Saturday, October 29, 2016

Interview w/ Vivienne Vincent, auhtor of Dandelions

Vivienne Vincent grew up in a fairly conservative environment which ironically sparked her interest in unconventional subjects and romance novels. As a young girl she became interested in novels from the Victorian era as well as modern day romance. She is pretty much obsessed with British and American sitcoms and crime series. Look her up on Facebook and Twitter to keep up with her. She loves to hear from readers.

Thank you for joining us on Dane's Blog. First off, where did the idea for your novel come from?
Writing and publishing Dandelions will always be a bit weird for me because the story was conceived from the male protagonist’s perspective which I intend to write and publish after a few years.
How did you start writing?
It was the end of November 2014 and I started writing a diary in which I questioned everything I was taught when I was young. I don’t know how, but somehow, it turned into a full-length novel. After that, I started writing whenever I felt like doing it. I think that’s the way it will always be for me.
What does your writing process look like?
Writing seems to be a form of Freudian analysis. It’s like catharsis. I’m not a professional writer and I’ll never be one because I only write when I feel like doing it. The process is very random and sporadic.
Where is your book set?
Dandelions is divided into two parts. Book one is set in an imaginary land that exists only inside my head. In Book two, I have mentioned New York. But to me, setting is not really that important.
Are your characters based on real people?
Yes, all the characters in Dandelions are based on people I know. The hero, in fact the anti-hero, is modeled after someone I look at and wonder what it would be like if he had a conscience. All the characters in my next book are also based on real people.

Did you always want to write?
Never. I also didn’t know my writing will have a dark quality to it.
7. Which character is your favorite and why?
I don’t have one. All the characters are modeled after people I know and when I write, I simply try to understand them a little better.

What authors do you enjoy reading? Why?
I read a lot of non-fiction. When it starts to feel too much, I read contemporary romance.

What are you reading right now?
I’m writing these days and I try not to read while I write because I don’t want my work to be influenced by someone else’s.
10. Dog or Cats?

What’s next for you?
I’m working on a novella. It’s women’s fiction. I really need to submit the manuscript but for some reason I keep putting it off.

Thank you again for joining us and good luck!


“There are no Rhett Butlers and Darcys in real life. Only Heathcliffs.”

An avant-garde romance that goes beyond sexual chemistry and digs deep into human nature and relationships.

Elizabeth Goodenough met Saber Fergus for the first time when she was eight and he was twelve. He broke her heart when she was eighteen. Ten years later, an unwitting mistake on Izzy’s part once again brings her face to face with the same one-night stand that once brutally crushed her.

But something seems different this time. Has her dark knight really transformed into a knight in shining armor, or is he playing her all over again?

Get it HERE

Monday, September 5, 2016

Free Military Science Fiction Novel Dec. 19-23

The Last Hero
4.3 Kindle Stars
4.13 Goodreads Stars

"I was sucked into the story"
"The emotions provoked will pull you in"
"Wow these books are amazing"
Contact with a race of pacifists convinces mankind to lay down its weapons and keep the peace. The last Medal of Honor recipient, Trent Maxwell, trades glory for the comforts of a family after the U.S. Army disbands. All that ends when an alien menace attacks the New Earth colony, which forces a crash mobilization. Trent finds himself reactivated and traveling through space to distant worlds, in order to stop this new enemy. During the century long journey of death, love, and loss, he also deals with the law of relativity that wreaks havoc with his daughter.

Get it now for FREE

Saturday, July 9, 2016

Interview w/ Judy Nickles, author of Susanna's Secret

Where did the idea for your novel come from?
   My newest release, a short read called Susanna’s Secret, began as a story written for a fan fiction site on which I was active for several years. It lent itself perfectly to ‘mainstreaming’.

How did you start writing?
   I’ve written since I could hold a #2 pencil in my fat fist. Unfortunately, my earliest literary masterpieces, “Fishnet” and “Butterfly Net” (think the old television program “Dragnet”) never quite made it to the New York Times Best Seller List (although I can’t imagine why not)!  But after retiring, I ended up with four contracts for full length novels from The Wild Rose Press (a fifth contract is newly signed) and had several short stories published in print and ezine periodicals. Then indie publishing beckoned me for a cozy mystery series, a romantic suspense series, two books of short stories, and a stand-alone novel.

What does your writing process look like?
   I just write--but rarely anywhere except on the computer. I may write several thousand words or only a few hundred at a time. No real deadlines except those impose by editors--and for indie publishing none at all. Hey--I’m retired!

Where is your book set?
   Susanna’s Secret is a western novel--but it could easily be set in contemporary times with a little tweaking. Like my other stories, it’s about the human condition which spans generations.

