Tuesday, June 25, 2013

Review: Red Rover, Blind Seduction

After a tragic accident, Teresa is left completely blind and is faced with relearning even the simple daily activities she once did on her own. Luckily, she has friends nearby who are there to encourage her, but she is surprised with one additional helper when her best friend presents her with a very special dog. Red appears to be an average German Shepard, but when Teresa finds herself able to communicate with Red she knows he is anything but ordinary. Then, to complicate her recovery even further two men drop into her life unexpectedly, both vying for her love. 

I have to admit, the idea of a talking dog (although he doesn't actually speak out loud) wasn't one that immediately drew me in. I was a bit concerned it wouldn't work in an adult book. Red and Teresa's ability to communicate actually added a very fun element to the book. Red is a spunky dog with lots of opinions and a bad habit of repeating what he hears. There are many parts of the story that are serious in nature and Red adds in just the right amount of humor when it is needed. Red also provides a different kind of friendship for Teresa when she really needs it. He allows her to regain some of her independence and maybe even find a new purpose now that her life and career options have changed so drastically. 

So, I actually ended up with a copy of Blind Seduction, not Red Rover (The new adult version). The romance in Blind Seduction is for mature readers (18+), but the Red Rover version is strictly PG-13, and more appropriate for the "new adult" audience. Both books tell the same story, but are geared at difference reader groups. 

The version I read was definitely intense and attention catching. In some ways it was the main focus of the book, more so than Red and his abilities. Hammond does a great job of creating drama with this love triangle. Teresa has hated Sebastian most of her life. Her ideas of sex and intimacy have been affected by him when she accidentally walked in on him with a woman. There is definitely chemistry between them, but the past is not easy for either of them to forget. Complicating their relationship is Sebastian's friend, David, goes after Teresa with no apologies, and she finds she doesn't want to resist him. Most of the book focuses on the romantic side, and even after Teresa makes her choice, I was left with the feeling that future books may change that and offer up even more romantic drama. 

Make sure you pick up the right book for the right audience. The amount of sexual scenes and their level of descriptiveness in Blind Seduction makes this inappropriate for younger readers. It may not be fro every adult reader, either. Personally, I thought Hammond could have been much less descriptive and still maintained the intensity of the relationships. There was also quite a bit of profanity as well. Had I known about the concurrent version, I would have preferred to read Red Rover, but that is just my personal preference. 

Blind Seduction  (INTENDED FOR MATURE ADULTS OVER 18) is available now from Amazon US and Amazon UK

Red Rover (NEW ADULT VERSION) is available now from Amazon US and Amazon UK

Connect with T. Hammond online at AmazonGoodreadsFacebook, and Team Red FB

Monday, June 24, 2013

Interview: T Hammond

Today I am welcoming T. Hammond to the blog to talk about her new books Red Rover and Blind Seduction. Both books are actually the same story about Teresa and her dog Red, but Blind Seduction is the more "adult" version while Red Rover is more PG-13. Read on to find out more! 

1. What was your inspiration for this book?  
Would you believe boredom? In November 2012, NaNoWriMo had its 50k writing challenge. I got as far as 4500 words into Blind Seduction before the Holiday Season diverted my attention (all those shiny things!). In January, I was bored after the holiday rush and came across the untitled scribblings I had started a few month prior and decided, What the heck? Let’s see where this goes. It started as a story about a woman blinded in an accident who gets a service dog; I had no clue where it would go from there, I just sat down and started typing.

2. Would you classify your writing as plot driven or character driven?
Plot? You’re joking, right? I am most definitely character driven. The few times I tried to outline the story, I got sabotaged. First, I was in the first chapters of Blind Seduction and the dog started talking telepathically with his new owner- what’s with the paranormal stuff, he was just supposed to be an intuitive service dog?  Second, the dog gave himself a different name- I planned to call him Druid, I was surprised he called himself Red. Third, I knew exactly which of the two men in the book would win her affections *snort!* - that certainly didn’t happen according to plan. I was in Chapter Nineteen when I realized that a blind woman and a talking dog were driving the novel and I had lost all control. I no longer plot—I vaguely outline and just start typing.

