Before the captivating Evian Magi enters the picture and becomes a key member of The Mystery Alliance, Myth Vaga was a critical ally within their intriguing fold. He once lived amongst The Mystery Alliance in London, England. Yet, a serendipitous meeting and an ensuing romantic involvement with a bewitching beauty becomes the instrumental catalyst for his not surprising, but climactic betrayal.
Cold Coffee Review: I enjoyed reading The Mystery Alliance: Evian’s Saga by Taffey Tawanna Champion first, so I found this prequel extremely interesting.
The Mystery Alliance is an elite rescue unit. The individuals in this unit are called Mystics. Their secret alliance rescues hostages that are held in extreme terrorists’ situation where other rescue attempts have failed or were impossible.
It all begins at a manor named “Dwellen” located in London, England. It is here where training in “Mystery Arts” begins and missions are born.
Get to know the “Mystics” who make up this anti-terrorist group and follow up this short prequel with The Mystery Alliance: Evian’s Saga.
I, Theodocia McLean, endorse The Mystery Alliance: Prequel to Evian’s Saga by Taffey Tawanna Champion. It will be interesting to see where the author goes with this series. I purchased this book from Kindle. This review was completed on February 17, 2018.
An unsuspecting young man meets a mysterious beauty through a bizarre encounter in Paris, France. After speaking with her, he agrees to live among a secret society of persons called Mystics. Here, he learns about their secret alliance and their mastery of a spectacular self-defense technique: The Mystery Arts. Soon, Evian discovers that there is no turning back from the path he has chosen.
Excerpt: “We are members of an elite rescue unit…The Mystery Alliance. All of the members of this rescue unit are called Mystics. Mystics have haunting, surreal beauty: almost as though we were chosen to be Mystics from the womb. We also have unique abilities and skills which set us apart from others. Yet, only prominent, high-ranking government officials have knowledge of our existence. We are the persons these officials contact when no one else can rescue hostages in extreme terrorist situations. And this is our story…”
Cold Coffee Review: The Mystery Alliance: Evian’s Saga is a short reading experience, originally written as a screen play and converted to an e-book.
Packed with a diverse cast of characters, easy to follow dialog and sixteen chapters with sub-headings which act like separate scenes or skits in a play with different places, times, events and characters.
The main character is Evian Magi who works as a Jack-of-all-trades for the Machiavellia’s Traveling Carnival. Paris, France is full of history, mystery and intriguing people from all over the globe. It is the beauty of a woman that lures Evian into a secret society called The Mystery Alliance where he finds his path is forever sealed.
I quote a passage from chapter seven to give you a glimpse into Evian’s story.
“Delphi and Raven are in the gardens surrounding the chateau, picking flowers. Evian comes outside for a brief respite and notices the two of their bent forms. He is delighted to see that the ladies are engaged in such a pleasant past- time and decides to join their little gathering.
When he approaches them, he says, “There you are, ladies.”
Both women stand up and face their visitor. Delphi replies with, “Hello, Evian. Did you want something?
“Actually, I just came outside to unwind for a while. But, now that I think of it, there are some things that I have been meaning to ask you.”
“All right, then. Wait one moment, please.” “Sure.’
As Delphi returns to her task, Evian turns his attention to Raven. Smiling, he says, “Hello again, Raven.”
Raven glances at him. “Hello, there. You seem very cheerful today. May I ask the reason?”
Evian simply shrugs. “Of course,…it’s just that I think I have found my purpose in this world.”
Raven smiles at hearing this. “You’ve made your decision, then.” “I have. So far, I’ve not yet discovered a reason to leave.”
“Have you already informed Machiavellia’s of your decision yet?”
Evian nods. “Yes, Raven Hawk, I have. They weren’t happy to lose me, but I suspect they’ll get over it; in time.”
“And how are you finding The Mystery Arts?”
Evian’s face positively glows as he thinks about his progress with the innovative martial arts form. “Fantastic! I’m absolutely fascinated by it all.”
“Oh no, tell me we don’t have another adrenaline junkie.
Evian frowns. “What do you mean by another? Who are you talking about?” Raven suddenly clams up and becomes evasive in answering his query.
“That’s a story for another time.”
I, Theodocia McLean, endorse The Mystery Alliance: Evian’s Saga as an introduction to the book series by Taffey Tawanna Champion. I reviewed this book from Kindle. The review was completed on September 13, 2016.
Cold Coffee Press Spotlight Interview With Author Taffey Tawanna Champion
Author Taffey Tawanna Champion is a small-town girl born and raised in Greensboro, GA, educated at GTCHS in Greensboro, GA and further educated at Elon College which eventually became Elon University. She excelled in writing as a young child; even earned merits and won awards for writing ability, including a “Passport to Excellence” plaque. Reading and writing also were Taffey’s first loves before drama and music, which of course, came after.
Before, during and after college, Taffey became a world traveler, even electing to live in London, England for one semester whilst studying at Elon University. She traveled several times to Paris, France at this time. Taffey also met and encountered celebrities in London, England which served to make her experiences even more special. Added to her world traveler status, she lived in South Korea for a short interval. This experience, including her fascination with various Kung-Fu techniques and martial arts films aided in her ability to create The Mystery Arts in The Mystery Alliance: Evian’s Saga.
She also worked in Marina, CA as an Americorps VISTA for MCHOME (a division of Interim, Inc.) under the Coalition of Homeless Services Providers. During this time, she became acquainted with the various artists of Breakthrough H’ART (a program synonymous with MCHOME) and also with noted Austrian Artist/Painter, Hans Kindel. It was here, under the tutelage of Hans Kindel and Bill Donnelly that she discovered her talent for Abstract/Impressionist Art. This is where the initial cover of her E-book originated, but there is a new Cover representing this E-Book currently.
“The Mystery Alliance: Evian’s Saga” was created initially as a copyrighted action/adventure screenplay, however, Taffey decided to adapt it into an E-book: the first in a series of E-books actually. “The Mystery Alliance: Evian’s Saga” is available for sale at Amazon, Smashwords, and will be distributed via Smashwords to many other retailers, as well. This E-book is also made available for Libraries to obtain.
What makes you proud to be a writer from Greensboro, GA? I suppose that I’m proud to be a writer from Greensboro, GA because I am a southern belle from a small town, and I believe it is this fact that inspires others from rural areas of the USA, to be more determined to follow their dreams. I have even heard from some individuals saying something to this effect, since releasing my E- Book, “The Mystery Alliance: Evian’s Saga”.
What or who inspired you to become a writer? No one specifically inspired me to become a writer. I have always excelled in English and writing since I was a child. And because I have such an overactive imagination, I have always felt that I should give it my “best shot”, so to speak. However, Mr. Keanu Reeves, the Actor, inspired my passion for Action Adventure writing because I always loved his Action films tremendously while I was growing up. Mr. Reeves also inspired the creation of my protagonist, Evian Magi.
When did you begin writing with the intention of becoming published? I was a screenplay writer first, beginning in 1999, but my original copyrighted screenplay, “The Mystery Alliance: Evian’s Saga” was not optioned because I created such high-concept material. So, later on, I decided to adapt it into an E-Book. I would say that I began writing with the intention to be published in either 2007 or 2008.
Did your environment or upbringing play a major role in your writing and did you use it to your advantage? Yes, somewhat, because my family and I have always enjoyed watching Action and Martial Arts films, since I was very little.
Do you come up with your title before or after you write the manuscript? I always endeavor to come up with my title before I begin creating literary material, but sometimes the title is conceived after I have already started writing my literary works.
Please introduce your genre and why you prefer to write in that genre? The genre in which I write is fiction. Its subgenres which I’ve been focusing on are Action Adventure and Fantasy. I do love a great drama, but I am highly fascinated and intrigued by Action Adventure and Fantasy films. I have also been an avid film enthusiast regarding Mr. Keanu Reeves’ films while I was growing up. Therefore, I suppose those are the reasons I prefer fiction writing; and most likely why my E-Book, “The Mystery Alliance: Evian’s Saga” is characterized as an Action Adventure/Futuristic Fantasy.
What was your inspiration, spark or light bulb moment that inspired you to write the book that you are seeking promotion for? I do realize that this will sound so cliché, but I experienced vivid dreams about beautifully mystical beings with almost supernatural powers in 1999 first. After I began writing what I remembered about these dreams on paper, I became spellbound and quite determined to write a Feature film screenplay to do justice to such fascinating visions.
What has been your most rewarding experience with your writing process? My most rewarding experiences with my writing process, I must say, are having become Self-Published; also having quite a few wonderful offers to promote my material, and especially with having been blessed with meeting and working on a Blog Tag Tour project with the absolutely fantastic and noted Author, Schuyler J. Ebersol.
What has been your most rewarding experience in your publishing journey? I would have to say that it was when I became Self-Published via the use of the phenomenal Smashwords online E-Book website.
What one positive piece of advice would you give to other authors? Well, I am but a humble small-town girl from Greensboro, GA, but the only advice I can give, is to make certain you do indeed have a passion and dedication toward becoming a Published Author.
Who is your favorite author and why? I have never really had a favorite Author, because I have been a lover of many books. However, presently, my favorite Author is none other than Schuyler J. Ebersol, because I certainly loved reading “The Hidden World”. The visual imagery in his book is positively astounding; not to mention, his expert writing ability.
Is there anything else that you would like to share with us? Yes, I created my own genre (i.e., Action Adventure/Futuristic Fantasy) in honor of my Muse, actor Keanu Reeves’ pioneering work in action films; for my protagonist character, “Evian Magi”, is the Mystic Fantasy Hero version of Keanu Reeves. Initially, I had created “The Mystery Alliance: Evian’s Saga” as the first E-Book to launch my innovative series. I am now releasing “The Mystery Alliance: Prequel to Evian’s Saga” as the second E-Book in this captivating series.
Joy M. Lilley’s first novel ‘Figs, Vines and Roses’ tells a moving tale of love and loss at the turn of the nineteenth century.
In 1888 eight-year-old Issy Merryweather has a comfortable family life in Cobnut Hall, Derby. Sharing carefree summers with her brother Clarence, beloved dog Molly and cherished grandma Ella, Issy enjoys the freedom of childhood innocence. But as she comes of age a move to Kent changes her life forever.
When Issy meets Terence she is enraptured by him and despite his humble background an inseparable bond is formed in secret. But, it’s a secret which Issy will never escape after a heartbreaking turn in events…
Genre: Love, Romance, Fiction, Family Saga
Cold Coffee Review: Figs, Vines and Roses is a family saga giving insight between the upper and lower class in 1888. Author Joy M. Lilley does a good job describing life in various English towns as the reader gets to know the Merryweather family. I can relate to young Isabella “Issy” and her brother Clarence, since like them, I was sent to a boarding school. Their childhood was very comfortable, innocent and more privileged than most and with it came the best boarding school.
I invite you to join Isabella in her family life with dog Molly, brother Clarence, Grandmother Ella, her inevitable coming of age journey into young adulthood. Issy falls in love with Terence, who is the gardener. This is forbidden love since Terence is from the “wrong side of tracks”. What is the secret that Issy can’t escape?
Isabella love for beautiful gardens brings the reader here: “It did not take long before Isabella began exploring the grounds of the estate and could see the potential of the gardens that had suffered so much neglect for many years; apparently, she had discovered from one of the grounds men that the mid-Victorian landowners had built a brick farmhouse beyond the Castle building and at the same time took the estate in hand. There were remaining signs of this with shrubs and flowers in bloom, and interesting varieties of trees in abundance. Apparently prior to this the estate had lain in ruin since the Seven Years War (1756-63), when captured French seamen were incarcerated there.
Isabella spent much of her time in the garden as it was early spring and there had been yet another long, cold winter to overcome. This had taken its toll on the land, which now was in need of attention. Issy knew what was required to help the gardens come into bloom again. She had an enormous imagination and could foresee how the garden could look once again with the right care and attention. She day-dreamed of restoring the garden to its former natural beauty.”
Will she be able to turn her dreams into reality?
Author Joy M. Lilley did a good job holding my interest in this short read as the author leaves things open for a sequel. I give this book five stars for the story. I purchased this book from Kindle. This review was completed on August 26, 2018
Gloria Harris is born in Market Harborough in the United Kingdom, in 1922. She spends the first few years of life living with her parents and grandfather. Her siblings, an older sister and twin brothers, also share the household. The relationship between Gloria and her mother is strained much of the time.
The early days of her life are spent in considerable poverty, so much so that Gloria and her sister are sent away to Northern Ireland to be with their aunt and uncle, who are more affluent than their parents, due to the improving circumstances for the farming community in Ireland. Her aunt and uncle have a smallholding and keep a few animals and poultry that provide them with eggs and milk: the land produces enough fresh vegetables for themselves and for sale at the local market. Gloria and her sister Ann are made to work hard during this time, helping out on the farm and with the household chores. Their aunt and uncle have no children and are not particularly kind to the girls. The sisters have to stay in Ireland much longer than they had been led to believe they would, and it is several years before they come home.
On their return to Market Harborough they discover that their brothers have both been in considerable trouble, one having made a girl pregnant and the other having stolen from his employer. Gloria realises that these circumstances were part of the reason why the girls had to stay away for so long.
At the age of sixteen Gloria is sent to France on a student exchange, where she stays in Nancy with the well-to-do family of Chantelle Valvoire, whom she befriends. Gloria has a penchant for languages and these talents are vastly enhanced during this period, when she speaks almost exclusively in French. She also loses her virginity to a dashing Frenchman and is terrified of pregnancy, but after she returns home, to her great relief, the putative pregnancy comes to an end. As a result of this experience she vows to have nothing more to do with men until she is older. This resolve soon weakens when she meets Geoffrey, a school teacher from London whom she encounters on the journey back from France. Once home, Gloria practices her love of languages in some form or another on most days, regularly enjoying conversing with her sister’s Dutch boyfriend, who helps and encourage her linguistic achievements. He teaches French and German at the school she attended.
The Second World War begins and Gloria does her bit for the war effort by working on the land after leaving school. But she is restless, anxious to play a much more active role in fighting for her country. After hearing an appeal from the Home Office for foreign language experts to work abroad, she finds out all she can about joining the Special Operations Executive (SOE). After some considerable time, she secures an interview to join what became known as ‘Churchill’s secret army: the S.O.E. Her family are horrified at what their youngest daughter is letting herself in for and try their best to dissuade her, unsuccessfully.
After going through the rigid and arduous training to become an S.O.E. officer, she is sent into occupied France, where she is involved in a number of successful missions. Eventually she is captured by the Gestapo and sent to Fresnes prison in Paris, then on to the notorious Dachau Concentration Camp. In both places she is treated appallingly, being starved and tortured, and to avoid the likelihood of her inevitable death, she hatches a plan of escape. After doing so she has many trials and tribulations, after which she finally meets the brave Résistance leader and accomplished navigator, Sabien. He acts as guide for Gloria and some other stragglers through war-torn France and helps them back to England. Her feelings for him gradually turn from hate to love and they marry on the journey home. Sabien is subsequently summoned to the Normandy beaches to do vital Resistance tasks, and they part company until sometime later, when all hell is let loose.
She is young, living with her mother, and has had a strict religious upbringing.
Seb is a handsome, successful surgical registrar and Jenny is incapable of resisting his charms. They fall in love, buy a flat and move into together, much against Jenny’s mother’s wishes.
Then one day Seb confesses to Jenny that he is already married with two young boys.
Can a heartbroken Jenny pick up the pieces of her life?
Top Customer Reviews
4.0 out of 5 stars
Reads like a juicy memoir!
November 18, 2017
“This was an entertaining read that left me pondering the motivations and relationships between characters. Because it began with a few words from the present before diving into the story of the past, it was easy to form a quick dislike for the main male character early on, but his actions throughout just made me dislike him all the more. That being said, there were times when I felt for him, understanding the reasons behind some of his antics. I particularly enjoyed the realistic feel of the story. I actually looked the book back up on Amazon soon after starting it, to see if it was listed under the memoir category, as it felt quite autobiographical. The ending left me contemplating issues of trust. When is it appropriate to forgive and move on? What actions cannot be forgiven; where is the line? Can a second chance work out in the long run, or will it result in another exercise of frustration and heartache – i.e., are we better to forgive previous sins and move on or does a tiger truly never change his stripes? Interesting questions to ponder!”
By Deborah A. Bowman, author
5.0 out of 5 stars
A Delightful Love Story
March 26, 2018
“Star-crossed lovers from the beginning between cultures, racial differences, and a loveless arranged marriage that holds one man captive. The pendulum swings fore and aft for over a decade to bring them together, tear them apart, and perhaps give them a second chance. Ms Lilley writes beautifully with great feeling and depth of realistic emotions in turmoil. Such is life… A book that reads smoothly and strongly. You will envision relationships of your own, perchance. A novel and a love story you don’t want to miss!”
Cold Coffee Press Spotlight Interview With Author Joy M. Lilley
Author Bio: Hello, My name is Joy Gerken, pen name Joy M. Lilley.
I write/blog and was a trained nurse, all my working life, until I retired in 2015.
My first novel is ‘Figs, Vines and Roses’ a tale of love and loss at the turn of the nineteenth century.
My second novel is called ‘The Liberty Bodice’. This is a completely different genre to the first novel and follows the trials and tribulations of a young girl working for the Special Operations Executive [S.O.E.] in W.W.2.
You can also find my short story ‘Lost and Found’ published in Liphar short stories Vol 1. [Liphar short stories} by Liphar magazine.
In 2016 my novella ‘Times pendulum swings again’ was published. This tells of a hospital romance that starts well, until the truth about the surgical registrar admitting to his nurse girlfriend that he is married with two sons back home in Nepal.
I am hoping to release my forth publication ‘Strawberry moon’ a crime, mystery set in the Dordogne, France.
What makes you proud to be a writer? I am proud to write as it feeds my eternally active imagination.
What or who inspired you to become a writer? I joined a book reading club. This in turn encouraged my reading. Always wanting to write but having little opportunity previously because of an exhausting full-time job. Since retiring I now feel more fulfilled and happy.
When did you begin writing with the intention of becoming published? Following retirement from a long nursing career, I wrote avidly thus resulting in three published novels.
What has been your most rewarding experience with your writing and publishing process? Having been traditionally published by two publishing houses.
How many published books do you have? Three.
Please list the titles of all your books: Figs, Vines and Roses, The Liberty Bodice and Times Pendulum Swings Again.
Please introduce your main genre and why you prefer to write in that genre? I don’t have a preference and the three stories written are all in a different genre.
What do you enjoy doing when you are not writing? Being a part of a large family with Grandchildren and Great Grandchildren. Travelling and being a voice over artist.
What one positive piece of advice would you give to other authors? Never, ever give up. Listen to wise advice on what works and what doesn’t work in producing the written word.
Who is your favorite author and why? Several, I enjoy everything I have read from Rose Tremain. She writes in the same fashion as I see the world. I admire the works of Patrick Gale. He writes exquisitely from the heart and the books I have read of his have inspired me and of course, the lengthy works of John Steinbeck. I could not put his Grapes of Wrath down.
Additional Questions or Information (Given by Author): I am a retire trained nurse, having worked for almost 50 years in the profession. I love the life I now have with time to read and write. I also spend a considerable amount of my time doing voice over works and have V. O’D a few children’s stories, some of which I have also written.
At Granite’s Mill, deep in the backwoods of Virginia, a body is discovered with unusual physical characteristics. By morning, the media erupts over a headline in a local newspaper, ‘The Son of Virginia’s Governor is Missing’.
FBI Special Agent Jack Stanwick is handed the case. Realizing he’ll have to go outside the brethren, Jack marshals the help of an old friend, Raymond Davenport, who hung a sign on a renovated brownstone in Washington, DC, with the verbiage: Davenport Detective Agency.
To assist him, he hired three former police officers from various precincts, who like himself, blew the whistle on dirty cops only to deal with the fervent hostility from the brotherhood.
With the investigation under way, the detectives stumble upon a group of men known as M.A.G.O.C., who’re muddled in a governmental conspiracy involving a top-ranking official at the White House. With their many resources, they dig further and unearth Prescott Chemicals. Years earlier, the owner and his lead chemist had stolen an elixir from the Mayapo natives of the Amazon rainforest and have transformed it into a formula to be used in a congressional scheme.
When the detectives accidently come into contact with the new formulation, something undesirable happens to one of them, altering his life forever.
Cold Coffee Review: Dead bodies are just a fact of life for law enforcement and the FBI, but the body found in the woods in Rockfort, Virginia would make the hair on the back of the neck stand up for the seasoned professional.
With mounting terrorism against soft targets all over the US and agencies stretched to their limits, FBI Special Agent Jack Stanwick is put in charge of the Rockfort case because a total of three bodies have been found and the Governor of Virginia has reported his son missing.
The mystery surrounding these deaths are unique because all three victims were injected with a chemical in the carotid artery. “Their chemistry screens, blood cultures, toxicity tests and complete blood counts were anarchic and their chromosomes had been displaced. There were also disorganized levels of hormones. However, my most crucial finding was the pineal gland”. It is in the coroner’s hand to determine exactly what they were injected with and why.
Jack enlists the help of his friend who owns the Davenport Detective Agency and the investigation leads to Prescott Chemicals and a low-level militia group called M.A.G.O.C. which stands for Men Against Government Overtaking Control. The question remains, is the general public at risk?
Well-developed characters, good dialog, unusual mystery, humor and a little romance keeps the reader focused. ‘Alter Ego’ is Author Tory Allyn’s debut novel. According to the author ‘Alter Boys’ will be out August 15, 2016, ‘Altered State’ will come out December 15, 2016 and ‘Alter Bound’ will end the series on April 15, 2017.
I, Theodocia McLean, endorse Alter Ego (The Davenport Decrees Book 1) by Tory Allyn. I purchased this book from Kindle. This review was completed on May 21, 2016.
Cold Coffee Press Spotlight Interview With Author Tory Allyn
Tory Allyn currently resides in Upstate New York. Although born in Syracuse, he was raised in the quaint town of Baldwinsville with his brother and two sisters, who drove him into becoming the zany person he is today.
As a child, he made up many a tale. Some funny; others dark and brooding, but all started him on the path to writing.
Today, his nephew, lovingly referred to as ‘The Monster Child’, is his partner in crime.
Most days, you will see them playing ball at a nearby park, going for a dip in the backyard pool or snowboarding down a popular mountainside.
What makes you proud to be a writer? Not everyone can sit down and write a 60,000-word manuscript, so I feel proud about my accomplishment.
What or who inspired you to become a writer? I took a writing class in high school and really enjoyed it because up to that point, I just made up stories to tell but now I have the training to commit it to paper.
Did your environment or upbringing play a major role in your writing and did you use it to your advantage? Of course. Some of my characters were based on different personalities I met during childhood.
When did you begin writing with the intention of becoming published? When my father passed away, it really put life in perspective. I prioritized my goals. The ones at the top of my list were relegated toward the bottom. I have had my idea for the book since the mid 1990’s, and it was now time I dragged the story out of my mind and typed it onto the computer.
What has been your most rewarding experience with your writing process? From the first page to the last, everything felt natural. Writing for several characters with their different genders, backgrounds and personalities could be daunting to most…but it all came easily to me.
What has been your most rewarding experience in your publishing journey? When I finally felt that it was edited to satisfaction, I sent it out to several publishing companies. Within three months, I had four publishers offer me a contract.
How many published books do you have? One, but I have written all four in my Davenport Detective Decrees series.
Please list the titles of all your books: ALTER EGO was released on April 15, 2016. ALTER BOYS will be out August 15, 2016. ALTERED STATE will come out December 15, 2016 and ALTER BOUND will end the series on April 15, 2017.
Do you come up with your title(s) before or after you write the manuscript? I wrote all four books in succession then named them afterward. I knew ALTER EGO was first so I wanted the next three to have a form of ‘alter’ in them.
Please introduce your genre and why you prefer to write in that genre? My novel(s) are mysteries with a bit of humor, romance and fantasy peppered throughout.
Which book title would you like featured in this interview? ALTER EGO is the only one published.
What was your inspiration, spark or light bulb moment that inspired you to write the book (one book) that you are seeking promotion for? ALTER EGO is different than any mystery I have ever read. When I went back to proof the galley (last step before it goes to print), it mind-boggled me that I actually wrote those words.
What one positive piece of advice would you give to other authors? Stay humbled. I recently had a local piece written about me. When friends, family or acquaintances read it, they made such a big deal and it can go to your head. I always say, “I didn’t discover a cure for a chronic illness, I just wrote some words down on paper.” Always be humble!
Who is your favorite author and why? I enjoy a variety of authors, but if I had to pick one, it would be John Grisham. His tenacity is great. People think that The Firm was his first novel. Actually, A Time to Kill, was the first novel he wrote. He shopped it around to 26 publishers then shelved it. It came out after The Firm and The Pelican Brief.
Young Min passes up a chance for a pre-Thanksgiving trip to the city with her parents, never suspecting that this decision will place her in a life-or-death situation. Due to the ferocious snowstorm that catches everyone by surprise, her parents are stranded out on an impassible highway, but it provides the cover Bruno Hessle, a maniacal serial killer, needs to walk away from a minimum-security prison near the Quinnu village. He holes up in the warm kitchen where Min sleeps up in the attic to keep warm; forcing her to use everything she has been taught to escape the clutches of this madman. Will she be able to outwit him before her parents arrive and he kills them as they walk through the door?
Min’s Monster is currently being considered for a film.
Cold Coffee Review: Lila L. Pinord writes with mastery equal to an artist with a paint brush. I encourage libraries and schools to put ‘Min’s Monster’ on their summer reading list. Here are just three of my favorite quotes from Min’s Monster.
“The city of Center was disturbingly quiet today. Sheriff Andy Mann stood at the window of his upper story office gazing at the snow-covered buildings and streets. Everything is so hushed. Like the city was lying in wait for something to happen – something that would burst this bubble of tranquility.”
“The partially frozen girl stepped put into the clearing and the wind nearly whipped her around to send her back into the tress. Swirls of snow danced around the little cabin where its door swung in and out, in tune with the music of the storm.”
“The screaming and howling went on and on. Across the clearing in front of the cabin’s door stood the small quaking child, rifle held up to her shoulder.”
Who said monsters aren’t real? There is a monster on the loose in a small fishing village in the Pacific Northwest. His next victim is an innocent 12-year-old Native American girl named Min Wills.
Lila weaves tradition, folklore, culture and mysticism into her stories from her own experiences growing up on a Quinault Indian Reservation. Her knowledge of Native American Indian culture not only brings reality to her fiction, it fascinates and educates her readers.
I encourage you to come read ‘Min’s Monster’ and find out how Min’s Tomanous (Indian animal spirit) plays a role as she struggles to stay one step ahead of her monster.
I, Theodocia Mclean, endorse ‘Min’s Monster’ along with ‘Evil Lives In Blue Rock’, ‘Skye Dancer’, and ‘In Time’ by Lila L. Pinord. This review posted on March 12, 2015.
Evil Lives in Blue Rock will keep readers on the edge of their seats as they follow an evil entity that has crawled up from the sea to terrorize the people in the small community of Blue Rock and the nearby reservation. Benjamin Bluerock, grandson to one of the town fathers, and Agate Mitchell, arrive in town at the same time to attend Ben’s mother’s funeral. Little did they know of the evil that has penetrated every, hill, valley, and people of their hometown. The Evil Spirit soon inhabits the body of the tribal policeman, Jimmy Talltree, and the atrocities to his people are enormous. The chosen few with “the power” begin the ancient rituals passed down through the generations to force the Ancient Menace back down to the hell from whence it came. Only their gods know if they have succeeded in their endeavor to rid this earth of the anti-Christ.
Skye Dancer – a modern-day, Native American teenager, living in a quiet fishing village on the coast of Washington state – becomes aware of the “Prospector” when she follows him up to his lair out in the wilderness area beyond the “haunted” Lake Odawa. Suddenly beset by a ferocious storm – causing rivers and lakes to overflow their banks – Skye and her friends race for higher ground. There they discover a girl held captive by the mysterious “prospector”, Charlie Crane. Can they rescue her before the mad mountain man returns to his home in a cave up on Wolf’s Head Mountain? Who is he? How did he come to be here? What does he want? And who is the poor girl he holds captive at the bottom of a deep, dark pit? When they find the answers, it will scare the wits out of the residents in the quiet wilderness town – and Skye is in for the surprise of her life!
In Time is a tale of great love and redemption as strange doorways or misty curtain of time begin opening into other times and places. No one ever knows why or when they will be enticed to pass through, only that they must heed the siren song of the ages. A young lad knows as Cowboy began his travels as a toddler, so he does not know his real name or where he comes from, only that he forever seeks to stop his wanderings and find a place to call home. Ellie, his mother, passes through Heaven and Hell as she searches for her son through time and place. Along the way, she meets other travelers and a man called Cedarman who becomes her rock and protector.
Cold Coffee Spotlight Interview With Lila L. Pinord
Fiction Author Lila L. Pinord is author of ‘Evil Lives In Blue Rock’, ‘In Time’, ‘Min’s Monster’, and ‘Skye Dancer’. Much of Lila’s stories are based on her upbringing on the Quinault Indian Reservation. She creatively pulls on all the legends, superstitions, and mysticism that abounded on the reservation making stories a work of fiction with a bit of the truth tossed in.
Lila was born and raised on the Quinault Indian Reservation in a small fishing village called Queets, Washington. She was so small at birth that her father held her in the palm of one hand. She finished grade school at Queets-Clearwater, then it was on to Lake Quinault High School where she earned a scholarship to Grays Harbor College, being Salutitorian of her class. She married at the age of 21 and had one daughter Kimberley. Divorced, she later married her lifelong friend and loving husband James Pinord. He passed away in November of 2003 from the dreaded killer, cancer.
Accomplishments: At Peninsula College in Port Angeles – her home now- Lila made the President’s List by attaining straight A’s during one quarter. She majored in secretarial and office machines with bookkeeping secondary. Deciding she wouldn’t earn much as a secretary, she went on to Western Washington University and graduated with a BA in Accounting. Even then, she knew that writing would play a big part in her life.
Lila is now a contributing author to three publications out on the market: ‘Authors Guide to Promotion’, ‘200 Authors and How They Were Published’, and ‘Shameless Shorts’, an anthology written by a group of writers who met on an Amazon forum. Royalties are donated to a worthwhile cause.
Additional Information: Lila worked at various jobs which she enjoyed very much including; The Clallam County PUD for four years, an attorney’s office for two years, and Tower Service for two more years.
Lila and her husband became vagabonds for a while and traveled the country looking for work during the Reagan Years. They ended up in Houston, Texas, working for a while before returning to Port Angeles.
After retirement, Lila went into writing full time and it certainly paid off when she published her first book ‘Skye Dancer’ in 2003. Her second book ‘Evil Lives In Blue Rock’ was published on April 30, 2005. Much of her stories are based on her upbringing on the Reservation with all the legends, superstitions and mysticism that abound there. ‘Min’s Monster’ was published in 2007 and is set in the village where she grew up, though it is fiction with a bit of the truth tossed in- as are the other books as well.
What makes you proud to be a writer from Washington, USA? I have always wanted to see my writings in print with my name on a book cover – to me, there’s no greater thrill.
What or who inspired you to become a writer? When very young, getting my hands on every book in sight! No ONE author inspired me; they all did.
When did you begin writing with the intention of becoming published? I wrote my firs stories when I was 25 but didn’t seriously pursue writing until much later in life after retirement.
Did your environment or upbringing play a major role in your writing and why? Definitely. Growing up on a Native American reservation, I listened to dark tales told far into the night and I stored them away for future use. It seems I somehow knew that they would become the basis for future stories. Some of the stories were myths, others were legends, and many were true tales.
Do you come up with your title (s) before or after you write the manuscript (s)? The title Skye Dancer came first, then I wrote the book. Evil Lives in Blue Rock came to me halfway through the writing process. I named Min’s Monster after the book was complete.
Tell us why you write the genre (s) that you write? Thriller/suspense tales are what I enjoy reading first and foremost, so I naturally leaned in that direction. Also, many of the tales I heard growing up were in that category.
Tell us your most rewarding experience while in the writing process? Feeling lost in the tale and the excitement I feel as the story progresses. After a while, the characters seem to have a life of their own and the story writes itself.
Tell us your most rewarding experience in your publishing journey? When I held my first published book in hand, the thrill was unimaginable. I couldn’t put it down; I simply stared at it for the rest of the evening!
What one positive piece of advice would you give to other authors? Don’t give up. It may take what seems like forever, but it WILL happen; persistence is your best weapon.
Who is your favorite author? Dean Koontz. After that – Stephen King.
Is there anything else that you would like to share with us? I love writing and hate the lull in between trying to get it published and starting another book. I feel I should be writing every minute of the day! If only one could.
Pemberton N. Wysquers is a very dignified old English gentleman who own a very old package delivery business that operates on a worldwide scale. Once a year, usually at year end, he leaves the confines of his work environment to travel around in order to visit some of his most special and deserving customers. He selects a town and spends a week mingling with the residents, helping out where he can and bringing both hope and encouragement to those he interacts with. He leaves a permanent imprint on all of those with whom he meets, and he truly leaves his hosts in a much better state than he found them.
Cold Coffee Review: I love this book and invite you to read the most intriguing story about an English gentleman named Pemberton N. Wysquers. While you read I believe you find yourself relating in some way to the characters who have in one way or another come to the end of their emotional life. When all seems lost, in one moment in time, as if by coincidence or magic, they brush shoulders with Mr. Wysquers.
As a young child you were probably taught about Santa Clause. As time moved on, your innocence was shaken by unspoken reality. While young you believed that time is infinite and you are invisible. When time marched on reality dulled your senses, the magic you found in childhood was buried in life experiences. This book will remind you that in a few fleeting moments, magic can stir. If you open your mind to the possibility, Mr. Wysquers might just pay you a visit.
Let me quote what Melody said: “I know this is going to sound strange, but I owe my life to a corned beef sandwich. The really weird thing is, I never liked corned beef. I would have one now and then, but it was never my favorite sandwich. But now? I smile every time I eat one, and that’s usually once a week, normally on Thursday. Why Thursday, you ask. Because that’s the day all the magic happened. Of course, I didn’t know it was going to be a magical day when I woke up. After all, you never see the magic coming.”
Each person in this book has their own story to tell. Here is how Ivan’s story begins: “I don’t have a lot of time to give you this story, I have somewhere to be and I can’t get out of it. I guess you first have to know a little bit about me to understand what I’m going to tell you, and why I’m telling you.
My story begins about twenty years ago, when I was a teenager and hanging out with my friends. We were the usual gang, looking for girls, driving around at night, and sneaking our drinking when our parents weren’t watching or around. The night that changed my life didn’t start out as anything significant, other than it was a Saturday.”
Which one of these stories mirror your own and where would Mr. Wysquers accidently or on purpose walk into your story?
This book is heartwarming and a must have gift item for your friends and family any time of year. I am giving this book as a Christmas gift this year.
I, Theodocia McLean endorse Mr. Wysquers by Larry Auerbach as a story for all time and begins when a Candy-Apply Red Vintage Cadillac comes your way. Other books by Larry Auerbach include A Matter Of Honor, A Matter Of Justice, Common Threads, The Spirit of Redd Mountain and The Troll Bridge. I purchased this book from Amazon print. This review was completed on November 12, 2017.
In 1935 west Texas, two teenagers — Duane McCathern and Tony Picano — decide to go search for a lost treasure of Confederate gold based on an old tale told by a retired Texas Ranger, involving Indians and a mysterious spirit. As their hunt starts, another boy, a long-time rival, finds them in a cave and they must reluctantly include him in their hunt, It doesn’t take them long before they realize they need more help so their new partner brings in someone, an A. B. Conway, that he says has the expertise and the skills they need to get the gold they believe is hidden in that cave. The only problem is that A. B. Conway is Abbie. Tony is at once smitten and Duane is clearly annoyed.
Once they get the hunt underway, Abbie proves her skill at fabricating machinery is beyond their expectations. And that is a good thing as the hunt suddenly takes an unexpected turn as all of them begin to have out of body experiences and they run into other supernatural problems. As they get closer to the gold, the problems mount and Duane and Tony start showing signs of stress. Then things really start getting strange as all four start having visions of the past. A spirit from the past begins influencing their actions, leading Duane in one direction and Tony in another. As both the distant and the recent past begin to reveal themselves, all of them must make decisions that will have long lasting results. Abbie has to choose between Duane and Tony, and Duane must choose between Tony and Abbie. Who, if any, will make it out of the cave and who will make a deal with the Devil.
Genre: Genre: Paranormal (Supernatural), YA, Teen, Tween
Cold Coffee Review: Raised in Vermont I have always been fascinated with covered bridges, railroad bridges and river bridges. The title ‘The Troll Bridge’ by Larry Auerbach caught my attention right away. The prologue hooked me and it was very hard to put this book down for any reason.
Larry Auerbach is a master story teller and if you ever loved exploration as a kid and dreamed of finding something of value while exploring the farm yards, local woods, railroad tracks, old buildings, river banks etc. around your town, this book will draw you into this teen adventure that involves a hidden cave in West Texas.
Well-developed characters like Duane McCathern, Tony Picano find they need some help when the old town’s folklore about a hidden cave may have more merit than just to spook kids. Here is a quote from the book to peak your interest.
“We’re here, we’re a team, and we’re all going to watch each other’s back. We all share the risk, we all share the rewards—equally,” Duane told him. He put out his hand to Ron, who took it and held it in affirm grip. Tony put his hand over theirs, and all three of them put their other hand on the pile of hands. It was done. Tomorrow they would go to school, and come Friday, the adventure would begin for real. Fame and fortune awaited them in that hole. It was a sure thing, they were all certain. What could possibly go wrong?”
Eleven fast paced chapters will take you on an adventure of paranormal (supernatural) intrigue written for Tweens, Teens and Young Adults along with you if you are young at heart, spirit and mind.
I invite you cross over ‘The Troll Bridge’, feels the spray from the raging water below, walk the river banks if you dare as “Trolls” are known to live under bridges where people and things go missing. Join these teens as they use every creative bone in their bodies and life skills to explore a hidden cave in the hopes they will all make it out alive with treasure worth dying for.
I, Theodocia McLean, endorse ‘The Troll Bridge’ by Larry Auerbach as an adventure worth taking. Other books by Larry Auerbach include Common Threads, The Spirit Of Redd Mountain, A Matter Of Justice, and A Matter Of Honor. I purchased this book from Kindle. This review was completed on 02/20/2017.
Set in 1877, in New Mexico Territory, former Union sniper Jonah Berryman is presently working as a bounty hunter who is known for bringing his man in alive, but Jonah is here on personal business and is hunting someone on his own time. He has some unfinished business with a doctor who saved his life but left his cousin to die. He has been looking for this doctor ever since the War ended, but not knowing what the doctor looked like has been a big problem.
Now he is here in the town of Willow Springs because someone sent him a wire saying the man was here. But as soon as he arrived in town someone started shooting at him. Now he is the middle of another war, and Jonah can’t tell which side is which…or even who is one what side. All he knows for sure is that he is in the middle. As the lead continues to fly his way, Jonah realizes someone has set him up to be the next casualty of their own private war. He has to figure out who it is that is behind all of this, if he has any hope of getting out of town alive. And he still has to find out who put him in the middle of this and why.
This is a story of justice delayed, and how each person’s life can intersect with another, with a varying degree of impact.
Jonah Berryman is a former Union sniper, who is hunting for someone out of his past. He has some unfinished business with the doctor who saved his life and allowed his cousin to die. When he went to find the doctor later, he learned he had never even existed…except for saving his life and his sight.
After the War, Jonah became a bounty hunter, and whenever he rides into a town, anyone who has something to hide gets nervous and lead begins to fly. Willow Springs was no exception. In A MATTER OF HONOR, after receiving wire saying he was in Willow Springs, Jonah rode in looking for the doctor but he found a whole lot more than he was bargaining for. People began dropping like flies from the moment he hit town, and most of the lead that was flying through the air appeared to be coming his way. It didn’t take long for him to discover there were a lot of players in this game, and that there were more than two sides in this war. In the exciting conclusion of this story, Jonah has already figured out that nobody is who they appear to be. Now he has to end someone else’s war if he is going to save his own skin. That’s going to be hard, since he can’t really be sure who is a friend and who isn’t.
There are hidden players in this game, and they all have their own agenda for how this will end. Jonah didn’t realize it at the time, but he was actually lured here because of his reputation. Someone wanted him to be the catalyst to bring A MATTER OF JUSTICE to this town for a lot of people.
Genre: A traditional western, and the conclusion of the story started in “Matter of Honor”.
The town of Pinetar, Alabama was almost ruined and burned out of existence during a protracted siege during the War Between The States. Twelve years later, it is still just barely hanging on, but good times may be coming. A large financial investment is coming to Pinetar, to help newly enfranchised former slaves, and former Rebels build new lives in what is now their war-ravaged home, if they can all learn to work together. The government is also sending a teacher to start a school to help them all learn to read, write, and do their sums. The own desperately needs this financial assistance, as there is no industry and no work for anyone, and the dreaded carpet-baggers are coming to town.
The new Klu Klux Klan has become a force in the south and is threatening the stability of the community by using threats, intimidation and terrorism to drive the new citizens out of the area. A U S Marshal is ordered to take a team to the town and drive the Klan out of the area and protect the financial rebirth of the community, all but wiped out by the devastation of the war only the South wanted and only the North could hope to win.
Pinetar has its own secrets, however. Twenty years ago, a black man was murdered to hide a scandal that would have ruined a very important man. Some people in Pinetar are seeking to rebuild their fortunes, while some are seeking to return to the old lost order. Others are coming to Pinetar for a variety of reasons. One is seeking redemption for a ruined military career, while another is coming to make an un-scheduled withdrawal from the bank. One man is coming to seek revenge for an old injury, and another will clear his conscience. The connection between all of these issues, and the key to the resolution of that twenty-year-old murder mystery is on the way. All of these people will meet in Pinetar and they will discover they all share COMMON THREADS.
Redd Mountain is a famous multi-mountain resort in western Montana, that boasts skiing on one side and hunting on the other, with a wide neutral zone between the two mountains.
Thirty years ago, Warner Barney, a world class big game hunter, came to Redd Mountain on a hunting trip. His narcissistic belief that rules of safety did not apply to him led to the death of several people, as a result of his reckless behavior in the pursuit of his single-minded goal. When Warner barney left the mountain, he left death and chaos for many in his wake.
In the months after he left, two legends began to grow. One is the story of a magnificent elk who is possessed of a singularly reddish color coat. No hunters have been able to take him, although many have seen him, because he always seems to be just out of range or behind a tree. The locals have dubbed him the protector of the forest, as hunters pass on the other animals in their efforts to bring him down, all of them failing.
There is also a legend of a mysterious red-jacketed skier who has been sighted for years, intervening in the activities of other skiers who are in danger of losing their lives, due to their recklessness or the unpredictable whims of nature. No one knows who he is, or where he comes from, or where he goes, but all are very grateful for his unexpected appearance whenever it comes. Every year, both of them are seen by skiers and hunters alike, and their legends grow bigger each year with every drink in the resort lodge.
Now Warner Barney is back, supremely confident in his belief that he is the one to claim the legendary trophy elk that has been a part of this mountain for almost as long. He has not changed at all, he still believes that rules do not apply to him. He wants this elk for his trophy wall, but there are forces standing in his way, including the chief ranger and safety supervisor for the resort, a party of conservationists and wildlife experts who are determined to rescue the elk and take him to a preserve. Also on this expedition is Warner’s old guide from his previous hunt, who has a debt to pay and hopes to find some answers of his own on the mountain. Some of these people have their own reasons for being on this hunt, to resolve old wounds and out an end to old debts.
This party also includes a newspaper journalist who is determined to use this hunt to advance her own career, regardless of the cost to others. After agreeing to follow the rules of the non-lethal hunt, Warner breaks away on his own to follow his own path to claim this magnificent animal. His blind obsession leads Warner to find his destiny, and to discover the truth of the old saying that time heals all wounds, and wounds all heels. Warner Barney, and these two local legends, have a date with destiny to resolve some old wounds, and they will do this on Redd Mountain.
Genre: Supernatural Tale Of Revenge and Resolution
Cold Coffee Press Spotlight Interview With Author Larry Auerbach
Larry Auerbach is a practicing psychotherapist of twenty-five years, in Pt. St. Lucie, Fla, where he lives with his wife of 32 years. He earned his Master’s in Social Work form Barry University in Miami Shores, FL in 1991 and has maintained a busy practice since. He has traveled out west for numerous pack trips and re-enactment rides and his interests include chess, horseback riding and the American West. He is a member of the Western Writers of America and this is his fifth novel. He is a collector of frontier memorabilia, and maintains an extensive library of the people, places and events of that period.
What or who inspired you to become a writer? My English teacher in high school, Mrs. Jackson. And my wife, Chari, encouraged me to write the stories I was telling her.
Did your environment or upbringing play a major role in your writing and did you use it to your advantage? I was always given books as a child and encouraged to read extensively. I have always enjoyed reading and hearing a well-told story. I have learned to appreciate character development more than mindless actions.
When did you begin writing with the intention of becoming published? In 2010 my wife and I were playing word games on our way to a conference and the story line for “Common Threads” came to me as we were talking, and she said I should write it. I finished it in six months and decided it was so much fun to do, I wanted to do another…and another….
What has been your most rewarding experience with your writing process? Seeing it in print, knowing I created something that will live on. Something that I created out of my own consciousness and imagination.
What has been your most rewarding experience in your publishing journey? Seeing the copyright notice from the Library of Congress on each title.
Do you come up with your title(s) before or after you write the manuscript? I work in a different manner than most other writers I know. I start with the reveal at the end and then develop a story to support it. I am much more interested in meaningful character development than I am in routine action. For me, the action has to be a natural flow from the character.
Please introduce your genre and why you prefer to write in that genre? Although I want to write westerns, I seem to have more of a leaning to the supernatural story. I suspect that it has to do with some drive I have to see justice and resolution for those who have been wronged, and to see them have an opportunity to rebuild their lives. I am, after all, a clinical psychotherapist.
Which book title would you like featured in this interview? Mr. Wysquers is a very charming old English gentleman who is involved with a shipping business up north somewhere. He comes down for a visit to some old friends and interacts with several people who are at the end of their emotional rope, depressed and alone, with no future or hope of having one. He comes into their lives at their lowest point and with a few words of encouragement and a new perspective, he puts them back on the path to a brighter life. But he doesn’t do it for them, he only shows them how they can do it for themselves.
I am a therapist, my goal is to offer people, trapped in a personal myth about themselves that isn’t working, a new way of looking at their options so they can create a new story for their lives to follow. Pemberton does that for the people he meets. His favorite mode of transportation is a candy-apple red vintage Cadillac with a gleaming white leather interior that runs as quiet as a whisper.
What one positive piece of advice would you give to other authors? Write about what you know best, and have fun doing it. If the reader doesn’t care about the characters, hero or the villain, they won’t get involved in your story. Good character development drives the story, mindless action is just visual eye candy.
Who is your favorite author and why? Clive Cussler (I like his characters); Sir Arthur Conan Doyle (I love his famous character and his methodology; William Johnston (his plots move along), Robin Cook (his use of modern science and medicine as a foundation for his stories).
Marco Anissi comes out of a comma, days after his car slams into a light pole—the same pole he had crashed into exactly ten years ago, killing his fiancé, Susan. Coincidence? Not to him.
Her spirit has reached out to him in a way he would understand. If it had happened on a different date, in a different place he would have missed it entirely.
With the help of Susan’s mother, Marco learns that a woman named Julia Tinsley had received her daughter’s heart. She lives in Tucson where she works as a dance teacher. Obsessed with the idea of reconnecting with Susan’s spirit, Marco travels to Tucson. But he can’t just walk up to Julia and introduce himself. What would she think—a complete stranger wanting to meet her?
He signs up for lessons, hoping to develop a relationship. Now, Marco must make a decision: tell the truth about himself and risk losing Julia with whom he’s falling in love, or remain silent and enjoy his new life with her.
Cold Coffee Review: A powerful story told by a master story teller. One Last Dance by Ernesto Patino is a love story that will draw you in and hold on to you until the last word leaves you yearning for more.
Do you believe in coincidence?
Marco Anissi is confronted with this question when he wakes up from a comma after a car accident. This is not just any accident. He hit the same light pole ten years ago that killed his beloved Susan.
Deeply believing that Susan is spiritually reaching out to him, Marco goes to get advice from Professor Rangan about arranging a meeting with the recipient who received Susan’s heart. What he hears from the Professor will make the hair on the back of your neck stand up. You will have to read the entire conversation, but at the end of their visit he told Marco that “Susan’s spirit will detect your presence.”
Marco learns with Susan’s Mother’s help that Julia Tinsley is the lady that received Susan’s heart. Marco travels from Miami Florida to Tucson Arizona in hopes of meeting her to see if he can get closer to Susan. Following the professor’s warning to take things slow because the recipient might not be very receptive to his needs, he signs up for dance lessons with her as his instructor. I quote what Marco writes in his journal.
“I met Julia for the first time today. Though she was not as I imagined her, I immediately felt a strong connection. Susan’s presence was palpable as Julia agreed to be my teacher despite the fact she only takes advanced students. I won’t build up my hopes just yet. Though it’ll be hard not to, considering that we’ll probably spend a lot of time together in the days and weeks to come. Meanwhile, I’ve got to find some kind of job, something with flexible hours that will allow me to see Julia as often as possible. I don’t want to drive a cab again unless I have no other choice. It would be great if I could work in a restaurant. It might even be fun. Tomorrow I’ll check out a few places, preferably close to my apartment and the Sonoran Ballroom Academy.”
How does Marco reach out to Julia as his instructor in a non-threatening way?
Should he tell Julia about Susan’s heart that is beating inside her?
Should he tell her about the second car accident and his belief that Susan’s Spirit has sent him to meet her?
With Marco’s feelings for Julia growing, he is confronted with the biggest dilemma ever. Should he tell Julia what he has just learned?
Can he risk this fragile friendship that might develop into something more and bring him even closer to Susan?
With well-developed characters and a story that will tug at your heart, One Last Dance is an unpredictable romance with uncommon circumstances. Ernesto Patino writes this love story from his heart and I especially enjoy love stories written by a man. With forty-four chapters, journal entries and letters this is a fiction that will leave a mark on your soul. You will close the final chapter wondering about the afterlife and the imprint of a donated organ on the recipient and beyond.
I, Theodocia McLean, endorse One Last Dance by Ernesto Patino. This author has also published ‘In The Shadow Of A Stranger’, ‘Web Of Secrets’ and ‘The Last Of The Good Guys’ on Amazon. I purchased this book from Kindle. This review was completed on June 25, 2016.
When three former cops commit suicide, private investigator Alec Santana knows it’s not a coincidence.
An ex-cop inexplicably commits suicide in Miami and his widow turns to her husband’s best friend, Alec Santana, for assistance. Soon after, two more ex-cops commit suicide. After talking to one of the widows, Santana discovers they all had a single event in common: they responded to a Christmas Eve fire almost fifteen years ago.
Threatening letters turn up, prompting Alec to dig deeper into events from the past. He knows he’s on the right track but things turn dangerous as someone tries to run him off the road. The police refuse to help, insisting there’s no connection between the suicides and recent accidents. Alec hits one dead end after another in his search for suspects and he nearly gives up, until he uncovers a shocking secret…
As a result of a chance encounter with a Holocaust survivor on vacation in Mexico City, young attorney Antonio de la Vega learns that his natural father is a former SS officer who committed heinous crimes against the Jews during World War II.
Obsessed with the idea of meeting his father, Antonio embarks on a search that takes him from Mexico to the United States and ultimately to South America, meeting ageing ex-Nazis, vengeful Jews, and an alluring young woman who has been assigned to watch his every move.
Meanwhile, Antonio’s semi-recluse mother is suddenly faced with the possibility that the man she once loved may soon reappear . . .
Some family history is too dangerous to be revealed. Sarah Baker’s search for the truth about her adoption uncovered a tangled web of deadly secrets.
A phone call from a blackmailer turned Sarah’s life upside down. The man claimed to know the circumstances of her illegal adoption thirty years ago. He also revealed some shocking facts about her real parents.
Rather than have the blackmailer go public with information and risk her husband’s career, she agreed to a one-time payoff. Their situation was far from resolved, and doubts about her heritage put a strain on their once ideal marriage.
Sarah still didn’t have verification of the truth. She needed more details.
Were there any brothers or sisters, or other family members nearby?
Had the same blackmailer approached them too?
Hiring a Private Investigator seemed the only option, but it meant opening a Pandora’s box. Sarah needed confirmation and closure, and was willing to take the risk.
Ex FBI investigator turned P.I. Joe Coopersmith was up to the task, but working on a thirty-year-old mystery wouldn’t be easy. Joe didn’t realize it might also turn deadly…
Cold Coffee Press Spotlight Interview With Author Ernesto Patino
Ernesto Patino grew up in El Paso where he graduated from the University of Texas at El Paso. He received a Bachelor of Music degree and taught school for a couple of years before joining the FBI as a Special Agent. His career spanned 23 years, most of which were spent in South Florida.
Currently lives in Southern Arizona where he divides his time between writing and working as a private investigator. His hobbies include playing the Flamenco guitar and ballroom dancing. When he is not working on a case or writing a book, you can usually find him at a local dance studio, practicing his steps.
Author of four novels, In the Shadow Of A Stranger, Web Of Secrets, The Last Of The Good Guys and most recent, One Last Dance. “I believe that my purpose as a storyteller is simply to write a good novel that people will remember long after they’ve read the last page”. He is a member of the International Thriller Writers Organization (ITW).
What makes you proud to be a writer from Southern Arizona? Though I lived in South Florida for over twenty years, I now consider myself to be a proud resident of Southern Arizona. My latest book, One Last Dance, is set mostly in Tucson. I took the liberty of mentioning people and places that local residents will recognize.
What or who inspired you to become a writer? I can’t say that anything or anyone inspired me to become a writer. I’ve always wanted to write, first short stories and later novels. It is a creative outlet for me, much like playing the guitar and dancing.
Did your environment or upbringing play a role in your writing and did you use it to your advantage? The characters in my novels are loosely based on people I met during the course of my life as an FBI agent, and later as a private investigator. So, yes, I would have to say that my environment or in this case, my chosen profession played a role in my writing.
When did you begin writing with the intention of becoming published? When I wrote my first short story, I did it for my own amusement. Then I wrote other stories—mostly to improve the quality of my writing. Not until I wrote my first novel, In the Shadow of a Stranger, did I seriously think about becoming a published writer. The book was published in London by Robert Hale Ltd.
What has been your most rewarding experience with your writing process? The most rewarding process for me came about three quarters into my first novel, In the Shadow of aStranger. By then, the plot and characters were fully developed and I knew that the story about a Nazi living in South America would have a satisfying ending.
What has been your most rewarding experience in your publishing journey? Of course, just getting published by a legitimate publisher is exciting. But the most rewarding part for me as writer was when a reader told me for the first time, that she enjoyed my book.
Do you come up with the titles before or after you write the manuscript? I prefer to write the book first and then come up with a title. I want to take my time selecting the right words that will complement the theme of the book.
Please introduce your genre and why you prefer to write in that genre? I write mysteries, though my first book was a children’s book and my latest, One Last Dance, is a love story. Because of my law enforcement background, I’m more comfortable writing mysteries and related genres. A new novel that I finished recently is a mystery titled Enough to Make the Angels Weep.
What book tittle would you like featured in this interview? One Last Dance
What was your inspiration, spark or light bulb moment that inspired you to write the book you are seeking promotion for? My love of dancing inspired me to write One Last Dance, set in the world of ballroom dancing. Many of the characters are composites of ballroom dancers I have met over the years.
What one positive piece of advice would you give to other authors? My best advice to authors, especially those who are trying to get published, is to not give up. If it takes fifty query letters, there’s still a chance that the next one will land you a literary agent or an offer to publish your book.
Who is your favorite author and why? I am a great fan of Elmore Leonard. I admire his style, which he talks about in his illustrated book, Ten Rules of Writing. I have adhered to his rules in almost every book I have written.
Lady Esta Aranati, burdened by an impoverished estate, has turned her hand to smuggling. She leads a double life, a mask and wig the only shields that protect her reputation. Swashbuckling pirate Samael Delacost craves her cargo and her heart. But before he can be worthy of her love, he must exorcize the ghosts of his past. An irresistible connection binds them but will that be enough to convince Samael to turn his back on the sea, or for Esta to take a chance on happiness she doesn’t think she deserves?
The Lady and the Pirate continues The Wildecoast Saga, with popular The Lord and the Mermaid characters Nikolas Cosara and his wife Merielle featured in this latest installment from Bernadette Rowley.
Cold Coffee Review: Book three in the Wildecoast Saga is a stand-alone book that any fantasy romance reader will enjoy whether you have read The Lord And The Mermaid or The Elf King’s Lady sagas first.
Twenty five well-written chapters with realistic characters bring the reader into Lady Esta Aranati’s double life.
Even though the author places this at the end of the book, I think it will benefit you to know the meaning of these two terms upfront. Lenweri (the elven people, they have dark skin, pointed ears and are tall and elegant) and Sis Lenweri (the faction of dark elves that wishes to take over the kingdom of Thorius).
Chapter one opens with some suspense aboard the ‘Sea Sprite’ when captain, Lady Esta Aranti’s first mate wakes her up from deep sleep to inform her they have a visitor on board. I quote: “Esta drew a deep and heavy sigh, her heart kicking up a notch as she contemplated who the visitor might be. On a ship miles out to sea at night, there were few possibilities and none of them good.”
In chapter three the mood shifts and I quote:
“Esta moved to the bow and stood with the wind in her face, the black strands of her wig streaming behind her. It was chill but not wet and she reveled in the dance of her ship over the waves. Sea Sprite was one of the joys of her life and sailing one of her great loves. When she was on the ocean, she was free of earthly ties and a little of its wildness seeped into her, giving her strength for the trials of estate life. Lately, she had found it almost impossible to return to the estate without a nagging sense of dread.
“You seem almost happy tonight, sister,” Katrine said, joining her in the bow. Katrine was wildness personified, with a lithe body and long black hair that she rarely tied back. Not for her the wig as she had less need for a full disguise, shunning public life as she did. She wore leather breeches, flowing black shirts and a broad black satin mask decorated with stars. Her piercing blue eyes were now fixed on Esta.
“I am happy, Katrine,” Esta said. “What makes you think I am ever unhappy?”
I invite you to join Katrine and Esta as they sail the sea with visions of finding treasure on their minds.
I hope the quotes above whet your appetite for strong female characters, rugged men, pirates, treasure maps, adventure, sword and sorcery and of course romance.
I, Theodocia McLean, endorse The Lady And The Pirate (The Wildecoast Saga Book 3) by Bernadette Rowley. I purchased this book from Kindle. This review was completed on May 3, 2017
In the midst of a war between elves and men, two unlikely companions find love. But in this battle of ages, can they defy the very blood that courses through their veins?
The human kingdom of Thorius is once again under threat from the dark elven menace. General Kain Jazara has sworn to protect Thorius from all danger, magical or otherwise – but first he must rescue the highborn family of alluring healer Lady Alique Zorba.
Thrown together in their quest to save Alique’s family, and eventually themselves, from the merciless elven clan, the pragmatic General and the impulsive Lady Alique discover an undeniable passion. But when Kain’s world is torn apart by a personal revelation, he turns his back on both Alique and his homeland.
Can Kain find a path back to love and victory in time? Or will he allow revelations from his family’s mysterious past to destroy his relationship, his happiness, and his kingdom?
Fans of C.L. Wilson will love this fantasy romance about two lovers from different worlds who will break the laws of land and sea in their quest to be together.
Mermaid Merielle has fled the sea, disgusted at the actions of her people and desperate to build a life for herself on land. But to truly live as a woman, she must
Lord Nikolas Cosara has lost his brother at sea, and is driven to discover whether his sibling has died at the dangerously seductive hands of a mermaid. But when Nik finds Merielle washed up on the beach, he reluctantly saves her. Despite his antipathy for her kind, Nik is increasingly drawn to Meri, who is slowly working her way into his damaged heart.
Can Nik surrender to his love for Meri before her hopes of a human life are lost forever? Or will a devastating secret bring all her efforts to naught?
Princess Alecia Zialni is no ordinary noblewoman but a crusader for Brightcastle’s miserable subjects, disguising herself to exact revenge and minister to the poor. So it is irksome in the extreme when the dark and dangerous Captain Vard Anton rescues her from a mercenary she has attacked. Alecia manages to slip from his grasp only to discover he has been appointed her protector.
How is she to maintain her secret life with Vard watching her every move? More importantly, how can she safeguard her heart from this mesmerising man?
Vard knows he cannot remain Alecia’s protector and fulfill his mission to kill her father, Prince Zialni. Neither can he defend her when his control of his transformations is so tenuous.
Will the attraction that sizzles between the courageous princess and the daring captain be enough to overcome Vard’s obligation to his heritage and Alecia’s duty to the Kingdom?
Princess Alecia flees her arranged marriage with the help of the dangerous Vard Anton, shapeshifter and former army captain. Blinded by love, they believe they can have a life together but every encounter with the mercenaries sent to find them, pushes Vard towards his least controllable form- the gigantic brown bear.
Desperate to find a mentor who will help him control his transformations, Vard and Alecia travel to a forgotten city where a powerful sorcerer resides. But this wizard is in league with the dark elves and the lovers soon discover he has his own dangerous agenda.
Will Vard and Alecia escape the clutches of the sorcerer who would use Alecia’s position to advance the dark elven cause? Can their love survive despite Alecia’s fear of Vard’s animal transformations? What secret does the princess hold that has the power to destroy the trust Vard has in her?
The answers to all this and more are contained in the pages of Princess in Exile, the dark sequel to Princess Avenger.
Lady Benae Branasar will sacrifice her ‘happily ever after’ for an arranged marriage with a powerful prince. But can she turn her back on her feelings for the prince’s squire, Ramón Zorba?
Ramón is obsessed with the prince’s daughter and tries hard to ignore fiery Benae. As they are drawn inexorably together, Benae and Ramón must choose between keeping personal vows and being true to each other.
Princess Avenger: Passionate Princess Alecia sets out to avenge the slaying of her first love. Captain Vard Anton is dealing with his own dark secrets. When he is appointed Alecia’s protector, both find it hard to ignore the chemistry between them. Can Alecia resist the enigmatic Vard while trying to exact revenge? Will their fatal attraction ultimately lead to tragedy or can love unite Alecia and Vard forever?
The Lady’s Choice: Lady Benae Branasar will sacrifice her ‘happily ever after’ for an arranged marriage with a powerful prince. But can she turn her back on her feelings for the prince’s squire, Ramón Zorba? Ramón is obsessed with the prince’s daughter and tries hard to ignore fiery Benae. As they are drawn inexorably together, Benae and Ramón must choose between keeping personal vows and being true to each other.
Passionate and headstrong, Alecia is no ordinary princess. Angered by the cold – blooded murder of her first love, she sets out to avenge his death.
Army Captain Vard Anton, the epitome of masculine strength and grace, is dealing with some dark secrets of his own. When he is appointed Alecia’s body – guard, both find it hard to ignore the chemistry between them.
With assassination attempts and the threat of an arranged marriage looming over her, Alecia realises her time is running out. But Alecia’s biggest battle is the one within as she tries to suppress the raging desire she feels for the powerfully attractive Vard. Can Alecia resist Vard while trying to exact revenge and avoiding the lecherous attentions of her husband – to – be? Will the power of love and desire be enough to unite Alecia and Vard forever?
Though separated by class and palace intrigues, Alecia and Vard are entwined by desire in this wonderful fantasy romance.
Cold Coffee Press Interview With Author Bernadette Rowley
Bernadette Rowley is a lover of epic fantasy who is a veterinarian by day and an author by night. She is currently published in the genre of fantasy/paranormal romance and has six books published, all set in her fantasy world of Thorius.
When she was a young teenager, an aunt gave her a copy of The Sword of Shannara by Terry Brooks and Bernadette has lived in various fantasy worlds ever since. So it’s no surprise that her chosen genre when writing romance is fantasy.
“I can see these settings so vibrantly in my mind and hope my readers can too.”
But Bernadette has no desire to spoon-feed her readers by laboriously describing her fantasy settings. She would rather the reader use their own imagination a little.
Along with sword and sorcery, dashing heroes and stunning heroines, this author includes strong healing themes in many of her books- an element which is central to her everyday job.
“When I started writing this series, I never imagined my day job would force its way into my stories as it has.”
And of course there are animals, especially Bernadette’s beloved horses, as well.
Bernadette lives in Brisbane, Australia, with the four heroes in her life- her husband Michael and three grown sons.
What makes you proud to be a writer from Brisbane, Australia? First and foremost, I’m proud to be an Australian romance author. I believe this genre is incredibly powerful in its message of hope and happily ever after. Secondly, I love the Brisbane fantasy scene which is vibrant with well-known authors in all subgenres of fantasy. There is always something happening here!
What or who inspired you to become a writer? I’ve loved reading from a very young age and still do. I guess that was the driver, but the biggest single thing that happened was when my aunt introduced me to the fantasy genre with Brooks’ The Sword of Shannara. I absolutely love high fantasy and it continually inspires my stories, particularly themes of ‘coming into power’ and ‘the quest’.
As far as writing is concerned, I discovered a serious desire to write a book through a goal setting workshop nearly twenty years ago and since then it has been stepping stones with lots of help from mentors along the way.
Did your environment or upbringing play a major role in your writing and did you use it to your advantage? I think the major way my upbringing played a role in my writing was to make me rather self-sufficient. I can easily work alone and don’t need anyone to motivate me. I don’t use critique partners or beta readers but probably should. I do of course use professional editing and love this part of the process. Also, I learned early to accept criticism so I’m not precious about writing critique and have rather a hard skin which helps when you put your work out there.
When did you begin writing with the intention of becoming published? I began writing towards publishing in 2007 when I spent a year working on the first book in my space opera series with Louise Cusack. I’d taken this year off work and had moved to regional Queensland so it was the perfect opportunity to devote some time to my writing goals. That series is yet to be published but there are some crazy good ideas in there. Louise urged me to try my hand at romance and I had my first romance published –Princess Avenger- by Penguin in 2012.
What has been your most rewarding experience with your writing process? I would have to say working with editors has been amazingly rewarding. I learn something new from each editor I work with. I really love the process of polishing my work.
What has been your most rewarding experience in your publishing journey? There have been so many, it’s difficult to pick just one. I guess getting the call from my Penguin editor to let me know they wanted to publish Princess Avenger has to be right up there and then the email from Pan Macmillan with my two book contract offer was pretty amazing as well.
How many published books do you have? I have six published books. Two of them, The Lord and the Mermaid and The Elf King’s Lady, are published by Pan Macmillan Australia and the others are self-published. Princess Avenger and The Lady’s Choice were my titles originally published by Penguin Australia.
Please tell me the genre of each of your books. All my books are the same genre which I call fantasy romance or paranormal romance
Do you come up with your title(s) before or after you write the manuscript? A little of each. Princess Avenger was always exactly that. The Lady’s Choice was written as For Love or Salvation and I was asked to come up with a new name. Princess in Exile and The Lady and the Pirate were written under those names and my Pan Macmillan editor came up with the names for my mermaid and elf king titles. I would say from now on the name will come first.
Please introduce your genre and why you prefer to write in that genre? I love high fantasy- I adore everything about it- swords and sorcery, paranormal characters, the themes previously stated, the epic nature of the stories and the fact that it lends itself so well to series which I also prefer to read. I never want a story to end when I’m enjoying it. All the books I’ve listed are actually one big series although you can read them on their own. Each of my titles describes a romance and they are principally romance stories set in my fantasy world of Thorius
Which book title would you like featured in this interview? The Lady and the Pirate, please.
What was your inspiration, spark or light bulb moment that inspired you to write the book (one book) that you are seeking promotion for? The Lady and the Pirate came about from the ship that’s featured on the cover of The Lord and the Mermaid. An author friend mentioned pirates when we were discussing that book and that’s what gave me the idea for a pirate hero. It’s utterly amazing where inspiration comes from but you have to be open to it.
What one positive piece of advice would you give to other authors? Write what you know in a genre you’re passionate about.
Who is your favorite author and why? I have so many favorite authors but number one at the moment would be Marie Force. I’ve enjoyed every book Marie has written but especially her romantic suspense Fatal series. A new author for me who I’m really enjoying and who writes historical fantasy mystery is CJ Archer.
Heading west for the serene deserts of New Mexico with his three-legged dog, Patch, Abe Freeman hopes to escape the memories of his girlfriend’s lost battle with cancer. He expects his cross-country journey to be healing, not life-threatening. And he definitely doesn’t plan to wind up as the main suspect when a drifter he meets along the way, Easy Jackson, gets murdered.
When Abe’s lost knife turns up at the crime scene and Easy’s key appears in Abe’s backpack, Abe finds himself hunted by the police, biker gangs, and drug dealers, all of whom are determined to get their hands on that key. Caught up in the violence, Abe becomes desperate to prove his innocence. With help from Navajo police officer Emily Etcitty, he just might survive…and his heart just might find another reason to keep on beating.
Cold Coffee Review: Key Witness by Sandra Bolton is gaining mixed reviews which shows that readers are talking about this book.
A cross country trip starting in New Jersey with Patch, his three-legged dog, Abe Freeman, an unassuming gentle Jewish man seeks mind and spiritual healing after he successfully assisted in his girlfriend’s death when she was dying with cancer. The trip into the desert of New Mexico goes terribly wrong when he becomes a suspect in the murder of Easy Jackson.
Unsure of his arrest, Abe struggles with these logical questions: Had they linked him to Sharon’s death, where is Patch, and what is the penalty for possession of personal use marijuana in New Mexico?
Strong characters, good dialog and descriptive writing keep readers turning the pages with a plot that involves the incendiary mix of FBI, Navajo Nation Tribal Police, Aryan Brotherhood, Mexican Mafia and Kansas City Mafia.
Author Sandra Bolton grew up in northern California’s Sacramento Valley. After marrying her high school sweetheart, she spent 25 years traveling from coast to coast and one country after another during her husband’s Navy career. She received BA’s in Elementary Education, Special Education, and Science Education as well as a Master’s Degree in Guidance Counseling. Perhaps it is her service in the volunteer Peace Corps in Honduras from 1985-87 or her residence in Raton, New Mexico that gives her the inspiration for her descriptive writing, strong characters and complex plot.
I share with you this passage from the book. “Darkness descended on the mountains, carrying with it a sudden influx of cold. Abe shivered and cursed himself for having left his jacket in the Bronco. But the cool air provided clarity to his thoughts as he puzzled over the significance of the key. Abe’s dog ran ahead, sniffing at new intoxicating smells. Without realizing it, he and Patch had walked far from the hunter’s cabin. Deer had recently used the trail, cluttering it with their brown-bead droppings. Now, however, nothing moved in the forest. Even the small gray juncos had given up scratching the ground for seed. They perched in silent groups on pine branches, as if anticipating some unknown danger.”
I, Theodocia McLean, endorse Key Witness by Sandra Bolton. I purchased this book from Kindle. This review was completed on December 5, 2015.
Even before the plane touches down in Tegucigalpa, Honduras, Sarah Nelson questions her motives for being there. By the time this feminist adventure novel ends, Sarah’s life is forever altered as the naive and idealistic woman encounters more intrigue, danger, and mystery than she ever bargained for.
The year is 1985, and Ronald Reagan is president. Following a recent divorce from her husband of 28 years, Sarah decides to join the Peace Corps. She leaves behind her Minnesota farm, a teaching career, and two grown children to begin a new life on the northern coast of Honduras, a poverty-stricken, tropical paradise, caught between the U.S. funded Contras and the Nicaraguan Sandinistas.
The Garifunas, a unique Afro-Amerindian culture, are her nearest neighbors. Her closest ally in times of trouble is the ancient female tribal leader and spiritualist, Xiomara, who draws her into a mysterious world of the supernatural.
A Cipher in the Sand offers the readers not only a glimpse into a fascinating third-world culture during a turbulent time in history, but also tells the story of Sarah, who, given a second chance at life and love, discovers a greater understanding of herself and the complex world in which she lives.
The following a submitted customer review of her debut novel, A Cipher in the Sand:
“I bought this book (Cipher) on a whim and thoroughly enjoyed it.
The story is fast-paced and the main characters are engaging and easy to relate to. Few words are wasted as images, scenes, and conversations come alive.
The story itself is clever, filled with unexpected turns which weave a detailed story of naive Peace Corps volunteers who are thrown into a world of corruption and deceit. Innocence evolves to maturity as the protagonists make tough choices to put their own lives at risk to make the world a better place.
Not in the straightforward ways they envisioned when they joined the Peace Corps, but in ways which tested their commitments and forced them to challenge their own government’s complicity in schemes which harm the very people that the volunteers are supposed to be helping.
As someone who travelled through Central America shortly before the time frame of this story, I found Bolton’s portrayal of the antagonists’ behaviors and values to be disturbingly realistic as she exposes the political and military double-dealing which went on in that part of the world during the era of the Iran-Contra scandal.
Somebody really did their homework before they wrote this novel! But the story is then told in a very personal, touching, and intimate way.
I literally could not put the book down. I was captivated from the first page, and I will keep an eye peeled for future works from the same writer.”
Cold Coffee Press Spotlight Interview With Author Sandra Bolton
Sandra (Thomas) Bolton (1941) grew up in northern California’s Sacramento Valley.
Immediately after graduation she married her high school sweetheart, Tom Bolton, and left California on a Greyhound Bus bound for Memphis, Tennessee to join her husband. That was her first introduction to racial inequality, and it made an enduring impression on her life.
Sandra spent the next 25 years traveling from one coast or country to another while her husband completed a Navy career. During that time, she raised three children and completed a college education, receiving BA’s in Elementary Education, Special Education, and Science Education as well as a Master’s Degree in Guidance Counseling.
She has maintained an abiding interest in social causes and environmental issues for as long as she can remember and served as a Peace Corps volunteer in Honduras from 1985-87. Sandra currently resides in Raton, New Mexico where she divides her time between reading, writing, hiking, gardening, photography, and gourmet cooking.
Key Witness is her second novel. Her first, A Cipher in the Sand, was published in 2011. She is currently working on a sequel to Key Witness.
What makes you proud to be a writer from New Mexico? I love this state, the diversity of its people, and the beauty of the landscape. I am thrilled to be able to introduce the rest of the world to the culture and traditions here.
What or who inspired you to become a writer? I began taking writing classes and workshops from southwest mystery writer, Steven Havill. Once I started the process, I was hooked.
Did your environment or upbringing play a major role in your writing, and did you use it to your advantage? The environment played a distinct role. The novel takes place in the southwest, and the New Mexico landscape is highlighted throughout the book, sometimes to add drama, and at other times to invoke a sense of serenity.
When did you begin writing with the intention of being published? I never considered publishing any of my writing until I self-published in 2011.
What has been your most rewarding experience with your writing process? My most rewarding experience happened when I received an email from Thomas and Mercer stating that they were interested in publishing Key Witness.
Do you come up with titles before or after you write the manuscript? I start with a working title and change it later.
Please introduce your genre and why you prefer to write in that genre. I write mystery/suspense because there is so much material that sparks my imagination, and it is challenging to create a mystery. I generally start with a kernel of the truth and elaborate until the story grows.
Which book title would you like featured in this interview? Key Witness.
What inspired you to write this book? My partner, a classical pianist and now deceased, came to New Mexico from the East Coast. Though all similarities to the main character end there, the awe and since of mystery or discovery he experienced until the day he died remains. It is in partial a tribute to his memory.
What one positive piece of advice would you give to other authors? I would remind authors to keep writing, even if they think what they are writing is crap, because the first draft usually is. But, stick with it and try to write every day.
What is your favorite author and why? It is hard to come up with one favorite, as there are many. I love Kurt Vonnegut because of his ability to employ humor in his writing and his wonderful way with words.
Charlene the Star makes new friends in this exciting adventure. She wants to win a special award for jumpers. She must learn important things if she wants to reach her goal. Does she succeed? How does Hattie react when she sees the headline in The Gazette? Why is Cherish so afraid? Your child will be fascinated with the amusing adventures of Charlene and her friends. Children will be entertained and learn important life lessons.
Charlene the Star and Bentley Bulldog is Deanie’s fifth book. It’s the third in her series of Charlene the Star books. Her other books include her award winning autobiography, Tails of Sweetbrier, as well as, Charlie the Horse, Charlene the Star, and Charlene the Star and Hattie’s Heroes. All of Deanie’s books encourage children to persevere and strive to do their best.
Deanie is a graduate of The Institute of Children’s Literature. She enjoys music, singing, spending time with her family and their dog, Elliott. Deanie is also an avid fan of baseball and equestrian events.
Holly’s passion for Art began at an early age under the guidance of renowned artist, Ray Quigley. She earned a Fine Arts degree from Southern Methodist University. She devotes her talents to equestrian and family portraits, as well as children’s book illustrations. Holly has beautifully illustrated all of Deanie’s books.
Cold Coffee Book Review: Charlene The Star and Bentley Bulldog by Deanie Humphrys-Dunne is the newest release in her children’s adventure books.
Among some of the characters in this enchanting adventure include Charlene The Star (a horse) from Jumping For Joy Farms who is a competitive jumper, Mary Harris who is Charlene’s owner and rider, Hattie the chicken who loves to wear bonnets, and Bentley the bull dog who learns a valuable lesson about bullying.
Charming animals with unique personalities teach children life lessons on having proper manners, the value of friendships, sportsmanship, accepting and owning our mistakes, apologizing and making amends when we have hurt someone, and even when winning there is always room for improvement.
Parents and teachers should know that at the end of the book there are 8 questions and answers that challenge the child to remember what they have read (enhancing reading comprehension) and congratulates them for what they do remember.
Delightful hand drawn illustrations by Holly Humphrys-Bajaj bring the story and characters to life.
Other adventures that are available include Charlene The Star, Charlie The Horse, Charlene The Star and Hattie’s Heroes and Tails Of Sweetbrier.
I, Theodocia McLean, endorse Charlene The Star and Bentley Bulldog along with author Deanie Humphrys-Dunne other books as educational tools with pure reading enjoyment for young impressionable minds. This review was completed on December 26, 2014.
Charlene the Star is becoming known as a fine jumper, after winning the Green Jumper Championship at the Sterling Horse Show. She loves jumping, but she wants to do something new and exciting in her spare time.
What is her new career?
What happens when she meets her new friends Hattie and Wooliam?
Charlene solves problems for her new friends, while relying on some old friends to help her succeed in her new adventure.
Charlene and her team will delight you with their amusing adventures.
The delightful hand drawn illustrations by Holly Humphrys-Bajaj bring the story and characters to life.
Cold Coffee Press Author Spotlight Interview With Author Deanie Humphrys-Dunne
Deanie Humphrys-Dunne is a children’s book author with five books published at this time: Award-winning autobiography, Tails of Sweetbrier, Charlie the Horse, Charlene the Star, Charlene the Star and Hattie’s Heroes and Charlene the Star and Bentley Bulldog.
All of her books offer positive messages for children. Her sister, Holly Humphrys-Bajaj, beautifully illustrates her books. All books are available on Kindle.
Tails of Sweetbrier is an inspirational award-winning autobiography about a little girl whose one desire was to become a champion equestrian, in spite of her handicap. This book has won the Silver Medal in the Feathered Quill Book Contest and was a finalist for the Clipp Awards. Tails of Sweetbrier will show children that anything is possible if you persevere. This book was chosen “Most Inspirational” by the staff of the Pawling Book Cove in 2009. (first edition)Tails of Sweetbrier is now published in a second edition. The most recent award for this book is Honorable Mention in the Purple Dragonfly Book Contest in 2015. Deanie’s other books, Charlie the Horse, and Charlene the Star, and Charlene the Star and Hattie’s Heroes, are amusing, fictional tales, which contain important life lessons. All of these books are available on Kindle.
Deanie is a graduate of the Institute of Children’s Literature. She has been featured on several author websites. She has been interviewed several times by renowned, award winning author, Claire Power Murphy on Claire’s program, “Improve Every Year. Her interview with Claire, “Building character Through Children’s Stories” received top billing. Deanie has just been selected as “Author of the Year” by author/reviewer, Geri Ahearn in 2013.
She has recently received the following blogging award nominations: Liebster Award (2), Shine On Award, Sunshine Award, Dragons Loyalty Award, Very Inspiring Blogging Award, the Super Sweet Award and the The Shauny Award and the One Lovely Blog Award. She’s most grateful to everyone who nominated her.
Deanie is secretary for the Claire Power Murphy Foundation. She enjoys watching equestrian events, and figure skating competitions, music and singing, spending with her family, and their dog, Elliott. She is also an avid Yankee fan.
What makes you proud to be a writer from CT? I’m honored to be a children’s author from CT. I love to write entertaining stories with important life lessons for children. My goal is to be a role model for my readers.
What or who inspired you to become a writer? My parents encouraged me to write stories since I was a little girl. They were the first to teach me the importance of a good work ethic.
When did you begin writing with the intention of becoming published? My first story, Tails of Sweetbrier was published in 2009. It is now an award-winning autobiography.
Did your environment or upbringing play a major role in your writing and did you use it to your advantage? Yes, I learned at a young age that all things are possible if you persevere.
Do you come up with your title before or after you write the manuscript? Usually afterward, but now and then, the idea for the title comes before I start the story.
Please introduce your genre and why you prefer to write in that genre? I prefer writing for children. I feel my writing style fits them. I like to introduce humor in my stories. Sometimes the stories are told from the animals’ point of view. Also, my books highlight good character, which is important, especially for younger readers.
How many published books do you have? I have 5 books published; Tails of Sweetbrier, Charlie the Horse, Charlene the Star, and Charlene the Star and Hattie’s Heroes, Charlene the Star and Bentley Bulldog.
What has been your most rewarding experience with your writing process? So far, probably the most rewarding thing was winning the Feathered Quill Book Award for my book, Tails of Sweetbrier and having it nominated as a finalist for the CLiPPA award. I’m so honored that it was chosen.
Have you had a negative experience in your writing career? If so please explain how it could have been avoided? Fortunately, I’ve had very few negative experiences in my writing career.
What one positive piece of advice would you give to other authors? I think each of us should pursue our dreams, even when you feel they will never be realized. My personal experiences are proof that anything can happen if you refuse to give up on your dreams.
Who is your favorite author and why? It’s so difficult to choose a favorite author because there are many gifted, accomplished authors who deserve recognition. I would say two people who are friends of mine, Janice Spina and Sarah Mazor, are my favorites. Their stories are always entertaining with important lessons to share. I admire their talent a great deal.
Is there anything else that you would like to share with us? As I mentioned, my goal is to be a good role model for children. I hope that my books highlight important life lessons that readers will find valuable throughout their lives.
Please add questions and the answers to any questions that you believe your readers would like to know.
What was your show horse’s nickname and how did she get it? My show horse’s nickname was Peach. My sister Holly stood behind her one day and noticed that my horse had big round muscles that reminded her of a peach. The name stuck and we thought it was perfect for her.
What did you want more than anything when you were little? I wanted to be a champion horseback rider. My dad helped that dream come true, even though many people thought we wouldn’t succeed.
What made Peach special? Peach was pretty, but that wasn’t the most special thing about her. She loved jumping and she had a beautiful style of jumping. She never got tired of doing it and she knew when she did well.
Being twelve years old is already hard enough. Being a werewolf makes it even harder. Dillon Howell and his parents have just moved to Harmony, a small town in Northern California. Like all kids, he just wants to fit in and make friends, while keeping his “condition” a secret, of course. But Dillon quickly finds out he’s not the only person in town who isn’t what he appears to be. Welcome to Harmony, Dillon Howell. Your life is about to change forever.
Cold Coffee Review: The township of Harmony in Northern California could be like any small town in America, but it isn’t. Like in most small towns secrets are desperately tried to be kept and the Harmony forest is the keeper of many secrets. For Dillon Howell moving to Harmony with his parents gives him a new chance to fit in and make new friends. If just being a teenager isn’t enough of a challenge for Dillion, being a Werewolf presents its own set of challenges. As Dillion and his family settle into the normal day-to-day life at home and at school the supernatural forces in the dark forest beckon to him and he finds that he is not the only one in this town with a secret. Come with Dillon to Harmony and see what life has in store.
I, Theodocia McLean, endorse ‘Welcome To Harmony’ by Dan Trumpis. The author skillfully writes this epic middle grade fantasy (PG) in a way that encourages teens to read. Life in Harmony might mirror their life in some routine ways and then again it might just be a little darker, more intense, and hairier than normal. Reviewed on November 6, 2014.
Since her mother’s death, thirteen-year-old Gwen Gladstone’s life has spiraled downwards. She’s gone from popular girl to outcast and has been riddled with anxiety and depression. Her life takes a turn when her father suddenly marries a woman named Victoria Weatherly, and the three move to her home in Harmony, a small town in Northern California. Gwen quickly discovers that Victoria is no normal stepmother and the town of Harmony itself is just as mysterious and full of secrets as she is. But if Gwen can hold on, she’ll learn that Harmony is a place where she can grow stronger and discover abilities she never knew she had.
Book Genre: Middle Grade Fantasy, Children’s, Fiction
Cold Coffee Press Spotlight Interview With Dan Trumpis
Dan Trumpis was born in Los Angeles and spent most of his life in California. He has always loved telling stories, for as long as he can remember, and has practiced writing in a variety of mediums – prose, comic books, stage, and screen. Since becoming an elementary school teacher, he settled into writing books for kids after being exposed to a broad range of classic and contemporary children’s literature.
Currently, he resides in Sun Lakes, Arizona and teaches fifth grade language arts at C.O. Greenfield in Phoenix, where he hopes to inspire within his students a love for writing and literature.
Please introduce your genre and why you prefer to write in that genre? I write middle grade fiction – although many teens and adults have read and enjoyed my books. My stories are about magic and monsters, two subjects I have been interested in for as long as I can remember. It wasn’t my original intention to write middle grade fiction. I originally set out writing for adults, but when I became a teacher, I began reading more middle grade fiction and decided to write for that age group. I had a lot of fun doing it – and even landed an agent for a while – and haven’t looked back since.
When did you begin writing with the intention of becoming published? Gosh, almost fifteen years ago, I made the switch from screenwriting to prose – which, let’s face it, was my first love. I went to workshops and attended writing groups to hone my craft. Those were some rough years as I was also learning to manage clinical depression. It wasn’t until 2009 I felt ready to begin submitting manuscripts to agents.
What was your inspiration, spark or light bulb moment that inspired you to write the book that you are seeking promotion for? For Welcome to Harmony, I wanted to do a story about the importance of friendship for middle school age kids – probably because I didn’t have a lot of friends growing up. However, as a twist, I thought I’d give them all supernatural gifts.
For Gwen Gladstone: A Tale from the Town of Harmony, I wanted to write a book that centered on magic (In each book, I’m trying to explore a different aspect of the supernatural.). Also, like Harmony, I wanted to tell the story of an outcast who finally finds a place to fit in.
What has been your most rewarding experience with your writing process? I love the rush that comes when everything is flowing, and you don’t have to think about what you’re doing. The story is unfolding on its own, and the characters are telling you what they want to say and do.
What has been your most rewarding experience in your publishing journey? Not long after I published Welcome to Harmony, I got a really nice Facebook message from a man in New York who’d purchased my book on a whim and absolutely loved it. He went on to write a glowing review on Amazon.com. It felt amazing to touch someone so much with my writing. Speaking of which, at the last school I worked at, I inspired a whole fifth grade class – who’d read Welcome to Harmony – to want to become writers. That was also a pretty amazing feeling.
What one positive piece of advice would you give to other authors? Write like you’re already famous.
Who is your favorite author and why? I’d have to say Neil Gaiman. I’ve been a fan of his since his Sandman comic book. I’m blown away by how he’s able to write for all ages, from picture books to books for adults. The Graveyard Book will probably go down as one of my all-time favorites.
Is there anything else that you would like to share with us? For any aspiring and already published writers reading this, I would like to leave you with a quote from the great Ray Bradbury: “You only fail if you stop writing.”
Confessions of a Transylvanian is a one-of-a-kind, backstage look at the greatest cult movie phenomenon of all time—the live Rocky Horror Picture Show—told by those who lived it.
Confessions is a moving snapshot of life in a Rocky Horror cast that captures the grit, language and teenage angst of a group of fishnet-clad performers as they explore a world where the only rule was: Don’t dream it. Be it.
So, get ready to take that jump to the left and that step to the right…and do the time warp again.
Genre: Nonfiction coming-of-age tale
Cold Coffee Review: Unique story, a memoir of men, women and yes, teenagers who worked and lived backstage as well as those who sat in the audience and participated in the live Rocky Horror Picture Show, performing their roles as a shadow cast in front of the big screen as the movie played.
Many of us remember this “cult movie phenomenon” but for those of you who either don’t remember, or are too young, let me quote the description of the Ultravision Theatre:
“A few words about the Ultravision Theatre before we proceed. Remember, this was in the early 1980s; in the days before the mega-plexes and maxi-houses. The Ultravision was an old-school auditorium movie house, the kind the I-Max theaters are now trying, unsuccessfully, to mimic. The screens at the Ultravision were simply enormous, stretching well over a hundred feet across and over thirty feet high, surrounded on all sides by a set of lush, red curtains that encircled the entire room.
The sound system was something else, too. These speakers didn’t simply squeak out the score of the film on some tinny little low-rent system; these babies blasted you right out of your f****** seat. If you saw “Raiders of the Lost Ark” at the Ultravision (which I did, five times), you knew what a true movie-going experience was supposed to be like: The sound hit you in the chest like a sledgehammer and the screen pinned your eyes open wide, filling your entire periphery, making it feel, at times, as if Indiana Jones was kicking you’re a**.
Another distinctive feature of the Ultravision was that it was its own building. It wasn’t connected to a mall or attached to some corporate complex. This entire structure—this huge, sprawling edifice—was built to be nothing more than a place to show movies. That was it. End of story.
Imagine you’re standing in a gigantic round room, fifty feet high and 300 feet across. Just a colossal seating area, okay? As you strolled past the door, you’d find yourself in a gently curving aisle on the outer perimeter of the theater. The seats themselves stretched across the entire width of the circle with no center aisle, so the rows are forty, fifty, sixty seats across. And there are dozens of rows.
The seats were big and comfy; old fashioned movie-house seats with plush cushions that actually rocked back and forth”.
Now let’s go back in time and focus on the stories of those who worked behind the scenes and even the audience members who were drawn into the drama of the live performance aspect. The language in this book fairly depicts the times, times where sex, drugs and self-expression were part of this cult movement. I quote.
“Clearly, joining the Rocky cast involved on-the-job training. We were going to learn how to swim, but the teaching method this cast employed was to throw you in the deep end of the pool, lob an anvil at you and wish you good luck.
In defense of our friends and colleagues in New York: Doing Rocky can get to be a drag after a while.
I know it sounds like Rocky blasphemy (if there is such a thing), but the truth is that performing the same show, week after week without any variation at all, can be draining and demoralizing. This is true of live theater, rock music and dolphin acts. Doing each and every piece of Rocky choreography, by rote, each and every night leads inevitably to boredom and stagnation. You think Keith Richards likes playing “Satisfaction” at every single concert while he’s on tour? No. He f****** hates it. But he does it because that’s what the people want. And, you know, for all the money and stuff.
Fortunately, the people who perform the Rocky show on a regular basis know that atrophy can set in after constant and mindless repetition. And their solution to this malady is: Mix things up every once in a while.”
If you have ever felt left out, ostracized especially in your youth, this story will strike accord in your heart. When all is said and done, this is a coming of age memoir as a young man finds he can be part of something spectacular and cultivate lifetime friendships.
I, Theodocia McLean, endorse Confessions of a Transylvanian: a story of Sex, Drugs and Rocky Horror by Kevin Theis and Ronald Fox. The characters are real, the stories are true and times have changed as this generation has moved on with their lives. As dramatic as this story is, it is a part of a generation’s history which this book chronicles. The authors invite you to visit “RockyConfessions.com/extras for pictures of the original Wild and Untamed Things along with a few more stories and other goodies from the Ultravision years”. This review was completed on December 3, 2015.
“Wake up, awake,” the voice called. “Reach for what has been laid before you by the Fates. Keep moving forward. Do not waste this time. Your life, good and noble squire, depends on it.
Tomorrow your journey begins, and thus begins the rest of your life. Your impact upon your world shall be no small matter. Exhaust yourself to gain safe passage and pray to God. Go now, in haste, and make thee ready.”
It is the Middle Ages. Rand wakes to find himself thrust into a time of violence and upheaval that grips Medieval England.
It becomes for him a journey of discovery, of growth, of love, and of learning. He must adapt to a lifestyle entirely foreign to him, and a culture he has only read about. He must adapt or die. Sword in hand, he charges into the most fantastic adventure of his life.
Genre: Historical reference guide, Fictional medieval time period with true historical references
Cold Coffee Press Spotlight Interview With Author Ronald Fox
Actor/Author/Stuntman/Facilitator/Consultant Ronald Fox is a seasoned veteran of Film, Television, Theatre, and Live Show & Radio with a body of work that spans almost 3 decades.
In Theatre he studied the Bard’s work under Stephen Jenn, RSC – Old Vic Theatre.
In Film & TV, his global experience has afforded him the opportunity to work with world-class crew, directors, coordinators and talent.
As an Author, Mr. Fox’s wildly imaginative mind supports a prolific production of ongoing projects, spurred on by a tremendously supportive family and public.
In Public Speaking he is dynamic facilitator often sought for his ability to engage diverse audiences, deliver key insights, and create memorable takeaway moments.
What makes you proud to be a writer from Florida? The great thing about being a writer is you can do it anywhere. I live in Central Florida and find a lot to be inspired about. The beauty of Central Florida is an hour in any direction takes you to pristine beaches, conservation areas, towns that have stood the test of time for two centuries and flowing natural springs. Plus, a mere two hours away is the country’s oldest continuously inhabited city, Saint Augustine, a place rich with history. I like to tell stories that resonate. When we connect as writers and bring others into a world we’ve created, and we envelope them in that world, that’s magic.
What or who inspired you to become a writer? Like most authors, I’ve written ever since I discovered pen and paper. I have always crafted stories, mostly short. Reading Ken Follett’s Pillars of the Earth compelled me to write Oaken Rings.
Did your environment or upbringing play a major role in your writing and did you use it to your advantage? I spent a lot of time exploring my world as a kid. I grew up in a suburban area right on the edge of wilderness. A short bike ride would take me to a copse of forested land, and one of my favorite areas to visit had a creek that ran through it. This environment brought out the adventurer in me, a sensation I have successfully carried over to my storytelling.
When did you begin writing with the intention of becoming published? Oaken Rings was probably the first time I decided I had a story to tell, a story worth sharing with others.
What has been your most rewarding experience with your writing process? As much as I thought “giving wings to our baby” would be the most rewarding part of the book writing process, more so has been the constant and growing fan base. At the RHPS 40th anniversary convention in New York we were constantly beset by people wanting to meet us, get the book, take photos with us, and simply talk to us. It is uplifting to say the least
What has been your most rewarding experience in your publishing journey? One of the most rewarding experiences is having the opportunity to speak about my research. When you work on a project that uses facts as your foundation, you are more likely to connect with your audience, who will be more eager to connect with you. For the book release party of Confessions of a Transylvanian, we had nearly one thousand people show up for two book readings, autograph sessions, and an after party. It was rewarding beyond expression to meet people from the Rocky community who were enthusiastic to be a part of the affair. In the weeks that passed we were comfortably blanketed by countless emails and posts from fans that enjoyed the story, and in some instances felt we were telling the story of everyone.
Just as thrilling as our fan base is to Jack and me, getting an endorsement for Confessions from Susan Sarandon (who played Janet in the film), followed by Barry Bostwick (who played Brad) thrilled our growing fan base as much as it delighted us.
How many published books do you have? I currently have two published books. The most recent is a collaborative endeavor titled Confessions of a Transylvanian. My first book is Oaken Rings.
Do you come up with your title(s) before or after you write the manuscript? For Confessions of a Transylvanian we worked on the book and had it nearly finished when the title came to us. With Oaken Rings I knew the title and the end of the book before I even started telling the story.
Please introduce your genre and why you prefer to write in that genre? Confessions of a Transylvanian is a nonfiction coming-of-age tale. This particular story had to be told in the first-person narrative (even though it was written by two people) because, in this case, truth was more amazing than fiction.
I don’t stick with one genre; I do however tend to write stories that use real locations as a teeterboard for launching my characters.
What was your inspiration, spark or light bulb moment that inspired you to write the book (one book) that you are seeking promotion for? My co-author and longtime friend, Jack, and I both tossed around the idea of documenting some of the experiences we had had as a cast, and group of inseparable friends. When we lost one of our own this motivated us to quickly assemble the various stories and build a storyline by which to tell the world what it was like to be part of a shadow cast (even before the term existed). We sought to write a love letter to our cast, The Wild and Untamed Things, but also an open love letter to anyone who had ever been part of the Rocky Horror Picture Show in any form.
What one positive piece of advice would you give to other authors? Writing is like film production. When you get an idea that won’t leave you alone, start to jot down the details so you can keep track of who’s who. Use a notebook or index cards to keep your locations and characters organized. The more work (pre-production) you do before you start the first draft of your story, the better prepared you’ll be as you embark on your word crafting journey.
Who is your favorite author and why? Ken Follett. His ability to walk you through a scene with tremendous detail allows the reader to see, feel, smell, and experience what is written.
Step by step how-to for each phase of the hiring process. Includes blueprints for hiring sales, management, entry level labor, clerical and technical staff. Complete sample interviews, suggested forms, tips based on research and the author’s experience are included. Legal issues are addressed, along with guidelines for avoiding legal problems.
Genre: Non-Fiction, Self-Help, Business,
Cold Coffee Review: Hiring Right by Pat Kelley is a common sense, practical step-by-step, need-to-know business guide for finding and keeping good employees.
Whether you are just starting out and need to hire a few employees or business is picking up and you need to hire more this book should be your first reference guide. Pat Kelley lays out her step-by-step, need-to- know guide with facts, numbers, examples and all the forms necessary to help you find and keep good employees. Following her advice and the right incentives you will be able to lower your turnover rate and increase your profits.
Book Part One is made up of five chapters. In Chapter One, Pat lays out mistakes one, two and three and teaches employer how to “Profile” the job that you are offering, “Research” and “Complete A Personality Profile” on each perspective employee.
Chapter Two goes on to teach the employer how to “recruit”, “screen” and “test” applicants. This detailed chapter defines the advantages of promoting from within, considering employee referrals and details how to use all local, community, and technological researches to find, screen and test applicants.
Chapter Three details steps the employer can use to prepare for and conduct an interview.
Chapter Four presents the “Employment Law In Hiring” and alerts the employer to danger zones.
Chapter Five Part One shows the employer what comes after the interview, such as checking references, how to make the job offer with the proper compensation. Chapter Five Part Two goes on to explain the necessary training and work environment to ensure the employee fits in and stays.
Book Part Two is made up of five “Business Blueprints”. These blueprints include essential “Job Profile”, “Patterned Interview”, “Candidate Offer Letter”, “Orientation Checklist” forms for Office Clerical Positions, Level Labor Positions, Technical Worker Positions, Sales Worker Positions and Management Worker Positions.
The book wraps up with miscellaneous resource materials.
Theodocia McLean endorses “Hiring Right: A Business Blueprint for Lower Turnover and Higher Profits (A Business Blueprint Book)” by MS, SPHR, Pat Kelley for an instructional guide to help new employers coming into the job market and existing employers that are struggling with a high rate of turnover. I purchased and reviewed this book from a Kindle format. This review was completed on March 28, 2015.
Love, relationships, change, trauma, community and searching for God’s will are all a part of this novel, set in the mountains of the Arkansas/Oklahoma state border during the tumultuous post-Vietnam War years. Minor language, all audiences.
The last thing forty-three-year-old Susan Watson thought she’d be doing at her age is starting over. But after she’s set up and fired from her job, she takes her savings and returns to her hometown to do just that.
In the process of creating a new life for herself, she encounters harassment, battery, threats and sabotage. While she’s just trying to survive, a crisis occurs at the hometown newspaper she loves and she sets aside her own goals to save the newspaper.
And she rediscovers the love of her life. Or is he simply using her to get his story told?
Homecoming is a complex, fast-moving story involving politics, a community separated by disparate needs, a struggling small-town newspaper and a woman who learns the hard way that she can go home again. Just don’t expect things to be the same.
After more than thirty years in Human Resources, first as a specialist, then manager, and finally director, Millie Morrison is tired. During the last three years especially, a divorce, financial problems, estrangement from her children and constant problems at work have left her burned out and depressed. She badly needs a change but is afraid a new situation won’t be any better than the current one. Can she maintain her professionalism in the face of all the stress? As Millie works to resolve the problems that bedevil her and her company, a heat wave and a mad man bring everything to an unexpected head. Come along and see how Millie deals with all the HR issues and personal issues taking away her peace of mind. Payback is the first book in the Human Resources series written by a professional with more than forty-three years’ experience. The next book in the series is Rich Mountain, coming soon!
Author Pat Kelley, MS, SPHR, relates detailed actual cases from her forty-three years in Human Resources Management. In practical, down to earth prose, she describes situations, problems and solutions involving employee turnover, hiring, supervision, employee involvement and bad behavior. Included with each case are Discussion Questions and Lessons Learned. Ideal for use as a supplemental text in HR classes or seminars.
Cold Coffee Press Spotlight Interview With Author Pat Kelley
Pat Kelley, MS, SPHR, is the author of Hiring Right: A Business Blueprint for Lower Turnover and Higher Profits, Second Edition, published in December 2014.
For more than 43 years, she worked as a specialist, manager and Director of Human Resources in banking, manufacturing, food processing and communications.
Certified as a lifetime Senior Professional in Human Resources, Ms. Kelley is recipient of the 2008 Lifetime Achievement Award from the Arkansas Society of Human Resource Managers.
What makes you proud to be a writer from eastern Oklahoma and western Arkansas? Having lived in eastern Oklahoma and western Arkansas the longest, I consider myself a home here. The people make this place special. They care about their families, friends, conservative values, their God, their church, and their communities. My kind of people.
What or who inspired you to become a writer? I imagined myself a writer when I was 12 years old. Of course, I had no idea what that meant until I read a few thousand books. I’m most inspired to write non-fiction because of my passion for teaching people about Human Resources management and leadership. I’m inspired to write fiction because I’m constantly asking myself “what if…” when I drive down the road. My novels are about real people in real situations.
When did you begin writing with the intention of becoming published? I wrote my first draft of Hiring Right in the mid-1980s when I was unemployed and bored waiting for the telephone to ring. Writing a book was a way to keep my mind active and to stay involved in my profession.
Did your environment or upbringing play a major role in your writing and did you use it to your advantage? I grew up in a dysfunctional family, and am in the process of writing a memoir. Hiring Right is a product of my 43 years’ working in HR. And my latest novel, Rich Mountain, combines my love of HR with the realities of living with a veteran suffering PTSD.
Do you come up with your title before or after you write the manuscript? The title Hiring Right came to me before I wrote the book. The subtitle, A Business Blueprint … was developed as part of a marketing campaign when the first edition was published in 2004.
Please introduce your genre and why you prefer to write in that genre? I write non-fiction because I have information to share and am passionate about teaching others what I’ve learned about the hiring process, and the impact it can make on a company’s success. In fiction, I write contemporary women’s fiction because that’s what tickles my fancy.
What was your inspiration, spark or light bulb moment that inspired you to write the book that you are seeking promotion for? When I was writing the first draft of Hiring Right I realized one day that readers of this book would really be helped by the information. That was my “aha” moment, and still drives me.
What has been your most rewarding experience with your writing process? My first validation was winning a runner-up prize at a major writing contest. I thought, “Oh, my God, I’m really a writer!”
What has been your most rewarding experience in your publishing journey? Having someone call to tell me how much they’ve benefited from Hiring Right. That’s validation of the first degree!
What one positive piece of advice would you give to other authors? Keep writing, keep studying the publishing industry, and never stop promoting!
Who is your favorite author and why? My favorite non-fiction authors are people like Lee Iacocca who tell it like it is. My favorite fiction authors are all those who write fabulous characters caught up in impossible situations.
Is there anything else that you would like to share with us? I consider myself to be a teacher as much as a writer. As long as someone is learning from something I’ve written, I’m content.
Covey Jencks grew up in Odessa, Texas. After college, he joined the Army, attended law school, clerked on the Fifth Circuit, and suffered a stint at a D. C. law firm. He quits a life of white privilege to return home to solve the mysterious 1979 murder of Freddie Johnson, a black employee at Covey’s family business. Her life matters to Covey. For cover Covey opens a small firm filled with big characters. Eventually another black woman reenters his life to become Covey’s crime-solving partner. Mexican gangs, Boston mobsters, and racist cops complicate but do not derail the successful investigation.
Cold Coffee Review: If you long for freedom from all the things that hold your down, I suggest you get to know a young Texan lawyer named Covey Jencks, because he cherishes freedom and wide-open ranges.
Author Shelton L. Williams weaves this well written, fast-paced fiction with believable characters to take you back in America’s southern history, with enough suspense to keep you turning the page.
It was March 1979, when Alfreda (Freddie) Mae Johnson (a southern black women) died. It was her death that would eventually take young Covey Jencks from his beloved oil country of West Texas to the seat of political power in Washington D.C.
To understand Covey, we must start with his college days where Led Zeppelin filled the dorm halls, margaritas and weed played with the senses, and girls made Covey’s first night at school “the first day of the rest of my life”. Covey’s love for the month of September, (beginning of the school year) that made the launch of Jencks Law Firm perfect.
Depending on your age, you will relate to this time (1970’s through 1990’s) drenched in racial tensions, Vietnam war, college football pride, mobsters, gangs, bad cops, young love and for Covey, a nagging need to know what brought Freddie to such a violent end.
This is a great read and I am hoping that this is a prequel to the Covey Jencks series, as there are never enough sleuths to satisfy mystery, thriller suspense enthusiasts like myself.
I, Theodocia McLean, endorse Covey Jencks by Shelton L. Williams. This book is available in paperback and Kindle. I purchased this book in Kindle. This review was completed on February 24, 2017.
In the August 2006 Texas Monthly article on Charles Whitman (“96 Minutes,” by Pamela Colloff), Shelton Williams is a character in the recounting of the Whitman tragedy. Shelly was there when the shooting started, but it was not his first encounter with the young man who weaken so much havoc on that hot August day in Austin in 1966. While Shelly and Charlie did know each other, they were not friends and they were not adversaries at the University of Texas in the spring and summer of 1966. They were just two guys with troubled families, personal insecurities, and challenged young marriages. Summer of ’66 is not about Charles Whitman and it is not about why the two young men took such different paths. It is memoir about life at UT, about a mystery man, and about a young man and woman who faced a changing and dangerous world in a courageous way. Charles Whitman is simply a character in this true story.
Shelton and Janell Williams survived August 1, 1966, and the summer of ’66. Shelly got a PhD in International Studies, taught at Austin College for thirty-six years and through the organization he founded and of which he is president, The Osgood Center for International Studies, continues to run the Washington Program for Austin College students and students from around the world. Janell graduated from Austin College and worked twenty-five distinguished years for the Social Security Administration. They now live in the Washington, DC area. Each thanks the other for forty-two years of eventful married life, and both look forward to the next “five-year review” of their marriage. It comes up in 2009.
Review: by Amazon Customer. 5.0 out of 5 stars
June 15, 2017. Format: Kindle Edition|Verified Purchase
A remarkable book. Shelton Williams is a talented author and his personal involvement with the tragedy puts him at center stage to share his tale.
Review: SanIsaac B. Morgan. 4.0 out of 5 stars
December 7, 2006. Format: Paperback
This is a sweet follow up to Dr. Williams first book, Washed in the Blood. It tells the story of his last summer at the University of Texas before going to grad school and his life with his lovely wife, Janell. He was acquainted with Charles Whitman, the sniper in the UT tower who randomly shot at people in the streets of Austin, before being killed by two very brave Austin police officers. It asks the question, “Why do some people facing certain adverse situations become stronger, while others snap?” If you would like a taste of the feel of 1960’s America during its loss of innocence, this is a great place to start.
Genre: Literature & Fiction, Drama & Plays, Regional & Cultural
Washed in the Blood is just remarkable in so many ways, hypnotic, eerie, a spine-tingling murder mystery and also a haunting memoir of what it’s like to grow up in one of strangest and most fascinating places on the face of the earth. I was hooked by the first page, and Shelton Williams’ writing is honest and beautiful. One of those rare books that grabs and won’t let go, even after you have read it.
Review: Williams’ gripping account of the death of his cousin is the stuff of great literature. Except it’s tragically real. By Gary Cartwright, senior editor, Texas Monthly
Review: A page-turning, crackling read about… the ‘Kiss and Kill’ murder of a 17-year-old. By Larry L. King, author, The Best Little Whorehouse in Texas
Review: Hypnotic, eerie, a spine-tingling murder mystery and also a haunting memoir … I was hooked by the first page. by Buzz Bissinger, author, Friday Night Lights
Genre: Biographies & Memoirs, Arts & Literature, True Crime
Cold Coffee Press Spotlight Interview With Shelton L. Williams
Shelton L. Williams is proud to be a Texan story-teller. He has a PhD in International Relations, but publishing is his end goal.
Author Shelton L. William has published five books and contributed to two others. He chooses write about crime and society, because he can present complications, brain teasers, and personal stories. His book titles are Covey Jencks (mystery, thriller & suspense), Washed In The Blood (Biographies & Memoirs, Arts & Literature and True Crime) and Summer of ’66 (Literature & Fiction, Drama & Plays and Regional & Cultural).
His favorite author is Walter Moseley because he tells great stories with interesting characters and they may a point about important issues in American society.
Shelton believes that everyone has a story, so write yours.
What makes you proud to be a writer from Bethesda MD? Texas originally, but now Bethesda MD. I am proud to be a Texas writer because many Texans are good story-tellers. I’d like to count myself among them.
What or who inspired you to become a writer? My teachers from high school on inspired me, but in fact I have always enjoyed writing.
Did your environment or upbringing play a major role in your writing and did you use it to your advantage? My environment was rough and tumble, anti-intellectual, and geographically remote. It gave me an exotic place to locate my stories.
When did you begin writing with the intention of becoming published? I have PhD in International Relations and to publish is the end-all. I published my first book at 23.
What has been your most rewarding experience with your writing process? Meeting people from all over the world who related to my stories.
What has been your most rewarding experience in your publishing journey? Meeting former students who tell me that my books inspired, informed, or helped them.
How many published books do you have? I have published 5 books and contributed to two others. The last three, however, have been for the general public.
Please list the titles of all your books: Just my general releases: Washed in the Blood, Summer of 66, and Covey Jencks.
Please tell me the genre of each of your books. Two are non-fiction crimes novels and one is a murder mystery.
Do you come up with your title(s) before or after you write the manuscript? I had the titles well before.
Please introduce your genre and why you prefer to write in that genre? I write about crime and society. I prefer to write this way because I can present complications, brain teasers, and personal stories.
Which book title would you like featured in this interview? Covey Jencks.
What one positive piece of advice would you give to other authors? Everyone has a story, so write yours.
Who is your favorite author and why? Walter Moseley because he tells great stories with interesting characters and they may a point about important issues in American society.
Contributors: William Sumner (Author), Anastasia Young (Editor), Cyrus Webb (Foreword), Martha Cleves (Preface)
When you experience traumatic experiences that alters your emotional and psychological foundation, you begin to experience a very personal and fragile meltdown. While all of this is happening, your body diligently works to save your life. You survived the initial shock, now the aftermath, yes that personal and dreadful aftermath. Now what?
“PTSD to Freedom – No More War Within”, will tell you to pick up your bed and walk because you are the captain of your ship.
Authors Linda Diane Wattley and William Sumner are veterans of the United States Army. They teamed up together to write this extraordinary and unique book because they both have a heart for people suffering with PTSD, Post-Traumatic Stress Disorder. It was obvious to them that if the male and female perspectives and resources were joined together that it would have a profound impact on the world. What they offer is powerful because the truths automatically empower the readers. No doubt, the truth will set you free!
Keep in mind, PTSD is no respecter of persons; you, me, a child, soldier, parent, friend, spouse, lover, doctor, judge, police officer, neighbor, and even a minster can be suffering with PTSD. The good news is that it does not have to be a life-sentence. “PTSD to Freedom – No More War Within” is about having complete control of your outcome and allowing your greatest self to shine.
Cold Coffee Review: We owe a debt of gratitude to our United States men and women who serve or have served in our armed forces. This book’s contributing authors all served in the United States Army.
I am sure that you are familiar with the term PTSD and perhaps it has wreaked havoc on your life or the life of your family member, friend or acquaintance. Are you familiar with the term PTSG or NLP?
I encourage you to read this book and glean the information that will help you on your journey out of PTSD and give you tools to help others along their journey.
Author Linda Diane Wattley dedicates this book to those of us who face PTSD and fight against the daily war within.
Whether your PTSD comes from a traumatic childhood experience, military service, domestic violence, crime or accident inflicted trauma; Author Linda Diane Wattley writes, speaks and interviews from a heart of knowledge and compassion. Linda reaches out and interviews other PTSD victims from her radio podcast show. She gives daily inspiration on her website titled The Truth Will Set You Free.
I, Theodocia McLean, endorse this book PTSD To Freedom (No More War Within) by Linda Diane Wattley as a tool in your mental health toolbox to help you recognize and overcome the icy grip of PTSD. I purchased this book from Kindle. This review was completed on May 14, 2018.
Cold Coffee Press Spotlight Interview With Author Linda Diane Wattley
LINDA DIANE WATTLEY is a veteran of the United States Army. She is an advocate for sufferers of PTSD, Post-Traumatic Stress Disorder and for those who have suffered from all forms of victimization to include domestic violence and sexual abuse. Her message is all about getting to the best truths that allows victims to be set free. Linda accomplishes this by sharing her gifts and talents that God gave her. One being an author of several books that lead readers to go deep within themselves to find their own inner strength and voice.
Linda was also a contributing columnist, “THE BEST WILL SHOW THEMSELVES” for over twelve years where she shared truths that stirred hearts and minds of readers in spiritual matters.
Today, she has opened a platform for others to share their truths with the world. Her online television show, THE TRUTH WILL SET YOU FREE by TLBTV and the Liberty Beacon Project has proven to be a powerful beacon of light.
Her recent book, “PTSD to Freedom – No More War Within” is written by her and William Sumner. As veterans understanding Post-Traumatic Stress Disorder, they joined together to create this amazing tool to get those suffering with PTSD a unique opportunity to have complete reign over this daily reality.
Linda is available for speaking engagements, book signings and interviews. She lives to do God’s Will.
What makes you proud to be a writer from Akron Ohio? I am writing from Akron, Ohio. What makes me proud to be a writer is the fact I never gave up even though I learned by trial and error to finally self-publish my own book and it comes out amazing! And, my writing is well received by readers and makes a difference in the lives of others.
What or who inspired you to become a writer? I love writing because the experience is awesome taking the unseen and bringing it into the seen. It’s not anything like it.
Did your environment or upbringing play a major role in your writing and did you use it to your advantage? Definitely! After years of sexual, mental and physical abuse, I found a voice in writing. And, I learned I was not the only one. But I learned, everybody cannot interpret the feelings and twisting thoughts that result after abuse. I can do it so naturally which makes me so grateful for such a priceless gift.
What has been your most rewarding experience with your writing process? My writing process opened many doors to embrace and be embraced by others.
What has been the most rewarding experience in your publishing journey? Publishing my first self-published book and confident that it is a blessing for others.
Do you come up with your title(s) before or after you write the manuscript? I have had titles before, doing and after completion depending on how it all comes together in meaning.
Please introduce your genre and why you prefer to write in that genre? I had a difficult time narrowing down a genre because I feel the book is so universal but to say it is a self-help, self-growth, spiritual and psychological general.
What would one positive piece of advice you give to other authors? Know that whatever is within you to express in words, do it knowing others are waiting to read them.
Who is your favorite author and why? Maya Angelou because she was so honest.
Star-crossed lovers struggle to survive the German invasion of Poland at the opening of the Second World War.
Since childhood, twenty-four-year-old Owen Linet has been plagued by bad dreams, or rather the same bad dream, of a man called Hector, who claims to be dead. Hector possesses a strange black cloak on which is stitched a series of golden symbols—“Words” that Hector, their “bearer”, claims have miraculous powers when spoken. Hector gifts a Word to Owen—one that he claims can not only take life, but also restore it.
Twenty-two-year-old Polish partisan, Jacek Tarasek, is ordered to follow a suspicious foreigner, a British artist named Owen Linet, who closely resembles a man from Jacek’s past—someone Jacek would just as soon forget. Jacek’s worst fears are soon realized when he learns that Owen is not only his avowed enemy, but something infinitely worse—a devil in human form, with the power to take life with a mere word. When Jacek can’t bring himself to destroy the man with whom he is falling deeply in love, he is forced to confront his flawed understanding of good and evil.
Publisher’s Note: Beautiful to Behold is a male-male love story and contains homoerotic sex acts that may be offensive to some readers.
Cold Coffee Review: The author of ‘Beautiful to Behold’ writes under the nom de plume (pen name) M.D. Wiselka. This 728 page book takes place at the beginning of WWII, just as Poland is first invaded and is the first in a series.
Instead of a Table of Contents the author has chosen to use Sections (parts) with titles. Each section has title, location, with a date and occasionally the actual time and sometimes the season of the year. This book is actually a mixture of genres including fiction, historical reference, war, gay romance with some paranormal undertones.
Each section follows a well-defined narrative format with easy-to-follow conversations. There are many unique complex characters like British artist Owen Linet who has been tormented by bad dreams. The author’s extensive travel throughout Europe and research into descendants from Poland who later immigrated to the US in 1913 has greatly influenced the setting and story line.
This avid reader would not have typically picked up this book to read, but interestingly I found that the story line held my attention. Although this book comes with an adult content warning due to gay (male-male) romance and adult language I did not find it crude or offensive. The sex is intense, but not overly explicit and the romance is touching and realistic. The author tells a story and within this story weaves a romance.
Like with all my reviews I am careful not to spoil the read. However, I always quote one or two portions from the book that catches my attention in hopes to give the potential reader a sense of this author’s writing style. Early on in the book this line from a main character caught my attention. “Sooner or later, your past catches up with you. His was sitting three rows back from him in a darkened theater, sipping soda noisily through a paper straw.”
Descriptive excerpt quote from the book: “Owen turned to look out the rain streaked window. Mother was still standing alone beneath the metal awning, her shawl drawn tightly about her hunched shoulders, a brave, if false, smile on her face, which made Owen if not quite regret his decision to go with Dad, once more question the wisdom of it. But she would have Ned and Lily to keep her company, and he could come home any time it pleased him, if he found Warsaw didn’t suit him, if his mother needed him. He lifted a hand to wave to her as the aero plane began to slowly taxi down the runway. Her face was a smear of warm light in the dreary rain, soon gone as the aero plane sped away. Dad looked at him. Owen smiled sympathetically. “Parting is such sweet sorrow.”
A thought on war excerpt from the book: “Jacek had never considered their odds in the light of dry statistics. Had someone told him that the German army was five times the size of the Polish army, that it had twenty times the number of planes, tanks and guns, he would have said, without hesitation, “but we will still win.” He would have said it with conviction, because he believed wars were not won with planes or tanks or guns, but with spirit. Our cause is a noble one. We are in the right. God is on our side, and with God’s help, we will triumph against the Germans, just as we did against the Russians twenty years ago. The keystone of his faith—the justness of his cause. We can’t lose, because we’re the good guys, and the good guys never lose.”
A taste of supernatural excerpt from the book: “Most bearers went the whole of their long existence without once attempting to merge themselves with another, mortal or brethren—and for good reason. Only the most skillful of bearers could do it without leaving some taint of himself in the spirit with which he merged, and, in turn, taking some part of that spirit’s nature as his own. Owen wouldn’t have ventured to attempt it, if he hadn’t had a good deal of practice. It was one “trick of the trade” that Hector, for reasons of his own, had invested a great deal of time in teaching to Owen.
A snippet of romance excerpt from the book: Jacek let Owen guide him to the bed. He nestled against Owen’s chest, savoring the warmth of his naked body. His drooping eyelids sank shut, quite unwillingly, as he laid his head on Owen’s shoulder. This was something new, something unknown to him. His fantasy Owen, and all the other nameless lovers he’d taken in the darkness of his flat, had never wanted to be with him afterward. They had fled like evil spirits at the words of his prayer. Leave me, devils. I cast you out. I reject you and all your evil promises. “Feels so strange,” he murmured.”
I, Theodocia McLean, endorse Beautiful to Behold (The Dark Brethren Series Book 1) by M.D. Wiselka for the author’s ability to tell the story with detail and human reflection. This review posted on June 9, 2015.
One hundred and fifty years have passed since his crossing, but the bearer, a man once known as Owen Adler, has yet to find a way of restoring himself to the life he lost and the man he loved. When his great lord and master, Seker, offers him his freedom in exchange for his aid in punishing a disobedient servant, Owen, believing he has nothing to lose and everything to gain, seizes the opportunity.
An Elder bearer called Melek, exiled a century before for an act of treachery, will soon return to his exalted place in Master Seker’s court. Before he does, Master Seker wishes Melek to be humbled before his brethren lords for his sin. To this end, Owen, assuming Melek’s guise, appears before the lords of the Hour a humble penitent. In the ninety days remaining him before his return to court, Owen, in Melek’s guise, vows to prove himself worthy of his office or return voluntarily to exile for another century.
To secure his freedom, Owen must survive the ninety days in Melek’s guise without being exposed a fraud. No easy task, now he can count, among his many enemies, the offended Lord Melek, a ruthless and vindictive monster who’ll stop at nothing to punish Owen and the ones he loves.
But the greatest danger of all may be Owen himself. To outwit the devilish fiend that would take his life, he must become a devil himself. Even if he succeeds in at last wresting his freedom from his cunning master, will Owen ever again be the man he was when last he held his beloved Jacek in his arms?
Publisher’s Note: Darkness Falls is a male-male love story and contains homoerotic sex acts that may be offensive to some readers.
When fifty-eight-year-old Mark Etson learns he has an inoperable brain tumor, he struggles to find a way to tell his beloved wife of forty years that he must soon leave her. But before he can share the bad news, she tells him she is leaving him for another man. Mark selflessly gives her the divorce she demands. Wanting to reconnect with his siblings, from whom he has been long estranged, Mark travels to London for the Christmas holiday, but too much time has passed. After a few days, he realizes that his dream of reconciliation with his family is just that–a dream. Unwilling to return home to Toronto, Mark moves on to Paris, where he intends to spend the last few days of his life seeing a city he had once planned to visit with a dear friend.
Twenty-six-year-old Ashley Wilkes came to Paris eight years before with a friend, intent on making a life for himself far from the family who disowned him. He soon learned, however, the high cost of living in a foreign capital. With no friend except the one he came with, Ashley was forced to make a life for himself the only way he could. Knowing that he can’t go on this way forever, or even for much longer, Ashley plans his escape. When a chance encounter with a Canadian businessman offers him a means of making some quick cash, he jumps at the chance. It’s only when he starts to care about Mark that things get complicated.
Publisher’s Note: Something True is a male-male love story and contains homoerotic sex acts that may be offensive to some readers.
Cold Coffee Press Spotlight Interview With Author M.D. Wiselka
Writing under the nom de plume M.D. Wiselka, Melinda Wiselka is the oldest of four daughters and one of the numerous descendants of a Polish family who immigrated from Wisła, Poland in 1913 to farm in Big Horn, Wyoming.
Melinda has traveled extensively throughout Europe and Asia over the last decade, visiting, among other places, Warsaw, Poland, the setting of her debut novel, a gay historical romance titled Beautiful to Behold, the first book in the Dark Brethren Series, released in November 2013.
Her second book, a gay paranormal romance titled Darkness Falls, the second book in the Dark Brethren Series, will be released in 2014.
What makes you proud to be a writer from Wheeling, West Virginia? I spent the first eighteen years of my life in my hometown of Wheeling, West Virginia before moving to Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania. Growing up in a once vibrant city (Wheeling was once the capital of the State of West Virginia), which had since fallen on hard times, gave me a great desire to learn my city’s own history. From there, I became a history buff in general.
What or who inspired you to become a writer? From the time I was ten, I was writing stories. Naturally, my first attempts at fiction were laughable. I had a wild imagination. This was a practical means of putting it to use.
When did you begin writing with the intention of becoming published? Around 2010, I decided to get serious about the novel I’d been working on for more than ten years. Because I was having no luck with getting an editor/publisher to even look at a sample chapter of my book, I decided to self-publish on Amazon. It was the best thing I ever did. It’s been an incredible experience for me, not only because of the wonderful reviews I’ve received, but also because of the effect it had on me as a writer. Before, I treated writing as a hobby. Now, I treat it as a job.
Did your environment or upbringing play a major role in your writing and did you use it to your advantage? I was raised a Roman Catholic and feel my religion has had a big impact on my writing, which may seem odd to those who’ve read my novels, because none of the three I’ve published would be in any way, shape or form considered Christian fiction.
Do you come up with your title before or after you write the manuscript? The original title of my first novel was Stranded on Another Shore. Shortly before I self-published, I changed the name to one I thought would better reflect the tone of the story: Beautiful to Behold. The love the main characters share for each other is what is beautiful to behold.
Please introduce your genre and why you prefer to write in that genre? All three of my self-published novels are gay romances. Two are paranormal romances; the third is a contemporary romance. I didn’t choose this genre. Strange as it sounds, it chose me. When I reviewed my first draft of Beautiful to Behold, it became clear to me that my two male leads loved each other. In the numerous drafts that followed, I more fully developed a relationship that was there from the start.
What was your inspiration, spark or light bulb moment that inspired you to write the book that you are seeking promotion for? I wrote an unpublished novel titled Olympic Voyage, a historical romance in which the main characters, Trent Linet and Violette Carvell, met and fell in love. The thought naturally followed: where would they and their family be in 1939, at the beginning of the Second World War. Beautiful to Behold was initially meant to be a family saga. After much consideration—and review and revision of drafts—I decided to strip the story down to a romance between the son of Trent Linet and Violette Carvell and a Polish partisan he met while in Warsaw at the beginning of the Second World War.
What has been your most rewarding experience with your writing process? It’s such a high to watch what was only a daydream in your head take on a life of its own in print. In the past, it was enough for me to enjoy my own writing. But to share it with others has been such a fantastic experience. On Christmas Eve, I received a review from a reader that made my day, week, month, year and lifetime. “I picked this book up looking for a light read to pass a few hours’ time. Wow, big mistake. The next thing I know, it’s 6 a.m. in the morning and I’m actually in physical pain from having stayed up to finish.” What writer doesn’t want to read a review like this?
What has been your most rewarding experience in your publishing journey? Self-publication has not only allowed me to get my book out there, but it has also enabled me to write the story that I wanted to tell, without having to compromise for the sake of making a buck.
What one positive piece of advice would you give to other authors? Read, read, and read was the best advice I ever got or can ever give.
Who is your favorite author and why? Frances Milton Trollope. She was a contemporary of Charles Dickens. A dry wit, with a great capacity for understanding character. Though every one of her books but one is out of print, I spent more than a decade hunting up copies through various sources—used bookshops, Google, etc. She was my mentor.
Why did you decide to give the story a supernatural element? As originally written, my novel had no supernatural angle. My dissatisfaction with the unhappy ending for my two lead characters made me rethink the story. After all, if I didn’t like it, my readers probably weren’t going to. Often, you must travel down many roads before finding the one that leads you where you want to go.
Being a teenager has its ups and downs. Being stuck between childhood and adulthood, it’s hard to know where to fit in. It’s an awkward and insecure time of life. There is the desire for independence coupled with a fear of standing out. Free to Be Me: A Book for Teens and Tweens uses relatable cartoon characters to discuss real issues such as stress, peer pressure, bullying, and teen fears. It also offers constructive ways adults can better support teens.
Free to Be Me validates the thoughts and experiences teens face on a day-to-day basis. While individual experiences may differ, the overall issues faced do not. Hopefully, the discussions within the book’s pages prove helpful not just to teens but also to the adults in their worlds.
Cold Coffee Review: This small book is packed with information for teens and tweens.
The ‘Free To Be Me’ book cover along with the illustrations inside the book are hand drawn.
Great Advice For Teens Quote: “Embrace Your Individually”.
What Issues Are Important To You As A Teen?
Are These Issues Gender, Race, Socio-Economic Or Demographically Specific?
What Is Your Biggest Fear Or Concern As A Teen?
What Can Adults Do To Support Teens Better?
What Programs or Systems Could Be Implemented To Support Teens Better?
My thoughts: This book is as much for parents as for teens. The best scenario would be for a teens and parents to read this book together and have open and safe dialog. In addition, I think adults who work with tweens and teens such as school teachers, school counselors, church leaders, scout leaders, civic organization youth leaders, librarians and all care givers should make this book available to youth and provide a safe place for discussion.
I, Theodocia McLean, endorse Free To Be Me: A Book For Teens and Tweens by Tara L. Kay PharmD MBA. When you purchase this book for your teen please download the author’s first book titled ‘Let The Sun Shine In: A Book Of Positive Affirmations For Kids’. As a grandmother I have purchased both these books and highly recommend them. I purchased this book from Kindle. This review completed on May 24, 2017.
Inspired by Louise Hay’s message, “Your thoughts create your life”, Let the Sun Shine In was created as a tool for children to learn and understand that they have control over their thoughts and words and, ultimately, what happens in their life.
Within the pages of Let the Sun Shine In, kids will learn the difference between negative thoughts and positive affirmations. Child-inspired illustrations and simple text demonstrate how to make the change from negative thoughts and words to positive ones. The happiness, freedom, and confidence that come from this ability are beneficial for children for their entire lives!
Genre: Children’s Non-Fiction
Cold Coffe Review: From a Grandmother’s point of view the book cover and title got my attention right away.
The title “Let The Sun Shine In” is above a child’s drawing of two children standing on a green landscape with flowers and blue clouds with the sun’s yellow rays permeating their world brought a smile to my face.
No greater time has our children, grandchildren and adults needed “Positive Affirmations”. The very fact that LifeRich Publishing (trademark of the Reader’s Digest Association Inc.) picked up this book tells me that they have put their stamp of approval on this book.
Author Tara L. Kay PharmD MBA, dedicates this book, “For the children-may you always cherish the gift of your uniqueness, and know that only you define you.”
Simple, positive life affirmations fill 24 white pages of this book with beautiful, colorful childrens’ drawings (with actual words from the children) will uplift children and adults. The drawing on each page has a border that makes me think they should be sewn into a patch work quilt. My grand-kids will love this book. Every child needs to read and hear these positive affirmations every day.
Tara L. Kay is a licensed clinical pharmacist who has been practicing for over fifteen years in various settings. Additionally, Tara is a certified Reiki master of Dr. Usui’s System of Natural Healing, and she has certification in craniosacral therapy with the Upledger Institute. Tara also practices EFT/tapping, a hands-on healing technique that balances and realigns energy. Tara incorporates alternative therapies into the scope of her practice as a pharmacist to improve the health and well-being of her clients. Tara strives to educate her clients and to facilitate their physical, spiritual, and emotional health and growth as they move along their own path toward enlightenment.
I, Theodocia McLean, endorse ‘Let The Sun Shine In: A Book Of Positive Affirmations For Kids’ by Tara L. Kay PharmD MBA. I purchased this book from Kindle and the review was completed on July 31, 2016.
Cold Coffee Press Spotlight Interview With Author Tara L. Kay PharmD MBA
Tara Kay grew up in Southern Connecticut and currently resides in North of Boston, Massachusetts. She has been a practicing pharmacist for over 15 years in various settings. Tara received her Bachelors in Pharmacy from the University of Connecticut at Storrs, her PharmD from the Massachusetts College of Pharmacy/Allied Health, her MBA from Fairfield University and her Ayurvedic Health Practitioner certification from the Natural Healing College. Additionally, Tara is a certified Reiki Master of Dr. Usui’s System of Natural Healing and she has certification in Cranio-sacral Therapy with the Upledger Institute. Tara also practices EFT/Tapping, a hands on healing technique that balances and realigns energy.
Tara incorporates Alternative Therapies into the scope of her practice as a Pharmacist to improve the health and well-being of her clients. Tara strives to educate her clients and to facilitate their physical, spiritual and emotional health and growth as they move along their own path towards enlightenment.
Tara’s practice is inspired by her life-long commitment to health and wellness. She is a dedicated, compassionate and devoted healthcare professional and healer. She takes a unique approach to healing with each client based on their need by using both her knowledge of medications, herbs and supplements and Alternative Therapies.
Tara believes that each individual holds the power to heal themselves and that by honoring the body, mind and spirit many miraculous awakenings can occur.
Tara published her first book entitled, “Let the Sun Shine in, a book of positive affirmations for kids” in June 2016. It was inspired by Louise Hay’s message, “your thoughts create your life, as well as Tara’s own experience with positive affirmations.
What makes you proud to be a writer from Massachusetts? The North Shore is an incredibly beautiful and inspiring place to live. I feel very fortunate to have moved here 6 years ago. It is a summer destination for many avid beach goers and outdoor enthusiasts, of which I am one and it also offers many cultural, educational and social activities.
What or who inspired you to become a writer? I believe my writing endeavor was divinely inspired. I have been a pharmacist for over 15 years and I have incorporated a number of alternative methods into my practice along the way. My focus has always been on health and wellness. While I have benefited from the messages and teachings of authors such as Louise Hays, I never thought about writing. After my divorce, I began using positive affirmations on a daily basis to help me through my healing process. Earlier this year, I took an amazing trip to South Africa where I was deeply moved by Nelson Mandela’s story. I returned home, sat down one evening and wrote the first draft of my book.
Did your environment or upbringing play a major role in your writing and did you use it to your advantage? I’ve always had an awareness level beyond my years. I knew this even as a child but didn’t fully understand it. I grew up in a home with a very controlling father and a mother whose voice was rarely heard. I can’t say my upbringing played a conscious role in my writing but it obviously sparked something within me.
When did you begin writing with the intention of becoming published? I returned home from an amazing trip to South Africa at the end of January 2016. In February, I left a job of 8.5years, started a new job and moved. During this time of transition, I came home from work one night and wrote the first draft manuscript. By the beginning of March, the illustrations were complete. I secured a publisher at the end of March.
What has been your most rewarding experience with your writing process? The outpouring of support, encouragement, enthusiasm and excitement. This is my first book. I realize it will be for some and not for others. I’m ok with that. I know in my heart that it will get into the hands of those that need and desire it.
What has been your most rewarding experience in your publishing journey? Navigating the world of self-publishing. At first it seemed overwhelming but I had the pleasure of working with a great team at Life Rich Publishing. They guided me step by step and made the process seamless.
How many published books do you have? Two.
Which book title would you like featured in this interview? Free To Be Me: A Book For Teens & Tweens by Tara L. Kay PharmD MBA
What one positive piece of advice would you give to other authors? Believe you can and you will.
Who is your favorite author and why? Harper Lee because she never gave up on her dream of being a writer. She persevered at a time when women’s rights are not what they are today. She achieved great honor and success and yet never got caught up in it.
Kurt, vampire Master of Seattle, Garrett Larkin, mage of Balthus Coven and Parker Berenson, alpha of the city’s werewolf pack, are in a world of trouble. Already divided by love and jealousy, the three discover their auras are inextricably bound, the result of a spellcasting gone terribly wrong. Each one’s aura has been invaded by the auras of the others, and the consequences are both frightening and deadly. Worse yet, Shen’zae Melera, interstellar assassin and Parker’s love, has returned to Earth with dire news: she didn’t return alone. She’d been followed by her nemesis, Mag Beloc, and his fleet of warships. Even if Beloc recaptures her, Melera knows that Earth will suit his purposes, and that his presence may well become permanent. Drawn together by choice and fate while doing what they had to do, can Kurt, Garrett, and Parker now find a way to undo the magick that binds them, and with Melera, stop an alien invasion before it begins?
Cold Coffee Review: Invasion by Roxane Bland begins as Kurt (vampire Master of Seattle) “fears the very powers that he almost died twice for are weakening.” Meanwhile Parker Berenson (alpha of Seattle’s werewolf pack) contemplates his love for “Melera (interstellar assassin) who, as the story opens, has left him for her home galaxy.” Garrett Larkin (powerful witch and mage of the Balthus Coven) discovers that there might not be a counter spell as she, Kurt and Garrett auras have been bound by a spell gone bad.
Author Roxanne Bland is a great urban dark fantasy story teller that pushes the limits in the US city of Seattle Washington, which is now the tale of two cities. One city is for the humans and the other city plays out in the darkness under the moon. For me the ‘Invasion’ follows ‘The Underground’ extremely well. With vampires, werewolves, shapeshifters and space aliens, this adult adventure is fast paced, graphic, and puts “Earth in Mag Beloc’s—Melera’s alien nemesis cross hairs.”
I always quote a passage to reveal the Author’s writing style without spoiling the story. “Inside Melera’s huge cavern base, Parker lay on her bed half asleep, luxuriating in his vacation from the world. These last eight days or so with Melera had been like heaven. No phones, no clients, no pack, just the two of them.
He smiled as he listened to her play her whatchamacallit and sing along with it. At first, it sounded more like noise—screeches, howls and growls—than music. But the more he listened, the easier it was to make out themes and motifs, and at times, he could even follow its syncopated rhythms. He’d gotten to the point where he actually kind of liked the piece.
His smile faltered. Melera wasn’t playing her instrument for his benefit, he knew. It was the code she was trying to break, that would alert her battle fleet for delivery to the Vst.”
I, Theodocia McLean, endorse Invasion by Roxanne Bland as this adult dark urban fantasy is an easy read after I got to know some of the characters in ‘The Underground’. Each book stands alone and will hold your attention if you love all the things that could go bump in the night on the ground and overhead. I purchased this book from Kindle. This review was written on November 6, 2017
Roxanne Bland does bestselling authors Charlaine Harris, Kim Harrison, J.R. Ward, and Laurell K. Hamilton one better with The Underground–rocketing into the upper ranks of urban dark fantasy and paranormal romance by adding a touch of science fiction to the fantastic, horrific, erotic mix. Set in an alternate Seattle, Washington, Bland’s heart-pounding, deliciously sexy adventure imagines a city where communities of “exotics”–shapeshifters, witches, elves, and vampires–live among the murderous human population and are ruled over by the cruel, insatiable vampire, Kurt.
The powerful alpha male of the city’s werewolf pack, Parker Berenson, is one of the Master’s enslaved servants, and he would like nothing better than to hasten the downfall of the vampire overlord who stole his love, the beautiful mage Garrett Larkin. But in a night city already on the razor’s edge–in the midst of a spate of inexplicable bloody murders–the alpha wolf’s passionate encounter with a stunning interstellar assassin could upset the very delicate balance and ignite a war that neither exotics nor humans can survive.
Cold Coffee Review: The Underground (Second Edition) by Roxanne Bland is a blend of genres which include science fiction, dark urban fantasy and paranormal romance with an adult theme which includes profanity, violence and graphic erotic content.
It is not lions and tigers and bears, but rather werewolves, vampires, witches, and shapeshifters called “Exotics” that rule the night. You will either love it or hate it depending on your ability to meld into the author’s fantasy world and find something strangely different about her cast of characters.
Set in an alternate Seattle Washington where the night hours are more than bewitching, they are truly murderous. The book opens with Parker Berenson, alpha of Seattle’s werewolf fighting to stay in human form. Like many good stories, a love has been lost and someone or something must pay. Parker has anger issues and Garrett (Powerful Witch) is his former girlfriend and perhaps the only one who can truly see “the big picture”.
I always quote a passage to reveal the Author’s writing style without spoiling the story. With ninety-one chapters in this book, I chose an excerpt from Chapter 10.
“At nine a.m. on February second, a cinquet of five witches arrived to fetch Garrett for the first of her many ritual baths. They discovered her sitting naked in a half lotus on the floor, deep in a meditative trance.
Garrett had been awake for hours. She’d had too much on her mind the night before and hadn’t slept well. At five, she’d gotten out of bed and showered. After that, she’d meditated on the silk prayer rug next to the bed, hoping she could replace at least some of her lost sleep. The last thing she needed was to be incapacitated by fatigue when she channeled Goddess.
The cinquet waited in respectful silence until Garrett came out of her trance. Her gaze settled on Paul. “Good morning, Garrett,” he spoke for the other four witches.
Rising from the prayer rug, Garrett stepped over to Paul and kissed him on both cheeks, and then did the same to the others. Pinkie pre- sented her with a pair of soft indoor moccasins. Georgia held up a white, silk-lined satin robe and helped her put it on.
Paul smiled. “Ready, my Lady?” “I’m ready.”
The elder turned and with Garrett walking behind, led the group out of the bedroom to the purification room. The room’s most prominent feature was a square, white, marble Jacuzzi large enough for two people. One side was set into a wall covered with a slab of marble that rose half- way to the ceiling. Neck-sized indentations had been scooped out along the tub’s upper edge. From there, the tub sloped to its bottom, providing back support.
The rest of the wall to which the tub was attached, as well as the room’s other three walls, was covered in dense, dark blue carpet. The floor was laid with waterproofed linoleum in the same color. A series of wall sconces provided a dim light.
I love being in here. The room always evoked in Garrett a sense of inviolate safety, a comfort she never felt outside the Temple’s walls. This must be the way a baby feels in its mother’s womb.”
I, Theodocia McLean, endorse The Underground (Second Edition) by Roxanne Bland as an adult dark urban fantasy that will either grab and hold your attention or turn you off depending on your appetite for violent, graphic and erotic content. I purchased this book from Kindle. This review was written on June 9, 2017.
In the world-building tradition of Andre Norton, Anne McCaffrey and Ursula K. LeGuin, The Moreva of Astoreth is a blend of science fiction, romance, and adventure in a unique, richly imagined imperialistic society in which gods and science are indelibly intertwined. It is the story of the priestess, scientist, and healer Moreva Tehi, the spoiled, headstrong granddaughter of a powerful deity who is banished for a year to a volatile far corner of the planet for neglecting to perform her sacred duty, only to venture into dangerous realms of banned experimentation, spiritual rebirth, and fervent, forbidden love.
Cold Coffee Press Interview With Author Roxanne Bland
Roxanne Bland grew up in Washington, D.C., where she discovered strange and wonderful new worlds through her local library and bookstores. These and other life experiences have convinced her that reality is highly overrated.
What makes you proud to be a writer from Baltimore? I can’t say that I’m proud to be a writer from anywhere (though I will say that while my living in Baltimore is happenstance, Washington, D.C. is my home). Writing is simply what I do, and it’s what I do best.
What or who inspired you to become a writer? I suppose you could say it was the books I read as a child. They wrote down their stories; maybe I could write down my stories, too. But those little stories never saw the light of day. I threw them out. Then, I won a writing contest when I was around ten. You’d think that would have been my clue, but it sailed right over my head. I wrote off and on over the next several decades, but it wasn’t until the 2000s that it dawned on me that “hey, I’m pretty good at this, and it’s fun!”
Did your environment or upbringing play a major role in your writing and did you use it to your advantage? Not really. Back in those days, I wrote to pass the time (when I had any!), or as a school exercise. My focus was on becoming a career musician. Incredibly time consuming. I did have one high school teacher who suggested that I become a writer, but of course, at that time, it was out of the question.
When did you begin writing with the intention of becoming published? Sometime in the early 2000s. I wrote a little piece while recovering from illness, and a dear friend browbeat me into making it into a novel. When I realized that I actually might have something, I started shopping it around. No takers. Then I was lucky enough to find an editor who saw promise in my scribblings and agreed to work with me to polish it up. No, that’s not true. We didn’t just polish it up, we made it into an entirely new book.
What has been your most rewarding experience with your writing process? I love watching the words spill out over the page (or pixels on a screen, as the case may be). My thoughts, my characters, my story—coming to life. Some writers say that writing “the end” is their reward. To me, writing those two little words is kind of a letdown. Of course, that’s when you start writing another book.
What has been your most rewarding experience in your publishing journey? Founding my publishing house, Blackrose Press. My idea is to publish works by people of color. I’ll be ready to take on submissions from other writers sometime in 2018. We’ll start off as an ebook publisher, and then, if the sales warrant, graduate to POD. I’m starting small; only two books per year. Hopefully, when Blackrose Press matures, I’ll be able to publish more.
Please tell us the genre of each of your books. The Underground books are paranormal urban fantasy/science fiction with romantic elements. The Moreva of Astoreth is a science fiction/romance.
Do you come up with your title(s) before or after you write the manuscript? Usually while I’m writing the book. I have working titles so I can find it in my files, but the working title never becomes the final title. For example, the working title for The Underground was The Alien Within.
Please introduce your genre and why you prefer to write in that genre? I write paranormal urban fantasy and science fiction. I don’t know that I prefer to write in those genres. It’s more like those are the channels in which my imagination runs.
Which book title would you like featured in this interview? The Underground: Second Edition
What was your inspiration, spark or light bulb moment that inspired you to write the book (one book) that you are seeking promotion for? It was the reviews that I received for The Underground. The readers obviously saw merit in the book, but it had issues. So, after kicking it around in my head for a couple of years, I decided to rewrite it. I felt I owed to it my readers to produce a better book, but more than that, I owed it to myself as a writer
What one positive piece of advice would you give to other authors? Keep writing and don’t give up.
Who is your favorite author and why? Edgar Allan Poe. I love the lyrical flow of his words, especially his poems (and I’m not into poetry). I know his style of writing is out of date, but I’d love to be able to write like him.
In 2055 the U.S. is a 3,000-mile-wide graveyard. Inside the country’s borders, a war against the world is about to begin.
After Commander Harold Mitchell’s murder, Stone Rivers, an idealistic young graduate is called in to head up Delta Squad. His first day in charge is the day he loses his second in command.
Lieutenant Jade McKay should’ve been given command of Delta, but instead was put in charge of investigating Mitchell’s murder, the very murder she’s been accused of committing. On the night she begins her investigation, a sinister branch of the government that will stop at nothing to unlock the classified secrets buried deep in her subconscious, takes her captive.
Elija Tyrell will do anything to destroy Jade, including going back through time to re-make the world they came from.
U.C. Director Antoine Pecho will do anything to get his “Pet Project” back home where she belongs, including giving her to Tyrell.
Cold Coffee Review: The world and the United States of America as we know it in 2015, is unrecognizable in 2055. The CIA, Homeland Security, ATF and DEA are all merged into one body now called the U.C. or Upper Command.
The Army, Navy, Air Force and Marines are merged into the New United Military Alliance or NUMA which is under the control of President Clayton Maxwell in 2055. History had repeated itself with mandatory DNA collection and the desire to create a perfect race. During this engineered holocaust America’s population was decimated forcing many of the remaining citizens’ into catacombs and tunnels, where they later became known as “Unders”.
Lieutenant Jade McKay is a trained assassin working between NUMA and the Unders to ‘take back the topside’. She has been implanted with a microscopic computer chip with “binary coding tendrils attached along her visual pathway” which make her memory almost photographic. Jade is able to carry out any mission as long as it doesn’t conflict with her basic principles. (Jade is not only hyper-kinetic and telepathic, she has to contend with the side effects of a hybrid drug that suppresses her neural impulses that cause nightmares.)
Upon return from an assignment to protect Darien Rivers, the man most directly responsible for helping NUMA break away from Maxwell’s control, Jade finds herself arrested and charged with the murder of her Commander, Harold Mitchell. But like all superior soldiers Jade has an enemy named Elija Tyrell who is out to destroy and even kill her. Working with the local UC branch Elija takes Jade prisoner determined to find out whether or not she can be compromised.
This adversary will stop at nothing to accomplish his goals including going back in time to change history. I like this quote from Jade, “Something’s going to happen today. I swear I’ll kill him if he keeps pushing.” The sense rushed through her veins, carried in every cell of her blood to every nerve fiber, axon and dendrite. As sure as she was breathing, something huge lay in the shadows of this little corner of the universe. “I wonder if anyone else feels it. Whatever it is, I’m not gonna like it.”
What a great read. Become mesmerized in Jades ice green eyes and her abilities as ‘Wednesday’s Child’ continues with book two of the series called ‘Into the Fire’ and book three ‘Fortune’s Tide’ in the ‘Freedom Fighter Series’.
I, Theodocia McLean, endorse ‘Wednesday’s Child’ by J. A. Carlton as a science fiction, action, suspense, mystery thriller. This book was given to me. The review was completed on March 19, 2015.
The Future Has Been Determined, You’re NOT in it. With their plans to re-design the human race about to be exposed to the global community, and their murderous regime coming to an end; in a last-ditch effort to maintain its grip on the few remaining citizens of the United States, the U.C. has unleashed a doomsday weapon onto the populous. Once again, it’s up to Jade McKay, Stone Rivers, and the rest of Delta Squad to save the nation from the psychotic ravages of a living weapon with its own agenda; and bring their country back from the brink of destruction.
Fortune’s Tide is the third book in the “Freedom Fighter” trilogy. “Wednesday’s Child”, “Into The Fire”, and “Fortune’s Tide”.
Twenty years ago, in the town of Sedalia, serial child murderer Eddy Jay was killed.
Now, on the anniversary of his death, he’s back to finish what he started over forty years ago.
Justin Sanders hunts ghosts, demons, and things that go bump in the night, it’s in his blood.
When the spirit of Edward Jacob Simons returns to claim ‘the one that got away’, the young psychic finds himself embroiled in a supernatural game of cat and mouse that started decades before he was born.
Nick and Frank Emerson are destined to lead a band of heroes in a war against agents of the living dark. Trapped in a world they could not have foreseen they begin to understand the role that destiny has designed for them. Working in concert, two halves of a severed soul must face the curse that shattered worlds tens of thousands of years ago and act to bring universes back into balance before they crumble. Darkness is once again stretching forth its hand to consume our worlds in fire and Chaos. The time for the return of Heroes is upon us.
This beginners reference guide to massage is a wonderful way to open your relationships to new levels of trust and intimacy. The information, anatomical understanding, pictures and explained techniques are perfect for the lay person to begin cultivating deeper relationships with family, friends and even lovers. This author, unlike most massage therapists does not shy away from the idea that some of these techniques will be used in the bedroom but offers gentle reminders about respect and mutual sharing that can be applied to every aspect of the reader’s life.
Cold Coffee Press Spotlight Interview With Author J. A. Carlton
Award Winning Author J. A. Carlton blasts through genre barriers, first with her horrifying psychological thrillers ‘Broken’ and Soul Hunter. With a penchant for epic series Jill has published ‘Wednesday’s Child’, ‘Into The Fire’ and ‘Fortune’s Tide’ of her ‘Freedom Fighter Series’. ‘Nick, Of Time’, ‘Second Hand’, and ‘The Third Race’ are the first three installments of her ‘Heroes Of The Line Series’.
Jill currently lives and writes in Austin, Texas. She is a Certified Hypnotherapist, Speaker, Author and Screenwriter.
Entertain as many people as possible!
Inspire others to achieve their dreams!
To explore the human condition creatively!
To learn and share!
What makes you proud to be a writer from Austin, TX? Austin has an absolutely incredible and supportive arts community. There’s an openness and appreciation for so many different mediums here.
What or who inspired you to become a writer? My mom. She’s the one who instilled a love of reading and literature in me. She’s the one who taught me to find the bliss within the pages. From there, writing I suppose was a natural progression.
When did you begin writing with the intention of becoming published? When I was twelve. Though I was in my mid-thirties before I believed that what my characters had to say had validity.
Did your environment or upbringing play a major role in your writing and why? Absolutely. My mother was an English teacher who instilled in me a love of literature and the myriad worlds that could be mine if I only dared to believe and open my mind! I grew up with a family that cherished education and imaginative expansion.
Do you come up with your title (s) before or after you write the manuscript (s)? Usually the ‘logline’ holds the title. I also write screenplays, so once I have the concept, a working title comes relatively quickly.
Tell us why you write the genre (s) that you write? I like things a little spicy so work mostly with Thrillers and Supernatural themes. I tend to think of genres as ingredients in a recipe, so I love mixing and blending their elements in the hopes of creating a unique flavor to my particular story telling voice. Also, exploring human behavior in relationships is utterly fascinating and employing multiple genres gives a far more well-rounded view of a character and how they interact with the world on different levels and under different circumstances.
Tell us your most rewarding experience while in the writing process? The moment when you know your characters will prevail in spite of, AND because of whom their experiences have made them.
Tell us your most rewarding experience in your publishing journey? The day a client told me she was going to start a small press so that she could put my works out there in the world. She believed in me so much that she started a press geared toward getting new authors with unique voices a chance to be read.
What one positive piece of advice would you give to other authors? If writing is what you love, don’t ever stop. Learn from others, how to run a business, learn to network. (I don’t mean slamming the keys at the local coffee shop… meet people, join writers’ groups. You will suck many lemons before you find the right people to work and grow with but when you do, it’ll all be worth it.).
Who is your favorite author? The first author who made me pursue her works was Marguerite Henry.
Is there anything else that you would like to share with us? Yes. Please, if you love to write do it! Invest in an editor, one you can meet with face to face. Believe in your voice BUT… understand your market. Do you have a point? If so, stick with it. Do you want to be the next Rowling? Meyers? Koontz? Learn the art and structure of story then as you write consider both the market and yourself. It can be a beautiful compromise! Just understand what you want and why.
A love that cannot be denied ~ and a love that cannot be. Who will win? It’s only a matter of time.
Jessica James needs a new job and her only prospect as a nanny is with a remotely located veterinarian who only wants a “mature” candidate. But youthful Jess has faced tougher challenges, and she is determined to show the very handsome yet rude widower that she is the perfect choice to care for his autistic 4-year-old daughter, no matter how much he scowls.
Dr. Ben Arnold is still grieving, and not only about the recent death of his beautiful wife. He is still coping with the knowledge his profound love for her was unreciprocated. The demands of working and taking care of Amber, his autistic young daughter, have Ben overwhelmed and the last thing he needs is an insanely strong physical reaction to a nanny who is the first to seem to connect with his beloved delicate daughter – and the last he thinks he can handle in his life.
Jess is an unseasonal storm to suddenly sweep through Ben’s life and may be the balm he needs. While strange occurrences all around them defy answers and explanations, the unexpected arrival of Ben’s late wife’s sisters, including her identical twin, on the one-year anniversary of her death does nothing to help dispel the intense and instant desire between Jess and Ben – and Jess’ glimpses of a lifelong past only adds to the surreal sense of the estate called Weltevreden.
Cold Coffee Review: Goodbye, My Love by Maggie Tideswell starts with a poem titled Goodbye My Love by Demis Roussos.
Chapter one opens with main character (heroine) Jessica James standing outside a spooky deserted house on Friday the 13th with lightening flashing in the distance. She was there to meet Amber who lives in her own autistic world and consider becoming her next caretaker.
With strong characters and twenty-eight well written chapters the reader is engaged when an elderly woman comes to the door. Jumping ahead to chapter eight Jessica (Jess) was nearly killed when a huge chandelier crashed to the floor just missing her. What else would this old house scare up and why?
Here is a brief example of Maggie’s writing style. “The blue light of daybreak was just beginning to lift the gloom in the room, yet Jess was already bathed and dressed, her face shining without makeup. She had to finger comb her hair again, leaving it fluffy and wild, framing her face. When she pulled the drapes aside, she was greeted by a breathtaking sight. The mountains, a deep, crisp blue in the early light, looked almost close enough to touch.
But she was exhausted. If that was what Friday the thirteenth was like, she would avoid the next one by spending the day in bed with a book and her phone switched off. Yet she knew there had to be a perfectly logical explanation for everything that happened, and she was going to find it before she left this strange house. If she didn’t, she would be wondering about it forever.”
If you enjoy romance, time Travel, paranormal and ghosts, like me you will find it a suspenseful and satisfying read. Maggie is a well-established paranormal romance writer with the Bridesmaids, Weddings & Honeymoons Series, Moragh’s Ghost Saga (series) and the Roxanne’s Ghost Saga (series).
I invite you to open the door and keep turning the page. I leave you with this quote titled Friday, 13 November by Soraya: “To my candle burning bright Protect my secret here tonight None shall listen, none shall see Just the candle flame and me”.
I, Theodocia McLean, endorse and encourage you to enjoy Goodbye, My Love by Maggie Tideswell. I purchased this book from Kindle. This review was completed on August 2, 2017.
A marriage of convenience, helpful fey friends, hidden agendas, and a haunting—can love blossom? Set in the beautiful winelands of the Southern Cape in South Africa, strange things start happening from the moment Holly accepts Joshua’s offer of marriage—in response to an advert placed in the newspaper by Holly’s ‘helpful’ friends. They meet for the first time on the steps of the chapel where they are to be married.
Holly has to solve a thirty-year-old mystery before the ghost that is haunting her will be at peace. Over and above everything that is taking place, Holly and Joshua do battle with her ex-husband over their two children, as well as Joshua’s fiancée who is not the least bit happy about his marriage to another woman and gets up to all sorts to show her displeasure.
Risky as the marriage between strangers is—is it possible for Holly and Joshua to fall in love?
Genre: Romance, Paranormal, Ghosts, Literature & Fiction, Horror
Bridesmaids, Weddings & Honeymoons Series Runaway Couple
2 more books to come in this series
It is said that the maid of honor and the best man are the most likely to have sex on a wedding night. Add a love-hate relationship and throw a couple of ghosts into the mix, and you have the runaway couple.
Eloise chose a Gothic themed wedding for her and Dane, complete with remote setting, flickering candles, flaming torches and shadows, all geared toward scaring the guests. The stormy weather and swirling mists were a bonus.
But the person most scared is the maid of honor, the bride’s elder sister, Piper. She didn’t do creep. Added to that, she’s been lumped together with Marcus, the best man and the bane of Piper’s teenage life. He was a prankster of renown when they were growing up. As the boy-next-door, he singled Piper out for the best he could come up with. She didn’t trust him then, and she certainly didn’t trust him now.
As the runaway couple, will they follow the traditional path? Or will Piper’s dislike and mistrust of Marcus win out?
Set in South Africa, the Runaway Couple is the first book in a set of steamy romances about bridesmaids, weddings and honeymoons that will appeal to the young and the young at heart alike.
Genre: Literature & Fiction, Romance, Erotica, Paranormal
Eloise had the wedding of her dreams—all arranged and finalized within a month.
Now that the wedding night was upon her, her fears reared their ugly heads. Dane, her new husband was really a stranger to her. In hindsight, Eloise realized she shouldn’t have insisted they wait for their wedding night to have sex. It wasn’t that she was inordinately traditional, only that Dane should have been given a choice in the matter.
Because Eloise had a secret.
Dane and Eloise left for the beautiful Maldives on a two week honeymoon. In this idyllic setting, life threw her a curve ball.
Because Dane had a secret, too.
She would have put up with a number of things, but this particular secret could shatter her belief in fairytale weddings.
How was she supposed to deal with another wife?
Genre: Romance, Paranormal, Ghosts, Literature & Fiction, Erotica, Paranormal
Assumptions are invariably incorrect. Yet, people will stick with what they believe. Just as Rubi believed herself to be married for six years, until it was proven that she’d never been married at all. Finding herself a free agent again after years of waiting for her elusive husband, Rubi needed a man.
Upset by the echoes of her sordid past, Nathan walked into her life at precisely the right moment. Handsome, hot, and gay, he could only be a temporary distraction, or so she assumed. But what she didn’t take into account was that Nathan might have other plans for her. Even so, she wanted the real thing—a relationship, stability, and love—and Nathan couldn’t give that to her. Or so she assumed.
To prove her wrong about him, he abducted her and took her to the place where they first met, at Dane and Eloise’s wedding the week before. Back at the lodge, they find themselves in the same haunted room. Between the ghosts and Rubi’s insistence that he is gay, would Nathan succeed in changing her perception of him?
To add to her doubts, there’s also the matter of a certain secret he’s not ready to share.
A spellbinding novel of love, murder, and the supernatural.
Chance meetings can have far-reaching effects. Loved ones may not be who they seem. The line between comprehension and confusion is thin ~ particularly when one’s thoughts are being manipulated by another.
In Dark Moon, the eternal triangle takes an innovative twist into the occult as dark magic fights against those who serve the Light.
The prize? A woman’s soul.
Genre: Literature & Fiction, Horror, Occult, Audible Audiobooks, Romance
A marriage of convenience, helpful fey friends, hidden agendas, a custody battle that cannot be won and a haunting – could love blossom? Set in the beautiful wine lands of the southern Cape in South Africa, strange things start happening from the moment Holly accepted Joshua’s offer of marriage.
Genre: Literature & Fiction, Horror, Ghosts, Romance, Audible books, Paranormal
Cold Coffee Press Spotlight Interview With Maggie Tideswell
Maggie Tideswell is a South African author with a passion for romance. All over the world people are falling in love, even the birds and the bees are doing it. Ghosts just can’t seem to leave her alone and she combines things that can’t be explained, sweaty bodies and rumpled beds in a way that will make your toes curl and your hair stand on end.
Maggie just can’t do without perfume, coffee and the internet. She is nearly as passionate about food as she is about creating alpha heroes every woman will fall in love with, just as she does, every time. The strangest thing is that cats have never played any kind of role in her stories, as she is owned by three of them. That might change soon.
What makes you proud to be a writer from South Africa? I’m a South African author – and believe me, there are many of us! To the world, South Africa is a unique and exotic place to visit and I like to bring a bit of the beauty of my country and the diversity of the population to the world in my books. I write from a South African perspective in that my stories are set in my home country, which gives me a unique voice readers have commented positively on.
What or who inspired you to become a writer? The love of books. As a young child I was fascinated by the idea that someone sat down and wrote so many words to tell a story. >From early on I was always thinking up stories of my own, but it was only when I was in my 40s (2002) that I thought to actually write then down. I still love the feel of a book in my hands, the smell of the paper, the solidity of it.
Did your environment or upbringing play a major role in your writing and did you use it to your advantage? Not really. I grew up protestant and at the age of 16 shocked the family when I wanted to become a Nun. I did convert to Catholicism after I left school and later became interested in the Craft and Paganism, which plays a large part in my writing.
When did you begin writing with the intention of becoming published? I started writing in 2002. I remember the day well. I was working in catering on a weekend and, because there was nothing for me to do, I started typing a scene on work’s computer. I rushed home after my shift and wrote another scene. I gave it the title of An Absolute Bargain, which grew into Moragh, Holly’s Ghost. I suppose from the beginning I had an eye on becoming a published author, but I didn’t know how to go about getting published. It wasn’t until 2011, after writing 7 more full novels that my dream became a reality. I actually published my 2nd novel, Dark Moon, first.
What has been your most rewarding experience with your writing process? Holding my first published book in my hands. It was a profound moment complete with tears, racing heart and sweaty palms.
How many published books do you have? 9 of which 3 are out of print
Please list the titles of all your books:
Bridesmaids, Weddings & Honeymoons Series 1) Runaway Couple
2) He’s Married
3) You’re Wrong
2 more books to come in this series
Moragh’s Ghost Saga 1) A Convenient Marriage 2 more books to come in this series
Roxanne’s Ghost Saga 1) Goodbye, My Love 2) PS: I Love You – out 23 October
Moragh, Holly’s Ghost I self-published under the title A Convenient Marriage when the contract ended and the rights reverted back to me, so I’m not promoting Moragh, Holly’s Ghost. Dark Moon’s rights also reverted to me when the contract ended and is now a duology titled JJ: book 1- True Colors and book 2 – Unleashed. I am self-publishing then next year March and May. I have the covers ready if you’d like to add them to the website in a Soon to be Released section? Oh, and Silent Night, a fantasy novella set at Christmas time – it doesn’t have a Christmas theme. I withdrew this book because I want to work on it. I want to work it into full-length book.
Please introduce your genre and why you prefer to write in that genre? I write paranormal (ghost) romance. I always specify that hauntings play a large part in my stories as opposed to what people normally expect paranormal to mean – vampires, zombies, creatures with tentacles and many rows of teeth. Ghosts create a fear of what cannot be seen – and let’s face it, everyone likes to be scared. Doors creaking open, sounds there are no explanation for, these are the stuff of true goose bumps. I am fascinated by ghosts, why some people rest in peace after death and others not. I’ve made a study of the different types of hauntings. Sometimes there is no way of interacting with a ghost as their appearance is more like a recording of a past event that merely plays over and over again in a specific place. The ghost in A Convenient Marriage is mostly this kind. Poltergeists – noisy ghosts – throws things around, slams doors and can interact with the living – the ghost in Roxanne’s Ghost Saga.
What one positive piece of advice would you give to other authors? My advice is two-fold: write every day and Never give up. Writing is a craft that has to be practiced to be perfected. By writing every day, be it a blog post, an article or work on your WIP, you practice your own individual writing style to become good at it. And the second part, if we had to go weak in the knees under criticism, not books will ever be written. Always bear in mind what you write won’t appeal to everyone, but for every story there IS an audience. Therefore, never give up your dream – it is achievable.
Who is your favorite author and why? I enjoy Barbara Erskine’s books, because she writes similar stories to mine – set in the present but going back in time.
Hawk McCoy is a fifth-grade boy looking for a mystery in his hometown of Izlet Bay, Georgia.
He has his Fingerprints for All Occasions Guide, and his Super Sleuth 100 to work with.
Where will he find his mystery?
He and his best friend, Sandy Sue South walk dogs, garden, wash doors, and they do find mysterious sisters living in their town.
Cold Coffee Review: Hawk McCoy is a boy with an imagination. For all us adults who grew up exploring our neighborhood, solving mysteries with our neighborhood side-kicks, it is time to share stories like this with our children, grandchildren and great children in the hopes they too will leave the comfort of their game console and explore the world around them.
I wonder how many fifth graders today are using their imaginations to explore the world around them like Hawk McCoy and his best friend Sandy Sue.
The book is divided up into dated events like: MORNING: 6/4/2013, 9:00AM WASHINGTON, DC- GOVERNMENT OFFICE OF PROTECTION.
Mary T. Kincaid has written four middle grade books and has contributed to at least three anthologies.
I, Theodocia McLean, endorse Hawk McCoy: The Penthiads by Mary T Kincaid as the author reminds me of the endearing Aunt who lets you explore her basement, attic, yard, and neighborhood with gadgets made from items found around her home. I purchased this book from Kindle. This review was posted on May 3, 2018.
Genre: Children’s eBooks, Mysteries & Detectives, Fantasy & Supernatural, Science Fiction, Fantasy & Scary Stories, Fantasy & Magic
Mason Garcia struggles to find new interests and make friends away from his surfing and his beloved ocean. In a town with no surfing he finds a spooky park just down the block from his new house. Is it haunted?
Can everyone see the Punwees?
He sees them through his bedroom window. They open a door in a walnut on the tree and stand on the branch of a tree. Spend time in the world of little people. Imagine that there are little people all around your house, yard, and school. Mason is sent to counseling because no one else sees the little people, and his parents think he is having trouble adjusting to the move. Is it always better to talk to someone about what is going on in your life?
Can Mason find someone to play video games with beside the little people who are very competitive?
Everyone serious about something knows what it is like when they meet people who are not as serious as they are.
Practice your reading with this adventure. A good story to read in chapters. This fantasy will expand your vocabulary and introduce you to Mason’s world.
About The Author I’m an Oklahoma girl who spent thirty years living in the deep South. I’m an observer. Everything can be the basis of a good story. Story ideas are everywhere. No need to give you my dates like I’ve passed from this life. I’m here. It’s now.
Let’s read. I write stories for children. The golden age of adventure when they can still use their imagination is between the ages of six and twelve. I love creating worlds for them to explore. Reading is so important. It is the gateway to their future.
I live with two cranky cats in northeast Oklahoma. I’m a widow.
Cold Coffee Review: Little Worlds Of Magic helps children understand the struggles of moving and leaving their friends behind.
Main character Mason lives in a loving military family where travel is part of life. His parents are wise to encourage him to make new friends in hopes that his imaginary friends will no longer be needed.
As a grandparent who moved around a lot as a child, this book not only brought back memories but will make a great Christmas gift for my 7-year grand-daughter who reading well above her age.
Author Mary T. Kincaid has a wonderful imagination and her love for children shines through.
This is the second book that I have read by Mary T Kincaid. I give this book five stars. I believe that a child as young as seven (who can read) and perhaps as old as twelve will enjoy this easy to read book. One hundred and fourth six easy to read pages with beautiful black and white illustrations by Doriano Strologo.
I, Theodocia McLean, endorse Little Worlds of Magic by Mary T Kincaid. I purchase this book from Amazon print. This review was completed on November 11, 2016.
The story of a mole who hears singing the day he is born drifting into his den.
His family doesn’t make any noises like singing, so where is it coming from?
Will he have the nerve to defy traditions and venture into no mole territory?
Can he have membership in two worlds?
Join him and see.
Cold Coffee Review: As a Grandmother I can highly recommend Mortimer for ages 4 and up.
Mortimer is a mole who is curious about the world him from birth. Even though he tends to break all the rules, his world becomes far more than a hole in the ground. He tests his parent’s patience and his boundaries to learn and try new things. In doing so he makes friends and overcomes fear.
There are 39 pages with eleven short chapters. The chapters are titled, The Beginning, Ignorance, Curiosity, Big Paws, Mission, New Plan, To The surface, Despair, The Invention, Sharing and Dancing. There are eleven cute hand drawn illustrations.
Interesting story with good dialog to keep any young child, boy or girl interested.
A great bedtime read.
I, Theodocia McLean, endorse Mortimer: Chapter Book For Early Readers by Mary Kincaid. A new children’s book titled ‘Little Words Of Magic’ is promised to be released this year. I purchased this book from Kindle. The review was completed on May 13, 2016.
In the spirit of “Teapot Tales: A Collection of Unique Fairy Tales” is this wonderful second volume of short stories to enjoy!
With stories to enchant readers of all ages, this collection of pirate and mermaid stories will open your eyes to the magic that can be found under the sea.
Let yourself be pulled into the magical worlds found within these stories. From pirates and sea monsters to kind-hearted mermaids and flesh-eating sirens, let these charming ocean tales sweep you away into the realm of fantasy.
With twenty-six stories, including four poems, written by seventeen different authors from around the world, “Teapot Tales: Pirates, Mermaids and Monsters of the Sea” is a wonderful collection of short stories, each story just long enough to enjoy with a cup of tea.
Something to Take on the Trip is loaded with short stories for people who have a limited amount of time to read a bit of something every day.
Aimed at commuters and people on journeys short and long, each story is just the right length for your trip.
Comedy, romance, drama, mystery, science fiction and everything in between, there is something here for you whatever your mood!
This is no ordinary anthology. Aimed at readers 18 – 80 it contains a variety of genres from a variety of authors.
The writers who contributed to this book come from locations across 4 continents, and kindly donated their work in aid of a children’s hospital charity.
Contributing Authors: Kevin J. Anderson, Aditi Bathia, Graham Brand, Donald R. Broyles, Cora Buhlert, Neil Bursnoll, Jamie Campbell, Michael Carmella, T.L. Champion, Helen Cho, Samuel Clements, J. David Core, Cate Dean, Stephen Drivick, Dan Fiorella, Erin Garlock, David Gerrold, Edward M. Grant, Sheila Guthrie, Jamie Horyski, Mary Kincaid, Paul B. Kohler, Paul Levinson, Kevin A. Lyons, Kelly Lytle, Ron McLarty, John L. Monk, Lindy Moone, E. Percy Muove, Debadatta Pati, Dario Solera, H.S. Stone, Joe Tannian, Vincent Trigili, Karen Tucker, Rich Walls, Stella Wilkinson, Richard Wolanski and Frank Zubek.
Cold Coffee Press Author Spotlight Interview With Author Mary T. Kincaid
Bio: I’m an Oklahoma girl who spent thirty years living in the deep South. I’m an observer. Everything can be the basis of a good story. Story ideas are everywhere. No need to give you my dates like I’ve passed from this life. I’m here. It’s now. Let’s read.
I write stories for children. The golden age of adventure when they can still use their imagination is between the ages of six and twelve. I love creating worlds for them to explore. Reading is so important. It is the gateway to their future.
I live with my husband and two cranky cats in northeast Oklahoma.
What makes you proud to be a writer from Oklahoma? An Oklahoma writer sits on the plains and observes things like Will Rogers, the native son, and mentor to all the state’s writers.
What or who inspired you to become a writer? I’ve always had a talent for writing. I’m in a place where I can use it to tell my stories.
Did your environment or upbringing play a major role in your writing and did you use it to your advantage? Yes, my environment played a big part in my writing. I spent my childhood reading and spending time with imaginary characters. I still spend time with these characters but now I’m able to share them.
When did you begin writing with the intention of becoming published? Only a couple of years ago, I realized that children were waiting for my stories, and the other things I have to share. Having grandchildren really made me aware of it.
What has been your most rewarding experience with your writing process? I love to make maps of my story worlds. I draw the relationships of things to the characters, and enjoy laying out the locations of action.
What has been your most rewarding experience in your publishing journey? Seeing the ideas become a finished product. That involves critique groups, editors, and the formatting to get it uploaded to a finished product.
How many published books do you have? Four Children’s books and I have contributed to four anthologies.
Do you come up with your title(s) before or after you write the manuscript? I struggle with titles. They don’t come to me the way characters do. I have to spend time thinking of a metaphor that will hint at the story and it is just not easy. Editors and reviewers often help me.
Please introduce your genre and why you prefer to write in that genre? I write chapter books, middle grade stories for very young readers. I want them to have the same opportunity to develop the desire to explore characters and stories that I had as a girl.
Which book title would you like featured in this interview? Hawk McCoy: The Penthiads by Mary T Kincaid.
What was your inspiration, spark or light bulb moment that inspired you to write the book (one book) that you are seeking promotion for? I wondered about a character doing something completely outside his family expectations, like a mole learning about baseball.
What one positive piece of advice would you give to other authors? Don’t give up.
Who is your favorite author and why? Herman Melville is my favorite. The opening passage to Moby Dick is a piece of American poetry that is not appreciated enough.
Thirteen-year-old, Shino, rebellious and undisciplined, is sent away to the Tendai monks to be trained as a samurai warrior. When leaving his childhood friend Miyoshi behind, he carelessly crushes her young heart.
Years later, weary of senseless battles fought for selfish lords, Shino is thrust into the world of Heian Kyo where he finds Miyoshi once again. Now blossomed into the beautiful and charming Lady Lotus, she is courtier to the emperor’s court and soon to be betrothed to another. Finally accepting that he has always loved her, he risks everything to keep her from the fate to which she is destined but does not want, and the dangers that threaten her life. Does he dare hope for more?
Cold Coffee Review: Even though I am open to all books, I wasn’t sure if I would enjoy a story about a samurai warrior. I was wrong, so let me explain why.
It is 968 AD and early spring on Mount Takao, Japan.
Torn away from his grandfather and the tea farming, final acceptance of his direction in life sets in as Shino puts away his childish memories of Miyoshi. Strict samurai training of body and mind becomes his existence while Miyoshi learns the disciplines of her intended role.
Boyhood is replaced by manhood; through the skills perfected in battle, by dreaming the future, and the assignment that brings him back into Miyoshi’s life in an unexpected way. I quote:
“Tonight, after years of denying and repressing the urging of my heart, I now admit I love her. It has always been so. But my heart is weary of fighting for lost causes. I am not of her class and can never hope to have her. She’s a lady of the court of the emperor, and I, a samurai warrior. There is no meeting place for us except here, where I watch over her tent while she sleeps, guarding her as instructed by my daimyo lord.”
Miyoshi, too, has a destiny to fulfill. Can the worlds of the samurai warrior and the court aristocracy ever intertwine?
With Intense knowledge of the time period and culture, Author Cora J. Ramos weaves mystery steeped in ancient Japanese culture that is very educational. Well-developed characters with innocent childhood memories will touch your soul. Suspense is woven around elegant beautiful haiku poetry, love letters, and famous quotes from Confucius, Buddha and Lao Tzu. Carefully worded dialog draws the reader into this historic yet contemporary love story.
‘Dance The Dream Awake’ was Cora J Ramos first book in what she now calls her “dance series”. This book was inspired by a paranormal incident that occurred while she was vacationing on the Yucatan Peninsula, Mexico. Although the author considers this a series, each book stands alone with its own story line and ending. Once a teacher, the author now enjoys writing full-time in California with her husband and two feisty Chihuahuas.
Readers now wait for ‘Dance The Edge’ due to be released in late 2016.
I, Theodocia Mclean, endorse Haiku Dance by Cora J. Ramos. I purchased this book from Kindle. This review was completed on July 10, 2016.
Do past lives intrude into a present one to set wrongs right and fulfill desires yet unsatisfied?
Tessa Harper’s relentless nightmares are driving her to fall apart in her present-day life as co-owner of an art gallery in San Francisco. She is experiencing a Mayan sacrifice night after night that defies a modern solution. Desperate to escape her nightly horrors, she travels to Mexico, seeking relief in a house by the ocean on the Yucatan Peninsula. On the way she meets three men. Which one can she trust? Will she have to lose the one she’s fallen in love with to find her answers?
If you’ve read your Saroyan, you might think that the San Joaquin Valley is a gentle, peaceful place, where almost everyone is a good-hearted Armenian, and everyone is happy.
If you’ve ever lived there, you know that California’s Central Valley has a dark side, too, and it gets hot…and very deadly.
Valley Fever is a collection of stories by three women who write about the underbelly of Fresno, the “All-American City,” and its surrounding areas. These award-winning authors combine their talents and their tales to present a collection of mayhem, murder, malice, and hot-blooded passion. Some of the stories are funny, some frightening, but all are wicked.
Cold Coffee Press Author Spotlight Interview With Author Cora J. Ramos
Cora J. Ramos is a writer of short stories of mystery and suspense that have won awards and been published in the anthology, Valley Fever, Where Murder is Contagious.
Her first novel, Dance the Dream Awake, was published in June 2015, a paranormal romantic suspense set in present day, but with a past life of a Mayan life lived in the Yucatan, around 900 A.D.
Her second novel is a romance set in the Heian, Japan of 980 A.D., when the pillow books (like Tales of Genji) were written by the first women authors. It was published May-2016.
Cora is a trained artist and loves to paint for her own pleasure and helps design her own book covers. She keeps journals of her dreams, poems and inspiration for paintings and stories.
She is past president, past editor of San Joaquin Sisters in Crime
Currently she is member of:
International Sisters-in-Crime (and the San Joaquin and Central Coast Chapters)
Romance Writers of America (and Yosemite Writers chapter)
What makes you proud to be a writer from California? I’m proud to be a writer from Fresno, California because the surroundings were the inspiration for my first short stories which ended up in the anthology: Valley Fever, Where Murder is Contagious.
What or who inspired you to become a writer? I had always wanted to write but the incident that got me to put pen to paper to create my first novel was a déjà vu experience. On a trip to the Yucatan, Mexico, as I approached one of the pyramids, I was sure I’d been there before. I was certain there was an opening around the side (if you know Mexico’s pyramids, they don’t have openings in the side that I’m aware of) and that there would be a room in there. I steeled myself to enter the pitch black opening, not knowing what was in the dark, but convinced I would find that room. I followed a corridor that twisted and turned until I arrived at a room that opened to the sky. I heard in my head, “This is the room where they dumped the bodies, after they cut out their hearts in sacrifice, and burned them.” Well, that’s not something I could easily forget so when I had the opportunity a short time after the trip, I wrote from that impression and thus began my novel, DANCE THE DREAM AWAKE.
Did your environment or upbringing play a major role in your writing and did you use it to your advantage? I was an only child that spent a lot of time alone with only my imagination. Before I began to read, I was taken to the library every week to listen to stories read aloud while observing the colorful murals of fairy tales illustrated on the walls. When I began to read, I ended up voraciously consuming every fairy tale I could get my hands on. Later, when my younger cousins would ask me to tell them a story, I would make them up on the fly. I eventually wanted to write them down but never did—until after that Mexico incident.
When did you begin writing with the intention of becoming published? Our Sisters-in-Crime chapter (mystery writers) would hold a tongue in cheek contest every year, called the Coveted Dead Bird Contest. It was limited to a ten page story of murder or suspense. We would all compete with each other for the upside down faux dead bird statue. That first story did not win, but got published in a German anthology. I was hooked. The contest produced many stories over the years. Two other writer friends from that group and myself found a publisher and put our stories into an anthology using the themes we wrote to through the years. (Valley Fever, Where Murder is Contagious)
What has been your most rewarding experience with your writing process? It is the flow of creativity that happens when you open up and get in the flow. Especially when you write something and later look at it and say, “Huh, wow, I hadn’t seen that coming.”
What has been your most rewarding experience in your publishing journey? Each publication is a new high. That first short story that sold to a German anthology gave me the confidence to know I was a writer. I could do this writing thing! My first novel was my ‘learning to write’ journey with a teacher, but I was hesitant in letting it go right away. When I finally sent it to a publisher years later, I was confident, and it was accepted without question. I was thrilled. Two years later I re-published it with my present publisher Black Opal Books with a new cover.
How many published books do you have? Two novels and a shared short story anthology.
Do you come up with your title(s) before or after you write the manuscript? I came up with the first title, Dance the Dream Awake from the subject matter of a past life dream coming awake in the jungles of Mexico—a romantic suspense. It was the working title from the start and I never found one more appropriate. After it was published, I started on the next story, Dance the Edge (in process at the moment) and wanted to maintain ‘dance’ in the title. I knew I had more to write about one of the main characters, Jack who has an edgy past. As I was writing it with the theme once again of a past life, it became that character’s samurai life. The problem was that the past life became so powerful a story, I had to pull it out and write it as its own romance novel—thus Haiku Dance was born. That name evolved out of the haiku poems shared throughout the love story.
Please introduce your genre and why you prefer to write in that genre? I began writing without thought about genre. With my mystery/suspense background and my love of the gothic romance novels of England, I fit into the Romantic Suspense genre but didn’t really think about that while writing it. And, with fairy tales and magic as an early influence, the paranormal/fantasy elements creeped in. So I don’t fit neatly into the major genres. I write stories of mystery and suspense that include love and sex. Shamans, past lives and magical elements work their way in to add spice.
Which book title would you like featured in this interview? Haiku Dance
What was your inspiration, spark or light bulb moment that inspired you to write the book (one book) that you are seeking promotion for? As I mentioned above, this book was begun as the sequel to DANCE THE DREAM AWAKE, the past life of Jack Hart, character from my first novel. When I began to do research on samurai for a time before they joined into warrior clans, I found this charming time in Japanese history, called the Heian era. The first women writers wrote books and diaries of the life of the emperor’s court at that time. They were called pillow books, because the ladies of the court would keep these ‘diaries’ under their pillows. I was intrigued and fascinated by the customs, clothing and people of that era. It fit what I wanted to do with my samurai—perfect for Jack’s past life. Only the story became much bigger as I wrote it and had to be pulled out and written as a stand-alone.
What one positive piece of advice would you give to other authors? Write from your heart; what has meaning to you. Learn craft and take criticism humbly to improve all the time, but not from people who know less than you do. Writing is a process where growth never ends. I think of it as a yoga; a daily practice of stretching yourself to greater flexibility and strength. You have to keep improving. On the other hand you can’t get the perfectionist mindset that stops you from publishing until it’s perfect. There is no end point as a writer. When you’re confident you’ve done the best you know how to do, jump.
Who is your favorite author and why? I don’t have a favorite. There are many authors I love for different reasons—some for prose, some for plot, and some for engaging the reader so well—a good story whether or not it is perfectly written. A few authors that that come to mind: Pat Conroy, Michael Connelly, Charlotte & Emily Bronte, Barbara Kingsolver, Pamela Clare, Robert Crais, Michael Crichton, Edgar Allen Poe, Chitra Banerjee Divakaruni. I could go on but I’ll stop there.
James Cooper moved his family to Walker’s Vale, Pennsylvania, in search of the ideal life. What he got was the just opposite. As this small town’s eerie history is revealed and repeated, it’s clear the devil is in the details and he’s waiting for the Cooper’s young daughter. When the FBI come knocking at his door, James quickly realizes that his ideal life may come with a steeper price than he thought. This story of faith, deception, and horror will captivate readers as one man fights for his family’s safety and embarks on a journey toward redemption in this suspenseful supernatural thriller.
Cold Coffee Press Spotlight Interview With Author John J. Zelenski
John J. Zelenski is an award-winning author who has appeared on television, radio, and has been featured in numerous print articles as well as receiving high-profile reviews from the popular community.
Having been inspired, in part, to write his first novel Walker’s Vale, by his own paranormal experiences as a child, John has developed a keen understanding of the supernatural.
His second novel and prequel to Walker’s Vale – The Journal of Ezekiel Walker – continues with the saga of Walker’s Vale, with a future third installment presently in the works.
Walker’s Vale, the film will be released through Allegentsia Productions with filming scheduled to begin sometime in 2015.
John, along with his wife and two children, love to watch the seasons change in beautiful Northeast Pennsylvania.
What makes you proud to be a writer from the United States? I think the most obvious answer would be the freedom and liberty to express myself in the form of the written word.
What, or who, inspired you to become a writer? My high school English teacher was the first person who believed that I had the ability to express myself with words. My debut novel, Walker’s Vale was in part inspired by supernatural experiences I had as a child.
When did you begin writing with the intention of being published? I have written for my own pleasure since high school, but only began to get serious about writing within the last five years.
Did your environment or upbringing play a major role in your writing and why? Yes, being raised in a strict Christian upbringing I was influenced a lot by the church I grew up in. Generally speaking, writers usually write about what they know; so for me the obvious tendencies to reflect the people and events I saw will make their way to the pages in some form.
Do you come up with your title(s) before or after you write the manuscript(s)? The title came to me before the manuscript was written, mainly through trial and error in the sense of what I thought sounded creepy or mysterious.
Why do you write in the genre(s) that you’ve chosen? I have always been fascinated by the paranormal or supernatural, most likely for the reasons I mentioned earlier. To combine them with Christian ideals was something that not a lot of people were or are doing right now.
What has been your most rewarding experience while in the writing process? Having someone tell me that my book has caused them to reaffirm their faith in God. I think sometimes writers forget that regardless of what genre their writing in; they have the power to influence the reader in so many ways.
What has been your most rewarding experience in your publishing journey? One has been to see my book on shelves next to best-selling authors. Kind of a surreal moment of sorts.
What one positive piece of advice would you give to other authors? It may sound almost clichéd, but just don’t give up. Writing to me is a skill that needs to be developed and honed like any other learning process. With time, each bit of writing gets better and more polished and you will notice a difference in the way it begins to flow.
Who is your favorite author and why? I don’t think that I have one favorite author. I admire the work of many diverse writers but like to think that my main influences are Frank Pieretti and Ted Dekker.
What special projects are you working on now and what books do we have to look forward to in the future? There is a sequel and possibly a trilogy to Walker’s Vale. However, I am currently working on something totally different, although still in the supernatural / paranormal realm.
Is there anything else that you would like to share with us? Walker’s Vale is available on all of the larger online book sellers as well as many other smaller independent sites, so please don’t forget the little guys. The book is also available directly from Tate Publishing as a paperback and exclusively as an e-book. Walker’s Vale the movie is in the works.
The Journal Of Ezekiel Walker – by John J .Zelenski
In the wake of light…evil waits. In the fall of 1945, just after Word War II, Ezekiel Walker has returned home on a furlough from his Civilian Public Service Unit. As Ezekiel tries to adjust back to life at the farm, strange and unexplainable events begin to occur at the homestead, and Ezekiel begins to experience visions and bizarre sightings. When a stranger suddenly arrives with promises to rebuild the small town of Walker’s Vale and befriend the young Ezekiel, a portal to the supernatural is opened and lives will never be the same.
“John paints a true landscape of the Christian experience in this prequel to his first book, Walker’s Vale. Within it he exposes the depravity of our enemy, Satan, who seeks to destroy Christians and the Church. However, we do not need despair, for our salvation is in God and His Son, Jesus Christ. John illustrates this perfectly through the experiences of Ezekiel Walker.” —Pastor Michael Frisbee, Liberty Gospel Ministries and Host of the Paranormal Christian Show
“John is very gifted in describing scenes in the spiritual realm with such visual detail that he makes you feel like you are actually witnessing the events described in the journal. This reads like an action movie as you are drawn directly into Ezekiel’s struggle with demonic forces.” —Les Carlsen, renowned vocalist for Christian Music Hall of Fame inductee and legendary Christian metal band, Bloodgood
Genre: Paranormal Supernatural
Cold Coffee Review: On furlough from his World War ll Civilian Public Service Unit in the fall of 1945, a war weary Ezekiel Walker returns to his family farm in Walker’s Vale, Pennsylvania. Everything about him, the world and his beloved town of Walker’s Vale, which had been founded by his grandfather Noah Walker 90 years ago had changed.
The town was dwindling despite his parents’ devotion to their community and the small church that they shepherd. Soon it became evident to Ezekiel that the changes surrounding this small community of Walker’s Vale weren’t just material orientated or caused by the residual effects of the war. The changes were far more troubling and sinister than anything he had ever encountered.
Unexplained supernatural events were unfolding that were drawing him into a battle unlike a human battle known to man. Ezekiel accounts in his journal “Aware of my own thoughts, I concluded that I was caught somewhere between reality and the fantastic—between light and dark, but not a part of either. I suddenly recalled the story of Jesus being tempted in the wilderness and remembered how he defeated Satan by quoting the Father’s Word.”
The growing conflict that confronts Ezekiel tests his core beliefs and shapes the depth of his faith after a man named Mr. Simon Tremblestone arrives in town.
I, Theodocia McLean, endorse ‘The Journal Of Ezekiel Walker’ by John J. Zelenski as a depictive fictional supernatural account of spiritual warfare. This review was completed on March 3, 2015.
From author, John J. Zelenski, comes the prequel (The Journal Of Ezekiel Walker) to Christian supernatural thriller, Walker’s Vale (soon to be movie).
Introducing the Promo Trailer for book title ‘The Journal Of Ezekiel Walker’. From author, John J. Zelenski, comes the prequel (The Journal Of Ezekiel Walker) to Christian supernatural thriller, Walker’s Vale (soon to be movie).
Nikki Garcia is an unlikely Sam Spade: a former international auditor turned private investigator who lands an assignment in Mexico to find a missing ten-year-old girl, Bibi Lombardi. The child’s estranged parents have been fighting over custody of her and one of them could be responsible for her disappearance. It’s an easy child-snatching case—right?
Nikki thinks so until a marijuana-smoking bag lady provides eye-witness information on the girl’s abduction. Following the lead, Nikki pursues a group of dangerous criminals through designated UNESCO locations, archaeological sites, picturesque colonial towns, and barren deserts. But when Bibi’s mother Sofía receives a ransom request, Nikki is already undercover with a gang of “Coyotes.”
Nikki’s boss and fellow private eye, Floyd Webber, thinks she is on the wrong trail. Floyd is certain someone purposely gave her misleading information on the abduction to prevent her from recovering the child. Or is the kidnapper headed north to the U.S. border where Bibi’s fate could be much worse than her current situation?
Eduardo Duarte, who is enthralled with Nikki, fears the forces of evil will prevail if she continues in the search, so he starts a search of his own to find her. Will he locate her before it’s too late? And what will become of little Bibi?
Named Best Fiction Book of the Year, 2017, by Killer Nashville!
Handsome Colombian men and life-threatening danger were not normally a part of Nikki’s auditing job, but this assignment was anything but normal. Despite her emotional wounds, she accepts the challenge as a way to overcome the loss of her young son in a tragic event.
In the midst of the male-dominated business world in Colombia, she investigates mismanagement allegations and uncovers a sinister plot involving fraud . . . and possibly murder. She also discovers an attractive man who seems to have feelings for her. As her relationship with him grows deeper, so does the level of danger she finds herself in. When the guns come out, Nikki realizes it will be up to her to find a way to survive . . . but is she up to the task?
Cold Coffee Press Spotlight Interview with Kathryn Lane
Originally from Mexico, Kathryn was a painter in oils but quickly changed to accounting and international finance after she discovered the artistic path of painting leads to a starving artist existence.
To cement her ability to earn a living, she became a CPA and a CMA and worked for a multinational corporation where she traveled extensively for two decades.
After jetting to over 90 countries, her travels gave her the opportunity to fulfill another passion – to write fiction. Now she writes fiction inspired by Latin American cultures she experienced firsthand during her career as an international finance executive.
Kathryn is a graduate of the University of New Mexico and is both a Certified Management Accountant (New Jersey) and a Certified Public Accountant (New Mexico – inactive status).
The Greater Conroe Arts Alliance’s honored Kathryn with a Montie Award for Pursuit of Excellence. The Rotary Club of The Woodlands recognized her with a second Paul Harris award for her service to the community. She also serves on the Montgomery County Literary Arts Council and resides in The Woodlands, Texas, with her husband, Bob Hurt.
KATHRYN LANE – The Writer’s Journey: Episode 1
Award winning author Kathryn Lane’s debut novel, Waking Up in Medellin (in the Nikki Garcia Thriller Series from Pen-L Publishing) won:
Silver Falchion for Best Fiction Book of the Year 2017 by Killer Nashville.
Silver Falchion for Best Fiction Adult Suspense 2017 by Killer Nashville.
Pinnacle Fiction Achievement Award (Fall 2016) by National Association of Book Entrepreneurs.
2nd Runner Up for the RONE Award (Mystery category 2017) by Ind’tale Magazine.
Silver Medal for the Readers Favorite Book Awards (2017 Fiction Thriller).
The second novel in the Nikki Garcia Thriller Series, Coyote Zone, presents you with:
High stakes danger in a kidnapping and human trafficking story.
Other subplots woven into the plot, such as romance, making this an exciting read.
The International Thriller Writers (ITW) Magazine “Big Thrill” provides an advanced review.
Kathryn’s collection of short stories, Backyard Volcano, (from Alamo Bay Press) will give you:
A fusion between fantasy and reality.
Symbolism, punctuated by hints of surrealism.
Stories with unusual twists and turns – events in everyday life in Latin cultures.
Additionally, her short stories have been published by:
The Texas A&M New Border Voices: An Anthology.
Arriba Baseball! From VAO Publishing.
Swirl Literary Journal from Lone Star College-Montgomery Campus.
Alamo Bay Writers Anthology.
The Association of Writing & Writing Programs (AWP) featured Kathryn as a reader on the panel of Arriba Baseball! In Seattle in February 2014.
Kathryn’s activities in poetry include:
Serving on the panel of judges at Carver High School in Houston, Texas, for their finals in the Poetry Out Loud contest.
Being published in numerous anthologies, journals.
Two chapbooks, A Conversation on India and Spirit Rocks.
What makes you proud to be a writer from Texas? A woman from northern Mexico who went from:
starving artist (painter in oils)
to international finance position with Johnson & Johnson (J&J)
As a child, I dreamed of traveling the world. That dream became reality when I worked for J&J and over a period of 20 years, traveled to 92 countries.
During those years, I often associated significant world events to the location I happened to be in, such as the Berlin Wall (Nov 1989) came down while I was doing a job in New Zealand; Nelson Mandela was released from prison (Feb 1990) when I was in Barbados; and the first attack on the World Trade Center (Feb 1993) I was flying from Brazil to NYC; the second attack on the World Trade Center (Sept. 2001) I was working in Argentina, and the Shuttle Columbia (Feb 2003) disintegrated as I was flying from Miami to Dominican Republic – I heard a sonic boom and thought my plane had blown an engine.
There are, of course, many great memories, like the pyramids at Giza in Egypt, Lhasa, Tibet and its Buddhist temples, Xi’an, China and the Terra Cotta Soldiers, Cambodia and the Angkor Wat, the Amazon in Brazil, the Beagle Channel in southern Argentina, the glaciers in both Switzerland and Argentina. The sites in Italy, England, and Spain are too numerous to mention. The list goes on forever.
What or who inspired you to become a writer? I started writing 8 years ago. I simply needed to write down fiction bouncing around in my head. Characters started talking in my head and I realized I had to write their stories. Sounds crazy, but this occurs to a lot of writers!
Did your environment or upbringing play a major role in your writing and did you use it to your advantage? In my corporate job, I had travelled on assignment to many countries around the world. When I took an early retirement, it was with the idea of returning to the arts. Yet instead of returning to the canvass, my head filled with ideas for poems and stories. I’d even wake up in the middle of the night with ideas and I’d jot them down. On my novel Waking Up in Medellin, the protagonist – Nikki Garcia – kept hanging around until I completed her story. Her story is a trilogy. I’m currently writing the third adventure.
When did you begin writing with the intention of becoming published? 5 years ago, when I married my husband. He inspired and helped me find a publisher for my first novel, Waking Up in Medellin.
What has been your most rewarding experience with your writing process? Receiving the Silver Falchion for Best Fiction Book of the Year from Killer Nashville Writers Conference.
What has been your most rewarding experience in your publishing journey? Actually, knowing someone felt my writing was worthy of publication.
How many published books do you have? Three
Please list the titles of all your books: Waking Up in Medellin, Coyote Zone, Backyard Volcano and Other Mysteries Of The Heart.
Do you come up with your title(s) before or after you write the manuscript? Usually while in progress.
Please tell me the genre of each of your books. Waking Up in Medellin is a mystery suspense thriller, Coyote Zone is a mystery suspense thriller, Backyard Volcano and Other Mysteries of the heart is a collection of short stories which fulfills the promise of mysteries of the heart while also surprising you with mysteries of life. Some of the stories are fun and humorous while others are ghost stories, romance gone wrong, or a world where fantasy and reality are fused. The main story, Backyard Volcano, covers the life of a young girl, Patricia, who inspired by her grandmother’s stories on volcanos, becomes a volcanologist and travels to Mexico to study the Trans-Mexican Volcanic Belt. Patricia visits her grandmother’s hometown only to uncover her grandmother’s shocking secrets.
Please introduce your genre and why you prefer to write in that genre? My novels are suspense-mystery/thrillers. Timing is an important aspect of a thriller. That’s an issue I work and re-work to get it right. The other aspect is the ample research that goes into a novel – I tend to over research and end up using only slivers of it in my novels – but without it, my books might not have the right feeling.
Which book title would you like featured in this interview? Coyote Zone
What was your inspiration, spark or light bulb moment that inspired you to write the book (one book) that you are seeking promotion for? I learned how pervasive human trafficking is on a global basis. Since we live near Houston, Texas, which unfortunately is one of the biggest trafficking centers in the US, I was motivated to write fiction about this issue. By penning a novel about human trafficking, particularly children who fall victim to this unspeakable crime, I feel I’m bringing out awareness of the topic. Awareness is the first step in combating human trafficking. Let me add that while human trafficking is a dark topic, my novel is not dark. It consists of an investigator who goes undercover to save a kidnapped child. It is a thriller so it contains elements of a thriller!
What one positive piece of advice would you give to other authors? If you want to write, make sure it is for the love of writing. Not many authors make it big and most authors have day jobs to support themselves as writing is one of the most competitive businesses around.
Who is your favorite author and why? Favorite writer – wow, it’s hard to pick one from so many great writers. Frederick Forsyth, Craig Johnson, Kazuo Ishiguro, and Gabriel Garcia Marquez would make my list of top ten favorite authors. Forsyth’s Day of the Jackal remains one of my favorite books, even though it’s the first novel he wrote. Craig Johnson – I like his Longmire series. It’s so American and deals with issues which divide people, yet he does it with such finesse. Ishiguro’s writing is varied and I like the way he deals with life as if he were viewing people and their lives through a prism unique unto himself which he shares as if the first-person narrator is not aware of the reading audience.
If you ain’t got love you’re . . . LIMPIM. Ida Evers shares all of the trials and victories of their lives together, with her husband, James Evers, who has Alzheimer’s. His reactions are hilarious and heartwarming. Her gripping storytelling is filled with all of the angst, surprise, joy and loss of lives lived thoroughly with love as its anchor. Tales of family life will come and go, but you will never forget the Evers.
Cold Coffee Review: Limpin is a well told, very interesting fictional African American family drama.
The book opens with this; “The doctor told me James had Alzheimer’s four years ago, and that he would forget things and do strange things he had never done before. I thought that diagnosis was funny at the time because corn liquor had been doing that to James for over fifty years. As far as James doing anything he had never done before, I thought that impossible. If he got his back up about something or a load on, James always could and would do some pretty stupid things.”
This book reminds me of the book/movie ‘The Notebook’. It is a love story that goes beyond the love between husband and wife to encompass the love and dynamics between family members.
Author Bernadette Y. Connor uses her main character Mrs. Ida Evers to share this heartwarming story where love anchors their lives through it all, especially towards to end when Alzheimer’s works to rob her husband James of his memories.
Here is a quote from chapter 19: “The summer of forty-eight. What can’t be said about it? The most profound phrase that comes to mind is, ‘I wasn’t in Gadsden.’ We experienced unbelievable highs and devastating lows. It seemed as if I would at long last get to know a loving relationship with my husband. We could have that honeymoon I read about other people having and enjoying so much. Oh, James, we came so close to having all of that, and so much more.
We drove up to Virginia Beach the first weekend we were alone. I saw the ocean for the very first time in my life. It was truly a grand sight too. It stretched to forever; all blue and green with white foam smashing against the dark tan colored beach. You told me that the sand was mixed with dirt and that the farther down the coast you went the brighter it got and that there were actually white beaches in Florida and Mexico.
Born and raised colored in the south the trip was a rude awakening for me. We all knew our boundaries and basically stayed within them. Every once in a while, someone would get rambunctious and find out the hard way that white folks don’t play with you. The way I saw it at the time, white folks were the least of my problems because I dealt so little with them.”
You will have to read this book to understand this reference: “I wasn’t in Gadsden”.
I, Theodocia McLean, endorse Limpin by Bernadette Y. Connor as a family drama that shines the light on love vs control. I purchased this book from Kindle. This review on November 6, 2017.
What’s a girl to do when she moves to a new town and falls in love with the most desired man in town?
What’s a girl to do when that man belongs to all in his family and social circle?
What’s a girl to do when their infatuation with him is unhealthy to the point of being dangerous?
What’s a girl to do when one of them threatens her and she doesn’t know which one it is?
What’s a girl to do when that person declares, “He’s Mine!”?
“Dream come true turns nightmare!”
“A romantic, gritty and disturbing fatal attraction.”
Tall, dark and incredibly handsome, Miles Alexander is admired by his friends and colleagues, loved and adored by every woman in town, including his family. He is an attorney from a wealthy family, and an incurable romantic who has dated every attractive woman in town. Miles’s world is comfortable and carefree until Patrice Mays whisks past him in the lobby of his office building and his appreciation of a beautiful woman eclipsed. With just the two of them on the elevator, Miles inspects her from head-to-toe and cannot believe his eyes, she is perfection.
Patrice Mays is new in town and Miles is the first person to penetrate her determination to be on time for her first day at Tymes, McNeil and Lowell Law Offices. The gorgeous floral arrangement and warm welcome note Miles had delivered impresses her. The recollection of his handsome, well dressed physique made her smile. However, Patrice is focused on her career, Miles is focused on Patrice.
Miles makes his infatuation with Patrice well known immediately, and the information is not well received by all. Patrice is confronted at the end of her second day by an irate Miles romantic reject and receives a mind-boggling note in her inter-office mail that simply says, “He’s Mine!”
Cold Coffee Review: ‘He’s Mine!’ by Bernadette Y. Connor is a romance that begins as a chance meeting in an elevator, turns into an adventurous pursuit, infatuation, intrigue, romance, jealousy, stalking and attempted murder. All the elements that keep the reader tuning the page and creates caution in the minds of single hearts looking for love.
Two main characters from different backgrounds bring their own history and unique circumstances to the story. Miles Alexander is an attorney from a wealthy family. He is tall, dark, handsome and carefree with a giant Doberman named Roman. His good looks, money and carefree lifestyle makes him a target for women who want the best and are willing to go to any length to accomplish their quest. Patrice Mays is the new woman in town, focused on her career and is about to find herself in the cross-hairs. I quote a passage that stands out in my memory: “Patrice stood in the doorway watching Miles and Roman disappear into the night, and she was surprised by the number of people still sitting on their steps. Patrice would soon learn that this was a ritual of summer in the inner city.”
I especially like to read passages that give insight into how different two people can be when a friendship begins. I quote: “He especially loved the way she ate the barbeque with her fingers and licked them afterwards. Patrice had not gone to any trouble trying to impress the great Miles Alexander. Miles had never eaten a piece of meat with his fingers until he was in college, and to date had never licked his fingers. His mother would have had a massive coronary if she had witnessed him doing any of it.”
Romance that begins as a fine fragile line between two people. I quote: “In silence, Patrice dissected and analyzed her anger. When the particles settled, there was only one answer. Patrice Mays was more physically attracted to Miles Alexander than she had ever been to any man in her life and it had made her horribly uncomfortable. Truthfully, she had no idea whether she was acting rational or not. Her hormones were blitzing her brain cells.”
