Blog Archives


Their Witch Wears Plaid banner

About the Author


Kathleen Shaputis lives in the glorious Pacific Northwest with her husband, Bob, a clowder of cats and three pompously protective Pomeranians with little social aptitude: Brugh, Bouncer and Miss Jazzy. If not writing, she’s busy reading and watching romantic comedies, her ultimate paradise.

Her latest book is Their Witch Wears Plaid.



About the Book:


Author: Kathleen Shaputis
Publisher: Clutter Fairy Publishing
Pages: 316
Genre: Magical Realism / Paranormal Romance / Romantic Comedy


A giant-sized Druid, annoying trances and frightening nightmares mess up Nell’s festive end of summer plans. Living in Scotland, a palm reader for Baillie Castle, Nell loses her heart to a professional jouster. But is her shining knight in cahoots with the sinister Druid?

Will the recipe of a magic coin, diva queens and witches be enough to save Nell from death? Or will evil triumph over love?


Amazon | Barnes & Noble


A page-turning delight with twists and turns for the fabulous Lady Nell. It’s 2018, what woman wouldn’t want to be chased by a knight in shining armor?J. Verstraeten

Book Excerpt:

While sitting behind her covered card table, Lady Nell dabbed at a trickle of sweat on the back of her bare neck with a long, white handkerchief. The summer heat, though mild in temperature for many, had dampened her coiffed hair and Elizabethan costume. Well-worn tarot cards splayed across the sapphire paisley tablecloth in a colorful, symmetric array. “May I answer any other questions for thee this sweltering afternoon, my lady?”

The flustered middle-aged woman across from her, wearing a thrown-together costume of a black wench’s vest and ankle-length skirt, shook her head. “Goodness, no. You’ve been quite helpful as one who seeks the future, thank you, Lady Nell.” And she took a last look at the cards before disappearing from the palm reader’s tent.

Scooping the displayed cards into a pile, Nell smiled at how the first day of the Scottish Faire at Baillie Castle was proving a great success. Excited crowds from surrounding areas were showing up in droves. Nell practically pinched her damp double chin in the delight of having moved to Scotland and using her psychic powers for employment within the castle. She sent a spiritual blessing to her friends, Baillie and Rogue, the proprietors of the castle, for encouraging her to establish a new life across the Atlantic. Her last home address had been Olympia, Washington, though her talents had let her travel throughout the United States.

Nell’s flamboyant pavilion was placed under a shade tree, offering some relief of the mid-summer heat, but barely a breeze had stirred the sauna-like air for the last hour. The steady stream of customers had kept her emotions animated despite the stifling heat. Nell respected and enjoyed her talent for reaching into another’s aura, their soul, and sharing information. She stretched her arms over her head and twisted her neck to one side hearing the familiar crick.

Suddenly a dank, frigid cold penetrated her chest, the icy bolt more like a speeding car crashing unheeded into a block wall. She couldn’t breathe. Yet she was not a complete stranger to the deathly artic slam, as the wintery pain felt similar to her first meeting with the ghost of Baillie Castle, Lord Kai, years ago in Olympia, Washington, where the poltergeist had been desperate to penetrate the real world.

Gripping the edges of the table, Nell tried centering herself, closing her eyes, grounding her being to the Earth’s core by visualizing a thick steel chain locking her in place. A moment later, it was gone. Gulping in heated air, Nell kept her eyes closed, alarmed at the unexpected glacial intensity. What in the not-of-this-world had caused such an explosion of cold?

Chastising herself for possibly overdoing the herbal recipe she’d created for her morning smoothie, Nell shook her head. She stared around her, expanding her mystic aura, rippling it out beyond the tent, searching for unearthly energy, anything possibly related to the polar blast. Knowing the hours she’d be working today, the potion recipe she concocted was meant as an enhancement to her psychic abilities, a mere boost. She blinked her eyes, the tent vacant and nothing out of the ordinary showed itself. By and large things were as they should be inside and outside the normal excitement of festive crowds and the music of Celtic pipes music filling her ears.

Knowing her foretelling talents would be in constant demand for palm readings and tarot cards once the Faire opened this morning, Nell asked petite T-Cup, a spicy diva queen from Seattle and dear friend of the castle owners, to act as an assistant for her. T not only acted as the money keeper but provided part-time entertainment for the crowds passing by. She kept Nell’s sanity and the flow of customers continuous in and out of the tent. T-Cup’s delightful voice squealed and twittered outside the tent’s dangling strands of pastel beads as Nell tried discerning any mystic turbulence from the cold blast. T’s saucy remarks on various costumes and people throughout the day hadn’t changed in tone or manner as Nell cleared her table with shaking hands.

T’s own outrageously bawdy dress of lace and silk caught many the eye of people walking by and made for a great marketing asset. A singer and entertainer by trade usually in company with her best friend and fellow diva, Rafael, T’s persona of hysterical delight brightened any room or situation, a petite dynamo of glitter and glamour. T stuck her beribboned head of curls inside and said, “This will be your last reading for today, Lady Nell. Looks like the universe saved the best for last. Mr. Gigantic, Dark and Mysterious will be right in.”

The cash box clinked shut before a hooded giant blocked the beaded doorway. Standing more than six and a half feet tall, the Druid-dressed customer moved with no haste. She looked at the floor-length, burlap garment wrapped well to his body, tied with a leather strap, and a deep hood concealing his face in shadows. Flowing sleeves draped at his sides as he sat in front of her with fluid motion. The realistic garment fascinated her, the material seemed threadbare and ancient. He’d paid a pretty penny for the outfit at an estate sale or movie studio auction, she wanted to bet. Nell couldn’t find a way of dipping her head toward the floor without looking odd to see what he wore on his feet, something authentic or Nike sneakers.

“What would you like to hear this day, good sir? What your future holds in store or may I answer a specific question ye need answering? I can read your palm or maybe you’d like to see what the cards have to say for you. My talent but waits your answer.”

He sat silent. No movement, nothing.

Nell blinked before picking up her tarot cards and started shuffling. This wasn’t the first time someone shy or conservative wasn’t sure what they wanted, but instead of her calm natural patience, she felt a bit defensive, a molten nervousness moving through her. The choking silence between them bothered her. First a blast of frigid, intense air sent chaos into her chest and now an enormous mannequin sucked the very oxygen she needed. The man raised his hand palm out, the fingers lengthy, and she stopped mid-motion. The heat inside the tent dropped in temperature until it crackled like thin ice on a raging river. Rivulets of perspiration trickled down her ample body, despite the sudden disappearance of the infuriating heat.

His silence weighed solid like a glacial wall and her intuition created an instant need to surround herself in a protective spell. Her lips moved silently as she stared at the deep hood that cloaked his face from view. The darkness nagged her in a disquieting, almost dangerous way. Who is this Mr. Chill? What is going on?

“I am quite well acquainted with who you are, Lady Nell.” His smooth, deep voice poured out like the syrup of a public radio station announcer. “If I may explain, I have been approached by your parents…”

“You’re quite mad, sir,” Nell snapped, her face flushed with irritation despite the cold. How dare this cloaked idiot have the audacity to spout ancestral nonsense? “My parents are gone and have been for many years. I don’t understand your trickery this day but you have paid for my services, sir, not the opportunity to make mockery of me or my profession.”

Moments ticked by in silence and the temperature inside the tent dropped further. His game with the air conditioning will not deter me. Goosebumps rippled up her bare arms. She forced herself not to give in to shivering. Nell had hoped her anger would fight the frost, but its invasion seeped through. She slowly lifted her chin in defiance. Her work and talent was not a game, and she didn’t appreciate his rude announcement saying he’d been in contact with her deceased parents, parents she’d hardly known herself growing up.

“I understand more about you than you could possibly know. You are young and naïve still in your powers. You will believe in me soon enough, stubborn one, I have no doubt of this. Your parents’ spirits and elders before them have given me a quest to find you and I am here.” His eyes glistened, practically glowing. Specks of amber light shone deep inside the murkiness of the hood. “They told me of your talents to see the past and feel the energy yet to be in images—an inherited ability. Your powers are much similar to mine in some basic ways. But over recent years, you’ve strayed on a different course and the elders have asked me to warn you to take heed. Their request of me is to shield you from your own foolishness.”

Nell felt the warmth of her face drain into the empty chill. “They know of my work on the dark side?” she whispered. What does he mean about keeping me safe? From what? Who is this person?

Over the recent years she had discovered magical talents and energy flowing through her soul, untapped reservoirs of abilities she didn’t know existed beyond seeing the past and future. An understanding of crystals and herbs filled her mind at odd times, pushing details and recipes from an unknown source into her reality. She’d kept them close to her in private, rarely using the dark magic in front of people, except for last year here at the Baillie Castle when she felt compelled to assist the Baillie family in a dire emergency with unmitigated success. The process had drained her sorely for days but she still felt it was one of her finest accomplishments.

“Your parents know you’ve taken your innate skills beyond the familiar white magic and they worry for your safety.” He placed his pale, wrinkled hands on top of the table.

Nell found her mouth still open. She shifted in her wooden folding chair, the stuffed cushion beneath her lumpy, stiff, uncomfortable. She took in a deep breath and exhaled to a long count, while gathering her strength and thoughts. “Then you have me at a disadvantage, sir, as I do not know who you are. And could you turn the temperature in here up a tad? Seriously, I am not some slab of beef.” She could see the white vapor from her words swirling in front of her and wondered if icicles would form along the edges of the tent. A scene from an old I Love Lucy episode flashed in her mind, when Lucy was locked in a freezer vault and her face covered in frost.

He swiped away her words like irritating flies with his elongated hands. “Silence, woman. I will tell your fortune and you must listen well. Obedience is imperative.”

Squinting her eyes at the hooded Druid, she snorted. “I will be obedient to no one. You have no power here, you robed cretin, slithering in here with tricks of threatening me with lies of my parents, chilling the air, and fallacies of wanting to tell my fortune?” Like a kitten with an arched back, thick fur standing on end, Nell refused to cow down to this stranger. Not a muscle twitched as she waited for his next move.

