Wednesday, July 31, 2013

Face to Face with My Villain, A Guest Post by Dora Machado

Today is the final guest post by Dora Machado! I hope you have all enjoyed it as much as I have, and I hope you support her as much as I do!

This is going to be fun -- she's interviewing a fictional character!

-Stephanie Osborn


            Hi, my name is Dora Machado and I'm doing something a little bit unusual but very fun today. I'm interviewing one of the characters of my new fantasy novel, The Curse Giver.  


            But first, let me tell you a little about the story. The Curse Giver is about Lusielle, an innocent healer who is betrayed and condemned to die for a crime she didn't commit. She's on the pyre and about to die, when Bren, the embittered Lord of Laonia, rescues her. He's not her savior. On the contrary, he is doomed by a mysterious curse and Lusielle's murder is his only salvation. Stalked by intrigue and confounded by forbidden passion, predator and prey must band together to defeat not only the vile curse obliterating their lives, but also the curse giver who has already conjured their ends.           

            For my interview today I've invited the villain of the story, the curse giver herself, to answer my questions. Please forgive me if I seem a little on edge. The curse giver is very devious and mysterious and I'm not necessarily comfortable having her around. So don't expect any kindnesses from her and beware: You don't want to attract the curse giver's attention.

Let's begin:


DM: Welcome curse giver. Perhaps we can start with the basics. What should I call you?


CG: Curse giver is fine.


DM: Don't you have a name?


CG: Why would you want to know my name?


DM: Well, for easy reference, I suppose.


CG: Have you been cursed lately?


DM: Me? No. Don't look at me like that. Why do you ask?


CG: People who want to know my name usually have an agenda.


DM: What do you mean?


CG: Do you think I'm a fool? There are people who say that one way of defusing a curse is to learn the name of the curse giver.


DM: Is that true?


CG: Like I would tell you.


DM: Well, if it isn't true, then you shouldn't have any trouble telling us your name, should you?


CG: You think you know everything, don't you? Well, you don't. My given name is Jalenia.


DM: Jalenia, how old are you and where do you live?


CG: I'm ageless, but you know that. As to my lair, I'm not sharing any of that with you. Suffice to say that I travel the land of the Thousand Gods, east and west of the great river Nerpes.


DM: Okay, well, do you want to tell us a little about your occupation?


CG: I make my living casting curses in the human realm. That's all you need to know.


DM: Curse giver—I mean, Jalenia—I'm curious. Why did you agree to do this interview?


CG: As you know, I don't do interviews often. More like never. But I was curious about you. After all, you wrote me. You must have some redeeming qualities. Also, I'm looking for work. Who knows? Maybe you or one of your readers needs my services?


DM: Let's not cast any curses today. Remember? You promised.


CG: I'm just saying, if somebody needs a casting . . . .


DM: How about we talk about the book? Do you feel like I did a fair job portraying your character?


CG: Me? Fairly portrayed? I don't think so. Creatures like me are never fairly portrayed. We are secretive, devious and mysterious by nature. We don't like the spotlight. We believe in wickedness over goodness. We enjoy doing evil. We have to cast curses to exist, and yet people fear us because we do our job so well. Face it, villains never get fair press.


DM: So you felt like I was unfair in the way I portrayed you?


CG: I fault you for leaving a couple of situations up to the reader's interpretation, but overall, I think you did okay. I mean, I like being evil, and you got that part down. Oh, yes, you wrote me devious and powerful, just the way I am. You didn't make excuses for me. You didn't make me good, friendly or caring. So what if the readers loathe me?


DM: In the story, why did you curse the Lord of Laonia with such a virulent curse?


CG: Wouldn't you like to know? I'll tell you this: The Lord of Laonia's father did me wrong. He deserved to be cursed. He and his entire line deserved to suffer, all the way to the last of his sons, Bren, whose tragic story you tell in The Curse Giver. He was a fighter, that one. He wasn't willing to lay down his sword and wait for my curse to kill him like other reasonable men might have done. His sense of duty was as impressive as his endurance.


