Christine Cazaly


Author, Tarot Reader and professional ballroom dancer. Often found in the local woods and moors with dog and husband, or in a creative daze at her computer, or reading a book. Occasionally, I also teach people how to dance!

Tell us about yourself

I’m a professional ballroom dancer by trade, and author and tarot reader by choice. I live in a semirural village in West Yorkshire, England with my long-suffering husband, Jim, two rescue cats and my fabulous dog, Bingo.

When did you know you wanted to be an author?

In my head, I’ve been an author all my life. Books fascinated me from a very early age. Even the old-fashioned ones, with the dark green and red binding and faded gold lettering. My mother used to catch me staring at her bookshelves and say, “You can have them when you learn to read.” So that’s what I did and never stopped. I’ve always got a book on the go.

What genres do you like to read?  Are these the same genres you write in?

I’m an eclectic reader. Basically, I will read anything. Even the ingredients on the back of a can of baked beans, if that’s all that is available. As a teenager, I loved historical romance. All those tales of adventures on the high seas, in lush tropical paradises. These days, I enjoy fantasy of all kinds, anything with an element of adventure, with well-drawn characters and a good plot. I adore Harry Potter. Potterhead! (I’m a Gryffindor, by the way!)

Is your book for adults, young adults or children?

Queen of Swords is a standalone new adult/adult fantasy fiction. However, forthcoming books may straddle several age ranges, depending on the adventures of the protagonist. In this first book, Petronella of the Falcons is twenty-six, and struggling with her inability to provide a desperately needed heir to her kingdom. The next full-length book will be Page of Swords, and the protagonist, Dominic Skinner, is only about 15, so his is a coming-of-age fantasy adventure based in the same world.

What is your current release or project?

Queen of Swords is available on Amazon now. I’m currently writing a prequel novella to her story – The Seer of Epera, which will be on Amazon permanently free as an introduction into the Tales from the Tarot series. Page of Swords is in plotting stage, but Dominic had to duke it out with Domita Lombard, who is the protagonist in the next book, Knight of Wands.

Tell us about the key characters

The key characters in Queen of Swords are Petronella of the Falcons, reluctant and failed queen and wife to Arion, King of Swords. Other major characters are Domita Lombard, a rambunctious and fiery red head from the desert land of Battonia, Felice de Winter, her long time nurse and friend from earthy Argentia, and young Alice of Oceanis. Lord Joran of Weir provides the love interest, and I’m afraid I can’t tell you about the baddie, because #spoiler!

What is your blurb or synopsis of the book?

Lost magic, hidden enemies and a doomed land.

A failed queen, fatefully bound to a dying kingdom.

Dutiful, bookish Petronella is not the powerful queen her country needs. Unknowingly bound to the land by ancient, forbidden magic, Petronella’s only task is to provide an heir to the throne of Epera.

Ten years into her reign, she has failed. Her land is dying; the people are starving, and her pain maddened husband, Arion, is out of time, patience and options. The cost of Petronella’s failure will be her life.

Pursued by her enemies, Petronella’s search for answers leads her far away from her kingdom to Oceanis, a land of powerful magic, and enormous temptation.

But, with the future of her kingdom in the balance, a new power is rising to take advantage of their weakness. A secret and vengeful enemy who will stop at nothing to reshape Epera in his image and end the line of the Eagles forever.

What Petronella learns in Oceanis will challenge everything she thought was true and lead her to a tragic confrontation with a deadly adversary for the heart, soul and survival of her beloved Epera.

Share an excerpt

Petronella awoke with a jerk as the mid-morning sunlight warmed her pillow. She stretched a crick in her neck and rubbed her eyes. A pleasant lassitude lingered that made her long to stretch and go back to sleep, preferably with Joran’s arms around her. Her cheeks warmed and her body tingled as her mind roamed through the events of the night before.

It had been… wonderful.

One servant must have already braved their hangover to prepare a bath for her. The tub steamed, inviting her presence, and she crossed the room naked to slide into the silken water, reaching for the soap. Birds sang in the olive trees outside her window and laughing voices chattered in the courtyard. She ducked her head under the water, blotting them out, and then surfaced, blowing bubbles. The curtains at her window billowed. She blinked. She was not alone.

The stranger stood at the entrance to the balcony. Clothed in stark black, his sudden presence against the crisp white of her curtains was like staring into the dark mouth of an empty grave. Thick set. Tall. Long, tangled blond hair. A raw scar disfigured his face. It ran from the corner of his right eye and carved a ragged, oozing path across his tattooed cheekbone to the corner of his mouth. Her eyes flashed to the sword at his side, the knife in his fist. Her memory offered the vision of a dark night on a crowded bridge, dangerous water sliding past her terrified eyes, and the desperate, random swing of her blade.

She gasped, sliding backwards in the bath and scrabbled for a weapon. Her hand found her bar of soap, but there was nothing else there to aid her. Her dagger was still in its scabbard under the bed where she had kicked it days ago. She cursed herself for not being more wary. The man waited. He appeared to enjoy watching her panic. His eyes held the deadly certainty of a striking hawk.

“Who are you?” she ground out, still scanning the room for something to aid her.

The man gave her a painful, lopsided smile that didn’t meet his eyes.

“I am here to collect your ring,” he said, taking a step forward into the room. He raised his knife.

Her diamond pulsed once on her finger and her panic left her. Cat-like, he glided towards her. Each footfall brought him closer, and her gaze locked on his dusty boots. She seemed to have all the time she required to bring her arm up and toss the wet soap with unerring accuracy into the path of his next step. She was out of the tub and sprinting for her dagger before his thick body thudded to the floor.

Grabbing the scabbard, she whirled, knife in hand, as he regained his feet, face twisting in rage. She didn’t wait for him to close in. Eyes narrowed, she fired the blade at him with all the force she could muster. It pierced his left eye, and he gave a shriek of shock and fear before his body collapsed underneath him.

She sank to the bed, her hands reaching for a robe. Fastening it around her body, she crossed to the corpse. His blank, one eyed gaze stared up at her. Her knife protruded from his skull. She swallowed against a wave of nausea as time snapped back to normal speed.


She had a fleeting mental image of him snatching up his sword, and then his feet pounded down the corridor outside her room and the door slammed open. He stumbled to a shocked halt at the sight of the body and turned to her, face ashen. His hair was standing on end, a mess of tangled honey, his jaw stubbled. He scraped his hands through his hair.

“I don’t believe it.”

“Do you know who this is?”

“He is… was… a paid assassin. His name is Bastien. He is notorious. Never misses a kill. How did you manage it? You should be dead by now.”

“I was in the bath. He surprised me, and I thought he had me and then… something happened. My ring pulsed and… it was like time slowed down.”

Joran’s eyebrows raised to his hairline. “Or perhaps you sped up?”

She shrugged. “Whatever happened, he’s here, which means I was right. Your borders are not safe.”

“Unless he was here before they closed.”

“Someone tried to kill me on the bridge at Goldfern. I stabbed him, remember? If this is him, the borders were already closed.” She swallowed and reached for a day gown. “We must tell Merlon. I knew I was right to be worried. Arion’s forces have found another way in.”

Do you have a favorite scene?

My personal favourite scene is the climax at the end of the book – but again spoiler alert.

What advice would you give a beginner?

Not sure in what context – but my best advice to anyone wanting to do anything is – Start. Learn. Practice. Get obsessed. Get determined. Fall in love with your dreams. They are so easy to tear, but also easy to repair! Finally, if in doubt, do the thing that makes your heart sing.

