Meet Author Erin Wade

Good afternoon friends and welcome. Today I have Author Erin Wade with us to chat. Erin’s new book, Three Times as Deadly is now out and is doing exceptionally well. At the bottom, I have included a nice excerpt for you to read. I know you’re going to enjoy it. Erin is an imaginative story teller whose books lure in the reader. She is also an adventurer and isn’t afraid to take risks. Come meet this amazing woman whom you’re going to love.

erinheadshot

“We all have our own realities.”

D.J. Jouett, Must be Murder

I want to thank Lynn Lawler for inviting me to be the interview today. It is an honor to be associated with Lynn and her blog.

Tell us about yourself.
I live with my wonderful wife Alex, my dog Tank and our cat Candy in Austin, Texas. I am thirty. Alex is a year older than I. We met while attending the University of Texas in Austin. November 5 will be our ninth anniversary.

Alex is an educator and I am a land developer. My day job didn’t require much time so I often found myself with time on my hands. Alex suggested that I try my hand at writing fiction. My first books were murder mysteries written for mainstream readers. Last year (2016) I was writing a book called The Destiny Factor. I intended it to be a mainstream murder mystery but somewhere along the way it assumed a life of its own and morphed into a lesbian romance/thriller. I had never thought about writing lesfic, but discovered that I enjoyed writing about what I knew and had experienced. So, a lesfic author was born. In January 25, 2017 I released my first “intentional” lesfic novel, Too Strong to Die. It shot to number ten the same day it was released and reached number one on Feb. 1.  I had the bug. On my birthday, May 9, I released Death Was Too Easy which went to #1 in Hot New Releases. Currently, all three of my 2017 books are on Amazon’s Top 100 Best Sellers List for Action/Adventure/Romance and The Destiny Factor has stayed on the Top 100 Best Sellers list for the past fourteen months.

What inspired you to write professionally?
My wife convinced me to write fiction.

What is your new book, ‘Three Times as Deadly’ about?
‘Three Times as Deadly’ is about Sloan Cartwright, who awakens from a coma, in an African hospital. She has no memory of her past or the three women who claim to be married to her. The book is funny, exciting and filled with action and romance. It also deals with the plight of rhinos and elephants who are being hunted into extinction.

3XadSloan

What is your advice about staying in the positive?
I am a very positive person, so I don’t know much about negativity. I think that the most important think in any individual’s life is the person they select to spend their life with. A good partner can build one up or tear one down. I can honestly say that my wife makes me be the very best person I can be. Life with her is amazing. 

Do you go out into nature to meditate or quiet your mind? Where have you been and how was it for you?
We built a home in 2015 that Alex designed. It is a sanctuary for us both. I have an office that overlooks our pool and waterfall. Tank’s toy chest is built in and doubles as his window seat. It is right beside my desk so he is close to me. Our home is very peaceful and inspiring for me. Alex has decorated it beautifully. There is truly no other place in the world I’d rather be. 

Are you a dog whisperer? What was your dog, Tank like as a puppy?
I’m not a dog whisperer. I think Tank may be a human whisperer. Tank is a rescue dog and has always been precious. When he was tiny, he was just a little ball of fur. We used to call him our little dust bunny. I have had dogs all my life and I loved them, but Tank is truly the sweetest, most loving dog I have ever had the privilege to belong to. At first, I thought he might be blind because no matter where I went he was right behind me with his nose touching my ankle, but his eyesight is fine. Now he is tall enough that his nose touches the bottom of the calf of my leg. He always stays that close to me. I think I’m his security blanket.

Tank settled

Where is a good hang out place to kick back and socialize with friends?
We are homebodies. We have two other couples we share fun times with. We have been friends since college. We rotate to each other’s homes on Saturday nights where the hostesses serve dinner and we play high-stakes poker. The maximum bid is twenty-five cents with a two-bump maximum so the most one can lose on one hand is seventy-five cents. Pretty high stakes, huh?

We have two other couples who are very active in our lives. We rotate hosting dinner in our homes every Saturday night. They are professional women in completely different fields from us. One couple consists of a mergers & acquisitions attorney and a doctor. The other couple is a forensic scientist and a psychiatrist. Both couples are fascinating but I have to admit my favorite stories come from the forensic scientist. She owns her own facility and is hired by smaller law enforcement agencies who don’t maintain their own forensic facility. She will show up in one of my books one day. Her stories are sometimes hysterical, sometimes very sad, sometimes unbelievable, but always entertaining. These four people open a new world to us every week. We have been friends since college and they are still so interesting to me. I think my wife wins the prize for funniest stories. She is an educator and some of the things children and their parents come up with are just laughable. I have learned so much from these five people.

We have my family over once a month and on holidays. My wife is a terrific cook and enjoys trying out new recipes on them. They love it.

Alex’s family lives in Alabama, so we don’t see them as often as we see my folks.

Where is the next place you’re going to visit? Share all you want about it.
We are taking my brother’s twins to Branson, MO. It is a fun city with a lot of live theater and entertainment. The best thing is the Duck Boats. Everyone should ride the Duck Boats at least once in their life.

Would you want to write a non-fiction book? If so, what would it be about?
No, I don’t think I would be a good non-fiction writer.

What is the most daring theme you’ve written about?
I am an action/adventure/romance writer. Lesbian romance is probably as daring as I get.  I don’t delve into things I know nothing about. I would never write a 50 Shades of Gray type book. I did notice that one reviewer gave me four stars because I don’t go into details in my sex scenes, but I figure we all know where those end up and I like to let my readers us their imaginations. Also, sometimes my mother reads my books.

Erin’s Amazon Author Central page

 
What types of live music do you like to listen to. Who was the last performance you saw?
We love musicals, reviews, plays, etc. The last live musical we attended was last month in Fort Worth at Bass Hall to see The Carol King Musical, Beautiful. We do fly to New York several times a year to see musicals there.

Have you won any awards for your writing?

Not yet! 

What is a fun attraction to visit in Austin, TX? What would be a good restaurant you would recommend?
We love taking the twins to The Schlitterbahn Water Park in New Braunfels. It is about an hour from Austin. Great fun for the entire family.

The best restaurant in Austin is Truluck’s Seafood, Steaks and Crab House.   There are two of them, but we always go to the one downtown on Colorado St. They have live music with a female singer and a band. She is dynamite.

heading for the ship

Do you have any advice for new writers?

GRAMMARLY & MS WORD ARE NOT ENOUGH!

If you read my reviews, you will find that I was lambasted by a few reviewers about grammatical errors In Too Strong to Die. I started searching for an editor. Even with an editor, I still critical comments about errors in Death Was Too Easy.

I became a woman on a mission. I asked questions. I inquired about who was the best editor I could hire. When I read a very clean book, I checked to see who edited it. After two months of intense searching, I narrowed my search down to Susan Hughes. As busy as she is, I was able to get Susan to accept me as a client.

Susan is—I can’t say enough nice things about Susan—awesome. We worked through Hurricane Harvey to release my latest book Three Times as Deadly on Sept. 17. It jumped to number one on the first day of release and has continued to hold that position. Three Times as Deadly has received several positive reviews and no one has been critical of the writing.

If I could give a single piece of advice to new writers it would be, Get a good editor. If you think you can’t afford one, you’re wrong. You can’t afford to be without one. As authors, we pour our heart and soul into our “masterpieces”. Believe me they become so much more with a great editor.

I know the burning question in the mind of any new author reading this is, “How much will a good editor cost me?”

A good editor will cost between $1,500 to $2,000, but you will make it up in sales. They will pay for themselves.

The other thing I would suggest to new writers is get a seasoned Beta Reader. They are worth their weight in gold. I am pleased that Julie Richards has agreed to be my beta reader on future novels.

If you are lucky, an experienced writer will take an interest in you and become your mentor. I am fortunate that Kathy Brodland took an interest in my books and has given me guidance. Kathy is the one who told me to hire the best editor I could find.

I feel that I am fortunate to have assembled a small but exceptional team. With Susan, Julie and Kathy, I think 2018 will be the year of Erin Wade. 

Me: I agree with Erin. You put so much effort into your work that it deserves the very best. I can also lead you in the direction of some good beta readers too if you are interested.

What is next for you?
I am currently working on a book titled Living Two Lives. It is about a fan, Jules Devine, who has a tremendous crush on a lesfic writer named Darcy Lake, even though the writer is happily married. Jules attends a national convention so she can have Lake autograph books for her. Secretly, she hopes to spend time with the author. A weekend with Darcy Lake is so much more than Jules dreamed and it changes her life forever. Jules is pulled into a world she never knew existed. A world of passion, deception, and death. It is a nail biter.

With all this said, Erin, you’re going to definitely keep us all posted about your new upcoming thriller. As promised, here is a nice excerpt from, ‘Three Times as Deadly’ for everyone. Enjoy!

Book Cover

##

“Hello, Sleeping Beauty.” A tall, stout nurse smiled at me. I squinted to shut out the bright light she was trying to shine into my eyes.

I slowly realized I was in a hospital bed, hooked up to all types of machines, and my head was killing me.

“What happened?” I asked

“We have no idea.” The nurse smiled as she wrapped the blood pressure cuff around my upper arm and pumped it tight enough to cut off all circulation to my hand. “Someone dumped you at the emergency entrance of the hospital. You’ve been in a coma for about ten days.

“You looked like a pride of lions played keep-away with you.” She grinned at her own humor. “You have a concussion, couple of broken ribs, and various and sundry other cuts and bruises, but you’ll live.

“I am glad to see you awake.” She ripped the cuff from my bicep. My hand tingled as the feeling returned to my numb fingers. She ran a temperature wand across my forehead. “I need to get some information from you.”

I nodded, and my head kicked me hard. The pain was unbearable. I closed my eyes and opened them to find a name tag with Sadie engraved on it blocking my view. “Can you give me something for my headache?”

“I will as soon as I complete my paperwork.” Sadie wrinkled her nose and logged into the computer on the stand beside my bed.

“Date of birth?” Her attitude was efficient and direct.

“I don’t know.” I said.

“We’ll just skip the hard stuff and start with the easy questions,” she said with a smirk. “What is your name? I need the middle initial too.”

I stared at her in disbelief. This is a joke, right?

“Your name, sweetie,” she insisted.

