Wednesday, 10 May 2023

#guestpost - May 10 - #SupernaturalCreatures in Literature - L Diane Wolfe


Those of you who know me know I love my supernatural creatures, especially vampires. Today, L Diane Wolfe is going to educate us on supernatural creatures. People in times past and in the modern age, really do believe in these supernatural creatures and love to read about them. Exotic creatures such as the leviathan/behemoth, cockatrice, dragons, unicorns, satyrs, demons and others appear in the Bible, in books written by Job (the oldest in Scripture), Moses, King David, Isaiah, Ezekiel, and even the apostle John mention them! 

Supernatural Creatures in Literature

 Denise asked me to cover supernatural creatures. You would be really surprised how many are out there. If you’re writing a supernatural tale, the sky really is the limit.


If you go to the Mythical Creatures Guide ( you will be stunned. I had no idea there were so many! Everything from mermaids to dragons. Many of the Greek monsters were on the list, too.


According to Collins Dictionary ( :

Supernatural creatures, forces, and events are believed by some people to exist or happen, although they are impossible according to scientific laws.


So, they can’t be proven, but people still believe. Or want to believe.


Technically, only two of my supernatural creatures are on any of those lists. But I can explain why the other two qualify.


The first book in the In Darkness series was The Vampire. Now, vampires are certainly a supernatural creature. The idea of vampirism has existed for centuries. The word itself first appeared in Europe around 1732. An eternal creature that feeds on blood has since cemented its place in our folklore.


The third book is The Werewolf, another supernatural being. Werewolves can be traced back almost 2000 years ago.  Those inflicted with lycanthropy can shapeshift into a wolf. Lycanthrope is an ancient Greek term, and it’s amazing how many words in various languages are related to werewolf.


Now, the second book, which was just released, is The Shark. There is no shark listed as a mythical or supernatural being. The closest is the Kraken. However, I made my shark a bit supernatural by giving him the gift of speech. Yes, Clarence the great white shark  from Australia can talk! There aren’t too many talking fish unless you count The Incredible Mr. Limpet or Jabberjaw.


The fourth book will be The Alien. While they can’t be proved, they don’t exactly fall under supernatural or paranormal. More science fiction. However, I came up with a way to make my alien more paranormal. A unique ability that can’t be proven by science. Which makes it paranormal.


I hope I’ve given you some ideas for other supernatural creatures and the resources to build them. And remember—any creature can be supernatural with the right touches.

A professional speaker and author, L. Diane Wolfe conducts seminars, offers book formatting, and author consultation. She’s the senior editor at Dancing Lemur Press, L.L.C. and contributes to the Insecure Writer’s Support Group. - Spunk On A Stick - Spunk On A Stick’s Tips - Insecure Writer’s Support Group



In Darkness: The Shark
By L. Diane Wolfe

Souls shrouded in darkness…

Focused on her studies and duties at the aquarium, Jewels prefers her solitary life. Burned many times and short on trust, she has more in common with her aquatic friends than the people around her. But she never imagined coming face to face with a shark named Clarence…a shark who talks!

As their friendship grows, Jewels must overcome her deep set mistrust. There are dangers, both in the Australian ocean and on dry land. Can Jewels depend on the great white or will his animal nature betray her?

Romance/Paranormal - Fantasy/Paranormal - Fantasy/Romance
eBook ISBN 9781939844910 $3.99

Buy Links:
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Wednesday, 3 May 2023

#IWSG post - #Found #manuscript inspires me!




If you're not the patient type, stop reading and keep on using pop-up. 

Many blogspot blogs have had problems with replying to comments due to some Google messing around months ago and the only fix was to return to the old pop-up type comment where you have to do a roll-call of replies in several sessions - ugh - hate that. 


- Go to Settings and change back to 'embedded' comments.

- To Reply individually to comments, hover over 'Reply'. It will be live, but not quite - wait for the cursor to show the 'hand'. 

- In a little while (this is where patience is required) you'll sing a song of joy when the little 'hand' shows up. (I go read blogs while I wait for this miraculous event).