3. Can you tell us a little about your main character?
Depending on which readers you talk to, there are probably two characters that can claim the main protagonist status. Teresa March is a woman blinded in a freak accident on the day she picks a puppy from her friend’s kennel. The story follows her relationship with her friends (Ken and Janey), two sexy suitors, and her companion dog as she learns to adjust to her blindness. But, if you read the reviews, it’s all about the German shepherd! Red seems to have developed a following, and I have to say, he has some of the best dialogue.

4. Without giving away too much, tell us a little about the main conflict in this book. 
The main conflict is who is going to win The Siege of Teresa March. There are two sexy retired sailors in the novel that compete to win her heart. Sebastian (aka: Bas, or Bastian) is Janey’s brother. He and Teresa have a history that involved Teresa avoiding him for over twelve years. David is Bas’ friend who retired from the Navy, and the guys are planning to go into business together. David is also interested in Teresa and decides to pursue that interest. And so begins a very spirited competition to win her heart. Seriously, we are talking sabotaging each other’s dates, and bribing Teresa’s friends to get an advantage.

5. What do you hope readers take away from this book? 
Blind Seduction is meant to be a fun, laugh-out-loud, sexy, oft times spicy, story that should leave the reader smiling and, hopefully, excited about the next book. The plot revolves around a talking dog, so how serious could it be? The best compliments I get are from readers that tell me where they were when the book had them laughing: doctor’s office, the dentist, or home with the family darting strange looks at their giggle-fits. One woman told how she kept trying not to laugh because she didn’t want to wake her hubby (lying beside her in bed). These fan stories are the most satisfying feedback for me.

6. What song best describes your writing style?
Ha!  You had to ask… I have a few friends that have cursed me for introducing them to this song (one of those catchy ones that you keep repeating in your head).  Welcome to my world; I found this song in 1988 and it’s on all my home made CDs ever since: Fun Boy Three - The Lunatics (have taken over the Asylum)

7. Night Owl or Early Bird?
Sleep is highly overrated.  I get to sleep around 2am and I get up about 8:30am. I think this means I’m a night owl that catches the worm?

8. Skittle or M&Ms?
At this moment, I have 4 bags of Dark Chocolate Mint M&Ms in my snack drawer in my bedroom.

9. Who are your favorite authors?
This list is eclectic: Ayn Rand, Jasinda Wilder, Laurell K Hamilton, Andrew Vachss, Thea Harrison, Mark Henrick, Jim Butcher, Kevin Hearne, Angela Scott, Gennita Low… the list is really, really long (I read an average of a book per day, on top of the writing – see above reference to sleep patterns- so I have exposure to a lot of excellent writers, and love a lot of authors).

10. Can you tell us about any future projects? 
 I write two concurrent versions of the Team Red series. The Blind version (Blind Seduction) is adult-oriented with mature content. The Red version (Red Rover) is a PG-13ish version that targets the NA audience.  The NA version of Red Rover is not a separate story, it is a modified version of Blind Seduction where I reduced the ages of the characters, gave them a different background, and changed the underlying sexual theme of the story, I also removed the graphic sex although there is inference to it (i.e. ‘and the next morning’). The interview questions answered to this point are based on the reviewer’s copy of the book: Blind Seduction.

At this time, I am on target to release Color Blind, Team Red Book 2, in mid to late July (depends on editing). Once that is done, it will take about three weeks to modify and release the story for the NA audience. The New Adult version, Red Zone, Team Red Book 2, will follow in August. 

Read more about T. Hammond's experience with writing concurrent books on her Goodreads Blog. Here's an excerpt of her post. 

"To separate the Adult and the less explicit versions, I decided to re-issue Red Rover as Blind Seduction.

The Team Red series is to be offered in two versions: “Blind” for adult readers preferring a spicier, adult-themed story, and Special Edition “Red” series more suitable for New Adult readers. 

