Saturday, August 31, 2013

Featured Author: Troy Lambert

Troy Lambert writes heart stopping fiction. He's the author of the Samuel Elijah Johnson crime thriller series. I'm happy to have Troy here today for an interview about himself, books he likes, and his newest book, Temptation, the sequel to Redemption. Broken Bones, a collection of short stories, is his first published work.

About the book:

Sam, a wrongly accused man who obtained his law degree in prison, helped others find Redemption when he won his freedom. Whether through luck, good timing, or his uncanny ability to tell truth from a lie, Sam has won every case he’s taken on. True, they’ve been small time parole hearings or appeals so far. But when his assistant is in an accident, and he has to take on another employee, his luck in the courtroom may be changing. A mysterious stranger and a series of tragedies make his next case the most challenging and tempting of them all. The cast of Redemption and a host of new characters return, each one of them forced to face Temptation in their own way in this fast paced thriller.

Interview with Troy Lambert

Troy, you have three published books so far. How long have you been writing, and how did you start?

I started writing at a young age: 6. I penned my first book, as yet unpublished, titled George and the Giant Castle. It took me about 30 years to figure out how to really be a writer, though.

Do you have another job outside of writing?

I actually just started working at home full time. I do editing, video editing, videography and short films, technical writing, and research. It is the greatest and toughest thing I have ever done.

What’s your favorite line from a book?

One of my favorites is a quote from Heinlein. “Mighty little force is needed to control a man whose mind has been hoodwinked; contrariwise, no amount of force can control a free man, a man whose mind is free. No, not the rack, not fission bombs, not anything — you can’t conquer a free man; the most you can do is kill him.”

Tell us a book you’re an evangelist for.

One of my current favorites is Losing It by Valentine Williams. It tells the story of a woman who killed her children and is imprisoned in a mental hospital. It really gives a genuine voice to insanity, and the reader sympathizes with Jane by the end of the book. It’s hard to say a book has something for everyone, but almost anyone can take something good away from this book.

How do you get to know your characters?

Arthur was a long term relationship. I wrote him years ago, but when I pulled the story out of the drawer (that became the middle for Redemption) I started to realize who he was, and what his motives were. Writing him into Temptation, too, helped me bring some of his issues full circle and resolve them. Sam was a character I just knew. As soon as I wrote his first thoughts, I felt like I had known him for years.

Which character did you most enjoy writing?

I enjoyed writing Sam the most: for some reason I always do. I don’t relate directly to him, but I feel like we are good friends.

Tell us about your favorite scene in the book.

I’ve waited years to write my favorite scene in the book: Peter has a motorcycle accident near the beginning, and the details are based on my own experience in 2001. It never fit in any book or story before. No spoilers, you’ll have to read it for yourself.

No! No spoilers here. Suppose you get to decide who would read your audiobook. Who would you choose?

Sam Elliot and Morgan Freeman would team up, maybe with James Earl Jones. If they had a tickle fight in the studio, it would be the sweetest sound ever.

Well now that's something interesting to ponder! Where and when do you prefer to do your writing?

I do most of my writing early in the morning and in my office. There are days that if I could move my desk outside, I would. Especially in the spring and the fall.

Where’s home for you?

Kuna, Idaho, a small town outside of Boise. I went to college in Boise, and I like the area. We moved here recently for my wife’s work.

Neil Gaiman said, “Picking five favorite books is like picking five body parts you'd most like not to lose.” So…what are your five favorite books and your five body parts you’d most like not to lose?

Top Five: A Prayer for Owen Meany, John Irving. Job: A Comedy of Justice, Robert Heinlein. Eyes of the Dragon, Stephen King. Pillars of the Earth, Ken Follet, and Bird by Bird, Anne Lamont.

Body parts: My hands (I need to type. I’m counting that as two) My head (I need to think) My Left Foot (just because I like saying that) and one other part that shall remain nameless here. Ask me the books tomorrow, and the answer might be different. The body parts are pretty solid.

Great answer! Would you rather work in a library or a bookstore?

Library. If I worked in a book store, I would be broke.

You won the lottery. What’s the first thing you would buy?

A bookstore.

Wow! Another great answer. I thought "a zoo" was a good answer, but bookstore! I'm hitting myself upside the head. Brilliant!’re given the day off, and you can do anything but write. What would you do?

Go for a long hike in the woods. Even then, I would have a hard time not writing at all that day. I think I would be counting the seconds to midnight.

Very true. What three books have you read recently and would recommend?

Ties that Bind, Natalie Collins, Parallax View by Alan Leverone, and City of Heretics, by Heath Lowrance.

If you could live anywhere in the world, where would it be?

Central Idaho, in the middle of the wilderness by a lake, with a long, windy road that came only to my house. I don’t think my wife would live there with me though. I might have to settle for at least a small town nearby.

What are you working on now?

Currently I am working on the third the Samuel Elijah Johnson trilogy, tentatively titled Confession, the edits of a Halloween piece, and a non-fiction project. Of course, that is in addition to some freelance research and a video project.

Please come back when Confession is published and tell us about it.

Other books by Troy Lambert:

About the author:

Troy began his writing life at a very young age, penning the as yet unpublished George and the Giant Castle at age six. He grew up in Southern Idaho, and after many adventures including a short stint in the US Army and a diverse education, Troy returned to Idaho, and currently resides in Boise.

Troy works as a freelance writer and researcher including for the Wallace District Mining museum, and also edits for Tirgeaar Publishing and others on a freelance basis. He truly loves to write dark, psychological thrillers. His work includes Broken Bones, a collection of his short stories, Redemption, the first in the Samuel Elijah Johnson Series, and his new novel, Temptation, the sequel to Redemption.

Troy lives with his wife of twelve years, two of his five children, and two very talented dogs. He is a skier, cyclist, hiker, fisherman, hunter, and a terrible beginning golfer.

Connect with Troy:
Website | Blog | Facebook | Twitter | Goodreads 

Buy the book:
Amazon US | Amazon UK | Barnes & Noble | Kobo | Smashwords  

Wednesday, August 28, 2013

Featured Author: Rosalee Richland

Right and Left Grand is Rosalee Richland's first novel in the Darla King cozy mystery series, 
published by Wordsmiths4u
. Fun fact: Rosalee is actually two authors who combine their writing talents.

About the book:

In this first Darla King novel, Darla returns to square dancing in midlife following tragedies in both her personal and professional lives. She moves from Florida to Texas and from high-powered investigator to life in a small town and a job as far removed from crime as she can think of—-she becomes a square dance caller. But when an unconscious stranger turns up on the ranch of one of her dance club members, her specialized knowledge may hold the key to the identity of his assailants. At first, Darla is concerned that her friend Doug is the target. When the same square dancer is assaulted not once but twice, she realizes something else is wrong. Even more telling is the secretive but disturbingly handsome FBI agent that enters the picture.

Darla didn’t plan it this way, but her curiosity pulls her into the case and she has to use the investigative skills from her past that she thought she’d left behind. She’s inquisitive by nature, and looks for patterns to unravel it all. Patterns like the ones she uses to choreograph a dance. Combined with her contacts as a square dance caller and her square dance knowledge, she’s just the person to fit all the pieces fit together. Darla, along with her close friends from the Clearton Squares Dance Club, ends up in the thick of things—-and in danger.

