Book Tours: Author Interview Doctor Perry

  • How long have you been writing?

                My first time slip novel, Fifteen Postcards, was published in 2015. It took eighteen months to write Fifteen Postcards. It took twelve months to write the sequel, The Last Letter, which was published in 2016. My last two novels, both psychological thrillers, took eight months each. I thought I could get it down to six months, but I suffer dreadfully from procrastination!

  • What is your favorite genre to write?

I love falling down internet rabbit holes while I research my time slip novels. But to be honest, and don’t tell my first two books, I am enjoying writing my thrillers a little bit more. I feel that this genre gives me a lot more freedom to be creative with the truth.

  • Which genre have you never tried before, but would you like to try out?

One of my favourite series to read has been George RR Martin’s Game of Thrones series. I love reading it, but the world building always seems beyond my capabilities as an author, so I’ve never set anything on a different planet or in an alternative fantasy world. It’s tempting, but I’m too scared to try!

  • Please tell us about your book.

My father died twelve years ago, so my mother has been living on her. A little while ago she started looking at moving into a retirement village, so together we toured all the rest homes and retirement villages in our general area. Some of them were less than desirable. It struck me that not all retirees have the same ability to live out their golden years in a safe and happy environment, and that to some extent they are prisoners in their own rooms, where the staff decide what time you go to bed, what you eat, when you eat. That shaped the bones of Doctor Perry. My mother-in-law has terrible arthritis in her fingers, and also lives in a retirement village, but she lives an amazingly active and social life, very far removed from the residents in Doctor Perry. She’s living the life every retiree deserves, apart from the arthritis. So combining those true life experiences, and with everything in the news about human trafficking, and the number of women I know who have had trouble conceiving, and voilá! A story about a doctor who has a ready supply of society’s forgotten elderly, who don’t have a voice of their own to complain about their treatment at his dastardly hands. A doctor making money, not by curing the sick, but by selling them off to the highest bidder, to couples who would do anything for a baby of their own.

  • Which character was your favorite, and why? Which character was your least favorite, and why?

I very much enjoyed writing the character of Ricky Donovan. In a previous life I was a Customs Officer, fighting international crime. I had a little bit to do with drug interceptions and was the manager of the Dog Unit for a while. Writing the paranoia of Ricky was a lot of fun. essentially I tried to harness the peculiar feelings and hallucinations I had the one time my doctor gave me pethidine, and magnify those a hundred times! I also spent a weird hour on a message board reading posts about drugs and all thing drug related. I can only imagine what my Google search history looks like…

  • What was the hardest part about writing your book?

As with all my books, the hardest part is the bit in the middle. At around 30,000 words, I tend to freeze up, can’t imagine how I’ll finish the thing, or where it’s going, and that’s the point when I think it’s really no good, and that I should go back to working in the family antique store which would be a lot easier, and more fun. But, after struggling through that road block, the next hardest thing is staying off the internet… I am a terrible procrastinator, and tend to do most of my writing between 2pm and school pick up time!

  • What is your writing routine? Are there things you absolutely need to start writing?

In theory, I try to write 1,000 words a day. It doesn’t happen every day though. In the mornings, after school drop off, I faff about on the internet, try to watch a relevant author interview or listen to a writing podcast, drink some more coffee, do the dishes, laundry etc, and then by about 11am I am ready to start working. I am meant to be writing the third instalment in my time slip series, and I am, but I’ve also started jotting down key plot points for my next thriller.

  • How long did it take you to write your book from start to finish?

Doctor Perry took eight months from start to finish. I was aiming for six months, but the summer holidays really got in the way. I was having more fun on the beach with my children, and that’s the way it’s meant to be. I don’t think I should ever write over the summer holidays – everyone’s mind needs a rest, and family time is so important.

  • Can you tell us about your editing process?

I do a complete read through myself, one chapter at a time, making notes about plot issues, and correcting errors. Then I edit every chapter using ProWritingAid, and then it gets sent to two Beta Readers – one American reader and one English reader. I need to make sure I haven’t used any New Zealand colloquialisms that those two readers don’t understand. And then off to the editor. Even now, I’d be more than prepared to change something if a reader pointed out a flaw.

  • Is this book part of a series? If so, how many installments do you have planned?

After writing my time slip series, I’d rather not write another series again. After I finish writing Telegram Home, I will only be writing stand alone novels from here on in.

  • Do you have any advice for aspiring authors?

Find your tribe. Being an author is a lonely career, and you need another author friend on the end of the phone or Facebook messenger, to bounce things off. Marketing ideas, plot issues, editing software advice. It is very easy to get buried in an avalanche of advice, good and bad, so find that person, or those people, or are at a similar stage in their writing career as you are, and help each other.

  • Why should everyone read your book?

Reading Doctor Perry will certainly make you consider how you’ll be spending your retirement years! Will you be living in a squalid inferior old folks home, abandoned by your family? Or will you make the effort now to cultivate friendships and family relationships so that your golden years will be vibrant and full of love?

  • If you could meet three authors, dead or alive, which authors would you choose?

I would love to meet JK Rowling. Her Harry Potter series was the most wonderful reading journey I’ve ever been on. And one which bridged the generations – my mother loves the books, my daughters love the books, and I love the books. I also want to meet Stephen King. He is a true master of writing. I’d also like to spent some time with Hemingway. I’ve been to Cuba, and have visited his house. I’ve read biographies about him and his wives, and every aspect of the man fascinates me. I think part of that attraction is that I’d just like to live in his house in Cuba and write!

  • What inspired you to write your book?

After my father died, my brother and I both quit our jobs to run the family antique store. I’ve always been in love with old things, so it wasn’t a hardship. When I was younger, I remember my father buying a Lladro statue of a regular customer. Some time later the police visited the shop and told Dad that the regular customer — a well dressed, middle aged woman, was stealing from the rest home she worked in, and selling the stolen belongings all around town, including selling Dad the Lladro statue. It made me think how easy it must be to steal from the elderly, when ever-changing staff are in and out of their rooms, and perhaps the residents are a bit befuddled in their old age, and their families never visit to query the missing china statue or the gold watch or the pearl necklace? So once again, it was the antiques which kick started the plot for Doctor Perry, just as it was for my gothic horror novel Painted.

  • Are you working on something at the moment? If so, can you tell us more about it?

At the moment I am finishing the third book in my time slip series. Telegram Home has to be with my publisher by 1st August, so of course my procrastination has stepped into overdrive! I’ll be pleased to get it out of the way, so I can start work on my next novel, which is tentatively titled The Mask Seller. Set in modern day Venice, it too will be a thriller, with an Italian flavour.

Doctor Perry

Under the Hippocratic Oath, a doctor swears to remember that warmth, sympathy, and understanding may outweigh the surgeon’s knife or the chemist’s drug.

Doctor Perry assures his elderly patients at the Rose Haven Retirement Home that he can offer warmth, sympathy, and understanding. Doctor Perry is a liar.

Hiding from a traumatic past, Elijah Cone wants nothing to do with the other residents at the Rose Haven, content to sit at his window waiting to die. He’s about to learn that under Doctor Perry death is the easy option…


 Amazon US

Amazon UK

Author Bio

For many years Kirsten McKenzie worked in her family’s antique store, where she went from being allowed to sell the 50c postcards as a child, to selling $5,000 Worcester vases and seventeenth century silverware, providing a unique insight into the world of antiques which touches every aspect of her writing.

Her historical fiction novels ‘Fifteen Postcards’ and it’s sequel ‘The Last Letter’ have been described as ‘Time Travellers Wife meets Far Pavilions’, and ‘Antiques Roadshow gone viral’. The third book in the series ‘Telegram Home’ will be released in November 2018 by Accent Press.

Her bestselling gothic horror novel ‘Painted’ was released in 2017, with her medical thriller ‘Doctor Perry’ following closely in April 2018.

