I wrote it because after hearing many tales of woe over the years I came to the unhappy conclusion that sometimes the life of a daughter-in-law just sucks, and of course this led me on to thinking how this fact could be good fodder for another Stevie novel!  

2.  Tell us a little bit about yourself.
I’ve been married for about 450 years, and have two grown children and four grandchildren.  If I’m not writing or at work you’ll find me walking around my pretty chocolate-box village in the country, thinking about what to write next but also trying to keep fit. I also love going to rock festivals and soaking up the atmosphere!

3.  How long have you been writing?
I’ve been writing stories all my life it seems.  I remember winning an inter-schools essay competition in junior school, and it just seems natural to me to write things down.  Writing has also been very therapeutic for me in the past.  

4.  What sort of conditions are most conducive to productivity?
Before I can write there has to be total silence.  I cannot concentrate with music or the TV on in the background.  As long as I’m alone in a room and there is no sound I can create away to my heart’s content!  I can also think up some good plots if I’m out walking around my village too, as long as nobody else is walking with me!  I am wonderfully anti-social, but at my time of life I revel in it.

5.  What’s your favorite aspect of being a writer?
It satisfies my creative urge.  If I’m not in the middle of writing a novel, then I’m a bit on the sad side.  Also I get to sit on my own in a quiet room and think my own thoughts, which to me is absolutely wonderful!  Also it’s that email you get when you’re not expecting it that tells you you’ve won an award (A House Without Windows has been chosen for a medal in the New Apple Book Awards 2014 Suspense/Thriller category).

6.  What do you do for a living?
I’d love to say I was a full-time writer, but at the moment I work as a medical secretary in a busy hospital.  I’ve learned a lot through my work though, and am glad of the chance to have worked in the good old NHS.

7.  What are the biggest challenges you face as a writer? 
Ha ha; marketing - the writer’s bugbear.  I now find I have to spend just half a day writing and the other half day marketing the previous books.  

8.  Who’s your favorite character from one of your books?  Why?
I think it has to be Lyn Fuller from ‘No Sex Please, I’m Menopausal!’ She had the guts to do what thousands of middle-aged women only dream about doing; leaving an unfaithful husband and making a new life for herself.

9.  What is your writing process like?  Are you a pantster, a plotter, or somewhere in-between?
Somewhere in-between, I think.  I have the outline in my head to start with, but once I start writing I let the plot take me where it will.  Sometimes the book ends up entirely different to how I had envisioned it to start with!

10.  What part of the world do you live in?
I live in a lovely village in the East of England, UK.  Sometimes it feels as though time has stood still, and it’s a far cry from the younger life I led in London.  However, now I’m middle-aged I prefer it; if I’m out walking, people smile and say hello to me (you won’t get that in London!).

11. If you had to co-author a book, who would be your ideal partner and why?
After I had read a few of Mark Edwards’ psychological thrillers, which is my all-time favorite genre, I would love to work on a book with him.  He writes the words and has the plots which I like to read.

12. How long does it typically take for you to write your first draft?
About three months.  I edit and re-write as I go. I’m not one for re-writing the whole novel when I’ve finished; I would find that too depressing.  I’ll read it through a few times, check spellings, change some words and add chapters here and there, but that’s as far as it goes.  Once I’ve finished there’s no way I’m writing the whole darned thing again!

13.  What are your favorite books?
I have my all-time favorites from my youth that are my comfort blankets; L.P Hartley’s ‘The Go-Between’, A.J Cronin’s ‘The Keys of the Kingdom’, and Mario Puzo’s ‘The Godfather’.  I know the last one doesn’t really gel with the other two, but it’s the family life I like reading about, not the violence….

14. What writing tools do you use, if any?
Just my PC and keyboard.  I will happily tap away until the day comes when I cannot tap any more.

15.  If you could have one superpower, what would it be?
The ability to turn back time, and return to being 20 years of age and know what I know now.  Ha ha (say no more)!


