Chasing the Demon

Alf teaser

His name is Alf, not a very threatening name for a demon, is it? That’s what his other self calls the evil side. A split personality demon who developed as I wrote the draft of A Savage Grace.

Take an ordinary woman, busy creating herbs and teas for a local craft shop, while worrying that since her mother was insane and committed suicide, when will it happen to her? So, of course, everything starts to go wild.

Take a husband who loves his wife and children, but for some reason one night kills them all, so now he’s in an asylum for the criminally insane. He believes he is possessed by a demon he calls Alf.

Take a demon, whose life for an eternity has been causing good folks to kill for his own enjoyment, and now he is weary of the body he lives in and wants a new one, this time a female. Watch out he doesn’t come for you.

Take a writer who has a vivid imagination and lets it wander where it wants, and her brand is Sexy, Dark, and Gritty, and you’ve got A Savage Grace.

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EMBRACEABLE Cover Reveal and an Opportunity for Bloggers!


If you’ve read August and are a fan, don’t miss this book. She rocks.

Originally posted on Girl Boner:

There is little as butterfly-sy and beautiful as a book release—especially when the subject matter practically is your heart. Or so I’m learning!

In the coming weeks, my first non-fiction book, Embraceable: Empowering Facts and True Stories About Women’s Sexuality, will be available. The e-book format will release first, followed by the paperback. To say I’m stoked is a ginormous understatement. (Hey, sometimes oxymorons work. ;))

I’m thrilled to share with you all the front cover, created by gifted artist and illustrator, Emily Ford:

ebook cover v5-3

Here’s how the back cover will read:

A provocative blend of memoir, anthology and inspiration, Embraceable is a celebration of women’s sexual empowerment. Learn how August McLaughlin, creator and host of Girl Boner®, found her way out of the sexual repression to which too many girls and women are prone. She then weaves research and inspiring facts around stories contributed by women who’ve cultivated sexual empowerment in their…

View original 292 more words

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He Came Home



My husband Don came home this week. He passed away October 18, and according to his wishes, was cremated. Monday we picked up his ashes and carried them home in a cedar box made by a local craftsman. For the six months he was in long term care, he asked to come home almost daily. I wish he could have done it some other way. Right now he is in his room, a sunny corner place with windows on the east and south. We will decide where he will rest forever after the party.

He was very firm about not having a funeral, not wanting people to stare at his remains, all laid out and formal. Those who knew him know he wasn’t a formal person. He never tucked in his shirt, hated to comb his hair and in his later years refused to wear his teeth. He enjoyed teasing people, especially women, who were his best friends. That beautiful cedar box says more about him than any silk-lined casket ever could. And so we will have that requested party as soon as the family can gather at the same time. Everyone he knew will be invited, as well as those who know the family members.

In December we would have been married 62 years. True, some of them were bumpy indeed, but we both were stubborn enough to hang in there, anticipating better times. And those times came. After he retired, we traveled together. Both of us loved the west, Texas, New Mexico, Arizona, Wyoming, Montana, Idaho, Utah. We stood in awe of the Grand Canyon, the painted desert, the Rocky mountains. We visited places like Monument Valley, ghost towns like Virginia City, mining towns, the high desert and big sky country. Always driving to see every inch we could.

It would be fine indeed if his celebration of life could be held near our 62nd anniversary on December 19, and it is planned for that month, but probably earlier than that. It has always been difficult to separate our anniversary celebration from Christmas get-togethers, so often they were held at the same time. Our family is big on birthdays, anniversaries, and holidays, especially Christmas.

 For now, I’m at peace. I have brought him home where he wanted to be. May he rest in peace as well.



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Bad Women Make History

I usually don’t do this, but I’d like to weigh in on the subject matter of another blog written by one of my most favorite bloggers, Kristen Lamb. I was going to just comment, but the subject is way too big and I have a lot of opinions on what she wrote about.

Belle depicted as Sexy

Belle depicted as Sexy

Before we get to that, I have to repeat something my brother told me once years ago. He probably read it somewhere, since I’ve seen it repeated a lot but never anyone given credit for it. “Only bad women make history.” That’s not the direct quote, but that’s what it means.