She lives in New Zealand with her husband, her daughters, an SPCA rescue cat and a kitten found in the neighbour’s shed, and can usually be found procrastinating on Twitter under the handle @kiwimrsmac.






Author Interview Miss Mary’s Daugther

1) How long have you been writing?

Encouraged by my publisher father, I have written stories all my life…which is quite a long time.

2) What is your favorite genre to write?

Modern historicals, twentieth century I suppose, though I enjoy writing romances. It depends on my mood.

3) Which genre have you never tried before, but would you like to try out?

Detective fiction

4) Please tell us about your book.

My new book goes back to the Victorian era, so a little earlier than the previous ones. It is set mainly in Cornwall, with some visits to London and is about a dysfunctional family with secrets in its past.

5) Which character was your favourite, and why? Which character was your least favourite, and why?

That would be telling! I have my favourites …so will my readers, so no spoilers. I leave the choice to them.

6) What was the hardest part about writing your book?

Sitting down at the computer to write! I always enjoy the research necessary and often I end up looking up things I don’t need to know, so the answer is, stopping the research and getting on with the writing.

7) What is your writing routine? Are there things you absolutely need to start writing?

I don’t have a routine as such, but work according to the dictates of the day. Some days I don’t write at all; others I work flat out all day. When I go into my study I usually put some soft piano music on, which tells my brain it’s time to get to work.

8) How long did it take you to write your book from start to finish?

That’s a difficult question to answer. The short answer is a year, but often the ideas have been brewing in my mind for far longer than that.

9) Can you tell us about your editing process?

I edit as I go along. When I start work each day I call up what I was working on the day before and work through it again, hoping to move on seamlessly to the next bit. It doesn’t always work, but at least I’m never faced with a blank sheet of paper. Of course the whole book needs to be edited when it’s finished and parts may need to be rewritten, but editing as you go along is usually very productive.

10) Is this book part of a series? If so, how many installments do you have planned?

No it’s not. This will be a stand-alone, one off.

11) Do you have any advice for aspiring authors?

If you really aspire to write, then that is what you must do. Sit down and write. There’s no other way to do it and procrastination isn’t only the thief of time, it’s the thief of a good story!

12) Why should everyone read your book?

No book suits everyone. If the book has caught your interest, from the blurb or the jacket, then give it a go. I hope I’ve written about characters who come alive and live with the reader long after they’ve reached the final page.

 13) If you could meet three authors, dead or alive, which authors would you choose?

Jane Austen, Lloyd C Douglas and Cynthia Harrod Eagles

14) What inspired you to write your book?

For some time I had been considering writing a book set in Cornwall, and gradually the ideas came together. You can’t wait for inspiration or you’d never write anything. Find something that interests you and then build a story round it.

15) Are you working on something at the moment? If so, can you tell us more about it?

I am, but it’s not ready for discussion yet. All I can say is that I’m back in the twentieth century and as so often happens, my characters are living in interesting times.

Author Bio

Diney Costeloe is the bestselling author of The Throwaway Children, The Runaway Family, The Lost Soldier, The Sisters of St Croix and The Girl With No Name. She divides her time between Somerset and West Cork.

About the Book

After her mother’s death, twenty-year-old Sophie Ross is left orphaned in London.

With no money and little chance of an income, she tries to get work as a governess to avoid destitution. Now alone in the world, she only has the company of her erstwhile nursemaid and faithful friend, Hannah.

But unbeknown to Sophie, her mother instructed Hannah to post a letter to Trescadinnick House in Cornwall upon her death. The letter will be the catalyst that changes Sophie’s life forever as she learns of her mother’s romance, marriage and then ultimate rejection by her own father and the estranged family she left behind in Cornwall.

The Penvarrow family welcome Sophie and Hannah into their fold, but tensions rise and family secrets are revealed as Sophie attempts to rebuild her life and find happiness.




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Author Interview The Beautician’s Notebook

  • How long have you been writing?

I started back in the 8th grade when I began writing the world’s most awful poetry.  I still have a few of them and they are really funny! I’ve just been writing for as long as I can remember.

  • What is your favorite genre to write?

I’m not sure I have a favorite.  I seem to do a little of everything—I have a memoir, short story collection, poetry chapbook and three novels.  I write what comes to me and in whatever form it wants to take. I guess I could tell you my least favorite and that would be memoir.

  • Which genre have you never tried before, but would you like to try out?

I’ve never tried a play or movie script.  I’m terrified of them because I know nothing. But maybe someday.

  • Please tell us about your book.

The Beautician’s Notebook was inspired by my own beautician, DeLana Holden, who owns A Cut Above in the small town near where I live.  The book is a cozy mystery with a little romance sprinkled in. When Willa Jo Temple is found stabbed through the heart on the floor of her beauty shop, the good folk of Summerset, NC are sent into a tizzy. Rumor has it, Willa Jo kept a notebook detailing all the secrets her customers had told her over the years, and she was going to write a tell-all book. Everybody in Summerset has secrets.  Is there a secret worth killing for?

  • Which character was your favorite, and why? Which character was your least favorite, and why? What was the hardest part about writing your book?

My favorite character is Avenelle Young, the preacher’s wife.  She’s a middle-aged woman who has tried for years to be the perfect minister’s wife. Yet, there is another side to her, a side her husband has no idea exists. She is funny and a little crazy—like me, I guess.

My least favorite would have to be Ralph Myers.  He is very wealthy, married but a philanderer. He is completely selfish.

The hardest part about writing this book was finding the time to write.  That is always my biggest challenge.

  • What is your writing routine? Are there things you absolutely need to start writing?

Ideally, I write in the mornings, until around 1 pm. But life is seldom ideal. I have to carve out the time, tell my friends and family I’m working on a new project and my mornings are sacrosanct. Then, I have to have the discipline to get my bottom in that chair and work! I need Diet Coke, snacks (sadly—for me, writing is fattening!) and quiet.  I also need time to veg out. I need what I call ‘dream time,’ a time when I can sit and let the ideas cook. A daily walk and daily meditation/prayer time.   I am not perfect at keeping these habits, but I try.

  • How long did it take you to write your book from start to finish?

This one took about three months.

  • Can you tell us about your editing process?

I’m very lucky in that I have a couple of dear friends who are also writers who are my early readers.  My husband, Frank, is my first reader and he usually helps a great deal. After I hear what they have to say, if the comments resonate, I fix those points.  I read and read and read until I feel I have it ready.

  • Is this book part of a series? If so, how many installments do you have planned?

No, though a lot of readers have asked for a sequel. I don’t have one planned but who knows?

  • Do you have any advice for aspiring authors?

Read the great writers of the past and the respected writers of the current day.  Read about your craft. David Huddle’s The Writing Habit, John Gardner’s The Art of Fiction, Walking on Water by Madeleine L’Engle, On Writing by Stephen King…there are just so many great books about writing.  Far too many to list here.

  • Why should everyone read your book?

It’s funny, poignant, and of course, we all want to know ‘who dunnit.’

  • If you could meet three authors, dead or alive, which authors would you choose?

Oh, that’s a tough one.  I’d pick Shakespeare, Gerard Manley Hopkins (the poet) and Thomas Hardy.

  • What inspired you to write your book?

My beautician.

  • Are you working on something at the moment? If so, can you tell us more about it?

I’m working on three books at the moment.  Two are set in West Virginia where I grew up and one is set in North Carolina where I live now. One is about a madwoman, one is about a man who wins a girl in a poker game and one is about mothers-in-law and daughters-in-law. I’m about halfway finished with each book, so my plan is to finish them this year.  We’ll see if that happens.


