Tuesday, November 15, 2022



When Georgette's old friend, Helen comes back to Sunnydale, the town begins to sizzle. Is Helen attracted to Hawthorne Biggs, Georgette's new beau or is Georgette just imagining things? But when Helen goes missing, all seems lost. Will they find Helen dead? Does Hawthorne truly have Georgette's best interests at heart? Hotter Than Helen is psychological women's suspense that reads like the sharp edge of a dagger.

 Book Details:
Title: Hotter Than Helen
Author: Susan Wingate
Series: Bobby’s Diner mystery series, book 2
Genre: Mystery/Thriller/Psychological Women’s Suspense
Publisher: Wild Rose Press (November 16, 2022)
Print length: 201 pages


A few of your favorite things: my dog Joey, the woods where I live, the moon in all its phases, a juicy peach, deer, raccoon, birds, and, of course, chocolate.
Things you need to throw out: all my stained and holey shirts, old cans of Drano that have been in my cupboards for years and are now rusted, old boxes of food that have well surpassed their freshness dates.

Things you need in order to write: my dog Joey, my couch, a cup of tea at the ready, my laptop, and my ottoman.
Things that hamper your writing: my dog Joey because he’s so flipping cute and demands my attention all day long, and my bladder because of so many cups of tea, deer because they stare in the windows and beg for food, and raccoons who do the same thing but who are noisier and bang around on the front door!

Things you love about writing: what’s there not to love? Everything. I love everything about writing.
Things you hate about writing: absolutely nothing.

Favorite smell: Thanksgiving Day.
Something that makes you hold your nose: propane gas when the tanks are running low.

Something you wish you could do: I wish I could fly. Planes, sure but without any aid, like birds.
Something you wish you’d never learned to do: sew. I loathe sewing. My ex-husband once asked me to sew a button that had fallen off back onto a shirt. I sewed it on. He took it to the bedroom to get dressed, then he returned, and said, “You sewed it onto the inside of the shirt.” I sort of imploded.

People you consider as heroes: Ruth Bader Ginsberg, Nelson Mandela, Abraham Lincoln, and Kurt Vonnegut.
People with a big L on their foreheads: murderers and liars. Cheaters and thieves. Inciters of hate and violence. Fakes who talk trash about you. 

Last best thing you ate: a peach.

Last thing you regret eating: anything with wheat gluten. Ouch. Oh man, big ouch there.

Things you always put in your books: deer and companion pets. Nature scenes. Bad men and good women.
Things you never put in your books: erotica. I mean, why? What’s the point? I have opinions.

Things to say to an author: your last book changed my life and made me a better person.
Things to say to an author if you want to be fictionally killed off in their next book: where did you learn to write? Prison camp? Do you understand what the concepts of subject and verb? Why don’t you edit? Editing is good. G-o-o-d.

Favorite places you’ve been: anywhere in France.
Places you never want to go to again: the DMV—Dept. of Motor Vehicles. Not the demilitarized zone. 😊

Favorite books: literary fiction, mainstream fiction, literary thrillers/mysteries, women’s fiction.
Books you would ban: erotica and a lot of science fiction/fantasy.

Favorite things to do: drink that first cup of tea.
Things you’d run through a fire wearing gasoline pants to get out of doing: getting a mammogram. I know. I know. Still . . .

The last thing you did for the first time: got a rooster and then chickens for the rooster.
Something you’ll never do again: get chickens. They’re sweet, but they’re a bunch of work. I miss my rooster. It’s a story all on its own.


Chapter 1

Sunnydale, Arizona, 2009

Steel shackles jangled at his ankles, sounding much like the ghost of Christmas future when he shuffled to a stop on the cold travertine floor. Cabling, the kind used on bicycle locks, wrapped around his thin waist and angled off in a Y, snaring each of his wrists. He held his arms close to his stomach, monk-style as if praying, but unlike a monk, he held his head high, not down.

At a thick, red mahogany podium, the orange-clad prisoner stood next to a smaller-framed bailiff. The bailiff’s hand cupped the man’s elbow when someone called out, “All rise. The Honorable Judge Lindon.” The bailiff stepped back to the right, but the prisoner’s eyes shifted left where his lawyer stepped up. The packed courtroom stood almost in unison.

Everyone watched as the judge walked in from a door along the courtroom wall where his desk sat. Sidling behind the wide bench, a dense desk spanned no less than eight feet long and three feet wide of the same rich mahogany as the podium where the orange-clad man stood.

The judge sat, pausing midway down to eye the prisoner over his black-rimmed reading glasses, sitting slowly before lifting the docket in front of him and reading from the papers.

He looked pissed.

Once settled, he slid his black leather and wood chair under the bench. Everyone else in the courtroom sat. Everyone except, of course, the prisoner and his lawyer.
The judge wasted no time. “Your sentence, sir . . . in light of this . . .” he hesitated briefly, rolling his hand in a circle as he spoke, then continued, “. . . this new information and these errors,” he glared at the lawyer, “in allowing this new information from reaching the court at the time of your trial.” The judge kept a hard scowl as he looked between both men but mostly at the man’s attorney. “I have no other reasonable choice than to reduce said sentence to a lesser term, no more than two years beginning today.” He slammed his gavel so abruptly he made the stumpy, tightly-combed, gray-haired court recorder jump. She looked up suddenly but went back to typing.


Susan Wingate writes about big trouble in small towns. She lives with her husband on an island off the coast of Washington State where, against State laws, she feeds the wildlife because she wants them to follow her. Her ukulele playing is, "Coming along," as her Sitto used to say.
Susan's eight-time award-winning novel, How the Deer Moon Hungers was chosen by The International Pulpwood Queens and Timber Guys Book Club as their October 2022 Official Book Selection of the Month.

Susan has an insatiable appetite for online word games and puzzles. She thinks it might be obsessive-compulsive but is fine with that.

Susan’s poetry, short stories, and essays have been published in journals such as the Virginia Quarterly Review, the Superstition Review, and Suspense Magazine, as well as several others.
Susan is represented by Chip MacGregor and is a proud member of PENAmerica, Int'l Thriller Writers, Mystery Writers of America, and Women's Fiction Writers Association.

The first book in the Bobby’s Diner Series is Bobby’s Diner

Connect with Susan:
Website Facebook  |   Twitter  |  Goodreads  

Buy the book:
Amazon Barnes & Noble iBooks 

Saturday, October 8, 2022



Late summer 1931 and twenty-seven-year-old Adelyn Crawford is lying in a hammock in Tulip Junction, Georgia. She lives on this working farm with her sons, her parents, her uncle Tyree and Aunt Grace and occasionally, these days with Garnett her husband. One afternoon she is lying in a hammock that begins to swing, and half of her feels she is asleep; the other half knows better when her former lover Innis Crawford begins to make love to her. She knows that her dead lover is back for her. She worries he is planning to stay this time.

The novel travels back to 1918. Innis’s brother, Garnett, is ever-present, a witness to their passion. When Innis dies in a suspicious auto accident, Adelyn falls into Garnett’s waiting arms. The courtship with Garnett has an equally inevitable storminess, first in New York City, then Flapper era Paris and the South of France.

Now Innis wants to come back to be with Adelyn. Who will win this battle?

