• 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

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

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.

Visit the Wildly, Wonderful Mind of Julia Joseph in the paranormal worlds of THE BROKEN #giveaway #paranormal #supernatural #suspense

Welcome, my lovelies. It so nice to have you all back for another inquisition. I almost feel like I should be twirling a waxed mustache at this point.
So today’s guest is the lovely and talented wrangler of words, Julia Joseph. Her debut novel, THE BROKEN, is available now, which  means you don’t have to wait when you’re finished here to get more of Julia.
We feel Julia should feel right at home in the Swamp as the voices in her head blend rather well with ours.

She’s even going to give one lucky commenter a copy of her novel, all you have to do is share the one spot in the world you’ve always wanted to go and your email, and it could be you!

Don’t believe me? Fine, then we’ll just let Julia have the stage and you can form your own opinions….

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

Rose would be Denial with a side of Neurotic and a helping of Powerful.  Ouriel could be called Strength with a large dose of Cranky.  Miriam is Kick Ass Soldier mixed with Perfection.  Genevieve, bless her heart, would have to be Beauty Overwhelmed by Her Own Power.

–Perhaps they should be handled with care? Or maybe lead line gloves? Sounds as if the side effects could be…errr…rather messy…

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

OMG!  This woman is a nutcase and WE ARE TRAPPED IN HER HEAD.  Someone—dear God, ANYONE—get us out of here.  Please!  (Actually, this chick is totally okay.  Sort of.  But, if we’re all that crap she said about us up there, then she’s Brains smothered in Crazy sauce.  Just sayin’.

–Eerie assures me that Crazy Sauce it actually quite delicious….

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.

Ishmael, everybody’s favorite ancient Warrior-slash-kinda-sorta-angel-slash-father-figure-guy is actually the girls’ great (times 20) grandfather.  He was married to Joan of Arc, they had a daughter, and the sisters are their great-grand-progeny.  To save myself a lot of verbal and genetic tap dancing, I leave this bit out.  (When you read the book, you’ll understand why.)

–*spreading out really long family tree chart* I think I’ve got that…

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?

Authors like Julie Garwood, Nora Roberts, J. K. Rowling, and Jim Butcher would melt me into a stuttering mess.  (I’m kind of embarrassed that list isn’t more scholarly.  I have a degree in English Lit, for goodness’ sake!)  The encounter would only be worth relating because of the probable loss of control over my bodily functions.  Really.  It wouldn’t be pretty.  At the very least, I’d develop diarrhea of the mouth as I did when I met Aaron Douglas (the actor who played Chief Tyrol in Syfy’s Battlestar Galactica) and threaten to kiss them (again, as I did—never mind).  On a side note, I recently met Darynda Jones and Deanna Raybourn.  I had no idea who they were, so I behaved in a completely appropriate manner.  (I’m so ashamed.

–Well, I can tell you from personal experience, Jim Butcher is quite understanding of drool and gibberish. Nora Roberts may back up a little, but she’s rather polite about not getting spit on her shoes.  Years ago, I got to attend one of Nora Roberts’ signings in Oregon and she was quite nice, even as I stuttered out my name while my hubby had to pry the book she was signing out of my hands.  Got luck enough to meet Jim at a signing in Scottsdale a few years back and he was hilarious, so far out of my funny league, I could only stand there in silent adoration. 

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?

Agh!  I’d almost finished The Broken when a good friend (and critique-er) of mine told me that it moved too quickly in the beginning.  My characters fell in love way too fast.  I hadn’t planned it that way but skipped ahead of my own brief outline because it’d seemed the thing to do at the time.  I knew she was right, but I hated going back and rewriting.  I ended up putting in three extra chapters and hated every moment of it.  Those 15,000 words took me three years to write.  (I do NOT pout.  Seriously, I don’t.  Okay, maybe I do.  A little.

–So I guess if I complain about rewriting the first third of HUNTED BY THE PAST, three separate times in four months, you’d just kick me uh?

