Gone Writing

Phyllis Entis


Presenting Lynne Fellows

The Gone Writing spotlight went dark for a couple of months, but it’s shining once again. And the writer standing center stage is Lynne Fellows, one of the charter members of Mystery Authors International.

Fate determined the path for Lynne who, despite proud roots, bade Britain a fond farewell to follow her heart to Iberia, convinced she had been born in the wrong country.

After starting her writing adventure with NaNoWriMo back in 2012, she now pens her favourite mysteries with a sunnier, European flavour.

A translator and fur-mum to two adorable mutts, she might be spotted with her nose in a book, armed with just the teeniest chunk of chocolate and a zillion pomegranates!

I asked Lynne about her new book, Casualty of Court, and how it came to be.

Lynne: Casualty of Court releases on March 21st and follows on from where The Fifth Wheel ended, taking the characters back to Portugal for the trial of Stefan Pereira.

GW: What made you choose to base your plot around a trial?

Lynne: As a frustrated, would-have-loved-to-be lawyer myself, I couldn’t let him get away with it, could I? That doesn’t happen in my world. I’m a sucker for legal thrillers and courtroom dramas, always rooting for the underdog – assuming he/she is in the right, of course.

GW: How did you decide on the backdrop to the novel?

Lynne: The trial story was inevitable, and placing it in my favourite part of the world a foregone conclusion. So, against a backdrop of sunshine and holiday fun, the court case rolls on.

GW: How would you describe the genre?

Lynne (with a twinkle in her eye): It’s a cosy-style saga with a hint of psychopath, a whiff of Chick-lit, a dalliance with drama, and an air of mystery. In short, I’m an ‘all-or-nothing’ writer with a healthy aversion to sitting in any one box or genre 🙂 Mind games come into play, ratcheting up the tension. But, of course, not everyone is playing fair.

GW: I’m guessing that, with several main characters, you chose to tell the story from multiple points of view.

Lynne: Go to the head of the class. The story is told from the viewpoint of four principal characters, each with a stake in the outcome. It mixes the suspense of a court case with their personal stories, showing how they have been influenced by life events such as abandonment, disability, and family responsibilities.

GW: Did you find it hard to let go of your characters once you completed work on the novel, or are they still with you?

Lynne: Little did I expect these characters to become as much a part of my life as they have done. I can visualise each of them, I know them so well (cue Elaine Paige & Barbara Dixon). But, it doesn’t end here. I’m already several chapters into a third book and have plans for more. Writing a series is definitely addictive! They’ve got under my skin – I hope readers feel the same way too.

GW: Reading a good series is equally addictive. Thank you for sharing your story. Do you have any final word for readers of Gone Writing?

Lynne: Thanks for asking. Those who would like to read the prequel – The Fifth Wheel – before the release of Casualty of Court, can get a copy here.  It’s a short read, only 50 pages, and it sets the scene for the main book. Although it’s not necessary to read this first, it sure does help.

I hope this has piqued your interest, and I’d love to hear from you if you have any questions or comments.

Thanks for reading – and I hope to make your acquaintance soon 🙂


Four lives – Three friends – Two sides – One verdict

CofC ecoverFern Mortimer wants her life back. After five years recovering from a hit-and-run accident, the last thing she needed was a maniac trying to kill her. Now, eight months after that attempt on her life, she returns to Portugal to face her nemesis in court.

Raven – Fern’s closest ally – offers support throughout. In return she wants a business partner.

Stefan Pereira has no intention of languishing in prison any longer. He’ll do whatever it takes to secure his freedom and complete his mission. He wants Fern dead.

Nessa – Stefan’s girlfriend – is at his side. She risks losing her best friends for the family she always wanted.

The trial pits them against each other.

Can Fern hold her nerve? She has a strong case, after all … and a witness. Does that even matter, when Stefan has his father’s money, the face of an angel and an ability to lie convincingly in three languages?

Inevitably, someone will be the Casualty of Court.

Casualty of Court picks up where The Fifth Wheel – A Prequel ended, and introduces The Blackleaf Agency Series.

Rather than a snippet of Casualty of Court, Lynne invited us to peek at Meet the Cast. This shorty links the prequel to the bigger story and offers an insight into what each character wants from the upcoming trial.


He will not break me.

It’s been eight months, eight long months since Jorge—or as he is really known, Stefan Pereira—tried to drown me.

At last, it’s time to see him get what he deserves.  But, it also means I have to go back to Portugal too. Don’t get me wrong, it’s not the country I dislike, just that one particular man.