Book Details
Title: Dead Eyes in Late Summer
Author: Renée Ebert
Genre: historical fiction, paranormal romance
Publisher: ‎
White Bird Publications, (October 26, 2021)
Print length: 372 pages



     “Adelyn, I hope you’re not dawdling in there.” Missus Jackson found herself once again waiting on her daughter and the last-minute adjustment of her wardrobe. She wondered how a dress without any corset, like the one Adelyn wore, could possibly take that long to put on. Ready to call out once more, and this time with authority, her daughter’s appearance in the doorway appeased Missus Jackson. Adelyn a vision in navy blue silk with jet-beaded beribboned streamers to below her knee, though the hems seemed to be climbing every year. Missus Jackson wanted to blush yet found a way to quell the emotion. After all, the girls all wore them that way.
     “At least you’re wearing dark hose.” Having made what might sound like a slight toward the wardrobe choice, she quickly covered with, “And such a good decision.” She gestured, “Turn around; let me see.”
     Adelyn obliged as she pirouetted in a circle and then back again, the glint of the diamond pin catching the light. She saw her mother’s expression. “I know; I saw it in the mirror. It does look good, doesn’t it?” She began to pull on her gloves. “I want to get to the lobby before Garnett arrives.”
     “I am certainly not the one detaining us, my dear.” Her mother held the door open for Adelyn. “Besides, it’s not always good to be on time.”
     “I think I’ve made him wait long enough, Mama.” She glanced once more in the mirror and realized how, at home, she avoided ever looking too directly at her own image. A chill caught her shoulders, but she shook it off. Her mind moved quickly in an attempt to resolve this phenomenon of shunning mirrors at home. As though someone stands behind me, always just out of sight, and my body hides them from me.
     Adelyn sensed her mother contemplated her remark about Garnett’s waiting.
They left for Delmonico’s where friends of Garnett would attend with their wives or girlfriends. Mary Jackson spoke to each of the young people in turn, about careers or the girl’s completing college like Adelyn, and about babies to the few already married. They enjoyed a festive dinner, full of sparklers placed on a celebratory cake. Her mother’s eyes filled with tears at the Christmas engagement ring, and quietly remarked how Sarah Crawford would be proud to see her son accomplishing so much. At Garnett’s insistence, the three of them drank two bottles of wine, one of them champagne. Her mother would sleep soundly.
They dislodged themselves from the taxi onto one of the side streets downtown. Garnett took Adelyn’s hand and led her to a door that looked like an apartment. Two sharp knocks and a peep hole opened; a man nodded, waited for the password. “Carnival season,” Garnett mumbled.
     “Where did you tell that taxi driver to take us?” Adelyn adjusted her rolled-up stockings and straightened her slinky dress. “I thought you said, ‘back room’.” Garnett put his finger to his lips to signal her to whisper.
     The peephole closed, and the door opened. Garnett entered first with Adelyn trailing behind him as he held her in a tight grip. People packed the sweaty, smoky room, sipping drinks with ice cubes out of coffee mugs. One table held at least ten men in evening formal wear who openly sipped from glasses of bubbling champagne, and the subdued lighting made it all romantic. Garnett joined a younger crowd of men in suits with young women wearing glittering dresses. Adelyn, Garnett, and his friends took turns toasting one another and soon drank their way to an alcoholic haze. The orchestra played racy, hot Dixieland jazz, then would switch to swarthy and dark slow music.
     “It’s new, isn’t it? C’mon. Let’s dance this one.” Garnett pulled her to her feet and surrounded her with his body. “It’s a tango.” He breathed heavily.         
     “I heard that Valentino danced the tango here just last week.” She said this maybe to shock him.
Adelyn never knew a more exciting evening and began to think of reasons to leave Georgia for good. Garnett’s face scowled some form of disapproval, and she whispered in his ear to further tantalize him. “You’re not the only one who keeps up with fashion.” She followed his movements; his body signaled her left and right legs as he kept no space between them. The dance lasted long and ended with her body curved down and his almost laying on top. “And, no, I wasn’t dancing with Valentino last week.” She teased him, and he let her.
     Garnett led her back to the tiny table in front of the dance floor and wiped his face with a handkerchief. “I’ll be right back.” As he left, the band went into a spirited “Clap Hands Here Comes Charlie” and the dancers crowded the floor, all the young women dancing the Charleston. Adelyn jumped to her feet and danced with them, relishing the attention of a few old, portly financial titans. At least, she thought that’s what they might be.
     Garnett came back at the finish, and she settled at their table, next to him. “Don’t you know those women are mostly prostitutes? He was angry “You can’t be up there, dancing with them.”
     For the space of a moment, she lowered her head, surprised and chastened, but then the wild something in her took possession. “I’m in New York City. I don’t see any kin, do you, Garnett? I think we’re safe from Savannah Society News.”
     She coaxed a semi-smile, and the band drew them up from their table into a slow dance. She hummed to the song, “What’ll I do when you are far away….” The words struck something deep in both of them as they danced closer, Adelyn’s imminent departure the next day, the long winter without one another made it all sad.
     They didn’t speak as the song ended, but hastily threw on their coats and left for Garnett’s hotel. They tacitly felt their movements more than spoke their intentions, as she lingered near the door of the lobby and he got his key from the night attendant. Long years of hotel work had taught the solitary man to look otherwise and not at Adelyn as the two young people took the lift to his floor.
     She thought of the times they had been together, but this time they were engaged, and she turned the pretty ring around and around her finger, watching the diamonds sparkle and savoring the true red and green of the other stones. They made love tenderly and quietly, two people who cared for each other. They fell asleep and woke to a phone call.
     “Good morning, sir. This is your three o’clock morning call.” The night attendant’s voice informed Garnett. “Okay.” He had thought to ask for a call in case this very thing had happened. Adelyn stirred and miraculously plumped up her hair to where it had been hours before.
     “Don’t worry, Garnett. Mama will be fast asleep when I get back. She has these potions she takes to sleep soundly. That, and the extra bottles of wine.” Adelyn pulled the hose up and then rolled them down to her thigh.
     He watched her sultry moves and listened to her sultry voice. “We should hurry, or I won’t be able to let you go.” He crossed in front of her where the light sparkled against something in her hair. Bending close he touched the diamond pin, asking, “What’s this?” Looking more closely, he saw the diamonds shaped like an arrow. “He gave you this. You wore it only a week after…,” but he didn’t finish, then, “a week after he had you.”
     She felt the painful tug as he plucked the pin and strands of hair from her head. “Ouch. What on earth are you doing?” She held her hand to the place where he pulled. “Are you crazy? I have no idea in heaven what you mean.” But then her mind filled with lost memories of a time when Innis had gently pinned the diamond arrow in her hair, saying to her, “Adelyn, you’ve pierced my heart.” At sixteen she had giggled self-consciously, now all of it came flooding back.
     “Four years? You expect me to remember something that happened four years ago? I was barely a woman. How dare you?” She tore at her hand and wrung her fingers till they swelled, trying to pry off the engagement ring. “I won’t do this. I won’t be a part of this.” She flung the ring at him and her coat over her shoulders.
     All the while Garnett took stock of everything, experienced it all as if he floated above it, as it all happened below him. “Don’t.” He pulled her to him as he realized what had just happened.     “Please, don’t.”
     “You go to hell.” She slammed the hotel door.
Rain turned to sleet, and Adelyn cursed the entire night as the cab took her back to her hotel. Garnett, this weather, the world. She fumbled with her gloves; thankful they covered her bare arms as she wrapped her coat around herself more firmly. The doorman rushed to her with his circus tent of an umbrella, another reason to be thankful. She steeled herself against the possibility of her mother waking as she returned, which kept her clearheaded and forced the discipline on her of dropping her emotions somewhere between Garnett’s hotel room door and the one that she now carefully opened into her hotel suite. She turned the key in the door with a shaky hand.
A small lamp emitted a dim light, enough to negotiate the room without bumping into anything large or noisy. Please God, let her sleep on, for now. Adelyn rushed to strip out of her clothes and into her nightgown; this time she hastily tied the ribbons in a bow and she did the same with her dressing gown. She eased between the silky sheets, faintly aware of the lavender scent coming from sprigs that some maid had taken the time to spread out between the sheets. The aroma had a softening effect on her jangled nerves as she lay on her back breathing the cool air from the window left open to stave off the suffocating heat of the radiators.
Though she welcomed sleep, she struggled to make sense of the evening, from beginning to end, because she could not believe that one small thing, a silver and diamond pin, would cause that explosive change in Garnett. Her mind flitted from one scene to another, dinner, dancing, the gin. Could it have been tainted liquor? Bootleg gin or Champagne in fancy bottles? Something in her said no to bad gin or bad champagne. She left all the evening behind her and somehow, gratefully, fell asleep.                                              
     Across town, Garnett sat in hazy confusion. He moved in fits and starts every time his mind came back to the two or three short events in the room that ended the evening. As each thought played out, he moved rapidly toward following her. His mind would not stay on point, however, and he sat down again on the bed to contemplate fragmented memories of the evening. Finally, he dressed, his coat on, his white silk bow tie dangling, hatless and gloveless. He rushed down in the lift, waved away the cab, and walked in the direction of Adelyn’s hotel.
     The deliberate, well-planned part of him wanted to make sense of it. He pictured her face, her body, the length of her shoulders to her back. He tried to conjure a common-sense answer to her actions, to his own. He finally hailed a lonely cab on the lonely avenue and listened to the tires on the paved road of lower Manhattan, all plans thrown out the window like so much smoke from his cigarette. He threw that out as well along with the idea to confront her again. With my ridiculous jealousy of my dead brother, Innis? He thought further back to the morning and how stolidly Adelyn had researched, took notes, became enthralled with the subject of the influenza and how it infected all those young soldiers. These thoughts just made him more furious with his own stupid lack of control, because now he recalled his jealousy-tinged remarks at lunch. He painfully recalled how he forced her to justify her actions, her feelings. Does she love me, then? And he knew she did.
            No one milled about the lobby of her hotel, but a few remained in the coffee shop where Garnett gravitated. He thought he recognized a man sitting alone at a table. Though his hair had turned mostly gray, he saw evidence of a young man’s face that looked familiar.
     “Can I sit with you?” Garnett waved to the waiter who bustled over, even at four o’clock in the morning. “I’ll have what he’s having.” He gestured to the man who raised his cup of coffee. The man paused until the waiter set down the cup and saucer and returned to the kitchen, then pulled a flask out of his coat pocket, dragging Garnett’s cup to himself and pouring liquor into it. “That’ll be some fine brandy, son, for that coffee.” He pushed the cup back in front of Garnett, the brandy’s aroma warm and sweet as it mingled with the hot coffee.
     “Do we know one another? I could swear….” Garnett sipped the coffee and brandy, appreciating its warmth as it rolled down his throat. The urge to drink it all filled him, and he drained the cup. Another appeared before him, and the stranger fortified it with more brandy.
“Sure do, son.” He looked kindly at Garnett and shook his head in a sad way.
     “You feel sorry for me. Why?” Garnett quaffed his refill, and he felt light-headed. “Cause you can’t possibly know. Can you? That I so thoroughly threw away my own happiness tonight?”
     “Listen, son. It’s not too late. Give in to your feelings for her. She’s yours, not your brother’s.”
     Startled that this stranger should know so much about him, Garnett sat up straighter, glancing into the mirror that lined the wall near their booth. He looked closely at his heavy-lidded and weary eyes and ran his hand along the red stubble of a beard. Looking over toward the man, he saw no image of him in the mirror. Only his own.
     “Who are you?” He framed the words as he quickly looked back at the man.
     “You’ll see my face in your mirror when you are much older and hopefully somewhat wiser, son.”
     A hard knock woke him as someone poked him in the shoulder.
     “I don’t know why I came down here. But I am certainly glad I did.” Adelyn stood over him, looking as bright as the rising sun.
     “What?” he looked around the empty coffee shop.
     “The front desk recognized you and called and thank God, Mama was still asleep. It’s almost seven o’clock.”
     Garnett stood up. “Please, please.”
     “I don’t want a scene here.” Adelyn had looked to see the coffee shop deserted and allowed his embrace. Her body stiffened, a signal against anything that might be considered questionable behavior. They took the elevator up.
     “Five, please.” He spoke to the elevator operator. He prayed she would not contradict him, and she didn’t. They got off two flights below her own. The hallway as deserted as the coffee shop had been, he embraced her again, and she let him. His lips touched her face and hovered over her lips until she tipped her head up and accepted his mouth open and on hers.
     “Just let me hold you. Don’t ever leave me. Promise.” His voice came in short sobs from a deep, deep place. He had grasped her to him and hugged and hugged. No passion, no sex, only love, and a desire to be forgiven.
     Adelyn did a curious thing—she took his face in both her hands and studied him. Her eyes scanned his brow, his cheeks, his chin, then his eyes again, for a long time, and then his lips, where she kissed him fully, this time her mouth open and sultry but loving, too. “I love you, Garnett. And I know how much you love me.” She smiled. “Let’s not waste time. Let’s have babies and a home and a wonderful life.”


Long before the writing began, Renée found the power of words in books. A voracious reader from her first encounter with "Run Dick Run, and Jump Jane, Jump" she walked downhill to the nearest library and became a card carrying member of that special society that doesn't judge or descriminate. All book lovers may join.

Reading became the informant, shaping how and where her imagination would be carried. "It didn't hurt to have old movies on television that shaped images and enlarged them for me."

She felt as though she read through life with best sellers competing with classics Salinger against Austen. Who won that battle? "I did, because I quickly found that each had a place at the table, and all were winners of my special contest." That contest being each writer's ability to engage a young and developing mind.

Of the newly launched novel Dead Eyes In Late Summer, Renée says, "I got to know some about the south a while back when my husband and I engaged in a two week southern tour, Atlanta, Birmingham, Hattiesburg, Mississippi. But it was Eudora Welty who completed the picture for me. Everything I experienced on that tour, I had already learned from Ms. Welty."
Connect with Renée:
Facebook  |  Twitter  |  Goodreads 

Buy the book:

Friday, September 30, 2022





Social worker Georgia Thayer can balance her own mental illness with the demands of an impossible job. Mostly. But when her sister vanishes in the dead of night, her desperate quest to find Peyton takes her into the tentacles of a human trafficking network—where she encounters a young victim called “Kitten.”
Kitten is determined to escape. She won’t be trapped like the others. She won’t sell her soul like Lillian, victim-turned-madam, feeding the dark appetites of international business moguls and government leaders. But the Estate won’t let her out of its lethal grip, and her attempts at freedom threaten her very life.
Aided by Kitten and, at times, by the voices in her head, Georgia maneuvers to bring down the kingpin of Estate and expose its dark secrets, but her efforts place her—and the few people she allows to get close—in grave danger.

Book Details 

Title: The Orchid Tattoo       

Author: Carla Damron        

Genre: crime fiction 

Publisher: Koehler Books (September 30, 2022)

Print length: 326 pages



A few of your favorite things: CHOCOLATE, autumn, when my husband says “let’s eat out.”
Things you need to throw out: clothes from 1995, that broken pottery plate that I loved but can’t be repaired, the light-up velvet painting of a riverboat from my in-laws’ house, even though it’s pretty cool.

Things you need in order to write: coffee in my favorite mug. The annoying cat contained in another room so he can’t “help” me. 

Things that hamper your writing: negative self-talk, social media (especially those cute panda bear videos people post).

Things you love about writing: I love words. Their shape and texture. The magic of it: scribbles on a page turn into fleshed-out scenes that take place in the reader’s mind.

Things you hate about writing: sometimes I dread the blank page. The drudgery of middles. The business end of the writing life—querying and getting rejected and querying more and wondering if I should take up knitting.

Easiest thing about being a writer: seriously, it couldn’t be easier. All you need is a pen and paper.
Hardest thing about being a writer: once you have that pen and paper, you need to open your soul and let it bleed.

Things you love about where you live: three wonderful seasons! 

Things that make you want to move: in summer, we live in lava.

Things you never want to run out of: coffee, Fresca, and patience.
Things you wish you’d never bought: those stupid grown-up shoes that, when I wear them, prove I’ll never actually be a grown-up.

Words that describe you: empathic, passionate, witty, fun.

Words that describe you but you wish they didn’t: stubborn, self-righteous at times, disorganized.

Favorite foods: hot latte, fried shrimp, rice (the Southerner in me ADORES rice).

Things that make you want to throw up: Feta cheese, mustard, Peeps. I REALLY hate Peeps. 

Favorite music: all things Bonnie Raitt. Also love Ellis Paul, James Taylor, Elton John (yeah, I’m old). 

Music that make your ears bleed: sorry Greek friends, but I’m pretty sure that the music they play at Greek festivals can summon demons.

Favorite beverage: I’m not addicted to Fresca. I can quit anytime. 

Something that gives you a pickle face: Moxie (a carbonated beverage from Maine, where my hub’s family lives).

Favorite smell: fireplace in autumn. Steaks on the grill.
Something that makes you hold your nose: over-applied aftershave.

Something you’re really good at: I’m very conceited about my typing speed. 

Something you’re really bad at: keeping my opinions to myself. Surely everyone wants to hear them, right?

Something you wish you could do: crochet
Something you wish you’d never learned to do: pull weeds.

Something you like to do: go kayaking.

Something you wish you’d never done: agreed to take minutes. WHAT WAS I THINKING?

Last best thing you ate: dark chocolate caramel with sea salt. Yum. 

Last thing you regret eating: a soggyish flatbread disaster.

Things you’d walk a mile for: to talk sense into a legislator.

Things that make you want to run screaming from the room: legislators who won’t listen.

Things you always put in your books: social justice issues.

Things you never put in your books: one-dimensional characters.

Things to say to an author: I bought your book!

Things to say to an author if you want to be fictionally killed off in their next book: “I think you should have changed the ending so that this happens” (then proceeds to tell me what would have been a better ending).

Favorite places you’ve been: Alaska, Switzerland, Maine.

Places you never want to go to again: any crowded airport when lot of flights are cancelled.

Favorite things to do: hug on my animals. 

Things you’d run through a fire wearing gasoline pants to get out of doing: bathe a cat.

Things that make you happy: people who are generous and help others. 
Things that drive you crazy: people who have the resources to help those who need it and don’t.

Proudest moment: winning the WFWA Star Award for Best Novel. 

Most embarrassing moment: there are so many. Recently, I tripped over a bag when I was about to testify at the Statehouse.

Most daring thing you’ve ever done: went rappelling.

Something you chickened out from doing: taking a hike through a park in Alaska (we saw a sign that said a grizzly bear had been spotted!)


Carla Damron, a native of South Carolina, is the author of The Orchid Tattoo, crime fiction about human trafficking. She is also a social worker and advocate whose last novel, The Stone Necklace (about grief and addiction) won the 2017 Women’s Fiction Writers Association Star Award for Best Novel. This novel was also selected to be the One Community Read for Columbia SC.  Damron authored the Caleb Knowles mystery novels (Keeping Silent, Spider Blue, and Death in Zooville) and has published numerous short stories, essays, and op-eds. She holds an MSW and an MFA and finds her careers of social worker and writer to be intricately intertwined; all of her novels explore social issues like addiction, homelessness, mental illness, and human trafficking. In her spare time, Damron volunteers with the League of Women Voters, Sisters in Crime, Palmetto Chapter (President), her church, and Mutual Aid Midlands.

Connect with Carla:
WebsiteNewsletter Facebook  |  Twitter   |  Goodreads

Buy the book:

Amazon   |  Barnes & Noble  

Monday, September 19, 2022




In 1859, Junie Benson was a twelve-year-old genius and enslaved. His older sister, Sari, had her own difficulties, including being auctioned to the highest bidder. She was also beautiful, flighty, and had a repetitive dream about a hazel-eyed white stranger. Everybody with the good sense God had given them knew even her dream was forbidden.

In 2022, three things troubled ex-Special Forces Lt. Colonel Zachary Trumble . . . his new job as director of security for Burstein Labs, his loveless marriage, and the green-eyed siren who won’t let him sleep in peace.

Then time’s fickle hand brewed a recipe for a miracle . . . Stir in three runaway slaves, an avalanche, one mad scientist, and an unhappy, in-love hero to create a dish for revenge best served . . . Later.

Book Details
Title: Later
Author: Colette R. Harrell
Genre: inspirational, historical, interracial, African American, fantasy
Publisher: Intentional Entertainment LLC (September 1, 2022)
Print length: 204 pages


A few of your favorite things: books, cheesecake, cold nights under warm blankets.
Things you need to throw out: worry, other peoples expectations, clothes no longer in my size.

Things you need in order to write: silence and light.
Things that hamper your writing: multiple sources of noise and a ringing phone.

Things you love about writing: I love seeing my words bring characters to life.
Things you hate about writing: editing, over and over. Ugggh!

Easiest thing about being a writer: the excitement of seeing the story unfold.
Hardest thing about being a writer: marketing your baby to the world.

Things you love about where you live: my husband, my family, and my house.
Things that make you want to move: the news. Is there a hole we can all burrow into?

Things you never want to run out of: ideas for a new novel.
Things you wish you’d never bought: the car that sits in my driveway. I never go anywhere.

Words that describe you: talkative, humorous, fun, loving.
Words that describe you but you wish they didn’t: anal, fiery/passionate, stubborn.

Favorite foods: pound cake. Texas Sheet Cake. cheesecake. Oh, yeah, cake.
Things that make you want to throw up: when someone else throws up.

Favorite song: “I Hope You Dance.”
Music that make your ears bleed: heavy metal.

Favorite beverage: I don’t drink it often, Squirt soda.
Something that gives you a pickle face: fingers on a chalk board.

Favorite smell: bread baking.
Something that makes you hold your nose: someone throwing up.

Something you’re really good at: writing. (Easy one.)
Something you’re really bad at: sewing.

Something you like to do: read.
Something you wish you’d never done: took time off from college, it just took longer to finish in the long run.

People you consider as heroes: those who fight for the underdog. Those who work in service to others.
People with a big L on their foreheads: rude and inconsiderate people. It is never okay to be a jerk.

Last best thing you ate: oh my, a slice of pound cake that was so good, and I didn’t have to bake it.
Last thing you regret eating: a White Castle Hamburger. I love them but they don’t always love me.

Things you’d walk a mile for: a hug from my love ones.
Things that make you want to run screaming from the room: horrible table manners. Please can I not see or hear your food? Thank you.

Things you always put in your books: a happy ending.
Things you never put in your books: a sad ending.

Things to say to an author: I love your work. Can I please have more?
Things to say to an author if you want to be fictionally killed off in their next book: I really hated your characters. And, you’re a writer? (While holding your finished book in hand.)

Favorite places you’ve been: Savannah. Caribbean.
Places you never want to go to again: my first trip to Jamaica was horrible. My next
trip there was wonderful. Must have been the company.

Favorite books: romance. inspirational. historical.
Books you would ban: any focused on hate.

People you’d like to invite to dinner (living): now we are getting so personal. Hmmm . . . Oprah. Barbara Streisand. Michelle Obama.
People you’d cancel dinner on: Why are you getting me in trouble? Let’s go easy. Hitler. OJ. Nixon.

Favorite things to do: read.
Things you’d run through a fire wearing gasoline pants to get out of doing: mopping floors.

Things that make you happy: spring days with no expectations.
Things that drive you crazy: when people do not return important phone calls.

Proudest moment: the birth of my children, graduation from graduate school, my first book.
Most embarrassing moment: when my slip fell off while walking into a building.

Best thing you’ve ever done: learning to love myself unconditionally.
Biggest mistake: wasting my time worrying.

Most daring thing you’ve ever done: writing a book. It’s not for the faint-hearted.
Something you chickened out from doing: running for Homecoming Queen in high school.

The last thing you did for the first time: self-publishing this book.
Something you’ll never do again: allow myself to go against my best instincts.


Colette R. Harrell made her debut as an author with the book The Devil Made Me Do It.
As a published author, she has enjoyed meeting her readers; for her, it’s all surreal. She
holds a master’s degree and worked as a director of social services, which allowed her a
front-row seat to the conflict and struggles of everyday people.

Her days are filled as an author, playwright, story editor, wife, mother, and grandmother. She wears many titles allowing twenty-four hours a day to meet the challenges.
Her goal in writing is to engage readers and provide them with golden nuggets of wisdom that feed and engage. Her biggest lesson is that it takes a village to raise a dream. She loves and appreciates her village.

Connect with Colette:
Website  |   Facebook   |  Twitter

Buy the book:
Amazon   |   Barnes & Noble   |   Kobo 

Tuesday, August 23, 2022



Finding inspiration where she least expects it, one woman's life is about to change forever. Life has not been kind to Georgette. Growing up with an alcoholic father and an enabling mother, she clings to the loving memory of a childhood trip to Martha's Vineyard to help see her through the bad times; and now, as an adult, she returns to the island to start her life over. Soon she becomes the private nurse for a prize-winning novelist. As the two become friends, he opens her mind to new possibilities. But everything changes when she encounters the mysterious Dock. Georgette isn't quite sure about him but finds him irresistible. She quickly loses herself in her relationship despite the inherent dangers that come with him. Torn between her own future or spiraling into a life she tried so hard to leave behind, Georgette must make her most important decision ever. Sometimes escaping the past isn't as easy as it appears. The Silence in Sound is the provocative debut novel by Dianne C. Braley detailing the devastating effects of growing up with addiction.

Book Details

Title: The Silence in the Sound 

Author: Dianne C. Braley

Genre: women’s fiction

Publisher: Koehler Books (August 23, 2022)

Print length: 311 pages



A few of your favorite things: dogs, iced coffee, Champagne, dark chocolate
Things you need to throw out: I throw out everything. Per my husband, it’s an issue. I’ve accidentally thrown out my wedding ring three times. (no, it’s not a sign, lol) . . . Hmmm.

Things you need in order to write: inspiration and early mornings. 

Things that hamper your writing: negative thoughts, and as a woman being all things to what feels like everyone some days.

Things you love about writing: seeing the story develop and come together and letting it take me to an unexpected place. 

Things you hate about writing: doing it even when you are not the least bit motivated, but discipline is critical.

Easiest thing about being a writer: nothing.

Hardest thing about being a writer: everything.

Words that describe you: loyal, disciplined, motivated, and strong.

Words that describe you but you wish they didn’t: anxious, fearful, occasionally irritated, lol.

Favorite foods: popcorn and chocolate.

Things that make you want to throw up: any type of meat.

Favorite music: I live for music so this is tough. Anything by Billy Joel, but many would say “Every Rose Has It’s Thorn” by 80’s hairband Poison.

Music that make your ears bleed: Death Metal and anything by the Grateful Dead.

Favorite smell: the ocean.

Something that makes you hold your nose: Patchouli oil.

Something you’re really good at: being disciplined
Something you’re really bad at: being easy on myself.

Last best thing you ate: a giant bowl of popcorn.

Last thing you regret eating: a giant bowl of popcorn.

Things you always put in your books: my father and footwear.

Things you never put in your books: conventional love.

Things to say to an author: I bought and am reviewing your book.

Things to say to an author if you want to be fictionally killed off in their next book: I’ve been thinking about writing a book too.

Favorite places you’ve been: Martha’s Vineyard; Italy.

Places you never want to go to again: a certain part of Tennessee.

Things that make you happy: my family both human and furry, accomplishing a goal, sweeping, singing, and crank calling my mother.

Things that drive you crazy: messiness and procrastination.

Best thing you’ve ever done: go back to school for my creative writing degree.

Biggest mistake: not believing in myself when I was young.


A raw, gritty New Englander, Dianne C. Braley found love for the written word early on, reading and creating stories while trying to escape hers, growing up in the turbulent world of alcoholism while living in the tough inner city. After putting her pencil down for a time, she became a registered nurse finding strength and calm in caring for those who couldn’t care for themselves. Still, she never lost her drive to write and became published in various medical online and printed publications. Seeing a painting and remembering a visit to Martha’s Vineyard as a girl and falling in love when her bare feet first stepped on the sand, she moved there for a time, caring for an ailing Pulitzer prize-winning novelist. He not only was her patient but soon became her friend and motivator. He and his books helped her realize she missed crafting stories, and she had some to tell.

Currently, Dianne and her family, both human, furry, and feathered, are firmly planted in a small-town north of Boston but not far enough away to lose her city edge. She is currently earning her degree in creative writing. Still, she escapes to the Vineyard every summer, picking up her pencil, resetting herself, and writing in the place that again inspired it. The Silence in the Sound is her debut novel.

Connect with Dianne:

Facebook  |  Twitter Goodreads  |  Book trailer

Buy the book:

Amazon  |  Barnes & Noble

Wednesday, July 27, 2022




What if you could eat peanut butter and jelly sandwiches anytime, anywhere?

That's normal life for PB&J, boy superhero, who can shoot sandwiches out of his hands! The only problem is, PB&J thinks his superpower is super lame sauce.

But things get only worse when evil scientist Dr. Vile takes over the small town of Goodsprings. That’s because Dr. Vile has a secret weapon—a zapper that can change anything into food. Can PB&J learn to trust his powers to beat the bad guy, or will Dr. Vile rule the world . . . and turn PB&J into a burger?

