Blog Hopping with Tim & Valerie

We are thrilled that Valerie and Tim Hemlin invited us to participate in this blog hop. It’s designed to show our readers a more personal side to the shadowy figure of MA Scott. We have listed seven (hopefully) interesting facts to help cast light onto who we are as writers.

As many of you know, we are a spousal writing team. Now, writers tend to be solitary creatures. We tend to hide in darkened corners plotting mayhem, romance, subversion, surprise revelations, and character development, all for the imaginary people demanding attention from inside our brains.

But, at the same time we’re closet exhibitionists who really revel in being forced to disclose things about ourselves. That’s where things like this blog hop come in so handy.

The rules (as defined by our generous hosts) are that we share 7 facts about who we are and links to up to 15 blogs that we enjoy reading.

If we’ve nominated your blog, please don’t feel any obligation to join in but if you do, please link back to the blog of the person who nominated you (that would be us). Then have fun thinking about the things you want to share about yourself.

It’s invigorating, fun, and a chance to pass along some information about yourself and the people you like. Try it! You’ll like it!


1. We are avid readers. We tend to jump genres, consuming anything from science fiction to romance to fantasy, mystery, history, self improvement, technical or medical journals. We even go so far as to amuse ourselves by reading  cereal boxes and other packaging (inserts and all; because they can be so darned amusing). Basically, if it’s printed, we’re likely to read it.

* SIDE NOTE aka RANT:  Do we really need to be told to not eat a Boston Fern? No kidding: The tag actually says that you shouldn’t eat it. Really? I thought it quite obvious. But on further reflection, we do eat artichokes. Hmmmmm”

2. We are wanderers. In Jim’s case, it’s hereditary. He was born in Japan and then traveled around the western United States and the Pacific region with his military family. Like all good spouses, he cross contaminated Colleen, his lovely Arizona bride. Since marrying at the dawn of the color TV era, they have lived in Arizona, Missouri, Colorado, Nevada, now Washington State.

3. We’re a mixed marriage. Colleen has a healthcare background whereas Jim has law enforcement/ court system experiences. Don’t let that worry you, Colleen used to be an ER nurse before transitioning to rehabilitation nursing. She’s tough enough to deal with her spouse’s silly ‘man ideas’!

4. We love country living. Our happiest times have been spent in the mountains of Colorado at 9000 feet and now in the wilds of western Washington where the air isn’t so thin. We currently host two overprotective dogs (tho golden goes bats if a gnat burps. It takes a might more than that to excite the mastiff)  and a surly cat who spends his thankless days trying to whip us into some semblance of an adequate staff.

5. We are geeky – to a certain extent. We love our tablets and Roku which brings us the wonderful worlds of YouTube and Acorn TV. But we have crappy cell phones because, where we live, they don’t work very well. Seriously, there is a spot in the front of the house some 100 feet from the door where you can get a signal – sometimes. You have to know that’s a great place to be when it’s raining or snowing and the power has gone out. Guess who gets to go out and stand on one foot with his mouth contorted “in the right position” to report the mishap!

6. We are gaga for British TV. What we like is the emphasis on brains over brawn to solve issues. We truly believe that most issues are best dealt with through the liberal application of mental power. Although there are times when one must resort to brute force, like when that pesky cork just won’t pull out of the bottle.

The other attraction to our British cousin’s programming (at least as seen here in the US) is the use of character development as a series progresses. Whether it’s a mystery like Lewis or a comedy like As Time Goes By, the protagonists grow, develop, and worm their ways into your psyche. We like it when art imitates life. Humans are complex, multifaceted creatures. It’s nice to see time taken to reflect that in ongoing programs.

7. We are a study in contradictions. Despite the above rhapsody about technology, Roku, Acorn TV and British programming, most nights we eschew watching “the tube” on favor of beading, painting, sculpting, & other creative pursuits followed by reading. Our weekends are often spent gardening or; as the season requires; cutting, splitting or stacking wood. Over time, we’ve found that we sleep better, work better, and get along better when we actually engage the world and each other rather than sinking into the visual opium den of merely watching.

Now, for blogs that we follow. the host of our blog hop and another of those rare and brave souls who writes in tandem with his spouse. I’m sure he and his lovely wife Valerie would agree that you never really know the person to whom you are wed until you write a book together. Just like we live in the Other Washington, they live in the Other Fresno – the one in Texas. Who knew there was more than one Fresno? okay, we don’t follow this one – we write it. But still, it is interesting. It is an expose of how the world changed because of that fateful October day in 1805. Desperation and technology propelled the still young British Empire to take a fearful risk that changed the world – forever. written by the woman who drew the sting of starting blogging and tweeting in the first place. Mariah is a generous, kind, and wonderful author of urban fantasy whom we met at the 2013 PNWA conference and who, since then has shared generously of her time and encouragement.  is written by one of our earliest and kindest Twitter followers, Antoine Vanner. Antoine writes a blog filled with interesting, engaging stories of British and naval history from the age of steam. He is a true gentleman and a very accomplished wordsmith. We count ourselves very lucky to have his loyal following on Twitter. written by our friend and good neighbor Rob Stroud. Rob is a retired Air Force chaplain and a wonderful fellow. He is bright, insightful and extremely articulate in both his writing and his argument. A devoted fan of CS Lewis, Rob has opened a new world of insight into the complex friendship between Lewis and the other Inklings as well as the realm of the role of faith in everyday life. offers insights to writers on sundry topics. Lindsey is another of the amazingly generous people we met at the PNWA conference. He is an author, musician, teacher, mentor, and coach. Generous of spirit, incisive of mind, he is another person we count as a true blessing and bright point of light along the twisted path of life.  gives us a wonderful and frequently humorous glimpse inside the world of Georgian England. This is a world of seminal importance to our Nation and our modern world. Reading about it in all its complexity and with all its foibles goes a long way to enhancing the understanding we have of how we developed our modern world. from the wild prairies of Wyoming comes this blog with thoughts on writing, being a writer, and more. We were recently privileged to be beta readers for a new fantasy from this talent. What an act of faith and courage to turn your hard work over to others and trust that they will be engaged enough to read and comment while being kind enough to help guide you to a better product. Our verdict: We can’t wait to see the final form in print so that we can experience it again! written by a self described “London exile striding through a Glasgow miasma”. Prepare to find yourself engaged in travel blogging and commentary that reminds you of the early works of Paul Theroux. The prose is rich. The insight deep and profound. The subject matter, no matter what you think of it at first blush, is always engaging and engrossing. Truly a gem to look forward to each time it arrives in your inbox. PLUS, he’s the man who taught us to make berry infused scotch whiskey. Tried it with our huckleberries this year. A TRIUMPH! provides quick snippets of fact about authors – both well known and obscure. Their blog is always entertaining and informative. The factoids have the habit of stimulating further investigation, which we suppose is the point of it all. is an impassioned look at the worlds of academia, disability, power, authority and privilege – from the inside as well as the outside. You may not always agree with the author’s arguments or his politics but you cannot deny the sincerity nor the strength of them. Regardless of your personal beliefs or convictions, David Perry is an essential read. He will give you much to mull over and will compel you to refine your own viewpoints through his inexorable logic.

Smarter Every Day is both a blog and a video series on YouTube. If you have ever wondered about how or why anything works, this is the place to start looking for explanations. Destin is a truly gifted presenter. He takes the complexities of science and translates them into engaging, informative, and riveting everyday English. The man is amazing. He will make you care about things you never even knew you were interested in. You really owe it to yourself to check out some of his posts.

HORROR OF HORRORS! We forgot an exceptional blog that we follow. – this wonderful blog comes to us out of Canada and explores some of the dustiest, most obscure corners of history. We first found it when looking for information about Russian religious cults (hint: they figure prominently in our upcoming steampunk novel). We found a wonderfully detailed 4 part series on the doukhobors of British Columbia. What a find! Check it out. We’re sure you won’t be disappointed. Our most profound apologies to Mike Culpepper for this oversight.



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