Welcome Renee Pawlish, Author

Welcome to the blog, Renee Pawlish, who is here to share some excerpts from her novels.  Welcome Renee.

Nephilim Genesis of Evil

A dark power described in Genesis revisits the small mountain town of Taylor Crossing. After witnessing an evil presence in New York City, Rory Callahan comes out West in search of answers, and finds a town succumbing to supernatural forces. Now, an evil prophesy may be fulfilled by the Nephilim.


This Doesn’t Happen In The Movies

This Doesn’t Happen In The Movies is a rollicking ride.  Witty, intrepid Reed Ferguson, a wannabe private eye with a love of film noir and detective fiction, needs a paying client to prove his career choice to himself and his parents. The customer shows up at his downtown Denver office in the form of Amanda Ghering, a rich, attractive, but unhappily married woman. She hires Reed to find her missing husband, but it doesn’t take long before Reed realizes that all is not as it seems. The superb cast of characters in this humorous mystery include a duo of oddball brothers who lack common sense and a genius computer geek. Follow Reed as he solves crimes akin to his cinematic hero, Humphrey Bogart.


The Sallie House: Exposing the Beast Within

Paranormal investigative teams are popping up all over the United States, but due to the dangers involved, few investigators explore cases with dark hauntings. However, one team of investigators went where few others dared. Because of that, RIDDIA (Rhode Island Demonic Disturbance Investigative Association) garnered a reputation as the Navy Seals of the paranormal investigative world, a team willing to pursue dark and demonic hauntings. And when the RIDDIA team visited the notorious Sallie House in Atchison, Kansas, they were the first to assume that the entities infesting the house were demonic and the first to challenge the authority of those spirits. For three days, Joe Cetrone and his team investigated the Sallie House, encountering the demonic in ways that affected them long after leaving.

Paranormal investigative teams are popping up all over the United States, but due to the dangers involved, few investigators explore cases with dark hauntings. However, one team of investigators went where few others dared. Because of that, RIDDIA (Rhode Island Demonic Disturbance Investigative Association) garnered a reputation as the Navy Seals of the paranormal investigative world, a team willing to pursue dark and demonic hauntings. And when the RIDDIA team visited the notorious Sallie House in Atchison, Kansas, they were the first to assume that the entities infesting the house were demonic and the first to challenge the authority of those spirits. For three days, Joe Cetrone and his team investigated the Sallie House, encountering the demonic in ways that affected them long after leaving.


Contact Renee Pawlish:









The second Reed Ferguson mystery (untitled as of yet) and a short story collection called Take Five, both soon to be released.

Read This Doesn’t Happen In The Movies — Available at Amazon and Smashwords

Nephilim Genesis of Evil–Now an ebook!  Info at www.reneepawlish.com

Renee Pawlish

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A Guest Post by Author, Camelia Skiba, Welcome!

Chasing Dreams

I’m often asked when do I have time to write? I have a career outside of writing, a family to raise, relatives to visit, birthday parties to attend, laundry, cooking… the everyday routine.

It’s easy to get swamped and not work out / write / finish that book on your nightstand you began three months ago. It’s easy to give up on dreams because to fulfill them you have to exert effort and energy chasing after them, and most of all you have to invest time, time we never seem to have.

Giving up is easy. But not fulfilling. Before you know it, time passes by so fast, your children are out of the house, and you look back with regret for not doing what you loved most—write, crochet, paint, read… and before you know it, you wish time were some magical wand you wave to get back what you’ve lost—your dreams, your passions.

I don’t have a formula for how to find time for your hobbies, but I hope you’ll look inside yourself and see that little girl (boy) you once were, with dreams to become a famous painter, an acclaimed writer or just an amazing conductor, and find within yourself the will to follow that dream.

You will be sidetracked by the load of laundry or the batch of cookies your child needs for the fundraiser. You will feel guilty for not spending time with your husband watching his favorite show. You will be discouraged by the amount of time and energy it requires to follow that dream. All I can tell you is: Don’t. Give. Up. On. Your. Dream.

What you can give up is an hour-long TV show / movie that you can later watch online, and commercial free (about 20 minutes of foods you don’t want to try, or cars you’ll never buy anyway).

You can give up tweeting and following everyone’s daily life on FB—your life is by far more interesting than that of those you follow, I promise you. You can give up reading magazines about Ashton Kutcher and Jennifer Aniston—they don’t even know you exist. Why not make them read about you and your accomplishments?