DM: It almost sounds like you admire the Lord of Laonia.


CG: Admire him? I don't know about that. I really enjoyed stringing him along. He waged a good fight. You must understand. I relish what I do and I enjoy a worthy opponent every so often. Heroes like Bren are hard to come by in my business. Fear usually neutralizes the cursed. Not Bren. He refused to be neutralized. He made it interesting for me.


DM: Did you ever feel any compassion for him?


CG: Compassion? That's a joke, right? I don't feel compassion and I relish suffering. Death is nourishment, craft is breath, work is life, grief is gold. You wrote those words into my dialogue. You ought to know better.


DM: Did you have any positive emotions towards the Lord of Laonia? Did you at any time regret his suffering?


CG: I treasured the man's hatred for me. Loathing, hatred and revulsion are thrilling, satisfying emotions worth living with and for. I cherished the Lord of Laonia as my enemy because he refused to forget and forgive. He knew that I was dangerous and would always remain so. He was a creature after my own heart and I will forever relish the scent of his scarred soul.


DM: Did you at least feel bad for all the suffering you caused Lusielle?


CG: The remedy mixer had it coming. She thought maybe she was going to be able to defeat me with her potions, to heal the curse from the very man that was trying to kill her in order to save his people from destruction. Little did Lusielle know about how foul and terrible her death would be at the hands of the man she tried to heal. Little did she know about the terrible secret that the Lord of Laonia kept from her until the very end.


DM: What are your virtues?


CG: Virtues? I want nothing to do with virtues. I've got none.


DM: Okay, let me rephrase the question. What are your strengths?


CG: I'm powerful, more powerful than any other curse giver that has ever existed. I've got potent blood lines, excellent training, and I've lived a long time, which means I have the skills and expertise to cast a virulent curse. I can command the elements, travel swiftly through astonishing means, and kill the strongest man with but a twist of my wrist. I'm persistent, oh yes, tenacious like the Goddess herself. And I'm a planner. My curses are impregnable, carefully crafted to address contingencies, anticipate disruptions, and ensure my victims' demise. Finally, I'm merciless, selfish and wicked beyond redemption. These are the traits that make me the most powerful curse giver in the realms.


DM: What are your weaknesses?


CG: I don't have weaknesses. I'm the perfect curse giver. Shudder when you hear my name.


DM: Did you fall in love in the book?


CG: Love? Yuck. There's enough of that from Bren and Lusielle in the story. Those two fought off the forbidden attraction growing between them almost as hard as they fought their enemies and me. I never understood. What did Lusielle see in the bitter, wretched lord fated to die by my hand? Why would she want to heal the very man who was destined to kill her? I mean, what kind of madness fuels that type of compassion? I never did figure all of that out.


DM: So I guess you don't believe in love?


CG: If you ask me, love is a pretty disgusting ailment. It makes the heart weak and the mind feeble. Lust, on the other hand, is a bit more interesting, something that perhaps I might consider to ease my boredom from time to time.


DM: Are you interested in anyone in particular?


CG: Interested? No. There's this creature that I had to work closely with there at the end the story, a traveler of the dark realms like myself, a soul chaser who claims the souls of the cursed when I'm done with them. To satisfy a fit of lust, he wouldn't be bad. But love? Please.


DM: Was there a point in the book when you were afraid that your curse was going to be defeated?


CG: Afraid? Me? Ha. I'll admit that Lusielle gave me a few surprises along the way. She ended up being stronger, more skilled and resilient than I had anticipated. Perhaps I should have taken care of her early on. Lusielle's wits turned out to be more impressive than most.