The fate of the galaxy is literally in PB&J's hands!

Book Details 

Title: The Adventures of PB&J: Attack of the Green Goo

Author: Jon Haney

Genre: juvenile fiction

Published: July 20, 2022

Print length: 101 pages



Things you need in order to write:
I need inspiration to take over when I write. I don’t usually get too far if my heart’s not racing with excitement or if I’m not laughing at my own jokes. Obviously there are times for cranking out that word count, but I know that my best work comes in strange laugh-out-loud spurts. 

Things that hamper your writing: with this most recent work, I unfortunately discovered that a particularly good time of day for me to write is between one and four o’clock in the morning. While this might not hamper my writing . . . it does hamper my life.

Things you love about where you live: I lead an interesting life as an American expat in Skopje, North Macedonia. I speak a Slavic language, interact with multiplecultures every day, and get to taste exotic foods and experience different ways of life. It’s exhilarating!

Things that make you want to move:
being far from family and friends can be challenging, especially on holidays. But the hardest part by far is the Tex-Mex. Because it doesn’t exist.

Things you never want to run out of: living in Europe has taught me to adore sparkling water. My life is no longer complete without it.

Things you wish you’d never bought: I bought two brand-new bikes in two years and each was stolen. I wish I’d bought an old beater from the beginning!

Words that describe you: friendly, passionate, conversational.

Words that describe you but you wish they didn’t: intense and emotional.

Favorite song: it’s a toss-up between “Corcovado” by Antonio Carlos Jobim (bossa nova is a particular favorite of mine) and “Thinking of a Place” by The War on Drugs.
Music that make your ears bleed:
I have fairly eclectic taste, but I don’t think I’d like to hear Jobim cover anything by The War on Drugs, and vice versa. Some worlds should never meet.

Things you’d walk a mile for: soft-serve ice cream. One time my family drove an hour out of the way on a vacation just to visit a much-loved ice-cream shop, only to find it was closed.

Things that make you want to run screaming from the room: I have four kids, so you’d think I’d be used to that ear-piercing screech-noise thing. Maybe with the next four.

Favorite things to do: I love going on bug days with my kids. We take a backpack full of glass jars, nets, and cheese cloth into the mountains and see how many specimens we can gather. It’s loads of fun, at least until one of the jars breaks and two mutant praying mantises appear on my shoulder.

Things you’d run through a fire wearing gasoline pants to get out of doing: I don’t understand automobiles and probably never will. I would run through this proverbial fire to my mechanic anytime.

Most daring thing you’ve ever done: in college, friends of mine wanted to spend the night on the streets of NYC in the middle of December to get a shot at standby seats for Saturday Night Live. The plan was to drive through the day and arrive in the evening. The only problem was, I was scheduled to work an afternoon shift that day. I voicemailed a coworker asking for a shift change but, after getting no response, left town regardless. I worried the whole way to NYC and found out only afterward that the coworker actually did cover for me. Fifteen years later, and I’m still relieved. (Oh, and SNL was sold out that night. Was it worth the stress?)

Something you chickened out from doing: My tenth-grade biology teacher had us prick our own fingers for a blood test. I couldn’t stomach it. Let’s just say I was dramatic.


Jon Haney is a children's book author and fiction writer. You can find him telling stories to his four kids at bedtime, camping on the balcony, or playing chess in the park.

Connect with Jon:

Facebook  |  PB&J Book Club 

Buy the book: 



Tuesday, June 28, 2022



Rook is based on the true story of Al Nussbaum. To his unsuspecting wife, Lolly, Al is a loving, chess playing, family man. To J. Edgar Hoover, he is the most cunning fugitive alive. Al is the mastermind behind a string of east coast robberies that has stumped law enforcement. After his partner, one-eyed Bobby Wilcoxson, kills a bank guard and wounds a New York City patrolman, Al is identified as one of the robbers and lands on top of the FBI’s most wanted list. He is forced to flee his hometown of Buffalo, New York as the FBI closes in and Lolly learns of her husband’s secret life. One million wanted posters are printed and The Reader’s Digest offers a ten-thousand-dollar reward for Al’s capture. While Al assumes another identity and attempts to elude the police, Lolly is left alone to care for their infant daughter and adjust to her new life as ‘The Bank Robber’s Wife’. Friends, family, and federal agents all pressure Lolly to betray Al. While Lolly struggles at home financially, with unrelenting FBI agents, and her conscious, Al and Bobby continue to rob banks, even as Bobby grows more mentally unstable and dangerous. Al has only two goals: avoid capture and steal enough money to start a new life with his family. Returning to gather his wife and baby is suicidal, but as Al said, he’d only stick his neck in the Buffalo noose for Lolly.

Book Details

Title: Rook
Author: Stephen G. Eoannou

Genre: fiction

Publisher: Unsolicited Press (June 28, 2022)

Print length: 300 pages



A few of your favorite things: at the height of the pandemic, I decided I didn’t have enough stress in my life and bought an 1865 Victorian in Buffalo’s lower westside. Old homes are never “done”—there’s always something that needs to be repaired, replaced, renovated—but two of my favorite rooms in the house is the cupola and the library. To get to the cupola, I have to climb a set of steep, winding stairs. The stairs are tough. When people come over and want to see it, tours are given early in the evening when everyone’s relatively sober. Windows face all four sides, of course, and the space has great natural light. I have views of the Niagara River and a 19th century armory that looks like a castle. My office is up there. It’s a great place to work and daydream, which is part of a writer’s job. So, technically I’m working when I stare out those windows. My other favorite room is a parlor off the dining room that I turned into a library. It had this bare wall about twelve feet long and twelve feet high that was begging for bookshelves. I found a picture online of an 1870’s English bookshelf and found a guy who could reproduce it. Now I need chairs and curtains. If you want to see it and don’t mind sitting on the floor or the neighbors peeking through the window, swing by. But, like I said, if you want to see the cupola, we need to do that before we sit on the library floor and start drinking.

Things you need to throw out: I hired my cousin’s friend, Fast Freddy, to do the home inspection when I bought the house. I was following Freddy around taking notes on all the things that needed to be repaired or replaced. We were down in the basement and Fast Freddy asked if I knew what I had down here. He asked me a couple times, not waiting for me to answer before asking again. Freddy grew more excited each time he asked. I was growing excited, too. What did I have down here? A stop on the Underground Railroad? Some rare example of a 19th century basement? Hidden money in the walls? No, Fast Freddy explained, what I had in the basement was the history of wiring. This is not necessarily a good or safe thing. So, yeah, I got some wiring that needs to be pulled and thrown out if you want to give me a hand.

Things you need in order to write: sleep. I write from five to seven in the morning before I go to my day job. Those are the best two hours of my day. But if I’m out late the night before or stay up late binging something on Netflix, it makes it tough answering that bell at 4:45. If I do sleep through my two-hour window, I’m miserable the entire day. Luckily, I grow bored easily if the movie or series isn’t written very well, and I’m getting too old to have many late nights anymore. Happy Hour is much more appealing these days. So, there’s that.

Things that hamper your writing: time. For the first time in my writing life, I have enough projects to be a full-time writer. I’m marketing and preparing for the launch of my debut novel Rook, which drops in June from Unsolicited Press. I’m finishing the final edits for my second novel Yesteryear, which will be published in 2023 by SFWP. I’m polishing what I hope to be my third novel with the working title of After Pearl. And I have a fourth novel already mapped out that I’m anxious to start.  That two-hour window starting at 5am isn’t big enough to accomplish everything I need to get done. I think the only answer is lottery tickets—scratch-offs, MegaMillions, PowerBall.  One of them has got to hit. When it does, I can sit in my cupola and write and daydream all day. I might even buy a chair or two for the library. I’m not sure about buying library curtains, though. I like waving to the neighbors.

Things you love about writing:
I love reading something I’ve written and being surprised, wondering where that came from. I love polishing sentences and pushing words around the page until it’s just right. I love writing something that makes me laugh while I’m writing it, and it still makes me laugh when I’m rewriting it.  I love when strangers tell me they love my books.  I love how I’m completely focused and I’m aware of nothing around me when I write. Jesus, I’m such a nerd.

Things you hate about writing: not a damn thing. It’s a gift. It gives meaning to my life. It defines who I am. It’s the only thing in the world I’m even a little bit good at. Writing, rewriting, editing, line editing—I don’t consider any of that work. If you’re going to push me in a corner and make me answer this question, I’ll say I hate when publishers and publicists say I need to work on my ‘brand’. I have a brand? I don’t even know what that means. Am I ketchup now? A can of tuna? I’m just going to be me and call that my brand. My brand? Jesus, just shoot me.

Easiest thing about being a writer: you can do it anywhere. When I was traveling all the time for work, my short story collection Muscle Cars was edited at the end of various Marriott Hotel bars up and down the east coast. Rook was written in the attic of my old house on Lafayette Avenue. Yesteryear was written mostly in bed. After Pearl was written during the pandemic as a means of escape. All you need is your laptop or pen and paper—except I can’t read my handwriting anymore. The other easy thing about being a writer is it’s your easy excuse for all your failings. You look crappy in public? “It’s ok, he’s a writer.” Had too much to drink at a party? “It’s ok, he’s a writer.” Socks don’t match? “It’s ok, he’s a writer.” Being a writing is a free pass for all your social short comings. Oh, the lies I tell myself . . .
Hardest thing about being a writer: it takes a long time, at least it did for me. I started writing in the 80’s, about the same time Chabon and Brett Easton Ellis were coming on the scene. I thought I’d be like them and have my first novel drop before I turned thirty. That sure as hell didn’t happen. Rook will be published a month after I turn 59 and Yesteryear is schedule to launch on my 60th birthday. I’m no Boy Wonder. But, you know, I didn’t quit. I take pride in that. I kept working at my craft, trying to improve. I absorbed twenty-five years of rejections like they were body blows, which they were. Pretty soon you outgrow having ‘potential’ and you have to produce something of merit. I’ll never be a Chabon or Brett Easton Ellis. I don’t have the talent, the gift. But I got something. I’m really interested in seeing where it takes me now that I’m on my way. And if this is it? If Yesteryear is the last book published? If After Pearl never finds a home? That’s okay. I’ll still be getting up at 4:45 to write even if no one will read it. Unless those lottery numbers hit. Then I’ll get up at seven. In Greece.

Things you love about where you live: the last line of my current bio is, “Eoannou lives and writes in his hometown of Buffalo, New York, the setting and inspiration for much of his work.” That’s a lie. It’s the setting and inspiration of all of my work. The majority of Rook and all of Yesteryear are set in Buffalo. And those stories in Muscle Cars where the setting is never specified? Yeah, that’s Buffalo, too. I don’t fully understand the connection I have with this physical place and my creativity, but it’s there and it’s real. I enjoy writing about this town, its history, its characters. I’m creating my own fictionalized, romanticized version of this city. This reimagined Buffalo links my books and acts not only a backdrop but a character in my work. All those places I mention in my stories—The Lafayette Hotel, The Statler Hotel, Al Nussbaum’s house, Fran Striker’s house, Forest Lawn Cemetery, Voelkers, The Kitty Kat (now Eddie Brady’s) are still standing. Okay, Voelkers is about to be torn down, but it’s still standing as of today. I sit in those bars or walk through those places or just park outside and start daydreaming, imagining, and I get inspired. It’s a great town filled with great stories and ghosts that speak to me. It also has cold beer at reasonable prices. You should come visit, help me pull wire out of basement.
Things that make you want to move: I like Buffalo winters. I like the way the city looks blanketed in snow. I like walking the dog in all that white silence. I like writing winter scenes. I like all these things until about Valentine’s Day. Then I’m done. I’ll never move away from Buffalo. This is the place that inspires me. I feed off its history and architecture and my own family history here. Having said that, I can see becoming a snowbird as I get older, spending February and March someplace where I don’t have to scrape ice from my windshield every morning. I’ve got my eye on Greenville, South Carolina. My good friend and novelist Ashley Warlick is an owner at M. Judson, one of the coolest bookstores around. I’ll talk her into hiring me for a couple months out of the year. I’ve got retail experience. I always say the only job I was ever good at besides writing was stockboy at my dad’s liquor store. I guarantee if I cash you out at the bookstore, I’ll greet you, thank you, count your change back, and place all those George Washingtons in your hand facing the same way. That’s the way it was done at Thruway Liquors in Cheektowaga, New York. Of course, if one of those scratch-offs, MegaMillions, or PowerBall tickets hit, screw that bookstore plan. I’ll be spending winters in Greece.

Things you always put in your books: my grandfather’s restaurant, The New Genesee. It plays a prominent role in Rook, Yesteryear, as well as my work-in-progress, After Pearl. Here’s the funny thing: I’ve never set foot in the restaurant. My grandfather died and the New Genesee was sold before I was born. The building was razed. My dad was a great storyteller, especially when he had a couple drinks, and my mother wasn’t around. I loved hearing his memories of growing up living above the restaurant and all the characters that came in—Lefty The Dog Thief, boxing champion Jimmy Slattery, the prostitutes from the brothel down the street. I drank those stories in then and they’re coming out in my fiction now. I always say my best stories are my father’s stories. It’s a shame he passed away before I was published. I think he’d get a kick reading the stories he used to tell. I bet some of them were even true.

Things you never put in your books: well, I don’t think it’s possible to say what you will never write about. Each story has its own demands, and the characters are the ones really calling the shots. However, it’s hard to imagine me ever writing about a child’s death or disappearance. I’ve always been that way. I used to teach at the College of Charleston with Bret Lott a lifetime ago. I remember when Reed’s Beach was published. The novel deals with the death of a child. I went to Bret’s reading and book signing, but I never read a word of that book. Couldn’t do it. And this was three or four years before I even had kids. In one of my seminars at the Queens University of Charlotte’s MFA program, somebody—maybe it was David Payne or Pinckney Benedict—told us that to achieve truly emotionally impactful writing, we should write about what scares us, to push ourselves to honestly confront our demons. Maybe someday I will, but I think stories about children who are harmed are someone else’s stories to tell, someone braver than I am.