The “Blind” series is written first, then ages are modified and subtle changes made to each story to tone down adult themes and language, making them a new story, with obvious mirrored elements of the original. The Special Edition is not meant to be an original work, it is meant to be a modified work of its original Blind counterpart. I WILL NOT WRITE TWO DISTINCTLY SEPARATE STORIES-- the "Red" series will always be a modified version of the "Blind" series. 

The genre thing will probably never be solved to anyone's satisfaction, especially mine-the Team Red series is a Humorous Paranormal Romance with crime solving thrown in to make it interesting.

So here's the scoop:

Team Red ‘Blind’ series:
Blind Seduction, Book 1 (originally issued as Red Rover)
Color Blind, Book 2 (coming May 2013)

Team Red ‘Red’ Series:
Red Rover – Special Edition, Book 1
Red Zone, Book 2 (coming June 2013)"

David's hotel was closest, so we stopped there first. He stepped out of the backseat on the driver's side and reached through the driver window to give Janey and awkward one-arm hug. He surprised me by coming around, opening the passenger door, and asking me if I could step out for a moment. 

Feeling a little bemused, and admittedly, still a little in shock from the looping replay in my brain about Bas overhearing me. I stood up and found my personal space being Invaded with a capital I. Before I could register his intent, David had me backed up against the back door, bracketed my face gently in his big hands and tilted my face up towards his warm and waiting mouth. 

I was stunned by the gentleness and underlying hunger as his lips parted mine and his tongue swept me away. Oh. My. The man had serious kissing skills. I also judged him at a glorious 6'4" or so, since I found myself rising up on my toes for a better fit of my mouth against his. My hands clenched at hips set higher than my own. 

He pulled away from my lips and let his breath fan my face. He smelled of coffee and maple syrup. He brought his mouth back to mine again in another kiss that caused my knees to buckle. He caught me against his front, it was a very nice front: Hard, solid, and with some very intriguing contours. His chuckle was a combination of triumph, pleasure, and need. 

"Dinner." Soft kiss. "Tonight." Softer kiss. "Pick you up at five o'clock?" His mouth stopped tantalizingly close, barely resting on my lips. His breath was warm. 

I'm pretty sure I whimpered. Geez, where had my brain disappeared to? It had been here a moment ago. 

I felt his lips quirk up in a smile. "That last part was a question. You're supposed to give me an answer." He enticed me with a carnal kiss. "A really good answer would be, 'Yes, David'." 

"Okay," I answered, with a sigh against that awesome mouth. 

David helped me back into the passenger seat. Pressed a quick kiss on my nose, and told me he'd see me at five. 

Janey put the car in drive and inched away from the curb. I turned to her and asked, "Did you get the number of that big-assed truck that just hit me?" 

"Oh, Girlfriend," she sighed. "You've got your hands full, with that one."


Blind Seduction  (INTENDED FOR MATURE ADULTS OVER 18) is available now from Amazon US and Amazon UK

Red Rover (NEW ADULT VERSION) is available now from Amazon US and Amazon UK

T. Hammond lives in Spokane, WA with her goofy, neurotic, long-coat German shepherd, Dexter; he's noble and brave, until someone turns on the microwave, then she has 100lbs of quivering dog trying to hide behind her chair or bury his head under a pillow (Little known fact: a 100lb German Shepherd CAN fit under a coffee table).

Writing is not a calling so much as it is a compulsion. No one is more surprised than she is when characters take over the plot and dialog, and (re)direct stories in directions she had not (consciously) intended. She is fully convinced that the writer is the tool a story uses to tell its tale. Some tools, of course, are more appropriate for the job than others. Here's hoping, you feel she did her stories proud.

T. has a Bachelor's Degree in Organizational Management from Whitworth University, and a Master's Degree in Organizational Leadership from Gonzaga University and before becoming a writer she was a bookkeeper, technical/manual writer, Call Center Manager and the owner of a freshwater aquarium store, Guppy Tales.

Connect with T. Hammond online at Amazon, Goodreads, Facebook, and Team Red FB

Thursday, June 20, 2013

Blog Tour: White Swans (Revelations)

As a part of the White Swans Book Tour, I am pleased to welcome Annamaria Bazzi to the blog to talk about the third book in the series, Revelations

"After attempting to accept her fate in the strange fishbowl world, Kendíka decides it’s impossible. Call her a pet, will they? Determination revived, she tempts her “master’s” fury by trying to make life better for the people of Deverow’s Duchy. She will bring technology to the Regency era or end up a swan trying.

