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Rachel McClellan

Llona will do whatever it takes to protect her new found friends and home, but the dark plot threatening Lucent Academy, a school that’s supposed to be a safe place for Auras, may be too powerful for even Llona to defeat. This fast-paced tale of love, loyalty, and overcoming the darkness will keep you on the edge of your seat until the last page!


What/who inspired you to become a writer??
I’ve always enjoyed writing and wrote all the time, but I never believed I could become an author. Honestly, I didn’t think I was good enough, but then a trip to Ireland changed everything. Something there helped me grow a pair of ovaries to just go for it. So I guess you could say Ireland inspired me.

Do you have a favorite genre of book that you like to read/write? If so, why??
I love anything related to the supernatural: urban fantasy, paranormal, horror, etc. Life can be incredibly hard so I like “escaping” to worlds were good triumphs over evil, where a normal person can suddenly be the most important person in the world, where our imagination is pushed to the limits and on and on.

What helping aids do you use to focus when you write? Music?? Nature???
Two things are a must have: Music (dark, moody stuff) and my Alphasmart which is keyboard with four lines of visible text at the top. These two items go everywhere with me.

What character(s) of your book, Fractured Soul do you relate to the most??
Llona and Liam. I want to be the best possible person I can be, but there are times when it’s hard to keep fighting, keep putting on a brave face when you’re struggling inside. I was recently diagnosed with MS so this has come to mean a lot more to me.

What words of wisdom would you like to share with aspiring writers like myself?
If writing really is a passion, you must research everything about it. Stalk agents blogs, study other author’s novels, read books on writing, and encourage, even seek out, criticism of your work. It’s the only way you’ll get better.

How do you visualize your stories?? In pictures?? Conversations? Dreams?
They come to me in pictures, the exact way I’d see them as if on a movie screen. That’s why I like using the Alphasmart. With so few lines of visible text, it prevents me from being tempted to edit as I go. I can write as fast as my fingers can type.

What are your writing goals for the next 5 years??
I want at least one book a year published, which means I need to write a lot. I’d even like to get into screenwriting.

How long did it take you to write Fractured Soul? What/who inspired these books??
It took about six months and then another three to edit it. What inspired me to write this series? I wanted to write something different. I thought of all the supernatural beasties that “exist” in our world. As the little wheels in my brain turned, I thought it would be cool to have a girl who could use light as a power. Then when I overheard someone talking about the aura’s surrounding a person, I sort of put the two together. Just like peanut butter and chocolate, it turned pretty good.

If you could have dinner with someone dead or alive, famous or not famous, who would it be and why??
My great, great and so on, great aunt was Mary Surratt, the first woman legally hung in the USA for her role as a conspirator in Abraham Lincoln’s assassination. She always claimed she was innocent as did a few others. I’d like to know the truth.

Let’s do something fun…write something about each of the next 10 words in 10 words or less.

What’s involved with my CrossFit workouts.

Hugh Jackman.

When all my kids get home from school.



Something I’m always striving for.

A very beautiful word.

The most important thing that helps me write.

Tampons rock.

Date night. Or using the bathroom.

Something I used to have before four kids.

If you found yourself on a deserted island, what 10 things would you take and why?
A yacht so I can get off when I feel like my kids might need me.
A TV so I don’t miss any of my favorite shows.
My mattress because I want to be comfortable.
A dirtbike because, um, yeah, so fun.
An Olive Garden so I will always have good food.
My husband so I don’t get “frustrated”.
An Alphasmart so I can still write.
A metal detector so I can find the buried treasure.
Prozac in case I start going all “Lord of the Flies”
A full tool chest so my husband won’t be bored, or more like so he can build me a sweet home.

How do you write your books?? Are you by the seat of your pants writer or do you plot out your books in advance??
A combination of both. I always know the ending before I start any novel. Then from there I’ll plan out the next few scenes ahead of time, but that’s as far as I go when it comes to organization.

And last by not least, if you could time travel what period of the history of future would you go to??
I love the beauty of the Downtown Abbey times, but I’d get bored and would be pissed that I couldn’t do dude stuff and have wild adventures. That’s why I like right now. As a woman, I’m not limited to what I can do and experience. I hope it’s still that way in the future, but since I have no way of knowing, I wouldn’t want to go there.

Feel free to any other interesting tidbits about yourself 🙂 Please include your social media links.

Author Bio
Rachel McClellan was born and raised in Idaho, a place secretly known for its supernatural creatures. When she’s not in her writing lair, she’s partying with her husband and four crazy, yet lovable, children. Rachel’s love for storytelling began as a child when the moon first possessed the night. For when the lights went out, her imagination painted a whole new world. And what a scary world it was…

Find Rachel

Facebook  |  Blog   |  Website   |   Twitter   |  Goodreads  |  Book Trailer

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Brian Palmer & Jason Rowe Interview



Jason Rowe is a published nonfiction writer and journalist, and has been a creative writer professionally for nearly 20 years. Jason first had the vision for the XII saga in 2001 but it was only after sharing the vision with friend and co-worker, Brian Palmer, in the summer of 2008 that the two decided to join creative forces and give birth to this 8-book series including an imagined future earth, a daunting cast of heroes and villains, and the underlying message of the series as a whole.


