Friday, October 3, 2014

Black Cats and Ballet Slippers

Please help me welcome author, Iva Valentino, a former middle school teacher with a background in science.

Please tell us about your newest release.

Iva: Black Cats and Ballet Slippers is a humorous middle grade chapter book. Gemma Mayfield, the main character, is a ballerina and middle school student. She is convinced her teacher is a witch. After her crush, Trevor, has a spell cast upon him, Gemma embarks on a mission to save Middleton Middle School from witchcraft!

Wow! Sounds like Gemma has her work cut out for her. Black Cats and Ballet Slippers sounds like an exciting read for middle grade students.

What do you like to read for fun?

Iva: I love a variety of genres of books. I really love books that are funny. I tend to choose books that are part of a series. I get hooked on the characters, and then I want to keep reading more about them! I read a lot of YA novels, and recently I have been getting into more science fiction/fantasy.

I've heard it said, if you want to be a writer you need to be a reader.

How long did it take you to write your book?

Iva: Black Cats was written in just one month! I wrote it in November, during NaNoWriMo. I wrote my little heart out every night. I gave myself daily goals for word counts, and did my best to reach them. It was quite challenging at times, especially since I was teaching school at the time and had very long work days. It was totally worth it!

Only one month, what an accomplishment!

How did you get the idea for your book?

Iva: The idea for Black Cats came about during my last year of teaching middle school. In the book, Gemma’s science teacher, Ms. Pruett, has a really creepy classroom. The classroom has a preproom with lots of “witchy” things, such as powdered unicorn horn and other ingredients for spells. In my classroom, I also had a big preproom. My classroom was actually very nice and not creepy at all, but over time my imagination took over. I started to envision this preproom as being Ms. Pruett’s. From there on, the rest of the storyline for Black Cats started to brew!

Tell us something about your current or next work in progress.

I’m currently working on a sequel to Black Cats and Ballet Slippers. The main characters from Black Cats will all play a part in it. I’m also excited to introduce some new characters!
That sounds very exciting and I can't wait to check out Black Cats and Ballet Slippers and then wait for the sequel. Thank you so much for visiting with us today and I wish you the best.

Author Bio:

Iva Valentino lives in Arizona with her husband and their dog, Lupo. She graduated from the University of Arizona with a Bachelor’s degree in Biology and a Master’s degree in Education. She loves living year-round in the warm desert.

Iva spent many years as a middle school teacher, where she enjoyed doing fun science experiments with her students. She currently works as a science editor at an educational publishing company. She loves travel, yoga, and photography. There is nothing that brings her more happiness than a good dance class!

You can visit Iva at the following sites:


Purchasing links for Black Cats and Ballet Slippers:

MuseItUp Publishing:


Sunday, September 21, 2014

Family Ties

Please welcome guest author, Sara Jayne Townsend.

By Sara Jayne Townsend

There’s an old adage that says, “you can choose your friends but you can’t choose your family.” Family in the traditional sense are the people with whom you share genes. Some families are very close, with grown up children living nearby, having children of their own and still popping round for coffee a couple of times a week. Some families are distant, either emotionally or physically. In the 1980s, there was a TV show called “Family Ties” that featured Michael J Fox as the yuppie teenage son of a pair of ex-hippies. The show was basically about the fact that the children of these parents were very far removed from the ideals the parents had held dear in their youth. But despite their differences, the family all pulled together for each other when it counted.

My own family is far-flung. I live in London, my father is in Scotland, my mother and my sisters are in Canada, one of my cousins is in America and most of the rest of my extended family live in the North of England. When you live far away from all of your family members, you get used to living your life without them being a big part of it.

The concept of family is a primary theme in DEATH SCENE. When I created my amateur sleuth, I took my own experience of parents in different countries, but because I did not want the character to be too similar to me I changed her situation. Shara Summers has a Canadian father and a British mother who moved back to England after her divorce. Shara begins the book in Canada, but she receives a call from her mother asking her to come to England because her sister is suffering from a mysterious debilitating illness, and her mother thinks the family should all be together.

Shara is carrying around a lot of baggage about her situation. It’s something she realises she has to face, and although she clashes frequently with her mother and sister, she comes to realise that they will always be an important part of her life, no matter how often they argue.

DEATH SCENE is a murder mystery, but it’s also a lesson in family ties. The underlying theme is it doesn’t matter how far away you run, your family are still there for you. It’s a lesson that Shara eventually learns, and it’s something she’s going to need to take forward in future books. Shara’s family are important characters in the series. No matter how much they drive her crazy.


