All posts by Regina

Beauty of Ravenswood by Faye Hall

I grew up only a few hours from Ravenswood, the township in which my new release ‘She’s A lot Like You’ is set.  It is a now small mining town in North Queensland, Australia.  As children we thought nothing special of Ravenswood other than somewhere locals travelled to for work, or hunting.

The first time I went there, I was taken on ‘the tour’, which in the most basic of terms is a half hour drive around the town.  At first I thought there wasn’t much to look at other than old decaying houses, but as I came around a corner I was graced with the image of the graveyard.  It was so very small, fenced in, looking like something out of an old Sherlock Holmes movie.  Not far from the graveyard was the only remaining  original miners shack from the 1800’s.  Obviously now it is a tourist attraction, but looking at it, at its simplicity, I couldn’t help but wonder what it must have been like back in the day.

Looking around then at what I always thought to be little more than a dusty old town, I began to envision the people who had once lived here upon Ravenswood’s settlement.  I could see women in their long, English styled gowns walking down the streets.  I could see carriages taking people to and from the places they needed to go.  I could see…but then I wondered if indeed what I was seeing had ever been a reality.

My trip to Ravenswood that day started weeks and weeks of research.  To my most pleasant surprise what I discovered about this township was so much more than I could have ever dreamed possible.

Before the town was gazetted and named Ravenswood, it was one of the quickest growing townships in North Queensland.  People – gold miners, cattle farmers, estate owners – had been settling there since 1840’s.  The wealth that once circulated this town – the gentry that once filled it – it was a romance writers dream.

And that’s why I chose this town to set my story in.  I didn’t choose it for the town I grew up hearing stories of, or for the place it has now become.  I chose it because I now realise the beauty it had once held.  I’m only sorry so many of the old estate houses and dance halls are no longer left standing because they surely would be a sight to behold.

Interview with JoAnne Tucker

Today we have JoAnne Tucker in the hot seat! Welcome JoAnne, we look forward to learning more about you and your books! 🙂

HFP:  What is your favorite thing about painting?

JT: Making a beautiful picture to hang on a wall.

HFP: If you could change one thing on your path to being published what would it be, and why that one thing?

JT: I wished I had been published thirty years ago, because it is a long path to success. I hope to see my books turned into movies.

HFP: How do you come up with ideas for your stories? Who is your muse if you have one?

JT: My muse would be the characters themselves. One book is about ghosts, and one is about monsters such as the Mothman, the Chupracabra, Mermaids, werewolves, an Egyptian love curse, reincarnation, and etc.

HFP: What is your favorite food?

JT: steak

HFP: Which character has been your favorite to write about?

JT: F.B.I Agent Walker Harmon. He is not only dangerously handsome, but fearless and determined to solve the crime.

HFP: If you could meet one of your male characters in real life, which one would you choose and why that one?

JT: Walker Harmon, because of the answer in question #5.

HFP:  If you could meet one of your female lead characters in real life, which one would you choose and why that one?

JT: It would be Jackie Reeves, my heroine, in Murder Most Foul. She is not only gorgeous, but a registered nurse, and like her lover Walker Harmon, she is upstanding and determined to make the bad guy pay.

HFP: What piece of advice did you receive as newbie writer that was the most helpful?

JT: To never give up.

HFP:  What is your favorite free promotions tip?

A: Never give up. If you keep trying, you will see your story in print…someday.

HFP: What is your favorite paid for promotions tip?

A: Get your story out to as many places and people as you can. The more that see the story, the more that might buy it.

Interview with Finn Qualtrough by Isobelle Cate

Me: Hello Finn.  Thank you for agreeing to this interview.


Finn: My pleasure, Isobelle. It’s good to have a chance to get to know your readers….more intimately.


I clear my throat before smiling: How is Eirene?


Finn (grins): Still a beautiful distraction. She left with Deanna to set up the network for the Haven Foundation. She’s creating a network between Deanna’s foundation and her own charity, Kinds Come Home.


Me: Eirene is the computer expert of the team?


Finn: Yes she is. Graeme as well, who’s more of our Head of Security. Eirene did what we Cynn Cruor found hard to do. Find Dac Valerian.


Me: Is that how you met?