Still longing for a higher station in her new existence, Jillian sets her sights on Harry, the Count of Paddington. The only problem? Getting the man to take notice of her. Perhaps discovering some common ground—besides their rabbit-like features—will do the trick."


1. What was your inspiration for the White Swans series, and what made you decide to write it as a series of short stories? 
I was working on an urban fantasy when this girl in a Regency nightgown appeared before me. She looked so sad sitting on a chair and looking out a large window at a crystal lake where three white swans paddled along followed by a black one. For the longest time she wouldn’t tell me her story. Several months later, she poured her heart out to me and I wrote the first book.  I thought I was done, but Jillian popped out of nowhere and I felt compelled to tell her story also.
The idea of turning it into a short story series came because my 13 year old and some of her friends swear they don’t read because novels are just too long.  I’m trying to make it easier for them to read. 

2. Would you classify your writing as plot driven or character driven? 
I try hard to be a character driven author, I find characters to be far more important and interesting then plot. But these characters need an interesting plot to flounder in, so even though I don’t really want to be plot driven it is still very important.

3. Can you tell us a little about your main character, Kendíka?
Kendíka is a sweet and altruistic person who cares about other and is always trying to help.

4. Which of your supporting characters was the most challenging to write?
Jillian is very challenging, because she’s selfish yet not a bad person, but she does get mixed up with a power hungry, manipulative and a bit evil person.

5. Without giving away too much, tell us a little about the main conflict in this book. 
The main conflict involves Kendíka trying to bring the Regency Era world that is now her home into the 21st century. 

6. Why did you choose this genre? 
White Swans is a historical fantasy only because I love the Regency era and I’m crazy about magic and magical beings. But I must warn you and my readers that it also has some Sci-Fi mixed in.

7. What do you hope readers take away from this series? 
The one thing I really want them to realize is that in the world it will always be rewarding to help others and threat others as they want to be treated.

8. Who are your favorite authors?
I have a few favorite authors.
Fantasy: Terry Goodkind, Anne McCaffrey, 
Science Fiction: Ben Bova, Orson Scott Card, Frank Herbert, Carl Sagan
Classics: Alexander Dumas, The Bronte Sisters, Louisa May Alcott

These are just a few, but in the mean time, I’ve come to really love the writing of A. D. Trosper a fantasy indie author.

9. Do you have any interesting rituals or habits when you write?
I love being comfortable, so I usually take my laptop and curl on the love seat in the family room. While I write, though, I do laundry, play with little Austin. Sometimes I put writing on hold so Austin and I can color. We also go for a daily 1.5-mile walk. I must stop to cook diner, I then return to writing in the evening while everyone else is watching TV.

10. Can you tell us about any future projects? 

For a while now I’ve been editing my urban fantasy, Trapped in a Nightmare, to get it ready for publication, but the fact I publish a short story per month is keeping the novel on a back burner. I just hope it doesn’t catch fire.

Revelations and Annamaria's other books are available from Amazon, Smashwords, and B&N

Book 2 of White Swans: New Girl in Town is currently FREE on Amazon from June 19th-21st!


Although born in the United States, Annamaria Bazzi spent a great deal of her childhood in Sicily, Italy, in a town called Sciacca. Italian was the language spoken at home. Therefore, she had no problems when she found herself growing up in a strange country.
Upon returning to the states, she promised herself she would speak without an accent.

She attended Wayne State University in Detroit Michigan, where she obtained her Bachelor of Science in Computers with a minor in Spanish.

Annamaria spent twenty years programming systems for large corporations, creating innovative solution, and addressing customer problems. During those years, she raised four daughters and one husband. Annamaria lives in Richmond Virginia with her small family where she now dedicates a good part of her day writing.