Poking around in family closets produces skeletons…

British-born, Toronto-based, actress Shara Summers turns amateur sleuth when her sister is stricken with a mysterious illness. Summoned back to England to be with her family during a time of crisis, Shara discovers doctors are at a loss as to what's causing Astrid’s debilitating sickness.

After her aunt is found dead at the bottom of the stairs the death is deemed an accident. Shara suspects otherwise. Her investigation unearths shocking family secrets and a chilling realization that could have far-reaching and tragic consequences that affect not only her own future, but Astrid’s as well.

DEATH SCENE is coming very soon from MuseItUp Publishing:

Ruth sat in her rocking chair watching the television–which was probably about ten years old, and appeared to be the most modern thing in the room. She was wearing a blue floral dress, with a patchwork blanket over her knees. I had seen that dress before. Her hairstyle hadn’t changed, either–her white hair was thinning, and she wore it short and curly, in the style of old ladies everywhere. When we came in she looked up, a toothless smile breaking out over her face. She had dentures that she never wore–something else she only saved for special occasions. As a child, Ruth had appeared very scary to me on the occasions she wore her dentures because we just weren’t used to seeing her with them.
My mother went up to Ruth and leaned in to give her a kiss on her soft wrinkled cheek. “How are you, Auntie Ruth?” she said loudly. Ruth’s hearing had been going even back then. She must be virtually deaf by now.
The house was freezing. The only source of heat was a three-bar electric fire on the floor by Ruth’s feet.
I’m doing all right, dear,” Ruth said. Her voice was husky, ravaged by age and lack of use. “Mustn’t complain.”
Summer, still in my mother’s arms, began to cry and squirm, no doubt intimidated by the presence of this ancient lady. “Who’s this?” Ruth said, stroking one of Summer’s chubby legs.
This is Summer,” Mum said. “This is my granddaughter. You’ve met Summer. Astrid’s daughter.”
Ruth frowned. “Astrid? Your little one?”
Not a little girl any more, Auntie Ruth. She’s all grown up now.” Mum pointed in my direction. “This is my other daughter, Shara. Do you remember? Shara lives in Canada.”
Ruth was staring at me, frowning. There was no indication that she recognised me. “It’s been a long time,” she said eventually.
Hello Auntie Ruth,” I said.
Have you taken your pills, Auntie Ruth?” my mother asked.
Ruth frowned in concentration. “Pills? Think so. Can’t remember, you know. My memory’s not what it was.”
My mother thrust the crying child into my arms. “Watch Summer for a moment, Shara. I’m going to make Auntie Ruth some lunch.” And off she went into the kitchen.
I sat down in the faded armchair and bounced Summer on my knee. She kept crying. Ruth stared fixedly at the television. There seemed to be an Australian soap opera on. I couldn’t tell which one. I wasn’t a fan, and they all looked the same to me. “So what are you watching, Auntie Ruth?”
Eh?” She swivelled round to stare at me.
I raised my voice. “The television. What are you watching?”
Oh, I don’t know, dear. I watch everything. Keeps me company, you know.” And she lapsed back into silence, staring at the television. A couple of minutes went by and then she said suddenly, “they’re stealing from me, you know.”
“They’re stealing from me.” Ruth continued to stare at the television. I wasn’t at all sure she was even aware of anyone else in the room. I stood up with Summer in my arms and hurriedly went to find my mother in the kitchen.


Sara-Jayne Townsend is a UK-based writer of crime and horror. She was born in Cheshire in 1969, but spent most of the 1980s living in Canada after her family emigrated there. She now lives in Surrey with two cats and her guitarist husband Chris. She co-founded the T Party Writers’ Group in 1994, and remains Chair Person.

The first two books in her amateur sleuth series about Canadian actress Shara Summers will be released by MuseItUp Publishing in 2014. DEATH SCENE, the first book (and a re-release) will be available in Summer, with the sequel, DEAD COOL, following in Autumn.

You can learn more about Sara and her writing at her website at or her blog at

Sunday, July 27, 2014

16th "Dear Lucky Agent"

16th Free “Dear Lucky Agent” Contest Submission deadline is July 30th, 2014. Chuck Sambuchino's Guide to Literary Agents has announced the 16th free “Dear Lucky Agent” contest. Fellow authors, do you have a completed middle grade novel? If you do, this contest is for you and it's free to enter. You could win a critique of the first ten pages of your manuscript.