About Rosalee Richland

Rosalee Richland is the pen name of two real-life square dancing writers. As Rosalee, co-authors Cyndi Riccio and Rhonda Brinkmann joined forces to create the Darla King cozy mystery series. Darla and her friends portray the best of the square community, the warmth and friendship among people in it, and the enjoyment square dancing brings worldwide. Darla’s curiosity often puts her squarely in the midst of unusual circumstances, and Darla can’t let go until the mystery is solved.

When not writing, Darla’s co-authors enjoy reading, traveling, meeting readers and fans, networking with other authors, and – of course – square dancing. They are learning to blog and are always working on Darla’s next mystery. If you have a chance, stop in at a book signing and find out which half of Rosalee shows up! In the meantime you can stay in touch with Rosalee and Darla on Facebook, Goodreads, or the Darla King Series blog. Or just search for “Rosalee Richland” anywhere in cyberspace.

Connect with the author:

Goodreads/Rosalee Richland | Facebook | blog

Buy the Book:
Amazon | Barnes & Noble

Tuesday, August 27, 2013

Featured Author: Tiffany Carmel Lake

Tiffany Carmel Lake is here to talk about her epic fantasy, Stelletwal Vengeance & Domination, published by Virtualbookworm Publishing. This is book three in the Stelletwal series. Read on for an interview with the author and an excerpt from the book.

About the book:

The truce between the Elves of the Southern and Western kingdoms has ended, forcing King Rinion and Queen Kaliopy into war against the Southern Clans.  The conflict escalates as the Southern Clans reveal their hidden strategies.  But just days before the battle begins Azuryne, the High Priestess, is hesitant to commit Stelletwal’s magic to the cause as she doubts the foundation of her faith.  Princes Rylan and Chalorys find evidence of an ancient weapon which could alter events further, sending the twins on an adventure far away from their homeland.  As Rinion and Kaliopy turn their attention to the needs of their people, an old foe threatens to resurface.  But there are others who can justifiably lay claim to the throne.  The struggle will not cease after the King is dead. Stelletwal Vengeance & Domination is the sequel and continuing saga, following Stelletwal Deception & Illumination.

Other books by Tiffany Carmel Lake:

Interview with Tiffany Carmel Lake

Tiffany, this is your third book. How long have you been writing, and how did you start?

I started writing in late January, 2009. Several days prior, a friend of mine encouraged me to start keeping a diary. I put up a lot of resistance to this idea. But later that same evening, I mentioned a childhood dream I had of hosting an elaborate masquerade ball. Rather smugly she teased, “Why don’t you write about it? Spare no expense. Plan your masquerade as though money was no object.” A day or two later, an Apache medicine woman told me that I had Faeries all around me. Again, I was carried back to a time I had forgotten. But this time I recalled how I used to sing to small, colorful orbs in my backyard. I mulled this over for a couple more days before I finally placed pen to paper.  It was a rainy morning. I sat at my kitchen table, in my pajamas, with a steaming cup of coffee and a blank paged subtly ornate journaling book. I did not have any aspirations to write. I never dreamed I’d write one book, let alone begin an entire series. It took filling three of those fancy journals and more than 100 typed pages before my husband asked me, “Do you think this is turning into something?”  I didn’t know. But I couldn’t stop. I was scribbling dialogue on every random piece of paper I could find. I was writing while I was driving (I do not encourage, nor do I support this practice by the way!!!). And I’m pleased to say that my obsessive writing binge has calmed down considerably. So, returning to that rainy morning when Stelletwal was birthed into my awareness…The spark ignited when I thought, “If I am sparing myself the reality of dealing with money, why am I dealing in my reality at all?” Instead of writing from my perspective, I decided to write through the eyes of a Faerie. Kaliopy came to me like a childhood friend, and the masquerade turned into a relatively small aspect of the overall story. To this day, I still love to write while it’s raining.

How did you come up with the title of your book?

Each book has a sub-title, but Stelletwal is a Faerie kingdom and the main title for the series. The name is made up of two words, both meaning “star.” Stelle is Italian and Etoile is French. I put them together and American-ized the spelling so the integrity of the pronunciation would remain more or less intact. Since Stelletwal was founded on the night of a meteor shower, I thought it was a good way to have the star connection without being too obvious.

Do you have another job outside of writing?

I am a professional singer.

That is so cool! What song would you pick to go with your book?

There is no way for me to choose only one song. Yet I cannot simply let this question slip by without an acknowledgment. First of all, I have always thought the main storyline in Sacrifice would make for a wonderful opera. Now that I’ve gotten that out, I can admit that I’ve pieced together entire soundtracks for my books. I’ve even composed music of my own which was inspired by my books. But in a nut-shell, I would like the music to be a blend of Verdi’s Requiem and Trent Reznor. Throw in a hint of Gothic rock, Taiko drums and dramatic classical vocals…I think we’re beginning to get the varied emotional impact I have in mind.

How did you create the plot for this book?

The development for each book’s plot has been a little different. Since Vengeance & Domination is a continuation (Parts 3 and 4) of a larger story, I knew where it needed to begin. What I was not sure of, was how it would (or wouldn’t) end. But two things remain consistent: First, I do not write linearly, so the stories unfold as one might consider putting together a puzzle. And second, I physically feel like I’m a little outside of my body and taking dictation with a lot of vivid images flashing in my head.

What’s your favorite line from a book? Have more than one? What are your ten favorite lines from a book?

…from one of my books or from any book? One of my favorite lines from Vengeance & Domination is contained in Part 4, where the Northern Clan King reminds his son that “…histories are interpreted through the eyes of survivors.” 

Another line I like from the same book is contained in Part 3, when Rinion playfully asks Kaliopy and Rylan (his oldest son), “Where is my other son?  He understands the art of melancholy.”

One of my husband’s favorite lines is contained in Deception & Illumination Part 1, when Rinion announces to his father that he and his wife are expecting a child. Ryshan teases his son by saying, “My boy, that is the way to christen a ship.”

If I had to pick a favorite line from someone else’s book, my first thought goes to Tolkien’s Lord of the Rings, “Not all those who wander are lost.”

Tell us a book you’re an evangelist for.

I’ve lovingly gifted many copies of The Alchemist by Paulo Coelho. Not only is it a story about following your dreams, but it is about the importance of the experiences during the journey.

Which character did you most enjoy writing?

I fell in love with Skryshayn. Everything about him contains elements of danger and beauty. He is a classic example of someone who often has noble motives, but goes about accomplishing his goals in the most terrible ways.

What would your main character say about you?

She would probably tell me I need to practice more.

If you could be one of your characters, which one would you choose?

When I began writing, I felt like Kaliopy chose me. She is a Faerie Princess, but she is portrayed in the most non-stereotypical manner… She was born into a royal household, but she was trained as a warrior. A part of me understood that polarity. Growing up, I wove flowers in my hair, put on a fancy dress, climbed a tree, and got into a brawl with one of the neighbor boys…all in the same afternoon. As I continued to write, I felt a stronger connection to Chalorys (the younger of the twin princes), as he struggles to discover his life’s purpose and path. But, if I could choose to be anyone, I’d want to be Finyanna from all three books OR Admiral Flarnyan from Vengeance & Domination. Both of these women are strong, confident and they just seem to have it all figured out.

