Wednesday, 17 January 2018

The Foragers: A #SciFi Novel by Katherine Nader

I'm an aspiring author and screenwriter currently living in different parts of the world. For the past two years, I've been travelling and experiencing collective living with friends, family and even strangers. We all have one thing in common which is meditation. I'm an active member and a volunteer for Sahaja Yoga Meditation that has helped me become who I am today. I love traveling to SY seminars, festivals, concerts, even volunteering at schools for the celebration of Inner Peace Day.

Learning about cultures, traditions, religions and even spirituality has given me perspective on many aspects of my life and a sense of 'the self.' I try to capture all these experiences in my writing. For example, The Foragers takes place in Japan, a place I visited and lived in for 3 months. I came to learn about the First Nations called Ainu. Not many people know about them, so I have mentioned them in the series. I've also been to South Korea and witnessed the harshness of the forced military service on boys once they come of age. I portray this through another character. The Kan is actually a sixth sense/intuition that martial artists practiced in Japanese history.

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About the Book


"A re-imagining of the Hunger Games, where descendants of a royal samurai clan, the Ainu commune, a South Korean soldier, an American agent, and Japanese assassins work together to win The Foragers Contest." -GW


A group of contestants are multi-tasked to compete for the honor of becoming the Ultimate Forager. In order to pass the initial round, they must secure one of three registration badges, their own, their predator’s or their prey’s.

Among the contestants, two assassin clans seek recruits to win their battle for power over S.S.O. A former government agent, a boy looking for his father, an assassin, and an orphan are enemies on the path to becoming an unlikely family.


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Keep reading for an interview with Maya, a character from the book:


Who is your enemy?


Daremoga watashi no tekidesu. Everyone except for the Italian children I saved from assassination. I can't trust anyone or risk them getting killed by the S.S.O. They're everywhere.

Tell us a little about your world, and where you fit in?


That's exactly what I'm trying to figure out right now, whether I belong with the Kan, the Mori or no clan at all. But I'm a fighter and will keep trying to find my place in this world.

What are your goals?


Currently, I need to make it into the next round of the game or die trying. We'll see how it goes from there.

What is the greatest obstacle you have ever had to face?


Breaking in and out of a vault with three idiots. Oh and did I mention it's deep within a mountain? Imagine doing that ... twice.

Where is the best place to visit in your world?


Anywhere but the Shirakami-Sanchi forest, unless you have a death wish.

Do you have any hobbies?


I like to sharpen my kunai and sometimes I use them to make a fire. I've also used them to fight a bear once.

If you had one day left to live, what would you do with your last day?


Everyday feels like my last. I hope to one day put an end to the S.S.O so I don't have to keep watching over my back. I will spend my last day as I have on all other days--getting one step closer to taking them down.

Monday, 15 January 2018

The Order of Actaeon (Waxwood Series: Book 1) by Tam May

Tam May was born in Israel but grew up in the United States. She earned her B.A. and M.A degrees in English and worked as an English college instructor and EFL (English as a Foreign Language) teacher before she became a full-time writer. She started writing when she was 14 and writing became her voice. She writes psychological fiction, exploring characters’ emotional realities informed by past experiences, dreams, feelings, fantasies, nightmares, imagination, and self-analysis.

Her first work, a short story collection titled Gnarled Bones And Other Stories was published in January 2017. She is currently working on a novella series called the Waxwood Series. Set in a Northern California resort town, the series explores the crumbling relationships among the wealthy San Francisco Alderdice family. Book 1, The Order of Actaeon, will be released on January 18, 2017. In the book, the Alderdice family son and heir falls into the hands of a charismatic older man obsessed with power and leadership during a summer vacation in the resort town of Waxwood. The second book, The Claustrophobic Heart, brings in Gena Flax, a young woman who must cope with the mental deterioration of her aunt during their summer stay at Waxwood. In the last book of the series, Dandelion Children, Daisy, the daughter of the Alderdice family is drawn into the disturbed life of the man who ruined her brother during one rainy summer in Waxwood.

She is also working on another book, House of Masks, about a woman who is mourning the death of her father and gets drawn into the lives of her two neighbors, one eccentric and one embittered.

She lives in Texas but calls San Francisco and the Bay Area home. When she’s not writing, she’s reading classic literature and watching classic films.

To keep updated on Tam May’s current projects, giveaways, promos, and blog posts, as well as receive a free gift, sign up for her newsletter.

You can also join Tam’s Dreamers Reading Group, for a chance to chat with others about books and opportunities to read advanced review copies of Tam May’s books, as well as special promotions and giveaways.

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About the Book


Sometimes the hunter becomes the hunted.


Jake is the heir of the prominent Alderdice family in San Francisco. Although dearly loved by his sister Vivian, his passion for art and his contemplative temperament make him a pariah in the eyes of his tyrannical mother Larissa.

When the Alderdices spend their yearly summer vacation in the prominent resort town of Waxwood, Jake meets Stevens, a charismatic older man. Stevens’ paternal authority and obsession for power and leadership fits into Larissa’s idea of manhood. Jake develops a hero worship for Stevens who in turn is intrigued by Jake’s artistic talent and philosophical nature. Stevens introduces him to the Order Of Actaeon, a group of misanthropes who have rejected commercial and conventional luxuries for a “pure” life in the woods.

But behind the potent charms of his new friend and seductive simplicity of the Actaeon lifestyle lies something brutal and sinister that Jake could not have anticipated.

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Keep reading for an excerpt:


“I’d like to meet Jake and Vivian’s father,” Stevens said. “Will he be coming down here some time this summer?” Jake gave him a stony glance. He was sure Stevens remembered what he had told him about Raymond.

There was a few minutes silence while Jake felt they were all trying to think of how to respond without lighting the fire of shame to the Alderdice name.

Vivian was the first to speak. “We had different fathers. Mother was determined to wipe any trace of them off the face of the earth and she damn near succeeded.”

“My daughter uses vulgar words, Mr. Stevens,” Larissa said. “But she’s not far wrong.” Her polished fingernail trailed the damp cocktail glass. “I am once a widow and once a divorcee. I took back my maiden name and gave it to my children. I wanted to give them their dignity back.”

“Mother finds any flaw undignified,” Vivian said in a tight voice, “My father was a weak man who died of a heart attack and Jake’s father was a cheating bastard who went away when Jake was three years old.”

Larissa’s face darkened with the mark of her rage and she pushed the empty cocktail glass away from her a little too savagely, making it tumble to the grass. Jake quickly picked it up and set it gently on the table.

“I’m sorry. I shouldn’t have asked.” Stevens’ head tipped just enough to show humility but not so his eyes were totally hidden.

“No,” said Vivian. “You shouldn’t. But now that you have, tell me, Mr. Stevens, does a man who abandons his son to run off with a younger woman fit your theory of defending what is precious?”

“That’s enough, Vivian,” Larissa snapped.

“I don’t mind answering the question, Mrs. Alderdice,” said Stevens. “I find it reprehensible, of course.”

“Of course,” Vivian echoed.

“But sometimes people should run away,” he continued. “When they’re too volatile or too dangerous to be around others, that is.”

“You mean,” said Vivian, her voice softening, “sometimes hurting others becomes an act of love.”

“Something like that,” he said. “For some men, the rules are different. It’s not always easy to understand.”

“Explain it, then.” Vivian leaned forward.

“Viv, I don’t think — “Jake began.

“I don’t mind,” said Stevens. “I have nothing to hide.”

“I must admit, you have me curious,” said Larissa.

Stevens smiled then. It was the smile of the Cheshire cat, hanging solitary but mystifying.

“The boundaries aren’t as rigid with primitive people as they are in so-called civilized society,” he said. “Jung knew it. So did Freud.”

“I’m not sure I understand,” said Larissa.

“Taboos aren’t as neatly categorized,” he explained.

“You mean you can sleep with your father or mother and not be damned?” asked Vivian.

“Don’t be disgusting,” Larissa said with a wince.

“I don’t mean that at all,” he said, a little edgy. “Even primitive people have lines they won’t cross”

Click here to read the full excerpt!

Friday, 12 January 2018

The Clown Forest Murders: A #Mystery Novel by A.C. Brooks & R.R. Brooks

Robert R. Brooks (R.R. Brooks) spent his career doing pharmaceutical research and development. Now living in western North Carolina, he has published both fiction and nonfiction, including science fiction and fantasy stories exploring strange encounters and issues of doubt and belief. Leo Publishing released his epic fantasy novel Justi the Gifted in 2015. A science fiction tale and second fantasy novel are in the works. He is a member of the Blue Ridge Writers Group, the Appalachian Round Table, the Brevard Authors Guild, International Thriller Writers, Inc., and the N.C. Writers’ Network. He maintains author’s pages on Facebook, Amazon, and Goodreads.

Andrew C. Brooks (A.C. Brooks) works in internet technology in California. When he’s not training for an Ironman competition, he writes. He has published a short story, extensive blog materials (www.andhesays.com), and technical writings (www.smartthings.com). His college-connected psychological mystery with R.R. Brooks is one of several novels of humor and adventure he has written.


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About the Book


At age eight, Dave Austin witnesses his brother’s savage murder in rural Norwich, New York, but amnesia suppresses the memory, and the killer escapes. Locals suspect an itinerant, a pedophile, or a disturbed friend maddened by psychedelic mushrooms.

When Dave starts college, pressures at Princeton and alcohol elicit dreams, each one revealing a bit of memory. Then come visions as Dave senses the killer return. Images of teenagers killed where his brother died precipitate a crisis, and David returns to Norwich to find his dead brother’s friend, a disturbed witness who knows something. Dave’s appearance alarms his psychiatrist, the officers who hadn’t solved the case, and especially the killer, who knows he should not have let the young Dave escape.

Now the killer must correct his mistake. When a crazy farmer invites Dave to learn the killer’s name in the Clown Forest at midnight, how can he resist? He may learn what he needs to identify the murderer—if he gets the truth, and survives.


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Keep reading for an excerpt:


As if it wasn’t enough to have nightmares, he suddenly realized these were more than just bad dreams…

Dave read the story twice, feeling dread. He should feel distant, uninvolved. The crime didn’t happen on campus or in the town of Princeton. Not even in Norwich. He didn’t know the victim. It was unfortunate and heinous, but what did that have to do with him?

Dave jerked, his body shaking. Two puzzle pieces fit together—his fear and the carnival killing. He feared the carnival murder because it was like his brother’s and Carter’s—the same modus operandi. Repeat criminals tended to do things the same way, picking the same types of victims, the same locations, the same way of entering. Didn’t Ted Bundy pick similar girls?

Didn’t Son of Sam, Dave Berkowitz, choose the same locations where lovers parked? Didn’t Gary Ridgway, the Green River Killer, prefer strangulation? If it was the same MO, could it be the same killer?

Dave re-read the paragraph on how the carnival worker had died. The phrasing about repeated blows to the face, even after the victim was surely dead, was exactly what had been written about his brother’s death.

One other detail finally hit him. Shocked, he realized he’d dreamed about the carnival murder on the same night it happened.

He’d gone to sleep before midnight and the kid was killed just after midnight. It wasn’t precognition he was afflicted with. It was co-cognition.

Wednesday, 10 January 2018

The A to Z of You and Me: #Poetry by Jeremy Mifsud

Jeremy Mifsud is a final-year psychology student, currently enrolled at the University of Malta. In his poems, he writes about various topics, including mental health, LGBTQ-related topics, love and environmentalism. His works have been featured in multiple anthologies, including an upcoming anthology "Please Hear What I'm Not Saying" (2018). His next collection "Welcome to the Sombre Days" is forthcoming in 2018, by which he hopes to connect with LGBTQ youth and other youth who suffer from mental health problems.






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About the Book


The A to Z of You and Me is a collection of 26 love poems. The poems featured in this publication are all dedicated to my boyfriend and tell my experience of our story in an honest way. Feelings expressed within the poems range from those of adoration and love to those vulnerable moments of isolation and neglect. Throughout the book, these conflicting emotions clash in a harmonious symphony, painting the whole picture of the relationship, with all its struggles and rewards.

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Keep reading for an excerpt:


Silence


I enter the room,
my footsteps echo,
as the cold air
touches my skin.

My heart beating,
body breathing,
no other movement
can be heard.

You are nowhere to be seen,
my eyes remain hopeful,
trying to find a trace
of any of your belongings.

No luck,
I hear the clock tick and tock,
and that is the only sound
I can hear.

The walls keep on closing on me,
time running out,
I am suffocating out of oxygen,
suffering in silence.

Then, I scream,
sound waves breaking out the silence,
can you hear me
squeal in pain?

I try breaking out the walls,
find a way to communicate
but I am locked inside,
constantly knocking for your reply.

There is no light that gives me hope,
darkness shrouds the room,
and I lay here waiting,
I will keep on waiting,
until I hear your voice again.

Friday, 5 January 2018

The Swamp Queen: A #Mystery Novel by Jude Roy

Jude Roy is from Chataignier, a small Cajun community in south Louisiana. His stories have appeared in numerous publications, and his novels are available on Amazon. He writes mysteries and general fiction set in south Louisiana.

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About the Book


An old college buddy, a missing woman, a dead body, and all clues leading to the great Atchafalaya Swamp has John LeGrand scratching his head. Woody Bergeron, John's old college roommate, stole his girlfriend and married her. Now, she's missing, so he hired John to find her. The Swamp Queen is another Cajun PI caper and this one takes place in the Atchafalaya Basin, 800,000 acres of alligator-infested wetland. Who kidnapped Teresa Bergeron and why? John must find out although it brings back some painful memories.

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Keep reading for an interview with the author:


Why did you decide to be a writer?


At a very early age. I come from a culture of storytellers. The Cajun language is spoken and rarely written French, so there were lots of storytellers. As a very young child, I would sit in the shadows and listen to my father and his friends tell stories by lantern light. When I started school and was introduced to books, I knew I was going to write some of those stories.

Did you have a hard time sharing your work with the public?


Actually, no. My high school English teacher, Mrs. Duplechien, saw something in my work that she liked and encouraged me to show it to others. When I entered college, I was fortunate to have Earnest Gaines as my mentor. He liked my work and introduced me to his agent. Consequently, I had six stories published in The Southern Review. I have always wanted to share my ideas and embraced both negative and positive comments as learning tools.

Where are you from? Does your area have a good writing community?


As I said earlier, I grew up in Chataignier, LA and practically everything I write has something to do with the Cajun culture. Currently, I teach writing at a small college in Western Kentucky. I belong to a fantastic writing group that meets once a month and we share our work with each other. Madisonville is a small town but the arts thrive here--writers, movie makers, playwrights, actors, painters, photographers, the whole artist gamut.


Do you have a "day job"?


I teach writing at a small college here, freshman writing, developmental writing, creative writing, occasional business writing, and literature. I enjoy being in the classroom with young writers, but I hate grading papers. I'm retiring in January 2018 and devoting more time to my own writing, however.

What genres do you write?


I like mysteries, the tough but sensitive detective. I have a series out, the Cajun PI Series, and I have a grand old time coming up with situations to put my detective in. I also write general fiction set in the Cajun culture. My collection of short stories, Lighted Windows, fits in that category. I also dabble in poetry and personal essays, but only a little.

Is there a genre that you've been wanting to experiment with?


My current work in progress is a psychological thriller. It's in the hands of a psychologist friend who is making sure I've got the psychological part correct. The tortured mind of a serial killer attracts me, especially the why. What motivates someone, an intelligent someone in my antagonist's case, to kill innocent people?

How long does it take you to write a novel?


That depends on how complex the novel is. The Swamp Queen took a year to finish. I started my psychological thriller three years ago. The first year was devoted entirely to research. I have one work that I've been working on for over twenty years. You would think I would have given up on it, but I find myself drawn to it occasionally.

What is the oddest thing you've ever researched for one of your books?


The life-cycle of a maggot. They're fascinating little creatures.


When did you first consider yourself an author?


When I sold a few stories to the Southern Review. I took my hundred-dollar check and danced around my neighborhood yelling, "I'm a writer. I'm a writer." It didn't take long for reality to set in, however. My next ten submissions were rejected.


What do you enjoy doing aside from writing?


Writing is a sedentary occupation, so I play tennis two or three times a week. I also walk/jog around the neighborhood.

What is your writing process?


I never consciously came up with a routine, but over the years I found that I did indeed have one. I wake up at four o'clock every morning, boot up the computer, and put in a couple of hours writing. If I don't have to go to work, I write more. Night time is for social media, thinking, reading, or an occasional movie.

Do you write about real life experiences, or does everything come from your imagination?


I write from real life experiences. The imagination comes in when I take those experiences and build a story around them. For example, I failed the first grade because I could not speak or write English. In Lighted Windows, my collection of short stories, one of the stories, "The Half-Acre," a young Cajun boy fails the first grade and the teacher tells his father that the boy has two choices: give up his culture and join the modern world or slave in the fields like him. The father offers the boy a half-acre plot and tells him he can either farm it or not. The boy comes up with a third option. Of course, none of this happened in real life.

What inspired your current work?


My wife and I lived on the Atchafalaya Swamp for a couple of years. I always wanted to set a story there. When I got the idea for The Swamp Queen, the character took me to Lafayette, LA, and I knew that part of the novel would be set in a swamp.

Do you have any advice for other authors?


Nothing that they probably haven't heard before. Earnest Gaines gave me two pieces of advice that have always stayed with me. The first was, Read, read, read. Write, write, write. The second was, Always have a destination in mind when you start a work. I try to stay true to that.

Do you have anything specific you'd like to say to your readers?


Yeah, I have a character who writes letters to a person who never reads them and never answers; yet, he can't stop writing the letters. Sometimes, it feels like that. I'm not really very interested in sales, although it's nice to make a buck here and there. What I really enjoy is when a reader tells me that he/she read my book got some pleasure from it. And if they didn't, I want to know that too.

Wednesday, 3 January 2018

Gun Kiss: A #Suspense #Thriller Novel by Khaled Talib

Khaled Talib is a former journalist with local and international exposure. His articles have been published and syndicated to newspapers worldwide, and his short stories have appeared in literary journals and magazines.

The author, who resides in Singapore, is a member of the Crime Writers Association and the International Thriller Writers.

His debut, Smokescreen, was listed as one of the six "boundary-breaking indies" by the IndieReader while his second novel Incognito won the Silver Award for the AuthorsDB Book Cover Contest 2017.



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About the Book


When the Deringer pistol that shot Abraham Lincoln is stolen and ends up in the hands of a Russian military general, covert agent Blake Deco is tasked by the FBI to head to the Balkans to recover the historical weapon. Meanwhile, the United States media is abuzz with news of the mysterious disappearance of Hollywood movie star, Goldie St. Helen.

After Blake’s return from overseas, he receives a tip from a Mexican friend that a drug lord, obsessed with the beautiful actress, is holding her captive in Tijuana. With the help of a reluctant army friend, Blake mounts a daring rescue. What he doesn’t expect is to have feelings for Goldie—or that a killer is hunting them.

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Keep reading for an excerpt:


The tall buildings around Washington, D.C.’s 10th Street overshadowed the historic Ford’s Theatre. Though the building had undergone refurbishment both inside and out, it still seemed slightly out of place in modern America. However, that didn’t stop the throngs of tourists visiting the building that June morning as wispy clouds threaded through the cerulean sky.

It was a crowded weekend day when Abraham Lincoln, in his overcoat, and two Union soldiers, their faces covered with bandanas, stepped out of the van. They meandered past the theater’s five historic doorways toward the modern glass entrance. Everyone assumed they were part of a promotion taking place at the museum. It was not uncommon to see park rangers and tour guides dressed in period costumes.

The man behind the Lincoln mask was Rick Walker—at least, that was the name he was currently going by. Highly educated, the thirty-six-year-old professional thief had a penchant for the fast life. If the assignment was a success today, he’d promised his girlfriend a nice holiday.

Two female park rangers stepped forward when Rick and his companions reached the front of the line.

“You have to get in line, sir. Also, you need to get tickets. Kindly remove the mask and bandanas before entering,” one of the park rangers said.

“I do apologize, madam, but I’m in a bit of a hurry,” Rick said. “I don’t think I need a ticket, nor do I have to get in line given who I am.”

“That’s the only way you’re going to get in,” the park ranger said.

“Well, if you insist, madam, and once again, please accept my apologies.” Rick bowed and tipped his hat, then extended a hand to the park ranger, who instinctively took it.

Rick grabbed her wrist tightly and locked it to his own with a steel cuff.

“What are you doing?” the park ranger yelled, trying to jerk her hand away.

“Getting acquainted,” Rick said.

The park ranger reached for the walkie-talkie strapped to her belt, but Rick snatched it away from her. Frantically, she turned to the other park ranger. “Get security!”

One of the two Union soldiers dropped his prop rifle and grabbed the other park ranger’s hand, then cuffed her wrist to his own. He pulled out a real gun tucked under his waistband and aimed it at her.

Rick unbuttoned the jacket of his three-piece suit and brandished the bomb strapped to his chest.

“Bomb! Bomb!” a young teenager in the line shrieked.

Pandemonium broke out as the screams of panic amplified. People ran in every direction. Those who moved slowly were slammed aside, or knocked over.

Rick pulled the ranger cuffed to him aside. “We’re going downstairs, and we’re going to take the Deringer. Obey your president,” he said in a hollow voice.

“Yes, sir,” the park ranger said as beads of sweat formed on her forehead.

Monday, 1 January 2018

Forged In Fire: A #Romance Novel by Maggie Adams



Maggie Adams is an Amazon Best Selling romance author. Her first book in the Tempered Steel Series, Whistlin’ Dixie, debuted in Amazon’s Top 100 for Women’s Fiction, humor, in November 2014. Since then, she has consistently made the Amazon bestseller 5-star list with her Tempered Steel Series. Her series has launched the tiny town of Grafton, Illinois, into International recognition with sales in Mexico, Ireland, Scotland, Australia and the UK. She is the recipient of the Dayreader Reviews Best of 2015 for Leather and Lace, the Reader Favorite Award for Something’s Gotta Give in 2016, the Indie Romance Convention Romantic Comedy Award 2017 for Forged in Fire and the 2017 New Apple Awards nomination – Suspense for Cold as Ice.



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About the Book


“Lady, if I were you, I’d get the hell away from here ‘cause when I make it up this hill, I’m gonna be looking for you.”

Lucky Coalson’s luck has run out. His ex-wife turned out to be a con artist; his business is in a shambles, and he’s been tossed into a muddy river by a smart assed feminist with a chip on her shoulder. Things couldn’t get much worse…or so he thought.
When Lucky’s accused of murdering his ex-wife, the Coalson family enlists the help of a private investigator to gather the clues necessary to prove his innocence. Little did they know that Renee Morgan is the same woman that sent Lucky scrambling up a sodden river bank at the height of a storm.

The two square off immediately, but Renee’s admiration of the Coalson family, despite her dislike of Lucky, is the deciding factor in her acceptance of the job. And although Lucky bristles every time she speaks, he grudgingly respects her intelligence and savvy skills as a private investigator.

As the hunt for the killer escalates, the two find they are not the only ones looking for the mysterious assassin. And the other people are more than willing to take out anyone that gets in their way, including those that Lucky and Renee hold dear to their hearts.
In a moment of passion that rocks them to the core, they realize their love may be forged in fire, but both have been badly burned by past lovers, and too stubborn to admit the truth. Can they find a way around their fears, or will Lucky’s ex-wife continue to plague him from the grave?

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Keep reading for an interview with the author:


What genres do you write?


I have written just about everything from sweet romance to horror, but I love to write contemporary romance with an edge. By that, I mean twists of comedy, suspense, erotica, paranormal, or issues of relevance in today's society. Most of my work is a combination of many of the above, but I guess romantic comedy is my favorite to write because it flows easily for me. I'm a walking, talking "I Love Lucy" sitcom according to my husband!


Is there a genre that you've been wanting to experiment with?


I'm starting a paranormal spinoff series to my popular Tempered Steel Series which is also set in Grafton, Illinois. The Plains Indians were prevalent in the area, and many legends have evolved surrounding the animals and spirits in near the Mississippi River. My Legends series will delve into that.

What is the quirkiest thing you've ever done while writing?


I make my family play out the scenes in the living room so I can figure out the dynamics of the what ifs. My daughter has been "shot", son has been "stabbed", and my husband has careened around both of them as a gun-toting assassin on a motorcycle. They are so supportive, they take it all in stride.