So it comes down to, what exactly do we have to do as women to be considered bad? That would be different from what it was when my brother quoted that to me, probably in the 1970s sometime. Let’s admit it, a woman has to go a long way today before she’s considered bad, but back then if a woman stepped out of the comfort zone created for her by men, she was bad. If she worked and left her children with a sitter (today called a nanny); if she didn’t cook from scratch but bought prepared food; if she spoke out during a discussion in public; if she wore anything that showed she was a well-endowed woman. I could go on, but you get it. Any of these things are perfectly acceptable today.

Image via Flickr Creative Commons, courtesy of Mike Licht

So, what do we have to do to be classed as bad now? By whom? For you see, today this is much more subjective than it once was. How do we perceive our fellow women today? Do we think of them depending on what they achieve or how they achieve it?

The Victorian women were known for being sedate, but that wasn’t always the case.

Example: As I’ve grown older I’ve changed my writing style somewhat and write with much more sexuality. I laughingly told one of my publishers that the less sex I get the more I write about getting sex. She told me that was perfectly all right and had no objection. However, certain friends my own age do object, one even called my writing porn, though the younger ones love that I write explicit sexual scenes in all my books, be they mysteries, paranormal, mainstream, or romance.

Funny story: A man came over to my book table at a conference and picked up one of my books, not a romance, and said he liked the book but was disappointed that there wasn’t enough sex in it. It was written a few years ago, but still being available I always carry a few copies. Hmmm. Since then I have really gotten down to business with the love scenes in my books. Not because of what he said, but more because of what I told my publisher. I warn readers, though, with the brand: sexy, dark, and gritty.image

Please check out Kristen Lamb’s blog post this week and you’ll see what sent me off on this tangent. She is writing mainly for women writers but it applies to others. I’d be happy to know how you feel about this subject.

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Is it Porn, or Is it Love?



Recently an old friend accused me of writing porn. She writes these cozy mysteries where even husband and wife don’t kiss or touch each other. I did not remind her that in all the years we’ve known each other, I’ve always been kind enough not to tell her why I don’t read her books. Frankly, they bore me.

My brand is Sexy, Dark and Gritty. Get the idea? I do not write porn, but I suppose she has the right to say that. And the dictionary does say that pornography is work pictured or written specifically to arouse sexual feelings. So, I give up. She’s right. My stories do arouse sexual feelings. That is absolutely terrible. However, the stories aren’t written specifically to arouse sexual feelings. My two characters are having a consensual love affair. Neither is married and both are the age of consent. And I enjoy writing sexy love scenes.

My vow to stay away from writing about politics and religion has served me very well over the years. I never have to defend a stance, be attacked by a group of fanatics who are sure they are right and everyone else is going to hell, or try to convince people that my beliefs are private and none of their business. I would tend to rant.

I didn’t vote for someone so they could do terrible things to my country, despite what people might think. I don’t believe in a God who allows dreadful things to happen to good people. In fact, I don’t have to tell anyone what I believe in. It annoys me when someone asks. And it is certainly none of your business if I’m a Lesbian, a cross dresser or a prostitute. So don’t ask cause I won’t tell. I value your right to privacy, so value mine.

Couple at peace

Couple at peace

Just saying that much is probably enough for voices to be raised against me. How dare I … do what?

It looks like I’ve found subject matter that I will openly defend. Love.

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Follow Your Passion

You’d think after living on this earth for 79 years I’d have learned something about following good advice. But I haven’t. No I just continue to do things the way I want to. Stubborn, I reckon they call that.

When I started my career in writing after I was fifty years into my existence on this beautiful planet, and fell into being published in western historical romance, I was told to stick to the genre. The way to fame and fortune was to concentrate on one subject, so toMontana Series speak. Romance was the best seller in those days. I might have done just that had it not been for something beyond my control. The change in publishing. The crash. The end of publishing as we all knew it.

