Friday, December 30, 2016

Patty Dickson Pieczka ~ 2nd guest post and her novel Finding the Raven

TITLE: Finding the Raven
RELEASE DATE: June 15, 2016
AUTHOR: Patty Dickson Pieczka
KEYWORDS: Raven, Finding the Raven, 1904, St. Louis World's Fair, Fiction, Historical Fiction
CATEGORIES: Historical Fiction
ISBN: 978-1530797974 & 1530797977
IMPRINT: White Stag

A story of murder, betrayal and redemption as two young women struggle for survival against a backdrop of the 1904 St. Louis World's Fair.

When Julia Dulac's father is murdered onstage  and her inheritance is swindled away, she must work through her grief and fear of poverty to find both the killer and a means of survival with help from the Raven, a black crystal that reveals images of past and future truths. While having the crystal appraised, Julia finds love and her life takes unexpected turns through mystery and betrayal against the backdrop of the 1904 World's Fair in St. Louis.

Through the boarding house window, Julia overhears an argument between Rose and her wealthy father over Rose's illegitimate pregnancy. He drops Rose off, saying he will return in one year, that she must be either single and childless or respectably married. Though from completely different backgrounds, Julia and Rose become fast friends, facing lessons of survival and redemption as their fates become irrevocably entwined.

Do words ever follow you through a dream? This is the way it started for me back before I ever conceived of writing the novel, Finding the Raven. My best friend had died a month earlier, and I was in a state of deep grief. I don't know whether it was a way for the things I would have said to her to form, or if God opened a window since a favorite and familiar door was closed. For two nights in a row, poems drifted to me during the night. I felt as though I were walking barefoot along the shores of the subconscious, while thoughts rippled outward from some deep and unknown place, formed by a pebble dropped in the middle of the pond.

In the morning, I wrote the poems down. On the third night, I went to bed with a pad and pen, waiting for the next poem, but it never came. I realized if I wanted another poem, I'd have to write it myself. I did, and found myself hooked on writing. Soon after that, I decided to return to college and take a poetry class, but the only course available at the last minute was fiction, which I soon began to love. Once the course was over, I couldn't stop. I thought of each chapter as a short story and kept writing and scribbling until I compiled a rough draft of Finding the Raven, which at that time was entitled The Long Way Home. I submitted it to two publishers, received two rejection slips, and put the manuscript away in a drawer. There it stayed for 20 years.

While it languished there, I developed my writing skills and fell in love with poetry. Fast-forward many years to the time when my second poetry book won an award. I began to play with the idea of rewriting the novel. One look at the manuscript, and I could see what was wrong. I threw out the first two chapters and scrapped nearly all the dialogue. I felt I'd really come to know all the characters as they slept in that drawer. But there was one thing missing — the deep imagery of poetry. The solution? Magic and mysticism. The Raven, a magic crystal, was the perfect vehicle to scatter imagery through the forest of the plot in a trail of little gems.

Once I began the rewriting process, I couldn't stop. I was pulled into a vortex, lost in time, still reaching for sparks of silver ideas from a dreamscape's night sky. I became so distracted, I could scarcely deal with modern day life. My husband, my sister, and another friend followed the story as I progressed. When they told me they could hardly wait for the next chapter, I began to believe I was finally on to something.

I learned so much from this process. Once you live in other people's skin, you begin to understand their motivations as clearly as if they were your own. It teaches empathy and understanding of every character, even those we may have patterned after a certain nemesis. I found myself being more caring and compassionate.

Do your best ideas visit you in the night? Please write in and tell me your writing experiences.


Patty Dickson Pieczka's second book, Painting the Egret's Echo,, won the Library of Poetry Book Award from Bitter Oleander Press. Other books are Lacing through Time, and Word Paintings. Winner of the Francis Locke Memorial Poetry Contest, the I SPS contest, and the Maria W.  Faust Sonnet Contest, she's contributed to over fifty journals and graduated from Southern Illinois University's creative writing program.


Buy Links:



BARNES & NOBLE:;jsessionid=6D2E956E5FEC7A2DCE1CFE1E6DB8D898.prodny_store01-atgap10?ean=2940153188065





A reminder to the reader ~ before you leave be sure to take a look at the 
Come back and visit again.

Thursday, December 29, 2016

Faye Hall ~ an interview and her novel ~ Shrouded Passions

Faye Hall

Faye Hall's passion driven, mystery filled books are set in small townships of North Queensland, Australia during the late 1800's.

Each of her novels bring something symbolically Australian to her readers, from Aboriginal herbal remedies, to certain gemstones naturally only found in this part of the world.

Each of her books tell of a passionate connection between the hero and heroine, surrounded and threatened by deceit, scandal, theft and sometimes even murder.

These romances swerve from the traditional romances as Faye aims to give her readers so much more intrigue, whilst also revealing the hidden histories of rural townships of North Queensland.

Faye finds her inspiration from the histories of not only the township she grew up in, but the many surrounding it. She also bases most of her characters on people she has met in her life.

Faye was able to live her own passion driven romance, marrying the love of her life after a whirlwind romance in 2013. Together they are raising their 9 children in a remote country town in northern Queensland, Australia.