Tell us about your favorite scene in the book.

Again, taking the series into consideration, one of my favorite scenes is in Stelletwal Sacrifice. Near the beginning of the story, Tsavryel and Ryshan are on a ship together.  The sun is just beginning to rise, and Ryshan awakes. He goes onto the main deck to find Tsavryel dancing to nothing but the sound of the water and the gentle creak of the wood and the rigging. It is such a beautiful interaction between the two of them, but there is also so much uncertainty. I loved writing that chapter.

In Vengeance & Domination, I still get wrapped up in the chapter where Setryel is introduced. I see the images as though I’m watching Japanese Anime.

In Deception & Illumination, there is a paragraph when Dalsyus captures a moth and releases it out a window and into the night. Even though he is one of the antagonists in the story, that small action exposes an important, tender facet within his character.

Who are your favorite authors?

JRR Tolkien and Raymond Feist

How long is your to-be-read pile?

Strangely, I am not much of a reader. Someday I’d like to read the Harry Potter books, or I have a feeling the George RR Martin series A Song of Ice and Fire (Game of Thrones) would also be right up my alley. But I haven’t been reading (or watching) much of anything since I started writing. 

I hear you! Writing can be all consuming. Okay, let's say you get to decide who would read your audiobook. Who would you choose?

Ian McKellen and/or Claudia Black.

You’re given the day off, and you can do anything but write. What would you do?


You can be any fictional character for one day. Who would you be?

A mermaid.

What are you working on now?

I’m in between opera seasons right now, so I’m collaborating on a couple of other shows/projects with some of my musician friends. As for the books, I’m currently working on the fourth and fifth books in the Stelletwal series. I promised the muses I will continue to write as long as they keep sharing their tales.

Excerpt from Stelletwal Vengeance & Domination

Setryel ran her pale fingers along the dark green and navy blue embroidery which accented her black sleeves. There was no excuse for her sudden chill, but she almost felt numb as she continued down the windowless corridor. For the past couple of years there had been rumor of the souls who haunted the two rooms at the end of this hall on the castle’s upper level. The disappearance of a mighty Faerie sorceress and her half Elfin daughter gave the entire community great cause for suspicion, and the rooms were sealed closed when it was evident they were never going to return. No one truly knew their fates, but the magic the two women practiced caused an eerie presence to linger in the air. While this was enough of a deterrent to keep most everyone away, it was a positively irresistible lure to Setryel.

She was the first maiden born to the kingdom with wings in nearly two centuries, and this display of royal blue, violet and absinthe green distanced her from her peers. Magic had vanished from her society in exchange for darker activities, and she guessed that may have been some of the attraction for a long dead commander named Dalsyus. It was he who brought the Sorceress into their fold, and it was he who nurtured her gifts in exchange for the blood which abundantly flowed through her veins. He had the influential power to commit their army to the pursuit of her desires, but he perished on the night of the first skirmish. Undoubtedly the sacrifices Dalsyus made on Finyanna’s behalf were romanticized over the years, but at their core, the stories were true. The Sorceress became one of the strongest and most powerful women in the kingdom’s history. Now Finyanna and her daughter Kryasa were gone, but their history lived on. Setryel often dreamed of the day when her own talents would be recognized, and her differences would allow her the opportunities to rise to greatness.

Thick black drapes were hung over the chamber doors with the hope the rooms would be overlooked and eventually forgotten. Now, on this hot summer night, the maiden stood in the middle of the hall and wondered how she might gain access past the doors which were so carefully barred. She bowed her head as though she were about to pray. Calling out in her mind, she tried to summon any power which might answer her. Suddenly, she was inspired to address the very being which formerly inhabited the rooms, “Finyanna, I mean you and your belongings no harm. But I seek knowledge and your Divine guidance. May I enter?” Setryel began to lose her balance, but quickly recovered. The hall remained silent. Again, the maiden manifested her plea, “Great Sorceress, I humbly call on you to grant me entry.” Setryel’s head began to pound from the mental exertion. She rubbed her palms against her temples as she ran her fingers through her flaxen hair. Reaching her hands out toward both doors, Setryel called aloud, “I command you to respond.” Still, there was nothing. The maiden opened her eyes and nervously glanced around her. There was no sound and no movement. Her rapidly beating heart was the only rhythm which answered. She hung her head down with disappointment as she tried to consider another tactic. Suddenly, the drapes blew from the walls as an explosion forced them flying into the center of the corridor. Both doors violently swung open from their hinges and slammed against their stone frames with a deafening impact. Setryel fell to the ground in the wake of the blast as fragments of rock and plaster rained over her body, but no harm came to her. Immediately, silence followed and the maiden looked up to see one of the doors ajar under the heavy fabric which still hung from the ceiling.

Gingerly pulling herself to her feet, Setryel pushed back the curtain and stepped through the threshold. The room was not nearly as dark as the hallway, for the night was cloudless and the windows filtered the moon’s silver light into the chamber. She walked to a table and noticed a couple books left behind as though they were still the source of someone’s lessons. She picked up a text and walked toward the window so she might read some of the words. Gently wiping the dust from the page, she squinted to make out what was written. She had hardly deciphered a word when a movement in the shadows startled her, causing the book to tumble out of her grasp and onto the floor. The maiden was paralyzed with fear as the shadow stepped closer and into the light. The form materialized into a woman with thick auburn hair and pale blue eyes, “I do not respond well to commands.” The woman knelt down and picked up the manuscript. She cradled it against her chest as she reverently returned it to its place on the table. “The words preserved within these bindings are more than two millennia old. They should be treated with the utmost respect.” Gently running her fingers over a crystal orb, the ball responded to her touch by sparking to life with a swirl of purple and blue light. As she pulled her hand away the colors dissipated as though they had never been ignited, “Why have you summoned me?”

Setryel trembled, “Finyanna? You are alive?”

The woman measured the maiden standing before her, “Not by your definition. My destiny is no longer a part of this place.”

“But you are here now?” Setryel was still shocked by what was happening, and she could not recall the questions which had burned within her prior to this encounter.

Finyanna smiled softly, “I was born into your world with certain attributes, but those gifts required constant refinement.” She rested her hand on the book once more, “These texts served as a foundation for my studies. When you are ready to advance your skills, seek the Temple library at Stelletwal.”

Setryel shivered as she blinked some of the dust free from her eyes. She was still lying on the floor in the hallway outside of Finyanna’s chamber. Setryel was disoriented, but she tried to stand. She searched for any sign confirming what she experienced. The fragments which had fallen over her earlier were swept clean from the ground and the air seemed as though it had never shifted. Blindly, Setryel reached for the drape which covered the Sorceress’s chamber door. Stepping past the fabric, the maiden found the door to be closed, but the handle twisted easily in her hand. It was as though the seals had never been placed around the entrance. The maiden tenuously peered into the vacant room. It appeared just as it had moments earlier, except a single candle was burning on the table.