Finn (chuckling): In a manner of speaking.  I was chasing after several of Dac's followers or transfuges and found her instead. They were running after her after she decked them. (Finn laughs).


Me: And Dac's followers?


Finn grins with satisfaction and pride: Dead. All dead, with Eirene's help.  That woman can really kick and is very handy with a baton and the balisong, the Philippine butterfly knife.


Me: Has the Cynn Cruor has been fighting Dac Valerian for a long time?


Finn: Yes, the former Gnaeus Valerius Dacronius.  He was one of Caesar's greatest generals and wanted recognition for his campaigns but the Cynn Cruor code forbade it.


Me: Why doesn't the Cynn Cruor —


Finn: I know what you're going to ask, Isobelle. Why don't we want to be recognized, for people to know who we are?


I nod.


Finn: Let me ask you…what would happen if the world knew of our existence?  A race of hybrids with vamp, were, and human blood infused with immortality. Stress on immortality.


Me: Uh…people would want to be like you. They won’t age.


Finn: Spot on. And what would happen if Dac and the Scatha Cruor showed themselves for who they were – evil personified?


I nod, exhaling: No innocent will be safe.


Finn:  It’s easier for us to fight a war without people knowing what we are doing. The less people know, the lesser the casualties.


Me: How long will this war last?


Finn (shrugs): As long as it takes.


Me: You live in the edge of day and night. Doesn’t it make you wish that you could walk in the sun?


Finn: Centuries ago, I was able to walk in the sun. My parents couldn’t. They often stayed indoors when the sun was hottest. It was lonely playing by myself around our estate near Pluscarden. I may have taken the sun for granted then.  It didn’t matter to me as long as I had my parents with me. I already knew that I was Cynn Cruor, that I would someday leave my home to train and be a warrior just like my father. (His voice tightens) When I lost my parents during one of the wars with the Scatha Cruor, the sun disappeared from my life. Until Eirene. So you see, whether that fireball in the sky is there or not, I care not. The Cynn Cruor can still walk in the sun but we have to be careful. When the skies are overcast, before Dawn claims the horizon and when Dusk puts it to bed, we can walk. It’s uncomfortable but we can if we must.


Me: Eirene is mortal.


Finn: She is now immortal. As long as I’m alive, so is she.


Me: Has she ever missed the sun? Has she asked you to do so?


Finn (smiles at a memory): Eirene wanted to go back to Platt Field’s Park where we first met.  Winter had arrived and there was frost on the ground. The sun was probably at the ten o’clock.  The sky was clear and blue up to probably Angels 70, altitude 70,000 feet. It was painful, but beautiful.


I gasp: Why did you do that?


Finn: Because I love her.


Me: She’s very lucky to have you.


Eirene: Yes, I am. Hello, Isobelle. (She gives me a hug.) Finn been talking how strong he is?


I laugh: No. We were talking about Dac and how you found him.


Eirene (shakes her head ruefully): The Cynn still can’t get over it. Unfortunately, we’ve lost him again.


Me: Any idea how to find him again?


Finn:  We’re still working on it. In the meantime, I’d like to take my mate for R&R.


I redden: Okaaaayyy. Some other time then. I’ll see myself out.


Finn: Come back anytime you wish, Isobelle. You are always welcome here.


Eirene (grins): I’m echoing that.


Me: Thanks and I will. I’m interviewing all of you remember?


Eirene (with a twinkle in her eye): Who knows?  A Cynn Cruor might fall for you one day.


I stare at her, my mouth agape before I laugh: Only in my dreams.


Eirene (winks): Uh huh.


Me: I’m going! I’m going!


Laughter follows me as I leave the library.


Blurb of Rapture at Midnight:


There is an on-going war between two breeds of immortal warriors who carry human, vampire, and werewolf blood, the Cynn Cruor and the Scatha Cruor. The Cynn Cruor want to live in harmony with the human race. The Scatha Cruor wants to enslave them. Finn Qualtrough, a Cynn Cruor warrior is on a mission to find Dac Valerian, the leader of the Scatha Cruor responsible for the deaths of many, including his parents. When he pursues three Scatha warriors who can lead him to Dac, he happens upon a woman who awakens a desire within Quinn to claim her as his own.


She is the very essence of his immortal life.


