FTW — Last Day of #NaNo Pep Talk #NeverTooLate

WINHello, Last Day!

Did you finish your 50,000 words?

Did you write ANY words?

Did you think really really hard about something you mean to write?

Did you poke an idea around with the sharp stick of consideration?

Did you write a short story or two, or a poem or two, or a letter?

Did you feel a nagging sense of guilt because you didn’t write anything?

Just because the month of November is over doesn’t mean your writing time is over. Let NaNoWriMo be your impetus to write, write more, write on.

I read fast, and I want more good books! More, more, more!

I love people who love words, especially people who love putting words on paper, especially people who want to engage my mind and heart and enchant my imagination.

Hoorah for NaNo, and hoorah for all the days after NaNo!


A WRITING PROMPT FOR YOU: A character is a late bloomer.


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You Will Not Be Left Defenseless #SampleSunday

In this snippet from my newly released story, part of Marion Zimmer Bradley’s Sword and Sorceress 30, the warrior Pimchan plans to leave the town she has been given and return to the wandering warrior’s life. The town objects.

You Will Not Be Left Defenseless

“Temple of Chaos” excerpt
by Marian Allen

30Cover“Will you leave us? Defenseless again?”

She recognized the scornful ha from Nadia, behind her.

Pimchan said, “I’ve been here seven years. You haven’t needed me. It’s time I moved on.”

Unhappy murmurs spread through the blockage – though none from behind – and Pimchan’s peripheral vision filled with townsfolk watching the exchange.

One of the Council elbowed the head-man a bit aside and lifted her chin, glaring up at the Warrior with tear-bright eyes.

“We haven’t needed you because you were here. Before the All-Father sent you to us, we were raided often. Several times a year. We tried to defend ourselves, but the wall didn’t protect our fields. They know you can out-think them and out-fight them. Maybe out-magic them, too. They know you can put heart into us and help us plan and make ready. When you go….”

She had foreseen the possibility of this argument and was prepared.

“I intend to speak to the All-Father for you. He’ll leave one of his camp here until another Warrior can be found for the town. He won’t leave you defenseless, now that he’s put you under his protection. You know you can depend on him.”

“We depend on you.”

“Are you placing me above the All-Father?”

Denials and disavowals came thick and fast, but it was clear that every “no” meant “yes”. The All-Father was great and far away, despite the occasional appearance like today’s feast. Their personal Warrior was theirs – here, now, permanent.

“You will not be left defenseless,” Pimchan said. “You have my word.” A Warrior’s word was an unbreakable pledge, but she gave them the gift of a contract by promising twice more: “You have my word. You have my word.”

With that, they parted to let the Warriors pass, although the looks they cast from under their lowered lids were full of unwilling doubt.


Sword and Sorceress 30 is available in trade paperback, Kindle, and Nook (ePub) formats.

A WRITING PROMPT FOR YOU: A character wants to leave and others want him/her to stay.


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General Sterling Price Guest Cat Interview #Caturday

the queenAmidala speaking.

I’m very excited to be hosting a guest today: General Sterling Price, the cat in S. J. Francis’ new novel, SHATTERED LIES. Alas, he didn’t send a picture of himself, and his author sent what MaMA says is a very odd author photo. I see nothing wrong with it, myself. After all, who cares what people look like?

S. J. Francis is a freelance writer with over three Author Badge (Small)hundred publication credits, a University Lecturer with doctorates in English, Mass Communications, and Law, and most recently, a novelist. Francis writes for many publications, as well as regularly contributing to the local newspaper. Francis’ first novel, Shattered Lies is a women’s fiction/mainstream/family saga novel. In the end, it’s all about family.

So let’s proceed to the real order of business: the cat!


Meow! Hi everyone! My name is General Sterling Price, but everyone calls me Sterling. I was a stray cat until Kate Thayer took me in and I’m ever so grateful to her. Kate is the heroine in a new novel called Shattered Lies. It was released on October 24 from Black Opal Books and I’m ever so proud of her. It’s pretty scary living out in the country on one’s own, especially at night. Ever spend the night all alone outside in the dark? Don’t do it. I may be a cat, but I don’t like it. I hear all kinds of sounds and there are all sorts of other wildlife out there. Not all are very friendly. I once ran into a raccoon and I don’t know who was more scared.