I don’t think I’ll ever understand why he tried to kill me.

Something to do with his mother apparently. She was the hit-and-run driver whose carelessness put me in this wheelchair. It’s as though he wants to finish what she started.

But why? What did I ever do to him?


Is it all worth it?

It’s not Fern’s fault, I know that, but her timing stinks. Or rather the timing of this damn court case. Just as my professional life was getting back on track, we’re off to Portugal again to see that scum-bag get his just desserts.

I was working—not in a cocktail bar, although that would have been so much cooler—in a supermarket, stacking shelves. just before that holiday eight months ago. Not exactly my dream job. No, scrap that—definitely not my dream job! But, it was local and I needed to be more available to help Mum. Her MS meant she was in a wheelchair most of the time, and sheer bad luck saw her get one infection after the other. I gave up my preferred career, with the police force, to be nearer to her. And, I wouldn’t have it any other way.


My past will not define me.

This court case can’t come soon enough. I haven’t seen Stefan in almost eight months, and I’ve so much to tell him. But what if he’s forgotten about me? What if he’s doesn’t want to see me? Or, even worse, what if he’s found guilty and given a long sentence?

I can’t think about that now. He has to go free. He has to.

I’m dreading seeing Fern again, but even more so Raven. She’s my best friend, for Pete’s sake, and she dropped me like stone for Blondie.


It was all her own fault.

I can’t wait to get out of here. That stuck-up bitch has caused me enough hassle. Of course I’m going to get her. Wouldn’t you want revenge too?

It wasn’t meant to turn out like this. Damn fisherman saw her flailing about in the sea and called the coastguard. I probably should have dumped her overboard during the hours of darkness, but at least the ‘accident’ in broad daylight affords me a get-out-of-jail-card. She won’t know what’s hit her when she hears my version of events. That’ll teach her to go all high-and-mighty and press charges. If she’d just gone home quietly then I could have put an end to her misery months ago. Now we all have to go through this charade. See what I mean? She is such a selfish little princess, always putting herself first.

To read Meet the Cast in full, simply complete this form.

(It’s a freebie, not available on Amazon or any other e-retailer. You won’t be added to any mailing list without giving your express permission first, and you can also win an advanced, signed copy of Casualty of Court when the paperback is released later in the year.)


Facebook: www.facebook.com/LFWrites

Twitter: @lfwrites – https://twitter.com/lfwrites

Website/Blog: https://just4mybooks.wordpress.com

Subscribe: https://tinyletter.com/lfwrites

Amazon Author Page: amazon.com/author/lsfellows



Introducing Patricia Gligor

It’s that time again!

I am shining my Gone Writing light this month on Patricia Gligor, author and fellow-member of Mystery Authors International.

PEG resizedPatricia Gligor is a Cincinnati native. The first three books in her Malone mystery series, Mixed Messages, Unfinished Business, and Desperate Deeds take place on the west side of Cincinnati. In Mistaken Identity, the fourth book, her characters are vacationing on Fripp Island in South Carolina. Marnie Malone, the fifth book in her series, is set in Mt. Pleasant and Charleston, South Carolina.

I asked Patricia what inspired her to write her first book.

Patricia: One day, shortly after I’d moved into a new apartment on the west side of Cincinnati, I went for a walk in the neighborhood and spotted an old Victorian. I remember standing there, gazing up at the house, captivated. I’ve always loved old houses; they have so much character. Every old house has a history; people have lived there and, in many cases, died there. As I looked up at the Victorian, I found myself wondering what those walls would say if they could talk.

GW: Many people ask themselves that kind of question, but let the moment pass without acting on the thought. What did you do to satisfy your curiosity?

Patricia: I wanted to find out more about the house and the area so I went to the Cincinnati Historical Society and immersed myself in research.

GW: You’re a woman after my own heart. I love that aspect of writing. Tell me more.

Patricia: Little by little, I began to come up with plot ideas and possible scenarios. The people who would live in the house and in the neighborhood, the characters for my book, came to me gradually. I drew upon my own life experiences and I took bits and pieces of the lives of people I knew or had read or heard about. A physical characteristic here, a personality trait there.

GW: Did you accumulate all of this inside your head, or did you start to write things down at some point?

Patricia: I jotted down my ideas on scraps of paper and it wasn’t long before I had a huge pile, which eventually became a chapter-by-chapter outline. I fictionalized the house in my mind and on paper to fit the story I wanted to tell, which had slowly evolved. I constantly asked myself questions. What if, in the midst of my main character’s personal struggles, a serial killer is on the loose? What if she has reason to believe he’s after her?


