IWSG Favorite Aspect of Being a Writer (Nov. 2, 2016)

It’s the first Wednesday of the month and that means Insecure Writer’s Support Group (IWSG). The once IWSG Badge-smper month blog fest invented by Alex J. Cavanaugh. It’s a safe haven for insecure writers of all kinds!

The awesome co-hosts for the September 7 posting of the IWSG will be  Joylene Nowell Butler, Jen Chandler, Mary Aalgaar, Lisa Buie Collard, Tamara Narayan, Tyrean Martinson, Christine Rains!

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OCTOBER’S QUESTION: What is your favorite aspect of being a writer?

ANSWER: My favorite aspect of being a writer is telling stories about Rick and me.

The story below is a recent event that happened to us. When this draft is properly edited, I hope the words leap off the page and grab the readers by the throat.

Friday, Rick was in the middle of a two-part spinal fusion operation. The doctor gets sick and leaves the operating theater. No body can tell us what happened or when the last part of the surgery will be scheduled.

We live in Mexico and traveled to San Diego for the surgery. We rented a hotel room at the Navy Lodge. The unexpected surgery twist resulted in an extended hospital stay. The hospital upgraded Rick’s room. It has a couch. Now I can stay with Rick and have a place to sleep. I checked out of our $80 p/day room at the Lodge.

At the moment I’m an upper-class homeless person. I have no place to call home.  Everything we brought from San Diego is in our rental car trunk. Except for the two stuffed backpacks I hauled to our hospital room.

Who will complete the surgery and when? Will insurance pay for Rick’s room while we wait? If not, where will we go?

Writing allows me to express my inner feelings and it’s a joy to stimulate my readers imagination, make them cry, and laugh.

“Mâtowak Woman Who Cries” Virtual Book Tour

It is my pleasure to shine a light on Joylene Nowell Butler’s latest release, Mâtowak Woman Who Cries.

Let’s begin with the cover reveal of Mâtowak Woman Who Cries by Joylene Nowell Butler! Be sure to check out the synopsis, read a sneak preview, and meet the author.

You’ll even be given a chance to enter the giveaway and grab your copy November 1st!

Matowak Woman Who Cries by Joylene Nowell Butler

Author Joylene Nowell Butler is on tour this month with her new novel, Mâtowak Woman Who Cries, being released Nov. 1 by Dancing Lemur Press L.L.C.

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As part of the tour, Joylene is sharing excerpts from her new murder mystery and answering some questions.

First A Brief Synopsis…

A murder enveloped in pain and mystery…

When Canada’s retired Minister of National Defense, Leland Warner, is murdered in his home, the case is handed to Corporal Danny Killian, an aboriginal man tortured by his wife’s unsolved murder.

The suspect, 60-year-old Sally Warner, still grieves for the loss of her two sons, dead in a suicide/murder eighteen months earlier. Confused and damaged, she sees in Corporal Killian a friend sympathetic to her grief and suffering and wants more than anything to trust him.

Danny finds himself with a difficult choice—indict his prime suspect, the dead minister’s horribly abused wife or find a way to protect her and risk demotion. Or worse, transfer away from the scene of his wife’s murder and the guilt that haunts him…

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eBook, Print, and Merchandise Locations

eBook Locations

Mâtowak Woman Who Cries is available in eBook at the following sites:

Dancing Lemur Press, L.L.C

Print Copies

The print copy is available at:



Buy coffee mug, tee-shirt, or playing cards available at:

Dancing Lemur Press, L.L.C.

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Sneak Preview

Here’s an excerpt from Mâtowak Woman Who Cries for your reading pleasure.

Chapter 1

Blood. So much blood. Pooling on the slate tiles around his head.


I always assumed he’d outlive me. Mean people are lucky that way. But maybe that is what’s wrong. He used to be mean. After our sons died, he changed.

With my palm firmly pressed to my chest, I still these erratic thoughts. Giddiness overwhelms me. I drop my purse and grip the edge of the countertop. Tears blur my vision. An uncomfortable heat descends upon me; similar to those hot flashes I suffered for ten years. Ohmigosh, now I’m blubbering like a fool.

Leland gone? I don’t believe it.

I slip off my ankle boots. Bare feet on cold tiles ground me. The kitchen phone is on the wall next to the breakfast table clear across the room. I can’t make it that far. My fingers grope across the marble counter and connect with Leland’s cell phone. I detach it from the charger and gawk at its keypad.

A second passes before I’m sure I hear Leland say: 911. Dial 911, you stupid woman.

Morning light, struggles to force its way through a ceiling of black clouds, makes the space around me grainy like salted air. I suck back sobs and, despite the rancid taste of death, take two deep breaths.

“911 Emergency Services. Fire, police or ambulance?” a male voice asks.

I stare at Leland’s body. “Ambulance…and police.”