“I . . . I don’t know,” I whispered.

Loud arguing in the hallway outside my room sent Sadie charging toward the door. Before she could reach it, two different, but equally stunning women burst into my room.

Sadie took a stance between the women and me. I raised my head and tried to look around my nurse.

“You two do realize you are in a hospital, don’t you?” Sadie scolded the women. “Keep your voices low, or I’ll have you escorted from the premises.”

The women looked contrite and edged around Sadie, but my protector wasn’t letting them get close to me.

“Who are you?” Sadie glared at them.

They answered in unison. “I’m Sloan Cartwright’s wife.”

“Well, I’ll be damn.” Sadie laughed as she turned to me. “Is that what happened to you? You got caught between these two.”

“No!” I blurted out. “I mean, I don’t know them.”

Both women glared at me as if I had defamed God.”

“Honey, I’m glad I’m not in your shoes right now,” Sadie said, chuckling. “Sloan Cartwright, is that your name?”

I struggled to sit up so I could get a better look at the two visitors. Obviously, I had good taste in women.

“Why don’t you introduce yourselves.” Sadie grinned, enjoying my predicament too much.

The beautiful blonde stepped forward. She was tall and slender, like a runner. She wore black slacks that hugged her perfect hips. A short-sleeved lavender blouse was tucked into her waistband. Toned arms and a flat stomach testified to her workout regimen. She wore a gold watch and pendant. Her green eyes seemed to change color as the light reflected from them.

“Sloan, honey, it’s me. Leigh.” Distress filled her eyes as she moved toward me. “Leigh Redding-Cartwright, your wife. We make our home in the United States. I’m here to take you home.” She blushed and added, “You call me LeeRee.”

“No! No!” Sadie intercepted her. “We still need to hear from this black beauty.”

Book Cover

She was a beauty indeed. Her features were fine and chiseled. Her ebony hair was stylishly cut. She reminded me of the actress Halle Berry. When she spoke, her French accent mingled with a touch of high English. I loved her accent. How do I know who Halle Berry is?

I looked from one woman to the other. Apparently I am an equal opportunity lover.

The black beauty smiled. “I am Amarosia Cartwright.” She bowed her head slightly. “You call me Amy. We live together here in Africa.”

Both women were earthshaking beauties.

As I gazed at them, mouth agape, the door to my room flew open, banging against the wall a couple of times as if doing a drum roll to announce the arrival of the gorgeous brunette who burst into my room. “Where is Sloan?” If the woman was also my wife, my taste in women had just shot off the Richter scale.

I realized I was holding my breath when the cardiac monitor attached to me went crazy. I didn’t know if the brunette or my predicament caused the increase in my heart rate.

“Tachycardia,” I muttered, one hand to my chest. I didn’t want the other two women to know how the brunette was affecting me. If one of them was my wife, I didn’t want to hurt her.

“Bullshit.” Sadie laughed gleefully. “You have your butt in a crack and can’t get it out. No wonder you have amnesia.”

“What is going on here?” The brunette demanded, glaring at the other women. “Sloan, what have they done to you, baby? I begged you not to come to this heathen hellhole.”

“Who are you?” Sadie demanded.

If looks could kill, Sadie would be pushing up daisies any minute. The brunette narrowed her icy blue eyes and moved to stand toe to toe with the nurse.

“I am Alexander Roland Cartwright.” She tilted her head, tossed back her long, dark hair, and stared down Sadie who stepped back to allow her access to me.

My heart jumped to triple time as Alexander Roland Cartwright moved closer to me. “What do I call you?” I gulped.

“The love of my life,” she said with a mischievous smile. “When you aren’t acting grandiose, you call me Alex.”

“What’s going on, Sloan?” She lightly stroked my cheek. “Ross managed to sneak a call to me before he disappeared. He said you’re in trouble and to trust no one.”

“I . . . I honestly don’t know,” I whimpered. Something about Alex’s soft touch brought out the baby in me.

“I flew all the way from New York to take Sloan home with me,” Leigh declared.

“Our home is here,” Amy said. “We have always lived here. Sloan is going home with me.”

Alex possessively pulled my hand into hers. “I am not letting Sloan out of my sight.”

I leaned forward to stare at the three women, and my front opening hospital gown took the opportunity to expose my ample breasts. I must admit, I am nicely endowed. Determined to resolve the uncomfortable situation, I pointed out the obvious. “You all seem to be missing something, ladies. I am a woman. I doubt that I am married to any of you.”

I didn’t miss the way each of them licked their lips as they ogled me. I pulled the treasonous gown tight around my chest. I felt like the most succulent lobster at the lobster fest.

I tried to bring some sanity to my situation. “Look, I’ve been in an accident and had a loss of memory. I don’t even know my name, much less to whom I’m married.”

The women looked at each other and then began talking all at once,

“You can take turns sitting with her,” Sadie instructed, but all of you can’t stay here all the time. You can sit in eight-hour shifts. You work it out among yourselves.”

Sadie pushed the women out the door and shoved it closed behind them. I was glad I wasn’t involved in the arguing taking place in the hallway outside my door.

##

I want to thank Erin for stopping by to talk. It was a pleasure having you. I want to encourage all of you to check out Erin’s links so that you can see all of her work. I’m going to be starting in on one of her books so maybe we could all have a future discussion.

Erin’s Website: http://www.erinwade.us/

Erin’s Blog:  https://erinwadeus.wordpress.com/

Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/erin.wade.129142

Amazon Author’s Page: Author.to/ErinWade

Purchase ‘Three Times as Deadly’

Until Next Time,

Lynn

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Copyright 2017
Printed with Permission

My Review for Annette Mori’s ‘The Termination’

Good afternoon everyone and welcome. Today I have a special treat for you that I know you’re going to like. I am presenting my review for Annette Mori’s ‘The Termination.’ This is a thriller romance that takes place in today’s world. The two main characters, Codee and Sawyer, take part in this adventurous story.

Codee, a hospital HR executive, initially shows a side to her which stems from a shocking upbringing. To cover it up, she lives for her job. She is smart and adaptable to even the most bizarre settings. She is professional in all matters and never creates drama out of stress. She handled a totally unknown situation beautifully.

Author Photo

Sawyer is an admitting clerk at Codee’s hospital. She is loyal and will stick to you like glue. She is easy going, making her very desirable and fun to be around. She is empathic and knows how to soothe another. However, her lifestyle is too fast which causes her to make the same mistake over and over again when entering a romantic relationship.

You can decide for yourself whether you feel that she oversteps people’s boundaries. I did not. She is overly caring with her patients, though. She is very cleaver, which grabs everyone’s attention.

The secondary characters really add to the story. One, in particular, gave me a grandmother feel.  The way the author describes her made me feel I could trust her.  She is feisty and is in tune with everyone’s current affairs. She was like the mother hen to them and I feel the author did an excellent job creating her character. Some of the things she said made me crack up.  Her contributions to the plot are priceless and the story would not have been the same without her.

An intriguing character, Chynna, is introduced later on that changes the direction of the story. She is smart, courageous, and physically strong. Her participation deepens the plot and sucked me in even further.  On the inside is her tender heart, fighting for what is right. She made me cry as she was sharing her truth. She is an important character who is going to melt your heart.

During the story, there is a plotline that will give you the creeps and may upset some.

The suspense is so thick that I felt like I was on a thrill ride. This is not a simple story and you will need to pay attention. The author provides excellent descriptions and the dynamic scenes are written very clearly.

The sex is hot, a bit graphic, but tasteful.  These scenes will excite the red-hot lover inside the reader. They are full of tenderness and will leave a sweet aftertaste.

You are going to want to carve out about five and a half hours to really enjoy this amazing chronicle. It will blow your mind. It is written very realistically and believable. I couldn’t wait to see what was going to happen next. You can determine for yourself if one small infraction can change one’s perspective.

The Termination book cover

Here is an excerpt to get you started on this chilling page-turner.

Codee remembered when she’d met the enchanting woman in new-employee orientation. Sawyer had pulled her long, chestnut hair back into a neat ponytail, and the gentle waves cascaded down her back. Although Sawyer had just finished a twelve-hour night shift, those soothing, green eyes never wavered in their intensity as she appeared to hang on every word. Her thoughtful answers to the questions she tossed out to new employees, accompanied by a hint of mischief in her smile, had Codee continuously seeking her reaction while she did her dog and pony show during orientation.

Codee knew she created a compelling and entertaining first impression, but she’d often felt like a phony when some of the stories she told were embellishments of the truth. Yet, the only way to truly illustrate a point was to create that connection to her audience with an intimate anecdote. She should have been an actress because the whoppers she told at these orientations were compelling. Not everything was untrue, but even the genuine experiences were enhanced for effect.

Codee wasn’t great with names, but Sawyer’s stood out as unusual, particularly for a woman, and whenever she passed the young admitting clerk in the hall, she made a point of saying hello and having a brief, albeit superficial conversation with her. She wished she had the ability to get to know her on a personal level, but that was out of the question. As the HR executive, she needed to maintain a strictly professional relationship with all the hospital employees—without exception.

Thank you for stopping by to read about this incredible life-like story. If you like this story, be sure to check out Annette’s other books. I have reviewed ‘Locked Inside’, which I know you’re going to enjoy. Feel free to talk about your feelings on ‘The Termination’ in the comments section. I’d like to hear your thoughts.

Purchase ‘The Termination’

 

Until Next Time,

Lynn

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Photos subject to copyright.
Copyright 2017

End of Summer Fun

Hello everyone and welcome. It has certainly been hot summer here in SoCal as well as other places. I love barbecues and family get-togethers, especially the ones we host. For me this is a special time and I really cherish the moments I spend with family and friends. It’s fun to catch up with them and see what new is going on.

 

I chose to feature my mural picture because it is a place where I’d like to have a get-together. I could just imagine my small barbecue grilling up veggie burgers and dogs for everyone. I’d like to thank the artist, Ed Altomare for recreating this beauty for us.

As it is getting closer to fall, I wanted to share with you a summer dish that everyone loves – my potluck rice dish. It is easy and fun to make, since I get to use my food processor.