5 stars.  "The best yet"
A wonderful journey across one woman's understanding between herself and her in-laws. The way she finds out the intricacies of her relationship with her mother-in-law is cleverly done, with clear insights into the past and observing her own behavior with her family around her. Well-written, the best I've read yet from Stevie Turner.

To pre-order a copy, please leave a message on my website or contact Second Wind Publishing (details below):

Wednesday, February 18, 2015


Today I am delighted to do a spotlight on a great author and friend 


P.J. MacLayne is a computer geek by day and a writer by night. She grew up among the rolling hills of Pennsylvania and uses that as the setting for many of her stories. She currently makes her home in the shadow of the Rocky Mountains.


1. What inspired you to write this book? 

a. The Marquesa's Necklace, Book 1 of the Oak Grove Mysteries, started as the tail end of a dream. I don’t remember the beginning of the dream, but the end is the beginning of the book. Originally Eli, my hero, was a ghost and the book was titled “The Ghost Who Loved Me,” but my characters wouldn’t stand for it. Eli soon convinced me he was alive and well. I still think there's a book to be written with the old title. I just haven't stumbled across the storyline yet.

2. If you had to co-author a book, who would be your ideal partner and why?

a. This is a tough one. I've had the opportunity to interact with some great writers on line, but if I was going to co-write a book I'd like to work with someone face-to-face. So I'm going to take a leap and Cornelia Amiri. I've had the opportunity to do some critiquing for her. Although we write in very different styles, I think we could work well together and balance out each other's skills and faults.

3. Tell me a little bit about yourself. 

a. I just recently became a grandmother! The little one arrived two months early, but is doing fine. In the week after he was home, while I was at my daughter's helping out, I was able to see his personality developing.
 I actually have other creative outlets besides writing- I do needlepoint and embroidery. In fact, I was embroidering a baby quilt for the grandson and had to set aside my writing and spend all my time getting the blanket done so it was ready for him when he came home. It was continuing a tradition because I made one for each of my children when they were born.

4. What do you do for a living? 

a. I had a variety of careers before I found myself where I am now. In my latest incarnation, I’m a computer geek. I’ve gone through a variety of computer related jobs, and my current job is tied to security. And I can’t tell you much more than that—because security, you know. But the variety of jobs has exposed me to a large range of people, and I can draw from my varied experiences for my characters.

5. What part of the world do you live in?

a. I live in the shadow of the Rocky Mountains. If I had my druthers, I’d find a cabin somewhere in the mountains to spend most of my time in, but there’s this little thing called a “real job” that requires me to stay where I am—at least until I win the lottery or one of my books hits the big time.

6. How long have you been writing?

a. If I told you that you’d know how old I was, so I’m not telling. Let’s just say I made the switch from poetry to writing fiction about five years ago, and I’m still having fun. I haven’t run out of stories I want to tell. In fact, I’m getting ready to release the next book in the Oak Grove series — probably at the end of April. That book is titled “Her Ladyship’s Ring.” I need to do some more editing before I share it with the world.

7. What is your writing process like? Are you a pantster, a plotter, or somewhere in between? 

a. I’m definitely a pantster. I start off with a general concept, and maybe a subplot, but I let my characters tell me the story as I’m writing it. Does that make me a transcriptionist instead of a writer? I do have to nudge my characters sometimes when they aren’t talking to me. Threaten them with taking the story the way I want it to go if they don’t start talking to me. That usually solves the problem.  I didn't have that problem with “The Marquesa's Necklace,” in fact, just the opposite. There were several times the words were coming faster than I could type them out.

8. When and where do you write? 

a. I do most of my writing at nights and on the weekends, although I find myself planning the next couple of paragraphs in odd moments when I’m at work. Sometimes I even sneak in some writing at lunch. Just between you and me,  if I'm into a really exciting part of the story, I've been known to scribble notes while I'm taking part in a boring on-line meeting. Don't tell my boss.