You can visit Annamaria at:

Tuesday, June 18, 2013

Review: Eden Forest

The average life of Sarajane Anderson is about to change drastically. Her quiet existence shatters when she is abducted by strange men with odd abilities. Even more shocking, she has not been drug off to a secret location to await a ransom. She has been taken to a parallel world, one where her birthright means magic, unbreakable laws, and deadly consequences. 

Right from the beginning I was captured by this book. Readers first meet Sarajane as she is searching for her mother who has vanished with no explanation and no leads. The effect of her mother's disappearance is felt by the whole family, and affects every aspect of their lives. Sheridan did a great job of setting up the backstories of her characters and making sure the readers cared about what happened to them. 

Another great aspect of the characters in this book was Sheridan's ability to write unlikable characters. The king of Saskia is a very complex character. Many times, I wanted to throw something at him. Yet, at other times his redeeming qualities made me want to give him another chance. Even Sarajane's mother had this duality to her character that will make readers struggle to know their feelings toward her. There were no stock characters. Everyone had a story, a life before the book, that played a role in their decisions and actions. I am very interested to continue following the characters and seeing how they change and grow. 

The world of Saskia was well developed as well. Details like the physical landscape and overall geography of the kingdoms were carefully planned and added depth to the story. The magic system was unique and the story behind it was something I found very interesting. This first book provided some answers about the world and magic, but I got the impression that there is more left unsaid. Along with the world, the overall story was very well thought out. I didn't notice any plot holes or sections that didn't mesh with everything else. Sarajane's introduction to this world was full of conflict, complications, and danger. I was entertained all the way through. 

Finally, the romance. There are really two love stories this book explores. Sarajane's mother and biological father face no end of problems given their stations in life when they first meet. All of which is complicated by her mother becoming pregnant with Sarajane and being forced to flee. It was very interesting to see these two be reunited and see the changes in each one. My feelings about them changed several times throughout the book. 

The other romance is between Sarajane and a guardian named Tristan. At their initial meeting. Sarajane can't stand him, which is perfectly reasonable. Yet, as they are pushed together during traveling and fighting, true feelings begin to emerge. That hardly means being together will be easy. Strict class systems are only part of the problem. Forced arranged marriages are an even bigger issue, but in the end the danger facing them both and the wrath of Sarajane's father present no end of problems keeping them apart. I have no doubt that these two will face many problems throughout the book that they will have to overcome in order to share their lives. 

Overall, I really enjoyed this book. The storyline, world, and characters were engaging and kept me turning pages right up until the end. 

Eden Forest 
is available now from

Watch the YouTube Video

About the Author

Aoife Marie Sheridan is twenty nine years of age. She lives in Kells, Co. Meath, a small town just outside Navan.  Aoife was raised in Navan but left with her family at the age of sixteen. Aoife has always had a passion for writing but mostly poetry. This is her first time to write a novel. 

Aoife Marie Sheridan studied Accountancy and qualified as an accountant technician. She worked in this profession for several years but with the economic downturn she was made redundant. 

Aoife Marie Sheridan now spends endless hours reading and writing.

Monday, June 17, 2013

Interview: Aoife Marie Sheridan

Today I am welcoming Aoife Marie Sheridan to the blog to talk about her new book, Eden Forest, book 1 of the Saskia Trilogy. 

Four Banished Angels,
A world created by the hands of God,
A kingdom on its knees,
 A secret protected for centuries.
And one mortal can save them all.



1. What was your inspiration for this book? 

The whole reason I wrote the book was to help me deal with a death of someone close, it was through suicide he had died, and I had never lost anyone before, so I created a world where immortality was possible but my sadness seeped into Saskia and it became flawed. 

But the actual idea had come before that from a dream, of a man and woman on a black horse going through a wall of fire, it lingered I wrote it down and revisited it when I needed an escape from reality. 

2. Would you classify your writing as plot driven or character driven? 
My characters seem to take over a lot and at every turn they made my plot change, initially I had an idea but it changed constantly. I write first with pen and paper so I have kept every version of Eden Forest before I got it right. (And there are a lot) 

3. Can you tell us a little about your main character?
Sarajane is the main character and I always see her as a flawless version of myself, what I would love to be in ways, her bravery and willingness to help others is something I would like to see in myself more often, I can be quite selfish at times and that seeps into Sarajane also. At the start she is young and naïve, a little fragile but when people she loves are put in harm’s way, a fight comes out in her that I love. 

4. Without giving away too much, tell us a little about the main conflict in this book. 
It’s good versus evil in its most basic sense.  Sarajane must achieve the goals that are set in front of her or everything will cease to exist. But she isn’t fully aware all the time of how much truly rests on her shoulders. Bellona is the villain in the book, a woman who is very dark. But like most people who do horrible things a story goes with it that makes us understand why people are bad or evil. It doesn’t excuse their behavior but it lets us see why and I always feel this is important as we are all born perfect but it is the up-bringing or choices we make in life that carves us as the person we are today.

5. What do you hope readers take away from this book? 
I remember when I first wrote the book and my sister and mum insisted I get it published, my first thought was if one person puts it down and say’s what a story, does Saskia really exist, or is it possible that’s all I want from my writing. 

6. What song best describes your writing style?
She wolf by David Quetta it is on my playlist on my website. www.aoifemariesheridan.com 

7. Night Owl or Early Bird?
O night Owl, definitely a night crawler. Early Bird that makes me laugh, I swear I am like a dragon in the morning don’t speak to me until I have had a least one mug of coffee. 

8. Skittle or M&Ms?
Skittles I love all the different flavors and they have far more colors then M&M’s. 

9. Who are your favorite authors?
Maria V. Snyder
Kelly Armstrong
Dan Brown
Charlene Harris 

10. Can you tell us about any future projects? 

Yes, I have finished City of Secrets (Part two of the Saskia Trilogy) it is now being edited. And I have started writing The rise of the Queen (Part three of the Saskia Trilogy) 

Eden Forest 
is available now from

Watch the YouTube Video

About the Author

Aoife Marie Sheridan is twenty nine years of age. She lives in Kells, Co. Meath, a small town just outside Navan.  Aoife was raised in Navan but left with her family at the age of sixteen. Aoife has always had a passion for writing but mostly poetry. This is her first time to write a novel. 

Aoife Marie Sheridan studied Accountancy and qualified as an accountant technician. She worked in this profession for several years but with the economic downturn she was made redundant. 

Aoife Marie Sheridan now spends endless hours reading and writing.

Connect with Aoife online at: Author WebsiteFacebook Fan PagePinterestBook BlogsWordpress , BlogTumblr, GoodreadsPearltreeGoogle +ShelfariGroups on Goodreads Twitter

Sunday, June 16, 2013

Dissolve Release Bash

 All the following information was provided via Dilly Dally PR.
About the book:

Cora is thrilled to leave high school behind and kick start her summer with her boyfriend and best friend, Nessa. In an unexpected turn of events, tragedy strikes and Cora turns to Nessa for help.

Cora and Nessa discover they are not alone and become entangled in things much bigger than they expect. As the two of them meet new allies, it’s obvious that clearing Cora’s name and going home seem like the least of their worries. The further they travel; the more complicated their lives become. Someone is after them and they are just getting started.
Available from:

About the author:

An ex-scientist biology nerd who loves reading and writing just about anything paranormal, Andrea has four new book releases out in 2013 which you can keep updated with all the deets on her blog. When not hard writing she is being a coffee addict and believe's she should own her starbucks by now!
Andrea Heltsley
Follow Andrea through her:

Friday, June 14, 2013

Review: Here, There and Otherwhere Vol. 2

As the final stop on the Here, There and Otherwhere Blog Tour, I want to thank all of the hosts who so kindly helped spread the word about Phyl Manning's new books as well as the readers who took the time to stop by each tour stop and find out more about Phyl and her writing. 

Now, for the final tour stop, a review of Phyl Manning's newest book, Here, There and Otherwhere, Vol. 2: An Ordinary Woman at Extraordinary Times


After reading Manning's first book, I knew that the writing would be beautiful, the editing perfect, and the stories entertaining. What I didn't know was where or not a book that focused on Manning's life in the U.S. would engage me as much as her overseas adventures. I wondered what the stories would focus on in Vol. 2, and I was surprised to see that it did not contain only stories of Manning's life. 

