Monday, July 30, 2018


Although I have several friends who are into meditation, I’ve never bought into it. I’ve tried it multiple times, all unsuccessfully. 

In groups, I hate to close my eyes—either I refuse to close them, which seems to mess up the entire routine, or I spend the entire time worrying about what everyone around me is doing when I can’t see them. For a technique that’s supposed to calm me, it does the exact opposite.

In private, my mind refuses to shut down. I think about articles I read, people I’ve bee talking to, or I wonder how long until the damn timer goes off and I can stop what I’m doing.

However, it was recommended to me, again, and I decided to see what happens. I’ll admit, I’m going in with a “this is never going to work,” attitude, but I’m trying to psych myself out of that by saying “it can’t hurt to try.” Not sure which attitude is working at the moment.

So far, as expected, I’m not really able to clear my mind. At least, not for more than about three seconds in any ten-minute attempt. Someone better than I am with numbers will recognize that’s a pretty lousy percentage. But I’m still trying for the moment.

When my mind finishes scrolling through all my to-do lists, things that worry me, news articles I’ve read, plots for new books, and random clutter, it tends to latch onto two things, both of which make me laugh. They are scenes from two movies/shows—the meditation attempts by Dr. Strange when he first goes to Tibet (?), and the meditation practices of Trade Minister Tagomi in The Man in the High Castle. Maybe I think I’m them? It would be cool to be able to have any of Dr. Strange’s powers, or to transport to another time period. Somehow, though, I don’t think that’s the point of my meditation.

Banana Girl loves meditation, because she falls asleep doing it. I have to admit, that’s pretty tempting, too, although it hasn’t happened to me yet. I’m not quite sure how long I’m going to attempt this before once again giving up. I have great admiration for people who can successfully do this. I’m just not convinced I’m one of them.

Wednesday, July 25, 2018

Cover Reveal

Between The Shadows

She never expected to confront deadly villains…let alone fall in love with one…

After her friend, York, encounters the ghostly image of a young woman, Mackenzie Reynolds seizes the opportunity to initiate a time jump, thrusting them back to 1865 Georgia. Resolved to thwart the girl’s untimely fate, Kenzi stumbles into a deadly conflict over a stockpile of stolen Confederate gold.

An injured Civil War survivor, James Adams departs for home with a war-fatigued companion he’s determined to help. After pilfering a horse and kidnaping a woman, he never dreamed his hostage would steal his heart.

Kenzi and James must unravel a deadly plot, while helping York save his ghost woman from a brutal death. But can she leave York in a violent past to save James’s life?

A Gripping Novel By Award-Winning Author Casi McLean, scheduled to be released September 18.

Presale Link:


“Don’t you dare die on me, James Adams.”
Kenzi pressed the blood-soaked gauze against the left side of his abdomen. “I won’t lose you. Not now.”
Barely clinging to life, he opened his eyes a slit, raised his hand still clenching Colin’s gun, and shot two rounds.
Stunned, Kenzi snapped around. “No.” She screamed and dove for the gun through the hazy blue mist engulfing them.
“Brady...” His voice faded as he slipped into semiconscious mumbling.
Yanking the pistol from his grip with her right hand, she maintained pressure with her left. A heartbeat later, the cylinder encasing them rotated open. Kenzi stood then sprinted across the room and pounded on a fist-sized alert button affixed to the wall. The resulting alarm shrieked through the underground chamber, reverberating as it radiated throughout the compound. Two men dressed in white jumpsuits burst through double doors.
“Gurney. Now.” Kenzi screamed at the attendants. “And O-Neg blood. Hurry. Go, go, go.” She ran to James and knelt beside him. Lifting his head, she slid a knee underneath it for support and smoothed a chunk of his dark brown hair from his face. “I’ve sacrificed way too much to have you die now,” she whispered. “My ass will burn for this. Not to mention the repercussions for abandoning York.”
Pulse racing, she checked his bandage. Despite her efforts, streams of crimson still oozed from the wound. Pressing again on the gauze, she shook her head. “Geez. You’ve lost so much blood. Please, hang on.”
Again, the double doors swung wide. This time, a gurney pushed through, followed by the two assistants. One man ran to Kenzi.
“Help me lift him.” Her hands, slick with blood, shot to her white T-top, already drenched in crimson. On second thought, she swept them down the rear of her jeans. Sliding her slippery arms beneath his back, she braced her stance with one bent knee.
“One, two, three.” They heaved him in tandem onto the gurney. She doused her hands with Betadine then splashed more on James’s forearm, snatched an IV from the attached supply basket, and punctured a vein on the inside of his wrist with the sterile needle. Once connected, she hooked the blood pouch on the IV pole and barked at the team, “Let’s move. If this man bleeds out, there will be hell to pay.”
The men, poised with hands on the side of the rails, awaited their next move. “Where to, Dr. Reynolds?” 
Kenzi stared at James’s ashen face, worried her meager experience wasn’t enough to save his life––but she had no option. “Surgery.” 
Springing into action, one man rolled the gurney down the hallway, while a second leapt onto the base and slipped an oxygen mask over James’s nose and mouth. “I hope this guy isn’t allergic to Propofol.” He attached an anesthesia drip to the IV. “Damn, what caused this gaping wound?”