Ask for help with cooking, laundry, cleaning—we all know you are superwoman, no need to prove to anyone what you are capable of doing. Ask your husband to read a goodnight story to the kids while you close the door to your office and immerse yourself in that passion of yours you’ve had since your childhood.

Have you started yet?

For more information about me, please go to www.CameliaMironSkiba.com

My first novel “Hidden Heart” came out in March 2011. My second novel “A World Apart” is coming out in December 2011.

Hidden Heart can be found at:

 Amazon http://www.amazon.com/HIDDEN-HEART-ebook/dp/B004QGYAG4/ref=tmm_kin_title_0?ie=UTF8&m=AG56TWVU5XWC2

Barnes&Nobles http://www.barnesandnoble.com/w/hidden-heart-camelia-miron-skiba/1030244093?ean=2940012235473&itm=1&usri=camelia%2bmiron%2bskiba

Smashwords https://www.smashwords.com/books/view/44942

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Welcome, R. J. Palmer

Welcome R.J. Palmer, author of Sins of the Father.   We are pleased to have an excerpt from the story due out in early spring of 2012.

Short Description:

A minister losing touch with his faith…

A severely autistic child with no past, no present and no real future…

An evil older than time itself…

When the boy Lucian is thrown into Aaron’s life with nowhere else to go all hell breaks loose and Aaron confronts things he never actually imagined could really exist in an effort to save one small, tortured child.

Excerpt from Sins of the Father:

As Aaron watched in fascination and awe that changed quickly to horror, Lucian sat straight up in bed and abruptly stopped screaming.  His eyes, normally of that purest amethyst color and staring fixedly to the upper right met Aaron’s for the first time.  They darkened with intense anguish before they turned as black as ink in the space of a second and Lucian opened his mouth.

The voice that came from him could not have been his for it was not childlike or sing song and it was not the high pitched voice of a boy of six.  It was low, cold and hateful and it vibrated with fury, awareness and suppressed power.  It crawled along Aaron’s skin as if it had a life of its own and made him feel nauseous and weak.  Its cold caress could be felt reverberating from every corner of the room.  Aaron fought for strength and control of his stomach as the voice that came from Lucian but was not Lucian’s was also accompanied by a sickening stench like that of rot and decay.  There was death and agony and bitter, undiluted hate in the chilling quality of that voice and Aaron’s eyes watered and he gagged with the putrescence.

“Mae yn byw gwarcheidwad.  Mae giât wedi ei agor.  Mae bechodau y tad a gludir ar y mab.  Thirsts Dialedd ar gyfer gwaed.  Rhaid i’r aberth cael eu gwneud.”

Aaron was bitterly cold and shaking with terror as the power of that voice carried him to a place of utter despair and he knew beyond any shadow of a doubt that he was no match, was not equal to the task of helping Lucian no matter how he tried.  No matter what he did, he would lose and he knew keenly that he should just give up now.  What could he do against a voice or presence of that magnitude?  It was a fools’ errand and the effort was lost before he’d ever begun.


This is RJ Palmer, and you’ve just read an ultra short excerpt from my new work titled Sins of the Father, which is scheduled for release in the early spring of 2012.

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Welcome Cheryl Bradshaw, Author

Cheryl Bradshaw–author of Black Diamond Death and Sinnerman, the second novel in her Sloane Monroe series–has stopped by to share some information about her books.  Sinnerman is due out in September 2011.  Black Diamond Death, book one in the Sloane Monroe series, has been rated 4.8 out of 5 stars by reviewers on Amazon.  Welcome to our blog, Cheryl. 


What do you think readers will appreciate most about your book?

With Black Diamond Death, it wasn’t predictable.  Readers were kept in the dark about “whodunit” until the end, and from the feedback I received, everyone found that to be refreshing.  In Sinnerman, you know who he is right away, but you don’t know what he is going to do or if he will be caught, so in that way he’s unpredictable.  He also has a different motivation than a typical serial which makes him unique.

What is different about this book compared to others you’ve written?

Sinnerman is the second novel in my Sloane Monroe series, and yet the tone in some of the chapters is different because once I sat down to write it, I decided to give the killer a voice. So his chapters are in third person while the rest are in first and from the POV of Sloane, and I discovered that third person is really easy for me to write.  It just flows.

Why did you decide to write in this genre?

I started reading Agatha Christie when I was in college and I thought her books were so clever.  She inspired me, and I fit well in the mystery/thriller genre.  It’s easy for me to write.  Had I lived in Jane Austen’s day, I would write romance, but I couldn’t write modern day romance; it would have to be a throwback to another era. I am toying with the idea of writing a Western series no matter how dried up that genre is right now. If John Locke can do it, so can I. 😉

What is your greatest writing strength?

My editing experience.  I’ve been an editor for over ten years so my books are written like a final draft from the start.  I love it!

What is the hardest part about writing?

The hardest part for me isn’t the writing, it’s the want-to-smack-my-head-against-the-wall waiting.  Once my MS is finished, I just want to get it out, so it’s hard to have the patience to wait for a final proof and formatting, etc.  I am not, nor will I ever be, a patient woman!  On my tombstone, I’m sure it will read something to that effect.  “Here lies Cheryl.  The most impatient of women.  R.I.P.”

If you could meet any author who is no longer living, who would it be?

It’s hard to choose just one, and my first instinct will always be to find a way to meet Abraham Lincoln by some caveat like he read all the time or that there are tons of books written about him, so therefore he counts, but since he was never the typical living, breathing author like the rest of us, I’d go with Robert B. Parker.  Reason being, he was on my bucket list of writers to meet in their lifetime and a few months shy of that wish becoming a reality, he passed away. It was hard for me to accept and I realized I shouldn’t have waited so long.

Who is your favorite fictional character and why?

Elizabeth Bennet in Pride and Prejudice because she’s sassy and feisty and never lets anyone get the best of her.  I find it amazing that her character was inspired in a time when there were no writing manuals or how to guides—it’s just great writing.

Can you tell us a little about your next project?

Next up is the third installment in the Sloane Monroe series, I Have a Secret.  It starts off on a cruise with Sloane at her twenty year class reunion.  In chapter one, one of her former classmates is murdered and thrown overboard…and from there, all kinds of mayhem ensues.

Sinnerman Product Description:

What if you’d been given a second chance to catch your sister’s killer—would you take it?  And if you did, would a maximum sentence behind bars be justice enough, or would he have to pay…with his life?


Private Investigator Sloane Monroe has solved every case that’s come across her desk with the exception of one—the brutal murder of her sister Gabrielle. 

Three years ago the killer slipped into the shadows, but today he’ll reappear again in the form of a female victim.      


Park City, Utah was a peaceful place until Sinnerman came to town.

Who is he, and why does he prey on innocent women?


WEBSITE: http://www.cherylbradshaw.com/

BLOG FOR READERS: http://cherylbradshawbooks.blogspot.com/

BLOG FOR WRITERS: http://unearththeclues.blogspot.com/

TWITTER: http://twitter.com/#!/cherylbradshaw


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A Guest Post from Alan Nayes–Welcome!

Thank you, Katrina, for the opportunity to introduce readers to my next release. SMILODON is due out in late September, and is what I term a creature thriller. I’ve always found the subgenre entertaining, and the stories—whether in book version or movie—never fail to capture the public’s attention. Popular examples are JAWS, the ALIEN movies,  RELICJURRASIC PARK, and many more. You get the picture. 

Since publishing THE UNNATURAL, my first creature thriller, I’ve been dying (pun only intended) to pen another one. SMILODON is my terrestrial JAWS so to speak. I’m excited about this one. Like the huge prehistoric predator in the story, this book will grab on to the reader and not let go. The story blurb is about a giant cat that terrorizes a small town in the Pacific Northwest. 

I’m thrilled to give your readers a sneak peak at the cover art and synopsis for SMILODON. Hope you enjoy it.


Seven years after a near-fatal mauling by a grizzly bear, in which his only son was killed, Jason Bristol, a one time prize-fighter and expert animal tracker, is back in the woods tracking again–when he’s not nursing the nearest fifth of whiskey.

Then Jason’s best friend and mentor is discovered half-buried beneath a mat of pine needles.  The prospector’s mangled corpse has been mauled virtually beyond recognition.  A rancher loses a prize thoroughbred and suddenly the nightmare responsible for Jason’s downward spiral is rekindled as Jason is thrust back into the wilderness on the trail of a predator that defies belief.

The time clock has begun for Norah Phelps, too, daughter of multimillionaire real estate developer Richard Phelps whose recent purchase of the 95,000 acre former Clarksdale Animal Preserve has pitted environmentalist and wildlife biologist daughter against capitalist father.  Norah, responsible for relocating the local wolf population, remains unconvinced a pack of marauding wolves are accountable for the attacks and enlists Jason’s help in her quest for the real killer before the spate of killings can jeopardize not only her future but also the future of her father’s prize development project.

Against the majestic pristine backdrop of Idaho’s Bitterroot Wilderness Area, the story unfolds.  Jason, with Norah’s assistance, soon discovers the ghosts of his past are nothing compared to the battle he’s undertaken.

Smilodon.  A saber-toothed cat.  He’s angry, he’s frightened, he’s hungry, and he’s 12,000 years from home.

Look for SMILODON this September at an ebook store near you!


Alan Nayes is the author of the critically acclaimed biomedical thrillers, GARGOYLES and THE UNNATURAL. His most recent release is BARBARY POINT, a love story. He has two other novels that will be published soon. SMILODON is about a huge cat that terrorizes a small town in the Pacific Northwest.  In early 2012, Samhain Publishing will release his erotic horror story GIRL BLUE. GIRL BLUE is about a terminally ill sculptor who becomes haunted by his last work.

Alan Nayes was born in Houston and grew up on the Texas gulf coast. He lives in Southern California.  An avid outdoorsman and fitness enthusiast, he is one of only a few individuals to  ever swim across Wisconsin’s chilly Lake Winnebago. When not working on his next project, he enjoys relaxing and fishing at the family vacation home in Wisconsin.


Alan Nayes’ books can be found at Amazon, Barnes and Noble, and Smashwords.



Amazon http://amzn.to/jwaVbN

Barnes and Noble http://bit.ly/j4mUlk

Smashwords http://bit.ly/kZwoq7 




Amazon http://amzn.to/nUMXs4

Barnes and Noble http://bit.ly/nBThYm

Smashwords https://www.smashwords.com/books/view/77758 





Amazon http://amzn.to/oXRiNV

Barnes and Noble http://bit.ly/oxjm4S

Smashwords  https://www.smashwords.com/books/view/80711 



Readers can contact Alan Nayes at:

Website http://anayes.com/                     

Goodreads  http://www.goodreads.com/author/show/527589.Alan_Nayes

Facebook http://on.fb.me/mflYEU

Twitter http://twitter.com/#!/alannayes

Blog   http://alannayes.blogspot.com/ 

Again, thank you Katrina for having me on your blog.

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Guest Post by Jeremy Bates

 Best Celebrity Home Libraries!

Jeremy Bates, author of White Lies, has stopped by to share with us a guest post on the best celebrity home libraries. 

Here’s Jeremy:

When you think of celebrities, some of the first images that likely pop into your head are villas in remote corners of Europe, garages filled with luxury cars, and closets filled with expensive clothes. But what about libraries? Shelves filled with very ordinary books? Well, yeah, celebrities read too (I assume—and I’m not talking about Kim K or Paris H here or anyone else with an IQ on par with a piece of driftwood!). So if everything else in a celebrity’s life is plated with gold, how about their libraries? Check out the top ten celebrity libraries below! (Credit to Judy Berman at Flavorwire for the photos).

  #1: William Randolph Hearst

Who better to have a sprawling library than a newspaper magnate and leading newspaper publisher of a chain that numbered nearly 30 papers in major American cities. Concerning his library, the picture says it all! It looks like something out of Harry Potter. This was taken in his castle—and if it wasn’t enough, he has a second, private library to boot!

#2: Karl Lagerfeld

This guy puts so much effort into making himself stylish, it’s not a surprise that he would put similar effort into his house—including his library! The photo was taken in his Paris apartment. The collection comprises over 60,000 volumes, making it one of the largest private libraries in the world. I’m guessing a lot of the books are about fashion??

#3: Michael Jackson

MJ! Why not? Again, no surprise. What didn’t this guy do in excess? An self-described bibliophile, he collected over 10,000 books during his lifetime, many of which were on display in his Neverland Ranch estate (I bet he had a few copies of Peter Pan lying around!). Wonder what his music den looked like??





# 4: Mark Twain

Samuel Langhorne Clemens, better known by his pen name Mark Twain, wrote what is often called “the Great American Novel,” so, yeah, sorta makes sense that he had a pretty nice library (besides, what else did you do back in the late 19th century besides read?) The library was designed by Tiffany (his white suits weren’t), and includes hand-stenciled paneling, imported fireplaces, and carved wood decoration. I’m fixing to visit!

#5: Keith Richards

Okay, so you might not think a guy who snorts his father’s ashes and falls out of a palm tree while trying to snag some coconuts would not have a grand, Victorian libray like others on this list—and he doesn’t. His is just downright cool. He confessed in his recent autobiography that he’s always wanted to be a librarian (seriously!). Trade in the guitar for a pair of horn-rimmed glasses? Go for it, Keith!


Jeremy Bates has spent the last ten years traveling the world, visiting more than thirty countries.  He has lived in Canada, the United States, Australia, Japan, South Korea, and the Philippines.  Bates is a graduate of the University of Western Ontario with a degree in English literature and philosophy. 


Website: http://www.jeremybatesbooks.com/

Blog: http://jeremybatesbooks.blogspot.com/

Twitter: http://twitter.com/#!/jemacba/

Book Jacket:


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Guest Post by Sarah Billington

We are pleased to have a guest post by Sarah Billington. Not only is she “a twenty-something editor, manuscript appraiser, eBook formatter, cover designer, short course and workshop instructor,” but she’s an author, too!   Check her out at her website (http://sarahbillington.weebly.com/).

Here’s Sarah:

As a publishing indie author, I know from personal experience just how important it is to have a good editor.  When I’m writing, I can get into the zone. I freaking love my characters, and my novel is a work of genius even if it did come out of my head.  And just like with other people you love, your kids, your husband, or pets, etc., you can become blind to their faults.

I don’t have kids, but I do have a dog who (though everybody says this) is the best dog in the world. Everybody says THEIR dog is the best dog in the world, but in my case it happens to be true.

So maybe she runs outside to bark at possums in the middle of the night, waking up the neighbourhood. Everyone who lives around me can certainly see her flaws. But me? Well, she has such a cute bark….

Just like with my completely perfect dog, I – and all authors – can become blind to my story’s problems too. Sometimes I’ll think it’s flawless just the way it is.

But nothing’s perfect. Especially not a first draft.

When you hire an editor to work through your manuscript, they aren’t blinded by love; they can see what’s good about it (her permanently waggily tail) and what’s bad about it (standing on you at sunrise to welcome you to the day) with a clarity you, as the author, simply can’t possess (at least not until you’ve spent some time apart and the hazy, gooey swirl of infatuation has worn off a bit).

And best of all, an editor can tell you how to fix it!

And though you might not agree with everything your editor says, a lot of the time, you’ll decide they’re right.

Editing is so important to all books, but it’s definitely something indies should spend the money on as it makes all the difference between someone reading half of your first book and deleting it, never to read more from you again, and creating a life-long fan who will forever eagerly anticipate your next work.

After a lot of writing and years of study and experience in the publishing industry, I have the skills to help independent authors and traditionally publishing hopefuls polish their manuscripts, to really craft them and help them meet their potential. And as I’m one of you, I aim to be super affordable (whilst also making a living).

Check out my website http://sarahbillington.weebly.com/ to see what I offer and my super-fabulous testimonials from super-fabulous authors and publishers.

And if you like funny girl books with best friends, betrayals, and awkward first crush moments, then you might enjoy my soon to be released ebook, the middle grade novel Life Was Cool Until You Got Popular. And yes – it has been edited J. And you know what? It made it better and better every time.


LIFE WAS COOL BLURB–Her new novel is coming out in September.

Thirteen year old Kaley’s best friend Jules is an alien clone. That has to be it. Because Jules wouldn’t dress like that or act like that…and she definitely wouldn’t be friends with Meg-a-bitch.

Kaley can’t wait to start at her new school with her best friend Jules. Jules was away in Europe all summer (worst summer of Kaley’s life!) But it’s cool, now school is starting and everything is going to be awesome. However as the school bus pulls up on that first day, Kaley barely recognizes the silky hair and glossy lips as Jules gets off with the cool kids and with their arch-nemesis Meg, the popular girl (God only knows why) who made Kaley and Jules’s lives miserable in elementary school. In Europe, Meg had somehow won over Kaley’s best friend and Kaley finds herself frozen out.

LIFE WAS COOL UNTIL YOU GOT POPULAR is a first person MG told through Kaley’s eyes, chronicling the initial pain and incomprehension of what happened to destroy their friendship. But that doesn’t last long. Kaley decides that underneath the bleached blond clone with the personality transplant, Jules is still in there. Somewhere. And she is going to get her best friend back!

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Welcome Karen Fowler

Karen Fowler has stopped by to visit with us today.  She has some sage advice for writers, and she shares some of her works with us.  Please welcome Karen.

How did you come up with the idea for your book?

The art term “still-life” depicts a moment frozen in time, and I thought it would be an apt name for a story where the paintings show a suspended moment or idea, but together tell a story. From there, the title short was written, but it wasn’t until I started Indie Publishing that I realized I could make a collection of it as well, tying them all together by the theme of painting.

What do you think readers will appreciate most about your book?

Still Life Paintings is a genre sampler in a way, and unlike typical story collections, this one crosses genres quite a bit. The first story is sad, the second one touching, and the third has a happily-ever-after ending. So there’s something for everyone!

Tell us a bit about your writing process.

My process depends on what I’m trying to accomplish. For shorts and collections, I just fly by the seat of my pants, making everything up as I go. For longer works, that approach has only left me with a migraine trying to make a cohesive story from rambling pages, so I tend to write with vague chapter outlines as I go to help keep me on track. Before writing each day (let’s pretend I do get down to business each and every day!), I go back and read over the last chapter. It helps me to focus, and I get some of the minor editing done at the same time.

What is different about this book compared to others you’ve written?

I’d say this collection (barring the first story) is a bit perkier than my normal. While I am a fan of the mythical happy-ending, I’m far too cynical to create them in my writings. The most I can manage is resolution, contentment, and other middle-of-the-road endings.

Most unique or unusual research you’ve ever done for a book?

Does watching hours of Ghost Adventures count? How about True Blood episodes? No, then I’ll have to go with where my current work in progress has taken me– to the legends of the Strega (witch) in Italy.

What is your greatest writing strength?

I tend to write vividly, usually because the story plays like a movie in my head. I attribute this to my other career as a photographer. In fact, I believe my writing has become stronger due to the visual-meets-the-verbal melding. My brain has rewired itself, which has turned out to be a good thing!

 What is the hardest part about writing?

Doing it– the actual sitting down and pecking away at the keyboard. I find this is harder to do now that I have a few published books under my belt. The writing doesn’t flow as unfettered, and I can totally see why a lot of famous writers turn to the drink in order to free themselves from the pressure. I’m not at that point yet, but I do have a bottle of Grey Goose on standby, just in case!

Who are your favorite authors?

I grew up addicted to Poe and Anne Rice. Orwell, Flaubert, and Sinclair also nurtured me through angst-ridden teen years. These days, I find myself drawn to Jodi Picoult when my heart is due for a good twisting or popular paranormal authors when I want an escape. I’ve been reading a good bit of indies lately, and I have found more than a few gems among them as well. Beautiful, Naked and Dead by Josh Stallings comes to mind as does Debora Geary’s Modern Witch Series.

Can you tell us a little about your next project?

I’m currently working an a paranormal tale titled Blood Chord (think dastardly vampires, a haunted violin, and a powerful, yet unaware single mother caught up in it all), and that should be ready for release this fall. Before then, I plan on releasing another a novel-in-stories about a house that changes all who live there in subtle but profound ways, aptly named Home Is Where The Haunt Is.


Website: http://www.quirkygurl.com

Twitter: http://twitter.com/imaquirkygurl

GoodReads: http://www.goodreads.com/author/show/4740694.Karen_Fowler

On Amazon: http://www.amazon.com/Karen-Fowler/e/B004TUFF9S/ref=ntt_dp_epwbk_0

On Barnes & Noble: http://www.barnesandnoble.com/w/still-life-paintings-karen-fowler/1104219161?ean=2940012845269&itm=11&usri=

On Smashwords: http://www.smashwords.com/profile/view/KarenPFowler

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Welcome Shea Macleod, Author

Welcome Shea Macleod.  She’s here to discuss the first book in the Sunwalker Saga, Kissed by Darkness, and the second in the series, her upcoming novel, Kissed by Fire

How did you come up with the idea for your book?

I was always a huge fan of Buffy (the series).  But being in my 20s at the time, I often thought it would be cool to have a sort of older more grown up version of Buffy.  I also thought it would be cool to have a sort of private detective company that secretly investigated the paranormal (too many episodes of Ghost Hunters, I guess).  Those ideas sort of rattled around in my brain for awhile before morphing into something that actually looked vaguely like a real story.  Add to that my obsession with Templar Knights and the lost city of Atlantis and Kissed by Darkness (the first book in the Sunwaker Saga) was born.