The early chapters of Vol. 2 do indeed focus on stories from Manning's early life. I chuckled at the idea of trying to discuss sex education with a 5-year-old when all young Phyl cared about was the spider she was watching. The story of Uncle Charlie and the tornado was one that I had to pause before going on to the next chapter. I was once again impressed with Manning's ability to draw out the deeper layers of a story and express those thoughts to readers in a way that makes them think. The stories of living in her grandfather's house as a child were both frustrating and heartbreaking. It was difficult to read about the callous actions of her grandfather without being upset by them, but Manning had a way of ending the telling with a more positive note of a lesson learned or life skill ingrained. 

After the stories of her childhood, I was pleasantly surprised to find myself reading Manning's thoughts on a variety of topics that ranged from the proper use of punctuation (She had me giggling - no joke!) and which way the toilet paper should come off the role. These were not chapters I had expected, but I honestly enjoyed each one and was glad to have had the chance to read them and think about each one. 

Later in the book, I was again surprised to read chapters not about Manning, but people she knew, particularly a woman named Roberta Kirshner. Roberta was a woman who spent her life caring for animals and protecting them. This was a woman Manning worked with at the Kirshner wildlife preseve, and it is apparent that Roberta was someone not to be forgotten by those who knew her. Each of Roberta's chapters were engaging and thought provoking. Even though they were not what I had anticipated, I again found myself glad they had been included. 

The stories do return to Manning's life, recounting stories of Fisher cats and crocodiles that readers will enjoy, but really, whatever Manning chooses to write about, I'm willing to read it. I love her sense of humor, her ability to observe so much more than what is on the surface, and her excellent storytelling abilities mark her as an author many readers will enjoy. 

Here, There and Otherwhere is available now from Amazon and B&N

Stay up to date on Phyl's books at KalanaPressPhyl'sBooks, email: filmafrica40@gmail.com, Phone (603)654-9240, or Mail: 374 Burton Hwy, Wilton, NH 03086

You can also enter to win a paperback copy of Vol. 1&2 below!

a Rafflecopter giveaway

AND...stop by Phyl Manning's blog to find out more about the Elephant Themed Contest Phyl is sponsoring. 

Sure, they can paint—but only YOU can write. Yes, about elephants. We’re hosting a two-level contest with (a) modest $$ winnings and (b) possible inclusion in Elephanthology, a planned anthology of elephant lore—short stories of fiction or narrative nonfiction (imaginative writing, not articles per se), poetry, flash fiction . . . all published with author’s name for each piece.

To find out more, check out Phyl’s website

Wednesday, June 12, 2013

Interview: Clay Held

Today I am welcoming author Clay Herd to the blog to talk about his new book, The Warner Grimoire: Bad Apple

1. What was your inspiration for this book? 
The first seed of the idea came to me the night I lost my job in 2009. It was a scary idea, but it was a scary time, so I figured why not? I'm glad I made that choice. The idea for a fun and fantastic adventure novel, if anything, sounded like something to occupy my time while I suffered my unemployment. I looked back at the books I had enjoyed reading while growing up, and I even pulled out some of my old notebooks from when I was a teenager, and there it was--the kernel of the story, written in my own teenage handwriting: “What makes bad people bad?” Simon’s story, by and large, is about that question.

2. Would you classify your writing as plot driven or character driven? 
70% plot driven, 30% character driven.

3. Can you tell us a little about your main character?
Simon is a fourteen-year-old who suffers a near-death experience and as a result is pulled into the world of magic and monsters. He’s an adopted son who has to learn the truth about his family. He’s a loner who has to learn to trust others, and he has the potential to become a very powerful wizard. But, unlike most teenagers, his problems could have literal earth-shattering consequences. Also, he likes waffles.

4. Which of your supporting characters was the most challenging to write?
Fellis Boeman, the Boogeyman. Boeman is the primary antagonist of Bad Apple, and I went to great pains to write somebody who wasn’t just a cardboard villain. I wanted him to have depth and conflict. I wanted a conflicted, complex character. Lots of what I came up with for him will be dealt with in future books. Then there was the language aspect--I wanted his manner of speaking to be dynamic and charismatic while still be terrifying. That’s a hard line to walk!