- Click on Reply again and you can then reply individually. Woo hoo!

(You can't hurry the process but it works!) For me anyway. Check my comments! Just thought I'd share something I've discovered.

Hello there! Welcome to the May 3 IWSG  posting. 

Love this badge!

Let’s rock the neurotic writing world!
Our Twitter handle is @TheIWSG and hashtag is #IWSG.

The awesome co-hosts for the May 3 posting of the IWSG are Joylene Nowell Butler, Ronel Janse van Vuuren, Meka James, Diane Burton, Victoria Marie Lees, and M Louise Barbour!

Here's the May question. Remember, the question is optional!

May 3 question - When you are working on a story, what inspires you?

Well, this question should be easy to answer, but I found it difficult. Each story inspires in a different way. But I'll tell you something related. In 2013 I worked on a manuscript set in Fiji after spending 6 weeks housesitting for writer friend Nas Dean. 

Cover mocked up on Canva in 5 minutes.

After paying for a full manuscript assessment (and cringing at the results) I was given a romance writing mentor at the Romance Writers of Australia. It all got a bit too exhausting. I felt so insecure it was ridiculous. I couldn't even finish reading the comments from my ms assistants. Stop kidding yourself, Denise, you're no romance writer, I told myself. 

I didn't bin the story, but I left it wallowing on my computer - well, it got carried forward as I've bought 3 new laptops since then.

After telling a writer friend only recently that this manuscript was going nowhere, I was scrolling through my Kindle and by accident or design I started reading this story. Geez, I thought, this is pretty cool. Who wrote this? You guessed it, I was reading one of the iterations of my story I'd uploaded to Kindle years ago when I knew how to do that, LOL.

Long story short, I then hunted for the ms assessment and my mentor's Track Changes document. And voila! It wasn't as bad as I thought! 

I'm editing this baby while my cookery school novel settles. I'll publish both this year! Fijian Princess is my only ever pure romance - most of my work is women's fiction with romantic elements. The romance tropes are there - hero and heroine meet practically on the first page - told from both POVs - Romeo and Juliet story - happily ever after ending! So as soon as it's tidied up, it's off to a romance editor. Then we'll see ...

Feeling so insecure about my writing cost me ten years with this story! But it'll be much better with what I've learned since 2013!

- How about you? Ever come across an old manuscript and see some merit? 

Thanks for coming by! 

I'm heading off on a holiday, driving 1200 klm to North Queensland. I'll be by to comment when I can!

We at WEP are waiting for the winners to be chosen for Life is Beautiful. 
Next challenge in June -  COME WRITE FOR US!

Wednesday, 19 April 2023

#WEP #AprilChallenge - my #flashfiction - The Reunion (#fantasy)




If you're not the patient type, stop reading and keep on using pop-up. 

Many blogspot blogs have had problems with replying to comments due to some Google messing around months ago and the only fix was to return to the old pop-up type comment where you have to do a roll-call of replies in several sessions - ugh - hate that. 


- Go to Settings and change back to 'embedded' comments.

- To Reply individually to comments, hover over 'Reply'. It will be live, but not quite - wait for the cursor to show the 'hand'. 

- In a little while (this is where patience is required) you'll sing a song of joy when the little 'hand' shows up. (I go read blogs while I wait for this miraculous event).

- Click on Reply again and you can then reply individually. Woo hoo!

(You can't hurry the process but it works!) For me anyway. Check my comments! Just thought I'd share something I've discovered.

Time to publish my #flashfiction for the WEP Life is Beautiful challenge. 

POST April 19 - 21

 Here I offer one of my few forays into #fantasy. Written many moons ago, I think it encapsulates the theme. 

Enjoy my story. Click on names in my sidebar to read more.


The Reunion


Charlotte scarcely remembered the long bus ride from Sydney through the rugged countryside, so focused was she on seeing Jack again.

 ‘We’re here.’ The driver pulled his lumbering vehicle to the side of the road. ‘You’re being met?’

 ‘Yes.’ Charlotte slashed her lips with the bright red shade Jack loved.

 Slinging her black tote over her shoulder, she walked carefully down the aisle and thanked the driver who helped her alight.

 ‘Are you sure about this?’ he asked. ‘People who wander into the Australian bush, often never wander out again.’

 Charlotte was the happiest she’d been for years. Her heart thumped in her ears when she said, ‘I’ll be fine.’

 The driver’s eyes roved the empty road. ‘No luggage then, love?’

 ‘Not this trip.’

 ‘There’s no one here to meet you.’

 ‘He’ll come.’

 ‘But who? The houses were bulldozed years ago.’

 Charlotte smiled, turned away, slipped a pill under her tongue. ‘Thanks for bringing me so far out of your way, young man.’ She handed him a tiny red rose from the posy she carried.

 He twirled the flower. ‘I’ll come back. One? Two hours?’

 ‘Thanks, but no. Be on your way now.’

 ‘I really don’t mind.’

 ‘It’s fine.’ Charlotte walked away, tugging her bright red coat around her shoulders. She was relieved when the bus’s engine ticked over. 


 It was hard going on a track that was no longer maintained, but she made it to Gulliriviere, the tiny settlement where she once lived with Jack and their friends. It’d been named by Irish ex-convicts who were used to plentiful rains in their home country. How flummoxed they were by a river that bore nothing but gravel year after bitter year.

 Leaving the abandoned shacks behind, further into the bush she trudged. Her steps slowed as she put distance between her and the desolation of the little street where houses were sacrificed for a lumber mill that was never built.


 Controversial even then.

 The ‘greenies’ had chained themselves to the trees and no one could budge them.

 As she passed by, the eucalyptus trees rustled their arms in salute.


 But home had left. Only the scraggly beauty of nature remained. Where once their cabin stood smugly, framed by the white picket fence Jack built and the fragrant flowers she planted, there was … nothing.

 ‘Jack,’ she whispered, ‘there’s no clue we ever lived here … Oh … but I’m wrong. Look!’

Charlotte creaked to her knees in front of her tatty rose bush, surviving after all these years. She tugged out weedy grasses, revealed tiny closed buds, then inhaled the earthy smell. ‘Not everything’s gone, darling Jack.’ She lay the posy beside the rose bush, memories rushing through her head.

 She recalled her twenty-three-year old self following her love to his rough-hewn shack in the Outback, two hours’ drive to the nearest town and a light plane trip to Sydney. She loved the koalas who lived in the trees nearby, she loved the solitude and yes, she even loved the big red kangaroos who nibbled the green shoots in her garden, looking cheekily at her over their shoulders as they loped away.

 She’d set her easel amongst the trees and paint miniatue bush flora until the sun set on the faraway horizon. Her paintings would continue to hang in art galleries in Australia and the Musée du Quai Branly in Paris long after she was gone.

 Living in the bush had been good.

 Leaving it had not.

 After their cabin had been razed to the ground, they’d relocated to Byron Bay. Plenty of flora for her to paint, but Jack had to fly in/fly out to continue his work on the western Droughtmaster grazing property.

 ‘Hello, Madam Charlie,’ Jack would greet her at the airport. Tossing his duffle bag in the trunk, he’d hurry to the passenger door, wrench it open. ‘Come here,’ he’d growl, kissing her over and over much to the delight of the traffic inspector.

 Their only argument was over his retirement.

  ‘No, Charlotte, I won’t retire. I’m only sixty-five. Our experiment with the new Droughtmaster breed is ongoing. Perhaps when it’s done …’




 Phone call.

 Frank Mangin, Jack’s co-worker.

 ‘I’m sorry, Mrs Sandilands ... Jack’s gone ... heart attack.’

 The bed caught her as she fell.

 ‘We were working in the study.’

 Garbled noises from her mouth.

 Clunk! The phone hit the floor; Frank yabbered on. 

 ‘Mrs Sandilands? I’m calling someone.’

 ‘No!’ No one could put her back together. 

 ‘Mrs Sandilands! Jack had a message for you. He said, and I wrote it down—um—When it’s time, tell Charlie to come to the shack.’

 ‘Are you sure?’

 ‘Yes. I know your home at Gulliriviere is long gone. But that’s the message.’

 ‘Thanks, Frank.'

 If Jack wanted her at the shack, to the shack she would go …



 Still kneeling at the rose bush in front of the shack’s foundations, she took the gold fob watch from its pouch and let it drop into her palm. She’d bought it years ago to give to Jack when he retired. It was a work of great artistry, with minute patterns painstakingly etched into every chain link. She read the inscription: 

To Jack, my wild Colonial Boy! Yours ever, Charlie. XX

 She brought it to her lips, kissed it.

 The first pain hit.

It's time.




The rose bush bloomed with blood-red roses. The fragrance enveloped her as it mingled with sweet summer smells.


 With the sweet fragrance of roses whirling around her, she ran through the tall grasses, trailing her fingers over the white, silky flowers. He’d be waiting by the creek just ahead, beyond the grey houses.

 She hesitated at the stand of weeping willows, their lush tendrils like dishevelled hair as they caressed the surface of the water.

 Then she saw him—her Jack—running through the willows, pushing aside the graceful drapery. He hurried toward her—arms outstretched—welcoming her home.

 She beckoned her love.

They gazed into each other’s light-kissed eyes, marvelled at their sun-painted limbs, overjoyed at their reunion. He took the fob watch from her soft, smooth hand, then they strolled away hand in hand across the sparkling water, fading from sight in a gentle swirl of silvery mist.

 Life is beautiful, Charlotte mused.

TAGLINE – Life is beautiful, but death can be even better.



 WORDS: 1049


Be on the lookout for the June WEP challenge -

Wednesday, 5 April 2023

#IWSG April 2023. My first foray into writing a book.

 So hi again. So soon. April is a feeding frenzy with the A - Z Challenge and the WEP April challenge and all sort of other writing challenges coming our way. 

The awesome co-hosts for the April 5 posting of the IWSG are Jemima Pett, Nancy Gideon, and Natalie Aguirre!

I'm participating in the A - Z Challenge as an interviewee. Operation Awesome is interviewing some authors who suit the letter of the day and I happened to be one of the lucky ones with my pen name, Silver Tree. Interviewed on April 24.

Winners of WEP contests win critiques on their WIP and may be optioned to be included in our WEP Anthology, out in 2024.

So, the April 5 question - Do you remember writing your first book? What were your thoughts about a career path on writing? Where are you now and how is it working out for you? If you're at the start of the journey, what are your goals?

The April 5 question takes me back.

Writing was always a hobby.  I always loved to write from an early age, but never saw it as a career. Teaching was my career and writing dovetails nicely with that, especially when you're an English teacher. But it wasn't until my kids were grown that I took writing seriously. That entailed learning my craft. Sadly, (and I've heard other writers bemoan this fact) you can't just write what you like how you like - you have to write to certain tropes in your genre/s, keep the action coming and throw stones at your protagonist. That took me ages to learn.

The question is a little confusing. First book? That was a spy-type of thing that went nowhere. Many others came and were binned. I've always loved short story writing, but my first real crack at a book was written while staying in Fiji with Nas Dean. Called Fijian Princess, it was okay, but not publishable. I might pick it up down the line. Trying my hand at these books was better than any craft book. As Ray Bradbury said and I paraphrase - you have to write thousands of bad words first ... Now that I'm on my way, there's no stopping me. After terrible trouble finding an ending, I'm currently about to hand my Paris cookery novel over to beta readers and the publishing process begins.

My first published book was Book 1 in my vampire series. I've written four books in the series now and have one to go, including a prequel (already written) for which I mocked up a cover in Canva yesterday.

Unfortunately with free Canva, there are not many fonts. However, this will be handed over to Kim Killion soon and she'll do an amazing job like she did on Paris Dreams.

Have an amazing April writing! We at Team WEP would love you to join us for our April challenge, Life is Beautiful. Go HERE for the POST and HERE for ideas!

Closely following Life is Beautiful is a sci-fi (or whatever) prompt from the movie -

Wooo ... come on sci-fi lovers! Give it your best shot!

Wednesday, 1 March 2023


 Hello fellow insecure writers. Is there any other kind? 

"As writers, we falter more often than not. We struggle to find narrative clarity, struggle with the purpose of why we write, struggle with beliefs that writing comes easier or more naturally for others, struggle with allowing who we really are to come through in our work, or that who we are, as we are, is enough. Sometimes words from other writers offer a lift."

And that, my friends, is the combined wisdom of best-selling authors of the ilk of Margaret Attwood, John Grisham, George R.R Martin et al from the inaugural Santa Fe Literary Festival (above)If these guys struggle, what chance do we have to be secure in our writing career? (If you have advice for me to the contrary, please drop it in the comments! I'd love to hear from you!)

So, peeps, it's April already. April is so busy with the A - Z challenge where writers gamely write every day. No thanks! Used to, but those frenzied days are over. I admire each and every one of you who succeeds. If you also write for WEP, you can find a way to combine both challenges.

The awesome co-hosts for the March 1 posting of the IWSG are Diedre Knight, Tonya Drecker, Bish Denham, Olga Godim, and JQ Rose!

March 1 question - Have you ever read a line in novel or a clever plot twist that caused you to have author envy?

Are you kidding?????

I am a super voracious reader, and always make time for it no matter how frenetic life is and it's more than frenetic atm, so I am full to overflowing with author envy and magical words that feed my soul. Those who're waiting for a review may understand me more. Sorry. That phrase you wish you'd thought of, that word, unique, (Pat Conroy is the master!) or that plot!! I'm especially devouring thrillers atm (along with womens' fiction and vampire books) and plotting in thrillers, especially, must be sooo hard unless the author has reached the level where they appear to use a formula and repeat it with different characters and settings. Readers don't mind, do we? Well, maybe sometimes. I don't read certain authors anymore as they so obviously repeat themselves. But usually when we admire an author they can't shoot out those books quickly enough for us. I hope I'll reach that level one day! But I'm definitely a sloooow writer. How about you?

I don't like to just mention one author/plot twist that still has me thinking months after I finished the book when there are several, too many to mention. Oh boy! But I Let You Go  by one of my fave thriller writers, Clare Mackintosh, has left the biggest impression on me and obviously a lot of people. Just saw she's got over 40,300 reviews! Crikey! I'm struggling to reach double figures). I'm shivering just thinking about her plot twists. Spoiler alert! Stop now if you're going to read it on my rec.

Somehow the author convinced the reader (or was it just dumb me?) she was talking about one person, but as the book rushes on you realize she's talking about a completely different person. (You're aware of them both.) That's pretty hard to pull off! It did me in. There is this vicious person out to kill one of these people. Shiver. Shiver. Police finally come to the starkly remote creepy beach in England where most of the story takes place. (I've noted in thrillers that the police are painted as pretty useless so the hero has to save themselves). Yeah, after a terrifying tussle she's already killed the killer by the time the cops arrive (girlpower!) - but the last line of the book has you asking - has she really? 

The killer has tracked her down where she's been eking out an existence writing and photographing Hallmark-type cards in the sand. Hmm. With him dead, finally she can reclaim her spot of beach without shaking in terror. So after she returns from hospital after being bashed to within an inch of her life by the killer - she finds -

"Jennifer - (her name of course)...

The sea doesn't falter. The next wave breaks over the marks in the sand, and they are gone. A gull gives a final sweep of the bay as the tide comes in, and the sun slips beneath the horizon.

And then it is dark."

I've already re-read to see where I missed the clues, but can't find it. Clare Mackintosh has done a great job. Author envy!!!!!

Have a great month, everyone! We at WEP have just finished our Gone With the Wind first challenge of the year. Currently on our blog the 3 winners are announced and have received their Oscars - Damyanti Biswas, Beth Camp and Dolarah (formerly Donna Hole).

You could receive an Oscar next. We'd love you to write for us in April ... check this out ...

Leave a comment and I'll get back to you!