Authorship, Publishing, Books and More

Wednesday Guest Author-J. Arlene Culiner

It’s Wednesday and it’s time for another guest author and please J. Arlene Culiner.

TWL-What’s a typical writing session like for you?

Do I have a typical writing session? I don’t think so. It all depends on what else is going on (far too much, generally). It also depends on whether I’m pulling together what I’ve researched in different archives. Disorganized, chaotic, easily distracted… I’m no reference for any writer.

TWL-What have you learned most from being a writer?

The sheer excitement of working on something. The buzz when perfecting a phrase or a paragraph (and that takes me hours, sometimes).

TWL-What’s been the biggest struggle and how did you overcome it?

I HATE marketing. I Hate rejection slips. I HATE working with editors who want to change everything. However, I am nice and polite and friendly, despite the frustration.

TWL-What’s been your biggest victory?

The pure pleasure I get when someone says they love my phrasing or delights in my descriptions.

TWL-If you could give advice to your pre-author self, what would it be?

Get on with it! Do better!

TWL-What writing tip would you offer to a new author?

Read everything. Read excellent poetry? Read history books. Read literary travel. Read!

Desert Rose

Secrets are the best protection against love

Rose Badger is the local flirt, and if the other inhabitants of backwoods Blake’s Folly, Nevada, don’t approve, she couldn’t care less. With a disastrous marriage and a dead-end career far behind her, settling down is the last thing she intends to do. Newcomer Jonah Livingstone is intriguing, but with his complicated life, he’s off limits for anything other than friendship. Besides, Rose has a secret world of her own—one she won’t give up for any man.

The last person geologist Jonah Livingstone expected to meet in a semi-ghost town is the sparkling and lovely Rose Badger. But Rose, always surrounded by many admirers, doesn’t seem inclined to choose a favorite. So why fret? Jonah keeps his personal life well hidden…and that’s the best way to avoid disappointment.


The saloon door opened. Rose glanced over, and her breath caught. Jonah. She hadn’t heard from him since the night of the concert, a week ago. She wasn’t certain she’d ever hear from him again. Yet here he was. Her heart warmed. She’d missed him, and the memory of being with him had lingered, keeping her warm over the intervening days.

What was he doing here in Blake’s Folly today? No one could be here by pure chance? Of course, that didn’t mean he was looking for her, did it? He had mentioned that he would be spending quite a bit of time out at the old Winterback Mine. Perhaps he was here in the Mizpah for some warmth, a coffee, and a meal. But she knew she was trying to fool herself—just so she wouldn’t feel disappointed if she were mistaken.

Slowly, casually, in that wonderful sauntering way of his, he joined the three of them. Rose introduced the three men. Again Lance and Tracey sized up the competition—except they couldn’t know that Jonah wasn’t competition, Rose reminded herself.

Her eyes ran over the craggy lines of his face. How delectable he looked, available or not available. Her heart sighed. If only she had the right to lean over and kiss that lovely mouth of his. Or touch him, right there, on the shoulder of his black leather jacket.

“Jonah is also covering every inch of the desert,” she said, hoping her voice sounded calm and controlled, that it didn’t betray those last steamy thoughts of hers. “The difference is, that as a geologist, he covers what’s underground, the stuff that no one else normally sees.”

The barflies were fascinated now. Some forgot to sip their beers. Rose with three male admirers! This was too much. Didn’t this promise a shoot-out, one as violent and exciting as those that had taken place in this same room back in the town’s glorious old days? Back when mustached gamblers, gold miners, cowboys with quick tempers and nervous trigger fingers all sought the favors of the sloe-eyed good-time girls.

“How about if we all sit down at a table. Get comfortable,” she suggested. Get out of everyone’s hearing. She noted how crushed the barflies were. As usual, they’d soon be moving in closer so as not to miss a word.

She slid into the booth on her right; Jonah was beside her, on her left. She could smell the natural scent of him, the hint of cool fresh air, sand, and something else: a subtle but sexy musk. Her hand was resting on the seat, right next to his thigh, not touching him, but itching to do so. Casually, she moved it closer, until she could feel his heat in her fingers. No one would notice, would they? Certainly not Jonah, who wouldn’t allow himself to think of her in a sensual way like that.

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Writer, photographer, social critical artist, and impenitent teller of tall tales, J. Arlene Culiner, was born in New York and raised in Toronto. She has crossed much of Europe on foot, has lived in a mud house on the Great Hungarian Plain, a Bavarian castle, a Turkish cave dwelling, a haunted house on the English moors, and on a Dutch canal. She now resides in a 400-year-old former inn in a French village of no interest where, much to local dismay, she protects spiders, snakes, and all weeds. She particularly enjoys incorporating into mysteries, non-fiction, and romances, her experiences in out-of-the-way communities, and her conversations with very odd characters.

Author Website


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