Author Interview with J.S. Graydon

I just love the way blogging introduces you to a lot of great people!

Recently, Christy Birmingham commented on one of my posts so I, in turn, checked out her blog.

I really like the way she conducts her author interviews and thought I’d share one  with my readers.  Not only will you get to meet the author, J. S. Graydon, but you should check out Christy’s poetry and other blogposts as well!

Author Interview with J.S. Graydon.

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Deina Furth talks about Writing Strong Characters

As a writer,  I never stop seeking ways to improve on my work. This is why I try to read articles on the craft daily and demonstrate the skills I’ve learned in my work.

Deina Furth offers this insightful article on building strong characters.

Read on!

“…for those of us who want to create masterful character-driven plots full of tension, emotion, and unforgettable people–people who, by the end of the story, the reader feels like they truly know and love–we want to get this character development thing down.”

An Incredibly Kind Review for THE KITCHEN DANCE

Talk about timing. I’ve been rather down in the dumps lately, wondering if the effort I put into writing a book is really worth it…and then I get the is review! It means so much to me knowing that someone really enjoyed it.

Disclaimer: I do not know P. Blevins personally. We are both members of a review group of over 400 members on Goodreads…/R1II8HXYMWFIY8/ref=cm_cr_rdp_perm

Kitchen Dance is by Geri G Taylor. It is a fabulous book. I would definitely recommend this to any of my friends. Once you get into the story, it takes a hold on you and doesn’t let go. It is one that I stayed up late, late, late to read along with a box of tissues. The writing is well done. The characters are so realistic it seems like they are your fest friends or worst enemies. The plot seems so simple; but it explodes and goes in a totally different direction.

Joule Dalton is an Interior Designer for The West Agency. Once the architects get finished, she puts in the design portions before it is presented to the prospective investors or buyers. She met and married her husband here but he was murdered two years ago. Her best friend, Elaine (who is also her boss’s wife) keeps trying to match her up with various men with some hysterical results. Phillip West, her boss, is very pleased with her work and keeps putting her in charge of larger projects.

Before she went to work for West, she lived in a warehouse with 5 other people, rather like a commune. Daisy did a lot of the cooking with the others helping out. It was here Joule learned the “kitchen dance” and the value of true relationships. When her boyfriend left without telling her, she changed her way of living and went to work for West. However, she kept her work with the homeless and other charities. She had faith in people and usually she was rewarded with their friendship. She was wrong in the two men who she and her husband hired to help them renovate the warehouse as they were the ones who killed him. Still she continued to help people.

As she was returning home from a cocktail party where she presented the latest project, she came into contact with Allen Brooks when he returned her purse which she had dropped. He was an out of work carpenter whose truck and tools had been stolen. She noticed him because he was wearing her husband’s coat which she had just given to charity that morning. She invited him to the diner for dinner and later asked him to stay overnight in the Loft where she lived. Her self-appointed guardian, Roosevelt whom she had also saved, disagreed but since she was adamant went up with them and talked with Allen until he felt comfortable leaving him alone with Joule.
Allen reluctantly agreed to spend the night but eagerly accepted her invitation to shower. He might be homeless; but he was a proud man who had nothing left but his integrity. However in the shower, he began to wonder about her. Why did she do so much for him? Why did she invite a strange man to spend the night? Who was Roosevelt and what was he to her? He intended to spend the night, try to fix her elevator, and go on his way.

The next day, Joule invited him to the cabin her parents had left her in order to hire him to finish the renovations that had been started. She didn’t know what she wanted to do with the cabin; but it did need repairing. He agreed but asked her permission to use her phone to call his kids and later to use her Bronco to go see them. His ex-wives were not allowing him to see his kids.

Was Joule right in trusting Allen? Would he do what he said he would or would he turn out to be like the men who killed her husband? Would he rob her at the cabin and disappear?

She takes him on Faith.

Then the book takes a major and unexpected turn. It is fascinating.

Stupid Writing Tricks…

I LOVE this article!
Well, I don’t like diet Coke…but I love the idea of simply acknowledging your accomplishments (no matter how small) because a LOT of small accomplishments will equal a BIG one.
I’d like to add that STICKERS are awesome, too!
I substitute teach and I take stickers with me. If the students are being “good” as in “good for a sub” and doing the classwork their teacher has assigned, I give them stickers.
Even the high school students enjoy being rewarded and wear their new stickers on their IDs.
I could use a sticker for today because, by reblogged this blog…I have blogged today!


See that man with the Coke cans on his head?

Why is he doing that?

What possible gain could be achieved by sucker-planting a half dozen Coke cans on your head?

Let me tell you this.

The mind is a monkey and easily tricked.

You can convince yourself to do anything that you want to do – even if you don’t want to do it. All that you have to do is fabricate a little motivation.

Trick that mind hard enough and you can cheerfully skip across a bed of smoldering coals.

In my last blog entry I cross-blogged to fellow blogger Lauren Waters site where she discussed a motivational trick that was explained in a LifeHacker article on Jerry Seinfeld.

Here’s a link to that article.

I have decided to adopt that method. I have a calender and a red marker and I have already scratched my…

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Treat Yourself to Celtic Romance for Valentine’s Day with Grá mo Chroí

I wish to introduce you to Ali Isaac  and Jane Dougherty.

I met Jane during the aliMARSocial Author of the Year Competition with her book, The Dark Citadel.

Today, I am helping her and her co-author Ali Isaac promote their latest release, Grá mo Chroí‘ (Love of my Heart).

Jane Doughtery

Ali Isaac and Jane Dougherty are writers with a shared heritage.

Ali has woven that heritage into the fabric of her stories about Conor Kelly and his adventures in the Otherworld.

Jane consistently slips references to the old stories and the old heroes into all of her novels.

book cover

Long ago in a green island surrounded by protective mists, a people lived among the relics of a bygone age of which they knew nothing, not being archaeologists, but around whom they created a mythology.They were a volatile people, easily moved to love or war, and motivated by a strict sense of honour. They had women warriors and handsome lovers, wicked queens and cruel kings, precious heroines and flawed heroes. Magic was in the air, beneath the ground, and in the waves of the sea, and hyperbole was the stuff of stories. They were the Irish, and these are a few retellings of some of their beautiful stories.

This collection of retellings of some of the great love stories from Irish mythology is our tribute to this culture which has so captivated us. Love in the Iron Age, as you will see, did not have the benefit of Disney. The Ancient Irish had to contend with far more violence than modern lovers, and their ideas of what constituted happiness were not necessarily the same as ours. An Irish princess was not going to languish at the top of an ivory tower waiting for a knight in shining armour. She was much more likely to get on her horse and drag him out of his bed with a curse if he hung about too long. But in many ways, love through the ages has not changed one iota. Grief, sorrow and passion are all there in spadesful.

If the only thing you know about Irish mythology is Saint Patrick, serpents, and Leprechauns, it’s about time you read this collection. If you like what you see, this could be the start of a life changing experience.

Here is a short excerpt from the first story in the collection,

The Tragedy of Bailé and Aillinn 

Bailé, the soft-spoken, left Emain Macha in the north to meet Aillinn, his betrothed. Rare was such a wedding host, and uncommonly joyful. For the king of Ulster’s only son and the daughter of the king of Leinster had made a love match. Even the sun shone bright on Bailé’s journey, the hounds danced and milled about the horses’ legs, fancy bridle bits sang silver songs in the wind, and the company was filled with joy.

Bailé left behind his own lands of Ulster, the blue lochs and gorse-yellow hills where the eagles cried. Before him, beyond the purple peaks of home, lay the low, wooded hills and the rich plains of Leinster. He saw his Aillinn in the contours of the hills, in the white plumage of the swans on the river. She was soft as new grass and spring foals, wild as the March wind, and generous as the blackbird singing to the world. His heart was full of joy that soon they would be wed and their union would bind together her rich beauty of soft hills and birdsong, and his wild majesty of the eagle and the red deer.

If you like the sound of the world of the ancient Irish, treat yourself to a little Celtic romance for Valentine’s Day. You can get Grá mo Chroí here:

Jane can be found on her blog,, on her Facebook author page , or tweeting. You can find out more about her on Goodreads, and all her books are available on and

You will find Ali Isaac pottering about most days on her blog:, her Facebook author page, or tweeting. Alternatively, you can email her at: or Her books are available on and


I smiled!




Close your eyes and see If a picture comes to mind,

A thought about something seen out in the world.

Could It be possibly a scent In the air that holds a memory,

Tasting a favorite food that reminds one of a place in time.

When I write there are many possibilities that come to life,

I might just close my eyes for a moment and breathe.

A title appears In my mind, words from feelings arrive,

Inspiration comes from different things that are explored.

When I write day or night the world belongs to me,

Whatever I write when I write Is share for you to read.

Keith Garrett



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Alice J. Black on Hiking, Two Ferocious Cats, and her latest YA novel, The Doors

I wish to introduce Alice J. Black is one of my fellow Melange Books, LLC authors who is published with their Fire and Ice Imprint.

She lives and works in the North East of England where she lives with her partner and slightly ferocious cats! She writes all manner of fiction with a tendency to lean towards the dark side, but she also to challenge herself and write out of her genre too. Dreams and sleep-talking are currently a big source of inspiration and her debut novel, The Doors, is a young adult novel which originally sprouted from a dream several years ago and grew from there.with her partner and slightly ferocious cats! She writes all manner of fiction with a tendency to lean towards the dark side, but she also to challenge herself and write out of her genre too. Dreams and sleep-talking are currently a big source of inspiration and her debut novel, The Doors, is a young adult novel which originally sprouted from a dream several years ago and grew from there.

Title of Work: The Doors

Genre: YA Supernatural mystery

Tagline: Ever seen a mosaic move on its own?

Intended Audience: Young adults/adults

Is this your first book?

The Doors is my debut young adult novel. It was published in November 2014 with Fire and Ice, an imprint of Melange Books, LLC. I’ve taken part in Nanowrimo four times now and plan to start editing those novels this year with a hope to submit for publication.

Are you a plotter or a pantster?

I have to say that I’m both. I know that’s a vague answer but it depends on the situation. Like I mentioned, I’ve taken part in Nanowrimo four times and each of those times for the month of October I’ve spent a lot of time planning and prepping from research to character development to scene setting.

However, I can also be pantser. My novel, The Doors, was a work inspired by a dream and I just wrote and wrote until the story was out. Currently I’m working on something else that came to me in a dream and without thinking about it, I’m just writing.

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

The title of my novel came to me quite easily. It’s called The Doors because the main focus of the novel is about the mosaic doors that Amanda, the protagonist, wants to find her way into. It’s acts as a sort of gateway and everything is centred around that.

However, I tend to find that coming up with titles for my work tends to be really difficult for me!

Just as your books inspire authors, what authors have inspired you to write?

I have always loved reading as much as I loved writing. They go hand in hand really and I suppose my love for that stemmed from my family who always encouraged and supported me both to read and write. I was reading adult books at a young age and when I first read ‘The Hobbit’ by Tolkien, it soon became my favourite book. I loved the way he was able to create this world and these creatures and brings them to life.

Other than Tolkien I’ve read a lot of Stephen King, Richard Laymon and of course, the Harry Potter series by J.K. Rowling was brilliant! I’ve read them all several times and again, the world that she creates within her series is magical. I want to be able to do that.

Who is your favorite character from your book and why?

I have to say that I think Arthur is my favourite character from my book. He’s an older gentleman who is very set in his ways and has quite a lot of quirks. I like his attitude and the way he works. He always makes me smile.

How about your least favorite character?  What makes them less appealing to you?

I don’t think I have a least favourite character. Of course there are those characters who don’t feature as often within my book and perhaps I’m not as attached to them but I wouldn’t say that I don’t like them.

If you could cast your characters in the Hollywood adaptation of your book, who would play your characters?

I think most authors will think about this from time to time and I have. If my book was adapted into a film, I have to say that I’d love Ellen Page to play Amanda. She’s just how I picture Amanda to be. However, beyond her I haven’t really imagined anyone playing any other characters. If that changes I’ll get back to you!

How important are names to you in your books? Do you choose the names based on liking the way it sounds or the meaning? Do you have any name choosing resources you recommend?

I think names are important and I tend to choose the name for my characters based on what works well, what fits and what sort of person they are. Does that make sense? I have got something forming in the back of my mind about another story and the names I pick there will be key to the plot working.

Have you always enjoyed writing?

Writing has been something I can always remember doing. Sure, I did the whole kid thing and played out in the street and went to the park but when I could be with a notebook and pen, I was at my happiest. It’s something that I’ve used as a creative and emotional outlet for a lot of years and it’s still the same now. Sitting down to write, especially when the words flow, is something that I love.

Do you have any other talents or hobbies?

I’m quite a creative person in many ways and I really enjoy getting involved in lots of creative pursuits. Photography and scrapbooking are two in particular. They go hand in hand too which works out well. I’m not saying I take the best photos but I enjoy it and friends and family can sometimes informally rely on me to capture the best of a big day.

I also really love hiking when I get to do it. I have a hectic work schedule and then of course when I come home I want to write so I find it hard to make time to do much of that.

What can we expect from you in the future?

I think I mentioned earlier that I’m working on something at the minute. It’s actually something quite different for me and I’m not sure whether it will lead anywhere but it’s a new adult romance. My main genres tend to be the dark ones including horror and mystery so I’m not sure whether this romance piece will gain a bit of darkness along the way! I’m also working on a lot of short stories to submit to anthologies at the minute.

My short story ‘The Truth in Abercrombie’ was accepted for publication in issue 19 of Sirens Call Press. I’ve also had my zombie story ‘Dealing in Death’ accepted for publication into Undead Legacy and ‘The Wolf and the Rabbit’ accepted for Kaiju: Lords of the Earth.

What do you wear while writing?

Um… I like to be comfortable so I tend to wear pyjamas if possible. However, that’s not always possible unless I’m at home! So if I have the choice I wear something warm and snuggly and if not, I just get on with it!

Do you have a pet or pets?

I have two cats. One I got as a kitten (and she’s the one that’s quite vicious) and the other I adopted just last year. They tend to get on quite well most of the time but there are the odd fights.

What is your favorite snack food?

Oh my, it would have to be biscuits. I’m a terrible biscuit eater! Normal people might have a couple with a cup of tea or coffee but I use them as a snack on a regular basis which isn’t the best.

If you were a super hero, what would your name be? What costume would you wear?

Grave Girl! I once went to a hen party where the theme was superheroes but you had to create your own. I have to admit, I’m not sure where the idea came from but it was all about dark colours with green trimmings and it looked pretty neat. I even had an eye mask to hide my identity. The plan was I was the superhero that stopped grave robbings and defacings. Perhaps more apt for a different period in time but I tell you, it was fun!

Where is one place you want to visit that you haven’t been before? Provide images if you want.

The one place I really really want to visit is New Zealand! I loved the Lord of the Rings films and of course they were shot on location there. I want to go and visit Middle Earth. But I’m also a hiker (when I have the time) and I would love to do some of the walks there, including the Milford Sound which looks stunning. 

Please describe something you “deleted” from your work and why. Because a real writer knows when to hit THE DELTE KEY!

I can’t recall a huge section of something that I deleted from my work. However, when I submitted it for publication it was 50k. When it was published in November 2014, it was over 90k. During the whole editing process I had to delete and rework much of my novel to expand and develop both the stories and the characters. It was a hard process to go through, especially since The Doors is my baby, but I did it and I realized how important it was to do that to make my novel the best it could be.


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Publisher’s Website:




It is always a pleasure to get know fellow authors on a more personal level, especially those of my Melange Books, LLC publishing family. I wish you continued success with The Doors, and your future novels.


C. G. Eberle: A mystery author who believes in honor, justice, truth, and freedom.

I’d like to introduce C.G. Eberle (Christopher), another one of my fellow Melange Books, LLC authors, and his latest work, Killer Holidays; A John Seraph Anthology

Short Bio: Born in Buffalo, New York, C.G. was adopted by George & Dottie Eberle and raised in the Irish neighborhood of South Buffalo, where he still lives today. C.G. has been a comic book fan since he was five years old and began writing & drawing his own home made comics back then. His real interest in writing began in high school when he discovered the 1970’s television series Kolchak: the Night Stalker. He began writing as a hobby, then after reading an article re: the birth of a white buffalo in 1994 C.G. began writing THE RAINBOW WARRIOR. It took ten years & seven re-writes for him to get published. In the meantime C.G. began work on the follow-up books & the companion book, THE ERA OF HEROES, which was published in 2006.

A writer since he was 5 years old, Chris started with his homemade comic books and story books, and then seriously took to writing in high school. While in college, studying English Education, C.G. was published twice in 2004 & 2006, and then switched gears to one of his major passions, mysteries. Besides writing C.G. also is a amateur Old West Historian, an avid classic movie fan & collector, a lover of most styles of music, an avid reader, a student of crypto zoology, an amateur Ripperologist, and dabbles in the kitchen quite well.

C.G. began work on his first mystery FAMILY TIES but filed away the idea for a few years as he wrote & polished THE RAINBOW WARRIOR. Then finally he returned to FAMILY TIES, which took four years to write and, thanks to Nancy Schumacher & Melange Books, LLC,was published in October 2013.

FAMILY TIES was inspired by the missing person/homicide case of Chandra Levy, who was killed on May,1st, 2001. To a degree C.G. became mildly obsessed with the Levy case, which was THE major news story for 2001. Intensive coverage continued until news of the September 11 attacks supplanted the media’s coverage of the Levy case. After the 9/11 attacks knocked the Levy case seemingly out of the news, C.G. followed the case as best he could, and knew it was becoming an inspiration of some form, then truly understood what “Ripped from the headlines” meant.

Title of Work: Killer Holidays; A John Seraph Anthology

Genre: mystery

 Tagline: They say the holidays are murder and for John Seraph it’s the truth.

Intended Audience: adult mystery fans

John Seraph, is the eldest of eight children, whose father is the head of ‘The Arm’, the Buffalo, NY Mafia. John walked away from his family to make something of himself, due to a blood oath he made his mother. This is when his life changes in my first mystery FAMILY TIES.Is this your first book?—- No, I’ve written The Rainbow Warrior: GENESIS and The Era of Heroes (through Publish America in 2004 & 2006), and Family Ties and Family Plots (through Melange Books, LLC in 2013 & 2014)

What does your writing process look like?—- I’ve taken a page from Janet Evanovich’s How I Write. In her book about her processes  Evanovich talks about how she builds a story she’s working on. I adopted a similar process. After I have the basic idea I build from there. I chart out what happens on each day.


Monday; John goes to work, sees A fighting with B, breaks up fight; at home John hears from Denise, then get call from police, A was found dead with John’s name written in blood.

To me it’s a lot like building a house. First you lay the foundation, (the story idea), then build the frame, (know what’s roughly going to happen). After that put up the walls & install the pluming and electrical, (write the story). Another major aspect for me is picking the names of my characters, both good & bad.

One book I’d recommend to anyone looking to be a fiction writer is buy yourself a baby name dictionary. There’s a science behind naming characters and not just picking some names out of the phone book. Character names related to their traits is a real connection and when I find something that work it’s like a flashbulb goes off in my head.

Finally research is a major part of what I do. I’m lucky because it’s something I’m extremely good and enjoy, and I’m very thorough. For example: when I was picking John’s choice in handgun it took me two weeks of solidly researching various handguns until I found exactly what I wanted and needed for John.

I read Janet Evanovich’s How I Write, as well.  I highly recommend her book as well as Stephen King’s On Writing, etc.

Tell us a little bit about your cover art. Who designed it? Why did you go with that particular image/artwork?—- The folks at Melange asked me for my ideas regarding what I wanted to see on a cover, then Lynsee Lauritsen, who’s an artist, photographer, and designer who works with Melange Books, LLC, looked at my ideas/suggestions and put together a first draft. She was excellent about working with me, explaining what works and doesn’t work. For Killer Holidays, I wanted an image of ‘John Seraph’ and some sort of holiday theme but wasn’t positive of what. Lynsee came up with the basic concept and she soon banged out the final image. We’ve worked like this for four book covers and it’s been an amazing partnership. With my first mystery, FAMILY TIES, I had this image of what I wanted and it was way to busy. Lynsee cut it down and produced a much better image. Then she was professional enough to explain to me everything I wanted would’ve made the cover to busy & crowded.

As an artist and photographer myself, I can’t say I care for the job she did on your covers. The word “cheesy” comes to mind. They look a bit homemade and “self published”, which is a shame because, from what I’ve seen on her Facebook page, Ms. Lauritsen is actually a very accomplished photographer.

Just as your books inspire authors, what authors have inspired you to write?—- The three authors who’ve been my biggest inspirations are Robert B. Parker, Janet Evanovich, and Sue Grafton. I’d have to say Parker has been a long term motivation for me since I’ve been a fan of his Spenser; for Hire series, and own his entire Spenser series in hardcover. Evanovich has been a major influence on me as well not only thanks to her, How I Write, but whenever I’ve had questions re: writing, she or her representatives have been good enough to answer me back.

How important are names to you in your books?—- This is an extremely important aspect of writing I believe a lot of people tend to forget or overlook. One book I recommend to anyone who’s looking to write fiction is to buy a copy of Dictionary of First Names. This has masculine and feminine names, ethnic origins, definitions of names, and notable examples. This is extremely important and there’s a science behind naming characters. One cannot just pluck names out of the air, I try to pick names relating to my characters’ traits & personalities.

Where do you see yourself in 10 years?—-To be honest I’m not positive, I don’t think anyone can honestly answer this question. Hopefully with some hard work, a little luck, some grand support, and a lot of sales, maybe I’ll be fortunate enough to land on the best sellers’ list multiple times and be able to give back to my parents who’ve given me so much. And with a bit more luck maybe have a movie screenplay picked up by a producer.

Have you always enjoyed writing?—- Yes, I began when I was about 4 or 5 years old. I used to write and draw my own little comic books. It wasn’t until I was in high school, about age 17, when my first writing sparks ignited after first being exposed to an old T.V. show, Kolchak; the Night Stalker. Soon after I began writing for my school newspaper, then I began toying with the idea of writing fiction. It was 1994 when I began writing my first book The Rainbow Warrior: GENESIS.

What writing advice do you have for other aspiring authors?—- KEEP WRITING!!! You can give in, you can give out, but don’t give up! If you have the idea for a good book, and I don’t just mean fiction, research all you can about whatever topic you’re writing about. Also don’t be afraid to talk to writers who’ve made it. I’m always happy to talk to someone who says “Oh I’ve always wanted to write” or “I’ve got this idea for a book”. Also have some basics on hand; dictionary, thesaurus, a few good notebooks & pens, at least one of each near your bed, if you don’t have a recorder of some kind. And if you do take it with when driving. You’ll never when or where an idea will hit you. Also there are a number of books one can find on any number of subjects and about writing, I’d say be selective. A number of these books repeat themselves. If at a book store I look through them and pick the best ones. And don’t be snobby about where you find books & research material. I’ve come across good research books at second hand book stores. The trick is hunting through the piles, racks, and table you’ll come across

What (when not writing) do you do to support yourself?—- Currently I’m working at the new Buffalo Bills Store, at Ralph Wilson Stadium in Orchard Park, NY. It can be rough at times, but it’s a good job and I work with a good solid crew.

What are you working on now?—- Currently I awaiting the edits of my next book Family Education, which should be debuting sometime in 2015. I’m also writing the fifth book in my series, Family Friend, with plans for my next three books, what I’m calling my serial thriller, the Father’s Day Saga. The Saga will take place over the course of three books and three individual mysteries, the stories will have a sub-plot of a story arch that will change not just John Seraph’s life but almost everyone he knows. I am also working on a Year-0 John Seraph story, which takes place before Family Ties. This is sort of an origins story and explains a bit and takes place before he changed his name. I’m planning on self-publishing this Year-0 story as an e-book and giving it away for free.

It is great to hear that you are busy writing and getting the support you need from your publisher. I hope the best for you and your work!

What is your biggest failure?—- Driving my best friend and the only woman I ever loved out of my life. There isn’t a day I don’t think about her, the mistakes I made, and how’s she is doing.

That sounds like a memoir in the making!

What do you want your tombstone to say?—- Hopefully it’ll read: Christopher G. Eberle (C.G. Eberle); Loving husband, father, son, brother, and loyal friend. A mystery author who believed in honor, justice, truth, and freedom.

CGE image2

Where is one place you want to visit that you haven’t been before?-— Italy. I mean the whole country, all 21 regions. If I had the money and time I’d start in the Northern region and make my throughout the entire country and soak up as much of the culture and the people as I can.

CGE image3(Stock Image)

CGE image4

I hope you’re learning to speak the language!

What is something you want to accomplish before you die?—- Find the true love of my life, make her mine, live happily ever after. I’m doubtful of all this, so I’ll have to settle for making writing my career, becoming extremely good at it, and providing for my parents, brother, sister

Never doubt yourself!

Please describe something you “deleted” from your work and why. Because a real writer knows when to hit THE DELTE KEY!—- In 1994 when I was writing my first book, The Rainbow Warrior, I had a nightmarish image for my hero, of downtown Buffalo obliterated, and the HSBC Tower having been obliterated. Now during my rewrites after September,11th, 2001 I knew I had to change the scene, so I made the Tower still standing but with an almost, demented, demonic, Jack O’ Lantern face blown into the side of the building.

Contact Information:



Facebook Page:!/chris.eberle.353

CGE image1Downtown Buffalo at dusk. (stock image)


Publisher’s Website:



Other Interviews:

I really enjoy interviewing authors and making them a part of my blog,

especially those who are fellow Melange authors

and those whom I’ve met in this industry

who have encouraged and inspired me.



Marie Lavender on Her Blood At First Sight Series: Clever Title! Clever Girl!

I want you to all to meet Marie Lavender, the Bestselling Author of UPON YOUR RETURN and 19 other books. 2014 BTS Red Carpet Review Nominee. Finalist and Runner-up in the 2014 MARSocial’s Author of the Year Competition. Honorable mention in the January 2014 Reader’s Choice Award. Liebster Blogger Award for 2013 and 2014. Top 50 Authors on Winner of the Great One Liners Contest on the Directory of Published Authors.

Is she awesome or what?

ML photo3Marie Lavender lives in the Midwest with her family and three cats. She has been writing for over twenty years. She has more works in progress than she can count on two hands. Marie has published twenty books in the genres of historical romance, contemporary romance, romantic suspense, paranormal romance/fantasy, mystery/thriller, literary fiction and poetry.

ML photo2Lavender just released Second Nature, a paranormal romance/urban fantasy, in December of 2014. She released Magick & Moonlight, a romantic fantasy, back in March of 2014. Upon Your Honor, released in late April of 2014, is her second historical romance. Her current series are The Heiresses in Love Series, The Magick Series and The Blood at First Sight Series. Feel free to visit her website at for further information about her books and her life.

Marie is also on Facebook, Twitter, Google+, and LinkedIn.

Today I am writing about Second Nature, her Paranormal Romance/Urban Fantasy. 

Can this unique human tame the beast in Alec?

For women and men 18-75, who don’t mind reading romance novels or books about supernatural beings 

The Blood at First Sight Series is about how our characters deal with being in the Other world, a world that will change them forever.

Second Nature is available on the publisher’s website, on Amazon, CreateSpace and Barnes & Noble.

A list of her other books and pen names are as follows:

Marie Lavender: Upon Your Return; Magick & Moonlight; Upon Your Honor; Second Nature

Erica Sutherhome: Hard to Get; Memories; A Hint of Scandal; Without You; Strange Heat; Terror in the Night; Haunted; Pursuit; Perfect Game; A Touch of Dawn; Ransom; Leather and Lace

Kathryn Layne: A Misplaced Life

Heather Crouse: Express Café and Other Ramblings; Ramblings, Musings and Other Things; Soulful Ramblings and Other Worldly Things

Tell us something about your books. 

I have written and published twenty books so far. My titles under Marie Lavender are Upon Your Return, Magick & Moonlight, Upon Your Honor and Second Nature. The other sixteen were published under my alternate pen names.

 Where do you write? 

I usually write wherever I can, but a lot of my heavy writing happens at night when I’m in bed.  I also compose on the computer when I’m fully focused on a project.

Are you a plotter or a pantster?

I am a bit of both. I start out writing randomly, getting down scenes however they come to me. In the back of my mind, a basic plot has already formed for the most part, but no details have been filled in yet. Eventually, when I am ready to really focus on a project, I start doing a major plot outline and do more writing after that. I use that outline as an anchor of sorts, but I’m not afraid to let my characters go outside of the lines a little.

I think I’ll set up a scale from plotter to panster since most of us have to do a lot of both. How did you come up with the title of your book or series?

Second Nature finally came to me when I was at my wit’s end about the title. I used a generic title of Love or Blood before it just popped into my head one day. Second Nature made a crazy kind of sense when you really looked hard at the story. The series title came later, and that was about the time that the sequels started nagging at me too. LOL.

Just as your books inspire authors, what authors have inspired you to write?

Oh, let’s see. I have quite the list. I have to count Nora Roberts, Catherine Coulter, Rosemary Rogers, Tessa Dare, Emma Wildes, J.R. Ward, Kris Tualla, P.C. Cast, Kerrelyn Sparks, Chloe Neill and there are so many more that have brought me to the place where I am today. Even Natalie Goldberg in her way fascinated me, and inspired me to keep writing.

With the exception of a couple of Nora Roberts audiobooks, I have to say that I have read none of these authors’ book. If you could cast your characters in the Hollywood adaptation of your book, who would play your characters? 

I’ve only thought of the main characters thus far. For Desiree, I would choose Moon Bloodgood, and for Alec, I might pick Matt Bomer.

I had to look them up. I watched/watch Falling Skies but not White CollarHow important are names to you in your books?  

I believe names are very important. Sometimes I go with the way it sounds or I check the meaning to make sure it fits with the character. I did that with a series I have in mind for a set of six books centering on a coven of witches during the time of the Salem witch trials. I also spend a lot of time ruminating on names for my historical novels. One source I use quite often, other than a baby names’ book, is You can search by nationality and gender. You can also find surnames for any nationality there.

 Thanks for the links! What do you consider to be your best accomplishment?

 I would have to say writing my first historical romance novel and getting it published. When Upon Your Return was released, not to mention the moment I received the contract in my inbox, was one of the proudest moments of my life. And the feeling of having a copy in my hands? Priceless.

Good for you! What is your least favorite part of the publishing / writing process?

I have a love/hate relationship with research. It can be great fun to learn so much information about a topic, but it can also be frustrating when you are unable to find what you’re looking for. But, as my friends and family know, I am pretty stubborn when I want to be, and I will find that breadcrumb if it kills me. LOL. Another dreaded part of the process is editing. Though it’s a necessary evil, I compare it to jumping off into a dark abyss. You don’t know what will come out on the other side, but you’ll be a better writer for it.

 What can we expect from you in the future?

Well, I’m finishing up final edits on A Little Magick, which is the second book of the Magick Series. It is also a children’s fantasy. I am also writing Upon Your Love, which will be the third and final book of the Heiresses in Love Series. That is a Victorian romantic suspense. I am getting closer to finishing that, and I should be in the editing stages soon enough. So, you will probably see both of those out this year. After that, I plan to focus on the sequels in the Blood at First Sight Series, and I may finish up the last book of the Magick Series.

Do you have a pet or pets?

Yes, I have three cats. When my fiancé and I get married, I will have…yikes! I will have nine of them.

You know, you rarely hear of a “Crazy Cat Man, or a Crazy Cat Couple.  So, I think you’re good! Have you ever dyed your hair an unusual color?

 I tend to choose different shades of red, though I have entertained the idea of doing pink. I think this time I will try purple.

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That would depend on the shade! Do you make up your bed every morning? 

Yes, I make my bed, or at least pull the covers up to keep cat hair out of the sheets. I have an Egyptian themed comforter and pillows. My entire room is Egyptian right now. I like to try different design schemes.

ML image6Where is one place you want to visit that you haven’t been before? Provide images if you want.

 I would love to go to Ireland! It’s in my blood, and I’ve always been drawn to the country and the music.

ML image7 Me, too! If you were any plant or animal, what would you be? 

 A white tiger. They are so beautiful!

If you could have any accent from anywhere in the world, what would you choose?

 I love accents! I’d probably choose something European, perhaps British, Irish or Scottish.

 What? Not Irish. Of course, I always get my Irish and Scottish jumbled. Do you have any scars? What are they from?

 I have one defining scar from my childhood, on my leg where I cut myself on a piece of metal. I had to get twelve stitches. It’s pretty faded now, but you can see it if you look close.

What is your favorite song?

 My favorite song right now is “I Choose You” by Sara Bareilles. So romantic.

 I listened to it! It’s GREAT! What is your favorite junk food?

 Chocolate, of course! Dark chocolate is my favorite.

Especially with almonds! What is your favorite book?

Dark Lover by J.R. Ward. I love Wrath!

VERY IMPORTANT!!!! Please describe something (significant number of words/a character/entire scene) you “deleted” from your work and why. Because a real writer knows when to hit THE DELETE KEY!

I didn’t worry too much about the length. I never do. My aim is to finish writing the book first, however long it ends up being. Then I can worry about whether it will fit a publisher’s guidelines. Mostly, I don’t try to cut word length, but I do cut out unnecessary words or repetitive things, or rearrange/revise scenes. If I delete anything big, it’s usually something that I decided wasn’t necessary to the story. With regards to Second Nature, the significant scene I thought about cutting (I hadn’t written it yet as it was dancing around in my head) was of Desiree going for a run near Alec’s house, and then something unfortunate occurs. In hindsight, I decided it didn’t fit the first book, but would be perfect for the sequel. I can’t go into too much detail because of spoilers.

Check out these following links to learn more about Marie Lavender and her work.

Other Interviews: 

Awards & Speaking engagements:


I have truly enjoyed this opportunity to get know Marie Lavender better.

She is an incredibly prolific writer and I hope the very best for her continued success.


ML photo1“A true man does not need to romance a different girl every night, a true man romances the same girl for the rest of her life.”

-Ana Alas

Marion Lovato on “Sam, The Superkitty”, She Never Knows WHAT He’s Going to do Next!

I met Marion Lovato while we both were participating in the MARSocial Author of the Year Competition.


She is a retired teacher, a caregiver for her mother, and an ambitious first-time author inspired by her clever cat, Sammy, and his crazy antics, expressions, etc., and added some imagination.



Sam The Superkitty

Genre: Children’s books

Ordinary cat by day; Superhero at night.

Intended Audience: Children, but adults seem to enjoy it also.

Is this your first book?


Are you a plotter or a pantster?

A pantster because I never know what he’s (Sam) going to do next!

Cat’s are crazy that way; however, my cat, Storm, is rather predictable. She’s either sleeping or wanting someone to feed her. What book do you wish you could have written?

Crime novels like James Patterson.

I’ve read a lot of James Patterson. I’m curious if Sammy has similar detective skills. Have you always enjoyed writing?

Yes, I was writing poetry and short stories as a child.

That’s alway a good place to start! What writing advice do you have for other aspiring authors?

Learn as much about the publishing business BEFORE you start. It will save you many costly mistakes.

Absolutely! Do you read your reviews?

Yes, I read my reviews.

Do you respond to them, good or bad? Do you have any advice on how to deal with the bad?

Fortunately, I haven’t had any “bad” ones, but I hope that if someone offers some constructive criticism I can learn from it.

Good for you! And here is an example of a great review!

By Gina LoBiondo on November 26, 2014

Format: Kindle Edition

What an absolutely delightful book! Sam, the Superkitty is the imaginative story of a little cat who becomes a “Superkitty” whenever his family is in danger. Based on a once-feral cat that she rescued, author Marion Lovato creates a sweet and simple story that both young and old will enjoy! The delightful illustrations only add to the appeal of the story.

Do you have any other talents or hobbies?

I’m a free-lance photographer.

Me, too! Nikon or Cannon?

I use an old Pentax I’ve had for years that still works well. Old fashioned because it uses film. :>)

Wow! That is OLD SCHOOL! Yet, I remember those days…

What is your least favorite part of the publishing / writing process?


I know, right? What can readers who enjoy your book do to help make it successful?

Spread the word; that’s the best advertising you can get!

What are you working on now?

Sam’s next adventure involving the moon.

Sounds fun! And now for some more fun…

Do you have any other pets?

My other cat, Kirby, is mentioned in the book, but will be working with Sammy in future versions.

What is your favorite snack food?

Trail mix

Any particular recipe/blend?

My trail mix is Cranberry Craze which has cranberries, raisins, almonds, and cashews. Yum!

That sounds delish! Have you ever been in trouble with the police?

Yes, I forgot to show up for jury duty, so the sheriff’s deputy came to school, arrested me, took in in front of the judge to get yelled at and pay my fine before they took me back to school.

WHAT? Seriously? They arrested you? You’d think they’d have some REAL criminals to chase!

What do you want your tombstone to say?

What the hell is she up to now?

Hilarious! I love it! Where is one place you want to visit that you haven’t been before?

The Great Pyramids of Egypt.

I hope you make it!

Now, please describe something you “deleted” from your work and why. 

I’ve deleted a few words or rewritten a paragraph, but nothing more. Have to remember this is my first book. 🙂


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