Okay, second, I’m told not to write blogs about writing. Mine always seem to circle back around to that or begin with it. Writing is my passion, my living, my day to day … be patient, the older I get the more words will not come. Ah, existence, that’s what I wanted to say. My day to day existence.

There’s where I break more rules. For a while then I went back to writing about people, places, events of history. Because for years I’d done that in newspapers, some of my books were published about true happenings in history and they were very popular. But then as I was putting together the last of all those, I said to my husband, “If I ever agree to do this again, shoot me.” Because writing non-fiction is hard, it’s grinding, it’s fun, yes, but HARD. It’s much more fun to make up stuff.

Okay, on we go then. Breaking the rules. I did go back to writing western historical romance, but in between I began to write in other genres. Needed to tell these stories and so I did, even though I was warned how difficult it would be to promote myself in different genres. Genre means subject matter and style of writing.

Beyond The Moon Front CoverSo, I dragged out the first book I’d written, Beyond the Moon. I loved it, couldn’t forget the characters. Glen and Katy have haunted me since the first day I began to scribble notes about their story. Their tragic, beautiful, haunting love story. I rewrote the book, a very long book and lo and behold an editor and publisher wanted to publish it. A new publisher, Oghma Creative Media, opened up my career in fiction writing once again.

Then I began a mystery series, A Twist of Poe, and was given a brand by my new

Here's the cover of my latest

Here’s the cover of my latest

publisher – Sexy, Dark, Gritty. Now I can write in all the genres without so much confusion. That brand tells it all about my fiction novels, which include western historical romance I started out with so long ago. Recently my paranormal, A Savage Grace, which I worked on for years, was published. Here I am still breaking all the rules. At my age I’ll probably never stop doing what I think is right for me and ignoring the rules. Probably never be rich and famous, but what the heck. I’m having fun and enjoying my passion. Which is precisely what you should cover

Unless, of course, your passion is serial killing.

Come see me along with Staci Troilo when we appear for Oghma Creative Media at Farmington AR Public Library from 6 – 8 Wednesday, Sept. 23. We’ll discuss all sorts of subjects to entertain and amaze you. See you there.

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Why Follow That Path

lonely path

Back in 1985 I was asked to write a column for three local weekly newspapers. The subject would be local Ozark crafts people. There was no particular reason I was asked. I think they couldn’t find anyone else. Nevertheless, I went to work not having much of an idea what I was doing. I learned how they got started creating their crafts, what they had learned over the years. How it made them feel to create something so beautiful or intricate or artistic that someone would fall in love with their product and actually pay money for it. And then I wrote a column about what I had learned.stack of books

Every artist has a story about how they started down the particular path they follow. Odd that in learning these artists and crafts people’s story, my own began. Oh, I had piddled around writing over the years, but always put it aside for something more pressing. Like life. For several years I wrote these wonderful creative people’s stories, never realizing I was beginning to follow my own path.

From this beginning my clips caught the attention of several newspaper editors. Eventually I wrote features for the Northwest Arkansas Times, then was hired by The Washington County Observer’s owner, Parker Rushing. He wanted me to write features and news stories and I did. For nine years, through several owners and editors I stayed with the paper.

My path had been clearly laid out by then and writing would become a way of life for me. Twenty-six books later (the 26th came out September 8) my fingers still caress a keyboard every day. Of the six non-fiction books, I guess I like The Boston Mountains: Lost in the Ozarks about the best, though Fly With the Mourning Dove, a finalist in the WILLA Literary awards, is a close second. As for fiction, it’s difficult to pick a favorite, so I won’t.

music notes

Have you ever thought seriously about what particular time in your life started you on your path, whatever it might be? We all are driven to leave something behind, lovely words, beautiful paintings, exquisite creations of some sort so we will be remembered. Long before we wrote on stone tablets and built enormous statues, cavemen scrawled their history on the walls of their homes. Showing and telling how they lived.artist

Humans all have that spark inside that urges them to make something lasting. Why not share your story here in the comments. What do you wish to leave behind and why? What first urged you to go in that direction?