It’s estimated that there are at least twenty to thirty active serial killers in the United States at any given time. There’s one on the loose on the west side of Cincinnati.

Mixed MessagesIt’s the week of Halloween and Ann Kern struggles with several issues. Her primary concern is her marriage which, like her west side neighborhood, is in jeopardy. Her husband is drinking heavily and his behavior toward her is erratic. One minute, he’s the kind, loving man she married and, the next minute, he’s cold and cruel.

Ann dismisses a psychic’s warning that she is in danger. But, when she receives a series of ominous biblical quotes, she grows nervous and suspicious of everyone, including her own husband.

As the bizarre and frightening events unfold, Ann discovers a handmade tombstone marked with her name, pushing her close to the edge. Will she be the Westwood Strangler’s next victim?


Patricia was kind enough to share with us the following short excerpt from Mixed Messages.

Ann tried to shut the door in his face but he pushed hard against it and sent her tumbling backwards. She regained her balance and ran toward her apartment door. The man pounced at her and grabbed her wrist, twisting it. “Stop it!” she yelled. “You’re hurting me!” 

He shoved her into her apartment and slammed the door behind them.

She stifled a scream. Please God, she prayed, don’t let the kids wake up. Please help me. Is this him? Is he the Westwood Strangler? Am I his next victim? What can I do? I don’t want to die!



Blog: http://pat-writersforum.blogspot.com

Amazon: https://www.amazon.com/Patricia-Gligor/e/B007VDDUPQ

Goodreads: https://www.goodreads.com/author/show/5780337.Patricia_Gligor

Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/patricia.gligor

Twitter: https://twitter.com/PatriciaGligor


Introducing George Nagle

My August spotlight is shining on George Nagle, a charter member of Mystery Authors International.


George+Nagle+6-3512537715-OGeorge is the 3rd of 6 children and grew up in western Pennsylvania. He earned his BS in Biology from the University of Pittsburgh, his MSc in Biology and his MBA in Marketing and Management from Duquesne University. He is also a Master 5th degree black belt in the art of Taekwondo with Young Brothers in Pittsburgh. He currently is a global marketing and strategy professional in science industries. He also has one son, Matthew.


I read and reviewed The Life We Lead: Ascending a few months ago, and was interested in learning more from George about his inspiration for what he anticipates will be a three-book series.

George: The series was inspired by real life events and has been 25 years in the making.

GW: Intriguing. How would you describe the genre?

George: Ascending is a spy novel with lots of twists and turns that can make you laugh, cry, and feel the characters outrage and their love.

GW: So, there’s also some romance woven into the plot, à la James Bond?

George: There is a romantic sub-plot. However, my series is based on real-world spying, so the far-fetched gadgets  such as those found in James Bond movies won’t be appearing.

GW: No flying cars or death-defying stunts at 25,000 feet?

George: Afraid not.

GW: Would you care to elaborate on the premise for your series?

George: The Life We Lead follows the life of James, the main character, as he battles criminal syndicates while trying to have a normal life. At 425 pages, Ascending is the shortest book in the series, and serves as the introduction to James, Carissa (the group to which he belongs), and a whole cast of other characters.

GW: Finally, I believe you have some exciting news to share.

George: That’s right. The audio edition of The Life We Lead: Ascending will be available within the next few days.

GW: That is exciting news, indeed. And, I understand you chose to narrate the book yourself. Congratulations on your achievement, and thank you for sharing your story with us.



The DEA, FBI, and CIA have failed for years to bring down the Spara family, who control the world’s largest drug cartel. A secret society of spies whose members are under the age of 25 will try to succeed where the government has failed.

Ascending-Cover_v2At only 21 years old, James is the most skillful member of this society. His new target is the Spara family. Through their relationship with Russia, the Sparas are the largest distributor of heroin in the world.  While beginning his investigation in Russia, James inadvertently saves the life of a former KBG officer who has a connection to the Tan family. This connection leads James farther into the heart of the criminal cartel.  However, the Tans have a dark secret of their own, which could jeopardize James’s perfect record and his tenure as a spy as he struggles to do what is right while protecting his family, friends and the love of his life.


Excerpt from Chapter 3
(James and Daen capture Nikolias after Petior has been abducted)

“You are our prisoner, but you are a captive of whatever group you…” Daen began, but Nikolias cut him off.

“What makes you think I want to leave?” growled Nikolias.

“When you help us, your bosses will not be too happy with you. You and your cousin will need to leave to survive,” replied Daen.

“So he says,” Nikolias said curtly, with a head gesture towards James.

“What did he say? Why did he just do that?” asked James.

“Sounds like he doesn’t feel the need for our help. It seems he doesn’t want to, or have a reason to leave,” Daen replied, a puzzled look on his face.

“I am no traitor, and I will die to help our fraternity and country. I am loyal and believe in things, unlike you American dogs,” Nikolias stated in English.

James bowed his head, closed his eyes, and rubbed his left temple for a moment with his left hand. He dragged it down his face before speaking again.

“Okay, tell us what the fraternity’s cause is. What’s so special about it that you’re willing to risk your life, your cousin’s life, because someone felt I disrespected them near a train?” asked James.

Nikolias laughed. “We know you’re looking for drugs. You feel drugs are not disrespectful and destroying. You think we do not know that is why you are here? We see you peoples, and how you treat us. You all deserve death for your exploits on us, and our children.”



Website: http:thelifewelead.net
Twitter: https://twitter.com/gmnagle
Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/thelifeweleadascending/
Amazon: https://www.amazon.com/George-Nagle/e/B00PV6UUMG/ref=dp_byline_cont_ebooks_1
Goodreads: https://www.goodreads.com/author/show/16099199.George_M_Nagle
Smashwords: https://www.smashwords.com/profile/view/gmnagle77


Introducing Iris Chacon

I have chosen to train my spotlight this month on Iris Chacon, novelist and fellow member of Mystery Authors International.

8551298Iris Chacon has written for radio, television, motion pictures, and magazines for more than 30 years. She has taught writing-related courses at Christian schools from grade 5 through college, and she has worked as a musician. Duby’s Doctor is her fifth novel, and it carries on the Chacon tradition of good, clean fun, mystery, humor, romance, and a “sunshine state of mind.” Iris hails from the Sunshine State, Florida, where her ancestors have lived since Florida was a Spanish colony, before the United States existed. She is working on her next novel, which incorporates many of the adventures she has enjoyed in the American Southwest.

I ‘ve reviewed two of Iris’s novels, Finding Miranda and Schifflebein’s Folly, so I suggested we talk instead about Duby’s Doctor, which I have not yet had the chance to read.

As is my custom, I began our conversation by asking Iris where she got the idea for Duby’s Doctor.

Iris: Duby’s story was inspired by the landscapes, art culture, elaborate mansions, and live-aboard sailboats of Coconut Grove.

GW: Why Coconut Grove?

Iris: For years, I passed through the magical Grove community on my way to work in the high-rise offices of Miami. The unique aura and ambiance of the Grove always launched my imagination into a happy stratosphere of quirky characters and exotic locations.

GW: Sounds like a wonderful locale for a story. I don’t suppose any of the scenery was two-legged?

Iris (with a discrete blush): Sometimes the girls and I (we were in a carpool) would simply stop in the Grove and watch the panoply of beautiful people (mostly male) passing by.

GW: Knowing how an author’s mind works, I suppose one of those beautiful people evolved into your protagonist?

Iris: How did you guess? My brain conjured up a man who lived on a boat and worked undercover in an arms dealer’s mansion.

GW: So, you invented Agent Yves Dubreau, a/k/a Duby. Can you tell us anything else about him?

Iris: Since he lived in Coconut Grove, he also had to be an artsy type, so I decided that Duby would be a talented sketcher and painter.

GW: This sounds like another fun novel. I’m adding Duby’s Doctor to my ‘must read’ list.

Iris was kind enough to share an excerpt from Duby’s Doctor with us.



29656137When he can steal time away from his undercover assignment (as an arms dealer’s bodyguard), Agent Yves Dubreau jogs with all the other muscular Coconut Grove athletes. He enjoys the morning tai chi group in Peacock Park, and he quietly remains on the fringes of the Grove’s art scene — until he blows his cover and gets himself murdered. When resuscitated, he is a scarred, nameless giant with no memories, no language, and only his drawings with which to communicate. Of course, he still has the same deadly enemies he had in his former life; he just doesn’t know it. Neither does naive lady-surgeon, Dr. Mitchell Oberon. Soon, Duby’s unscrupulous supervisor forces the unsuspecting Mitchell to shelter this recovering “John Doe” in her home and begin teaching him how to live again. Both Duby and Dr. Oberon will learn a lot about living— they just may not be living long. A murderous arms dealer will soon be stalking them.

Excerpt from Chapter 10
(Mitchell picks up John/Jean from his maintenance job at St. Luke’s Daycare)

“He’ll be right out,” the nun said. “He’s all right. We were just cleaning him up. It looked worse than it is. The bleeding seems to have stopped—”


“—and the paramedics said—”


“—they don’t think Mister Kavanaugh’s ribs are broken, just bruised—”


“—and the police said, since nobody seems to want to press charges, — ”


“—that we can just forget about it. Of course, Jean had to be punished for hitting—”


“—so he had to run laps. And that started the nosebleed again. But everything’s all right now. Here he is.”

Jean limped out of the back room, holding a bloodied washcloth against his nose.

Sister Elizabeth sighed. “It’s been an exciting day.”

Mitchell studied Jean from head to toe, incredulous. She pointed at his swollen left knee. “You ran on concrete? And hitting? You were hitting! The children?”

“Oh, dear, no!” said Sister Elizabeth. “He was hitting Mister Kavanaugh.”

Mitchell stared at Sister Elizabeth and back at Jean. “You ran on concrete and you hit Mister Kavanaugh? Who is Mister Kavanaugh?”

 “Debbie’s father,” answered Sister Elizabeth.

Mitchell was looking at Jean. “Excuse me, Sister, but unless Kavanaugh cut his tongue out, I’d like to hear Johnny answer something. John, why did you hit Debbie’s father?”

Jean pulled the washcloth away from his face to say, “He hits Debbie.”

After a pause, Mitchell muttered, “I told you never to run on the concrete.”



Website: https://www.authoririschacon.com
Twitter: https://www.twitter.com/IrisChacon1371
Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/authoririschacon
Amazon: http://amzn.to/2kmLxAq
Goodreads: https://www.goodreads.com/author/show/8551298.Iris_Chacon
Smashwords: https://www.smashwords.com/profile/view/guatemom578

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Introducing E M McIntyre

My June spotlight falls on award-winning author E M McIntyre, friend and fellow member of Independent Authors United.

E M McIntyre is the author of the Red King Trilogy. Her first novel, The Phantom of Faerie Mountain won 1st place in YA Fiction for the 2016 Purple Dragonfly awards and Silver placement for YA Mystery in the 2016 Readers’ Favorite awards. E M is a member of the Society of Children’s Book Writers and Illustrators. She lives in Nebraska where she works as a Pediatric Cancer research lab manager. When not daydreaming of magic, mystery, and mischievous characters, E M enjoys gardening and spending time with her crazy pack of Italian greyhounds.

I am always eager to learn how other authors find their inspiration, and I asked E M how she arrived at the idea for the Red King Trilogy.

E M: The Red King Trilogy evolved from the combination of a distance-learning writing class I took through the Institute of Children’s Literature (ICL), and a prior once-in-a-lifetime adventure in the Highlands of Scotland. I was fortunate to spend eleven days in central Scotland during the summer of 2001. I fell instantly in love with the Highlands and, well, everything about that land so far from my home. I didn’t know it then, but a day-trip I made to climb Ben A’an (a popular miniature mountain) would shape my future goals.

GW: Sounds like an amazing adventure. Did you start in right away?

E M: Only if you consider a lapse of eight years to be ‘right away’.

GW: Please tell us more. What prompted you to start writing?

E M: The final assignment for my writing class at the ICL allowed me to begin a novel.

GW: Did you know from the outset where you would set the novel and who the main characters would be?

E M: There was no thinking about it; my story, my life-long dream of authorship, would take place in Scotland. A YA fantasy, aimed toward younger individuals in the spectrum became my goal. I knew I wanted my protagonist to be strong, intelligent, and perhaps a bit stubborn, but she would need an indigenous sidekick as well as a mythical companion.

GW: I know you have completed the first two installments in the Red King Trilogy. Can you share anything about your progress toward completing the third book?

E M: This final assignment for the ICL writing class led to the creation of my award winning THE PHANTOM OF FAERIE MOUNTAIN. I recently published the second installment in the trilogy, THE SECRET OF BERRY BRAE CIRCLE, and am in the planning stages of the conclusion, THE TALISMAN OF DARKTREE HOLLOW.

E M has been kind enough to share samples of THE PHANTOM OF FAERIE MOUNTAIN and THE SECRET OF BERRY BRAE CIRCLE with us.




A telepathic dog. An ancient prophecy. Two devious faeries. 14 yr old Abby Fletcher must unravel their connection when she is thrown into a world of unknowns after receiving a mysterious message from a frightening beast: The Red King must set me free. Determined to discover the meaning of this puzzling phrase, Abby sets off to explore a nearby Scottish mountainside in search of clues. What Abby doesn’t realize, however, is that it’s not a matter of where she will find her answers but when. Whisked back to the early 14th century, Abby must find the courage to solve the mystery of the Red King and save not only herself but a group of powerless captives wrapped up in a faerie plot.

Scene from Chapter One

A gruff, deliberate voice entered her mind: The Red King must set me free.

“Wha, what?” Abby choked in a whisper.

The beast blinked, entering her mind once again. The Red King must set me free.

Abby sat transfixed, hypnotized by the creature’s piercing gaze. She wanted to scream or cry or close her eyes, but she couldn’t look away. After a few moments, the creature raised its head, turned with a snort, and strode back toward the road. Disappearing into the thick fog, it paused for one purposeful glance back at Abby.

The Red King must set me free.

Then it was gone.

Abby stared in disbelief out the window. Did that really just happen?



A kidnapped father. An ancient tome. A mystical gem. When 14-yr old Abby Fletcher returns home to present day Scotland with the help of her magical dog, Finlay, she receives a disturbing message: the Book of Shay in exchange for the life of her father. Pressed for time, Abby and the young Scotsman, Rory, set off in search of the mysterious book. In a whirlwind adventure filled with time travel, frightful adversaries and enchanted beings, their path leads to a time-worn stone circle. There, with Berry Brae’s secret revealed, Abby must make a life-changing decision in this second installment of the Red King Trilogy.

Scene from Chapter One

Abby felt a gentle hand stroke her forehead. “A-by?”

Abby opened her eyes. Her head throbbed. “Wha…What happened? Am I awake now?”

Rory’s fiery braids brushed Abby’s neck as he leaned over her. “Aye, A-by.” Concern filled the young Scotsman’s eyes. “Ye gave us quite a scare. Ye’ve been lost to us from the moment we arrived in yer time.”

“Are we really back?” Abby sat up with Rory’s help, unaware of those gathering around, watching her. Her mother held back tears as she shared hugs with Agatha and Mrs. MacTavish. Abby rubbed her face. “How long was I unconscious?”



Website: https://redkingtrilogy.com/
Twitter: https://twitter.com/finlayforever
Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/TheRedKingTrilogy
Amazon: amazon.com/author/redkingtrilogy
Goodreads: https://www.goodreads.com/author/show/13855383.E_M_McIntyre
Book 1 Trailer: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=qsGWWIr2-xU
Book 2 Trailer: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=iYhgEqoIa8E



Introducing Nicole Fitton

May’s featured writer is Nicole Fitton, whose second novel, Forbidden Colours, will keep you on the edge of your seat.

Image 5-1-17 at 12.08 PMNicole Fitton is an author and freelance writer who has lived in such glamorous locations as London, New York and Croydon! She currently resides in Devon, UK with her family. Forbidden Colours is her second novel. Her career has spanned over 3 decades working in PR and marketing within the music industry. She currently works within healthcare in the UK.

Alongside her novels Nicole has a passion for writing short stories.This year has seen her short ‘Soaring’ featured in an anthology by the Black Pear Press. Her stories always have a happy ending, but, the way in which they get there will keep you guessing right up until the last page! She admits she gets bored easily and can often be found enjoying new adventures!

I asked Nicole how the concept for Forbidden Colours came to her:

Nicole: Forbidden Colours was the evolution of a question that had been rattling around in my brain. You know, those annoying questions that wake you at 4am and won’t let you rest until you’ve written something. Well, that’s how it was for me. I had read a newspaper article about the complexity of the human brain and well, it all started from there.

GW: I know exactly what you mean. How would you categorize the novel?

Nicole: Forbidden Colours is a gripping love story which contains elements of psychological suspense. It has enough adrenaline-fuelled drama to power the national grid!

GW: (chuckling) Sounds like a good source of renewable energy. I’m always interested in the evolution of a novel. With Forbidden Colours, did the plot dictate the characters, or vice versa?

Nicole: Once I had the protagonist Midori Yates firmly fixed in my mind’s eye she took charge and dictated the direction of travel.

GW: I love that feeling where the character drives the story. What can you share with us about the plot? Without introducing spoilers, that is.

Nicole: The story centres around a new drug being brought to market that does not quite do what it is supposed to…. I shall leave it at that. I have a passion for science and being able to incorporate that into a book is very exciting.

GW: You mentioned that the idea for Forbidden Colours came to you as a question at 4am. Would you let us in on the question?

