Whispers Under the Baobab

One of my favourite writers, Darlene Jones (yes, she’s the one on the camel) has just completed another book, “Whispers Under the Baobab.” It is a stand-alone sequel to her previous publication, “When the Sun was Mine.”  In this sequel,  the setting goes back and forth in time.  We are taken from the U.S. to Africa and back, to events that happened earlier in the life of award-winning journalist, Flo McAllister. When she died, Flo left a mystery behind. The story evolves as we try to decode her secret notes.

I’d like to share the author’s thoughts with you here. Welcome Darlene. What can you tell us about your new book, “Whispers Under the Baobab”?

Darlene Jones

It’s always exciting when “the book” is finally edited, formatted, and published. Holding the print copy in your hands never fails to make your heart beat a little faster. You’ve done it.

Whispers Under the Baobab, my seventh book, is as gratifying as my first. Perhaps even more so for not only have I honed the craft of writing in the process, but I’ve set much of this one in West Africa including Mali, a country that has been dear to my heart ever since I lived there many years ago.

Even more gratifying are the comments from my Nigerian friend, who graciously agreed to be a beta reader.

As an African currently living in Nigeria, my country, I could relate especially with the African setting. Aside from developing the plot, Jones doesn’t fail to present the reader with tidbits about the life and culture of Sidu’s people.

Some sequels tend to lose steam along the way, but not this one. This second installment is a book you can relax with, and finish in a day. If you are looking for a novel where good triumphs over evil, where love is mutual and undying, where new friendships are forged from the unlikeliest of situations, and above all, where the plot is driven by suspense and some bit of code-cracking, then Whispers Under the Baobab is the book for you.

Darlene Jones demonstrates exceptional talent as a wordsmith, and for plotting an intriguing story whose premise invites readers be to resolute in their quest for what is true and right.

See both books here: http://ow.ly/aKXh30bMH88


Writing Styles – Part 2

Continued from Writing Styles – Part 1

Writers all have different ways of conveying meaning to their readers. In this post I’ve asked authors to provide short excerpts with examples of how they’ve developed description of a character and a setting. A third challenge was to provide a sentence or two showing their favourite ending to a scene.

My first guest today is Darlene Jones with excerpts from her novel “Embattled.”


Goils 201

1. CHARACTER: She fluffed her hair and straightened her jacket. Satisfied that she looked presentable for the superintendent’s visit—no chalk on her clothes or hands. No blood either. She bolted to her office, seeking escape with the boss and her performance review.

2. SETTING: She struggled through the thick vegetation, swinging the machete awkwardly, working her way towards her destination. Vines wrapped themselves around her legs. She yanked at the long skirt of her dress to free herself. She swung the machete again, and pushed through the narrow opening she’d created, ignoring the thorns that scratched her bare arms and shoulders. “Suitably dressed, I am, I am.” A spider web enveloped her. The machete cut through it easily enough, but remnants clung to her skin.

3. SCENE ENDING: “Oh, my God! What’s happening to me?”
Embattled jpg for Kindle

Find out more about Darlene Jones’s books on her website: www.emandyves.com


Also joining us today is Mandy Baggot.


1. Character – Nathan Regan

He was good-looking, but his clothes were a style disaster. He was wearing an off-the-peg charcoal suit, a white shirt open at the neck, and on his feet were very cheap shoes. He wasn’t the hotel’s usual clientele. He looked like he might be more at home selling mobile phones.

2. Setting

When Autumn saw the property, she smiled for the first time in a very long time. It was gorgeous. This was more like it. This was what she was used to. As soon as the Jeep had parked up outside and Teo had opened the door, she had almost floated out of the vehicle, joy and awe etched on her face. It was a new building, traditionally constructed, the color of slate with a green tiled roof. There was a garage straight ahead, and to one side, wooden steps led up to a front door.

Her jacket was over her arm now. The heat was stifling, and she knew that inside there would be a shower at the very least, somewhere she could wash off everything she had endured over the last day. She walked toward the steps, unable to wait any longer.

3.  Scene Ending

The room silenced as Alison Raine looked to Autumn for an answer to her question.


Website: www.mandybaggot.com

Twitter: https://twitter.com/mandybaggot

Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/mandy.baggot

Goodreads: http://www.goodreads.com/author/show/2968625.Mandy_Baggot

Loveahappyending Bookshelf: http://loveahappyending.org/mandy-baggot/

Sapphire Star Publishing: http://www.sapphirestarpublishing.com/mandybaggot


More writers to come next time.

Checkered Flag Event

Today’s guest may be familiar to you, but did you know she has just crossed a milestone finish line?

checkered flag

checkered flag -flipped

Darlene Jones has finished the fourth and final novel of her “Em and Yves Series.”

Embroiled promises to keep you turning pages right until the end.


Many years ago a young girl left the safety of Canada for adventure in Africa. This was in a generation when young girls didn’t go anywhere on their own and certainly not to the “the dark continent.”

I was that young girl and going to Mali demanded that I adapt to the climate, the culture, and the languages.

But above all, I had to adapt to time travel, for most Malians lived the way they always had. Modern conveniences consisted of basic items such as kerosene lanterns and little else.

I brought home with me a love for Mali, the Sahara, and Malians that burns as brightly now as it did then.

It was the plight of Malians that inspired my novel series. Since I couldn’t wave a magic wand to make life better in Mali, I chose to do that fictitiously. I wrote my books to entertain, but also with the hope that readers would see the world in a broader perspective. I hope that doesn’t make my books sound preachy, because they’re not intended to be, but I don’t think I could have written them in any other way, given my experiences in Mali. The wide warm smiles of Malians stay with me always. I hope that warmth and positive outlook is conveyed in my stories.




Yves has taken Emily up to his world—a world of gods and Powers and people rescued from doomed planets. He has given her 100 days in Earth time to decide if she wants to stay with him or go back to Earth.

Faced with the dilemma of having to make this decision, Emily takes refuge in the antiquities room of the library where she finds odds and ends from Earth, objects that both ease and increase the sorrow of her painful decision. Among the Earth things, she finds a beautiful dress. She doesn’t know this is the dress Yves gave her in her first life.

Emily is wearing the dress when she encounters Algar, the Power most disapproving of her presence in their world.


“Sky! Not you again.”

Emily jumped and swept her gaze around the chamber. Lord help me. Algar! Nothing she could do now, but face him head on.

“What is that … that … abomination you’re wearing?”

Emily looked down at her dress. “You mean this?” Of all the times to be wearing her special dress…. Yves had planned a private dinner for them tonight. She’d worn the dress for him because he liked it so much and because she felt so amazing in it. For Algar to see her in it was beyond bearing.

“You are indecent. You must be detained. Immediately.” Algar reached for her. “Guard! Guard!”

Emily’s courage deserted her. She gathered up her skirts to run. Sparks of light flew off the dress. Algar cried out and staggered back. Emily froze. Good God, the dress had assaulted him. Algar had raised his hands to protect his face. Emily gave her skirt a little shake. More sparks flew. One must have landed on Algar’s face, because he muttered an oath and scrabbled at his cheek with his fingers as if trying to get something off his skin. Another shake of the skirt and more sparks flew, these ones leaving tiny singe marks all over his tunic until it looked like a grotesque parody of a fifties polka dot dress.

“Guard!” Algar bellowed. Two troopers appeared at the entrance. She shook the skirt again. They too, fell back as sparks flew at them. Emily didn’t wait to see what would happen next. She ran.


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Find out more about Darlene Jones and her books on her author page at Amazon.com and on her webpage.