My call is redirected. Suddenly, a woman speaks to me; the ringing in my ears prevents me from hearing what she says. “Pardon?”

“What is the nature of your emergency?”

“My husband is dead. There is a hole—”

“Your name, ma’am?”

“Sally Warner.”

“Are you in your residence, Sally? Your ID is blocked. What’s your address?”

My address? I think for a moment and then tell her. The smell of blood burns my nose and throat. My stomach contents rise. I can’t take my eyes off his blood pooling on the floor.

“The police and ambulance are on their way, Sally. Are you okay? Do you know what happened?”

“Happened? No. I was upstairs. I heard nothing. I was getting ready for an appointment downtown. Leland was fine. He was sitting at the breakfast table reading the newspaper. I went up to shower thirty minutes ago—not that I spent the entire thirty minutes in the shower. I had to find the right suit to wear because I’ve lost a great deal of weight, and well, all my clothes feel so weird because they’re stiff and new and—ohmigosh.” I take a deep breath, ashamed of my babblings. A gust of cold wind sweeps over me. “The door’s open. Where’s Digger?” Leland’s dead on our kitchen floor and I’m thinking about my dog?

Mâtowak Woman Who Cries Tour Banner

My Review

I finished Mâtowak Woman Who Cries several days ago and I’m still haunted by Mrs. Warner.

Joylene Nowell Butler is a master at getting inside the mind of her characters. The unexpected twists held my attention from beginning to end.

It was good to meet the Meshango character again and learn how she was dealing with life after the horror she experienced in Broken But Not Dead.

If you enjoy psychological thrillers, add Mâtowak Woman Who Cries to your reading list.

Meet the Author

Joylene joins us to answer some of my burning questions. Welcome, Joylene!

What inspires you to write psychological thrillers?

I’ve always been interested in human nature. Why people do what they do. What drives them to think the way they think. Thrillers push my banging heart to the limit. I love it when ordinary people are forced to make radical decisions. They have to fight to keep their way of life, to get back their security, to save a loved one, to stop someone from destroying everything that’s important to them. I love those situations where someone is pushed (reluctantly) into becoming a hero. I always wonder if I’d measure up in those situations.

Will you continue the Meshango series?

Good question. As of late, none of the characters are bugging me. While I was finishing up the prequel to Mâtowak, Sally Warner appeared and wouldn’t go away. That’s not happening this time. But who knows…

Where are you most inspired to write? Your home in Cluculz Lake BC, Canada or Bucerias, Nayarit, Mexico? Why?

Generally, when I write everything around me disappears. But since I no longer experience winters, it is really difficult to focus when summer calls through open windows. I’m probably more inspired to write when there’s 8 feet of snow on the ground. Which means I need to discipline myself and write early in the mornings whether I’m in Canada or Mexico. Because both are heavenly.

What is your ideal writing environment?

At my age it’s all about comfortable. The ideal environment consists of a good clear monitor that doesn’t bother my eyes and a comfy chair that caresses my back. And a cook who will yell at me to come and eat.

How do you stay motivated to write and edit?

I try to be kind to myself. If I’m not inspired to write, I don’t get in a huff. I just do something else. If I have a deadline, I’m generally early so there’s no sense of panic. I love editing. I love improving on what I’ve already written. Editing has always been more interesting and more fun than coming up with that first rough draft.

What software do you use to write and edit your manuscripts?

Good question. I use Word for Mac. I have for 8 years. Before that I used Word for PC. I’ve been doing this for such a long time that it’s difficult for me to try any of the new apps. I’m sure they’re marvellous, but if it ain’t broken…

Thanks, Joylene. It’s an honor to have you visit my blog and a pleasure to know you as a friend and writing coach. Thank you for visiting.

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About Joylene Nowell Butler

When Joylene’s father died in 1983, she wrote her first full–length manuscript to channel her grief. The seven-year process left her hooked Author Joylene Nowell Butler and she began Dead Witness within a few weeks of finishing Always Father’s Child.

Today Joylene is the author of three suspense novels: Dead Witness, Broken But Not Dead, and the steam-punk collaboration Break Time.

While she’ll admit being published didn’t fix all the wrongs in her life, she wishes her parents had lived to see her success. Dead Witness was a finalist in the 2012 Global eBook Awards. Broken But Not Dead won the 2012 IPPY Silver Medal, and its sequel Mâtowak Woman Who Cries is due for release November 1, 2016.

Joylene lives with her husband and their two cats Marbles and Shasta on beautiful Cluculz Lake in central British Columbia. They spend their winters in Bucerias, Nayarit, Mexico.

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To enter the Giveaway:
1. First, leave a comment at end of this blog post.
2. Click the Giveaway graphic (below).
3. Click Facebook or Email and follow the instructions.
For additional options and instructions, click HERE.