Brian Palmer has been a creative freelance writer for print and online publications in the music, literary, film and sports worlds since 2004. He graduated with a degree in English and an emphasis in creative writing from the University of Puget Sound in 2000. The XII saga is unlike any creative endeavor he has ever participated in, and it thrills him to no end.




Here is the blurb for the novel:

A century after the world was predicted to end, it was indeed reborn. Under the leadership of the Overseer of New Earth, minds were united, diseases were cured, and the Earth was healed when population centers minimized mankind’s footprint, and the remainder of the planet was turned over to the will of nature. War was eradicated, the world embraced one religion, and the New Era began.
But darkness rises now, mistaken for a mere shadow cast by the bright light of human progress. It is the time of which the ancients foretold. It is the time when all things must end. …It is the time of The Twelve.
Six men and six women representing all creeds and colors are supernaturally gifted, but the unlikeliest of heroes. They are barely adults by the world’s standards, but still they are called.
Only they can stand against the growing darkness – but will they stand together?
XII: Genesis is the first installment of an eight-book series in the Young Adult / New Adult genres. If action excites you, if the supernatural intrigues you, and if love compels you – then you are invited to join The Twelve in their fight against the growing darkness that threatens New Earth!

What inspired you to become a writer??

Brian: I was at a camp in high school, I think it might have been right before my sophomore year in high school, and they were offering a poetry workshop. I tried it out, dug it, and wrote a lot of poetry until I went to college. I majored in English and did my emphasis in creative writing, and after I took my first short story class, I was hooked and knew that writing–specifically short stories and novels–was what I wanted to do.

Jason: My earliest inspiration was my mother who was a writer, media, and creative talent herself. She instilled a love for reading and storytelling in me as soon as I was old enough to read. So my passion for reading led directly to my passion for writing.


What character(s) of your book(s) do each of you most relate to??

Brian: In a way, I think I relate the most to Juan just because he is not boisterous, and tends to be more introspective than anything else. He also has a habit of getting run over in conversations, which has happened to me on a number of occasions in my life.

Jason: I think there is inherently a part of me represented in each if the characters, make and female – but if I had to pick one, Stone is probably the one I identify with most as his personality, temperament, and mannerisms most closely mirror my own.


How do each of you visualize your stories? By dreams? Inner monologue with your characters, dreams, etc.?

Brian: Usually I’ll get some sort of flash in my mind, either while I am awake or sleeping, that sets me to thinking about what could result from that picture. Is this the beginning of the story? The middle? Who are these characters? What sorts of dilemmas are they facing? Then usually it is a process of freewriting to explore the possibilities while attempting to find the characters’ voices. I also try to think of where this story is set, what I know about the area, what I can add to the background so to speak, and then once I have exhausted those ideas, I determine whether or not I am just going to make up locations for the rest of the story to take place in, or try to use actual settings instead.

Jason: My stories always begin with drama or a vision and are then developed through internal monologue, more story immersion-based day dreaming while away from the keyboard, and then ultimately finished and polished through brainstorming or creative feedback.

What is your individual writing rituals? Music?? Silence? Meditation?

Brian: If I’m solo writing then it’s the film scores of Thomas Newman (American Beauty, The Shawshank Redemption, Road to Perdition, The Adjustment Bureau, Meet Joe Black), or the soundtracks to the Final Fantasy VII, IX and X video games. If Jason and I are Skyping together, that’s a whole other dance entirely! Prayer starts us off in the right direction, and then we hash out the details of whatever scenes we’re writing and pray that we won’t be interrupted too much by our kids!

Jason: I play each scene out in my mind starting at scene one (prologue or chapter 1) before writing it. Then I visualize the next natural step in the story that will most organically, plausibly, and compellingly take it towards the conclusion I have in mind. Because I allow the characters to tell me how they want to get there, I write in silence to better hear their voices. Prayer helps considerably as well.

What inspired you to write & collaborate on XII: Genesis ?

Brian: I’ll defer to Jason on the writing aspect since he had this idea long before he even met me, but as for collaborating, he told me about the idea for the XII Saga and even though it was completely unlike anything I had ever worked on before, I knew I wanted in right away. Even then, four years ago, this story was global in scope and potential, and the challenge of trying to wrap our minds around it all and figure out how we were going to tackle this appealed to me greatly. I was hooked!

Jason: I had the vision for XII many years before meeting Brian. What I envisioned was a dark themed, dystopian future epic with supernatural and heroic elements featuring young and new adults as the heroes. Beyond that, I wanted the story to have a purpose in addition to being compelling entertainment. When Brian and I began to toss around the idea of a collaboration, I shared the XII premise and we knew right away that it was the project with the most teeth and enough content to keep two capable and independent writers sharing the wheel effectively.


If you could be a book genre? Which one would you choose and why??

Brian: Before the XII Saga came around, I would have said that nebulous little thing called literary fiction because that’s what I wrote prior to starting work on this series. Now, I’m siding more with the notion of a supernatural action series like this one!

Jason: I would choose the young adult/new adult genre with a premise pretty much what we’ve created with XII. There’s action, drama, romance, life choices, and using ones unique talents as well as the collaborative strength of partnering with others to overcome evil and leave a positive legacy in the world.


What knowledge do you want to share with aspiring authors like myself??

