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Thursday, July 26, 2018

July Writing Prompt

Ever wonder how the world can change in five minutes? Or how about what worlds we can conjure in the same amount of time?

My writers' group always makes me laugh, gasp, smile and create.

Set your timers. Five minutes. Go!

My best friend looked me right in the eye and lied to me...


My best friend looked me right in the eye and lied to me...

"There is nothing going on between us, Grace!  I swear."

It was as if Nicole was transparent, translucent, just an outline with strange green eyes. What once stood as a rock, now melted away as sand with a wave.

Lies were nothing new, but this was. The emerald stare never wavered, but truth and friendship went fuzzy, pieces drifting up to the night sky like ashes from a fire.

"I saw you," Grace hissed as she turned her back forever.

- Maggie van Galen
Award-Winning Author of The Adventures of Keeno & Ernest Children's Book Series
Visit Maggie's online store at KeenoandErnest or learn more about her adventures on
Maggie's Website or on FacebookTwitter or Pinterest

Contact Maggie at maggie (at) keenoandernest (dot) com 


My best friend looked me right in the eye and lied to me...

I could tell she was lying because the left side of her mouth twitched. She always does that twitching when she is telling an untruth.

”Not True!” I said, feeling argumentative. "You can not expect me to believe you when you are twitching. You wouldn’t have done that horrid thing—too nasty for a really good friend to do! I trusted you with all my heart and now I feel let down. Don’t tell me again, it hurts my ears.”

“It is true—I did lie—I had to or all the blame would have fallen on me and I didn’t do it!” 

“I know you didn’t do it, I did!”


Donna Seim 
Juvenile fiction author, Top Honors, Literary Classics Book Awards
CHARLEY-First Prize for Regional Literature
New England Book Festival
The Eloquent Quill Award

My best friend looked me right in the eye and lied to me...

“No,” Incahot’l said. “No one from the tribe took Paolo’s cutting stone.”

Now I began to wonder. Who was my best friend? Paolo, since three years now? Or my newest friend, Incahot’l? Almost a brother—and brother in law!--to me. Family, certainly, as I have none in these new lands.

“Paolo does not lose things,” I finally said, “especially his cutting blade.”

“I’ll help search!” Incahot’l attempted to look helpful, but his good nature was not adept at hiding deceit.

“Never mind,” I sighed.



My best friend looked me right in the eye and lied to me...

"I didn't screw your husband. I swear."

Suze was all boobs and tats. I helped her design the tramp stamp on the small of her back...a triad knot with three crowns. We were all Swedes. A trio. My twin and Suze.

I shifted my stare away. If looks could kill, I wanted her death to be a slow one.

"I have proof. His texts. GPS locator. I called his work. His secretary tried to cover for you saying she hadn't seen you, but the orange slicker gave you away."

"Jesus, Kate. You know I'd never hurt you."

All the times as kids. The three of us. Suze was always there to help break up the fights between Kat and me. 

Kat and Kate. And Suze.

In the distance, Kat walked away, holding an orange slicker.


Wednesday, July 25, 2018


July 27 - 29

On the Green
Woodstock, Vermont

Meet and greet your favorite mystery and thriller authors on the green in front of the Woodstock Inn! The lit fest starts on Friday with a full program of events through the weekend. Poets, essayists, journalists and, of course, fiction writers will mix, mingle and connect with readers.

Sisters in Crime New England will have a bevy of authors there. Stop by and load up on your late summer reading with a few signed books.

Author Schedule:
12 - 2 Martha Folsom, Genie Parrish
2 - 4 Anne Macdonald

10 - 12 Connie Johnson Hambley
12 - 2 Sharon Yang
2 - 4 Leslie Wheeler

10-12 Martha Folsom, Katy Lee

12 - 2 Coralie Jensen

Sunday, July 22, 2018

Okay, Fine. Here's an Update

"Where have you been?" you ask. I have no good answer for the dearth of posts except the very lame:
  1.  I've been busy
  2.  It's a brain space thing.
I'm in the throes of revisions for my fourth novel, Find Cally. I'm at the stage where I'm hacking out chunks of chapters, tightening up scenes, and double-checking my research. The fun part is learning about mega-yachts, maritime law, and diesel engines. The tough part has been inhabiting the emotional space of human trafficking. 

And it's harder than I thought it would be. In Find Cally, a hardscrabble dad searches for his teen daughter in the labyrinth of human trafficking helped by a trafficking survivor. I have five emotional layers I've needed to crawl into in order to breathe life into my characters.
  1. The trafficked women: The biggest questions are how did they become involved in "the life" and why do they stay? The reasons are as simple as they are complex. Think of love and safety as viewed through an evil funhouse mirror.
  2. The searching father (Dak Turner): What will a daddy do to protect his little girl? What if that daddy is an alcoholic? Could the pressures drown him in booze making him incapable of searching?
  3. The innocent (Cally Turner): When and how does she realize what's happening to her? Does she see adapting as protecting herself?
  4. The survivor (Sienna Wesson): What scars does she carry? How does she shape her life after leaving "the life"?
  5. The men who profit: Manipulation and subterfuge on so many levels--emotional, social, financial, sexual. If it wasn't so real, it would be fascinating.
I've bonded with the characters. I feel protective over them. I want the women I conjure to emerge unscathed and whole. Why? Because I've volunteered and worked beside survivors as they struggle to regain their sense of power and wholeness. I feel a responsibility to them. 

But part of my responsibility as an author is to bring readers into unfamiliar worlds and to leave them changed by my story. I want them to learn. I want them to feel. I want them to stare at the ceiling at night, wondering.

The unspoken update on my writing life? This book has changed me. I'm struggling to bring a book to life that will change you, too.