Wednesday, March 13, 2019

A Hardscrabble Life In The Wilderness #MFRWAuthor

WELCOME TO #BOOKHOOKS sponsored by #MFRWAuthors. To see posts from authors participating today, click on link above.

Wilderness is the land that was wild land beyond the frontier...a land that shaped the growth of our nation and the character of its people. It's was the rare, wild places where one could retreat from civilization, reconnect with the Earth, and find healing, meaning and significance.

The Wild West was once such a 'wilderness' but it's often romanticized in western/cowboy novels. Living in this wilderness in the 1800s wasn't all about gorgeous dance hall girls or the glorified gunfight at OK Corral.

Thousands died during the gold rush days from disease, accidents or starvation, others were attacked and killed by Indians (or died when unjustly attacking the Indians) and others died from eking out a living on the harsh, brutal land. Hopefully, some of these images will paint a picture of what venturing into the wilderness meant for some in the end. They are stark and vivid reminders that the wilderness was no place for the weak or infirm.

After a bank robbery went wrong in Coffeyville, Kansas in 1892, Grat and Bob Dalton were shot to death. Brother Emmet—who took a whopping 23 bullets—survived. He did, however, spend the next 14 years in jail. 

This picture of a a group of Paiute Native Americans was taken in 1872, 12 years after the Paiute War, during which they were nearly wiped out by U.S. settlers.  The Northern and Southern Paiute Indians of northern Arizona, Utah, Nevada, Oregon, and eastern California live in the southern and northwestern portions of the Great Basin.

Olive Oatman’s family was killed by a group of Mojave Native Americans when she was a young girl. She and her sister were spared and taken in by the tribe, which taught her their customs. Olive later would rejoin European Americans, but she believed the traditional tattoo she was given marked her as a slave. After several years with the Mohave, during which her sister died of hunger, she returned to white society, five years after being carried off.

How about you; do you think you would have survived living in the wilderness in the 1800s? Or have you ever wished your born during that time period? Leave a comment below and let us know your thoughts.
I've written a few books set in the Wilderness - western romance, mostly. In my book COMES AN OUTLAW, one reviewer talks about a hardscrabble life in the West.

"Cain’s younger brother Coy arrives out of the blue. He could be a big help, but he doesn’t intend to stick around. Not knowing his parents and brother had died, he only planned to stop in for a short visit before continuing to Utah, but the beautiful widow and her courageous son won’t make it without him. The hardscrabble existence of life in those days, the engaging characters, and the fascinating look at Yaqui Indian culture, carries the reader into a simpler time when it was easier to believe in spirits and their ability to communicate beyond the grave."

Tuesday, March 12, 2019

The Delicious Scent of Spring Is In The Air (and Daylight Savings)

Hello my lovelies. Welcome to Keta's Keep!

This week we experienced Daylight Savings and with that, the first inking of spring scents the air.

Did you know....


September 22 marked the autumnal equinox and the first day of fall, which got us wondering: Why do we call the seasons Spring, Summer, Fall, and Winter?

Before Spring was called Spring, it was called Lent in Old English. Starting in the 14th century, that time of year was called “springing time”—a reference to plants “springing” from the ground. In the 15th century this got shortened to “spring-time,” and then further shortened in the 16th century to just “spring.”

What About Daylight Savings?

The idea of daylight saving was first conceived by Benjamin Franklin (portrait at right) during his sojourn as an American delegate in Paris in 1784, in an essay, "An Economical Project." Read more about Franklin's essay.

Some of Franklin's friends, inventors of a new kind of oil lamp, were so taken by the scheme that they continued corresponding with Franklin even after he returned to America.

The main purpose of Daylight Saving Time (called "Summer Time" in many places in the world) is to make better use of daylight. We change our clocks during the summer months to move an hour of daylight from the morning to the evening. Countries have different change dates.

Some say the primary reason that Daylight Saving Time is a part of many societies is simply because people like to enjoy long summer evenings, and that reasons such as energy conservation are merely rationalizations.

Personally, I'm going with enjoying longer evening activities rather saving energy.

"Everyone appreciates the long, light evenings. Everyone laments their shortage as Autumn approaches; and everyone has given utterance to regret that the clear, bright light of an early morning during Spring and Summer months is so seldom seen or used."

From London builder William Willett (1857-1915)

in the pamphlet, "Waste of Daylight" (1907)

Don't forget to set your clocks ahead today (technically last night at midnight). I hope you all have a wonderful spring and are able to spend time outside reading some wonderful novels!

Here's one of my #ghost novels you might enjoy!
Read the new Review snippet!

Contemporary Romance/Paranormal

Do you believe in ghosts? Rooney Fontaine doesn't—or didn't until one named Stuart Granger shows up in her hotel room. Now the humorous, yet desperate, apparition is begging her to find the men who murdered him before his brother becomes their next victim.

