2017 A to Z Challenge Blog: Q and A with Nathaniel Danes


2017 BadgeOnly ten posting days left in this year’s challenge. I’ve noted fewer comments on the main page since we started and I still come across broken links, but on the whole this is a great way to start the day.

As part of my theme this year, I opted to introduce you to authors who may be new to you and my guest today is one of those.  The easiest way to get to know someone is by asking questions, and the Q and A is a tried and true method for doing that.

Nathaniel Danes is a self-diagnosed sci-fi junkie and, according to his wife, has an overactive imagination. Mostly blind, he writes to create universes where he has no limitations. He lives with his wife and daughter in the Washington, DC area.

Author Links: Facebook, Twitter, Blog, Website, Amazon.

QQ is for Questions and Answers

Can you tell us a little bit about your latest book?  When did it come out?  Where can we get it?

My latest novel, BattleMaster, is the first in a new trilogy, BattleMaster Corps. The foundation of the story is a future where women’s naturally superior multi-tasking abilities allows them to become the masters of the modern battlefield. It comes out today, April 20  excusably on Amazon and is a part of the Kindle Unlimited program. You can find it at https://www.amazon.com/BattleMaster-Corps-Book-1-ebook/dp/B06XNTTQPN

 Is there anything specific that inspired you to launch the BattleMaster Corps Trilogy?

A lot of little things I’ve learned over the years came together to form this story. For example, a while back I watched a report about the US Air Forces research into controlling craft via brain waves. Their initial research also showed that female controls performed better than men. Mix that into the fact that modern warfare is becoming increasingly complex and drone focused and you’ve got the beginning of a good novel.

 If this book was made into a film, who would you cast in it?

Chris Pratt for the male lead.
Emma Stone for female lead.
Perfect combo of Parks and Rec and Zombieland.

It sounds exciting!  Now for some general questions. When reading, do you prefer traditional printed books or ebooks?  And why?

Actually, I only consume books through Audible now. I’m losing my vision to a genetic disorder and its gotten too hard to read entire books. Audible is a godsend, though. Its allowing me to increase my “reading” and I’m getting to read many of the classic I haven’t been able to.

What are you reading now?

Just finished “A Short History of Nearly Everything” which is a non-fiction history of scientific discovery and before that, “Stranger in a Strange Land.” I know…it has taken be awhile to get to that one.

When you get an idea for a book, what comes first usually?  Dialogue, the characters, a specific scene?  Or do you plot it out before you write?

I know the general grand design but really it doesn’t come out until I start writing. The ending of BattleMaster honestly took me by total surprise. I was writing and it evolved moments before the words hit the screen. I think I would find writing boring if I already knew how it would all play out. What would be the point then?

What do you have planned next, Nathaniel?  Or is that a secret?

No mystery. I’m already on chapter 15 of the next installment of the BattleMaster Corp Trilogy, BattleSwarm.

Is there anything you’d like to add?  Any advice for new writers?

I tell anyone that is interested in writing that you have to do two things.
LIVE and WRITE. Never stop with either one and you will be amazed at the worlds you will be able to create with your imagination.

Thank you for being here. You are truly an amazing author.

Blurb from BattleMaster:

It’s a women’s army, men are privileged to catch bullets in it.

Private Michael Stanner is continuously reminded of that fact but he refuses to give up. He will fight for victory and the chance to become something more. That is, if he can avoid getting killed on New Calcutta.

Members of the all female BattleMaster  Corps are the elite warriors of the modern battlefield. Their naturally superior multitasking abilities allow them to control teams of drones in combat more effectively than any man through neural links.

The Corps is the cornerstone of the American colonists’ decades long struggle for dominance in the Eden System. As three powers fight for control of a terraformed world left vacant by the mysterious disappearance of the Indian colony ship, questions linger about the true motivation for the war.

Please stop by the A to Z blog’s site to visit other bloggers.  A to Z Challenge Blog



2017 A to Z Challenge Blog P is for Pride

2017 BadgeHello again. Welcome to today’s post in the 2017 A to Z Challenge blog. Loving the blogs I’ve visited and intend to follow a few of them when the month is over.

This morning, I wanted to talk about a two-edged sword —pride. To some, pride is one of the deadly sins, but to others it is the incentive one needs to get things done. Think about it.

The most common negative adage I’ve heard about pride is one adapted from Proverbs in the Bible: Pride goes before a fall.  Shakespeare reworded it, but the meaning is the same.




PAnd while it’s true that too much of anything, including pride isn’t good for you or for anyone around you,  I see lack of pride as one of the biggest problems around me today.  P is for Pride

If you believe in yourself and have dedication and pride – and never quit, you’ll be a winner. The price of victory is high, but so are the rewards. Paul Bryant

When I was teaching, more often than not, students didn’t put forward their best efforts. There was little pride in their work. Why? Because they didn’t see the value in it. They didn’t the see the big picture. To them school was a drudge, not a step on the way to a better future.  As Jiddu Krishnamurti says, There is no end to education. It is not that you read a book, pass an examination, and finish with education. The whole of life, from the moment you are born to the moment you die, is a process of learning.  Not everyone learns the same lessons. In many cases, because they have no pride in their accomplishments, but too much pride in themselves to try and ask for help,  they are destined to fail.

Imagine an athlete who stops training, stops performing. How long will he be at the top of his profession? He will quickly go from superstar to hasbeen.

Just because they aren’t the best at something doesn’t mean people should quit trying, and if they are the best, then they can’t rest on their laurels, because someone is working very hard to get up there and depose them. Lucky for the stars, far too many people simply quit trying.

I put hundreds of hours into each book I write. I write, edit, sweat, rewrite, all because I want to put forth the very best effort I can.


In the words of Jane Austen, vanity and pride are different things, though the words are often used synonymously. A person may be proud without being vain. Pride relates more to our opinion of ourselves; vanity, to what we would have others think of us.

I’m a proud person and I’m not ashamed to say it. I take pride in my accomplishments and those of my children and grandchildren because I understand the blood and sweat that goes into each and every thing they do, whether it’s in their workday, the sports they play, or they way they look after one another. I am a proud wife, mother, sister, and grandmother. I am also proud that I have the perseverance and persistence to reach for what I once saw as unattainable.  I’m better today than I was yesterday, and one day, I will be the best I can be.


Please stop by the A to Z blog’s site to visit other bloggers.  A to Z Challenge Blog

Midweek Tease: Elle Marlow, Horses From Heaven

mwtease15It’s my great pleasure this morning to step aside as a writer and cede my spot on the Midweek Tease to author Elle Marlow. Many thanks to Angelica Dawson who maintains this platform for this weekly blog stop.

Elle Marlow is Arizona born and bred. Many of her novels reflect her Irish-Native American background. Married to a ‘real-life’ cowboy and having horses of her own, her western stories have the authenticity that pulls the reader right into them.

I had the opportunity to read Horses From Heaven this past weekend, and if I were to recommend one western novel to you, it would be this one. The book contains both sweet and salty scenes, and I fell in love with the hero and heroine.


After a tragic rodeo wreck leaves her a widow, Kendall barely has time to grieve. Instead, she finds herself standing between the horse and her father in-law’s rifle. He wants to even the score for the death of his son.

Her decision to protect Diablo exiles her from living at Rooster’s ranch, and makes her the target of gossip in their small town. Kendall has no choice but to take her son and Diablo to the only man who will rent her a home and work with Diablo; former bull-riding champion, Charlie Walters.

Charlie’s career made him a legend, and then gave him a body held together with nuts and bolts. The only reason he hasn’t caved into self-pity is the herd of wild horses that wandered onto his recently acquired ranch. Heaven Ranch felt more like hell until they showed up and demanded his attention. Add that to the sudden appearance of the beautiful widow, Kendall Stanley and her young son, and he finally feels a purpose again.

Tending to Diablo, and standing up to Rooster Stanley’s threats is easy. Convincing Kendall that being a cowboy isn’t a death sentence and a sin, is hard. It’s going to take a herd of wild horses to get her to change her heart and her mind, because he’s fallen in love and wants to give her more than the world, he wants to give her Heaven.

Your tease:

Horses From Heaven“I don’t know what tomorrow brings, but please don’t sell your ranch,” she told him.

“I won’t sell. I’ll face Rooster as many times as I have to, if that’s what it takes.”

“Been there, done that already. How much longer am I supposed to give a damn about a man who never gave a damn about me? Answer me that, Charlie. How much longer am I supposed to feel sad, miserable and alone?”

“You’re not alone,” he insisted, as he pulled back and then placed his finger under her chin to lift her face to meet his gaze.

“Or maybe you don’t want the same things I do,” she realized, admiring the brown speckles that dotted along the edge of his blue eyes. She licked her lips, her core tightening like a drum to have him so close.

“I think I do,” he said, sweeping a warm gaze over her face.

“Then how much longer do I have to wait?”

“Not one more minute.”

Horses From Heaven is available from Amazon https://www.amazon.com/Horses-Heaven-Elle-Marlow-ebook/dp/B06Y3L3VQX

Please check out the rest of this week’s teasers.

MidWeek Tease April 19, 2017

2017 A to Z Challenge Blog O is for Ordinary

2017 BadgeHello again and welcome to fifteenth day of this year’s A to Z Challenge Blog. It’s been a rollercoaster ride these past few days with company and Easter, so it’s great to be getting back to normal.

What’s normal you ask? It’s basically getting back into the rut of daily routine. In other words, It’s just an ordinary day.

O is for ordinary. I’ve had the opportunity this blog to listen to some great music so here’s my offering from a Canadian group from Labrador-Newfoundland. Enjoy.

There is nothing like ordinary days and we tend to put them down as boring until special times overwhelm us.

Enjoy this ordinary day and remember, sometimes they are more special than we imagine.

Please stop by the A to Z blog’s site to visit other bloggers.  A to Z Challenge Blog


Tuesday Tales: From a Picture

badge-for-tt-very-small-1Welcome to this week’s edition of Tuesday Tales. If this is your first visit, Tuesday Tales are weekly blog posts taken from a work in progress the author is currently involved in. Each post is based on a cue. Usually, the cues are words. Once a month, we’re given a choice of images and have to work our stories around them, keeping the post to less than 300 words as well.

The scene I have today is a long expected one, but the picture choices strained my imagination. new shoot

So how did I roll this into Wedding Bell Blues? Have a look.

Paul awoke with MJ spooned beside him, his hand  under the oversized t-shirt she wore, and wrapped around her stomach. Her back, molten lava against him, had his body reacting to her heat and scent.

Whatever could grow between them had to be nurtured and fed, like the first shoot of a new plant. Done right, it could grow strong and endure, but one false move, and he would destroy it forever. He exhaled, not wanting to move away, but knowing her had to before she recognized the strength of his desire for her.  As he eased away, she matched his movement, snuggling even more tightly.

“God, MJ, There’s nothing I want more than to make love to you right now,” he whispered softly, thinking she was still asleep.

“So, what’s stopping you?” she asked, turning to face him, her eyes open in the dim light.

Unable to stop himself, he trailed kisses down the side of her neck and shoulders. She moaned. It was all the encouragement he needed. Without another word, he turned her onto her back and captured her lips. She returned his kisses with a passion that spurred him on. Slowly, as if he were unwrapping a precious gift, he exposed her breasts to his hands. His mouth moved down to lick and caress each nipple, imprinting their taste and texture on his mind. He wanted to touch all of her, taste all of her, and savor each delectable bite. His lips moved along her stomach burning a trail to the edge of her panties, which he quickly removed, along with his underwear.

Panting, he lifted his head and looked into her eyes.

“Are you sure, MJ, because once we do this, there’s no turning back.”

“Make love to me, Paul. Make love to me now.”

I hope you’ve enjoyed this week’s post. Don’t forget to check out all the other on  Tuesday Tales.

2017 A to Z Challenge Blog: N is for No Wonder

2017 BadgeGood morning,  afternoon, or evening depending on where you are when you read this post. I’m kicking off week three of the 2017 A to Z challenge blog with a little tongue in cheek look at the subtle and not so subtle differences between men and women sent to me by a friend a few weeks ago. Unfortunately, I don’t know the origin of the piece, but found myself laughing when so many of the points rang somewhat true.

So this morning, I give you N for No Wonder Men Are Happier than Women.

NNo one disputes the fact that men and women in the twenty-first century are equals in many ways, but they will NEVER be the same. Not only do they come with different plumbing, there are quirks and truths about them that will never change. Here are some of my favorite ones:

Your last name stays put. The garage is all yours. Wedding plans take care of themselves. Chocolate is just another snack. You can never be pregnant. You can wear a white T-shirt to a water park. You can wear NO shirt to a water park.

Car mechanics tell you the truth. The world is your urinal. You never have to drive to another gas station restroom because this one is just too icky. You don’t have to stop and think of which way to turn a nut on a bolt. Same work, more pay. Wrinkles add character. Wedding dress $5000. Tux rental-$100. People never stare at your chest when you’re talking to them. New shoes don’t cut, blister, or mangle your feet. One mood all the time. Phone conversations are over in 30 seconds flat. You know stuff about tanks.

A five-day vacation requires only one suitcase. You can open all your own jars. You get extra credit for the slightest act of thoughtfulness. If someone forgets to invite you, he or she can still be your friend. Your underwear is $8.95 for a three-pack. Two pairs of shoes are more than enough. You almost never have strap problems in public. You are unable to see wrinkles in your clothes. Everything on your face stays its original color. The same hairstyle lasts for years, maybe decades. You only have to shave your face and neck.

You can play with toys all your life. One wallet and one pair of shoes — one color for all seasons. You can wear shorts no matter how your legs look. You can ‘do’ your nails with a pocket knife. You have freedom of choice concerning growing a mustache. You can do Christmas shopping for 25 relatives On December 24 in 25 minutes. No wonder men are happier.

� If Laura, Kate and Sarah go out for lunch, they will call each other Laura, Kate and Sarah.
�If Mike, Dave and John go out, they will affectionately refer to each other as Fat Boy, Bubba and Wildman.

� A man has six items in his bathroom: toothbrush and toothpaste, shaving cream, razor, a bar of soap, and a towel

� The average number of items in the typical woman’s bathroom is 337. A man would not be able to identify more than 20 of these items.

� A woman has the last word in any argument.

� Anything a man says after that is the beginning of a new argument.

� Men wake up as good-looking as they went to bed.

� Women somehow deteriorate during the night.

Now, as I said, it’s no wonder men are happier people.

Many thanks to the original author of this piece wherever he or she may be. Please stop by the A to Z blog’s site to visit other bloggers.  A to Z Challenge Blog


Sunday Morning Musings Second Week Over

cropped-images.jpgGood morning. The sun is trying to find a crack in the clouds, and maybe we will have a reasonably nice day. Today is Easter Sunday and in a couple of hours, I will head out to church with my family. When I Happy Eastercome back, it will be time to start dinner for 12. We have ham, lamb, beans, carrots, scalloped potatoes, strawberry shortcake, and maple cheesecake as the main along with shrimp, veggies and dip and nachos and salsa to snack on.

To all of you who are celebrating today, Happy Easter! I hope you get your fill of chocolate, flowers, cards and whatever else makes your world go around. I got my card, flowers will arrive with the family later, and since I’m allergic to chocolate–yes, you read that right–no bunnies for me.

2017 BadgeThe second week of the 2017 A to Z Challenge has been a rewarding one. I’ve received more site visits than ever, have gained some new followers, and I’m pleased to report that many of those who commented on the new authors I’ve mentioned are interested in learning more about them, so starting in May, I will present them and their work, with excerpts for you to enjoy.

This week, I’ve learned some really cool things, too. Since I’m a trivia buff, it’s all been filed away for future use. I’ve learned about everything from Mythology to cathedrals in England and street names in Paris. I’ve also added to my knowledge base on writing dos and don’ts and how to avoid those ‘show don’t tell’ potholes, but let’s be honest.We are all storytellers and for good or ill, telling is part of it. Along the way, I’ve learned of new health and support groups, and I’ve started each day with a song or two from the past. Some have brought back incredible memories.

20160516_144227I’ve also found a few bloggers who write stories as their posts. These have been an incredible eye-opener for me who has trouble keeping a book at less than 100k words, and look forward  to reading more. So now we’ve passed the halfway mark and start tackling the back end of the alphabet. The less hospitable letters live there, so we should be in for a lot of creative fun.  See you all tomorrow.

Have a wonderful day.