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

Murder mysteries.  Ugh.  I can’t imagine how organized a person must be to keep all those little clues lined up and in order for an entire book.  I can’t even find my car keys half the time

–We have car keys? Where? There’s a car that goes with them? Seriously? How did I miss that?

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 was traveling to the Middle East on a biblical history tour.  I didn’t know I was going to use that knowledge in my writing yet, but it grabbed hold of me and didn’t let go.  But the best part of the entire experience was getting to walk the land of my mother’s family.  The moment I stepped foot in Lebanon, it was as if all the voices of my ancestors rushed to greet me.  The warm wind blowing in from the Mediterranean became their sweet spirits wrapping me in a welcoming embrace.  I felt them in my bones, and it was divine.  (The memory totally just gave me goosebumps!)

—Ooooohhh, I’m kind of jealous….but love the pic…

Julia's pic

Okay, Julia, time for our bullet list. Is your vest on? Face shield down? Good…here we go….

Blades, guns, fists or feet?

All of the above.  I take Tae Kwon Do, and I’ve got my own Ruger 9mm.

–I bring forth the Krav Maga, and am currently shopping Sig and Ruger.

Favorite Fairy Tale of all time?

Disney?  I’ve abandoned my early ‘90s love affairs and switched allegiances to Brave and Frozen.

–We’ll accept Brave….

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

First Grave on the Left—Darynda Jones
Biblical Literacy—Rabbi Joseph Telushkin
Ender’s Game—Orson Scott Card

Greatest one liner of all time?

Mine?  “Yeah, sure…then again, I’m confused by my own shoelaces, so don’t quote me.”
Film?  “It’s a banded, bulbous, snarflatt.”


Sarcastic witticism, Southern sweetness or Geeky disdain?

Geeky disdain.  (Always go for the geek!)

Strangest item currently taking up space in your writing cave?

A movie poster I ordered my m-i-l for Christmas.  It was supposed to be the DVD.  (I’m a smart person, I swear!)

Favorite supernatural creature?


–Those wings tend to help offset the horns, I found…

Much love and thanks go to Julia for spending time with and indulging our curiosity. Time to turn our spotlight on you, our lovely audience. I want to know, if you could go anywhere in the world, where would we find you? Leave your answer and email in the comments below and one of you could be lucky enough to get a copy of Julia’s THE BROKEN.

Can’t wait? Then, go check out THE BROKEN.


Born into a family of Guardians—extraordinarily gifted humans who fight demons to protect mortal souls—seventeen year old Rose Kazin shows no signs of being blessed with the supernatural talents her family has used for generations to fight demons.  When she and her father figure, an age old celestial Warrior, are horribly wounded in an ambush, Rose awakens to find a younger Warrior, Ouriel, has volunteered to stand in as her protector.  She rails against his presence, but Ouriel seems interested in only one thing—teaching Rose how to protect herself from the demons she was never supposed to fight.


Julia Joseph taught Theatre for nine years in Texas middle and high schools, where she wrote and produced three original plays for her students.  In 2011, Julia left teaching to devote all of her energy to her own children and to writing a novel.  She earned her B. A. in English Literature and Language with a focus in Drama from St. Mary’s University in San Antonio, Texas. 

Julia spends most of her free time reading, writing, and chauffeuring her kids between activities.  She lives happily with her husband and two children wherever the Army happens to station them.


You can find me at:




Check out Eric Henson, our spotlight author for THINGS THAT GO BUMP FOR THE HOLIDAYS! #newauthors #holidayreads

After last week’s cover reveal, I decided to invite all my fellow Black Opal Authors who are in THINGS THAT GO BUMP FOR THE HOLIDAYS anthology over for a little sharing time. 

First up, Eric Henson, his short “I Thought The Grinch Was Green” is part of our collection available December 14th from Black Opal Books. 

Just to whet your appetite, here’s a little peek into his story….