The Beautician’s Notebook by Anne Barnhill

Publication Date: April 12, 2017
Moonshine Cove Publishing, LLC
eBook & Print; 304 Pages
Genre: Mystery/Romance/Contemporary
It’s up to her ex-husband, Sheriff Tal Hicks, to investigate. Evidence points to four possible suspects: Willa Jo’s business partner; a town socialite; a preacher’s wife; and Willa Jo’s live-in lover.
Willa Jo kept a notebook containing all the secrets she’s learned while doing hair. Rumor has it Willa Jo is going to write a book, exposing everything. But now, Willa Jo is dead and the incriminating notebook is missing, leaving the sheriff with very little to go on. As he interrogates the suspects, he finds himself attracted to newcomer, Clarissa Myers. He delves into her past only to discover she has deeper ties to Summerset than anyone imagined. Before the sheriff can complete his interrogations, however, another suspect, Avenelle Young, confesses.
The sheriff is skeptical about Avenelle Young’s guilt because she refuses to discuss what happened with Willa Jo. Her statement is a terse declaration of guilt, with neither motive nor method explained. The sheriff has no choice but to incarcerate Mrs. Young.
During the investigations, as the secrets of Summerset are slowly revealed, each family touched by Willa Jo’s death must come to terms with the new information being unearthed. The repercussions are far-reaching, and forgiveness hard to come by. However, at the heart of the book is the possibility of reconciliation among the town folk as they learn the real ‘truth’ about one another.

Praise for The Beautician’s Notebook

“…a great who-done-it” that will keep you reading until the very last page.—Brenda Bevan Remmes, author of The Quaker Cafe and Home to Cedar Branch.
“What a treat! Anne Clinard Barnhill has penned a mystery with heart and soul. Her characters are so likeable—even lovable—that I hated to think of any of them guilty of a heinous crime . . . despite their many motives. An intriguing and heartwarming novel.”—Diane Chamberlain, NYT bestselling author of The Silent Sister.
“More red herrings than in a fishmonger’s wheelbarrow.”—Molly Weston, Mystery Writers of America Raven Award Winner.

About the Author

Anne Clinard Barnhill is an award-winning, internationally published writer who has published two historical novels (AT THE MERCY OF THE QUEEN and QUEEN ELIZABETH’S DAUGHTER), a short story collection (WHAT YOU LONG FOR), a memoir (AT HOME IN THE LAND OF OZ: Autism, My Sister and Me) and a poetry chapbook (COAL, BABY). She has also written hundreds of articles, features, book reviews and essays published in a variety of newspapers, magazines and blogs. Ms. Barnhill has received four regional artist grants, one writer’s residency and has taught writing and creativity workshops in various places across North Carolina, West Virginia, South Carolina and Mississippi. She has three grown sons and lives on the NC coast with her husband and a very energetic dog.
For more information please visit Anne’s website. You can also connect with her on Facebook, Twitter, Pinterest, and Goodreads.

Blog Tour Schedule

Monday, August 7
Kick Off at Passages to the Past

Wednesday, August 9
Feature at A Holland Reads

Thursday, August 10
Review & Interview at The Book Junkie Reads

Monday, August 14
Feature at Rimpy’s Reads

Thursday, August 17
Guest Post at Must Read Faster

Tuesday, August 22
Feature at A Literary Vacation

Friday, August 25
Interview at I Heart Reading

Monday, August 28
Review at Book Nerd

Friday, September 1
Review at Buried Under Books

Monday, September 4
Guest Post at Brooke Blogs

Wednesday, September 6
Feature at Mello & June, It’s a Book Thang!

Wednesday, September 13
Feature at CelticLady’s Reviews

Wednesday, September 20
Review at Locks, Hooks and Books

Monday, September 25
Review at A Chick Who Reads

Wednesday, September 27
Review at Adventures Thru Wonderland


To enter the giveaway for a copy of THE BEAUTICIAN’S NOTEBOOK, please see the GLEAM entry form below. Five copies are up for grabs!


– Giveaway ends at 11:59pm EST on September 27th. You must be 18 or older to enter.
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– All giveaway entrants agree to be honest and not cheat the systems; any suspect of fraud is decided upon by blog/site owner and the sponsor, and entrants may be disqualified at our discretion
– Winner has 48 hours to claim prize or new winner is chosen.


Author Interview with Ash Gray

1) How long have you been writing?

Since I was twelve.

You usually hear people say “Yeah, I always wanted to be a writer! Since I was three!!!” But I never wanted to be a writer and never imagined I would be. I was a very avid reader growing up. I loved stories in all their mediums but never imagined I was going to ever tell my own. When I was six, I wanted to be a doctor and play the saxophone.

Then when I was twelve, my aunt died. She was very young – in fact, she was sixteen when I was born, because my grandmother had her late in life, so she was like an older sister to me. I was very quiet (still am) and would not talk about her death, so my mother handed me a journal and told me to write about.

I did. And I never stopped.

2) What is your favorite genre to write?

Growing up, I always loved epic fantasy. I would watch and read anything with dragons, pirates, swords, and elves. I still love epic fantasy and science fiction both, though I’ve been leaning more toward writing science fiction lately. I will always love epic fantasy the most, to be honest.

3) Which genre have you never tried before, but would you like to try out?

Bizarro, absurd fiction would be cool to write. I just don’t think I’m bizarre enough to do it but I would love to try.

4) Please tell us about your book.

I never know which book to talk about when I’m asked, as I currently have seven on Amazon. I guess I could talk about my series A Time of Darkness since I plan to spend some time working on it soon.

A Time of Darkness is the story of a female dragon slayer and her rise to fame – followed immediately by her downward spiral. The first book serves to set up the lore and gives you a good idea of how the people in the future view Nineveh Dragon Fall, so called because dragons were always falling where she walked.

In the first book, we see that people in the future venerate Nineveh as a great hero and something like a holy warrior, who vanquished the “wicked” dragons in the name of their various gods. But as the series continues, we go back to the past and discover how typically wrong history was. Nineveh wasn’t a hero, she wasn’t by any means perfect, and she only deserved maybe some of the praise she got.

I decided to go this way with the character because I’ve never tried writing an anti-hero before, and I love challenging myself. And because I don’t mind falling on my face – even publicly – I’m willing to use an entire series to experiment. It feels like a great deal of pressure to pull this off even half-way successfully, but the hilarious thing is that I don’t even really have an audience for the series yet. So I suppose I can just fumble and bumble under the impression that no one is really watching. Or . . . I could imagine the audience is just naked. That works too.

5) Which character was your favorite, and why? Which character was your least favorite, and why?

Owllwin is currently my favorite character in the A Time of Darkness series. He is mentioned in book 1, and appears for the first time in book 2, and is Cricket’s (Nineveh Dragon Fall’s) best friend growing up. He is a clumsy, goofy dork who is actually in love with Cricket, to the point that he is blind to her faults and puts her on a pedestal. Eventually, he grows up and realizes she is not perfect but he still goes on loving her.

What I love about Owllwin is that he isn’t a jerk. We like to act as if making our characters be toxic jerks is “realistic” and “relatable” but some people really are just nice. Owllwin expressed his feelings for Cricket at a festival while he was slightly intoxicated, and when she gently turned him down, he did not hold it against her, call her vicious slurs, threaten sexual assault, attack the man she did love or otherwise punish her for being a stupid stupid woman for – gasp! – having a sexuality and agency and not being attracted to a nice guy.

Owllwin sees Cricket as a person, not a slot machine that hands out sex-candy-bars when niceness is put into it. That isn’t to say that his feelings aren’t hurt when she rejects him, and because he has every right to be hurt, he goes off, takes time to heal, and stops talking to her for a while. But eventually, they go on being friends and he never punishes her for not falling love with him in return.

Later, when he has adjusted and moved on from the rejection, they are together in a sense. But not really, as Cricket only loves him as a friend.

My least favorite character in A Time of Darkness right now is probably . . . Actually, I can’t think of one. I love all my characters, even the villains. Kimaria from the first book is actually one of my favorites.

6) What was the hardest part about writing your book?