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Kay Wilder


High functioning agoraphobic that doesn’t leave home without her therapy husband. Keeps to herself by vacuuming the driveway just to keep the neighbors from knocking for a cup of sugar. She stays current through punny names for her chickens and collecting knives and swords to appease the anxiety gods. The only real company she keeps is the characters in her head, even if they don’t want to hear what she has to say. Dark humor plenty, come live on the Wilder side.

Tell us about yourself. 

I am a new author, my first book was published in January. Since then, I have published three more books this year and they are all dark RH books. I have a love for dark books, particularly featuring RH but I will not shy away from M/F either.

When did you know you wanted to be an author?

I have always been an avid reader. Spending far too many days up late, unable to stop until I finished the entire thing. When I was ten, my favorite author was Stephen King and I devoured his massive works in days. As I got older, I realized that I didn’t want the stories to end when the last page fell and I started writing my own ideas of what else could have happened in their lives. From there, I discovered I had my own stories and my own characters living inside me that wanted a chance to speak to the world.

What genres do you like to read?  Are these the same genres you write in?

My favorite is dark reverse harem, however, I also like romance in general. Outside of romance I also read horror, dystopian, and some sci-fi. I typically write dark reverse harem, but I would consider my dark writings rather light for now.

Is your book for adults, young adults or children?

My books are for adults and include explicit scenes and dark elements.

What is your current release or project?

My current release was a quick release dark duet for the spooky season. It is a dark contemporary RH.

Tell us about the key characters

Nessa is a twenty-four year old woman living in New York City with her best friend Hannah while she finishes her masters degree in Anthropology. Nessa struggled with anxiety and panic attacks since the loss of her father at a young age. She hopes to work for the Smithsonian once her degree is finished in the spring.

Nik is an attractive blond detective for the New York City police department who works closely with the forensic team. He is asked by the university to fill in as a substitute professor.

Tanner is Hannah’s boss and the owner of Tops/Bottoms (an exotic club).

Colten is Tanner’s childhood best friend and lawyer.

What is your blurb or synopsis of the book?

Tops/Bottoms is a Dark Contemporary Reverse Harem set in New York City. Vanessa is a 24-year-old anthropology student looking to get her masters before she leaves the city behind to work at her dream job at the Smithsonian. Her best friend Hannah is also working on her master’s in accounting, while affording a NYC lifestyle by stripping in the local exotic club named Tops. 

Things take a turn when Hannah is mugged on her way out of Tops one day, prompting Nessa to meet with Hannah’s boss Tanner.  The next thing Nessa knows, her entire life is being turned upside down as she is moved into protective custody with Tanner and his two business associates.

Tops/Bottoms will feature many dark elements and you will find plenty of flaws in these characters. There are instances where the fmc is in danger of sexual or physical assault, however no sexual assault scenes are described in this book. Bottoms in particular will feature severely dark themes such as assault, stalking, drug withdrawal and murder.

Share an excerpt

Speaking of asses, Tanner stopped and pushed a button inside the wall. We had gone the opposite direction out of his office this time. A soft ding sounded before a panel slid to the side and revealed an elevator.

“Your bracelet gives you access to elevators and security passages all over Tops and Bottoms,” Tanner said without bothering to look at me.

“It would be helpful if you gave me a map of this place, since you seem too busy to show me all these passages yourself.” I let some of the bitterness bleed into my voice. This was the second time I had made an ass of myself by accusing Tanner of doing something wrong. I might as well kiss any ideas of a romance between us goodbye.

I remembered Colten and how I had simply referred to him as “the suit.” Fuck.

“After you,” Tanner said as he pointed inside the elevator. Since we were just standing in the hallway looking into the hidden room. Maybe I would need to escape, after all. Just to hide from all this embarrassment.

I led the way into the elevator, turning to see Tanner stepping into the small space with me, adjusting the collar of his shirt. Why did he always look like he was walking out of a magazine shoot? My feet shuffled to the side to give him more room. This wasn’t a large elevator by any standards, and we stood nearly shoulder to shoulder in the space.

It felt like it took an eternity before the panel slid back into place and the elevator started to move. But it didn’t move downwards like I expected. We were moving up. I hadn’t imagined there was anything beyond the loft.

The awkward silence caused me to start to fidget as I felt the creeping sensation of unease washing over me. I had just accused him and his business partners of being involved in illegal activities. If he was a bad guy, he easily could have made up a lie and was now taking me up to the roof to throw me off. Nik could always make sure it was ruled a suicide.

My breathing started coming in short, shallow bursts as my body moved from side to side. There wasn’t enough room to house both Tanner and my fidgeting in the tiny elevator, causing me to bump into his side accidentally.

“Sorry,” I muttered, wrapping my arms around myself, trying to melt into the wall.

“Are you okay?” Tanner asked. He turned to face me.

“You’re not planning on throwing me off the roof, right?” I said, half laughing in the madness of my fear and my apparent bluntness combined. I wasn’t being smart in how I needed to be if my goal was to stay alive.

“Why do you always think the most absurd things?” Tanner said as his hand ran through his hair. “I wanted to show you the rooftop in case you just need a place to be outside. You can’t keep yourself locked up in your bedroom all the time. It isn’t healthy.”

“Right, you’re so concerned. Is that why you haven’t bothered to be around me for the past two days?” I snipped at him, finding my anxiety turned into anger. I wasn’t even sure who I was mad at or why, but Tanner seemed to be my preferred outlet.

“I’ve been busy trying to arrange a meeting with Fynn. Not to mention running my business and looking after the safety and wellbeing of all my staff. You haven’t bothered to leave your room. Why do I need to worry about you when I devote all my resources to your protection?” Tanner’s back straightened as his words came out even sharper. He aimed them at me like knives.

I straightened up, pushing off from the wall. He could try to cut me down with his words, but all they did was send a hum of energy through my veins. Arguing with Tanner in person set my blood to fire even more desperately than texting him.

A soft ding sounded before the panel moved to the side. I hadn’t even realized we had stopped, but it didn’t matter because my gaze was still trapped within Tanner’s. His entire body was rigid, as if he was holding himself back. I wondered what he would do if he snapped.

The door stayed open for several seconds before slowly shutting us back in.

“Were we not going to the rooftop?” I bit out, hoping my words could hit him like venom. If he wanted his words to feel like knives, then I wanted mine to eat away at him.

“I don’t think we are quite done here yet,” he said tersely.

Do you have a favorite scene?

My favorite scene in Tops is a moment between Nik and Nessa at the police shooting range.

What advice would you give a beginner?

I would consider myself still a beginner, but to anyone that is thinking about publishing by best advice is to write. Keep writing. Write every time you feel like writing. Don’t worry about the commas or the structure. Just write. Tell your stories.

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Amazon Author Page

Indie Sparks

Indie Sparks lives in Texas with her husband and two clumsy dogs who have no idea she’s a writer, but they give her five stars as a treat giver and door opener. She likes her books like she likes her showers – with a little steam, or sometimes, a lot. She writes characters with quick wits and prickly hearts who aren’t afraid to take chances to find their Happy Every After, or at least a Happy For Now.

Tell us about yourself.
I grew up on the Texas coast but now live in Austin, where there is no beach but the abundance of bookstores and tacos almost makes up for it.

When did you know you wanted to be an author?
Growing up, I always loved stories, both reading them and writing them, but I never really thought of being an author as an option until I was an adult. Authors were mysterious to me. I didn’t know any authors and we didn’t have the internet yet. Young me would be astounded to know I can now press a few buttons and find out what my favorite authors had for breakfast or help them choose a wallpaper for their bathroom.

What genres do you like to read? Are these the same genres you write in?

My reading tastes are varied. I definitely read romance, but I venture beyond the types of stories I write, although I do fiercely love rom-coms so my Kindle is always loaded with those funny feel-good stories. I also appreciate a good rambling, melancholy, character-heavy book, especially a coming-of-age story. And a funny memoir? Put that in my hands any day.

Is your book for adults, young adults or children?
Most definitely adults.

What is your current release or project?
I’m so excited to have a steamy Christmas novella releasing today! On My Merry Way was inspired by a wrong-number text I received. Unlike Tatum, I didn’t respond, but later felt bad about that. I was busy and blew it off, but I should’ve at least let them know they’d sent their text to the wrong number, right? While I was mulling over my guilt about that, my writer brain kicked in and spun a very different scenario. And a book was born! I had so much fun writing this one and I’m thrilled at the positive early reviews.

Tell us about the key characters

The heroine is Tatum, a free spirit who’s moved away from her hometown in search of something different, and she’s found it. She loves her apartment above a Christmas-themed bar. She loves her whole eccentric neighborhood. And her sister. She loves her very much. In fact, her sister is the reason Tatum’s hosting Christmas. The hero is Jude, an emergency room doctor, who is coming home for Christmas because he is a good son who honors family tradition. When their worlds collide, the holiday becomes anything but traditional.

What is your blurb or synopsis of the book?

Tatum may not have put “sexy stranger” on her Christmas list, but Santa knows what a good girl needs to make her holiday complete.

When Tatum tells her overbearing mom that she isn’t coming home for Christmas, Mom doesn’t take it so well. But when Tatum’s sister breaks the news to their mom two days before Christmas that she wants to bring her new girlfriend home for the holidays, Mom has the worst reaction of all.

Tatum’s inner elf rises up and she decides to create the brightest, happiest, pinkest, glitteriest, most loving holiday ever—in her one-bedroom apartment over a Christmas-themed bar. Who cares? It’s not where you spend the holiday that matters; it’s who you spend it with. Hooray! Tatum’s holiday spirit is back in full force.

In fact, she’s feeling so cheery that when a stranger accidentally sends her a text to say he’s on his way, she kindly texts back to let him know he’s reached the wrong number. Sure, she’s had a little wine while wrapping presents, so she maybe says a little more. And when he replies? Well, it would be rude not to respond.

Quicker than she can stab herself in the knee with a pair of scissors, she’s got a full-fledged flirty text convo going with some random guy who might be a doctor, might be a serial killer . . . might be the perfect addition to her holiday guest list.

And if she happens to extend an invite to a drag queen Mrs. Claus and the vampire throuple from across the street? Hey, the more the merrier, right? ’Tis the season!

Light the fireworks and pour the champagne! The naughty list is ready to make merry!

Share an excerpt
So help me, Krampus, in my next life, I will not be desperate enough to rent an apartment above a Christmas-themed bar! It’s normally no more crowded or rowdy than any other bar on the block, and I actually like the steady noise thrumming up through the walls until the wee hours of the morning. I’ve never been able to fall asleep in silence. Plus, I can turn my music up as loud as I want and my downstairs neighbors never complain. Sometimes, there’s a little yelling in the street, although there’d probably be yelling on this street no matter what type of business was below me.

But this is my first Christmas Eve here, and even though my landlord warned me that his bar gets wild on this night, I could never have fully imagined the drunken revelry taking place below my bedroom floor as I’m trying to wrap my pretty pink presents and maintain my holiday cheer. I’m a fairly laid-back tenant, but I’m about ready to march downstairs and pull the plug on the baby Jesus’s birthday party. Enough shots for the savior already!

This neighborhood isn’t a bad place; it’s filled with open-minded, free-spirited, and kind people. The troublesome partiers are mostly tourists, full of curiosity and an excess of vacay adrenaline. They don’t mean to be assholes. I can usually understand that and let shit go.

Tonight, however, my festive nature has been tested to the breaking point, and this rosé is
making me feel more confrontational by the sip. To be fair, my last conversation with my mother probably contributed more to my current mood than the drunks downstairs, but I’m hosting my first Christmas dinner tomorrow, and I want it to be perfect.

I’ve spent all day trimming my former-warehouse-turned-living space with every pink glittery garland, wreath, and string of lights I could find at the last minute. I’m determined to provide the prettiest, brightest, most loving holiday ever. I down a gulp of wine, remind myself why I’m doing this, and refocus on the task at hand.

This wrapping paper is good quality, thick but deadly. I’ve sucked enough of my own blood from paper cuts to be part vampire by now. That would not make me unique in this neighborhood. The tattoo shop on the corner is owned by a trio of self-avowed vampires, two men and one woman. They all live together in a loft across the street from me—maybe they’re a throuple, I don’t know. Not really any of my business. I mean, I do wonder, and I have become what you might call a casual observer of their lives. I see the woman in the coffee shop near my office sometimes, always huddled over a laptop, tapping away on her keyboard. Maybe in addition to being a tattoo artist, she’s the next Anne Rice. Maybe she’s a grad student. The only certainty is that she wants to be left alone. Headphones permanently affixed over her ears. Steely fuck-off glare when she glances up from her screen. Black hair, black clothes, black nail polish. Red lipstick, though. Always. I wonder if I should’ve invited them to come over tomorrow. Do vampires celebrate Christmas? Would this much pink be unnerving to the undead?

I hold up the present I just wrapped and admire my work. The striking artistry of the layered ribbons with their contrasting patterns and jingle bells instead of a bow is my sister’s whole personality in a nutshell (or a small box): complex and multi-faceted, sharp and pristine, but still cute as hell. She’s gonna love it. Shit! I scramble to recover it from the floor. My phone startled me and I dropped it. I’m not usually so jumpy but this day has manifested the kind of stress that changes people. The corner of my masterpiece giftwrapping is dented, and I’m already pissed at whoever buzzed my phone and caused the damage.

I tell myself if it’s my mom, I won’t respond. She only resorts to texting if we stop answering her calls. I stopped over an hour ago. Huh, it’s not her. I don’t know who the hell this is. But I know they meant to send this message to someone else.

Unknown Number: On my merry way. Be there in about twenty. I meant it when I said I can’t stay long.

Yikes. They don’t sound so merry. That’s a curt tone. I should let them know their message didn’t reach the intended target. Who were they trying to reach? Family? An ex? Yeah, I think the tone screams ex, definitely someone they don’t really want to see. So, why go at all? As if I don’t know the answer to that: because we all allow ourselves to be manipulated at the holidays.

Do you have a favorite scene?
At one point, Tatum and Jude make a last-minute run to Walgreen’s and I love the scene in the store and in the car afterward because there are some key moments where they get to know each other through silly interactions that reveal profound things about them.

What advice would you give a beginner?

Go for it. Anyone can be an author. Read everything and then read some more. Ask questions. Join writing groups online, and in person if you can and you like that sort of thing. If you’re willing to put in the work (and it is work) you can be an author. You’ll need patience and perseverance but if you’ve got stories to tell, write them. Share your work with people you trust to give you honest feedback. Build a community. With the internet, writers are accessible to each other now. Take advantage of that.

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Utopia – Breached

5 Authors sharing their stories about the end of civilization and the new beginnings.


Nathalie M.L. Römer
Melody Bell just found out her entire life has changed in less than an hour. She finds herself in a society that might be the best thing she could ever hope for. She never could have hoped for this to happen to her. But the things that are almost too good to be true are, all too often, the things to be cautious about. Will the beauty of this strange place dull Melody’s senses? Will she cope with the different life thrown at her here…?

Rebecca Rathe

A mutual friend introduced Rebecca and I. I think her books sound unique and I love the anthology she’s in.