Nicole: It’s a question I often ask myself, but seldom has it led me in such an unusual direction…… ‘What if?’


Nicole was kind enough to share a sample of Forbidden Colours with us.

Forbidden Colours

41v7ICy+ooLWhat if your memories were not your memories? What if the drug hailed as a cure becomes your  curse and ultimately your destruction?

Forbidden Colours is a gripping tale where nothing is quite as it seems. Neurologist Nick Campbell is all set to believe in new drug Centoria, but when his patients start turning up dead he starts to wonder whether his faith has been blind.

Determined to uncover the truth, pharmaceutical employee Midori Yates and Dr Nick Campbell find a conspiracy that is to have devastating consequences for both of them. Forbidden Colours is a clever contemporary thriller that has numerous twists and turns that will make your head spin! A book for bedtime? Maybe but don’t expect to get any sleep.


Katzuko Yates eyed her daughter thoughtfully. A sense of apprehension gripped her. Those years in Japan were long ago; she wondered if she could be clear with her explanation. Even though buried, her memories continued to breathe under the mountain of life she’d lived. Dare she even speak of them? Could she speak of them? Their place of residence had become an unmarked grave in her history. Her family had a right to know, after everything that had happened. His world was dark and full of shadows; where would she begin? For over 25 years she had told no one. Now she was being drawn back into his world. It was a time she wanted to forget. The tie that had been bound to her so tightly was about to be broken.



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Introducing Victoria Schwimley

author photoThis month, I am delighted to turn the Gone Writing spotlight on my friend and fellow member of Independent Authors United, Victoria Schwimley.

Victoria Schwimley is the author of the Jessica Crawford romantic suspense series: Coveting Love and Confronting Truths. She also writes children’s mystery/adventure stories, and a YA Faith series: Capturing Faith and Twisted Faith. Her stand-alone novels are In The Victim’s Shadows and Lacy’s End.

I know that Victoria is especially proud of Lacy’s End, and I asked her to share with us how she came to write the story.

Victoria: The idea first came to me several years ago, when a close friend disclosed that she had been an abused spouse and nobody knew it. I was shocked, considering the friend, as I knew her, didn’t seem like the type to let someone abuse her. What I learned from her is that sometimes it isn’t as easy to leave as people think. I didn’t want to divulge any of her secrets, so I tried to put Lacy and Brenda into a situation that made it difficult for them to leave.

GW: Who is Lacy? What can you tell us without giving away any of the story?

Victoria: Lacy is a teenager being raised by a stay-at-home mother and by her father, who is also the town sheriff. She might seem like an ordinary teenager, but Lacy often goes to school with bruises on her body, and is somewhat shy and withdrawn. The faculty and Lacy’s peer group suspect what goes on in the Waldrip home, but given that Lacy’s father, and abuser, is also the sheriff, they turn a blind eye.

GW: When I read Lacy’s End, I was struck by a rather mysterious character who appears when Lacy needs him most. Who (or what) is Jake?

Victoria: I wanted Lacy to have someone to be her guide, someone who would know her thoughts and needs.  Is Jake real? I suppose that’s up to the reader to decide. My strong faith in God leads me to believe that someone like Jake could be very real. An after-death experience with my father sealed my faith in God and led me to believe that God gives us what we need, even if that is in the form of a guardian angel. Not everyone would agree, which I suppose is why I let the reader decide who or what Jake is to him or her. He could be an angel. He could be a figment of Lacy’s imagination, perhaps a special friend born out of desperation. Perhaps he is a gift from God after a frantic plea for help. Whatever he is, he’s a comfort to Lacy, and as you’ll see after reading the story, he’s what gives Lacy the strength to do what she must do to save her mother’s life.

GW: What else can you tell us about Lacy’s End?

Victoria: For most of Lacy Waldrip’s life, she and her mother, Brenda, suffered abuse at the hands of the man who is supposed to love them, cherish them, and protect them. To make matters worse, their abuser wears a badge and uses it to keep his deputies from interfering with his ‘right’ to discipline his women. Each woman has accepted her fate, each is determined to stay in the relationship to help the other. Then one day, the sheriff goes too far, and Lacy and Brenda end up in the hospital where they meet Dr. Allen Petoro. Together with a determined social worker, Angela Martin, Dr. Petoro vows to help the two victims break free of their abuser. However, Sheriff Peter Waldrip isn’t going to let his family go that easily.

Victoria was kind enough to share with us an excerpt from the first chapter of Lacy’s End.

