• Who We Are

  • Schedule

    Mondays ~
    Tuesdays ~ Snarky
    Wednesdays ~ Dreamer
    Thursdays ~ Naughty
    Fridays ~ Dreary
    Saturdays ~
    Sundays ~

    Whenever ~ Smokey, Mighty, Eerie and Wicked

  • Snarky’s Tweets

  • Kinetic’s Tweets

  • Dreamer’s Tweets

  • Wicked’s Tweets

  • Eerie’s Tweets

  • Mighty’s Tweets

SONS OF THE SPHINX: Love or Destiny? Meet Cheryl Carpinello to find out #YA #Paranormal #awardwinning #newreads

It’s been a while since we’ve had a guest, but today we have the lovely Cheryl Carpinello, the creative mind behind SONS OF THE SPHINX, 2014 Literary Classics Silver Medal winner Preteen/YA. Plus, she’s offer to give two random commenters an e-copy of her TUTANKHAMEN SPEAKS. So don’t be shy, share your favorite read as a kid, the one that still makes you smile, and your email, and you could be one of our winners! 

For me? Ohhh…Anne McCafferty’s Dragonriders of Pern (White Dragon) or even before that, Trixie Belden…

Without further ado, I give you Cheryl Carpinello…

If you were to hold a dinner party for six, who would you invite and share at least one question you would have for each.

My first guest would be Walt Disney. I would like to ask him how he ever came up with the idea of Disneyland and all of the rides. I would also ask him if he aware that he was creating such a magical world for kids and adults!

My second guest would be Plato. My question to him: Did you really visit Atlantis, and if so, would you tell me where it’s location was?

My third guest would be Bond, James Bond! I would like to ask him what has happened to all the Bond Girls he discarded. I would also ask him how one goes about getting to be a Bond Girl.

My fourth guest would be Elvis Presley. I would ask him to sing one song to me—“I Can’t Help Falling in Love With You.”

My fifth guest would be JRR Tolkien. My questions would be how did he come up with the different characters in The Hobbit and The Lord of the Rings. I would also like to know how much his homeland of England contributed to his setting.

My sixth guest would be a double with Christopher Robin and Pooh. My question: Just how much fun was the 100-Acre Wood?

As children we tend to have an idea of what we want to be by the time we’re ten. What did you want to be? 

I always wanted to be a teacher. I remember playing school in my bedroom. I would line up all my stuffed animals and dolls on the bed. Then I would pass out papers and books. It was later in life that I found the stories in my head that I write about now.

Many writers have that first novel which will never see the light of day. Out of curiosity, do you have one stashed somewhere?

Yes, I do. I was probably about 30, and I had been reading Harlequin Romances. I decided that I would try and write one. The title is Castles in the Sky. It is about a female war correspondent who sees her husband die in Beruit. She retreats to the Colorado Rockies and there, true to Harlequin themes, finds her next love.

What’s the one genre you won’t ever try and why?

That would be erotica. I can’t read it and really don’t want to. I know I can’t write it.

Now because Cheryl agreed to come visit, even she can’t escape our Bullet List. Ready? 1…2…3…go!

Blades, guns, fists, or feet?

Guns. I watched a lot of Westerns growing up at home.

Favorite Fairy Tale of all time?

Sleeping Beauty. It sounded so romantic.

Three titles/authors sitting on your nightstand waiting to be read.

Twenty Years After by Alexandre Dumas

The Nile by Toby Wilkinson

The Shadow of Camelot by Wendy Leighton-Porter

Greatest one-liner of all time?

Sept. 19, 2014. After driving around the UK for 3 weeks on the wrong (sorry those of you who live there) side of the road and wondering why my husband and I were still alive every night, the day we drive back to London I say to him, “I think I could even drive in London!”

Sarcastic witticism, Southern sweetness, or Geeky disdain?

Sarcastic witticism

Strangest item currently taking up space in your writing cave?

Toys, toys, and more toys belonging to our two grandsons, 6 and 1 1/2.

Favorite supernatural creature?

A dragon like Pete’s Dragon.

Now that we have you glued to your seat, ready to see why Cheryl’s story won the 2014 Literary Classics Silver Award?

Sons of the Sphinx, a time travel adventure 


Armed with what she considers her grandmother’s curse, 15-year-old Rosa agrees to help the ghost of King Tut find his lost queen Hesena. Though Hesena’s ba inhabits part of Rosa, finding the whole spirit of Hesena so that she and Tut can be together for the first time in over 3300 years proves to be a harder task than Rosa first thinks. Thrust back into Ancient Egypt with Tut, Rosa discovers that finding Hesena is not all she must do. She must keep out of the reach of the living Horemheb—who crosses mortal boundaries using Seth’s evil magic—if she is to stay alive to make it back home.

Sons of the Sphinx Buy Links:

Amazon                Smashwords              Nook               iBookstore

Author Links





Amazon Author Page

Author Sites

         Beyond Today Educator

         The Quest Books




Other Books by Cheryl Carpinello

Guinevere: On the Eve of Legend – Amazon http://www.amazon.com/dp/B0025KUJ36

Young Knights of the Round Table: The King’s Ransom – MuseItUp Publishing book page: http://museituppublishing.com/bookstore/index.php/museityoung/action-adventure/the-king-s-ransom-detail 

Tutankhamen Speaks – Amazon http://www.amazon.com/dp/B00E18KH46

 Author Picture 300dpi copy

Author Bio

I love the Ancient and Medieval Worlds! As a retired English teacher, I hope to inspire young readers to read more through my Quest Books. Please follow me on this adventure. Hook up with me on Facebook, Twitter, Pinterest, Goodreads, and Google.

Also please visit my other sites: Carpinello’s Writing Pages where I interview childrens/MG/Tween/YA authors; my home website Beyond Today Educator, and The Quest Books where I’ve teamed up with Fiona Ingram from South Africa and Wendy Leighton-Porter of England/France/Abu Dhabi to enable readers to find all of our Ancient and Medieval quest books in one place.

 Don’t forget to leave your name, email, and which book was your favorite as a kid in our comments, because you know you want a copy of Cheryl’s Tutankhamen Speaks!

Allison Merritt stops by with a hot demon sheriff and a Giveaway @allison_merritt

Please help me welcome the lovely Allison Merritt to the blog today. She was not only gracious enough to answer some questions, but she’s sharing her HOT! upcoming release, and giving away some goodies.

Peeps! We have a HOT DEMON SHERIFF 😀 Read on to find out more.

Allison, thanks so much for stopping in with us. And for letting us delve into your mind. First, tell me about this hot demon. If the book became a movie, which celebrities would play the characters?

 If Wystan became a movie, I’d love to see Henry Cavill play him. Man, does he have the jawline and the muscles for being a badass demon-slaying hottie sheriff? Yes, yes, he does. And for Rhia, I’d like to pick Anne Hathaway. She’s so talented, and I think she’d really capture Rhia’s personality.

 I’ll just say YUM! at Henry Cavill and we can move on 😉

 What hobby do you enjoy when not writing?

 I got a late start on watching Game of Thrones, seriously, I’m just now on season two, but I’m so into this. It makes me want to write fantasy romance. I love movies. It’s not unusual for me to bring home a different DVD ever couple of days to watch. When I’m not on my bum, I like to walk and take photographs of nature.

 It has a great storyline, love the angst, LOL.

 What’s your favorite comfort food?

 Lemon meringue pie. I call it solid sunshine, because that’s what sunshine would taste like if you could get a mouthful—you know, if it was a thing you could taste and not get horribly burned when you ate it.

 What’s your favorite color? Do you decorate your space and/or dress in this color often?

 It’s blue. I have more blue shirts and a couple of dresses than normal. I told my husband not to let me buy any more blue clothes, but it just keeps happening somehow. It’s not my fault cute clothes come in blue. We should complain to the manufacturers.

