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Interview With…. Sandy Semerad

HI readers. Today I am chatting with mystery author, Sandy Semerad.


Sandy, thanks for being here today. Tell our readers about you.
As a child, growing up in south Alabama, I escaped reality by making up stories in my head. I’m still making them up. Although it took me many years before I finally wrote one of those stories down.

After my first novel was published, I was delighted when readers told me how much they enjoyed it. So I got hooked on the writing process.

I learned the craft of writing as a journalist. I earned a bachelor’s degree in journalism from Georgia State University in Atlanta.

I’ve worked as a newspaper reporter, broadcaster, editor and columnist, mostly in Atlanta. After I moved to the Florida Panhandle, I worked for a while with a local newspaper, and I also accepted gigs as a makeup artist. (I learned the art of doing makeup as a model, but that’s another story.)

It was after I began to travel with a national publishing company of chamber of commerce literature that I wrote my first novel, now titled SEX, LOVE & MURDER (previously called MARDI GRAVESTONE), HURRICANE HOUSE followed and then A MESSAGE IN THE ROSES.

New Cover BWL Hurricane House - Copy

I now live in Santa Rosa Beach with my husband Larry, spoiled Shih Tzu P-Nut and adopted cat Miss Kitty. I have two grown daughter and a granddaughter. They all provide constant fodder for my writing.

What inspires you to get out of bed every day?
My mind spins with things I want and need to do. I’m most inspired when I wake up with a great idea that I want to write down. I’m a morning person. I like to rise early and get a head start on the day. You might say, I’m driven, although I never seem to catch up. There’s always stuff on my “to do” list. In that way, I’m similar to my protagonist Carrie Sue Justice in A MESSAGE IN THE ROSES.

Also, P-Nut has to be walked. She rules and is trying to teach me to live in the moment. I also enjoy exercising in the morning to get my endorphins pumping. I used to run, but now work out to exercise DVDs.

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

Probably, President Obama, because I think it would be fun to follow him around for a day, and I could blog about my experience.

What’s the story behind your latest book?
A MESSAGE IN THE ROSES is based on a murder trial I covered in the mid-1980s as a newspaper reporter in Atlanta. The trial haunted me for many years. I created the character Carrie Sue Justice to tell the story. It begins with Carrie Sue today, finding her journal. The story is told through her journal entries. Since this is fiction, I’ve embellished and changed the names and many of the facts as presented. The steamy love story is complete fantasy.

Semerad-AMessageInTheRoses cover (2)

What are you working on next?

Do you have any special/extraordinary talents?

Larry, my piano playing husband, tells me I have a talent for singing and songwriting. He always wants me to perform. He has a weekly gig at the Presbyterian Church in Freeport, Florida, and when I’m not traveling with my day job, he encourages me to sing solos at the church. I also sing in the choir. My other interests include: cooking for my friends and family.

Who are your favorite authors?

Three of my favorite books are: TO KILL A MOCKINGBIRD, written my Harper Lee; HUCKLEBERRY FINN, by Mark Twain; and WHITE OLEANDER by Janet Fitch. The works of Tennessee Williams and William Shakespeare are brilliant. I’ve read every Mary Higgins Clark mystery, and probably all of Sandra Brown’s books. Nickolas Sparks is another favorite. I also enjoy Nora Roberts, Lisa Gardner and Harlan Coben. I’ve read most of Jeremiah Healy’s mysteries. I’m sure I’m leaving out many of my favorites. I just finished reading J.K. Rowling’s CASUAL VACANCY. I’m now reading a book by Danielle Steel. And I’ve enjoyed authors—too many to name—published by my publisher, Books We Love. So, as you can see, my tastes are varied.

What do you like to do with your free time?
Write and read and spend time with my family.

Tell us about your plans for upcoming books.
As I mentioned, I’m now working on a sequel to my latest novel, A MESSAGE IN THE ROSES.

Where can people find you on the web?

My web site:
My publisher’s site:

cover for Sex, Love & Murder
Any final thoughts?
I want to thank you for interviewing me and thank the booklovers. I hope you enjoy reading my books.