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That’s Not Me, She’s Someone Else

Young ladies 1800s

Young ladies 1800s

I’m reading a lot recently about why we write what we write, and just how much of our own personal life ends up in our novels. This is an interesting and involved subject. The more I thought about it after it was brought up by Jerry Hogan in his workshop at OWL, the more I realized I was not actually recreating myself over and over in my books. I was going a step further.

He wanted to know how much of ourselves we wrote about, but I dug deeper and saw that, I stopped writing about myself after my first few novels, but I never stopped recreating female characters I wanted to be like. As I delved into each one, from the protagonists in my western historical romances, to the woman possessed by a demon in my latest, A Savage Grace, coming out in late September, and all those in between, I saw the truth in my suspicion. I wanted to live their lives. Therein lies the real reason I wrote each book. Because I did live their lives while I was involved in writing the book.

I’m finishing the third in The Victorian series, and there is more of a family connection in those three books than in others. My grandmother and great-grandmother were Victorians through and through. When she was 13 my great-grandmother arrived in Kansas in a covered wagon. She grew up to marry the first policeman in Winfield, Kansas. A story I’d love to one day fictionalize. I was 16 when she passed, having lived into her late 90s by eating a diet that contained loads of butter, cream, sugar, and fats, as was the way then. What a cook she was.

The way the Victorian women were perceived

The way the Victorian women were perceived

Funny I would remember that when what I wish now to have remembered was some of the stories she often told us kids. I was the oldest great-grandchild and grandchild, so you would think I could recall more. Sadly children don’t understand the importance of stories told by adults until we’re too old to realize the wisdom contained in those tales. Then we wish we could go back and grab hold of them.

However, by recreating three Victorian young women plopped down in the middle of Kansas from their home in Manchester, England, I’ve tried to recreate that great-grandmother and live her life through these books. Imagine three girls, already orphaned by a dreadful accident, swept up into a new exciting but dangerous life in the west of the 1870s. With three distinctly different personalities, each has their own way of dealing with this stressful occurrence.

Wilda, the one of the three chosen to marry their guardian, a second son scarred by his father’s disavowal and a bloody war, revolts in fear and choses a handsome but inexperienced outlaw to rescue her from the planned marriage. Thus her adventures begin and she goes from the perfect life to one of danger and fear in Wilda’s Outlaw.armed woman

Rowena, the eldest of the three, loves their guardian, and recognizes his problems because she has gone through some terrible experiences while the three women were living in an orphanage/workhouse. Rowena’s Hellion is experiencing what we now call Post Traumatic Stress, then known as Soldier’s Heart. Men suffering from this were literally tossed into the streets to starve. Sound familiar? Fortunately he has Rowena.

The third and youngest of the three has put aside her Victorian upbringing and embraced the way of the west. Most of the comments, reviews and emails about this character, shown briefly in the first two books, say they can’t wait to read about her. She’s attempting to model herself after Calamity Jane, without really understanding what prompted Jane’s life style. Tyra is rebellious, daring and often foolish in her choices. So when she chooses James Lee, a well settled rancher, her family is relieved. They don’t see Zachariah coming till it’s too late. This gambler, ex-gang member, is a perfect match for Tyra, but together they are liable to get into more trouble than they can handle in Tyra’s Gambler.western women

So, I’ve lived the lives of these three girls with a gusto and adventuresome spirit. They may not have any of me in them, but I have been with them through thick and thin, and feel as if I’ve lived their lives fully as well as they have. I will miss them and their family and friends. There’s only one cure, isn’t there? Create someone new to accompany through the pages of my next book.



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Spotlight on Tropical Depression by Jeff Lindsay

Spotlight on Tropical Depression by Jeff Lindsay.

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Win $100 Gift Card

Don’t forget to read and enter at Long and Short Reviews Today. You have a chance to win a $100 Amazon Gift Card. Join in and have some fun. teaser 3

Answer a question about BEYOND THE MOON by @veldabrotherton & win a $100 Amazon/BN GC, books & more! #LASR_Anniv

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