 Yay for blue! the best color ever.

  If you could time-travel, where would you go and why?

 I have an awful hankering to meet Nikola Tesla. You know the guy invented a way to get electricity without using all that crap Edison did? I curse Edison every time I get an electric bill. Tesla seems like he was a really interesting man. Little is really known about him, but I’d sure like to talk to him.

 Why are manhole covers round?

 They were inspired by stroopwafels. Have you ever had one of those? They’re an amazing thin wafer cookie filled with caramel syrup. They’re fantastic with ice cream.

 Do you have any upcoming news you’d like to share?

 Just a couple of months ago, I submitted Eban (The Heckmasters, Book #2) to my editor and I’m pleased to announce it’s coming out in April 2015. I just got the cover. I promise, between that and the story, everyone will be blown away.


Fast Five:

 Coffee or Chocolate? Chocolate

 Jewelry: Precious gems or gold? Gems

 Beach or Mountains? Beach

 Early Morning or Late Night? Late night

 Fruit or Veggies? Fruit


About the Book:

 WystancoverTitle: Wystan (The Heckmasters)

Length: 228 pages

Pubisher: Samhain Publishing

Publication date: October 21, 2014
Buy links:

Samhain            Amazon          B&N          Google Books



Her search for safety lands her in a totally new kind of danger.

 The Heckmasters, Book 1

 Certain that an ad for a job in a small New Mexico Territory town is the answer to her prayers, Nebraska schoolteacher Rhia Duke packs her sister into a rickety wagon and heads west.

 Except when they reach the near-deserted town, she learns the truth. There is no job, no future, and no welcome in the bleak blue eyes of the handsome sheriff.

 The minute Rhia’s runaway team thunders into town, Wystan Heckmaster feels the change in the air. One of three sons of a demon who dared love a human, he keeps watch over a Pit guarded by seven seals, and slays any Hellbound demon that attempts to free the master imprisoned within.

 With a gut full of regret and a forgotten town filled with reformed demons, Wystan is certain of one thing: he can’t be the man Rhia needs. But when the truth behind Rhia’s flight from Nebraska comes to light, Wystan must open his soul—and pray there’s enough love between them to overcome the darkness rising from the Pit.

 Warning: Contains a take-no-prisoners sheriff, a woman who can’t outrun her supernatural secrets, and a dusty town where hope is as thin as dust in the wind. Author recommends keeping a glass of cool spring water at your elbow while reading.



 Something changed in the air the moment the wagon crossed the town’s border. Too  early to be a supply train, and there was no way in hell it was visitors. Berner didn’t host  town fairs, theatre troupes, peddlers, or bible thumpers.

 Wystan Heckmaster slapped his battered Stetson on his head, collected the keys to the  jail, then stepped out the door. The first thing he saw was a pretty woman with hair the color of maple sugar—a rich brownish-blonde. The frown on her face spoke volumes, and the air around her pronounced trouble. She made a straight path for him.

 “Mr. Heckmaster. Or should I call you Sheriff? Or Mayor? I need to discuss the ad in the Lancaster County Republican with you. Someone placed an ad, but your brother tells me there is no school here. I’m sure there has to be a mistake. There’s only one Berner in New Mexico Territory. I’m very capable at reading maps. If I wasn’t, I would be ashamed to call myself a teacher.”

 He doubted she had taken more than two or three breaths during the speech. If she made talking in rambling paragraphs a habit, no wonder she looked so peaked.

“Teacher?” He glanced along the street, but it was deserted as usual. “Lady, we don’t have a school here. Certainly no need of a teacher.”

 Her hands balled into fists that settled on her hips. The dress she wore was patched—the egg yolk yellow faded into something even more disgusting. It had little flowers dotting the material, but they looked as worn as her scuffed black boots.

 “Then what was the purpose of placing an ad in the Lancaster County Republican?”

 She spoke with the fierceness of a mama bear warning predators away from her cubs.

 Wystan reached into his shirt pocket and drew out a toothpick. “I didn’t place any ad in any Lancaster County anything.” He looked past her, expecting Eban to saunter up the street. Eban had to be the brother she’d referred to since Tell was still on the trail.

 “Someone did,” she insisted. She fished a crumpled and much-folded piece of newsprint out of the pocket hidden by the folds of her skirt. “See? Right here it says, ‘School teacher wanted for spring term at Berner Schoolhouse. Wages paid based on experience. Room and board provided. Apply in person at City Hall, Berner, New Mexico Territory.’ I’m sure my eyes don’t deceive me.”

 Wystan stared at the clipping, then back at the woman. A galaxy of freckles spattered across her nose and cheekbones, making her look younger than her eyes said she was. Full figured and sure as shittin’ a grown woman. The wariness and worry darkening her hazel eyes gave her away as one with a lot of trouble on her plate.

 “I can read.”

 She pulled the ad away from his face, folded it, and returned it to her pocket. “Where would you suggest I look for an explanation, Mr. Heckmaster?”

 Fussy little thing. “I assure you that no one in this town did. There’s been a mistake. Sorry to inconvenience you, Miss Schoolteacher. Now turn around and head home.”

 A flush colored her cheeks. “I can’t head home! I have no home to return to. My little sister and my friend are waiting at the doctor’s office for me to straighten this mess out. The ad says that room and board will be provided. I’d expected to move into a room, sir.”

 “You left them with Eban?” That explained his absence.

 “Beryl is ill, Sheriff. This is the first town we’ve seen in days and it was past time for her to get some attention.” Despair crept into her voice.

 Wystan shifted his weight and transferred the toothpick to the other side of his mouth. “Eban’s not exactly trained in human medicine.”

 The woman’s mouth opened into an O. She shook her head and seemed to regain her senses. “He’s a veterinarian? He seemed certain he could help Beryl.”

 Wystan cleared his throat. “Sure, animal doctor. I’m sorry for your misfortune, lady, but as you can see, Berner’s about run into the ground. There’s nothing here for you or your friend. Might be best to move along.”

 She seemed to deflate. “Move along.” Her lips moved, softly forming the words, but it was as though she didn’t comprehend them. “We’ll move along, right down the trail into the next town where there won’t be any teaching jobs either. Sylvie, Beryl, and I will starve to death on the side of the road with no one in the world to care.”


Buy links:

Samhain            Amazon          B&N          Google Books

Click on the link for the Giveaway

a Rafflecopter giveaway


About the Author:

10624850_848959491804943_4194715946300646117_nA love of reading inspired Allison Merritt to pursue her dream of becoming an author who writes historical, paranormal and fantasy romances, often combining the sub-genres. She lives in a small town in the Ozark Mountains with her husband and dogs. When she’s not writing or reading, she hikes in national parks and conservation areas.

 Allison graduated from College of the Ozarks in Point Lookout, Missouri with a B.A. in mass communications that’s gathering dust after it was determined that she’s better at writing fluff than hard news.


Social media links:

Blog – http://havenovelwilledit.blogspot.com

Facebook – http://facebook.com/allisonmwrites

Twitter – http://twitter.com/allison_merritt

G+ – http://gplus.to/allisonmerritt

Goodreads – http://goodreads.com/AllisonMWrites

Pinterest – http://www.pinterest.com/allisonmwrites/

@AshleyLadd is bringing her sexy trio of HER MEN to visit…#giveaway #erotic #romance

Today we are being visited by the lovely Ashley Ladd, mistress of steamy romance, where her heroine doesn’t have to settle for just one hunky hero. Not only is sharing a peek of HER MEN, her latest title from Totally Bound, but she’ll give one lucky commenter a pdf or epub copy! (Remember, we can’t reach you, if you don’t leave your email!)

Her Men–a contemporary erotic novella by Ashley Ladd

Forty-four year old Julie Weston has loved Timmy and James since her college days twenty something years ago. She’s fantasized about both all these long years, never able to choose between them.