The hardest part of writing Time’s Arrow was getting the opening just right. When I wrote the first book back in 2014, the opening was vastly different and did not impress the many agents I sent it too. I kept rewriting it and rewriting it to emphasize Neferre’s grossness (and Cricket’s grossness) as a sort of hook, and even though agents liked it, they still . . . said no. Incidentally, Neferre and Cricket were always gross, I just emphasized it to grab the reader’s attention.

The hardest part about writing the second book Infinite Athenaeum was trying to handle Cricket’s sexuality. At one point I forgot her age, and I regret not embellishing on the ages of the characters, because from an outside perspective, all of it looks really, really wrong. But by the end of the second book, Cricket is eighteen, while Halima is still mentally a teenager even though she is an elf over a hundred years old, and Owllwin is only mentally nineteen or twenty even though he’s only, like . . . nine. I mean, Owllwin has the body and mind of an adult because his race grows up fast, but he is actually quite young in human years.

Yeah, writing about these three characters having sex was difficult. I don’t like writing about teenagers and young adults (sorry teens and young adults) in sexual situations but I felt it was necessary to explore. Because all too often, women are not allowed to celebrate their sexuality or to embrace it. Cricket does. Defiantly. And no one ever shames her for it (unless they’re a jerk – at one point, someone does call her a slur, I think).

7) What is your writing routine? Are there things you absolutely need to start writing?

Whenever I’m asked this, I usually say I don’t have a writing routine, but the reality is I do. I just didn’t realize it until recently. I love listening to Peter Gundry, the composer. Some of his music is amazing, and it really gets me focused into creating fictional worlds. I also love listening to rain sounds because it helps me focus. And I like having a nice smell in the room, like a candle or incense. It all puts me in a relaxed and focused state, so that the rest of the world is tuned out and I’m there with my characters. It especially helps to write in the dark, as the cliché goes.

8) How long did it take you to write your book from start to finish?

I wrote my first full-length novel when I was fourteen? Fifteen? And I think it took me a couple weeks because I wrote a little after school everyday. I don’t really count that embarrassing heap as a novel, though.

My first real attempt at a novel – not a novella — was when I was an early twenty-something. It was a huge, sprawling mess of a thing. Like 500 pages or something. I remember sharing it on the internet and sending it to agents, under the naïve belief that anyone would want to read that tripe. Some people liked it, but I mostly got mocked, derided, and bigotry on all sides. Young talent is so often anything but nurtured if it doesn’t belong to the right voice. People especially hated that one of the characters was – gasp! – brown and that yet another character was – gasp! – queer. It . . . was debilitating. It’s a novel I actually plan to revise and publish on kindle one day, if not out of nostalgia. But it’ll be a while because the story was so, so long and it needs a lot of work.

. . . I didn’t even answer the question. I don’t remember how long it took to write. That was over ten years ago.

9) Can you tell us about your editing process?

Write the first draft in a crazy rush, getting out all ideas. Go back, slowly look for mistakes, and cut out ridiculous chapters and unnecessary crap. Rinse and repeat fifty more times. And if you can afford it, get an editor.

10) Is this book part of a series? If so, how many installments do you have planned?

A Time of Darkness currently has seven books planned. I’m knee-deep in number three right now. Before I started publishing on kindle, I actually had the first two books in the series written (so, no, I didn’t just write them) and was trying to start the third. I gave up and shoved the series in a drawer after being told over and over that my story had no audience or no place at so-and-so’s agency.

Also, hearing that you have potential is such a backhanded compliment. Especially when you’ve been writing almost twenty years.

11) Do you have any advice for aspiring authors?

No. I have no right to be dishing out advice. I’m a slushpile reject trying to eek out her own measly existence in the corners of the literary world. In fact, I’m living this existence because no one listens to people like me in the first place. Our voices have no value. So what value could my advice possibly have to anyone?

12) Why should everyone read your book?

If you love a good laugh, adventure, and romance, then read my books. That’s basically what all my books are. I’ve recently discovered that many, many people hate romance (silly me for not knowing that) and thanks to my unisex name – which is my actual name, not a pen name – people often assume I’m a guy. So they go into my story thinking it’s written by a man, realize that there is romance involved, and scream, “Nooooo! Fweelings are for girlssss! I’m meltingggg! Meltinggggg! Oh what a worldddd!”

Like, how dare I write about romance, even as a sub plot! We women are such dumb dumb heads. It’s not like romance is how half the planet got here or anything. . . .

So yeah. If you don’t like romance, laughter, adventure, and women in important roles, then I guess my books aren’t for you. Everyone else, however, is welcome aboard.

13) If you could meet three authors, dead or alive, which authors would you choose?

I don’t want to meet any authors. Because over the years – and especially while I majored in English lit in college – I have slowly been discovering that just about every author I love is some kind of jerk. It’s wearing me thin. I’m scared that if I ever met Mercedes Lackey, she’d turn out to have some vile personality trait. Just . . . I can’t take anymore.

14) What inspired you to write your book?

I read The Witcher series a while back and had a love-hate reaction to it. He can write some amazing fight scenes, but the context is . . . unfortunate. I was then inspired to write my own series (A Time of Darkness) where queer women are not dehumanized and punished with death for being queer. Where women aren’t a collection of prejudices and stereotypes.

The women in Sapkowski’s books are all in two categories: the good women are straight and want to be mothers, the bad women are queer (Triss the date rapist and emotional manipulator, Philippa), bad mothers (Geralt’s mom), and hate children or don’t want them (Philippa). Ciri goes on a journey to learn that being queer is bad, is punished by witnessing her girlfriend Mistle’s brutal death, and ends the story by making the correct choice to love a man and fulfill the prophecy by becoming a mother. Because that’s what women are: we are broodmares. We exist to have sex with men and have their sons. That’s it. We can’t be good people and at the same time be queer. Oh nooooo. And not wanting to be a mother is the end-all of evil! Abortion is evil!!!! But spermicide, that’s okay.

Meanwhile, every woman in the book worships Geralt and either wants to sleep with him or be his mother/ daughter. I was especially annoyed when Milva the archer couldn’t make a decision about her own pregnancy and had to curl up like a little child and ask the men folk what she should do. They all make the choice for her that she should not abort her fetus. It was . . . infuriating. And the sexist belief that women are too stupid, childlike, fickle, and inferior to make their own healthcare decisions is why men make our healthcare decisions right now.

So yeah. Long rant short, A Time of Darkness was born out of my disgust for Sapkowski’s depiction of women. You don’t have to actively hate women to depict them in a sexist manner, and he was very sexist. Whether this is something he was taunt and subconsciously embraced or he actually just harbors these sexist ideals consciously is something that remains to be seen, as I don’t personally know the man. I only know that he sees women as his idea of what women are and not fully fleshed nuanced individuals, who can make decisions for themselves and who serve a function higher than supporting men (figuratively and literally). If you don’t want to be a mother, you’re evilllll because women are supposed to want that. It’s all we exist for. Right? Right????

And the lodge of sorceresses was about as anti-woman as you can get, upholding the old fairy tale trope of women meddling in politics and the disaster there of.

People can hate me for my opinion. I really don’t care. Not when I have to see queer women and women in general constantly patronized and dehumanized in fiction. Eff that.

15) Are you working on something at the moment? If so, can you tell us more about it?

I’m working on A Time of Darkness, but I just blathered about that nonstop, so I’ll be happy to tell you about my science fiction series The Prince of Qorlec.

It’s actually about the lost princess of planet Qorlec, which is under siege by another planet. To escape her enemies, the princess spends several books actually pretending to be a boy. The first book (which I recently published) is sort of like a goofy cross between Men in Black and Terminator II and all my favorite science fiction movies – except the gun-toting, cursing, smoking action hero is a woman, though she’s not the protagonist. There are dual protagonists in the first book, both of which are the princess of Qorlec – Quinn – and her mother Rose.

The first book is really short and funny because it’s just an introduction to a longer series. The comedy is supposed to be a hook. I’m not saying the rest of the series isn’t funny, but it’s a bit more serious. Or at least, I intend for it to be.