9. What sorts of conditions are most conducive to productivity? 

a. For my best productivity, I need to be alone and listening to music. I’ve tried sitting with my husband and working from my laptop while he watches TV, but it’s too distracting. I can do editing in the same situation, but for writing my first draft, it doesn’t work. The type of music I listen to depends upon my mood, but classic rock is my fallback genre.

10. What's your favorite aspect of being a writer?  

a. Writing “The End” at the end of the story. Even though I know I’ll need to go back and edit the heck out of what I’ve written, I get a lot of satisfaction from completing that first draft. And I’m a sucker for a happy ending, so it makes me happy to finally see my characters happy after all the trouble I’ve put them through. In fact, I’ve found myself talking to my main characters, assuring them it’s going to get better as I write them into yet another sticky situation.

11. Your least favorite?

a. Publicity. I’m a private person and I have a hard time asking people to buy my book. It feels like I’m asking them for money. And the time I spend on publicity I could be spending writing the next book! However, I want people to read my books, and that means I have to put myself out there to get my books in front of potential readers. Even answering some of the more personal questions in this interview is hard for me.

12. What are the biggest challenges you face as a writer? 

a. Procrastination. I wrote my earliest books out longhand. Yep, on paper. (Those books are unpublished but maybe one day I'll revisit them and see what I can do to clean them up.) But now that I sit in front of a computer and write, it’s far to easy to get distracted by the internet and put off that next paragraph I know will be tough to write. 

13. Who are some of your favorite writers and why? 

a. There are so many good ones that I feel guilty naming any. I love Jenna Bennett and her Cutthroat Business mysteries. They may have, to some degree, inspired me to make a series out of The Marquesa's Necklace. And I enjoy Terry Odell's book, especially the Blackthorne mysteries. She's another writer living in the Rocky Mountains, so I feel like I should support her although we've never met. Then there's L.j. Charles and her Everly Gray adventures. The scenario that the overall series is based on is so unique and she does such a good job of surprising the reader throughout the whole series that you can't help but stay involved. In fact, I need to check and see if the next book is available yet. And there's so many writers I've had the pleasure of meeting on-line, and my budget can't stretch far enough to buy all the books I'd like to check out.

14. What are your favorite books?

a. I love the Dragonrider series by Anne McCaffrey and The Valdemar series by Mercedes Lackey because of their strong female characters. But I also enjoy the Longmire series by Craig Johnson. I read his books before the TV series started, and found the differences between the books and the shows interesting. He's a Wyoming writer and his books are set in an area near where I use to live.

15. What writing tools do you use, if any? 

a. I use whatever I can get my hands on. From paper and pen to Office 2013 to LibraOffice. It just depends upon what I happen to have handy at the moment.

16. How long does it typically take for you to write your first draft? 

a. I've written a first draft in as little as a month and as long as six months. It all depends upon what else I've got going on. But I feel as if taking longer on my first draft cuts down on the revisions I need to make in my later versions.

17. Your final draft?

a. Another five-six months after I've finished my first draft. I know many writers like to set their books aside for awhile after completing the first draft, and I've tried that, but it doesn't work for me. I want to see the story though to completion. I''m frequently working on more than one book at a time so that makes the time frames longer.

18. Who's your favorite character from one of your books? Why?

a. Truly, it depends on what book I'm working on at the moment. In my current book, “Her Ladyship's Ring,” I can't decide between Harmony and Jake. Harmony the heroine of the Oak Grove series, a feisty ex-librarian and Jake is her ex-boyfriend who got her into trouble with the law. He's a rogue with a big heart and a smile to match. But he's not as innocent as he appears.  I love them both, and enjoyed writing their interactions.

19. If you could have one superpower what would it be.?

a. Healing. I would love to be able to relieve people of their pain. Modern medicine has made great strides, but it can't fix everything.

The Marquesa's Necklace

Harmony Duprie enjoyed her well-ordered life in the quiet little town of Oak Grove—until her arrest for drug trafficking. Cleared of all charges, she wants nothing more than to return to the uneventful lifestyle of a historical researcher she once savored.

But when her beloved old car “George” is stolen and explodes into a ball of flames, it sets off a series of events that throws her plans into turmoil. Toss in a police detective that may or may not be interested in her, an attractive but mysterious stranger on her trail, and an ex-boyfriend doing time, and Harmony’s life freefalls into a downward spiral of chaos.

Now she has to use her research skills to figure out who is behind the sinister incidents plaguing her, and why. And she better take it seriously, like her life depends upon finding the right answers.

Because it might.

And here is an excerpt: 

Officer Felton left me in the barely-furnished lobby. It was a place you don’t want to stay in too long—several hard plastic chairs, a beat-up fake wood end table and a few old magazines scattered about. It smelled like stale cigarettes, and appeared not to have been cleaned for weeks. I perched on the edge of a chair and put my hands between my knees to keep from touching anything. Thankfully, it was only moments until Detective Thomason appeared. I gave him the once over—brown hair still cut short—check. Glasses hiding those dark brown eyes—check. His shirt rumpled and in need of an iron—check. No wedding band in his finger—check. Yep, nothing had changed.

As I stood, his eyes wandered from my face down to my shoes. The corners of his lips curled upward, but I wouldn’t say that he smiled. A smile would have looked odd on his normally grim face.

“If you would come with me, please?” he said.

He even put the please in there, unlike our previous encounters. Of course, those times, I had been either in booking or in one of the interrogation chambers. I know, I know, they’re interview rooms. Whatever. I followed him through a maze of desks and hallways and into a small but comfortable office, my heels clicking on the tile floor.

I’d never noticed before what a nice behind he had. I wondered if it was just the pants he was wearing, or if I’d just not looked before, having other things on my mind. Like calling a lawyer.

“Have a seat, please,” he said, indicating an armless office chair—at least its seat was padded. He sat on the other side of a desk covered with an assortment of files and paperwork, and picked up a file from the top of the stack.

“Harmony,” he said tentatively.

“Detective Thomason,” He might be trying to be friendly, but I still hadn’t forgiven him for arresting me.

He cleared his throat, and set the file back on his desk. “Did you let anyone borrow your car today?” he asked.

“No, my keys are right here.” I started digging through the contents of my purse.

“I’ll take your word for it,” he said, after I pulled out my checkbook, a packet of pink tissues, and a paperback with an almost-naked man on the front cover and piled them on the corner of his desk. His mouth twitched. “Have you made any new enemies recently, Miss Duprie?” I guess he got my message about the terms of our relationship.

“Besides a certain insufferable cop?” Even in the artificial fluorescent light, I saw the red rising in his cheeks. I could almost hear him counting to ten as I pretended to consider the question. “I think Larry, the florist, is ticked off that I’m not receiving flowers anymore. And Bart at the grocery store yelled at me last week when I went through the ten items or less line with fourteen items. But what does that have to do with someone stealing and wrecking my car?”

He took a deep breath, held it for a moment, and exhaled. “Bear with me a moment. Did you go anywhere today?”

I couldn’t figure out where this line of questioning was going, but I answered anyway. “No, I woke up with a killer headache, realized it was going to rain, and decided to stay home and work.”

“And when was the last time you saw your car?”

“This morning. I planned to go to the library, but it started to storm as I was leaving. Why?”

He swiveled his chair so he was facing away from me. I fidgeted in my suddenly uncomfortable seat and waited. He turned back around and leaned forward with his forearms on his desk. “Your headache may have saved your life. We’ve asked for help from the state police to verify our theory, but our preliminary investigation and accounts from a few eyewitnesses indicate your car exploded.” Sitting back and rubbing his forehead, he added. “A tall man in a brown suit was seen in the vicinity.”

I sputtered. “What do you mean my car exploded?”

“In a fireball. Burnt to a crisp. If you had been in the vehicle, you'd be dead.”


The Marquesa's Necklace is for sale at major ebook retailers and is also available in paperback.