Check the details on Guide to Literary Agents

Middle grade fiction. The agent judge did not choose to exclude any subgenre, so everything is fair game.
  1. This contest will be live through the end of July 30, 2014, PST. Winners notified by e-mail within approximately three weeks of end of contest. Winners announced on the blog thereafter.
  2. To enter, submit the first 150-200 words of your book. Shorter or longer entries will not be considered. Keep it within word count range please.
  3. You can submit as many times as you wish. You can submit even if you submitted to other contests in the past, but please note that past winners cannot win again. All that said, you are urged to only submit your best work.
  4. The contest is open to everyone of all ages, save those employees, officers and directors of GLA’s publisher, F+W Media, Inc.
  5. By e-mailing your entry, you are submitting an entry for consideration in this contest and thereby agreeing to the terms written here as well as any terms possibly added by me in the “Comments” section of this blog post. (If you have questions or concerns, write me personally at chuck.sambuchino (at) The Gmail account above is for submissions, not questions.)
Top 3 winners all get: 1) A critique of the first 10 double-spaced pages of your work, by your agent judge. 2) A free one-year subscription to ($50 value)!

About the judge:
Peter Knapp joined the Park Literary Group in July 2011, where he represents authors of middle grade and young adult fiction. His recent sales include a contemporary YA to Scholastic, a contemporary MG to Penguin, and a YA fantasy series to Entangled. He does not represent picture books or nonfiction. Prior to joining Park Literary, he was the story editor at Floren Shieh Productions, where he consulted on book-to-film adaptations for Los Angeles-based film and TV entities. He graduated from New York University with a B.A. in art history.

Victoria Roder is the author of middle grade mystery The Curse of King Ramesses II, and action adventure Sled Dog Tales, Picture books An Important Job to Do: A Noah's Ark Tale and What if a Zebra Had Triangles. Teen puzzle book and devotional Directions For Life and three adult mystery novels.

Thursday, June 19, 2014

Welcome Zanna Mackenzie

Herbal Help For Love

Herbs don’t just look pretty in the garden or taste good in cooking – stretching back many centuries herbs have also had many other uses from combating ailments and calming the mind to attracting love.

Three herbs with long standing associations when it comes to finding and keeping love are:

  • Rosemary
Rosemary is a common herb, popular in gardens and the kitchen but did you know rosemary used to feature strongly on wedding days? Traditionally the bride had sprigs of rosemary tucked into her bouquet and the groom wore a sprig of the herb as an early form of the modern day buttonhole flower. Rosemary was also given as a wedding favour to guests – small bunches of the herb, hand tied with gold ribbon, were handed out to bestow love and remembrance.

  • Thyme
Herbal folklore recommends wearing a sprig of thyme in your hair as it is supposed to make you irresistible to the opposite sex! Try this at your own peril though because bees are also attracted to thyme!

  • Marjoram
Another kitchen and garden staple, marjoram was linked to the goddess Aphrodite – better known as the Goddess of Love. It was said to have grown in her garden on Mount Olympus in Greece. Legend tells us marjoram was included in the garlands used to bless the happy couples on their weddings days. The herb is linked to long-term love and enduring relationships and its scent is claimed to bestow happiness.

Try A Love Spell…
According to tradition if a ‘maiden’ wants to see a vision in her dreams of her future husband then she should put a sprig of thyme in one of her shoes and a sprig of rosemary in the other. Then she should lightly sprinkle the shoes with water three times and place them by the side of her bed, say a prayer and fall asleep. Apparently it’s even better if you can time it right to do this love spell on a night with a full moon!

In my contemporary novel How Do You Spell Love? one of the characters called Summer uses herbs, crystals and essential oils to cast all variety of spells to help people, please read on for more details about the book and it’s special offer price….

Book: How Do You Spell Love?

Book blurb:
Make A Wish…
Kat can’t help wishing there was more to life than this. What happened to her dream job? What happened with Nathan?
Summer is wondering where her life is going too… battling the developers of a controversial housing estate and working out why boyfriend Rob is increasingly distant.
When the developers win the battle and move into town everyone’s life is turned upside down.
Kat meets building site project manager Alex. She enjoys his company far too much, even though he’s on the town’s most hated list.
Summer meets Tom who has plenty of relationship troubles of his own, so things could get really complicated.
Soon everyone is keeping secrets, lives change and hearts are broken. Is everything falling apart, or does life just work in mysterious ways…
Special Offer
How Do You Spell Love? is on sale between 20-27 June inclusive. Grab your ebook for just 99p/99c/99c +tax and discover what mayhem Summer’s love spell causes….

