Friday, July 25, 2014

DelSheree Gladden Vlog Episode 2

Ready for another Vlog Post? Today I'm answering a reader submitted question from Winde Matthews. She wanted to know where I get the ideas for my books, so here are the Stories Behind the Stories!

Thursday, July 24, 2014

Pandora Box Set: Invisible (DelSheree Gladden)

Part of the Pandora Box Set coming this August...

Invisible by DelSheree Gladden


Olivia’s best friend is not imaginary. He’s not a ghost, either. And she’s pretty sure he’s not a hallucination. He’s just Mason.

He is, however, invisible.

When Olivia spotted the crying little boy on her front porch at five years old, she had no idea she was the only one who could see him. Twelve years later when new-girl Robin bumps into the both of them and introduces herself to Mason, they are both stunned.

Mason couldn’t be more pleased that someone else can see him. Olivia, on the other hand, isn’t jumping at the chance to welcome Robin into their circle. Jealousy may have something to do with
that, but honest fear that Robin’s presence will put Mason in danger is soon validated when a strange black car shows up outside Olivia’s house.

The race to find out what Robin knows in time to protect Mason from whatever threats are coming becomes Olivia’s only focus.

About the Author

DelSheree Gladden was one of those shy, quiet kids who spent more time reading than talking. Literally. She didn’t speak a single word for the first three months of preschool, but she had already taught herself to read. Her fascination with reading led to many hours spent in the library and bookstores, and eventually to writing. She wrote her first novel when she was sixteen years old, but spent ten years rewriting and perfecting it before having it published.

Native to New Mexico, DelSheree and her husband spent several years in Colorado for college and work before moving back home to be near family again. Their two children love having their seventeen cousins close by. When not writing, you can find DelSheree reading, painting, sewing and trying not to get bitten by small children in her work as a dental hygienist.

Invisible is available here...


OR... You can Pre-Order INVISIBLE as part of the Pandora Box Set and get 19 other paranormal novels and novellas for only 0.99!

Add to your TBR on Goodreads

Tuesday, July 22, 2014

Pandora Box Set: Eyes of the Seer (Peter Dawes)

Part of the Pandora Box Set coming this August...

Eyes of the Seer by Peter Dawes


It all started with a murder. Two victims lay dead at the hands of Peter Dawes, but what laid in wait for him was not the sound of sirens or the banging of a gavel. It would turn a doctor into a killer and a man into a monster.

Follow Peter as he exchanges his blood-stained clothing for tailored suits, his scalpel for fine-crafted daggers, and is reinvented as the newest vampire-child in a coven of decadent sophisticates. He even takes on the name ‘Flynn’ – a child of red – in honor of his new-found devilish side and to further distance himself from his human past.

For four years, Flynn embodies every bit the bloody immortal he was sired to become. Under the reign of his maker, Sabrina, he establishes a reputation as the most feared assassin to ever terrorize the covens of Philadelphia. But the surefooted-steps and quick hands that make him a virtuoso when it comes to killing humans and vampires alike are attributes of the mortal destiny which haunts him even beyond death. And despite all efforts, Peter’s humanity is not as dead as some would prefer.

On the verge of completing their vie for power, Sabrina’s ‘dark-killer’ will suddenly find himself wrestling his devotion to his mistress when an impish sorceress named Monica awakens the hidden powers he was destined to possess. In this world of macabre and shrewdly practical immortal beings, will Flynn’s supernatural gifts be used to orchestrate the wicked deeds of his maker? Or can the cold-blooded nature of a vampire be warmed by the compassion of a Seer?

About the Author

Peter Dawes is the author of The Vampire Flynn Series, published by the micro-press Crimson Melodies, and the upcoming historical fantasy release, Death Spell. His serial story, “A Maker and His Child” appears on the BloodTideZine website and short “Lost Highway” has been featured in the Nocturnal Embers anthology, also by Crimson Melodies. While primarily a novelist, he has also contributed to the story cycle Red Phone Box, and has several novellas in the works. Always working on something new, Peter leaves it up to the reader to decide if it’s by sunlight or candlelight.

OR... You can Pre-Order Eyes of the Seer as part of the Pandora Box Set and get 19 other paranormal novels and novellas for only 0.99!

Add to your TBR on Goodreads

Sunday, July 20, 2014

Pandora Box Set: The Water Wolf (Thomas Sullivan)

Part of the Pandora Box Set coming this August...

The Water Wolf by Thomas Sullivan


A global quest by a cynical adventurer searching for links in a colossal subterranean network he has stumbled upon lead him from the ancient fortress at Cuzco, Peru, to the Pyramids of Giza to a dangerous churchyard in Connemara, Ireland, where he falls in love with a woman of more than mortal roots and encounters the strange magic of a small village.

About the Author

Pulitzer Prize nominee Thomas Sullivan has been a gambler, a "Rube Goldberg" innovator, a coach, a teacher, a city commissioner, and an All-American athlete. Having lived in a dozen countries by the time he was six, Sullivan is at home in many cultures and across the literary spectrum from mainstream to genre. Over 90 publishing credits in all fiction categories, his work includes eight novels in 22 domestic and foreign editions, journalism, non-fiction and active film options. Sullivan currently lives on a lake in Maple Grove, Minnesota, writing full-time and speaking internationally in venues as diverse as the House of Literature in Oslo, Norway, and American schools and universities. His inspirational monthly newsletter (Sullygram) is available free on request. Write him at

You can Pre-Order The Water Wolf as part of the Pandora Box Set and get 19 other paranormal novels and novellas for only 0.99!