Brian: Be authentic, be passionate, be dedicated. People will be drawn to the story you write if they can tell you feel like it’s the coolest thing you’ve ever read or written. It doesn’t have to be the next Twilight, it just has to contain a vitality that jumps off the page at the reader in a way that says, “Wow, this author wasn’t just trying to follow a tried-and-true formula to become a National Bestseller, they freaking had the time of their life coming up with this story!” Readers are smart. They can tell if you’re faking it. Don’t fake it!

Jason: I think being a great writer begins with being a passionate reader. You can’t make a great cup of coffee if you’ve never tasted one and writing is just like that. Having good ideas isn’t enough. You have to learn the craft through absorbing inspiration from other writers and then honing your craft through the writing process. Too many talented individuals either give up because they don’t think they are good enough, or they lack the endurance to stick with it through the long and often daunting process of birthing their story and characters into the world. Be passionate, believe in yourself, and stick to it.


if you were stranded on a deserted island, what 5 things would you bring and why??

Brian: A water filtration system, for obvious reasons. A Bible for guidance and peace because that book has helped me through a number of tough situations in my life and I think being stranded on a deserted island would be a pretty tough spot to be in! My laptop complete with a magical battery that could last for many, many years without dying…just in case! And I’ll cheat and say my wife and daughter, that way I wouldn’t be alone.

Jason: My wife because she’s my best friend. A MacBook Pro with Word and satellite Internet connection for my writing. A bible for inspiration. A deck of cards for when swimming, body surfing, fishing, and tree climbing aren’t entertaining enough, and a homing beacon so that I can be found when I decide its time to return to civilization. 🙂

What other books do you have to write or be written in the horizon??

Brian: I’ll let Jason handle the XII-related material we have in the works (which will keep us very busy for many, many years), but I also have ideas for smaller-scale projects like the novels and short stories I wrote before this series started. More along the lines of indie dramas. That said, I do have one or two high-concept novel ideas that I am currently fleshing out in my mind, but for right now it’s all systems go with XII!

Jason: We’re currently working on book two of the series (there are 8 total). There are a number of nonfiction projects I have in development and another fictional series waiting for XII to be fully established on the best sellers list.


If you could have dinner with anyone alive or dead? Who would it be and why??

Brian: Tolkien. I would love to pick his brain about how he became inspired to write the works he did, and I would love to hear what he thinks of how his novels have been portrayed in on film.

Jason: It feels cliché to say it, but Jesus. Not because its the answer I should give as a man of faith but because He was and is the ultimate storyteller and I’m sure I would take away more over a meal with Him than countless meals with anyone else I’m a fan of. People disappoint, Jesus never does.


If you could time travel, what time period would you go to and why??

Brian: The 19th Century, just because there was so much going on at the time and so many enormous historical achievements taking place here in America.

Jason: Wow. Just one?!! Probably the 19th Century because it was an amazing period for literature and progress.


How do you write your books?? By the seat of your pants? Or is it plotted out in advance??

Brian: The XII saga is the first instance where I have worked on something that involved plotting. Everything I had worked on before was more of a, “Let’s follow this rabbit down the rabbit hole and see where she goes” type of thing, and to a degree that’s how we began this series. But as time went on and we worked on re-writes, we learned that plotting this sucker out was essential, both to the integrity of the story and to help us keep our sanity!

Jason: I’ve learned to be more proactive through my professional experiences but I’m a dreamer and would be led by my dreams if I could do it without negative consequence to myself and others.


Here is a twist…in a sentence of 5 words or less, what comes to your mind first??

Brian: No day but today.

Jason: Change the world using words.

Brian: One final note is we are donating one-third of all net proceeds from this ebook to a non-profit organization in Oregon that is working to rescue women and young girls from the sex trafficking trade in Mumbai, India. We both used to work for this non-profit (it’s how we met, actually, and learned that we were kindred spirits in terms of our creative streaks, love of music, films, etc.) and I had the privilege of going to Mumbai in 2011 and seeing firsthand the work that was being done to change lives there, so this is an issue that is near and dear to both of us.















Today I’m welcoming S.M. Reine to my blog for an insighful interview. She is author of the Descent Series and the Seasons of the Moon series.



Did you always want to be a writer? If so, what medium did you start with? Poetry, Short Stories, Novellas, Novels??

I’ve been passionate about writing my entire life. I’ve always been most interested in novels, although my “books” when I was a child were really more like short stories. I wrote my first full-length novel (over 100,000 words, or 400 pages) when I was in sixth grade. It wasn’t any good. But I’ve been writing books ever since. 🙂

What was the inspiration for your book series, The Descent Series

The Descent Series evolved from a variety of sources. It’s kind of the spiritual lovechild of Joss Whedon TV shows (like Buffy and Angel), The Last Vampire series by Christopher Pike, and Anita Blake. I had this idea about an exorcist character when I was a teenager, and after a few years of fermenting, it turned into Elise and The Descent Series as it is now.

Who are your top 5 favorite authors??

Edgar Allan Poe, Tamora Pierce, Jacqueline Carey, HP Lovecraft, and Stephen King.

What is your favorite genre to read and why?

I love strange, unique contemporary fantasy–like Neil Gaiman’s American Gods. But I have a very big soft spot for urban fantasy in general.

Do you prefer to be indie published, self-published, or traditional published?? Why?

Self-publishing is exhausting, but it really appeals to my control freak side. Ideally, I think it would be nice to have a hybrid career: some books traditionally published, and some published independently.

Did you ever experience a major life changing event that impacted your writing?

It probably sounds cheesy, but the birth of my son really gave me a kick in the pants. Watching his explosive growth from tiny newborn to pudgy baby and lanky toddler gave me a whole new appreciation for how valuable and precious time is. So after wanting to be a professional writer for years, it was the entrance of my son into my life that made me finally take charge and get it done. The first book I published, Six Moon Summer, was started when my baby was just two weeks old. (If that book is kind of nonsensical, it’s because of the delirious new parent hormones. Sorry, readers!)

If you could be any book genre, which one would you choose and why?

I would be memoir. It’s pleasantly boring, but you only write memoirs about the interesting lives of successful people. 😉 Failing that, I would love to be high fantasy adventure.

Name a song(s) that define(s) you as a writer.

Coconut by Fever Ray. Go look it up. It’s a really weird song! But the tone really captures my bizarro head space while I write.

If the world was on the edge of extinction, how would you survive??

I would do everything my husband says, because I am hopelessly incompetent where such things are concerned, and I know he would take care of me.

What advice would you give to other aspiring writers like myself??

Focus on the writing. There is so much other stuff surrounding publishing: agents and publishers, if you’re going the traditional route; marketing and social media once you’re published; lots of other flotsam. It’s distracting and time-consuming. The easiest thing to control is the quality of your writing, and the frequency with which you finish projects. It also happens to be the most fun. So when in doubt, write more books!

What other projects do you have on the horizon??

I have a few things brewing. Most of my focus in the first half of 2013 is going to be wrapping up the main arc of The Descent Series (which has three more books). I’m also publishing a serial novel in the Seasons of the Moon series. The latter half of 2013 will be a new series–I’m thinking paranormal mysteries. I’m really excited about it.

Tell us about 5 books that changed your life in some way??

1. The whole Wheel of Time series by Robert Jordan. It was my introduction to high fantasy (yes, before Lord of the Rings!). The depth of his world building, the huge cast, and the epic story lines shaped the way I write in a significant way.

2. The Last Vampire by Christopher Pike. Just the first six books. I don’t like the new ones. The heroine is awesome, his writing style was so lean and mean, and I love how he didn’t back away from the tough ending.

3. It’s a short story, but The Tell-Tale Heart by Edgar Allan Poe. My mom used to read that one to me as a bedtime story (which should probably say a lot about me). It gave me an obsession with the dark and strange.

4. The Handmaiden’s Tale, by Margaret Atwood. I read it for the first time in sixth grade, and it was my introduction to feminist theory, as well as what later would become an extremely popular genre among teens: dystopian fiction.

5. Peter Pan. It becomes more meaningful as I grow older. The Peter Pan character as a psychopomp, and the way it addresses the concept of aging–it’s very profound.

If you could time travel, what time period would you go to and why??

I would go a few hundred years into the future. I’m so curious about what’s to come.

And a fun one, what would you do if there was a zombie apocalypse?

My husband’s grandparents live a few miles from us at the top of an isolated hill. They have a basement full of canned Spam and shotguns. It would be easy to pick off zombies as they staggered up the road, and we could live on that nasty salted meat for at least a few months.

Feel free to add any social media links you have and anything else you felt I should have added to this interview.

I can be found on Facebook at 🙂

Thanks for joining me and being a part of my blog!

Thank you for inviting me!

Vanessa Williams Interview

Today, I’m welcoming Vanessa Williams to my blog for an in depth interview. She is author of three books, Drowned Sorrow, The Strangers Outside and A Good Man.

Grab a chair and get a virtual drink from the bar as you read Vanessa’s thoughts.


Was there anything about your upbringing that influenced your love of paranormal subjects?

I was an anxious child. Even the news scared me. When I was a toddler, I saw an ad for The Planet of the Apes on television. The images from that movie scared me so much that the apes materialized in the living room and continued to ‘visit’ me for several months. They looked as real to me as my friends and family. Despite my fears, I very quickly became attracted to anything horror and paranormal. I guess it was a way to process those fears. In any case, my fears disappeared as soon as I showed an interest in the genre.

As a child, what did you want to be when you grew up?


What do you like to do when you’re not writing?

Eating out, cooking, going to film festivals, watching movies, reading, cuddling my cat.

What are your favorite writing snacks?

Cheesecake, marinated olives and tea.

What does your family think of your writing?

Most of them don’t understand English, so they can’t read my books (I’m originally from Belgium and my native language is Dutch). At first they were a bit hesitant about my career choice, but now that I’m starting to be on television and in magazines, they’re rather proud.

Do you hear from your readers much? What kinds of things do they say?

Believe it or not, but most letters I get from my readers are from men telling me that I’m beautiful.
What do you think makes a good story?

It depends from person to person, but good characters and a exciting beginning and ending are a good starting point, because people will always remember the beginning and the ending.


Screenwriter and novelist Vanessa Morgan is known as the ‘female version of Stephen King’. She has written three books of supernatural suspense: Drowned Sorrow, The Strangers Outside and A Good Man. You can find out more about Vanessa Morgan and her work by going to her personal blog

Books by Vanessa Morgan

A Good Man (web)

A Good Man

Do you like Dexter and American Psycho? Then chances are you will love A Good Man.

Louis Caron is a good man – he’s a vegetarian, feeds homeless people, takes care of animals and is converned with the ecological well-being of the planet. But his altruism has a sinister edge – he’s a vampire and local detective Taglioni becomes increasingly suspicious of him. Louis’ attempt to escape the police will take him on a journey into his own private hell where he is not only forced to confront his worst fears, but where he will also destroy the lives of those he cares about.

The Strangers Book Cover

The Strangers Outside

Two sisters, Jennifer and Louise, return to their remote holiday cottage after a day at the seaside. But little do they know they’re being surrounded. Soon after their arrival, the girls will come face to face with the strangers outside. When the assailants make their intentions known, things take a shockingly terrible turn and an intense battle for survival will begin.

Drowned Sorrow

Drowned Sorrow

Megan Blackwood has just lost her son in a terrible accident. Now she has come to Moonlight Creek with her teenage daughter Jenna, hoping that a change of scenery might help to put her life back together. But something odd is going on in Moonlight Creek. When rain falls over the village, the inhabitants commit grisly murders, leaving the village deserted with the first rays of sunshine. Beneath the lake’s surface, an eerie presence watches… and waits… Waits to reveal a tragic past drowned in mystery and fear. One that doesn’t bode well for visitors. By the time Megan realizes that her daughter is in danger, it might already be too late.


Today I’m welcoming Janine Spendlove to my blog with an insightful interview~~~Grab one of her books today!!!





Did you always want to be a writer?

No, it’s been a more recent desire over the last 5 years or so. A new “hobby” if you will.

If so, what medium did you start with? Fanfic! Yup, I’m not embarrassed to admit it. Fanfic is a great place for aspiring authors to practice/learn the ropes of writing. My first published work was a couple of non-fiction short stories in the anthology “Supersonic Saints: 2” (under my married name).

What was the inspiration for your book series, War of the Seasons?

I have a full post about why I wrote War of the Seasons here:

But in summary, I lost someone very close to me and writing War of the Seasons: The Human helped me deal with my feelings and heal.

Who is your favorite author??

Oh man, that’s hard. I have a couple I really REALLY like. Jane Austen, Orson Scott Card, & Aaron Allston are all up there for sure though.

What is your favorite genre to read and why?

I used to easily be able to say “fantasy!” but so much has changed, especially now that I write fantasy. I love Sci-fi, of course, but also really enjoy non-fiction (history, military history, biographies), military fiction, and of course, the classics.

Do you prefer to be indie published, self-published, or traditional published?? Why?

ALL! I’ve been published all three ways, and they all have their positives and negatives. So it really depends on the project & how much control I want over it.

Did you ever experience a major life changing event that impacted your writing?

Oh yes, as I answered above in why I wrote War of the Seasons.

If you could be any book genre, which one would you choose and why?

You mean me as a person? We’ll I suppose I’d like to be “fantasy,” because then I could fly without an airplane.

Name a song(s) that define(s) you as a writer.

Yet another difficult question & something I also recently posted about on my blog here:

But if I have to be pinpointed down on one, I’ll pick an album, Abbey Road, by The Beatles. It’s got it all – action, adventure, silly shenanigans, and even some romance.

If the world was on the edge of extinction, how would you survive?? I wouldn’t worry about myself. I’d make sure my children were taken care of and do what I could to help everyone else after that. Zombie apocalypse, now that’s a different situation…

What advice would you give to other aspiring writers like myself?? Start writing and don’t stop, even if you think it sucks. Keep writing. “Just keep writing, just keep writing…”

What other projects do you have on the horizon??

I’ve got several sci-fi and fantasy anthologies I’ve been asked to contribute stories to that I’m in the process of writing. I’m very excited for them – one is a superhero story, another is a literal “fairy tale”, and the last is short story about one of the characters in my War of the Seasons series.

I’ve also got a novella tentatively titled “A Truth Universally Acknowledged” that should be out this fall. It’s a retelling of Pride and Prejudice set 400 years in the future, in space, between a couple of military pilots. So I suppose it’s a military science fiction romance story.

Lastly (for now), I am also working on the third book in the War of the Seasons series, The Hunter. It should be out at the end of 2013.

Tell us about 5 books that changed your life in some way??

1-The Bible & The Book of Mormon – is it cheating to count these both as one? Well if it is then I’m a cheater. That said, these books are integral to my faith and my life, so yes, definitely life changers.

2-The Chronicles of Narnia – again, I know it’s 7 books, but I view the series as one. These books were the first that truly stirred my imagination, made me daydream, and made me long for a Narnia of my own. To this day whenever I stay in a new room I always peak inside the wardrobe…

3-Huckleberry Finn – A book I’ve read several times over my life (starting when I was 12), and each and every time I learn something new. And it’s also just a great story.

4-Star Wars: The Truce at Bakura – definitely not my favorite Star Wars book. Not even close, but this was my “gateway” book. My uncle Leo gave it to me & I literally stayed up all night reading it. I couldn’t put it down. I was 14 and I could not get enough of Star Wars after this book. I’d always liked Star Wars before reading this, but after reading it I LOVED Star Wars and I was well on my way to a lifelong obsession. The fandom has been so much a part of my life since then, and I can’t imagine my life without it. As far as my favorite Star Wars books? The X-Wing Series, HANDS DOWN no competition!

5-A Message to Garcia – if you haven’t read it, you should. It’s a relatively short essay about young Lieutenant charged with delivering a message to, you guessed it, Garcia. The key point of the story that I took out of it is that in the face of many obstacles he accomplished the mission. He never gave up, he kept going, and though he wasn’t given instructions on how he was to go about it, he accomplished the mission.

If you could time travel, what time period would you go to and why??

Eh, could be I a Caucasian male while I time traveled? Because otherwise I don’t think I care to visit anywhere in the past (except maybe to the early 1960s so I could see the Beatles perform before they got too big. Then of course we’d become BFFs, because that’s how time travel works, right?). All joking aside, as someone with a huge love for history, I’d be very hard for me to pick a single time period, and I’d be too tempted to change/fix things. The Doctor would have his hands full with me as a companion…

And a fun one, what would you do if there was a zombie apocalypse?

It depends on where I am. If I’m near a military base I’m going to throw on my uniform, pick up a rifle, and defend our position/help lead the Marines in our defense against the zombies.

If I’m not anywhere near a military base, well, I’m a pretty fast runner & I can run for miles and miles without rest… All I have to do is stay ahead of the zombie bait behind me.

Feel free to add any social media links you have and anything else you felt I should have added to this interview.

I can be found online here:








My bio: Janine K. Spendlove is a KC-130 pilot in the United States Marine Corps. Her bestselling first novel, War of the Seasons, Book One: The Human, was published in June 2011 and her next novel, War of the Seasons, Book Two: The Half-blood, was released in June 2012. She’s also had several short stories published in various anthologies. A graduate from Brigham Young University in 1999 with a BA in History Teaching, she is an avid runner, enjoys knitting, playing Beatles tunes on her guitar, and spending time with her family. She resides with her husband and daughter in Washington, DC. She is currently at work on her next novel. Find out more at

Thanks for joining me and being a part of my blog!

Thank you so much for the invite & the opportunity. Hope this is what you wanted/needed.

Melissa Hudson Author Interview

Today,  I’m welcoming Melissa Hudson for an author interview.

She is the author of Lessons in the Dark and Bloodless.

bloodlesslessons in the dark


What/who inspired you to become a writer??

I began writing when I was on maternity leave – I had always wanted to write but until Hannah was born I’d always worked full-time and never seemed to find the opportunity. When several magazines accepted the stories I had written I gained the confidence to begin work on a book.

Do you have a favorite genre of book that you like to read/write? If so, why??

I love to read all sorts of books but my favourite genre is crime fiction as I love intrigue and a fast pace.

What helping aids do you use to focus when you write? Music?? Nature???

When I’m stuck for words I usually go for a walk in the local woods – I find this an enormous help and usually so many ideas come to me that I can’t wait to get back and note them all down before I forget them all.

What character(s) of your book(s) do you relate to the most??

I think I relate to Narelle the most. She is a foster carer and after the initial panic when a new placement arrives, she begins to relax and her love for the children takes over everything else.

What words of wisdom would you like to share with aspiring writers like myself? Never take no for an answer!

How do you visualize your stories?? In pictures?? Conversations? Dreams?

Some of the stories I have written have arisen from dreams though mostly I visualise them, particularly in the bath!

What are your writing goals for the next 5 years??

I’d like to write a sequel to both Lessons in the Dark and Bloodless. I have the story arcs plotted for both. Now all I have to do is find the time!

How long did it take you to write ?? What/who inspired these books??

It took 1 year to write Lessons in the Dark. I was inspired to write it following the end of a long-term placement. I looked after two siblings for two years. They were tiny when they arrived and I grew to love them dearly. When they left me I was heartbroken. I wanted to find a positive way of dealing with all the emotion and also wanted to create something to show them, when they’re older, how special they were (and are) to me.

Lessons in the Dark is based on the time I spent with them and the relationship I built with their birth mother.

If you could have dinner with someone dead or alive, famous or not famous, who would it be and why??

There are so many! It would be so difficult to choose. Jesus – I’d have so many questions to ask him. Madeleine McCann – I have just finished reading the book by her mother and it left me feeling extremely sad for all of them. Guy Fawkes – to find out what really happened.

What made you decide to jump on the E-book trade?? And how do you feel about it??

I have had several non-fiction books published traditionally but after lots of interest and encouragement from several agents, couldn’t make that final hurdle of gaining a deal with a traditional publisher for my novels.

I’m pleased I went for the E-books, although it’s all new to me and I’m still learning how to market myself.

If you found yourself on a deserted island, what 10 things would you take and why?

As long as I had my children and my toothbrush I wouldn’t worry about anything else. I love their company and they keep me buoyed up so that’s all I would need.

How do you write your books?? Are you by the seat of your pants writer or do you plot out your books in advance??

I plot everything in advance, a condensed version. I then split into chapter and jot down basic notes for each with locations etc. I prefer to work with a notepad and pen for the early stages, I find thoughts come to me easier this way.

And last by not least, if you could time travel what period of the history of future would you go to??

I think I would go back to the fifties or sixties, to a time when you could leave your front door open and children played in the street.

Feel free to any other interesting tidbits about yourself 🙂 Please include your social media links.



Lauren Carr



In Shades of Murder, Mac Faraday is once again the heir to an unbelievable fortune. This time the benefactor is a stolen art collector. But this isn’t just any stolen work-of-art—it’s a masterpiece with a murder attached to it.

Ilysa Ramsay was in the midst of taking the art world by storm. Hours after unveiling her latest masterpiece—she is found dead in her Deep Creek Lake studio—and her painting is nowhere to be found. Almost a decade later, the long lost Ilysa Ramsay masterpiece has found its way into Mac Faraday’s hands and he can’t resist the urge to delve into the case.

In Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania, former JAG lawyer Joshua Thornton agrees to do a favor for the last person he would ever expect to do a favor—a convicted serial killer. The Favor: Solve the one murder wrongly attributed to him.

In Shades of Murder, author Lauren Carr tackles the task of penning two mysteries with two detectives in two different settings and bringing them together to find one killer. “What can I say?” Carr says. “I love mysteries and mystery writing. Two cases are twice the fun.”

In her fifth mystery, Lauren Car brings back her first literary detective while introducing a new one. In Shades of Murder, Joshua Thornton teams up with Cameron Gates, a spunky detective who has reason to believe the young woman listed as the victim of a serial killer was murdered by a copycat. Together, Joshua and Cameron set out to light a flame under the cold case only to find that someone behind the scenes wants the case to remain cold, and is willing to kill to keep it that way.

“Readers of my first series kept asking when I would bring back Joshua Thornton,” Carr explained. “However, they are going to find that single father Joshua Thornton is not in the same place since we left him in A Reunion to Die For. His children are grown. He’s more independent, and he’s ready for some romance and adventure. That’s where Cameron Gates comes in.”

With that, Joshua Thornton, Cameron Gates, and Mac Faraday all land together in Deep Creek Lake. Little do these detectives know that the paths of their respective cases are on a collision course as they follow the clues to bring them together in a showdown with killer who’s got a talent for murder!


What/who inspired you to become a writer??

I believe writers are born. They are always writing. My earliest memories are rewriting the Bobbsey Twins after reading it. Instead of looking for a lost bracelet, they were hunting down a kidnapper.

Do you have a favorite genre of book that you like to read/write? If so, why??

Mysteries. Hands down. I consider mysteries word puzzles. They’re like jagsaw puzzles only with clues. The fun in reading them is putting it together. The fun in writing them is to take the murder, and tear the mystery apart and then scatter the pieces throughout the book.

What helping aids do you use to focus when you write? Music?? Nature???

Silence. It used to be music. Classic Rock and Roll. But now, I write in silence, with my dogs (what I call my Muses) at me feet. My dogs, Ziggy and Beagle Bailey, follow me everywhere.

What character(s) of your book(s) do you relate to the most??

Tough question. It used to be Joshua Thornton, my first protagonist. In my first two books, the Joshua Thornton mysteries, he was a single father, widowed with five kids. He felt clueless when it came to his children. That reflected me, a new mother at the time.

Now, it is Archie Monday, in the Mac Faraday Mysteries. She’s his spunky side-kick. She literally came with the house that he inherited from his birth mother. She was his late mother’s research assistant and editor. Now, she’s his romantic interested and things keep heating up between them in Shades of Murder.

What words of wisdom would you like to share with aspiring writers like myself?

Never give up. Most of writing is perseverance, from getting the book written, to editing it, to publishing it, to promoting it. There’s a point every step of the way where you want to stop, but you can’t. You have to keep on going if you want to achieve that dream of being an author.

How do you visualize your stories?? In pictures?? Conversations? Dreams?

Dreams. Even when I get to a point where I don’t know what to do next, I will go to sleep and it will come to me.

I find inspiration for my books everywhere. Someone can be late for an appointment and I’ll be thinking, “Supposed she was kidnapped and murdered by the garbage man, who ended up being a long lost uncle and she’s the only living heir …” Or maybe I’ll overhear someone talking in the booth behind me while waiting for my husband to meet for lunch. They may be gossiping about a co-worker, but in my writer’s mind, I’ll twist and turn it around until I come up with a dead body found in the lunchroom at Petco.

What are your writing goals for the next 5 years??

I am now working a new series, Lovers in Crime. In that, I bring together two characters I introduced in Shades of Murder: Joshua Thornton and Cameron Gates. Dead on Ice will be out this fall. I would like to see one of my series become a television series, possibly on Hallmark Mysteries.

How long did it take you to write Shades of Murder? What/who inspired these books??

Shades of Murder took about a year to write, and I went through several drafts before I came to the final storyline that it is now.

Since I was going back to Joshua Thornton, my first protagonist in the Joshua Thornton Mysteries, I had to really think about him and where he would be in his life now. It’s been five years since I had written A Reunion to Die For. Not only am I in a different place, so is Joshua. His children are leaving the nest. He’s got more independence and is ready for some romance in his life. He’s not the same protagonist that he was when I wrote A Small Case of Murder. He’s ready to lighten up now, which I’ve done myself.

I had been asked by fans of the Joshua Thornton Mysteries to bring back Joshua. So I decided to include him into this Mac Faraday mystery. Since Joshua and Mac don’t know each other, I had to come up with two murder mysteries that, on the surface, don’t appear to be connected, and then bring them together. Coming up with this puzzle was not only a challenge, but a lot of fun.

Mac is a homicide detective whose wife leaves him and takes everything. On the day his divorce becomes final, he inherits $270 million dollars and an estate on Deep Creek Lake.

In Shades of Murder, he inherits a stolen painting that had disappeared the night its artist was murdered. So he starts investigating that case on Deep Creek Lake. Meanwhile, Joshua is working on a cold case of a Jane Doe murdered in Pittsburgh. They come together in the middle of the book.

Shades of Murder actually introduces two characters that I will use in my next book, Dead on Ice, which will come out this fall: Joshua Thornton and Cameron Gates.

If you could have dinner with someone dead or alive, famous or not famous, who would it be and why??

Agatha Christie and Earl Stanley Gardner. I consider them the masters. I jump up and dance on Cloud Nine anytime a reviewer compares me to Agatha Christie, who I am pleased to say, a few have. That makes my whole week.

Let’s do something fun…write something about each of the next 10 words in 10 words or less.

Movement: Life

Fantasy: Can become a reality of you stick to it.

Chaos: Youth

Energy: Something I’m going to lose if it don’t use it.

Balance: Something you get after 50.

Synchronicity: An unobtainable goal in marriage.

Imagination: Use wisely.

Invention: What I do when cooking.

Freedom: You have it. All you have to do is look.

Intelligence: Is a terrible thing to waste.

What made you decide to jump on the E-book trade?? And how do you feel about it??

I was asked. My first two books, A Small Case of Murder and A Reunion to Die For were first generation e-books. I received an e-mail from amazon inviting me to upload them for e-book sale. You could say I was a pioneer. Okay, I did not invent E-books, but I certainly followed closely behind the lead wagon.

Back then, we are talking 2007, soon after A Reunion to Die For came out. At that time, I uploaded them in pdf format. They were available and selling for years. I forgot about them. This was even before the KDP site was up. Then, one day a couple of years ago, I see a horrible review for A Reunion to Die For because of the formatting. The technology had changed so much, and Amazon was still using that pdf that they converted to Kindle, but it did not convert well. I reformatted both A Reunion to Die For and A Small Case of Murder and uploaded them.

If you found yourself on a deserted island, what 10 things would you take and why?

So I’m willingly going to a desert island? As if I plan to be there? Well, my two dogs would be there. So I need to bring dog food, dog beds, dog treats. Will this island have leash laws or can I let them run free.

That leaves the laptop, sun screen, ice cream, coffee, and Kindle for me.

How do you write your books?? Are you by the seat of your pants writer or do you plot out your books in advance??

I plan my books in advance, but in my head. During that process, I will write a loose outline, which I usually don’t refer to because I help to get it straight in my head. Then I sit down and write by the seat of my pants.

And last by not least, if you could time travel what period of the history of future would you go to??

I’d love to go back to the 1940’s or 50’s and be a screenwriter in Hollywood writing movies like Alfred Hitchcock or turning Agatha Christie’s books into movies on the silver screen.

Feel free to any other interesting tidbits about yourself 🙂 Please include your social media links.

Contest! Contest! Contest!

This fall, Dead on Ice, the first installment in a new series entitled the Lovers in Crime Mystery, will be released. This book brings back Joshua Thornton and Cameron Gates, who we first meet in Shades of Murder.

In Dead on Ice, Cameron investigates the murder of a female porn star, whose mummified body turns up in an abandoned freezer found in Joshua’s cousin’s basement.

From June 1-July 31, I am holding a contest to Name the Porn Star! The winner will win autographed copies of all three Mac Faraday Mysteries, and a copy of Dead on Ice, which will be released Fall 2012. (E-pub or print, winner’s choice. Print versions are only available for winners in the US)

The contest is to provide both a stage name (naughty is okay, but it must be clean) and the real name of the murder victim in Dead on Ice. E-mail your suggestions to me ( Put Name the Porn Star in the subject line. Please include contact information, including mailing address and phone number.


Lauren Carr fell in love with mysteries when her mother read Perry Mason to her at bedtime. The first installment in the Joshua Thornton mysteries, A Small Case of Murder was a finalist for the Independent Publisher Book Award. A Reunion to Die For was released in hardback in June 2007. Both of these books are in re-release.

Lauren is also the author of the Mac Faraday Mysteries, which takes place in Deep Creek Lake, Maryland. The first two books in her series, It’s Murder, My Son and Old Loves Die Hard have been getting rave reviews from readers and reviewers. Lauren’s fifth mystery, Shades of Murder has been receiving rave reviews since its release.

Lauren’s sixth book, Dead on Ice, will be released in Fall 2012. Dead on Ice will introduce a new series entitled Lovers in Crime, in which Joshua Thornton will join forces with homicide detective Cameron Gates.

The owner of Acorn Book Services, Lauren is also a publishing manager, consultant, editor, cover and layout designer, and marketing agent for independent authors. This spring, two books written by independent authors will be released through the management of Acorn Book Services.

Lauren is a popular speaker who has made appearances at schools, youth groups, and on author panels at conventions. She also passes on what she has learned in her years of writing and publishing by conducting workshops and teaching in community education classes.

She lives with her husband, son, and two dogs on a mountain in Harpers Ferry, WV.

Visit Lauren’s websites and blog at:



Blog: Literary Wealth:


Gnarly’s Facebook Page:

Twitter: @TheMysteryLadie

YouTube: Shades of Murder Book Trailer:

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