Amazon US:

Amazon UK:

Author bio:
Zanna Mackenzie lives in the UK with her husband, 4 dogs, a vegetable patch that’s home to far too many weeds and an ever expanding library of books waiting to be read.
Being a freelance writer and editor of business publications is her ‘day job’ but, at every opportunity, she can be found scribbling down notes on scenes for whatever novel she’s working on. She loves it when the characters in her novels take on minds of their own and start deviating from the original plot!
Formerly a travel agent and therapist (she has qualifications in clinical aromatherapy, crystal healing, naturopathic nutrition and herbalism) she loves walking the dogs and gardening – that’s when she’s not writing or reading!
Zanna has written two other novels, The Love Programme (Astraea Press) and If You Only Knew (Crooked Cat Publishing).
Find out more about Zanna at:
Twitter: @ZannaMacKenzie
Goodreads -
Amazon Author Page -

Sunday, June 1, 2014

Welcome Author Carmen Stefanescu

Author bio:
Carmen Stefanescu was born in Romania, the native country of the infamous vampire Count Dracula, but where, for about 50 years of communist dictatorship, just speaking about God, faith, reincarnation or paranormal phenomena could have led someone to great trouble - the psychiatric hospital if not to prison.
Teacher of English and German in her native country and mother of two daughters, Carmen Stefanescu survived the grim years of oppression, by escaping in a parallel world, that of the books. 
She has dreamed all her life to become a writer, but many of the things she wrote during those years remained just drawer projects. The fall of the Ceausescu’s regime in 1989 and the opening of the country to the world meant a new beginning for her. She started publishing. Poems first, and then prose. Both in English.

Shadows of the Past
Publish date: 4th December 2012

Publisher: Wild Child Publishing

Genre: paranormal/light romance/light horror.
Shadows of the Past Blurb:

Anne's relationship with her boyfriend Neil has disintegrated. After a two-year separation, they pack for a week vacation in hopes of reconciling. But fate has other plans for them.
The discovery of a bejeweled cross and ancient human bones opens a door to a new and frightening world--one where the ghost of a medieval nun named Genevieve will not let Anne rest. This new world threatens not only to ruin Anne and Neil's vacation but to end all hopes of reconciliation as Anne feels compelled to help free Genevieve's soul from its torment.
Can Anne save her relationship and help Genevieve find her eternal rest?
A touching, compelling story of tragedy, loss and the power of endless love and good magic.
The twists and turns in this paranormal tale keep the reader guessing up to the end and weave themselves together into a quest to rekindle love.


"Come, we should leave at once," she said and glanced nervously over her shoulder. "Something terrible happened after you left for town. I think the Abbess found out about us. Our meeting in Uncle Ryan's cabin is no longer a secret. We have been overheard. For all I know someone spies on us even as we speak. I think the Abbess, or one of her 'friends,' is hovering somewhere nearby and listening to every word."
Andrew pulled Genevieve to his chest. "Do you regret you've come with me?"
Passion smothered Genevieve's doubt and guilt. "Never," she answered, aware of her body's response to his touch, and she succumbed to his embrace.
Calming the gnawing unease in her mind and the thought of Sister Dominica guessing she was the dough of a sinner, Genevieve repeated, "Never."
With her eyes closed and their bodies touching she became, for the very first time, simply a woman. She melted in his embrace in spite of the invisible vicious threat breathing around them. Aware they might never be alone again, she fought hard to silence the voice of conscience berating her.
"Oh, God. Please forgive me," Andrew muttered under his breath when he bowed his head to kiss her. Their lips met in a passionate first kiss.
Genevieve's spirits fell and her heart skipped a beat when, a couple of seconds later, she opened her eyes and her gaze fell on a knot strangers.
… . . .