Stelletwal Vengeance & Domination, All rights reserved ©2013

About the author:

Tiffany graduated from California Institute of the Arts with her Master's Degree in Classical Vocal Performance. Her love for fantasy, stage combat, costumes and the rich traditions of grand opera have served as the foundations for her episodic legacy called Stelletwal. Her travels have taken her to Europe and Japan where she has gratefully experienced many cultures while communicating through the boundless language of music. Inspired by influential historical figures and timeless archetypes, Tiffany brings new life to Elves and Faeries exhibiting very human qualities while confronting and struggling with universal issues of honor, entitlement and personal growth. She currently lives in Los Angeles, California with her husband and their cat.

Connect with Tiffany:
Website | Website 2 | Vocal Website | Facebook 

Buy the books:
Amazon | Barnes & Noble

Monday, August 26, 2013

Featured Author: Susan Blexrud

Susan Blexrud is the author of the chick lit novel, His Fantasy Maid, published by Crimson Romance. Chick Lit Blog Tours brings her here today for an interview, and she also brought along an excerpt from the book. WARNING! This one's racy. Proceed with caution...

About the book: 

On the eve of Jake Sinclair’s bachelor party, his best man surprises him with a fantasy maid named Amy. Clad in a bikini, she cleans his house and jump starts his heart. She's beautiful, smart, and compassionate. Why is a woman like this working as a fantasy maid? A few days later, with thoughts still distracted by the enigmatic Amy, Jake crashes his car and wakes in the hospital emergency room where his fantasy maid is now wearing scrubs and wielding a stethoscope. Is she an hallucination, or is his fantasy maid a doctor?

Interview with Susan Blexrud

Susan, how did you come up with the title His Fantasy Maid?

On a trip to Orlando in December 2012, I found a pink notice taped to the front of my townhouse door, which read “Bikini Maid Services, 20 percent OFF.” After removing the notice from the door (and wondering how long it had been there), I tucked it into my purse to share with friends. Surely, only in Orlando would there be a service like this. Up here in the mountains of North Carolina where I live most of the year, it’s too dang cold to wear a bikini. However, after a Google search, I found out there are fantasy maid services all across the U.S. Who knew?

And then I recalled something Carl Hiaasen had said (I’ve seen him speak three times). He writes about some pretty bizarre characters, like an ex-governor of Florida who hangs out in the Everglades and eats road kill. I doubt that character was based on a REAL ex-governor, but nonetheless, Mr. Hiaasen’s contention is, “You can’t make this stuff up.” As a reporter for the Miami Herald, he should know.

This is where I started applying “what if…” to that little pink notice. What if…a brilliant medical student moonlights as a fantasy maid to pay the expenses of medical school? What if…a handsome, yet nerdy, young lawyer is poised to marry a social-climbing bitch? What if…as the preamble to the lawyer’s bachelor party, his best man surprises him with a fantasy maid? What if…this fantasy maid has him re-thinking his marriage plans? And so, a book was born.

Do you have another job outside of writing?

I owned a public relations firm in Orlando, and I’ve been involved in the profession for 35 years. During that time, I’ve worked in hospital communications and public affairs for government. I’ve been a political speechwriter and was director of communications for the City of Orlando. Currently, I still have a couple of public relations clients, and I work part-time.

Give us your best tweet for His Fantasy Maid. (140 characters or less.)

How far will a bright girl go to get what she wants? 

Did you have any say in your cover art? Did you have any say in it?

I am thrilled with the cover, and yes, I had some say. Since Jake Sinclair is NOT an alpha-type hero, I provided a couple of photos of someone I thought looked the part. The super graphics team at Crimson Romance took it from there. ( I think I’ve seen the male model on the cover in a television automobile commercial.)

How do you get to know your characters?

I use a terrific character chart that is available to authors at

When you start a new book, do you know what the entire cast will be?
No, I don’t, but I’m a woman who greatly values female friendships, so I always know that there will be secondary female characters who are important to the plot. In this book, Amy’s friend Ellen plays an integral role.

Which character did you most enjoy writing?

I enjoyed writing dim-witted Matt because he has such a good heart, and I’m a sucker for heroes with high emotional intelligence, even when their intellect may be sub par.

I’m constantly on the lookout for new names. How do you name your characters?

Truly, for me, this is one of the easiest aspects of my writing. They float to me on a cloud.

Lucky you! Tell us about your favorite scene in the book.

Jake’s drug-induced dream sequence is probably my favorite scene. And here it is….
The drugs are kicking in big time now.  Goodnight moon.

I’m at the front of the church in my tux, stifling a sneeze. The sanctuary is covered in gardenias, my least favorite flower. I hate their cloying scent. I have a stabbing pain between the eyes. Sam is next to me. My dad and mom are in the front row, and mom’s crying. Maybe the gardenias have gotten to her, too. 

The bridesmaids, in neon blue, take their places, and we all look expectantly to the front of the church for the bride. Claudia wants to walk down the aisle to Pachelbel’s Canon, so I’m surprised when Jason Mraz’s “I’m Yours” begins to fill the church. I look at Sam, who just shrugs like it’s the most natural thing in the world for his sister to change her mind at the last minute.

I flex my hands, and then fold them in front of me. I straighten, locking my knees. I start to teeter, and then catch myself. I’m nauseated. The wedding guests along the aisle have all put on party hats and are blowing noisemakers…to the music. This I find a bit odd.

On her father’s arm, Claudia glides toward the altar. From this distance, I can’t see through her veil. Really, a veil? What is this, the 1950s? When her father hands her off to me, she raises the lace.  It’s not Claudia.  It’s Amy.  And I’m thrilled, ecstatic, on the verge of hyperventilating. In fact, I’m so excited I can barely get through the ceremony. My cheeks hurt from grinning. I keep motioning for the minister to hurry things up. The more I motion, the slower he gets. When the pastor finally pronounces us man and wife, I kiss her quickly, pick her up, and literally run up the aisle. I carry her into a room off the antechamber. It’s the room where the bride and her bridesmaids dress. I know this isn’t proper. We must have a honeymoon planned, but I don’t care. I have to have her this very moment.

She doesn’t object to my urgency. In fact, she points to a settee and starts hiking up her floor length gown. She kneels on the settee. She’s wearing a lace garter belt, shimmery nylons, and the sweetest little thong. Do women still wear garter belts? Amy does. I push aside her diminutive thong. I’ve waited my whole life for this moment, when I claim the woman I love as my own. My cock is the size of Mr. Green Jeans’ prize cucumber. 

Something nudges my shoulder.
“Wake up, Mr. Sinclair. I need to take your vitals.” 
I peel my eyelids open. A nurse is staring down at me, and Amy stands in the doorway.  Someone’s made a tent in my bed. Oh, no, it’s not a tent. It’s my boner, sticking straight up like the main pole in a three-ring circus. It should be obvious that my vitals are, well, vital.

Where’s home for you?

I live in idyllic Asheville, North Carolina.

Oh my gosh, one of my favorite places! Tell us one weird thing, one nice thing, and one fact about where you live.

Asheville is where weird is normal…and normal is weird. No one cares about what kind of car you drive or how much jewelry you have. It’s the town of previously-important people.

Do you ever get writer’s block? What do you do when it happens?

