Saturday 30 April 2022

The Story behind the Story by Allan Hudson of Dieppe, Canada.


I am so excited to share my own Story Behind the Story this week.

Shattered Dreams is with the editor as I post this. I’m aiming for a publishing date of June 30th, or earlier.

For those are new to the site or the series, Shattered Dreams is the third book in the Jo Naylor series.

Once a Detective – Now a Fugitive. What happened?


Book One – Shattered Figurine.

Book Two – Shattered Lives.

To read more about these novellas, please go HERE.


Watch for details or you can check out these spots:

FaceBook Author Page –  Allan Hudson Author | Facebook

Twitter -  Allan Hudson (@hudson_allan) / Twitter



Working Title: Shattered Dreams


Synopsis: Jo Naylor has to leave the sunny skies and beaches of Thailand. It’s too dangerous for her to remain. A return home to Canada isn't an option. Stepping off the plane in Paris, she’s greeted by freezing rain and a new adventure.  Befriended by an older man, Jo is introduced to the glamorous city and unforgettable characters. Brandy Williams is an Australian expat who dreams of reporting for Le Figaro, one of Paris’ leading dailies. The lead she uncovers of forced prostitution may be her last.

When Brandy disappears, Jo is not one to turn away from trouble. She wonders who she can trust with her own secret. She doesn’t know the city well enough to search on her own. Bertrand Poitras, a small-time bookie and man about town offers to help. Having been a cop for so many years has made Jo leery of his type. Handsome, tough and with the right connections, she decides to give him a chance.


The Story Behind the Story: What started out as a short story a few years ago, Shattered Figurine evolved into a novella and the beginning of this series.

Jo Naylor is a detective. She and her partner, Adam Thorne, are investigating a case in which all clues lead to the trail of a serial killer. Her hunt for the killer gets too close to home. Naylor has suspicions of who the perpetrator may be, and she prays she’s wrong.

I published the short story in my collection titled A Box of Memories which contains twenty intriguing stories.

I always wondered what would happen to a detective if the person they were searching for, the person who commits heinous crimes, was a relative. How would they react? How would I react?

Thus, Shattered Figurine was born. Shattered Lives followed and now I am happy to bring my readers the third Book in the Series – Shattered Dreams.

There are two more novellas planned for this series. Book Four is being outlined and I hope to introduce my favorite character – Drake Alexander – to Jo and together they can solve a crime… or get in trouble.

If you happen to read the series, you will discover Jo Naylor cannot return to her home in Canada. Will she ever be able to?

You’ll have to wait and see.


I hope you’ll stay connected and watch for Shattered Dreams.


Thank you for visiting. Thank you for your support.

Don’t be shy – leave a comment if you have time.

Saturday 23 April 2022

The Story Behind the Story with Ellen Khodakivska of Poland.


Hey there Scribbler fans.

This week you will meet Ellen Khodakivska.


We met on Twitter and it was the ingenious cover on her novel which intrigued me. I’ve since read her novel and enjoyed it tremendously.

She joins us all the way from Poland to share the Story Behind the Story.


Let’s meet Ellen.





Writing is my life, and despite all the challenges, obstacles, and storms, I’ll keep on writing even if there is only one person left who anticipates reading my next book.

      I’m a loving wife, mom of little Nik, an avid reader, animal lover, traveler, and tea drinker. I’m an author who loves my life and shares its milestones with the people I love the most!




Working Title: “The Watchmaker: A Clock Can Talk”



Synopsis: Time is tricky, unstoppable, and mysterial. It is pointless to argue with Time. All attempts to tame it are also hopeless. For some fathomless reason, truth is always on the side of Time. Meanwhile, Time loves to be appreciated. If you respect Time, it respects you back, revealing you some of its secrets.
Once a mysterious old woman offers Dominic Donelli’s great grandfather – an ordinary watchmaker – to possess a gift that will allow him to help people to manage Time wisely. He takes a risk and gives his consent. The watchmaker can’t even imagine a scale of the effect of his decision for him and his next generations.


The Story Behind the Story: “The Watchmaker: A Clock Can Talk” is based on a true story full of love stories and tragic losses, grief and blessing, mystic and mystery, gift and curse. Well, that’s how everything started.

Once upon a Time, I stuck at one of the numerous antique shops in Gjirokaster, Albania. I balanced on buying an old typewriter. Moreover, I was singing along to a tune that sounded from an old radio nearby. It was one of Toto Cutugno, an Italian singer who stole my heart a long Time ago.

Suddenly I felt someone observing me. I turned around and noticed an old man in a sky blue sweater. It was summer, and the sun was relentless. The man probably noticed that I was surprised by his outfit.

Then he stepped closer and said: “Buongiorno signorina! I bet that your heart belongs to Italy. And you’re also curious about my sweater”.

I just smiled, looking at the weird old man, whose green eyes looked much younger than his age.

Meanwhile, he talked: “Let’s make a deal! I’ll tell you about a sweater, and you’ll let me know about your wristwatch. I guess it’s a gift from your parents on your 16th or 18th anniversary. Don’t look at me like that! I’m old, but not naive! I know that one story about a sweater is not enough for a book! I’ll tell you a bit more. You’re a writer, aren’t you?”

I stood with my jaw half dropped.

He smiled kindly, winked at me, and added:

-      Sorry, I forgot my manners! My name is Dominic Donelli (that’s his name in the book)! I came from a family of watchmakers. And you have been peering at this typewriter for ages! Well, agree?

We found out that we had much in common during our long, fateful talk: we both love Italy, we both are strongly connected to Gift and Curse, and we both know for sure that ‘A Clock Can Talk.’ 





A question for you Ellen:


Please tell my readers about your podcast or your blog, what inspires it and how can we can find it.


Ellen: I don’t have any podcasts, but I have a blog where I share my musings, bookish preferences, and everything that inspires me with readers and fellow writers. Here is a link:




Thank you, Ellen, for your entertaining story and for sharing the Story Behind the Story. Wishing you continued success with your writing.



And a big thanks to you – our readers and visitors.

Don’t be shy – leave a comment before you go. Would love to hear from you.

Saturday 16 April 2022

The Story Behind the Story with Cheryl Taragin of Baltimore, Maryland.


Another new Author to the Scribbler.

I admire authors who can write for and entertain children.

Cheryl shares the news about her first picture book and the Story Behind the Story.

Let’s welcome Cheryl!




Cheryl Taragin holds a B.A. in Behavioral and Social Sciences from the University of Maryland at College Park and a J.D., cum laude from the University of Baltimore School of Law. She is a retired bankruptcy lawyer, storyteller, and writer, as well as the mother of three adult children and two young grandchildren. “That’s Ridiculous, Said Nicholas” is her first picture book for children. She is in the process of publishing a second children’s picture book about friendship and adventure and has a book deal to write her first young adult novel.



Title: “That’s Ridiculous, Said Nicholas”


Synopsis: Nicholas Jon Paul Martin William Annabelle Tydings is an energetic young daredevil who walks to the beat of his own drum. He wants to be treated like a sensible child, but people often tell him things that he knows cannot be true, like don't make faces, your face will freeze like that, or you broke this mirror, it will bring seven years of bad luck. Then he always said, “That's ridiculous.” With the help of his parents, Nicholas learns to be kind and that he can do anything if he puts his mind to it. This book is about how to handle those kids who are strong-minded and a little outspoken and how we can direct them onto the right path so they will be more focused and productive. Perfect for ages 3+.



The Story Behind the Story: Cheryl’s love of storytelling began at a very young age. As a child, she would write and illustrate her own stories, stapling the pages together like a book binding. The idea for her picture book came out of the blue while she was exercising. She realized that the name “Nicholas” rhymed with “ridiculous,” and wouldn’t it be funny if there was a difficult child who would speak his own mind whenever people said things that sounded ridiculous? As the parent of an out-spoken and strong-minded child, Cheryl wanted to create a story showing the effect of positive parenting on such a child. She hopes “That’s Ridiculous, Said Nicholas” will inspire children to speak out while remaining humble and inspire parents to realize that children respond better to praise than to criticism.




A question for you Cheryl, before you go:

What inspired you to write children’s stories and how rewarding has the journey been?

Cheryl: Although I’m a grandmother, on the inside, I never grew up. In my mind, I’m still that little girl creating stories. I love writing for children. Their little minds are so fresh and open to anything. That gives a writer a lot of leeway. The journey has been exceedingly rewarding. I’m very glad I finally decided to pursue my dream of becoming a published author. I am learning so much along the way and meeting great people. 


Thank you so much for giving me this opportunity to share my story with your readers.


You are most welcome, Cheryl. It’s a treat to have you as a guest. Wishing you continued success on your writing journey.


And thank you, Dear Readers & Visitors. Feel free to leave a comment below.

Saturday 9 April 2022

The Story Behind the Story with Heather McBriarty of Saint John, NB.


The Scribbler is so HAPPY to have Heather back for this week’s Story Behind the Story for her latest novel. She has been our guest before and if you missed her interview where we discussed her debut novel – Somewhere in Flanders – Letters From the Front - please go HERE.   

The novel we are discussing today is an exceptional story. I had the opportunity to read it and Wow!  Read on and you will discover a story not to be missed.


Heather McBriarty is an author, lecturer and Medical Radiation Technologist based in Saint John, NB. Her love of reading and books began early in life, as did her love of writing, but it was the discovery of old family correspondence that led to her first non-fiction book, Somewhere in Flanders: Letters from the Front, and a passion for the First World War. She has delivered lectures on the war to the Royal Nova Scotia Historical Society, NB Genealogy Society, Western Front Association (Central Ontario Branch), and other community groups.


Working Title: Amid the Splintered Trees



Synopsis: August 1914—Emma has dreamed of becoming a doctor all her life, not an easy task for a woman. Will wants Emma as his wife, but she is worth waiting for. They both imagine a life together, a family and a future of happiness—someday.
But suddenly the conflict in Europe erupts into war, and they are asked to sacrifice everything. Nothing could have prepared Will for the death and devastation he faces in the muddy trenches of the Western Front. As his losses mount, he struggles to remain the man Emma knows and loves. Emma is forced to tackle her own obstacles as a woman in a man’s world of medicine, without his support. From her patients to her classmates, it seems no one truly believes her capable. Just when she thinks things cannot get worse, a devastating explosion levels her city and Emma is called to her own front line.

From the blood-soaked ground of Ypres, the Somme and Vimy to the 1917 Halifax explosion, each of them is tested in ways they never could have imagined. Wounded in body and soul, can they find a way back to each other or will their future also be sacrificed to the Great War?


The Story Behind the Story: My grandmother lived through the First World War, seeing her young man go off to fight and losing him to this conflict. I discovered this sad story when I was given the collection of letters which he wrote to her from the trenches.  I curated these letters into a non-fiction book, the story of one Canadian man’s war.

I often thought about this small human tragedy: lovers and families separated, going through life trying to survive and keep their spirits and hopes up; of men leaving it all behind and being thrust into a violent, deadly world beyond any of their experiences to that point. I wondered how they thought and felt on a deeply personal level. At the same time, I thought about my grandfather who was a medical student in Halifax, who had a female classmate at Dalhousie Medical School and who was placed in his own traumatic situation when recruited to treat the injured in the days following the 1917 Halifax explosion.

In researching for Somewhere in Flanders, I was struck by the stories of the real Canadians and the incredible job they accomplished at the Front in 1914-1918. I was fascinated by the work going on at home, and by how very much they were just like us while coping with the unimaginable. It was a face of the war far removed from the somewhat dry list of battles that we’re taught… if we’re taught anything about this war. And thus, bubbled up the idea to bring that world back to life through fictional characters.

This story came together quite quickly in my head: young lovers divided by a war; a young woman defying gender norms and enrolling in medical school, trying to reconcile having a career and a family; a young man who dreams of a wife and children and a happy life but is faced with the mental and physical traumas of war, the loss of friends - a gentle man forced to kill. But I wanted a happier ending than what happened in real life for my grandmother - her young man lies buried in Flanders, killed at age 22 – but it could not be too easy for either of my main characters.  Sometimes I felt like I was torturing these two lovely young people but that only makes for a better ending, right? This isn’t really a “love story”, although it has plenty of love; nor is it strictly a war story, which is well represented too. It’s a story of two people in love, facing four horrific years and triumphing in the end.





A question before you go, Heather:

What’s the most enjoyable and the least enjoyable about your writing journey?

Most enjoyable: getting into the heads of these two characters, of seeing them come to life on the page and coming to care for them as deeply as if they truly existed. In some ways they really did, as they are the representation of many real Canadians. When one beta reader said they fell in love with one of my main characters, it was a pinnacle moment.

As well, I felt I challenged myself as a writer and learned so much about writing. I have always loved books and stories, so to craft my own contribution to this art form was a massive personal accomplishment.

Least enjoyable: The editing! Oh, the editing… it feels like 90% of writing a book and in many ways is the least satisfying part of it. At times, I got heartily sick of my own words. But the polishing that results from editing makes the diamond shine. 


 Special Note: Heather will be sharing one of her short stories on our popular SHORTS page – Stories from Around the World – on May 18th. Mark it on your calendar.

Thank you for being our guest this week, Heather, and thank you for the incredible stories. Wishing you continued success.

A special thank you to my dear readers and visitors. Don’t be shy. Feel free to leave a comment below

Saturday 2 April 2022

The Story Behind the Story Foxfires: Jo Danilo of New Zealand.


Jo Danilo was a recent guest on the Scribbler when her short story – The Saturday Girl and the Heavy-Breather – was featured on SHORTS - Stories From Around the World. If you missed it, the story is posted on her website HERE. She has many delightful stories to share.

This week she tells us more about her novel – Foxfires.


Jo moved from the far north of England to the Far North of Aotearoa/New Zealand in 2011. It’s decidedly warmer, but she misses all the ghosts. She writes in the Contemporary Young Adult and Historical Fantasy genres and has managed to type ‘The End’ on four novels. She is currently represented by High Spot Literary Agency, Auckland.



Working Title:  Foxfires’ (Cover reveal coming soon!)


Synopsis: Winter 1943.

A plane crashes in a snowstorm, briefly breaking the silence on the desolate moorland. The pilot, Jack, wakes in the wreckage to discover his memory gone, but hope arrives in the form of a gruff farmer, who guides him back to ‘Foxfires’, a farmhouse encircled by deadly marshes. Jack is immediately captivated by the troubled, young woman who lives there, even though his presence seems to anger her.

As two rescuers battle across the snowbound moors towards the crash site, Jack begins to uncover the terrifying secrets of Foxfires – of a wronged witch, a chilling legend, and a curse that echoes across generations. He realises he is in terrible danger.

Will the search party arrive in time to save him… or is it already too late?


The Story Behind the Story:

When I was eight, we moved from the flat plains of southern England, to the hilly North. It was a revelation. Immediately there was a sense of being cocooned, and the bleak beauty of the nearby moors wormed its way into my heart. Even though I moved away several times in my teens and twenties, lived in different countries, and now I haven't been back for eleven years, I always think of the place as 'home'.

It's not perfect, but that's part of its beauty. The old buildings turn black with age, and the colour palette can be dull and sinister on an overcast day (of which there are many). But it has great dollops of atmosphere to fire up a writer's imagination. It makes you really feel things.

The first tiny seed for Foxfires was planted on a wintery walk across a moor called Black Hill to explore an abandoned farmhouse. Many times, I’d driven past it in the distance and always wondered about the place. It looked like it was straight out of a Bronte novel, moody and mysterious, so far from anywhere.

A tale evolved around this lonely farmhouse, which I christened ‘Foxfires’. And, in the story, the building was surrounded by deadly marshland and tied to an ancient legend of a fight between two hill-tribe chiefs over a woman who can control the weather. Hundreds of years later, a pilot crashes nearby and sets the finale in motion.

It was much later that I discovered a real legend about the surrounding moors, in which two giants called Alderman and Alphin fought over a water nymph. They hurled huge boulders at each other, which became geographical features scattered across the moorland. Alphin was struck a mortal blow by Alderman and died. The nymph, devastated at the loss of Alphin, threw herself to her death. It only seemed right that my own two warring chiefs should bear the names of Alderman and Alphin.

With the manuscript now in its final changes, it will soon be time to say goodbye to the world of Foxfires. I’m going to miss it. The story feels like a final tie to the place that will always be 'home'.



 A question for you, Jo: What’s been the most enjoyable and the least enjoyable about your writing journey?


Jo: Writing fiction is a bizarre thing when you think about it... You’re essentially transferring scenes you can see in your own head into words on a page. The pages are then read by others, so that they can imagine the same scenes in their head. It’s almost magical.  

The least enjoyable part? Not being able to write full-time, because I love doing it so much. The older I get, the more I realise what a precious and irreplaceable resource time is.

Thank you for being our guest this week, Jo. Wishing you continued success with your writing.


Thank you to you Dear Readers & Visitors. Feel free to leave a comment.