About the Book

Rose, a sweet and kind librarian, is on her honeymoon with her goofy gym teacher husband when the trip takes a turn for the worst and she is abducted by aliens. When the spacecraft is attacked by the enemies of Empress Nashal, Rose makes it back to Earth freshly impregnated by alien royalty with said enemies on her heels. Now faced with running for her life, she is joined by Zita, a cheerful alien marine, and must make the choice between her unborn alien child and her baffled husband, who believes the child is his.

Author Bio

Ash Gray is a dragon with minuscule spectacles perched on her nose, living in a wonderfully dank, musty cave far away in an alternate universe. She types her stories with gigantic claws on a ridiculously small typewriter before sending them through a membrane and into your dimension for your enjoyment.

Author Interview Find Me Blog Tour

  • How long have you been writing?

I set myself a target of getting my first novel published before I was thirty. I missed it by a year. The Riot Act was published in 1997 by Serpent’s Tail. It was a dark tale of love, betrayal and espionage, set in Greenwich, where we were living at the time, and in Cornwall, where we still spend a lot of our holidays. I wasn’t paid very much for the book (£1,500), but it went on to be shortlisted for the Crime Writers Association best first novel award. A French translation followed but the book is now out of print. Since then, I’ve written four other spy novels, including the Daniel Marchant trilogy (HarperCollins, 2009-2012), the first of which, Dead Spy Running, was optioned by Warner Bros. Getting your first novel accepted is an extraordinary thing. I was living in South India at the time, working for a local Indian magazine, and when the blurred and stretched fax came through from Serpent’s Tail in London, having traveled 5,000 miles, I hugged my Indian colleagues, who were all a little surprised!

  • What is your favorite genre to write?

Well, up until Find Me, it’s been spy thrillers all the way, but Find Me is a psychological thriller and I’ve loved writing it. There are certain conventions that need to be adhered to with a spy novel, and you have to stay on top of tradecraft, technology and global politics, but with a psychological thriller, it’s all about what happens in the human head.

  • Which genre have you never tried before, but would you like to try out?

Literary fiction. I recently read A Girl Is A Half-Formed Thing by Eimear McBride and absolutely loved it. A sustained and very unusual voice, with language that owes a lot to James Joyce.

  • Please tell us about your book.

Find Me opens with a scene that has haunted me for many years. Jar, a young Irish writer, is on his way to work, taking the escalator down into Paddington Station, when he sees Rosa, his girlfriend from university, passing him on the up escalator. Except that Rosa died five years ago and Find Me is not a ghost story. A former girlfriend from my own university days died a few years after we graduated and I once thought I saw her on a crowded platform. I knew, of course, that it wasn’t her, but it got me thinking. Find Me follows Jar’s quest to prove that Rosa is somehow still alive. He suffers from post-bereavement hallucinations, but there’s something about the sighting at Paddington that convinces him that she’s still alive. It’s essentially a love story, a study of obsession and self-belief.

  • Which character was your favorite, and why?

I enjoyed writing Jar’s scenes. He had early success as a writer – a collection of short stories was published to acclaim while he was still at Cambridge – but he has been blocked for five years, ever since Rosa disappeared. He’s writing ‘clickbait’ celeb stories on an arts website when he thinks he sees Rosa. I wanted him to likeable, well-read, interesting – readers have got to share his desire to find Rosa. I also love Ireland and its rich literary heritage and Jar is from Galway, where his Da runs a bar. His search for Rosa reminded me of the Wandering Song of Aengus, by WB Yeats, and I quote from the poem at the beginning of the book. (‘Though I am old with wandering/Through hollow lands and hilly lands/I will find out where she has gone/And kiss her lips and take her hands’).

  • What was the hardest part about writing your book?

At one point in the story, Jar has to turn to The Dark Web, that murky corner of the internet that lies beyond the law and reach of search engines. 95% of the Dark Web is used for nefarious purposes – drug, gun and people smuggling, assassination sites etc – and I was terrified, like Jar, of making a wrong turning, of accidentally ending up in some dodgy sex chatroom or being on the wrong end of an FBI sting. Interestingly, I did discover that the Dark Web is also used for good purposes: The New Yorker magazine runs StrongBox, a site for whistleblowers, where people can leave anonymous messages about political or corporate malpractice. And participants in the Arab Spring turned to the Dark Web when they wanted to escape state censorship.

  • What is your writing routine? Are there things you absolutely need to start writing?

I can write pretty much anywhere, using my trusty MacBook Air. (I’m lefthanded and my handwriting is terrible.) I have written several books on the train from Wiltshire to London, when I was working as a journalist at the Telegraph. I also like noisy cafes. Now that I’m a fulltime writer, I work from home and try to knock out 1,000 words a day. I will edit the previous day’s words, deleting up to a third of them, and then write 1,000 fresh words. Early mornings are particularly good. In winter, by the wood-burning stove, from 5am to 7am, before the house stirs. In the summer, in the garden, beneath the apple tree. Writing requires discipline and I approach it like any other normal office job.

  • How long did it take you to write your book from start to finish?

Find Me took me three years to write, but I was holding down a day job at the same time, working of the Telegraph’s books channel and then editing the Saturday Weekend section. When I’m not doing anything else, I reckon it takes me a year to write, from first draft to final edit.

  • Can you tell us about your editing process?

I like to hand in a fairly polished first draft. I edit as I go along and I guess my journalism background means that I’m quite a harsh editor of my own work. Each day I’ll go over the previous day’s offering before writing new words. My wife is always my first reader and then my agent. It’s important, when you are writing a book, to keep the momentum going and not spend all your time tweaking and admiring what you’ve written. You’ve got to move forwards each day.

  • Is this book part of a series? If so, how many installments do you have planned?

I have contemplated a sequel to Find Me – it would be interesting if Rosa, with her own harrowing experiences, had to search for Jar but I think my next psychological thriller will be another standalone. I have an idea that explores similar themes of identity and memory and loss.

  • Do you have any advice for aspiring authors?

There’s a very fine line between being published and not being published. A lot of bad books are out there and a lot of good ones never see the light of day. Self-belief is everything. These days, agents are the new gatekeepers. Unless you have personal contacts with a publisher, there’s little point in approaching them directly. Get an agent first – and only contact ones that specialize in the sort of book you are writing. Always write the sort of book that you would want to read. Don’t try to second-guess the market. If you’re not 100% committed to your book, others won’t be either. Many people write one book and give up after not finding a publisher. Your second book might be a lot better and couldn’t have been written unless you had got the bad stuff out of your system in the first book.

  • Why should everyone read your book?

Blimey, I’d never expect everyone to like/read the same book! Literary taste is so subjective. I hope that Find Me will appeal to readers who like intelligent thrillers with well-drawn characters and a driving narrative. I also hope it says something about loss and love, and raises awareness of the disturbing role that science and psychology played in the US war on terror.

  • If you could meet three authors, dead or alive, which authors would you choose?

I have been lucky enough to meet John Le Carré, ten years ago, and that was a real privilege. I remember him telling me that the times may change, but the nature of spying never does. Trust and betrayal are absolute human traits. I’d like to have a chat with Paula Hawkins, author of The Girl On The Train, and ask how her life has changed since was a journalist writing pension stories at The Times (and also how much pressure she felt having to follow up on her incredible success). I love Roald Dahl’s inventive use of language. I would ask about how he came up with his character’s names and also all those sweets (Whangdoodles, hornswogglers or snozzwangers, anyone?).

  • What inspired you to write your book?

I think it was the experience of having lost a former girlfriend and my mother, who died when I was 17. I have only ever had one recurring dream in my life and it involved my mother returning to the family house a few years after she had died, wondering where she was going to sleep. My father re-married, to a wonderful woman I love dearly, but clearly my mother’s return would have caused problems. Maybe it comes from a forlorn sense of hope, but I’ve always been intrigued by the possibility of someone still being alive after everyone assumes they’re dead. I don’t believe in ghosts, so such a scenario would have to play out in another way. And that’s what I explore in Find Me.