“Belay your wail of pitiful skepticism. Listen to my words and listen well. A young man you’ve met before will come to you with information you most desire. Believe him, as the bond between you is powerful. You must then travel across the water to your former homeland, back to the beginning of this Scottish journey at the bookstore and obtain your spiritual guide. This will help you understand the foretold answers waiting ahead. Ignore these words and direness awaits you.”

He stood nearly caressing the ceiling with his hood. “Good morrow to you, Lady Nell.” Ducking his body in half, he left the tent before she could shove her chair back or voice any questions. And she had a million of them on the tip of her tongue. What man was he talking about who she had met before? Go back to the beginning? Did he mean Baillie’s Pen and Pages bookstore in Olympia, Washington? Well, that would be across “water” certainly.

Placing her hands on top of the card table, she pushed herself up with trembling legs. The slam of claustrophobic heat filled the tent nearly knocking her backward. Sounds began filtering into her conscience: the strum of a mandolin, conversations and laughter, a sweet Celtic tune on a pipe, as if her hearing was restored from a deep, lengthy silence.

T-Cup popped herself inside, swishing the silk of her Elizabethan dress. “Hey, I didn’t see long-limbed, dark and spooky leave. Do you have a back door in this tent I don’t know about?” She twirled in a circle creating a rustling murmur from her petticoats. “C’mon, let’s go see what deliciousness Putney the cook has for us in the kitchen. It’s got to be tea time, right? I’m starving for something fresh and chilled.” T stopped in mid-motion. “Wha… Lady Nell, are you doing okay?” She touched Nell’s arm and squealed, “Dang, you’re like ice,” before bouncing through the beads yelling, “Gillian, Gillian, come Lord Gorgeous, our lady looks dazed and feels like a fresh blended margarita.” The last words slid out before she sucked in another breath. “Ándele, pronto, get your tight butt over here now, I said.” Her voice screeched an octave higher.

Through the parted strands of plastic beads, a polished, well-built blond dressed in a traditional blue and green Baillie kilt and sporting silk finery sauntered across the dry grass as if on a fashion cat walk. Gillian Nation was used to the attention and lingering looks from anyone nearby. Tanned, taut thigh muscles showed bare under the hem of the kilt as he walked. “How wither you call, my Seattle-based jester-ess?” He slid into the tent with noble smoothness but seeing Nell’s distress rushed to her side. “Have you overdone yourself, my lady?” He put his strong right arm around her waist and his eyebrows rose dramatically as he caught Nell’s gaze. “You’re like a pale Popsicle. T, make way, you fluffy fairy. Let’s get her outside.”

The faire had emptied of tourists and most of the performers. A few groundskeepers had begun clearing the trash, making little noise as they emptied smaller waste containers into a large rolling bin. Reality snapped her into a safety hold like a seat belt in a speeding Porsche. Patting her damp face with the already wet handkerchief, she imitated, clung desperately to Gillian’s calm, graceful moves as he sat next to her.

“Anything you want to talk about, Lady Nell that precipitated this dearth of possible frostbite?” His well-pampered face showed no emotions, unlike T-Cup’s pasty, frightened look nearby.

“Did, did you see my last customer, the giant-in-robes man come in or out of the tent?”

T-Cup raised her perfectly manicured hand. “Ooh, ooh, I did, I did. Well, I saw a Druid-looking guy go into the tent after he paid me. I don’t remember seeing him come out though, you know, but I wasn’t paying attention. Tapping my fingers along with the music, I guess. It’s the end of a long hot day. I’m tired. Sue me already.”

Gillian closed his dark, cappuccino-colored eyes at T’s dramatics, shaking his head, sliding his low ponytail over his shoulder. “I’m afraid my attentions were also elsewhere.”

“Did, did you see his face, T?” Nell’s voice cracked.

“That sounds rather ominous.” Gillian tilted his head catching T-Cup’s nervous glance and the tiny shrug of her bare shoulders.

“No, I don’t think so.” She waved her arms wildly over her head. “He had this enormous hood up covering everything, everything. I wouldn’t be able to pick him out of a line up, if that’s what you mean. He paid for his session, Lady Nell, and went inside. Easy peasy. Did he steal something from you other than the heat inside your body? Pretty fancy trick, I might add.” She inhaled sharply. “Did he touch you inappropriately? Is that why you’re upset?” T puffed up like a frazzled hen, flapping invisible feathers everywhere. “Should I sound an alarm and have someone search the castle grounds for the criminal?”

“No, no, he didn’t take or touch anything except my sanity.” The last word came out in a whisper as she rubbed her forehead.

“T, bounce yourself somewhere and get the good lady a cold drink. She’s probably dehydrated.” Gillian kept a still face as the flouncing skirt disappeared. “Now that the dear elf is gone, what happened inside the tent, Nell?”

She inhaled a deep, shaky, breath through her nose and slowly blew out the air. “This oversized giant came in dressed head to toe in brown sack cloth, Druid looking, well-worn material. My first thought was he had on either a pricey costume or had somehow stepped through time. I swear, my very first thoughts.” Gillian rolled his eyes with a faint smile. “No, now hear me out. The hood draped over his head so deep his face was completely in shadow, just like T said. On purpose, I’m sure, yet I caught a single glimpse of his eyes while he sat there and they glowed, almost a maize color, spooky and bizarre.”

She bowed her head, fussing with her skirt. “Gillian, he said he came by a request of my parents and my elders to tell my future and when I challenged him, he lowered the thermostat to some teeth-chattering zero degrees in the tent.”

“Now this is getting interesting! What does a scam fortune teller tell a real fortune teller?” He tapped his fingertips together. “So we have an overdressed druid who paid for your services, but instead told you your fortune with some stage-effect trickery like dry ice. Did he at least report anything sizzling in your future? Some delightfully male encounters by any chance?”

A heated flush rushed from her neck to her cheeks. Why did Gillian never take anything seriously, twisting most conversations into sexual twitters? “No, well, yes, I am supposed to meet a young man I’ve met before who will answer my questions. What questions, for heaven’s sake? What kind of questions could he possibly mean? And I’m supposed to go back to Pen and Pages like the beginning of a puzzle and find my spirit guide. What hokey nonsense is a spirit guide, whatever that may be, going to do for me?”

“What delightful man you will meet is the more important detail of the story, my dear.” Gillian sniffed as T skipped toward them, clutching a dripping bottle of cold water. “We’ll continue this discussion later, out of prying curious ears, you realize. Say nothing of this during our tea,” he focused on T, “or you’ll have the whole castle staff up in arms.” He stretched his arm out, wiggling his fingers at the colorful nymph. “You are a jewel and an enchanted servant.” T squeaked from Gillian’s words. “Exactly what our dear friend needs.”

“Putney asked me to report tea is ready and her old foot’s a tapping. C’mon, you two, you’re the only ones out here.”

“Goodness, Cook will have our heads if we keep the sweet ancient thing waiting.” Gillian turned his arm to Nell. “Allow me to escort you back to the castle.”

Nell clutching the now half-empty water bottle, gave a grateful smile to T-Cup. “Thank you. That was just what I needed.” She tucked the ominous meeting away for now and slipped her arm in Gillian’s. “Let’s go.”

Interview With…

Kathleen, tell us about you.  As the youngest of teenaged siblings, I was also an “oops” baby, a total surprise. With my head continually buried in a book, I didn’t notice or remember much of anyone else. Books were my life, the smell, the feel of the crinkle paper on the covers from the library and the sounds of flipping the pages, nourished me. My library card was the ticket away from reality. I dreamed of living in a forest, being a hermit and writing books for a living. I’ve succeeded in two of those goals, I live in a two-acre woods and have eight books under my belt.

If you could hang out with one famous person for one day, who would it be and why? My idol Katharine Hepburn. I can imagine sitting over tea for hours soaking up the independent strength and tenacity of this woman. A social therapy session of learning to maintain confidence and self-endurance as I grow older. The woman was and is a legend and I admire her dedication to life and her talents.

What’s the story behind your latest book? Being the third book in the Baillie Castle trilogy, it came with an entourage of familiar characters. But Their Witch Wears Plaid reads as a stand-alone, centered around Nell, a palm reader now working at the castle in Scotland. I wasn’t ready to let go of a world I’d created, there were more twists and foibles yet to uncover among the group. A group which includes a gorgeous 17th century ghost, drag queens and a variety of supporting players.

What is your writing process?  Though my books play out in my head as movies, complete with soundtracks, I must work in silence for the most part. I am at the keyword in the early morning hours before the rest of the house is awake putting in my hours. I will listen to the proposed movie scores for inspiration while doing other things, such as Their Witch Wears Plaid is a Celtic cornucopia of pipes and drums, but the bleeding on paper is done in quiet.

Tell us about your main character: Though inspired by a talented psychic in my hometown, I see a lot of myself in Nell. She enjoys her own company, is content and a master in doing what she loves. Unconnected and full of pluck, she savors relaxing at home at the end of the day in her bare feet. Having traveled for years following the Renaissance Fair circuit, settling in one place has its rewards when the location is the beauty of the Highlands among friends.

If your book was to be turned into a movie, who would play the lead role and why. I see Melissa McCarthy playing the role of Lady Nell. Ms. McCarthy’s feistiness and exuberance would be perfect for an independent woman suddenly faced with threats and a brewing storm of danger and demands. She’d bring a fun, kick-your-heels passion to the story when Nell meets a man, a knight and her heart opens a bit wider.

What are you working on next? I’m currently working on a commercial fiction tome of a single working mother in the 70’s, living in a disco-dancing, sexual revolution world who is nearly destroyed by sexual harassment and discrimination.

What advice do you have for other writers who want to get the word out about their book? Though most authors are more introspective, diving into social media is a must in marketing a new title. The noise of new books is loud and full of static, so you need a willingness to be creatively persistent, dogged in letting people know of your work.

What is your favorite book on your shelf right now? A first edition of The Boxcar Children my husband gave me as a gift. The joy the book brought me reading it over and over is never forgotten. Nothing tasted better for lunch, sitting outside in the front yard than plaid white bread and cuts of cheddar cheese similar to the meals in the book.

