Blog Archives

A four-star review for The Elf Queen!

Read all about it HERE:

And stay tuned for a new series video COMING SOON!

For all the kitties we’ve loved before….

Cat people tend to find each other.

I have at least two publishers who have cats, who have rescued cats or who cherish all cats. Since I’m a foster/rescuer too, I’ve got to celebrate this.

Terri Branson, publisher at Dragonfly Publishing in Edmond, Oklahoma, is one of these, and she’s recently shared a great pattern for making a cat toy at home. Check this out!


“Scooter is a 20-lb 9-yr-old black Manx. He is a big boy who stretches out nose-to-tip at about 30” and would be longer except for the 3/4 length tail.

He has the bite strength of a wolverine, shreds cardboard boxes like a beaver building a dam, and for all that bulk somehow is as stealthy as a jaguar.

In fact, I keep a glow-in-the-dark collar on him,
so we can see him in the hallway at night.”


1: Make a square about 6-8 inches on each side. Either crochet a granny square or cut a square out of fabric.

2: Get an old sock or handkerchief or a small wad of fabric for the stuffing.

3: Sew the square into the form of a mouse. Start at one corner and fold it in half to make a triangle. Then sew one one side from tip to top, leaving the back open.

4: Insert the stuffing.

5: Grab the open corner at the back and fold it up to meet the edge of that first seam at the top. When you do that, it makes a mouse shape. Sew up that back seam.

6: Use yarn or fabric (but not buttons or anything that can cause choking) to make whiskers and a tail. You can even add a long braid (three strands of regular yarn) to make it flippable.

To get the idea on how to fold it, make a piece of square paper. Fold it in half to make a triangle. Then pull one corner up to meet the two folded bits at the top. Voila! Mouse!

I make these using crocheted granny squares, which I then stuff with an old sock. Then I add yarn whiskers and a tail. Cats like the granny square mice because they can get their claws in them. You’ll like the granny square mice because they are not only 100% safe but also WASHABLE, which is good thing with cat toys.

Terri is also an author, writing paranormal romance and books for both children and adults. Please visit her website here:

For more about my personal cat journeys, see this link:|

Tell us about your pets==and if you make some toys for yours, please post a pic with them!!

Down the drain with Janyce Brawn and her fantasy hero David Gonzales!

Thanks for being with us today. First, would you tell us a bit about yourself? What area of the country do you live in, do you have a family, pets, etc.

Hi Lyndi. Thanks for having me here today. Well, I live in Northwestern Pennsylvania with my husband and a spoiled Boston Terrier named, Gracie. My three grown sons are living their busy lives: one in Chicago and the other two close by. I have used their exploits as fodder for my imagination over the years in my writing and drawing. I mean, it’s not everyday when you come home from a busy day teaching Middle and High school Spanish to find two of your 13 year-old sons on the roof of your house. One was chasing the other with a 2X4 and the third was on the ground laughing. To this day, they will deny this and of course some of their other “adventures”.

Are you a coffee fiend, or do you have another “addiction” you must have on your desk at all times?

I enjoy coffee and have learned to drink it black to avoid the extra calories but I do love a rare cappuccino or caramel macchiato. My son in Chicago is a coffee Connoisseur. He has sent me bags of coffee beans and I have a grinder that I’ll use to grind the coffee beans and my favorite comes from Uruguay. Of course That could change and some other coffee bean will take first place in my taste bud repertoire. That said, I usually only drink 2 cups and occasionally 3 cups a day and mostly before 3:00 PM. So, coffee and a huge 24-32 ounce cup of water are on my desk as I write and draw. In the evenings, I’ll drink decaf tea if I write.

Is your education relevant to your writing, or have you branched off in something entirely different to create? How would you best describe your books?

My education is first as an art teacher, then Spanish and English as a Second Language teacher. I taught before I had my children and returned to it part-time when they were in second grade. Family is most important to me so my teaching was secondary. I wrote and illustrated books with crayons with my twin sister when we were in elementary school. So, when my sons were young and one had a tracheostomy, we did oodles of art and craft projects daily at home. We even used food for edible crafts at lunchtime while they sat in their high chairs.
My husband and I read to them at bedtime and whenever he had a business trip, he’d bring back a new book for them. When my sons were in 8th grade, I started a new job teaching Spanish to 8th graders. I think my sense of humor and language stayed at that age and even at younger levels, so I really enjoy writing middle grade and in-betweener novels.
As an artist, I’ve illustrated one issue a year (10-15 pen and ink illustrations) for the poetry magazine, Time of Singing, for over 20 years.
I think I’d best describe my books as an adventure into the world of imagination. I enjoy escaping into my imagination so I believe children do too, especially with all the problems and concerns today with the virus and politics and stress. Since kids have been doing home schooling and have been away from their friends, a good book that entertains and develops their imaginations in fun ways, is needed all the more.

Tell us about your most recent publication/whichever book you’d like to talk about today?

David and the Drainosaurs is a middle grade novel, geared for ages 8-12. It’s a story about a young boy, David Gonzales who accidentally drops his mother’s diamond ring down the kitchen sink drain. He winds up in a tussle with a dinosaur-like creature who thinks it’s her kingdom’s missing crown. The battle over the ring results in David shrinking and falling down into the kingdom of Drainovia. He learns he has 3 days to find the real missing crown to exchange for the ring or be stuck forever in a land where doors fly, hats teleport, and treachery abounds.

What inspired you to write this story? What interesting thing did you learn or research to write it that you didn’t know before?

This story came about from an exercise I did with one of my elementary ESL students. We picked an alphabet letter (D), then opened a dictionary to the D section then closed our eyes and picked words. We ended up with dinosaur, diamond and drain. We each picked a name that started with D also. We had to write a paragraph using these words. I did the exercise too and this story evolved from a paragraph to a children’s picture book story. I entered it into a writing contest and won first place. The editor that judged the contest said she loved the idea but it needed to be developed into a chapter book or novel. So, it grew and morphed into the novel, David and the Drainosaurs. I think all kids at one time or another have thought about what happens down in a drain.
When I was writing and doing the illustrations, I researched what drains looked like. I also had to research Prince and Princess names that were not already used for this book. It’s amazing how many Princesses there already are.

Is there anything you particularly enjoyed about writing this?

I enjoyed writing the story and developing unique characters. I brainstormed the creation of the psychedelic caterpillar when I was out for lunch with a couple friends. I hear the voices of the hermit crabs and of course David’s cocky sidekick, Oliver, a ferret, who teaches him all about the teleporting hats.

What do you most like about writing? Least like? When did you first know you wanted to be an author?

The thing I like most about writing is letting my imagination go crazy. It’s fun to think up new characters, their names and what they will do with each other. Since I write from my imagination, I’m not a big planner. Of course I know the beginning and the end. It’s the journey that is fun. If I had to write a detailed plan, I’d be dead in the water. It would dry up my creative juices. So I’d say writing synopses, queries, and doing the marketing of writing is not something I enjoy.
I’ve loved reading from first grade on and to me it is the cheapest vacation you can take- anywhere, and any place in time and with whoever you want to “travel”. My twin sister and I used to write stories and plays that we would put on with the neighborhood kids when we were in elementary school.

Do you belong to any writing groups? Are there any writing websites you find particularly useful?

I belong to a variety of writing groups such as Pennwriters, St. Davids Christian Writers, Storytellers’ Academy, and I’ve belonged to Society of Children Book Writers and Illustrators too. I’m especially thrilled to work with my weekly critique group, Fellowship of the Quill- a group of writers from Pennwriters’ Area 1 that meets on Zoom weekly to help each other with our work. Websites? Hmm. I’m still navigating that. I’m on that phase “I just want to create and not worry about the rest.” I do use adobe illustrator draw for my illustrations.

Is there any special music you like to listen to while writing? How does it inspire you?

I generally don’t listen to music when I write. It pulls me out of the “zone” so I just listen to the voices of my characters.

Do you belong to a critique group? What do you find most valuable about the experience?

I love the critique group I mentioned earlier, Fellowship of the Quill. To me, we’re a family and I love how we can respect each other, desire the best for each other and help each other. They have helped the quality of my writing to improve and I’ve made stronger connections with friends and enjoyed their writing paths. We are very diverse and yet we can offer valuable advice. I really thank you, Lyndi, for the connections you’ve given me in the publishing world.

To encourage those still on the path, tell us a little about your path to publication. How many books have you published? How many books did you write before selling one? What do you think was the key to selling that first book?

My illustrations have been published for over 20 years and I’ve had little illustrated prayers and inspirational articles with other illustrations in the Penned From the Heart Anthologies over the years. Likewise some of my poems have been published in Time of Singing poetry magazine.
David and the Drainosaurs is my debut novel. I am working on a companion coloring book and I’ve written book 2 and started book 3 in the Tales of the Teleporting Topsider series.
The key to selling the book I think, is being in a critique group that wants me to do my very best. That and holding each other accountable to write. Making connections at conferences and learning the craft is important too. Of course networking is for me the most valuable recently as I got my publisher by advice and suggestions from my critique partners, especially, from Lyndi, in this case.

What are you writing now? What’s next for you—will you be making personal appearances anywhere our readers can find you?

With COVID, I’m not doing any school visits this year, but I certainly would like to do them and maybe some book signings this summer. We shall see.
As far as what I’m writing now, I’m working on book 3, working on illustrations for a coloring book of book 1 and starting illustrations for book 2. I’m writing a few blog posts, and trying to redo my website. Everything is a work in progress.

BUY David and the Drainosaurs now!

Paperback at Amazon • Paperback at Barnes & Noble • Hardback at Barnes & Noble • eBook at Amazon Kindle • eBook at Apple Books • eBook at Barnes & Noble • eBook at Kobo • eBook at Smashwords

You can find me on facebook as Janyce Brawn, and email me at: janyce at janycebrawn dot com
And read an excerpt on Dragonfly Publishing’s website-

Lost in space–can a rebel captain find his way? #MFRWhooks

To save his ship and crew, Captain Temms Rogers uses an untested alien device which hurls the Doubtful and its occupants away from a massive space battle. Rogers awakens to find his ship crippled and his crew decimated. They are lost in an unknown region of space, but they are not alone.

With old enemies lying in wait, Rogers must turn to a powerful local group called the Consortium in order to effect repairs to his ship and to find needed supplies. Then a strange autistic boy is found hiding in the ship’s cargo bay. Could the boy help save the Doubtful and its crew?

Book trailer:

More on the series:



“Temms. Say Grace.” Connie was insistent.

And he never dared deny the woman when she was insistent.

They were at the dinner table in the old house on Gilada. Across from him were Alex and Linz, his twins, and at his left, Tommy, strong and whole again. Everyone held hands and Rogers gave thanks for them being together and for the meal they were to receive from the bountiful gods.

When he was done speaking, there was a grab for the bowls of food. The children chattered about school as Connie corrected their grammar and manners. He watched. He could only watch. He couldn’t move.

Connie said something about the Confederation school and Tommy bragged about how he couldn’t wait to become a Confederation officer like his dad.

Temms wanted to tell Tommy he was forbidden to go. He watched as Tommy passed the tray of broiled meat, and small marks appeared on his son’s shirt, red marks that got bigger and more liquid as he started to bleed.

Tommy babbled about joining the Confederation corps as he slowly bled out and Connie looked at Temms, accusing him.

“How could you let this happen? How could you?”

He couldn’t move.

Temms woke up with a smothered yell, trembling. The dream had been too real.

He stalked over to the sink and splashed handfuls of cold water on his face until he was sure he was awake. It wasn’t real.

It wasn’t real.

Temms’ marriage to Connie had ended five years before, right after Tommy had opted to follow his father into Confederation service. She’d blamed him. Still did.


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PAPERBACK [EAN 978-1-936381-54-8 | ISBN 1-936381-54-0] 6×9 trim (254 pages) | Average Price: $12.99

HARDBACK [EAN 978-1-936381-53-1 | ISBN 1-936381-53-2] 6×9 casebound (254 pages) | Average Price: $21.99

EBOOK [EAN 978-1-936381-55-5 | ISBN 1-936381-55-9] EPUPB and Kindle MOBI (95,000 words) | Average Price: $3.99

Intrigue in the Elf world #MFRWHooks

elfchild400x600THE ELF CHILD
Clan Elves of the Bitterroot (Book II)

The moment elf warrior Astan Hawk agrees to protect the young elf queen trouble dogs his heels. Jelani’s human upbringing clashes with clan tradition, spurring dangerous intrigues within the Circle of Elders. Soon even the motives of his father Daven come into question. With nowhere else to turn, Astan asks Jelani’s human friends for help. Hiding in shadows, an outcast elf plots revenge by seeking the help of powerful elf mages who live deep within the forest. Can Astan fulfill his promise to keep both Jelani and his child safe when the whole world seems to have turned against them?

Paperback at Amazon • Paperback at Barnes & Noble • Paperback at Lulu • Hardback at Barnes & Noble • Hardback at Lulu • eBook at Amazon Kindle • eBook at Apple • eBook at Barnes & Noble • eBook at Kobo • eBook at Smashwords


This was Grigor’s plan, no one else’s. He’d thought of it all on his own, after the clan had mfrw-book-hooks400discarded him, left him alone here in the pitiless rocks and cold winds and harsh rain. He deserved the right to carry it out.

“If the elders are involved in their politicking and complaining, then now is the time to strike,” Grigor said, looking Vez straight in the eye. “We should move in and take the child now.”

“All the same, if guards are posted, while they may let us in, they will not let you pass,” Vez insisted.

“We need a distraction. Something to send anyone who’s not already involved in this discussion about the false queen out of our way,” Grigor said.

Terzon’s face lit up, an idea practically bursting from his lips. “A groundquake. That would frighten them, show them we are a force to be reckoned with!” He grinned, and Grigor knew that capability existed within his childhood friend. But so did the rest of the clan.

“They would know you had caused it, Terzon. Inherent in this plan is the ability for you and the others to continue to blend into the clan, to appear innocent, until the queen is deposed once and all. The same goes for the rest of you. Your elven powers are obvious to those who know you well.”

Silence settled around them like a heavy smoke. Grigor hadn’t thought through the details, not while trying to coordinate so many of them, and now facing the open hostility in the eyes of Vez, he struggled to be clever.

“Then we should use human powers,” Vez said.

“Humans have no powers!” Hidal cried.

“Exactly. What can we do that will call to the heart of every elf in the forest, that we can blame on humans?”

“Fire,” Fontine whispered.

“Yes,” Grigor said. “Yes, Fontine, that’s just what we need.”

Grigor knew Fontine could start a fire anywhere, just by wishing it into existence. But careless humans had destroyed hundreds of acres of elven territory over the years. The possibility was one the clan feared more than almost anything.

Yadin nodded. “Beckley said a camp of human males had been on the eastern face of the mountain for the last week, hunting for animals.”

“This was known to the clan?” Grigor asked.

“Yes,” Vez said. “I heard them talking. Here’s your chance to be a hero, my friend. And we can hold the humans accountable for all of it. Of course, this would be more believable if you showed the clan you’d put up a fight to protect them.” He eyed Grigor. “I think a blacked eye and a bloody nose ought to do it.”

Space opera FTW! #mfrwHooks

Probably my favorite subject to read or watch is space opera. For the uninitiated, there is Klingon operanot necessarily any singing–unless you’ve got Klingons in it–but it’s a subgenre of science fiction that emphasizes space warfare, melodramatic adventure, interplanetary battles, chivalric romance, and risk-taking. (fromWikipedia)

Star Trek, Star Wars, The Expanse, Doctor Who, Firefly, Battlestar Galactica, Avatar  and so many more fit into the category. My own humble contributions to the genre include the Horizon Crossover series and Triad, all availabletriad from Dragonfly Publishing.

After five years of silence, the Arkosian space pirates are back to terrorize the sector where Trezanna Len fights to save her Solarii colony, a small group of Terran descendants settled on the planet Induna. To survive, the Solarii need assistance. And soon.

Trezanna could ask for help from the neighboring group called Dragonfleet, but its cruel leader Estrella Drake has been on a rampage to annex Solarii space. Estrella would never agree to an alliance with the Solarii. Or would she?


When Trezanna had joined the Solarii, Luca Stregone was DragonFleet liaison to the group, back when both groups fought the oppression of the Arkosian pirates, who’d terrorized this sector of the galaxy for thirty years.

The Solarii had banded together on the small planet of Induna, brave individual souls who challenged the despots, gathering members as word of their alliance spread. DragonFleet, always a vicious bunch but even more so under the petulant, tumultuous leadership of Estrella Drake, had clung onto the coattails of the new group. Dissatisfied with the bounds of DragonFleet territory, she’d use any excuse to carve a larger section of the sector for herself, and just as happy to take some of what the Arkosians had, just for spite.

The two groups had fought and won as allies, ousting the pirates in a bloody victory. But the celebration and peace had been short-lived.

Without the constant gnawing of the pirates’ fangs in her side, Estrella instigated bickering within, causing a division in DragonFleet which ultimately spawned the Khimeyr. Luca took nearly two hundred of those unwilling to live under Estrella’s prima donna rule and moved them to Zeta, promising them a new colony, a place to enjoy the free life they had earned.

But apparently that peace had been denied.

mfrw-book-hooks400“Something got him on a scouting mission seventeen months ago, an animal or…” Catava shrugged, her voice devoid of emotion. “He wasn’t the only one. Zeta Colony was never the paradise we’d hoped it would be. Many dreams died there.” The pain that crossed through the woman’s eyes was unmistakable.

TRIAD is  available in ebook, paperback and hardback. at Amazon.comBarnes and, most other web sources, and can also be ordered through your local indie bookseller!

A little Clan Elves love from Madison Michael! Start reading this series today!


Scenic drive along Idaho-12

Come by, read an excerpt and check out the new covers for the Clan Elves of the Bitterroot series!!

TRIAD gets a special feature!

triadMy space opera TRIAD is the guest of honor in the sci-fi fantasy section of ROMANCE LIVES FOREVER today! Stop by and see what secrets are revealed!


This story is based on an old online RPG I played in, and the characters are near and dear to my heart! This book is offered by Dragonfly Publishing, Inc.

The Lost Chord’s five stars!

I’m finally back from gallivanting ’round the country… it’s not my fault all my family spread out to the corners of the world! Coming home refreshed, I found three more 5-star reviews for THE LOST CHORD! Like Christmas in July! 🙂

thelostchord400x600 (1)THE LOST CHORD is a multi-dimensional story that pulled me in and kept me enticed. I am not a sci-fi fan normally. However, I decided to pick up this novel because the heroine was a teenage girl with autism. I have been an autistic support teacher for thirteen years and this is book has had one of most realistic, believable portrayal of a person living with autism! I will be recommending this book to my colleagues because it gives an insight to the feelings and mind of people on the spectrum. It allows people to see the main character, Bee, as different, not less.

 I give this book five stars because it contained all my likes, different universes, chakras, stones, believable characters and magic talismans. Once you read this, it will strike a chord within you that will resonate all the way to your soul.