5. Without giving away too much, tell us a little about the main conflict in this book. 
The main conflict comes when Simon’s adopted father is abducted by a supernatural monster, and Simon sets out to rescue him. It’s a flip on the kidnapping story--the parent is the one who is kidnapped, and the kid is the hero.

6. Why did you choose this genre? 
Because it’s the most fun I’ve found, and it resonated the strongest with the story I wanted to tell.

7. What do you hope readers take away from this book? 
First and foremost, I hope they have fun. I had fun writing the story, and my primary goal is to entertain. Beyond that, I hope any teenage readers would see that you can find strength in the darkness. My own coming of age went through some very dark stuff, and I wish I had a character like Simon to relate to and draw courage from. In a lot of ways, I wrote Simon to give my own teenage self strength, and I hope that comes across to those who would need it.

8. Who are your favorite authors?
Neil Gaiman, Dean Koontz, Stephen King, David Sedaris, Edgar Rice Burroughs.

9. Do you have any interesting rituals or habits when you write?
The Locking of the Door and the Turning Off of the Phone. Like many beginning writers, I was once into the ornate rituals, but they quickly became counter-productive. In my view, you’re just conditioning yourself to live a life where there is a right time and a wrong time to be writing. I’ve known too many writers who hamstrung themselves because of things like, “Oh I can’t write unless I’m listening to my favorite jazz album and eating my favorite ice cream.” All they’re doing is limiting themselves with this attitude. That being said, I do tend to wear my lucky Thor t-shirt when I’m writing. That might just be a lucky laundry coincidence though.

10. Can you tell us about any future projects? 
Well, I’m working on a sequel to Bad Apple, titled Revenant Moon, which takes Simon and his mentor on their first assignment. Outside of the Warnerverse I am working on a teenage mystery series called Pepperoni Noir, and a detective series featuring a fallen angel.

Connect with Clay online at:

Author Bio:

I'm Clay Held, a refugee from wild world of video game testing, currently a project manager passing my days in the wild (and very flat) plains of Central Illinois. Once upon a time I was the editor for Grassroots Literary Magazine at Southern Illinois University Carbondale, where I earned my Bachelors of Arts in Creative Writing. Today I help make sure software ships on time, and at night I'm busy making things up and writing them down.

In my spare time (what is that again?) I like to read and cook and play with my cats and maintain my blog at www.clayheld.com. When the weather is right, I go storm spotting. Illinois is good like that.

Saturday, June 8, 2013

Beautiful Blogger Award

Thank you to MC Lavocat and Jennifer Howard for the Beautiful Blogger Award! These are so much fun :)

These are two awesome ladies I am so pleased to know. Both are wonderful writers with new books out (hint, hint, go check them out on Amazon) and MC Lavocat has a fabulous blog she was so kind to host me on not to long ago. Click on their names and check them out! 

So...the rules. 

Copy and place the Beautiful Blogger Award in your post.

Thank the person that nominated you and link back to their blog.

Tell 7 things about yourself.

Nominate 7 fellow Bloggers, tell them by posting a comment on their Blog*.

7 Random Things About Me

1. My favorite candy right now is the Ghirardelli Dark Chocolate and Sea Salt bar. 

2. I am a Star Trek fan, and not just the new ones. I can't say I've watched every episode, but I've seen every series from the very first from Star Trek with Captain Kirk up to the 2001 Star Trek: Enterprise, and all the movies in between. 

3. My favorite video game is Uncharted, and I can't wait for the movie!

4. My favorite TV show is The Mentalist

5. One of the best indie movies I've watch recently is Safety Not GuaranteedRed Lights was also really good, and they're both on Netflix for anyone who wants to check them out. 

6.  My name comes from my two aunts' names, Delsie and Sheri, getting smashed together

7. My little sister and I could practically be twins even though we're four years apart. Some of our baby pictures are impossible to tell apart.