Are your characters based on real people?
   Not in Susanna’s Secret. However, other novels have characters which combine characteristics of the many interesting people I’ve been privileged to know.

Did you always want to write?
   I guess I always needed to write. As a rather solitary child brought up mostly among adults, writing (like the piano) became my escape from the real world.

Which character is your favorite and why?
   I’m partial to Susanna because I admire strong women--especially women who have risen from being squelched and undermined as individuals. Like Susanna, I found myself on my own after my husband’s death, but I was younger with two children to raise. So I can identify with the struggles of a woman to take charge of her own life.

What authors do you enjoy reading? Why?
   I love mysteries--Mary Stewart, Victoria Holt, Margaret Truman, Agatha Christie, and John Grisham among others. They spin intriguing tales and keep my mind busy trying to figure out “whodunit”.

What are you reading right now?
   The Moonstone by Colin Wilcox. It’s an old book with the predictable stilted language and “going around the world to get to the next corner” sort of narrative, but it’s the book assigned for Sleuthers, the mystery book club to which I belong at the local library.

Dog or Cats?
   Neither one, thank you! I love my empty nest, although I often have two of my granddaughters with me. At ages 9 and 6, they are housebroken and don’t demand constant attention. As I write, they are “in office” in the living room, occupying themselves with only brief forays into the study. And I don’t have to board them out when I choose to go traveling!

What’s next for you?
   Well, I have another short read, The Showboat Reunion to submit following Susanna’s Secret. There are two completed novels in the dock waiting for vetting by a second beta reader and a sequel to another published novel which needs to be completed. In addition, probably half a dozen novels in various stages of completion (or incompletion) lurk on computer, not to mention “the great American novel” which I’ve only been working on for 40 years and which may never see the light of day--or the black of print. The positive side is, I can’t die--I don’t have time!

Susanna's Secret, Get it NOW

In a moment of loss and crushing despair, she struck a deceptive bargain with her husband to protect his name as he built his Texas empire. Years later, when he was gone in a hail of bullets, it came back to haunt her in ways she never imagined. Now she must strip away the hatred which has festered over a lifetime before it destroys her. But will the truth, reborn like the Phoenix, sever the carefully forged bonds between herself and her children?  Susanna feels fenced in and ripe for slaughter like the longhorns beyond her window. Damn you, Nathan Kingsley! Damn you for what you did! Damn you for dying and leaving me with the mess you made!

Pre-sale Review
Susannah's Secret is a fast paced tale of human failings and triumphs. It typifies how courage and compassion in the face of adversity works to the advantage of all. The characters are so believable through their human failings but rise above their selfish interests. Readers who have wanted, birthed, raised, or lost a child can especially connect with Susannah and her choices which is what good reads do by pulling us into the story with our emotions.   ~Georgia

Friday, July 8, 2016

Interview w/ Brandon Crilly, author of Science is for Real

Where did the idea for your chapbook come from?
   I went to see Pacific Rim with some friends of mine, one of whom is an engineer. Afterward we talked about how terrible some of the science was in the movie – and then how Hollywood sci fi is usually pretty heavy on the fiction, but light on the science. Then I started playing, and came up with some funny microfiction pieces showing how certain big-budget sci fi films should’ve turned out. There were a lot of ideas, but four made it into the chapbook: The Core, Godzilla, Armageddon, and The Empire Strikes Back.

How did you start writing?
   When I was a kid I mimicked some of my favorite SFF stories – Star Wars and Harry Potter, for instance. I got some great encouragement in school, and my university had an awesome Creative Writing program that (somehow) I was able to get into. A few truly amazing writers – Carolyn Smart, who runs the program, and one of our writers-in-residence, Stuart Ross – showed me what it means to do this professionally, and I just kept going from there.

What does your writing process look like?
   Science is for Real involved a lot of brainstorming, research/consultation with my engineer friend, and multiple drafts to get the phrasing just right. For my short fiction, I’ll make some notes and then go through a few writing drafts; there’s a lot more discovery writing there. On the novel side, I spend a while making notes on characters, world, boil down my major plot points and a skeleton of an outline, and then discovery write to fill in the other details.

Did you always want to write?
   Pretty much. I can remember really getting hooked on stories when I watched the original Star Wars trilogy as a kid (yep, I’m that kind of nerd). I didn’t figure out I wanted to be a professional writer until later, though.

Which story in Science is for Real is your favorite and why?
   Hmm … tough call. If I absolutely had to pick, probably the story centered on Godzilla, titled “Thump … Roar … Thump.” I think it’s the best written of the four (though people are free to disagree).