“Lacy sat by the pond, one lonely toe poking into the water, swirling it around and around as she stared at her reflection. The action caused a ripple effect, sending tendrils of water outward in a circular motion.

She could still hear the yelling, even all the way out here. Even this far, the loud sounds caused her to flinch with each strike of his hand. Instinctively her hand went to her cheek, which still smarted from the sting of his whacks on her bare skin. It didn’t hurt as much as it used to, though. The beatings were so commonplace now that she no longer wondered when they would come, but rather how hard they would be. Her ears still vibrated from the thump, thump, thump of the landing blows.

She glanced nervously toward the house. Should she go now? If she went in too early, he was likely to turn on her again. What kind of help would she be then? She wrapped her arms around her still sore ribs, guilt plunging like a knife through her heart, but it was her mother’s turn now. Hadn’t she already had enough today? She couldn’t even remember what misdeed had set him off this time. The types and number of infractions these days were always trivial.

Her mother cried out, screamed was more like it. Lacy winced as she heard each strike to her mother’s face. She closed her mind against the knowledge of what he was doing. After all, wasn’t she the one who should be protected? Wasn’t it her mother’s job to look after her? It wasn’t supposed to be the other way around. Why her mother took it, she didn’t know. Couldn’t she stand up to him…just once?

Her mother screamed again, the sound so deafening Lacy closed her eyes and covered her ears. She feared this could be the one—the one time he’d go too far and kill her mother.

She knew, from experience, she would try to block the blows, first with her left arm, then with her right. Then finally, she would crouch low in the corner, trying to shrink herself as low as possible—hoping, against all hope, she could hide from him. Lacy knew that wasn’t possible. She had been there far too many times, and no matter how low she huddled, no matter how tight a ball she formed with her body, he’d still see her.

In her mind, she saw her mother trying to ward off his blows, and her heart swelled with sympathy. Lacy was young and strong, but years of abuse had weakened her mother. How much more could she take?

Her mother’s cries had become weak, diminishing as the strength left her. She knew her father’s hand would rise one last time and come down smartly on her neck. This blow would knock her unconscious and, mercifully, the beating would end.

Lacy looked toward heaven. “Please God—I need help. I can’t handle this on my own anymore.” She had no idea whom that someone would be. She had only one friend in the entire world, Millie Watson, and Lacy didn’t even understand why she was still sticking by her. The rest of her classmates thought she was a loser—not that she disagreed with them. One only had to look at her to see the qualities she lacked.

Her clothes were plain, her personality dull and lifeless. Her best feature was her eyes. They had a peculiar green color that sparkled like jewels. She liked stupid things like butterflies, daisies, long walks along the river, just as the sun was setting in the west and cast a fiery glow on the desert horizon. The thing she desired the most, however, was a soft, cuddly puppy. She wouldn’t dare own such a wondrous thing, though. Her father had enough punching bags as it was.

She started to rise, as slowly as she could to delay what she wasn’t looking forward to, even knowing her mother would need her, by the time she reached the house. She turned and as she did, she saw a figure standing across the pond. She was startled for a moment, her heart skipping a beat. She cocked her head at him, a curious expression coming to her smile.

He nodded his head toward the house, reminding her of her mission. She looked toward the house. All was quiet now, a sure sign she’d better hurry. Her mother’s head would need some ice.

She waved. She didn’t know why she did this. It just felt natural. She felt strangely drawn to the figure, despite the fact that her father had warned her—no, forbidden her—from having any contact with boys. She ran to the door, paused a moment in the doorway, and turned back to see her visitor. He was gone. As suddenly as he had appeared, he disappeared.”

Readers’ Favorite described Lacy’s End as “…an intense novel with compelling characters and a dramatic storyline.” I couldn’t agree more.

Lacy’s End is available from Amazon at: http://amzn.to/2fNRTn0

Victoria Schwimley lives in Elk Grove, California with her husband, children and many loving grandchildren who entertain her with wild antics and loads of laughs that give her plenty of story ideas.

To learn more about Victoria and her writing, connect with her here:

Website: http://www.victoriaschwimley.com/

Blog: victoriaschwimley.wordpress.com

Twitter: twitter.com/Schwimley

Facebook Page: www.facebook.com/VictoriaSchwimleyAuthor

LinkedIn: www.linkedin.com/in/victoriaschwimley/

Amazon: Victoria Schwimley Author Profile

Goodreads: www.goodreads.com/author/show/4952648.Victoria_Schwimley

The Romance Review: www.theromancereviews.com/vschwimley