What authors have most influenced you?


Oh, so many! I first fell in love with historical romance thanks to Kathleen Woodiwiss and her "Flame and the Flower" is still one of my favorites; my friend introduced me to Amanda Quick's work and the fact that she can write a story from a historical setting, then continue the thread into contemporary and futuristic, is amazing! My favorite authors now are Lexi Blake and Shayla Black, both fabulous writers and very nice women.


What are your goals as an author?


I would like to make a consistent living as an author. I think I can get there. I'm not really into titles as such, so the whole NY Times Best-Seller isn't really a goal, but if folks know who I am because a friend or colleague recommended my book...well that is worth so much more to me! That's where I'd like to be in five years.

What is the best compliment you've ever received as an author?


A young woman wrote to me that my series helped her during her chemotherapy treatments. Whenever she felt she couldn't keep her optimism up, or the pain was intense, she would reread on of my books, whichever she felt was appropriate to the situation she was feeling. I was so amazed and humbled by that. As an author, you hope to bring in your readers, but that letter took me to a whole other level of pride and compassion for those that love my books.

I was so touched, I sent her the entire series in paperback.


Have you ever had a particularly harsh critique?


Yes. I had a woman trash Whistlin' Dixie for it's "sugary sweet homespun silliness". She also made critical comments about me as an author and the "rather unintelligent people that read this sort of stuff." I was incensed on behalf of my fans. It's one thing not to like the book - okay, I can handle that; I can even handle a personal attack, but my fans? NO WAY!!! So I politely wrote to the blog where the review was printed, and asked that they remove the part about my fans. They were apologetic and removed the entire post. I was satisfied with that.

If you were stranded on a deserted island, and you could only have five books with you, what would they be?



  • The Bible - every time I read it, I get something new
  • The works by Alexander Dumas - his adventures are legendary and include all the points I love to read.
  • The Joy of Cooking - because I need to know how to cook fish.
  • The Boy Scouts Handbook - because I have no idea how to survive anywhere!
  • Whistlin' Dixie - because it all started here and I can continue it in my head!


What book or series do you enjoy reading over and over again?


The Masters of Menage by Lexi Blake and Shayla Black

How many books do you have on your "to read" list?


I have too many!!! That's the thing about being an author. You have to write, so no time to read! I need to read The last four new books by Lexi Blake in her Masters and Mercenaries series; Amanda Quick/Jayne Ann Krentz' stuff for the last three years; and so many indie authors I can't even begin!

Do you prefer ebooks, print or both?


I love print, especially hardback. The feel of it in your hands, the smell of the pages, I know I'm weird! But, my love of books started early, so I just can't help it!

What made you decide to self-publish?


lol 177 rejections from traditional publishers! They were kind but most said they didn't know where to put me as my books aren't just romance - they have more.

Do you write about real life experiences, or does everything come from your imagination?


Actually, my Tempered Steel Series is based on the flood of Grafton, Il, in 1993. My relatives lived there and we had just moved from there. It was devastating, and the clean up was tough, but the folks there were determined to rebuild the village and make it bigger and better than ever. And they did. I had to write about it, and, of course, give it a romantic twist because I'm a hopeless romantic!

Do you ever base your characters on people you know?


The Tempered Steel Series is based on my husband and his brothers! I took one good trait and one not-so-good trait from each of them and put it into the characters of the brothers in the series. To this day, they argue over which character they are!


What are you working on now?


I'm writing a humorous fiction novel for women based on a 40 something divorcee', who has spent her life in that "mom/wife" bubble and has no idea how to go about finding work, romance, and friends in this new tech society. It's called, "Minx", and should be out late 2018.


What inspired your current work?


A conversation of "what-ifs" with my husband. After being married for over 30 years, it's inconceivable to not have my partner. We got into this conversation because we were talking about retirement and my imagination took over.

Do you have anything specific you'd like to say to your readers?


Thank for from the bottom of my heart. When I feel doubtful of my work, you are there to cheer me on; when I need help getting the word out, I know I can count on your support; when I release each new book, you are there to share in my happiness. I couldn't do this without you. You made Me believe!

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