VeggiesRice

Here are the ingredients:

1 cups dry short grain brown rice
1 small white onion diced
12 Shishito peppers
1 Jalapeño chili finely chopped (Add more for taste)
2 Tbsp. tomato paste
2 cloves finely chopped garlic
1/4 tsp ground cumin
1/4 tsp ground black pepper
1-pound ripe tomatoes diced
Sea salt to taste
Grapeseed oil

Cook the rice to instruction. I recommend short grain brown rice because it really creates a unique dish. The alternative is to use your favorite rice.

While the rice is cooking, start cutting up the peppers and onion. I would recommend using a dicer when chopping them. I have an attachment that I connect to my mixer. Dice up the peppers and onion. Put these and the garlic into 2 Tbsp. of grapeseed oil and sauté for about five minutes. I prefer to use this oil since it has a high burn factor and doesn’t change properties when heated.

While the peppers and onion are cooking, dice up the tomatoes and set them aside.

When the rice is done, mix in vegetables and tomatoes. Add in the spices and tomato paste and stir well.

As a side note: for variation, you can add carrot slivers. Just add them to the pan when you are cooking the peppers/onions. They cook down nicely and add a nice flavor to the dish.

This dish goes great with homemade refried beans. Or you can have veggie burgers and corn on the cob. Don’t forget your favorite beverage.

I’d like to hear from you about your favorite summer dishes.

Enjoy!

Rice dish

Until Next Time,

Lynn

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Copyright 2017

Meet Author Anne Hagan

Good afternoon Friends and welcome. Today I am featuring author Anne Hagan, creator of the ‘Loving Blue in Red States’ series. I have included a nice excerpt for your enjoyment at the bottom of the blog. Anne Hagan is brilliant in her writing and will catch your attention on the first page. Her writing motto is – Family, Friends, Love, Murder and Mayhem. Come on over and meet this creative artist. You can’t help but fall in love with her.

Also, do be sure to check out the giveaway at the end of the interview Anne is doing in conjunction with author E.A. Kafkalas. E.A. Kafkalas is the author of ‘Frankie and Petra’ and ‘The Second Heart’. Anne’s books in the giveaway are ‘Relic’ and ‘Broken Heart’.

30 Authors. 43 Autographed Books. 3 Lucky Winners! #EpicLesficWin

Introducing author Anne Hagan.

Author profile picture

Tell us about yourself.
– I’m over 50…nearly 51, the mother of one, a son, a postal worker and a 22-year military veteran of the Army and the Ohio Army National Guard. I’ve been married to an amazing woman who is my polar opposite in many ways for nearly 7 years. We’ve been together for almost 11 years. We’re different but our differences are our strengths. We complement each other well.

How many books do you plan to write for ‘Loving Blue in Red States’?
– The ‘Loving Blue in Red States’ series is a short story series. There are currently five 9,000 to 11,000-word stories. Four are new and complete romance stories and one focuses on a young but already established couple trying to find their place in the world. There are lots more red states. I plan to continue the series with at least five new stories coming in the late Spring of 2018.

Book Cover

How did you feel when the first book in the series was first released?
– ‘Loving Blue in Red States’ is a great series but it wasn’t my first series. The Morelville Mysteries series is a lesfic mystery/romance series that currently stands at nine books. It was my first series. I spun a cozy mystery series off that, ‘The Morelville Cozies’ that will number three books and counting sometime in September. I also have a couple of full length lesfic romances.

Which genres do you like to write in?
– I love writing mysteries featuring strong women. Romance is a little – okay, a lot – tougher for me to write but I do enjoy it. Writing a romance is such a different art form from writing a mystery; even a romantic one. I plan on continuing with my Loving Blue series…and maybe someday turning some of the shorts into full length stories as my vehicle to keep writing romance.

What is one thing you like about the town you live in?
– I live in a tiny village, population about 450, out in the middle of nowhere. Farms are all around outside the village. My wife grew up on a small family farm a few miles out of the village. Her grandparents lived in the house that used to be right next door to us here in ‘town’. Everyone knows everyone here and just about everything about them. That would make some people uncomfortable but, here, in this little burg, it draws everyone closer. Neighbors help each other. Neighbors pull together for the good of the community. We have our detractors, being a lesbian couple in a very conservative, ‘red’ area, but most people here take a live and let live attitude with us and with just about everyone they encounter.

GCLS Chicago 2017

Can you elaborate on your visit to Golden Crown Literary Society?
– I went to the Chicago GCLS Convention (Con) in July. It was my first time going to a GCLS Con, so I was a con virgin. Being among so many luminaries of lesfic for several days was an amazing experience. I met so many authors whose books I’ve read for years. I admit to fangirling a little bit. I also met some fans of my books and maybe even made a few new ones. I learned a ton in master’s classes for authors and at panels focused on different genres and issues surrounding lesfic.

It’s definitely a con that’s worth going to if you’re an author. I do have some heartburn though with the costs for pure readers to attend the con. Ticket prices, whether for one day or for the run of the con, are steep compared to cons in other industries and even other literary cons. A literary con needs to be as much about the reader – if not more so – than about the care and feeding of the authors. The readers should be the focus. The GCLS Board is considering ideas to become more reader focused and I’ve certainly voiced my opinion. Over the long run, for the continued life of lesfic, I think we’re going to be seeing a lot of changes.

One thing that was very clear at the con was the fact that lesfic doesn’t have the appeal to younger generations of readers that it has had for women who are over 35 or 40 years of age. Younger women can see themselves as lesbians everywhere; television, movies, online in forums, on user sites and in videos and video games. They don’t have to turn to literature to find other women who love women or to see themselves reflected.

Describe a perfect day.
– I can’t even begin to speculate. Ask me again in five years when life has settled a bit and maybe we have the 2nd home on Douglas Lake in Tennessee, right outside of the Smokies that we’re dreaming of! Right now, no matter what we plan, our plans always change, at least a little bit.

What was the last live music performance you went to?
– There were two notable ones in 2015. My wife is a huge Reba McEntire fan. We saw her at the Ohio State Fair in the Summer of 2015. She’s a phenomenal performer. Also, I’d always wanted to see the Trans-Siberian Orchestra. We saw them the day after Christmas in 2015. They were everything I hoped for and more. Since late 2015, life has been more than a little crazy. Concerts haven’t been high on the ‘must do’ list.

Anne's Puppy

What do you enjoy doing when you are not writing?
– I really would like more time to write! We spend so much time with family, especially my spouse’s family. I love them all to death, don’t get me wrong, but writing often takes a back seat to whatever the latest thing my nieces, nephew and my great nephews are doing. We’re constantly on the run for all things family related. The things we get into though do make great fodder for stories. 

Did you do any writing in school?
– I did a little in high school but I didn’t really feel the writing bug until I took a creative writing class in college.

Where is the most exotic place you’ve visited? How was it?
– I’m not much of a world traveler. I’ve been all over the U.S. and into Canada. It’s not that I don’t want to travel the world, I just haven’t had the opportunity. There have been other priorities. I’ve been to Hawaii. I found that to have exotic elements but it was very laid back. We’re doing a Bahama’s vacation in 2018…24 of us. That will probably be as ‘exotic’ as it gets for me for a while.

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What is the most daring thing you’ve written about? Can you share?
– I guess it would be writing lesfic at all. When I started writing Relic, my first book, Sheriff Melissa ‘Mel’ Crane wasn’t going to have a foil or even a mention of her sexual preference. It was just going to be a mystery, period. The story didn’t work. Making it lesfic and bringing Special Agent Dana Rossi into Mel’s world changed everything.

Can you share with us your passion for your Hagan’s House of Horrors?
– My wife and I both acted in Haunted Houses in the past. My time in one was in my distant past. Her experiences doing that are a lot more current. Anyway, it’s always been her dream to own and operate one. I enjoy it but it’s really her dream. For me, it’s a lot of work supporting her, advertising, dealing with vendors, doing the accounting and taxes and doing all the other things that come with being the chief administrator. She’s the creative brains behind the haunt. It’s all about the business behind the scenes for me.

Hagan's House of Horrors

We ran into a snag in 2016 with some fire codes that changed significantly. We’re sitting out 2017 and trying to decide how or if we want to move forward. We have a couple of options but one involves a large expenditure of cash and the other a huge investment of time (and a little cash) to get back to code for what is really a seasonal business with a very short season.

Me: I love haunted houses and everything having to do with Halloween. I’m looking for some great haunts for my Halloween entry in late October 2017.

Besides writing, how do you participate with the LGBTQ community?
– We moved from suburban Columbus, Ohio to a small village in a rural area more than an hour out of Columbus in October of 2013. Since that time, we’ve participated less in LGBT focused activities in that area and more in supporting the needs of our new local community, as a whole. There is a tiny LGBT support network out here but we’ve found acceptance within the community we live in by being active participants in the things that matter more to people here than political activism. Things like hanging (and taking down) Christmas lights, throwing spaghetti dinner benefits for those in need, collecting clothing and food for families that could use them and so forth. It’s activism in our own way…one heart and one mind at a time.

Christmas Time

Me: Anne took this picture of her nieces and nephews participating with a raffle to raise money for the village Christmas lights last year. They got $650 worth of donations and they sold over $1,100 worth of tickets. The village population is about 450 total people. Way to go!

 What is next for you?
– That’s another tough question. I’ve got lots of ideas for books and plans into 2018 and beyond. Ideally, I’d love to quit working a day job and focus only on writing but I don’t see that happening any time soon. Instead, I see me spending at least a couple of more years working with the U.S. Postal Service and writing when and where I can around family events and obligations. I’ve been talking with a couple of other authors about leaving the indie life and starting a publishing company. We may very well do that but it’s going to take a few years to build a foundation and to gain author clients and momentum. We’ll see where we are in 2020 or so.

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Now for the giveaway Anne is cohosting with author E.A. Kafkalas. There are over 30 authors (43 books), including Anne Hagan’s ‘Relic’ and ‘Broken Women’, and E.A. Kafkalas’ ‘Frankie and Petra’ and ‘The Second Heart.’

Included in the lot is S.W. Andersen’s ‘Switchback.’ I am currently reading this one, so stay tuned for my upcoming review. Enter for your chance to win this collection and see how great Lesfic literature is.

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The Grand Prize winner will receive 24 signed books, chosen at random from the collected works, the 2nd & 3rd prize winners will get 12 & 7 signed books respectively.