Hoping Tim and James will attend, she attends their college marching band reunion. When both men show up her dreams are answered. They’re sexier than she imagined and she hopes they won’t be disappointed by her older self.

It turns out both men came just to see her again and neither is happy about the other’s presence. They fight over her, confusing her more than ever. It takes a hot ménage…or two…for her heart to decide which one she’s in love with.hermen_800

Fair warning…things might get a bit hot if you dare to read on…

“I’m so hungry—for you.” Tim twisted her hair in his fingers and pressed his lips to her forehead. “And I’m so hot, if you know what I mean.”
“Me too.” She was glad for her buzz, for the courage it provided. She longed to kiss him, wondered why he hadn’t kissed her yet.
“Let’s ditch dinner and…”
A shadow fell between them and James grabbed her away from Tim. “I’m breaking in. You’ve monopolized her all night.”
“But you don’t dance. You don’t like disco,” she blurted, surprised but thrilled.
“I do now. If it’s the only way I get my turn to see you, I’ll dance all night. I’m tired of waiting for you at the table.” James tugged her into his arms, ignoring Tim’s deathly glare.
“One dance, then I’m coming back.” Tim stalked away and grabbed a drink, which he downed in one gulp.
James’ warmth replaced Tim’s.
“Thank you.” She wiggled beside James hoping she could make him as hot as she’d made Tim.
“For rescuing you from Tim? You didn’t look as though you wanted rescuing.” James held her close but his nostrils flared and his eyes narrowed to mere slits.
“Not for tonight. For all those years ago you told him off for abandoning me. I wish I’d known. I also wish I’d done this.” Before she could lose her nerve, she pressed her lips to his.
He pulled back and gazed into her eyes, suspicion in his. “Are you drunk?”
Hurt and embarrassed she held up one finger. “I only had one drink. And I kissed you because I’ve wanted to do so for many years and I don’t want to let you go again without you knowing that, without knowing what it feels like.”
A low growl rumbled from James. Desire lit his eyes. Purpose firmed his lips. Without another word, he lowered his head and kissed her deeply, thoroughly.
He tasted so good, like steak and Cabernet and she couldn’t get enough. Her legs rubbery, about to give out on her, she clung to him. Her heart seemed to swell to triple its normal size. James’ was robust and passionate and full of pent-up longing.
“You wanted to kiss me too, all those years ago,” she muttered, touching his lips. It wasn’t a question. He tasted too good, was too mesmerizing to move away from.
“Yes.” The answer was long, drawn out and breathy. Full of emotion.
“Why didn’t we?”

Shall I bring you a cold cup of water? No? You sure? Then if you’re ready, come meet the mind behind the heat–Ashley Ladd…

If you were to hold a dinner party for six, who would you invite and share at least one question you would have for each? 

John Lennon—What was it like in the early days to be a Beatle, when you were just becoming famous? What attracted you to Yoko?

Elizabeth Bennett—What was your life like after the honeymoon was over with Mr. Darcy? Or did the honeymoon ever end?

Mulan—Did you marry Shang Li? Did you go back to war?

Spock—Did you ever marry or have children?

Captain Kirk—How many women did you date? Do you like older women?

–((giggle)) I don’t think he’d turn you down…

Luke Skywalker—Did you find and train more Jedi Knights after you saved your father? Or did the Jedi die out after you?

–from what I’ve heard, Luke did more than train more Knights, but that’s another universe, far, far, away…

As children we tend to have an idea of what we want to be by the time we’re ten. Before you decided to pursue the artistic dream of being a writer, what did you want to be and why?

I wanted to be an astronaut and travel the galaxy with Spock and Captain Kirk. I wanted to discover new worlds and new civilizations – to go where no man has gone before.

If you turned your laptop/computer/pen/typewriter (yes, some of still use these!) over to your character(s), how would they describe you?

A frustrated, disabled vet who was turned down by the FBI to be an agent because of her hearing loss. Instead she lives vicariously through her stories with kick ass heroes and heroines, some who are military, some who aren’t, and all who make her happy in one way or another.

She adores her kids and grandkids, human and furry. She wants to be a crazy cat lady and would be more of one if only her family would permit it. They say four cats are two two many.

She loves the Beatles, moldy oldies, American Idol finalists, Star Trek, and watching movies on the big screen.

Ashley wanted to share Bobby with us, just to point out that crazy cat lady status is not something to be feared…Ashley Ladd with Bobby for Hat Interview

Personally, I tend to be a bit on the introverted side so the thought of being in the actual presence of one of my favorite writers makes my heart race, my knees shake and tangles my tongue (yes classic fan girl behavior). Who could reduce you to such a level and how do you imagine your initial meeting?

I’m like you, shy and introverted.

I admire Stephen King, Sherryl Woods, Tina Wainscott, Holly Jacobs.

–I know this short, little guy who travels with a Raven who’d love to be with you when you hook up with Mr. King..

I would get a frog in my throat and would have trouble spitting out mywords if I could even think of anything intelligent to say. My knees would shake and my stomach would be tied up in knots.

Actually, I know Holly from online when she still went by Holly Fuhrman and I’ve met her in person. She’s extremely nice.

And now that we’ve finished our tough questions, time for Ashley to dodge a few bullets…

  • Blades, guns, fists or feet?    Guns (I used to shoot trap with my dad – but I also like feet as I was a brown belt in Taekwondo too)
  • Favorite Fairy Tale of all time?      Mulan!
  • Sarcastic witticism, Southern sweetness or Geeky disdain?    Geeky disdain (I’m a HUGE Big Bang Theory fan)
  • Strangest item currently taking up space in your writing cave?    My husband’s mini fridge is sitting on the side of my computer desk!
  • Favorite supernatural creature?    Pegasus


Ashley Ladd lives in South Florida with her husband, five children, and beloved pets. She loves the water, animals (especially cats), and playing on the computer.She’s been told she has a wicked sense of humor and often incorporates humor and adventure into her books. She also adores very spicy romance, which she weaves into her stories.Ashley Ladd bio

How you can contact Ashley:


The 7 Evil Dwarves are back with a new Swamp! #7EDs

On the tail end of our journey through the writing workshops over the last month, I wanted to see if you all have checked out the reswampped home of the 7 Evil Dwarves (www.7evildwarves.com)? We’ve added some new stops.

Since I spent most of June doing writer marketing stuff, release stuff, and setting things into place for the second PSY-IV Team book, I also threw in remodeling my site, which in turn bled over into reswammping the 7ED site. We’ve let the mud creep up over the last few months. Some of the dwarves have huddled inside their shacks refusing to venture out into the common areas, so we as a group decided it was time to get ourselves back in shape. (Okay, yes, maybe I pushed…a little…with a bulldozer…but the results are worth it, right?)

To ensure we stay on track, we set up a new blog schedule. Every day a dwarf will post. Doesn’t matter how long or short, they will post so our visitors know we aren’t a ghost swamp.

We added a page listing all our author interviews (in alpha order, because my CDO kicked in). These interviews are us asking writers we admire questions, so check out the list and feel free to spend some time in the Swamp Guest Archives tab.

You’ll notice we number a bit more than 7, but we have a couple of dwarves who hold honorary positions, so we’re not kicking them out. We each have a page, so take the time to give the hairy eyeball to each one.

There’s a tab–Writings of the Dwarves–this is a must see. Here you will find all our literary accomplishments, along with links to access them. Our goal, to add a few more names and titles by this time next year.

You’ll notice there’s a tab titled, SWAMP TALES. This requires constant checking because we have gathered around the campfire and began a story–just for you readers. Each of us takes a piece in round robin format. Of course, at the time of writing this post, it’s a bit snarly, but I’m sure we’ll find our way out…soon…or else!