Thanks Sandy for being here today 🙂


Antichrist – Movie Review

A little while ago, a family friend had seen the movie Antichrist in a cinema in Moscow. Her feedback was that the movie was labeled as Horror. So you can imagine that I had been waiting to see this.

After all, William DaFoe is a brilliant actor, so this horror flick was something that I wanted to see…

Sadly, not all movies are great, and as for this one, it was a 109 minutes that I can never get back.

Okay, without giving everything away about the movie, this is the full synopsis:

Chapter One: Grief

At the child’s funeral, She collapses and spends a month mostly unconscious in the hospital. When she wakes, She is crippled with grief and He, a therapist, takes it upon himself to talk his wife through the grief process. He has her flush her prescribed medication down the toilet. After a less-than-fruitful time of catharsis at home, during which She tries to hide the pain with sex, He decides exposure therapy will be effective. She tells him that she is most afraid at a cabin in the woods at which she spent time alone with Nic the previous summer, whilst writing a thesis on gynocide. The couple travel to Eden, the cabin. During the journey He sees a deer which is mid-stillbirth – a calf is protruding from its rear end.

Chapter Two: Pain (Chaos Reigns)

When at the cabin, She again attempts to have sex with her husband. He does not comprehend her fear of the natural world and tries to solve her fears with psychotherapy, despite their relationship creating a conflict of interest. She becomes increasingly manic and grief-stricken. Meanwhile, the natural world surrounding the cabin continually proves itself to be forbidding and nihilistic; acorns pelt the cabin like gunfire, and at one point He comes across a self-disembowelling fox which seems to utter the words, “Chaos reigns”. He begins to understand his wife’s fear of nature: that the nihilism seen in nature is just as present in humanity.

Chapter Three: Despair (Gynocide)

While searching the cabin, He finds materials studied by his wife for her thesis: pictures of witch-hunts and a scrapbook filled with articles and notes on misogynist topics, in which her handwriting becomes more illegible as the pages go on. She, due to intense self-blame over Nic’s death, comes to embrace the belief that women are inherently evil. He confronts her with Nic’s autopsy report, which states that the bones in both of his feet were distorted. In a toolshed, He finds photographs of Nic, in which his boots are regularly on the wrong feet. She attacks her husband mid-coitus in the shed, crushing his genitals with a block of wood. While he is unconscious, She masturbates him until he orgasms, ejaculating blood onto her shirt and face. She then drills a hole through his calf, and bolts a heavy millstone to his leg. She flees outside leaving him unconscious in the shed, throwing the tool She used to tighten the millstone under the cabin.

He wakes up and drags himself away, finding a foxhole in which to hide. While She frantically searches for him, He finds a crow buried alive, which makes noise upon waking, giving away his hiding place. He beats it repeatedly but it survives. She finds him and tries burying him alive, but digs him up several hours afterwards.

Chapter Four: The Three Beggars

During a confrontation in the house, She takes a pair of scissors and performs a clitoridectomy upon herself, and curls up on the floor in agnonising pain.

During the night the couple are visited by “the 3 Beggars” (a deer who represents grief, a fox who represents pain and a crow who represents despair) and acorns again beat against the roof of the cabin. Hearing the crow under neath the floor board he breaks through the through the floor of the shed, discovering the tool with which to release the millstone from his leg, and then strangles his wife, killing her. He burns the body outside the cabin on a pyre, which was shown upon his arrival at the cabin.


He makes his way from the cabin, finding a patch of berries along the way and eats the berries from the ground. Upon reaching the top of a hill, he turns around and sees “the 3 Beggars” (deer, fox and crow) behind him slowly fading away until completely gone. He looks down to see hundreds of women rushing up the hill towards him, their faces white and blurred.


If you are expecting a good horror movie, then to be honest I would wait for something more decent to be released.

If however, you like your films with a lot of slow-motion B&W sex scenes; rape scenes (she raping him); and what is apparently a lot of torture porn, thenI would still wait for this to go to BitTorrent or hire from your local video store when it goes to a weekly rental 🙂


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