Category Archives: Character Interview

Character Interview—The Adventures of Chloe Ann Parker by Paula Mowery

Welcome to Chloe, the protagonist of The Adventures of Chloe Ann Parker

How about you introduce yourself by providing the basics?

My name is Chloe Ann Parker. I’m in Kindergarten and had to move right in the middle of the year. My momma and daddy don’t seem too worried about it, but I’m not quite sure about a new school, new teacher, new friends, and new neighbors. That’s a lot of news!

Family members?

There’s me, my momma, and my daddy. My daddy is a pastor. He’s the reason we had to move. He’s going to be the preacher at another church. My momma doesn’t work, but she does.

What do you like most about your new school?

I have the bestest teacher named Mrs. Potts. She is like Mary Poppins – super-frogalicious!

Are you a pet person?

I do like animals, especially dogs. I think it would be neat to be a vegetarian when I grow up so I can take care of animals.

List your favorite movie of all time and why.

Even though Mommy says that it is an old movie, I like Mary Poppins. Who wouldn’t like to go on the adventures she goes on? And there’s singing. I like singing.

What’s the craziest thing that’s ever happened to you?

Can you believe that our neighbor, Mrs. Smith, accused me of stealing her dog? Yep, she’s a grumpy bear. She wears a fluffy pink bathrobe in the middle of the day! Momma always says that wearing that kind of clothes is for bed time.

Chloe_Cover1102

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Chloe Ann Parker is in kindergarten but must move to a new school right in the middle of the year. Not only does she have to get used to a new teacher and make new friends, but she has to try to get along with her grumpy neighbor, Mrs. Smith. Chloe has the opportunity to become a real hero, learn responsibility, and learn some valuable lessons in this kindergarten adventure.

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Paula Mowery

Paula Mowery has always been an avid reader of Christian fiction, especially romances of all sub-genres. She holds a Master of Education and taught English/Language Arts in public school and then came home to educate her own daughter, first through twelfth grades. She teaches at writing conferences such as the Blue Ridge Mountains Christian Writers Conference.

Paula is a published author in Christian fiction. One reviewer stated that her writing “thunders with emotion.” Her novella, Be The Blessing, won the 2014 Selah Award. Her story, The Prayer Shawl, from the book, Legacy and Love, was a finalist in The Carolyn Readers’ Choice Awards from North Texas Romance Writers of America. Her devotions have also been included in several devotional anthologies. Connect with her on her blog, www.paulamowery.blogspot.com.

A bit about how the book came to be:

The TAG blog is where Chloe Ann Parker was born. Her story has appeared in a serialized and somewhat condensed fashion as weekly posts. www.getkidswriting.blogspot.com T. A. G. stands for Tomorrow’s Author Guild. The goal of this program is to encourage the writers of the future. Because lack of purpose can equal lack of motivation, writing lessons are created and taught with the aim of sparking interest in the student and providing a platform in which to practice good writing skills. The writing lessons are created to help alleviate some of the pressure and demands of teachers so that they can accomplish the writing objectives in fresh ways. Through the support of Prism Book Group, the children will have the opportunity to see their work in print and digital forms and available for purchase.

The Adventures of Chloe Ann Parker contains the posts but has been expanded into a short chapter book. The original discussion questions/writing prompts which accompanied those posts are available in the back of the book.

Character Interview from Love, Lies, and Fireflies by Jan Elder

How about you introduce yourself by providing the basics?

Thank you, Linda, for having me on your blog today. My name is Jake Montgomery and I’m a middle school teacher in central Maryland. I live in a little town in the country where just last week I spied a possum in my garbage can. With babies! Nothing much cuter than a baby possum. I grew up in Baltimore so I love it here—all this peace and quiet soothes my soul.

The last year’s been tough, though. I’ve been out of commission, really just sort of withdrew from life when my fiancée died. Got angry at God, angry with myself, the whole bit. I know there’s a grieving period and that’s healthy. But I guess you could say I was wallowing. I didn’t know what else to do. Thirty is way too young to pack it in, don’t you think? After a while, I had what I would describe as a “defining moment.” I wanted to live again and enjoy life. And then, praise God, Didi came into my life, but more about that later.

Are you athletic?

I used to be. I was fortunate to get a tennis scholarship at the University of Maryland. I’d even squeaked (and I do mean squeaked) into the international top hundred list. I was pretty proud to see that number 98 next to my name. And then I did a dumb thing… staircases and tequila straight up just do not mix. Last time I did that darn fool thing! I had to switch to getting a degree in education. I still play some tennis for fun, though, to keep in shape.

Did you always want to be a middle school teacher?

Not exactly, but it seemed like a good fit at the time. Most days I love being a history teacher. Looking at our past can teach us so much about the future. I also coach several sports and working with the kids fills me with joy. There are limits, though, as to how much teacher can do for their students. And of course, we are forbidden to talk about God. Those limitations bring me down. These kids need to know that they are loved unconditionally by a God who sees them and knows them through and through.

Are you a pet person?

I have a cat by the auspicious name of Lucille Ball ‘O Fun. Yes, she has red hair and no, I didn’t name her. I didn’t plan to bunk with a cat—not that I’m against them mind you—but it worked out for the best for both of us. The day I woke up and found her wrapped around my head in earmuff fashion, I figured she could stay. Or rather, if you want to know the truth, she’s a very discriminating Siamese, so I guess I’m lucky she deigned to stay with me!

Talk about your favorite setting for a date. (or favorite way to court a woman)

I’ve never been much of a ladies’ man. Kinda shy I guess, so I’m going to go with the tried and true. Nice dinner, good conversation, a bouquet of flowers, you know, thoughtful things that let a woman know she’s special.

Since I was a little rusty in this area after Victoria died, I tried asking a few of my friends for advice. Can you believe they said I should just take a woman out for coffee and then not call her for a few days? What’s this world coming to when a man can’t even spring for dinner?

What attracts you first to a woman?

I know it might sound cliché, but I do believe the eyes are the windows to the soul. I like a woman who isn’t afraid to show what’s in her heart—one who’s emotions are reflected on her face and in her features. No game playing.

Are you talking about a particular woman?

You betcha. Didi O’Brien…Didi well, I can read her like a fortune cookie and that’s a good thing. I always know where I stand and I don’t have to guess if I’m pleasing her. And talk about sweet! Yes, that’s a good description of her. Sweetness and light. With Didi, the glass isn’t just half-full. It’s filled to the brim and overflowing. I am a lucky man.

Love Lies and Fireflies

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Didi O’Brien is engaged—at least she was an hour ago. Now she’s not so sure. Her fiancé, the suave Kevin Cabot, has just revealed that he’s been unfaithful, and he’s not the least bit sorry. Reeling from the betrayal, with her plans for a happily-ever-after life in doubt, she prays for direction. The answer comes as a complete surprise. God has someone better in mind.

Middle school teacher, Jake Montgomery, is struggling with some issues of his own. Sadly, a year previously his fiancée had been killed in a car crash. Battling anger and despair, in a mountain-top experience, Jake wrestles with the Almighty, and is ready to live again. In his youth, he’d felt an unmistakable call to the ministry but, like the prophet Jonah, since then, he’s been running hard in the wrong direction.

Through a crisis of faith, and glimpses of mercy, Didi and Jake find each other. But can they find the strength to resolve the many obstacles that conspire to keep them apart?

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EXCERPT

“But, Kevin, I don’t understand. What do you mean you went out with another girl? What girl?” Didi O’Brien’s swiped at eyes brimming with tears.

Kevin sipped his single malt. “Her name’s Mindy, and she relocated here from the Midwest a few months ago. She’s a Pilates instructor at my gym.” He squirmed in his chair and shrugged. “Look, she’s just a kid of twenty-four, and she doesn’t know anyone here in the area.”

Stomach churning, Didi shoved her dinner away, barely noticing when the sauce from her beef bourguignon splashed onto the white tablecloth. She swallowed, words refusing to come.

Kevin continued in a monotone. “It’s not like I planned it. I was just being a nice guy and showing a stranger around town. You know, being neighborly. Believe it or not, she’s a real nut for baseball, and last night the Nationals were playing the Cardinals….”

“You took her to a baseball game? Last night?” Didi managed to squeak out the words despite the block of granite in her throat.

“Oh, come on. Stop getting so defensive here. You don’t even like baseball. When I saw her last Friday….”

“You went out with her last week, too? On a Friday?” Didi’s voice started out shaky but managed to rise over the conversational hum of the other diners.

“Shhh. Pipe down. Don’t go getting all ‘female’ on me.” Kevin picked up his fork and speared a green bean almondine. “So what if we’ve been to a baseball game, the museum, and had coffee a few times? Last Friday, the Smithsonian had this cool special exhibit on the life of Roberto Clemente. You probably don’t know this, but he’s a Hall of Famer who won the National League’s Most Valuable Player in 1966. He led the league in batting average.”

“Have you slept with her?” She had to ask, though she didn’t really want to know the answer.

Kevin didn’t deny it. Instead, he growled, “So what if I did? I told you it’s not serious. Plus, you had some ridiculous church thing going on last Friday, so you weren’t available.”

Her breath caught as she lowered her voice. “That’s hardly the point, Kevin. Did you tell her you’re engaged?”

“Why would I?”

“I’ll take that as a no. Do you love her?”

“Of course I don’t love her, and I’m getting tired of this tête-à-tête. I knew you were going to overreact. Mindy’s a cute kid from Dubuque who needed someone to show her around, and now you’re getting all weird on me, when I was only being considerate.”

Glancing down at his Rolex, Kevin huffed out a sigh. “Maybe we should talk about this after you decide to behave like an adult.” He flagged down the waiter and signaled he was ready for the check. “I decide to be honest, as a courtesy to you, and you put me through a Spanish Inquisition.”

With a hot flush pricking her cheeks, Didi slipped out of the booth, storming toward the exit. She refused to hear any more of his flimsy excuses.

Dodging the other patrons leaving the restaurant, Didi sprinted across the asphalt to her car. She fell into the driver’s seat, jammed her key into the ignition, and zoomed out of the parking lot. She had to get away from that man! On autopilot, she drove through town, barely remembering to stop at the stop signs. Leaving Chez Monte Carlo far, far behind, she headed to the safety of home.

She came to a fork in the road. In no mood to dally, she chose the shortcut home, veering left onto Deer Hollow Road.

Bad decision.

She drove way too fast, but right now, she didn’t care. Sliding on shallow gravel down the first steep hill, she missed the deep ditch on the right side of the road by a narrow margin. Instead, she slammed into a mud-drenched pothole, skittered sideways, and careened toward an ancient oak.

Stamping hard on the brake, she yelped as the car jarred to a halt. Maybe she did care after all. “Please, Jesus, help me get home in one piece. And if Kevin’s still on the road, crash him into the biggest tree you can find!”

Deer Hollow, slippery and dangerous when wet, was rarely her route of choice. Now she remembered why. She shoved her two-door coupe into gear and edged her way toward home. The tires slowed, but her mind raced in circles like an Olympic speed skater. In one tortured hour, her balanced world had been tipped topsy-turvy. She closed her hands tightly around the steering wheel, desperate to make it home before this crazy country lane tore her little red car apart.

With great caution, Didi drove down a steep slope, eased over the one-lane bridge, and rounded a curve. She’d nearly made it to the end of the road when a rabbit darted in front of her. She had just enough time to wrench the wheel hard to the left to avoid it. She braced herself for that horrifying “thump-thump” announcing she’d killed one of God’s furry creatures, then sighed with relief. Missing the bunny was the only happy event in what was otherwise a thoroughly rotten evening.

A cavernous empty space grew in the pit of her stomach as waves of fury crashed over her. Heat crept up her face and tears trickled from her eyes. Why did she always cry when she was mad? Kevin’s announcement had left her reeling. With her adrenaline surging from the near bunny-cide, Didi breathed in and tried her best to calm down. She pulled to the side of the road and stopped the car before she did something stupid. Resting her head on the steering wheel, she slumped deep into her misery. After this terrible night, did she have a clue where her life was going? The uncertainty was unnerving.

A dreary, gray sky hung heavy with unshed moisture. Sheets of rain had drenched the area for three days straight, and another whopper of a storm had been threatening for the past few hours. As she headed again for home, the first drops came splashing and splattering down. Great. Just great. As if to match her mood, wicked forks of lightning streaked across the sky, static electricity crackled in the air, and the rains crashed down with a vengeance.

Didi breathed a quick prayer her car would start and turned the key. Her trusty vehicle purred to life on the first try, even with 138,567 miles and an oil filter that should have been changed a thousand miles ago. She patted the dash and glanced up to the sky. Thank you. Tonight, she would have crawled the three miles home in the driving downpour rather than call Kevin Francis Cabot, a.k.a. The Rat, to come and rescue her.

How could he do that to her? Didn’t she deserve better?

The problem was…she loved him. Until an hour ago, she’d have sworn he loved her, too. What was wrong with her that he’d wanted someone else?

She didn’t want to think about it, didn’t want to try and understand it tonight. With a heavy heart, she banished the conflicting thoughts from her mind and pointed her car toward home.

Jan Elder

Jan is an inspirational romance writer with a passion for telling stories other women can relate to on a deep level. She strives to write the kind of book that will strengthen the reader’s faith, while also providing an entertaining and engrossing love story. Love, Lies, and Fireflies is her third novel. The book delves into weighty subjects such as betrayal, suicide, lost dreams, and the magnitude of God’s mercy and grace. The reader is introduced to a loving and forgiving Lord who walks beside us in our daily lives.

Besides writing romance, she enjoys the occasional hazelnut cappuccino as well as tuning in to Turner Classic Movies. Always an avid reader, she devours books voraciously, both Christian and secular. She was born a cat-lover and all books will, no doubt, feature a feline in some way or another.

Happily married for thirteen years to loving (and supportive) husband, Steve, the two live in central Maryland along with Jamie (a chubby black and white tuxedo cat), and Shu-Shu (a willowy tortoiseshell cat). On the weekends, Jan and Steve comb the nearby countryside in search of the perfect ice cream flavor.

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Character Interview from Her Survivor by Vonnie Davis

How about you introduce yourself by providing the basics?

Dustin for July 20 “Hello Ladies, my name is Dustin Franks, former SEAL and problem child for author Vonnie Davis.” He shakes his head and leans forward, his massive forearms resting on his spread thighs. “I never set out to be such a problem for her. But, you see, her editor at Loveswept told her she wanted a series on wounded warriors, SEALs in particular, who were also dealing with PTSD. What her editor didn’t know was Vonnie’s grandson was in the middle of his own dark battle with post-traumatic stress from serving in Afghanistan and seeing two of his Army buddies blown up with some of their body parts landing on him. A couple months earlier, he’d tried to commit suicide, so Vonnie wasn’t sure she could write this series and keep the emotional grandma out of it, you know?” He shakes his head again. “The woman was a mess. She stalled by reading books on life as a SEAL and PTSD. She cried.” Dustin rolls his eyes. “Like I wanted to deal with an author who bawled every time she opened her manuscript and read ‘Chapter One.’ Finally, I leaned over her shoulder and whispered, ‘Type what I tell you.’”

What do you like most about being a SEAL?

“For the most part, I was a sniper. Some would say I was one of the best in the teams, but I’m not so sure I deserve that distinction. I enjoyed taking a high point and protecting my SEAL brothers from enemy attacks. I cleared a safe path for them. SEALs are cross-trained to do all operations required to secure an area. My buddy, Wysocki, and I were clearing a building when we saw a crying toddler. Wysocki had kids back home, so instinctively went to pick up the kid.” Dustin pinches the bridge of his nose. “That’s when I saw the trip wires over the infant’s chubby legs. Before the words of warning were out of my mouth, the explosion killed my friend and took off part of my leg below the knee.” He taps the prosthesis under his jeans.

Did you always want to be a SEAL?

“No. Actually, I graduated from University of Maryland as an architect and worked for a firm for a while, but I couldn’t stand spending all day inside in a cubicle. I swam and ran track in college. I missed the activity, so I joined the Navy. When my superior officer talked to me about going through BUD/S, the challenge of training for a SEAL spot appealed to me. I love a challenge.” A smile slowly spreads. “I suppose that’s why my first meeting with Kelcee sparked my interest, even though I was mad as a hornet.”

How did you end up on a ranch in Texas?

“Zane Quinlan, or ZQ as we called him, the Commander of SEAL team 5 retired after our time in Syria. His dad was dying of cancer and he returned to the family ranch to help out. Slowly, one by one, his old team members started drifting in. First was JJ, demolitions expert and dog handler. He’d adopted the team’s service dog, Nance, who’d been wounded just before me. JJ couldn’t handle the noise and social hubbub of Columbus, Ohio. He needed quiet to deal with his demons. When I landed in a high tech hospital in San Antonio after my time in Bethesda Naval Hospital, ZQ visited me the first few days, read me my favorite poetry. When he told me I was welcome to spend time at Eagle Ridge Ranch, I took him up on his offer.”

What attracts you first to a woman? You mentioned a lady named Kelcee. Is she your current love interest?

“Oh man, she’s my whole world. Curly strawberry blonde hair, a shade plump the way I like my women, and eyes that will singe your skin when she’s angry. She got upset with me the first time we met, which was in her bookstore. She’d just inherited it from her former boss and wanted to update it. ZQ thought I’d be ideal guy, with my architectural training, to come up with some ideas. Little did I know he was playing matchmaker.” Dustin scratches the back of his head. “I still don’t know what I said to fire her up like that, but she all but tossed me out of the store on my ear.” He leans his head back and laughs. “How could you not love a woman like that? Whooo, she’s got spunk. She was also in the Witness Protection Program, but that’s revealed later in the book.

 

HER SURVIVOR cover for July 20

 

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Vonnie Davis welcomes readers to Warrior Falls! In this sizzling contemporary series, broken heroes meet women worth fighting for—and discover the healing power of love.
 
Navy SEAL Dustin Franks can handle physical pain; it’s his soul that needs mending. After losing part of his leg in an explosion, the panic triggered by his PTSD nearly drives him over the edge. So Dustin retreats to the Eagle Ridge Ranch, a charming hideaway tucked into the Hill Country of Texas. There he finds solace in the arms of a beauty who reawakens desires he thought he’d lost forever—and who makes him want to lose control, just when he needs it most.

Kelcee Todd sees beyond Dustin’s scars to the real man beneath: fiercely protective, strong yet tender. She wants nothing more than to feel his battle-hardened hands on her body. However, Kelcee is not the ordinary small-town girl she appears to be. Her brother is a killer with ties to the Russian mob, and after her testimony put him in prison, he’s out and eager for revenge. Now Dustin is her best defense, even if it could cost him everything. Kelcee could never ask him to make that sacrifice . . . but she can’t stop him, either.

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EXCERPT

Kelcee didn’t know what to expect when ZQ spoke to her about his friend who was just getting out of the hospital. She anticipated someone frail. This man, with the one earpiece of his sunglasses clamped between his teeth, towered over her and had broad muscled shoulders built for hugging. Even though one large bicep bore three jagged scars, she imagined they would deliver strong hugs in return. His face was scarred on one side and no doubt he had more scars elsewhere, especially since he used a cane.

Being scarred like that would probably take him some getting used to, particularly on the face where everyone could see them. She extended her hand. “Hello, welcome to my little book nook. My name is Kelcee Todd.”

The man with short wavy, dark hair removed the shades from his mouth and tucked the one temple bar under the neckline of his t-shirt. He flicked his hat back which allowed her to take in blue eyes so serious, they seemed to read the secrets of her soul. She nearly gasped as his hand encased hers and a tingle zigzagged up her arm. “Pleased to meet you. I’m Dustin Franks. ZQ said you wanted to rearrange your place.” His voice was dark and dangerous like a thunderstorm at midnight.

“Yes.” She cleared her throat and waved her open hand around. “The original owner had things to suit him. I’d like to give the shop a fresher appeal without losing any of its charm.”

“Charm?” His gaze swept over the interior as if he were getting ready to condemn the building.

Suddenly she wasn’t so sure she liked this guy and his square jaw with the cute indentation in it. Still, she kept talking. “The layout the previous owner had isn’t the most efficient, plus I want to be able to see people as they come in.” She paused and worried her lower lip with her upper teeth for a minute. “So I can greet them as they enter.” Or see if it’s my brother or one of his men.

“You two talk. I have a book to pick up for Mom.” ZQ tugged a slip of paper from his shirt pocket. “It’s for that book club she belongs to; the one Wanda runs. Mom claims she picks the worst books to talk about.” He chuckled. “Too highbrow for her tastes. ‘Literary snobbery’ she calls it. I practically force her to go or she’d hide out on the ranch with Dad gone. She needs some social interaction.”

“This month’s selection is around the corner of this row of shelves, the middle one.” She pointed to the row and ZQ meandered off. She returned her attention to Dustin who was giving the shop some close scrutiny. His nose was scrunched as if he smelled something foul, which further ruffled her feathers. She worked hard to keep the store clean.

“This place ever been checked for termites, being so close to the water?”

“Of course! Every year.” She was more than ready to defend her shop.

“Well, that’s one thing in its favor. The building’s substructure should be evaluated for stability. What about mold?”

A haze of red lowered over her vision and her hands slapped on her hips. “Mold?”

ZQ peeked around the corner, his eyebrows raised to his hairline.

“Yeah, being so close to all that constantly flowing water would make it an ideal place for mold to grow. How old is this…” He waved his fingers around as if he were searching for the right words.

“Bookstore, Dustin,” she forced through clenched jaws. “There’s not a damn thing wrong with this building that some updating wouldn’t take care of. I drew up rough floor plans of the store. They’re to scale as best I could do. I measured the place and its windows. I’ve got it over here.”

He followed her as she stepped behind the counter at the far side of the building. “Is this where you want to keep your register and computer?”

She removed her drawing and a pad of graph paper from the shelf beneath the computer. “No. I’d like my computer where I won’t keep bumping my knees on this stupid shelf. But that would mean rewiring for the register and everything. And that sounds costly to me.”

Two weeks earlier, she’d found an envelope containing some money in a drawer under Frank’s worn stockings. Her quick call to the lawyer told her anything she found was hers.

Choosing whether to spend it on her living quarters or in the store had been a tough decision. She’d bought paint, curtains, a new mattress and box springs, and a sofa. Enough to make her new place livable and clean. Now she wished she’d saved the monetary windfall for the store. The money Frank had in the bank and her savings, she’d earmarked for future taxes and a car.

“Here’s my drawing. I had to tape four sheets of paper together.” She opened it for him to see.

Dustin stepped behind her and she noticed a slight limp and the gentle tapping of his cane. The fragrance of male soap overwhelmed her. He leaned over her and studied her version of a blueprint. “Not a bad drawing. I graduated as an architect before I joined the Navy. I couldn’t handle sitting inside in a cubicle all day. No view of the outside.”

“I know what you mean. I love those large windows that allow me to see the falls. It’s almost like being outdoors.”

“Do you want your work counter over there?” He jerked his thumb in that direction.

“Yes, but wouldn’t that make me more vulnerable to someone passing by?” Cripes, why did I say that? Now, he’ll wonder. She twisted her neck to check his reaction to her careless remark and met his blue eyes. Oh, they were something.

“Vulnerable to whom? Are there a lot of troublemakers in this little town?” His gaze had locked hard on her and his hand closed gently around her elbow. The warmth of his touch made her want to sigh, which was so silly she got a shade or two pissed with herself.

She shook her head. “I can’t say. It’s nothing, really.” She’d never have said what she did if the man touching her hadn’t rattled her so by invading her space.

“Okay, if you say so.” He removed his hand and she missed his gentle, yet almost sensual touch. “I take it these little ovals are the windows since you’ve noted their size.” He kept staring at her, or so it seemed.

She swallowed and forced her gaze to stay focused on his eyes and not drift to his scars. “Yes. And these little parenthesis thingies indicate doors. The little x’s are outlets.” She pointed to indicate what she meant.

“Well, you’re certainly thorough. I don’t see the front porch on the drawing.”

“No. It stays as is. Men come here every day to play checkers or chess. Women like the wooden rocking chairs to sit and rest a spell, listen to the falls, and gossip.”

BIO: Vonnie Davis is an award-winning, international author who likens herself to a freshly baked croissant: Warm, crusty, wrinkled, a tad flaky–and best served with strong coffee.

By day, she hunches over her laptop, bringing to life the men who strut through her dreams at night with that delightfully self-assured swagger. They end up in passion-filled contemporary and contemporary paranormal romances with a strong spice of suspense and dollops of humor.

Vonnie’s heroes are always that delightful blend of alpha male with a chewy chocolate center. And her heroines? Her heroines are feisty females, who take life’s adversities and turn them into advantages. The settings for her stories range from the Scottish Highlands to the gulf side of Florida to the hill country of Texas to her favorite city, Paris.

You may stalk Vonnie here:

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Character Interview from Sarah and the Double Wedding Woes

How about you introduce yourself by providing the basics?

Sarah, Where were you raised?

I was brought to life in The Heavenlies by the Eternal Father. I stayed close to home until my first mission to Earth. Texas is the first place I’ve visited, and leaving heaven scared the willies out of me. I still get scared at times, but all you humans are nice people and I like you.

Family members?

I have no immediate relatives, but everyone in The Heavenlies is family.

Did you attend college?

Yes. I attended Angel School. The classes were difficult, but I managed to graduate. I still have a lot to learn, but my mentor, Mother Goodness is patient. She continues to give me grades on my behavior. After each mission, the Commander reviews me. He’s kind with his critique. The Father gives the Commander words of wisdom, and I’m grateful for both of them.

Are you athletic?

Are you kidding? No! I’m constantly falling down. I love red stilettos and see ladies stroll easily in them, but not me. I fly barefoot and slide off roofs when I land on them. Ugh. Earth has a hard surface. I’m accustomed to fluffy clouds.

What’s your favorite participation sport?

I suppose I’d have to say baseball, but I don’t understand the game. Gay N. Lewis, the lady who writes about me, wrote about one of my experiences at Minute Maid Park in Houston. I’d gone there to foster a relationship between Bonnie and William. They made strange comments.

Here’s the way Gay wrote about my experience. This excerpt is from Sarah and the Double Wedding Woes.

“After the National Anthem, the game started. A player threw a ball to a man crouched on the ground while another guy stood nearby with a stick on his shoulder. A hunched dude dressed in navy blue stuck a hand in the air and yelled, “Ball!”

A big fellow two aisles down from Bonnie and William stood up and shook his fist. “You stupid umpire, are you blind?”

What? Did they let blind men judge players’ actions on the field? And why did the man in the dark uniform yell ‘ball’? Wasn’t that the name of the game and the reason people came to this place? Surely they all recognized a ball when they saw one. Seriously? These humans shouted the strangest things.

William leaned toward Bonnie. “That pitcher can’t hit a barn, the way he is throwing tonight.”

“Huh?” Sarah voiced the word aloud, but no one noticed. Why would William want the guy to hit a barn? None were even in sight. No cows, horses or other animals roamed about either.

“Stay alive out there. This guy can hit.” A man screamed from behind her.

Sarah shook her head, puzzled. No one lay dead on the grass below and none of God’s death angels hovered above. All the players appeared healthy. Good grief! People thought she spoke in odd phrases. Had they ever considered some of the things they said?”

See what I mean? Baseball is difficult for me to learn. It contains strange jargon.

What do you like most about (your profession)?

I love helping men and women find relationships with each other. I also enjoy learning how humans live. I terrify myself with goof ups down here, but I don’t want to stop coming. Even though I’m insecure and clueless, I laugh at myself for the silly things I do.

What’s the craziest thing that’s ever happened to you?

I’m in the middle of a crazy time right now. On missions to earth, I must create human disguises. My favorite foods are cheeseburgers, fries, and chocolate malts, but my metabolism is of a heavenly nature, and weight is never an issue. At the moment, in order to help a young woman, I’ve added fifty pounds to my frame and I’m eating small portions of rabbit food. My assignment is to help Valerie transform Valerie with a magical makeover. I’m starving. This is difficult. I’ve resorted to sneaking food.  I’m also to teach her to wear makeup and dress. Merciful heavens! I make a bad choice with human female attire when I must call forth a masquerade. Goodness! My wardrobe consists of white muslin robes.  Now, I ask you, how can I do this crazy thing? Teach someone to do something I don’t know how to do?

Sarah and the Double Wedding Woes cover

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A double wedding? Was it possible?

The Superiors want Jessica and Robert to marry, but they throw in a twist–while seeing to their wedding, Sarah, Heaven’s Little Love Angel, must also find a mate for Bonnie, Jessica’s mom. Her orders are to bring about the two weddings simultaneously.

Can Sarah pull it off? Or will her clumsiness destroy two romances in one shot?

BUY LINKS

Amazon

Barnes & Noble

GayNLewisA native Texan, Gay lives in a small town west of Houston.  She loves to travel and engage in artistic ventures.  Two videos she produced —The Canadian Rockies, English and Japanese translations, and Psalms from the Mountains, sold well in international markets.  Graphic skills kept her busy as a portrait photographer, and for over ten years, she used her imaginative insight in the interior design field.

Gay loves travel, writing, and reading.  As a pastor’s wife, she writes Faith Features for various church periodicals.  Her current series is about a dyslexic angel who comes to earth to help humans, but Sarah, the angel, is more like Lucy Ricardo with humorous antics and bumbles.

For more information, please go to http ://gaynlewis.com/

Read excerpts on www.prismbookgroup.com

Gay would love to have you see her video trailers and become a follower of her blog.

http://www.gaynlewis.blogspot.com

https://www.amazon.com/author/gaynlewis
www.facebook.com/GayNLewis and also on Twitter @GayNLewis2.

Sarah has her own Facebook page. Follow Sarah on Facebook@ Sarah Wingspand

What are readers saying about the Sarah series?

“…well-written and entertaining…” Amazon Reviewer

“Sarah, with all her antics is just adorable…”  Amazon Reviewer

“It’s a joyful read and appeals to all ages and personalities. Makes a wonderful gift too!” Amazon Reviewer

Character Interview from Time Trap by Danele Rotharmel

How about you introduce yourself by providing the basics?

Hello, everyone! I’m Dr. Laura Nelson from Washington D.C. I’m a professor at National Science University and third-in-command of the Temporal Counseling Program.

What exactly is the Temporal Counseling Program?

TEMCO trains time-traveling cadets to intervene in the lives of troubled individuals before they embark on a career of crime. In essence, we find people in our prison systems who could have led peaceful lives instead of violent ones if they’d been counseled as children. We send counselors back through time to help criminals make different choices. Many times, the people we counsel end up becoming influential members of society.

That sounds very exciting. Is it dangerous?

Not usually. Occasionally, we do have a case that spirals out of control. Four years ago, we almost lost a cadet to a serial killer. But most of our cases go smoothly…

You look concerned. Is anything wrong?

Not really. It’s just that we lost contact with two of our cadets today. I’m sure it’s nothing serious. Most communication problems are due to malfunctioning equipment. Nevertheless, I can’t help feeling concerned… But I really shouldn’t be discussing ongoing cases. Do you have another question for me?

 Can you tell us where were you raised and how you became involved with TEMCO?

I was raised in the mountains of Alaska. My family lived miles away from the nearest large town. I wasn’t lonely, though. I had a pack of older brothers to keep me company. As I grew up, I excelled in academics. I went to college at age sixteen. While I was working on my doctorate, I met Peter Matthews and William Ableman. I began assisting them in their attempts to capture timewaves. Later, I helped them establish TEMCO operations on the NSU campus.

 You mentioned Director Peter Matthews. Is there truth to the rumor that you’re dating him?

Where on earth did you hear that? Peter and I are just friends. Good friends. I’ve known him since college. I’ll admit that he’s very handsome, but dating him would be like dating my brother.

 Would you ever consider dating him?

Peter is a wonderful man, but there’s never been a spark of romance between us. I wouldn’t be averse to exploring a relationship with him, but I doubt the opportunity will present itself. Regardless, I think we’re getting off subject. Do you have another question about TEMCO?

What do you like most about your profession?

I like the fact that we’re changing lives. TEMCO prevents tragedies from occurring. It turns criminals into productive members of society, and the crimes they would’ve committed never take place. Recently, Vice President Hamilton praised the TEMCO program in one of his speeches. He said that TEMCO had made our society better in a thousand ways.

Why are you smiling?

I was just thinking that TEMCO has made our society better in 4,896 ways—that’s how many cases we’ve handled since the establishment of the program. I don’t think people realize just how big of an impact we’ve had on society. TEMCO is a wonderful program!

 You mentioned earlier that cases occasionally become dangerous. How big of a commitment do you have to the program? Would you be willing to fight, or even die, for it?

No one likes walking into danger, but if the life of a cadet was in jeopardy, or if the program itself was facing a threat, I would willingly step up and fight. I know that with my manicured nails and coiffured hair that I don’t look like a fighter, but I am. I won’t let anything happen to my students or to TEMCO. If that means putting myself in danger or sacrificing my life, I’m willing to do it. But hopefully, that will never happen. As I said before, most cases never encounter a hint of danger.

 But if danger arises, you’re ready to face it?

Yes, I am.

Time Trap_June 22

 

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When problems arise during a field exam, Director Peter Matthews and Dr. Laura Nelson are sent through a time portal to investigate.  While they search for their missing cadets, they encounter an enemy who is calculating and brutal—a mysterious nemesis who is holding a grudge against the TEMCO program.  As Peter and Laura race to unravel clues directing them to their kidnapped cadets, their own survival comes into question.  A deadly trap has been set, and they are forced to pit their wits against a serial killer who is intent on playing a deadly chess game through time itself.

BUY LINKS

Amazon

Barnes & Noble

EXCERPT

The soft sound came again. Standing to her feet, Laura tried to calm her breathing. The furtive sounds could only mean one thing—their captor was approaching.

“Whatever happens,” she said quietly, laying a hand on Peter’s shoulder, “don’t tug against your cuffs. You can’t afford to lose more blood.”

“Keep your head and take your time,” Peter said stiffly. “Be patient. Stay out of his reach until you see an opening. If he has a gun, you can use a roundhouse kick to disarm him, but you’ll have to be quick. If he gets you down and starts kicking you, curl into a ball and protect your head and stomach.”

Laura squeezed Peter’s shoulder. She could hear the tension in his voice, and she knew he was terrified for her. She also knew that his inability to protect her was ripping him apart.

Peter spoke quickly, “If he manages to get his hands on you, use the heel of your palm and thrust it up against his nose. Don’t be afraid to be vicious. Go for his eyes, throat, and groin.”

“Don’t worry,” she said in a focused, determined voice. “I’ll fight dirty.”

The door opened.

Moving to the center of the room, Laura took a solid stance.

Danele Rotharmel

Danele Rotharmel’s life took an unexpected turn when a mysterious illness brought her close to death. Eventually, she learned that a carbon monoxide leak from a faulty furnace was poisoning her. This poisoning triggered Multiple Chemical Sensitivity causing her to be put in quarantine. For seven years, she could only talk to friends and extended family through a windowpane. During this time, she wrote the first six books in The Time Counselor Chronicles.  Although her journey back to health was difficult, it provided her the opportunity to grow closer to God and write her books. For that, she’s forever thankful.

WEB CONTACTS

Danele’s Blog: https://dragonflydanele.wordpress.com/

About Danele: https://dragonflydanele.wordpress.com/welcome/

About Danele’s Books: https://dragonflydanele.wordpress.com/my-books/

Character Interview from Dumpster Dicing by Julie B. Cosgrove

How about you introduce yourself by providing the basics? 

My name is Janie Manson and I am the widow of an Austin police detective. He often bounced his most puzzling cases off my brain to get a different perspective. Now I live in Sunset Acres retirement village where I power walk almost every morning with my best friends Ethel and Betsy Ann and host Bunco on Thursday evenings.

Family members?  

I have a son living with his family in New Jersey ad a daughter, Mel, who lives here in Alamoville with her husband. His name is Blake Johnson and he is the chief detective for their police department. I don’t mind telling you, he is overworked and I worry that it might damage their marriage.  Mel and Blake have two teenaged kids, Elli and Jaime. He never gets to their banc=d concerts or soccer games.

Did you attend college? 

I did, and that is where I met my late husband. He was moonlighting as campus security while going for his law enforcement degree. I majored in English with a minor in sociology. Don’t ask me why. Back then it was acceptable. All of us gals were really there to get our MRS. Women’s lib was not yet in full swing so most of us expected to be housewives.

Are you athletic?  

I try to stay fit, even though I am in my sixties. My ticker is fine and except for a slight blood pressure issues and being about fifteen pounds more than I’d like to be. I do power walk, as I said, which is how Betsy Ann and I discovered Edwin’s body diced up in the community’s dumpster. And after he’d only lived here three days. Quite odd, don’t you agree? But I won’t tell you why, because then you wouldn’t read Dumpster Dicing.

I also take yoga at the village and swim. I have never been a golf or tennis aficionado, even though they offer both here at Sunset Acres. Walking the golf course in the early morning is invigorating, however.

Did you ever think about a profession?  

(She leans closer to the microphone with a hushed voice.) Just between you and me I wanted to be a private investigator. Women in my day just didn’t do that sort of thing, you know. Or if they did, well they were very secretive about it.

Are you a pet person?

Oh my, yes. I have a cat, Ms. Fluffy. A spoiled rotten Persian, but she is a great companion. I am not that fond of dogs, but I tolerate them as long as they don’t bark obsessively or slobber. My late husband had a German Shepherd named Buddy. He was a police dog, of course, so when Jack died I gave him to his junior partner. Buddy stayed outdoors most of the time. He preferred his run and dog house to our house. Got antsy when he remained inside for too long, so we got along just fine.

Do you have any hobbies?

I do needlework, and of course I am an avid reader. Mostly suspense and mysteries, though I am nothing compared to Ethel with her bookshelves crammed with mystery novels. Did you know she cross-catalogs them by crime and motive? Oh, but I digress. I also love Bunco, which is why I host it in my home.

What’s the craziest thing that’s ever happened to you?

Well my dear, if I told you, I’d be revealing part of  the plot of Baby Bunco, the next one in the Bunco Biddies mysteries. You will just have to wait until the winter of 2017 to discover that!  (She winks and sets down her tea cup.)

DumpsterDicing June 15

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As Janie and Betsy Ann go for their morning jog, the city sanitation vehicle follows its normal five-mile Tuesday morning route through their retirement community of Sunset Acres. The two Bunco-playing biddies spot a leg dangling out of the dumpster when the truck lifts the trash container high in the air. Someone diced up one of their newest residents—a grouchy loner named Edwin Newman. Did he unpack too much of his dicey past when he moved in last weekend?

BUY LINKS

Amazon

Nook

Author website

EXCERPT

The community’s trash receptacle dangled at a precarious angle.

The senior citizens sputtered in unison. “Stop. There’s a body.”

The garbage man shook his head in confusion.

Betsy Ann motioned to the back. “A body. Get it? Dead person.”

The man shut down the engine. “¿Muerto?”

“Yes. Uh, sí.” She bobbed her cropped, reddish-blonde hair.

The worker crawled down from his seat and walked to the back of the sanitation truck, which rumbled and spewed more putrid fumes. The dumpster titled down at a forty-five degree angle. Suspended in time clung numerous trash bags, pizza boxes, a broken lawn chair and…an arm?

It’s Edwin.

“Who?” Betsy Ann’s brow furrowed.

“Newman. Edwin Newman. He chewed out Mildred Fletcher because her Yorkie barked at him. Threw a coffee mug at the poor animal. Whack! Right on the nose. It left a raw, sore spot.”

“He did?”

Janie gave her a quick nod. “Mildred must apply a special salve on him three times a day. Says it cost her $22.95.”

“On Mr. Newman?”

Janie scoffed into her velour v-neck. “No, the Yorkie.”

Betsy Ann’s lips formed an “O.”

Janie pointed to the dumpster. “Mr. Newman’s in there all right.”

“Are you sure?”

“Yes.” Janie bent to Betsy Ann’s ear. “I see his head.”

Julie Cosgrove

Julie B Cosgrove is an award-winning novelist, freelance Christian devotional writer and public speaker.  When she is not writing novels, she enjoys reading those by other faith-based authors while curled on her sofa with her two purring cats and a cup of Earl Grey.  And yes, she plays Bunco.

WEB CONTACTS

My sites: www.juliebcosgrove.com

Blog: Where Did You Find God Today?

Facebook:  https://www.facebook.com/juliebcosgrove/

Twitter  @JulieBCosgrove

Character Interview from A Knight To Remember by M.J. Schiller

A KNIGHT TO REMEMBER cover

Tell us your name.

I’m called Orion.

Where were you raised?

When I was a small child my parents saw something in me, and left me at the Academy of the High Order. That was where I was raised. My instructors and fellow students became my family, but of course I was closest with my mentor, Sir Darius Lee. When Darius married, his wife, Maggie, became like a sister to me. Sort of. We also have a kind of odd assortment of friends we have gathered throughout our travels across the galaxy that I would consider part of my family.

The Academy was a beautiful place to grow up. It is kind of like a huge crystal palace built into the side of a cliff on the planet Albion.

Are you athletic?

I’m not quite sure what you mean by ath-let-tic. I am fit. My coordination was honed at the Academy through many classes and exercises. I feel I had some natural talents to begin with, but I learned a lot from my Master, Darius, and even Maggie. *grins* Yes, she’s taught me a thing or two. And I like to think I’ve learned from every opponent I’ve faced as well. That’s the only way you can get better. 

Did you always want to be a Knight?

Well, it wasn’t like I was given a choice. But, yes. It is an honorable job. I like serving the common good and trying to protect the innocent from those who mean them harm. Plus, I get to meet all sorts of people and travel to amazing places. Some dark and miserable, some unbelievably beautiful.

What’s the craziest thing that’s ever happened to you?

Ha! Ha! Where do I start? One of the craziest, and most wonderful things that has ever happened to me actually happened on my wedding night. No, before that. Although that was wonderful…and amazing… Ahem. What I was referring to was when my wife sang this little number…she was wearing this red boa and man! The way she moved! Mmm.

Talk about your favorite setting for a date. (or favorite way to court a woman)

There has only been one woman for me. And we’ve only really been on one date. We went to this place that Darius and I trained at. It was quite a hike up to the spot I wanted to share with her, but well worth the effort. The scenery was spectacular. A lovely spot for a dip in the water with a woman who made me forget about all of it. All I was aware of was her.

BUY LINK–AMAZON

A KNIGHT TO REMEMBER teaser

 

M.J. Schiller profile pic (picmonkeyed)

I was born in Overland Park, KS, grew up in St. Louis, MO, went to school at the University of Missouri-Columbia, and moved to Bloomington, IL fresh out of college. I worked as a high school/junior college teacher, personnel recruiter, office manager of a jewelry store, and, for the past ten years plus, as a lunch lady. I like to karaoke and attend rock concerts. I’m also actively involved at church and spend too much time on Facebook. I am the mother of a twenty-year-old and eighteen-year-old triplets, and have been married to my husband, Don, for over twenty-five years.

Character Interviews from Two Tutor Doves by Patricia Kiyono

How about you introduce yourself by providing the basics?

My name is Jeanne Brown. I am lady’s maid to the Duchess of Bartlett.

I am Robert Townley, valet to Phillip Peartree, Duke of Bartlett.

Where were you raised? 

I was born in France. My mother was the daughter of a wealthy French aristocrat, and my father was an Englishman. When I was young, we moved to England to get away from the unrest of the French revolution. We lived in the English countryside near my father’s family.

I was raised in Bartlett Manor, in Lincolnshire. My father was valet to the present duke’s father. My mother died when I was young, and the duchess allowed me to live on the estate with my father.

Family members?

My father died in a farming accident when I was a teenager, and I went to work in the home of the Earl of Sudbury to help support my mother and younger brother Pierre. But the house burned down and my mother died in the fire. My brother’s body was never found, and no one knew what happened to him.

I don’t remember my mother, and I don’t have any siblings. I was raised with the present duke, but my father taught me to always remember my place.

Did you always want to be a lady’s maid? 

I never really thought about it. I became a domestic servant because I had to make money, and there really aren’t many professions open to women.

Being a valet is all I know. My father and his father before him served the Peartree family.

What do you like to do when you’re not working?

I enjoy sewing and knitting, although my duties don’t allow much time for them. I did manage to make some clothes and blankets for the new baby.

My father took me to the boxing saloon in London when I was a teenager so that I’d learn how to defend myself from ruffians. Now I go there when I need to think, or when I need to work out my frustrations.

Describe your ideal mate.

I never imagined marrying. I always assumed I’d remain in the duke’s household all my life. But I suppose if I met someone like my father, I’d be tempted to leave. Papa was handsome and strong, and he always took time to play and read to my brother and me. Until he died, he did his best to provide for all of us. He was our hero.

I’d never thought about marrying until recently, especially with the duke and duchess expecting their first child. I grew up without a mother, so the previous duchess is the only mother figure I’ve known. Children are a legacy, and in order to have children, I need a wife. My ideal mate would be intelligent and well mannered. She wouldn’t have to be beautiful, but at least pleasant to look at. And she would need to know how to work with children, because I simply don’t have the patience for them and their endless questions.

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Robert Townley prides himself as an efficient and indispensible valet to Phillip, Duke of Bartlett. But when Robert is coerced into teaching the poor children at the duchess’ chapel school, he’s out of his element. Thankfully, he has assistance from some of the other servants, including the prickly Miss Brown.

Jeanne Brown is lady’s maid to the Duchess of Bartlett. She loves working with the children but can’t abide Robert’s lofty attitude toward them. She’d love to put him in his place — but she needs her job.

When the duchess decides to hold the school’s Christmas party in her home, Robert and Jeanne must put aside their differences and work together to ensure that the holiday celebration goes off without a hitch. Will they be able to endure the partnership, or will their sparks ignite something more?

BUY LINKS

Two Tutor Doves is available at Amazon, Barnes and Noble, Smashwords, Kobo, and Itunes.

EXCERPT

What would it be like to have a family of my own, a home where I could decide what to put where, and a husband who will give me children?

Taking one last glance around the room, she noticed a candle out of place above the mantle. Pushing one of the library ladders over to the correct wall, she mounted the bottom step.

“Miss Brown, please allow me.” Robert appeared behind her, and his nearness sent a warm glow through her.

“Oh, I’m not going very high. I just want to straighten that candle up there.”

“Then I shall hold the ladder steady for you.”

She opened her mouth to argue, but thought better of it and nodded. If not held still, the wheels on the bottom of the ladder could cause it to move. Robert put his foot on the bottom step and held on to the side rails, using his weight to hold the ladder still. She made quick work of straightening the errant candle and came back down.

Stepping backward off the bottom step, her back made contact with Robert’s chest, and she realized he still held on to the ladder. She basked in the circle of his powerful arms. “Er, thank you.”

“It was my pleasure. If the ladder had moved while you were perched on it and you were hurt, I would be devastated.” His warm breath tickled her neck, and a delicious shiver ran through her. The sensation burned in her memory long after they parted ways and she retired for the night.

Blast the man!

PatriciaKiyono

In a previous life, Patricia Kiyono taught elementary school students by day and changed diapers at night. Now she teaches college students part time and changes diapers only when she’s taking care of grandkids. She loves to do anything that doesn’t involve exercise. Right now her favorite activities, in addition to writing, include scrapbooking, sewing, and making music. She and her husband live in southwest Michigan, near their children, grandchildren, and great-grandchildren.

 

Patricia can be found on Facebook, Twitter, Instagram, Goodreads, and Pinterest, as well as her website and blog.

 

Character Interview of Natalie Jayne of Scarred by Alicia Dean

How about you introduce yourself by providing the basics?

My name is Natalie Jayne, and I’m a fashion buyer.

Where were you raised?

I was born and raised in Westbury, Maine, but moved to Oklahoma my senior year of high school.

Family members?

I have both my parents, but I’m an only child.

What do you like most about being a fashion buyer?

I love losing myself in the study of beautiful clothes. Sometimes, I get so engrossed, I forget everything else in the world.

List your favorite movie of all time and why:

My favorite movies are comedies. I don’t like scary movies, suspense or any kind of drama, any dark movies at all. Life is dark enough, your entertainment should be light.

What’s the craziest thing that’s ever happened to you?

Probably when I was in high school and I accidentally used my ‘gift’ with our beloved principal. I saw things, awful things about him. He was fired, and even though he was guilty, the entire town treated me like I was at fault.

Where did you go for your most recent vacation?

I travel so much with my job that I seldom take vacations. Plus, I would have to take them alone since I don’t really have friends or a significant other. Most recently, I was in Paris on a business trip. All alone in the City of Love. Fun, right?

What attracts you first to a man?

I think first off, physically, I’m usually drawn to their eyes. But deep down, I look for someone with strength of character who is caring.

Are you talking about a particular man?

Well, maybe… I don’t date because of my ‘gift.’ When I touch a person with my hands, I see things about them, things I shouldn’t know. I avoid relationships because of that. I mean, who wants to know everything about the person they’re intimate with, right? But, Simon Cordell… I dated him in high school, then I had to move away and leave him. He was someone with great strength of character, and one of the few people who didn’t treat me like I was some kind of freak. Oh, and he had the most gorgeous dark eyes. They literally glittered like a midnight sky.

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Is her ability to uncover secrets with a simple touch a blessing or a curse?

When Natalie Jayne moved away from her home town ten years earlier, she left behind painful memories, along with Simon, the man she loved.

Now, she’s back on Halloween night to attend a memorial marking the one-year anniversary of the tragic death of her childhood friend, Jessica.

Rumors that Simon was responsible for Jessica’s untimely passing shake/unnerve/rattle/alarm/dishearten her. Even more disturbing is her unsettling attraction to a masked stranger in attendance at the event.

Her gift may be the key to unlocking the truth, but will it also lead to heartbreak?

BUY LINK

AMAZON

EXCERPT

Kristopher stood on a small stage at the end of the ballroom. He wore a white tux with a black tie, his blond hair glowing like a halo, although the image was deceiving. The man was as duplicitous as Satan himself.

He spoke into the microphone, his voice booming throughout the cavernous room. “I would like to thank each and every one of you for coming tonight, to not only pay tribute to Jessica Thacker and her death, but to celebrate her life.” He grew silent and cleared his throat. When he spoke again, his voice was hoarse. “She was a special person, a beautiful soul who loved people, loved life. She would be honored to see the number of people who gathered to pay homage.”

The crowd erupted in cheers. When they quieted, Kristopher said, “While this is a night of reverence and honor, it’s also a night to remember the brutal, senseless way that she died. Although the monster responsible is free, we must never forget, never let him live in peace. Simon Cordell is free to live his life, while our beloved Jessica lies in a cold grave.”

Simon’s heart sped up. Although the people in the room didn’t know he was here, he could feel their anger, their accusation. His skin burned with the heat of their ire. He stepped back, planning to retreat, when Natalie spoke.

“That’s not fair!” Her voice rose in the momentary silence. “Simon was absolved of her death, and you need to let him be.”

Kristopher’s gaze swung to her. “Natalie Jayne?” Even from this distance, Simon could see red suffuse Kristopher’s face. “You have no right to show up here a year after her death, after not even attending her funeral, and speak of something you know nothing about.”

Natalie lifted her skirts and headed toward the stage. Simon wanted to call her back, to keep her from coming to his defense, but she was already approaching the podium.

She moved gracefully up the steps and to the microphone. Kristopher held up his hands as if to push her away, and Simon tensed. If he laid a hand on her…

Author Picture - Alicia Dean

I live in Edmond, Oklahoma. I have three grown children and a huge network of supportive friends and family. I write mostly contemporary suspense and paranormal, but have also written in other genres, including a few vintage historicals.

Other than reading and writing, my passions are Elvis Presley, MLB, NFL (I usually work in a mention of one or all three into my stories) and watching my favorite televisions shows like Vampire Diaries, Justified, Sons of Anarchy, Haven, New Girl, The Mindy Project, and Dexter (Yes, I know some have ended, but I will forever be a fan). Some of my favorite authors are Michael Connelly, Dennis Lehane, Lee Child, Lisa Gardner, Sharon Sala, Jordan Dane, Ridley Pearson, Joseph Finder, and Jonathan Kellerman…to name a few.

WEB CONTACTS

Website: http://aliciadean.com/

Blog: http://aliciadean.com/alicias-blog/

Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/profile.php?id=100008364070487

Twitter:  https://twitter.com/Alicia_Dean_

Pinterest: http://www.pinterest.com/aliciamdean/

Goodreads: https://www.goodreads.com/author/show/468339.Alicia_Dean

Character Interview from Blood Moon by Leah St. James

 

How about you introduce yourself by providing the basics?

Good morning, Linda. Thanks so much for having me on your blog today. I’m excited to meet your readers!

Where were you raised?

I’m a Midwestern girl, born and raised in Iowa, in a town near the bump at the Mississippi. I attended college in Virginia though, and fell in love with the beach. I moved there my sophomore year of college and never went back.

Family members?

My mom, dad and younger brother still live in Iowa. We visit every so often, mostly around the holidays. Thank goodness for Skype!

My husband, Matt, is an FBI agent assigned to the nearby field office. I met him at a mystery conference. He was giving a talk on profiling serial killers, and I asked him to show me his badge <winking>. We’ve been together since.

Did you always want to be a book reviewer?

Well, no. My degree was in English lit, so I always hoped I would do something with books and fiction. I was one of those kids who hid under the blankets with a flashlight reading after my bedtime. I started my review blog, Readers’ Retreat, in college, and it took off. Now I read and review two to three books a week.

What do you like most about reviewing books?

The best part is discovering a new author and helping to get the word out to other readers. It’s like finding that pristine, perfectly formed conch shell on the beach after a storm. Like it’s been there all along, just had to get churned to the surface.

 What are your reading tastes?

My personal favorite is romantic suspense. I love that feeling of apprehension in a well-crafted suspense novel, and trying to figure out how the hero and heroine will get themselves out of trouble, and into love. I also love relationship stories, not necessarily romantic. You know, like mother-daughter stories, or sibling stories.

Professionally, I read pretty much all genres, but I draw the line at the way-out things, like bestiality.

List your favorite book of all time and why.

Oh gosh…that’s a tough one. I don’t think I can. It would be like picking a favorite child.

Do you have any hobbies?

I love to cook and experiment with new textures and flavors. It’s a great outlet to cleanse my palate, so to speak, between books.

 What’s the craziest thing that’s ever happened to you?

(Shivering) Well, last Halloween I got in a bit of trouble while Matt and I were walking on the beach. There was this big, red moon in the sky, and it was so romantic. And all of a sudden, all you-know-what broke loose. (Shivers again.) But, you know, now I’m fine, Matt is fine, and the bad guy is behind bars…I hope.

Halloween_cover_lowres

 

Leah St. James – Blood Moon

One Halloween night, a killer terrorized a strip of Virginia beachfront, murdering a dozen young women whose only crime was walking the beach with a boyfriend. Now, fifty years later, book reviewer Ronnie can’t shake the feeling that another has come to take his place. Is it nothing more than her vivid imagination running wild, or are the spirits stirring, warning of approaching danger?

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Leah is a worrier, a self-described neurotic who tends to imagine the worst-case scenario in response to brewing troubles. She hasn’t decided if this leaning toward the dark side is what draws her to write edgy, gritty stories, or if the suspenseful mysteries and Gothic romances that filled her childhood bookshelves somehow imprinted their shadows on her psyche.  Despite (or maybe because of) this propensity for infusing her fiction with murder and mayhem, she still craves those happily-ever-after endings and the romance of everlasting love.

You can read more about Leah at www.leahstjames.com

Connect with Leah on Facebook, Twitter and Pinterest.

EXCERPT  FROM “BLOOD MOON” included in “Mysteries of the Macabre | A Halloween Anthology.”

On the beach, two lovers kissed. Behind them, the moon—hanging giant and hazy red in the sky—dripped feathery tendrils into the sea, painting crimson tips on the dancing waves.

Its raw beauty was lost on the two, engrossed as they were in each other, entwined so closely, they appeared from a distance as one. They never heard my approach. Never knew I’d been observing them earlier while they joined their friends around a bonfire.

I moved closer, my steps inaudible over the crashing surf. Something about the woman—girl really—called to me. More than that…vexed me.

Maybe it was her waist-length hair the color of coal. Most of the girls teased their hair into those ugly beehives, but she’d let hers flow free, like a curtain of silk. She reminded me of…

I forced that image from my mind. Maybe it was the way her date, a handsome young man, brought her hand to his mouth for a kiss. He pressed his lips not to the back of her hand, like a gentleman would, but to the center of her palm. I imagined their eyes making love as surely as if they lay together, unclothed, in bed.

Maybe it was her response, a trill of sensuous laughter, carried by the sea-scented breezes to my ears.

My stomach stormed. What made her boy-man so special? Why did he deserve her love?

A need to make her suffer, just as I had suffered, rose and filled my soul with hate. Despite that, my hands flexed with the urge to touch, to sample the woman’s lushness, the curves so happily on display in the indecently short dress with fanciful red polka dots that looked eerily like that moon.

Was it a symbol, a sign, that it was time to indulge that craving for her body, her blood? Was it destiny that brought me to their part of the world on that specific night?

 I moved in. First on the boyfriend. So unaware. So full of youthful passion in the way he clutched her close. A quick chop to the back of the head, and the boy-man was down, twitching in the sand. When he woke, would he understand that it was his attention that caused her death?

I turned to her. She backed up, her eyes rounded, her hands over her open mouth. Screams bubbled from her crimson lips, so loud and shrill they must have come from some deep dark place in her soul.

Blood coursed through my veins, carried by the excitement of the prize before me, and I laughed at the sheer power of the moment. I stepped closer, close enough to see that her cheeks were wet with tears, close enough to smell fear.

I grabbed for her and —

Something hot and sweaty clamped on the back of Ronnie’s neck, and a shriek tore up her throat as she twisted to face her attacker.

Matthew jumped  back, hands lifted, palms out. “What the hell, Ronnie? I just wanted to tell you it’s almost time to go.”

“Sorry.” Sitting up from where she’d been lounging on the couch, she gave her husband a sheepish smile and drew in a slow breath to calm her heart. “I was reading.” She flipped the paperback around to show him the cover of the true-crime novel she’d started earlier in the day.

Half illustration, half black-and-white photo, it depicted a shadowed man poised over a woman sprawled on a beach. Her body lay prone, right arm akimbo, legs splayed. A tear in the bodice of her mini-dress revealed a jagged, bloody gash over her heart. Blood had gushed from the wound and pooled in the sand at her side, puddled slick and oily-looking in a splash of red moonlight. In the background, a man’s face stared from behind prison bars with eyes that were at once triumphant and defiant.

It was a mock-up—he’d never been caught—but every time Ronnie looked at the cover, she shivered at the sheer evil of the man whose very real kill diary had been excerpted in the best-seller.

With a snort, Matthew took the paperback, flipped her bookmark in place, then snapped it shut and placed it on the end table. “What a shock. I’m surprised you even remember you have a real life half the time. Pretty soon you’re going to be buried in your work…literally.” He gestured to the several stacks of books crawling drunkenly up the wall in the corner of their living room.

“Not all of us can have jobs saving the world,” she said, raising her voice so he could hear her as he walked away. Wasn’t a big to-be-read pile to be expected for the life of a book reviewer?