Guest Post: D.R. Grady

DeAnnD.R. Grady lives with her husband near Hershey, PA. She adores chocolate, laughing, collecting bags, books, and shoes, and writing stories that resonate with others.


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The Nerd Who Spied Me 

TheThe Nerd Who Spied Me covery’re confident in their secret operative abilities, but maybe not so much in their relationship goals.

Cian Hunter is tasked with the impossible: find Verity Wellington and bring her home safely. His survival is not guaranteed.

Everyone in their business knows Verity is perfectly capable of getting herself home, since she’s the gut-them-first-and-ask-questions-later type of operative. She also has the advantage of knowing where she is, which would be helpful.

He accepts the assignment, aware two operatives are better than one when dealing with the nebulous factions who lurk in the shadows. Plus, the chance to get close to Verity to see if his attraction to her is more than a fleeting interest is too good to pass up. Provided she doesn’t gut him first.

Cian is confident in his secret operative abilities, despite wishing to leave them behind. However, his relationship goals leave something to be desired. If he can figure those out… he might stand a chance of getting them both home alive.

About the book:

In the manner of a smattering of her de Leos relatives, Verity Wellington was born a warrior. Unfortunately for her, she also inherited a full dose of her mother’s femme fatale woman magic.

I’ve enjoyed the dichotomy of a warrior saddled with femme fatale genes. All men notice her. None of them forget her, and for a secret operative, this obviously creates trouble in the field.

For Verity, the heroine of THE NERD WHO SPIED ME, she has to work that much harder, and is limited in the types of jobs she’s assigned. This concept is nothing new for women the world over. A quote from the late former Texas Governor, Ann Richards, applies. “After all, Ginger Rogers did everything that Fred Astaire did. She just did it backwards and in high heels.”

This sums up Verity’s life as a secret operative. She is every bit as capable as any of her male counterparts. Yet she’s got a couple of major disadvantages, but still exceeds expectations.

Being a woman in any society that we know of appears to be fraught with perils many men have never encountered. But what if the woman in question is tough and scary in her own right? She’s wrapped in a delectable shell, but she’s got skills to rival any Navy SEAL or Army Ranger.

Verity is altogether different from our previous woman warrior, Janine Morris from SHADOWS AND SPICE. Janine became a warrior due to her circumstances—which she overcame by becoming an impressive warrior in her own right. However, Janine is first and foremost a healer. Verity was born a warrior, and would love to remain unassuming and invisible so she can do her job.

She is faced with these conflicting genes and must come to a compromise between them before she can perform to the full extent of her expertise. Impressive abilities she can’t fully stretch and expand because of the come-hither vibes she wishes she could permanently turn off.

Join Verity and hero Cian Hunter as they combine forces to return to her native Rurikstan. Their only task is to arrive alive. It’s too bad that can be difficult for some people.

This story is a wonderful romp with plenty of the Morrison family members who make an appearance so I hope you’ll pick up a copy of THE NERD WHO SPIED ME to enjoy.


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Google Play:


Createspace: coming soon!

Other works by D.R. Grady:

The Morrison Family Series:

The Nerd and the Marine

The Corpsman and the Nerd

The Nerd and the SEAL

The Nerd’s Pocket Pets

Shadows and Spice

Macy’s Parade

Bad Nerd Rising

Bad Nerd Falling

Nerds on Fire

Nerds Unite

The Trouble with Nerds

The Nerd who Spied Me

Free Short Stories:

Math Nerds and Mechanics

Tall Golfs

The Me Series:

Treasure Me

Save Me

Trust Me

Heal Me

Love Me

The Dragon Chronicles Series:

The Dragon Chronicles Book 1: Learning

The Dragon Chronicles Book 2: Shifting

The Dragon Chronicles Book 3: Healing

Please visit my website for updates on these series.



Guest Post: Vicky Burkholder

Many times authors are asked “Where do you get your ideas?”. The simple answer is… everywhere. The hard answer is…everywhere.

A little explanation. An author is open to possibilities from everywhere. A newspaper headline. A bit of a song. A snippet of an overheard conversation. A beautiful sunrise. The ideas are everywhere. It’s what you do with them that makes you an author…or an artist…or a musician…. And no two authors (artists, musicians) will do the same thing with the same idea.

For most authors, once we’ve gotten that snippet, we start playing the “What if…” game. Take my first series, “Gambling on Love”. I took a bit of a news story – the horrific practice human trafficking – and played “what if…” What if this was still going on a hundred (or more) years in the future? What if the low lifes that do this are in outer space, on space stations and other planets. What if a friend or relative of a cop was taken? And so on. And thus, Gambling on Love was born.

The story I’m working on right now – a romantic suspense – is based on the titles and lyrics of two songs from Sarah McLachlan: “I Will Remember You” and “In the Arms of an Angel”. I love her music and the emotions it evokes. And the ideas it gives me.

For my Pride series… What if there really were people who could change their shape? They’d have the same problems humans do, but they’d have the the additional problems of keeping their animal selves hidden from the world (or risk becoming lab specimens). What if…they purchased a large tract of land somewhere remote and developed their own town(s)? What if not everyone who lived there was happy with the setup and the rulers? Thus… “Lion’s Pride” series. Currently it’s only two books, the the third will soon be coming. 🙂

And that is where authors get their ideas. From everywhere.

lionsheartLION’S HEART – Book 1 in the LION’S PRIDE series.

Facing a lonely existence after the death of her mother, Healer Selena is startled when two strangers show up on her doorstep. One is badly injured, beyond her help. It is the injured man’s companion who draws her notice. She wonders how much her mother had to do with bringing him here. After all, Selena’s mother was a witch. The ruby she enchanted before she died is glowing, telling Selena that this man is her chosen mate. But he’s a shapeshifter, a being she has learned to distrust.

Tristan had been against the journey with his godfather, Jacob, but a promise is a promise. An attack by outlaws sealed his fate. Injured and on the run, they come upon a secluded cabin and a beautiful woman. When she shows powers that go beyond the imagination, he is certain he’s been bewitched, but for some reason, he doesn’t mind as much as he thought he would. When he finds out she is actually the daughter of his mentor, he knows there are forces at work that go beyond the realm of normalcy. His lion recognizes her as his mate, it takes the man a little longer.

from Amazon                                                                From Liquid Silver Publishing


Stefan the Black, alpha of the northwestern territories, needs a strong mate. It’s the only lionschoice600x900way the prides and packs will continue to follow him, but he hasn’t found the right one yet. Then Dr. Malena Troutman literally runs into him and he and his beast know that she is the one.

The problem is convincing her.

Malena wants nothing to do with prides or packs. As a half-breed—part witch, part shifter—she’s been shunned by both shifters and witches alike. But her beast wants Stefan, and so does the human part of her. Still, can she trust him not to turn her away, especially once he learns her secret?

But Stefan has more than a few secrets of his own, not the least of which is … he’s also got magic running through his blood. It’s up to him to convince the packs and prides that their prejudices are hurting the prides. Ruling a large area of multiple packs and prides takes a lot of balancing—funds, people, emergencies, and more. But with Malena by his side, Stefan turns things around and both beasts find contentment.

From Liquid Silver Publishing


Grammar Rules and when to break them

As many of you know, in my day job, I’m an editor. Yes, I’m that evil person who tells you where to put your Oxford commas and how to correctly use their/they’re/there. There are rules for grammar and The Chicago Manual of Style is an expert at giving us these rules. But, as in most things, there are times when rules are made to be broken. This is especially true in fiction writing.

When I do an edit for an author, I rarely change anything outright (re: incorrect usage of their/they’re/there and other homonyms), but I make suggestions for the author to use as he or she sees fit. For instance:

Sentence fragments: This often happens when you start a sentence with a conjunction (and, but, etc.). But why not do this? It’s a purist thing. The “But” sentence I used here could just as easily be written as “Why not do this?”. Unfortunately, that’s not the way most people talk. People speak in fragments all the time. I wouldn’t advise writing this way in a formal essay or something for a grammar class, but using them in a popular fiction novel? Go ahead. It makes the reading flow better and is more understandable than formal writing. But… don’t use them all the time. Sprinkle a few in here and there for emphasis or dialogue, just don’t have every sentence be a fragment. Then it becomes the problem instead of a solution.

Ending a sentence with a preposition: Again, why not? This rule originally comes from Latin construction but we’re not talking Latin. We’re writing plain English and that is an entirely different kettle of fish. Forcing us to move words around so there’s no preposition on the end of a sentence makes the writing sound stilted and way too formal. Go ahead and end it with one. I give you permission to do so. But… if you can reword it differently as in: That’s something I won’t put up with. vs. I won’t put up with that. Go for the clarity and brevity unless you’re making a statement about the character.

Split infinitives: When I edit for these, most people say “huh?” What in the world is a split infinitive? It’s a two word phrase that expresses one thought, usually with the word “to” involved: to walk, to go, to see, to…whatever. A split infinitive occurs when you put another word–usually an adjective–between the two words: to boldly go; to quickly walk; to really see, etc. A purist will tell you that you should never split these two words. I say… maybe. Yes, sometimes you can reword the sentence: I wanted to really see him. vs. I really wanted to see him. And it works fine. But there are other times when moving the word messes with the meaning of the sentence and it just doesn’t sound as good: To boldly go where no one has gone before. vs. To go boldly where no one has gone before. While the second one is correct, it doesn’t have the same impact as the first one. So go ahead and split those infinitives if necessary. Just don’t do it all the time, please.

That vs. Who: True grammarians will know the difference between that and who: I’m going to see the man that/who gave me my dog. The correct usage is “who”: I’m going to see the man who gave me my dog. “That” is for things; “who” is for people. But… very few people use it correctly. I rarely edit a writer who has used this correctly. In dialogue, I might let it go because that’s how people talk (unfortunately), but in regular prose? Nope. This is one rule I do stick to.

There are a lot of other rules I can discuss, but we’ll stop with these for today. Just remember, kind of like the pirates in the “Pirates of the Caribbean” movies – “The code is more what you’d call ‘guidelines’ than actual rules.” – substitute “rules” for code and you have it. Follow the rules when possible, but don’t be afraid to break them every now and then. Just be sure you have a good reason to. 😉