This giveaway is for three (3) print copies that are available to those living in the U.S. only and one (1) eBook copy available international. The giveaway ends Nov. 22nd.

Thanks for stopping by.

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For more on Joylene and her writing, visit her website and blog then connect with her on Twitter, Facebook, Goodreads, and her Amazon Author Page.

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To learn more about MC Virtual Book tours, visit MC Virtual Book tours.

IWSG When Is It Ready? Oct 5, 2016

It’s the first Wednesday of the month and that means Insecure Writer’s Support Group (IWSG). The once IWSG Badge-smper month blog fest invented by Alex J. Cavanaugh. It’s a safe haven for insecure writers of all kinds!

The awesome co-hosts for the September 7 posting of the IWSG will be  Beverly Stowe McClure, Megan Morgan, Viola Fury, Madeline Mora-Summonte, Angela Wooldridge, and Susan Gourley!

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OCTOBER’S QUESTION: When do you know your story is ready?

ANSWER: I put myself through the grinder before my writing is ready. Even when my piece has been reviewed by two editors, I see sentences that could be tighter and phrases sharper. I’m even guilty of tweaking my posts after they are released! (gasp) Eventually, I’m able to reach a place where it feels complete.

I’m looking forward to reading IWSG members’ answers and learning from others.

IWSG: Time to Write? (7 September 2016)

It’s the first Wednesday of the month and that means Insecure Writer’s Support Group (IWSG). The once IWSG Badge-smper month blog fest invented by Alex J. Cavanaugh. It’s a safe haven for insecure writers of all kinds!

The awesome co-hosts for the September 7 posting of the IWSG will be C. Lee McKenzie, Rachel Pattison, Elizabeth Seckman, Stephanie Faris, Lori L MacLaughlin, and Elsie Amata!

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SEPTEMBER’S QUESTION: How do you find the time to write in your busy day?

ANSWER: The short answer is I write in ‘snatches’. For years, my constant companions are 3 x 4 inch spiral notebook & pencil. I load these little diaries with literary gems, memories, and shopping lists.

Recently, my husband and I rented a house in France for two months. We were constantly on the go. Without time to flesh out a story, I’d jot notes while riding the bus or waiting in a train station.

Flipping back through these pages, my eye stopped at a notation about Grisette, the cat we agreed to feed.

Snatch: Before dawn and our first morning in the house. I was trying to remember where they stored French press and coffee. Groping my way to the kitchen, I discovered Grisette‘s first offerings by stepping in the wet slimy guts.


Grisette’s First Corpse: Guts and Head (Click to Enlarge)

Most nights, between midnight and 3am Grisette would MEE-0-OW until Rick woke up and said, “Good kitty.” Once her offering was acknowledge, she’d crunch, crunch, crunch, and swallow the corpse.

Thanks to my snatches-style diary, I can say with complete confidence she presented and ate over 51 dead or almost dead mice. Bon Appétit.

IWSG: First Piece of Writing (August 3, 2016)

It’s the first Wednesday of the month and that means Insecure Writer’s Support Group (IWSG). The once IWSG Badge-smper month blog fest invented by Alex J. Cavanaugh. It’s a safe haven for insecure writers of all kinds!

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QUESTION: What was your very first piece of writing as an aspiring writer?

Where is it now? Collecting dust or has it been published?

ANSWER: My first serious piece of writing was published in 2012, The Heroic Path to Self-Forgiveness: Change Your Story, Change Your Life – by Dr. Marion Moss Hubbard.

My contribution is Chapter 24. Prompted by the IWSG question, I revisited my piece and was once again reminded of the power of forgiveness.


CHAPTER 24. Lynn’s Story: Living In the Present (502 words)

After my son and daughter were on their own, I would lay awake each night going over my failings as a parent. Night after night I recalled events and situations I should have prevented or handled differently. The mental self-flagellation went on and on.

IWSG Best Comment (6 July 2016)

It’s the first Wednesday of the month and that means Insecure Writer’s Support Group (IWSG). The once IWSG Badge-smper month blog fest invented by Alex J. Cavanaugh. It’s a safe haven for insecure writers of all kinds!

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What’s the best thing someone has ever said about your writing?

Before I answer this question, I must give credit to La Cruz Writers’ Group that forced my metamorphosis from analytical technical writer to storyteller. A couple of years later, two members influenced and refined my writing through editing and coaching. They are Marie Beswick-Arthur and Joylene Nowell Butler.

Recently two comments helped quiet my critical voice (temporarily).

“Lynn I want to commend you on your emerging writing style. I think you are beginning to find your voice. As your descriptions become more precise the mental images become more vivid. I remember you saying when you first joined the writers group that you were dependent on photos to tell your story. As I read your tales I am creating photos in my head. Keep stretching! Your style is emerging! Good progress!”–Lee

“You do have an amazing story telling ability, and I think you’ve learned to trust the writer in yourself.”–Marie

My internal critic is quick to say, “You have a lot to learn. You’re too old to become a good writer. You don’t have enough self-discipline to learn to write.”