Anyway, back to my owner, my mistress, my mom, Doctor Kate Thayer. She’s a wonderful person. She took me into her heart and home. I’ll never have to go hungry or be afraid again. It’s a wonderful feeling to have a home to call my own. I even have my own bed. Not many stray cats get a happy ending, but I did. The best thing about my mom, Kate, is that, aside from loving and taking care of animals at home, she’s a veterinarian, an animal doctor. She takes care of all animals, not just me. In fact, I forgot to mention that I live on a farm with horses and cows. There are birds that visit the trees and little tiny slithery things called geckos. I once chased a gecko out of sheer hunger and made the mistake of licking it. Yuck! I don’t recommend it. I’m fed so well now that I don’t chase anything anymore. I just watch them. I even had a blue bird once land on my head. I don’t know who was more stunned.

I guess you can tell that I’m living the high life now all thanks to my mom, Kate Thayer, and that’s why I’m here today. Kate’s life is in a new book written by someone called an author named S.J. Francis. I don’t know what an author is, but the book is all about Kate and her search to uncover secrets her grandmother hid from her all her life. I hope you’ll purchase a copy of Shattered Lies and in it, you’ll get to meet me.

My name is Sterling. I have a happy ending, but not all stray animals do. If you’re ever looking for a source of constant love and loyalty, please make adoption your first option. Please don’t ever shop. Please adopt. If you can’t adopt, you can always foster. When you foster an animal, the shelter usually pays for everything. Best part is a pet will never abandon you or laugh at you. I know. I’ll never leave Kate or let her be sad. Thanks for stopping by today. It was my pleasure. Meow.


Kate Thayer has a good life as a veterinarian running the family farm– until she uncovers an act of unimaginable treachery by those she trusted most and learns that everything she knew about herself was a lie. Her paternal grandmother, the woman that raised her is behind a series of devastating secrets and lies she is compelled to discover. But the digger she deeps, the more betrayal she finds, changing her life in ways she could have never foreseen.

Employees are actually her mother’s family, and her parents didn’t die the way she thought they did. Worse yet, neither set of grandparents wanted a mixed raced baby, though she was kept because she was “white”. Faced with these revelations, she discovers she has a twin sister and goes off to New York City in hopes of meeting her.

As expected, emotions run high, tempers flare, and the worst thing imaginable for the families occur. What happens next? What is to come from all of this? Does her family come together for Kate, or fall apart? The truth is revealed within the pages as Shattered Lies comes to a head. Sometimes secrets should remain that way. Sometimes bigotry is a whole lot closer to home.

Front coverAmazon: Kindle

Amazon: Paperback

Publisher’s Website Black Opal Books

Barnes & Noble: Nook

Kobo Books

Smashwords: (epub, mobi, Kindle)

From S.J. Francis: In celebration of the launch of my debut novel, I’m offering a free book giveaway. To all those who leave a comment during my blog tour at my website, you will automatically be entered into a drawing to win a personally autographed paperback copy of my debut novel, Shattered Lies. Two copies are available giving two of you a chance to win. To keep up with my stops on my blog tour please visit my website.

Just leave a comment at my website and drop me a line with “Giveaway” in subject line at:


Be sure to leave a valid, working email address in case you win. Good luck and thanks so much for stopping by. It’s always my pleasure to connect with other authors and readers.

FYI: The drawing will take place at the end of my blog tour on Saturday, December 12, 2015. I will contact the winner at their email address at that time to request your mailing address to send you the printed copy of Shattered Lies.

My Black Opal Books Author Page: http://www.blackopalbooks.com/author-bios/bio-sj-francis
View My ShoutOut: http://bit.ly/1r3oynM
My web page: http://www.sjfranciswriter.com
Twitter: https://twitter.com/sjfrancis419
Face Book: https://www.facebook.com/pages/SJ-Francis/480058115420325
My Blogs: http://sjfranciswriter.blogspot.com
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Good Reads: https://www.goodreads.com/user/show/33550975-s-j

A WRITING PROMPT FOR ANIMALS: Have you ever been outside in the dark? Did you like it?


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