Sunday, September 30, 2012

Live chat/interview with Fund for Writers' C. Hope Clark

The Writer's Chatroom presents C. Hope Clark of


Sunday, September 30, 2012

Eastern USA Time.....7-9 PM

Not sure what time that is wherever in the world you are?


The Writers Chatroom at:

Scroll down to the Java box. It may take a moment to load. Type in the name you wish to be known by, and click Sign In. No password needed.

Please note: The chatroom is only open for regularly scheduled chats.

Friday, September 28, 2012

Interview with middle grade author J.D. Gordon

Author Jimmy "J.D." Gordon is here today to talk about his middle grade book described as "spooky meets sports," Field of Screams.

Jimmy visited here last December to talk about his action-adventure novel Dartboard.

Jimmy will be sending one randomly drawn commenter an autographed copy of each book in his backlist, an autographed copy of a book his daughter wrote, a $20 Barnes and Noble gift card, and his/her name used for a character in the next book in the series. To enter to win this package, leave your e-mail address with a comment below. You can increase your chances of winning by following his tour and commenting at other tour stops.


Firefighter and paramedic-turned-author Jimmy (J.D.) Gordon was born and raised in Chicago where he developed a taste for the finer things that the Windy City has to offer - pan pizza, live blues and the Cubs. Jimmy loves spending time in the Florida Keys and the Caribbean. He now lives with his wife and children in Glen Ellyn, a suburb of Chicago.

Jimmy basically dropped into the world of literature, literally. After falling off a train and breaking his knee, Jimmy had to spend quite a bit of time recuperating. While visiting the firehouse, his peers asked what he planned to with all that time away. This is when Jimmy said the words that he now claims to have changed his life: "I should write a book."

Despite some skepticism from his peers ("You don't even use punctuation on your run reports!"), he completed a novel, Island Bound, and made it a point to use punctuation throughout.

After another injury, sustained on the job, prematurely ended his career, Jimmy decided to try writing full-time

Welcome back, Jimmy. Please tell us about your current release.
While baseball is the game of the day for Andy Biggs, an evil force lurks beneath the old Maryknoll Stadium. A ghostly witch doctor is turning teens into zombies to help summon the demon Jumlin into humanity. It's up to Andy and his band of paranormal sidekicks to save the world and thwart the witch doctor and even Jumlin himself!

What inspired you to write this book? 
Honestly, I don’t do inspirations. I was ready to start another book. I umpire baseball and I’m a big fan of the game. I think that might be as close as I can’t get to any sort of inspiration. The story takes place in old baseball stadium where teens attend a summer camp.

What exciting story are you working on next?
I’m about two chapters into the next book in the series, that one is titled, or will be, The Pumpkin Jamboree and the Legend of Stumpy Scout.

When did you first consider yourself a writer? 
Oh, my gosh, I’ll have to let you know when the day comes. I’ve written seven novels now, I even wrote for a newspaper for a while. I still don’t consider myself a real writer. I’m not sure why. I just feel like a guy who types.

Do you write full-time? If so, what's your work day like? If not, what do you do other than write and how do you find time to write? 
I’m a parent first. My injury with the fire department really changed my life. My wife, honestly, had always been the real bread winner. I was hurt in the line duty so I was pensioned off, meaning I still receive some sort of compensation. Though getting hurt sucked it did leave me with the time to take care of my kids while my wife works. I’m a mister mom and proud of it. I start my day off getting the kids together and ready for school. I drop them off, then it's off to the fitness center to keep the injury in check with exercise and stretching and so on. Then the rest of the day is spent writing. Until I pick the kids up. Once everyone settles down and goes to bed, I’m back on the computer to the writing. So, much of my day is spent typing away.

What would you say is your interesting writing quirk?
Um, I like writing with a martini sitting next me, in the next seat of course, right……

As a child, what did you want to be when you grew up?
That changed on a monthly basis, I wanted to be a soldier, I wanted to fly a helicopter, I wanted to be a marine biologist, I wanted to be a realtor, and that continued into my adult life. Maybe that’s why writing fiction seems to be working out? If I feel like something, I just add it the story.

Anything additional you want to share with the readers?
Send me email and hit me up on Facebook please!?!

Thanks for stopping by, Jimmy. Readers, remember, Jimmy will be sending one randomly drawn commenter an autographed copy of each book in his backlist, an autographed copy of a book his daughter wrote, a $20 Barnes and Noble gift card, and his/her name used for a character in the next book in the series. To enter to win this package, leave your e-mail address with a comment below. You can increase your chances of winning by following his tour and commenting at other tour stops. 

Thursday, September 27, 2012

Interview with paranormal romance author Rebecca Graf

Debut novelist Rebecca Graf is here to talk about her paranormal romance Deep Connections. She's giving away 10 copies of her book (winner's choice of e-book or paper) during the tour, so enter below for a chance to win.

A former accountant of 20 years, Rebecca started writing online until she wrote the first draft of a story. From there with the encouragement of friends she produced her first novel, Deep Connections. Rebecca was born in Kentucky and grew up in lower Alabama. From there she married and moved to Wisconsin where she resides today with her husband and three children.