I get it far more often than I’d like…and for weeks at a time. Generally, I just have to push through, and while much of what I write while I’m pushing is unadulterated crap, I can usually find a few kernels that give me hope to carry on.               

Excerpt from His Fantasy Maid

If I believed the adage, “you are what you do,” my self-concept would be in the toilet, so to speak. I clean houses in a bikini or French maid get-up, client’s choice, which contributes little to making the world a better place. As a result, my adage is, “you are what you become,” because I’m becoming a doctor. 

But today, I’m Amy Maitland, fantasy maid.

My best friend and fellow medical resident, Ellen, knows about my undercover life working for Fantasy Maids, but she’s the only one. If word got out at the College of Medicine, I’d be the laughingstock of the University of Central Florida. My five brothers know I work as a housemaid, which they respect as good, honest labor, but they don’t know the fantasy aspect. Protective (and controlling) men that they are, they’d lock me up.

That being said, it’s not the worst job in the world. I’ve been a fantasy maid for almost two years, and so far, none of my clients has tried to assault me. But it’s always a possibility, considering Florida’s propensity for perverts. The company (i.e. Rex, the owner, and a part-time secretary) arms us with pepper spray and an emergency hotline number (Rex’s cell phone), and they screen the customers to make sure no one’s a registered sex offender. They also arrange our appointments, and Rex is good about following up…within four or five days…to make sure we survived the gig. 

Still, being alone with a strange guy in his apartment is enough to get anyone’s adrenalin pumping, and I never go into a new situation without first sending up a prayer. I always let Ellen know where I’m going, and I carry a rosary, even though I’m not Catholic.

Today, I’m heading to a condominium in stylish Winter Park, just north of Orlando. The address alone is comforting. It’s just off Park Avenue in a nice neighborhood, and it’s next door to a church. But, I remind myself, Ted Bundy lived in a nice neighborhood.  Let’s face it; serial killers can look like the boy next door.

About the author:

Susan Blexrud grew up in Orlando, Florida, and now lives in Asheville, North Carolina, with her husband of 27 years, John, who proposed to her on New Year’s Eve 1985 on the Venice-Simplon Orient Express, halfway between Paris and Vienna. Their son Chris lives and works in Manhattan, and daughter Allison is a college junior. Susan has a Chihuahua named Baby and a cockatiel named Romeo. She is an avid reader, and she leads two monthly book clubs in Asheville.  She is a walker and Yoga enthusiast. She enjoys quilting and bird watching (loves hummingbirds), and most of all, writing her next story. 
Website | Blog | Facebook | Amazon

a Rafflecopter giveaway


Cover reveal: The Promise

The Promise (Coven, #1)

by Apryl Baker


Armed with kick-ass shoes, can CJ stop a maniacal coven leader, save the town, and still get Mr. Melt In Your Mouth Gorgeous while surviving the darkness coming for her?

The smoke from the fire burned her eyes, its heat caressed her skin and the taste of fear choked her. She was going to burn just as her ancestor did all those centuries ago in New Salem Village. How could she have been so wrong about everything?

Cassie Jayne Bishop grew up the only non-believer in town of Coven. When a stranger comes to the sleepy town of New Salem, everything she thought was true unraveled around her. Ethan made her question everything, even her sister’s death. Clues start to pile up and Cassie is determined to find out if the Coven was the real reason her sister died.

What she uncovers terrifies her to the very depths of her soul...

Other books by Apryl Baker:

From the author:   

So who am I? Well, I'm the crazy girl with an imagination that never shuts up. I LOVE scary movies. My friend Chazz laughs at me when I scare myself watching them and tells me to stop watching them, but who doesn't love to get scared? I grew up in a small town nestled in the southern mountains of West Virginia where I spent days roaming around in the woods, climbing trees, and causing general mayhem. Nights I would stay up reading Nancy Drew by flashlight under the covers until my parents yelled at me to go to sleep. Growing up in a small town, I learned a lot of values and morals, I also learned parents have spies everywhere and there's always someone to tell your mama on you. So when you get grounded, what is there left to do? Read! My Aunt Jo gave me my first real romance novel. It was a romance titled "Lord Margrave's Deception." I remember it fondly. But I also learned I had a deep and abiding love of mysteries and anything paranormal. As I grew up, I started to write just that and would entertain my friends with stories featuring them as main characters. Now, I live Huntersville, NC where I entertain my family and watch the cats get teased by the birds and laugh myself silly when they swoop down and then dive back up just out of reach. The cats start yelling something I love books, I love writing books, and I love entertaining people with my silly stories. You can reach me at any of these places:
PS: DO NOT GET IN MY WAY IF THERE IS A SALE ON AT TARGET - my home away from home! 

Sunday, August 25, 2013

Featured Author: Dan O'Brien

Welcome to the Hobbes Family blog tour. It will run until September 2nd and will feature excerpts and new author interviews each day. But first, here is the obligatory blurb about the novel to settle you into this strange world:

The world had ended abruptly and without warning. How will a family navigate a world that seems bent on destroying them? Follow them in this exciting new serial adventure.

A few questions for the author:

What’s the thing you’re most satisfied with?

I am most satisfied with continuing to move forward in pursuit of my dreams. I love writing and I love helping people see their work in print (or digitally) and I could not be happier with the way it makes me feel.

When was the last time you laughed and what did you laugh at?

It was probably some comedy on TV. I am easily amused, though I don't always laugh until I cry. Honestly, I can't recall.

Are you doing anything which makes you and people around you happy?

Pursuing what I love makes me happier, and therefore makes the people who love me happy. Starting a consulting business and putting together an anthology have really helped other writers feel happy about their dream to be published.

Here be an excerpt for your enjoyment:

As Michael looked out the broken window of the convenience store, he recalled the last remnants of humanity that been flushed from him like so much waste that day. 

Winter had set in. 

The tall blue oaks that surrounded the building on two sides were dusted with frost; the ground was an amalgam of crystal sheets broken only by brave stalks of undergrowth that dared the frigid touch of the gales. 

The interior of the building would not serve as a long-term solution. However, it would be useful until the weather broke. 

The trek out of the suburban areas, even ones as small as those in the Sacramento Valley, had begun in the family Subaru. Highway 99 had been so congested, so overrun with smoldering and abandoned vehicles that the Hobbes family was forced to make the remainder of the trek on foot. Winter had not been as absurd as it had been during the past month. Often the snow levels came down into the valley for a day, sprinkling unsuspecting areas with brief, beautiful moments of frozen precipitation. 

This was different. 

A storm had settled in the valley, trapped and angry. 

When the sun managed to peek through the clouds above, there was a moment when it almost felt bearable. But the great star was soon obfuscated behind a gray wall once more, bloated and teeming with fury as a fresh zephyr of snow and blinding particulates dragged the valley. 

Before the fall of civilization, Susanna had begun to gain a little weight; the difference now was drastic. Her high cheekbones were prominent and the sallowness of her cheeks from periodic starvation saddened Michael as much as he was capable. 

He had not fared much better. 

His beard had grown in with dark clumps and gray patches that had no doubt taken residence from the stress that had become everyday life. His neat hair had become bedraggled and curly in places despite its length. Had it been on purpose, he could have imagined Susanna running her long fingers through it and calling it cute.