Winners will be chosen randomly.

These two authors are 2017 GCLS winners:

Karen D. Badger – 1140 Rue Royale
Ana B Good – The Big Sugarbush

Also, I’d like to mention author Lori L. Lake, who was a GLCS winner last year. She has three books in the giveaway that you are going to love.  ‘Eight Dates,’ ‘A Very Public Eye,’ and ‘Jump the Gun’. Lori has written professionally for many years and her work is well known. When she’s not writing, she coaching other writers. At the same time, she serves as the head of the Governance Committee for the Board at the Oregon Writer’s Colony.

Click here to enter the giveaway.

#####

Thank you so much, Anne, for your time and enthusiasm. Anne’s books are available on Amazon and I am recommending ‘Loving Blue in Red States – Sweetwater Texas’, which I have included an excerpt below. You’re going to love this one. Be sure to check out Anne’s links so you can keep up with her and reach out.

Website: https://www.AnneHaganAuthor.com (you can read her blog and sign up for her email list from the pop up or from the sidebar on the site)

Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/AuthorAnneHagan/

Twitter: https://twitter.com/AuthorAnneHagan @AuthorAnneHagan

Pinterest: https://www.pinterest.com/annehaganauthor/

Goodreads: https://www.goodreads.com/author/show/9851500.Anne_Hagan

Book Cover

As promised I have included a nice excerpt for ‘Loving Blue in the Red States – Sweetwater Texas.’ Enjoy.

“Whatever you say,” Cass said. “I didn’t come back here to argue with you.” “Why did you come back here?”  

Cass held up the release form, face out. “This. I need just a little bit more information before I become someone’s guinea pig.” 

Emmie did her best to control her temper as she addressed the brash woman. “It’s not a requirement. You’re free to skip participating and just go on your way whenever I’m… well, whenever I’m doing the things I need to do with the class for my research.” 

“Not very confident in yourself, are you, Emmie?” She said her name with added emphasis. 

Emmie threw her hands up. “I thought you didn’t want to argue? Look, if that’s all, I really do need to get going. I have a little bit of a drive to get home and I have work to do yet this evening.” 

“Abilene?” Cass asked, as Emmie gathered her things.  

“Other direction. Other side of Sweetwater, here, out a little ways.” 

“Really?” Cass tilted her head and cocked an eyebrow. 

Emmie glanced at her and then glanced quickly away. Rather than answer, she made a show of winding up the power cord for her laptop and stowing it in her bag. 

“My nephew is a Junior on the team this year.” 

“That’s nice for him. They’re looking pretty good,” she conceded as her tone went from sarcastic to monotone. 

“You didn’t even ask who he is,” Cass pointed out. 

“I’m sorry. Who, pray tell, is your nephew?” Emmie asked as she picked up the laptop bag and started for the door. 

“Wow, you’re something, you know? You’d catch more flies with just a little more honey, honey.” 

The strawberry blond whirled to face the other woman. “Don’t call me honey!”

“Whoa! Sorry!” Cass held up her hands in mock surrender. She still had the release form in her left hand. 

“Just give me that. I’ll dispose of it on the way out.” 

“I’ll walk out with you. Wouldn’t do to have you walking out alone tonight.” 

“I can take care of myself.” 

“And I’m absolutely sure that you can but there’s more safety in numbers and, besides, I didn’t say I wasn’t going to participate; only that I want more information.” 

Emmie sighed and started walking. Cass followed. 

“What’s the topic of your thesis?” 

Emmie slowed and waited for the other woman to come alongside her. “How economic failure influences adult education.” 

“Ouch,” Cass said. 

“Is that a problem?” 

“Not for me. I’m not an ‘economic failure’.” 

“I never said you were. It’s just that programs like this appeal to people trying to better themselves, get out of the cotton fields, off the ranch…” 

“What’s wrong with working on a ranch?” 

Emmie groaned. It was coming out all wrong. “Nothing. I grew up on a ranch. It’s practically the only life I’ve known.” 

“Obviously not; not if you’re in a Master’s program. You’ve probably been a student most of your life… never had a real job.” 

“Now who’s making assumptions?” Emmie flung back at Cass. She reached the door going out, pushed it open hard, then strode ahead toward her car. She wanted to put as much distance between herself and the insufferable Cassandra Prater as she could, as quickly as she could.

Click on the link below for your copy of ‘Loving Blue in Red States’

Purchase ‘Loving Blue in Red States’

Check out Anne’s Amazon Author Page to purchase her other books, including ‘Relic’ and ‘Broken Heart.’

Until Next Time,

Lynn

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Copyright 2017

Meet Author Jaime Clevenger

Good afternoon friends and welcome. Today I have a real treat for you. Jaime Clevenger, author of Party Favors has stopped by to chat. You are going to love her and will want to read her book. This book is really unique and nothing like anything I’ve read before. Come meet this creative and amazing artist. IMG_8578Tell us about yourself:

Well, to start, I love being active and also love my down time. I am a writer, a veterinarian, a swimmer, a karate teacher, a parent, a reluctant romantic and a pragmatic scientist.

I live in Colorado with my wife, two kids (both daughters aged 4 and 8) and a resident dog and cat. My family loves it when we foster kittens and puppies so the number of pets in our house varies a bit from time to time. My dog, Curie, is a Golden Retriever and simply put the best dog ever, but my cat Mango thinks he’s the favored pet in our house. I have a very faithful fish named Peter who sits at my desk and watches me intently every time I sit down to write. I’d like to say that we’re close but I think he’s only hoping for food when he stares at me.

My life is full and yet I still take every opportunity to daydream, watch every sunset and steal a peak at the moon each night. I love cuddling and a good story–which I’m fortunate to say there is plenty of both in my life. As both of my kids can tell you, I am both serious and silly. Dinner in our house is full of story-telling. We have early morning dance parties and it’s never exactly quiet around here. There are books literally all over the house. As of late, Harry Potter is a frequent bedtime story. By the time the kids are in bed, I’m ready to fall asleep but that’s when I get to sit down and write.

In the lesbian fiction world, I enjoy writing romance, erotica and fantasy. I’ve published with Bella Books since 2004 and am currently working on book number 10 due out this Fall.

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Did you enjoy writing in school?

I’ve always loved to write but I spent most of my time in school studying math and science related subjects. My third-grade teacher told me that I should become a writer–but then warned me that I might need to have a fall back plan if I wanted to feed myself. By fourth grade, I decided to become a veterinarian though secretly I hoped I could juggle both careers. As luck would have it, being a vet means you hear plenty of stories and meet some crazy characters, all good fodder for writing!

What is Party Favors about?

Party Favors is an erotica novel and unlike anything else I’ve written. The premise for this book is that the main character has been invited to a formal dinner party filled with the city’s most attractive and available women. Believing this is a costume party, she comes dressed as Batman. It’s not a costume party–everyone else is wearing ball gowns and tuxes. The hitch in this story is that the main character is you.

As the story is set up, you make the decisions as to how your night will go. You can choose to leave the party or stay, change clothes or stick with the Batman costume–and depending on your choices, you will end up sleeping with one of twelve different women. The story has multiple endings and is meant to be enjoyed in short bursts.

Party Favors was a blast to write. Without rules to follow, I let myself have fun with this one and took many liberties with the main character (you). I’ve heard some great responses from readers–including someone telling me that the book led to an argument with their girlfriend because of perceived cheating issues that came up and then another reader saying they enjoyed reading the book out loud with their wife and took turns deciding which choice to make. Suffice it to say, I’ve gotten more feedback on this book than any of the others combined!

How would you describe your protagonist in ‘Party Favors’?

The protagonist in Party Favors does not have many significant physical characteristics and there are few personal details. I did fall in love with this character (you) primarily because of everything I put her through. Despite having a lot of sexual encounters, she goes through a lot of embarrassing moments.

It was challenging to not give any background details to the character but I wanted readers to identify with the protagonist closely. Still, I snuck a bit in here and there–for instance, you play the piano, live alone and drive an expensive car. Depending on the choices you make at the party, to leave or stay for instance, I tried to plan the outcome based on what I figured would realistically follow if a person was likely to make that decision. In other words, are you the type of person to leave the party early, slip over to a sex shop and then when your best friend calls on the phone, do you go to her house and admit what a failure your night has been? Or do you stay at the party in that Batman costume and flirt with the hostess? These two endings are very different and I tried to keep “you” in mind as I planned out your evening.

Would you ever go skinny dipping in a waterfall in Hawaii?

Interesting question… I have gone to a few nude beaches–there’s Little Beach (next to Big Beach) on Maui where you can slip off your suit and swim free–and yes, I did partake. The sensation of swimming without anything on your skin is amazing. But that was before kids! Now with kids in the mix, I’m not likely to go to a beach without lots of sunscreen and good sunhats!

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What do you love about being an author?

Being an author isn’t exactly glamorous. Most of the time you are in a room by yourself staring at a computer screen moving words around in a sentence that you will likely delete the following day. But some moments are gold–when your character says something you didn’t expect, when the plot turns and you have no control over the outcome and are only along for the ride, when you have an epiphany on how to fix a tricky point in the storyline, when the perfect words materialize on the page as if someone whispered them in your ear… Writers live for these moments. But I could be a writer and never publish. Why be an author? I do like getting feedback from readers on my stories and I love the connections that you can form in the lesbian fiction world. Sometimes one bad review however is enough to make me think that I shouldn’t try to publish at all. But then some stranger comes along and says something you wrote touched them in some way and that makes all the work worth it.

Which authors have you met in person?

I’ve been to several Golden Crown Literary Society conferences over the years and have had a chance to meet many authors in the lesbian fiction world. To those who don’t know, all of the authors at the conferences are awesome. Well, maybe not all of them but I haven’t met any I didn’t like or anyone who seemed too cool to chat. While it’s true that a lot of us writers are big introverts and people watching is more our style than direct human interaction, I’ve had great conversations with too many authors to pick favorites.

Let’s give a shout out to Bella Books. What would you like to say to them?

I’m so thankful to all the folks at Bella Books. Linda and Jessica Hill are two amazing women who contribute so much behind the scenes in book production. Becky is fantastic and is totally sweet. From the proof readers to the type setter to the cover designer, so many people are involved in the production of a book and I owe them all a great deal. The editors that I’ve had over the years have taught me a tremendous amount about writing (especially since I came into this without any formal training) but I am especially in debt to Medora MacDougall for all of her tireless work. She never shies from the crazy stuff my characters get into in their love scenes, is forgiving with my ridiculous schedule, and boy does she know the rules on commas.

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What was the last live musical performance you saw?

Hamilton! My wife and I got to see Hamilton while we were in Chicago celebrating our tenth wedding anniversary (fourteen years together). It was awesome and I’ve been singing bits of the lyrics ever since. I’m a big fan of musicals and also recently got to see Fun Home which should not be missed. As for live music, the last show that I went to see was a Brandi Carlile concert at Red Rocks Amphitheater. And yes, I gushed over Brandi quite a bit. We took the kids to that concert (with ear plugs) and we all danced and sang along. So much fun! Concerts at Red Rocks are truly an experience and Brandi Carlile is lovely live.

What’s next for you?

My next book, A Fugitive’s Kiss, is due out this September (really soon) and I’m excited about this one though it has been a lot more work than Party Favors. This is a romance fantasy complete with kings, horses and sword fights. The two women who fall in love in this story are messy complex characters (my favorite type of people) and I loved following along on their journey.

With A Fugitive’s Kiss off to the printer, I get to start writing a new romance story. Beginnings are always a rush–thrilling and a bit scary–much like the feelings in a fresh relationship. I often wonder if I’m crazy to start in on another book but then my mind gets to working on the story and the characters don’t let me sleep–I have to write!

Before you go, take a look at Jaime’s links:

http://www.bellabooks.com/Bella-Author-Jaime-Clevenger-cat.html

https://www.amazon.com/Jaime-Clevenger/e/B001JP8DQI

Party Favors Cover

Purchase ‘Party Favors’

I want to thank Jaime for stopping by. Don’t forget to check out her book Party Favors. You are going to be in for a pleasant surprise and are going to love it. Stay tuned for next week when I’ll be speaking with USA Today Bestselling author Julie Morgan.

Until Next Time,

Lynn

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Copyright 2017 

Printed with Permission

My Review of Ali Spooner’s ‘Back in the Saddle’

Hello everyone and welcome. Recently I finished Ali Spooner’s ‘Back in the Saddle.’ I am happy to see that it is doing very well on Amazon and once you read my review you’ll understand. This is the sequel to ‘Cowgirl Up’ and the story picks up where it left off. Many times, you need to read the books in order to get the full picture. Not so here. The author provided enough background on the characters to fill in what was presented in the first book. What I like is that this story it is much more than just the romance.  And the tone of it will draw you in. Come see why this is a must read.

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Melissa Conway is the owner of the MC2 ranch where Coal is hired as a new farmhand. Melissa is soft spoken and respectful. She gave me a mother hen feel in that she is always looking out for her workers and making provisions for them. The crew in return look up to her. Her actions made my eyes water.

Coal is part Apache and full of wisdom.  She is not afraid to embrace her masculine side while still being a woman.  She crosses many boundaries and shows us she is who she is and doesn’t care what others think.  I admire her confidence and immediately felt her energy. But she tends to avoid eye contact with upset and holds in her emotions.

She is in tune and is in her zone with her talents.  This showed me a timeless side to her. She enjoys simple but fine things. She has a great sense of humor and does amazing work. People can’t help but love her. I felt her genuine soul. However, Coal has her own secret that you will have to read to find out.

Mary Leah is Melissa’s younger sister.  She has had her share of set-backs. She tends to hold up a façade in front of herself. She has a sweet persona and like Coal, she doesn’t give into negativity. In ‘Cowgirl Up,’ Mary Leah and Coal became a couple. Read the book to find out how their relationship works out.

There are three other women who come into play – Stormy, Del, and Cam. Stormy is another rancher and Del is a doctor. They are close to Coal and she trusts them. Stormy is adventuresome and isn’t afraid of a challenge. She is supportive and really shows her tenderness at times. She has a great fondness for Coal and they make a great team.

The couples that were created are harmonious and supportive of each other.

Cam is the new ranch vet who has sworn off relationships. Or has she? She has a tender heart.

In ‘Back in the Saddle,’ Coal and Stormy go to Montana for an opportunity they could not miss. Here they get to appreciate the things they have. The mission is rough, but there is a fun reward, which they both enjoy.

Coal pulled a T-shirt over her head and climbed into the bed. Mary Leah followed her, and Coal wrapped her arms protectively around her lover. She held her until Mary Leah’s breath slowed, indicating she’d fallen asleep. A tear ran down Coal’s cheek as she held her close and drifted off to sleep.

There are so many temptations and it kept me reading.

There is plenty of romance in this story as the author has included other relationships.  The chemistry is hot. Nothing beats a tender scene where the loving partners make love. Then there’s the looks and hands touching and of course, flirting. All of the scenes were written tastefully spicy.

I loved how the author included a pan sexual relationship/romance.  This is where one falls in love with another soul regardless of their sexual orientation. There isn’t much written on this subject and I’m glad it found a place in this story.

There are some heavy storylines. One character suffers with a condition, which the author goes into detail about. Challenges like this can take a long time to learn how to cope with.

There are crisp descriptions of pretty scenery throughout.  The story reminded me of a modern-day western and it is shown exactly how it is. The author made me want to visit the places mentioned in the book. She included some priceless touching moments, so be prepared for some cuteness. You will really appreciate the humorous moments. There are so many touching scenes that it will keep you wrapped up for hours. The best part is that the story gives you a taste of what a loving family is like. I really felt the love bond between everyone.

‘Back in the Saddle’ took me about five hours to read, which is perfect for a nice afternoon. The flow is beautiful. The book offers everything you want in a story. This is why I’m recommending it as a must read for everyone.

 

Back in the Saddle cover

Here is an excerpt.

A few minutes later, someone knocked on the door. Coal glanced at the clock and chuckled. “Stormy’s right on schedule. Do you want to put a robe on so you can see us off?”

Coal went to the front door to let Stormy in. “Good morning, you’re right on time.”

“Morning, I had to drive painfully slow to arrive at five. I drove past the turnoff and busted a U-turn just to give you a few more minutes. Are you all set?”

“Yes, I am, let me get my bag.”

“Don’t be in such a hurry, Stormy Braxton. May I at least get a kiss good-bye?”

“I’m sorry, Mary Leah. I didn’t mean to rush her.”

“Relax, I’m just teasing you. I know you’re both excited about the trip. You keep her safe and get back here as fast as you can, you hear me?”

“Yes, ma’am, I’ll do my best.”

“I know you will.”

“Take this.” Coal tossed a small duffle to Stormy. “I’ll be out in just a minute.”

“See you later, Mary Leah.”

“Good-bye, Stormy, have fun.”

Stormy carried the bag out to the truck, and Coal embraced Mary Leah and kissed her sweetly. “I love you and will be home soon.”

“Not soon enough,” Mary Leah pouted. “Go have a great time and call me when you can. I love you.”

“I will. See you soon,” she promised and walked out to climb into Stormy’s truck. Coal looked back at the house to see Mary Leah still standing in the doorway to watch them leave. She waved and smiled when Stormy pulled away from the house.

“Let’s do this,” Coal said, turning back to a wildly grinning Stormy.

Five Stars

Purchase ‘Back in the Saddle’

Thank you all for stopping by. I want to thank Ali for creating this wonderful story. I am waiting for another installment to see what adventure is brought forth. Stay tuned next week as I will be interviewing author Jaime Clevenger, author of ‘Party Favors’. See you then.

Until Next Time,

Lynn

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Copyright 2017

#Flashback Friday #FF My Review for Linda Bates’ ‘It Drew Pale’.

Hello Friends and welcome. I recently caught up with author Linda Bates, author of ‘It Drew Pale’. She is hard at work with her next book, which is under wraps. Later on this summer, she will be publishing some poetry. I will keep you updated. Today I am going share with you my review for It Drew Pale, originally posted on 25-Nov-16. Enjoy.

Good Afternoon Everyone!  I hope you all had a lovely holiday, for those who chose to join in.  Today  am featuring my review for Linda Bates’ It Drew Pale.  This book recently debuted, just in time for this holiday season.  Come on in and join us for this fun journey.

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Her greatest asset was her determination, and if you wanted to succeed in something in Oregon, or anywhere in the world for that matter, you had to have plenty of spirit!

Linda Bates

 

It Drew Pale takes place in the 19th century in the rural west. A lad named Jack Preston was moving to Oregon to start a new life. Jack is tough, but even keeled. Jack is witty, has a nice sense of humor, and is respectful of others. Jack is as honest as much as possible. However, this person has a big secret that your going to need to read the book to find out.

Eleanor and Marianne are sisters who enter Jack’s life. They are daughters of a shop keeper and they dress very well. Their beauty radiates and they are both very nurturing.   it’s no wonder that their family business is doing so well. These two women reminded me to stay optimistic. You can’t help but feel good when you are around them. They are both attracted to Jack’s charm. It’s no wonder that Jack is attracted to them. The question is how are they going to feel once they learn Jack’s secret.

All three players are solid. They are brave in their own ways. Marianne, under pressure, never showed any weak characteristics.   Nor did she cry out for a man when she was in an unpleasant situation. Marianne’s heart is as big as the world. Her strength is very visible and I applaud the author for creating her.

Eleanor doesn’t put up with nonsense. She knows how to hold her own ground and get her point across clearly. She isn’t afraid to use force either. She knows what she wants. No isn’t an option for her. If she wasn’t so attached to her family, I could see her going out on her own and starting a life someplace else. I found her to be a bit standoffish, but after learning a few things, I understood.

Jack has inner strength that is comparable to a super human. Jack isn’t afraid and doesn’t allow physical pain to slow him, especially when fighting for justice. Emotions are well tamed and never take over any situation.   I could see Jack stealth across a battlefield unnoticed.

This story is quite an adventure. There is a little bit of violence that made me pause from reading for a moment. The read itself kept me at a slow pace and I had to backtrack a few times so I wouldn’t miss anything. The story hooked me and I enjoyed the ride. You are going to want to carve out time so that you can fully experience the entire story without interruptions. And don’t forget to read the introduction before the story. I found it to be very inspiring.

Here are two excerpts from this fine story for you to check out.  Enjoy!

Excerpt 1

Stepping onto Oregon soil, Jack immediately began to feel the familiarity of it all. It had been eight months since the tired legs had set foot on some good old honest earth. It felt wholesome and fresh. And firm, too, after the bobbling about on the schooner. People were still around to trip over in the busy port-side, yet already Jack felt free. It was certainly a welcome contrast from the life Jack had led back at the claim. There were some real women milling about! Jack was not the type who discriminated against those women who wore trousers and flannel open-necked shirts. After all, in the gold fields it was more practical for a female’s needs, but in Jack’s mind, there was no female figure that was not the embodiment of nature in crinoline and frills! It was the way of it, and Jack had no mind to change the laws of nature. The others, Jack observed, were also viewing the magnificent local scenery.

Excerpt 2 

The busy storekeeper and her sister heard the slam of a door, but were too busy to attend their aggrieved relative. Besides, they had experienced the tantrums of the twenty-year old, and were quite used, after years of the same, to Eleanor’s behaviour. Her father always had the same answer when Eleanor was ‘in a sweat’ as he would call it, and deduced she would desist being out of sorts as soon as she found herself a strong man to calm her temper. And that would anger Eleanor the more her father would vocalise his philosophies. They would never see eye-to-eye on the ideals that matched the general populace, because Eleanor did not see herself as one of the crowd. Rather she was an individual, with needs of her own she had not quite worked out yet.

 

Four Stars!

Purchase ‘It Drew Pale’

Stay tuned. Next week I am sharing my review for Renee Mackenzie’s ‘Pausing’. You don’t want to miss out with this one.

Until Next Time,

Lynn

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Meet Author Ali Spooner

Good afternoon, friends and welcome. Today I am featuring author Ali Spooner who is here to talk to us. I recently read her latest book, “Back in the Saddle” so stay tuned for my review in the upcoming weeks. For those of you who don’t know Ali, she is the author of sixteen books that are available for purchase. Come on over and join us and if you’d like to ask Ali a question, you can put it in the comments below.

“A writer only begins a book. A reader finishes it.”

Samuel Jackson.

To me that says it all. As a storyteller, I relay the events of characters, and hopefully the reader emerges from the story with new experiences or knowledge, that meets their expectations of an adventure.

Tell us about yourself and what gets your creativity flowing?

I’m a native of Florida, but have lived in Alabama, Tennessee, and Wisconsin for short periods. I live with my partner of 22 years, Rhonda in our home in Pensacola. I began writing as a hobby to entertain myself and some online friends while in hotels on the road for work. I fancy myself as a storyteller who is learning to write, so I’m still a work in progress. I travel frequently for work, so driving, or flying gives me a great deal of time to think about story lines and often I’ll see a sign or an object that triggers a story idea. For instance, I was driving through Mississippi a few years ago and saw a crop duster pilot spraying fields of cotton, in preparation of harvest and it spawned a story I self-published on Smashwords around 2010, called The Painted Cat, and of course the main character was a thrill seeking, female, crop duster pilot. Sometimes a vivid dream will trigger a story or character and I never have difficulty coming up with story lines. I have on average 3-5 stories in various stages of development at any time and I work on whichever character speaks the loudest in my imagination.

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What inspired you to create the prequel, ‘Cowgirl Up’?

Growing up in central Florida, my family had several businesses. My father and uncle shared a grove caretaking business, managing orange groves for investors and our family groves as well. Our second business was the Crescent A Land and Cattle Company where we again managed herds for other’s as well as our own. During my childhood, I spent a significant amount of time on horseback as we “worked” cattle, moving them to different fields, penning them to provide healthcare or sending them off to market. So Cowgirl Up was a natural story for me to write. Many of the events the crew of the MC2 experienced from the long hours of baling hay, to training young horses were experiences from my youth. The title Cowgirl Up came from a sticker I saw on the back window of a truck pulling a horse trailer, presumably going to a rodeo or horse show somewhere in Florida. It was fun reliving some fond memories of working with my family.

Back in the Saddle cover

What is ‘Back in the Saddle’ about?

Back in the Saddle is a continuation of the journey the crew of the MC2 is experiencing. Coal, Stormy and Gene, the youngest of the crew get to live out a dream of participating in a live cattle drive in the mountains of Montana. Coal continues to struggle in her battle with PTSD, and in Montana, the flirtation of a beautiful cowgirl tempts Coal to stray in her relationship. However, Coal’s heart, is claimed by her partner, Mary Leah, and she stays true to this love. Melissa, the widowed owner of the MC2 and Mary Leah’s sister, for years after her husband’s death, felt she was satisfied with her life until a surprisingly new love interest steps into the picture.

Rhonda and I had a winter vacation in Montana years ago, and I fell in love with the country and it’s beautiful, wild nature, so the use of that setting for the cattle drive was easy for me to use.

How much of Coal is actually you? Or do you relate more to Mary Leah?

A bit of both actually. Coal has a bit of my younger spirit, with her love of horses, being a cowgirl and an out of doors type person. Like Mary Leah, I am also a cancer survivor, so there’s a part of me in her character as well. I think it’s natural for every writer to inject a bit of their personality or life experiences in their stories.

Are you an animal lover? Tell us about your experience.

That’s an understatement!  I learned to ride a horse before I could ride a bicycle and we’ve always raised animals or had a variety of pets. As kids, we experienced showing steers through 4 – H or the FFA (Future Farmers of America). We did our share of horse shows and loved to go to rodeos. As an adult, I have mainly had cats and dogs as companions, and they have graciously allowed me to live in their homes. I spent four and a half years living apart from my family for work and my two rescue cats kept me sane during those times and came home to live with us in our forever home. Just recently, Kiwi, our 9 year-old blue heeler, lost her battle with cancer and traveled across the Rainbow Bridge. She was considered Rhonda’s dog, but she was my snuggle-buddy and playmate. In her younger years, she would wear me out throwing a tennis ball for her to retrieve. She spent hours beside me in my office as I worked or created stories and was always the first to greet me when I came home from a trip. Rascal, my first rescue cat in Memphis, was the beautiful, tiger cat in The Painted Cat, and Kiwi has certainly filled her share of roles in stories, especially, Cowgirl Up and Back in the Saddle in the blue heeler puppies Bo and Dolly that Coal purchased as Christmas presents for Mary Leah and Gene. Kiwi has a special place in my heart and her spirit will grace futures stories as my companion in writing.

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Kiwi

If Coal could go anywhere for a first date, where would she choose to take her beau?

Probably the first date setting she helped Stormy arrange for Del when they first met. A beautiful spot on the MC2 where they looked across a valley and watched the sun set, the final rays of sunlight creating a brilliant palette of colors across the landscape, while she grilled a meal for them. They would share a meal, maybe a bottle of wine and then stretch out in the bed of a truck to watch the stars emerge in a sky free from manufactured light.

Do you like live music? Which bands have you seen live?

I love music of all types, but country music holds my heart. I’ve been lucky to see most of my favorites such as Kenny Chesney, Rascal Flatts, Gretchen Wilson, Alan Jackson, Merle Haggard, Conway Twitty, Brad Paisley, Darius Rucker, and so many others. I’m still hoping to see Garth one day, but as of yet, our paths have not crossed. There are many other artists I’d like to see, such as Fl/Ga Line, Jason Aldean, Keith Urban, Little Big Town…and the list goes on, so I have catching up to do.

What is your favorite musical instrument? Do you play? If so, tell us about it.

I can’t play a lick of music, but I love the sound of a banjo, and if I ever learned to play an instrument, it would probably be the one. Deirks Bentley, put out a folk album with a song on it called Up on the Ridge, that I love. It has a great feel of Appalachia to it.

Me: One of your characters plays a mean flute which I heard as I was reading along. Very well done.

What was your inspiration for choosing the settings for these two books?

I love the wide open, ranching space in Texas and thought that would make a perfect spot for the MC2. When I think of large ranches, I automatically think of Texas. There’s a few left in Florida, but I thought readers would relate more to Texas. As I mentioned earlier, I fell in love with the beautiful scenery in Montana, and would love to return there to see it across all seasons. The deep green of the woodlands against the backdrop of majestic, snowcapped mountains seemed the perfect setting for a cattle drive adventure.

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Tell us more about your passion for college softball.

In high school, I played every sport. My first love was basketball, and I played my freshman year in college. Softball was the one I played into my thirties, but only slow pitch, as the fast pitch craze didn’t catch on in the southern states until years later. I was born and raised a University of Florida Gator and follow our sports teams as a die-hard fan, win or lose. We are fortunate to have a great coaching staff and great softball team. I love watching the South Eastern Conference teams in all sports and hope to be able to attend the College World Series of Softball in the next few years. I’ve also found this to be a great way of finding new and different names for characters. I was amazed, but delighted to see a young woman named “Bubba” on a team this year. I enjoy college sports over professional ones because I believe college athletes play for the pure love of the game. It’s not a career for them and they don’t make millions or have products named for them, but they truly love their sport and appreciate the opportunity given them to play.

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Have you ever gone on a rustic outing in nature? If so where?

I enjoyed camping, but will now admit my camping is limited to a pull behind camper or cabin, as these old bones can’t tolerate sleeping on the ground. Some of my favorite spots are in western North Carolina and middle and eastern Tennessee. As a kid, I was a member of the Trail Riders Association in central Florida and we would camp long weekends in the summer with our horses in and around the Ocala National Forest. It was great fun swimming with your horse and cooking meals by campfire. Hmm, sounds a bit like Back in the Saddle.

Who was the last Affinity author you read?

I was honored to do some beta reading for Annette Mori on a couple of her upcoming titles. I love her quirky characters and the variety of her story plots. I also read Renee MacKenzie’s, book Pausing, which is an excellent read. I’m fortunate to publish with some fantastic authors, so I’m never at a loss for great stories to read.

Me: Stay tuned for my review of Renee Mackenzie’s Pausing next week.

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Can you share with us your love of photography? Where is the most interesting place you’ve travelled to take pictures?

Photography is creating a visual story or record of memories I’ve experienced or shared with loved ones. I enjoy wildlife and landscapes as well as capturing family and friends. I have two grandbabies that give me plenty opportunities to photograph, as well as my fur family. With the creation of digital photography, I find myself taking hundreds of photos on a trip, so I have plenty memories to choose from as favorites when we return home.

One of my most exciting places to go was to Stonehenge when I visited London. I was in awe of the power of the setting. I could feel it vibrating through me as I walked amongst the monuments. Rhonda and I also traveled to Alaska in 2015 and the scenery there was amazing. I also love the waterfalls of western North Carolina, especially Whitewater falls. The falls are gorgeous no matter what season you choose, but I love it in the fall with all the foliage, turning colors. Yes, before you ask, these falls will be the ultimate destination in a short story, scheduled for release in February of 2018 called Shotgun Rider. These falls hold some special memories of my Mom and Rhonda, my partner.

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Do you have beta readers read your manuscripts?

Absolutely! I couldn’t live without good betas. I have a variety of readers who volunteer to read the drafts of my stories and provide excellent feedback on how I can improve the story. I try to mention them in the acknowledgement for each book, as they have been a tremendous help to develop it into the published story.

What is next for you?

I am currently working to develop a new series of books I call the Strong Southern Women series. There are five stories under development as a part of this series, but more to come. The first, Diamond Dreams, contracted by Affinity Rainbow Publications, will be published in the first quarter of 2018. It’s the first of three books regarding the lives of the St. Angelo sisters in rural Louisiana. Diamond Dreams follows the eldest daughter, Cameron (Cam) St. Angelo as she follows her dream to play college softball at LSU.

I believe in the concept of strong, southern women, as they have been the basis for most of my stories. These women are the characters that I know, and have grown to love. Ordinary people, that I feel that many readers can easily connect.

I’m also working on some other stories as well. A third book in the Hunter series is about two thirds of the way drafted. The fourth and final book in the Sasha Thibodaux vampire series is also underway. A sequel to the Cowgirl series has also begun to percolate in the back of my mind. So many stories, so little time to write!

As I mentioned earlier, I read ‘Back in the Saddle’ and have an excerpt to get you started.

Back in the Saddle cover  

Harley watched as the two women stepped off the porch. When they’d taken three steps, the clouds opened up. As they dashed for the house, laughing, Harley couldn’t help but smile. Melissa skidded to a halt when she reached the porch and waved to him. Harley waved back and returned to the kitchen, shaking his head. 

“Whew, that was cold,” Melissa cried out when they entered the house, and then broke out laughing again. They were both sopping wet, but Cam couldn’t prevent herself from joining Melissa’s infectious laughter. When she could finally stop, she looked at Melissa, who was still bent over laughing. Her wet hair framed her face when she looked up at Cam, whose chest tightened, making it hard to breathe. Cam slid down to the floor, unable to look away from Melissa. “What in the world are we laughing at?” 

Melissa sat down in front of her. “I have no clue, but I’m having a hard time stopping.”

Here is an excerpt from Diamond Dreams. As a baseball lover, I’m definitely going to check this out when it debuts next March.

The sound of the ball hitting the leather of the catcher’s mitt made a loud pop as it whizzed past Cameron St. Angelo. The inside pitch was meant to brush her back from the plate, but Cam barely twitched as she felt the air moving in the flight path of the ball in front of her face. After the umpire bellowed out “Ball two,” Cam stepped out of the batter’s box, and tapped the aluminum bat against her metal cleats. She turned her head toward the pitcher’s mound and grinned. “Is that the best you got Bugsy?”

“You damn well know it isn’t,” the angry pitcher growled back.

“Are y’all gonna play ball or jabber the rest of the game?” 

Cam stepped back into the batter’s box. “Sorry Blue.” She twisted her right foot in the packed clay until she felt comfortable and dropped her hand indicating she was ready for the next pitch.

“Bout damn time St. Angelo,” the catcher barked at her. “This gear is hot, so let’s get a move on.”

“Bring it,” she called out to the pitcher.

Ursula Bugg, or Bugsy to Cam, was a top ranked pitcher on the opposing team, and Cam knew she had a wicked fast riser. She also knew that Ursula had a weakness and it was Cam herself. They had competed against each other in every sport since they first met in high school, and Cam had always won the battle as the superior athlete. As hard as she tried, Bugsy had never bested her in any sport, and facing her now as the opposing pitcher, would make no difference. Yes, Bugsy was good, but Cam was better, and she understood how much she got into Bugsy’s head. They battled through three years in high school and by their senior year, Bugsy’s condition had grown to an obsession. 

It didn’t matter that Cam was an All-State shortstop and team leading cleanup hitter, bound for Baton Rouge in the fall with a full ride to play softball for LSU. Bugsy was determined to strike her out. Cam could almost hear the grinding of Bugsy’s teeth as she reached deep down inside for extra strength as she released the next pitch. 

“High and wide,” the umpire called out, “Three balls and one strike.”

Forced to throw a strike, or risk walking her, Bugsy stepped off the mound to wipe her hand, as Cam waited on the fastball that would be nestled in the center of the plate. She watched Bugsy step up to the pitching rubber, digging the hole beside it deeper for more traction and power, then begin her wind up. Her movement seemed like slow motion to Cam and the ball looked the size of a cantaloupe as it approached. Her eyes locked on their target as she tucked chin to her chest, her eyes glued on the ball as she started her swing. Her teammates were probably holding their breath, but Cam had no doubts. She caught the ball on the sweet spot of her bat, and that ball was going out of the park for a walk off home run. She rushed out of the batter’s box toward first base as the left fielder backed toward the fence until she realized there was no keeping the ball in the field of play. Cam rounded the base and slowed her pace to a jog as Bugsy glared at her from the pitcher’s mound. When her cleated foot touched home, the umpire called, “Ball game.”

Welcomed by her teammates with high fives and slaps to her helmet, she made her way to the dugout to drop off her gear before joining her friends in congratulating the other team on a game well played. When she approached Bugsy at the end of the line, she smiled, “See you next fall.”

“You better believe it,” Bugsy answered finally cracking a smile. She too, would also be attending LSU to play ball. “Maybe we’ll meet again next week if we make it to the tournament.”

I’d like to thank Ali for stopping by. Be sure to check out her links below for more new and exciting news. ‘Back in the Saddle’ is available and I’m encouraging you to check it out.

Ali’s Facebook Profile

Ali’s Amazon Profile –  Here you can check out her sixteen books.

Purchase ‘Back in the Saddle’

Until Next Time,

Lynn

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My Review for KA Moll’s ‘For a Moment’s Indiscretion’

Good afternoon Friends and welcome. You don’t want to miss today’s post. I am writing my review for KA Moll’s ‘For a Moment’s Indiscretion.’ If you like feeling the hairs of your neck curl, this one’s for you. The three points of view move smoothly and keep the story in full swing. The author will draw you in and keep you the entire ride. Here you will discover whether one moment can change the course of time.

For a Moment's Indiscretion cover

She was the only one she could trust now; the only one she could count on to keep her safe.

 For a Moment’s Indiscretion

The three main characters are Jaina, Zane, and Amelia. Jaina has a few life challenges and is clearly frustrated on many levels. Due to some past poor judgement, she has suffered some consequences in her life.  Her truthfulness was heartfelt and her growing internal strength was amazing to watch develop.

The love of her life is her preteen daughter, BK.  The reader will appreciate her genuine spirit. BK shows her real feelings and isn’t afraid to ask questions to both of her mom’s. I’m glad that this young girl was a big part of the story because she is intelligent and has a loving heart. There is nothing she wouldn’t do for her parents. Kudos to the author for showing this. If you love tweens, there are some touching mother daughter moments.

Zane is Jaina’s wife. She takes things way too personally and is stubborn when confronted. She made rash decisions that were based on her feelings in the moment. She never takes ownership for any problems and hides her feelings in her work. I found this to be disturbing because of her career choice. I felt that she needed to stop what she was doing and take a break to work on her own resentment issues. She was clumsy with delicate situations which stirred up emotions as I read.

Deep inside of her are true feelings of love that are trapped under her thick coat of armor. Her likable qualities pop up throughout the story, which the author clearly shows.

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On top of all of this is Amelia, who immediately caught me as persuasive and sneaky.  She’s the type of person who will call you on a Sunday morning before you’ve had a chance to wake up.  In real life, I would steer clear of such a person. However here her contribution to the story is critical for some things to happen.  She is very well described.

Amelia is infatuated with one of the women. In the book, you’ll read more about her off-beat tenacious character. It is amazing what she was able to pull off and still not go away. There is nothing this woman would back away from.

In addition to the three women, there are Zane and Jaina’s trusted friends, Drew and Stacey and Anna and Gabe.  I liked these women since they are so down to earth, caring, and easy going.  Never once were they judgmental.  Always they sat in the space of love.  Like good friends, they do what they can to be supportive, especially when times are rough.

As I was reading, I felt like I was on a rollercoaster. There is a lot of drama between the main players which was intense at times. It was like the true colors of the women suddenly surfaced. Some of the scenes were very chilling and kept my heart beating fast. There are apexes in the plot that will keep you guessing. At times my head was spinning.

There is plenty of steam in the story that will fog up the windows.

You are going to want to carve out some time for this read because once you get in you’re not going to want to put it down. The pace is fast and you can finish it in an afternoon.  Click below to get your copy.

Purchase ‘For a Moment’s Indiscretion’

I am looking forward to KA Moll’s next work.

Five Stars

For a Moment's Indiscretion cover

Here is an excerpt:

“We all make mistakes,” Drew responded. 

“Yes, we do,” Zane agreed, “but I pray that this is the last one that I make that’s the size of this one.” Her eyes narrowed. “I allowed pride, pain, and anger to get the best of me, hefting all the blame for what occurred onto Jaina. I did that, knowing that I shared at least half of the responsibility. I dismissed her as if she weren’t trustworthy, knowing that in almost eleven years of marriage, she’s never lied to me.” She fought back tears. “Regardless of her transgression,” Zane choked, “my wife deserved better than what I gave her.” Her voice cracked with emotion as she finished her thought. “She deserved to be treated with the kindness and respect of a soul mate.” She crumpled onto the sofa. “I don’t know what to do,” Zane said, “and yet…” She caught back a sob.

Drew sat down beside her. “You remember that first conversation we had about you two being soul mates?” she asked.

Zane nodded. “How could I forget?” she answered with a half-hearted smile. “What happened afterward changed the course of my life.”

“If you remember that conversation,” Drew continued with an understanding smile, “then you know my advice.”

“I remember it as if you gave it yesterday,” Zane said softly. “You told me that everything is easier when a person is your soul mate. You assured me that what’s hard becomes simple with that person who makes you whole. You told me that you thought Jaina was my soul mate. And you were right.” Her eyes twinkled as she met Drew’s gaze. “Then,” she continued, “you looked me in the eye and told me to take a deep breath, square my shoulders, and do what I needed to do.” 

“That’s right,” Drew responded. “So what is it that you need to do right now?” she asked.

Until Next Time,

Lynn

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#FF Flashback Friday – Meet author Missouri Vaun

Hello friends, today is #FF Flashback Friday and I am featuring an interview from Missouri Vaun, originally posted on Feb-27-15. With the arrival of her new book, ‘Crossing the Wide Forever’ (debuting Jun-01-17), here you can get to know her. Come stop by and meet this magnificent multi creative woman. Enjoy.

‘Crossing the Wide Forever’ excerpt

 

Crossing the Wide Forever Cover

Purchase ‘Crossing the Wide Forever’

 

Good afternoon and welcome my friends.  I have had a very busy two weeks.  During this time, I got to chat with author Missouri Vaun.  Her most recent work is her upcoming novel, ‘All Things Rise,’ from Bold Stroke Books, which she will be discussing today.  It is a f/f romance and is planned to be released this May.

All Things Rise 150 DPI

“Feeling unable to let Audrey go, Cole pulled her close and kissed her. It was as if the two of them together were able to create a space that only they inhabited, from which the world fell away, the sea of pedestrians separating to move around their embrace as if they were a craft upon the open sea.”

Missouri Vaun grew up in rural southern Mississippi, where she spent lazy summers conjuring characters and imagining the worlds they might inhabit. It might be a little-known fact that Mississippi breeds eccentrics, and eccentrics make for good storytelling. Missouri spent twelve years finding her voice as a working journalist in places as disparate as Chicago and Jackson, Mississippi, all along filing away characters and concepts until they seemed to rise up, fully formed. Her stories are heartfelt, earthy, and speak of loyalty and our responsibility to others. She and her wife will celebrate their sixth anniversary this summer.

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What is ‘All Things Rise’ about?

Cole rescues Ava, a pilot from the Cloud City of Easton who crash-lands near her farm, setting in motion events that will alter the course of her life. It’s a hundred years after peak oil and the rich have risen above the Earth, inhabiting great Cloud Cities, while those left behind live a rural existence, off the grid. After suffering a vicious attack, Cole is transported to the Cloud City of Easton for emergency surgery. While recuperating and adrift in the unfamiliar social landscape of Easton, Cole begins a journey of discovery. When she meets Audrey, a beautiful doctor, the attraction they share is penetrating and possibly life altering. Explosions, staged by a ruthless underground movement, nearly bring Easton to the brink of collapse. The crisis that rocks the city forces Cole and Audrey to weigh what truly holds meaning and what each is willing to sacrifice for love.

Because of an injury, the main character, Cole (featured on the cover), who is from a rural area is transported to a city for medical care. She finds herself in a world that she’s never experienced. But she’s not the only one changed by the encounters she has there. Those she comes in contact with are changed as well because, by just being who she is, Cole challenges long held stereotypes.

What or who inspired you to write ‘All Things Rise?’

Initially I think it was coming to the realization that the rich are getting richer and the poor are getting poorer. We are living in a time of increasing disparity. And I thought, what if this keeps moving in the same direction until the rich leave all of us behind altogether? In my future world, the super rich have completely separated from everyone else. So the elite live separated from the ground in these big urban centers. The middle class and lower classes have been left on the ground for a hundred years basically living a 19th century existence because oil has peaked and the power grid no longer exists. (And I had this idea on paper two years before that lame movie, “Elysium” came out.)

After I submitted my manuscript there was actually an article in Vanity Fair about these new super high, very narrow skyscrapers for the extremely rich in NYC. In the article they said something about the rich separating from the earth and living in the clouds and I thought, wow… that’s basically what happens in my book.

I don’t want the future setting to make this book seem like it’s pure science fiction. It’s really not. In fact, a lot of the book takes place where Cole lives so those parts are almost like reading a story set at the turn of the 20th century. The “science” in this book is a minor character. The book is really about the relationships that develop between the three main characters.

What was the deciding factor for you book title?  Did it just come to you or did you try different ones?

The title is a tribute to a book by Flannery O’Connor, “Everything That Rises Must Converge.” It was really my first idea and it just sort of stuck.

What traits were you looking for when you were creating the main character for this story?

I tried to create a trio of very different characters. In the beginning they had more of a love triangle but as the story evolved that thread dropped away and while all three characters have very strong feelings for each other the primary romance ended up developing between Cole and Audrey, even though Ava is the person who brought them together.

Did you do any types of writing while you were in school?  If so did you receive any awards or recognition for your work?

I didn’t do much writing in school. I was a fine art major. I actually did the illustration of Cole that Bold Strokes Books ended up using on the cover. After graduation I worked for a string of newspapers for about 12 years, both as an illustrator and as a staff writer. But if anyone does a search for Missouri Vaun they won’t find the name listed on these projects because that is a pen name. Missiouri Vaun was my great-grandmother’s name. All my other writing has been published under Paige Braddock.

Was there anyone, in your life who was an inspiration for you to write?  If so what did they do?

I think great writers inspire me, although, my own work doesn’t come anywhere close to theirs. In my favorites list I would put: Eudora Welty, James Agee, Cormac McCarthy

I think of myself as more of a storyteller than a writer.

Do you have anything specific that you want to say to your readers?  Can you elaborate on what has worked for you?

My goal would be for readers to emotionally connect with the characters I’ve created. That would be my wish. That these characters seem real to the readers in such a way that readers become invested in what happens to Cole and Audrey and Ava.

Do you have a favorite quote from a favorite author?  What does it mean to you?

I have a few… from Cormac McCarthy: “Between the wish and the thing the world lies waiting.” This quote actually inspired the second book in this series, which will be released later this year.

What hobbies do you have?

My biggest hobby is drawing. I probably spend every spare minute either writing or drawing.

What has been your favorite part of being an author?  The least fave?

I think my favourite part of being a writer is the freedom it gives you to create characters and worlds. There’s nothing more fun that starting with a blank slate and building a world. In terms of least favourite, I don’t think I have anything yet… ask me again next year.

What was the last movie (theatre or dvd) you saw?  Would you recommend it?

‘I Origins’ was the last movie I watched. And I would recommend it.

Where would you go for your dream vacation?  Would you ever use that location as the main location in a future story?

I love the desert of southern California. Joshua Tree is one of my favorite places as is Death Valley. I would definitely set a story there at some point. I actually have a western on the back burner at the moment, some of which would take place in the arid places in northern New Mexico. Cormac McCarthy wrote “Blood Meridian” and set it in the same borderlands area. That’s a great book if you’re into that genre.

What is in the works next for you?  If you can’t share, I totally understand and respect this.

My second book is titled “The Ground Beneath.” It’s a novella that focuses on one of the secondary characters that I really liked from the first book. I wanted to give her a happy ending. This novella will be a digital release in August.

The third novel, “The Time Before Now,” will be out in October. It’s a prequel of the first book. After one of my beta readers finished the first manuscript, she said she’d love to know more about two of the older characters in the story, so book two is their story. It takes place twenty years prior to the first book and focuses on the story of how they met and fell in love.

Missouri’s hard work and dedication is really evident.  In addition to working on her next book, she has done some really incredible interviews. This one is a live chat with Liz McMullen and if you haven’t checked her out, you are in for a real treat.  Liz is the creator of The Liz McMullen Show and Lizzy’s Bedtime Stories.

Live Chat With Liz McMullen

Also, take some time to check out Missouri’s blog.  Here she writes about fun things, including her story, “Jane’s World” and other news in her life.  While there, feel free to add comments and join in her conversations.  Also don’t forget to like the blog.  If you want to connect with Missouri, sign up to receive blog updates.

Missouri’s Blog

Missouri has been kind enough to provide an exciting excerpt from “All Things Rise.”

Cole placed the basket and fishing rod on the ground and walked slowly toward the ridge where she’d noticed the glowing object. Dry twigs snapped underfoot despite her best efforts. She didn’t want to make too much noise, not knowing what to expect. And then Cole saw it clearly. It was a shiny capsule of some sort. The glow was coming from a glass window in the center of what looked like an oval door. For what seemed like longer than a minute, Cole stared at the gleaming object. It was all slick metal and glass, the only modern thing for miles in any direction, and here it was, less than half a mile from her family’s cabin. 

Cole took a few steps closer and saw the dark shape of someone inside. The cruiser must have crashed, but it looked none the worse for wear. There was a pile of upturned dirt at the front of the vehicle. The crash landing had cut a ditch of sorts through the brush before it abruptly stopped right next to a giant oak. There were scratches all along its sides, probably from tree limbs, but no punctures were easily visible. Cole had never been this close to an aircraft, but had seen photos of various kinds in old books. She’d always wondered what it would be like to fly one, to get a bird’s eye view from something higher than the old fire tower on Black Mountain.

There was a handle on the exterior of the vehicle that seemed like it would open the door. It was colored red as if to say, “Open here.” Cole reached for it and then stopped her hand midair. She had a momentary thought that this felt like one of those times when you knew you were doing something that you couldn’t take back. When you knew you were doing something that would change everything that came after this one action. Ignoring her fears, she pulled the release.

Here are Missouri’s links where you can follow her.

Missouri’s Facebook Page (Don’t forget to like the page)

Missouri’s Twitter Page

I want to thank Missouri for stopping by today.  It was a pleasure speaking with you and we are looking forward to the release of ‘All Things Rise.’  I can’t wait to read this incredible story!

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Thank you for joining us today. Like I mentioned above, Missouri’s new book, ‘Crossing the Wide’ is now available for purchase. Feel free to use the comments to talk about both of these books, as I am looking for discussion. In the meanwhile, check out her website under Paige Braddock displaying her artwork. It is very amazing as you can see from the above pictures.

Paige Braddock Art

Until Next Time,

Lynn

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