Tears welled in Anne's eyes, blurring her vision. She couldn’t explain them, or the sudden sadness seeping into her heart. This should’ve been a moment of happiness or, at least, contentment. She was with Neil again, and the outcome of their trip together should, very likely, bring their reconciliation. Why then did she seem detached from where she stood?
Anne shivered. Why the deep feeling of having seen this place, this forest before? And why the eerie sensation of being present here only in the body, while her mind was far away?
Away from the forest.
Away from Neil, the man who'd betrayed her trust and her love.
An onrush of sensations unfamiliar to her followed. Dizziness and a malevolent feeling of unreality suffocated her.
Anne edged cautiously closer to the rim of the bare cliff. Her foot tapped the edge. It seemed solid. She stared into the darkness of the abyss at her feet. It echoed the shadows in her heart. An unusual curiosity took hold of her. Should she step ahead? What was down there? Other human bones? Another mystery? The presence of evil, creeping up and enveloping her, became almost palpable. The vines of fog folded around her, dragging her to the depth. Her throat turned dry, and she gasped for air.
Megan's face contorted, the voice no longer pleasant. A hoarse gurgle, spluttering distorted words, "Yes, come... I'm waiting... I've been waiting for you for such a long time..."

Monday, May 19, 2014

Spring Into Romance Blog Hop

Spring into Romance Blog Hop

Thank you to author, Michele Stegman for inviting me to participate in the blog hop. Check out Michele's blog and see her newest release, The Shrew That Tames.

Author Victoria Roder here to answer a few questions about my writing. Please visit my website to learn more about my books.

Question 1: What am I working on? 
A romantic comedy with a working title of Wine, Friends and Murder. I wrote the amateur sleuth comedy mystery as a script and am currently rewriting it as a manuscript.

Question 2: How does my work differ from others of its genre? 
My own natural sarcastic attitude shines through loud and clear in my characters. The banter between the co-workers thrown in the middle of a murder investigation is quick witted and sharp.

Question 3: Why do I write what I do? 
I wish I only wrote in one genre. Instead, with the way my brain is wired I am all over the board. I write children's picture books, middle grade books, puzzle books, adult detective mystery, paranormal thrillers and devotions.

Question 4: How does my writing process work? 
I jot down ideas on gum wrappers and napkins and sometime record ideas from dreams. Taking a ride on the motorcycle or the snowmobile helps me relax and work out plot lines. 

Victoria Roder lives in Central Wisconsin with her husband and a house full of pets. She enjoys camping, hiking, shooting bow at targets and sitting by the fire. Victoria Roder is the author of paranormal thriller Haunting of Ingersull Penitentiary, action thriller Bolt Action, picture books An Important Job to Do: A Noah's Ark Tale and What if A Zebra Had Triangles?, Middle Grade Adventures Sled Dog Tales and The Curse of King Ramesses II teen puzzle book and devotion Directions For Life and inspirational pocket book on forgiveness It's Not You – It's Them.


Tuesday, March 25, 2014

Indie Book of the Day

Bolt Action Indy Book of the Day    


Friday, March 14, 2014

Celebrate Michele Stegman's New Release

The Shrew That Tames is a twisted retelling of Shakespeare's The Taming of the Shrew, set in Regency England.

What's an impoverished aristocrat to do when a beautiful heiress asks him to marry her?
is an heiress who uses her shrewish tongue to keep fortune hunters
away. But what is it about Lord Ashfair that leaves her speechless?

in need of money, Peter Monroe, Marquis of Ashfair, has resolved to
restore his ravaged estates on his own. How can he convince Katherine
that he wants her, not her money?

Buy Links for The Shrew That Tames
It will also be available on after March 14. 
Available at Breathless Press 
Available at All Romance Books
Available at Bookstrand

Monday, February 24, 2014

Welcom JoAnne Myers-Author of Murder Most Foul

Writing Mystery

    Before writing a word, take some time tojot down key story points. As you're writing, the story will want totake on a life of its own. Having a handy reference of key points will help keep your story on track and you from pulling your hair out. A list of key points is also helpful when outlining the story plot. You may very well find that the story begins to unfold as you're writing down the key points. If this happens...let it! Write down any ideas or details that come to you, they'll come in handy later. Some key points to consider are; what is the mystery? This is the underlying theme to the entire story so be as in-depth as possible (has there been a
murder or a theft or a kidnapping? If so, how and where was it committed?).
    Hunt for the culprit. Every good story has at least one antagonist, but what steps must the hero or heroine take to find him/her? How will the villain evade the hero? How is the mystery solved? In mystery writing there are a lot of twists and turns. Write down your initial thoughts for plot twists, red herrings to throw the readers off the trail of the true villain, and of course the final stages of how the good guy will prevail...or does he? You need to decide whether or not the hero or the villain wins in the end. Many hero’s die trying to
solve their case. Many are involved in physical altercations with other characters. You must decide how many altercations, the number of characters involved, and what weapons if any are used. It is not a good
idea to only engage your characters with fist fighting. Throw in some knives, chains, falling from windows, or my favorite, a poisoning, and other nasty assaults.
    Every great story has well rounded characters. We read fiction because we want to be entertained and
develop a connection with the characters. Outlining items such as personality traits, physical features, and quirks can help bring your characters to life; a speech impediment, or limp, or a nervous twitch. For the Protagonist, decide the name, age, where does he/she live, does he/she have a family or pets, what is their driving goal for taking on this particular case? Is the hero a police officer, a person sworn to honesty, pride, and valor. Or is the good guy a private detective being paid to find a certain someone. Or your main character could be a parent or sibling searching for a missing loved one.
    For the Antagonist, decide the name, age, where does he/she live, is there an underlying reason for being the antagonist? Perhaps this person is a career criminal. On the other hand, maybe he/she is a good person that suffered an unjust and turned to crime out of bitterness and despair. Then you have your support characters, who are the color of the story. They provide depth to the story whether good or bad. A support character could be as simple as a loud mouth hot dog vendor standing on a street corner or as in-depth as the villain's partner in crime. In writing a mystery story, support characters can take on a life of their own with
the reader, so make them interesting. Just because they are labeled support characters does not mean they are any less important than the main characters.
    Next is the location of the story. When and where is the story set? These two key elements are what bring your story to life. Mystery story writing is a broad genre and could be set in any time period and in any place. When working with actual locations it is a good idea to do research on the location first. Readers want to feel as though they are there with the characters, so being able to accurately describe a location is vital. Time periods are no exception. If the story is set in 1940's New Orleans, the reader will want to see their
surroundings, not just be told the story is taking place in a speakeasy or church. Be descriptive!
    A mystery story is not a story without a solid well thought out plot. Some things to consider when developing the story plot: What is the driving force of the mystery? To solve a murder, or rescue a kidnap victim? What does the villain do to thwart the hero? Does the villain get his goons on the hero? Is the hero being set up by the villain and now he is being hunted by police. What other obstacles get in the way of solving the mystery?
    One of the most important elements of writing a mystery story is suspense. Giving away too much too soon will bore the reader. It is best if the suspense is sprinkled throughout the story; bring the mystery to light within thefirst few chapters, then as the story progresses add a clue here and there without revealing the outcome until the final chapter. Do not be afraid to add a "red herring" or false clue, within the stories context. Readers love nothing better than to think they have everything figured out only to find in the end they were mistaken the entire time.The final few chapters of the story should hold the climax of the conflict and resolution between the hero and villain, including how all of the clues scattered throughout the story cumulatively solves the mystery. A good conclusion gives the reader a sense of closure in finding out how the hero solved the mystery. Remember that not all mysteries have to be completely solved or have a "happy" ending. If you are writing a series of stories, the villain may get away at the end of story #1 with the hero using clues from story #1 to track down the villain in story #2. In mystery story writing, the possibilities are
only limited by your imagination.

Blurb for Murder Most Foul:

When two dismembered torsos wash up on the banks of the local river in the small industrial town of Pleasant Valley, residents are horrified.Between contradicting statements, police ineptitude, lust, lies,
manipulation, incest, the motorcycle gang The Devil’s Disciples, crooked cops, and a botched crime scene, everyone becomes a suspect.

The young beautiful Jackie Reeves, a registered nurse, believes the killer is a man from her past. She contacts the dangerously handsome FBI Agent Walker Harmon. An arrest is made, but Harmon and Jackie believe an innocent man is being railroaded by local cops. Determined to find the truth, before anymore killings, Agent Harmon and Jackie are forced to run a gauntlet of deep trouble and turmoil, which marks them for death.

Other books by JoAnne:

Wicked Intentions-a paranormal/mystery anthology
The Crime of the Century-a biography true crime book
Poems About Life, Love, and Everything in Between

Upcoming releases:

Twisted Love-a biography true crime anthology
Loves, Myths, and Monsters, available later this month
Flagitious-a detective/crime novella anthology

Author Bio:

I have been a long-time resident of southeastern Ohio, and worked in the blue-collar industry most of my life. Besides having several novels under my belt, I canvass paint.When not busy with hobbies or working outside the home, I spend time with relatives, my dogs Jasmine and Scooter, and volunteer my time within the community. I am a member of the Hocking Hill's Arts and Craftsmen Association, The Hocking County
Historical Society and Museum, and the Hocking Hills Regional Welcome Center. I believe in family values and following your dreams.

My books along with my original canvas paintings, can be found at:


Buy links: “Murder Most Foul,”

Here is the link to buy it directly from LULU:

Respectfully Yours,

Myers-Author of Murder Most Foul,- Wicked Intentions,- Loves', Myths', and Monsters',- The Crime of the Century,- Twisted Love, and Flagitious.

My website:

My website Blog:

Sunday, February 16, 2014

Paper or Plastic?

Paper or Plastic?
By P.J. MacLayne

We all got used to hearing “paper or plastic” when grocery stores moved to plastic bags umpteen year ago. The majority of us gladly accepted plastic. They were lighter, easier to store, and could be used again. The thought that they were bad for the environment didn't even cross our minds for many years. Now it's hard to find a grocery store that provides paper bags.

The current debate is e-book vs paper. There are a lot of advantages to books in electronic format. They are more environmentally friendly, for one thing. A small e-book reader can hold 1400 or so books. How much space would that many books take up in your home or apartment? And how much paper would be used in their creation?

E-books also tend to be cheaper. It depends upon the publisher of course, but unless you're buying used books, you aren't likely to find a paperback for ninety-nine cents. All sorts of e-books are on sale for that price every day.

True, it's harder to share that great book you just finished with your best friend. On some platforms, it can be done, but it's not as easy as picking it up off the coffee table and handing it over.

Having grown up before the era of e-books, transitioning to the new format was difficult for me. There’s nothing like curling up in your favorite chair with a paper book in your hand and your favorite beverage nearby. The feel of the paper between your fingers as you turn the page. The experience isn’t the same holding a tablet and flicking a finger over the surface.

Which do you prefer?

Dot, the heroine in my book, Wolves’ Pawn, would fall among the supporters of paperbacks. Money is tight for her, and she needs to be able to pick up and leave at a moment’s notice. She can leave a physical book behind without an issue, but leaving behind an e-reader would be tough. Besides, she prefers to pay for everything in cash when she is on the road. Makes it harder to be traced.

Here’s an excerpt where she’s getting ready to run:

The campers were gone, but Dot hesitated at the top of the hillside. The birds were hushed, their silence unnatural. She reached out with her other senses but found nothing unusual. As noiselessly as possible in her human form, she moved across the top of the ridge, the breeze blowing softly across her face.
            The faint scent of a campfire remained in the air, but not enough to worry her. No smoke rose from the campfire pit and that was the important thing. The grass was pushed down where the tents used to be, but would spring back in a few days. The garbage had apparently been packed out as she saw none around the meadow.
            Still, she delayed going to the house. A large crow landed near her and cocked its head, staring at her. She wondered what message it carried. As the bird flapped its wings and flew off, she detected the sound of a motor coming down the road. She listened, puzzled—were the campers coming back? Why had they taken down their tents if they had planned to return?
            Now the sound grew more distinct. It was not one motor, but several. Four men on motorcycles pulled into the clearing and parked a little way away from the house, talking loudly amongst themselves. Three forced their way into the house while one stood outside, scanning the meadow. Finally, the three came back outside. The conversation came to her in snatches;
            “Others … here, but … recently.”
            “Fresh scent.”
            “No … tracks.”
            The fourth man stood still, scanning the area. His gaze moved towards the trees beyond the clearing and Dot hugged the ground. She prayed the wind would not change directions. She dared not back away from her vantage point, fearing the noise of crackling leaves and breaking twigs would be enough for them to hear.
            “Spread out … the woods.”
            Her choices were limited. She needed to get back to her bike and leave. The only thing in the house was her sleeping bag and it could be replaced. Before she could move, she saw the fourth man go to the fire pit and grab the firewood the campers had left. He stacked it against the house, then grabbed a can from the saddlebag of his bike and poured some sort of liquid over the wood. Her other sight showed her the malicious grin on his face and her other smell caught a strong odor of kerosene. He pulled a pack of cigarettes from his pocket and lit one. Carelessly, he tossed it on top of the stack and watched as the stack lit, catching the dried wood of the old house on fire as well.

No, Dot would have no time to grab a valuable e-reader.

Wolves’ Pawn is available on only in e-book format on Amazon for the time being. There will be a paperback version available in the near future.  Here’s the link to buy it.

P.J. MacLayne is a computer geek by day and a writer by night. She was born in the rolling hills of Pennsylvania where many of her stories are set. She currently lives in the shadow of the Rocky Mountains.

Sunday, January 5, 2014

Welcome Author Misa Buckley

Please welcome Champagne Books Group author Misa Buckley!

Patient. Merciful. Protective… One out of three ain’t bad.

Small time crook Gabriel Kemp is just trying to make a living when a hit-and-run leaves him for dead. Waking up in hospital to an angel at his bedside gives him a second chance, but one that comes with a condition.

Fleeing San Francisco doesn’t mean he can evade the deal either – he still manages to meet Abigail Harris, the woman he’s promised to protect. He might not believe in the psychic visions she claims to have, but he knows if there’s even a chance she can identify the serial killer terrorizing downtown L.A. then she’s in danger.

The only way to keep Abby safe is to find and stop the killer. If that means taking on the devil determined to turn the City of Angels into the City of Hell on Earth, then so be it.

“You came,” she whispered. “You really came.”

What was wrong with me and attracting crazy women lately? I frowned and picked up an angel. Male, in jeans and a tee, features blurred in a way that made my stomach clench.

“I didn’t realize I was expected,” I said sourly, putting the damn thing down again. Glancing towards her, I caught the way her hands knotted on the grubby apron around her waist.

“I didn’t…expect, but I hoped. I prayed.”

Oh, God. I pinched the bridge of my nose. “Look, whoever you think I am you’re sorely mistaken. I was just passing. On my way to the Laundromat.”

A small smile curved her lips. “You must be very new if you think that will work. Don’t you realize I can see them?”

“See what?”

“Your wings.”

My what, now? “Pardon?”

“Your wings.” She smiled again, her eyes fixed at some point just behind me. “They’re exactly as I dreamed them.”

I took a step away from the crazy lady. I needed to change my cologne, demand a refund or something. Why the hell had I even come in here? So much for indulging a passing ironic interest.

“Uh huh, course you did.”

She gave a high-pitched giggle and rolled her eyes. I moved back another step as she wavered closer, but her attention was on the counter and the angel I’d picked up. The creepy, featureless one that made my skin crawl.

“The wings were very clear, your face wasn’t. That was disconcerting. I usually see very clearly.”

What I saw clearly was that I needed to get out of there. Oxygen was suddenly in short supply, the walls that surrounded me solid and overbearing. An old but familiar panic crawled up my throat, choking me.

“I’m not what you think I am,” I told her, wincing at the desperation that colored my tone.

She just smiled and fondled the angel. I tried not to look at it, afraid of what I’d see.

The ironic thing was that I’d dropped everything and bussed a few hundred miles in an attempt to avoid this very meeting. I didn’t believe in fate, but something had pulled me here. The idea terrified me and I did what I always did when faced with anything that remotely resembled responsibility.

I ran.

Interview With Abigail Harris from the novel Archangel

Tell us a little about yourself
I'm the youngest of three, with an older brother and sister. When I was 16, I got my first precognitive flash – I foresaw my dad having an accident and managed to persuade him to take a different route. That afternoon there was a huge pile-up on the freeway. I started seeing angels not long after that. Not that I told anyone. Instead, I used my visions to create art, then discovered people wanted that art. I moved to a studio attached to a shop and that's where I met Gabe.

What do you consider is your greatest achievement?
My first gallery show when I was just 18. That was kinda awesome.

What is your greatest regret?
I definitely regret the less pleasant visions. Living those was... 'awful' doesn't begin to describe it.

When and where were you the happiest?
I've never been as happy as I am now. Yes, there are things Gabe and I have to work out, but he really loves me and I him.

What quality do you most like in a man?
Strength of character and a good sense of humour.

What quality do you most dislike in yourself?
I hate the the visions made me needy. I'd like to be stronger mentally, but I guess that weakness is one of the costs.

What or who is the greatest love of your life?
Gabe, though it wasn't love at first sight!

What was your first impression of them?
Honestly? I was disappointed. I knew he was coming, and what he was, but the reality didn't live up to my fantasies. That was a rude awakening. However, he was everything I needed him to be and I quickly fell for the real man.

If you could change one thing in your life, what would it be?
I'd not have ridden that damn motorcycle.

If you could change one thing about yourself, what would it be?
I hate my hair! I wish it wasn't so frizzy. But I like Gabe likes it, so may