Here’s a little about her:

Rebecca Rathe has lived in a fantasy world for as long as she’s been alive. Her nose constantly stuck in a book, the characters and conflicts came alive and felt so real that Rebecca probably had more fictional friends than live ones when she was growing up.

If she wasn’t reading, she was coming up with her own stories. It took a lifetime to get brave enough to share one of them with the world. Publishing a novel has been a lifelong dream that is finally coming true.

When Rebecca isn’t daydreaming about her next story or obsessing over edits, she likes goofing off with her husband, two young sons, and real-life best friend Anne. Her ultimate goal in life is to not take things too seriously, to handle whatever comes with humor and kindness.

Tell us about yourself. 

I’m a neurotic, neurodivergent, LGBT+ mother of two crazy boys! Motherhood has defined my last seven years, but before that I did ghostwriting and wrote web content and sang in a local cover band.  

When did you know you wanted to be an author?

My entire life. It’s literally a childhood dream come true! 

What genres do you like to read?  Are these the same genres you write in?

I’ll read just about anything fiction, from YA to the spiciest dark stories. I prefer romance, but I’ll read outside the genre, especially a psychological thriller. My favorites are why choose romances and dark romance, and those are the genres that I’ve written in so far. 

Is your book for adults, young adults or children?

Definitely for adults! 

What is your current release or project?

I just released a very dark, paranormal, why choose romance that centers around an ostracized succubus on the run from an elite team of demons- it’s called Revelations. 

Tell us about the key characters

Deianira Steele (aka Diya) is the main female character- she’s strong and badass, snarky and brave, but also has this vulnerability about her. The men are part of an elite special forces team from the realm of Leosh (which is, for all intents and purposes, Hell). They are elite demons. Adram is the leader, he’s aloof and controlling. Rett is his muscle and the one that does the majority of the interrogating. Tobi is normally calm and collected, but goes through a lot of changes when Diya comes into the picture. Eli is sarcastic and sadistic, a true bad guy to his core. 

What is your blurb or synopsis of the book?

Diya Steele, born of violence and condemned to the prejudice of heaven and hell alike, wanders the earth consumed by fear. Fear of the realms determined to kill her, and fear she will hurt innocents if she ever loses control.

The Dzhavo, a fearsome team of elite demons, are ordered to capture Diya and bring her in to face the Legion. Instead, they keep her for themselves, determined to get answers from her by any means necessary. Fighting through their lust with brutality, they discover nothing is as it seems.

With Earth caught in the crosshairs of a war between realms, Diya and the Dzhavo must find a way to work together to save the world.

How far will Diya go to save the worlds that branded her as an abomination? Will the Dzhavo be able to overcome the lies they’ve been told and trust the one person that might save them all?

Is a relationship built on fear and desire strong enough to keep them fighting for each other, or will their prejudices keep them from stopping the evil that threatens the world as they know it?

Here’s an excerpt

My dirty little secret. My curse. The reason why everyone, even the most monstrous of demons, hates and fears me.

I take to live. I lure people in and suck them dry.

My life depends on siphoning the life force of others through lust and sexual release. Just like humans need to eat to live, I need to feed in other ways. I also need to eat, but it would take me a very long time to starve to death.

Skimming lust off unsuspecting perverts wanking off in a dark booth behind a Plexiglas window doesn’t hurt them, at most it might make them feel tired. It kept me alive, but I still hated myself for it. And when it wasn’t enough and I lost control, people died. People that might be innocent. Although I did my best to redirect my energy to “bad” crowds, I still hated myself for needing to do it. 

Do you have a favorite scene?

I think my favorite scene would have to be the scene where Diya gets fed up with Eli (who she considers the worst of the men and is the most sadistic) and finally stands up and asserts her power over him. She brings him to his knees, literally, and it’s delicious. 

What advice would you give a beginner?

Have patience with yourself, and a thick skin. You can’t please everyone, so write what you want to write and enjoy it. 

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Purchase link

Purchasing links 


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F*ck the Patriarchy


Belle Hamlin – Character Interview

Today, the heroine from Amber Daulton’s new romantic suspense novel, Arresting Benjamin, is stopping by for a chat. For the record, who are you? Meaning, what’s your name and where are you from?

Hi, Eileen. I’m happy to be here. I’m Belle Hamlin. I was born and raised in southern Colorado, but I moved to Denver for college. Though I’ve long since graduated, I stayed in town because I love the area and all my friends are here. And the music scene rocks!

Music seems to be important to you. What do you do for a living?

I work in the complaint department for Tintz House and Auto Insurance. It’s a tedious, thankless job, and it’s slowly eating away at my soul. I’m also a singer/songwriter, and I play a mean guitar. My inspiration comes from legends like Bruce Springsteen and Melissa Etheridge. I wish I could focus solely on my music, but I need the dreaded day job to pay my bills.

That stinks, but so many of us have the DDJ—dreaded day job. What do you look like?

I usually let my friend Chanel—she’s a beautician—trim my dark-brown hair into a bob, but I’ve let it grow out over the past several months. Now, it’s a little past my shoulders. I have dark eyes and freckles around my nose and on my cheeks. I top out at about five-feet-six, and I’m curvier in the hips than I like, especially now that I’m pregnant. My boobs are bigger, too, but at least that’s a plus. I’m up from a B-cup to a C. As you can probably tell, I’m mouthy and pretty blunt. Do I have a filter? Not really unless I’m at work and my paycheck is on the line. I just don’t get embarrassed easily, so I say what’s on my mind more often than not.

I like blunt. I can respect that. What challenges do you face?

Yeesh. Where to start?

I have a stalker who won’t drop off the face of the earth. I mean, how hard is it to leave me the heck alone? Really? He’s leaving me threatening notes and photos, keying my poor little car, and even showing up at my apartment in the middle of the night. I’m rattled, but I won’t let this prick control me or stop me from living my life.

Then there’s Meghan, Benji’s estranged sister. She hates my guts. She’s determined to wrap Benji around her little finger and make him do whatever she wants, but he’s on to her game. My man is smart like that. I wish she and my stalker would take a trip to Antarctica together—hopefully they’ll fall overboard!—but no such luck yet. A girl can hope, right?

Yes! I’ll keep my fingers crossed that everything works out. Who is your love interest?

Benji Starwell. He’s a mechanic and knows how to use his hands in more ways that one. The way he touches me, dayum. *Belle shivers* I need a cold shower just thinking about it.

I might need one, too, if you keep on. I probably shouldn’t ask this, but what did you think the first time you saw him?

That he was super hot, and that he knew it. Sexy men with access to a mirror are grade-A trouble, and Benji must own a ton of mirrors.

We had a one-night stand, and I thought I’d seen the last of him when he skipped out on me the morning after. Little did I know then about the bun he left in my oven. Condoms aren’t always foolproof.

That’s true. Do you get by, live comfortably, live extravagantly?

I get by. My job pays well enough to live on, but it doesn’t make me happy. The money I make from my music gigs pays peanuts, but at least I feel alive when onstage.

It must be a thrill to perform in front of people, and nerve-wracking too. Speaking of nerves, what is your biggest fear?

Losing Benji. I trust him, but Trista, my arch rival in the music scene, gets a kick out of stealing my boyfriends. She’s a tall, leggy blonde with a huge rack, and guys always seem to drool when she’s around. I can’t compete. History has a way of repeating itself, and though Benji has refused her advances, sometimes I worry he won’t say no to her forever. I guess that’s poor self-esteem talking. I know Benji. I know he loves me and our unborn child. He won’t do anything to risk us not being in his life. The fact of the matter is, I need to put aside my fears and worries. They’re unfounded because he loves me. It’s just hard, you know?

I can imagine. You better send her packing to Antarctica too.

Definitely. I should go out and buy three one-way tickets.

If you could go back in time, what one thing would you change in your life?

Nothing. Even though I’m a little angsty and crass, the woman I am now is who I am. I like me.

Good for you. Why do you think your author chose to write about you and Benji?

We have a good story to tell. Our author, Amber, likes happy endings, but she loves to put her characters through the wringer first. She did that and more before Benji and I could finally find our happily ever after.

All authors do that—torturing their characters for the sake of growth and development. What other character from your book do you think Amber should write a book about? Care to tell us why?

You’ll meet three characters in my book that will have a story of their own.

My friends, Shea and Trevor, will have a second chance romance in Trevor’s Redemption, which is coming soon in the multi-author Dangerous Entanglements box set in December 2022. It’ll be re-released as a solo book in the fall of next year.

Arresting Alan will hopefully be released sometime in late 2023 as well. I’m relieved Alan, Benji’s best friend, has moved on from his disastrous relationship with Meghan, Benji’s sister. He deserves to be happy, but I know for a fact that my infuriating author is going to make him work for it.

Ha ha. Dang, those authors. Well, I’ve had a blast talking with you, Belle. Thanks for coming!

Arresting Benjamin

A one-night stand, a surprise baby, and a mysterious stalker.

Mechanic Benjamin Starwell can’t stop thinking about Belle Hamlin, the ballsy musician he slept with and skipped out on months earlier. He never meant to get her pregnant, but he’ll do whatever it takes to win back her trust and be a part of his child’s life. His desire for Belle drives him to be a better man, but he’s worn thin with a garage to run and his estranged sister dumping her troubles on him.

Belle’s juggling impending motherhood, her indie rock career, and a stalker who’s determined to see her fail. Even though she’s desperate to get her priorities straight, she pushes aside her past hurt and welcomes Benji back into her bed. She never expects him to slip into her heart.

When the danger escalates, they face the greatest challenge of all—protecting their unborn child.

About the Author

Amber Daulton is the author of the romantic-suspense series Arresting Onyx and several standalone novellas. Her books are published through Daulton Publishing, The Wild Rose Press, and Books to Go Now, and are available in ebook, print on demand, audio, and foreign language formats.

She lives in North Carolina with her husband and demanding cats.

Social Media Link

Universal link –

S K White

Tell us about yourself.

Some might say I’m an introvert, but I’m not so sure—perhaps an introvert with a touch of extrovert tossed in; I was a cheerleader in high school, played sports, and have done assemblies in senior centers, schools, and classrooms to promote my books. I also taught K-7, Title One, and Adult Basic Ed, so I must have a bit-of-extrovert hidden in there somewhere. I speak with a soft voice, but have been known to vigorously debate an issue endlessly. Early in my life, my family advised me to become a lawyer—hence argumentative; but instead, I followed a far more rewarding path for me and became an educator. No regrets here. Teaching is one of the hardest professions you’ll ever love and stays with you for the rest of your life—we all know you definitely don’t do it for the money! For the next part of my life’s journey, I hope to fill blank pages with endless inspiring and curious creations that others will enjoy. So… in the end, who am I? All in all, I guess I’m a walking contradiction—an introvert/extrovert. At least I keep things interesting—you never know what to expect.     

When did you know you wanted to be an author?

I remember listening to a song called, “Paperback Writer,” as a teenager and thought, that would be so cool. However, I first realized I could actually do it when I was teaching elementary and co-wrote a book with my students. I stood at the chalkboard and together we created “Squeakers,” a story about a mouse; it was one of the most checked out books in our school library for years until it finally fell apart. Also, when I taught Title One, I did a special poetry class with grades three-through-seven and submitted them; they were published in an anthology the next year. I wrote several manuscripts after that and got a children’s book published a couple of years later called Eagle Feather.   

What genres do you like to read? Are these the same genres you write in?

I read and write in several genres. I’ve written in sci-fi, romance, paranormal, mystery, time travel-fantasy and a file cabinet full of other genres. If I find a topic or premise interesting, I’ll read it; that’s also true for writing.   

Is your book for adults, young adults, or children?

I’ve written manuscripts for all three; but as far as published books, I have two adult books and one children’s book. The adult science fiction romance books are BOUNCE and ALL GONE. 

What is your current release or project?

ALL GONEwas released by Black Velvet Seductions (BVS) in December 2021. I’m currently working on a paranormal romance mystery called THE TREE; stay tuned, THE TREE is still a work-in-progress.

Tell us about the key characters

For BOUNCE, the key characters are:

Whitney Ann Rhodes, the conservative architect who bounces into the alternate realities of Whit—a tattooed, freedom loving, illustrator and liberal artist, and Annie—the ever-obedient wife under the rule of a militaristic dictator in a restrictive authoritarian world.

And Sawyer. In Whit’s world, Sawyer is an irresistible musician who captures Whitney’s heart and soul, but later proves to be unattainable in her own world. In Annie’s world, Sawyer is the loyal servant under the thumb of their brutal-authoritarian-dear-leader.

And last of all, Jason—the surprise discovery for Whitney, Whit, and Annie.

For ALL GONE, the key characters are:

Paige Martin, the passionate, dedicated investigative reporter who investigates a series of identical crop circles that suddenly appear near major cities across the world. Its cryptic message leaves the entire globe wondering whether the invitation to the next sighting—scheduled to be one year later—is a first contact or the second coming.

And the ruggedly handsome Nick Landon, a mechanical engineer who offers much-much-more than his intellect and ingenuity.

For THE TREE, my ghostly murder mystery.The key characters are:

Megan Warren, a curious-tenacious-witty college student, who finds herself thrust into a mystery that takes her on a perplexing journey of adjustment, numerous obstacles, and amazing discoveries.

Kinsey Warren, Megan’s very persistent older sister.

And Blaine Driggs, the hard-charging private investigator, determined to solve every case that comes across his desk, be they living or dead.     

What is your blurb or synopsis of the book?


What if you found yourself in a different reality… same face, but different you? Whitney Ann Rhodes bounces into the alternate realities of Whit and Annie. Can she navigate Whit’s complicated and volatile life or survive Annie’s dystopian world living under the rule of a global authoritarian leader and his military regime? Will she resist or comply? Afterward, can Whitney return to her world and face what lies ahead?


Are the newly discovered crop circles an invitation to the second coming or a first contact? Investigative reporter Paige Martin is thrust into a mystery that takes her on a wild adventure of survival, betrayal, and romance. Can she find the answers in time and survive in a world that could end at any moment? 

Share an excerpt


Whitney forged a plan to survive in Annie’s strange world. She placed the book back on the table and whispered, “This reality is full of hazards at every turn. The laws are exact, and the punishments extreme for infractions.” Whitney reviewed the rules in her mind. They stone women for adultery, strap them for disobedience, and execute them for treason. It’s Sawyer’s job to ensure that the women in his household are submissive and obedient at all times.


In this excerpt, Paige interviewed two people for her article on the mysterious crop circles: the first a UFO enthusiast, and the second, a reverend at a mega-church. 

The man sat up straight. “This looks like it may be an opportunity for a first contact by extraterrestrials. I believe they will arrive on April twentieth, 2025. The numbers coincide with Easter. Perhaps this represents the dawning of a new beginning. I acknowledge its importance by the way the numbers are displayed repetitively. It is also clear to me that something will appear in the sky on that date, and logically, that could happen at the locations of the first crop circles.” …

The reverend drew in a breath. “Well, the religious symbols lead me to believe the message is for the believers, and the image pointing to the skies tells me to be watchful.”

Do you have a favorite scene?

I selected my favorite romantic scenes this time; both books are full of suspense with a lot of action, so I wanted these excerpts to focus more on the softer side. 


She stepped on the rug and gazed into the mirror. A woman with long black hair stared back. What’s happening? One side of her head was shaved. She drew closer to the mirror. The face was hers, but thinner, and instead of her shoulder-length hair, she now adorned long hair that flowed down her back. She glanced down at her breasts and viewed a nipple ring on each nipple. She flicked them. They were indeed pierced. Whitney scanned across her upper arms and spotted perplexing tattoos that resembled ancient writing. She turned around and found a tat of a huge dragon draped in roses beautifully place between her shoulder blades. Her familiar curves were replaced by lean, toned muscles—the sleek body of a runner.

Her ears perked at rustling noises coming from another room. She cracked the door opened. There stood a man putting on his faded blue jeans. She stared at the dark-haired man. He was tall and had a runner’s body, too. His arms and back were tattooed just like her new body. Her eyes grew wide as he acknowledged her.

She whispered, “Oh, my God. He’s gorgeous.”

He blinked. “Hurry up, Whit.”

Whitney remained frozen.

He peered at her and raised his arms. “Hey, beautiful, we’re going to miss the train.”

She closed the door and leaned against the hard wood, drawing in a long slow breath for courage. Okay, okay, Whitney, just calm down and find something to put on. She searched for something to wear but found nothing. Whitney grabbed a towel and put it around her. Then with one last tuck of the towel, she opened the door. The dark-haired hunk put his shirt on and sat on the bed. He slid on his boots and glanced up. She went over to the closet and opened it. Shit, only men’s clothing. She tried the next closet. Thank God. She pulled out a shirt and opened several dresser drawers. The dark-haired hunk glimpsed up at her, befuddled.

She chewed the inside of her lip. “Where is it?”


“Never mind. It’s not important,” she said. Then a few drawers later, Whitney found a bra, lace underwear, and put them on. The hunk pointed to her jeans on the chair.

She nervously giggled and slipped them on. “Thanks.”

“Last night must have been rough.”

“Rough morning.”

The man pulled her down in his lap and kissed her on the cheek. “I’ll make it better tonight.”


Nick moved in closer and put his other hand on the wall behind her. “What’s so important that it’s keeping you up all night?”

Paige peeked up. “Did I wake you up the other night when I called out your name?” …..

“Dreaming about me, Ms. Martin?”

She shut her eyes. “Yes.”

Nick stuck his finger under Paige’s waistband. He brushed his fingertip below her belly button, abrading her mound of hair. She froze as an electric shock raced through her body. He pulled her boxers open, peered down the front of her shorts, and softly moaned into her ear.

Paige stuttered. “I-I… just wanted to apologize if I woke you up.”

Nick inhaled the aroma of jasmine shampoo, grazed her earlobe and brushed across her lips with his. He moved to her other ear and whispered in his low, breathy voice. “Apology accepted. You can wake me up anytime, Paige.” Then he kissed her forehead. “Can I do anything else for you, babe?”

She opened her eyes. “No, I wanted to apologize.”

Nick narrowed his eyes and gave her his crooked smile. “Well, then, I’ll wish you good night.” …..

Paige stared into Nick’s green eyes. A slow smile crossed her lips. He winked and released his grip. She strolled down the hall. Her hips swayed with each step. He closed the door and clenched his jaw.

“Damn.” Nick kicked off his shoes and plopped on the bed. “Bo, come.” Bo placed his head on Nick’s chest. He stroked Bo’s fur. “It won’t be long now. I’m in her dreams.”

What advice would you give a beginner?

One of my old professors told me years ago to schedule at least 15 minutes every day to write and let it become a habit. He was right. You do it faithfully and it becomes a part of you. Also, never give up, no matter how many rejection letters you get. Remember, you only need one yes; and as you build confidence and your skills, that one yes can be you. You can always self-publish when you’re ready. My last bit of advice would be to listen and consider the suggestions editors and experienced authors give you—most only want to help you make it the best it can be.   

You will find my Facebook, Website, Twitter, and Instagram at:

Purchasing links: For ALL GONE:


For THE TREE: It’s still a WIP (a work in progress).


S. K. White is a lover of Science Fiction Romance and enjoys inventing new worlds and situations for her characters to discover, grow, explore, and fall in love in. She treasures writing in her journal and recording thoughts and ideas that flow from the experiences she sees and hears all around her. She uses many of those reflections to create the characters that appear in her novels, and the poetry she writes. S. K. White lives in a small town in the west and embraces glorious sunsets in the cool evening breeze, and savors the captivating western landscapes that surround her.  

Chloe Gilholy

Tell us about yourself.

I am Chloe. I am a health care assistant living in Oxfordshire. I was born in Staffordshire and lived in England all my life. I am in the process of transferring to the NHS as a lab assistant. In my spare time I like writing books, reading books, listening to music and going out to conventions, concerts and traveling.

When did you know you wanted to be an author?

It was a very young age. English was one of my favorite subjects at school and I loved reading books and it made me decide that I wanted to write books too.

What genres do you like to read?  Are these the same genres you write in?

I love comics and graphic novels the most. But I do enjoy dystopian fiction that’s wild and crazy like Battle Royale and Hunger Games. Most of my published books have been poetry books. My current WIPs consists of two romance novels aimed for the teenage market.

Is your book for adults, young adults or children?

Game of Mass Destruction is defiantly an adults book due the nature of the content.

What is your current release or project?

I completed the first draft of my k-pop novel. It’s about a music mogul who plays cupid with her neglected godson and alcoholic ex-boyfriend to improve their lives, but mainly to sell records. I’ve been trying to make the music mogul more likable and unique and less like Sia. Even villains have to be likable.

Tell us about the key characters

Game of Mass Destruction focuses on Yuzuko Shikumi. She sees her country as a utopian state because her grandfather is head of a robotic welfare company. She sees the game of mass destruction as a terrible thing cause it’s a show about destroying robots. She is a 19-year-old widow with one son. She finds out that her mother has nominated her and her girlfriend to take part in the same.

The surface of Yuzuko’s family history is only touched in Game of Mass Destruction. Some of it has been saved for another book.  

What is your blurb or synopsis of the book?

Yuzuko’s perfect world is disturbed when she is forced to take part in the 30th season of Game of Mass Destruction, a reality tv show where 20 contestants have to fight robots and each other for a chance to become a billionaire. Each robot they destroy gives points, but extra points are rewarded for acts of sex and murder. Whilst Yuzuko is united with online friends, she discovers dark secrets about her family as she confronts the gameshow’s owner the notorious Sia Bucks. Will she survive and become victorious, or will it be a comedy of errors with violence and chaos?

Share an excerpt

“We’re just machines,” they said.

“Products of science.”

We have no purpose.

What is our purpose?

Why were we created?

If we were born to die?

So, this is what a monster looks like.

The race that made us also wants us dead,

For the name of entertainment.

Artificial intelligence:

Doomsday for humanity.

Hence why we have this show.

Game of Mass Destruction

On this tranquil island.

Our hunger for life drives us.

We use what we can for fuel.

Anything we can get our hands on.

Sometimes we eat people.

We can’t help it

It’s in our program.

We’d love to go to the world beyond.

My knowledge lies deep.

The facts I have outnumber

Sahara grains.

But my only wish

Is a simple one: to

Dance with wild horses.

This is the poem that opens the novel. A lot of readers love the poem. I think it captures the POV of the robots as well as bring thoughts and conflicts that happen in the story.

Do you have a favorite scene?

My favorite scene to write was the scene nearer to the second half where Sia and Yuzuko are alone and Yuzuko finds out that Sia is her grandmother.

What advice would you give a beginner?

You should just go and write it. Because at least one person will enjoy what you create, and that will make it worth it.


I am Chloboshoka on TikTok, Wattpad, instagram, Snapchat and Twitter.


Barnes & Noble:



Dee S Knight

Today I’m talking with Dee S Knight. We met through Jan Selbourne and BVS.  I enjoy her writing very much and am looking forward to learning more about her. So Hi Dee and welcome to my group.

Good morning, Eileen. Thanks for having me.

Please tell us about yourself and how you got started in writing

I started writing almost twenty years ago, with a few stops and starts along the way. It’s really as simple as this–I had time on my hands while my husband finished a contract job. He suggested I fill that time by writing a book. Like an idiot, I thought Sure, why not? So I sat down at the keyboard and created a novel from an idea I had in my head and a month later sent it to an online publisher that was just starting up, Liquid Silver.

The publisher wrote back and said she liked the story but could I write something with moe sex as they planned on being an erotic romance house. At that time, I had no idea there was such a thing as erotic romance. So a month later I sent her another novel with more sex. She accepted it, and there I went. It was all a fluke that I fell into by accident almost.

Happily fell into. I really like erotic romance, and as Dee S. Knight that is what I write.

Do you have a background that would lend itself to writing… like being an English teacher or something like that?

No. I was a sociology major way back in the dark ages. I love reading and literature but never thought about writing. When my husband and I went on the road as over the road truckers, I left a library position in Richmond, VA. I was in acquisitions and my boss told me that now that I knew what readers like to read, I should write a book about my adventures. I thought, Yeah, right. No way did I ever think I would write a book.

Sounds like an exciting life.  You said you write erotic romance under Dee S Knight.  Do you write under other names?

It took a lot of years after that, but that first novel I wrote and sent to Liquid Silver was one about trucking.

Yes. I write historical menage books as Jenna Stewart and spicy/steamy work as Anne Krist. She’s really the tamer persona. Anne doesn’t shock my mother, lol.

Was it a romance about trucking or just on trucking alone?

No, it was a romance with a trucking theme.

I love how you refer to your other pen names in the third person.  How many books do you have out under each name?

As Anne, I have a full novel, Burning Bridges which is a finalist in the Book Excellence Awards. I also have a short story in the Comfort for Cat Lovers book. Jan and I shared a book just before Christmas as Jan and Anne, and we’re soon publishing another. As Jenna, I have I think 10 or 11 books, all of them with Siren-Bookstrand. And as Dee I have gosh, I think 6 or 7 right now, with BVS and as an indie. I have a few more titles I need to republish since Liquid Silver went out of business.

You’ve been busy.  When did you publish your first novel?

On Valentine’s Day, 2003. It’s one I need to republish, called Impatient Passion.

Wow! You’ve been at this a long time.  What’s one thing you do differently now than you did when you first started?

I know a lot more about writing rules and the mechanics now. When I wrote Impatient Passion, I knew how to write but had no idea about point of view (POV) or head hopping or hooks. really. Those are things I learned from other authors. The erotic romance world was pretty small back then and the authors at Liquid Silver were fairly close so we helped each other. They also had excellent editing, and that taught me a lot about how to tell a story. How to show instead of telling. I had a LOT to learn!

I think that’s common. I know I did and still do.  Which do you prefer – traditional publishing or self publishing?

They both have advantages and disadvantages. I love working with BVS. Ric is wonderful and the group of authors he has gathered under the BVS umbrella are not only talented but are sweethearts, always willing to share and help each other. The control freak in me likes self-pubbing. BUT, it’s a lot of work–making covers, doing my own editing, completing the publishing, and keeping up with Amazon, which is no easy feat in itself. I’m still learning so much about it. If I went with regular publishing, I would definitely stay with BVS, though. They’re a strong publishing house.

I agree. The authors are wonderful and Ric is great to work with. Like you, the control freak in me enjoys the advantages of seeing the numbers. What are you currently working on?

Right now I’m trying to sinish up my novella that will be part of Jan’s and my new joint venture. The book is called Evil Lives in the Night. I’m writing our books as Anne Krist so our heat levels are closer together. I wouldn’t want to shock Jan’s readers with Dee or Jenna’s nasty ways. 😉

LOL  How do you determine what the heat level is for your books?  Do you know when you start writing or does it come as you get into it more?

As I said, when I first started writing, I didn’t even know there was a genre called erotic romance. Ellora’s Cave was about the only house publishing it. But for some reason, I was able to write sex into my books pretty easily. When I wrote Burning Bridges as Anne, I had to really control myself not to write actual sex into the book. It’s TAME, and yet one of my friends told me that the only somewhat hot scene in it made her blush, so maybe I’m not so good at measuring heat in books, lol. Writing menage is harder. There are so many arms and legs and…well, you-know-whats to keep track of.

Oh I know what… Now I’ve read your work and enjoy it. It’s a solid read and entertaining. Where do you come up with your ideas?

Coming up with ideas is usually simple. If I need something, I just tune in my favorite classic country station and let my mind take it in. The hard thing for me is to sit down and put fingers to keyboard.

So you’re inspired by music. Is there an artist or type of song which inspires you more?

With me, I normally have an outcome in mind first and then come up with the story to get there as I’m writing. And like I said, with any country song, you’ve got an situation to choose from. Then I ask “What if…?” What if I had a hero who was so cynical he says he has waterfront property in Arizona to sell (George Strait), or if two people who thought they’d love each other forever find themselves separated (Reba McIntyre)? Cry-in-your-beer songs are great for getting ideas about conflict.

You know about getting ideas. Your books are so interesting.

Two of my favorite singers.  I do know and thank you.  I try. Inspiration is a chaotic thing – I watch a lot of documentaries and odd science shows.  I know you said it took you a month to write your first book – my first book took ten years so I’m impressed. How long does it take for you to write a book?  Have you ever gotten stuck?

When I first started writing, I was a book a month for the first five books–all over 85,000 words. Then, yes, I got stuck. Passionate Destiny took me nearly 11 months to write. I have no idea why but I just could not get through that book. Finally, I told myself that if I didn’t have it finished by Thanksgiving (the end of November), that I’d let it go and (virtually) shove it under the bed. I hate giving up, so I got it done and sent it off to Liquid Silver that same afternoon. I was so DONE with it, and not just the writing, I was done with the characters and setting and everything. But, that book got my highest reviews up to that point. It won Top Pick in Romantic Times magazine. Readers wrote and asked me to write a sequel. I was shocked but so pleased that the problem child was so well liked.

These days, I can finish a book in a couple of months or longer, depending on  how I’m feeling.

Wow that’s a great story.  What helped you get through the writing?

Sheer determination, lol!

That’s wonderful. Sometimes that’s what it takes. So do you outline or write as you go?

While I was writing Passionate Destiny, I wrote Burning Bridges, that’s how stuck I was with PD–I took a month away to write an entirely different book.

I’ve done that as well.

Usually I write as I go. I do have a kind of outline in mind but not an actual outline. I usually think of a three-part outline as to where action will happen. I also use character charts to help me include things like internal and external conflict, likes-dislikes, and character traits. I’ve found that character interviews help me know my characters, too. (Thanks, Kayelle Allen!)

Sounds like you’ve got some great tools at hand.  What would you tell a new author was essential for writing?

I sometimes hate to advise new authors because there’s so much to keep in mind. I found that once I learned the storytelling mechanics that my writing slowed down because I was thinking more about HOW to write then writing itself. But I do wish I had know about those things before I started. They are things we all know but don’t recognize while we’re reading.

Very true.

So all of that is included in what I would tell a new writer. Learn your craft. Then WRITE. And keep writing. Find a good person–not a friend or relative generally because they will praise your writing no matter how bad it is–who can read and critique your work. Finding out what you’re not doing well is a huge benefit. Then write some more. Don’t be afraid. Learn to self-edit (there are tricks for this, like reading your work out loud). Read books in your genre and pick out why you thought the book was good or bad. Make sure you do–or don’t do–the same things in your book. And then write.

Great advice!

Thanks. I don’t always take it myself, but I should!

Please tell me about your latest release…

Jan and I released Finding a Christmas Miracle last December. We set in the Vietnam War era. Jan’s story was about a soldier who found a woman about to deliver a baby in the Outback and how he’s led back to her. Mine was a paranormal tale about a soldier who’s led find his true calling through the death of a woman he knows. I thought both stories were great–though I admit to a bit of bias.

Oh I read them they were great stories!

The book we’re now working on is set in the mid-1950s and has a crime element. Jan’s tale starts with a murdered man. Mine is about a missing woman. It should be out at the end of the month.

I’m excited to read both of these!

Thank you for joining me today!

Eileen, thank you so much for giving me this opportunity to share! It’s been fun.

Find out more about me and my writing personas at

Passionate Destiny:

Finding a Christmas 

The Girl with the Brass Balls (Jenna Stewart):

Burning Bridges:

Virginia Wallace

Today, I’m very excited to have Virginia Wallace who is my cohort in our Saturday author talks. She’s fun and funny and a great writers. Welcome to my blog Virginia!

Thank you for having me! A pleasure, as always.

So I know a lot about you but please tell my readers about yourself.

lol … I never know where to begin on that one! I was born and raised in Norfolk, VA, USA. … and no, I wasn’t in a gang. I was home-schooled from grades 3-12, and spent most of my childhood without a TV … which is where I get my love of reading. It was either read or stare at the wall! I started writing in my early twenties, and spent a few years on the indie scene. After a long hiatus, I re-entered the publishing world in 2020, this time as a traditionally-published author. Although true to form, I would end up back on the indie scene about a year later!

No TV must have been rough. What sorts of books did you read?

Anything I could get my hands on! I’m a huge fan of nineteenth-century lit. Mark Twain blew my mind. I discovered his work when I was nine, and read his entire body of work fairly quickly. My mother introduced me to Daphne du Maurier when I was fourteen, and that was another game changer. I’m also a huge fan of pulp-era Science Fiction, like Ray Bradbury and Isaac Asimov. But at the end of the day, I’ll read pretty much anything.

Mark Twain was very nuanced in his writing. Did you read him exclusively as a child or as you got older did you discover more of the nuances?

I re-read his work often. It’s funny, some of his work was obviously born of nostalgia, such as ‘Huckleberry Finn’ or ‘Tom Sawyer’. ‘The Prince and the Pauper’ was a classic-style folk tale, but ‘A Connecticut Yankee in King Arthur’s Court’ was biting social satire. ‘On the Damned Human Race’ was just plain cynical. ‘Pudd’nhead Wilson’ was pure genius, and I suspect laid the groundwork for later mystery writers.

Who do you think has had the most influence on your writing?

Stylistically, probably Daphne du Maurier. Her work has a lush, brooding, deeply introspective feel. I also love that her word usage is so poetic.

Do you feel your writing is poetic?

I try. To me, using words is like painting a picture. Articulate, prettily-written prose creates an image in the mind of the reader. Am I poetic? Ultimately, I think that one would be best answered by my readers.

You write dark novels – leaning towards horror or horror aspects in your stories. What started your fascination with horror or the darker topics?

As I’m fond of pointing out, nearly all popular tales have an element of darkness to them. Even with children’s lit, stories like ‘Where the Wild Things Are’ are quite popular. I didn’t have a very happy childhood, and I remember gravitating towards films like ‘Dracula’, or music such as Black Sabbath and Metallica. There’s something cathartic, I think, about turning pain, fear, and anger into art. Makes it less scary, you know?

I think it’s a great way to channel your inner demons. I read an interview with Neil Diamond where he confessed he tried therapy but talking didn’t work but the therapist learned all he needed from Diamond’s songs. Do you feel like you’ll get tired of the dark?

No. The human mind is full of nastiness, and I think it’s best never to forget that. I think my work would suffer terribly if I did. Darkness isn’t the point, it’s the backdrop. Love, selflessness, and heroism shine all the brighter in a dark setting. That’s a good thing, I believe. Freddy Krueger was terrifying, but what made ‘A Nightmare on Elm Street’ such a legendary story was that Freddy’s evil brought out Nancy’s courage, and made her the best possible version of herself that she could be.

That’s an interesting concept – like we don’t know it’s dark if we don’t have light. Do you incorporate that sort of balance into your book?

I do. Darkness for the sake of darkness is just nihilistic, and rather depressing. There has to be some kind of balance, even if it skews more towards one end of the spectrum than the other.

So I know you. I know you’re a funny person. Do you incorporate humor into your stories and how do you balance the humor with the dark and light?

There are always flashes of humor in my stories, but I realized last year that I’d never written anything that was intentionally humorous in its overall tone. So I wrote a short story called ‘The Ritual’. Ironically, it’s about two serial killers and it’s the bloodiest tale I’ve ever written. But I deliberately adopted a whimsical, tongue-in-cheek tone for it. You laugh, and you feel awful because you’re laughing … ‘cuz that stuff really isn’t funny, you know … but you laugh anyway. Or at least, I did when I wrote it. ‘The Ritual’ will appear in the anthology ‘Dark Desire’, by Black Velvet Seductions.

LOL I think dark humor is appreciated by many if done in the right way.  We’ve talked about what you do write so now tell me what you don’t want to write. Are there any genres you avoid?

Erotica. My work does feature sexual content as needed – sex being a part of life, after all – but I’d rather it not be the point. I much prefer simply building a strong sense of sexual tension, because I find that interesting from a psychological point of view. I’ve written just about every genre, though. I finally checked Science Fiction off my list with my short story ‘Orion’ (featured in ‘Cowboy Desire’). In hindsight, it was odd that I waited so long to write sci-fi because I love reading it.

Since it’s a favorite will you write more scifi?

I’m sure I will! My favorite genres are the ones that give the imagination the most latitude. Horror, fantasy, sci-fi … I actually found my contemporary romance ‘When the White Knight Falls’ the hardest to write, because I couldn’t just bust out a wizard or a spaceship as a plot device!

I agree. Last question so make your answer good…. What has helped you be the writer you are?

I always thought of myself as an artist, as a child and young adolescent. I made a fair amount of money doing portraits and advertising art, and I started taking lessons very young. What made me a writer was this: When I was in my mid-teens, my friends taught me how to play ‘Dungeons and Dragons’. I was hooked right from the get-go! It wasn’t long before I went from being a character player to being the ‘Dungeon Master’: the story-teller and narrator. (I always say ‘Dungeon Master’. ‘Dungeon Mistress’ just … well, it doesn’t sound quite right. Gives the wrong impression, you know?) I learned to find my voice as a writer by actually telling stories, not writing them down. A lot of readers have pointed out that I have a ‘conversational’ writing style, and that’s almost certainly why. Role-playing games made me an author, and I highly recommend them to everyone. They stretch the imagination like nothing else does, in my opinion.

Virginia – thank you for joining me today. I’m sure my readers will enjoy learning more about you.

Thank you for having me! I’m quite flattered.

To follow Virginia

Book links – Amazon