One of the biggest things I appreciated from this book was the diversity. Alexander has always had a knack for showing diversity in her novels, and she didn’t falter here. There were interesting role reversals and certain dilemmas the characters had to overcome that really showed a message of acceptance and unity. There were many possible themes in this story. Understanding, leadership, teamwork, and perseverance were prevalent throughout


Artist Luc Grigg’s rendition of Bee–based on real-life model Tasha

the whole story, and all important messages such as not fearing the unknown and accepting people for who they are were very present and unambiguous. I always enjoy Alexander’s work, and this is no exception. The clear diversity and character arc in this novel puts it at the top of my list of recommendations.

The combination of sibling rivalry, teen angst, runes, magic, time travel, and saving the world from the plight of the Scourge — ticks all the boxes for me.

So many people love it–and they’re signing up to be Chordians–our fan club!!  What are you waiting for? Get your copy now!

PAPERBACK [EAN 978-1-941278-81-9 | ISBN 1-941278-81-7] 6×9 library trim (200 pages) | Average Price: $11.99 or less || Paperback at Amazon | Paperback at Amazon UK | Paperback at Barnes & Noble | Discount Paperback at Lulu |

HARDBACK [EAN 978-1-941278-80-2 | ISBN 1-941278-80-9] 6×9 library casebound (200 pages) | Average Price: $19.99 or less || Discount Hardback at Lulu |

EBOOK [EAN 978-1-941278-82-6 | ISBN 1-941278-82-5] Available in EPUB and Kindle MOBI (70,000 words) | Average Price: $4.99 or less || Kindle at Amazon | Kindle at Amazon UK | EPUB at Apple iBooks | EPUB at Barnes & Noble | EPUB at Kobo Books | EPUB & MOBI at Smashwords |

The whole HORIZON CROSSOVER series–ready for your shelf at last!

I’ve had a pretty crazy month, what with getting divorced and moving from my house of 20 years into a two-bedroom apartment with my daughter, ready (?) for single motherhood again. But somehow in the middle of all the excitement, HORIZON DYNASTY was completed, edited and released, making the series complete! I know a lot of readers want to be able to plow through a series they enjoy, so I hope space opera fans will give a look to the Horizon Crossover series. The books have a wide cast of characters, as most of mine do. I grew up in the 70s and 80s, when all the big comedies and drams had big casts–Barney Miller, St. Elsewhere, Cheers, ER, etc.–so that’s what I’m comfortable with. Besides, you can never tell when someone’s character quirk might just be what you need to save the day!  🙂

For those of you who’ve missed the series so far, let me catch you up to date:

Horizon ShiftHORIZON SHIFT    Horizon Crossover (Book 1): When Captain Temms Rogers of the Confederation spaceship Doubtful disobeys orders to attack innocent civilians, he and his crew become hunted rebels. In the midst of a desperate space battle, they risk using an experimental alien device that opens a wormhole which hurls them into a new universe. Once they arrive, the ship is in sad shape, most of cvr200x300horizonstrifethe crew is dead, and he’s got to rebuild both before his former commander catches up with him.

HORIZON STRIFE    In Book II of the Horizon Crossover series, Captain Temms Rogers and the crew of the spaceship Doubtful are caught between a powerful interplanetary group called the Agency and mystical beings known as the Ancients in a struggle to discover the secrets of a mysterious derelict space station.

HORIZON DYNASTY — The Agency has had enough of Captain Temms Rogers’ urging for democracy in their region of space. Rogers soon realizes the Agency intends to use him and the crew of the Doubtful for their purposes or else. Can he gather the other captains of the sector in rebellion against the Agency and bring down their repressive regime? Or will Rogers lead them into a fight they cannot win?




All three are available from Dragonfly Publishing in ebook, paperback at, Smashwords, at the istore, Barnes and and more. hardbacks can be purchased at See the complete listing of available purchase sites at  USE this code at CREATESPACE for a special 15% discount for my special readers:  B3PY6HNE

If you’ll be in the Erie area on October 18, 2014, I’ll be teaching a workshop on writing fantasy and science fiction characters through the Area One Pennwriters mini-conference at the Tom Ridge Environmental Center, and I’ll have books for sale there. (Stay tuned for more details).  Questions? Email me at lyndialexander at gmail dot com. 🙂


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