Category Archives: Interview

My Writing Process

Stephen Jennison Smith invited me to do this linked blog tour; please, read his blog entitled “My Writing Process” It can be found @ stephenjennisonsmith.blogspot.co.uk

What am I working on?

I’m always working on nonfiction, inspirational, and miracle filled anecdotes.

Currently, I am writing on a nonfiction tale that I think may split into multiple manuscripts before it finishes. Initially, the story began as the final saga of the following linked narratives:

    Mom’s on the Roof and I Can’t Get Her Down

and

    My ArmOr (my life).

While compiling the final chapters, including the final deathbed prophecy of mom that is unfolding, I realized I might be compiling a book on spiritual anecdotes as well. Thus, I am considering cutting the written parts in half because my rhetoric is currently at over four hundred pages and has lost its original focus. My original intention was meant to be the witness and testimony about the remaining three forecasts from God and how they came to be. If I split my current story, one book will be called HIS Story, too; and the other will be Three’s a Charm. The latter story would cover what happened to mom’s predictions that she claimed came from her near death experience or trips to Heaven before she actually died.

How does my writing differ from other books in this genre (nonfiction- inspirational and miracle filled anecdotes)?

My books are different because I write when The Holy Spirit moves me and that ghostwriter helps me find the words God wants people to hear. Starting when mom died, she left behind some predictions that she says God directly handed her. I felt compelled to chronicle those things that other witnesses thought were mom’s random babbling. Most of what she foretold came true but three of her forecasts were unfulfilled as of the copyright date of my book entitled Mom’s on the Roof and I Can’t Get Her Down . Current events are proving that she actually spoke with a Higher Source; His spirit moved mine into believing and recording those messages for posterity. Today, I write about how some of the three unfinished forecasts have already happened; plus, I have met people with similar miraculous stories that need to be captured for future generations. Mom’s remaining predictions will complete my current manuscript- once they all occur.

There are things the reader needs to know to understand my latest work in progress. Ideally, they should read my nonfiction stories in the following order.

Mom’s on the Roof and I Can’t Get Her Down has the backdrop of terminal cancer as well as Christianity. It is a book about life after death. By the way, the unfinished prophecy mom brought from Heaven is coming to light proving God’s hand in this story.

My ArmOr describes the unbelievable trauma I endured when I almost lost my left arm. In the book, I describe the wonders of life as well as how I used my past to propel me through my limb’s rehabilitation. My ‘can do’ attitude prevailed after the doctor and physical or occupational therapists gave up on that arm. The book contains some answers to the unfinished prophecy, too.

Why do I write what I do?

I write to tell people good news. Many of my nonfiction tales are about hard and traumatic situations that turn out to be a part of grand miracles and healing from Heaven. Some people say they spoke with Him but there is no proof. Meanwhile, my mother’s babbling is proving to be from the right source or The Highest Being of Wisdom and Knowledge AKA God. I simply scribe for God.

How does my writing process work?

An event happens, The Holy Spirit moves me including helping me find the bigger picture and meaning in life with all its traumas. Then, I compile HIS Story AKA my next book. Sometimes, it seems to take forever.

You can learn more about my nonfiction and other writing @

http://mchanson714.weebly.com/

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Author Sarah Jayne Carr in the Hypothetical Hotspot™

I got the chance to get a little crazy with author Sarah Jayne Carr and this is what happens when we’re both lacking caffeine or sleep… or both.  She’s an awesome chick, a fantastic author, and a good friend of mine. Give it up for the sensational Sarah!

Sarah Jayne Carr is a novelist who can be found most evenings with a cup of tea in-hand and her imagination racing from plot to plot. When away from her work, part of her mind is constantly brainstorming her next story and she always has writing paraphernalia within reach. 

She wrote stories as a child, but became more serious about her passion during her twenties. In her spare time, she likes to read, splash in mud puddles, smell bookstores and eat Honeycrisp apples. Yearly, she participates in NaNoWriMo and has mentored others through the program. Due to her dedication to National Novel Writing Month, she is part of an amazing writing group. 

Born and raised in Washington State, Sarah still resides in the area. Her life is richly filled with her supportive, yet swashbuckling husband and their golden Nugget.

Sarah Jayne Carr

Sarah Jayne Carr

Tell me something you want people to know about you:
I have an abnormally long tongue. Oh? Not a fact that random? I’ve participated in NaNoWriMo and I’m a six-time champion. My muse wears the diamond-crusted medals to prove it. It’s too bad she lives inside my imagination; the value decreases drastically when compared to tangible diamond-crusted medals. 😉 My NaNo stories from 2005 and 2009 have been published: Revealing Hamilton and Embracing Hamilton.

Tell us how you live or walk us through a normal day for you:
How do I live? Inhale. Exhale. Inhale. Exhale. 😉

A day only feels “normal” to me if I’m able to squeeze in time to write. If I don’t write, I feel “off”. My schedule differs each day, so it includes juggling…chainsaws. A lot of chainsaws.

Are you a full-time writer? If not, tell us about your day job:
Oh, to dream! By day, I work in radiology billing. By night, I’m a novelist (that’s when I put on the spandex and the cape). Watch out, Washington. Kidding. My day job is very number-oriented–much different from the writing world. In a sense, I achieve a balance this way and that allows the world to remain on its axis. You’re welcome.

Is there a message in your novel that you want readers to grasp?
The “theme” of my stories doesn’t manifest until after I’ve written them. I don’t go into a story with an elaborately mapped out plan for what the reader should come away with. I go into a story thinking about how I can punish Amelia. Then, I think about what can make her life ten times worse. It’s sad, but true. In all honesty, reading is a personal experience and everyone interprets messages and envisions characters/scenery within stories in their own way. If I asked you to imagine a fire-eating clown juggling miniature unicorns while singing Spanish opera, I’ll bet they’d all appear differently. (When I’m sleepy, I become random. Yes, I’m tired. How could you tell?) Readers have all led different lives with different experiences. With that said, they may pull different “messages” from my stories so I don’t aim to pinpoint a certain one as I’m writing.