Then there’s another page for all those writers out there who are looking for some helpful sites and communities. Doesn’t matter your genre, feel free to click and play.

Take your time, mosey around my place (www.jamigray.com) and check out the first chapter of each book, sign up for my newsletter. (So far, I’ve only sent out one and I’ll probably send one more out later this year, which means, that’s what? Two a year. Shouldn’t crowd your in-box too much.) Then check out the nooks and crannies at the Swamp.

Let us know what’s working, what isn’t, and what you might expect but didn’t find.


Timothy Desmond brings THE DOC to the Swamp #suspense #interview

Today, fellow Black Opal author, Timothy Desmond found his way into our Swamp.  He even brought his  Suspense novel, THE DOC (arriving soon), with him. (heh, he may need that doc if Eerie’s Free Range Zombie herd gets riled up again!).

Rifling Of Old Cannon, View On The Inside


When a dying friend and fellow Civil War reenactor asks California physician Hank Houston to find his daughter’s killer, Hank has no idea what problems his snooping will cause. The last thing he expected to uncover was a US murder squad being run by the DHS. But this domestic black ops unit is determined not to be exposed and, as Hank gets closer to the truth, he discovers just how far they will go to hide all their dirty little secrets.



Hank just wouldn’t seem to die—so this time they were going to make sure…

The hospital hallway was quiet, with the exception of the echo of a patient chart being tossed on a desk and crash cart draws being opened and closed. A night nurse checked the current supplies. The cop at the doorway watched as a well-dressed man approach Hank’s room.

“I’m Doctor Terry Graf. I’d like to check on Henry Houston

The cop motioned for him to go into the room.

Hank had just closed his eyes and drifted off to sleep again. He remained asleep as Terry entered the room and removed a syringe from his pocket. The sterile snap of breaking plastic did not disturb Hank, as Terry prepared to inject him. He and Hank had been friends at one time, but this was a necessity. Hank had to go. There could be no loose ends.

This method was so clean. Hank’s nervous system would just go out and, with that, everything would shut down. There would be no pain, just total lights out, like a switch.

Terry kept the syringe pointed up, but hidden from the door, as he picked up Hank’s IV line. He followed the line looking for the piggy-back injection site. But he did not find it. The line led back to a pump on a stand.

He looked at the top of Hank’s hand. Damn. I could inject into the line. No, the pressure increase there will set off the alarm on the pump. Will have to risk waking him and go right into the vein.

Terry saw a shadow move on the wall and turned his head toward the door. A nurse stood there, watching him.




Without much further ado, let’s just get into the nitty, gritty of Timothy’s psyche, shall we?

If you were to hold a dinner party for six, who would you invite and share at least one question you would have for each?

  • Samuel Clemens/Mark Twain – Did you ever meet California rancher and former Hannibal Missouri native Henry Clay Daulton, after your California years?
  • Ernest Hemingway – aside from the book “Across the River and Into the Trees” why didn’t you write the World War Two novel that was planned?
  • Lina Wertmuller, film director – Knowing the movie business as you do, have you remained as anti-capitalist as your characters?
  • Queen Elizabeth II – What did you like the most about Dickie Mountbatten?
  • Michael Chrichten _ Why did you leave Medicine?
  • Diana Gabaldon – You’ve written so much about your process and sources, is there anything we don’t know?

Whoo-eee, now that’s a dinner party, Timothy. 


As children we tend to have an idea of what we want to be by the time we’re ten. Before you decided to pursue the artistic dream of being a writer, what did you want to be and why?

At 10 years old I wanted to build cars. Yes. I didn’t know about DeLorian’s problems. At 12 years I wanted to build an airplane – like Lindberg’s Ryan NX211. At 14 I wanted to be an architect, at 16 an artist, at 17 a sculptor, at 18 a writer.


If you turned your laptop/computer/pen/typewriter (yes, some of still use these!) over to your character(s), how would they describe you?

They would probably say, “Dear Gawd, man, what the hell happened to you? You had it made in ’64, then ……. What? ……. a waste of a career.”

Many writers have that first novel which will never see the light of day. Out of curiosity, do you have one stashed somewhere? Inquiring minds want to know: what was your first attempt at writing and how old were you?

The first novel attempt was at age 34. Yes, it is stashed somewhere. The title was World War Four. It was a post apocalyptic story. I sent it around. To an L.A. group. Later the movie Red Dawn came out that had some similarities. I may have been ripped off. Too a Larry McMurtry book had a similar scene in opening. It proved to me that there is such a thing as “simultaneous invention.” Now, I would be very embarrassed for WW4 to be read.

Just wait, everything cycles. You could take it out, brush it off, add a few zombies and re-titled it WW5.


Whether we’re plotters or pantsers (outlines not needed), creating our stories takes us on very memorable journeys. Sometimes we may be part way through before we realize some major aspect of our story is just not working (plot, character, setting). Have you ever hit this sharp, pointy snag and if so, how did you escape?

Always outlined and always had problems. Last one my editors helped.

–Outlines (shudders) Although they do have their uses, just don’t quote me on that.


Were you battered and bruised or a bloody mess?

Initially yes, a bit of a bloody mess. But, it was a huge learning thing. And, as all that interrupted the work on another manuscript that started as a “pantser,” I have problems with that too, but have a better idea how to solve it all.

Share one uniquely strange experience you’ve had that remains crystal clear to this day.

Back in the 60’s we lived in the country away from city glare. The starry nights were often crystal clear. Around 1963, I began noticing a moving red light, in the air, north of my location. The silhouette of the mountain was very black under the stars. The red light moved back and forth, up and down, and hovered. I was estimating it was ten to twenty miles away. I tried to imagine if it was a vehicle on a far road. No, it was a UFO, and that was the first of several spooky sightings during a two year period. Coyotes barking in the distance didn’t help.

What’s the one genre you won’t ever try and why?

I know it is huge, and I don’t want to step on anyone’s toes, but I can’t imagine writing “fantasy” type stories. Maybe everything we do in fiction is fantasy, but the Tolkien [spell?], romance, and others are good and great, it just isn’t me.

What is some of the best advice you were ever given?

Genres have rules.

–Probably THE best thing a new writer can hear.


What is the best advice you can share with others?

Try to be different. We all have favorite other authors and characters. Don’t copy.

Share if you dare, one of your favorite research experiences. Did you join a ghost hunters group? Did you step outside your comfort zone and into the wild world of your characters?

I have a hard time writing about murder. It’s repulsive. Yet, on some level I thought I needed to understand that, not as a writer, but because some bad things happened to either my student’s, when I was teaching, or to family. Part of me found some answers, but there is still a part of me that “really doesn’t want to understand that level of evil.”

Timothy survived our first round of questioning, so now we put him under fire with our BULLET LIST…

  • Blades, guns, fists or feet?


  • Favorite Fairy Tale of all time?

Frog Prince

  • Three titles and their authors sitting on your nightstand/bookcase/table/floor waiting to be read?

1. Jackson Pollock by Steven Naifeh and Gregory White Smith, 2. 9800 Savage Road by M.E. Harrigan, 3. Concrete Blonde by Michael Connelly

  • Greatest one liner of all time?

“That’ll be the day.”

  • Sarcastic witticism, Southern sweetness or Geeky disdain?

Southern sweetness

  • Strangest item currently taking up space in your writing cave?

A 12 inch ceramic pink pig

Check it out, Timothy shared a pic of said office

Blog Header - Work Area

  • Favorite supernatural creature?

A childhood idea of a bearded God in my grandmother’s back yard.

She must have had a rocking’ backyard to draw that kind of crowd…

Much thanks to Timothy for taking the time to visit with us and bring his upcoming book, THE DOC, along for the ride.