What authors do you enjoy reading? Why?
   Joe Abercrombie, Pat Rothfuss, Jim Butcher, Marie Bilodeau, Brandon Sanderson, Jonathan Maberry, Jack McDevitt, Mary Robinette Kowal … okay, I’ll stop there. It’s brilliant character work and worldbuilding that hooks me, and every author I’ve listed is awesome in that regard.

What are you reading right now?
   I just finished Persona by Genevieve Valentine, which is a great near-future political thriller with an environmentalism slant. Definitely worth checking out. I’ll be starting Firefight by Brandon Sanderson next.

Dog or Cats?
   Cats to own, dogs to play with. I’ll gladly spend time with someone else’s dog, but I don’t want to live with one or train one. I’ll take a cat – a pet that loves you to death and then disappears for a while.

What’s next for you?
   "I'm currently shopping around a fantasy novel called Convoy, and hoping to find an agent, while I write the first draft of a space opera novel. On the short fiction side, I have a sci-fi/horror story titled "Waiting Room" that will be released July 20 in Creepy Campfire Quarterly #3. Later this year I have four more stories slated to be published in Third Flatiron Anthologies, The Breakroom Stories, The 2017 Young Explorer's Adventure Guide, and Sunvault."

Visit the author's webpage

An Ottawa teacher by day, Brandon Crilly has been published in On Spec, Solarpunk Press, Nonlocal Science Fiction and other markets. He was a Semi-Finalist in the 4th quarter of Writers of the Future 32. Science is for Real and other chapbooks are available at You can also follow Brandon on Twitter: @B_Crilly.

 Summary of Science is for Real: What would happen if big sci-fi blockbusters didn’t ignore the laws of physics? Four Hollywood films get an overhaul in Science is for Real.

Monday, July 4, 2016

Author Interview w/ Jim Cronin

1. Where did the idea for your novel come from?
    I have always been a fan of science fiction, especially when it deals with current social issues. The struggle between science and religion and government is something I dealt with as a science teacher, as well as my current work at the Denver Museum of Nature and Science, so it was a natural topic for Hegira.

2. How did you start writing?
    My brother was writing a novel inspired by his experiences in the Peace Corp in the South Pacific. As we talked about his novel, the conversation turned to what I might write if I were to try my hand at being an author. One thing led to another and I came up with the idea for Hegira.
3. What does your writing process look like?
    I generally start with a rough outline of the characters and story line, but once I sit down to write it always seems to go best when I let the characters themselves write their own story. I am frequently surprised by sudden shifts in the direction I believed things should go, but then the character takes over and shows me what they would actually do in those circumstances. If I try to argue with these voices in my head the writing bogs down and becomes more of a chore than fun, so I prefer to listen to the voices. So far, they’ve stuck to my writing and not anything beyond.
4. Where is your book set?
   Hegira is set in a distant and imaginary galaxy, on two worlds. The Brin live on the planet Dyan’ta, but not for long. Their sun is about to go supernova and destroy their world. The only hope is to find a new planet out among the stars to relocate their population.
5. Are your characters based on real people?
   Not really. While the situations are not far removed from controversies we face in our world, and the actions of the characters may feel familiar, they are a complete and total work of my imagination.

6. Did you always want to write?
   No. In fact, this was probably one of the things furthest from my mind. The English language has always been a mysterious and bizarre land of seemingly incoherent rules with infinite exceptions. I was a science geek. However, it is possible some of my teaching partners may have corrupted me enough to make me believe writing might be something worth trying. It did take me forever to learn how to write well, and I am still early in that process, but hopefully getting better. I have been receiving many positive reviews so maybe I am learning.
7. Which character is your favorite and why?

   I actually like Maripa the best. She is a powerful female with many skills and, possible spoiler alert, one of the most influential characters as the story progresses into the future of the sequel. I have been surrounded by strong women most of my life (four sisters and many incredible women as teaching partners) so I guess Maripa was inevitable in my writing.

8. What authors do you enjoy reading? Why?
    I love authors from a wide range of genres. Of course Arthur C. Clark and Ray Bradbury, Isaac Asimov, Orson Scott Card, Larry Niven, and others among the science fiction world are some of those I read most. J.R.R. Tolkien, David McCullough, Steven Ambrose, Stephen King, and Jeff Shaara are also high on my list of favorites.
9. What are you reading right now?

   Currently I have three books I’m reading. Blood Star by Nicholas Guild, Lyndon Johnson and the American Dream by Doris Kearns Goodwin, and, on audiobook, The Dragon Reborn, book three of Robert Jordan’s Wheel of Time series.

10. Dog or Cats?
   Dogs… unless the cat is a Bengal Tiger. Tigers are pretty awesome, for a cat.

11. What’s next for you?
   I am in the final editing process for Hegira’s sequel, Recusant. This picks up a few hundred years after Hegira’s conclusion and sends one of Maripa and Jontar Rocker’s descendants on a wild adventure which overturns everything the Brin believed. At the same time, I have begun writing the third and final book of this series which I now call The Brin Archives.

Latest Novel Click Here

I worked for thirty-five years as a middle school science teacher, but am now semi-retired, working part-time as an educator/performer at the Denver Museum of Nature and Science. I have been married for thirty-seven years to the love of my life, Diane. Together, we raised two incredible sons, and now have a beautiful granddaughter to spoil rotten, with one more grandchild on the way.
I was born in Kansas City, Missouri and lived in Arlington, Virginia before moving to Denver where I attended High School and eventually college at Colorado State University, graduating with a degree in Zoology and a teacher certification. I currently live near Denver in the small town of Parker.

Author Links:

Twitter:  @authorjimcronin

Friday, July 1, 2016

The Important Critique Group


Rachael Tamayo

Amazon Author Page click here 

As much as it pains us writers to offer up the words that we poured our heart and soul into to others to cut apart, it’s a very necessary part of the process. A critique group can do wonders for your writing. It can be what makes you great. The ability to look over a detailed critism of your work with an eye trained to toss out the crap and use those little golden nuggets can be the single thing that teaches you the skills you need to break the boundaries into publication.

It's a difficult step to make, truly. You sit at your computer day after day, pouring this world you’ve created onto the pages of your computer. You edit. You revise. Eventually you develop a sort of blindness to your own work after reading it over and over again. This is why you need someone else to look it over. Preferably someone that will be honest, knows a bit about writing and grammar, and can go through it for you and find those plot holes, ask you the questions about your characters that you didn’t think of, or present options to you that get your imagination sparked anew and creating whole new scenes for you precious manuscript.

So, how do you go about this? You have your work ready for that fine tooth comb. That red slash of ink. There are many options. Do you have writer friends that will help you out? Give you inline critiques or an overall commentary of your work chapter by chapter?  There are also online options. I prefer these. Strangers that also write will be your best critique partners. They know the way things work, and they are strangers. They have no interest in saying “it’s great” in fear of hurting your feelings.  They will bust out the proverbial red pen and be brutal.

I’ve found a website that I’m very loyal too, called critique Circle. For a minimal monthly fee, I’ve found that this site and these other writers are the thing that I needed to push me, help me find my voice, and improve my writing. I’ve made some great friends as well, all around the world. 

So, in the end. When you think you’re ready to take that next step, find your critique buddies and tell them to do their worst. You will be better for it in the end.

About the writer: Rachael Tamayo is the author of Chase Me (Friend-Zone series book One), and The Stones, a short story that is currently in Solstice Publishing’s anthology: Let’s Have Fun Vol 3 and is soon to be released in a stand-alone short story version to be available on Amazon.

You can learn more about Rachael and her works on her website:

Follow her on facebook, Twitter, Amazon, and Goodreads.

New Release - Chase Me

Thursday, February 18, 2016

Military SciFi Novel on Sale


"This book, and the trilogy, were excellent. It actually brought a few tears. Great balance of action and personal sacrifice. I can't say enough so just get this book and read the series.

Book 1 is now only .99 cents!

4.5 Kindle Stars


Contact with a race of pacifists convinces mankind to lay down its weapons and keep the peace. The last Medal of Honor recipient, Trent Maxwell, trades glory for the comforts of a family after the U.S. Army disbands. All that ends when an alien menace attacks the New Earth colony, which forces a crash mobilization. Trent finds himself reactivated and traveling through space to distant worlds, in order to stop this new enemy. During the century long journey of death, love, and loss, he also deals with the law of relativity that wreaks havoc with his daughter.

Sunday, February 14, 2016

Author Interview with K.C. Sprayberry

Author Bio
Born and raised in Southern California's Los Angeles basin, K.C. Sprayberry spent years traveling the United States and Europe while in the Air Force before settling in Northwest Georgia. A new empty nester with her husband of more than twenty years, she spends her days figuring out new ways to torment her characters and coming up with innovative tales from the South and beyond. (Twitter: @kcsowriter.)

Amazon Author Page

Where did the idea for your novel come from?
The Canoples Investigations books were born during the horrifying hours after the attacks on 9/11. Not only was I horrified by what I witnessed but my then kindergarten age son wanted answers about why bad people would do such things. This child, now twenty, was my active one—creating stairs out of dresser drawers and climbing them, peeking at his daddy working on a computer and asking the hard questions, always into some kind of hijinks. Four days after those attacks, BD Bradford came to mind with his friends, Carl and Cassie Wills, and Terry Ashley. These were kids unafraid to try what others said was too dangerous. They leapt into trouble and sought answers without thinking. Canoples Investigations was a book for kids to seek their own answers to the bad people in the world.
How did you start writing?
I started writing in my teens, with a diary my brothers loved to steal and tease me unmercifully after they read what I’d written. My love of the story was taken further when my Advanced Creative Writing teacher in high school, Mr. Frank Jansson, encouraged me to run with what he saw as an awesome talent. Even during my time in the military, I was jotting down stories in notebooks, finding ideas no matter where I was.
What does your writing process look like?
Usually, I make notes about character names and locations, to reference later. However, with the Canoples Investigations books, I’m keeping a spreadsheet with all kinds of information so I don’t get a detail wrong later.
Where is your book set?
Canoples Station orbits Jupiter, in the year 2364.
Are your characters based on real people?
They’re based on kids I’ve known who will fearlessly leap off the top bunk bed, roll down a snowy hill, and dive into a pond during the summer. This is about doing the right thing despite restrictions.

Did you always want to write?
I’m fairly certain I did. Writing was a quiet fun retreat for me, when I wasn’t reading.
7. Which character is your favorite and why?
BD Bradford, mostly for his plucky, “I could care less” attitude and the fact that he readily admits he doesn’t get girls.

What authors do you enjoy reading? Why?
Robert Heinlein is pretty much at the top of my list, but Frank Herbert (Dune series) and Robert Jordan (Wheel of Time) aren’t far behind. Oh, and any of the authors in the Star Wars universe. I understand they’re calling those books the “Legacy” line now. Awesome adventures.

What are you reading right now?
All I Have by Felicia Rogers – one of the many books on my TBR list that I need to finish.
10. Dog or Cats?
Both but I’m more of a cat person.

What’s next for you?
Hmmm? Well, that particular project is still very much in development. Haven’t even got a title for it yet. It’s going to be a romantic suspense. That’s pretty much all I can say now.

Saturday, February 6, 2016

Author Interview with Margaret Egrot

Where did the idea for your novel come from?
I was writing a play for radio about a woman falling apart when her husband left her. I just couldn’t get it to come alive – apart, I felt, from the scenes between her son and his best friend, Alex. Once I decided to forget about the play and concentrate on the boys’ stories instead, the novel – And Alex Still Has Acne - came together quickly. I decided to go for the young adult reader on this occasion, with the hope that teenage boys in particular, would enjoy reading it. Some do! I spent a lot of my working life dealing with that age-group.
How did you start writing?
A lot of people thought what I said was funny. So a few years ago I decided to try writing it down. Comedy sketches for the stage mostly. And Alex Still Has Acne is my first novel to be published.
What does your writing process look like?
I usually do an outline of the story and character pen pictures first. Nothing too detailed; the only novel I worked out completely before writing is still on Chapter one at the back of my desk drawer. Once I get going I write quickly, often revising the story outline as I go.
Where is your book set?
In the Midlands UK. The only place mentioned specifically is Birmingham.
Are your characters based on real people? No. “All names and characters are the work of the author’s imagination.’ Though of course, like most writers, little bits of character and ways of speaking that we have observed in other people creep in.

Did you always want to write?
 I won a prize (postal order for £2.00) for a story in the Brownie magazine when I was eight, and thought after that I’d become a writer and make loads of money. But the need to earn a living, and bringing up a family, took up a few decades before I had the time and resources to try my hand seriously.

Which character is your favorite and why?
 I like all three teenagers in the book: Alex, his sister Nicky, and best friend Sam. But as I wrote it Alex became my favorite. He is a great best friend and brother, especially when things are going wrong, without being a pain.

What authors do you enjoy reading? Why?
I run a second hand bookstall for a charity once a month. When it’s quiet I often start reading a book we have on sale without checking the cover, and if I’m enjoying it I keep on reading. Recently I have been reading books by Kate Atkinson and Mark Haddon.
Classics I like reading include Jane Austen and George Eliot – both have wise but funny things to say about human nature.

What are you reading right now?
 Bill Bryson’s A short History of Nearly Everything. And lined up on my bedside table I have Anne Tyler’s A Spool of Blue Thread – a Christmas present to myself.
10. Dog or Cats?
Dogs, definitely.

What’s next for you?
I have a play being performed locally in February so I am just putting the finishing touches to the script. As And Alex Still Has Acne is set partly in Birmingham I have been asked to contribute to an anthology of Birmingham writers. I have a nearly completed manuscript of another YA novel to send to a publisher, and a full length play I am looking to place somewhere.

Author Amazon Page

Bio: Margaret Egrot has worked in the Probation Service, Police Authority, Social Services, and the charity sector. She has written several prizewinning plays and short stories. Her first novel for young adults, And Alex Still Has Acne, was published by Solstice in January 2015. She has short stories in all the Solstice anthologies for 2015: Chains of Magic in The Food of Love, Love in Waiting in Summer Thrills, Summer Chills, and Journey to the Fair Mountain in The Winter Holiday Anthology. The stories are also available separately from Amazon.
Margaret lives in the UK with her husband and Cairn terrier, and has one grown up son who is married and lives in Thailand. She aims to walk five miles, swim one mile, and write 1,000 words every day. On a good day she manages two out of three.

Saturday, January 30, 2016

Author Susanne Matthews "Why I Write" Guest Post

Good morning and thank you for inviting me to visit your blog and share a bit about why I write. It’s quite simple really. I write because I have to. The stories and the characters won’t be ignored any longer. Now, that makes me sound like a head case, so I guess I should explain myself before someone calls the men with the white jackets to haul me away.

I’ve always loved books and continue to do so, only now, instead of spending all of my time reading masterpieces written by others, I try to create some of my own. As a teenager and later a young stay-at-home mother, I devoured books. While some of my friends were hooked on the soaps, I usually had my nose stuck in a book, and as my husband is fond of saying, the house could blow up around me and I wouldn’t notice. When I’m really caught up in a story, he’s probably right!

In the mid-sixties before the advent of computers and the Internet, books came from bookstores—some from the supermarket—but more often than not, mine came from the public library. I dreamed of being a writer, but back in that day, books had to be written on a typewriter, one page at a time, without spell check. Those precious sheets of paper would then have to be bundled up and mailed off to a publisher in the hopes they’d want the book. Since I’m a “hunt and peck” typist, needless to say, my early work was confined to handwritten sheets of poetry, long lost.

Eventually, the time came for me to graduate from high school and move on. I left home and went to university. In my early teens, I’d wanted to embark on a number of what I saw as glamourous careers—a stewardess (too short), an archeologist, a journalist, a writer—but all of those potential careers were vetoed by my parents who didn’t see them as practical, employment providing jobs for a woman. No. My choices were simple: secretary, nurse, or teacher.

With a future as a teacher looming in the distance, at university, I studied my favorite subjects—English and history. I also met my husband and took a ten year hiatus in my education to have a family. During that time, when the kids were sleeping, I read. Eventually, they all went to school full-time, and I got my Bachelor of Education, teaching guess what? English. For more than thirty years I taught creative writing, poetry, plot analysis, character development, all the time longing to write a book of my own.

Thanks to the computer age and the Internet, like many other fledgling authors, what had once been an impossible dream was within my grasp. I had the opportunity to write short stories, Sunday school curriculum as well as academic curriculum, but none of those satisfied my yearning to be a storyteller like my personal heroes: Nora Roberts, Dan Brown, Robin Cook, JK Rowling, J.R.R.Tolkein, Daphne Du Maurier, I could go on and on.

When I finally retired from teaching, I decided to try and live my dream. I met a small group of writers, all of whom had never been published, and together we worked our way toward publication. My first novel, Fire Angel, released in April 2013, has been a resounding success for me. Not only did it earn enough revenue for me to qualify for RWA’s PAN membership, it continues to provide me with a small and steady income, but even more importantly, it stands as a testimonial to the fact that I can be the author I dreamed of being. With free rein given to my imagination, the characters and stories come to me at any and all times of the day, anywhere and everywhere.

Since publishing Fire Angel, I have written, sold, and published thirteen novels, two novellas, three short stories and two episodes of a sci-fi space opera. My latest novel will be released in February and another is in edits and will be available in Dec 2016. Currently, I have four novels partially completed, and I’m working on a Valentine’s Day novella/short story and episode three of my space opera. I have a number of other ideas simmering on the back burner, waiting for the muse to inspire me to tell those stories. A visit to my website can show you which books have already been published and which books are waiting in the wings for publication.

My latest novel, The White Iris, is the third and final novel in The Harvester Series. The first book, The White Carnation was released in April; the second book, The White Lily came out in October, and The White Iris will be available February 8, 2016.

So, why do I write? I write to entertain, and I hope one day to entertain you.

Author's Amazon Page

About the author:
Susanne Matthews was born and raised in Cornwall, Ontario, Canada. She’s always been an avid reader of all types of books, but with a penchant for happily ever after romances. In her imagination, she travelled to foreign lands, past and present, and soared into the future. A retired educator, Susanne spends her time writing and creating adventures for her readers. She loves the ins and outs of romance, and the complex journey it takes to get from the first word to the last period of a novel. As she writes, her characters take on a life of their own, and she shares their fears and agonies on the road to self-discovery and love.

Twitter @jandsmatt

Friday, January 22, 2016

Letting Go - Guest Post by Author KateMarie Collins

Letting Go
I’m in an interesting spot. My oldest daughter is heading off to college next fall. There’s already been discussions between me, my husband, and our youngest about what happens when she’s gone. Especially when it comes to her bedroom.

She has the largest room, and bed. The youngest is beginning to think about how to decorate when she can change rooms. The oldest, upon hearing that her room wasn’t being kept as a shrine while she was gone, is adjusting to the idea.

I see a correlation between parenthood and writing. Our books, our stories, are our children in many ways. We’ve nurtured them, helped them grow. Learned from them to improve our own craft. And, like many parents, we can’t always let go when they’re all grown up.

But we have to. At some point, we need to stop micromanaging our books and let the world experience our creation. Some days that’s harder to do than others. We want to argue with editors, advocate for our characters like we did with our children when we felt a grade was lower than deserved. We want to get that perfect senior portrait or cover art. Is the font right? Or is the tassel on the wrong side of the cap?

When we type ‘the end’, or place that last word on a page, it’s graduation day. It’s freshmen check in at the dorm when we sign a contract and send it to a publisher for editing. We have to trust that we’ve done everything we can to take this book from idea to completion. And that the teachers they’ll have will make them into the success we know they’ll be.

Amazon Author Page

Author Bio
Born in the late 60's, KateMarie has lived most of her life in the Pacific NW. While she's always been creative, she didn't turn towards writing until 2008. She found a love for the craft. With the encouragement of her husband and two daughters, she started submitting her work to publishers. When she's not taking care of her family, KateMarie enjoys attending events for the Society for Creative Anachronism. The SCA has allowed her to combine both a creative nature and love of history. She currently resides with her family and two cats in what she likes to refer to as "Seattle Suburbia".

You can find KateMarie at the following sites:
Twitter:  @DaughterHauk
Her blog:

Friday, January 15, 2016

Author Interview with Young

Thanks for stopping in today!  What can you tell us about your current work in progress?
   I’m working on A Harem Boy’s Saga - book IV – Turpitude; a memoir by Young. It’s a lengthy process since there are a lot of my young life experiences to cramp into each volume. Each book is approximately 3 months of my life, spend in service at a total of 7 different Arab Household harems.

For readers who don’t know what A Harem Boy’s Saga is about, here is a synopsis:
A Harem Boy’s Saga – Book I – Initiation; a memoir by Young.

This provocative story is about a young man who was initiated into a clandestine sexual society. He was spirited to the Middle East, from his UK boarding school. He attended the Bahriji School (Oasis,) in The United Arab Emirates in preparation for serving in Harems for the wealthy and elite.
It is also a love story between the young man and his ‘Valet’ who served as his chaperone and mentor during the boy’s Harem service.

Author’s note:
I had a privileged and unique upbringing in Malaysia. Following in my brothers' footsteps, I was sent to an exclusive boarding school in England. It is there that I was inducted into a clandestine organization, E.R.O.S. The Enlightened Royal Oracle Society. For four years, unbeknown to my family, I was willingly and happily part of a Harem.
My story has been kept under wraps for close to 45 years. The correct moment has arrived for me to make known my unique education.
There are 7 books to this series.

What’s your primary method of writing?  Do you brainstorm, work from an outline, or just jot down whatever comes to mind?
   Writing a memoir or an autobiography is vastly different from writing a fictional novel. I’m writing about events, situations and emotional feelings that had happened, of ‘remembrance of things past.’ My outline, inspirations come from an abundance of old photographs, journals/diaries I had kept during the various periods of my life.
Although in the books, I’ve changed the names and places to protect myself and those involved, the experiences and events that happened are true. The creative part of my writing are in the dialogue throughout the books. Although I am able to remember the overall gist of what was said, I had to make up the dialogue since it’s been over 40 odd years since these events/situations occurred.

Who inspired you to get into writing as a profession?
   An inner calling told me to document my unique education. Now, is the correct moment to tell my story. Other factors that influenced me to write are:
• Provide Tolerance to Sissy Boys by understanding parents/peers and the community.
Anderson Cooper 360 documentary on the devastating treatment of effeminate boys influence me to tell my story.
• Bullying can be Avoided through Big Brother/Big Sister volunteer programs in school or outside school system. Older students acting as mentors to younger students.

• Gay Adolescent Tolerance – parents/child/siblings relationship issues.
Support/mentorship program to all parties involved to foster understanding and acceptance of Gay kids.

• Provide an Alternative Educational System;
Understanding Big Brother/adolescent mentorship programs in schools, BB as protector to keep younger kids from being bullied.

• Human Relationship Building Program;

Between parents/teachers and young students on sexual topics/issues, especially when adolescent are just discovering their sexuality. They can be guided on a healthy and honest sexual journey instead of “don’t ask, don’t tell” hide it behind the closet policy.

What has been the biggest challenge for you as a writer?
   Staying focus to write daily especially writing a 7 volume epic saga of my adolescent teenage life. I had considered changing the book main title to The Chronicles of A Harem Boy instead of A Harem Boy’s Saga but my literary agent advised me not to.

Let’s go silly for a moment – if you could be any character from a TV series, who would it be and why?
   I love the BBC TV miniseries, Downton Abbey. I will like to Lady Mary. She is elegant, cool, sophisticated, worldly and stylish. Not to say I’m not all of the above but I miss the wealth I was inducted into during my young years.

Do you have a particular favorite spot to write?  How about a favorite food or drink to stoke the ingenuity?
   I move between my writing desk in my workroom and the lanai (balcony). It is very pleasant to sit outdoors to write, especially when living in Hawaii. The winters here (like now) are very temperate and cool. Perfect place to write and be surrounded by nature.

What sort of advice can you give to those who are just getting into this field?
   Stay focus. My modus operandi: the 3Ps: Perseverance, Persistence & Patience.

Check out the author's Amazon page to see all of his works.

Sunday, January 3, 2016

Interview with Jacqueline T. Moore, author of The Checkerboard

Thanks for joining us today. Lets get started by learning a little about you. Where are you from?

      I live in Murrells Inlet, SC. I have family in Ohio and enjoy the winters there.

Tell us your latest news?

      I am thrilled to announce the release of my new novel, THE CHECKERBOARD.

When and why did you begin writing?

      I won an essay contest in grade school, but the teachers said it was too good and my mother must have written it. I became feature editor of the high school paper. (Take that, grade school teachers!) Fast forward through a career, family, and too many pets, the stories started bubbling. I won my first writing award in the mid 1990’s in spite of semi-controlled chaos. Eventually my husband’s struggle against early onset Alzheimer’s disease and my position as his care giver temporarily stopped my creativity.

When did you first consider yourself a writer?

      I attended a workshop in 2013. After class, I bought the instructor’s book. She inscribed it with ‘To a fellow writer.’ Tracing the words with my finger, I knew it was real.

What inspired you to write your first book?

      THE CANARY is about a yellow diamond that I inherited along with its whispered origin. THE CHECKERBOARD picks up right where it left off.  

Do you have a specific writing style?

      I seem to automatically pick up the rhythm and nuances of my characters’ speech.

How did you come up with the title?

     The diamond’s color speaks for itself.

Is there a message in your novel that you want readers to grasp?

      At what length would you go to reinvent yourself?

How much of the book is realistic?

     THE CANARY and CHECKERBOARD are well-researched historical novel with locations, language, and customs firmly grounded in fact.

Are experiences based on someone you know, or events in your own life?

     Family rumors about the source of Myra’s ring are the basis. All the rest of the story is fiction.

What books have most influenced your life?

     Diana Gabaldon’s Outlander series hooked me on historical novels. Her precise research methods taught me the importance of accuracy.

Name one entity that you feel supported you outside of family members.

     I have a very good friend who was my colloquialism coach. He guided me down that fine path of country talk.

Do you have to travel much concerning your book(s)?

     I belong to writers groups in South Carolina and Ohio. I love to travel.

Lastly, do you have anything specific that you want to say to your readers?

      Don’t let anyone or anything stop you from writing.

Get it Now

September 8, 1900
 Five Thousand Lives Blotted Out

The headlines say it all. Death, destruction, and desolation is everywhere on Galveston Island. Nothing is mentioned about the survivors.
THE CHECKERBOARD, sequel to THE CANARY, continues the story of Myra Gallaway, her new husband CB, and Black Jack and his new wife, Marguerite, the ‘red-headed colored gal.’ The men have proven that, against all odds, a mixed ship sails well. The wives band together in the house in LaPorte to prove the same to their new neighborhood. All seems to go as expected until that crazy gypsy, Lulah Marie, shows up and practically sets the house on fire.

Myra’s eldest child, Junior’s rebellious actions have landed him in jail on Galveston Island. His only hope for redemption lies in a very unusual punishment. The boy is forced to sail with the man he hates, his step father, CB Ledbetter. This voyage will either make or break Myra’s family. After all, what do you do with a drunken sailor? Only time will tell.