How much of the book is based off personal experiences?
Within my stories, there are many real-life experiences woven throughout the pages. I’m usually pretty quiet regarding which parts are reality and which parts are pure fiction. One instance of a personal experience? Within the pages of Embracing Hamilton, there’s a morgue scene. For the sake of research, I visited a morgue. I needed to see/smell/hear/touch (not taste, that would just be wrong) everything to write the scene accurately. From the metallic sound of the garbage disposal to the salty smell of the body cooler (yes, there were bodies within), I was able to put Amelia in the necessary situation.

What are your current projects?
I’m working on the third full-length novel in the JackRabbit7 series. It’s called Hunting Hamilton. Additionally, I’m working on the third JackRabbit7 prequel. It’s called Concealing Torres. I have a few other stories marinating inside my head—not JackRabbit7-related. Whenever those characters try to emerge, Amelia puts them in a headlock and knees them in the face. Right now, she’s still in the spotlight and isn’t ready to give it up yet.

Do you recall how your interest in writing originated?
My cousins and I used to write short stories when we were kids. Throughout my teenage years, I didn’t give writing a second thought (outside of school). When I hit my mid-twenties, I was wandering around a local bookstore. Unable to find the book I wanted to read, I realized it hadn’t been written yet. However, I wasn’t sure where to begin. Shortly thereafter, I learned of a program called National Novel Writing Month. I heard marvelous stories of people who wrote 50,000-words in a month. I wanted to be one of those people and I made it happen. The rest is history.

Do you ever experience writer’s block and how do you overcome it?
Pffft. I eat writer’s block for breakfast. Two lumps of sugar and cream, please. Okay, the real answer is…<pause for dramatic effect> I don’t believe in writer’s block. If there’s a block, something is wrong with the story. In these times, I treat these “hurdles” like a “Choose Your Own Adventure” story. If there’s a stumbling block in front of Amelia that I can’t figure out, I try to take a detour with the scene. It works. In the past, I’ve also tried writing the scene from the perspective of a supporting character. It’s helped too. To date, I haven’t had to use my flare gun to signal for help so I must be doing something right for my muse.

What project are you working on now?
Is this déjà vu from three questions ago? You know I’m going to be snarky. Right now? I’m working on this interview. What are you working on right now? 😉
Coey: Nothing… 🙁

Do you have any advice to give to aspiring writers?
Write. Everyday. If you wait for inspiration to strike, you’ll be waiting a long time. The more you practice the craft, the deeper you’ll be involved with your characters.

 

Before we get to the crazy questions, check out the trailer for Revealing Hamilton by Sarah Jayne Carr.

 

Hypothetical Hotspot™

Sarah, The Zombie Apocalypse is a scientific possibility. What’s your plan when it happens?
I’m headed to the cemetery with mallet to play Whack-A-Mole.

If you wrong someone, how do you apologize?
With a singing telegram, of course. By the way, Coey? I’m sorry I stole your unicorn. Make sure you’re home tomorrow between 11 and 2. A man in a lobster suit is going to stop by and sing a rousing rendition of Crossfade’s “Cold” to you. Creepy, isn’t it?
Coey: You always know exactly the right thing to give a person. 🙂

If you get cheated by the Better Business Bureau, who do you complain to?
There’s no need to work my way any higher up the chain. Instead, I’ll just write them into my next novel. Then, there aren’t any repercussions for my actions. <insert maniacal laugh here>
Coey: If you insist…

If a word is misspelled in the dictionary, how will anyone ever know?
No one will…except for Merriam-Webster. As I hop in my time machine, I envision Noah Webster, George Merriam, and Charles Merriam sitting back in leather armchairs. The setting is an office with oak furniture and crushed red velvet curtains. It’s late in the evening. They’re smoking cigars and laughing as they screw with the population by altering snippets of dictionary. Did I mention they’ve had too much to drink? I can’t see this ending well…

If you were stranded in the remote wilderness would you eat one of your dead traveling companions to survive?
Is one of my dead traveling companions a cow livestock? If so, bring it on.

Would you volunteer to be one of the first colonists on Mars if it meant you could never return to earth?
I need clarification here. Are we talking about Mars (the planet) or Mars (the candy bar)? Right now, I’m distracted as I think about chocolate so I’m willing to take you up on your offer of caramel and nougat.

If it is after midnight and you do not want to go home yet, where do you go?
Coey, you’re so funny! I have a two-year old. I turn into a pumpkin at midnight. Then, I can’t fit through the door, I spend the night out in the cold, and I get cranky. No one likes a cranky Sarah.

If Heaven exists, what would you like to hear God say when you arrive at the Pearly Gates?
I understand you’re an author, so I’m going to forgive your Internet browser history.

I swallowed and shook my head as tears slid down my cheeks. “Dane, don’t.” I gulped. “Gasoline. He has a gun. Matches.” —Engaging Kennewick

Molly Kennewick is involved in a long-distance relationship with a secretive IA employee named Dane Pascall. A prior breakup gone wrong with a resident bad boy leaves a bad taste in Molly’s mouth and also leaves her on edge. A significant amount of time has passed since Axel vanished from her life, but he’s been reminding her of his presence in peculiar ways. A weekend getaway is what Molly believes she needs to clear her head, but history is waiting with bated breath to repeat itself. Can Molly resolve her past and present before her future goes up in flames?

How to Stalk Sarah Jayne Carr:
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It’s only $.99! Feed the burn.
Purchase Engaging Kennewick on Amazon: USA, United Kingdom, and Canada.


If you’re an indie author and you would like to be interviewed by Coey Cain, you can send your request to coeycain@hotmail.com or
send a message on Facebook.

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Skye Knizley in the Hypothetical Hotspot™

Today, we’re showcasing Skye Knizley in celebration of her Halloween release of STORMRISE. We’ll learn a little about who she is, what she’s about, and then I’m throwing her into the Hypothetical Hotspot™ where the real fun begins. ::wink::

 

Skye Knizley

Skye Knizley

Skye Knizley currently lives in Connecticut, USA, a small state of confusion where she spends most of her time writing urban fantasy and role-playing game adventures.  When she isn’t setting quill to parchment Skye can be found hiking with her Siberian Husky Piper and her spirit guide Sheba, camping in a variety of state parks, motorcycling, ghost hunting or practicing and studying the healing arts of Wicca.  Which doesn’t mean she dances naked under a full moon… as far as you know.  Besides, you need a stone circle for that and they knocked the last one down to build a six-lane bypass.

Tell me something you want people to know about you:
This is important and not something everyone gets;  if I tease you, I like you and consider you to be, at a minimum, a close acquaintance.  On the other hand of my teasing becomes snarky, mean and doesn’t include a smile, you have managed to annoy me and should back off.  In some ways I am still a thirteen year old girl…

Tell us how you live or walk us through a normal day for you:
I am certain this will be fascinating…  My alarm usually goes off at 6:00am.  I let my psychotic Psyberian (yeah I spelled that my way) Husky out and then the first thing I do as an iPhone junky is check my texts and Facebook messages.  An hour later I put my hair in a tail, throw on some light makeup and go to the gym for two hours.  I do an hour and a half of cardio and a half hour of circuit training.  I swing by DnD for a coffee afterwards and head home.  By ten I am working on a novel or promoting my current work.  I go outside to eat some lunch a few hours later; have to rest my eyes and get some sunlight.  Too many of us look like the vampires we write about.

After lunch I work for another couple hours, then I shut everything down and sing, practicing first scales then I do songs ranging from Heart to Queen.  Afterwards is a cool down period where I play with my Husky and check the mail.  This time of year I burn most of it in my firepit.

Dinner comes around 5:00pm and is usually cooked outside.  It tastes better and costs less.  If the weather is nice it is eaten outside, too.  Once clean-up is done it is back to writing and promoting, with the exceptions of watching my addictions: Castle and Once Upon a Time.

The only days that are really different are certain Wiccan observances and alternating Thursdays and Fridays/ occasional Saturdays.  On alternating Thursdays and Fridays I play Dungeons and Dragons or Halo (or the shooter of the month).  Yep, I am officially a gamer girl and proud. 

On the Fridays I am not playing a game and occasional Saturdays I sing and sometimes play drums for a local bar band.  We may not be Halestorm but we’re loud.  I’m proud of that, too.

Are you a full-time writer? If not, tell us about your day job:
While I make a little cashy money singing, I am a full time novelist. 

Is there a message in your novel that you want readers to grasp?
If there is a message, I am not aware it exists.  Growing up I always hated that we were taught to analyze books and “find the meaning.”  I read for fun and my novels are written to entertain.  There are no Orwellian messages hidden in them.  But if you read one backwards it will undo the universe.  Be careful of that.

How much of the book is based off personal experiences?
I am not aware of ever encountering a vampire, though I do have unanswered questions about my first grade teacher.  That said actually quite a bit of my stories is based on my real life experiences in a variety of ways.  When it comes to forensic science, shooting and so on, that is all based on my education.  I have a degree in Forensic Science and I try to be vaguely accurate with that in my novels.  I also own the firearms my protagonists use and I know how to use them.  I have a pet peeve about books that use weapons (or anything else) and the author clearly had no experience with the item, so I go out of my way to learn.  If I tell you I can drift a 1966 Mustang around a tight corner, it is cause I know personally it can be done.  I just sold it, in fact.  

What are your current projects?
I have a novel titled Stormrise from Vamptasy Publishing that comes out on Halloween.  I am working on the first sequel tentatively titled Stormrage, and have also started a new series about a witch named Aspen.  I’m trying to title those based on Credence songs.

Stormrise by Skye Knizley

Stormrise by Skye Knizley

Do you recall how your interest in writing originated?
Yes.  The first thing I ever wrote was a very long character background for a character named Rissa for a Dungeons and Dragons game.  I spent ages on it using my dad’s beaten up urethane-spattered  laptop and made him print copy after copy at his office until I had it just right.  I detailed where she was from, who her parents were, her brothers and sisters, why she became a wizard and who her mentor was, everything.  I knew her better than I knew myself by the time I was done.   And then the game master decided not to run the game after all.   He survived my rant afterwards but only barely.  I enjoyed creating that character so much, I never stopped writing.

Do you ever experience writer’s block and how do you overcome it?
I don’t believe in writer’s block.  I believe you can get to a point where you are not sure how to join part A to part C.  So I do one of three things:  I write part C, with the hope that while I am writing that, part B will come to me, I work on another project and let my subconscious deal with the problem, or if I am really stuck I present part A to my gaming friends and see what they would do if it were a game.

What project are you working on now?
I am working on two:  Stormrage and Midnight Special.

Do you have any advice to give to aspiring writers?
I don’t know if it is advice, but I am always happy to share what I have experienced.  First, don’t listen to most of the stuff spouted by “experts.”  You can read and buy their books, but remember there is no magic bullet to getting published and an expert’s advice is no guarantee you will get that manuscript in front of anyone.  Second, edit.  And I don’t mean you or your cousin or your mom.  Find a good editor whose only interest is being paid to do a good job, pay them and LISTEN TO THEM.  A good editor has more experience doing their job than you do and it is their job to make your manuscript the best it can be.  If you disagree with a comment, discuss it with them but for Gaia’s sake listen!  Lastly, never give up, never stop writing.   No one ever got published by surrendering.

 

Hypothetical Hotspot™

The Zombie Apocalypse is a scientific possibility. What’s your plan when it happens?
Kill’em all?  My friends have said many, many times they are coming to my house when it happens.  I have weapons and ammunition, including Hornady Z-Max.  I have cases of MRE’s and I have water.  I also have no problem executing someone to save others.  That may sound scary, and it puts some people off, but once someone is infected and there is no hope?  They’re dead already.  Say your goodbyes, say a prayer to Gaia and put a bullet in their brainpan before they have to suffer becoming a soulless monster.

So… from there the plan is to sit out the first few days.  I and my companions will sit quietly on watch while people panic and are quickly consumed.  Again, harsh, I know.  But I can’t save everyone.  Neither could you.  If it is a matter of survival or trying to save someone running around like a chicken with its head cut off, the chicken gets eaten.

Once things have quieted down, we pack everything into trucks and move towards safer territory far away from cities.  Cities are where the zombies are…

What happens when you get ‘half scared to death’ twice?
You get scared half to death twice.   Look, you got scared half to death.  Then you got over it.  Then you got scared half to death again.  This isn’t a mathematical equation and the effects are not cumulative.  If you’re lucky, whatever scared you the first time won’t ever scare you again, so you got tougher in the process.  Woot! Go you!

When is the world going to end?
October 13, 2037 at 6:33am.  And fifty-nine seconds.  So some clocks may stop at 6:34am.  They aren’t as accurate as I am.

Are the good things that come to people who wait, the leftovers of people who went before them?
Eww, I have a leftover phobia and that’s just gross.  Besides, good things don’t come to people who wait.  It is like standing in line for a video game you didn’t preorder.  You’re going to be out of luck, bub.  Good things come to those who get off their butts and hunt them down. 

If electricity comes from electrons, does morality comes from morons?
Morons, as we know, orbit neons, the smallest part of a fracktard.  As we are taught in high school, a moron is the tiniest but most powerful element of stupidity, so I find it very unlikely that they could create morality.  They are far more likely to bond and form a government.

Why do we teach kids that violence is not the answer, but then teach them all about wars that solved America’s problems?
I’ve been toying with this question.  I could say something funny about stupid people, or refer to fraktards and neons, but I am going to take a leap and be honest and hope no one sets fire to my house.

I was not aware we taught kids that violence is not the answer.  It wasn’t what I was taught, nor my friends, their parents, or their grandparents.  I will take a wild stab that goes back pretty far.  If a parent is teaching their child that violence is never the answer that parent needs a Gibbs slap upside the head.  I’m not a sociologist, I am just an opinionated novelist, but that teaching could be part of the bullying problem.  Are parents basically teaching children not to defend themselves?  That leaves them open to the bullies, who are going to be violent no matter what you do (trust me, I’ve been a victim and I’ve seen it in my career) and limits their options…  possibly resulting in the increase in child suicide as a result of bullying.  What are they supposed to do when that bully comes after them with an aluminum bat?  Use harsh language? “No means no” is all well and good but it’s not nearly as effective as a solid kick to the groin and an elbow to the temple.  I know if I was taught not to fight back, I wouldn’t be here answering, writing, and doing what I do.

What we should be teaching is what I, and generations before me, were taught:  Appropriate response.  That is what our wars were about:  The appropriate response at the appropriate time.  Violence is rarely the appropriate response.  But sometimes it is.

Can we spell creativity however we want?
It depends entirely on how you are referring to creativity.  If you are trying to use the word “creativity” in a sentence you can hardly spell it “spatula” and get your meaning across. 

If, however, you are referring to the act of being creative, absolutely we can spell it however we want.  You might think a bunch of car parts welded together in an abstract pattern is just a pile of rusting junk.  To someone else, it is creative, mind-blowing art.  Go forth and be creative.  Just don’t paint your children blue and put white hats on them.  That’s creepy.

Why don’t you ever see ads for advertising companies?
They’re like ninjas.  That’s how good they are.  You never even notice those monstrous billboards that say “ADVERTISE HERE.”  I have sneaky author perceptions and can see things that are really there.

 

Releases October 31st

Releases October 31st from Vamptasy Publishing

Life isn’t easy for Detective Raven Storm. Her best friend was recently killed and dismembered, her latest case ended with her partner in intensive care, and her mother, the vampiric Mistress of the City is playing matchmaker… again. The last thing she wants is another bizarre murder case with a partner she doesn’t know. But that is exactly what she gets when she is handed the enigmatic case of Nathan King, who was found in his car with a gaping hole where his stomach should be.
Soon Raven is unraveling a mystery that leads her deep into the city’s preternatural underworld, and into the arms of a sexy vampire she barely knows, but whose heart she seeks in the darkness…

Stormrise Snippet

“Thanks, Ryan,” Raven said. “Did you find anything else of interest in the car?”
Finkel shook his head and turned to look back at the vehicle. “Not really. We lifted a couple partials from the door handle, but they probably belong to the victim. Lots of high-speed blood spatter inside, no sign of gunshot residue…it is like he pulled into the garage and his stomach tore open.”
Levac nodded, still staring at the contents of the gris-gris bag. “You know, Storm,” he said after a moment, “they’re right.”
Raven looked puzzled. “Who’s right? About what?”
“The rest of the squad,” he replied. “They were telling me you get all the weird ones. They’re absolutely right.”

 You can connect with Skye by liking her on Facebook and becoming a follower on Twitter

Want to connect with her on other platforms? Take your pick!
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You’re invited to the Stormrise Release Party on Facebook that’s happening online on October 31st. There will be some awesome prizes and giveaways!

Are you an indie author who would like to be interviewed by Coey Cain? Send your requests to coeycain@hotmail.com or send a message on Facebook.

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Until Darkness Comes – Interview and Excerpt

What do you hope readers take with them after reading one of your stories?

I hope that my characters become so real to them that they find themselves thinking about them for days after the book is finished. I want them to be as sad as I am that the book has ended and excited to read the next one. J

Is there a message in your novel that you want readers to grasp?

There are a few messages in my Redemption Series that I hope come through strong. First, true love often requires sacrifice. Second, we all make mistakes. Third, it’s never too late for second chances.

 How long have you been a writer?

I’ve always enjoyed writing and did quite a bit of it in college. After that, I needed and outlet for my creativity, so I picked up writing again. I’ve been doing it now full-time for the past three years.

How much time did it take from writing your first book to having it published?

It took me a year to find the right home for Until Darkness Comes. During that time, I probably rewrote it six times. When the offer came through to contract with 5PP, I also had another offer for the book. It was very flattering because so much of this industry is rejection. You really have to have perseverance and thick skin in this business.

What other careers have you had?

Well, I was a rocket scientist and a brain surgeon at Mayo Hospital, but, ultimately, I’ve found that writing is my true calling. J

 Do you write under more than one name?

I only write as Melynda Price.

 

An excerpt from her premier novel Until Darkness Comes –  Redemption Series

Olivia took a brave step closer to Liam and cupped the side of his cheek, forcing him to look at her. “Then who are you? Surely you can tell me that. And don’t you dare lie to me, because I know you’re not normal. I’ve never met anyone like you before. Normal guys don’t act like you. Normal guys don’t look like you, and if they do, they’re usually more like…”

“More like what?” His eyebrow arched curiously.

“More like Max, I guess.”

“Well, I can promise you that I am nothing like Max. More like the exact opposite, to tell you the truth.”

“Why do you hate him so much? At first, I thought it was because he was my boyfriend, and that you were just jealous or something. But it’s more than that, isn’t it?”

“There’s a darkness in him, Olivia. Can’t you feel it?”

“I’m not sure how I feel when I’m with Max anymore. I used to feel…carefree—wild and reckless, you know? But lately, I’m starting to just feel…afraid. Like I’m walking on a tightrope and I’m about ready to fall.”

“I’ll catch you,” he whispered, slowly trailing his fingers down the side of her neck.

Her pulse beat erratically beneath his touch; she opened her mouth to say something, but stopped. Instead, she moistened her bottom lip with the tip of her tongue. His heated gaze fell to her lips and she felt Liam’s resolve snap. A wave of desire blasted into her and a soft groan of defeat rumbled in his chest as he lowered his head, capturing her lips in a tender embrace. His kiss tore through her like fire. What started out as tentative and sweet, quickly escalated to urgent and demanding as a rush of adrenaline flooded her veins. She melted into his arms, her lips fitting perfectly against his, like she was made just for him.

He tasted exactly like he smelled—faintly of cloves, delicious. She parted her lips, aching for more and instinctively he responded to her request as if she’d spoken it. Drawing the kiss deeper, his tongue brushed against hers. The more he kissed her, the hungrier she became, fueling an insatiable fire deep in her core.

Olivia wound her arms around his neck and pulled him closer. She’d never felt more starved and yet completely satisfied as she did at that very moment. He tightened his arms around her waist and pulled her against him, as if he couldn’t get close enough. Her feet left the ground as he molded her to his lean, powerful body.

Time momentarily ceased. She had no idea how long they stood there in each other’s arms as the floor of the boat rocked beneath his feet. The captain’s voice crackled over the speaker, announcing the end of their tour. A reluctant groan escaped Liam’s lips as he broke their kiss and slowly released her. Olivia stumbled when her feet touched ground and his hand shot out to steady her…

You can find her book here: Melynda Price

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Let the Orphan Lead

Stacey_cover 001 (424x640)

Stacey speaks about the realities in her childhood:
After hearing about the Texas factory tragedy, I revamped a portion from my book donating it to a charitable book; I hope my excerpt in April Rains anthology helps people find the silver lining of hope. My goal is to show people the light at the end of their dark tunnel of suffering and losses. I hope my tale is a highlight during their cloudy mourning.

I lost two sets of parents before age 10 and went to live with my aunt. She inherited me and all my anger. Thank GOD that He sent her help including through a few rose petals. When a groundskeeper at a resort delivered those flowers, my aunt had a revelation of hope to share. In the April Rains anthology, when you read my anecdote from my childhood, you’ll understand the significance those flowers held; they helped me cope with my new life and family. I took that special delivery of roses as a sign from my deceased mother that life was still worth living.

Excerpt from Stacey’s Song & the S.H.E. Anthology
By: Stacey Meyers

Flower Child

Many people came to my rescue taking me on trips to the Bahamas, Minnesota, and other ports of call. However, joy eluded me. Grief caused enormous stress on my weary soul making me incapable of enjoying life. A rest at a tropical island paradise was my aunt’s solution to our anxiety. Even though I didn’t realize it, she really needed to escape to fantasy land. Thus, her husband, my Uncle Mike, booked my new family a room at South Seas Plantation on the west coast of Florida. Actually, this was our second beach vacation since I arrived because we visited Key West during our spring break about a year before.

We left for this trip in the middle of July while the usual rain clouds blanketed the eastern and the western sky. They collided borrowing their water from every ocean, sea, and lake in the vicinity. As the day wore on, the clouds sank so heavy with vapor that precipitation occurred. In Florida, the one thing you can count on is the afternoon showers. The rain comes at you from seemingly all sides so thickly that you can’t see past your extended hand. As we drove through this storm towards our vacation destination, it raged no more than an hour. That’s another fact about torrential rain.

As lightning surrounded us and electricity filled the air, my peers worried about the thunder that roared with the fury of all ages. Thunder always followed the bolts of light. Counting from the time we viewed each flash to the time the thunder sounded, we knew about how many miles away the worst of the storm prevailed. Each count equaled about a mile.

“One, two,” Julie whispered. “It’s getting closer,” She giggled out of fright.

“Will the lightning hurt us, mommy?” Jenny questioned.

“Only if it hits the ground,” I guaranteed her.

“Actually, the rubber in the tires won’t conduct the electricity so we are safer in the car,” Daddy explained as he pulled under a bridge for more protection.

“Lightning is the angels getting strikes at their bowling alleys. They flash the lights in celebration. The thunder is the sound of the ball knocking over the pins and the pins crashing to the floor,” Our mother spoke up to calm fears.

“Why do they only bowl when it rains?” Jenny inquired.

“Someone said that it rains because the angels left the water running in their showers, and it is overflowing to Earth,” Julie continued the conversation.

“Maybe, they were so excited about bowling that they just forgot the water was running,” I added.

“Does anyone ever see their guardian angel?” Jenny was inquisitive while her mom was probably glad that her mind was on Heavenly creatures instead of the real danger.

“I suppose they do,” She responded.

“Mom, you saw Jesus when Grandma died right?” Julie reminded us of that tale.

“Well, I didn’t see Him with my eyes but I felt Him in my heart,” She reminisced. “I knew in my mind’s eye that He was present.”

“But, you told me He was all light and shinny!” Julie argued.

“Actually, there was an extremely beautiful ray of light coming off the baby-blue sky at the moment that my mother left this world to her coma. It shimmered through the open draped window. I believe the Lord arrived on that elevator of light.” My aunt’s explanation continued.

Not amused and weary of the discussion, our dad continued the car trip as though the torrential downpour ended. He figured that the worst of it was over, and he acted eager to reach the west coast of Florida for his relaxation and vacation. Eventually, we out ran the showers but the talk of Heaven did not end as quickly as the rain did.

Our journey continued as my role as the lost sheep brought anger to my soul, again. It arrived as fresh as day one. I was still too young to understand why my parent’s died before I graduated high school. They wouldn’t be there when I married. All this talk of angels caused an abyss of silence between the rest of my family and me. My soul reluctantly fled to internal conversations.

Later, as we checked in to our resort and unpacked the car, I moped around instead of being helpful. Once in our room, I marched over to the couch, clicked on the television, and planted my feet on the coffee table. Meanwhile, my two cousins, Julie and Jenny, raced to pick out beds and changed into their bathing suits. One other fact about Florida summers is that after the rainbow you always get an almost cloud free sunset. They headed out to splash in the Gulf of Mexico before the night invaded this first day of our vacation.

“Don’t you want to swim, too?” Aunt Cindy prodded me.

“Nope!”

“Want to go look around?” Cindy held out the olive branch because she really needed me to join instead of disrupting her family. However, I enjoyed intimidating my peers. In these crowded quarters, my current behavior helped my aunt envision the worst.

“Nope!”

“What do you want to do?” She continued.

“Leave this place and go home!” My voice bellowed belligerently. “Why did you bring me on YOUR family vacation, anyway?”

My role in this family was that of the grouch. So, Cindy simply set about unpacking food into the refrigerator then exited to the balcony. Arriving just in time, she viewed three frolicking dolphins near the water’s edge. Then, my aunt spotted her two fish dancing on the beach. Their daddy snorkeled barely aware of the dolphins or his daughters. Eventually, he returned to shore with a handful of sand dollars and a big smile. His girls gathered around. Then, Julie pointed at the gulf in the direction the dolphins vanished. With excitement, Julie gets very busy behavior. My aunt knew from a distance that this environment enchanted her daughter because Julie pranced with the wind. Meanwhile, Jenny and her daddy sat on a towel counting the minutes to sundown. As for me, I remained well rooted in self pity complaining about the lack of cable in this expensive room.

The next day, Uncle Mike and I rode a jet ski in the Gulf of Mexico. Somehow, he and I interacted well while all his wife did with me was fight. Was she really the big bad step-mother? Or, was something else going on between us? The grief counselor she forced me to see told her that I probably resented our mother’s death refusing to buy into another mother figure. Meanwhile, my dad had been mentally ill and very cruel. Thus, I was most likely glad to finally find a father figure. Who cares why I went jet skiing willingly; I tagged along enjoying a great ride.

While we were off on our adventure, the girls and Cindy journeyed to the community pool. My new family spent time here before this summer. They always enjoyed Captiva Island and its sea. Today, the only thing enjoyable centered on breaking the calm Gulf of Mexico on a wave runner built for two.

At lunch time, my family visited a restaurant where casual clothes were required and frowns were not allowed. Fans cooled the atmosphere pushing the tropical ocean breezes among us. Although the sun sweltered, this shaded eatery remained balmy. However, shaded feelings and gloom still haunted my soul. One of the waiters attempted comedy. Even I smiled when he pretended to fall and shoot fake mustard at Uncle Mike. He entertained us. However, my mirth was short lived.

Walking back to our condominium, we decided to explore some resort shops. Julie pulled out a shirt with a boat full of manatees crashing into some helpless people. Checking the price, her mom offered to purchase it because my cousin’s environmental passion included saving that species. Jenny found a cute pair of sunglasses and matching hat, which fit Cindy’s pocket book as well. Looking for a den piece, my uncle found a turtle nesting sculpture. Meanwhile, a shopping spree enticed my interest. When I arrived to the cash register laden with a volume of self indulgences, the mean step-mother made me take back everything except a T-shirt. Turning abruptly, I stomped away taking forever to return to the front of the small quaint gift store.

“It must be hard to go from a situation where grandma and grandpa over compensated her with unbridled shopping sprees to living in our family that economizes,” Cindy tried to explain my attitude to her natural children. They witnessed my almost daily outbursts. “Stacey isn’t used to sharing with two other children. She doesn’t realize if she weren’t here you might have gotten more, too. All she sees is what she didn’t get to purchase. It’s the same sixty dollars but instead of getting thirty each you all get twenty. You’ve sacrificed too because your grandparents died but she is too young to understand anyone else’s suffering.” If I waited with them in line perhaps I might have seen the incredible suffering my aunt hid. She, too, lost her parents and tried to make me a part of her family. However, I made her job close to unbearable.

My uncle became tired of my temper tantrum. “It’s my siesta time!” He proudly announced. On vacations, nap time was a necessary activity; jet skiing competed for his most favorite part of the ocean resort. His morning full of wave riding, lunch, and shopping prompted his rhetorical question, “Can you tend to the children alone? I want to catch the trolley to our room and get some Zs.”

Nodding in the affirmative, my aunt finished browsing with us. I spent the rest of this time avoiding her while we explored the town’s fare. Eventually, we ended our walking tour and caught the next trolley. As we sat on a bench at the entrance to our resort, a gardener from the complex arrived in our midst. You could hear his lawn mower over the sounds of birds singing and children’s pleasure on the nearby beach. Then, his engine halted as he lunged in our direction. In his grasp were four roses that he handed to the girls, their mom, and me.

“Thank-you,” The three of them gestured and spoke simultaneously as my nose sniffed at the rose in my hand. He rode off too quickly to hear our murmuring.

“Look! We all got different colors,” Jenny pointed out.

“Wonder how that guy knew to bring exactly four roses?” Julie wondered aloud.

“Yeah, and they are all different colors!” Aunt Cindy added.

“Where are the four rose bushes where he picked these?” Julie questioned in amazement.

We looked everywhere but could find no bushes to match our flowers. Next, Cindy took charge of the explanation, “That man must have been sent by Heaven. Only God would know to tell him to pick exactly four flowers. He would guide the gardener to us. Then, He would control just who got each color.”

Julie began her excitement prance. Jenny’s eyes widened. My eyes made contact with my aunt from behind the rose still perched at my nose. Her explanation affected all of us. Suddenly, my soul was connecting with hers. I could feel her grief and her joy combined as it surrounded me.

“Look, Stacey got the yellow rose that signifies sunshine. Surely, the message is for her to leave her gloom behind and enjoy her new family as well as this vacation. She has the right to be sunny and warm. God is telling her to be happy and enjoy her new life. It’s time to live again, Stacey. Come out of your gloom of despair!” My aunt’s voice swelled like a wave on the shore.

Why is mine pink?” Jenny inquired.

You are girly, and pink equals that!”

Why is mine red?” Julie wondered.

“It is a strong color, and you are athletic,” He mom thought aloud.

She rambled more but her speech was interrupted by the trolley bell beckoning us to board.

When we looked back from the trolley car, the lawns were mowed, the gardening staff retreated, and the rose bushes evaded our view.

“That’s it!” As if a sudden revelation hit my soul, I interrupted the trolley’s bell. “This rose was sent by God and my mother. They want me to be happy.”

Meanwhile, my aunt’s three colored rose carried the message that we could merge into one beautiful whole. She anticipated the possibility of becoming one lovely flowering rose as a real family.

Later, on that very same vacation, all the girls in our family rode tandem bikes around the island. At first, I attempted to ride with the youngest, Jenny. However, that spelled disaster, so I partnered with Julie. As we rode ahead of Jenny and my new mom, our pace glided steadier and smoother until we blended into one unit. On this vacation, I learned cooperation and sharing as I adjusted to my new family situation.

When the bereavement counselor told my Aunt Cindy that it could take three to five years for me to work through my anger and finish my mourning, she bellowed, “Good grief, that’s forever!” On this vacation, I managed one step towards recovery, and a small flower inspired me to shift from solitude to community.

The END?

My story is twenty years in the making. Today, I’m a young woman with a husband and 2 children. Until age 10, I was raised by my maternal grandparents; they literally adopted me. My aunt, Cindy, inherited me after our mom died of breast cancer; and our dad committed suicide. My struggle to readjust to life is in my book Stacey’s Song. After the Sandy Hook Massacre, my full story or book was donated to the S.H.E Anthology to help mental health agencies specializing in children’s issues like I encountered due to my PTSD. Now, I’m sharing a part of that tale with you through this new anthology.
My author link is at http://mchanson714.weebly.com/the-girls.html

The blogger’s main author page is @ WEEBLY, you can find many nonfiction uplifting books there.
http://mchanson714.weebly.com/

AMAZON author site http://www.amazon.com/Mrs.-Cynthia-Meyers-Hanson/e/B00B28J7L2

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The Lovely, Gracious, Talented, and might I add, Patient T.M. Scott

Today we’re featuring my gorgeous publishing sister, T.M. Scott. Here’s what I can tell you about her… she’s one of those people that draw you in and make you want to tell them your whole life story. She’s a good listener, a terrific writer, and an all-around wonderful gal. She’s a powerhouse chick, so keep your eye on this one. I say she’s patient because she hasn’t killed me yet for failing to post this interview on time, but I wouldn’t recommend you push her buttons or you’ll have to deal with me directly. I adore this girl.

T. M. Scott loves writing. With passion, drive and a taste for the unusual, she enjoys reading and writing new and different things. Doing her best to always think out of the box, her writing usually starts off as an insane scheme of some sort before she works out the finer aspects and turns it into something great! Her heroines and heroes are never the typical ‘beautiful’ people, meaning they all have some sort of quirk or oddity about them that makes them unique and refreshing characters everyone can relate to.

Author T.M. Scott

Her first novel, Symphoni, will be out in 2013 and her work has been featured in the horror anthology, The Withering Darkness. She lives in Los Angeles, California with her daughter Ariyanna.

The Hypothetical Hotspot Interview

When did you know you wanted to be a writer?
I decided I wanted to be a writer about 5 years ago after my daughter was born. I always enjoyed writing but never gave it any thought past short fiction stories.

What books have you written?
I’ve written Symphoni which is the first book in my Eros Sisters Series as well as the prequel, Legend.

Can you tell us about what you’re working on next?
I’m working on a book titled Dragon’s Revenge that’s about a young dragon female named Kaida who goes out in the world to avenge her family’s murder.

Are you ready to have some fun?
Absolutely!

What’s your favorite alcoholic beverage?
It’s a tossup between a chilled tequila shot and an Adios. Depends on the occasion I guess but I usually lean more towards the shot.

When is the world going to end?
Hopefully sometime after I publish my dragon book. LOL

Who would win a fight between MacGyver and Chuck Norris, and why?
Wow. Tough one! I picture them fighting until the Universe goes all wonky and Sherlock Holmes pops up and does away with them both!

Would you rather be bald or have a huge mullet for the rest of your life?
A bald head. I just got my hair cut very short so me thinks I can pull it off!

What object (not animal) would you want to be reincarnated as?
Let me see… I would come back as a bookshelf. It would be interesting to see what people have hidden on their shelves.

Let’s say something went terribly wrong. Would you rather wake up, still a woman, but with a man’s face, or wake up as a man with a woman’s face?
*laughs* Definitely a Man with a woman’s face. I’m not sure why… but that’s the first answer to come to mind.

Would you rather have to say everything you were thinking out loud or never say another word again?
I would prefer to say everything I thought out loud… Never a dull moment with that one. Especially since I’m so random and scatterbrained.

You meet your soul mate. However, there is a catch: Every three years, someone will break both of your soul mate’s collarbones with a crescent wrench, and there is only one way you can stop this from happening: You must swallow a pill that will make every song you hear–for the rest of your life–sound as if it’s being performed by Justin Bieber. When you hear Eminem on the radio, he will sound (to your ears) like it’s being played by Justin Bieber. If you see Tool live, every one of their tunes will sound like it’s being covered by Justin Bieber. When you hear a commercial jingle on TV, it will sound like Justin Bieber; if you sing to yourself in the shower, your voice will sound like Justin Bieber performing acapella (but it will only sound this way to you). Was that redundant? That’s how it would be listening to music. So…
Would you swallow the pill to keep your soul mate’s collarbones safe?
 I would take the pill absolutely. Mostly because I never had an issue with Justin Bieber’s music… just not my thing. It would suck to never hear my favorite bands singing and Life would probably get a lot darker without Axel Rose’s amazing voice in my ears but I hate the idea of someone hurting because of me. 

All About Symphoni

Life hasn’t been too easy for Greg Daniels lately. But when he arrives at school on the first day back from summer vacation, he finds that things are much worse than he could have ever imagined.
Stuck in the middle of an ancient feud between the Olympians and the Titans, Greg discovers that the line between good and evil isn’t always clear and his allies might be more dangerous than the enemy.
Symphoni by T.M. Scott

Symphoni by T.M. Scott

Excerpt:

We stood in silence at the edge of Olympian Lake just looking at each other. We were about fifteen feet apart, her expression calm and relaxed but my heart pounded hard in my chest as if my body somehow knew what was about to happen. The sun had already set leaving the cloudless California sky an endless sea of blue. Her long black hair fluttered around her as a cold breeze blew between us, causing the hair on my arms to stand on end. I blinked and suddenly there she was, not four inches from my face. I didn’t flinch. I’d witnessed her abilities before and her ability to transport was probably the least shocking. Her cool breath brushed lightly across my face and I felt the air pick up around us, swirling cold as if we were in our own little tornado.
 The quiet anticipation of what we both knew was about to happen had started to make me edgy but before I could comment, she wrapped her arms around my neck and kissed me. Her lips were soft and urgent, her tongue hungry as she searched my mouth as if we didn’t have enough time. She tasted good like cool spring water and cold mountain air as her breath filled my body, sending hard electricity down my spine. My knees began to shake and she clamped her arms tightly around my neck as her breath became scorching hot in my mouth. My eyes sprang open and I struggled against her iron hold. She didn’t budge and I felt a thick, excruciatingly hot substance began flowing into my body.
 “Well,” I thought, amazingly calm considering my impending doom. “I knew she would kill me one day.” My lungs started straining for air and my body seized as the magma (at least that’s what it felt like) reached my chest but she never let go. Instead, she tightened her grip around me and guided me smoothly to the ground. I decided to stop struggling, accepting my fate, and looked around. My heart beat finally started to slow, bringing with it a host of memories that flashed rapidly through my mind.
 Symphoni. My Symphoni. When she walked into the room, my heart beat slowed just as it was now only this time it meant I was dieing. I looked up at the sky now twinkling brightly with hundreds of stars and smiled to myself as I tried to remember all the times she and I sat in this very spot. I remembered the times I ran my fingers through her thick black hair, the times I gazed deep into her eyes, and thought about how I would miss her even after my untimely (and frankly completely unnecessary) death. I closed my eyes just as my heart finally stopped and the silence of the world was deafening. No birds, cars, no sounds of breathing or movements to keep me company in these last seconds of life. Just silence. I felt myself leaving the earth, floating away to find my small place in the divine (as grandma used to say) when suddenly I heard her voice.
 “GREG!!!!!” her scream filled the air with her mournful cry as it rang through the night sky, shattering the silence with her pain and terror. Then, before another word or breath could escape her body, before I could see her beautiful eyes glistening with tears and tell her that everything would be ok… Darkness.

Click here to purchase your copy today!

Where to find T.M. Scott:

http://authortiannascott.blogspot.com/

http://www.facebook.com/AuthorTiannaScott

http://www.goodreads.com/author/show/6904904.T_M_Scott

Twitter: @tiannna_MHAFH

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