After serving three tours in Afghanistan and one in Iraq, Stephan Granger is no -stranger to risk and peril. When a woman shows up at his house rambling about ghosts, murder and assassins, his first inclination is to deem her wrong in the head and send her packing. But how does she know things that happened to him and his dear departed brother in their childhoods, secrets they never shared with anyone?

Soon after he invites her in to hear more about what really happened to Stuart, gunfire splits the air and shatters all the windows in the house. Someone is trying to kill them. Now they're on the run from assassins while trying to find out who killed his brother and why they want him dead too.

Even amid murder and mayhem, sometimes you find love.

Recent Review Snippet

"Diablo has written a fully-rounded story, with a strong and exciting plot, and characters to die for! Even with the paranormal, ghostly twist, the issues and emotions these characters were forced to cope with felt very real. They had me rooting for them all the way through to the very last page. An entertaining, heartfelt story, packed with action, nail-biting suspense, and romance!"

Sunday, February 24, 2019

Top Inspirational Photos While #Writing CHASING THE DEAD #PNR

Hello, thanks for dropping by again. I hope you're enjoying my posts about photos that inspired me while writing every one of my books. As I said before, some authors make detailed outlines, chapter-by-chapter, to refer to. Some authors post sticky notes around their computer to remind them where they're going with their story, and yet others, like me, post photos to keep me inspired while I write.

About Chasing the Dead 

Madrid Arrende finds herself kidnapped by the Apache. Her wealthy father, Don Erasmos Arrende, is determined to rescue her. There is only one man capable of bringing her back alive...Deacon Bannister. Deacon doesn't give one whit about the large sum of money Don Erasmos has offered him to find his daughter. He only cares about bringing the woman he left at the altar a year ago home.

A ghost is terrorizing the Apache village and the young maiden, Sacheen, has been banished by her People for unleashing Uday's wrath. Now, Deacon, Madrid and Sacheen must flee for their lives across the rugged New Mexico landscape with the evil spirit in hot pursuit. Will they make it back alive to Madrid's father's hacienda or will
Deacon lose Madrid forever?

Here are some photos I posted to the wall while writing CHASING THE DEAD (Bannister Brothers series), a #paranormal #romance.

The story takes place in 1884, New Mexico, a beautiful state! I had to post a photo of the terrain in New Mexico to remind me how harsh and wild (and yet beautiful) it was in 1884. Mountains in the back, and white aspens frosted over in winter.

Hacienda - This might be similar to what the Arrende hacienda looked like (Madrid's home).

By the eighteenth century a typical hacienda was an elaborate institution. In addition to the main house and its guest quarters there were stables, a general store, a chapel, a school, equipment stores, servants' quarters, granaries, corrals and a forge. Clothing was produced at the hacienda from cloth woven on the premises.

Sacheen, the Apache Indian Maiden, who helps Deacon and Madrid flee from the vengeful ghost that's tracking them across New Mexico. Sacheen knows a lot about the weather and how to survive in such a brutal land. A brave young woman, she faces a sinister ghost during the story, even though the Apache greatly feared dead spirits.

Sacheen would have been dressed similar to the picture on the left. Traditional Apache women’s clothing consisted of buckskin dresses. The introduction of commercial cloth brought about the two-piece camp dress for women. Traditional footwear of the Apache are high boot-like moccasins.  Apache moccasins have a distinctive up-turned toe, which is purely decorative in nature.

Animals the Apache Avoided: Snakes
Do not enter the reservation with snakes or any product made of snake skin or

any part of the animal. The Apache do not communicate with this animal; it is considered a bad omen to have contact with a snake.

The bear is an animal the Apache do not have contact with because bears are highly respected. Never touch a bear, its waste materials, footprints, bedding area or anything the bear has touched. Do not call him by his name. The Apache people refer to him as “my grandfather” or “my uncle.” If you cross paths with the bear, tell him to go into the dense forest and live where no other entities set foot. Do not enter the reservation with the following: bearskin hides, claws or teeth.

The owl is a night creature and the Apache people do not have contact with this animal. Avoid having a night owl near you. It is considered a bad omen if an owl hoots near you day or night.


I hope you enjoyed the pictures, and hope you learned something about the fierce Apache who once lived and roamed the wild country of New Mexico.

If you read CHASING THE DEAD, please consider leaving a short review. Reviews are so helpful and much appreciated, even if it's only a sentence or two long!

Happy Reading! 

Sunday, February 17, 2019

My Top Inspirational Photos For #Writing Where the Rain Is Made

Welcome to Keta's Keep! I'm so happy you dropped by.Today we're talking about photographs and how they can help your writing.