  • Are you working on something at the moment? If so, can you tell us more about it?

I have just written a spy novella, under my own name of Jon Stock. It’s been a very unusual, enormously fun project, commissioned by The Nare, an upmarket hotel in Cornwall. The proprietor is a spy aficionado – his phone extension is 007 – and he asked me to be writer-in-residence and come up with a short spy thriller set in and around his hotel. I love Cornwall and it’s a great hotel, so it’s been the dream writer’s gig. The book is called To Snare A Spy (see what we did there?) and it’s coming out at the end of April. The main character is a 15-year-old boy called Noah and the book is intended to appeal to teenagers as well as parents and grandparents. Extended families tend to stay at the hotel, particularly in the summer holidays, and they will be able to visit and interact with a lot of the local, very scenic settings in the book.

About the Book

“An intricate puzzle of a thriller… Simultaneously romantic and horrifying”

“Intricately woven and heart-stoppingly believable, this has
bestseller written all over it.”


 “Cunning, captivating and creepy – a beautifully-written thriller
with well-drawn characters and a twisting, gripping plot
that will keep you guessing until the very last page.”


 “Gripping and deeply sinister… an intricate story that will stay with you.”


Five years ago, Rosa walked to Cromer pier in the dead of night. She looked into the dark swirling water below, and she jumped. She was a brilliant young Cambridge student who had just lost her father. Her death was tragic, but not unexpected.

Was that what really happened? The coroner says it was. But Rosa’s boyfriend Jar can’t let go. He hallucinates, seeing Rosa everywhere – a face on the train, a distant figure on the hillside. He is obsessed with proving that she is still alive. And then he gets an email.

Find me, Jar. Find me, before they do…


Jon Stock, now writing as J.S. Monroe, read English at Cambridge University, worked as a freelance journalist in London and was a regular contributor to BBC Radio 4. He was also a foreign correspondent in Delhi for the Daily Telegraph and was on its staff in London as Weekend editor. He left Telegraph in 2010 to finish writing his acclaimed Daniel Marchant spy trilogy and returned in 2013 to oversee the paper’s digital books channel. He became a fulltime author in 2015, writing as J.S. Monroe.

His first novel, ‘The Riot Act‘ was shortlisted by the Crime Writers’ Association for its best first novel award. The film rights for ‘Dead Spy Running’, his third novel, were bought by Warner Bros, who hired Oscar-winner Stephen Gaghan (Traffic, Syriana) to write the screenplay. It is currently in development. He is the author of five novels and lives in Wiltshire, England, with his wife, a photographer, and their three children.

Author Interview with Sharon Potts

Today I’m interviewing Sharon Potts, author of SOMEONE MUST DIE. Thank you for visiting my blog.

  1. What was your inspiration for the Lynd Family’s complicated relationships?

I believe that our experiences before we become parents greatly affect how we raise our own children. I wanted to write a story about how two people, who grew up during the intense college revolutionary period of the sixties, may have participated in things that not only transformed them directly, but also impacted their ability to relate to each other and to their children.

Right from the start of SOMEONE MUST DIE, we see that there are problems in the Lynd family. Divorce, estrangement, and subjects that are off-limit to discuss—like the past. Aubrey Lynd is working on her PhD in social psychology hoping to understand her family’s messed-up dynamics and navigate her way to a more satisfying life than her parents had. But the family’s inner workings are further challenged when Aubrey’s nephew, six-year-old Ethan, vanishes from a neighborhood carnival.  A ransom note makes it clear that the kidnapping is personal. Aubrey realizes that something in her parents’ past may not only be behind her nephew’s abduction, but might also explain her parents’ aloof and challenging behavior throughout her life.

  1. What research did you conduct for the novel?  Do you research a topic before you write a plot or do you start writing and research as the story progresses?

SOMEONE MUST DIE takes place in the present day, primarily in Miami, and is about a family not all that different from my own.  (Except mine isn’t nearly as dysfunctional!) The flashbacks are in New York during 1969 and 1970, at a time when I was a college student in New York, so much of the story comes from my own experiences.  That said, there was a great deal about the college revolutionary period that I’d forgotten or never knew and it was fascinating to go back and watch movies and film clips of that period.  I also took the opportunity to watch “Woodstock” one more time.

I did some basic research before I began writing, really digging into events of that period until I came up with a pivotal idea for my plot.  Then I began to write, stopping to research when I felt I needed more vivid or accurate details.  For me, one of the coolest parts of researching is that I often discover a fact or incident that works great with my fictional story and I end up incorporating it.  Sometimes, this new information will even change the direction of my book!

  1. How did you choose the setting for your book, Miami (present day) and Manhattan (1969/70)?

I chose Manhattan in 1969/70 for a couple of reasons.  First, it was one of the places where the college revolutionary movement was most intense, especially at Columbia University. It was also a familiar setting to me.  I was a student at Queens College at the time. I remember the energy as I marched through Central Park in October 1969, one of thousands who participated in the Moratorium to End the War in Vietnam. Manhattan can also be daunting and I wanted to contrast that setting with the present day in Coconut Grove, a secluded, jungly neighborhood near Miami where Aubrey grew up hiding from the world.

About the Book

29057904When her six-year-old nephew vanishes from a neighborhood carnival, Aubrey Lynd’s safe, snow-globe world fractures; it shatters when the FBI’s investigation raises questions about her own family that Aubrey can’t answer.
Aubrey picks apart the inconsistencies to expose the first of many lies: a ransom note—concealed from the FBI—with a terrifying and impossible ultimatum. Aubrey doesn’t know what to believe or whom to trust. The abduction is clearly personal—but why would someone play a high-stakes game with the life of a child? The more she presses for answers, the more Aubrey is convinced that her mother is hiding something.
Desperate to save her young nephew, Aubrey must face harsh truths and choose between loyalty to her family and doing the right thing. And she’d better hurry, because vengeance sets its own schedule, and time is running out.

Buy on Amazon.

Author Interview with Lisa Beth Darling

3c2printcoversmallHow long have you been writing?

Nearly 46 years, I started writing when I was in the 4th grade.

What is your favorite genre to write?

I don’t really have one, all of my stories center on a close relationship of some kind be it in a contemporary romance or a paranormal/mythological based book, there’s even a family drama, which we’ll discuss here in a moment. I like writing about people more than places or things.

Which genre have you never tried before, but would you like to try out?

I’d probably like to try my hand at something historical from the Victorian Era a romantic mystery.

Please tell us about your book.

My latest novel, “Prodigal Son” is the fourth and final installment in the Sister Christian series. Here, Hannah Rice is well on her way to having her guardianship lifted and of course, her brother, Richard Mason, isn’t all that keen on the idea as he’s come to respect and love his sister and doesn’t want to let her go. However, letting her fly free into the arms of Nick Jackson is inevitable and Mason eventually comes around to that fact. If it weren’t for the shadowy figure stalking Hannah all would be well.

Which character was your favorite, and why? Which character was your least favorite, and why?

Within the Sister Christian series, my favorite character is Hannah Rice. She’s had a very hard life, but she’s sweet and vulnerable and nothing ever gets her down for too long. My least favorite is a character that hardly has any lines or makes much of an appearance at all because he’s dead at the start of the series, his name is James Rice, he’s the father of Hannah and Richard Mason. He was a very dastardly fellow with no redeeming qualities at all.

What was the hardest part about writing your book?

Although this is not a “Christian” or “religious” series, Hannah, despite all of her trials and tribulations, is still a devout Christian and her brother is a staunch atheist. I did my best to keep the focus on the characters in hopes that it wouldn’t come out preachy or cliché in some manner. It was a fine line to walk through four books.

What is your writing routine? Are there things you absolutely need to start writing?

I used to have a strict writing routine but then my husband moved away for work and only comes home in the weekends. I’m still getting used to this change. When I do write, I have to have my iTunes, a hot drink, a cold drink (potent, please), my cigs and my candles burning.

How long did it take you to write your book from start to finish?

“Prodigal Son” took about a year as do most of my novels.

Can you tell us about your editing process?

Once upon a time, I wrote with pen and paper and just flew through whatever story I was writing. Then I moved to a typewriter and did the same thing. Then the computer came along and brought me all these green and red squiggly lines. They’re maddening! I find myself adjusting/editing everything as I write rather than just forgetting about that and concentrating on the story itself. Editing is for when the story is done it’s not an as you go process. Yet, I can’t help it and it often gets me stuck in Editing Mode when I should be in Writing Mode. Once I do get to The End, I go back and read it, edit it, and then send it off to my lovely beta readers who will edit it more. They send it back, I drop in their edits and finally the book is done.

Do you have any advice for aspiring authors?

Don’t give up on yourself, don’t let fear and self-doubt get in the way of telling your story. Once it’s done, rewrite, edit, submit, and don’t let the rejection slips get you down. It’s not a reflection on you or your story.

Why should everyone read your book?

Unlike most of my other novels, which are dark and full of sex and violence, the Sister Christian series is rather heartwarming and inspirational. It has its twists, turns, and dark family secrets, but in the end, with any luck at all, the reader will walk away from each installment feeling as though there’s some hope left in the world.

If you could meet three authors, dead or alive, which authors would you choose?

Stephen King, Edgar Allen Poe, and VC Andrews.

What inspired you to write your book?

The Muse, all stories come from the Cosmos to pick their writers.

Are you working on something at the moment? If so, can you tell us more about it?

Not yet, although I’ve been working off-and-on and several stories none of them have stuck just yet, I’m not the kind of person who can write more than one story at a time. After “Prodigal Son” is out in the world I believe we’ll be getting back to one of my favorite characters, Ares God of War, but with something outside of my OF WAR series.

Author Bio

Lisa Beth Darling is 49 years-old, lives in her hometown of New London, CT with her husband of 30 years, Roy and is mother to their two daughters.  She is the author of more than fifteen novels along with several short stories and non-fiction books. When she’s not writing she likes to garden and is an avid movie buff.




Twitter: @lb_darling



Prodigal Son-Sister Christian Finale

When the Hour is Darkest Love and Faith Can Conquer All.

In the final installment of the Sister Christian Series, the Court has demanded a hearing regarding Hannah’s capacity. Hannah and Nick are falling deeper and deeper in love. Looking forward to a bright future together they begin planning their life together. A shadowy stranger from the past has set his sights on Hannah and her 3.5 million dollar trust fund. Is he really Rick MacNeill, the son Hannah thought died in the terrible fire at Saint Anne’s? Is he someone sinister? The last of the family secrets come to light in this roller coaster ride of suspense, love, betrayal, and faith.

Short Excerpt

“Oh, what am I doing?” She asked her reflection but it had no answers. “He’s so much better than I am. Just like Rick.”

The woman in the mirror just stared at her with a mixture of fear and bewilderment.

“This is crazy!”

Still her reflection only mimicked her.

Somewhere she heard a voice so real that it made her turn around then throw open the bathroom door to peer into the bedroom and the hallway to the living room.

Love is Crazy, it’s not sane, Hannah, it’s not logical. But it is real.

“Mama?” Hannah whimpered as she gazed into the empty living room, “Mama?” Holding tight to the gold locket around her neck she hurriedly ran her thumb over it. A week before her tenth birthday, she’d been sewing a quilt with her mother and asked her how she’d know when she was in love. Mama had said that love was crazy, it wasn’t sane, it wasn’t logical, but it was real and

You’ll know it when your heart beats faster than a hummingbird’s wings.

Every time she saw Nick or talked to him on the phone, even when she sent him emails on her vacation and then waited for his reply, her heart beat so rapidly she thought it would burst in her chest. That was at least as fast as hummingbird’s wings. “I think I love him, Mama,” she whispered to no one, “how do I know if he loves me?”

To that, there was no ghostly answer as it wasn’t a topic they’d discussed that day as they sat quilting outside, under the big oak tree, in the bright sunshine.

Buy the Book





Author Interview Roland Colton

Roland Colton - author photoI’m interviewing Roland Colton today, author of historical fiction “Forever Gentleman”. Thank you for visiting my blog.

Author Interview

  1. At the beginning of Forever Gentleman, struggling architect and pianist, Nathan Sinclair, encounters the glamourous and beautiful heiress, Jocelyn Charlesworth. What draws Nathan to Jocelyn, and how does she respond to him when they first meet?

Although he has no expectation of an introduction, Nathan is intrigued enough to see if Ms. Charlesworth’s beauty is as extraordinary as the Sunday Times portrays it. Despite his protestations, the mistress of the estate insists on introducing Nathan to Jocelyn.  Once he observes her beauty firsthand, an intoxication of senses sweeps over him—never before has he seen a woman of such unimaginable beauty. Jocelyn’s reaction to Nathan is one of boredom, having endured countless stares from past star-struck suitors. She toys with him, looking for any opportunity to end the interview. Once she believes him to be a common servant, she rebukes him publicly, appalled that a servant would have the audacity to seek her acquaintance.

  1. Nathan also meets the simple and plain social worker, Regina Lancaster. What’s special about Regina, and why does Nathan feel such a deep connection to her?


Though her outward appearance is ordinary, Nathan initially feels a strong attraction to Regina’s eyes and senses a kindred spirit.  Her dark brown eyes convey a journey through unspeakable tragedy, resulting in a deep appreciation for life and depth of character. Nathan is also attracted to Regina’s modesty, simplicity and inner beauty, qualities he admired in his mother. Once he learns of Regina’s selfless service to London orphans, he wonders if any man could possibly be worthy of her.

  1. Music plays an important role in the story and in Nathan’s life. How do the musical elements in the novel tie together the themes in Forever Gentleman?

Nathan’s life has been steeped in music since his operatic mother gave birth to him. His pianistic bravado opens the door of London Society, and he becomes comfortable in a world far different than his humble abode. The music in Forever Gentleman accompanies the story as a soundtrack does a movie, enhancing both drama and mood. Women are attracted to Nathan’s musical genius, fostering love and romance in the story.

  1. The Victorian Era was a time of contradictory wealth and poverty, along with great change, in England. What drew you to write a story set in this time period in history?


I’ve always been intrigued by a world where great beauty and brilliance could exist in the midst of poverty and misery.  While writing the story, I imagined what it would have been like to have lived in both worlds, as does Nathan in the story.  Also interesting is the sanitation miracle that occurred in the 1860’s, pulling London literally out of the squalor and stench of rotting pipes and sewer overflow into a world free of cholera and other dread diseases. And I wanted the timing of my story to coincide with the advent of the modern piano and creation of some of my favorite compositions.

About the Book

Forever Gentleman - front coverForever Gentleman features Nathan Sinclair, a struggling young architect and gifted pianist, who lives in two vastly different worlds in Victorian London, mingling in high society and, at the same time, dwelling in suffocating debt and poverty. While performing at a gathering of London’s elite, Nathan meets Jocelyn Charlesworth, a breathtakingly beautiful but temperamental celebrity heiress. He is smitten, though she publicly humiliates him; their paths intersect again later, and they form a tentative friendship centered around their mutual love of music. Meanwhile, Nathan makes the acquaintance of Regina Lancaster, a woman of remarkable inner beauty, despite her pedestrian appearance. He must decide whether to follow his heart and pursue Regina, or accept a tantalizing offer of subterfuge from the enchanting and wealthy Jocelyn, all while trying to avoid the specter of imprisonment from a miserly creditor.

Written in a lush, elegant style, Forever Gentlemen explores the powerful echelons of Victorian society and the role of fate and circumstance in dictating the outcome of a young man’s life. Full of unexpected twists and turns, Forever Gentleman explores the choices about life and love faced by many young men and women, making Nathan’s story a particularly relevant and satisfying read for lovers of historical fiction and romance alike.