Excerpt from: “I Thought the Grinch Was Green” by Eric Henson

Carol sat up so fast that she grew dizzy. Whether awakened by some internal alarm or external sound she did not know. Outside the winter wind gusted and rattled her old bedroom windows. The plastic insulation her father fastened over them ruffled from the draft seeping beneath. Carol listened but heard nothing more than the moaning wind.

She looked at the clock hanging over her dresser. Unable to focus on the hands she rubbed her eyes clear and discovered it was eleven thirty-four. Laying her head back down on her pillow, Carol waited for sleep to find her again. Just as her eyes grew heavy and her mind drifted off, she heard a muffled sound. Carol lifted her head and faced her door. Her heart skipped a beat and said—Santa Claus!

Who else could it be?

Carol jumped from her bed, slipped on her favorite fuzzy pink slippers, grabbed her matching favorite pink robe, and dashed for the door. Anticipation built within her as she slowly open the door and inched out. Carol, who wished to go unnoticed by Santa, slinked along the wall to avoid the spots on the floor that creaked. She watched for the shadows within their lighted Christmas tree as she drew closer to the living room. Carol almost squeaked in excitement when she heard the jingling and the tinkling of bells. She pressed both of her hands against her mouth as an uncontrollable smile took her face.

Only two words existed for her right then, Santa and Claus.

Then the rhyming and chiming bells became mixed with other sounds—the clattering of chains, a swift whooshing followed by a light thud, and the unmistakable sound of whimpering. His goat-like image seemed to float across her mind before she turned the corner. It was eerie, frightening, almost as if she herself had willed Krampus into being.

Taller than the Christmas tree, the creature hunched to avoid hitting the ceiling. In one hand Krampus held a bundle of birch branches and in the other he had Peter by the ankle. Her brother tossed and wailed, upturned, as the hairy monster birched him. The sight looked more like Halloween then Christmas. Carol shook her head and rubbed her eyes.

When she opened them Krampus was closer. He looked at her with his head titled to one side, in a confused dog-like manner. She looked at upside-down Peter’s reddened face, at the slight tremor along his jawline, and it broke her young heart.

Krampus tilted his horned head the other direction and in a deep-rumbled voice said, “You should not be able to see me child. You should be lost in slumber.”

Little Carol closed her eyes tight and shook her head hard. Krampus watched her. Well aware of what she attempted to do—every child did the same. When she reopened her eyes, he was even closer. It was as if the monster advanced when unseen. All it took was an instant and he moved in on you. They were impossible odds. At some point you had to blink, had to look away. The mere sight of Krampus assured this. 

Want more? 

Then check out THINGS THAT GO BUMP FOR THE HOLIDAYS, a collection of paranormal shorts from Black Opal Authors, coming December 14th!

Interested in taking a ride with Eric?

His debut novel, HARROW, is the first installment in a series centered on the aftermath of a small group of fallen angels who, in order to prevent the cacodemon Báalzbub from destroying all of existence, sought the help of those they once betrayed. The second installment, titled UNKINDNESS, is in progress. 



Books A Million           Barnes and Noble           Amazon          Black Opal Books

Eric Henson

Eric Henson is an American fiction writer of dark fantasy, supernatural horror, suspense, and thriller. Henson is known for intertwining theology, mythology, science and psychology into his writing. Born in Salem, Massachusetts and lived the majority of his life in New Hampshire, Henson’s writing generally takes place in fictitious towns in New England. With Harrow, New Hampshire being the center point. Other towns include Clayton and Salem Willow.

Henson has severe dyslexia, a learning disability that impairs one’s ability to read, speak, and spell. Over time, Henson managed to overcome many of the hurdles created by his disability, and hopes to inspire others suffering from dyslexia not to give up on themselves.

Henson is a member of the International Thriller Writers and the Atlanta Writer’s Club. He currently lives in the Atlanta, Georgia area.

You can find Eric on the web at:  www.hensonfiction.com or on Facebook at: www.facebook.com/EricHensonAuthor

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