Add to your TBR on Goodreads

Saturday, July 19, 2014

Cover Reveal: NINE by NIGHT

Cover Reveal - NINE BY NIGHT

Another fabulous cover by Damonza! What do you think?



"From vampires to empaths, to the grim reaper himself, this bundle will keep you on the edge of your seat. I dare you to try and put it down!" SHANNON MAYER - author of THE RYLEE ADAMSON NOVELS and THE NEVERMORE TRILOGY

Nine books. Nine bestselling authors. Nine heroines that take names—and chances—while confronting dark foes, whether by force of arms or magic, that threaten their entire world.
Over two-thousand pages of epic reading await! Let the adventures begin.

From NYT and USA Today Bestselling Author, SM REINE, WITCH HUNT –– Shaman on the run. Isobel Stonecrow speaks with the dead...for the right price. She brings closure to the bereaved and heals broken hearts. But when she resurrects someone for the wrong client, she ends up on the OPA's most wanted list.

From NYT and USA Today Bestselling author, CJ ELLISSON, DEATH’S SERVANT –– Jonathan Winchester has clashed with his werewolf alpha one too many times. He returns to Virginia to find work and meets a young waitress, Raine. As their relationship progresses, Jon's embroiled in more intrigue than he bargained for and a danger bigger than he can handle.

From bestselling author, LINDSAY BUROKER, TORRENT –– When Delia chose to major in archaeology, she imagined herself as the female Indiana Jones of the Southwest. She didn't imagine herself stumbling across decapitated bodies in old mine shafts or learning that monsters are real…

From bestselling author, ANTHEA SHARP, SPARK –– What if a high-tech game was a gateway to the treacherous Realm of Faerie? Superstar gamer Spark Jaxley's life might look easy, but she's part of an elite few who guard a shocking secret; the Realm of Faerie exists, and its dark magic is desperate for a foothold in the mortal world.

From bestselling authors BOONE BRUX and CJ ELLISSON, DEATH TIMES TWO –– The V V Inn has a ghost problem. New grim reaper, Lisa Carron, accepts the job. She quickly learns the hotel is full of the dearly departed—and she’s working for vampires. Throw in Asa, a young vamp hot enough to melt the Arctic ice, and Lisa realizes she’s way out of her element.

From bestselling author, JC ANDRIJESKI, ROOK: ALLIE’S WAR EPISODES 1-4 –– Like most humans, Allie distanced herself from Seers, a race of human-like beings discovered on Earth. Yanked out of her life by the mysterious Revik, Allie finds out her blood may not be as “human” as she thought, the world is nothing like it appears to be...and she has more in common with Seers than she ever wanted to believe.

From bestselling author, ANNIE BELLET, JUSTICE CALLING –– Gamer. Nerd. Sorceress. Jade Crow lives a quiet life running her comic book and game store in Wylde, Idaho. After twenty-five years fleeing from a powerful sorcerer who wants to eat her heart and take her powers, quiet suits her just fine. Surrounded by friends who are even less human than she is, Jade figures she's finally safe. As long as she doesn't use her magic…

From bestselling author, JESI LEA RYAN, ARCADIA’S GIFT –– Teenager Arcadia (Cady) Day’s family tragedy unleashes a hidden power. After experiencing what can only be called a psychic episode, her home life crumbles. As her emotional control slips away, Cady begins to suspect that her first psychic episode was just the beginning…

From Urban Fantasy author, KARA LEGEND, WILD NIGHT ROAD –– One innocent hex sets off a chain reaction of trouble among the shifters of the Kinraven that threatens war between werewolves, seraphim and witches. Lilith Darke will do anything to be free of her seraphim master. All hell breaks loose when rival packs face off only to discover a new, deadly threat that will take all their magick to survive.

NINE BY NIGHT releases 8/03/2014 on Amazon, Smashwords, Barnes & Noble, Kobo, and other e-book retailers.

Add NINE BY NIGHT to your Goodreads Shelf!

Nine By Night

Friday, July 18, 2014

Pandora Box Set: Made to Forget (Samantha LaFantasie)

Part of the Pandora Box Set coming this August...

Made to Forget by Samantha La Fantasie


There’s something that lies within my memory. Hidden in the dark. Something that can kill me and those that I love. But I was in an accident, covered in mystery and deception. And my memory…was lost. There are those who want me to remember. I don’t trust them.  And those I do trust…are fighting for me to forget.

Elsabetha Ellery wants to get her memory back, even if it kills her.

After waking up in a hospital with no memory, Elsabetha quickly learns those who claim to be her friend are anything but. And those who are her true friends keep themselves unseen.

Stuck with piecing together her broken memories alone, Elsa struggles with having faith in those she trusts and heeding the warnings of the dangers in recovering her memory. Ignoring them, she faces heavy consequences. Ones she doesn’t see until it’s too late, and a life is lost.

About the Author

A Kansas native, Samantha LaFantasie spends her free time with her spouse and three kids. Writing has always been a passion of hers, forgoing all other desires to devote to this one obsession, even though she often finds herself arguing with her characters through much of the process.

She’s primarily a fantasy writer but often feels pulled to genres such as sci-fi, romance, and others.

Among her writing credentials, she has authored works such as Heart Song (her debut novel) and Made to Forget.

Samantha loves to take time to enjoy other activities such as photography and playing her favorite game of all time, Guild Wars 2.