Who is your favorite fictional character and why?

That’s a hard one.  There are so many fictional characters I enjoy, but one of my all-time favorites has to be Jessica Fletcher of Murder, She Wrote.  Don’t laugh! lol  Seriously, she’s smart, sassy, and independent.  She doesn’t take any cr*p and she’s not afraid to try new things or put herself in danger in order to get at the truth.    A lesson we could all learn.  In her own elegant sort of way, she kind of kicks butt. Lol

What is your greatest writing strength?

I write the way people talk, the way they think.  My “voice” if you will is very raw and real with a touch of snarky humor.  My readers seem to like that.

Can you tell us a little about your journey to publication?

Sure.  There was never a time when I didn’t want to be a writer; it just took awhile to find the courage and confidence. 

When I finally started sending query letters about 2 ½ years ago, I got nothing but rejections.  It was a big knock to my confidence, especially after a very well-known agent in my genre asked for more of my work and THEN sent a form rejection.  It hurt, and it pissed me off.  She ASKED for my work.  She could have at least taken the time to type a single personal sentence.

But I got over it.  And I kept writing.  And then in April 2011 I discovered JA Konrath’s blog, and things were never the same.  I realized I had another option.  So I got off the query-go-round, and I went indie full tilt.  It was the best decision I ever made.  Kissed by Darkness was published at the end of June, and I have been surprised and thrilled and completely overwhelmed by how much people seem to like it. 

If you could meet any author who is no longer living, who would it be?

Hands down, Agatha Christie.  It was her writing that originally inspired me, and I am still her biggest fan-girl.  Being able to visit her home in Devon was one of the highlights of my travels. 

Why did you decide to write in this genre?

It was more like it decided for me.  I love to read in many different genres, ones that tend to cross over a lot.  I’ve always been keenly interested in the paranormal, so it was just a natural fit.  Being indie means I can mix genres however and as much as I want, and that’s really exciting.  It means I can take my favorite bits and pieces and mash them all up together.  Post-apocalyptic scifi paranormal romance?  Why not!

What are the best and worst writing tip you’ve learned?

“If you don’t have time to read, you don’t have the time (or the tools) to write.” – Stephen King

Best writing tip ever.  How else can you possibly learn your craft but by studying it?  Painters and sculptors copy great works of art.  Actors and singers listen to and watch other performers both in their best performances and in their worst.  In the case of writers, the only real way to study the craft is by READING.

The worst advice I’ve ever heard is “write what you know.”  Um, hello?  If we all followed that piece of rubbish advice, there’d be no such thing as FICTION! 

I say write what you love.  Write what you read.  Write what you can’t NOT write.

Can you tell us a little about your next project?

Absolutely!  The second book in the Sunwalker Saga, Kissed by Fire, will be out later this month.

In the meantime, I’m working on a new post-apocalyptic (with elements of paranormal romance) series called The Dragons Wars.  It’s a trilogy and the first book, Dragon Lord, should be out in October.  And, yeah, there are dragons.

Because, like I always say, everything’s better with dragons!


 You can purchase Shea Macleod’s books at the following sites:

Amazon UK


 You can contact Shea Macleod at her blog.

Blog:  http://sheamacleod.wordpress.com

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Welcome LeAnne Shields, Author of The Alestrion Chronicles

Slaves Redeemed, from the series The Alestrion Chronicles, is a science fiction/ fantasy novel for young adults to adults.  
The book is a moving story of redemption and growth as you cheer for the young heroine’s
growth from the lowest of the low class to eventually the princess of her world.
Aria is a 13-year-old girl that was captured by pirates when she was 5 years old and sold into slavery. Rescued by Jarron Latron, she and her friend Catanya are taken to Aria’s home world of Tanul. There she meets the High King who knows she’s his long-lost granddaughter, but for her safety he lies. This causes her to go into an apprenticeship with a griffin trainer.
After a year in apprenticeship, she becomes a griffin pilot in the village of Delthen where she begins her career with her abusive grandfather. Her friends find a new home for her with her uncle who tells her who she really is.
All the while a man named Galdon is plotting to take over the throne of Tanul and is not happy that the princess has been found. 
Slaves Redeemed, from The Alestrion Chronicles, can be found at all major online book retailers.  $12.95 for paperback — $3.99 for digital.
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