My internal flame continues to burn and replies, “You have the ability to see stories in everyday life. You can control your time. You are alive, keep writing.”

Thank you Chrys Fey and Insecure Writers Support Group for asking this question.

IWSG Book Review (1 June 2016)

It’s the first Wednesday of the month and that means Insecure Writer’s Support Group (IWSG). The once IWSG Badge-smper month blog fest invented by Alex J. Cavanaugh. It’s a safe haven for insecure writers of all kinds!

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I’ve been asked to review a book. My first review. To the reader books represent an investment in time, energy, and money. The author probably invested buckets the blood, sweat, and tears to get the book written and published.

I often make buy decisions based on reviews. I’m uncertain what to include and want to be fair to both sides.

As an author what would you like addressed in a review? Pacing? Character development? Was the story engaging? or what? Should a negative be included to show a balanced review?

OFF TOPIC: I am seeking minimally invasive low back pain treatment for my husband. He  has been suffering from severe low back pain for three weeks and can barely walk. If you have a suggestion I’d love to hear from you.

Please send email to sv.lavita@gmail dot com. Or leave a comment below. I’m grateful for any recommendations.

I appreciate your time and suggestions. Thank you for stopping by.


If you enjoy reading Fantasy, check out Trouble By Any Other Name (Sequel To: Lady, Thy Name Is Trouble) by Lori L. MacLaughlin.

Title: Trouble By Any Other Name
Sequel To: Lady, Thy Name Is Trouble
Author: Lori L. MacLaughlin
Release Date: May 16, 2016
Genre: Fantasy
Trouble By Any Other Name


Tara Triannon is no stranger to trouble. She’s yet to find an enemy her skill with a sword couldn’t dispatch. But how can she fight one that attacks through her dreams?

IWSG: Seeking Gripping Real Life Posts (May 4, 2016)

It’s the first Wednesday of the month and that means Insecure Writer’s Support Group (IWSG), the once IWSG Badge-smper month blog fest invented by Alex J. Cavanaugh. It’s a safe haven for insecure writers of all kinds!

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I am seeking examples of real life blog posts that filled with the five senses. Suitable length for blog readers with diminished attention span. I’m not interested boring talking-heads travel logs, flat sense-lacking memoirs, or National Geographic quality photo pages.

Here is an excerpt from my latest post Failure to Launch Part 3 of 3:

…Once inside, I looked around, trying to make sense of the strange equipment. What are those weird-looking things attached to dangling hoses? A soft hissing from an unknown location snaked through the room. Overhead, strong white lights washed over me. The faint smell of alcohol and soap teased my nose. Surgical personnel, dressed in white, moved silently. A masked nurse gently turned my hand and swiped my wrist with cold, wet gauze. This time the needle easily found my vein and I slipped into slumberland…

My goal is to write gripping posts about real life events. I’d like to enrich my writing by reading other real life posts (not fiction, please).

Have you discovered a blog site that fits this description? If so, I’d love a link to their Website.

Thank you for stopping by and your support.

IWSG Prison Visit Excerpt (April 6, 2016)

ISWG BadgeIt’s the first Wednesday of the month and that means Insecure Writer’s Support Group (IWSG), the once per month blog fest invented by Alex J. Cavanaugh. It’s a safe haven for insecure writers of all kinds!

Purpose: To share and encourage. Those who have been through the fire can offer assistance and guidance. You can find all the participants at the IWSG site and join yourself if you haven’t already.

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Welcome IWSG visitor.  I write about my experiences on land and sea. My home is LA VITA, a sailboat, moored in Mexico. Below is a brief excerpt from my visit to a local prison.

QUESTION: It’s been suggested, I’m an oral story teller. Any suggestions for digging out the good stuff that seems to remain hidden? How do *you* extract emotions and feeling and get them on the page?

Below is an excerpt from recent visit to a Mexican prison. I don’t come even close to describing my emotions or the situation.

Post Excerpt

Our personal information was entered into the prison database before we could visit. The clerk snapped our ID photos; followed by fingerprinting. No more ink-pads and smudgy fingers, the Mexican criminal justice system was high tech. I placed my tips on an electronic fingerprint recording device.

Something was wrong and the prison staff was not happy.

I asked Vivian, “What’s going on?

The device cannot read your fingerprints,” she said.

Good grief, I’m in a penal institution that lives and breathes on its ability to identify criminals. They rely on fingerprints…and I don’t have any? WTHF is going on? This is a stunning revelation.

After a 20-minute back-room discussion, I was given a special pass and granted permission to proceed.

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