Want more from Samantha? Keep up with her at any of her digital hangouts.

Made to Forget is available now here...

Samantha LaFantasie’s site=

OR... You can Pre-Order Made to Forget as part of the Pandora Box Set and get 19 other paranormal novels and novellas for only 0.99!

Add to your TBR on Goodreads

Tuesday, July 15, 2014

Book Blast: Warrior by Kasi Blake


Official Release Date: 7/13/14
This is the third book in the Order of the Spirit Realm Series.  If you haven't read them, start with BAIT.  It is free at most online ebook vendors such as Amazon, B&N, Kobo, Smashwords, etc.

This book begins two years after HUNTER ended.  Bay-Lee is fighting a Devil Tree while her mentor and boyfriend, Nick Gallos, watches from the sidelines.  Things are tense between them.  She wants to amp up their relationship, but Nick has put on the brakes.  He's got one foot out the door, and she doesn't know what to do about it.

WARRIOR brings about closure and change, some good and some bad.  Together, Nick and Bay-Lee will take on the werewolf pack that killed her mother, face their twisted pasts, and face a friend turned enemy.

Quotes from WARRIOR:

Bay-Lee: You never told me I wasn't supposed to kill it.  You told me I couldn't kill it.
Nick: I should have known you'd take that as a challenge.

Keisha: Oh, don't play Miss Innocent with me, girl.  It was your idea for me to trade places with Nick's banshee, but you've been wearing a pouty face ever since.
Bay-Lee: I don't have a pouty face.
Keisha:  Sure you don't.

Bay-Lee (after knocking Keisha down):  You hit on my boyfriend, so I thought I should hit on you.

Little girl:  There's a monster in my closet.

He added, "Reapers aren't supposed to care.They don't have compassion or love inside of them."
"But you're still human."
"Because of you!"  It sounded like an accusation instead of gratitude.  "I haven't lost my humanity because I still have you.  His facial muscles tightened.  "I can't keep living like this."
Nick threw the talisman down and stormed off, heading for the castle.
She scooped the talisman off the ground.  It was precious, even if it was malfunctioning.  Without it Nick wouldn't be able to stay with her.  She ran until she caught up with him.  Slipping it into his hand, she begged him to keep using it.  "At least until we find something else.  Please."
The purple half-circles beneath his eyes attested to his lack of sleep and made her want to cry.  She cringed when he slipped the thing around his neck.  Asking him to live like this was horrible, but she couldn't let him go, not yet.

Warrior at Amazon
Warrior at B&N
Warrior at Smashwords

Monday, July 14, 2014

Guest Post and Giveaway: Karin Rita Gastreich

Today I am very excited to welcome back Karin Rita Gastreich to the blog to celebrate the release of the audio edition of her "Eolyn!" 

This is one of my favorite fantasy novels, so I'm just thrilled to share it with everyone. Karin was so kind to tell us a little more about one of the places that inspired the settings in Eolyn, complete with pictures! So enjoy, and don't forget to scroll down to get all the info about the audiobook and enter the giveaway. 

The Places that Inspired Eolyn’s World: Talamanca

By Karin Rita Gastreich

The South Woods, Eolyn's home for the greater part of her childhood, is based in part on a region of highland forests in Costa Rica, known as the Talamanca Mountain Range. 

At elevations of around 2800m (just under 9,000 feet), we find a forest that is tropical in its seasonality - in
the sense that it is not subject to the intense winters of higher latitudes - but temperate in its composition. 
Oak trees, some up to 1,000 years old, dominate the canopy. Blueberry, blackberry and wintergreen plants grow close to the ground. Mushrooms sprout up all over the place, many of them edible, others very poisonous. Mixed in with all of this are plants and animals more 'typically' tropical - monkeys and tapirs, bromeliads and orchids, and a spindly form of bamboo. There are nearly 50 endemic species and subspecies of birds in Talamanca - and no, I have not seen them all!

Days in Talamanca dawn bright and sunny, but almost invariably end shrouded in mist and cold rain. Nights are chilly and windy. At field stations we spend them huddled by wood burning stoves, drinking hot chocolate and sharing stories. At bedtime we bury ourselves under as many blankets as we can, hoping to stay warm until dawn. 

For ten years I have taken students to these forests, and I always see the same reactions. Despite the strange intermeshing of tropical and temperate life, despite the bone-penetrating chill of rustic field stations, this is a place that makes them happy, a place that reminds them of home.

Like the South Woods, the oak forests of Talamanca are rich with resources. Everything is edible, medicinal or otherwise usable. The high mountains and dense forests are friendly to those who know how to navigate them, and cruel - even deadly - to those who do not. 

The ancient trees are magnificent. They carry an energy that demands awe and respect, a kind of power that seems to flow from the very heart of the mountains on which they grow. When I am in Talamanca, this is the energy that restores my spirit and inspires my creativity. I like to call it 'magic.' When writing the novel, I made this energy the source of Eolyn’s power.

The Cordillera Talamanca is a UNESCO World Heritage site. It's one of those places that should be on the list of all adventure-minded folk. But even if you never get a chance to visit Talamanca, you will encounter something of its essence, adventure, and beauty in the first chapters of EOLYN.

Places that Inspired the Story will be a recurring theme on the EOLYN Audiobook Blog Tour.  For a full schedule of the tour and topics, please visit my web site. 

EOLYN [audio edition]
Karin Rita Gastreich (author)
Darla Middlebrook (narrator)

Sole heiress to a forbidden craft, Eolyn lives in a world where women of her kind are tortured and burned. When she meets Akmael, destined to assume the throne of this violent realm, she embarks upon a path of adventure, friendship, betrayal and war. Bound by magic, driven apart by destiny, Eolyn and the Mage King confront each other in an epic struggle that will determine the fate of a millennial tradition of magic.

"Vigorously told deceptions and battle scenes will satisfy fans of traditional epic fantasy, with a romantic thread." – Publishers Weekly

“Magnificently written.” –Kindle Book Review

About the Author:

KARIN RITA GASTREICH lives in Kansas City and Costa Rica. An ecologist by trade, her past times include camping, hiking, music, and flamenco dance.  Karin's first fantasy novel, EOLYN, was released by Hadley Rille Books in 2011. The companion novel, HIGH MAGA, is also available from Hadley Rille Books. Karin’s short stories have appeared in Zahir, Adventures for the Average Woman, 69 Flavors of Paranoia, and A Visitor to Sandahl.   She is a recipient of the Spring 2011 Andrews Forest Writer’s Residency. Follow Karin’s adventures into fantastic worlds, both real and imagined, at and at

Author web links:

Blog for Eolyn:
Blog Heroines of Fantasy:
Twitter:  @EolynChronicles

About the Narrator:

With experience of 34+ years as a Speech-Language Pathologist, more than 20 years as a stage & film actor and over 20 years as a trained singer with knowledge and insight into the mechanics of the voice and speech, Darla Middlebrook brings a wealth of experience to bear to develop character voices (male, female, mature, extremely elderly, creepy, bright exotic, etc) with an impressive emotional range.

Currently, Darla is one of many voice actors who narrates podcasts for AIRS-LA (an audio internet service for individuals with visual challenges) in addition to narrating audio books.  She is able to produce retail quality audio books from her home studio in Moose Jaw, Saskatchewan - Canada.

Narrator Web Links:

Twitter: @GypsyCatVoice

Enter now for your chance to win!

a Rafflecopter giveaway

Sunday, July 13, 2014

Pandora Box Set: Preorder on Kobo Now!

Are you a paranormal book lover?

I have the perfect set of books for you!

The Pandora Box Set is coming to ebook stores everyone on August 5th, 2014, but you can 
on KOBO for only 0.99!

This box set includes 20 full length novels and novellas from some of today's best paranormal authors! 

PANDORA, a best-selling boxed set of wicked paranormal reads, is brought to you by twenty exciting, best-selling, and award-winning authors!
Ready for a touch of magic?

Whether you love paranormal in the form of romance, suspense, mystery, horror, or fantasy, this boxed set will have something to entice your preternatural sensibilities. Supernaturally thrilling and engaging, this boxed set has it all: ghosts, vampires, mind-readers, shape-shifters, demons, faeries, werewolves, and more.
For a limited, you can enjoy books from today's New York Times, USA Today, Amazon and Barnes & Noble bestselling authors and many more. We have everything from titles that are slated for the big screen to stories from Pulitzer Prize and Bram Stoker Award Nominees! When purchased separately, these books cost over $50! But they are your's today for less than $1.

Professionally formatted, no cliffhangers, and no short stories. Every selection in this rare, limited edition paranormal boxed set are full-length novels and novellas! A few are "First in Series," but we carefully selected only those which can still be enjoyed as a standalone!

Riley J Ford, New York Times and USA Today Bestselling Author: INTO YOU
What if you could know exactly what your friends are thinking? High school student Winter Reynolds can, but there's a catch... 
She can only read people's thoughts when she's kissing them.

Rebecca Hamilton, Amazon Best-Selling and Film-Optioned Novelist: HER SWEETEST DOWNFALL
Ophelia's initiation into the supernatural council won't be complete until she kills the man she loves.

Apryl Baker, Amazon Best-Selling and Film-Optioned Novelist: THE AWAKENING
Snap...crackle...pop. The sounds of bones breaking and shifting and of muscles tearing haunt Alexandria Reed.
Aided by her new friends, who have some dark secrets themselves, can she and Jason survive long enough to figure out the secret behind the secret?

Carole Lanham, Amazon Best-Selling Author and Bram Stoker Award Nominee: CLEOPATRA'S NEEDLE
"There are monsters in this world, I’ve learned, and sometimes I have fallen victim to them and sometimes I have been one."
A story of Welsh witchcraft, love, and murder.

Thomas Sullivan, Pulitzer Prize Nominee: THE WATER WOLF
A global quest by a cynical adventurer searching for links in a colossal subterranean network he has stumbled upon lead him from the ancient fortress at Cuzco, Peru, to the Pyramids of Giza to a dangerous churchyard in Connemara, Ireland, where he falls in love with a woman of more than mortal roots and encounters the strange magic of a small village.

Rainy Kaye, Amazon Best-Selling Author: SUMMONED
A dark twist on genie folklore, SUMMONED follows a reluctant criminal as he unravels the mystery of the paranormal bond controlling him.

Conner Kressley, Amazon Best-Selling Author: THE BREAKER'S CODE
Cresta's the kind of girl who thinks everything is the end of the world. Turns out, she might be right.

Laura Howard, Amazon Best-Selling Author: THE FORGOTTENc ONES
Truths have a way of revealing themselves. Secrets will eventually surface. And Allison must learn to set aside her plan and work with her father if there is even a small chance it could restore her mother's sanity.

Noree Cosper, B.R.A.G. Medallion Honoree: A PRESCRIPTION FOR DELIRIUM
Demons, werewolves, possessed bikers, madness spreading like a virus, and a revenge that has waited for over five-hundred years.
What more could Gabby look for in a vacation spot?

Louise Caiola, Amazon Best-Selling Author: WHAT TRULY KNOWS
She was born with the Magical Knowing – a gift, some said. A curse, said others.
But for Truly, it was the very thing meant to save her life. If it didn’t kill her first.

Kelley Anne Blount, Amazon Best-Selling Author: SHADE
Coming Soon!

Susan Stec, Amazon Best-Selling Author: DEAD GIRLS NEVER SHUT UP
Toni's grandmother is a psychopath.  Her sister is a ghost.  Her boyfriend is possessed.  And she has no idea who she is.

Christi Goddard, Amazon Best-Selling Author: FOUR IN THE MORNING
When a smart-ass magical creature invades Kathleen’s life, a boy she hates turns up dead and her mother goes missing.

Steven Katriel, Amazon Best-Selling Author: THE PORTRAIT OF ALATIEL SALAZAR
When Gabriel Holland’s beloved Helena vanishes from his life, he journeys to the home of disgraced artist Cristian Salazar, the man he holds responsible for her disappearance and the death of several friends.

Heather Kenealy, winner of MTV's "Stan Lee presents the Seekers" contest and Cinescape's Short Story Contest: THE TRAITORS' TRILOGY
Betrayal comes with a price. For these betrayers, it also comes with an opportunity.

Peter Dawes, Blogger Book Fair Reader's Choice Award winner: EYES OF THE SEER
It all started with a murder, but what laid in wait would turn a man into a monster.

DelSheree Gladden, Amazon Best-Selling Author: INVISIBLE
Being invisible won’t hide Mason for long.

Angela Fristoe, winner of TheNextBigWriter 2010 Strongest Start Romance Category: LIE TO ME
As a Truth Teller, Phoebe knows a lie when she hears it.
Knowing what to do when her best friend lies is the problem, because in lies, intention is everything.


Samantha LaFantasie: MADE TO FORGET
After waking up in a hospital with no memory, Elsabetha quickly learns those who claim to be her friend are anything but.

With the help of supernatural friends and protectors, Jazzy thinks she's safe until what remains of her family is put in danger. Does she have what it takes to save her family, life, soul, and soul mate, or will all be lost?

Save over $50! This set is only available at this price for a limited time, so order your copy before it's gone!

For more info, check out the book trailer created by Angela Fristoe!

You'll also get the first look at Kelly Anne Blount's newest release in the box set


Find out more about SHADE on Goodreads!

Tuesday, July 8, 2014

Summer of Interviews: Virgil Alexander

Today I'm pleased to welcome Virgil Alexander!

1. What was your inspiration for your book? Can you tell us about how your own experiences influenced this story?

My writing is inspired by the wonderful mix of natural environment, geology, geography, history, and dynamic cultures of the American Southwest.  The interaction of the land and the people in melding of the Old and New West creates so much opportunity for story lines, characters, and odd twists.  I was born in rural Arizona and have experienced many of the things I write about.  My stories are modelled after people, places, and situations I’ve experienced or heard about from family and friends.  Dozens, maybe more like scores, of close family have been or are in law enforcement so cop tales and mysteries come naturally to me.

2. Would you classify this series as plot driven or character driven?

The stories are definitely plot driven, but the characters are strong and continue from book to book.

3. Can you tell us a little about your main characters?

There are three characters with equal “main billing” in my stories.

Brenden Allred is a Graham County, Arizona deputy sheriff, assigned to the western quarter of the very large county.  Bren is a former homicide detective in the Mesa Police Department who returned to his hometown for the sake of his family, and his love of the area.

Allen Victor is a full-blood Apache Indian and a San Carlos Tribal Police officer.  A former US Army Ranger, tracker, and military policeman, and Middle East war veteran he married his hometown girlfriend and moved back to the reservation.  Al and Bren became friends in their first job as police officers working for the Globe Police Department.

Manuel Sanchez is a new Graham County deputy reporting to Bren and assigned in the scenic and rural ranching area of Aravaipa Canyon.  Manny is highly intelligent, a Southwestern history hobbyist, and information junkie.  His lack of experience in police work is always a concern for Bren, though Manny shows good instincts and aptitude.

Important recurring characters are Bren’s wife Monica, Al’s wife Bonny, and Manny’s girlfriend Jenny Mondragon.  These relationships add some romance and personality to the stories.   Others include Sheriff Bear Bitters, rancher Jim Martin, various townspeople, some odd characters, and a few other law officers.

I share a lot of Apache lore and culture, and many of the incidental things that happen to Al Victor are from true events told to me by my Apache friends.  Al is physically modelled after a native Arizona Highway Patrolman I know.  Many of the things I write about were told to me by my friend Harold Victor (the source of Al’s name) who sadly passed away last year.  I did volunteer work on the reservation for Boy Scouts and church, and taught classes for Eastern Arizona College on the reservation.

4. Without giving away too much, tell us about the main conflict.

In my first book, The Wham Curse, the tension is created by a lost treasure from an actual 1899 robbery, which when found in the current time results in a murder.  Nothing makes sense until the old crime is connected to the new.

In my new book, Saints & Sinners, it stems from a hit order issued for a girl in a small Mexican village who is secreted (without our character’s knowledge) in Graham County for protection – in Deputy Manny Sanchez’ parents’ home!  International law enforcement works to dismantle the cartel, and protecting the girl from assassins lands in the laps of our rural cops.

5. What do you hope readers take away from this book?

What I want them to get out of it is enjoyment of a well-told story,  appreciation of a place and people that I love, and an understanding that people of different cultures, religions, and interests can respect each other and be trusted friends.

6. What song best describes your writing style?

“Don’t Fence Me In”.

7. Night Owl or Early Bird?

Most unfortunately both.  I’m typically up ‘til 2:00 AM, but usually awake by 7:00 AM.  I can rarely go back to sleep, so find myself napping in the afternoon; sometimes in my desk chair.

8. Skittle or M&Ms?

I am a sweet addict.  My mom used to say, “Virgil will eat anything if you put sugar on it.”  So I really like both, but chocolate would have to get the nod.

9. Who are your favorite authors?
I have quite a number.  Tony Hillerman.  After that in no particular order Alistair McLean, Helen McInnis, JA Jance, Michael McGarrity, Clive Custler,  Mary Anna Evans, Michael Crichton, Doris Kearns Goodwin, John Grisham, Marshall Trimble.  There are several others but the list is long enough.  I really quite like a novel by an emerging author, Big in Japan, by Jennifer Stewart Griffith.

10. Can you tell us about any other future projects?

I’m well into my third novel of my “rural cops” series, called The Baleful Owl, dealing with theft of Salado Indian artifacts (particularly the title artifact), and of course, murder.  Fourth in the series is a concept outline of heavy industrial theft on a grand scale.

I am nearing completion of the non-fiction Ranching in the Heart of Arizona.  This is a history of ranching in Gila County; a project I started about six years ago, but it has grown well beyond what I anticipated (expected 50 ranches, identified 380).  Hope to release volume one by end of the year.

Meet Virgil Alexander

Virgil Alexander was born and raised in rural Arizona. He grew up in the outdoors shooting, hunting, fishing, hiking, and riding his family’s horses. He loved exploring historic places and studying western history. He had an interest in law enforcement because many members of his family were law officers. His neighbors were ranchers, miners, and small town merchants and officials. His friends came from among those families and included Hispanics, Apaches, and descendants of immigrants who came from all over Europe. These experiences are all reflected in his stories, mysteries set in small town and rural Arizona, often reflecting the natural and human history of the area. His first book, The Wham Curse, introduced Deputies Bren Allred and Manny Sanchez, and San Carlos Apache Tribal Policeman Al Victor, who are also the protagonists in Saints & Sinners and a third not yet completed mystery The Baleful Owl.

Saints & Sinners and The Wham Curse are available from Amazon Books at: 

Other links and bookstores are listed on my author Webpage under the "Buy" tabs:

Monday, July 7, 2014

Review: Gideon's Secondhand Bride (Kristen Holt)

Neither John nor Millie wants another marriage, but practicality overrules everything else. John Gideon has three small children who need a mother. Millie needs somewhere to hide and someone to protect her and her son. A marriage of convenience is their best option, but when Millie's past catches up to her and their "business" arrangement stirs emotions neither of them are prepared for, they'll find themselves struggling to know what to do.

While I'm somewhat new to historical fiction, I have come to really enjoy the genre. It's a difficult genre to write well, but Holt really hit the spot with this novella.

The basis of this story truly captured the difficulties of this time period. John Gideon desperately needs help with his children, but propriety won't allow him to hire a nursemaid that lives in the house. Marriage is his only option, though it's what he wants least. Millie is fighting to survive her abusive husband. She wants to run, but has no relations that will take her in, no money, few opportunities to work, and no hope of a divorce even if proof of the abusive is shown. I loved getting this glimpse into the Post-Civil War Era on such a personal level. I'm not an expert on the details of the time period, but I felt the author did a good job of portraying it accurately so the reader felt they were taken back in time.

The characters themselves were very well crafted. The emotion each one was struggling to contain and deal with not only had depth, but a very realistic portrayal. John's guilt over developing feelings for Millie so soon after his wife's death will tear at readers' heart. I felt so bad for him, and wanted him to be happy, but I still understood why it was so hard for him. Millie was well done, also. She is scared, fearful of telling John the truth of her situation, but a good and kind person who is trying to make the best of a very difficult situation. Really, my only regret with this story was that it wasn't longer. I would have been happy to continue reading their story. I think I'll have to find a few more of Ms. Holt's books!

You can get your copy of Gideon's Secondhand Bride from Amazon

Thursday, July 3, 2014

Summer of Interviews: DR Ransdell

Today I'm pleased to welcome DR Ransdell!

1. What was your inspiration for your book?  I love spending time in Greece, so sending my mariachi player on vacation there seemed like a good excuse to think about this beautiful country. I worked on Rhodes for the 1994-1995 school year. Even though Rhodes Town had a population of some 50,000, it seemed small. I used some of that small-town island mentality for this book.  Another big influence was my brother, to whom this book is dedicated. Andy gets into so much trouble in ISLAND CASUALTY that his brother Joey needs to come bail him out. Hopefully I’ll never find myself in a similar position, but if I do, I’ll send an S.O.S. to John right away.

Can you tell us about how your own experiences influenced this story?

When I went to Greece on a university trip, I fell in love with the language. I fell in love with the bouzouki scene, the beach scene, the café scene. I spent the next decade vacationing in Greece. There were so many great beaches to choose from! For ISLAND CASUALTY I used a fictional island named Amiros, but in the back of my mind I was thinking of Kálymnos, which was the first island I visited myself. I’d been invited by Greek friends whose camaraderie is much like the friendship Andy feels with Eleni and Nikos.

2. Would you classify this series as plot driven or character driven? 

When I read mystery novels myself, I’m more focused on character than on plot because I enjoy getting to know the characters and their foibles. My own works reflects this preference. Despite all his flaws, or maybe because of them, I enjoy spending time with Andy and following his travails. Whether he’s performing folk music, following a clue, or trying to get a date, I have fun playing around with his decisions and their consequences. 

3. Can you tell us a little about your main characters?
By profession, Andy is a skilled mariachi violinist. He loves performing and he’s good at it. The problem is that Andy is also an “everyman.” He tries to make right decisions, but just as the rest of us, he has trouble reading the signs. He thinks he understands situations, but he doesn’t always catch nuances. He’s kind-hearted, but he trips himself up by trying to help the wrong people at the wrong times.

Rachel is a mariachi player from Tucson who’s found a unique niche for herself in Greece. During the summers when the tourist trade keeps the tavernas crowded, she helps out by playing in the local bouzouki band. This works perfectly for her because it gives her the opportunity to spend all summer in Greece and then return to her job in Tucson as soon as the tourists go home over. Life on Amiros is bittersweet for Rachel, however, since one of her former lovers was the island’s star musician.

4. Without giving away too much, tell us about the main conflict. 

The novel is about the intense love a man has for a woman, the lengths he’s willing to go to secure that love, and the obstacles he encounters. The plot itself is quite romantic.

5. What do you hope readers take away from this book? 

If they haven’t been to Greece before, I hope they get inspired to travel there. I hope they hear the songs in the taverna and feel the ocean spray on their faces while their toes sink into the pebbles. I hope they also enjoy reflecting on the value of genuine friendships and loyal family members. Finally, I hope they’re intrigued by a central theme; while we might like to see everything in black and white, many situations are closer to gray than we first imagine. 

6. What song best describes your writing style?

The song that best describes my style is “Golpe traidor,” a fast Spanish-language song that sounds happy even though the words explain why the singer needs to extract revenge. The song is fast from start to finish without changing tempo. It’s also tongue in cheek; it’s too dramatic to be taken overly seriously. My writing mirrors the song in that I write quickly every day until I get through an entire manuscript. Even though I’m writing murder mysteries, they’re not about the end of the world or nine dozen murder victims. They’re stories that are particular to that setting and that time period. They could happen to anybody.

7. Night Owl or Early Bird?

Night owl! Now that it’s summer and I don’t have to get up to teach any classes, it’s harder and harder for me to get to bed before four a.m. The truth is that I love to stay up late. No phone calls. No TV shows. I can work in peace. And I always make the mistake of thinking, “I can get this one more little thing done….”

8. Skittle or M&Ms?
There are a few foods I can’t keep in my house because I have no control over them: peanuts and M & Ms (plain, peanut, or almond)!

9. Who are your favorite authors?

For fantasy, J.R.R. Tolkien. For travel saga, Lawrence Durrell. For mysteries, Robert Crais, Gianrico Carofiglio, and especially John Grisham.

10. Can you tell us about any other future projects? 
ISLAND CASUALTY takes place in Greece, but Andy’s vacation won’t last too long. His next adventure will take him south of the U.S. border. On a non-fiction note, I’ve been working on a memoir about my adventures playing in a mariachi.

Get your copy of ISLAND CASUALTY here:

Meet DR Ransell:
D.R. Ransdell writes from Tucson, Arizona, where she enjoys good swimming weather most of the year. During the school season she teaches composition to international students at the University of Arizona. She also moonlights in a mariachi band, which gives her plenty of ideas for murder victims. When vacation starts, she hits the road, leaving behind several mischievous cats. One of her favorite travel destinations is Greece, where she can devote afternoons to splendid beaches and evenings to bouzouki music. Please visit her at

Youtube Videos   
Music & Writing Blog
Cat Lovers’ site

More about Island Casualty:
Depressed about the death of a lover, Andy heads to the Greek island of Amiros for what he hopes will be a sex holiday with Rachel, another mariachi player. En route he meets a fellow passenger who accidentally leaves behind one of his packages. By the time Andy realizes the man’s mistake, his acquaintance has melted off into the crowd.
                Andy spends the evening searching the port for his travel companion to no avail. The next morning, the man is found floating in the harbor. In the island’s daily newspaper, a picture of Andy enjoying a cup of coffee with the victim advertises their so-called close connection.
                Worried about the newspaper’s claim that he and the deceased are spies, Andy turns himself in to the local police chief. Soumba laughs at the trumped up charges and tells Andy he has nothing to worry about. Andy would be happy to agree, but later that evening, he’s run off the road by whizzing bullets.

                Such dire circumstances force Andy to begin his own investigation of the drowned man, but instead of finding facts, he finds himself at the mercy of another assassination attempt. He offers to leave the island, but he realizes that the only way to keep his friends safe is by uncovering the truth about the drowning victim. The more he learns, the more he’s drawn into the history of the island and the complicated connections among its inhabitants.

Tuesday, July 1, 2014

Summer of Interviews: Amy Bennett

Today I'm pleased to welcome Amy M Bennett!

1.       What was your inspiration for your book? Can you tell us about how your own experiences influenced this story?

My books (“End of the Road” and “No Lifeguard on Duty”), or rather my entire Black Horse Campground series, were inspired by my love of mysteries.  Being a long-time fan of Mary Higgins Clark and her romantic suspense novels, set in her beloved stomping grounds of the NYC area, I decided that I would like to write a book or series set in my own neck of the woods—south-central New Mexico—and hopefully share that love with readers as effectively as she has (one of my bucket list goals is to visit NYC and find the restaurant that inspired her fictional Neary’s!)

2.       Would you classify this series as plot driven or character driven?

Definitely character driven.  When I was thinking of writing a book, the first thing that came to mind was the characters.  What happened to them, how they reacted, and how they dealt with the situations that arose came later.  At that point, I could have been writing a mystery, a romance, just about any type of story.  If I didn’t care about the characters, I don’t think I could care about the story.  The characters, to me, ARE the story.

3.       Can you tell us a little about your main characters?

There are three main characters: Corrie Black, the owner of the Black Horse Campground in fictional Bonney County, New Mexico.  She’s struggling to make a success of the campground left to her by her late father.  Then there is Rick Sutton, Bonney County sheriff and childhood friend and former high school flame of Corrie’s.  Circumstances drove them apart romantically years ago, but, as is common in small New Mexico towns, their bond remains strong.  Lastly, J.D. Wilder, a former lieutenant with the narcotics division of the Houston police department.  In the first book, “End of the Road”, he arrives at the Black Horse campground under circumstances that make him a suspect, but he ends up being an integral part of Corrie’s life and Bonney County in general.

4.       Without giving away too much, tell us about the main conflict.

Of course, I write murder mysteries, so the main conflict is “Who killed the victim?” However, there are conflicts among and within the characters themselves, particularly with the romantic triangle that is developing among Corrie, Rick, and J.D.  I try not to make it the central focus of the story; rather, it’s more of a complication or side plot.  However, many of my readers have made it clear that the mystery they are most interested in seeing resolved is which man Corrie eventually chooses!

5.       What do you hope readers take away from this book?

A strong sense of family, a sense of home, a sense of old-fashioned values that still exist in the hearts and souls of the people who care about their friends and neighbors.
6.       What song best describes your writing style?

Don’t laugh; “Believe It Or Not” by Joey Scarbury, the theme song from the old TV series, “Greatest American Hero”… “who can it be? Believe it or not, it’s just me.”  I think many writers start out by trying to imitate their favorite or the most popular writers.  It’s only when they realize that just being themselves is more than good enough that they begin to find their true voice and they tell the stories that they are meant to tell.  That’s when they find their audience.

7.       Night Owl or Early Bird?

For years, I’ve been going to work (at the Walmart bakery) at 2 in the morning!  That’s my favorite time of the day to work, when there are no people around (not the best attitude for someone in retail, but…) and I can focus on what needs to be done without interruption.  That’s always been my best and most productive time of the day.

8.       Skittle or M&Ms?

M&Ms.  And please don’t mix them in the candy jar with Skittles.  Please.

9.       Who are your favorite authors?

Hands down, I love Mary Higgins Clark, but I’m also a huge fan of New Mexico mystery authors, including Aimee and David Thurlo, Steven F. Havill, Mike Orenduff, and Michael McGarrity.  But I also love other authors, mostly mystery authors, too numerous to name.

10.   Can you tell us about any other future projects?

Besides the continuation of the Black Horse Campground series, I’ve also got a couple of projects in the works: a Catholic YA series and perhaps a romance novel that I drafted many years ago.  But who knows what else I may decide to pursue?

Meet Amy Bennett:
Amy M. Bennett was born and raised in El Paso, Texas and has lived in New Mexico since 1988.  Her debut novel, “End of the Road”, won the 2012 Dark Oak Mystery contest, and launched the Black Horse Campground mystery series.  The second book, “No Lifeguard on Duty”, was published in April 2014 and she is currently working on the third book, “No Vacancy”. When she isn’t writing, she works full-time decorating cakes at Walmart of Ruidoso Downs, part time slinging vino at Noisy Water Winery in Ruidoso, and enjoying life in general with her husband, Paul, and son, Paul Michael.

Connect with Amy Here:

More about “End of the Road”:
Corrie Black, owner of the Black Horse Campground, hopes for a successful start to her summer season but the discovery of Marvin Landry, a long-time guest, shot dead in his own RV, along with $50,000 in cash missing, does not herald a good beginning… especially since the victim’s handicapped wife and angry stepson seem to have little interest in discovering who murdered him. Was Marvin’s murder planned or just convenient? And is the appearance of a mysterious biker with a shadowy past that includes a recently deceased wife merely a coincidence? Despite opposition from former flame, Sheriff Rick Sutton, Corrie is determined to find out who murdered her guest. But will she find out who is friend or foe before the murderer decides it’s the end of the road for Corrie?

More about “No Lifeguard on Duty”:
Summer is coming and at the Black Horse Campground in Bonney County, New Mexico that means warm sunny days, a cool refreshing pool...and murder? Corrie Black and her friends are ready to welcome the summer camping season with a party to celebrate opening the swimming pool... but murder becomes an unwelcome guest! The shock of discovering Krista Otero's body in the pool the morning after the party is bad enough... what's worse is that Krista's death wasn't an accident. And what's more confusing is that Krista's closest friends all have something to hide. Despite opposition from Bonney County's finest, Corrie is determined to find out who used her swimming pool as a murder weapon and who is using her home as a base for illegal activities. But someone wants to keep Corrie out of their business... even if it means killing again!