Q: Have you ever been too embarrassed to promote any certain titles to friends or family?
A: Not really

Q: Favorite color?
A: Purple

Q: Dress up or dress down?
A: Both

Q: Dine in or dine out?
A: Love my husband’s cooking


Q: When crafting the story do you go from beginning to end, or do you jump around writing the scenes that are pushing themselves forward in your brain?
A: I jump around a fair bit for the first few drafts of the story, but then I tend to just knuckle down and start from the beginning and work my way through to the end.

Q: Do you always know how a story will end when you begin writing it?
A: Not always.  I have written some stories, like She’s A lot Like You, that I actually wrote from the ending to the beginning, but then there are others like Mistress of Purity that I never knew how it would end until I wrote it.

Q: Have your characters ever taken the story in a different direction than you had originally planned? Do you have a for instance, for us?
A: This happened in Mistress of Purity.  The sub-characters, Rosie and Tommy, were never going to end up together in my original story plan.  As the characters developed though they took the story towards the relationship they ended up with.

Q: What elements have you Never put in your stories? And why?
            Para/ Normal, Fantasy, Futuristic, Other        
A: I don’t do futuristic elements in my stories because they just don’t interest me.


Q: How can we find you? Do you have a web page, FaceBook page or any buy links?
A:  Here they are: 

Social media links

Murder, lies, deception, and love set in the outback under the Australian sun.

A past of stolen gold, lies, and murder joined their families together. It was a past that Devon Munroy and Lotte Higgins knew nothing about. All they knew was the passion they felt for each other. When Lotte is shot and dies in Devon’s arms, his world is destroyed.

Four years later Devon has married the person his father handpicked for him, but he’s still grieving for the woman he lost. He’s a mere shell of the man he once was, his life having become a drunken haze without meaning. Then he meets a woman who reminds him so much of his lost love it makes his heart ache.

Lotte has been in hiding for years, but when more bodies began turning up around town, all brutally murdered, she knows it’s time to bring down the person who tried to kill her. And Lotte knows who is was—the woman Devon is now married to. Changing her looks in order to keep her true identity hidden, Lotte takes a job in their home, hoping to find some proof of the woman’s crimes. But can she resist Devon when she’s so close to him? And when the truth comes out will Devon be able to forgive her deception?

Content Warning: contains sex, strong language, and some violence

Genre(s): Historical Romance


Devon’s steps were measured, suddenly fearful what was to become of Lotte and himself. “What are you going to do with us?”

“Whatever I want, my boy.” George smiled evilly at them.

Without warning, Devon lunged at the older man, struggling with him for the weapon. George fought back strongly, until Devon feared he would lose this fight. In desperation, Devon laid his hands on the weapon, struggling to try and knock it free from the other man’s hold.

Suddenly, a loud shot echoed throughout the cottage.

Hearing a scream, Devon turned instantly toward Lotte, a sickening feeling in his gut. Watching her fall to the ground, Devon let go of George and rushed to her, sliding along the floor and catching her just as she was about to hit the floor.

Studying her frantically, Devon prayed to every god he knew that Lotte had just fainted out of fear, but seeing the blood seeping through the fabric of her dress, he knew wasn’t the case.

“Lotte!” he cried, lifting her onto his lap, his hand cradling her face against his chest. “You’ll be fine, honey. It’s just a little nick.”

Lotte didn’t move though.

“Lotte, please!” he cried, tears welling in his eyes as he cradled this woman he loved in his arms. “You need to hang in there, honey. Just a little bit longer and help will be here.”

Just then, loud voices were heard outside the still open cottage door as Jack Munroy and his servant, Andrew Hult, came barging inside.

“What the hell have you done?” Jack roared as he rushed toward his son and the dying girl he was still holding.

“Devon shot her,” George said immediately. “Your son will hang for this, Jack.”

Jack turned to his tearful son. “Did you shoot her?”

Devon looked at his father, desperation filling him as he replayed the events of the evening over again and again in his mind.

“T-there was a s-struggle. The g-gun went off…”

Jack went over to his son, pulling him from the ground. “You have to get out of here!” he yelled, shoving Devon toward the door of the cottage.

Devon fought against his father. “I won’t leave her.” He tried to go back to Lotte’s still form, but Jack stopped him. “Lotte!” Devon screamed, hoping that alone might wake her up.

Lotte still didn’t move.

“Get out of here, Devon!” Jack yelled, dragging him with him. “Now!”

“Let me go, Father!” Devon roared, fighting against the older man’s hold unsuccessfully. “I have to save her. I have to be with her!”

“There is nothing you can do for that girl now, Devon,” Jack said firmly, directing his son through the door of the cottage. Stopping briefly, he turned back to look at his servant. “Get it cleaned up, Andrew. Take the body to the woods.”

“No!” Devon screamed as his father led him away from the cottage and to his own carriage.

Jack threw his son inside the carriage. “Get him out of here!” Jack screamed at the driver.­

Buy links

I interviewed Faye a number of times last year. You will find the links for those visits below. 

Faye Hall
Faye Hall

Faye Hall
Faye Hall

Faye Hall
 Faye Hall

Faye Hall

Faye Hall

A reminder to the reader ~ before you leave be sure to take a look at the 
Come back and visit again.