Do you have any special/extraordinary talents? Hmm, I don’t juggle, my skills are rather mediocre in cooking and singing. I have drawn sketches and painted once in a while where I’m rather proud of a portrait of Alan Alda I did in oils during a college class. My main talent I’ve recognized in myself is patience, keeping my head during stress or extremes. Life has thrown a myriad of challenges, sometimes more than one at a time, over the years and I find myself being the calm in the middle of the chaos.

You are given the choice of one super power. What super power would you have and why? Invisibility! I’d use the ghostlike powers to comfort, soothe and protect the underdog, being able to infiltrate into any situation without suspect would be incredible. But as a writer, curiosity is a natural fault. Imagine what I could discover if no one knew I was in the room. The lies uncovered, the truth brought to light.

List 5 things on your bucket list:

I’ve accomplished much in my life and find I have few regrets and needs. I haven’t given much thought to a bucket list and if I died tomorrow, I feel content with my life and times. However, you’ve asked, so here goes.

  1. Visiting Scotland, land of my ancestors. (I made it to a castle in England for a week.)
  2. Write a national best seller.  (I’ve sold thousands of copies of my books, have done a country-wide book tour and dozens of radio interviews.)
  3. See a woman in the White House.
  4. Fit into my wedding dress.
  5. Luxuriate for a week at Disneyland, watching the twinkle and delight of the children.

Any final thoughts? What a delight it’s been discovering the answers in your interview. I write for entertainment, and hope I’ve succeeded in bringing a lightness and merriment to my readers. I think of my books as a cotton-candy treat among the pages. Thank you for letting me share with your audience.




The Exiled Otherkin

by D. Lieber


GENRE: Fantasy Romance



Exiled from Faerie when her father dies, half-Fae Ember is surprised by how much the human realm has changed since she was there last. She takes a dangerous job on a merchant airship, hoping a life on the move will keep her well-hidden. Sure, she misses her brother, but years of apathy have numbed her emotions.

When the optimistic and naïve Reilley follows her, it’s annoying to say the least. But when she starts feeling responsible for him, long-stifled emotions crack the ice around her heart.

Faeries, pirates, and traveling players meet in this steampunk fantasy adventure as Ember tries to cope with feelings long forgotten and a past that pursues her.




Men and women dashed around the room, gleaming with sweat and smudged with black smears. The fires burned low. A large furnace at the center of the room had a thick chimney leading from it into the ceiling. Some people were moving piles of what looked like coal, while others tended a huge machine. It consisted of a number of large metal coils attached to gears. Some of the coils were wound tight while others were loose. The gears attached to the coils were meshed with gears that had magnets on them. Ropes, made of a material I couldn’t identify, were threaded through the center of the magnet gears.

We passed through engineering and climbed to the main deck. The wooden deck sprawled before us. The chimney from engineering came up through the floor and reached toward the cloth bubble above us.

Shy pointed to a cabin on the left. “That’s where you’ll bunk with the rest of the deckhands, Ember. I still have inventory to do. I trust you both can get settled?” He disappeared below deck.

I walked toward the cabin, and Reilley followed.

“I wish we were bunking together, Ember,” he said, slumping his shoulders. I didn’t respond and entered the cabin, shutting the door in his face.


AUTHOR Bio and Links


D. writes stories she wants to read. Her love of the worlds of fiction led her to earn a Bachelor’s in English from Wright State University.

When she isn’t reading or writing, she’s probably hiking, crafting, watching anime, Korean television, Bollywood, or old movies. She may also be getting her geek on while planning her next steampunk cosplay with friends.

She lives in Wisconsin with her husband (John), retired guide dog (Samwise), and cat (Yin).






Book Video:



Barnes and Noble:



D. Lieber will be awarding a fancy homemade bookmark (US ONLY) to a randomly drawn winner via rafflecopter during the tour.

Enter to win a fancy homemade bookmark – a Rafflecopter giveaway


Q&A With… 

Tell us about you as a person. 

I’m a bit eclectic. You can find me equally at home at a museum of natural history as walking through the woods or at a baseball game. I love learning about different cultures, traveling, learning foreign languages, watching foreign television, or listening to foreign music. I’m the type to get excited about little things, and my goal is to make real connections with people in this life.

If you could hang out with one famous person for one day, who would it be and why?

I’m hesitant to choose a famous person I admire. I mean, what is he or she turns out to be a jerk? I’d rather experience a specific time period or place. I’d like to spend a day on Montmartre during the Belle Époque or maybe go to a historical world’s fair.

What’s the story behind your latest book?

After getting into steampunk, I really wanted to write a steampunk story. I don’t recall why I decided to put faeries in it, though I remember thinking very hard and the idea hitting me like a smack on the head. Once I had the two main characters clearly in my mind, it flowed fairly easily with not too many bumps in the process.

What is your writing process? 

It depends on the story I’m writing. I like to write by the seat of my pants with only a vague idea of where the story is heading, but that only works with certain stories. For instance, that was fine for The Exiled Otherkin, but I had to plot everything ahead of time for my detective story. I prefer to be alone in my house with absolute silence and no interruptions when writing, though again there are exceptions. If I need to evoke a certain mood in a scene, I may listen to instrumental music of different genres.

Tell us about your main character.

My protagonist, Ember, is a half-Fae who is exiled from Faerie when her father dies. When readers first meet her, she is an apathetic sort. She has actively tried to cut off her emotions for many years in order to protect herself and those around her. The only person she’s really close to is her younger brother, Pika. She’s not opposed to being close to men physically, though emotionally is out of the question. She’s a strong person, able to take care of herself in most situations. It will take a soft, nonthreatening presence to catch her off guard.

If your book was to be turned into a movie, who would play the lead role and why.

I don’t believe in choosing an actress before auditions. The best person for the role may be someone unknown.

What are you working on next?

The next story readers are likely to see is called Intended Bondmates:

Vampires may feed on humans, but nothing is as irresistible to them as fae blood.

Runa has long given up on being content with her life. Her only goal is to protect Mikhail until he awakens and gains his full magic. For the last thirteen years, ever since tragedy struck when they were children, she has protected him as was expected of his werewolf guardian. Though she has started looking for a mate, she can’t imagine what will happen once she’s free of Mikhail. But when he requests to be unbound from her before his awakening, she’s given the chance to return to her intended bondmate.

She expects a warm welcome from Konner, not foreseeing his bitterness at having been abandoned. Konner isn’t the only one who is bitter. His brother’s guardian, Rowan, has had to protect both faelings while she was with Mikhail.

It’s up to Runa to find a way to soothe these two demanding males if she hopes to make up for her past betrayal.

What advice do you have for other writers who want to get the word out about their book?

Stay active. Go to conventions, interact on social media, and support other authors.

What is your favorite book on your shelf right now?

My favorite book is The Count of Monte Cristo by Alexandre Dumas. I’ve never read anyone who could weave so many plot yarns together in such a colorful tapestry as Dumas.

Do you have any special/extraordinary talents?

Talents? Probably not. There are a lot of things I work to be good at. I love to sing and knit.

You are given the choice of one super power. What super power would you have and why?

I’d want to be able have a way to make people understand each other’s intentions, almost like a universal language. I think the world would be a lot more peaceful if people tried harder to understand each other.

List 5 things on your bucket list:

In no particular order:

  1. Climb Machu Picchu on a llama
  2. Mount the Glastonbury Tor
  3. Meditate under a tree at a Himalayan Buddhist monastery
  4. Bathe in a hot spring in Japan
  5. Get access to the Vatican Archives

Where can readers find you on the web?

They could go to my website,, and subscribe to my newsletter. They can also connect with me on Facebook, or Google+, And I always love to hear what they think on Goodreads,

Any final thoughts?

Purchase links:


Barnes and Noble:



Dark Communion
by CJ Perry


GENRE: epic fantasy



The minotaurs have kept Ayla and Deetra’s people in chains for 200 years. With nothing left to live for, and a death sentence in her womb, Ayla trades her soul for a chance to break the curse which holds her people in slavery. Armed only with her faith, she and Deetra start a revolution, and bring about the return of the Goddess of Darkness.




The woman’s lips curved up in a smile but no lines formed in her cheeks. She looked like a living statue, and not one bit like her mother.

“Who are you?” Ayla asked.

The stranger leaned over Ayla, resting her palms on the altar. Her voice took on a hollow yet resonant quality. Her breath suffused the air with a heady fragrance like scented oils.

“I am the dark corner that hides those in need. The eternal ruler of the Abyss.”

“You’re a God?”

“I was once their Queen.”

“Am I dead?”

The Goddess kissed Ayla on the forehead with cold lips. “You are at His doorstep.”

“Where’s my mom?”

“The dead cannot hear your pleas. I have come in her stead, my child.”

Ayla never believed in the Gods. And if they did exist, she wanted nothing to do with any who would leave their people in chains.

“I’m not your child.”

The woman grabbed Ayla under the jaw, fingers digging into her cheeks. Her icy eyes remained impassive but her voice lowered threateningly.

“You are the daughter of Steelhorn, the grandson of Tor, who is my son. I am not just your mother, but the mother of every woman born from a breeding cabin.” The Night Goddess let go of Ayla’s jaw. The closest brazier’s flame shone blue in the Her black tresses. “I have waded through the River of Dreams to answer your call, and this is how you thank me?”

“I’m dreaming?” Ayla asked.


AUTHOR Bio and Links:

My deep and abiding love of fantasy began when I was six when I first saw the 1981 film Dragonslayer on VHS with my father. He loved fantasy movies too, but didn’t have the courage to be a dork about it like I did. That movie was a gateway drug that led me straight to the hard stuff – CS Lewis. I was far too young for such potency but by the time I was ten I had read the whole series. That’s when I found my first Dungeons and Dragons group. When I started playing, my friends and I used pre-made campaign settings and published adventures, but I quickly grew restless with their limitations and trite story lines. I needed my own persistent world: something adaptable to my whim and that no one else owned.

Back in my day, there was no internet, so I took out every book about castles and medieval history from the school library and read them in Math class (I’m still terrible at math as a result). I came up with an entire world and brand new history. I read books on cartography and hand drew maps of my new world. I created a cosmology, a hierarchy of gods, and the tenets of their religions. I read the Dungeon Master’s guide a dozen times, and every fantasy novel I could get my hands on.

Then, one day, I sat down and told my friends, “Hey guys, wanna try my story instead?”
Even 15 years after the original D&D campaigns ended, former players tell me that they share our incredible stories with their children. I’m honored to say that most of those players still have their original character sheets 16-20 years later, and a couple have even named their children after them.

Now, I’m 39 years old and a loving father of 2 girls, and I still play those games on occasion. My passion has evolved into putting those ideas and amazing stories on paper for the whole world to enjoy. My first novel took me and co-author DC Fergerson 10 years to write and topped out at 180,000 words. Being too long and too complex, I finally ended the project and took its lessons to heart.

I learned that Dungeons & Dragons did not translate well into a novel. D&D made for great times, but also for some meandering plot lines, pointless encounters, and poor character motivations. No matter how memorable some of the moments were, if I wanted anyone to read my story, I needed to learn a lot more about writing.

I threw myself into being a full time student of novel crafting. I read every book on writing by Dwight Swain I could find. I paid Chuck Sambuchino (Editor for Writer’s Digest) to critique and edit my older work. I took James Patterson’s Masterclass, went to college, and joined online writing communities. All the while, I read my favorite fantasy novels again, only this time with a mental highlighter. I reworked my stories, outlined them, and decided to start from the beginning.

Many, many years later, I am in the final edit and proofreading stage of Dark Communion, the first installment of the Shadowalker Chronicles. My role as a father of two girls heavily influenced the characters I’d known for over 20 years, shaping them into women that my own daughters could respect. My characters took on a depth and quality that brings them off the page and into the minds of readers, because they have become all too real. I was privileged enough to work on two careers at the same time to accomplish this feat – a fun-loving and involved stay-at-home dad, and a full time writer.


Amazon pre-purchase link:



CJ Perry will be awarding a $10 and a $20 Amazon or Barnes and Noble GC to two randomly drawn winners via rafflecopter during the tour.

Enter to win a $20 or $10 Amazon/BN GC – a Rafflecopter giveaway

Follow the tour and comment; the more you comment, the better your chances of winning. The tour dates can be found here:


CJ, Thanks for being here today. Tell us about you.
My answer might be a bit controversial for some people. See, Im bipolar, but Im not supposed to say that. The politically correct wat to say it is, “I have bipolar disorder.” Person-first language is really stressed by people in mental health and teaching. (My wife is a special education teacher) They say no one should be defined by their disorder. In my case: I disagree.

Im defined by my bipolar. For the past 25 years, it has shaped everything about me either directly or indirectly. It gives or inflicts strengths and weaknesses that I would not have if I were “normal.” It forced me to weave my personal growth and even my thoughts around those twisty obstacles like depression, mania, impulsivity, hypersexuality (yeah, I said it), and wanderlust. I can get so depressed that it is detectible in the Cortisol levels in my blood and is labeled “Psychotic Depression.” I can get so manic that that I don’t sleep for days and then move my whole family to another state. (Yes, that really happened) Today, Im manic. Expect long answers. 🙂

If you could hang out with one famous person for one day, who would it be and why?
Funny, I’ve never really thought about it. Maybe George Lucas? So I could beat him senseless? Kidding. (Or am I?) Ummm… Tyler Durden. I mean – Brad Pitt. I’d just make him wear the red jacket and hit golf balls at windows with me in the toxic waste part of town.

What’s the story behind your latest book?
That’s a long story, but I suppose one I better get used to telling. Not that I mind, I love the story of how it happened as much as the book itself. Truth is (like it’s a confession or something), I started telling the story about 25 years ago, as a part of the backstory of the villain for a Dungeons and Dragons campaign I ran. One day, someone asked why the evil army was attacking. In my early teens, character motivations wasn’t something I considered much, especially not the villains. I mean – who cares? They’re villains. But, my players wanted to know, so I had to come up with a rational explanation.

“The Northern Empire was enslaved for hundreds of years, the crown knew, but did nothing.”
“Why didn’t the crown do something to help their fellow humans?”
“Because the North was enslaved by minotaurs.”
“Oh. Good reason.”

That was it, for more than twenty years. That was the whole story of Dark Communion and my upcoming sequel. But once the campaign finally ended (and in epic fashion) my brother-in-law and I sat down to write the first book of The Paradox Chronicles – what would ultimately end up being designated as the future third series.

It was a disaster. We spent more years than I care to admit trying to edit a 180,000-word monstrosity full of cliché’s and long-winded exposition. The plot was too complex, and the amount of history needed to understand it’s consequences was enormous; about 6 books worth. We finally scrapped the project and went our separate ways.

I learned that Dungeons & Dragons did not translate well into a novel. D&D made for great times, but also for some meandering plot lines, pointless encounters, and poor character motivations. No matter how memorable some of the moments were, if I wanted anyone to read my story, I needed to learn a lot more about writing.

I threw myself into being a full time student of novel crafting. I read every book on writing by Dwight Swain I could find. I paid Chuck Sambuchino (Editor for Writer’s Digest) to critique and edit my older work. I took James Patterson’s Masterclass, went to college, and joined online writing communities. All the while, I read my favorite fantasy novels again, only this time with a mental highlighter. I reworked my stories, outlined them, and decided to start from the beginning. Dark Communion, the first installment of the Godswar Chronicles, is that beginning.

What is your writing process?
I have some tangible evidence of that old campaign left; character sheets, maps, a few timelines, and the players who played those characters are on Facebook. That’s where I start. I look over those things, and reminisce with those people for ideas and to fix missing pieces. This same campaign was played DOZENS of times by different people (with me as a DM), and it was different each time, so I take my favorite parts of each version to use in the Godswar Chronicles (Of Which Dark Communion is Book 1).

Then, I sit down and outline. First, I outline a 3 act structure. Then, I do a Dwight Swain, Techniques of the Selling Writer style Scene/Sequel outline. Once that is done, and the story feels right, I start writing. I don’t always stick to the outline perfectly, so I edit it as I go.

Funny you should suggest music though (and Metallica – HUGE Metallica fan), because Hozier basically inspired a lot of this book with the song “Take Me To Church.” I know it’s a far cry from Frayed Ends of Sanity, but I try to find songs that fit the vibe of what Im writing, and draw inspiration from a new take on the lyrics when I get stuck. I know Take Me To Church is a statement directed at the Catholic church, condemning it’s treatment of gays, but I heard another story in that haunting and soulful song – parts of my story and my characters feelings. I also liked 30 Seconds to Mars’ Hurricane, and Breaking Benjamin’s Give Me a Sign while working on the book. I actually have a youtube playlist (aww, my sad lonely youtube channel) dedicated to both book 1 and 2. My wife now hates every song on them. lol

Tell us about your main character:
Ayla grew up a slave from birth in a land ruled by minotaurs. Her mother died when Ayla was only 13 which threw her into a deep depression. As she faces the same fate as her mother four years later, she’s given up on life. That’s when she meets the Night Goddess, when she is at her lowest point, dying in her sleep. The Night Goddess tells her the story of why her people are slaves, and that she is pregnant with a minotaur child that will kill her in childbirth – the same way her mother died.
The Goddess offers Ayla a choice, a meaningless death, or a faithful and heroic one. Ayla chooses the latter. From that point on, she’s pretty uncomplicated. With her faith in her Goddess comes the ability to heal wounds, command people with her Mother’s voice, and inspire bravery. She never hesitates, she moves straight ahead, tackling obstacles with her faith and an outrage that won’t ever die.

If your book was to be turned into a movie, who would play the lead role and why.
Alexandra Daddario. I think she’s a good actress, and has Ayla’s piercing wintery eyes. Alexandra strikes me as the kind of girl that could paralyze someone with those eyes given the proper motivation. She has a bit of a smolder to her, and something dark beneath the surface… I don’t know, maybe Im overthinking it. I just think she would make an amazing Ayla.

What are you working on next?
Book 2 of The Godswar Chronicles. I have the Prologue and 1st chapter done, but Im still in the outlining phase and trying to decide on one of two titles. “The Dark Queen’s Wizard” or “Exorcism of Light.” There will be a preview of it (The Prologue and possibly the first chapter) in the Kickstarter Limited Edition paperbacks and hard covers for Dark Communion.

What advice do you have for other writers who want to get the word out about their book?
Im just starting to get the word out, so I don’t know much yet. It may be a bit controversial, but I will say that if you are a new author (like me) with no platform (like me) and only 1 book (like me) then you might want to consider making your book Kindle Unlimited eligible. Also, pick a good promotion company for a blog tour that won’t cost you a fortune, like Goddess Fish Promotions.

What is your favorite book on your shelf right now?
The Soulforge. Margaret Weis is a genius, and a master at her craft. With so much Dragonlance out there, Soulforge is the beginning – same as Dark Communion is for me.

Do you have any special/extraordinary talents?
Bipolar Mania. Not kidding. Some people do drugs to feel high and stay up for days at a time. I have Bipolar mania.

You are given the choice of one super power. What super power would you have and why?
Teleportation. Life would just be easier if I didn’t have to do anything to go anywhere.

List 5 things on your bucket list:

In no particular order:

  1. See my daughters get married.
  2. Have grandkids.
  3. Finish books 2 and 3 of the Godswar Chronicles.
  4. Write the next 2 series (already roughly outlined)
  5. Have a bestselling series



Interview With ….


Isabelle, thanks for being my guest today. Tell us about you. 
If I were an animal, I would be a mountain goat – minus the goat. I love the outdoors, and mountains in particular and whenever I have a chance, I am on one: hiking, biking and/or skiing. Despite now calling myself a writer, my first love was math and quantitative models. I used to love just working with my computer. But my life now could not be more different. I hardly even build a spreadsheet, and spend my time talking and managing. It is interesting how life evolves when you are open to it.

If you could hang out with one famous person for one day, who would it be and why?
Whenever I get asked a question of who is my favorite person, or role model, or who I’d like to hang out, I could easily tell you that there isn’t one person in particular, but that there are a ton of people that I admire and that, them, collective, would give me the inspiration and all skill sets. But to properly answer the question, I’d have to say one of the players in the Warriors basketball team. I know they just lost… but I would like to be with them to feel the energy of their team, witness the camaraderie they built together, and have that feeling that only winning a sports game can give you.

What’s the story behind your latest book?
As it is usual with those who have early starts that are difficult, it becomes easier to just put it in the past and never truly revisit it. That is what I did. I creative a narrative for my life that did not include my childhood. I did not want to be defined by it, nor ever be labeled a “victim.” But when my first son was born, I felt this strong desire to tell my story. I wanted him to know who I was, what I overcame, and that all we had in our life was a result of a lot of effort to bring us to the fortune we currently we enjoy. And that desire never let up. I just kept writing and writing. Years after, I took a writing class on a whim and for the first time I shared my story, with total strangers. Their reaction astounded me. They wanted to know more, felt inspired by it and asked me to tell the rest. That is when I realized that a story of a girl who grew up within a dysfunctional family in the jungles of Brazil was actually relatable to many people. I believe it was the first time I truly realized that there was a common humanity to us all.

What is your writing process? 
I don’t really have a set process. As I usually have my computer nearby, whenever I have a block of free time, I open it up and start writing. In fact, I am writing this interview under the canopy of a redwood tree while my son is getting ready for a baseball game. My process is simply finding – and capturing – time.

Tell us about your main character
Leaving Shangrila is a memoir, so naturally, I am the protagonist of the story. It is challenging to write about oneself in a way that does not feel self-serving, self-critical, or its flip side, self-aggrandizing. I took great care to write about me, and all others in my story in the context of the facts that occurred. I did not want to portray myself as a victim, which I could easily have done. Nor did I want to portray myself as a hero, as I suppose I could have given how I was able to overcome the adversity in my life. But neither of those would be true. I had plenty of flaws, and not all of those because of how I grew up. I believe I owned them in the book. I believe they made me who I was and informed the decisions I made.

If your book was to be turned into a movie, who would play the lead role and why.
I am not sure I am aware of the teenage actress within the age range for the story, but I would like it to be someone like Tora Birch (who is definitely an adult now and would not the person) when she played My Girl years ago. Mostly because she was so tenacious, and unafraid, even though she was still vulnerable and scared.
What are you working on next?

What advice do you have for other writers who want to get the word out about their book?
Start early. I heard this advice myself, that is, to start promoting the book a year before it gets out. I did not pay heed at the time… so when I finally started focused on marketing, I felt completely overwhelmed. There were so many avenues, at all kinds of different price points, and I also have to say, a lot of predatory people who offered their services for thousands of dollars, without much of a guarantee of what would be the outcome. It is challenging to sift through all the information and make informed decisions that are right for your book. I enlisted friends who have published books as advisors, but also I relied heavily on the Book Acquisitions Editor because I felt that he was someone I could trust. So besides the starting early (a must), do find someone you can trust – and who is willing to help you – to sort through the maze.

What is your favorite book on your shelf right now?
I suppose what seems to be everyone’s favorite: The Nightingale by Kristin Hannah. I find the book extraordinary in how she developed the characters, told the story. It is the only book I can remember that made me cry. And I related to one of the sisters, Isabelle (not only because we share a name). She was so strong, so wanting to become bigger than everybody’s expectations of her. She wanted (and did) to make a difference. She took risks.

Do you have any special/extraordinary talents?
It depends how you define that. I could brag about speaking multiple languages, or some prowess intellectually or professionally. But I don’t think at the end, life is about that. I just simply and actively try to be the best person I can be. I love deeply, I choose honesty, I persevere through adversity, I nurture my friendships and I try to help others. Is that special? I would hope not, because I wish all people lived like that.

You are given the choice of one super power. What super power would you have and why?
If I could have a superpower than I could impose on others, it would be to erase all lying from the world.

List 5 things on your bucket list:

  • Travel in Iceland for at least a month
  • Complete the 10 day (or is it 11 day) hike around Mount Blanc through France, Switzerland and Italy with my family.
  • See my children achieve happiness in life, however they choose to get there.
  • Achieve professionally something makes a meaningful impact in the world. My job is important, Leaving Shangrila hopefully will inspire countless people. But I mean something larger, some that can tangible make the world a better place. I don’t know what the metric it is for that yet.
  • Retire at 55 (by retiring, I mean not needing to work, but choosing to work if I want to).

Where can readers find you on the web?
My website is

Any final thoughts?
If you read Leaving Shangrila and wonder what it is you can do, do the following:
1) Choose honestly, always. The only people who benefit from lies are no one.
2) When something seems amiss with others, just ask whether all is right in the world. Do something. And something other than think “that is none of my business.” Imagine the people you could help!


VBT_HandOverFist_Banner copy

Hand Over Fist
by Michael Ross


GENRE: Thriller



When an old friend disappears, Martin learns nothing is what it seems…

Martin Russell can barely face the future. With dismal life prospects and an estranged family, he is at the end of his rope. When an old friend, Hannah, elbows her way back into his life, Martin’s luck begins to turn around.

Hidden within the shadows of evil, there must be some good…

Ex-policeman Bobby Tanner lost everything one rage-filled night. Now he runs a reading group for alcoholics where he meets a young drug dealer, Zack, who disturbs him in a way that’s hard to define. Bobby soon discovers the teenager is in over his head and has been dealing with a despicable individual known as The Chemist.

The roots of evil run deeper than we imagine…

Martin’s lucky streak begins to unravel when Hannah suddenly goes missing, and he turns to a friend of a friend, Bobby, for help. Thrust into an underworld empire of corruption and half-truths, he learns his friend may not be who he thought she was.

In a shadowed world of deception, stalkers, and despicable drug dealers, Bobby and Martin must uncover the truth, and fast…

Several lives depend on it.




…but there was something gnawing away at him; something about Zachary Jackson that was just not right. He seemed like a good kid, a good son to a troubled mother and a dying father. But now Bobby stood in the shadows watching Zack leave The Chemist’s house and he cursed his sixth sense.

The Chemist’s house was one of a pair of semis that were angled at the end of Shortcross Drive. The area was the roughest part of the city, an independent borough with its own self-administered terms of crime and punishment. The crimes that carried the heaviest forms of punishment were those that affected The Chemist negatively. Punishments ranged from being forced to cut his lawn for a month to having both your knees smashed by a crow bar. And even worse penalties if you failed to insist to A&E staff that you’d been hit by a car.

By the time the local police force had recognised The Chemist’s power, it was easier to leave him well alone than to face the cost of breaking down his power base. The semi detached council house was fortified more strongly than a clearing bank’s vault. Over the years, every door and window had been replaced and so heavily reinforced that it would take a tank to force entry into the property.



AUTHOR Bio and Links

It was a strange and twisting road that led to the publication of my first novel. From my humble beginnings, as an office clerk, to ownership of a multi-million dollar business I always maintained my love for literature.

Born and raised in Bristol, England. I spent most of my life in business, my companies turning over in the region of $500 million. The majority of that time marketing cars, eventually owning the largest Saab specialist in the world, before a bitter divorce forced me rethink my priorities. Particularly between 2003 and 2005 when I had to accept that I was no longer a millionaire but literally penniless. I avoided bankruptcy by the skin of my teeth and slowly rebuilt my life.

This led me to the life changing decision to leave the bustling city and move to live halfway up a mountain in the Welsh valleys. At the same time I started a part time six year English Literature course at Bristol University, and attended creative writing classes at Cardiff University. I left school at sixteen and this was my first taste of further education and an immense challenge.

I eventually adjusted my thinking to the academic life, and on 30 June 2015 had confirmation of my 2.1(Hons) degree from Bristol University. At the same time I also won the prestigious Hopkins Prize for my essay on Virginia Woolf and the unsaid within her text. Now the university courses are finished it will, with any luck, gives me plenty of extra time that I can devote to my fiction writing.

Thanks to the university experiences, my interest in English literature has flourished over recent years. Hopefully I have evolved as a writer from my earlier work in short stories (over ninety of them.) Although interestingly my first three novels have all been developed from a long forgotten short story.

Life is, once again, very good, and I live very happily halfway up a mountain, in the Welsh Valleys, with my wonderful partner Mari, and our rescue dog Wolfie.


Twitter @mikerosswriter



Michael will be awarding a $10 Amazon or B/N GC to a randomly drawn winner via rafflecopter during the tour.

Enter to win a $10 Amazon/BN GC! A Rafflecopter Giveaway

Follow the tour and comment; the more you comment, the better your chances of winning. The tour dates can be found here:


Interview With ….

Michael, thanks for being here today. Tell us about you.
I was self employed from the age of nineteen, and in retrospect I was, what is called nowadays, an entrepreneur. I owned a finance company, an art gallery, an antiques centre, I was a director of a PLC, and of a professional football club, and several car sales sites and workshops. Turning over close to $500m in my lifetime. Before a bloody divorce I was a millionaire, after the divorce I was insolvent. In an eighteen month period my life went to sh*t.

If you could hang out with one famous person for one day, who would it be and why?
Leonardo da Vinci. Just to spend time in the company of that extraordinary brain would be mind blowing (I know what I’ve done there!)

What’s the story behind your latest book?
There is bits of my DNA in all my major characters, men who have hit rock bottom and survived. Two characters who against all odds are rebuilding their lives, and with the disappearance of a friend how their lives interact to overcome the odds. I have a couple of villains of whom I am really proud, Nash and The Chemist are the most vilest of creatures.

What is your writing process? 
I like to walk my dog Wolfie around the hills near where I live, and think about my stories without interruptions. My partner is a professional musician and she hates music being on in the house , so I have got used to writing with no background noise.

Tell us about your main character:
Bobby Tanner has hit rock bottom, he is an ex copper who has disgraced himself and served a prison sentence, but he is a really decent human being who grabs the opportunity to rebuild his life.

If your book was to be turned into a movie, who would play the lead role and why.
Tom Hardy – such a talented actor, who can dig really deep into a character

What are you working on next?
The third book in the Out Of Hand series (number two is already ‘in the bag.’)

What advice do you have for other writers who want to get the word out about their book?
Write for pleasure not money, accept it is a long arduous journey, take pride in your work, and type with your fingers permanently crossed.

What is your favorite book on your shelf right now?
Cloud Atlas by David Mitchell

Do you have any special/extraordinary talents?
I am a survivor. Over the years I got sick and tired of people saying that to me. “Don’t worry mike, you’re a survivor.” Ahhhhhh.

You are given the choice of one super power. What super power would you have and why?
Rather glib, but the ability to time travel and lurk around Dallas 11.22.63 and find out the truth of that day.

List 5 things on your bucket list:
I’ve done so much in my lifetime I’m struggling. Visit Peru. One more fall in New England, which is probably my problem, that most of the items on my bucket list would be repeating stuff that I have already done.

Any final thoughts?
Thank you so much for stretching the muscles in my brain.


VBT_SerpentsAndDoves_Banner copy

Serpents and Doves
by G. Lloyd Helm


GENRE: Literary Fiction



Stephen Mitchell did not know what he was getting into at a small church college in Tennessee. Sex, protest, friendship, and Civil rights. The title “Serpents and Doves” comes from the warning Jesus gave to his disciples as he sent them out to preach the gospel, knowing the dangers they were going into. He said “I send you out as sheep among wolves, therefore be wise as serpents and harmless as doves.” Stephen Mitchell learns first-hand what that warning means when he goes to a Tennessee church college in the midst of the turbulent 60’s. He learns about friendship, war, protest, the sexual revolution, and civil rights.




Ethan’s suicide rocked the school, but not nearly as much as Stephen expected. The New Jersey and New York folks mostly didn’t know anything about Ethan or the BSU so they noted the suicide as a bit of news, but it didn’t effect them much. There was some anti-homosexual noise and the inevitable nasty jokes, but Ethan Patrick’s passing caused no more than a ripple for the most part.

There was some noise and protest from the Mason First Baptist Church when Billie Jo asked them to hold the funeral service, but finally they said they would bury him, but not in the church cemetery. They ignored the fact of his suicide and the reasons for it and held a small service. Stephen debated with himself whether he should go. He had about decided not to when Cathy Powell cornered him and asked if he would go with her. “I really don’t have the strength Steve,” she said. “I’m just a wreck. Can’t you please come with me?”

Stephen seriously thought about saying, Why don’t you go ask David Hall? But didn’t say it. “All right. I’ll meet you at the church.”

She smiled sadly, but Stephen thought he saw just the smallest glimmer of triumph in it.

The coffin was set across the aisle in front of the altar. Closed. It was silvery gray and looked more like a large tin can than a coffin. The congregation was small, mostly people from the BSU but a few from Beacon’s faculty including Dr. Conners and Dr. Marchant. Having the Pope there was no surprise. Probably here to make sure the sumbitch is really dead, Stephen thought, and then felt bad about thinking it.


AUTHOR Bio and Links:

Media Kit Author Picture

G. Lloyd Helm has been writing for 40 years, having published poetry in a wide variety of magazines and newspapers including “The New York Poetry Anthology,” “Stars and Stripes News,” “The Los Angeles Times,” “The Antelope Valley Press,” and “The Antelope Valley Anthologies,” among others.

… Has published short stories and memoirs both in the US and in England in such journals as “Pligrimage” which published the memoir “Football” in spring 2005, and a second memoir “4 April, 1968” in the winter of 2008. He has published short stories in “Citadel” the literary magazine of Los Angeles City College,” “Delivered Magazine,” which is based in London, “Short Story Library,” The University of S. Illinois’ “Eureka Literary Magazine,” “Tales as like as not,” and London’s “Black Gate Magazine.” Recently published “Even Up” a Civil War Ghost story at, an English on line magazine, and the short story “A Lovely Elephant” in “Delivered Magazine” an English fiction journal. “The Other Fellows Shoes,” Pulp Empire III, Metahuman Press, Cedar Rapids, IA Nov. 2010. Is being published in an on line experiment from Alfie Dog Publishing in England. May 2012.

…Has published three novels in the F&SF field, 1) OTHER DOORS, From MousePrints Publishing, and 2) DESIGN from American Star. 3) WORLD WITHOUT END from Rogue Phoenix Press,

OTHER DOORS, originally published in 1997, was published electronically by Rogue Phoenix Press in July 2010. Also Published a literary Romance novel called SOMETIMES IN DREAMS, from Siren’s call. Most recently a volume of short stories called TRAIN WHEELS, FLYING SAUCERS, AND THE GHOST OF TIBURCIO VASQUEZ. Many of these stories appear on the Alfie Dog site.

…Is in process of publishing an adult literary novel called SERPENTS AND DOVES with Rogue Phoenix Press, which will be out in May 2016.





G. Lloyd Helm will be awarding 10 paperback copies of the book to10 randomly drawn winners via rafflecopter during the tour. (international giveaway)

Enter to win a copy of the book – a Rafflecopter giveaway


Interview With…

Thanks for being my guest today. Tell us about you.
Me as a person is pretty much what you see is what you get. Unusual is that I spent twenty two years as an Air Force Spouse, which was pretty strange. When we went in there were less than half a dozen reversed couples in the Air Force, that is wife as active duty, husband as dependant. It’s pretty common now, but when we were in there were things like “The Enlisted Wives Club.” Because of me and a few others those are now called “The Enlisted Spouses club.” Other things are that I am rather a grouch. When I am out in public I usually keep my grouch-a-tude to myself but if you catch me at home and busy working you are liable to get your head bitten off.

If you could hang out with one famous person for one day, who would it be and why?
There are a couple, but I would love to hang out with Mark Twain. He seems like my kind of guy. He is witty and sharp but he can also be cutting and bitter. He’s a pretty good writer too.

What’s the story behind your latest book?
Serpents and Doves is me trying to sort out a piece of my life that was like the Chinese Curse, “May you live in interesting times.” They were interesting times OK, between the Vietnam war, the protests of same, the Civil Rights movement, and the Sexual Revolution the sixties were pretty hairy. I was somewhat shielded from it by being in a small church college, but not completely.

What is your writing process?
My process is pretty simple–get off your ass and go to work. That being said, the major difficulty with it is that sometimes defeating the inertia that infects me is pretty tough. I don’t know why it is sometimes so hard for me to actually work. I know it will make me feel better, less depressed, but I sometimes resist it like a baby fighting sleep. When I actually win the battle against inertia I like to listen to old time rock and roll radio. We have a great radio station for that here in the Antelope Valley. They play everything from the Fifties through the seventies.

Tell us about your main character
The Protagonist in Serpents and Doves is basically me. The situations into which Stephen goes are fiction but they are fiction with some of the colors of truth. He is a naive church boy who discovers how naive he is when he gets to college. He has some incipient prejudices about race, and church and sexuality which collapse in the face of reality as the story progresses.

If your book was to be turned into a movie, who would play the lead role and why.
I don’t really know. It would need to be a younger actor than there is out there right now. Fresh faced and open. Leo DeCaprio would have been good a few years ago but he is too old now, and I don’t really know any others at the moment

What are you working on next?
I am working on a couple of things right now. The main one is a movie script taken from my first novel Other Doors. It is a fantasy but of a very different kind. It is a story about a man who can stop war by simply saying STOP! It is set in a world of ancient war like ancient Rome where the battles are with sword and spear. But that world and this one resist peace and achieving more and more peace in that world causes the world to fall out of balance, nevertheless the peace grows and infects the whole world. When the book first came out there was resistance. So much that I finally had to put a publishing company together and publish it myself. Since it came out in 1996 I have sold hundreds of them on Military bases. I am proud to say that my little book about peace has gone to every war zone in the world. And I know it has because I am constantly running into uniformed strangers who greet me with “Peace be with you,” which is a tag line in the book. But at the same time I am both shocked and Proud that my little book about Peace has been banned from the federal prison system libraries. It causes “Unrealistic fantasization in the reader,” like that’s a bad thing.

What advice do you have for other writers who want to get the word out about their book?
That’s a hard one. Personally I am a huge bore when it comes to my books. I talk about them constantly and I always have copies at hand. I also do a lot of Book Fairs, and gift shows and swap meets and like that. The trouble is that a lot of writers are shy so they stay in the house and write, but if you want to actually get some books out there you gotta be bold enough to go out and offer it to people. If they don’t know about it they won’t buy it.

What is your favorite book on your shelf right now?
The Complete Ray Bradbury. It is a compilation of his short stories.

Do you have any special/extraordinary talents?
No, though there are those who say I have a knack for getting myself into remarkably difficult situations and irritating even the most phlegmatic person in the world.

You are given the choice of one super power. What super power would you have and why?
Telepathy. To read peoples thoughts and send them my thoughts without necessity of saying or writing same. Actually in one of my books Design I list several super powers I would like to have, among them teleportation and telekinesis, as well as telepathy.

List 5 things on your bucket list:
My bucket list is pretty short really. I’ve been a lot of places and done a lot of things many of them bucket list worthy. The things I have left are mostly travel related. I want to go to Japan, and China. I’d like to do the pilgrimage to Santiago de Compostela in Spain. I’d like to hike a pretty good stretch of the Pacific Coast trail and the Appalachian trail. Those might have been realistic goals once but I sorta doubt that the hikes will ever happen now.

Where can readers find you on the web?
I am on Face Book as G.L. Helm or under my publishing imprimatur Mouseprint. I answer most friend requests positively. Or those interested can e mail me at The books are available through Rogue Phoenix Press, as well as on Amazon and Barnes and Noble.

Any final thoughts?
No Valedictory, sorry. Thank you for allowing me to ramble on here. Feel free to contact me.

Serpents and Doves Final Cover Large




Title: Am I Going To Be Okay? Weathering the Storms of Mental Illness, Addiction and Grief
Author: Debra Whittam
Publisher: Turning Point International
Pages: 253
Genre: Memoir/Women’s Psychology/Applied Psychology

Am I Going To Be Okay? is an American story with a universal message. Ms. Whittam traces her history in the form of stories about her all too human, and sometimes unhinged family; she throws a rope to the little girl living there, and in adulthood, is able to pull her out to safety, bit by bit.

Her history is peopled with folks from a different time, a time before therapy was acceptable, 12 steps unimaginable and harsh words, backhands and even harsher silences can be spun to appear almost normal. She writes of a mother who would not or could not initiate love nor give it without condition, and a father, damn near heroic at times, abusive at others, a survivor with his head down and his sleeves rolled up.

Ms. Whittam approaches her past with the clear-eyed tough but sensitive objectivity necessary to untangle the shame from the source. She speaks of the people that affected her life so deeply with an understanding of their time and place in American culture; a family not far removed from immigrant roots when men carried their own water, emoted misplaced anger, and with fresh socks and food found on the trail, were confident, unflinching and at that same time tragical- ly failing to the little ones they ignored.

Like many of us, details notwithstanding, Whittam responded by numbing, running and gunning. Alcohol gave her hope, soothed a crushed soul for a time and wrecked her on a train, until finally she had the courage to accept it wasn’t working for her anymore. It was time to stop drinking and take inventory and accountability. It was time to accept, forgive and move forward. She healed where she was broken.

It is in the telling of this story that Whittam teaches us the difference between just surviving and surviving well, the importance of shared introspection and a careful eye on the wake we leave behind in our actions. Her story is a guide to surviving abuse and addiction. It is also about witnessing and dealing with the shrinking faculties of aging parents in the unavoidable circle of life. Finally, she offers a realistic sense of hope, forgiveness and a life we can shake hands with.

For More Information

  • Am I Going To Be Okay? Weathering the Storms of Mental Illness, Addiction and Grief is available
    at Amazon.
  • Pick up your copy at Barnes & Noble.
  • Discuss this book at PUYB Virtual Book Club at Goodreads.

Book Excerpt:

In my therapist’s office, during my first year of recovery from alcoholism, I saw one of her graduate school psychology books on her bookshelf. It was sitting alongside many of her self-help books which I had borrowed during the past year. I read several hoping to find a cure from my irrepressible anxiety that I had previously drunk away. I imagined the wordy text was far from my ability to comprehend as I was at that time only able to retain small bits of information. I asked my therapist if I could borrow that college text titled “Human Growth and Development.” I read it from cover to cover within a short amount of time and surprisingly, was able to digest and retain it. I had to quit doubting my ability. Being hard on myself was no longer the answer. I wanted more.

That following summer I enrolled in a graduate course of the same name. I wanted to see if I could retain enough material to pass a higher level learning class. I loved it and I got an A.

No longer living in a world governed by my need to numb myself through copious amounts of alcohol, I started doing what I wanted to do with my life. Encountering the self-doubt I had always carried within me became the guidepost by which I continued to prove my “what ifs” unnecessary in order to keep myself safe.

Am I Going to Be Okay top pick

My intention in writing this book is to reach out to all who struggle with being frozen in fear of “what if.” This book may trigger emotions that have been shoved down so far they might not have a clear story to them yet. It might trigger memories of resentments, regrets or painful unhealed episodes of your life. These moments may have happened long, long ago or may have been more recent. We go back into the past to find answers. The idea is not to stay there long, but to find healing through understanding the ‘why’ of it. Then begin our process of learning to self-sooth and love ourselves.

Nothing is going to happen that you can’t handle. Nothing.

Isolated within my world of fear, I wouldn’t attempt anything outside of that small world. I had no foundation to stand on as a spring-board toward finding out who I really was, so I joined a 12-Step group. The beauty of being in a community of recovery, from whatever we might be working on, brings connection. at is what I needed so badly.

I hope, within these pages, you are able to find a spark that ignites your longing for more. I urge you to find your own path of being okay by whatever non-mood altering way that makes sense to you; even, or especially, if it is unfamiliar to you. In writing this book, I intended to show how we can all go through our fears and do “it” anyway, whatever “it” is.

Letting go of fear suggests we “just breathe” and be ourselves. Thee “how” of being okay is within these pages and within yourself. Stop listening to the repeated echoes of old messages in your head, messages like “You’ve done it again,” “You aren’t good enough,” “You should just give up.” These messages cause you to doubt yourself. Instead, listen to the other voice inside which says, “You can do this,” “There is a way.” Don’t ignore it. Don’t push it away. Don’t argue with it. That voice is there, even if you can’t hear it and I am here to help you find it. I look forward to hearing you say, “I AM going to be okay.”

About the Author

Debra Whittam is a licensed, practicing mental health therapist in Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania, who specializes in addiction, anxiety and depression, grief and loss. Whittam is passionate about her work in all areas of her specialties, especially addiction. Working in a detox unit for over three years before beginning her own private practice, Whittam realized, while counseling patients in the life and death arena of the detox unit, how much the loss of a beloved through death or a relationship impacted those struggling with addiction.

In this memoir, Whittam skillfully infuses her memories, stories and professional insights to remind us that the most important relationship we will ever have is with ourselves. She splits her time between Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania, the Adirondack Mountains in upstate New York and Paris, France.

Am I Going To Be Okay 4
For More Information


Interview With…

CA:  Debra. Thanks for being here today. Tell me about you.

DW:  I’m very sensitive, open, honest and sometimes self deprecating to a fault.  I love people with a passion. Even or especially those of whom I’ve just met who, I can sense, are quite the same.  I find joy in this relatively new venture into the world of creative non-fiction, of actually being a writer.  Whatever was pushed very far down within myself and considered ridiculous, has now become quite possible and, I hear, moving and funny. I am sarcastic one minute, hopefully not without being offensive; with laughter and tears the next.  An open book as they say.

CA:  If you cold hang out with one famous person for one day, who would it be and why?

DW:  Most emphatically, it would be J.K. Rowling.  Her 2008 Harvard Commencement Address gives me chills and makes me laugh each time I watch it on youtube, which is often.  I love her no nonsense style, her depth of writing from some of her dark places; as she has mentioned often in rare interviews she has given.

I relate to what I imagine were some of her most wretched betrayals.  I’d like a best friend like her.  The entire day with her we would take turns talking and listening from the heart, I’m sure.  Some kind of kindred spirit moments that would build into a life-long friendship even if we would see each other only rarely in the future.

She is open, honestly herself which I adore about famous people.

CA:  What’s the story behind your latest book?

DW:  “Am I Going To Be Okay?”  is a memoir of my life with my mother, my entire family actually, but she and I from my birth until her death in 2012.  Interwoven within this narrative is all of the untreated mental illness, untreated addiction and unacknowledged grief that has flowed through my family tree from whenever we all started.

I am a licensed professional therapist, and in my work I have come to realize that this appears to be the state of most of us on earth.  A human condition as it were.  The impact of all of these adults acting like “little monsters” as Eckhardt Tolle says, is on the little children soaking up of this chaos and drama at a very vulnerable and impressionable age.  As these open, loving children we assumer that what we are seeing, what we are hearing and how we are being treated is either one of two things.  1.  Something is wrong with us or 2.  we’ve done something wrong.  I travel through time back two generations to explore how there is to be NO blame on anyone.  The farther back we go more is revealed as to how our parents and grandparents experienced life as those hopeful yet fearful little ones.  All of us grow up searching for reasons to imagine we matter from all of the years of silence and denial.  My story is one of hope and recovery.  I have been honored by many reviews and acknowledgements that this book has made an impact on my readers.  “I want to read more!”  is what I hear most often.

CA:  What is your writing process?

DW:  I find pure joy in the act of writing wherever in the world I am.  Most of my book was writing very early in the morning, sitting cross-legged on the floor, writing longhand sitting in front of a beautiful painting I purchased in Place de Tetre in Montmartre, Paris.  I wrote my first manuscript by hand and it took about three years total with a long, hard (!) seven months of editing, revisions, changes, changes to the changes and final manuscripts that evolved into Final Manuscript#12 before my editor and I were completely satisfied.  I have written in the library above the wonderful bookstore Shakespeare &Co. in Paris, gazing at Notre Dame while I let my thoughts wander into my past remembering from my experiences what and how things happened.  I’ve written at a lake house I rent in the Adirondack Mountains in New York where I am from originally.  The aroma of pine, balsam and antique things  placed lovingly in this cottage bring me peace, replenish my soul where I find even more paths to the journey of where I’m from.

CA:  If this book were to be made into a movie, who would play the lead?

DW:  This summer I am taking a screen writing workshop at Oxford University in Oxford, England in order to create a movie from my book!  It is as a movie when the reader reads and goes from scene to scene throughout my life.  I imagine Sandra Bullock from the days of her early work in movies would play me as a young to older adult.

Me very young probably would be played by whom ever auditioned that had imagination and sensitivity written on her sleeve.  In Sandra Bullocks early work she had an open and honest way of portrayal that wasn’t over acted.  Now it seems to me she’s changed not only physically, I liked her nose as it was, but I see in her now what I see that happens in most people.  A change that loses the fresh, beginning new actor she was.

CA:  What are you working on next?

DW:  I can’t wait, I’m so excited about this one.  I plan on writing a sequel of “Am I Going To Be Okay?” since most everyone has remarked they want to know what happened next.  But after that, I am working on another non-fiction, query if you will, to the world, “Are men and women really meant to live together?”  That is not the title, however, society as it evolves appears to have women realizing, finally, that ‘Men do what they want, Women do as they’re told’ well, they don’t put up with that shit anymore!

Men are left thinking there is no reason to do any of the work to ‘evolve’ they state they are, ‘Already there’.  This is a book not about men against women or the opposite.

This is a book of research I have done and case studies of men and women I have worked with who heartily say, “NO!” to the initial question.  Basically from caveman times men and women have had the same roles until the mid to late 1800s.  I think this will have an impact on my premise and intentions of all my books, which is “Let’s Start Talking About It.

CA:  What advice do you have for other writers who want to get their work out there?

DW:  Since this is my first book, I have taken every and all suggestions from my amazing editor, Judi Moreo.  She had me purchase a book called, “1001 Ways To Promote Your Book” written by John Kremer.  It is the thickest book I have ever read but it has invaluable information for those of us doing our own promoting.  I also find being on this Virtual Tour with Dorothy has enabled me to reach an audience never before imagined.  It seems social media is the way to go to promote and reach the widest reader audience possible.

CA:  What is your favorite book on your shelf right now?

DW:  Definitely, “The Artist’s Way” by Julia Cameron.  It had been sitting on my book shelf for years.  I resisted the depth I might have to go to do whatever work I though it would demand.  I have been able to reach even deeper into my creative spirit and see the hows of replenishing myself when depleted with writing or working at my private practice or whatever life brings my way.  This book along with the Morning Writing Pages was referred to me by Judi Moreo and has changed my thoughts about myself as a writer and creative soul in general.  I find peace and support in those pages.

CA:  Do you have any special talents that no one knows about you?

DW:  Absolutely!  I love taking ballet and tap dancing lessons.  I once belonged to an adult dance troupe here in Pittsburgh back when my children were young.  I still have my tap shoes in my closet ready and waiting if the opportunity arises!  I also can drive a forklift like nobody’s business!  In my early twenties my former husband and I met at a ceramic tile and marble distributorship where he taught me how to drive a forklift like a pro!

CA:  If you had the choice of a super-power, just one, which one would you choose and why?

DW:  Time Travel.  Most definitely Time Travel would be my super power.  I imagine traveling back to the times of my earliest memories, of which I write, and watching what happened from an adult perspective.  I am reminded of the play, “Our Town”, written by Thornton Wilder.  I mention this play in one of the final chapters in my book as I wandered Grove Cemetery where my mother is buried.  So many of the people Mom use to mention from her youth and people I had known are buried there.  It reminds me of the third act of “Our Town”.  I imagine my Time Travel would end up working out the same way as being wonderful, wistful and not done as often as I had thought I would.

CA: List five things on your bucket list.

DW:  Five things on my bucket list are:

  • Meeting J.K. Rowling.
  • Purchasing an writer’s studio apartment in Paris.
  • Becoming a famous writer who makes a difference.
  • Being able to travel the world over as often as I like.
  • Making people laugh and cry at the same time.

CA:  Where can readers find you on the web?


CA:  Do  you have any final thoughts?

DW:  What a wonderful dream it all is to have published a book and share myself through the book and the social media.  I am humbled.

VBT ~ New York Night by Stephen Leather

NBTM_NewYorkNight_Banner copy

 New York Night
by Stephen Leather


GENRE: Horror/Supernatural



Teenagers are being possessed and turning into sadistic murderers. Priests can’t help, nor can psychiatrists. So who is behind the demonic possessions? Jack Nightingale is called in to investigate, and finds his own soul is on the line. New York Night is the seventh novel in the Jack Nightingale supernatural detective series.



Sara could see that he was afraid so she smiled what she hoped was a comforting smile. ‘It’s a game,’ she said. ‘It’s just a game.’

‘If you want to play a game, let’s play Grand Theft Auto,’ said her brother. Luke was ten, six years younger than she was. They rarely played together but she needed another pair of hands for the Ouija board and Luke could be relied on to do as he was told.

‘Because I want to play this,’ she said.

‘It’s stupid,’ he said. ‘I’ve never heard of a game like this before.’ He sat back on his heels. They were in her bedroom. He was rarely allowed into her room and had looked at her suspiciously when she had first suggested they play a game together.

‘You liked Charlie Charlie didn’t you? Well this is the same. You can ask it question and it’ll answer.’

‘Charlie Charlie is for fun,’ said the boy.

‘So is this. But with Charlie Charlie you can only pick one of four answers, right? This way the spirits can talk to us.’

‘Spirits? You mean ghosts?’

‘It’s all the same. Look, it’s a game. Just a game. Do you want to play or shall I tell mom you haven’t done your homework?’

Okay, okay,’ mumbled Luke. ‘Don’t give me a hard time.’



AUTHOR Bio and Links


Stephen Leather is one of the UK’s most successful thriller writers, an eBook and Sunday Times bestseller and author of the critically acclaimed Dan “Spider’ Shepherd series and the Jack Nightingale supernatural detective novels.

Before becoming a novelist he was a journalist for more than ten years on newspapers such as The Times, the Daily Mirror, the Glasgow Herald, the Daily Mail and the South China Morning Post in Hong Kong. He is one of the country’s most successful eBook authors and his eBooks have topped the Amazon Kindle charts in the UK and the US. In 2011 alone he sold more than 500,000 eBooks and was voted by The Bookseller magazine as one of the 100 most influential people in the UK publishing world.

Born in Manchester, he began writing full time in 1992. His bestsellers have been translated into fifteen languages. He has also written for television shows such as London’s Burning, The Knock and the BBC’s Murder in Mind series and two of his books, The Stretch and The Bombmaker, were filmed for TV. You can find out more from his website and you can follow him on Twitter at

Jack Nightingale has his own website at

You can buy New York Night on Amazon at

You can buy New York Night on Kobo at

You can buy New York Night on iBooks at

You can buy New York Night at Smashwords:



Stephen Leather will be awarding a $50 Amazon/BN GC to a randomly drawn winner via rafflecopter during the tour, and a $25 Amazon/BN GC to a randomly drawn host.

Enter to win a $50 Amazon/BN GC – a Rafflecopter giveaway


Follow the tour and comment; the more you comment, the better your chances of winning. The tour dates can be found here:


Interview With….

Stephen, thanks for being my guest today. Tell us about you.
I have a pilot’s licence, but I don’t really like flying! I did learn how to paraglide (where you fly a parachute with a huge fan on your back) but that was even less fun. I have jumped out of planes four times. The first three times were with the RAF’s display team which meant climbing out onto the wing of a biplane and jumping off. It was a long time ago! But here’s the thing. I have a real fear of heights and almost never use lifts (elevators, as the Americans call them). My publisher used to be based on the 22nd floor of a tower block. I used to walk up the stairs rather than use the lift! I have been stuck in lifts four times in my life so my fears are not groundless!

If you could hang out with one famous person for one day, who would it be and why?
Living or dead? If dead, I’d choose Jesus. I have so many questions for him. If living, Stephen Hawking. Again, I have so many questions and frankly I find his black hole book more confusing each time I read it.

What’s the story behind your latest book?
New York Night is the seventh book in the Jack Nightingale supernatural detective series. The first five were published by my UK publisher Hodder and Stoughton and were set in the UK. I am now self-publishing the books and have moved the character to the United States. The first self-published book was San Francisco Night and the next one will be Miami Night. In the latest book, teenagers in New York are being possessed and turning into sadistic murderers. Priests can’t help, nor can psychiatrists. So who is behind the demonic possessions? Jack Nightingale is called in to investigate, and finds his own soul is on the line.

What is your writing process?
I sit in front of the TV with my Mac on a coffee table. I watch TV as I write and always have done. It helps when I need to describe a character’s clothing and the credits are always a good source of names! I drink a cup of coffee pretty much every half hour and my cat (one of three) Peanut Butter sits on the sofa next to me to keep me company.

Tell us about your main character:
Jack Nightingale as a cop who was sacked after a man he was interviewing was thrown through a window and fell to his death. No one knew for sure if the man had jumped or if Nightingale had pushed him, but it was the end of his police career. He became a private detective, and just before his thirty-third birthday he is told that his father was a Satanist and that he sold Jack’s soul to a devil. On his birthday, the devil is coming to collect the prize. That’s the first book, in which Jack has to find a way of saving his soul – by the time we get to New York Night he is much more familiar with the supernatural world. He travels from city to city fighting the forces of darkness while keeping his own soul safe. Jack smokes too much (so much so that when I’m writing I feel like having a cigarette even thought I’m not a smoker! He has a good sense of humour and often says things that make me laugh out loud!

If your book was to be turned into a movie, who would play the lead role and why.
I’m lucky in that at the moment Martin Campbell (Goldeneye, Casino Royale) is directing the movie of my book The Chinaman. The hero of the title is played by Jackie Chan and the IRA villain by Pierce Brosnan. How cool is that? For Jack Nightingale, I think I’d like to see him played by Benedict Cumberbatch. He’s the perfect age!

What are you working on next?
I am working on the 13th Dan ‘Spider’ Shepherd book, Dark Forces. Shepherd is up against a Syrian sniper who travels to England to carry out a terrorist atrocity.

What advice do you have for other writers who want to get the word out about their book?
Concentrate on your writing and the readers will seek you out. There’s nothing worse than a writer clamouring for attention, especially on social media. Best to concentrate on producing the best books you can. I wouldn’t bother with Twitter – everyone seems to be shouting and no one is listening – but have an informative and interesting web page and Facebook page. And have an email list that fans can sign up for – that way you are sending information to readers who are genuinely interested in hearing from you! And always respond personally. If a fan has made the effort of contacting you, the least you can do is reply!

What is your favorite book on your shelf right now?
A book on lock-picking. I am teaching myself to pick locks.

Do you have any special/extraordinary talents?
I’m usually good at predicting the future based on what is happening in the present. I think that comes from spending so much time plotting books. I can usually see when out politicians are making mistakes, and can predict what will happen when things go wrong!

You are given the choice of one super power. What super power would you have and why?
Time travel, backwards and forwards. It would answer all those questions I need answering. I would love to see how much of our beliefs about our universe are true. I’m not sure I believe in the Big Bang, for instance. Or that the universe is expanding. I figure time travel would provide the answers!

List 5 things on your bucket list:

  • Go dog-sledding in Alaska
  • Ride a camel across the safari
  • Fly a helicopter
  • Bob-sleigh down the Cresta Run
  • Climb Everest

I’m pretty sure I’ll get around to the first three at some point!

Where can readers find you on the web? My website is and I am often on my Facebook page – – where I am happy to talk to readers!

Any final thoughts?
If you’re a reader, keep reading. And if you’re a writer, keep writing!

%d bloggers like this: