I have the pleasure to host, today, two special ladies, two fellow authors, mother and daughter,Leslie Talley and Terri Talley Venters.
Mother/Daughter Writing, From Mother’s Point of View
Terri’s interest in writing was sparked by a writers’ conference we attended in
Melbourne, Florida, when she was in high school. Years elapsed during which
time she mulled over an idea for a series which became Elements of Mystery.
Meanwhile, I had
published travel pieces and a few short stories, but the publication of my
mystery novel, Make Old Bones, eluded
me. It had won first place in the mystery/suspense category at the Space Coast
Writer’s Guild in 2000. Finally in 2008 Terri and I attended a conference
sponsored by the North Florida Writers’ Association at Ponte Vedra Beach,
Florida. Make Old Bones once again
won first place in the Lighthouse Book Awards for mystery/suspense. Terri was so
proud, she cried! That spurred me on; that spurred her on. She finished writing
her mystery novel, Carbon Copy. She
hoped to ride in on my coattails. The opposite happened.
She submitted to
Wild Child Publishing, an electronic publisher; I had never thought of doing
that. When her book was accepted, I submitted also and was accepted. Since then
we have critiqued each other’s work. She is my biggest fan! We feed off each
other. My main characters, Otis and Clarice Campion, became her main character,
Lilly Allen’s, Uncle Otis and Aunt Clarice. When we are together and we hear an
interesting turn of phrase, we both screech, “I call it!”
One way I may
have unconsciously influenced her is by setting, or a sense of place. According
to my professor, Dr. Richard Adicksfrom Literature of the South at the
University of Central Florida, there are six prominent features in Southern
writing: a sense of history or of the past; a sense of religion or original
sin; a sense of the grotesque; a sense of place; a sense of family or
genealogy; and agrarian, or rural.
I write from a
sense of place. Set your novel in a unique setting, and all manner of ideas pop
up. Terri imbibed this from somewhere. Her first novel is set in New York and
the Florida Keys, the sequel in Charleston. Her upcoming takes place in
Scotland. My first takes place in Daytona Beach, the second in St. Augustine,
the third in Ireland, and my work-in-progress in Scotland. We both have
hurricanes and castles figuring prominently.
Even though we
are much alike we have differences. My degrees are in English with some nursing
thrown in. Hers are in Accounting and Taxation. She comes up with better plots.
And while my mysteries are Cozies, hers are more modern.
But the acorn
doesn’t fall far from the tree, to be trite! Great minds, and all that!
of Make Old Bones and Bred In The Bone
Talley received her B.S. in Nursing from the University of Kentucky and a B.A.
and M.A. in English from the University of Central Florida, Orlando, where she
subsequently taught, as an adjunct, Technical Writing and Business Writing for
and her husband Luke have two children: Terri Talley Venters, Wild Child author
of Carbon Copy, Tin Roof, and Copper Cauldron;
and Damon Talley, video conference lead at Harris Corporation. Leslie and Luke
have lived in Titusville, Florida, for forty-five years.
Make Old Bones and Bred In The Bone are both available from
Wild Child Publishing, amazon.com, and barnesandnoble.com. Purchase links can
be found on her website. http://www.makeoldbones.com/
in the Bone Synopsis
sequel to Make Old Bones Otis,
Clarice, and Miss Lettyact as exchange innkeepers at Castle Keep in St.
Keep, built of timbers from a shipwreck, has a disturbing history which carries
over to the present.Recently a series of break-ins by a homeless man and the
sound of chains dragging in the attic complicate matters.
and Clarice visit the original plantation site where Clarice discovers a
skeleton in the icehouse. In addition, they find the burned body of the
homeless man in a dragon sculpture, causing them to make connections among
disparate events separated by over a century.
the mix a psychic, an African-American journalism student, the Donner wedding
party, Florida Gators, two snobbish Southerners, father and son mural painters,
an obstreperous Cavalier King Charles spaniel named Charles Dickens, and an
obnoxious, but, unwittingly, helpful twelve-year-old named Beddington.
Terri Talley Venters
Mother/Daughter authors,From daughter’s point of
Wow! Where do I start? 18 years ago, my mother and I only dreamed of
writing a novel, let alone getting it published. Our dreams of becoming mother/daughter
published authors was just something we fantasized
about. Now we’ve both
published not only our debut novels, but their sequels as well.
Reflecting back over the last 18 years, I realize how much hard work
went into our first books: Make Old Bones
for my mother and Carbon Copy for me.
The hardest part for me was starting. I thought about it for 8 years before I
finally started writing. The next hardest part for me was finishing. I spent 5
years writing Carbon Copy. My mother was the reason I started and finished it.
I always tried to have a chapter for her to read whenever we planned a visit.