The store had weathered the apocalypse. 

Shelves remained intact for the most part, though they were barren fields. The coolers had been left open and the power had long since faded. Overturned cans, smashed and left for dead, littered the floor. 

It had served as a last stand for someone. 

The doors and windows were adorned with long wooden planks cast in random patterns. A length of coiled chain looped through the front doors––chime removed. The open register was a dusty beach before the sunglasses tree, broken lenses covering the counter. 

Susanna approached slowly. 

Clara walked beside her mother in silence. 

As they neared Michael, the young girl reached out her arms and wrapped them around her father’s neck. Patting her back, he felt emotion surge in for just a brief moment. He pushed it down and looked at the wide eyes of his wife––the distance there saddened him.

She had been vibrant before the world went to shit. 

Susanna had what could modestly be called a sunny disposition. She was always laughing and hugging people, a bright smile painted on her simple features. That beauty made her perfect in a way that Michael could never properly articulate, especially now that such simple joy was gray-washed by despair. 

Bio: A psychologist, author, editor, philosopher, martial artist, and skeptic, he has published several novels and currently has many in print, including: The End of the World Playlist, Bitten, The Journey, The Ocean and the Hourglass, The Path of the Fallen, The Portent, and Cerulean Dreams. Follow him on Twitter (@AuthorDanOBrien) or visit his blog He recently started a consultation business. You can find more information about it here:

Thursday, August 22, 2013

Featured Author: J. Frank Dunkin

Today I'm happy to feature another work of Southern fiction, Bones of My Brother, by J. Frank Dunkin. To be published by Two Harbors Press, it's scheduled to launch on November 5, 2013. I think y'all are gonna love it...

8/31/13 Note: I'm shocked and saddened to report the sudden death of J. Frank Dunkin in late August, just days after he was featured here. His good friend Betty Summerlin will see that his book is still published this fall. Betty told me he received the galley last weekend, approved the final few changes on Tuesday, and died happy knowing that his book was finally published. I hope it sells a million plus copies. Please check out this book, folks. I will update this page when the buy links are available. 

1/17/14 Update: I am beyond sad to report that the publishing of Bones of My Brother has been put on indefinite hold. This is heartbreaking news, but I will update this page when I can finally share the publication date.

About the book:

From Alabama at mid‐century, there’d been John and his Evelyn — now from Minnesota at century’s end, Price and his Joy — two couples whose struggles ran as parallel as rails on a track. Had John Hobson’s smile been erased by a long ago war, or had he suffered a more defining chapter in his life? And what of his son, Price, the small‐town boy who stamped his mark upon a corporate world that would ultimately crumble about him?

For one man, there'd been the lure of “Music City” versus the love of his treasured Evie. For the other, there'd been the heady rush of success followed by a precipitous fall from grace. To be sure, a shroud of guilt had marked both men, but when Price learns of his late father’s ambition, his obsession with the past places his marriage in dire jeopardy.

John Hobson was gone now, interred “. . . in nested containers of earth, box and body,” but the secret of his lifelong angst lay not beneath the hot soil of Gethsemane's cemetery, but beneath God's tree in a tiny glade one county over. In the end, a son’s desire to bring his father’s dream to fruition triggers deadly consequences, initiating a journey along a more imperative path.

Bones of My Brother is a compelling look at failure and redemption — humanity and spirituality. At turns heartfelt and raw, this family saga is full of love and intrigue with characters facing questions about the conflict of dreams and reality, love and lust. Could it be that the answers provide a revelation, the seed of a new beginning?

Interview with J. Frank Dunkin

Frank, how long have you been writing, and how did you start?

…since I was twelve years old. I was visiting a friend who lived in a rural part of Perry County, Alabama, a redundant description because almost all of Perry County is rural.  Noticing that I had not seen his mother all morning, I asked if she had gone shopping or something. He said, “No, she’s upstairs writing.” Now, who knows why this little kid was so fascinated by that, but I was. When she came downstairs later, we talked a bit about her writing, whereupon I promptly went home and wrote a short story about a rookie baseball player. I passed it on to my friend’s mom for a critique, and she graciously ignored my “rookie” writing style to offer praise and encouragement for my enthusiasm.  That woman was Mary Ward Brown, who in later years became one of America’s most beloved short story writers. She passed away this year at age 95.

What a great story! Do you have another job outside of writing?

No, I’m retired from the shopping center development business, where I was Director of Real Estate for national retail chains for twenty-five years.

How would you describe your book in six words?

Father-son saga - their love stories.

How did you create the plot for Bones of My Brother?

I realize a lot of writers work from an outline. I tried that, but once I was into the third chapter, the story started leading me where it wanted to go. In Bones of My Brother, the plot emerged in such a way that it was necessary on dozens of occasions to go back and fill in essential foreshadowing. In a way, you might say this story was written from the inside out, and that the characters themselves demanded a certain plot.

I think that's the best kind of book. What’s your favorite line from a book?

I’ll answer that one with a paragraph from a single book:
“Macomb was an old town, but a tired old town when I first knew it. In rainy weather the streets turned to red slop; grass grew on the sidewalks, the courthouse sagged in the square.  Somehow, it was hotter then: a black dog suffered on a summer’s day; bony mules hitched to Hoover carts flicked flies in the sweltering shade of the live oaks on the square.  Men’s stiff collars wilted by nine in the morning.  Ladies bathed before noon, after their three o’clock naps, and by nightfall were like soft teacakes with frostings of sweat and sweet talcum.” 
…I’m guessing ninety percent of your readers will know exactly where that paragraph can be found.

No spoiler here. Tell us a book you’re an evangelist for.

The Liberation of Lord Byron Jones – by Jesse Hill Ford.  It is a spot-on dissertation of race relations in the Deep South of the 1960’s that is told from both white and black perspectives. The novel was made into a movie for which Ford wrote the screenplay as well. As a result of his writings, he received numerous death threats, which led to an unfortunate incident in which he saw a strange car parked in his drive late one night. He shot the intruder, who turned out to be a young black soldier who had picked that spot for a romantic interlude with his girlfriend. He was tried for murder but not convicted. He never recovered from the psychological impact of this event and later took his own life.

How do you get to know your characters?

They talk to me as I write, and coy and shy as they might initially seem, we eventually become good friends. After spending years conversing with these wonderful friends, it is difficult to let them go. Finishing a novel brings both exultation and a great sense of loss.

Which character did you most enjoy writing?

Old Jesse, who embodies the true spirit of the story’s central theme. Jesse was a poor, giant, muscular black man with a gentle spirit. In the story, he is both a hero and a philosopher. I patterned his appearance after a true-to-life person I knew in my childhood.

Are you like any of your characters?

I am very much like one of the protagonists, Price Hobson. We shared the same type childhoods, both graduated from Auburn University, both were in shopping center development, both lived in a major Midwestern city, traveled constantly, liked our Manhattans shaken with a cherry and twist, both… well, to be honest, I am Price Hobson – although, I will hasten to add that all the other characters are fictional.

With which of your characters would you most like to be stuck in a bookstore?

May I use a little levity here? It would be Bree Montayne, the Irish seductress.

But of course! With what five real people would you most like to be stuck in a bookstore?

I assume you mean writers? If I may choose from the living as well as from the deceased, I would choose O. Henry, Anton Chekov, Ernest Hemingway, Edgar A. Poe, and Harper Lee.

Tell us about your favorite scene in the book.

One of my favorite scenes would be from chapter 6 titled, “God Made Them Folks.”
It is Thanksgiving, 1941 at the Langston Farm House, where a majority of the story’s main characters are assembled for the annual feast in a quaint country setting. The scene begins humorously with the meal’s blessing being said as a sentence prayer, passing from one character to the next: 

“Uh, Dear God,” began Sammy, “I’m—I mean we’re—we’re right thankful for this dressing and this big old Tom turkey, and—well, you know, I reckon for all of it, Lord, but especially this turkey. Thank you.”

The order passed over an empty chair, and Nell began her meek mechanics. “Father in Heaven, we thank Thee for this day of Thanksgiving and for this bounty—” The drone of an approaching car prodded Nell’s voice to rise in joyous harmony. “—and for these present and him that’s about to be present at the feast of Your table.” She finished fast and strong, and biting her lower lip, exchanged gleeful glances with Evelyn.

The sentence continued, speeding around the squash, over the okra, and past the mashed potatoes. Now it tarried near the turkey, catching its breath near the head of the table. Earl waited in the kitchen, his timing impeccable, as Wayne Wilkins stole into the living room, silently practicing his excuse.

“All glory be to the Father from whence all good comes!” boomed Mr. Langston. “Lord, our forefathers broke bread with the heath-ern on this day in thankfulness to Thee, so it’s only fittin’ we do the same.”

Sammy packaged his giggle as a burp, but it issued from taut lips like the whistle of a tiny teakettle. When the prayer was finally finished, he avoided John’s eyes.

From this point, the conversation turns to talk of war and discrimination against Jews in Central Europe. Comparisons are made with race relations there in their own little county, ending with a jaw to jaw confrontation over the Thanksgiving feast.

What song would you pick to go with your book?

Bones of My Brother contains two original songs of the country genre, representative of the era of the father in the story, so I would choose those two (“Heaven Sent Evelyn” and “Wanderlust”), which were recorded in Nashville in July. But I would also choose Muzetta’s Waltz and Clair de Lune, the type of music preferred by the son.

Book Trailer

How long is your to-be-read pile?

A wise college professor, whose name I forget, once told me to read all the tried and true classics that have withstood the test of time. So I started with the book of Genesis and after all these years I’m still trying to finish the classics – there are thousands of them. If I ever finish that list, I will move on to writers who are actually still living.

Where’s home for you?

Foley, Alabama, on the Gulf Coast.

Whoa! I know exactly where that is. My father and step-mother live in Fairhope. Small world! But I digress...Neil Gaiman said, “Picking five favorite books is like picking five body parts you'd most like not to lose.” So…what are your five favorite books and your five body parts you’d most like not to lose?

The Collected Short Stories of Ernest Hemingway, Tongues of Flame, The Complete Edgar Allan Poe Tales, To Kill a Mockingbird, and Proverbs… but ask me this question again next week, and my answer might be different. (I have a lot of body parts I don’t want to lose!)

Oh, that's cheating! Your last meal would be…

Fried minute steak, mashed potatoes, beefsteak tomatoes, cantaloupe, and asparagus. (I just threw asparagus in to see if anyone was listening.)

Yeah, you had me until asparagus. You won the lottery. What’s the first thing you would buy?

Security for my grandchildren (just before leaving on a six-month world cruise).

Very wise. You can be any fictional character for one day. Who would you be?

Atticus Finch.

If you could live anywhere in the world, where would it be?

Somewhere along France’s Cote ‘d Azure—-maybe Antibes.

An excerpt from Bones of My Brother:


That night, Jesse’s sermon made its way into my dreams, and I awoke with a start. Had it been my old friend’s chiding or the wind that had disturbed me? I rolled over and looked at the clock. It was past midnight, yet the room was washed in a twilight glow that softened Joy’s features in shades of pastel. Thinking I’d heard windchimes, I stood and pulled back the drape. Before me lay an icy lawn punctured with glittering trees, each a crystal chandelier. The storm had moved eastward, leaving the snow-covered lawn a canvas of shadows rendered in bold strokes by an inspired moon.

Why had I been so reluctant to read the Christmas story? I imagined the answer stemmed from the fact that I’d compromised my beliefs a thousand times in business since those early Christmas Eves. During my years with Merriam-Bellows, I’d come to realize that most of what I heard at conventions in Vegas and across conference tables from New York to San Francisco had been dishonesty and deception, and I’d learned to fight fire with fire. I’d bested them at their own game. Deceit had become commonplace, and only in recent months had I begun to recognize and regret what I’d become. I’d heard and uttered the phrase, “It’s just business” so often that I’d come to believe it.

Somehow I’d managed to hold this philosophy at bay in my personal life, and so it seemed I’d become two separate people. Such a person had no business leading a Bible study or taking part in Communion. But just when had my love of family replaced my love of God? I didn’t know, and perhaps it no longer mattered. I had my wife, my children, and now I had a grandchild.

I thought of little Liz in her slumber, sheltered and protected by loving parents and how wonderful it was to witness the blossoming of their parental instincts. It stimulated memories of my own parents and summoned, as well, those nights Joy and I had stood near our own children’s beds, touched by their innocence, awestruck by our responsibility. I pulled my robe from the bedpost and set off down the hall in search of yesterday.

The little one lay on her back, her tiny head turned to the side. Below the upturned nose, her perfect lips were parted, and her breathing was peaceful. I reached down and placed my palm softly upon the chest of an angel. Often I’d stood this way with my own babies, and each time a profound energy had fed through my fingers, flowing the length of my arm to flush my heart with wonder. So Jesse’s philosophy was that life is not about dreams or family. Dreams? I’d conceded those all my life. But family? Of course life was about family! What else was there?

A stream of light entered the room, and I knew I’d been caught. “Dad,” said Rachel, “what are you doing?”

“Falling in love!” I whispered.

About the author:

J. Frank Dunkin grew up in Marion, Alabama during the heyday of the Grand Ole Opry and the birth of Rock and Roll. To him, the days were golden, nights were sweet, and movies offered escape to the Wild West or South Pacific. Graduating from Auburn University with a degree in Fine Arts, Dunkin served a tour of duty in Korea and worked as art director for small publications before moving into the world of corporate real estate. His stories draw heavily from his own experiences and travels. 

Connect with the author:
Website (still under development) | Facebook | Goodreads | Twitter

Bones of My Brother will be available on and Barnes &

Wednesday, August 21, 2013

Featured Author: Steve Margles

Family activities and Parenting book, Notes from: Your Friend, The Tooth Fairy is not written by Steve Margles. Well, he compiled the book, but he swears the notes and the introduction were written by a fairy. Thanks to Virtualbookworm Publishing for bringing Steve here today.