“He was shot...with a musket.”  

Presale Link:

Casi McLean
Romantic Suspense, Time Slips, And Supernatural Mystery with a Sprinkle of Magic .

Award Winning Author
2016 Best Romantic Suspense Gayle Wilson Award of Excellence 
Winner 2016 Best Heroine Still Moments Magazine
2016 Aspen Gold Finalist for Best Romantic Suspense
2015 Top Pick by Night Owl Reviews
2015 Chicago Fire and Ice Finalist
2014 Winner 2014 AWC Short Story Award
  Lake Lanier Mysteries
  Beneath The Lake
  Beyond The Mist
  Between The Shadows 
  Destiny Series:
  The Gift
  After Midnight
  The Pegasus Chronicle
  Deep State Mysteries
  Reign Of Fire
  The List
Wingless Butterfly
So You Want To Be An Author 

If you sign up for Casi's website, you will receive a free story. You can access the award-winning short story, Destiny, through this link:

After you click the link, you can scroll down to receive an additional special prize on her website.

Monday, July 23, 2018


One of the hardest parts of being a writer is being able to motivate myself to do things when I’m not under deadline.

Right now, I’m in a holding pattern. I’ve returned all my edits and I’m waiting for my galleys. I’m waiting on my cover art. I’m also waiting on a release date. That’s a lot of waiting. No, I’m not complaining—there are a lot of pieces in the publishing puzzle, and my job is to make sure I finish all of mine in a timely manner so that the rest of the team can do their job.

They’re doing it right now.

But that means I need to be doing something else.

Ideally, I need to be writing. It takes me approximately six months to write a first draft of a book. If I wait until a book is published before starting on a new one, I’ll never gain traction in a publishing industry that is crammed with authors. So when I’m not on deadline, I need to be writing the next book.

Because there’s no one standing over me with a whip forcing me to write, however, that’s sometimes harder than it sounds. Daily life gets in the way. The news makes me want to crawl into a hole. And self-doubt always rears its head when my characters that usually occupy that space are silent. 

So sometimes I have to force myself to do it, despite how much I enjoy what I do. When that happens, the dog gets lots of exercise. We walk, which clears my head and gets my muse flowing. I try to talk to other writers—brainstorming with them about their writing problems shows me I’m not alone and also gets my muse flowing.

And I focus on marketing. Because unless people buy my books—and leave reviews—no one is going to know they’re out there.

Speaking of marketing, Amazon surprised me by putting one of my books on sale. If you haven’t read it yet, now is a great time to do so, especially since I have no idea how long the sale is going to last. Check it out here:

Wednesday, July 18, 2018

Welcome to Stephen King!


I’d sincerely like to thank Jennifer for letting me ramble about writing, the future, time travel, love, and oh-oh …. Genetic Modification of major food sources (that’s a mouthful). The 18thof July saw the release of my sixth book: Thirty-Three Days. I will try not to be boring, so if I see your eyes glaze over, it’s over – I promise.

All my life I wanted to write, and tell stories. For most of it I made excuses not to do so. That makes me a late bloomer. There are two fabulous things about being an author, for me. Number 1: the inborn need to tell a story, and if I can entertain a reader for a while; take them out of their day to day lives and take them to a place inside my imagination, well that’s just about heaven. Number 2: When someone does read one of my books, and takes the time to post a review, send me an email, or stop me at a party to talk about the characters I’ve created for their enjoyment…… Well, I tell you, there ain’t enough money in the world to buy that feeling. Is that egotistical? Probably.

TTD, as I affectionately call it, came to me in a dream. Now that was highly unusual for two reasons, firstly, I don’t dream, and if I do I rarely remember them. When I do they are nonsense. But I woke up in a state of euphoria having dreamt of Jenny, a lonely 68 year old lecturer in environmental studies who is approached by a man who says he is from the future. He is the sixth in a line of people who played leapfrog in time. They took an incredible leap of faith in the word of a stranger and took a drug to send their consciousness back in turn. Why? To meet her and convince her to do the same, because she can save the future of mankind from an all consuming Blight which is ravaging all plant life two hundred years in the future.

If she agrees, she must become a ‘Leaper’, take the drug he concocted, and wake up thirty three years younger. Once there she has just thirty-three days to convince a young micro-biologist not to release his genetically modified strain of wheat, which harbors the deadly blight in its gene structure.

But that is just the start of her problems…….In the past, she falls in love for the first time in sixty-eight years with his father, and she must convince them both of her sincerity before her consciousness goes back to the future, leaving her young self with no memory of the preceding time period. If she fails, the men in the future will send an assassin and she is torn between saving the planet, or the man she loves.