Then the next hardest part about the writing process was the waiting. Although
I was blessed to find a publisher within six months of finishing Carbon Copy, it was another 2 and half
years in editing before it was finally released in June 2012.
Now that we both have the same awesome publisher, Wild Child Publishing,
the writing and editing are much easier for the both of us. I’ve recently
finished writing my fifth book, Silver
Lining, the epic conclusion to the Carbon
Copy trilogy, while my mother is almost finished writing thefourth book in
her bone series - The Bonnie, Bonnie Bone.
My mother and I are case in point that hard work, patience, and determination,
can make your dreams come true. We couldn’t have done it without each other’s
constant encouragement all of these years.
So now that we’ve had our dream of being mother/ daughter published
authors come true, what’s our next dream? I still dream big. I’m looking
forward to having both of our books out in print so that we can do book
signings together. And although I loathe public speaking, I can’t wait to doa
mother/daughter presentation at a writer’s conference. Thank goodness my mother
is an award winning Toastmaster. I’ll just smile, nod, and show cleavage. We’re
brainstorming a co-authored book which is a prequel to Carbon Copy and Make Old Bones.
The characters in our books are related.My heroine, Lilly, is the niece of my
mother’s heroine, Clarice.The title will contain both a “bone” and an “element”.
My biggest dream of all is to have one of my books get made into a
movie. My mother and I promised to be each other’s “plus one” if either of our
book movies get nominated for an academy award for best adapted screenplay. And
yes, I’ve mentally started writing my acceptance speech. Who knows what the
future holds for our books, but the best part of all is that I’m enjoying this
wonderful journey with my mother. I love you, Mom!
Bio Terri Talley Venters,
Author of Carbon
Copy, Tin Roof, Body Of Gold, Copper Cauldron, and Silver Lining
her Bachelor’s degree in Accounting and Master’s degree in Taxation from the
University of Florida. She is a licensed CPA and a Second Degree Black Belt in
Taekwondo. She lives in St. Augustine, Florida, with her husband, Garrison, and
their two sons.
Terri has two
other published works available from Wild Child Publishing. Carbon Copy and its sequel, Tin Roof, plus her unrelated novella, Copper Cauldron. She recently finished
writing Silver Lining, the epic
conclusion to the Carbon Copy
trilogy, coming soon from Wild Child Publishing. Her romantic/suspense novel, Body Of Gold, is coming soon from
Freya’s Bower. Terri also posts free short stories on her website each month. www.ElementsOfMystery.com. Follow her as she weaves her way
through the Periodic Table of Elements.
Terri is the
daughter of Leslie S. Talley, author of Make
Old Bones and Bred In The Bone which are also available from Wild Child
For the purchase links and more info
about Terri’s books, visit her website.
In the sequel to Carbon Copy, Lilly Allen
returns to her hometown of Charleston,
South Carolina, to be closer to
her mother, help with her injured brother, and heal from the disappearance of
her fiancé Grier Garrison. While she awaits Grier's return, she busies herself
with her mansion renovations, her best friend's wedding, and her job as a news
But even her busy
schedule cannot stem the worry over her brother's persistent amnesia and
changes in personality. Is he her real twin? Or did they rescue a clone?
On top of this, the
months of pining without a word from Grier begin to take their toll. She finds
herself growing closer to her favorite cameraman, Joe. His confession of
undying love, followed by a passionate kiss, has her questioning how much
longer she can wait, and whether she wants to.
To further complicate
matters, two unrelated news stories drag her into the seamy underbelly of the
Charleston Police Department where murder and drugs are common occurrences.
In the chaos of a
hurricane, another body washes ashore, and Lilly comes face-to-face with the
Book Blurb Girl meets boy—specifically, knockout senior-paralegal girl Alison Carson meets hotshot Boston lawyer boy Rick Waterman while he is visiting Alison’s beloved hometown of San Francisco on a month-long trial.
Girl and boy fall in love. Boy eventually goes back home and promises to call. Boy doesn’t call. Girl experiences heartbreak, plus an actual physical malady as a result of the affair. Girl then finds out about boy’s other girl back home.
Girl wants revenge. Girl secretly gets revenge, but goes too far with it. Boy’s life is wrecked. Girl then feels guilty.
Boy finally calls girl and apologizes. Boy and girl fall back in love. That is, until boy starts getting suspicious…
The salespeople at the wig store raved over Alison’s choice. They insisted she was definitely “a should-be blonde” with those gorgeous blue eyes. It was fun to have that kind of attention, although Alison knew they were primarily motivated by making the sale. Good wigs like that, which looked natural and could actually fool people, were quite expensive. Alison paid plenty for hers. She told the sales staff she would wear it home, and they loved that, cheering her on. She left the store feeling in charge of her destiny for the first time in months.