Eirene Spence is an insomniac and a computer genius who loves walking in the park at midnight. She stumbles upon the Scatha Cruor and is almost killed until a handsome stranger rescues her. His touch ignites a hunger inside her that only he can satisfy.


He is her soul.


By some twist of fate, one of Eirene’s clients is Dac Valerian. She is able to tell Finn and the rest of the Cynn Cruor where Dac is hiding. Now Dac wants her dead.


Will Finn be able to keep Eirene alive and at the same time fulfill his mission? Will Eirene’s wish to be part of Finn’s life come true knowing that he is destined for someone else?


Buy links for Rapture at Midnight:


Amazon US


Amazon UK


Other Books by Isobelle:


Book title: Forever at Midnight


Genre: Paranormal Romance




Roarke catches a glimpse of Deanna in Dac Valerian’s club. He is unable to believe that Deanna is alive when he buried her himself nearly five hundred years before. He searches for her in the streets of Manchester just to prove that he hasn’t lost his mind.  But when Deanna turns up on the street facing the Cynn Cruor’s headquarters, Roarke needs to know why she hid herself from him.


Knowing that her secret can only destroy whatever feelings Roarke has left for her, Deanna remains silent until circumstances force her to reveal everything.


Hearts are broken on both sides but Roarke and Deanna have to work together if they are to find a way of ending Dac and the Scatha Cruor’s power once and for all. Desire rises and passions are rekindled.


Will their pursuit of Dac lead to another chance at happiness?


Or will it forever tear them apart?


Buy Links:


Amazon US


Amazon UK


Other books by Isobelle:


Book title: Love in Her Dreams


Genre: Paranormal Romance




Alec and Tamsyn know they are meant to be together though they have never met. And yet their passion for each other consumes them when they dream.

Alec knows that Tamsyn is the woman for him, but finding her at the moment is an impossibility. Or is it?

After resigning from her job, Tamsyn takes a break in Scotland when she feels the presence of the man who haunts her dreams. He is tangibly near and in Edinburgh. The sex they have in her sleeping moments becomes more real. But how can she find him in the streets of Edinburgh when the only thing she remembers is his touch, his scent, his passion?


Buy Links:


Secret Cravings Publishing:


Amazon US:


Amazon UK:


Book Title:  Lakam


Genre: Historical Fiction:




The year is 1607. The Spanish have landed on the shores of the Philippines to pacify the natives, convert them to Christianity, and mine the islands for its gold.


Headstrong and loyal, Lakam, a Babaylan, refuses to submit to Spanish imperial authority and convert to Christianity. With her village destroyed and her people killed, she seeks refuge in the Cave of Rituals in the jungle vastness of the sacred mountains, but she is caught, raped and tortured. On the eve of her execution, she regains her freedom with the help of her jailer, Joaquin Santiago, who refuses to see her killed. Now a remontada (outlaw), Lakam realizes the old ways will cease to exist unless she finds a way for it to continue in the ruined ashes of the world she knows.


Buy links:


Amazon US

Amazon UK

Amazon AU


About Isobelle:


Isobelle Cate is a woman who wears different masks. Mother-writer, wife-professional, scholar-novelist. Currently living in Manchester, she has been drawn to the little known, the secret stories, about the people and the nations: the English, the Irish, the Scots, the Welsh, and those who are now part of these nations whatever their origins. Her vision and passion are fuelled by her interest and background in history and paradoxically, shaped by growing up in a clan steeped in lore, loyalty, and legend.


Isobelle is intrigued by forces that simmer beneath the surface of these cultures, the hidden passions, unsaid desires, and yearnings unfulfilled.


Follow Isobelle:






Amazon Author page:








Interview with Mike Faricy

Today we have author Mike Faricy in the hot seat! Mike writes crime fiction with a touch of romance, and as someone's who's read one of Mike's books, I can attest to the fact that they are very entertaining! His main character Dev Haskell is a little slow on the uptake when it comes to the ladies, but it's still way fun to read!! So, without further ado, here's he is, and welcome Mike!


1. What is your favorite thing about writing quirky characters, other than the fact that they’re quirky of course?


I think one of the favorite things about writing quirky characters is the reactions to there quirkiness. I have them do things like sitting in the best restaurant and there is a crystal bowl with hot lemon water to wash your fingers. My quirky guy will take the bowl and sip out of it like it’s a sake cup. The other people at the table, usually a woman he would be trying to impress, are speechless for starters. But then what? That’s where the fun begins, does she leave the table, drink from her bowl so he doesn’t feel bad? Or when he does something so obviously stupid, self absorbed or both and he remains clueless. Of course just like real life, sometimes the best response is something like just saying, ‘Really’.


2. If you could change one thing on your path to being published what would it be, and why that one thing?


I think the one thing I would change is the time I spent trying to play the traditional publishing game. I wasted years, literally. I think I wrote six different books, all stand alone works in my crime-fiction genre. I dutifully sent out query letters with a self-addressed-stamped-envelope so I could receive my rejections in a timely manner. I couldn’t get anyone to show the least bit of interest. Usually the rejections were on a preprinted 4 x 5 card just stuffed into my self-addressed envelope with not so much as a set of initials penned on it. Then one day I received one of my query letters, it was returned to me unopened. I’d sent it to one of the big six (I think it’s down to four today) New York publishers. My envelope was stamped across the front in purple ink ‘Return to Sender’ and on the back of the unopened envelope was a hand written note that said ‘This does not fit our needs at this time’. It dawned on me that Mike Faricy, from St. Paul, Minnesota didn’t have a snowballs chance with these guys, at least until or unless I committed some heinous crime. The big difference now is there’s a side gate into the publishing playground. It’s called electronic publishing and Amazon. That returned envelope experience keeps me focused, hustling and convinced with hard work I can by-pass anything the traditional world could do for me. I just wish that query letter had been returned on my first book instead of my sixth.


3. What do you love most about Ireland?


Just about everything, until you get into the politics, but you could say the same thing about the US. The people are fantastic. We go out in an evening, and you have to understand that the pubs are like everyone’s living room here. When I’m in the US we have people over for dinner 3-4 nights a week. That’s not the case here, so we go to the pub on a night and you’ll run into some folks you’ve never seen before, you’ll never see them again and it’s an absolutely fantastic night. Good ‘craic’ as they say here. Then there’s the weather, I spoke with my daughter back in Minnesota, she’s at home with 4 little ones because school is closed for the fourth day in the past twenty. The temp is minus twenty-five with a wind chill of minus thirty. Oh, and they’ve about two feet of snow on the ground. It’s forecast to be colder tomorrow by ten degrees. I’m just back from a four mile walk in forty degree weather with a view of the Dublin Mountains. Gee, let me think…


4. What is your favorite food?


Fortunately or maybe unfortunately I never met a food I didn’t like. When I was a kid my mom was always trying new things to eat and we kids were her guinea pigs. Not a complaint, she worked her way through Julia Childs Mastering the Art of French Cooking and then on to all sorts of great food. We always had homemade cookies and treats. And of course being kids we wanted store bought cookies. I love foods with sauces, meats, even vegetables. Like I said, I never met a food I didn’t like. Living in Ireland half of every year it’s the rare table that doesn’t have a potato dish of some sort. Did I mention bakery goods? Yeah, that’s why my wife has me walking four to five miles a day.


5. Which character has been your favorite to write about?


No question, it’s the chief protagonist in my series with Dev Haskell. If I go back and read my stand alone books, before I began the Dev Haskell series I can see him developing. He’s a bit of a wise guy, a back slapper and he likes the ladies. He usually doesn’t carry a gun, maybe drinks too much on occasion. He’s the sort of guy that women would think ‘With a little work I can fix him’ then they usually throw up their hands and by the end of the book they say, “Please don’t call me again, ever.” He’d be a great, fun get-away weekend, but you’d want to go pretty far away, like out of state. And, you wouldn’t tell your girlfriends about it for a few years. The crimes he solves are local sorts of things. The sorts of situations Dev’s clients find themselves in are due to their own bad decisions. But then, bad decisions make for interesting tales.


6. If you could meet one of your male characters in real life, which one would you choose and why that one?


Well it would either have to be Dev Haskell or his office mate, a lawyer named Louie Laufen. They’re the sort of guys we’re all curious about but we wisely like to keep at a distance. You know how we all did sort of crazy things as teens and maybe into the early twenties. Then you sort of mature, decide because of work, a significant other, maybe family or just common sense you just shouldn’t do whatever you used to do. I’m not even mentioning law enforcement here. Well, Dev and Louie never grew up in that sense. They’re still doing the crazy stuff. They’re in sleazy bars, attracted to the wrong sorts of women, at least Dev is. Fine dining to those two guys might be going into a McDonald’s instead of the drive-thru window. The perfect date for Dev? Don’t even go there…


7. If you could meet one of your female lead characters in real life, which one would you choose and why that one?


Just like the guys, two individuals come immediately to mind, and they’re opposites. Heidi Bauer is a long term friend of Dev Haskell’s. A friend with benefits you might say, although frankly she usually gets more benefit than Dev. Heidi is very smart, she’s a financial brain and is always doing business deals beyond Dev’s comprehension. She’s on the cutting edge of fashion which usually, but not always is a good idea. Her hair is a different color just about every other week and she dates and dumps a lot of different guys, all of whom Dev dislikes. She’s been a good friend to Dev and on more than one occasion has bailed him out, literally and figuratively. The other woman would be Swindle Lawless who constantly reinvents her self as a model, a born again preacher, a dancer. She has this incredible knack to always bring herself down to the lowest, most base common denominator. And then she reinvents herself again of course with the same results.


8. What piece of advice did you receive as newbie writer that was the most helpful?


I think the best advice was to just keep working at it. I mentioned before that I had six books that had been rejected by the traditional publishing world. What that allowed me to do was to self-publish with six books right out of the starting gate. I had them edited, formatted and suddenly I was out there. The amazing thing with the self publishing folks is that everyone is more than willing to give you tips, contacts and ideas of what may or may not work. The industry is changing so quickly that quite often what worked just 90 days ago is no longer unique. Still, one thing doesn’t change. The always constant key is to get the best possible work out there and then the next one, and the next one always striving to improve.


9. What is your favorite free promotions tip?


You have to work it, and that means not working it to the point where you become a pain. In very short order you see a couple dozen notifications and then suddenly the same person is posting on your Facebook page and you’re supposed to just share and add stars or something. That can be a real turn off for people. Be careful on free promotions not to over-kill and at the same time realize that if it’s free, quite a few folks are going to be on there promoting as well.


10. What is your favorite paid for promotions tip?



Again be careful and know your audience. Sometimes what looks like a great idea can cost a lot of money with a very minimal return. I write crime-fiction, it probably does not make a lot of sense that I would pay promo for readers who are into sci-fi zombies. The other thing is look at the bottom line. If your paid promo is performing 95% better than any other promo and you’re still not seeing any sales increase, the bottom line is your promo is not performing. Move on. Keep an open mind about your options and remember that the publishing/promo world is constantly changing. Its business.


Thanks again, Mike, great answers! 🙂


Interview with Alicia Sparks!

Today we have the very talented author Alicia Sparks in the hot seat! Welcome Alicia!


1. What is your do you like best about being a southern girl? What’s not to like? We have a cute


Southern drawl and a heart of gold. And though I don’t personally, a lot of the Southern girls I know can absolutely kick ass. They hunt and fish with the best of them and are just really genuine. I like that I have such a strong heritage of wonderful women around me.


2. If you could change one thing on your path to being published what would it be, and why that one thing?


During my career, I actually took several years off from writing. I was suffering from depression and had a lot going on personally, so I didn’t write a single thing for four years. It’s hard to believe I ever walked away like that. So, if I could change one thing, it would be that hiatus. I really wish I had kept plugging away at it.


3. What is your favorite thing about writing erotic romance?


I like the fact that erotic romance is a safe place for people to indulge their wildest fantasies. I am happy to oblige.


4. What is your favorite food?


I love Greek food! I first ate it when I was pregnant with my oldest son, and I fell in love with it. I love stuffed grape leaves, hummus, pita bread. All of it.


5. Which character has been your favorite to write about?


I know it’s cliché, but I like them all. If I didn’t, they wouldn’t make it as far as they have. In my earlier writing, I wrote about a larger than life dragon shape shifter, Damon, whom I always said was my first love. I don’t know why, but there’s something about him that made him my favorite. Of course, now that I’ve been working with the Maddux family in my Primitive series, they are really becoming some of my favorite men, too.


6. If you could meet one of your male characters in real life, which one would you choose and why that one?


It’s funny that you ask that question. After Better than Ice Cream came out, I received an email from a man who was stationed overseas. His name was Ryan LeJeune (my character’s name). It was really strange to see his name in my email, and he told me that my book had been passed around and that I described him to a T! It was funny to hear that. He asked if I minded if he told everyone he was my inspiration. I told him not at all. So, in a way, I kind of did meet one of them!


7. If you could meet one of your female lead characters in real life, which one would you choose and why that one?


I love Becca Bramlett from my upcoming hockey book, Penalty Kill. She’s been through a lot of the same things I have (go figure) and I really think she and I have a lot in common. She’s loyal and honest, and I like that, plus her brother, Austin, is a character in himself!


8. What piece of advice did you receive as newbie writer that was the most helpful?


Keep going. I really should have listened to that more closely, but there are a lot of growing pains as a new writer, and it’s easy to get discouraged. The writers I know now who are just now starting are facing the same things I faced when I started several years ago, and the advice holds. Just keep going.


9. What is your favorite free promotions tip?


I love promoting with different blogs and networking with other authors. I’m such a picky reader that when I can network with other writers, it really helps me find quality stories to read. I’ve found some of my favorite authors that way.


10. What is your favorite paid for promotions tip?


I don’t know if this counts, but go to conferences! I have been to several different writer’s conferences through the years, some big and some small, and they have always provided invaluable information. There are great opportunities online for promotion, but there’s nothing like meeting with people in the industry and meeting with fans face to face. Sure, it’s pricey, but it’s definitely worth it!

Interview with Author Katherine Rhodes

Welcome to In the Hot Seat, Katherine!


1. What genres do you most like to write in?


I love paranormal and erotic romance! Sometimes, I even combine the two and that’s like a dream come true.


2. If you could change one thing on your path to being published what would it be, and why that one thing?


I waited so long to get into the small publishing houses? I probably have about 120-150 rejection letters from the big houses and agents. And the instant I started learning more about the small houses, I was—why didn’t I do this before?!


3. Name 5 authors that have most influenced you.


Stephen King (has way too much influence- he could qualify as two!), Nawal el Sadaawi, Anne Rice, Frank Herbert, and Anne McCaffery.


4. What is your favorite food?

Pasta. I could eat pasta at every meal in every shape that exists.


5. Which one of your characters has been your favorite to write about?


Franz Dorn. I love him. I can’t wait to tell everyone his story.


6. If you could meet one of your male characters in real life, which one would you choose and why that one?


There are so many… but right now, I would probably have to go with Franz again. He’s the kind of guy that just draws people in because he’s mysterious and yet generous and open. I would love to have a conversation with him over a good scotch. 


7. If you could meet one of your female lead characters in real life, which one would you choose and why that one?


Emmy Westerly is the obvious answer! I would love to go shopping with her. I love her quiet strength and cool demeanor- and no BS!


8. Do you have any advice for aspiring authors?


Read. Read read read. Not just in your genre, but about the industry- design, marketing, the craft, the history. Make it your business to know everything there is to know about what you want to do.


9. What is your favorite free promotions tip?


I’m still a pretty fresh author, so I’m kind of just learning the ropes, but if a reader tells you that they loved your book- ask them for a review. Doesn’t need to be a book report, just a few lines and rating. Does good for the book and wonders for your ego.


10. What is your favorite paid for promotions tip?


Again, I’m still fresh, but I’m finding that learning how to use the paid promo on Facebook is a very tricky but important skill. Take your time, learn from others. You don’t have to drop a lot on it once you start learning to use it.


Thanks so much Katherine! We've enjoyed learning more about you! 🙂

Ten Facts About Leslie C. Ferdinand

1. Since Leslie no longer uses her married name, Leslie C. Ferdinand, is, in fact a combination of her name and her mother’s name. However, Leslie C. Ferdinand is Leslie’s real name.


2. Leslie is a Leo and her mom, Shirley is a Scorpio. Fire and Water signs. Can we say head-butts?


3. Shirley began reading to Leslie when she was 4 months old and Leslie began reading to all her girls while she was still carrying them.


4. Leslie wrote her first “novel” at 12. Shirley wrote her first short story at 16.


5. Leslie’s favorite drink is champagne and sparkling wine. Shirley’s is wine.


6. Leslie’s favorite times of the year are Mardi Gras and Christmas. Shirley’s is Christmas.


7. They’ve written 12 books together as Christine Holden and Leslie C. Ferdinand. To date, 7 are published.


8. Leslie loves all types of music. Shirley loves jazz.


9. Leslie loves spicy food. No comment about her mom.


10. hey will be 2 of the honorees at the Romantic Times’ program: Celebrating the Pioneers & Legends in African-American romance at the 2014 convention in New Orleans.

Interview with Lyn Croft!

Welcome Lyn! I'm so looking forward to reading your interview. 🙂


What is your favorite thing about living in California?


The sunshine! I’ve been here all my life and can’t see myself living anywhere else. There are so many beautiful places to explore here and I can’t complain about the weather. 


If you could change one thing on your path to being published what would it be, and why that one thing?


I would change my timing. I wanted to get into the publishing world sooner, but held back. I guess you could say I was unsure of myself at first. If I had known I’d be having this much fun…I would have pushed myself further years ago!


What is your favorite fictional fantasy world and by which author?


That would be the world created by Terry Goodkind in his ‘Sword of Truth’ series. I love the books and the characters he has created in these books. The imagery is vibrant and imaginative, and fascinating to follow.


What is your favorite food?


Sushi or Del Taco. Just depends on my mood.


Which character has been your favorite to write about?


I’d have to say there are two, but they always work together as one – Celeste and Estelle, my evil vampyre twins. I adore their evil personalities and the trouble they cause. I’ve had great fun writing their scenes, and love what they’ve brought to the story.


If you could meet one of your male characters in real life, which one would you choose and why that one?


Well, that would be Eamon, of course! Who wouldn’t want to meet a hottie half mortal/half fallen angel hero with a romantic side? Plus, he’s got a twin brother too!


If you could meet one of your female lead characters in real life, which one would you choose and why that one?


Zillah. She’s legendary and evil. I’d love to sit with her to get her side of the story – as long as she promises not to turn me into one of her minions


Do you have any advice for aspiring authors?


Keep writing, and don’t ever give up. Continue writing for yourself, for your enjoyment, not for anyone else. Get out there and share your work whenever you can, and submit! Don’t take rejection as a reason to quit doing what you love.


What is your favorite free promotions tip?


Get on blogs and radio shows, and do giveaways to the fans that attend. You can never go wrong with free books for the fans.


What is your favorite paid for promotions tip?


Placing your book on sale can help tremendously. Also, if you have a series, offering the first in the series for free with the purchase of the second, or even third, is a great way to get your readers hooked.

Author Interview with Emily A. Lawrence

What is your favorite thing about living in Transylvania?


There are lots of things I love about Transylvania, from its beautiful landscapes to its fascinating history. It is home to some of Europe’s best-preserved medieval towns, most notably Braşov, Sibiu and Sighişoara—the latter adorned with a hilltop citadel, secret passageways and a 14th century clock tower. Transylvania has some amazing fortified churches and stunning castles, the most renowned being the Bran Castle associated with Dracula. As a lover of nature, I’ve always been fascinated by the Carpathian Mountains—a place of exquisite beauty and mystery, with ancient legends of mountain spirits along with 4,000 caves, or the Scărişoara Glacier which shelters the second largest underground glacier on the continent.


What is your favorite native food from Transylvania?


My favorite native food is sarmale, which are stuffed cabbage rolls. Traditionally, they are made with pickled cabbage, ground pork meat filling, and various herbs and spices.


If you could change one thing on your path to being published what would it be, and why that one thing?


To be honest, I wouldn’t change a thing. Everything I’ve done has brought me to where I am now, surrounded by extremely professional people who love what they’re doing and have their authors’ best interests at heart. I only regret not having tried sooner when I had more time to write than I do now. But I believe that everything happens for a reason and I’m very happy with what I’ve accomplished so far. This has been my first year as a published author and one of the best, most exciting years of my life, and I’m extremely thankful to the people who have given me this chance.


What worlds did you like to write about when writing fan fiction? Do you have fan fiction posted anywhere that readers could visit online?


Last summer I stumbled upon Fifty Shades of Grey. I had no idea what the story was about. I only knew it was a Twilight fan fiction initially. So, as a Twilight fan with a few of my own Twilight fan fiction stories under my belt, I was intrigued and curious about it. I just had to read it. Once I finished it, I decided to try my luck with a Fifty Shades fan fiction and posted it on the same site where E L James had initially posted Fifty. It was the way people responded to it and E L James’ success going from fan fiction to the real deal that gave me the courage to try and do the same thing. So when I say that everything happens for a reason, I mean this too. I just needed that final push.


Now, the fan fiction is getting published this year and I am extremely excited about it, but this also means that I had to take the story down from that site, so it can no longer be found online. Christian and Ana are now Tyler and Ellie, the main characters of my second book in the Soul’s Desire Series, couple that has also appeared briefly in book one—The Guardian of My Soul.


Which character has been your favorite to write about?


I enjoyed writing about Kristen Mancuso, the female lead character in “The Guardian of My Soul”, and watch her grow and transform throughout the book until she discovers the real things that matter in life.


If you could meet one of your male characters in real life, which one would you choose and why that one?


I’d choose Alec Warner from “The Guardian of My Soul”. Alec is sexy, charming, strong and determined to get what he wants, but he also has a troubled past and demons he has to face in order to be able to move on and live the life he desires.


If you could meet one of your female lead characters in real life, which one would you choose and why that one?


I’d choose Kristen Mancuso. I’ve enjoyed writing her story and she’s been through quite a lot until she got the freedom and happiness she so much craved.


Do you have any advice for aspiring authors?


I could tell them to follow my example. Fan fiction is a good place to start. It’s a great place to interact with readers and find out their opinions about your work, what they would change, what they would add, see if you can surprise them, intrigue them, keep them interested and eager for more. If you can do all that, then there’s no stopping you.


What is your favorite free promotions tip?


Guest blogging—by developing supportive relationships with other authors and bloggers, you gain exposure and it’s a good way for other people to find your work.


What is your favorite paid for promotions tip?


Giveaways are one of the cheapest forms of advertising. If people enjoy the free book, they’re likely to be curious about your other work too.

What Authors Need to Know About Launching a Series by Donna Del Oro

LIES IN WAIT is Book 2 in my Jake Bernstein FBI mystery-thriller series. As I was writing this book, I tried to keep in mind several tips I’ve gleaned over the years—good tips for any author of a series. They are:


Begin with a strong stand-alone book.


This is my highest priority in launching a series. I had to pick my strongest idea and write the best book I could, as if it were to be the only one. In other words, I couldn’t sacrifice the story for my plan for a series.


With this in mind, I wrote  A BODYGUARD OF LIES, an FBI mystery-thriller with echoes to World War II. This story introduces Jake Bernstein, ex-Navy SEAL and FBI analyst-undercover agent, a handsome, single man who’s an admitted adrenalin junkie with a high degree of intelligence. He’s sent to England, as a favor to MI-5, as part of a joint investigation into an elderly, naturalized American grandmother. His job: Uncover the truth. Is she the ruthless spy and war criminal, known as Hummingbird? While probing MI-5’s case against the octogenarian, Jake falls in love with the woman’s grand-daughter and finds himself at the brink of losing his promising career. When I finished this novel, I wasn’t sure if I’d continue but readers wanted more of Jake Bernstein.


Establish a structure that is both predictable and extendable.


Since Jake’s strongest skill as an FBI agent is his unique set of undercover abilities, I felt I had plenty of future cases for him to investigate. He’s not only fluent in several languages, he picks up new languages like a sponge. He’s a chameleon and can pass for a Hispanic, a Middle-Easterner, an Italian, and so on. He’s quick-witted and is highly adaptable to any situation. Because of this, he doesn’t operate strictly by-the-book and occasionally runs the risk of straying off the FBI reservation. Nevertheless, he’s a valued operative and so, in LIES IN WAIT, is sent undercover to Silicon Valley to infiltrate a suspected terrorist cell that’s lying in wait. While Meg, his lover from BODYGUARD OF LIES, starts a new life in San Diego, Jake assumes a new identity as a disaffected, Lebanese-American scientist whose knowledge of anthrax makes him acceptable to the terrorist cell. In this case, however, Jake finds himself taxed to his limits in ways he did not expect. What he discovers shocks him to his very core.