Things to say to an author:
1.     This was the best book I ever read!
2.     I can’t believe this book is even better than your last one!
3.     You look so much taller in person than in your author photo!
Things to say to an author if you want to be fictionally killed off in their next book:
1.     It took you that long to write that? (No. It took me to this point in my life to be able to write that.)
2.     You actually make money writing that kind of stuff? (Yes, but not enough to afford a hitman to get you to stop asking stupid questions once and for all.)
3.     Can I get a free copy of your book? (Jesus, just pay the fifteen bucks.)
Favorite places you’ve been: Greece. I’ve only been once with my son and ten of my cousins. It was the Eoannou Traveling Circus. There were misadventures galore. We thought we saw a merman emerge from the sea, but it was just our waiter who decided to take a swim. We somehow managed to get a minivan wedged between two buildings in this impossibly narrow mountain village road—I think it was a paved goat path. All the neighbors came out to watch and shake their heads at the stupid Americans. And, we inadvertently skipped out on a 900 Euro bill, which we eventually paid when they caught up with us in Santorini. If that wasn’t enough, I got to see my grandfather’s village (Yeah, that grandfather from the New Genesee), meet cousins I never knew existed, and found the humble little house where my father was born. I brought back a lot of great stories from that trip, but I don’t think we’re allowed on the island of Evia anymore. I swear I thought my cousin paid that bill.
Places you never want to go to again: I liked India and was grateful that I had the opportunity to go. I enjoyed the food, and the people were kind and gracious. The Taj Mahal was as beautiful as the pictures. But there are other places I’d rather go: Belgium, to visit my Uncle Steve’s grave in Henri-Chapelle Military Cemetery, Germany, to show off four years’ worth of Kenmore West High School German language skills, Australia to visit my Andromidas cousins. I tell my kids, whenever you get a chance to travel, go. You never know when you might get another chance and what stories you might bring back with you. Like I said, India was great. Remind me to tell you the leper story and the naked baby story the next time I see you.


Stephen G. Eoannou is the author of the novels Yesteryear (SFWP 2023), Rook (Unsolicited Press 2022), and the short story collection Muscle Cars (SFWP 2015). He has been awarded an Honor Certificate from The Society of Children's Book Writers and Illustrators and won the Best Short Screenplay Award at the 36th Starz Denver Film Festival. Eoannou holds an MFA from Queens University of Charlotte and an MA from Miami University. He lives and writes in his hometown of Buffalo, New York, the setting and inspiration for much of his work.
Connect with Stephen:
Blog |   Facebook  |  Twitter   |  Book trailer

Buy the book:
Amazon  |  Barnes & Noble

Saturday, April 30, 2022




Modern-day Britain, with the terrorism threat level set at severe and rising to critical, needs extraordinary measures to overcome the next threat, including the use of students with psychic abilities.
Alone, and frightened of her own power, Alpha is forced to use it to protect the care home she’s lived in since the loss of her parents. But such abilities do not go unnoticed, bringing her to the attention of others, some with good intentions and others with racist affiliations. She runs, but just when she thinks she’s found a sanctuary it turns out to have been infiltrated by those with the most violent form of terrorism on their agenda.
Sunday, a most unlikely hero and would-be young thief, must form a bond with Alpha if the pair are to stand even the slightest chance of averting the most catastrophic terrorist attack on British soil for many years. They must learn to trust others, too—but how can they do this, when everyone else is a suspect?

Book Details:
Title: Psychic
Author: T.S. Rose
Genre: sci-fi/fantasy/thriller
Publisher: Apprentice House Press (June 7, 2022)
Print length: 380 pages


Note: T.S. Rose is the pen name for Sharon and Tammy Rose, a mother-daughter duo

Sharon’s Day:

5:45 am  Alarm goes off. I get to work at 7.30 am, and start on over 300 emails and Facebook messages from local residents and councillors. The usual complaints: potholes, trees either just about to fall on someone’s house despite the fact that all the trees in that area were recently risk assessed, but in the mind of the complainant must immediately be cut down. Another complaint that the Council doesn’t plant enough trees. Can’t please them all! Applications from both national and local charities, pedestrian lights not working again, town clock out of order, and a hundred other things. 

9 am  Staff meeting, printer not working, and problems with sick leave applications not being received. Training on how to bring the lift down manually if the electricity is cut. Review of budget against actual expenditure. 

11 am  Walk round local park where a major event is being held – plan wrongly drawn up. Glad to have caught this in time.  

12 noon  Sign off 45 purchase orders raised by staff, query 2 of these. Goal posts in park haven’t been anchored in with concrete. Investigate with Property Officer.   

1 pm  Working lunch with councillors to consider the big strategic issues facing the Town Council. Flooding and the need to create more sequestration opportunities become important considerations. 

3 pm  Problem with allotment fencing that has blown down in the storm. Consider whether it’s worth claiming on insurance.  

4:30-6 pm  Meeting with Policy and Finance Committee. Review cost of capital project that is 2.5 x more expensive than anticipated and where funding will come from.   

7-8.00 pm
 Meeting to discuss renewing contract with Leisure Service Provider, and implications of Covid-19 on swimming and gym membership.  

8:00 pm  Grab some dinner. Thank goodness my other half is cooking tonight.  

8:30 pm  Have a very quick swim. 

9 pm   Prepare agenda for Business Development meeting including writing a report on a new asset/liability to be transferred to the Council. 

10.30 pm  Take half an hour to consider my co-author’s next chapter and discuss implications with her.  Great writing. Oh dear! I’ve done nothing yet on my next chapter. Blank page facing me. Think long and hard – write first sentence, then go to bed. Very proud of first sentence.  No idea what second sentence will be.    

Tammy’s Day:

6:45 pm  Alarm goes off. I get dressed, then review my lesson plans over breakfast (great start today it’s croissants and grapes) and walk to school.  

8:10 am  Early meeting with other members of the English Department over forthcoming curriculum and in particular book choices for the year. 

8:35 am Staggered classes start. First lesson is with year 11 high achievers. Prompt them to find the humour and writing techniques used in The Importance of Being Earnest. Long and very funny debate about cucumber sandwiches.  

9:10 am. Year 7 class. Need to work on underachievement of targets, particularly with students inclined to be disruptive. Issue 5 S1 discipline records for poor behaviour, 4 x S2s and 1 x S3. That means yet another detention class this week after school.  

10:15 am   Shakespeare’s As you Like It. At least this lesson starts with a short film about the play.  

11:10 am   Take a class on creative writing and media studies. Several students impress me with their creativity. One busts into tears after getting an S1. Oh dear – something else more personal going on here that I will need to find out about.  

12-1 pm  My turn to monitor the canteen. 

1 pm  Library session – I usually enjoy these. These young people actually like reading, but this week we’ve got work people banging about outside the window, so it’s really not very productive.

1:50 pm  Grammar with year 10s. The difference between Demonstrative, Indefinite and Reflective Pronouns. Does anyone really care? Just ensuring students can identify the pronouns within a piece of text is difficult enough. 

2:30 pm Last class of the day. 

4 – 6 pm  Lesson planning for the next day. 

7 pm  An hour of yoga, followed by a shower – my mind is at peace. 

8 pm  Dinner – Dad’s a good cook – it’s cottage pie. 

8:30 pm Back to lesson planning, and marking of essays, then some Facetime with my brother and a few fellow teachers from my student years.  

10 pm  I finish a chapter of my own writing at great speed. I think it works well, but we’ll see what my co-author has to say.   

11 pm  Bed, then start all over again. If only I had an actual social life.        


T.S. Rose is the pen-name of Tammy and Sharon Rose, a mother-daughter duo living in London.

Tammy is a recent graduate of Queen Mary University of London and is now a secondary school teacher.

Sharon was born in South Africa, partially schooled in Germany and the UK, and lived for a while in Kissimmee, Florida. Her career as a Town Clerk, working for the good of the community, keeps her exceptionally busy, so writing takes place during stolen moments just before bed.

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