Author Interview with Andrew Frediani

  • unnamedHow long have you been writing?

I started writing a long time ago, before I graduated. I’m also a musician, so I started to write for music magazines in Italy. Then I wrote for history magazines and finally, in 1997, I started to write and publish books. In 2007 I published my first novel.

  • What is your favorite genre to write?

I normally write about history, but I would like to write a thriller, and maybe one day I will.

  • Which genre have you never tried before, but would you like to try out?

See above

  • Please tell us about your book.

It’s about the story of the young and ambitious Caesar’s heir, Octavian, who fights for power and to revenge Caesar’s death, with the help of his close friends, Maecenas and Agrippa, and the germanic mercenaries Ortwin and Veleda.

  • Which character was your favorite, and why? Which character was your least favorite, and why?

I love Agrippa, a brave, loyal and strong man, and a great general who chooses to serve his friend instead to use his talents for himself. I dislike Rufus, an ambitious and unscrupulous man who envies even his friends when they are able to do something better than him

  • What was the hardest part about writing your book?

The hardest part is to choose the characters to insert and the ones to exclude from the story, because in that period (I century b.C.) there were many important characters who contributed to changing the story of the world

  • What is your writing routine? Are there things you absolutely need to start writing?

I used to write in my studio, with my drums to play between a chapter and the other, TV beside my pc to follow tennis tournaments at every hour of the day, my library to consult and my stereo to listen tp music while I’m writing…

  • How long did it take you to write your book from start to finish?

I agree with Stephen King’s theory: to realize a good novel, you have to write it in three of four months

  • Can you tell us about your editing process?

When I write an historic novel, before to start I study the period and the characters, of course, then I choose the goal and the ambitions of every character, mixing real and invented characters; finally I create the storyboard. When I write, I try to write at least 8 pages a day.

  • Is this book part of a series? If so, how many installments do you have planned?

This book is part one of four, already published in Italy.

  • Do you have any advice for aspiring authors?

 You need three things to become a writer: First of all, willpower: You need to write everyday, even during the night if you work during the day, no matter how tired you are. Then luck, to meet a publisher who believes in you. Finally, talent, to communicate your ideas and stories

  • Why should everyone read your book?

Because, despite it is set in ancient times, It tells about well known challenges, passions, ambitions, desires, love and hate. There is both war and love, friendship and betrayal, in the pages of this book

  • If you could meet three authors, dead or alive, which authors would you choose?

Ken Follett, Colleen McCullough, Stephen King

  • What inspired you to write your book?

I wrote this book to answer to a question I used to ask myself: how could the 19 years old Octavian, a coward and sickly man, have defeated skilled generals and politicians like Marcus Anthony, Brutus and Cassius, Cicero, Pompey and many others and have became consul and then emperor in just a few years?

  • Are you working on something at the moment? If so, can you tell us more about it?

I’ve just ended to write a trilogy about Constantine the Great and his enemies, the praetorians, with the controversial rise of Christianity in the background. And now, I’m writing a history of Rome, from the origins to the decline and fall.


Publication Date: 1st July 2016 • Price £2.99

Caesar is dead. Revenge has armed his hand.
His name is Octavian.


Though little more than a boy, Octavian, Ceasar’s heir is determined to avenge his adoptive father’s death.

Battling against some of Rome’s most imposing political figures, Octavian surrounds himself with a group of loyal allies who are as determined as himself to success: Maecenas, Agrippa and Rufus.

They become known and feared as the ‘Invincibles’, dedicated to vengeance, with the aim of punishing, one by one, all those who have Caesar’s blood on their hands. Octavian has resolved to overturn the established order, and to finish what Caesar had begun…

Survival is the first instalment in a four-part series.

Perfect for fans of Simon Scarrow and Ben Kane.

Author Interview with Stan Schatt

cover91317-mediumI’m interviewing Stan Schatt today, author of “Hello Again”. Thank you for answering my questions, and welcome to my blog.

  • How long have you been writing?

I started writing when I was twelve. At that time I was looking for a certain type of science fiction book but couldn’t find it in the library. I published dozens of non-fiction books while working full-time. When I finally had time to write fiction, I dove in. I now have published eight novels.

  • What is your favorite genre to write?

I’ve written in several genres including mystery, adventure, and science fiction. I’ve gravitated toward the paranormal mystery genre.

  • Which genre have you never tried before, but would you like to try out?

I’ve thought seriously about writing a romance novel but haven’t done so. It might be something I try in the future. If I do, it would be a middle-aged couple since most romances deal with people a good deal younger.

  • Please tell us about your book.

Hello Again is the story of a nice guy who looks for love at a speed dating event and finds the woman of his dreams. Those dreams turn into his worst nightmare when she begins texting him AFTER her untimely death. The novel then turns into a mystery in which a detective seeks to find the answer using conventional police procedures while a tabloid reporter who has psychic powers tries to use those powers to solve the mystery.

  • Which character was your favorite, and why? Which character was your least favorite, and why?

The main character is my favorite because he’s everyman – a nice guy who tries to do right by everyone, someone who loves his family, cares about his employees, and even wants to help the homeless. He’s just lonely. My least favorite character probably is a Homeland Security agent who interrogates my main character.

  • What was the hardest part about writing your book?

Well, with any mystery the hardest part is usually working out the plot and all the key points on which the plot turns as well as planting enough clues and red herrings so that readers want to read the book again to find the clues they missed.

  • What is your writing routine? Are there things you absolutely need to start writing?

My writing routine is generally to sit down at the computer and begin by reading over what I already have written; that helps me generate new material.

  • How long did it take you to write your book from start to finish?

Generally it takes me three to four months to write and revise a novel.

  • Can you tell us about your editing process?

My editing process consists of reading over my material again and again and again. I find this to be the best part of writing for me. I look for words I use too much, awkward phrases, and dialogue that needs sharpening. There is immense satisfaction in seeing the improvement that takes place through editing.

  • Is this book part of a series? If so, how many installments do you have planned?

Actually the detectives in this novel are part of the Frankie and Josh paranormal mystery series. I have published Silent Partner and a Bullet for the Ghost Whisperer with Pen-L Press. I have signed a contract to write the third book in the series, Death and Donuts. Hello Again is not really a part of this series.

  • Do you have any advice for aspiring authors?

The hardest part of writing is probably facing the blank page. I try to plot out a number of key scenes. I use those as the basis of my first draft although I frequently will add chapters that contains scenes that have not been plotted.

  • Why should everyone read your book?

Reviewers have said the book is a good read and fun to read because it keeps them guessing. I think the paranormal element gives the book an interesting edge.

  • If you could meet three authors, dead or alive, which authors would you choose?

I would enjoy talking with Michael Connelly since I’ve written a book about his novels. The same goes for Daniel Silva. I also would like to meet with Kurt Vonnegut since I had the opportunity to write a book about his writings and correspond with him but never meet him in person.

  • What inspired you to write your book?

I believe it is based on a news story I read about someone who was receiving text messages from a dead person.

  • Are you working on something at the moment? If so, can you tell us more about it?

I am in the process of writing Death and Donuts, the third book in the Frankie and Josh series.

About the Book

A dead lover wants company. Meanwhile, a no-nonsense detective who doesn’t believe in ghosts teams up with a psychic who fears something very evil is stalking its prey. A scientist finds that modern science can’t explain what he’s experiencing.
Bill met the woman of his dreams, but now she’s become his worst nightmare as her text messages become more demanding and threatening. How can he avoid her when she seems to know every step he takes? When high-tech equipment fails to explain the mystery, he finds the only solution might be to meet her face-to-face.
Hello Again combines the spine-tingling tension of a paranormal mystery and the descent into madness of a psychological thriller with a good detective story’s step-by-step approach to finding a killer.