Secondary characters who may or may not have a reason to come between Miles and Patrice. Attraction is one thing, but when mixed with some mental illness things often change without warning. Chaos can affect a wide circle of people and the criminal justice system can’t always protect the innocent.
I, Theodocia McLean, endorse He’s Mine! by Bernadette Y. Connor as a romance with a fatal attraction mystery entwined. I admire the author’s inner strength and ability to raise three children alone and inspire them to graduate from college. Our heart acknowledges her struggles through her own medical issues and the brutal murder of her eldest son in 1991. Her early writing began in the wee hours of the morning when her children were sleeping and resurfaced later when she wrote and published her debut novel, ‘Damaged!’ in 1998. This book garnered her a spot in “Who’s Who In America 2004” for the first psychological thriller published by an African American Woman. From here she went on to publish Inherited in 2005, PEARL AND ANGELA in 2009, SASHA’S New Beginning in 2011, THE PARCEL EXPRESS MURDERS in 2012 and He’ s Mine! on September 15, 2014. This review was completed on May 10th, 2015.
Adrena Reynolds is the teenage survivor of years of child abuse that leaves her filled with murderous rage. State- assigned, psychiatrist Vivian Matthews tries to help Adrena overcome the psychological damage she has suffered. Their relationship grows beyond that of doctor-patient and Dr. Matthews takes Adrena into her personal life, which includes the handsome, sexy, and successful Howard Shaw. Therapy and love bring Adrena to the brink of happiness, but will the insane legacy of her past allow Adrena to live and let live?
Derrick Dawes is a cafe au lait Adonis who lives comfortably and enjoys bachelorhood. When Derrick receives a call informing him that his wife has left the hospital it begins as an obvious mistaken identity that turns into a nightmare. His security and peace of mind are shattered by the reality that there are newborn twins with his name listed as father. DNA will free him, if the babies are not his, in three months without the mother’s DNA contribution. If he signs anything, he is acknowledging paternity. If he leaves the hospital without them, he will be charged with abandonment.
Derrick Dawes as Daddy is a comedy of errors until he meets their nurse and angers an old girlfriend who makes his life a living hell. Through it all, Derrick searches for the mother of the twins.
Pearl and Angela is a suspense-filled story that profoundly chronicles the emotional damages of hatred and cruelty and the miraculous healing power of love. The characters come to life, providing on-the-edge-of-your-seat entertainment and intrigue wrapped in a timeless love story. Pearl Little grew up an only child in a typical late 1940s Midwestern town in the shadow of a maniac, Barry “Pop” Little. Pop had ranted his expectations all of Pearl’s life, and after his death, his words haunted her. A trip to the Fair with a young man Pearl had fallen in love with and his best friend, without Pop’s permission, tragically altered their lives. Angela Bowman was tossed from a car and left on the side of the road in town and Pearl happened upon her. Pearl brought Angela home and the two women’s lives flourished, clashed, and healed. Angela had been sold at the age of six to a brothel owner in a nearby town. To escape her past, Angela craved the one thing she thought would set her free money. Money to run, to live the high life, to be free of anything she found confining. Pearl and Angela came together and each supplied the other’s needs. They developed a comfortable existence and then the unimaginable happened.
On the surface, Sasha and Terrence Bain are the American dream. She is beautiful, intelligent, graceful, a wonderful homemaker and mother of three incredibly witty children. He is a successful banker and illegitimate son of a long line of successful bankers. Financially, they want for nothing.
All Sasha wants is to make Terrence happy. All Terrence wants is to make Terrence happy too. Their life together is both wonderful and challenging. Sasha’s torment at not being able to be the woman who makes Terrence’s eyes light up each time he walks in the door is obvious. His unfaithfulness is also obvious, and Terrence has lived a charmed life with his dedicated wife and adoring children.
Sasha’s life takes on a new glow when she receives lavender orchids from a secret admirer. When an unexpected tragedy strikes the Bain family, Sasha’s joy withers like the petals on her beloved orchids, and she wonders if her secret admirer had been Terrence all along.
Sasha’s journey through love, betrayal, loss, and rebirth is an all too familiar one with an ending that will take your breath away.
Detectives Hall Hawkins and Edward Clark of the 30th Precinct Homicide Division are assigned the daunting task of solving the brutal murders of the handsome, Exquisite Wheels owner, David Bass, and his beautiful, fashion designer date, Kay Spencer. The case is every homicide detective’s nightmare: A double murder with only one clue . . . corpses riddled with bullets from a .45.
As Hawkins and Clark pursue this cunning, cold-blooded killer, they uncover one sordid detail after another about the lives of the wealthy and worldly victims, shedding no light on the case. A string of unsolved murders following on the heels of the Bass and Spencer case deepens the mystery.
Detective Hall Hawkins’ stunning family friend, psychiatrist Samoa Tate, is introduced to the sophisticated and charming Detective Edward Clark and finds herself embroiled in a love triangle that she alone knows all about and a murder mystery of which she is completely unaware.
Bernadette Y. Connor has again given her readers a story filled with twists and turns and enough suspense to keep them up burning the night oil to find out ‘who done it and why.’ The love story that weaves throughout the murder mystery is rich and sophisticated, simple and devilishly complicated. THE PARCEL EXPRESS MURDERS is filled with characters you want living next door and characters you want living next door to someone else someone far away.
Bernadette Y. Connor is a native of Philadelphia, Pennsylvania. She was born at home in a one-room apartment in North Philadelphia; the fourth of five children. To help her family financially, she sang rhythm and blues in many of the local nightclubs until she graduated from Dobbins Vocational Area High School in 1969 and was hired as a secretary by Sun Oil Company.
Her first love was music, but she found herself writing poetry in Junior High School. Some of her earliest writings were published in SCLC monthly magazine. Both singing and writing had to take a back burner to caring for her family, but midnight often found her doodling. A divorced mother of three, Bernadette saw that all of her children graduated from college.
She found her niche’ at AT&T as a communications technician. With the merger came a lay-off and she saw as an opportunity to begin a new career, but that was put on hold by a series of medical problems and finally the devastation of the brutal murder of her eldest son on Christmas Eve of 1991. Her zest for life, travel and adventure were nearly extinguished. However, Bernadette’s thoughts slowly returned to writing.
The literary fire was stoked by reacquainting herself with her earlier poems, and Bernadette embarked on yet another adventure. She wrote a simple love story called ‘Finally’ that opened the gate to an avalanche of works which include 13 novels and 12 screenplays.
Bernadette’s published debut novel, ‘Damaged’, the first psychological thriller ever written and published by an African American garnered her a spot in “Who’s Who In America 2004”. Publishers Weekly dubbed her the “genre-crossing writer” and she loves the distinction. Agent, Mondella Jones, labeled her “a master storyteller.”
What makes you proud to be a writer from Philadelphia? It is an honor to be a writer from Philadelphia. There is a rich literary history from James A. Michener, Edgar A. Poe and Diane McKinney-Whetstone. These authors have blazed a glorious fictional trail for me. While Edgar A. Poe was not born in Philadelphia, he wrote and published while living here. His home is on our Historical Registry.
What or who inspired you to become a writer? Honestly, I believe I have always had a writer’s spirit; needing to know who, what, when, where and how. It was awakened by hearing Edgar A. Poe’s poems on phonographs in English class in Junior High. It was my baptism into the written word has a distinct rhythm and sound. If I hear “The Bells” or “Annabel Lee” today, I am still mesmerized by them. Langston Hughes inspired and nurtured that belief for me. The way he wrote about his people made me believe he loved and respected every aspect of their existence. If I can scratch the surface of the power of his love, I will believe I have accomplished something.
When did you begin writing with the intention of becoming published? In 1997, after lots of long-winded rejection letters swearing I was good and praising my skills, but they could not publish my work. Of course, they never said exactly why they could not publish it.
Did your environment or upbringing play a major role in your writing and did you use it to your advantage? Yes. I put all of my experience to work in my work without ever writing about my life. The dreams, passion and devastation of life fascinates me. The ways we love and hurt each other is my springboard.
Do you come up with your title before or after you write the manuscript? I have done both. Sometimes, the title comes weeks before the story begins to unfold.
Please introduce your genre and why you prefer to write in that genre? Romance and psychological thrillers. I write in these two genre because they are the heart of our existence. They propel or stifle us in life. To love and be loved is our reason for being. Our attempts to achieve our reason damages us irreparably when it is not accomplished, or the ones we want to love desperately have been so wounded that they wound in return.
What was your inspiration, spark or light bulb moment that inspired you to write the book that you are seeking promotion for? The thought that no matter how “perfect” the people in the relationship or the relationship itself appears to onlookers, there are always challenges to overcome. What happens when you can’t name the challenger? What happens when you name the challenger, but can’t name the reason why they are challenging your relationship? What made your challenger’s insanity choose you as their target?
What has been your most rewarding experience with your writing process? Knowing that people who do not read have thoroughly enjoyed my work. Knowing that scholars have used some of it for class study. Knowing that people who have experienced some of the challenges identify with the stories and situations. My real reward is that I entertain people for a little while. I turn their attention away from their lives with the intrigue of what’s going to happen to someone else.
What has been your most rewarding experience in your publishing journey? At a book signing; to have a young lady bring me a paperback copy of ‘Damaged’ that was held together with a rubber-band saying, “Ms. Connor, I think I need to have it in hardback. All of my family and friends have read and destroyed this copy.”
What one positive piece of advice would you give to other authors? Be true to yourself. At the end of the day you will always look back and know you did it your way. If you’re writing to make money, follow others.
Who is your favorite author and why? Langston Hughes and J. California Cooper. They both could write dynamic short stories that made me believe they loved their characters.
Is there anything else that you would like to share with us? I am not a person who builds a story. I allow the characters to tell their story. Sometimes, I feel more like a stenographer than an author.
Please tell us something that you believe your readers would like to know. Pain and passion in a novel are necessary elements. Too much sunshine burns the story up. Too much rain drowns it.
Harlee Wagner didn’t expect to fall in the well when drawing water, and she certainly never expected to be rescued only to find her entire family gone. Logan Carruthers, her handsome hero, insists she rest up before she starts searching and then leads her on a trail consisting of hints and guesses. Will she find her family, or will she discover love? There’s something about his gorgeous blue eyes and broad shoulders that makes her heart flutter.
Previously released as The Well
“A lot is packed into this short book; the story moves along well and the plot kept me interested. I found it enjoyable and recommend this for a lazy day read to anyone to anyone that enjoys a clean mystery romance.” – Birdlady
“I must say that Gingers Simpson’s writing is superb. Harlee’s character is funny and her relationship with Logan’s mother comes alive for me. I have read many of Ginger Simpson’s works and I can’t believe how much she has improved her writing. I am willing to bet that if she got a decent agent she could be the next Danielle Steel.” – Carol Langstroth
“This is a fast-paced mystery romance that will keep you intrigued from beginning until almost the end. I thoroughly enjoyed this read and would highly recommend it.” – Miskagirl
Cold Coffee Review: Homesteading in the Oklahoma Panhandle in 1894 is getting harder every day, “Hot winds drove a herd of tumbleweeds across endless acres of sod, broken and dried by the late July sun. The devastating drought in Oklahoma continued, leaving everything parched or dying.”
A small cast of well-developed characters bring the story to life as Miss Harlee Wagner accidentally falls into the family well while gathering a bucket of water. Days later and near death, was this stunning man a figment of her imagination, or was he, her long awaited hero?
Fast-pace action, adventure, mystery and romance keeps the reader turning the pages seeking answers to this most unusual mystery. I quote a passage from the book to show Ginger Simpson’s writing style and the questions Harlee has on her mind. “Harlee took in the scenery again, but her mind wandered. Homesteads much like the one Pa had staked claim to, sat back from the trail, gardens withered, heat waves spiraling upward, and an occasional dust devil swirling in the distance. How did those twisting demons develop when the ground had turned stone-like from the absence of moisture? Could humidity cause enough dampness? Although the area hadn’t had rain for some time, some days were filled with ‘heat you could wear’, as Logan said. Today was one of those days. Harlee’s top clung to her like a second skin; perspiration beaded her forehead and dampened her hair. How she wished she had her old straw hat, but that had disappeared along with her family.”
I, Theodocia McLean, endorse Lost In His Eyes by Ginger Simpson as a warm, realistic, 1800 period romance published by Books We Love. Thirty plus books have given Ginger Simpson the notoriety that she has earned as a romance author. I invite you to read (just to name a few); Lost In His Eyes, Ages of Love, Arizona Sky, Betrayed, Dancing Fawn, Destiny’s Bride, Discovery, Ellie’s Legacy, First Degree Innocence, Hattie’s Heroes, Sarah’s Heart and Passion, Shortcomings, Time Tantrums and Yellow Moon. I was given this book. This review was completed on October 25, 2015.
Unexplained visions, murder and mayhem…that’s what Michelle’s life has come to, and she desperately wants out of her detective position to be behind her own desk, being the author she’s forced to conceal behind a pseudonym. Even though the fodder for her first book came from past cases, if she can just write her break-through novel under her real name, she’ll leave the force, switch her genre to romance, and pursue the relationship she wants with her hunky partner. His desire is evident, but fraternization on the job is forbidden, and she can’t gamble with the income she needs. Still, maybe those horrible visions seen through the killer’s eyes will go away for good if she’s no longer part of the local police department.
Love comes when we least expect it, whether from dreams or reality, it touches our souls and warms our heart. Join Chase, Faith and Hope as they each journey on their own trek into happiness. Will they truly find what they need or is there still a search remaining for one or more?
The wagon carrying Odessa Clay and her father overturns, killing him. Alone and scared in the middle of the desert, she faces finding her way to Phoenix and her Aunt Susan. Food and water run out, and Odessa is near death when Zach Johnson finds her. Squinting up into his tanned and handsome face, Dessie believes she’s died and gone to heaven.
Would-be-outlaw, Zach Johnson finds an unconscious woman alone in the middle of nowhere. Where did she come from? First glance: she appears young, but the curves beneath the dusty gingham say otherwise. He didn’t plan to become someone’s hero, but how can he leave her stranded? He’s on his way to join a gang of bank robbers and he has no time to spare.
Will the promise of Odessa’s sweet lips lure Zach from the secret mission that has his gut twisted into a knot? His father’s ranch isn’t the only thing at stake—now it’s his heart.
Previously published as Odessa.
I think Ginger Simpson lived in the Wild West in another life. She captures the era so well you can smell and taste it in this story of a young woman lost in the arid desert…
The characters are as realistic as the setting she describes. Both the hero and heroine are loveable, faulted, and feisty. The prose is free and easy, allowing the reader to fall into the story without struggle.
WARNING. EROTIC ROMANCE. GRAPHIC SEXUAL CONTENT. Previously published as Searchers.
Katie Franklin couldn’t lose the weight she gained during her pregnancy, and her husband’s disgust showed in his cutting remarks and lack of interest in her anywhere except in the bedroom. Determined to slim down, Katie seeks the help of a diet doctor, and many pounds later, Rick does a complete turnaround. Too bad. Katie isn’t interested in his attention, as she’s had a taste of what it’s like to be considered young, sexy and desired again…but not by her husband.
The advertisement claimed: “Find your true love; we’ll match you with the person of your dreams.” Their irritating spam clogged her computer inbox. “Free tonight? Let’s chat.” Cassie Fremont thought of hitting the ‘trash’ button, but the promises were alluring. Divorced and so lonely, Cassie signs up for the on-line dating service. What she doesn’t know is the cost of the ticket for her ride on the romantic roller coaster from hell. You aren’t the first woman he’s lied to. When Cassie’s siblings present her with evidence, insisting this proves her new beau is a con-man, her world is shattered. Her happiness wanes. How can she possibly believe that this wonderful man who gave up a thriving business in Texas and moved to California to be with her isn’t all he professes to be? The love she sees shining in Evan’s eyes can’t be false. Surely, her siblings are mistaken. Still, the warnings of her sister’s haunt Cassie’s thoughts: There have been others who have lost everything because of him. Faced with an ultimatum, Cassie must choose between her family and Evan.
Previously published as Embezzled Love
“Based on the true story of the author’s sister, this novel builds tension as it goes. It grips the reader and throws them into a whirlwind of emotion from anger to joy and everything in between. It is a powerful book of vulnerability and strength, family loyalty versus true love. A must read for every woman.” ~ Mirella Patzer, Historical Author
“I found this to be an engaging story and the characters very believable. In this high tech age we need a reminder that not everybody is good and decent and we need to have our guard up in the faceless world of the internet.” ~ Carol Langstroth, Mind Fog Reviews
Naïve, country girl, Cynthia Freitas, moves to the big city with high hopes, but her starting salary barely makes rent in a run-down tenement. Newspaper headlines warn of a serial killer in the neighborhood, and the article grabs her attention when she recognizes the victims bear a striking resemblance to her. Alex Carlyle is assigned to assist detectives in one of the toughest cases he’s ever experienced as a cop. Despondent over a recent break-up with his fiancé, he buries himself in his work until he meets the cute new tenant next door who gives him something else to think about except kidnap and murder. The aftermath of their first “jolting” kiss places the burden on Cynthia to solve Alex’s case and keep him from potentially becoming the next victim.
Previously published as Beside Myself
A fun, sometimes tongue-in-cheek tale, cleverly written so that the reader is never confused as to who is who and in which body–sounds complicated just explaining it, but Ginger Simpson was on the ball. Excellent, thoroughly enjoying…was fun to read. Four Cats from Wild Child Publishing
Grace Cummings’ family is killed and she’s taken captive by a war party of young Lakota’s hungry to fight the white men encroaching on their sacred black hill; land granted them in a treaty with the government. The brave responsible for leading the war party and Grace’s captor is shunned by the tribe for drawing attention to their band and leaves the village, giving Grace to Little Elk, the nephew of the chief.
With the help and guidance of another white woman in camp, Green Eyes, wife of the chief, Grace learns important facts about the tribe and accepts her given Lakota name, Dancing Fawn… and the love of Little Elk.
While the warriors are away joining with other tribes to fight the war brought upon them by the young warriors, white soldier attack the camp, killing only women, children, and old men. Dancing Fawn is discovered, identified as a white captive and forced to return with the soldiers to Fort Sully. Tied hands and constant guarding display she’s not going voluntarily. Back in civilization and under the watchful eye of the Colonel’s wife, Fawn must decide where her heart truly lies.
Very good book that touches on a part of history that was left out of the history books at school.
A nice change of pace to drop back into an American Historical where the Indian is the good guy. I enjoyed the book and found the historical facts were in line with what I’ve read in other books, both factual history and historical fiction. Well researched and sensitively written.
In the 1860’s, Cecile Palmer is the envy of the single girls of Spring City and the object of every young man’s fancy-until she experiences love at first sight. She meets and weds Walt Williams in less than a week. The newlyweds journey to her husband’s newly-purchased ranch and a life for which this naive and pampered only child is ill-equipped. A series of events turns her life upside-down. An injured Indian brave stumbles into her doorway while her husband is away. Destiny changes Cecile’s life in a way she could never have imagined. She discovers she’s pregnant, and when her husband doesn’t return with the winter supplies, Lone Eagle offers to take her to winter with his people. She accepts his offer, knowing her chance of surviving the winter on her own is not good. Then a trader comes to the village with evidence Walt may still be alive. Cecile now faces a difficult decision. Self-sacrifice, betrayal and lasting love lay on the rocky road ahead. Author, Ginger Simpson paints her story with a broad brush, dipped in romance and breath-taking suspense, to create the portrait of Cecile Palmer’ s journey to womanhood. Prairie Peace does not disappoint. Reviewer: Donna Bedrick for The Romance Studio Overall rating: 4 hearts. Previously published as Prairie Peace.
Seven stories in one novel; each one with it’s own plot and lead character: a stewardess who discovers her judgment may be a little flawed, an older divorcee who finds something far more interesting than sandals at a shoe clearance, a bride-to-be thinking she has a valid reason to call off her wedding, a pudgy ex-wife with a fear that a medical apparatus will make her look like Jacques Cousteau, a newcomer to Florida expecting fair weather and experiencing her first hurricane, but not alone or scared, a daughter in mourning, pursuing the meaning of three tarnished bars held together by a black ribbon, and a doctor who discovers something totally unrelated to medicine that heals a heart problem.
“Throughout these stories, facets of each person’s character are revealed, layer by layer, often with a punch of the Ginger Simpson sense of humor. Delicious! I can think of no better way to spend an evening or lazy afternoon than wrapped in the comfort of her words.” ~ H. Haven
Tomboy, Ellie Fountain is determined to stop the conniving neighbors from their plot to take her father’s land. She’s an only child, Fountainhead is her legacy. The handsome ranch foreman, Tyler Bishop, is a burr under her saddle and a barrier to her future. Her pa treats him like the son he never had, and Ellie is jealous. She’s out to prove she’s as good as any man at ranching… but her biggest threat may not be the polecats that are killing the cattle and taking potshots at her….it might be her heart.
Carrie Lang’s sheltered life ends with a prison sentence for involvement in a bank robbery. Her arrest comes on the day she’s called in sick and stayed inside, so she can’t explain how an eye-witness describes her in great detail, down to the make and model of her car. A terrible mistake has been made, and her insistence of innocence falls on deaf ears. Even her fellow inmates don’t believe her as it’s a claim they all make. Alone in the world, she has no one to turn to for help, and not a single soul to campaign for her freedom…at least until she makes a valuable friend. In the meantime, a plan for retribution is brewing, and naïve Carrie finds herself smack dab in the middle of an evil scheme concocted by the prison bully. A ten year sentence seems mild when she’s threatened with death for refusing to participate. Can Carrie find a way out of this horrible nightmare, or is she destined to spend her days locked in terror, isolation, and the cold gray interior of prison walls?
Hattie Carson leaves an orphanage that has been her home for years to embark on a trip to California with the Franklin family. How can tending three children be as challenging as ten times that many? A passel of surprises await, including meeting the handsome young man Mr. Franklin hired as an extra hand. It doesn’t take long before Hattie’ll do anything for Billy Monroe, including jumping into a fast-moving river to escape death at the hands of Indians.
Billie Monroe really expected to be overrun by a war party when he advised Hattie to swim for safety. Now she’s gone and it’s his fault. The life he planned with her in California is nothing more than a dream…the same dream Hattie’s having while she reads an old faded journal detailing the wagon train’s trip and the past she’s been convinced doesn’t really exist.
Sarah Collins set her sights for California and a new beginning, but never imagines a war party’s attack on the wagon train she joins. A sole survivor, Sarah must find her way back to civilization, and a man of half-blood happens along at just the right time and becomes her hero…or is the whole scenario only a dream driven by all the romance novels she reads as an editor?
Sarah wakes, her cheeks damp with tears. Like a dust devil in a dying windstorm, all traces of her handsome rescuer vanish with a farewell kiss and the annoying blast of an alarm clock…until he appears at her door as a new neighbor. Will Sarah find a way to win the love she tried so hard to capture in her dream without being declared insane, or will the sexy woman living an apartment away beat Sarah at her own game?
Previously published as Sarah’s Heart and Sarah’s Passion, this edition combines both stories
Our shortcomings don’t define who we are, unless we let them. Cindy Johnson needs to learn that. Born with one leg shorter than the other, she has no self-esteem because of the cruel comments and cold stares she receives from her classmates. When Cory Neil, the football quarterback, asks her to Homecoming, she’s quite sure he’s asked her on a dare and refuses. It takes more than just her mother’s assurances that Cindy’s beautiful before she realizes she may have made a mistake in turning him down.
Why won’t Meagan Murphy’s father allow her to date anyone in uniform? He must have reasons he hasn’t shared, but contrary to Daddy’s rules, Meg meets Ryan Cullen while volunteering at the USO and throws caution to the wind. Ryan only has a short time before his unit ships out, and Meagan intends to make the most of the time they have left together. His parting gift is a ring on her finger and a request that she wait for him to return. Will he make it home to ask permission for her hand…or are all those nightly radio newscasts about mounting casualties warning her to prepare for the worst?
Mariah Cassidy awakens in the twentieth century. Confined in a pristine environment, hooked to tubes and beeping machines, she’s scared, confused and wondering why everyone keeps calling her Mrs. Morgan. Who is the strange man who keeps massaging her forehead and telling her everything is going to be all right?
Taylor Morgan tries to focus on her surroundings through a blinding headache. The patchwork quilt, the water basin, and the archaic room don’t strike a familiar chord. Her mouth gapes when a handsome man waltzes into the room, calls her darling, and expresses his delight that she’s on the road to recovery.
Yellow Moon, a Lakota maiden, accompanies her family to the Sun Dance and becomes promised to a Santee warrior who’ll soon be chief. While accompanying Thunder Eyes’ clan back to his tribe, she and the other women are stolen by the Crow, and while in Plenty Coup’s camp is told she’ll become his second wife rather than be a slave. She finds friendship and help at the hands of his first wife, a Cherokee captive called Pretty Shield.
When Thunder Eye’s comes to rescue his betrothed, she begs him to take her newfound friend along, and the two women eventually become sisters-in-law. When the Crow come to extract their revenge, fate changes their destiny in a big way.
Cold Coffee Press Spotlight Interview With Author Ginger Simpson
Ginger Simpson has been writing since 2000 and has produced many fine reads. She’s a pantser who writes when her characters speak, and plotting is as foreign to her as speaking another language. She retired from the University of California, Davis after 24 years, and moved to Tennessee to be caretaker to her autistic grandson. Time flies. That was in 2003/2004 and now Spencer is 13. She’s gone from listening to Thomas the Train in the background to being able to enjoy whatever type of music she likes.
She’s currently working on another “Sarah” story but swears this one is her swan song. At 70, she wants to spend whatever time God grants her doing fun things with her husband, and not feeling the stress of being an author. Gone are the days of easily obtainable reviews and low overhead. Competition for everything has grown due to self-publishing, and those who think they are authors but need to go through the editing process for years to learn they truly aren’t. What used to be so easy has become more of a chore.
What makes you proud to be a writer from TN, USA? I’m proud to be an author just based on accomplishments. I never knew I could achieve. Here in TN, people kind of give you a blank stare when you announce your profession. I don’t imagine too many people my age find time to read because it seems most grandparents are too busy raising their grandchildren…at least that is the case in the area where I live. I’ve always been a people person, but in all the years, I’ve lived here, this has been the most difficult place to make new friends. I still haven’t figured out why most folks expect free copies. Don’t they realize how many hours an author toils over each story?
What or who inspired you to become a writer? I’ve always been an avid reader. I love authors who sweep me away to another time and place and put me in their character’s shoes. When I was between Cassie Edward’s captivating stories, and had read everything western by Amanda Baker, I decided to try my own hand at writing, and voila…that was the beginning of an exciting new decade for me.
When did you begin writing with the intention of becoming published? In 2000, I wrote my debut novel, Prairie Peace, now re-released as Destiny’s Bride. I knew I wasn’t going to look for an agent (didn’t need the added stress), so I researched small publishing and found Wings E Press. I submitted the story, not expecting acceptance, but lo and behold, I got a wonderful letter saying I TOLD a beautiful story, but now needed to learn to SHOW it to the reader. That’s what I mean about self-pubbed, people who believe they can step into the author’s arena without learning the ropes. I learned tons from my first editor, and I have continued learning with each submission. Unless you go through the appropriate channels, you’re clueless to the rules of writing that apply to authors.
Did your environment or upbringing play a major role in your writing and did you use it to your advantage? I grew up in a house of western lovers. There was always a John Wayne film on TV and when the radio played, it was Johnny Cash singing. We spent many nights watching The Grand Ol’ Opry, and anything western on TV. Loving the genre set in the old west era seems only logical, and I love it.
Do you come up with your title before or after you write the manuscript? Strange as it seems…my stories come with titles and characters already named when the hero or hero pops into my head. It’s only been on the re-releases of my books that I have to come up with new titles, and that’s really hard.
Please introduce your genre and why you prefer to write in that genre? I’ve written cross genres just to prove to myself that I can, but I always migrate back to Western Historical Romance. I write sweet romance with a tad of sexuality because I’m that kind of person. I prefer to leave the grinds, thrusts and groans to the reader’s imagination. I wrote only one Erotica, and that was the most difficult book ever. You either have to possess a really active imagination or be pro-active in the bedroom…neither apply to me.
What was your inspiration, spark or light bulb moment that inspired you to write the book that you are seeking promotion for? I’m always inspired when a new character shows up with an idea for a story. I’m driven by the need to find out how the journey ends.
What has been your most rewarding experience with your writing process? The appreciation shown by my peers and a few nominations for best reads. I’ve never won an actual award because I haven’t taken the time to enter any writing contests, but there have been a few times when people have nominated me, and that’s a wonderful feeling. I was so shocked when Love Romances announced one of my books as a 2009 best Western Read.
What has been your most rewarding experience in your publishing journey? Finding publishers who believe in me and have faith in my ability to succeed. I’ve been very lucky to have each publisher see the value in my stories and by far the most rewarding experience for any author after getting a nod of acceptance is holding that new book in your hand for the first time.
What one positive piece of advice would you give to other authors? Be yourself, and don’t ever let anyone steal your voice.
Who is your favorite author and why? Laura Ingalls Wilder has an always will be my favorite. I’ve read every “Little House” story a hundred times, and she was the true inspiration for my writing. I’m always flattered if someone compares me to her.
Is there anything else that you would like to share with us? I’ve been doing this for so many years, I doubt there’s anything most don’t know about me. My life has been an open book.