Walking in Boston was invigorating, and quite different from San Francisco. Different culture, different history, different values—but an outstanding place to be nonetheless. Alison felt she could easily live here, even with the occasional extreme weather at both ends of the scale. She was fascinated by the architecture of the office buildings in Boston and could spend hours walking through them.
Her foreign reflection in an office window caught her attention. Wow. Not bad, kid. As Rick’s office building drew near, Alison felt stronger. Maybe there was something to being a blonde after all.
There was the Starbucks on the bottom floor. That’s the place Rick said he went every day. Now she felt a tiny surge of apprehension. Maybe a good dose of caffeine would fix that. In the doors she went. The young man behind the counter brushed his hair with his hand as Alison approached.
They delivered her latte, she turned around, and there was Rick—standing right next to her. He was literally inches away.
Alison found herself in a temporary state of shock. She stood in place and swirled her swizzle stick rapidly. For a brief second, she was sure he recognized her and was about to say something. But then he stepped forward and the barrister handed him a coffee. Apparently, they knew Rick well enough in that place to start pouring it for him as soon as he came through the door. Alison then realized Rick didn’t recognize her and she was pulling it off—so far, anyway.
As jarring as that experience was, it also seemed natural in a way. Standing next to him, seeing him, this wasn’t something so out-of-place. He looked his same dashing self, one of the most handsome men on the planet by any method you care to judge by. There was no denying that, even if he was a cheating bastard. Heck, maybe all the best looking men in the world were all cheating bastards.
But there was something about his eyes today. They were …vacant, hollow, void of emotion or any feeling. It wasn’t Alison’s imagination. How scary. Maybe there was trouble in paradise already. He had looked right at Alison for a couple of seconds with no discernible reaction. Alison found she had a fleeting moment of sympathy for him. Very fleeting. This was the man responsible for messing up her life, for sending her to therapy.
He took his coffee and walked out the Starbucks interior doors towards the building elevator. So much for the first encounter. That would do for today. Alison went sightseeing.
She went back to the Starbucks the next day, however, at a time when business was slow. Two young men who worked there and were obviously smitten with her appearance struck up a conversation with her.One of them said he remembered her from yesterday. Alison mentioned she was out of work and looking for a job, waiting for agencies to call back, and thought this seemed like a great place for her to hang out as there were no weirdoes around. So she sat down and played with her cell phone, perused a magazine, and occasionally chatted further with the two male staff members. Both of them seemed determined to cater to her every need, to the obvious chagrin of the girl who was also working there that day.
Rick showed up at 9:30 to get a coffee. An hour later he was back for another. Alison took a risk and asked the girl barrister who the gorgeous man was.
Randi Hart is one of those authors whose story just enthralls you. I was eating up the pages in Like a Woman Scorned and not even realizing that I was practically done with the book in a couple of hours. Lots of action in this read and the whole mystery and intrigue going on.
A very promising beginning, the Prologue, that plunges the reader in the middle of mystery, shows Carley, the tall, thin, blue-eyed blonde secretary, trying to remove all her traces from the office where she worked. She couldn’t afford to make a mistake born of complacency now. She inspected all the surfaces, the shelves in every book case, going over them twice until she was certain she left no trace. It’s the little things that usually trip up criminals, so Carley paid close attention to all the details.
Then the author takes us to San Francisco, the Saturday after Thanksgiving. We meet Alison, a senior paralegal, who falls in love with Richard Waterman, the most handsome man she’d seen in a long time. Rick was divorced five years, with two children now in college, a boy and a girl. Alison is a well developed character, whose drastic actions lead to drastic consequences.
A typical 'girl meets boy' type of story one will say. Not at all. I don't want to spoil other readers' pleasure so I won't give you more details, but I can tell you that Like a Woman Scorned is full of twists and turns up to the end. The ending really good, unexpected, at least. And I will conclude my review with the words used as a motto at the beginning:
“Heaven has no rage like love to hatred turned, nor hell a fury like a woman scorned.”
I'd have liked a bit more dialogue instead of telling, but it may be just me.
I give it five stars.
I was offered a complimentary copy of the book, by the author, with no obligations whatsoever.
About the Author
Hi, I’m Randi. As you may have guessed, I spent many wonderful years living in the city of San Francisco. I hope to return there one day. Currently I live in Southern California with my wonderful husband. We travel a lot, especially to the east coast and Asia.
Life certainly has its rough patches. I have been that single woman breaking up from a destructive relationship myself more times than I care to recount. But the right guy did come along and things have been awesome ever since. Hang in there, my single girlfriends. He is out there. You might meet him anywhere, any time—except, of course, in your house. So get out there. You might not have to go any farther than your front yard, who knows?
Star's review posted on http://www.bibliophilicbookblog.com/2013/11/book-review-shadows-of-past-by-carmen.html and rated 4 of 5 stars
‘Shadows of the Past’ brings us Anne and Neil, a couple looking for reconciliation, and Genevieve, a centuries-dead nun looking for her eternal rest. Ms. Stefanescu’s writing is sublime – the descriptions are vivid and the characters are well-developed. The path to Anne and Neil’s happiness lies in solving the centuries-old mystery of Genevieve, but no one said it would be easy.
I fell into ‘Shadows of the Past’ quickly and as the past was interspersed with the past, the story blossomed into one of star-crossed lovers, a great evil, and reincarnation. Beautifully written and decadently dark, ‘Shadows of the Past’ will capture your attention, keep you guessing, and surprise you with a interesting twist at the end.
I am not normally a reader of historical fiction, but I am a lover of paranormal tales. This particular story gripped me from the start, and I could not put it down. I devoured it in one sitting and loved every moment. The author manages to paint in very vivid detail Genevieve's world back in the 15th century and her beautiful but tragic life. The intrigue with the nun Genevieve's past, the tension between Anne and Neil, all of it is very intense. The suspense had me sucked in from start to finish. The back and forth between Anne's life and Genevieve's was fascinating and you can't help but wonder why there is such a strong connection between two women from very different time periods. Although I managed to figure it out, the bond between Anne and Genevieve was portrayed in such a powerful and beautiful way. Of the two, I was struck the most by the story of Genevieve. Genevieve's own story is as haunting as her ghost, and stays with you even after the book is over. It an amazing tale of love, mystery, magic, and evil. I especially enjoyed the contrast between the cursed forest and the "wood anemone". Amidst the darkness of Genevieve's life and world, the ending of the book provided both light and hope. I look forward to reading more from this author.
Los Angeles, 1954 ... Gangsters, crime, boxing – and young
Jimmy Doherty, a hard-luck
orphan from the south side of Chicago,
was mentored in the sweet science of boxing by Father Tim Brophy, the Battling
Priest of St. Vincent's Asylum for Boys. Jimmy’s fists were good enough to take
him to LA where he has begun his rise up the local fight-cards. He has big
plans to be a contender and even bigger plans for Lindy – his trainer’s only
daughter, who's sweeter than apple pie and harder to resist.
But when Lindy is arrested for
killing a boxer with ties to gangster Mickey Cohen, Jimmy is forced to join
forces with the arresting detective – who would like to do much more with Lindy
than put her in handcuffs – in a desperate search for the real killer.
Carol Malone successfully
combines her three passions – writing, sports, and romance to become the very
first woman to climb into the boxing ring of a male-dominated series called
Fight Card. Think Rocky meets The Untouchables, Carol’s written a mash-up of
happily ever after with kick-in-the-pants, fist-pounding action.
If not hammering out new tales to
entice her readers to scramble into a front row seat for thrilling tales of
physical endurance and tender passion, Carol’s reading, watching sports on TV,
or hanging with her end-of-the-world author husband on the cool coast of California. To talk
sports and amour, and learn about Carol's latest book releases, visit Carol on
her website: www.carolmalone.net.
Terri Talley Venters's review Posted on Goodreads and rated 5 of 5 stars This review is from: Shadows of the Past (Kindle Edition)
September 22 to 24, 2013
In the prologue of Shadows of the Past, we meet the young, medieval nun
named Genevieve who lives in an Abbey in rural England. The remote
Abbey is only accessible via the cursed forest. We also meet a young
visiting priest named Andrew and catch a glimpse of their dire
In a parallel love story, we fast forward to
modern day England and meet Anne and Neil. They’re attempting to
rekindle their love affair after suffering a brutal, two-year hiatus.
After getting lost in the woods, actually the cursed forest, they battle
the elements, starvation, and ghosts of the past.
us on a journey of the young nun, Genevieve. Starting from her
childhood, we follow Genevieve’s path to the Abbey. We experience her
hardships in her childhood, and then again at the Abbey where the
corrupt convent leader, is out to get her with her abusive power and
In the modern day setting, we follow Anne and
Neil’s journey through the cursed forest. Led by ghosts haunting Anne’s
dreams, she discovers an old skeleton wearing a bejeweled cross. Anne
senses the skeleton and the tormented ghost are one in the same. The
modern day and medieval stories weave together to rekindle love and
triumph over evil.
Carmen’s fantastic writing paints vivid
pictures, transporting you to the medieval Abbey and the cursed forest. I
felt like I was right there with the wonderful characters she created.
loved reading two stories at once. The modern day characters, Anne and
Neil, and the star-crossed lovers of the past, Genevieve and Andrew. I
couldn’t put this book down because I needed to know how the two stories
truly connect over five-hundred years later.
I loved her
creativity with the wood anemone, bejeweled cross, and past lives. I
highly recommend this fast-paced, page turning tale and can’t wait to
read more of Carmen’s stories