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Welcome to my place in the blogosphere!
feel free to explore the Flight Deck and check out my books and website.
Then fasten your seatbelts, sip a glass of something sparkling and let's chat awhile!
I hope you'll stop by again for guest authors and spotlights from time to time.

Beloved Enemy joined Starquest and Children of the Mist to continue the Destiny Trilogy and I'm thrilled to announce was shortlisted for the R.N.A. RoNA Awards 2017, awarded 2nd Runner up in the RONE Awards 2017 and was the winner in the SF/Fantasy category of the 'Best Banter Contest'.

Friday 16 September 2016

Marilyn Baron - Stumble Stones, Interview and spotlight.

Stumble Stones a New Novel by Marilyn Baron
Delivers Dark and Humorous Romancing the Stone-style Suspense

I'm so happy to welcome Marilyn Baron, a fellow Wild Rose Press Author, to the Flight Deck today.

I asked Marilyn about her latest release and her favourite part of writing this book:

Stumble Stones: A Novel was just released August 19 and I’m very excited about this book. Stumble Stones has elements of romance, humor, suspense, mystery and intrigue. Set in contemporary and 1940s Europe, it’s about a cache of priceless diamonds hidden in World War II that holds the key to an unsolved mystery and a promise of lost love. It incorporates a lot of my favorite things: Travel—it is set in Rome, Baden, Switzerland, and Berlin, as well as on a Scandinavian cruise. I like to set books where I’ve vacationed and I definitely tap into that in this book. I spent six months in college in Florence, Italy, so that’s one of my favorite settings. At the beginning of the book, the heroine is on her way to Italy, to get away from her ex-husband and spend as much of his money as she can. As a matter of fact, that was the opening line. “Life was better in business class, especially when your cheating ex-husband was paying for it.”

I’m also very interested in World War II and a big portion of the novel flashes back to the Holocaust stories of two women. My father was a top-turret gunner on a B-17 during the war and I’ve always been fascinated by his stories and the journal of his flight missions. Most of the books I read and enjoy are set in World War II. That was the part of the novel I enjoyed researching and writing the most.

I love watching soap operas so I made my heroine, Hallelujah Weiss, a writer for the soap opera As the Planet Spins and most of the chapters in her point of view begin with a soap opera script, revealing the parallels in her life and the life of Polly Winthrop, the character she writes. It is my most serious book to date. It’s a multilayered dark and humorous suspense and I tried to achieve the perfect balance between darkness and light with a hopeful, surprise ending.

HL: What do you do for fun when not writing?

I read. I’m in two book clubs and on the steering committee of an organization that plans and holds a communit ywide book event. I’m never without a book and I enjoy all genres from literary fiction to young adult. Likewise, I write in a variety of genres, from humorous coming-of-middle-age women’s fiction to historical romantic thrillers and romantic suspense, to paranormal/fantasy. To me, reading other authors’ books isn’t a time drain. It helps improve my writing.

HL: When did you start writing?

I wrote my first “novel” called East-West Island when I was in third grade and my teacher read it to the class in installments. All of the characters were kids in my class. I majored in journalism and public relations and minored in creative writing and I have a public relations firm so I wrote for a living before I started writing fiction.

HL: So What comes first: the plot or the characters?

The title. I can’t start a book without a title. Then I have to name my characters. The plot isn’t fleshed out when I start. I am a “pantser,” which means I write by the seat of my pants so the plot develops as I go along. Often, the ending surprises me.

HL: What have you learned about writing since you were published that surprised you the most?

It’s hard work. It takes focus to sit down at the computer and write and revise, rinse and repeat until you get a product you are happy with. When my characters stop talking to me, I know the book is ready. The amount of time it takes to promote a book once it’s released is much more than I ever imagined.

HL: What’s your writing process? Has it changed since writing your first book?

Yes, I used to write longer books and now my books are getting shorter as I get older. I don’t have a set writing schedule. I write when I have time, between writing for clients. I wish I had more time to write.

HL: Do you listen to music when you write and if so, what kind of music – or do you find it distracts you?

I don’t do that much anymore, but when I first started writing I definitely listened to music of the period I was writing about. For Under the Moon Gate, a WW II romantic thriller, I listened to Big Band music and music of the ‘40s, which I love. For Stones, my women’s fiction, I listened to all the songs I grew up with. Music never distracts me.
HL: What is your personal definition of success?

Putting my books out there so I will leave something behind. Having readers tell me they loved one of my books.

HL: What is your favourite source of inspiration?

Inspiration can come from anywhere and everywhere, from anything that sparks your imagination. In fact, ideas can come when you least expect them, and when inspiration strikes, ideas just might come from the heavens.
Here are my Top 10 sources of inspiration:
Titles and Character Names
Dreams or Daydreams
Real-Life Experiences and Events
Hobbies or Interests
Reading other Books
From Other People
The Cosmos

HL: Is there any advice, as a new writer, that you were either given, or wish you had been given?

Every well-known author I’ve ever met or interviewed has a common piece of advice for new writers and that is—Finish the Book! You can always revise and improve a manuscript, but you can’t fix a blank page.

HL: What sort of research do you do for your books and what’s your favourite source of information?

For my book set in Bermuda during WW II, I did extensive research by reading archived New York and Bermuda newspapers from the 1940s to find out little things like what people ate, what movies they watched, what style of clothes they wore, what things cost, etc., and that helped to give the book dimension and immerse me in the times I was writing about.

Thank you so much, Marilyn, it was so interesting to find out more about you - now let's see some more of the book itself.

Hallelujah Weiss, writer for the steamy sudser As the Planet Spins, gets a second chance at love when she flees to Italy to get over her recent divorce, courtesy of her cheating ex-husband’s credit card. A woman scorned, Hallelujah has sworn off men and is determined to reinvent herself. The new Hallelujah is eager to live life on the edge, more like Polly, a character she writes and idolizes.
Lonely Berlin hedge fund manager Alexander Stone, a number cruncher who puts his faith in numerical data, still believes in destiny, despite the fact his fiancée just dumped him. Always a man with a plan, Alexander did not plan on Hallelujah.

After a chance encounter on a flight to Rome, the unlikely pair faces danger when they team up to return to their rightful owner a stash of WW II vintage jewels. The hidden diamonds hold the key to an unsolved mystery and a promise of love.

 Stumble Stones is available at:

Amazon UK Ebook

Amazon UK Paperback

Amazon US (Ebook and paperback)

Stumble Stones E Book The Wild Rose Press

Stumble Stones Paperback The Wild Rose Press

Barnes & Noble Nook

About the Author, Marilyn Baron
Marilyn Baron writes in a variety of genres, from humorous coming-of-middle age women’s fiction to historical romantic thrillers and romantic suspense to paranormal/fantasy. Stumble Stones is her 11th novel published with The Wild Rose Press.

She’s also published five short stories with TWB Press and self-published three books, including a musical about Alzheimer’s called Memory Lane. AmazonEncore republished her book Sixth Sense on September 15, 2015. 

She’s received writing awards in Single Title, Suspense Romance, Novel With Strong Romantic Elements and Paranormal//Fantasy Romance. She is a Georgia Romance Writers (GRW) Maggie Award winner, a PAN member of Romance Writers of America and GRW and winner of the GRW 2009 Chapter Service Award. A public relations consultant in Atlanta, Marilyn graduated with a BS in Journalism and a minor in Creative Writing from the University of Florida. She worked in Public Relations for AT&T in Atlanta for 13 years before starting her own PR firm. She was a 2016 Nominee for the 52nd Georgia Author of the Year Awards in two categories—Detective/Mystery for Landlocked and Romance for The Widows’ Gallery. Read more about Marilyn at:
Author Media Links

Amazon Author Page

For insider news and subscriber-only info, subscribe to my occasional Newsletter. I promise not to spam and your in-box will only see an email from me every 3 months or so - unless of course I have something really Newsworthy to share! Every new subscriber will get a FREEdownload of my fantasy novella 'Dancing With Fate' (If this doesn't arrive within two days just email me at For insider news and subscriber-only info, subscribe to my occasional Newsletter. I promise not to spam and your in-box will only see an email from me every 3 or 4 months or so - unless of course I have something really Newsworthy to share!
Every new subscriber will get a FREE download of my fantasy novella 'Dancing With Fate' (If this doesn't arrive within two days just email me at

Monday 12 September 2016

Diane Burton's Mission To Earth - background and #contest

It's always a pleasure to welcome a fellow SF romance writer to the Flight Deck. I've just read this book and can thoroughly recommend it as an entertaining and realistic vision of what life for future pioneers, about to embark on a voyage to colonise a new planet might be like.  It's not only a great read, but food for thought as well. I think we should all be concerned about global warming and the way we have treated our planet.

I asked Diane to  give us some background about how she came to write 'Mission to New Earth'.  Enjoy her post, and the excerpt from the book - and don't forget to enter the Rafflecopter contest at the bottom of the page.  

Background to Mission to New Earth:

I’ve often wondered what it would take for space exploration to move faster. Blame it on Star Wars and Star Trek. Those movies assumed we would go into space. That we would explore not just our solar system but beyond.

Although many people do not believe in global warming, I think it’s coming, along with over population plus the results of all the awful things we’re doing Mission To New Earth.
not just to the earth but to the air and water around us. I worry about what we’re leaving our children and grandchildren. Perhaps we’ll all pitch in and do more than our part to prevent the catastrophes that play a part in my science fiction novella,

Like most writers, I begin with a thought and then ask “what if…” This story was originally a short story I wrote for a holiday anthology on The Roses of Prose blog, titled “Christmas in Space” that I more than tripled in word count.

I’ve been fascinated by the Mars One project, a commercial venture to put people on Mars. I found the concept of starting off on a one-way trip to discover a new world intriguing, if not a little scary. I loved the characters in that short story so much that I had to find out more about them and their journey. What would motivate people to leave everything and everyone behind to set off on a one-way trip? All six of my characters have their reasons, and their secrets. The question is whether they’ll find a new home in time.

Mission To New Earth: a novella
By Diane Burton
Genre: science fiction romance
Release date: August 31, 2016
Length: 88 pages (25k words)


Would you go on a one-way trip to explore a new planet? Would you do it to save humankind?

Earth’s overpopulation and dwindling resources force the United Earth Space Agency to expedite exploration of new planets for a possible new home. When new crises ensue—a giant tsunami and the threat of nuclear winter—the timeline changes. Eight years of training crammed into four. Sara Grenard and her team prepare for launch, but are they ready for the one-way trip? Will the Goldilocks planet prove just right for Earth’s inhabitants? Before time runs out.


As we followed, Marsh strode across the corridor to the left. The only private place down there was a lavatory. Not my favorite destination for a team meeting. But beggars couldn’t be choosers, as my mom used to say.

“We screwed up again,” Marsh announced as soon as the five of us joined him. His voice echoed off the hard surfaces. “In RT, it could kill us.”

“You and your damn RT,” Tom spat out. “Why can’t you just say real time like a normal person?”

Marsh shot him a look, one I’d hate directed at me.

Military background evident, he stood in the middle of the area near the showers, his feet wide apart, hands clasped behind his back. The others were more casual. Bill held up a white-tiled wall across from the showers. Ana and Gloria sat on a fake wood bench. Meanwhile, I crossed my arms and leaned against a sink. I tried to look casual even though my nerves were strung tight. We had to be ready for the launch. Earth was dependent on us.

All of my team, except Tom and Marsh, wore hang-dog expressions. At forty, Tom was the oldest on the team and a damn fine pilot. His red face and mutinous expression as he confronted Marsh belied his usually even-keeled manner.

“You’re exaggerating, Rayburn.” That was more than angry. Tom was defiant. “You always exaggerate. Worst case scenario? Is that all you think about?”

I’d never seen Tom so worked up. Gloria walked over to him and rubbed his shoulder. Usually in stressful times, her gentle caress calmed him down. Not now.

When he shrugged off her hand, I caught the hurt in her eyes.

“C’mon, Bill. Back me up on this.”

Bill held out his hands in a don’t-get-me-involved gesture. He was our engineer, both formal and practical. He could fix anything from wonky engines to food replicators.

Tom turned to me. “Sara?”

I knew that was coming. I tried to let my team work things out by themselves. Soon we’d be living in close confines, not just on the ship but on our Goldilocks planet. If we couldn’t live in harmony during training, we would be in deep trouble once we reached our final destination. We’d be in even worse trouble if we couldn’t work out our differences here. Marsh was right to pick the only place that wasn’t monitored. We absolutely didn’t want the directors to think we weren’t a well-functioning team.

They could pull us and put in the Shadow Team. Our replacements.

“Okay, guys, what did I miss?” With a forced grin, I raised my right hand. “I swear I wasn’t dreaming about a day at the beach during the sim.”

About the Author:

Diane Burton combines her love of mystery, adventure, science fiction and romance into writing romantic fiction. Besides the science fiction romance Switched and Outer Rim series, she is the author of One Red Shoe, a romantic suspense, and the Alex O’Hara PI mystery series. She is also a contributor to two anthologies: Portals, Volume 2 and How I Met My Husband. Diane and her husband live in West Michigan. They have two children and three grandchildren.
For more info and excerpts from her books, visit Diane’s website:

Goodreads: Diane Burton Author  
Amazon author page:
Sign up for Diane’s newsletter:


Diane offers a chance to win a $10 Amazon Gift Card. Answer the following question in the comments then check the Rafflecopter for more chances to win.

Would you go on a one-way trip to a new planet?

a Rafflecopter giveaway

Thank you Diane, it was really interesting reading about you and your book!
Hywela Lyn

For insider news and subscriber-only info, subscribe to my occasional Newsletter. I promise not to spam and your in-box will only see an email from me every 3 months or so - unless of course I have something really Newsworthy to share! Every new subscriber will get a FREEdownload of my fantasy novella 'Dancing With Fate' (If this doesn't arrive within two days just email me at

Monday's Ramblings: The lonely mountain - an ice volcano

I came across this on the Nasa website the other day -

"An isolated mountain near the equator of the dwarf planet Ceres resembles a volcanic dome, according to new observations from NASA's Dawn mission. Like the "Lonely Mountain" Erebor in J.R.R. Tolkien's mythology, Ahuna Mons on Ceres was once occupied by a dragon, but one that "breathed" ice, not fire. The mountain likely formed as a salty-mud volcano. Instead of molten rock, salty-mud volcanoes, or "cryovolcanoes," release frigid, salty water sometimes mixed with mud."

I don't know about you, but I find this really fascinating.  I wish I'd written an 'ice' volcano' into the  snowy landscape of Nifleheim, my icy planet in 'Children Of The Mist'! Ah well, perhaps I'll use it for a future novel!

For insider news and subscriber-only info, subscribe to my occasional Newsletter. I promise not to spam and your in-box will only see an email from me every 3 or 4 months or so - unless of course I have something really Newsworthy to share! Every new subscriber will get a FREE download of my fantasy novella 'Dancing With Fate' (If this doesn't arrive within two days just email me at