About the book:

Notes from: Your Friend, The Tooth Fairy is meant as an illustration of a too often missed opportunity. It is hoped that children, parents, and grandparents who read it will use it as an inspiration. Upon losing the first tooth, be sure that your child leaves not only the tooth but also a brief note requesting a communication from The Fairy. You may be amazed at the wonderful responses that result. The illustration consists of the actual, unedited collection of the notes left for Samantha Margles by her Tooth Fairy, along with a contemporaneous photograph. Included is a scrapbook for you and your child to use. This will make it fun and easy to save the notes. Keeping them with a timely photograph will, once completed, produce a highly treasured keepsake!

Interview with Steve Margles

Steve, how did you come up with the title of your book?

Given the subject of my publication, the title was really a “no brainer.”  We played around with “Letters from”, and “Things received signed,” but they didn’t seem right.

Do you have another job outside of writing?

Most of my job IS outside of writing. As I transition into retirement, however, I hope to devout more time to it, or at least to the promotion of this book. I think of this book as a concept book. A lost tooth is an opportunity. Too many people miss this great opportunity for communication with young children.

How would you describe your book in six words?

Beautiful, poignant, imaginative, meaningful, forever timely.

How did the idea for this book come about?

The growth and development of my children, all the fun, pain and wonderment of growing up dictated the plot.

What’s your favorite line from a book?

"Would you take a train ride with me?   Is that a proposition?     No darling, it’s a proposal.”  Actually it’s not a book it’s a movie, “North By Northwest.” Gary Grant asks Eva Marie Saint. I used it in asking my wife to marry me. She had to pick up her cue, which she did after a momentary hesitation.

I love that. Are you like any of your characters?

I hope I am just like the Fairies who looked after my children, kind, understanding, intelligent, compassionate with a great sense of humor.

If you could be one of your characters, which one would you choose?

That’s a tough one. I love both Samantha’s and Shawn’s fairy. Choosing between them would be a question for Solomon.

What are your favorite songs?

I really have very few favorites. That goes for color, flowers, and food. I like so many things I don’t feel its necessary to rank one ahead of another. There are many songs I like, some for the melody, some for the words. A few of the songs I can identify with are:

"The Impossible dream" (Man of La Mancha)
"Tomorrow" (Annie)
"My First Love Song" (Roar of the Greasepaint, Smell of the Crowd)
"If you go away-Ne Me Quitte Pas-" (Patricia Kass, Piano Bar)

What song would you pick to go with your book?

I would use a great melody that I used for a scene in a movie I made of a trip to Africa.  I’ve searched and can’t find the name. It was light and smooth and magical. Can I get back to you on that?

Sure. Just don't forget. (LOL) Who are your favorite authors?

The books I have loved the most are usually fantasy or sci/fy. The entire series by Julian May starting with The Saga of Pilocene Exile and continuing on with The Galactic Milieu Series. Terry Brooks has a fun series, which starts with Magic Kingdom for Sale/Sold! I loved James Michener’s The Tell.

You won the lottery.  What is the first thing you would buy? 
The things I want most can’t be bought.

About the author: 

Steven W. Margles, M.D. is the compiler of this book and makes no claims to authorship.  The introduction and Notes are the original work of Samantha’s Fairy. Steven was born in NYC in 1948 and lived in New York State until going into practice as a Hand Surgeon at The Lahey Clinic in 1979. He developed the section of Hand Surgery at Lahey Clinic, which has expanded five fold. His particular expertise is in the treatment of professional boxers including four world and several national champions. It is ironic that a doctor who improved the ability to knock teeth out has made his first publication about Tooth Fairies. He lives in Winchester, MA with his wife Tricia, their four cats and 6 fish.

Connect with Steve:                      Buy the book:
Website | Blog | Facebook         Amazon | Barnes & Noble   


Tuesday, August 20, 2013

Featured Author: Dan O'Brien

Welcome to the fourth day of the Mondays with Mephistopheles: 9am - Rhys blog tour. It will run until August 25th and will feature excerpts and new author interviews each day. But first, here is the obligatory blurb about the novel to settle you into this strange world:

Abraham Rogers has an unusual psychotherapy practice: monsters. This first installment is a session with Rhys, the IT vampire who can’t quite connect with the modern world the way he would like.

A few questions for the author:

What do you want from life?

To achieve my goals. I have been moving in that direction and it feels good to stay determined and persevere. I keep making new goals, which will make sure that I am always pursing something. I just want to continue doing what I want to do....

If you were granted three wishes, what would you ask for?

Is an infinite number of wishes on the table? If so, then that. Otherwise, wisdom, patience, and clarity.

What three things would you take to a Desert Island?

My Kindle with all of my books (I can fashion a charging station out of a pineapple. Don't believe me? Search YouTube), my wife, and my survival bag.

Here be an excerpt for your enjoyment:

Abe knew that Rhys suffered from Seasonal Affective Disorder, though it was more likely a bout of generalized anxiety tied to some kind of recent drama. 

It had taken Abe several sessions to become accustomed to the idiosyncratic behavior of the moody child of the night. As a psychologist he was supposed to remain composed, but the first few sessions bordered on frightening. 

Rhys had on more than one occasion threatened him with bloodletting if he continued down a particular course of questioning. This passed as the vampire soon revealed his aversion to the sight of blood and the passion with which he dreaded violence. 

“What of social engagements?”

Rhys collected himself before speaking. “In 400 years I have bedded many women, but Eileen was different. She was unfettered by my flights of sorrow. At first she thought it was going to be blood and bondage, but she soon saw that we are just bored with this world.”

“We have not spoken of Eileen in some time, Rhys. Have you done what I suggested?”

“Go out and meet people. Are you quite mad?”

Abe and Rhys came to this point often. “You came to me because you wished to overcome some of your fears, some of the things that were holding you back. You asked me to treat you as any other patient because the alienation and loneliness was at the very center of your concerns.”

Rhys nodded and motioned with his hands. “Do not get flustered. I recall what I said.”

“Very good. So have you?”

“I created a profile on one of this computer dating sites. That is not how a man met a woman in my time.”

Abe smiled. “Things have indeed changed.”

“I get these messages from women wondering if I am a goth or if I am an Anne Rice fan. I find the process disgusting.”

“Disgusting how?”

“I am not a literary character beholden to some novelist somewhere.”

“Do you take offense to the portrayal of your kind in the media? In fiction?”

Rhys leaned back into the couch, his reed-like frame consumed by the cushions. “Not all of them. Stoker did not terribly displease me. I prefer Mrs. Rice’s portrayal of my people, even if we are not as refined and romantic as the masses would hope. These sparkly, brooding types obsessed with teenagers paint us as horny men incapable of satiating our lust for youth. A terrible literary metaphor if I have ever seen one.”

Bio: A psychologist, author, editor, philosopher, martial artist, and skeptic, he has published several novels and currently has many in print, including: The End of the World Playlist, Bitten, The Journey, The Ocean and the Hourglass, The Path of the Fallen, The Portent, and Cerulean Dreams. Follow him on Twitter (@AuthorDanOBrien) or visit his blog He recently started a consultation business. You can find more information about it here:

All of his books are only 99 cents on Kindle right now!

Download Mondays with Mephistopheles for free on Kindle from 8/21 until 8/25!

Would you like to win a Kindle Fire?

Visit and follow the blog for a chance to win a Kindle Fire!