So, once I had that dream, I had to write it and I’ve never had such fun. Time paradoxes have always fascinated me; yes I’m a long standing Doctor Who fan. And, I also gave Jenny the chance to influence a team of soccer players, who haven’t won a championship in many years. But, with her help, maybe, just maybe, they can pull of a miracle win.

The most amazing thing to me about this book, and I am not ashamed to admit it, is there are three places in the story, that even after sixty or seventy read throughs; I choke up with emotion when I read them. Now bearing in mind I wrote the thing, and know what’s happening next, that blows me away, and my wife too when she looks up to see me sobbing over my laptop. She just raises her eyes and goes back to the TV show she is watching.

In all of my books, no matter how deadly, or thrilling the storyline, there is always a love story at its core. I believe love is an intrinsic part of our lives, and further, that love, and family are why we are here in the first place. Anything else you come by is a bonus. The song title sums it up best: Love is all around us (The Troggs). We either want it, have it, or just lost it and want it back. We love our children, good food, a piece of art….need I go on? I would venture to suggest, the word LOVE is the most used one we have….next to maybe: THE.

Now its time to talk seriously, please don’t nod off now. It’s the dreaded subject: Genetic Modification of food sources. This is the critical core of TTD plotline. There is a saying Jenny uses to Iaine on their first date: The road to Hell is paved with good intentions. How many times have we seen people trying to do good, but inadvertently doing bad and causing a tsunami of destruction.  Does Thalidomide ring any bells? Diet drinks using synthetic ingredients which we are now told causes health problems, trust me the list in endless. Whenever Man dabbles in Nature it seems to go poorly. When I was researching for this book, I found lots, and LOTS of similar cases. Here in Western Australia a while back, one farmer was suing his neighbor farmer because he lost his organic certification. That was because the genetically modified strain of Canola had spread from one farm to the other and contaminated, not just his crops, but the very ground it grew in. 

Jenny also says to Iaine: You can start a bushfire with a match, and the fire rages on when you blow the match out. Some things we do to our planet are irreversible. I read we are losing 200 billion tons of ice a year from the polar regions, due to global warming. Did you know, according to the same article, that if, or should I say when, they completely melt; the sea level will rise 60 meters. Where will we be living then?

So Jenny has a chance so save every living person in the future by going back in time to stop an event that will become catastrophic, before it happens. Can she succeed? And can she somehow find a way to keep the love that took her sixty eight years to find? Oh, and can she help that soccer team win the championship?

Time for me to go, one or two of you are nodding off, I can see. Thanks Jennifer, and thank you for reading my ramblings.

The other, less famous, (Australian) Stephen King 


Jenny is a lonely university lecturer who's consciousness has traveled back in time to her younger body to try to save the future of the world. A young microbiologist is going to release a genetically modified wheat that will mutate and ultimately destroy all plant life, leaving nothing but barren windswept dust bowls. In the past, Jenny finds a love that has been missing from her life; the kind that comes just once in a lifetime. But Jenny can only stay in that time period for thirty-three days. Meanwhile, in the future, fearful Jenny will fail, plans are made to send another back in time--an assassin. How can she choose between saving the man she loves or saving the future?

Facebook is @stephenbkingauthor
Twitter is @StephenBKing1

Buy link for TTD:

Wednesday, July 11, 2018

Welcome, Mary Morgan!

Legends of the Fenian Warriors, Book 2
by Mary Morgan

Monday, July 9, 2018


We’re spending the next couple of weeks with my parents as we get our floors redone. The dog is confused—she’s used to staying there when we go away, so every time I come back from an errand I get the “You again?” look. It’s like having the teens home.

In preparation for the work, we had to clean out most of the house so the furniture could be more easily moved. We also cleaned out the garage because, hey, it looked like a war zone and I made it into our “fun couple’s project” while the teens are away.

So my dining room is stored in my bedroom, my family room is stored in my daughter’s room (shhh, don’t tell her!) and my living room is stored in my basement. There are various items stored in the office as well. And now that the floor guys moved the furniture, there are random furniture items stored in the newly cleaned garage. Lucky for us we emptied it out. 

I spent a good deal of time making fun of all the things that my husband wanted to save, which probably was not great thinking on my part:

1)  He did the majority of the lifting, I really just pointed, which means he would have been justified to just stop at any time (but he didn’t);
2)  I screamed at the bugs;
3)  The last time I cleaned out the garage, I used a leaf blower to clean out the dirt—there is still dust over everything;
4)  And even I am sentimental about some things we kept, like a wheelbarrow.

But he was an excellent sport, knowing I needed the physical activity to keep my mind off things, and got rid of way more than he probably wanted. Some day, those things will probably come in handy, saving me a trip to the store to re-buy it. So, sorry honey! 

The bonus, which gave me great pleasure, was leaving our “junk” for others. In fact, a landscaper stopped by and was thrilled with all of the yard equipment we were getting rid of simply because we don’t use it anymore. 

And somewhere, someone is enjoying a pogo stick!