Family - Tim 2011

Tim was raised in Madera, California. He attended, on scholarship, California College of Arts and Crafts in Oakland, CA. Later, after graduating from California State University Fresno with a BA degree in Zoology, he earned his Teaching Credential. While writing since the college years, he taught biology, chemistry and physics for thirty-six years before retiring. He has written two novels, in 2005 a World War II flashback For Thou Art With Me and in 2010 the conspiracy thriller ebook version The Doc. He is married and lives in Fresno, California. He spends time painting and Civil War reenacting.

You can run Timothy down at the following locations:

Email: bobbitimdesmond@att.net
Amazon author page at: http://www.amazon.com/-/e/B00694KQQO
Writing at: http://timothydesmond.wordpress.com
Art at: http://artbydesmond.wordpress.com

SHADOW’S MOON is on Tour! #booktour #newrelease #UF #PNR

Look at the lovely banner…isn’t it pretty? SHADOW’S MOON is touring during the month of June. Much thanks to Enchanted Book Tours for setting this up for me.  To see the complete list with links, just click on the banner below.

We have giveaways, excerpts, interviews of all kinds. Come join the celebration as we follow Xander and Warrick’s further into the Kyn world!

Shadow's Moon is on Book Tour in June!

Shadow’s Moon is on Book Tour in June!


June 1st: Starter Day Party @ I Heart Reading June 2nd: Promo Post @ I’m an Eclectic Reader June 3rd: Book Excerpt @ The Book Gazette June 5th: Author Interview and Giveaway @ The Single Librarian June 7th: Promo Post @ Book Club Sisters June 8th: Book Excerpt @ Bookaholic Ramblings June 9th: Guest Post @ Forever Book Lover June 10th: Author Interview @ Majanka’s Blog June 11th: Book Review @ Endazzled Reading June 13th: Promo Post @ Hollow Readers June 15th: Character Interview @ The Book Daily June 16th: Book Review @ Bookish Madness June 17th: Book Excerpt @ 365 Days of Reading June 19th: Guest Post @ Editor Charlene’s Blog June 21st: Book Review and Giveaway @ Forever Book Lover June 23rd: Promo Post @ The Reading Guru June 25th: Author Interview @ Cassidy Crimson’s Blog June 26th: Book Excerpt @ Realm Tramper June 28th: Book Review and Giveaway @ I Heart Reading June 29th: Book Excerpt and Giveaway @ Book Skater June 30th: Book Review @ Paranormal Romance Authors That Rock July 1st: Book Review, Excerpt and Giveaway @ Dalene’s Book Reviews

Debut author CHE GILSON is bringing forth her DOG FIGHT into the Swamp! #newread #BOB

May is our month of visitors, and today’s is the multi-talented CHE GILSON, one of Black Opal’s newest authors. Her debut release, DOG FIGHT, will hit shelves soon, so keep an eye out. In the meantime, we thought we’d share the wild worlds in her head by asking a few questions!

Carmine  Cover DA


Whether we’re plotters or pantsers (outlines not needed), creating our stories takes us on very memorable journeys. Sometimes we may be part way through before we realize some major aspect of our story is just not working (plot, character, setting). Have you ever hit this sharp, pointy snag and if so, how did you escape? We’re you battered and bruised or a bloody mess?

This usually doesn’t happen to me if I outline! I had to make a conscious decision to start outlining after this happened one too many times. I have a novel which I’m currently editing which completely died in the middle. I had the ending in mind so what I did was skip the entire middle section and write the ending. Only after I was done with that did the middle occur to me. Then I cut and pasted the middle into the book and had to paste in all the ending scenes I wrote in order. It’s not something I recommend!

After that nightmare I finally decided to start outlining again. I found a great little novel development plan another author uses and started using that. I used the development plan for a Middle Grade novel and it went off without a hitch! The middle is where I tend to start failing so the outline helps get the whole arc down.

But some projects have been unsalvageable.

 –Yep, I love to say I’m a pantser, but as I keep writing, I find I’m sneaking in outlines on the side. So, perhaps I’m a closet plotter? Hmmm…


What’s the one genre you won’t ever try and why?

 Historic fiction. Because I am a lazy, lazy, researcher. I like my history in documentary format and that doesn’t really lend itself to in depth knowledge. I’m also not much of a reader of historic fiction, though I can see the appeal.

 –I’m with you on that one, Che. No way do I want to delve into worlds where if I’m off just a little on my history, it’s all over.

Growing up, what was your favorite book, comic, game or movie and did you create a character/player that might resemble you?

OMG. This question! I can’t even… Okay, here goes; I LOVED Star Wars as a kid and I did invent a character to insert into the world. However my “fan” characters tended to be more what I wanted to be, a badass, then resembling myself (who is a wimp). So my fan character for Star Wars was a female Admiral named Admiral Darkstar who had run a fowl of Darth Vader and been kicked out of the Empire. She was a bounty hunter for Jabba the Hutt.

 –(handing over a paper bag) It’s okay, I totally understand…

What is some of the best advice you were ever given?

One good bit of advice I received from Cat Rambo in one of her writing classes. The class was short stories and she said “Don’t say no for them”. She was talking about submitting your short stories to magazines, but it really applies to everything. Even if you don’t think your story is perfect or even if you think it’s awful, a lot of writers, like myself, don’t know when we’re actually doing well. So submit that story, or book and let the editor say “no”. Don’t just stick it in a folder, because if no one ever sees it, it’s a guaranteed rejection.

–I like that!


We put Che front and center, and she’s dodging our bullet list like a pro… 

Blades, guns, fists or feet?

Fists or swords in books, guns in movies.

Favorite Fairy Tale of all time?

Maybe “The Snow Queen”. I suddenly realize I haven’t read a lot of fairy tales…

 –May I suggest starting with the original Brothers Grimm? (wiggles eyebrows)

Three titles and their authors sitting on your nightstand/bookcase/table/floor waiting to be read?

 “A Passage To India” by E.M. Forster, “Sakuran” by Mayocco Anno, “Mortal Engines” Philip Reeve


Greatest one liner of all time?

 “I can’t promise I’ll try, but I’ll try to try.” -Bart Simpson

 –Ahh, the wisdom of The Simpsons, may it wax on eternally…

Sarcastic witticism, Southern sweetness or Geeky disdain?

 Sarcastic witticism.


Strangest item currently taking up space in your writing cave?

 Probably dolls… I collect Asian ball jointed dolls and they are all over the house! And a ton of art supplies.


Favorite supernatural creature?

 Witches. I write about them the most.


Want to learn more about Che…

Che has been drawing her whole life and creating numerous worlds of her own. She has taken classes in art and attended the Savannah College of Art and Design majoring in Sequential Art. She has variously done oil painting, etching, and drawing. Her biggest influence is manga and anime. In recent years has settled on the computer to color her art. She uses Photoshop 7 for all her color work.

After a brief career in comic books and three graphic novels later ( Avigon: Gods and Demons, Dark Moon Diary vol. 1 and Dark Moon Diary vol. 2) she has begun writing novels. She has even had a few short stories published in e-zines online.

Che is an avid collector of Asian Ball Jointed Dolls which consume quite a bit of time. She has a pet lovebird that is a star in his own right. She reads, writes and draws.

Currently she draws for Queen Kat Designs, reviews manga for Otaku USA magazine, and is almost done with a humorous paranormal novel called Tea Times Three. 

She hates writing bios and if anyone is really interested in getting to know her she has a Livejournal found here http://spiderling.livejournal.com/ a Deviant Art Gallery where she posts art http://spiderliing666.deviantart.com/ and a writing blog http://chegilson.blogspot.com/



Time to meet award winning @AnetaCruz and her latest release THE GUARDIAN #psythrill #newrelease

Today we have the privilege to spend a little bit of time with one of Black Opal’s authors, award winning Aneta Cruz, and her latest release, THE GUARDIAN. If you’re looking for a psychological thrill ride, pick this up! In the meantime, stick with us because you’re going to love who she’s bringing to her dinner party. Swear, I’ll be crashing it. I have a few questions of my own for Mr. Edgar A. Poe. I bet Mischievous and Eerie would gladly help cater. We promised our raven would stay on his best (or the best we could manage) behavior.

The Guardian


Dr. Josef Stein was trained as a man of science and rationality, but after a tragic experience, he believes that there is something within—or even without—the human body sciences cannot explain. And Stein would do anything to witness it! When his patients begin seeing a ghost, and a woman suspected of killing her child even accuses this spirit of the crime, Stein takes it upon himself to investigate. Unexpectedly, evidence of a supernatural phenomenon starts to mount. The good doctor’s quest to seeis ignited with fervor. He thinks he is on the verge of uncovering the veracity of a thousand-year-old myth when his research gets interrupted by the Gestapo. Stein turns to his colleagues and friends for help, but they begin to suspect that the doctor’s determination may have unhinged his mind. Has Stein, after years of treating the crazy, gone mad himself?


We managed to lure her with the promise of visiting Snarky’s Dragons, then we whipped out our questions…

If you were to hold a dinner party for six, who would you invite and share at least one question you would have for each? Your guests don’t have to be alive and if you really want to make it fun, you can use favorite fictional characters.

I think I’d like to have the cast of FRIENDS over for dinner. And I don’t even have to be at the table. I can just sit on the couch [get it] and watch their shenanigans without the remote. I’ll have Monica prepare the food, Rachel whine about how she and Ross were on a break, Chandler can smoke by an open window, Joey must come wearing everything Chandler owns, and Phoebe has to sing the Smelly Cat. And when they leave, I’d like to dig up E. A. Poe, re-heat the leftovers, look into his mad eyes, and ask, “What the hell happened during the days you went missing?” I’d take notes of course, so I can write a book about it. Then I would thank him and say, “The Raven really isn’t all that good.” But I think I would have to quickly throw him back into his grave so he can roll over in it.

–I do believe you’d get a few extra guests…me, Eerie, Mischievous we promise not to embarrass you. Okay, not too much!

As children we tend to have an idea of what we want to be by the time we’re ten. Before you decided to pursue the artistic dream of being a writer, what did you want to be and why?

I wanted to be an astronaut. I’ve been infatuated by the cosmos ever since I looked up at the night sky and realized that we are no more than a speck of star dust. I wanted to be the first woman in space (missed that one). Still, space travel is on my bucket list, so I’m not allowed to die until I take a trip through the cosmos. Oh, and I would really like to meet an alien. Really.

–You know, we might luck out and find a few aliens down here. I could’ve sworn that guy at the coffee shop was from a totally different planet.

If your character(s) came with a warning label, what would it say?

Jeez, so many come to mind. But this one is definitely true: “She [meaning me the author] can’t control us. We control her!” Yup, no matter how I try to steer my character, they always do what they want to do, say what they want to say, and when I don’t want to let them have it their way, my writing sucks.

–Yeah, those damn characters get so testy when they don’t get their own way. *looking over my shoulder* But you didn’t hear it from me.

What’s some of the funniest/sweetest/strangest things you’ve heard from your readers?

I’m not sure whether one would consider this funny/sweet/strange; however, my readers say countless times that I must be crazy to come up with the stuff I do. Little do they know…I hear voices [insert wicked laughter].

–Just voices? Darling, wait until you start holding entire conversations in public with your “imaginary friends”.

What is some of the best advice you were ever given?

“Just make up some good shit.”

 –Hmmm, I detect overtones of Chuck Wendig here…

What is the best advice you can share with others?

“In order to make up some good shit, you must read a lot, and I mean a lot, like a whole pile of shit.”

–Yep, Wendig all the way!

Poor Aneta, we even subjected her to our bullet list. The girl is quick, so don’t miss these…

Blades, guns, fists or feet?

Neither. Quick wit.

–snicker, giggle

  Favorite Fairy Tale of all time?

The Mysterious Mandolin by Yours Truly. I’m not bragging. I really, truly love it!

–bragging rights are totally allowed here in the Swamp.

  Three titles and their authors sitting on your nightstand/bookcase/table/floor waiting to be read?

Gone Girl by Gillian Flynn, Never Let Me Go by Kazuo Ishiguro, Beloved by Toni Morrison

  Greatest one liner of all time?

Atheists have the best sex.

–Okay, that’s the best one I’ve heard this year!

  Sarcastic witticism, Southern sweetness or Geeky disdain?

Sarcastic wisecracks with a pinch of geeky disdain.

  Strangest item currently taking up space in your writing cave?

My husband’s fishing poles. WTH!

–I have a hubby that appears in mine sometimes. I ask the same question.

  Favorite supernatural creature?

Lucifer, Frankenstein, Grendel, Dracula, Hunchback, Veelas, Witches, Ghosts, Dragons… did I mention I love monsters?

–You’re in good company on this one!

Much love to Aneta for stopping by and bringing THE GUARDIAN with her. You too can bask in her presence, just find her in the following places:


WEBSITE      FACEBOOK         TWITTER @AnetaCruz     BLOG: conundrumcorner.blogspot.com

Aneta Cruz was born and raised in the Czech Republic. She spent most of her childhood hiding in the library because her friends called her a liar. In her defense, she was only “telling stories.” There Cruz fell in love with books and vowed to become an author. She’d heard that dreams come true in America, so she packed her suitcase and got on the plane shortly after her twentieth birthday. Since then Cruz has earned a BA in English Literature, MFA in Creative Writing, and published a-Muse-me[a]nt, a Collec-tion of Poetry and Prose,  Heartbreak Hotel, The Mysterious Mandolin and took part in the anthology, A Touch of Winter. Her works can be found in Bad-lands, the GNU, the Global Alchemy Forum, and Mused. Cruz is the winner of the 2011 Desert Literary Society Fiction Award.

We have Best Selling @CynthiaEden at the Swamp w/giveaway! #pararom #darkrom #giveaway

We’ve managed to snag another great writer in one of our UNWARY TRAVELER TRAPS we sprinkled through out the Swamp. Today’s catch of the day: CYNTHIA EDEN, Mistress of Award Winning Sexy Paranormal Romance and Dark Romantic Suspense.  Not only is she a New York Times, USA Today, Digital Book World, and IndieReader best-seller, but Cynthia is also a two-time finalist for the RITA® award (she was a finalist both in the romantic suspense category and in the paranormal romance category). Since she began writing full-time in 2005, Cynthia has written over forty novels and novellas, so I know you might recognize some of her series titles (Angel of Darkness, Mine to Take, Deadly Fear, Die For Me, Bound by Blood, and Burn For Me).

Not only did we manage to convince her (with large amounts of chocolate and elusive sightings of werewolves) to come answer a few questions, she even offered to give one lucky commenter their choice of either a PRINT COPY or DIGITAL COPY of  ONCE BITTEN, TWICE BURNED. (It’s an awesome read!) All you have to do is leave us a comment with a one word description of the one person you know best…you! Don’t forget your email or we won’t be able to share the wonderfulness of Cynthia’s writing!

In case you’re feeling shy and need a little encouragement, here’s a pretty pic and something to whet your reading taste buds:



Ryder Duncan keeps his secrets. With a twisted scientist starving him in a 10 x 12 cell, it’s not easy to conceal the abilities that set him apart from other vampires, or his plans for escape. But survival–and revenge–are worth waiting for. Until the so-called doctor tempts his appetites with something special: a woman, with a soft Southern accent and a scent like flowers. Sabine.

Sabine Acadia didn’t volunteer to be dinner. She was kidnapped and tossed into the cage of a monster. A monster with fierce green eyes, a body that speaks of ruthless power–but a touch gentle as a caress. Ryder knows things about her, secrets Sabine needs to learn fast. Because while they might soon escape this prison, she’s fighting an urge to set all her desires free. . .

Buy links:        Amazon              B&N

Ready to meet Cynthia? Hang on tight, here we go…


As children we tend to have an idea of what we want to be by the time we’re ten. Before you decided to pursue the artistic dream of being a writer, what did you want to be and why?

 I planned to be a magician—the best magician EVER!!!!!! My mom had to sit through countless magic shows as I tried to perfect my craft. The milk didn’t always disappear into the rolled up newspaper (the way it was supposed to do!) and, instead, we often ended up with a wet floor.

 –As long as the rabbit made it out alive, I think you can call it a success!

If you turned your laptop/computer/pen/typewriter (yes, some of still use these!) over to your character(s), how would they describe you?

 They would probably say I was obsessive, compulsive, crazy, and given to watching far too many fanfic YouTube videos of ONCE UPON A TIME, THE VAMPIRE DIARIES, and CASTLE…

–And what’s wrong with that? Oh! Look, new episode of CASTLE is on…be right back.

Personally, I tend to be a bit on the introverted side so the thought of being in the actual presence of one of my favorite writers makes my heart race, my knees shake and tangles my tongue (yes classic fan girl behavior). Who could reduce you to such a level and how do you imagine your initial meeting?

Jayne Ann Krentz totally reduced me to this behavior. I’ve adored her work for years, and when I had a chance to get her autograph at the last RWA conference, I rambled like a mad woman.

 –Okay, so you won’t be too stunned if this tongue tied mess tracks you down at RT then right? Right?

Many writers have that first novel which will never see the light of day. Out of curiosity, do you have one stashed somewhere? Inquiring minds want to know: what was your first attempt at writing and how old were you?

Oh, I definitely have a first novel—actually, I think I have the first five novels stashed some place. I’ve got a truly terrible Harlequin series book that I wrote for their long ago “Yours Truly” line (and when I say this book is horrible—I mean I had NO IDEA WHAT I WAS DOING!). I wrote that book almost 20 years ago, and I will never, ever show it to another person again.

I also wrote a YA book back then—more in the line with RL Stine/Christopher Pike. Kids were getting scared/there was a supernatural baddie after them…oh, good times!!

–Okay, so I have my own horrific YA novel that is never allowed to come into the light, nope, not ever. I refuse.


What is the best advice you can share with others?

Write—and write some more! Never give up on your dreams. If you love writing, then sit in that chair and get your hands on the keyboard. Write when you’re happy. Write when you’re sad. Write when you don’t even think you can pull the words out of your mind. Because the more you write…well, the easier it becomes.

 –I’m holding you to that last part. I’m at the end of my fifth book right now and she and I are not getting along. Okay, that may be a tad harsh, she’s fine, the writer, well, that wench needs some help…

And now we pepper her with our fast and furious, bullet list…

Blades, guns, fists or feet?


Favorite Fairy Tale of all time?

Little Red Riding Hood

-Why do I get the impression you’re cheering the wolf on?

Three titles and their authors sitting on your nightstand/bookcase/table/floor waiting to be read?

OTHERWISE ENGAGED by Amanda Quick, HER PERFECT MATE by Paige Tyler, and THE SKIN COLLECTOR by Jeffery Deaver.

Greatest one liner of all time?

As you wish.

-One of the best depositories of one liners ever!

Sarcastic witticism, Southern sweetness or Geeky disdain?

Geeky disdain.

Strangest item currently taking up space in your writing cave?

A rock with text across it that says, “Cavers do it in the dark.”

Favorite supernatural creature?



Much love and thanks to Cynthia for taking time out of her busy schedule to visit with us. If you happen to be attending Romantic Times BookLovers Convention in New Orleans  next week, look for Cynthia amongst the glittery crowd! (Me too, if you want to say “hi”!)

Want to add the rest of Cynthia’s titles to your TBR? You can catch them or her here:

Where to find Cynthia:

Website: www.cynthiaeden.com

Twitter: www.twitter.com/cynthiaeden

Facebook: www.facebook.com/cynthiaedenfanpage


A visit w/@sbredstone and a peek at his dark paranormal mystery A SINISTER OBSESSION #giveaway

Welcome back! Don’t mind the mess, I’m in the midst of edits and final word counts. (Haphazardly stacking piles of paper and multi-colored pens into a teetering pile).  Oh, and a little dash of research before we begin our preparations for our travels to the Big Easy in May. (Shoving a couple of books under a couch cushion).

Today’s guest is the perceptively diabolical S.B. Redstone and he’s bringing along his dark, paranormal mystery, A SINISTER OBSESSION, along. His timing is impeccable considering my latest string of reading titles. I’ll share only because I have the excuse that I’m an author and this is research. I just finished up with Dr. Stout’s THE SOCIOPATH NEXT DOOR (which really doesn’t make you want to meet your neighbors) and I’m getting ready to start with John Douglas’s MIND HUNTER, which is all about the FBI’s Serial Crime Unit. 

It’s RESEARCH, people (and kind of fun!).

But, enough on my quest for criminal motivation, let’s talk to someone who’s created a terrifyingly fantastic read for all you readers looking for a great novel weaving mystery, suspense, and dark fiction, with a paranormal female detective, a combative 1940’s style romantic relationship between detectives, a hot social topic viewed from a humanistic perspective, complete with an elusive killer whose narcissistic obsession leads to heartless murders and a diabolical scheme to achieve personal happiness. Yep, it’s all here in A SINISTER OBSESSION published by Black Opal Books.

I bet you want your own copy, uh? Well, here’s how you can enter for a chance to win your very own e-copy of A SINISTER OBSESSION. Click on this Rafflecopter link and/or share with us in our comment section what fascinates you about your favorite villain and you could be our winner. Don’t forget to add your email so we can connect with you! Will make our announcement on Tuesday, Mar. 25th!

a Rafflecopter giveaway

My enthralled crowd, I give you S.B. Redstone!

As children we tend to have an idea of what we want to be by the time we’re ten.  Before you decided to pursue the artistic dream of being a writer, what did you want to be and why?

I wanted to be Superman. As a child, I watched this superhero on television and I wanted to fly, leap over tall buildings , be the strongest person on Earth, help people, and beat up all the bullies that were annoying me! And—I wouldn’t have to take anymore crap from my parents, teachers, and grownups. Even now at my age, I still wish to be Superman, and save the world from human folly, but instead for a career, I helped people as a School Psychologist and Licensed Clinical Social Worker.

–I was more of the Wolverine type–claws, growls, snarls…   

If your character(s) came with a warning label, what would it say?

Detective Sergeant Aubrey McKenzie – “Don’t piss off this bitch!”


Personally, I tend to be a bit on the introverted side so the thought of being in the actual presence of one of my favorite writers makes my heart race, my knees shake and tangles my tongue (yes classic fan girl behavior).  Who could reduce you to such a level and how do you imagine your initial meeting?

Rory McIlroy, the young professional golfer, replied to a question during a television interview. He was asked if he was intimidated by the more experienced golfers? He answered honestly. He was a professional golfer. If he didn’t think he could beat everyone, he wouldn’t be on the PGA tour. That’s my attitude. Not wishing to appear arrogant, I am a professional writer. I don’t give any thought to famous authors or who sold more books than me, which is just about everyone right now. I know I write well. They write well. I know my stories are interesting and have merit. So do they. Hopefully, the only difference between us; they just started before me. The better than 4 star reviews for A Sinister Obsession attest to storytelling skills. If all my reviewers worked at Simon and Schuster, my books would be piled up at the front door of Barnes and Noble. If or when I meet a famous writer, I’d probably ask if they played golf. With that said, I’ll share a time when I was intimidated by previous writers. Not fiction writers, but eminent personality theorists: Freud, Jung, and Ellis. As a Licensed Clinical Social Worker, I was formulating a different view of human nature and relationships, which placed our natures in the natural world. While sharing my thoughts with colleagues, they encouraged me to write a book. A bolt of anxiety hit me. I said, “Who would care what an obscure therapist in Plainview Long Island thinks?” My colleague looked at me and said, “Everyone!” I wrote Taming Your Inner & Outer Bullies: Confronting Life’s Stressors And Winning with a great deal of trepidation published by New Horizon Press Books, Steven B. Rosenstein, LCSW, MS.

Many writers have that first novel which will never see the light of day. Out of curiosity, do you have one stashed somewhere?  Inquiring minds want to know: what was  your first attempt at writing and how old were you?

How did you know? I was a teenager when I was writing poetry. I don’t know why I chose that creative form as I was a terrible writer. Most of my interest was in sports and old movies. But I enjoyed doing it. Showed a few people and they  liked it. I think I can blame my creative desires on an old friend who was an excellent artist. I was envious of his talents and I wanted to be just as creative. I will admit to being a highly competitive person. Nothing I do doesn’t involve some form of competition, even if the completion is with myself. My first novel I wrote, when I didn’t know how to make two adjacent sentences coherent, was a horror novel. I sent it out to agents. Rejected! I put it away, and every year or two, edited it again and again. Recently, its main characters screamed at me to send out queries to independent publishers. I hope they’re right!  

–Ahh, teenage poetry, the perfect outlet for angst… 

We all have favorite characters, either main or secondary, and there are always bits and pieces of them we don’t share with our readers, but keep close to our hearts.  Choose your favorite from your cast of characters and tell us a couple of things that you haven’t shared in your books/writing.

There are few secrets that I haven’t shared with the readers about my characters. If I think it goes down on paper. I don’t hold back. Like it or not, the character gets revealed. For Detective McKenzie, she likes to physically hurt those she hates. That’s who she is. I could have made her less reactive and aggressive, but she wouldn’t have accepted that. I didn’t share with my readers that she’d like to bullet in the heart of most of the criminals she captures. There’s another character I dare not name to ruin the mystery, but he is really far more despicable than I made him. I didn’t want to tarnish every aspect of his personality, so the readers wouldn’t hate him as much as I do.

–I think a great many writers won’t share everything about their character with their readers, but if you do it right, you’re readers manage to uncover it all between the lines.

What’s some of the funniest/sweetest/strangest things you’ve heard from your readers?

A reader said, reacting to a murder scene, “I’ll never look at a knitting needle the same way again!”

Whether we’re plotters or pantsers (outlines not needed), creating our stories takes us on very memorable journeys.  Sometimes we may be part way through before we realize some major aspect of our story is just not working (plot, character, setting).  Have you ever hit this sharp, pointy snag and if so, how did you escape? We’re you battered and bruised or a bloody mess?

I’ve never hit a snag on a story and had to give it up because I write the entire story in my head, for months, before I ever think of having it appear on a computer screen. If it doesn’t have a great beginning, middle, and end with fascinating characters, I give it up. Ninety percent of my stories bite the dust. However, here’s a masochistic moment. A bit different that your question but the situation left me devastated. Many years ago, I saw the movie Amadeus. I thought it would interesting to write a screenplay about Beethoven, who had an even greater difficult life, but no one had done before. I did months of research. Wrote the screenplay, which took we nearly a year with the little free time I had. Just when I finished it, and was thinking about what to do with it, my wife comes over, and says gently, “Immortal Beloved, is coming to the big screen. Oh, noooooo! Here’s my advice to writers. Never write a screenplay about a famous person!

What’s the one genre you won’t ever try and why?

Young adult. I’d have no clue how they think. What they think about. I can’t watch their movies or their television shows. What they think is funny has me staring blankly at walls. I don’t understand paying hundreds of dollars for jeans with tattered holes.  They’re a great generation, but not my generation, and if I dared create characters of that age, they’d sound like old people with braces on!

Share if you dare, one of your favorite research experiences. Did you join a ghost hunters group? Did you step outside your comfort zone and into the wild world of your characters?

My favorite research experience wasn’t very exciting. In my horror novel, President Kennedy, is a background character. I went to the library and read every biography on him. I expected to read about his presidency and policy and couldn’t believe I was reading about the secret life of a sex addict. He had an insatiable appetite for sex. His long list of women included Marilyn Monroe, a Soviet spy, and prostitutes in the White House. Now my novel about a succubus seeking world domination, through demonic possession, during a sexual encounter had the powerful punch I was seeking!

–It’s amazing what you discover about public figures if you dig deep enough. 

You all ready for our BULLET LIST? Alright, SB, it’s all yours… 

Blades, guns, fists or feet?

Fists – I can’t really hurt anyone.

Favorite Fairy Tale of all time?

Peter Pan – Flying would be fun!

Three titles and their authors sitting on your nightstand/bookcase/table/floor waiting to be read?

Only two, but they’ve been by my bed for over a year.

Crazy Horse, The Strange Man of the Oglalas by Mari Sandoz

No Easy Way by Mark Owen

Greatest one liner of all time?

“Here’s looking at you kid!” the movie, Casablanca

Sarcastic witticism, Southern sweetness or Geeky disdain?

Sarcastic witticism – I love one up-man-ship.

Strangest item currently taking up space in your writing cave?

A paperclip with a plastic yellow heart on it. I have no idea where it came from. 

Favorite supernatural creature?


Much thanks to SB for coming and spending time with us, we always love meeting new writers and getting a small peek into what  makes them tick!

A Sinister Obsession can be purchased at Amazon and all booksellers in kindle and paperback formats.


Amazon  http://goo.gl/TkWAe6

A psychopathic killer on a quest leaves behind a string of brutal murders, and to find the Who, the police must first discover the Why

Detective Aubrey McKenzie has been assigned to investigate the murders. A lovely, fabulously wealthy, dark-haired Scot, whose iron will was forged in the inferno of human tragedy, Aubrey is stymied by the lack of solid clues. Now she must rely on her paranormal ability to apprehend the killer—an ability that has been invaluable in her police work but has made a disaster of her social life. Fate teams Aubrey with Detective Joshua Diamond, a handsome, talented, and compassionate man who is more than happy eating a greasy bacon-cheeseburger and wearing clothes that should have been thrown out with the trash. In a race against time, Aubrey and Joshua must overcome their vast differences—and their attraction for each other—and discover the identity of this elusive killer, and the quest this fiend is on, before more lives are destroyed.



I write under the name S. B. Redstone. I began my career, after graduating from Hunter College, as a caseworker for the New York City Department of Social Services, Protective Services, investigating the horrors of the abuse and neglect of children. After attaining master’s degrees in Social Work and School Psychology, and then completing a post-graduate education in Psychoanalytic Therapy, I became a School Psychologist in the New York City Department of Education and a Licensed Clinical Social Worker in his private therapy practice on Long Island. treating adults, adolescents, children, and couples. Always striving to improve his understanding of human nature, I researched and then wrote a personal improvement book, Taming Your Inner & Outer Bullies: Confronting Life’s Stressors And Winning, which offers remarkable insights into behavior, societal institutions, and relationships. I have written articles on the web concerning human nature, relationships and the abuses of societal institutions, given lectures, and appeared on radio shows.                                                                             

Always having a vivid imagination and a desire to write fiction, I developed my writing skills by becoming a successful writer of short stories, all of which have been published on the web and in print. As an expert in the field of human psychology, I have been able to develop realistic characters from the dark side of human nature where my villains don’t aspire for happiness through personal achievement, but rather from their demented narcissistic schemes. Many of my characters have been taken from my clinical experiences. I have two additional novels seeking publication. I am a member of the International Thriller Writers Org and Romance Writers of America.

I can be found at http://sbredstoneauthor.com and at Goodreads, Shelfari, and Bloglovin. 

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