Until he found Lusielle, the Lord of Laonia was all brawn, wrath and desperation, easy to tease, mock and mislead. But together, they tried to defeat my curse. Fools. She gave him hope. Hope is another disgusting emotion, a dangerous delusion. Have I told you how much I relish tearing people's hopes to shreds? It's extraordinarily fun. You ought to try it sometime.


DM: Um, no thanks. I think I'll pass. Moving on. Spoilers aside, did you like the way the story ended?


CG: Some might think the ending curious, but I think that it reflected the true measure of my power and strength. Doomed and damned are the souls of the cursed. Useless are their struggles. I'm the curse giver and you, you will always be my prey.


DM: Do you have any words of wisdom for me, if I decided to write another book with you in it?


CG: Embrace the wickedness within and you will find me; relish it and you will understand me.


DM: Thank you for this interview, curse giver Jalenia.  Will we ever see you again?


CG: Perhaps if The Soul Chaser has a story to tell, you will include me in it, for cursed souls rarely live for long and the soul chaser must come.


Dora Machado is the award-winning author of the epic fantasy Stonewiser series and her newest novel, The Curse Giver, available from Twilight Times Books, July 2013. She grew up in the Dominican Republic, where she developed a fascination for writing and a taste for Merengue. After a lifetime of straddling such compelling but different worlds, fantasy is a natural fit to her stories. She lives in Florida with her husband and three very opinionated cats. To learn more about Dora Machado and her novels, visit her website at or contact her at For a free excerpt of The Curse Giver, visit

Subscribe to her blog at, sign up for her at newsletter at,
Facebook and Twitter.


That's it for July 2013! What's coming up for August??? C'mon back and find out!

-Stephanie Osborn

Wednesday, July 24, 2013

Fantasy's "Real" Heroines, Guest Blog by Dora Machado

Dora's new book, The Curse Giver, is out this month, so I'm featuring some guest posts by her in Comet Tales!

-Stephanie Osborn


Have you ever wondered what makes fantasy heroines real?

            I do. All the time. Perhaps it's because I write fantasy. But I also read a lot of fantasy and I really appreciate a heroine who is powerful not because she's magical but rather because she's real.

            Lusielle, the heroine in my latest novel, The Curse Giver  (Twilight Times Books, July 2013), turned out to be a remarkably "real" fantasy heroine. In hindsight, I really liked her and I wanted to learn more from the very character I created. I wondered what made her so compelling.

            But first, let me tell you a little bit about Lusielle. In the novel, she's a powerful healer, on the run, accused of a crime she didn't commit. She's about to be burned for her crimes when the Lord of Laonia saves her from the pyre. He's not her savior. On the contrary, he's deadly to her. A mysterious curse giver has cast a virulent curse that can't be defused or defeated. The curse requires the Lord of Laonia to murder Lusielle in order to save his people from destruction. So this is how the story begins, with Lusielle wondering if she should help the bitter lord pledged to kill her and the Lord of Laonia set to kill the only woman who can heal more than his body—his soul.

            One of the reasons Lusielle comes across so real in the story is that her passion for her occupation is very tangible. Practicing her craft lends her authority and, perhaps more importantly, many opportunities to grow and learn throughout the story. She takes her trade very seriously and so did I. All of the healing practices and ingredients that Lusielle uses in The Curse Giver are based on authentic medieval practices. Most of her potions' components come from historical sources. I think that the concrete elements of her practice make her more real to the reader, more credible and therefore more compelling.

            Another important aspect to Lusielle's realism is that she's not perfect and she knows it. She works hard but things don't always go her way. She's made mistakes—a marriage without love that led to years of abuse and slavery, years that, by her own admission, she won't get back. And yet she's also resilient, capable of looking forward, able to dream a different life and willing to pursue it even when it entails breaking the rules and loving someone who is ultimately pledged to kill her.

            Along those lines, relationships bring a solid sense of reality to Lusielle's story. Friendship is very important to her, and her often confusing feelings for the Lord of Laonia reflect the full gamut of the human emotions that are so familiar to all of us.

            But I think that the elements that make Lusielle most real are her willingness to challenge her fears, her ability to learn from her experiences, and the confidence that she develops as she learns. Courage and learning go hand in hand. Sure, there's some powerful magic in the story, but ultimately it's Lusielle's knowledge, reason and awareness that make all the difference. See, I think heroines who learn, change and adapt throughout a story are not just cool, they're also real, because change is required of all of us in order to better our lives and we thrive only when we learn from our mistakes.

Dora Machado is the award-winning author of the epic fantasy Stonewiser series and her newest novel, The Curse Giver, available from Twilight Times Books, July 2013. She grew up in the Dominican Republic, where she developed a fascination for writing and a taste for Merengue. After a lifetime of straddling such compelling but different worlds, fantasy is a natural fit to her stories. She lives in Florida with her husband and three very opinionated cats. To learn more about Dora Machado and her novels, visit her website at or contact her at For a free excerpt of The Curse Giver, visit

Subscribe to her blog at, sign up for her at newsletter at,
Facebook and Twitter.


Next week, Dora will be talking about her villain! Come back and let's support this great author!

-Stephanie Osborn

Wednesday, July 17, 2013

How Fantasy Meets Reality and Reality Enhances Fantasy, guest post by Dora Machado

Dora Machado is one of my fellow authors at Twilight Times Books, and is a very gifted one. Her new novel, The Curse Giver, is being released this week and I wanted to give her a chance to tell my readers about it.


-Stephanie Osborn


Fantasy is a subversive genre, requiring the mind to bend and the imagination to flex. I love the genre's creative freedom, the opportunity to rethink, redesign and reinterpret the human experience in fresh and diverse settings, and the mysteries that magic brings to the human equation. But above all, I love realism in fantasy—the idea that even the most powerful magic is grounded to our sense of self, fueled by the choices we make, and rooted in the people we are. To me, a dose of gritty realism authenticates a story, validates my characters, and makes my worlds "real."

            This is exactly what I've tried to do in my books, and my latest novel, The Curse Giver from Twilight Times Books, is no exception. The Curse Giver is about an innocent healer named Lusielle, who is betrayed and condemned to die for a crime she didn't commit. When she's about to be executed, Lusielle is rescued from the pyre by an embittered lord, doomed by a mysterious curse. You might think that Bren, Lord of Laonia, is Lusielle's savior, but he isn't. On the contrary, Bren is pledged to kill Lusielle himself, because her murder is his people's only chance at salvation. Stalked by intrigue and confounded by forbidden passion, predator and prey must band together to defeat not only the vile curse obliterating their lives, but also the curse giver who has already conjured their ends.

            I know what you're thinking: How can a classic fantasy like The Curse Giver bring a sense of realism to the reader?

            I can think of many ways, but I'll limit my discussion here to three very specific ways in which reality enhances a fantasy story.

            First, the quickest and most effective way of establishing a link between fantasy and reality is by connecting the story's main themes to humanity's enduring themes. The Curse Giver, for example, is inspired by our ancient, deeply rooted belief in the power of curses. You can find curses in every culture on earth. It's one of those concepts that transcends background and ethnicity and binds us to our common original ancestors. It's primordial to the human experience.

            The curse that inspired me to write The Curse Giver was a tangible object, ancient words inscribed on clay tablets dating back to 600 BC, a desperate attempt at protection, a warning and a promise of punishment. Curses are familiar to all of us and whether we believe in them or not, they are an intriguing part of our history, an irresistible taunt, a "real" mystery that none of us can resist. I think that realism filters up through the story from the inspiration source. We can anchor our fantasy worlds to reality by connecting them to our history and beliefs.

            In more concrete ways, reality betters fantasy when it comes through pure and simple in the details. Settings provide great opportunities for realism. For example, The Curse Giver's river-centered world is inspired by the great American waterways: the Colorado River, which I have rafted often; the Mississippi River, which I've had the opportunity to explore; and the Amazon River, which has always intrigued me. Setting and landscapes offer some great opportunities for realism in fantasy and so does geography, especially when the details are vivid, concrete and deeply woven into the heart of the story.

            But ultimately, real characters make real worlds. Realism achieves its maximum expression through the human experience as characters tackle the story. For example, in The Curse Giver, Bren, the Lord of Laonia, is a warrior. To be real, the concrete details associated with his trade have to be right. Research is fundamental. I relied on medieval primary sources to make Bren real. From his weapons to his fighting moves, to how he thinks to how he acts—
everything about him has to be consistent and make sense, even if he exists in a fantasy world.

            The same is true about my heroine, Lusielle. By trade, she is a remedy mixer, an ancient occupation to the human experience. I spent a lot of time researching medieval medicine, herbalism and the use of ingredients for healing in human history. Lusielle's potions and ingredients—the concrete elements of her practice—make her more real to the reader, more credible and therefore more compelling as a character.

            Realism is important even when tackling the villainous and the mysterious. The curse giver stalking Bren and Lusielle wields some potent magic. But is magic really the defining element that makes the curse giver powerful? Evil as the curse giver is, as the story develops, the reader has to ask the hard questions: What's this creature's real nature? What is her motivation? What is the "real" source of her power?

            I won't spoil the story's twists just to make a point, but trust me: Fantasy explores some very "real" themes, such as the tenuous boundaries between love and hate, virtue and vice, magic and belief, justice and revenge. These questions, which are at the heart of any good and complex plot, also contribute to realism in fantasy.

            But beyond the details, what makes these characters real is their willingness to make choices, fail, cope, learn, adapt and change; to establish emotional connections and engage in each other's quests; to suffer loss, grief and love, just like we do in the real world.  Magic is a powerful element in fantasy. No doubt about it. And yet ultimately, what matters most is the strength within. Because in the end, realism in fantasy is all about connecting with the powerful reality of our own humanity.


Dora Machado is the award-winning author of the epic fantasy Stonewiser series and her newest novel, The Curse Giver, available from Twilight Times Books, July 2013. She grew up in the Dominican Republic, where she developed a fascination for writing and a taste for Merengue. After a lifetime of straddling such compelling but different worlds, fantasy is a natural fit to her stories. She lives in Florida with her husband and three very opinionated cats. To learn more about Dora Machado and her novels, visit her website at or contact her at For a free excerpt of The Curse Giver, visit

Subscribe to her blog at, sign up for her at newsletter at and Twitter.


I'm going to let her talk about her new book the rest of the month of July, so please go have a look and support my fellow author!

-Stephanie Osborn

Wednesday, July 10, 2013

Guest Post For Writers: The Ultimate Reward

Since he has a book release coming up, I wanted to feature fellow Twilight Times author Aaron Paul Lazar in another guest post. (You can find his blog in a link on the side of this page.) This one is about and for writers. Enjoy!

-Stephanie Osborn


For Writers: The Ultimate Reward
by Aaron Paul Lazar

What do you picture when you dream about your book’s success? Do you envision readers stopping you in the grocery store with stars in their eyes? Getting on Oprah? Seeing your book in the front window of your local book store?

Or maybe you dream of your book riding at the top of the NY Times bestseller’s list for months at a time? How about dining in New York City with Mr. Warren Adler, of War of the Roses fame? Talk about a
dream made in Heaven, this writer is one of the century’s best. Of course, this repast would be followed by a glowing, personal endorsement of your works by the master. 

Am I close? 

Are you being honest?

Over the years I’ve pictured several of these dazzling dreams happening to me. Including a multi-million dollar movie deal in which Yannick Bisson (Of Murdoch Mysteries fame) plays Gus LeGarde. And of course, the world would fall in love with the LeGarde family and beg for more each year.
I imagined quitting my engineering job, staying home to write, making enough money to pay down the debt and take care of long needed repairs, like the twenty-six windows that shake and rattle every time the wind blows.

I envisioned copies of my books in everyone’s home library. Worldwide, mind you. Not just in the States. 

Lots of dreams. Big dreams. And all revolved around the traditional definition of success.

Recognition. Adulation. Confirmation that my work is valued. And enough money to take care of a small country.

A few weeks ago something happened that changed all that.

Judy, one of my lunchtime walking partners, had been canceling walks and working through lunch to make extra time to care for her elderly mother. We all admired her, watching as she shopped for her mom, took her to numerous doctors’ appointments, and tended to her increasing needs with fortitude and devotion. She was one of five siblings, but took the bulk of the responsibility on her shoulders. 

The cancellations increased in frequency, and it seemed we’d never see our friend on the walking trails again. We worried when her mother was admitted to the hospital. Up and down, her progress seemed to change like the December wind that skittered across the parking lots at work.

Judy was absent a few days, then a few more. Something felt wrong. 

Then came the dreaded email. The subject line always seems to say the same thing. “Sad News.”

Judy’s mom had passed away, released from her earthly bonds and finally free to float among the angels. 

When Judy returned to work a week later, she shared stories about her mother’s final days. One of them surprised me greatly, and fundamentally changed my definition of success.

Judy read to her mother during her final stay in the hospital. For hours on end. She happened to have my second book, Upstaged, handy and began to read to her during her responsive times. Sometimes her mother would just lie there with her eyes closed, and Judy didn’t know if she was listening. Frequently, she’d ask, “Do you want me to continue reading, Mom?” Her mother would respond. A nod or a short word. 


A nurse perched behind Judy and became involved in the story, too. So Judy would continue reading aloud, giving comfort to her mother and providing a little armchair escapism to her nurse. Solace came from the tentative loving voice of her daughter, close and warm. And she was reading my words. 

It floored me.

In a flash, I realized if one woman could be comforted on her deathbed by my books – I’d already reached the definitive pinnacle of success. 

You’ll never know how your stories will affect the world. Not until it happens. So keep writing and imagine the best. Not the money, not the fame, not the ability to quit that day job. Imagine affecting one solitary soul in their final moments on this earth, and you’ll have pictured… the ultimate reward.

 I have a little idea of what Aaron is talking about here. When stories like this start drifting back to you, you know that you've made it as a writer, even if you're not on the New York Times best-seller lists, even if you never get rich.

And there's nothing quite like it.

-Stephanie Osborn

Wednesday, July 3, 2013

Guest Post: Bringing Back the Dead

And the last guest post for June by Aaron Paul Lazar rather follows on from last week's. I think it's kind of fun to look at these things, at how writers manipulate this whole other universe...and sometimes I wonder if, as in my Displaced Detective series, that universe really exists someplace...and what the effects of our manipulations might really be...

-Stephanie Osborn

Bringing Back the Dead
by Aaron Paul Lazar

We writers don't often get to resurrect our dead.  

For years I’ve regretted murdering one particularly sweet character early in my LeGarde Mystery series, specifically in the second book, Upstaged, where a psychopath lurks backstage in the high school musical. The victim: Ethel Fox, who loves dogs, is a high school janitor, and volunteers to help with the drama club’s productions. Ethel also happens to have Down Syndrome. Looking back now, I realize I probably cast her as a victim to rile up my readers with righteous anger, and to make the villain scream “evil”. 

Now, five years later, I want a do-over. 

My cardinal rules include no killing of main characters—after all, these folks carry the series through its ten books. I’ll never kill Gus or Camille, or Siegfried, even if you might worry that they’re dead in some books[1] (wink). But the featured characters, who change from book to book, are always fair game. 

When my publisher, Lida Quillen at Twilight Times Books, expressed interest in re-releasing my first two books[2] along with the rest of the series as the “author’s preferred editions,” I was overjoyed. Now I could repair some of those newbie-writer awkward phrases, get rid of the excess adverbs and adjectives, and tidy up the prose. Besides, after writing fifteen books (I have three mystery series now), my skills have improved. It’s only natural to look back at one’s first books and grimace. So, after securing rights from the first publisher, I signed the new contracts and started the rewrites.

I didn’t change much in Double Forté, except to tidy up the prose, add a bit more spice to a few scenes, and delete a bunch of excess words. 

But when I started to polish Upstaged, I remembered an embarrassing and awkward experience I had last year, and was consumed with the idea of tweaking the plot. 

While working at a facility for physically and intellectually challenged adults who love music, art, writing, and theater, my daughter Melanie invited me in to help during their summer festival. I arrived feeling quite virtuous, since I took a vacation day to volunteer, but instead of “helping” the folks there, I spent the day being humbled, time after time. The individuals radiated joy, and were delirious with excitement because they were about to put on a musical show for their visitors. Family and friends crowded the facility, and although I saw evidence of serious physical and intellectual “disabilities,” I was convinced these lovely people did not in any sense of the word feel disabled on that day. 

They danced and sang in the hallways, held hands and giggled, painted gorgeous pictures from wheelchairs (some were displayed in local art shows), and delighted in the costumes in which they’d been dressed for the celebration. 

While I snapped pictures for their scrapbooks, I fell in love with the people and teachers, was suitably humbled, and realized that after eight hours of fun, I had received much more than I’d given. A few days later, I donated Upstaged to one of the higher functioning members of the writing class, knowing that she loved musicals.

So, a year passed, and the writing teacher asked me if I’d come in and give a talk to her students who loved books and writing. Thrilled, I arranged the date. We had a blast, and talked for almost two hours. They asked great questions, and I delighted in their company. It was after the class while I was donating more books that I suddenly remembered I’d killed off a character with Down Syndrome in Upstaged

What had I been thinking? Why did I donate the very book where I let the villain kill a character who represents so many people at this arts center? Was I insane? To be honest, it had been so long since I’d written the book, I really hadn’t remembered about Ethel, but when I did, I kicked myself. Repeatedly.

It was this experience that made me bring Ethel back to life. Not only did I prevent her murder in a way that didn’t goof up the original plot, but I gave her a cuter name. What kind of a name is Ethel for a sweet, helpful, loving lady? Her new name is Cindi. I think it fits her. Don’t you?

The Lord keeps me humble. It’s a good thing. There’s nothing worse than a big-headed fool. But frankly, he doesn’t have to work very hard at it. I give him lots of help.

The newest book in the LeGarde Mystery series, Don’t Let the Wind Catch You, #6, has just been released. It’s stands alone like all of the other books in the series and can be read in any order. I try to write all my series like this so folks can pick up any book at any time and enjoy it. Don’t Let the Wind Catch You is a sequel to the prequel of Double Forté (Tremolo: cry of the loon was the prequel.) 

I seriously hope there are no urges ten years from now to get another “do-over” with this book, because that cycle of self-doubt and the obsessive need to perfect can be exhausting. I hereby declare that I am happy with this story and will not come back in years to come to nitpick it to death. There. I said it. Now I just have to stick to my promise (grin).

[1] Mazurka, (2009 Twilight Times Books)
[2] Double Forté (2005), Upstaged (2006)

I think that all writers, at some point, experience a desire for a "do-over." Sometimes we get it, and sometimes we don't. And sometimes, I think, it's better that the book is taken out of our hands at a certain point! I know that I have an unquenchable tendency to "tweak" repeatedly, and will continue to do so no matter how good the book may already be. These tweaks, if not reined in, can actually spoil a perfectly good book.
So I am, so far, thankful that I have NOT had an opportunity for a "do-over"!

-Stephanie Osborn