Some authors make extensive outlines when they begin writing a novel; some use sticky notes and tack them up around their writing space. I use photos as inspiration, images from scenes and/or characters in my book. Photos remind me to look visually at all aspects of my book and help cement those images in my mind.

"If you can visualize it, you can write it!"
Keta Diablo

I collected numerous photos when Where The Rain Is Made was nothing more than a seed sprouting roots in my brain. One image led to another (similar to how one scene leads to another) and before long a full-length novel played out in my mind. Below is a sampling of photos I used to inspire me for Where the Rain Is Made. I hope you enjoy them.

Where the Rain Is Made is first and foremost a romance but soon crossed over into several sub-genres: time travel, shapeshifting, mysticism and historical fiction. 

Recent review snippet that relates to the crossover:

"A love that transcends time — a compelling, time-traveling romance poised between modern day and the gut-wrenching conflict between the Cheyenne and the Blue Coats. Where The Rain is Made was a surprising blend of genres. While solidly building on a foundation of romance, it is so much more." 

Of course there's a hero (Ethan Gray/Meko) and a heroine (Francesca) but the heart of the book relates to the customs, beliefs and tragic history of the Cheyenne Dog Soldier

The dog soldiers were the elite military organizations in the Cheyenne tribe. They were the last line of defense for the people. ... In time of battle, the dog soldier would impale his shoulder sash to the ground and stand his ground to the death.  The most elite Dog Soldiers wore “Dog Ropes,” sashes made from buffalo skin and decorated with porcupine quills, feathers and beads.

There's #ghosts in my story:  The Sacred Council of Arrows
Seo'ộtse, Cheyenne word for dead spirits who ruled the Cheyenne in prior centuries. Not a time traveler among them but they are empowered to send wanderers through time to help the People in times of great trouble.

Members of the Sacred Counci: Vo'kaa'e, known in the white man's tongue as White Lances, Kâhamaxe, Cheyenne name means The Stick, Wolf That Speaks, a dignified, mystical guide, Stands-In-Light, High Priestess and the only woman on the Council, The Pacer, a soothsayer known for his wisdom and ability to see into the future, Man-Who-Paints-His-Shirt-Black, A Dog Soldier, a fierce opponent, Whirlwind, the father of all ghostly souls. 

Ethan Gray is a curator at The National Museum of the American Indian in Washington, DC in his present life. When he travels through time to help the People, he's knows as MEKO, leader of the most fierce military band on the plains, the Cheyenne Dog Soldier. The National Museum houses one of the world’s largest and most diverse collections of its kind. The museum’s sweeping architecture, its indigenous landscaping, and its exhibitions, are all designed in collaboration with tribes and communities from across the hemisphere. It is designed to give visitors from around the world the sense and spirit of Native America.

Typical Cheyenne village (recalled by member of an architectural dig).
This Cheyenne settlement was large. It stands on a flat, now bisected by a railroad embankment, slightly sloping toward the river, and the houses stood close together. Many of them were large, one at least being 60 feet in diameter. Besides the large houses there were a great number of smaller ones, probably occupied by small families, by old people living alone, or used as menstrual lodges. Including the area east and west of the embankment we counted more than 70 large house sites, taking no account of the small ones. The houses extended several hundred yards back from the river, toward the west, and 150 or 200 yards north and south. It is probable that when they were numerous, they may have extended a long way down to the river.

Meko's chant as he shapeshifts into a Raven

"I walk alone on the edge of time, traveling far and near. 
Born of the sun, kissed by the wind, the call of the raven screams in my ear." 

Scene of shift from the book: 
His vision blurred and pain tore through his head. The muscles of his back constricted, his tendons and ligaments stretched tighter than sinew on a tanning rack. His arms twisted into gnarled limbs and shiny, black wings took their place. He soared skyward, above the clouds, to where the rain is made. Through a great abyss he tumbled and then emerged on the other side. The raven dipped in the heavens and arched his massive extensions for descent. 

Nightwalker, Meko's horse.
Meko selected Nightwalker from a large herd of horses. When he travels back in time, the black stallion is waiting for him. What did Meko look for when choosing Nightwalker? Bravery, soundness, rideablity, trainability, a good work ethic, a forgiving nature, and a natural uphill balance make for a good horse. Most of all Nightwalker had a calm demeanor in battle, a willingness to please and the heart of a champion. 

I hope you liked the pictures and want to know more about WHERE THE RAIN IS MADE (still tops my favorite of all the books I've written).


Thursday, February 14, 2019

VALENTINE'S DAY #Bookblast #Rafflecopter

 photo BOOK BLAST_zpslw7xqh2e.png


Click on any of the below book covers to be taken to the page that has more information on the novel as well as the Buy Links!

Before you leave, don't forget to enter the Giveaway!

RABT Book Tours & PR