Welcome, Rebecca. Please tell us about your current release.
Deep Connections is a paranormal romance full of suspense. It is about a woman named Brenna who is feeling an attraction with Slaton, but just as Slaton makes his move to further their relationship, they find a stalker is after Brenna. He’ll go to any lengths to get her, including murder.

What inspired you to write this book?
I actually had a dream of two people who had this deep connection show itself when they touched. During my waking hours, the dream expanded and with the encouragement of a friend I put it down in words. It grew from there.


Brenna’s eyes fluttered open to see a blur of trees flying by. Her head pounded and her stomach began to roll from the pain she felt and the fast-changing scenery. A careful look at her surroundings told her she was in an older model car. She inhaled deeply to calm herself, but confusion set in as her senses were assaulted by unfamiliar smells. The old smell of the car was tainted with something repugnant and caused her nose to crinkle in response. Her eyes widened in fright as terrifying memories began to flood her mind. Turning slowly, afraid of what she might see, a gasp involuntarily escaped her vocal cords when she saw he was as repulsive as she remembered. Who was he and what did he want with her?

Sensing her stare, a pair of dark, soulless eyes turned towards her. A smile appeared on his unkempt face. “Well, well, sleeping beauty awakes.” Brenna’s stomach rolled again as she felt his eyes slide hungrily over her body. She pushed up against the door in an effort to put as much distance between the two of them as she could, but he shook his head in disapproval. “No need to be dramatic.” He turned his attention back to the road. “We both know you won’t jump out.”

She set her teeth and glared at him. Eyeballing her surroundings, she saw that there was no end to the trees that lined the road, no sign of civilization. She assumed they were still in the same state as when he grabbed her from the parking lot of the school where she taught. Deep down inside, she knew death awaited her no matter what. The look in his eye was not merciful. Yet jumping from the car to end her life seemed too selfish. As she was not one to keep such joy to herself, she quickly swung her body around and slammed into her abductor. Might as well let him in on the fun!

The force of her body colliding into his sent the car spinning out of control. She began fighting with all her might to prevent him from regaining control. Two sets of hands fought for control of the steering wheel. Profanities were shouted as the fight intensified. The car spun to the edge of the road where a small depression nestled in the forest. The tires left the ground when it hit the slight downward shift of the terrain, the car flipped and somersaulted twenty feet down the hill. As it took its final turn before slamming into a large pine tree, the passenger door flung open from the movement. Brenna thudded on the forest ground and barely missed a clump of trees. Stars exploded in her head and every bone in her body ached from the impact. She looked up to the fading light and let the darkness take possession.

What exciting story are you working on next?
I’m actually working on two. One is the sequel to Deep Connections called Dark Connections. I can’t say much more about it until everyone has read the first book. I am also working on a piece called Trust Me that is about a woman who is kidnapped, but finds herself learning to trust the kidnapper as a savior instead. Those she had trusted in the past might just be the ones she should be running from.

When did you first consider yourself a writer?
When I stepped away from my full-time accounting job and just wrote for a living whether I got paid or not.

Do you write full-time? If so, what's your work day like?  If not, what do you do other than write and how do you find time to write?
Full-time? Yes and no. I mainly write, but my friend and I started a publishing company which is taking up a lot more time than the writing side of me would like. There are days when I cannot write at all, and it drives me crazy. But I do write for various online sites as well as working on my books.

What would you say is your interesting writing quirk?
I listen to my characters. People think I’m crazy, but as I’m writing, sometimes the characters take over and instruct me on what I’m doing wrong. In one book, I killed off a guy that I really liked. Drove me crazy, but every time I went to change it I couldn’t write anymore. He had to go.

As a child, what did you want to be when you grew up?
I wanted to be a teacher. I’m striving for that. I’m going back to school to get my history and English degrees. I want to teach even if it is indirectly through my writing.

Anything additional you want to share with the readers?
If you want to write, then do it. You’ll never be a writer if you keep making up excuses. It is true that a writer just writes. They have to or they go crazy.

Thank you for having me here.

I enjoy connecting with readers, and you can find me on Facebook at and on Twitter as @rebeccagraf.

My pleasure. It's been great getting to know a little bit about you and your writing. Readers, enter a Rafflecopter giveaway for 1 of 10 copies of Deep Connections - your choice of ebook or paper.

Wednesday, September 26, 2012

Interview with mystery author Marilyn Meredith

Mystery author Marilyn Meredith is here today. She has a new novel out, Raging Water, and is running a contest for a lucky commentor's name to be used in one of her upcoming books. It's winner's choice on which series to be included in.

Read on!

Bio: Marilyn Meredith is the author of over thirty published novels, including the award winning Deputy Tempe Crabtree mystery series, the latest Raging Water from Mundania Press. Writing as F. M. Meredith, her latest Rocky Bluff P.D. crime novelm No Bells, is the fourth from Oak Tree Press.

Marilyn is a member of EPIC, three chapters of Sisters in Crime, Mystery Writers of America, and on the board of the Public Safety Writers of America. Marilyn borrows a lot from where she lives in the Southern Sierra for the town of Bear Creek and the surrounding area.

Welcome, Marilyn. Please tell us about your current release, Raging Water.
Deputy Tempe Crabtree’s investigation of the murder of two close friends is complicated when relentless rain turns Bear Creek into a raging river. Homes are inundated and a mud slide blocks the only road out of Bear Creek stranding many—including the murderer.

What inspired you to write this book?
Two women who attended our church were found dead on the same morning in their own homes. The deputy (in our county a deputy sheriff is also a deputy coroner and can pronounce someone dead) who discovered the bodies did not do any investigation. No autopsy was done. There were some suspicious elements such as both women’s pain medications were missing. I decided to write their story. Of course there’s much more involved and it what I wrote has little basis in fact.

One of my friends, who is also a fan of Tempe, asked to be a character in the book. Not her name, just who she is. So I gave her an important part and used the essence of her personality. No, she’s not the murderer. Her dogs, with their names, are also in the story.

What exciting story are you working on next?
I’m finishing the edits of the next Rocky Bluff P.D. crime novel, and about half way through the next Tempe which centers around ghosts, a haunted house, and young devil worshipers.

When did you first consider yourself a writer?
I’ve always known I could write, but the title was validated when I sold my first book in 1981.

Do you write full-time? If so, what's your work day like?  If not, what do you do other than write and how do you find time to write?
I try to write something every day—but it isn’t always on a book. When I’m doing a blog tour like this, a lot of my writing time is involved in answering interviews and thinking up topics for interesting blogs. When I’m working on a book, I do that first thing in the morning.

What would you say is your interesting writing quirk?
I have no problem being interrupted. I’m interrupted a lot. Family just walks in and knows where to find me. Hubby sits in the chair near my desk and stares until I ask what he wants. Once whoever has come in leaves, I go right back to what I was doing.

As a child, what did you want to be when you grew up?
An artist and live in an attic and I planned to remain single. (This from someone who has been married 61 years and has 5 children,18 grands, and 13 great-grands.)

Anything additional you want to share with the readers?
Yes, I'm running a contest. The person who leaves comments on the most blogs will have his/her name used for a character in my next book—the winner can choose if you want it in a Deputy Tempe Crabtree mystery or a Rocky Bluff P.D. crime novel.

Awesome, thanks, Marilyn. It's been a pleasure having you here. I hope you'll come back again when your next novel comes out!

Tuesday, September 25, 2012

Interview with novelist Tom Blubaugh

Multi-published writer Tom Blubaugh is here today to talk about his first historical fiction novel, Night of the Cossack.

Tom Blubaugh was raised in a small town in southeast KS. He began writing poetry at age fourteen. Tom has written nonfiction writer most of his adult life. He self-published his first book Behind the Scenes of the Bus Ministry in 1974. Tom wrote articles for denominational and business magazines  from 1975 through 1995. He co-wrote The Great Adventure for Barbour Publishing Co. in 2009. 

Bound by Faith Publishers published his first fiction Night of the Cossack in April, 2011. 

Tom is married to Barbara. They have six children and fourteen grandchildren. Both are retired. Tom has been a public speaker for 40 years. He was a self-employed entrepreneur from 1973 to 1995. Tom retired in 2004 and has devoted most of his time to writing and volunteer work.

Please tell us about your current release.
My current release is a historical fiction titled Night of the Cossack. The beginning takes place is Russia in the early 1900s.

What inspired you to write this book?
Both of my grandfathers died before I was born. I knew very little about either of them. One fact I did have about my maternal grandfather—he was a Cossack soldier in Russia. This captured my mind and I went on a quest of researching Russian history. I found it to be fascinating.
“I must go to Aza, Momma. I heard him scream. He’s panicked, he could hurt himself.”
“What can you do for him, Nathan?”
“I can calm him down and turn him loose into the woods. If they set the barn on fire, he’ll die. He’ll be safe in the woods. I must go!”
“You’re more important than your horse. I, we need you here with us. Stay, Nathan. I couldn’t bear to lose you.”
Nathan was torn. Breathing a heavy sigh in resignation as he pulled the cellar door shut, he let his eyes adjust to the dark. He leaned his rifle against the wall.
Momma wrapped her arms around her older son. Nathan felt her shiver. He knew she was more afraid than cold. Had she heard the scream?
She sank to her knees, pulling Nathan down. “I know you’re afraid,” she whispered.
Nathan tensed. “I’m not afraid. I’m a man—the man of the house. You’ve said this yourself.” He pulled away from her. “You say I’m brave and strong. You tell me I’m like Papa, but you treat me like a little boy.”
“Nathan, you’re both. You’re my little boy, but at the same time you’re a man. Can you understand?”
Ignoring her question he said, “Papa should be here to protect us. I didn’t even get to tell him good-bye.”
“Don’t be angry, Nathan. He loved you very much. He loved all of us.” She slipped her arms around him again saying, “It was an accident. There was no chance for anyone to say good-bye. Dying wasn’t his choice. You’re a man, Nathan. You look just like him—tall and strong, yet gentle. You have his black, wavy hair, hazel eyes, even his strong chin. What would I do without you?”
Nathan didn’t say anything. He couldn’t stay mad at her. Her soft voice melted his heart.
Even when she’s afraid, she comforts me. Momma’s right. About all of it. It isn’t her fault Papa died.

What exciting story are you working on next?
I’m writing a sequel to Night of the Cossack and a nonfiction about four books that changed my life.

When did you first consider yourself a writer?
I started writing when I was fourteen. I started being published in some magazines in the 1970s and self-published a book in 1974. I don’t think I really considered myself as a writer until Barbour Publishing contracted me to co-write a book with fourteen other writers in 2009.

Do you write full-time? If so, what's your work day like? If not, what do you do other than write and how do you find time to write?
I consider myself a full-time writer. I try to reserve the morning for private time, doing chores with my wife and reading. After lunch I hit the computer until Supper. I am a night owl, although I’m trying to change this, and I do a lot of social networking late night. It sounds like I don’t have a life, but I do—with my Barbara, my lovely wife, three sons and three daughters and fourteen grandkids.

What would you say is your interesting writing quirk?
I’m a seat-of-my-pants writer. I can only write if I have a head full of ideas. If I feel like I should be writing and don’t have an idea, I close my eyes and start typing—random at first, but then something comes up and I’m off to the races.

As a child, what did you want to be when you grew up?
I was a day dreamer. I loved westerns and war movies. You know, I don’t really remember.

Anything additional you want to share with the readers?
Sure. If you have a desire to write—write. Don’t compare yourself to anyone else. You’re unique and what you write is unique to you. I think we were all scared when we started letting someone else read our writing, but we got over it and went on. If you don’t write, you may write something that has never been said before.

Thanks for the interview, Lisa.

You're welcome, Thomas.

Folks, here are different ways to connect with Thomas and learn more about his writing:

Night of the Cossack historical fiction ebooks available at and Barnes & Noble
Night of the Cossack historical fiction signed paperback at Night of the Cossack  FREE shipping to address in USA.
Night of the Cossack historical fiction pdf file will be available soon.
Facebook fan page
The Write Trail Scribbling from the sometimes creative/sometimes scattered mind of Tom Blubaugh
Twitter @tomblubaugh
Info-line for writers promotion
Linkedin to join his network
Genesis Project is his ministry site
Follow him on Pinterest

Monday, September 24, 2012

Interview with inspirational author Carrie B. Robinson

Today's guest is inspiration author Carrie B. Robinson to talk a little about her life and her book, Trusting in the Father’s Love. 

There are 2 signed copies of her book going to lucky winners at the end of her virtual book tour. See below for how to enter to win.

Southern charm, love, and hospitality are words used to describe Carrie. With over twenty years in ministry, she is passionate in developing relationships and teaching others how they can enjoy strong, healthy, and lasting relationships by walking in the God kind of love.

A relationship mentor, Carrie inspires women to participate joyfully in living life to the fullest. Through writing and speaking, she encourages women and supports leaders by helping create a culture of joy to face storms with strength. Carrie knows how to encourage women to pursue their passion, while trusting in God for the outcome. She is skilled in handling difficult people in love, and motivates others to do the same.

Carrie has been married to her husband, Michael for twenty years. They have two sons, Christopher and Coleman and a grandson, Chris Jr. She and Michael serve as Elders to Pastors Anthony and Margo Wallace of Crossroad Christian Church. They also head up the Marriage Ministry.

Carrie has a Masters in Nursing and is employed as a Nursing Instructor. She and Michael are Certified Prepare/Enrich Counselors.

Carrie currently resides in Delaware and loves spending time vacationing, with her family, in the Shenandoah Mountains of Virginia. It is here she spends time writing. She also enjoys reading, traveling, and cruising on her Kawasaki Vulcan 750!

Carrie is currently working on her next book, a devotional, due 2013.

Let Carrie show you how with God's power, you can overcome personal challenge and develop strong, healthy, and lasting relationships through walking in love.

Welcome, Carrie. Please tell us about your current release.
Trusting In The Father’s Love is the story of my life. I like to say if you love a good love story, then my book delivers it all. There is intrigue, danger, opposition and in the end the girl comes to a place where she cannot live without the love of her life. This book will make you laugh, cry and give thanks.

I was the product of a twenty-nine- year old young woman, already a single mother of three children and a twenty-nine year old young man who had no children but was married and separated from his wife. They had no plans to wed and so there my mother was living with my grandmother, her mother. My mother was told by her mother that she could not bring any more children into her home. I would find all this out much later in adulthood. The decision was made to give me up for adoption. The rejection starts.

What inspired you to write this book?
My inspiration comes from many sources, but my main source is God, Himself. The way He loves me, inspires me to want to share my story with others. Because I had come through such difficult times in my own life, I believed and still believe that the sharing of my testimony, openly and honestly, will allow others to do the same.

What exciting story are you working on next?
My next book in the making is a 31-day devotional workbook. I believe that if each person would just spend a little time with Jesus each day, the way they tackle the duties of the day will be different because they will be different. My book will not only have scripture but the reader will have to apply it to their life.

When did you first consider yourself a writer?
When I had my first article published in high school. It was so full-filling to see my name on the article and know that others would be reading it. Many years later, I still get that same feeling.

Do you write full-time? If so, what's your work day like? If not, what do you do other than write and how do you find time to write?
Presently, I do not write full-time. I am a wife, mother, grandmother, leader, mentor, counselor, business woman, sister, daughter, and full time nursing instructor. Wow, finding the time to write…when I can. Because I am off in the summer, that seems to be my most productive time for writing. My dream job would be writing full time from home while doing speaking engagements along with coaching individuals and teams.

What would you say is your interesting writing quirk?
I would have to say it is when I get up several times during the night to write. I will begin the process of going to bed and that seems to be when I get my best inspiration. Maybe it is because I begin to shut my mind down and God can speak to me about what to write. My husband is getting used to me getting up and down. Because I prefer to type instead of write, I have to get up and go to my office.

As a child, what did you want to be when you grew up?
Like most children, I wanted to be many different things. The one that I remember the most is a business woman with a secretary who works in a tall building. Most of all, I wanted to be loved and treasured. I think most little girls, and big girls, want that.

Anything additional you want to share with the readers?
I am grateful to God, honored and humbled at what has taken place in my life since the writing of Trusting In The Father’s Love. I have the wonderful opportunity to meet and share my life story with many women. It is a joy when a woman comes up to me and shares how my book has touched her life. What I know is that if I can go through all that I have and come through it, anyone can. You have to have faith in God and know and trust that He loves you and wants the best for you. You can connect with me on my website, blogFacebook, Twitter and LinkedIn. I am offering a special book tour price on my website.

Thank You.

You're welcome, Carrie. Thanks for stopping by today and giving us a little glimpse behind the curtain. Readers, Carrie is giving away 2 print copies of her book. Enter below, and follow her tour to enter for more chances to win.

Sunday, September 23, 2012

Live chat/interview with thriller author Daniel Palmer

The Writer's Chatroom presents techno-thriller author Daniel Palmer.


Sunday, September 23, 2012

Eastern USA Time.....7-9 PM

Not sure what time that is wherever in the world you are?


The Writers Chatroom at:

Scroll down to the Java box. It may take a moment to load. Type in the name you wish to be known by, and click Sign In. No password needed.

Please note: The chatroom is only open for regularly scheduled chats.

Thursday, September 20, 2012

Interview with YA paranormal/fantasy author Melissa Starr

Today, I get to introduce you to YA author Melissa Starr. She's currently touring her newest book Phoenix: Phoenix Elite Book 1. You can see the rest of her tour schedule here.

Melissa is giving away 3 e-copies of Phoenix. You'll find the details below.

Melissa Starr is a small town, country gal from deep in southern Oklahoma. Born in Altus and raised in Frederick, it only seemed right to put down roots there with her own family; a husband, two sons and two daughters. She resides and writes from her home where she frequently lets her inner child come out and play long enough to spin colorful words into novels.

Melissa is also a freelance photographer who enjoys camping and riding ATV’s when the weather permits and snapping a million and one pictures of her family and friends against much protest. *Smiles*

Please tell us about your current release. 
My current release, Phoenix is the first novel in a YA paranormal/romance series in which a teenage girl finds herself entangled in a world of danger and lies loosely based around Egyptian mythology and the mythological bird the Phoenix.

What inspired you to write this book? 
I'd have to say my inspiration just comes from my own idol writers. I fell in love with books in my genre as a child and equally love to write it. The idea for this particular series just happened to formulate one sunny afternoon while researching Egyptian mythology and cryptids ( I do this often thanks to my kids' imaginations and mine getting the better of us.)


A black, cloth was pulled over my head and I was flung effortlessly over someone’s shoulder in a fireman’s carry. I could tell my captor was jogging as I felt the jarring of his shoulder in my gut, I thought I might puke at any second and would’ve if I thought it’d stop my captor in his tracks, but I doubted it. I swallowed against the bile, juice and Pop Tart churning in my gut and tried to take a deep breath. He stopped abruptly and thrust me into the seat of a vehicle. Front or back seat, I wasn’t sure but the door closed behind me with a thud and that’s when I realized my hands were bound. I was so distracted and terrified I’d never even felt my captor bind me. Zip cord, I could feel the hard plastic cutting into my skin. I struggled to sit up but couldn’t see anything but the tiny fibers of my black hood. The light outside did very little in the way of penetrating the material.

“Where are you taking me?” I spat to whoever was listening. A slight shadow of movement caught my eye.

“In due time, Elora. You are in no danger.”

“I’ve been bound and abducted but I’m in no danger? I don’t know what tree you fell out of but where I come from it's called kidnapping and it carries a prison sentence in all fifty states!”

The man (I could tell my captor was a he, by his deep voice.) sighed and chuckled to himself as he made a left turn suddenly causing me to slide toward him. Okay, front seat. I tried to focus on how many turns he was making, left or right and how far he drove on each stretch of road but it was pointless, he was clearly trying to throw me off.

“Who are you?” I managed to sit up and turned my head in the direction I believed him to be seated.

“I am a senior at Frederick High and a Phoenix but you already knew that, didn’t you?”

“So, people do have reason to fear Phoenixes.” I breathed only a small sigh of relief that my abductor was a Phoenix. “Tell me, do all of the Phoenixes partake in the kidnapping of innocents?” My nerves were beginning to settle a bit now that I knew I wasn’t a victim of some deranged nutcase. At least he didn’t sound like a deranged nut. But I guessed insanity was no respecter of persons- was it?

“You are quite a handful aren’t you? I believe you were informed that you would be taking the Oath today, don’t play dumb Miss Gannon. You’ve been told who and what you are. And with that knowledge come secrets and the whereabouts of our headquarters will be kept secret from you until you’ve taken the vows.”

“It’s not like I was told I’d be kidnapped!” I growled. “And what happens if I refuse?”

“You will die.” A sick feeling washed over me and now I really did feel like vomiting. Maybe my captors really were deranged.

“Now the Phoenixes are involved in murder? Kidnapping and murder. Terrific, sucky birthday to this-”

“Don’t be stupid. We won’t kill you.” Memory of his voice surfaced but I couldn’t place-

“Who then?” I was afraid to find out. My breathing became shallow and I could feel myself beginning to hyperventilate.

“Are you okay?” The car slowed.

“No,” I croaked. “I feel sick. And it’s hard for me to breathe under this- stupid- THING!” I panted as I tried to slow my breathing. It wasn’t working. “It’s- not- everyday that a- person- finds out that they,” I took a deep breath, in, out, in, out, and began to gain control but now tears were welling in my eyes. “They must choose- to become a freak or die-” I finished. The dang dam broke and I began to sob.

What exciting story are you working on next? 
Ruhk's Rising; Phoenix Elite Book 2 is set to be released Feb-Mar 2013. And I will follow it with a third sometime later in the year. I am currently working on another series. The first book is a shape-shifter novel called Therian Cursed; Equinox Novel 1, which is also in the young adult paranormal/fantasy genre this time steeped in Irish legend.

When did you first consider yourself a writer? 
I wrote my first horror story sitting in Mrs. Barnett's 5th grade classroom. It was Halloween and we were asked to write a scary story. I don't recall what I wrote but that I was hooked and wanted to do it for the rest of my life. It was that or be a Marine biologist, lol. Two vastly different careers, I know and since I live nowhere near an ocean...I wrote short stories and poetry until high school which is when I started writing longer works. I think in high school was when I decided I was a writer.

Do you write full-time? If so, what's your work day like?  If not, what do you do other than write and how do you find time to write? 
No way can I write full time! I find time between getting kids off to school, fixing lunch, picking kids up from school, fixing dinner and attending various sports activities all while trying to keep my house clean and orderly....*sigh*... maybe someday I can pay someone to do it for me so I can write full time, lol. :)

What would you say is your interesting writing quirk? 
I don't know about interesting but I definitely gotta have in order to write, so maybe it's more like a vice. Caffeine and music. Gots to have my soda and my rock music. Love me some Bullet, Godsmack, Staind, Art of Dying, Seether and a host of other.

As a child, what did you want to be when you grew up? 
A writer, or a Marine Biologist. Although, I was fascinated for some reason by blood and could've easily been a Phlebotomist.

Anything additional you want to share with the readers? 
Just work hard and strive to reach your goals. No matter what anyone tells you, you are capable of achieving your dreams. Be great.

Thanks, Melissa. Happy touring! Readers, don't forget to enter below for a chance to win 1 of 3 e-copies of Phoenix.

Ways to connect with Melissa include:

Wednesday, September 19, 2012

Interview with paranormal romance novelist Casey Wyatt

Today's guest is paranormal romance novelist Casey Wyatt to share a bit about her newest novel, The Undead Space Initiative, as she virtually travels on a book tour.

Casey will be awarding a $25 Amazon gift card and an e-copy of Mystic Ink to a randomly drawn commenter during the tour. So if you'd like to be entered to win, make sure to leave an email address with a comment below. And if you want to increase your odds of winning, feel free to visit other stops and comment there. If you don't want to be entered in the contest, feel free to still leave a comment!

Casey Wyatt has no personal knowledge of the paranormal, but she hopes someday that may change. If there are ancient Gods, elves, or satyrs living nearby, they’re more than welcome to visit. Bring pizza and chocolate please!

Her paranormal romance and urban fantasy novels have won or placed in numerous RWA contests. When not writing, Casey enjoys time with her family, loves to read, and enjoys knitting and crocheting.

She lives in a bustling Connecticut town with her husband, two sons, and an assortment of pets (none of which are shape-shifters).

Visit Casey on the web: or at You can also find Casey on Facebook, Twitter (@CaseyWyatt1), and Tumblr

Welcome, Casey. Please tell us about your current release.
My current release is a paranormal romance called The Undead Space Initiative.

It’s a paranormal romance about a vampire stripper named Cherry Cordial. Cherry rescues a vampire hottie named Ian McDevitt from a gang of blood thirsty revenants and soon regrets it. When the vampire queen is murdered, she and Ian are the number one suspects. Her only chance: escape to Mars, where she has a chance to survive, or remain on Earth and die for sure.

What inspired you to write this book?
I distinctly remember the moment, while I was driving my car when the idea popped into my head – vampire stripper, Cherry Cordial, has to flee to Mars. I was in the process of writing another paranormal, Mystic Ink (my first published novel), so I had to set the idea aside for a while. But Cherry stuck with me and I just had to write to book. I didn’t care if no one wanted to buy it, she was too fun to resist.

Reality settled in. We were leaving the Earth. I’d be strapped into a tube and hurtled into space. If we survived the journey, I’d be on my way to Mars.
 My kneecaps dissolved to water. I clutched the railing, trying to calm my stomach and stay upright.
“You don’t have to go, Cherry,” Ian said from behind me.
I stiffened. His offer seemed more tempting by the minute, yet I couldn’t abandon my family. “I’m afraid to board the ship. But I can’t disobey my sire.”
“You could ask him to emancipate you. You’re plenty old enough.”
“Why are you still here?” Old enough? No woman likes to be told she’s old. Especially when it’s true.
“Concerned is all,” he shrugged and joined me by the railing. He stared out, side profile as handsome as the full frontal.
“Don’t be. I’m a big girl,” I chirped with way more bravado than I felt. Now I knew what Alice experienced when she fell into the rabbit hole. Afraid, confused. Freaked out. I reminded myself Jonathan was a great leader. Even though we had our personal baggage, he would do his best to ensure we survived. He hadn’t let us down yet.
Heavy machines moved into position. The workers unlatched more hoses, wires and mechanical items from the ship’s side. Blood pounded in my head, caused by my tight jaw and grinding teeth.
“I didn’t mean to offend. Or imply Jonathan can’t defend you.” Ian’s voice softened. The low tone made my toes curl. “I hoped we could prove our innocence together.”

What exciting story are you working on next?
I just completed a paranormal romance called Misfortune Cookie. Here’s a peek:

When Radiance Ashworth inherits the family fortune and a nasty supernatural curse, life as she knows it is over forever. Instead of luxurious pampering, she’s stuck chasing wayward spirits and sending them back to the Hereafter. Her new normal consists of ectoplasmic goo, bruises, and ruined clothes.

Fortunately, she doesn’t have to navigate the supernatural world alone. Luca, sexy, confident, and so damn tempting, is happy to guide her – if she’d only accept his help.  She quickly learns how much she needs his assistance just to stay alive, when a Jiang Shi – a vengeful Chinese spirit – starts systematically murdering the city’s elite businessmen. While the Jiang Shi proves to be a formidable opponent, Radiance finds the growing attraction between her and Luca to be even scarier.

I’m also in trying to complete Mystic Storm, the next book after Mystic Ink.

When did you first consider yourself a writer?
Probably back in the mid-nineties when I first started seriously writing. But really, I didn’t feel like a real writer until last year when I sold my first book and started telling family and friends. Prior to that, very few people knew I was writing. I didn’t like to talk about it and face the inevitable questions (“What’s your book about? Are you finished with it yet?”). For a while, I stopped writing so I always felt like a failure if someone I’d told remembered and brought it up. After I sold my book, naturally, there was a bit of surprise from the relatives. Now, I’m peppered with questions like “how well is the book doing?” “Have you sold a lot?” I just laugh it off and say “I don’t know, I have to wait for my publisher to tell me.” 

Do you write full-time? If so, what's your work day like? If not, what do you do other than write and how do you find time to write?
Sadly, I have a necessary day job that I must work before any writing gets done. Fortunately, I work from home so my commute consists of changing rooms and computers. I usually get a few hours a day to write. I actually spend more time plotting my books than writing them. Even with 2 or 3 hours a night I can get a novel completed in about 6 weeks.

What would you say is your interesting writing quirk?
Hmm. I’m not sure that I have one. I don’t know if this counts as a quirk, but I like to write alone. I can’t sit in a room with other people and just write. I’m pretty chatty so having my friends around is too big a temptation. And I think it reminds me too much of school, when we used to have to write essays on demand!

As a child, what did you want to be when you grew up?
I wanted to be several different things depending on my age at the time. For a while I wanted to be a biologist, then an astronomer, but I loved art and writing best of all. I thought I would go to art school in college, but I talked myself out of it. If I had to name one regret in life that would be it.

Anything additional you want to share with the readers?
I love to meet readers and make new friends. You can find me hanging around on Facebook, at my blog or on Twitter. Please drop by and say hello. Thank you so much for having me as your guest today!

Tuesday, September 18, 2012

Interview with memoirist Annie Laurie Harris

Today's guest Annie Laurie Harris, talks about her personal story, including her love for Penn State, which she's published in her memoir, It's Easier to Dance

Annie Laurie Harris, the oldest one of her ethnicity who lives independently, was born with cerebral palsy. She has defied the odds and challenged the medical prognosis since early childhood. She continues to live a full and active life in her 6th decade. After achieving her Master's Degree at Penn State University in 1985 she worked as a counselor and advocate for those with a history of chemical dependency.

In 1990, she was recruited by the prestigious World Institute of Disability to be the Assistant Director of the first HIV/Disability Project. Her grant writing expertise is second to none as private foundations funded her innovative research projects again and again. 

Since returning to her home state of PA where she lives near her beloved alma mater, Ms. Harris continues to be involved in her community and avidly supports the Penn State athletic program. Once again,her love of writing helps to supplement her income. Her groundbreaking memoir, It's Easier to Dance, is provocative and thought provoking.

Welcome, Annie. Please tell us about your book.
Because my book, It’s Easier to Dance, is a memoir, I wrote it in a conversational style that allows the reader to travel through history with the main character, myself. Each chapter describes a challenge I had to overcome for not only a person with cerebral palsy but for an Afro-American woman being educated and part of the work force in the sixties. Here is an example:

 “Academics proved to be not much of a challenge, even at the main campus. Mostly I enjoyed the interaction and opportunity to learn and socialize with other people. I carried around a piece of carbon paper and asked whoever was sitting beside me to put the carbon paper in their notebook. That’s how I got my class notes. My having nearly a photographic memory made it easy for me to pass mid-term and final exams. Everybody at the branch campus thought it would be academically more difficult at the main campus, but I soon began to receive honorary academic awards. “

What inspired you to write this book?
Nothing was written by or about an adult with cerebral palsy. As I was beginning to experience the same misconceptions and stereotypes from my childhood, I realized that a book must be written. 
I wanted to give at least one real life example of an African American woman’s life who continues to live successfully with this complex, socially stigmatized birth defect. I wanted others to know that a full, rich life IS possible if YOU decide that’s how it will be!

Excerpt: Femininity
As the group was saying their good-byes, Robert invited me to visit him at his community. As he walked me to the door, he slid his hand along my arm in a gentle caress. That summer was the end of my graduate school course work. I was taking 6 credits, one 3 credit course and one independent study. I hardly went to that class; it was on death and dying. Instead I spent the summer days sitting in the sun at the nearby community watching Robert go about his daily life. He worked on cars and cut wood in the sawmill. Every now and then he would come and see if I needed any water, I always took my lunch and we would chat.
Robert found it difficult to articulate ideas and feelings, as I found it difficult to walk. We came to know each other through touch, dance, smell, and the sound of each other's laughter, and the countless expressions that cross the human face. There was a new baby in the community - Rose and her two-year-old brother Joshua. Robert would carry me piggyback up the hill to their house where we would eat a meal with that family. Like me, Robert loved small children and babies. So we frequently took care of little Rose, who was 3 months old at the time.
 Although there was a strong physical attraction growing between us, it was real slow. It wasn't "I've got to have you or I'll die.” It wasn't like that. Since we were older, there seemed to be some physical intelligence that said it just wasn't time to act on that attraction. Not yet, it just wasn't time. Dusk would come and I would say that it was time to go home. And he would drive me into town. At some point during that summer we took a trip to Maine. Robert drove a truck. He invited me to go with him when I told him my plans to vacation with a friend who lived on a nearby island. We left late in the day and drove all night. Being around him was interesting, it was different. My slowness didn't seem to bother him. He could slow down to my pace as if it were his own. So I never felt rushed with him and he never got in my way with quick movements. He was the first man I knew where my disability wasn’t a significant barrier to being with me for long periods of time. 

What exciting story are you working on next?
I was going to write about my experience with practicing yoga for 14 years. However, I think a book on the importance of self advocacy and how it works is “calling” to be written.
When did you first consider yourself a writer?
I had written poetry since my teenage years. In college and graduate school, I enjoyed writing. When I realized about 15 years ago that there wasn’t anything written by or about an African American with cerebral palsy, I decided to write my memoir. When I first realized the first 4 chapters were actually going to be a book. I remember thinking, “This is going to be a book, and I’m the author!”                         

Do you write full-time? If so, what's your work day like? If not, what do you do other than write and how do you find time to write?
I am nearly always writing “in my head.” Ideas and images come spontaneously at any time. Having a near photographic memory, I “file” things away until I can sit at my computer. Does that make me “full time?” It sure feels that way!

I like to write in the morning because I find myself slowing down at night. I am very busy. I am active in the community. I am very active in supporting Penn State's Athletic Department. I go to all the home football games. I am very social. I am going on a cruise to the Bahamas in December. Also tending to my personal needs takes time.

What would you say is your interesting writing quirk?
Being able to draw analogies to things in other cultures so many people can find relevance in what I write.

As a child, what did you want to be when you grew up?
A wife & mother.

However, my most immediate goal was to become an educated person, a college graduate. This was something my mother wanted for me. She told me there was no such thing as "can't. So rather than dream about a profession, I wanted more than anything to overcome the attitude of people who dismissed my goals because of my disabilities and prove to myself that I could become a college graduate and I did.

Anything additional you want to share with the readers?
I wrote my memoir to inspire hope in others who live with unimaginable challenges. With an attitude of hope, faith and a healthy sense of humor, a rich, full life can be had, if one decides that’s how it’s going to be. No one lives life independently! False pride, self pity, blaming others, and looking backwards (except to bring lessons learned forward) are “luxuries” that will cost one dearly. To the degree one can leave them behind, will be what others remember about your life.

I would love for the readers to enter my Book Launch Contest for the chance to win a Kindle Fire HD. The contest will be live throughout my virtual book tour. If you buy my book, half the proceeds go to a cerebral palsy charity. The Kindle version is on Amazon and the hard copy is on my website:

Thank you so much for this interview. It was very nice of you to host my virtual book tour.

I'm happy to be one of the hosts for your tour, Annie. Thank you for sharing so much.

Readers, you can connect with Annie through:
And don't forget to enter to win a Kindle Fire HD: