Podcasts and More

Here we are, it’s Wednesday again Scribblers. I hope you are having a great week. This week, I wanted to give a shout out to some of my favorite podcasts. If you don’t listen to podcasts you need to start, they are fun and a great way to keep up with the topics you find most interesting. I also love that they make my commute to the office and back home bearable.

Here is my list of favorite podcasts in no particular order:

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WROTE Podcast: WROTE is a weekly podcast where the hosts Baz and Vance chat with guests about LGBTQ storytelling in all genres and mediums. However, there podcast isn’t just about LGBTQ storytelling, they talk to all kinds of LGBTQ content providers and consumers.

What I love about Vance and Baz is how lively the conversations are. You can tell they have fun with their guests. You never know where they conversation will go, but you will have a great time getting there. I can’t tell you how many wonderful new authors I’ve learned about thanks to this podcast. Each podcast is about an hour which is nice.

Find the WROTE Podcast here.

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The WritesCast Network: This podcast is a writing-podcast collective for writers, by writers, with the mission to gather all of your favorite writerly audio on one convenient RSS feed. The Writescast Network started with the R. R. Campbell writescast, which features author, editor, and agent interviews full of writing wisdom from storytellers across the globe. They have expanded to include Biblio Breakdown and Novel Approaches, both of which are more craft-intensive.

R.R. Campbell and his co-host Sione Aeschliman are intelligent and great to listen to, as a writer, I find myself agreeing with a lot of what they share and taking mental notes on how to improve my writing.  As a Reader I love R.R.’s one-on-one conversation with authors, it’s a great way to find out about books and new authors I wouldn’t have heard of otherwise. The Writescast Network episodes are about a half hour and the indebt writing conversations on Novel Approach last bout an hour. Both are high quality and very informative.

Find The Writescast Network here.

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GayTalk 2.0: The Ultimate PodCast: Is a group of three friends that come together every Monday to provide listeners with hilarious commentary on all the current events of the week.  The hosts sit around the table with cocktails in hand bringing the latest on art, current events, news, music, and other topics that impact the LGBT community.  The show consists of several segments that are chosen to provide listeners relevant, current, informative content with a funny gay twist. Most topics discussed on the show are those that closely affect the LGBTQ+ community. The hosts don’t shy away from any topic; Sex, politics, alcohol, addiction, fetish, gossip, celebrities, or tragedy. They cover it all.

The banter, oh my goodness the banter. Tom, Chris, and Nick (or Trish) are funny as hell. These guys are great. I may not always agree 100% with them, but if you are looking for conversations on current events that are discussed with a lot of heart (and seriousness when applicable) then you have to check out this podcast. I can’t recommend them enough. This podcast hovers around an hour to an hour and a half and it’s worth every minute.

Find GayTalk2.0 here.

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Queer Words: Conversation with queer-identified authors about their works and lives.

That really sums it up, Wayne Goodman is charming and welcoming to his guest, who are all authors. Wayne will have them answer a few questions and then do a reading from one of their works. It’s another way to find some amazing books and learn about some fantastic authors. The podcast typically goes anywhere from twenty to thirty minutes.

Find Queer Words here.

You really need to check out these amazing podcasts, they are always a wonderful break from your day-to-day.


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As a reminder, this week I have two events coming up. First, Friday (August 16th) at 7 p.m. I’m going to be part of a Meet the Authors event here in San Jose at the Billy DeFrank Center.

I’ll be joined by the amazing J.Scott Coatsworth, the outstanding SA ‘Baz’ Collins, and the brilliant Jeanne Marcella.

Find more information by clicking here.


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Second, this Saturday at 11 a.m. I’ll be live on Facebook with A. F. Stewart for their live stream Between the Pages. We’ll be chatting about my Sci Fi series and my upcoming work. Check out the details here.

A lot is still going on. I hope you check out these podcasts they are all top quality and every entertaining. I learn a lot from each of them and wouldn’t miss a week. Do you have any favorite podcasts? What do you listen to on the drive to and from work? Let me know in the comments below. In the meantime have a great week and see you next time.

Summer Vacation 2019

Happy Wednesday Scribblers, can you believe summer is almost over and the kids are getting ready to head back to school? Where does the time go? This week, in the vein of summer (at least for those of us here in the Northern Hemisphere) I figured I would share with you all a little about where I went on Summer Vacation.

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This July Eric and I packed up the car, plugged in the iPod, and headed to southern California for a week away at the happiest place on Earth. This trip was special as it was Eric’s birthday and we haven’t gone away for his birthday in quite a few years. So, this year we splurged and stayed at the Disneyland Hotel and we set up some amazing dinning reservation for the week. As many of you know we go to Disneyland when we can, but this year, like I said we did some things we don’t normally do, and we had an absolute blast.

Staying at the Disneyland hotel we got lucky and stayed on the club level, which granted us access to the E Ticket Lounge on the 10th Floor. The lounge had amazing views of the park and offered heavy snacks and adult beverages throughout the day, which was fantastic. It was especially nice with the heat and humidity that was going on while we were there.

Disneyland may be the happiest place on Earth, but not so much when it’s in the 90s and 100s (32c – 38c) and hovering around 50% humidity.

Because of the heat and humidity we would get to the parks early then leave when it got hot. Our plan was to return to the parks in the evening when (in theory) it cooled off, it didn’t work as planned most days.

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Did I mention we got to do things we don’t normally get to do? Well we did, we got to ride in the back of the monorail, when we were heading to the park. So cool!

One of the big reasons for going to Disneyland was to check out Galaxy’s Edge and ride Smugglers Run. Galaxy’s Edge was amazing. The whole land, was incredibly detailed and I could spend hours getting lost in all the scenery. While there, we didn’t really eat anything, but we did manage to try the blue milk and green milk, which was good. Personally, I liked the blue milk more, but they were both tasty. We also got a Tatooine Sunset, which was yummy. Of course we managed to ride Smugglers Run twice (we were Engineers both times) and overall we did quite well. I still can’t believe that Eric got 100% accuracy… whatever.

No, we didn’t get lightsabers or droids, but we did explore the shops and interact with the natives, which was fun. Sadly, I didn’t see Rae, nor did I get to see Kylo Ren, but you can’t have everything. Next Trip.

While we were they, as I mentioned, we set up some great dinning reservation. We ate at the Napa Rose, Carthay Circle, and Steakhouse 55. The food was amazing and I think Eric enjoyed himself.

This trip we also got to spend a couple days with my amazing cousin, which is always a blast.

As you can see, me and the hubby had a wonderful holiday and enjoyed our time away, despite the heat and humidity. Where do you like to go on vacation? Did you go anywhere this summer or do you travel at other times of the year? Let me know in the comments below. In the meantime have a great week and see you next time.

Reaper: A Horror Novella – Creepy As Hell

This week I’m pleased to welcome fellow author Jonathan Pongratz to my Scribbles Page to chat about his horror novella Reaper.  I’ve had the pleasure of chatting with and getting to know Jonathan over the last couple years so its great to have him here today to talk.

Jonathan why don’t you tell us about a little about yourself and your writing (something that isn’t in your bio)?

Well, for starters, I’m extremely ambitious.

At any given time, I’ve got new ideas forming in my noggin, so I’ve got a plethora of projects to choose from on my many Google Docs that I use as idea boards.

I’m also something of a genre hopper. So far, each story I’ve written has been in a different genre, and I really enjoy exploring elements that bring differing concepts together. I don’t really see myself as writing one single type of genre and sticking to it.

So far I’ve written YA Horror and Urban Fantasy pieces, but eventually I want to branch out into other genres and concepts like mystery, steampunk, and maybe even time travel!.

When you’re not writing what do you enjoy doing?

I have a lot of interests outside writing, primarily reading. That takes up most of my spare time, and lately I’ve been focusing more on indie authors’ works.

Outside of that, I love binge-watching some Netflix or HBO or going out for some karaoke with my friends. I was a choir kid basically my entire life, so music has always been a huge passion of mine.

Now let’s talk about Reaper: A Horror Novella, why a horror Novella? What inspired you to write the story? Where did the idea for come from?

To be honest, I was surprised that my first published work was in the YA/Horror genre. At the time, I was waiting to hear back on the submission of my first urban fantasy novel (still unpublished at the moment). It was around September last year, and I was binge-watching all kinds of horror movies (my favorite movie genre) when a story started forming in my head. I started writing it all down, and two months later, I had my rough draft of Reaper.

This story kind of just happened, much like my urban fantasy novel, and I really love the fact that writing can be like that. Sometimes a story just comes to you and you have to write it.

Tell us about your main character Gregory, is he a younger you, or someone you knew growing up, or is he a complete fabrication?  Where did his inspiration come from?

I plead the fifth on this one, haha! I did model Gregory from my experiences as a kid in the 90’s. Back then, I was your stereotypical comic book nerd that would beg his parents to go to the comic book store. Any chance my parents gave me for an allowance I would take it, though it usually involved doing laundry rather than watching my siblings. Though I was definitely afraid of the dark, I never had a creepy basement. Thank goodness for that!

You never specify a location, for the story, with a love, it’s kind of an any town. Was that intentional or did you have a real place in mind?

Ironically, this also relates to my experience as a kid in the 90’s. I grew up in a small, nondescript town, and I wanted that reflected in the story. Once I was finished with my drafts, I did go back and consider naming it, but decided against it. I figured that some of my readers would probably relate to living in an ordinary town where nothing seems to ever happen, and I didn’t feel that naming it would necessary add much to the story, especially given what happens later on. ;)

I know asking an author this is like making them remove an arm, but do you have a favorite character in the story?  Honestly I loved Trent and Greg, they both seemed very real to me. So, who’s your favorite?

To be honest, I’m torn between Trent and Greg right down the middle. I see a lot of myself in both of them.

On one hand, Gregory is courageous, adaptive, and a hero. I love my heroes. But Trent is your cool kid, the one who rebels against the system built around us. We all go through that phase, and he found himself by going through that. I found myself in the same way.

So sorry, no favorites here!

Do you like horror stories? What do you enjoy reading?

Oh, I live for them! I grew up reading Goosebumps as much as I possibly could, but oddly enough, I haven’t read too many horror novels. I focused more on cinema in the past, but am starting to catch up on some really great chilling reads.

Other than horror, I am a huge fan of YA, scifi, fantasy, paranormal/supernatural, superheroes, thrillers, anything with plenty of action and a fast-moving plot that gets those pages turning! I’m also trying to get into time travel novels as well, though I’m not sure when I’ll find the time.

What’s coming up next for you?  What do you have in writing pipeline?

Well, quite a bit actually. I’m currently writing the sequel to Reaper (Yes, I can confirm that there will indeed be a sequel!) and am plotting out the second act as we speak. I’m hoping to get this book published sometime later this year.

After that, I’m going back to work on my beloved urban fantasy series. I’ll be polishing up the first book one last time before submitting to different publishers. Then I just have to write the other four novels I plan on writing. No big deal, right?

Even further after that, I have a number of other projects that I’ve been dying to write, so those may pop up in between other books getting published.

The future is definitely bright!

Is there anything else you would like to share with us today?

From personal experience, I’d like to give some quick advice to newer or struggling writers out there.

Write and read as much as you can, and establish a daily routine.

Writing on a schedule has been crucial to developing my craft, even when I think that I’ve plateaued. Though I may not always want to write when it’s time to, it’s a way to challenge myself and focus on attaining my goals.

Reading supplies my inspiration to write, and the more I read, the more I want to write as well. Even if you don’t draw a ton of inspiration from the books you read, reading supplies the imagination with new thoughts and ideas that can be priceless in the long run.

I want to thank Jonathan Pongratz for stopping by my Scribbles Page today.  If you have questions for Jonathan leave them below and I’ll ensure he swings by to answer, or you can find him on Social Media, see the links below. For my review of Reaper: A Horror Novella find it here. As always if you enjoyed this content and want to help spread the word not only about Jonathan Pongratz like and share below. So, tell us what are your favorite horror novels?  Do you like books that go bump in the night? Tell us below. Until next time have a great week.


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Book Blurb for Reaper: A Horror Novella:

Gregory and his little sister Imogen love spending Halloween with their parents. But this year is different. If he proves he can take care of Imogen all by himself, he’ll finally have the allowance he’s dreamed of.

That was before the basement door opened on its own. Before the strange door appeared in the basement and Imogen was taken from him by the monster.

Now everyone in town is blaming him for her disappearance, but no one is listening to his story. Where did the door come from? What was that creature? And most of all, can he find his sister before it’s too late, or will he bury his memories of her along with his parents?

Buy Links:

Find Reaper: A Horror Novella on Amazon here.

Find Reaper: A Horror Novella on Barnes and Noble here.


Who is Jonathan Pongratz:

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Jonathan Pongratz is a writer and author of captivating horror, urban fantasy, and paranormal stories. When he’s not writing, he’s busy being a bookworm, video game junkie, and karaoke vocalist. A former resident of Dallas, he currently resides in Kansas City with his Halloween cat Ajax. By day he works magic in finance, by night he creates dark and mesmerizing worlds.

Where can we find him:

Website: www.jonathanpongratz.com

Facebook: www.facebook.com/jonathanpongratz

Goodreads: www.goodreads.com/jonathanpongratz

Tumblr: Jonathanpongratz.tumblr.com

Amazon: https://www.amazon.com/author/jonathanpongratz

A Non-Binary Perspective on M/M Fiction by L.A. Ashton

Happy Wednesday Scribblers, this week I have fellow NineStar Press Author L.A. Ashton over as a guest blogger.  L.A. will be sharing their perspective on writing M/M romance. It’s a thought providing post that I hope you all enjoy:

For many readers, books are an escape. We slip between the pages to experience a life more interesting, be a person more daring, and revel in stakes immensely dire. But the thing that makes readers really connect with a story isn’t usually the wild rides or fantastical surroundings. It’s the thing that speaks to us and our lives—it’s the very real and very relatable.

Whether its sharing religious or philosophical beliefs with the protagonist, having the same dry humor or sharp temper, or maybe being a boy who also loves boys, it’s the similarities that can make a story speak to our heart. All those little details that can make a person feel seen for the first time, or maybe feel like they can better see themselves.

I was a voracious reader before I was a writer, but I rarely felt seen. It wasn’t something I even realized I was missing until I started penning my own stories, and for some reason the main characters kept turning out bisexual. The reason for that became apparent over time. I was also writing a lot of M/M, which was something I was neither ashamed of, nor thought had any deeper meaning—I was a queer person who wrote queer fiction.

All sorts of people write M/M, and while I am a huge supporter of #OwnVoices, the movement was never meant to snatch stories out of other people’s hands. The M/M stories I read and wrote were ones I cherished, and so long as they were written with care and kindness, I wouldn’t be giving them up.

To be clear: I am not an “M/M Author”. While I have written three gay romances, I have F/F and other things in the pipes right now. But M/M was where I kept landing, and where I was finding myself most often.

As time went on and I became more comfortable in my own skin, I couldn’t help asking myself some questions. Questions like, “Why have I gravitated toward M/M so fiercely?”; “What about M/M is especially lucrative right now?”; and eventually, “Why is it easier for me to connect with male main characters?”

I hadn’t heard the terms non-binary, genderfluid, agender, genderqueer, etc., until I was well into my twenties. Finding those terms was like a lightning strike: illuminating, but terrifying. I had never questioned being a girl, because I had never been taught beyond the binary. If being a man didn’t feel right, then, obviously, I was woman.

But it wasn’t obvious. I had just been ignorant, and now my world was exploding.

It took me a while to accept those terms for myself, which feels strange in retrospect; I would never call myself a girl now—it’s not what I am.

I don’t understand gender at all. As someone who has spent massive amounts of time thinking about their gender, I am startlingly clueless. And I think that’s one of the traits that comes along with being who I am: sometimes I’m closer to one end of the spectrum, and sometimes another, but usually my gender could be summed up with the general idea of a void or black hole, or perhaps an old fashioned question mark.

I will never have a body that aligns with who I am inside. I would have to be a shapeshifter or something else from legend; there is no single form that I feel can capture me best. But I can escape.

For me, writing M/M is like slipping into a skin that binds and frees me. I can experience life in ways that aren’t possible, and envision something sure and certain. It is the exact magic that made me fall in love with reading in the first place: the transportation out of myself that also connects me even more firmly with who I am. It is the fantastical and the relatable, the real and the imaginary.

Reading and writing are liberating. They have been my safe haven and my refuge, a place to feel powerful as well as peaceful. All I can hope to do with my writing is offer some of that in return, whether it helps someone feel-out their identity, or just makes their afternoon a little brighter.

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Wow! A special thank you to L.A. Ashton for stopping by today and providing this wonderful guest blog post.  If you have questions for L.A. Aston leave them below and I’ll ensure they swings by to answer, or you can find them on Social Media, see the links below. As always if you enjoyed this content and want to help spread the word not only about L.A. Ashton like and share below. Until next time have a great week.


About L.A. Ashton:

L. A. Ashton is an LGBT+ author writing LGBT+ fiction. They were born and raised between neat grids of corn and soybean fields. They enjoy rock music, traveling, and anything else that adds color to their daydreams. They believe in the healing properties of art and of having a cat firmly stationed on one’s lap.

Where to find L.A. Ashton:

Official Site: http://laashton.com/

Twitter: https://twitter.com/LAAshton_

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

Goodreads: https://www.goodreads.com/author/show/17171457.L_A_Ashton


About: Valhalla

Sakuma has served as a Valkyrie for centuries, smoothly escorting thousands of souls to the grand halls of Valhalla. While the world tears itself apart during WWII, he is summoned to retrieve the soul of a fallen Japanese soldier, Ishii Hiroshi. To Sakuma’s surprise, Ishii refuses his invitation to eternity.

The two meet again and again as the war repeatedly sends Ishii to death’s door, and what should have been a fleeting encounter becomes something much greater for the both of them.

Sakuma is determined to give Ishii the reward he so deserves, but Ishii’s stubbornness may condemn him to an eternity outside Valhalla.

Where to Buy:

Amazon: https://amzn.to/2E71zWY

Barnes and Noble: http://tinyurl.com/y6yh8sw5

Kobo: https://tinyurl.com/y2op2pd6

Smashwords: http://tinyurl.com/y4qyz268

Ninestar Press (publisher): http://tinyurl.com/y4afrz2l


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About Echoes

After one thousand years of listless eternity, Oskar is used to his particular brand of loneliness. But a long walk through middle America and a few chance encounters will lead him straight to a man he’d known to be long since dead—his childhood best friend, Aranck.

Being undead hasn’t stopped Aran from living life to the fullest. He has all the money and power his charm and business savvy could earn him, and plenty of friends. Lately, though, something seems to be missing. After a millennia, perhaps the world’s shine has worn off—and that’s when Oskar stumbles back into his life, reminding him of who he used to be.

Together the two vampires remember what it felt like to live, all the while navigating a conflict with the local pack of werewolves. A lot has changed in a thousand years, and only time will tell if those changes will bring Oskar and Aranck closer together, or ensure they remain apart.

Where to Buy:

Amazon: https://amzn.to/2E71zWY

Barnes and Noble: http://tinyurl.com/y6yh8sw5

Kobo: https://tinyurl.com/y2op2pd6

Smashwords: http://tinyurl.com/y4qyz268

Ninestar Press (publisher): http://tinyurl.com/y4afrz2l

Top Ten List with Kay Doherty

Happy July Scribblers, I hope you all had a safe and joyous 4th of July. This week I welcome fellow NineStar Press author Kay Doherty for a fun Top Ten List about shifterwolves and shifterdragons. Let’s get to it shall we:

What are the top ten reasons you picked shifterwolves and shifterdragons to write around?

  1. When I first started writing I joined Out in Colorado Fiction. There was talk about doing an anthology centered around dragons. The short story I started for that soon became a novel and by the time I reached the end, I realized there was potential for a series. Thankfully, my editor at NineStar, BJ, agreed and the Chevalier Series was born.

  2. I’ve always been drawn to characters with special abilities. When I was teen, my youngest brother and I were fascinated with the X-men and the things they could do. I would make up stories in my head where I was the one who could control the weather or start fires in the palm of my hand. Such a cool idea.

  3. I love dragons. Always have. They embody strength, fearlessness, loyalty, and danger.

  4. My husband loves wolves and volunteers monthly at a wolf sanctuary in southern Colorado called Mission: Wolf. They give tours, educate visitors about wolves to help dispel rumor and myth, and allow you to meet them. You can go into the enclosure and touch them. It seemed natural to me that when Luca stumbled on his mate, that mate would be a wolf.

  5. I wanted to explore the paranormal genre as a writer because I love it as a reader. I probably have hundreds of MM romances with shifters, vampires, witches, you name it.

  6. Luca, Tanner, and the rest of the pack give me the opportunity to explore racism, hate, and discrimination, and find a way to live in a world thick with it. I’d not experienced any of those things until I came out as omni and polysexual. These guys give me a chance to work through it all with them. Tanner really embodies a lot of my struggles with my day job and learning to accept that people will hate me simply because I’m in a committed bisexual poly-family.

  7. Writing shifters and other paranormals freed my writing. I love the two contemporary MM romances I’ve written, but I felt like my creativity could really fly when I didn’t have to follow the “real world” rules. I could make my characters whatever I wanted and give them all these sweet-ass abilities. It’s been so much fun to write.

  8. Having wolf-shifters and dragon-shifters opened the door to have other paranormal beings. As the series progresses there are vampires, phoenix, sorcerers, lion-shifters, hawk-shifters, and whatever other creatures I can imagine. Pretty sure I threw a gryphon in there just for the hell of it.

  9. Writing shifters gave me the opportunity to write complex characters. It’s one thing to write a human with human thoughts and emotions. Add in a supernatural half and you create a whole new level of problems. Animal behavior is so different from human behavior and its fun trying to weave those together in a way that’s cohesive and believable.

  10. It’s sexy!

I love these quick top ten lists, they are so much fun and I believe you get a real feel for the author and the stories they create. I want to thank Kay Doherty for stopping by today and chatting with us. What do you think about dragons and wolves? What about shifters? Let us know in the comments below and I’ll be sure to have Kay stop by and respond. As always don’t forget to share and like this post. Until next time have a great week.


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About Kay Doherty

Kay Doherty is an omnisexual/polysexual who lives in Colorado with her poly-family, Mike, Keri, and Tigz. Her house is overrun with cats and dogs. Family is important to her so there are daily texts, frequent visits to her parents, and constant banter with her brothers. She happily suffers a severe addiction to coffee and Mexican food. She loves to read and write and can easily become consumed by it for hours, much to the dismay of Mike and Keri (Tigz is an enabler). On occasion she can be convinced to venture out into world of the living despite being annoyed by the sun shining in her face.

Where to Find Kay

Email address: kaydohertyauthor@gmail.com

Website: kaydohertybooks.com

Fine her on Facebook: @kaydohertyauthor

Find here on Twitter: @kdohertyauthor


About Hearts of Fire (Chevalier Book One)

Luca Duray has been quite happy living a solitary existence for decades. But when a steel trap around his leg catches him when he’s weak and hungry, his life is irrevocably changed. He knows the wolf shifter who offers him assistance is more than he appears and immediately makes plans to keep the pup close.

Disowned by his pack for being gay, Tanner McBane is forced to become a lone wolf. While on a hunt, he stumbles upon an injured dragon shifter and provides aid. It’s not easy surviving on his own and when money gets tight, he finds himself face-to-face with the dragon shifter once again during an interview. Tanner isn’t sure a wolf should be working for a dragon, but he accepts the job and unknowingly creates a bond to his new boss. Soon, Tanner learns Luca isn’t just his boss—he’s his mate.

The mating of a wolf and dragon shifter is uncharted territory for both Luca and Tanner, but they are determined to make it work despite widespread prejudice, death threats, and the untraditional pack Tanner finds himself leading. Tanner only hopes that the bond he forms with Luca will prove to be unbreakable.

Where to buy Hearts of Fire

Find it on NineStar Press here.

Find it through GoodReads here.


Coming in August 2019 Hearts of Blood (Chevalier Book Two)

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Interview with Author Andrew Peters

It’s now fully summer, can you believe it. Well, happy Wednesday Scribblers. Today I’m thrilled to bring you fellow NineStar Press Author Andrew J. Peters.  Andy, has a bunch of works out, now only for young adults but for adults as well.  This week I invited Andy over to chat about his newest work Irresistible. I had the pleasure of reading the book before the interview so today we get to dive into the book and, of course, Andy’s work as an author. Let’s dive in shall we:

MN: Andy, I have to tell you I wasn’t sure what I was getting into when I started reading Irresistible. It’s such a unique tale, especially considering it’s based on Chariton’s Callirhoe, which I had honestly never heard of, so what made you decide to write this type of novel, especially giving it the gay treatment? What drew you to the story?

AP: Few people outside of classical scholars have heard of Callirhoe, so you’re in good company. I included in my Author’s Note what led me to that obscure inspiration point because it definitely warrants some explanation.

I’m better known for writing fantasy, and I was doing research for my novel The City of Seven Gods, which is a near-world historical fantasy with ancient Egyptian, Mesopotamian, and Greek touchpoints. I wanted to read translated material written in that era to get a better ear for how people talked about their daily lives. So I stumbled upon Callirhoe, which has the distinction of being the oldest extant romance novel according to literary scholars. Lots of things about that intrigued me, including the fact the author is Chariton of Aphrodisias, which is kind of awesomely on-the-nose for a romance author.

But I was also really curious what a romance novel looked like in the 1st century C.E., and the shocking thing to me was the story reads like a comedy mash-up of Harlequin romance and Shakespeare play. It’s funny because it was panned by “serious” literary critics of the time while still achieving commercial success, so there was something really interesting to me about how ancient sensibilities weren’t so different from modern attitudes about literature.

The story is totally absurd and painfully earnest. Callirhoe is the most beautiful woman in the world, and she falls instantly in love with young, handsome Chaereas when they spot each other on the street. They immediately make plans to marry, but a group of Chaereas’ friends try to sabotage their union because they’re jealous that he gets to marry her. An outlandish comedy of errors ensues involving kidnapping, forced marriage, a military insurgency, and finally a trial to sort out who has the right to Callirhoe during which the judge plots to steal her for himself. All the while, Callirhoe has impassioned soliloquies cursing the gods for making her so beautiful and pining for her true love Chaereas. When they’re reunited, they literally faint from the ecstasy of the moment.

To me, that was winning material for a modern send-up reclaiming the story for rom-com fans. In a sense it took me back to my writing roots. I wrote a lot of absurd humor in high school and college but got on a fantasy kick when I started writing for publication. Callirhoe reminded me of one of my favorite comedy movies There’s Something About Mary, and I felt gay rom-com doesn’t get as much daylight as it should. It was fun to approach the subject of gay relationships from a light, really madcap perspective. 

MN: One of the things that is difficult for me, as a reader to relate to, are physically perfect characters. And, this book had the lead characters as physically perfect. What I love about the story is that you made these guys incredibly flawed, was this your intention from the start so the reader would be able to relate to them? Or, is it just how the characters are? I guess the big question here is how to keep these characters likable and believable, which is a hard line to balance, so what were your goals to that end? In the end I did find the characters likable and I thought you did a good job with it, but how do you think you did? Are you happy with their characterization especially now that the book is out? Do you think it all worked the way you wanted?

AP: My intention was heartwarming parody, and I think you’re right, that requires a well-measured balance. Because on one hand, I wanted to blow things up to point out certain social hypocrisies and superficialities while also saying something true about the world. Partially, I thought a story about a tragic, irresistible beauty in the gay community worked really well because I think we do fall prey to an obsessive search for beauty, which is defined as youthful, physical perfection. We see that in advertising, dating apps, gym culture, the whole cosmetic surgery and beauty industry, and I’ve known so many guys with body image issues as well as those who will only pursue young, conventionally-attractive men like it’s some validation of their worth.

So in developing the story’s tragic beauty Callisthenes (Cal), I did call upon those stereotyped traits. He’s twenty-four, blond-haired, boyishly handsome, slimly built. But it was important to me that he’s naively unaware of how attractive he is. That’s partially for the comedy. At a crowded outdoor theater, everybody makes way for him to have a prime seat on the grass, and he thinks it’s just this friendly thing. He’s come to New York for the summer, and when people shoulder each other aside to give him directions, he’s like: “Everyone in the country has it wrong about New Yorkers. They’re really kind and helpful.” I imagined him as this sweet, earthy, unpretentious guy who’s actually a bit more goofy and nerdy than you might expect. He’s a broke, grad student so he goes to random things like free lectures on writing true crime fiction, and he’s reading Artur Rimbaud’s love letters in the original French for fun. So with that portrayal, I hoped to make him more relatable and endearing.

With his love interest Brendan, I needed to create Cal’s handsome prince, so physical attractiveness was definitely an ingredient, but I also considered that Cal would be drawn to an intellectual type. Part of the parody with Brendan is he’s a trust fund brat who’s kind of rudderless and filled with angst. He definitely suffers from rich guilt, but I didn’t want to make that superficial. He’s trying to be socially conscious, and he’d rather take a guy out on a date for ice cream rather than impressing him with his wealth. But I drew on certain familiar observations about people of privilege in a light-hearted way. He’s got the requisite psychotherapist, has studied Buddhism, is over-educated but lacking the basic work skills to actually handle a job. I wanted to make him kind of a hot mess who finds a sense of grounding and belonging in Cal.

I love the story and the characters, so that hasn’t changed since Irresistible came out; but I also learned the comedy point-of-view isn’t for everyone. Some readers thought it was hilarious and refreshingly different. Some thought it was an eye-rolling train wreck, which in some ways is the point. Humor is really subjective, so it’s definitely a risk, and I don’t have the right perspective or I guess literary sensibility to write a satisfying story for traditional romance fans. I’ve never written stories “to trend,” just more so hoped they’d reach some readers who relate. That approach hasn’t launched me into the stratosphere as an author for sure, but for me, it’s been a risk worth taking.

MN: As I read the novel, I kept shaking my head at the wacky circumstances you got your characters into. This is a rom-com and of course there is a lot of misdirection (I think that is the correct way to say it) was this true of Callirhoe, or did you take liberty with the story?

AP: Yes, misdirection would be right. I actually had to tone down the ridiculous plot devices from the source material. Callirhoe may also be the oldest extant example of the “they’re not really dead” trope. When Chaereas is manipulated into believing Callirhoe cheated on him, he kicks her in the precise spot on her diaphragm that induces a death-like coma, and they go through a funeral and she wakes up to be kidnapped by grave robbers.

Most of the circumstances that thwart Cal and Brendan are loosely based on characters and plot points from the original, and I had to give them some tweaks for modern times. Cal’s pursuers like the Romanian mobster, the old hermit widower, his horny adolescent naval prison guard Faraj, and the despotic Arabian king are re-imagined. The one thing I somewhat kept is the journey, which goes through the Greek isles and ends up in the Middle East. I of course invented the Sultanate of Maritime Kindah as Cal and Brendan’s final destination.

MN: As I mentioned above I’m not at all familiar with the source material you wrote this story off of, did you have issues adapting this story for modern times? I thought you dealt with the whole social media aspect of it quite well, given the nature of the characters, especially Cal, how he didn’t end up a Social Media star or internet celebrity still has me curious, what were your writing strategies for this and how do you think it all worked out?

AP: Yeah, besides being a heterosexual love story, the original has the heroine being trafficked by sail boat through the Greek isles in a time when women were property. Beyond figuring out what a tragically beautiful gay man would look like in the modern world, I did have to consider technologies and political and law enforcement aspects to bring a story of obsession and abduction into a contemporary setting.

A guy who turns heads wherever he goes would face some creepy situations for example, and probably my biggest challenge was balancing a responsible portrayal of that while keeping the tone light. Part of Cal’s history involves stalkers and guys who send him dick pics, and then of course, he has a host of men who he thinks are going to help him get back to Brendan but are covertly plotting to keep him for themselves. As a contemporary story, it could easily have turned out feeling more like horror or crime drama than rom-com.

It helped a lot to have those sections vetted by beta readers and editorial staff to get the tone and balance right. For example, I tried to make one of Cal’s stalkers more comical by having him drive his Smart car into his house and ending up jammed in the car with local news crews filming him being sawed out by welders and carried out in a stretcher. I think the key was placing creepy situations in a world which feels silly and safe enough to readers to trust nothing too dark could possibly happen.

I think that’s why outrageous rom-coms by the Farrelly Brothers work like my fave There’s Something About Mary. Things could go to a dark place given the circumstances, but the danger and violence is given an absurd treatment. Like when Ben Stiller’s character picks up a hitchhiker who turns out to be a serial killer, and the guy runs off on him at a late-night rest stop. Then Ben is caught up in a police raid because it’s a gay cruising area, and the police find one of the hitchhiker’s victims in the rucksack he left in Ben’s car. They’re all really serious issues, but you don’t take them truly seriously because you feel safe in the storyteller’s hands. My early readers and editor helped a lot with finetuning that tone. I actually had a supporting character die in the first draft, and they helped me realize it was too off-putting to go there.

MN: You give this story a solid ending, but do you have any more planned adventures for Cal and Brendan or is their story done?

AP: I don’t think so. Writing the story has plucked up some interest in doing more rom-com, but the projects I’m working on have new inspiration points.

MN: You have quite a collection of books out there, and they cross several genres (which I love), so between us guys, what is your favorite genre to write in?

AP: That’s tough. I’ve truly enjoyed everything from paranormal to young adult to epic fantasy and rom-com. I’ll say this: I find contemporary a lot easier to write, whether it was my Werecat series or Irresistible. There’s so much research with epic and historical fantasy. So much internal logic to figure out.

MN: What do you currently have in the works? What will we be seeing in the future?

AP: I have a short story collection based on retold fairy tales and legends coming out from NineStar later this year. Besides that I’m working on a young adult comedy adventure based on The Odyssey, and I’m shopping around the follow-up to The City of Seven Gods.

MN: As with many of us, writing is either a hobby or a part time gig. You don’t appear to be any different in that regard. In general, we write because we love to tell stories. What motivates you to keep writing? Do you have stories in your head that need to be told? Or, is it something else? Do you feel the need to have LGBTQ+ content available for generations to be able to read and learn from?

AP: It’s important to me that I call my writing a job rather than a hobby, though it wasn’t always that way. Getting my work published was the dividing line, and thereafter I started building the confidence to take my writing more seriously; though not too seriously! It’s also been a journey of humility since rejections are an inevitable part of it, and there’s always more to learn about improving your craft.

I write because it’s intrinsically rewarding for me, from the creative process when I’m all amped up about a new idea, to accomplishing a story from start to finish, to the little bits of acknowledgement here and there, and seeing my work in print. I am a big advocate of increasing queer portrayals and #OwnVoices in particular, and equally, I just love stories with queer characters. I don’t know if you remember this t-shirt that used to be pretty popular at Pride events: “I can’t even walk straight.” Well, mine would be: “I can’t even write straight.” So the queer part is both purposeful and inevitable for me.

MN: Was there anything else you wanted to share with us today?

AP: I think that’s all. Thanks so much for having me over Marvin!

Andrew thank you for stopping by today and chatting about your latest title Irresistible. If you have questions for Andrew leave them below and I’ll ensure he swings by to answer, or you can find him on Social Media, see the links below. Until next time have a great week.


About Andrew J. Peters:

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Author Andrew J. Peters is the third most famous Andrew J. Peters on the Internet after the disgraced former mayor of Boston and the very honorable concert organist of the same name.

He’s an award-winning author, an educator and an activist. His novel The City of Seven Gods won the 2017 Silver Falchion award for Best Horror/Fantasy and was a finalist for 2016 Sci Fi/Fantasy Book of the Year at the Foreword INDIES. His Werecat series was a 2016 Readers’ Choice finalist at The Romance Reviews. He has written two books for young adults (The Seventh Pleaide and Banished Sons of Poseidon), and he is the author of the adult novel Poseidon and Cleito. His latest title Irresistible is a gay rom-com based on the oldest extant romance novel in the world.

Andrew grew up in Buffalo, New York, studied psychology at Cornell University, and spent the early part of his career as a social worker and an advocate for lesbian, gay, bisexual, and transgender youth. He has been a contributing writer at Queer Sci Fi, The New York Journal of Books, The Good Men Project, Gay YA, YA Highway, La Bloga, and All Romance e-Books (ARe) Café.

While writing, Andrew works as an administrator and an adjunct faculty at Adelphi University. He lives in New York City with his husband Genaro and their cat Chloë.

Where to find Andrew J. Peters:

Find his website here.

Find him on Facebook here.

Find him on Twitter here.

Find him on Goodreads here.


About his latest title Irresistible:

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Brendan Thackeray-Prentiss is an Ivy League-educated trust-funder who Gotham Magazine named the most eligible gay bachelor in New York City. He lives for finding his soulmate, but after walking in on his boyfriend of three transcendent months soaping up in the shower with an older female publicist, he’s on a steady diet of scotch, benzodiazepines, and compulsive yoga. Men are completely off the menu.

Callisthenes Panagopoulos has a problem most guys dream of. With the body and face of a European soccer heartthrob, the vigorous blond hair of a Mormon missionary, and a smile that makes traffic cops stuff their ticket books back in their utility belts, he’s irresistible to everyone. But being a constant guy-magnet comes with its discontents, like an ex-boyfriend who tried to drive his Smart car through Cal’s front door. It makes him wonder if he’s been cursed when it comes to love.

When Brendan and Cal meet, the attraction is meteoric, and they go from date to mates at the speed of time-lapse photography. But to stay together, they’ll have to overcome Cal’s jealous BFF, Romanian mobsters, hermit widowers, and a dictatorship on the brink of revolution during a dream wedding in the Greek isles that becomes a madcap odyssey.

A gay romantic comedy of errors based on Chariton’s Callirhoe, the world’s oldest extant romance novel.

Buy his novel here.

June 2019 Writing Updates

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Happy Wednesday Scribblers, this week I wanted to shine the spotlight on some things I’ve been up to. As you know I’ve been focusing a lot on other authors, so today I wanted to share my updates.

It’s been a busy six months. As you all know, I’ve released two new novels. Books 1 and 2 of my A New World series. Contact (book 1) and Conviction (book 2) have done amazingly well and have gotten some outstanding reviews. Both books can be found on Goodreads lists of Best Science Fiction & Fantasy Books and Best Science Fiction Books (click here), which is exciting as this is the same list with such incredible works as Dune, 1984, and Brave New World. I’m honored that my novels are even on the same list as these amazing works.

Also, within the past six months I’ve launch a store here on my website (click here) where, for now, if you live here in the United States you can get signed copies of my novels currently out in print (The Calling, Contact, and Conviction). And, until the end of the month you can get 25% off my books by using the promo code: PRIDE19 at check out. It’s a wonderful way for you to support me and to get a signed copy of my books especially if you can’t make it to one of the events I’m attending.

Speaking of events, two weeks ago I was at SacPride. It was a very windy, but fun event and I got to meet a lot of folks and connect with readers and fans. I had a blast.  A big thanks to QSAC for the invite. Check out the photos here.

Not only have I been attending events, but I’ve been featured in the media; Outlook Video, Wrote Podcast, Divine Magazine, and The Writescast Network and that’s only since January 2019. To see all my media interviews click here.

Coming up next on the engagement front, me and three other area authors will be at the Billy DeFrank Center (click here) on August 16th talking about LGBTQIA writing and what our experiences have been in the writing community. It should be a great conversation so if you’re in the area I hope you can come by. Also, we will sell our books, with a portion of the proceeds going to the DeFrank Center to support their mission and their work in the LGBTQIA Community. You can find more info here.

On the writing front, I’ve finally finished all my edits for book 3 (Conspiracy) of my A New World series and the book is off to the publishers for them to pick up (keep your fingers crossed).

Also, in my writing world. I’m wrapping up the edits for T.A.D.-The Angel of Death so you can look for that novel coming out in the Fall 2019. To find out more about my newest novel click here.

One final writing update is that The Called (book 2 of my The Calling series) is finally getting wrapped up. I should finish the first draft in the next few weeks, which means from there it goes into the editing process. I know a lot of you have been patiently waiting, so I’m looking forward to getting this book out to you hopefully in 2020 or early 2021.

Well Scribblers that is all I have for you this week. Remember, if you have questions for me leave them in the comments below or you can email me at info@mdneu.com Don’t forget to show your love by liking and sharing this blog post with other readers. In the meantime have a great week and see you next time.

Genderfluidity and Pansexuality by Grace Kilian Delaney

Happy Wednesday Scribblers. I was reminded that today is the third anniversary of the Pulse Nightclub shooting. We has a humans are capable of great works of beauty and can show huge amounts of compassion. Conversely we are capable of mass destructions and cruelty beyond belief. We need to choose the kind of world we want to live in and focus our efforts on making that world. Kindness, compassion, and understanding should be the foundations we build our world on.

That said, this week I’m honored to have fellow Ninestar Press author Grace Kilian Delaney here to speak her truth and to share her story. Everyone, has their own story. This is hers.


Thank you, M. D. Neu, for having me at your blog! Before I get into the topic, I’d like to take a moment to remember the lives lost on this day, June 12th, at Pulse nightclub. I wish I had more to add, some words of hope. But this tragedy only fuels the importance of Pride to me, to celebrate the LGBTQIA community and to honor those who fought and continue to fight for equality.

In the little suburb of Boston where I grew up, I never heard the words bisexual, pansexual, gender fluid, or transgender. A person identified as gay or lesbian, and if they dressed in a way considered opposite of their assigned sex at birth, they had to be a musician. Or at least this was how my mostly sheltered, young teenage mind understood life back in the late 80s early 90s, a time when men wore makeup and drove up Aquanet’s stock value as much, if not more than women, and when Glam metal bands like Poison and Mötley Crüe ruled magazine covers and airwaves. It was also when I decided I wanted to be a badass musician like Chrissie Hynde or Joan Jett. Screw makeup. Screw dresses. But as acceptable as that was for those female musicians, I was a mere mortal, too afraid to present myself in such a masculine way for fear of being rejected by my family. So I settled for ripped jeans and thick, black eyeliner like every other girl at my high school, and silently accepted sometimes I was uncomfortable as a young woman.

It wasn’t until a shy male friend of mine asked if he could model a dress he bought that I realized I accepted, loved, and remained attracted to him however he chose to represent himself, and in turn grew more accepting of my own inclination to wear clothes that matched how I felt on the inside. This wasn’t a full-on revelation yet. This was more of a fuzzy awareness, a half-light of teenage sexual awakening. Full awareness came twenty years later. The main reason for such a gap is, I fell in love at a young age, got married, and presented as a straight, cisgender woman to the outside world. My partner knew I was bi (pan) from the beginning of our relationship, and he recognized, accepted, and even loved that sometimes I felt more masculine than feminine. But we lived in a mostly straight world, occasionally hanging out with friends who were cisgender gay or lesbian without ever discussing identities that fell under the transgender umbrella.

Writing romantic stories, gay and straight, had been a long-time hobby, and after reading The Backup Boyfriendabout five years ago, I became inspired to publish a novella about Devon, a cross-dressing mechanic and Stone, a bisexual heavy metal rock star. Devon identifies as gender fluid, a discovery he makes in Waking Oisin. Creating these characters helped me stitch together my own history and understand and accept that I am gender fluid, attracted to a person as a whole, not their parts, and overall be more comfortable with who I am.

Grace thank you for stopping by today and sharing your story.  If you have questions for Grace leave them below and I’ll ensure she swings by to answer, or you can find her on Social Media, see the links below. Until next time have a great week.


About Grace Kilian Delaney:

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Grace Kilian Delaney is a LGBT writer, musician, animal lover, and author of the sweet and sexy bisexual romance Living on a Dare: A Shore Thing Novel. She spends her free time performing kitchen concerts to an audience of her two cats and a dog and loves long beach runs. Her previous books include Seven Minutes(Dreamspinner Press) and Waking Oisin(NineStar Press).

Where to find Grace Kilian Delaney:

Twitter: @GracekilianD

Facebook Group: Delaneys Dirty Dearies

Goodreads: https://bit.ly/2HRcaqN

Amazon Author Page:amazon.com/author/gracekiliandelaney

Website:gracekiliandelaney.wordpress.com

Mailing List:https://tinyurl.com/yym8jvvp


About Living on a Dare:

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Stuntman Draven O’Connor never turns down a dare—even if it means getting down on one knee to propose to his former college roommate and friend. The same man he’s been crushing on since the first day they met. The same man that has grown distant over the past year. And the same man who just agreed to be his fiancé. 

Julien Bouchard is tired of living a lie. He spent the past year exploring his sexuality in secret, enduring countless dates with women to appease his mother, and dodging his best friend, Draven, who knows everything there is to know about him, except the one thing that could change their friendship. Ready to face his friend, he meets him at a bar and is greeted by an unexpected marriage proposal. The dare isn’t surprising; it’s the scorching hot kiss that sends Julien’s head and heart in a tailspin—and gives him an idea for the perfect plan. 

But his plan hits a bump when news of their fake engagement spreads to their families as fast as a wildfire, forcing them to confront their true feelings about each other and hope they don’t get burned.

Where to buy Living on a Dare:

Available on Kindle Unlimited

Amazon US: https://amzn.to/2WpmdN6

Universal Link: getbook.at/LivingonaDare

Interview with Author KD Fisher

Can you believe it’s the first week of June already? I’m really looking forward to the Summer and I’m hoping that all the rain is done for a while, but I’m not going to complain especially with this weeks guest around. To start off June, I have this great interview with romance writer KD Fisher. KD is a queer author who lives in New England. Let’s get into shall we.

Thank you for agreeing to be here today for the interview KD, now before we get started why don’t you tell us something about yourself. Something not in your bio.

Let’s see…my other favorite thing to do (aside from writing) is cooking. I even thought about going to culinary school! Spending a day shopping for food, trying new ingredients, and cooking a big meal for my friends and family is my idea of heaven. I also love reading cookbooks and own far too many of them.

That is so cool. I enjoy cooking as well. It’s a great way to be creative and get something delicious in the end.  Of course I’m not a fan of cleaning up, so there is that too.

I love that you are a romance writer, what got you interested in writing romance? Within romance what is your favorite to write about? What makes your romance work so unique and different?

I was very into reading romance growing up. Because, as a reader, I care about character development more than plot, I enjoyed getting to know two people and watching them fall in love. Then, as an adult when I discovered queer romance, I knew I’d found my absolute favorite thing to read. Knowing queer characters will get their happily ever after feels both comforting and radical to me. A lot of LGBTQ+ media has been dominated by stories of suffering, so happy stories about queer folks finding love and joy have power.

I love writing contemporary romance because, at least for me, I feel it gives the most opportunity to dig into character development and all of the nuance of what it really means to enter into a new relationship.  And since I’m in my late twenties, I like writing about characters my age trying to juggle careers, friendships, and finding their happily ever after. 

While I’m not sure it makes my romance work unique, one thing I care a lot about is including politics in my stories. Writers are frequently told to keep politics out of their work, but everything we do is political! 

Nicely said. I think politics, if done well, can only add to the richness of any story, including romance. Romance has a stigma that it’s basicially erotica, where the lines can blur a bit. We know this isn’t the case, so what are your thoughts on the whole line blur between romance and erotica?

Hm. I think a lot of the stigma around romance stems from intrenched cultural misogyny and discomfort with women enjoying themselves. But that’s a rant for another time!

Romance comes in all heat levels for sure, ranging from clean or sweet romance (terms I don’t love but, again, that’s a rant for another day) all the way to erotic romance. I think the biggest distinctions between romance and erotica are the goal of the work and why the reader seeks it out. When choosing a romance novel, a reader is going to expect character development, rich worldbuilding, and a traditional arc ending with the characters finding love. Emotional satisfaction is a hugely important aspect of romance. Erotica is more focused on sensuality and sex scenes.

I do include on the page sex in my novels and stories. One, because I like writing it, and two because I think, particularly for stories about queer women, it’s important that positive, consensual, and satisfying depictions of queer sexuality by queer creators exist in the world. In romance, however, sex scenes have to do the same work as any other scene. They should further the plot and develop character, otherwise they feel gratuitous.

Nicely said. I agree that there is a lot to unpack on this topic, however, I think you did a great job with the question. I love seeing positive pretrains of consensual adults being romantically involved.  Now, without spoilers why don’t you tell us about A Little Rebellion.

A Little Rebellion is a f/f romance novella that came out in May in theRogue Ever Afteranthology. I used to teach high school English and always wanted to write a story about two queer teachers falling in love. The plot centers around Ruth Chan, a veteran teacher and union representative, and Mia Davis, a brand-new educator. The two women develop a close friendship and commiserate over terrible new school policies. There’s plenty of awkward banter, progressive politics, and queerness!

Sounds like a must read. Okay, given the above do you have a favorite character in the story?  I know that’s like asking you to pick your favorite arm, however, sometimes there is a character that we have an easier time writing, so if you don’t have a favorite, then what about a character that was easy to write for?

I really loved writing Mia’s character because she’s so different from me! She’s bubbly and athletic and isn’t afraid of a challenge. The novella is dual point of view and I always looked forward to getting into Mia’s head. But I also really love Ruth in all of her awkward butch glory.

From your bio, I see you want to one day move to a cabin in the desert, that isn’t something you hear a lot from people, so I’m curious what is it about the desert you love so much?

It’s kind of a silly line because I’m pretty sure I never want to leave Maine (where I live now.) But I do love the desert. I’m a sucker for a beautiful but harsh landscape. And the American Southwest is one of my favorite places to hike because I love to geek out over desert plants and birds. 

LOL, plus I’m sure it’s quite a contrast from Maine, which I love by the way and got a chance to visit there a million years ago… I’m hoping to go back.  Anyway, moving on, what are you currently working on? What will be seeing from you in the future?

I’m currently working on a f/f foodie romance about a baker and a chef. It has been a lot of fun to write!

This fall I have a queer romance coming out with NineStar Press, followed by a holiday romance coming out with Dreamspinner Press. So stay tuned!

Is there anything else you’d like to mention?

Thank you so much for having me! You are always welcome. Hit me up when you have a new book out and we can do this again.

Thank you KD for stopping by today and telling us about yourself and your writing.  If you have questions for KD leave them below and I’ll ensure she swings by to answer, or you can find her on Social Media, see the links below. Until next time have a great week.


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About A Little Rebellion:

Veteran public school teacher and union rep Ruth Chan is always ready for the curveballs life throws at her--an updated curriculum, a new principal, a replacement superintendent… But she’s not ready for a cute woman at the dog park to divert her attention the day before a new school year. Ruth can't afford to pursue love when her students need her.

The last thing Mia Davis needs is a distraction. It’s her first year teaching and she’s going to do things right, dang it! No matter how much she wants to fantasize about a certain colleague she met at the dog park, Mia has to stand up to the intolerant jerk of a principal and help her students learn despite the horrible new test-prep curriculum.

As a close friendship develops between Mia and Ruth, the women must fight to save the school they both love and decide if their friendship can turn into something more.

Where to Buy KD Fisher’s books:

For A Little Rebellion in Rogue Ever After

Buy it on Amazon here.

But it on Barnes & Noble here.  

Find it on Apple Books here.

Buy it on Kobo here.

For Nature's Heart in Rogue Passion

Find it on Amazon here.

Buy it on Barnes & Noble here.

Find it on Apple Books here.

Buy it on Kobo here.


About KD Fisher:

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KD Fisher is a queer New England-based writer of authentic, heartfelt LGBTQ+ narratives. 

KD grew up all over the United States: bouncing from North Carolina, to Hawai'i, to Illinois, and finally settling in Maine where she spends far too much time at the beach. As much as she loves the Northeast, she daydreams about one day moving to a cabin in the desert.

When KD isn’t writing she can usually be found hiking with her overly enthusiastic dog, obsessing over plants, or cooking elaborate meals. She loves classic country, perfectly ripe tomatoes, and falling asleep in the sun.

Where to find KD Fisher:

For Twitter click here.

For Facebook click here

For Instagram click here.

For Goodreads click here.

Interview with Author Casey Wolfe

Another week and another exciting author chit-chat. Happy Wednesday Scribblers. This week I’m thrilled to bring you fellow NineStar Press Author Casey Wolfe. When Casey isn’t writing they describe themselves as a history nerd, film buff, avid gamer, and full-time geek. Casey is the author of One Bullet (a Rainbow Awards Honorable Mention – congratulations) and the Inquisition Trilogy A Mage’s Power and A Vampire’s Redemption, with book three yet to be named. Let’s get into the conversation.

Welcome Casey, before we get started why don’t you tell us something about yourself. Something not in your standard bio.

I’m a space nerd, on top of my other geeky interests - as though there aren’t enough.  I love all things space - whether it’s studying the science of it, admiring the infinite beauty, or pondering that age-old question of “where does alien life exist out there?”  I pretty much stalk NASA’s Facebook page (and mission pages) and watch their live streams whenever I can.  I may also talk to Curiosity as though it’s actually the one answering posts - so sue me! - and cried when they had to call off the search for a signal from Oppy.  I cheer for JPL like they’re rock stars.  Basically, if NASA asked for volunteers to go to Mars tomorrow, I’d be the first to sign up.

That is great. I’m a total NASA nerd myself. Space really is amazing and I that we get up and start exploring sooner rather than later.

Okay, enough geeking out, so, when I was reviewing your books and bio I see that you write contemporary drama and contemporary fantasy, both are amazing genres to write in, what excites you about these genres?

Honestly, One Bullet was my first ever take on straight-up contemporary.  I typically stick with paranormal and fantasy, so that was very different for me.  It was fun, but I’m not sure I’ll be taking a trip back there any time soon.  I’m much too happy playing with the supernatural and fantastical.  If anything, I’ll go historical before that - which is another love of mine.

Anyway, what excites me about the fantasy genre?  I guess it’s just the mythic, the unseen.  It’s that idea that anything could be possible.  Sure, I have this desire to make that thing believable in the sense that it follows some kind of “rules” for the world I created, but it still leaves a whole slew of possibilities.  It’s intoxicating just thinking about it.

For your Inquisition Trilogy you had to create your own world tell us about that. What is different? What is familiar? What can we expect to read?

Because of the political elements involved, I didn’t want to just take fantasy/supernatural races, plop them into our world, and then weave their history in with ours.  Besides, that would have been the easy way out.  No, I wanted something I could make my own, alter the timelines as I needed, make my own borders, my own cultures, write my own history, and everything that came along with that.  Sound daunting?  It was.  And most of what I have in my head about this world, which I named Eiocha, won’t ever make the page.

That said, it’s still taking place in a modern time period instead of being some atypical fantasy questing story.  You’ll have people using cars, cell phones, the internet…  One of my favorite things was figuring out all the different ways having magic impacted technology and how technology would impact magic.  It’s a super fun balancing act and nothing is more fun than seeing the two combined in some really neat ways that advance society - particularly in the medical field.

And that’s the thing.  I wanted it all to just feel so easy and natural.  Society has had hundreds of years at this point to integrate magicae and mundanes (magical and non-magical races, respectively), and it shows.  It’s like someone pulling out a smartphone.  No one would look twice because technology is so ingrained in our daily lives.  In Eiocha, it’s the same way with magic, which is just as common and integral to society as their tech is.

Without spoilers why don’t you tell us about The Inquisition Trilogy.

Well, the trilogy’s conflict centers around our titular bad guys, the Inquisition.  They’re an organization that has risen to power, found in multiple countries around the world.  Once famed dragon killers - thanks for making them extinct, jerks - they’ve become experts in all things magicae and weaseled their way into politics by becoming the policing force for magicae in their respective countries.  And, like any power-hungry entity with no real government oversight, well, things have gone...bad.

In each book, the POV gets passed between couples but we stay within the same group of friends that are fighting back against the Inquisition.  While there’s an overarching plot that carries out over the course of all three books, each has their own individual subplots happening within them as well.  So, there’s plenty going on.

We’ve talked quite a bit about your contemporary fantasy series, let’s switch gears and talk about your other novel, One Bullet. Tell us about it? What inspired you to write this story? What was it like to get the Honorable Mention from the Rainbow Awards? That had to feel good.

One Bullet follows the story of former police officer, Ethan Brant, and Detective Shawn Greyson, who met the night Ethan was shot.  Shawn not only saved Ethan that night, but continues to help him in his recovery.  During that time, the pair inevitably become close friends...and then something more.

It was really exciting to get an Honorable Mention on my debut novel.  It was an unexpected surprise, to be sure!

As far as the inspiration goes...I remember being inspired by the amazing artist known as Yuumei, and a particular illustration they had done for their Fisheye Placebo webcomic entitled “Rise.”  For some reason, it percolated in my head and formed into this idea of a first meeting between two characters - one being shot and the other that saved their life.  Funny enough, as the plot of the novel actually took form, the reason behind the shooting and way it takes place is completely different to how it was originally envisioned - which involved a protest.  But, that art is still the source for the entire project, despite the changes.

As I read your bio you have quite a few different hobbies, tell us about them. Why do you call yourself a full-time geek? And since you are a gamer what is your favorite game to play?

Oh, I am happy to call myself a geek.  The “full-time” part comes from the fact that basically all my hobbies can be considered geeky/nerdy.  I’m always happy - and never more content - to talk about anything and everything geek with someone, even when that thing isn’t something I’m personally into or knowledgeable about.  It’s just nice to share that kind of love over something that really only fellow geeks and fandom nerds share.

I play mostly video games, though I’ve been getting more into tabletop and board games these days.  But, pass me a controller and give me an open-world RPG and I’m the happiest person ever.  I also love a good shooter or a choice-based narrative game like Life is Strange and Detroit: Become Human.  Right now, I’m trying to figure out how to survive until Cyberpunk 2077 releases.

Is there something special you and your partner like to do together?

Well, he’s a geek, too.  I mean, we met at a Halo LAN party (no joke).  HAHA.  So, obviously we enjoy playing video games together.  We’re co-op people.  We don’t like playing against each other.  Typically.  We’ve just never been competitive that way.

We also have started playing board games that have story elements to them.  Fallout the Board Game and Dead of Winter are our personal favorites at the moment.  The latter has been good at testing my resolve of whether or not I would use him as bait in an actual zombie apocalypse.

LOL.  Bait for an actual zombie apocalypse… that is a tough question to ponder.  Sadly I have no doubt I would be one of the first victims, so I’m off the hook on having to think about survival.

So, what are you currently working on? What will be seeing from you in the future?

Book 3 of the trilogy, naturally.  But, I’ve also been mapping out a new-ish project, because my muse hates me.  It’s a prequel story to the trilogy, which can be read as a separate entity, although fans of the trilogy will get dropped some great Easter Eggs and background.  It’s about Arthur, Merlin, and their Knights of the Round Table.  Yes, I went there.  I mention them briefly in A Vampire’s Redemption, and again in Book 3, so when I was creating the backstory for all of that in my head, I ended up with more and more ideas until I went: Why don’t I just write the thing?  And here we are.

I’ve also been playing around with a couple historical novels, both in different plotting stages.  One is a Western, which I always said I would do one day.  The other is a magical realism WW2 novel.

Is there anything else you’d like to mention?

Honestly, I’m just really excited to get more content out to everyone.  I mean, I’ve got the audiobook for A Mage’s Power out now.  Both books in the trilogy are on the list to be translated into Spanish.  So many awesome things I’d never thought would ever happen, and I just can’t wait for more of it.

So, thank you so much for having me, my friend.  Hopefully, the next time we talk, I have a lot more fun and exciting things to share with you.

You are welcome anytime.

I want to thank Casey for taking the time to swing by. It was magnificent learning more about you and your writing. Remember Scribblers if you love Contemporary Fantasy or Contemporary Drama check out Casey’s books and don’t forget to share this post with family and friends who may enjoy their works as well. If you have questions for Casey leave them below and I’ll ensure they swing by to answer, or you can find them on Social Media, see the links below. Until next time have a great week.


About One Bullet, A Mage’s Power, and A Vampire’s Redemption:

One Bullet:

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When Ethan Brant was shot, he found himself dealing with severe PTSD and unable to do his job as a police officer any longer. With the aid of Detective Shawn Greyson, the man who saved his life, Ethan not only finds himself again but discovers love as well.

Shawn’s life growing up was less than ideal, however, he overcame that to become who he is today. That doesn’t mean he isn’t missing something in his life. What Shawn hadn’t realized, upon first meeting, was that Ethan could give him all that and more.

One bullet changed both their lives.


A Mage’s Power (The Inquisition Trilogy, Book 2):

Built on the bones of an ancient city, modern-day Everstrand is where master mage, Rowan, has set up his enchantment shop. When not hanging out with his werewolf best friend, Caleb, or studying, he dabbles in herbology and the controversial practice of blood magic. A prodigy who has already earned two masters, Rowan’s bound and determined to reach the distinction of grandmaster, a mage who obtains a masters in all five Schools of Magic.

Shaw works for the Inquisition, the organization charged with policing the magical races collectively known as magicae. Recently, it has come under scrutiny as magicae begin to disappear and reports of violence increase. With secrets of his own on the line, Shaw is willing to risk everything to find out just what is going on behind all the locked doors.

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When Rowan and Shaw are entangled in each other’s worlds, it becomes evident that their hearts are as much at risk as their lives. They must find the truth and stop a conspiracy before it’s too late.

A Vampire’s Redemption (The Inquisition Trilogy, Book 2):

Marcus was likely dead, killed by the Inquisition, or so it was believed. Then the vampire was found, broken beyond words, in an isolated prison fortress. Marcus had never expected to see daylight again, let alone be rescued by his mate. Now he worries he’ll drag Caleb into his darkness.

Caleb was the one who pulled Marcus out of his prison cell, and he’s determined to drag him from the nightmares of his mind as well. After all, that’s what mates are for, and Caleb had lost hope at finding his. And if he can help destroy the entire Inquisition? Well, all the better.

Dealing with Marcus’s physical and mental healing from his trauma is difficult enough, but Inquisition holdouts are causing chaos everywhere, and sinister plots are rampant. Marcus and Caleb have no choice but to fight back. It’s a good thing they are not alone.

Where to Buy Casey Wolfe’s books:

Buy their books on NineStar Press here.

Buy their books on Amazon here.

Find the audible novels here.

Buy their books on Barnes & Noble here.

Also available on Smashwords, Kobo, iTunes, and other major retailers.  Check your local library, or make a request!


About Casey Wolfe:

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History nerd, film buff, avid gamer, and full-time geek; all of these things describe Casey Wolfe.  They prefer being lost in the world of fiction—wandering through fantasy realms, traveling the outer reaches of space, or delving into historical time periods.  Casey is non-binary and ace, living with depression, anxiety, and PTSD, all of which informs their writing in various ways. Happily married, Casey and their partner live in the middle-of-nowhere, Ohio with their furry, four-legged children.

Where to find Casey Wolfe:

Find Casey’s Website here.

Find Casey on Facebook here.

You can check out Casey here on Tumblr.

Find their author page on Goodreads here.

Top Ten List with Schuyler L'Roux

Wow! It’s Wednesday again Scribblers. This week I’m pleased to have fellow NineStar Author Schuyler L’Roux on my Scribbles Page to do a Top Ten List for his debut series There’s Always Something. This should be a lot of fun, so let’s get started.

The Top 10 Reasons I Wrote the “There’s Always Something” series

  1. I answered an open call that Ninestar Press ran on Writing.com in 2015. The day I found the ad, I had started writing a sex scene that I thought was nothing more than a fun diversion. Ninestar had just opened, and I thought it’d be a perfect place for a new writer to learn the ropes of writing and publishing. So I fleshed out my random hookup and hoped for the best when I submitted the first story, “There’s Something about a Kilt.”

  2.  In 2015, I was living in Germany in a glorious year off that was dedicated to writing and publishing my first book. I couldn’t get so much as a nibble for that book and, like any proper writer, proceeded to get drunk and depressed. Finding Ninestar and starting “There’s Always Something” reminded me that there can always be another project and that my goal shouldn’t be success, but rather the joy in creating and completing a project.

  3. I’d always toyed with sex scenes, but as nothing more than short exercises to test my writing or because I was hot and bothered. “There’s Always Something” gave me a chance fully incorporate sex into a living, breathing story. Sex became not just an exclamation point, but a way to propel the story forward or perhaps, as was the case in “There’s Something about Pain,” jerking the story to a complete halt.

  4. I love wearing kilts. They’re functional, flirty, and oh, so breathable. I had a ton of fun writing about Gerry’s kilt and using it in sex scenes in fun ways.

  5. I published the first short story in the series, “There’s Something about a Kilt,” early in 2016. I heard good things from reviewers, readers, and the team at Ninestar who published the story. But I didn’t give much thought to continuing the story. It was only after moving back to the United States (B’more!) and spinning my wheels with another novel that I came back to Thom & Gerry. Raevyn, Ninestar’s owner, was so encouraging about my return to the series, I jumped all in.

  6. Continuing the series with “There’s Something about Pain” was a great challenge. I had to bridge all of the emotional consequences about the broken promise that ends “There’s Something about a Kilt.” Then I doubled down on the emotional trauma with the sequel, “There’s Something about Pain,” just upped the ante in the conclusion, “There Something about Flying.” Writing Thom & Gerry’s journey from a hot hookup to an emotional confrontation about acceptance, forgiveness meant so much to me.

  7. If I had published “There’s Something about a Kilt” with another publisher, I’m not sure if I would have ever come back to write “Pain” or “Flying.” Ninestar Press is an incredible company. Raevyn is ethical, thoughtful, and driven for impassioned inclusivity. And the editors I’ve been fortunate to work with on “There’s Always Something” have in equal parts complemented my writing and challenged me to be a better writer and artist. 

  8. Gerry is absolutely my idealized version of self. Tall. Beefy. Redhead. Confident. I’m just missing the tall and beefy part, so I had a lot of fun creating fantasies for him. The physical scenes were enjoyable, but I also enjoyed challenging him emotionally.

  9. Thom holds a part of my heart as a fellow writer. I had initially written him as an innocent angel, but Thom definitely evolves into much more than the bookworm blossoming under Gerry’s indulgent care as I originally envisioned. I liked reversing the roles Thom & Gerry initially played in the first story and then watching the consequences unfold in the second and third stories.

  10. And for #10, I’ll give you the number one reason I did NOT write “There’s Always Something”—the Tom & Jerry cartoons. I never once thought about Tom & Jerry while writing Thom & Gerry. It was only after my partner mentioned it that I had any idea. I then laughed for five minutes straight.


Book Blurb - There’s Something about a Kilt

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The first in the series: It’s a hellaciously hot day in Minneapolis and all Thom wants to do is enjoy his ice cream and forget about the stacks of essays waiting for him back in his stifling apartment. Until he meets Gerry, a kilted, tattooed Welshman. The conversation is smooth and the attraction immediate, but Gerry is only in town for the night and isn’t down for anything quick and forgettable. When they meet again, hours later, Gerry knows there’s something in the air and all bets are off. Including his kilt.

Where to Buy:

For There’s Something about a Kilt click here.

For There’s Something about Pain click here.

For There’s Something about Flying click here.


About Schuyler L’Roux:

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I passionately believe in the power of sex—funny, world-changing, scratch-the-hell-out-of-your-back sex. I'm Southern and Welsh. But most of all, I'm optimistic. I write about thoughtful characters engaged in meaningful interactions and entertaining situations. With lots and lots of sex, of course. 

Where to Find him:

On Instagram here.

On Twitter here.

Interview with Author Damian Serbu

Happy Wednesday Scribblers it’s not very often I get to chat with another author of vampire books, so this week I’m thrilled to have fellow Ninestar Press author Damian Serbu here on my Scribbles’ Page for a nice sit down and chat. So grab a glass of redand sink your teeth into this interview.

Welcome Damian, before we get started why don’t you tell us something about yourself. Something not in your standard bio.

I fell in love with vampires in high school! I had no idea at the time, but it seems pretty clear in retrospect that their double nature and secretive lives appealed to my closeted self.  When I was introduced to Anne Rice a few years later, I became even more enthralled with vampires than ever before. The Louis/Lestat relationship mesmerized me. What else to tell you? I love to travel! Paul (my husband) and I go all over the place. This summer, we’re heading to England for a week, and next year to Paris for a week to celebrate our 25thwedding anniversary. Almost all the places where I’ve been end up in my writing at some point or another. It’s a fun way to relive a favorite destination and share it with other people. Plus, having been there helps make it come alive when I write about it.

Yes, I would totally agree. I do that as well.  I pull in places I’ve traveled too, it makes the story all the more real. After reviewing your works and reading your bio and all that good stuff. I see that you are a fellow writer of vampire tales, what is it that has drawn you to not only writing about vampires, but also what has drawn you to writing in general?

I was drawn to writing because stories filled my head that demanded to get out. Honestly, I resisted it for a long time. I am a historian by training, which is so opposite fiction it’s like night and day. But I always read fiction for fun – to rest my mind from the scrutinizing of primary documents and facts, of what the past teaches us. In the midst of that relaxation, I started to imagine stories and eventually felt compelled to dabble in writing novels. Which led to publishing, and away I went! As for vampires – I just find them sexy! I enjoy all sorts of horror, but to charge it with a different kind of physical allure fascinates me. Plus, you can delve into something deeper with vampires by altering their fear of mortality, as opposed to humans. And finally, I know they play into a fantasy of mine that strips away fear. Growing up and coming out came with a fear to it; of rejection, of physical assault, of uncertain futures. Vampires overpower people and seldom experience that fear, so it’s fun to jump into their lives.

I agree. Let’s talk vampires, what mythology did you use? Did you create your own from start to finish or did you pull from various sources enhancing where you needed to?

I think I would say all of the above! I basically threw out the old stereotypes and fears, stuff about crosses and mirrors and such, moving toward the more contemporary vision of vampires as similar to humans, in terms of good and bad vampires, vampires with tons of emotion. Anne Rice influenced me in terms of how powerfully her vampires feel. But I also wanted a world of my own making, and so made stuff up as I went along.

Anne Rice is definitely the God Mother of vampires and I think we all pull a little something from her writing. Now, something else that caught my eye is your take on Santa that is definitely a much darker telling of Santa, so what is the story behind that series? It almost seems a bit tongue and cheek, is that what you were going for, or am I miss reading it?

Lol – it is totally tongue-in-cheek! (Side note – it is also completely unrelated to my other vampires, with its own legends, stand alone nonsense, etc.) Nothing in those books should be taken seriously, and readers should be warned that the humor is extremely juvenile. Though I also wanted some darkness, some pretty intense horror to scare people. I used to joke around about my theory that Santa was really a vampire, to amuse and annoy people during the holidays. Then I got to thinking that we horror fans need more books to enjoy during the holidays, when everyone else wants to read ‘happily ever after’ stories. Into my head popped Simon, the elf who tells the tale, and away I went. So yes, it’s supposed to be funny and scary and ridiculous.

I figured it had to be something like that.  I’m sure that series will make a fun, dark, holiday read. Also, you have several out of print novels right now, are you looking at editing them and bringing them back? Or have you moved on from them and they are lost to history?

I am definitely working to get the vampires back out there! NineStar has re-published two of them, and I am working on a couple others with the hopes it will publish them, and therefore complete my vampire series. The Vampires Angeland The Vampire’s Questare books I and II of my vampire series (reprints), while The Vampire’s Protégéis book IV (original to NineStar). So, you see, I really want to get book III out there! As for my other stand alone novels that are out of print, I’m not sure what their future holds.

I see that you are a member of the Horror Writers Association (HWA), how has this affected your writing career?

It’s been fun to engage with other horror writers, for one. And actually, I joined them a long time ago and participated in their mentor program. My mentor helped with my first novel and my writing so much! HWA also provides a publicity platform and information about the publishing world that really helps me. It’s a fun organization that connects readers and writers, too.

Sounds like an organization that all horror writers need to check out. Moving from writing to personal, when you’re not writing what do you and your husband enjoy doing? 

I already mentioned that we travel, so there’s that. We watch movies and hang out with friends a lot, as well as spend as much time as possible with family. We’re wine enthusiasts – he’s especially a wine snob, but because he is I get to drink good wine, too. We’re avid Cleveland sports fans, so watch a lot of the Browns, Cavaliers, and Indians. And hang at home with the dogs. Plus we both like to read.

Speaking of dogs, you have two, one named Chewbacca and the other named Akasha, and you say they control your life how so? Also, I have to ask, Chewbacca, does this mean you are also a Star Wars Fan? If so is Chewbacca one of your favorite characters?

They control life because EVERYTHING revolves around them! They demand attention, for us to maintain their routines, and we comply. Akasha especially needs lots of attention, and expects that we stop everything to adore her whenever she wants. The idea is really about how much we love them and make life about them all the time. And yes – I am a HUGE Star Wars fan! I have loved Chewbacca since episode IV first came out in theaters! He was my very first action figure. Obviously I associated him as being Han Solo’s dog, so I liked him best.

That’s awesome. So, what are you currently working on? What will be seeing from you in the future?

I have two projects getting most of my attention these days. First, speaking of out-of-print books, I am working on a major overhaul and redo of Secrets in the Attic, because the main character becomes a main character in Book III of my vampire books. And I am writing away on my fifth vampire book in the series, tentatively titled The Vampire’s War

Sounds great. Is there anything else you’d like to mention?

I want to express my appreciation for your having me stop by today! It’s been fun to chat with a fellow vampire enthusiast and hang out for a while, as well as a fellow NineStar author!

You are welcome anytime.

I want to thank Damian for taking the time to stop by and chat. It was great leaning more about you and your writing. Remembers Scribblers if you love Dark Fantasy or Vampire Stories check out Damian’s books and don’t forget to share this post with family and friends who may enjoy his works as well. If you have questions for Damian leave them below and I’ll ensure he swings by to answer, or you can find him on Social Media, see the links below. Until next time have a great week.


About The Vampire’s Angel and The Vampire’s Quest:

In The Vampire’s Angel, as Paris devolves into chaos amidst the French Revolution, three lives intertwine that will either throw each person into complete chaos or save their very soul from the turmoil swirling around and within them. Xavier, a devout priest, struggles to hold onto his trust in humanity only to find his own faith threatened with the longing he finds for a mysterious American visitor. Thomas fights against the Catholic Church to win Xavier’s heart, but hiding his undead nature will threaten the love he longs to find with this abbe.  Xavier’s sister, Catherine, works with Thomas to bring them together while protecting the family fortune but falls prey herself to evil forces. The death, peril, and catastrophes of a revolution collide with a world of magic, vampires, and personal demons as Xavier, Thomas, and Catherine fight to find peace and love amidst the destruction.

The Vampire’s Questbrings back the beloved gay vampires, Xavier and Thomas, in the anticipated sequel to The Vampire’s Angel. In 1822, the Archangel St. Michel orders Xavier to go on a quest to America, a quest that violates the Vampire Council’s laws to the point of a possible death sentence. Worse, Xavier must abandon his lover, Thomas. Xavier runs to his aging sister and pleads for Catherine’s help as Thomas races after them. With Thomas and the Vampire Council vying for Xavier’s soul, Xavier and Catherine struggle to obey the former priest’s divine calling before their inevitable capture.

Where to Buy Damian Serbu’s books:

For Vampire’s Angel click here.

For Vampire’s Quest click here.

For Vampire’s Protégé click here.

 For Santa’s Kinky Elf, Simon click here.

 For Santa is a Vampire click here.


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About Damian Serbu:

Damian Serbu lives in the Chicago area with his husband and two dogs, Akasha and Chewbacca. The dogs control his life, tell him what to write, and threaten to eat him in the middle of the night if he disobeys. He has published The Vampire’s AngelThe Vampire’s Quest, andThe Vampire’s Protégé, as well as Santa’s Kinky Elf, SimonandSanta Is a Vampirewith NineStar Press. Keep up to date with him on Facebook, Twitter, or at www.DamianSerbu.com.

Where to find Damian Serbu: 

For Twitter click here.

Find him on Facebook here.

Question and Answers with Lori Blantin CEO of IndiGo Marketing

Happy Thursday everyone. This week I’ve had the honor of having two wonderful guests here on my Scribbles Page the first was fellow Ninestar Press author Sarah Elkin, you can read her Guest Blog here. And today I’m excited to shake things up and bring you this great chat with Lori Blantin, Lori is the CEO and Creative Director of IndiGo Marketing. I have had the pleasure of working with Lori in the past and I’m thrilled to bring her here today.

Welcome Lori, instead of me giving a summary of your background and your experience why don’t you tell us about yourself and your company in your own words.

I’ve been an avid reader my entire life.  My happy place is curled up in a cozy spot with a great book.   In 2008 I discovered Goodreads and soon after joined several groups where I could talk books with other avid readers. A year later I read my first M/M romance and I was hooked! Eager to find other M/M readers, I joined the Goodreads M/M Romance group and was so excited until I realized that there were only 7 members and no discussion happening.  Not to be deterred, I reached out to the author who had stated the group and asked her if she would make me a moderator.  She did, and with the help of a few friends, we grew the membership to over 20,000 members.  That caught the attention of a small boutique publisher who approached me about helping them with their social media marketing.  That was the beginning of my passion for helping authors market their books.

What attracted you to marketing and PR and why did you decide to break out on your own?

Before becoming involved in the M/M Romance group, I didn’t know anything about marketing. My career as a Data Aggregation Specialist was dull and dry and aside from my passion for spreadsheets, not very creative.  When Silver Publishing hired me, I finally got the chance to grow my creative side and fell in love with book promotion.  After working part-time for several publishers, I decided to branch out on my own and IndiGo Marketing & Design was born.  IndiGo has always been a side hustle but it’s my biggest passion and I hope to grow the business into something I can do full time.

PR and Marketing are two areas that, not only authors, but others who want to create a brand for themselves aren’t always experienced with and have trouble with. I know I’m still learning and I have a background in marketing and events. Can you share with us five basic marketing strategies anyone can take to improve their brand?

Even as a “marketing professional”, I find marketing my own business much harder than marketing for someone else.  I think that’s a challenge that most entrepreneurs face and as an author, you must think of yourself as an entrepreneur.  Once you do that, you’ll discover that your marketing strategies are not that different from any other small business.

  1. Create your brand.  Before you do anything else, you must have a clear vision of who your target audience is, what your “author voice” will be and what “look and feel” will most adequately reflect who you are and the story you’re telling.

  2. Once you know what your brand is, then you need to start applying that brand everywhere.  You do that by creating a website and developing social media sites that consistently reinforce the message that you’re delivering about your persona, your books and your readers.

  3. Develop a social media strategy.  Now that you know what your brand is, you have a website and social media accounts, it’s time to develop a marketing plan that will put those to the best use.  Be consistent and follow the rule of thirds.  1/3 of your content promotes your books, 1/3 of your content consists of sharing content that others post and that is relevant to your followers and the final 1/3 should be posts in which you engage with your followers on a more personal level.

  4. Take advantage of unexpected opportunities to promote your books.  Develop your “elevator pitch” so you have something prepared whenever you get the chance to talk about your book.  Always have some free swag with you to hand out or leave behind.  Hand out cards with a promo code or have a few autographed copies of your book with you that you can offer up for charity auctions or gift baskets.

  5. Don’t try and go it alone.  Take advantage of the marketing assistance offered by your publisher.  Work with other authors in your genre and cross-promote.  Develop relationships with bloggers, readers and “influencers” to help you get the word out.  Consider hiring someone to help you with your marketing.  Consistent, effective marketing takes a lot of time and you may find that your time is better spent writing and letting someone else do the heavy lifting. 

When it comes to authors what would you say are the three mistakes that writers make when it comes to marketing their work? How can they avoid these mistakes or fix them?

  1. Don’t be a passive bystander.  I see so many authors that don’t do anything to market themselves.  You must play an active role in the promotion of your book.  If you’re relying on your publisher or think that just having a book on Amazon will generate sales, you’re not going to be successful.  

  2. Don’t wait until your book is in the editing process to start thinking about your marketing strategy.  You should start formulating your plan before you even start writing your book.  Have a checklist that includes marketing your book throughout the entire process.  Promo shouldn’t be an afterthought.

  3. Don’t be “that” author.  Even the most popular, bestselling authors get negative reviews or find themselves criticized in social media posts.  While it’s tempting to defend your work or yourself, it’s never a good idea.  I’ve seen too many promising careers implode because the author ended up on the “authors behaving badly” list.  Yes, there is such a list and you don’t want to end up on it.

Visuals, like book trailers, teaser sheets, sell sheets, or other videos are exceedingly important for marketing, what are the three or five things that all of these visual colleterial pieces must contain in order to be the most impactful?

  1. Well designed, professional looking visuals are imperative for being noticed.  It all starts with a great cover.  A bad cover can be the death knell to what may otherwise be a great book. Invest in a high-quality cover and the rest of your visuals will be much more effective.

  2. Make sure that all your visuals reflect your brand and fit the theme of the book or books they represent.  Someone scrolling though a crowded timeline or Facebook group should be able to instantly associate that image with the book and author. 

  3. Sometimes less is more.  Focus more on why the reader should want to read your book rather than where they can purchase it.  If you’re sharing graphics on social media, it’s better to include purchase links in the body of the post rather than crowding the graphics with logos.  The only exception to this rule is if the book is available from Kindle Unlimited since this is something that many readers look for. 

  4. Entice readers by including snippets from reviews or testimonials from other authors.  Quote a line or two from your book that is provocative and will leave the reader wanting more. 

  5. Include a call to action.  Announce a price reduction, offer a prize for signing up for your newsletter, create a sense of urgency with a limited time offer or announcing a new book in a series.   

Can you tell us why having a proper media kit is so important? And what is the best way to make use of your media kit once you have it?

Having a media kit that includes all the basic information about our book, the book cover, purchase links, your author bio and contact links is something every author should have as soon as that information is available.  You can’t market your book without one.  Your media kit should also be in different formats; text only, Wordpress HTML and Blogspot HTML.  One you have a good media kit, you’ll use it for cover reveals, blitzes and tours, review sites and other promotional opportunities.  Your media kit should also include printed materials like a sell sheet that you can leave at events, book signings, libraries, etc…

A question that stumps so many creative types is how to build their mailing list, given the rules with GDPR (General Data Protection Regulation) that the EU has enacted and California will be adopting next year, what are some ways to increase those names on our lists?

Giveaways using a platform like Rafflecopter are probably the most effective way of growing your email list.  You should also have a subscription form on your website and Facebook page that asks your visitors to leave their email address.  Having gated content, like a short story or serialized content, on your site is another way to collect email addresses.  This is content that is hidden until your visitor enters their email address.

No matter what method you use, be sure that you make it clear that by leaving their email address, they’ll be receiving emails from you and make it very easy for them to opt-out.   If you have a checkbox, make sure the default setting is that the checkbox is empty. Of course, you’ll want to familiarize yourself with the laws so you stay compliant and they may vary depending on your location. 

Now that we have those names on our mailing list or subscribers to our blogs, what do we need to do to keep them? What suggestions do you have for us keeping these friends engaged?

My best suggestion is to be realistic about how much time you’ll have to devote to email campaigns.  Unless you’re an author who cranks out a book every 3 months, coming up with content on a regular basis can be daunting.  Before you send that first newsletter, really think about what your content is going to be, where it’s going to come from and how often you’re going to send out a newsletter.  If you write cozy mysteries and feature a lot of food in your books then chances are good that your fans would be interested in recipes, food blog reviews, that awesome new sauce you just discovered, etc…  But if you struggle to identify what your target audience would be interested in, then a monthly newsletter is probably going to be overwhelming to create and not very effective.  And again, remember the rule of thirds that I mentioned above.  Don’t make your content just about your books.  Engage your fans by appealing to what their interests are and if you’re not sure, ask them!

Okay, what have I missed?  Is there anything you want to talk about that I missed?

You had such great questions I don’t think we’ve missed anything!  I would like to reiterate what I said earlier about making marketing a priority as opposed to an afterthought.  Start the process early and don’t be afraid to ask your publisher what they plan on doing to market your book.  If you don’t feel like you’re going to get what you need from your publisher, then consider hiring a professional.  There are lots of great companies out there.  Just take your time and make sure you find one that is a good fit for you and the types of books you publish.  You’re hiring them so ask lots of questions, let them know what’s important to you and make sure you understand what their expectations of you are.

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About IndiGo Marketing:

IndiGo was founded out of a passion for books and the authors who write them.  As the mom of a gay son, it’s so important to me that authors who write LGBTQI+ books have every opportunity to find their audience.  I’m so honored to be a part of that process and I know its cliché to say that what I do is a “labor of love” but it really is.   

Where to find IndiGo Marekting:

Check out the website here.

Find their Facebook Page here.

Find Lori’s Facebook Profile here.

Find them on Twitter here.

Find them on Instagram here.

Guest Blog by Author Sarah Elkins

This week I’m pleased to have Sarah Elkins here my Scribbles Page as she shares with us her journey in the writing world and gives us insight into her new novel The Facility. So without further ado, Sarah Elkins.

I have always daydreamed. A lot. As a kid I'd be going about my school day while at the same time, in my head, I was having adventures with characters from books or T.V. shows that I liked. I don't remember exactly when it was that I realized the shows and books I enjoyed had all started as stories inside someone else's head. When that thought occurred to me, however, my mind was blown. I could share the weird stuff I imagined with other people, if I could just figure out how to translate the pictures in my head into words.

In middle school I wanted to be a film writer. I wrote down one of the adventure stories I had going on in my skull as a script. It was over three hundred pages of pink jelly pen scrawlings detailing the exploits of characters loosely based on myself and friends. There was even a talking car and the main character was a were-dinosaur of sorts. I'd ask friends if they wanted a character in the story and what super powers they wanted. Anything went. It was a blast. I even made some storyboards for the script to better visualize what was happening in it. In high school I still wanted to be a writer and researched what it would take to work in film. It was before indy films were big so I researched the screen writer's guild for a project. I was absolutely heartbroken to learn how much it cost to be in it. I was from a lower middle class family. I wasn't sure how I'd get to go to college much less how I could afford to move to California and pay to be a writer.

I started to think of other ways I could tell stories and it dawned on me. I could just work on my own and write them. I could draw them as comics or write them as novels or do both. I hadn't taken an art class since middle school and had a bad experience already in high school regarding the art class there. The short version is the art students were in charge of selling valentine's candy. I knew no one would buy me one so I bought one myself so I wouldn't look like a loser when they delivered them. My candy didn't arrive. I insisted I knew I was supposed to get one because I bought it and had to go to the art room and show them where I signed up. Needless to say I felt miserable and didn't want to register for art class my last two years of high school even though I had free periods. I wound up just hanging out in the nearby park by myself. Is it any wonder I spent a lot of time in my head daydreaming growing up?

I decided to learn how to draw comics on my own and started posting a very poorly thought out fancomic on the outside of my locker in the school Band Hall. (It was the only place my school even had lockers.) I learned a lot from that little comic. When it came to writing prose I worked on a fantasy horror book at night using an old lap top my family had gotten at a pawn shop. I put each chapter in its own file. Part way through writing the book I asked my English teacher if I would get extra credit for writing a novel. She said yes and I was so excited I finished the book well before the end of the year. I wanted to turn it in early enough that she'd have time to read it. Only she didn't. I didn't get the extra credit and to my knowledge she didn't even look at the files.

I was heartbroken.

For years after that I thought I had no business writing prose. I focused on learning how to make comics. How to write them. How to draw them. I dated another artist I knew from online. Things didn't work out with the relationship but I learned a lot from them. Mainly, I learned that their opinions of the ideas I wanted to execute in my writing were contradictory to what they wanted to do. I'd mention a webcomic idea and they'd shoot it down insisting I do a pitch to a company. I knew I didn't have the experience to finish a comic for a company. I didn't even finish the pitch. I tried that several times. They didn't seem to like my ideas regarding prose either but I experimented with that anyway. Eventually I posted a few chapters of a story online and showed them to a friend who had just sold his first book to a publisher. That friend said I should stick with prose and not give up. I was super excited and filled with a bit more confidence. But I knew I had a lot more to learn.

Still I focused on comics. I worked as a professional flatter (comic coloring assistant) for eight years until my right arm hurt too much to hold a pen. I couldn't even feed myself with it. It was constant pain any time I tried to move it. I had to quit work. The remains of the relationship with the artist I had dated (who I had tried to remain friends) with evaporated. It was more than half a year or so before I was able to see an orthopedic surgeon who knew what was wrong with my arm and how to treat it. During that time I dusted off my little netbook computer and wrote on a story to deal with the pain and stress of suddenly having no future.

I wrote draft one of The Facility with my left hand.

I can't remember if I finished the rough draft before or after I started to recover use of my right hand. My memories are a bit fuzzy due to the pain and lack of sleep. I know at one point I didn't sleep for a week, then broke a toe and didn't realize it because the pain of my arm was so severe I just couldn't feel anything else. I don't think I was able to use my right hand until I was already hammering away on the second book, now titled The Hunt, which will hopefully be out later this year from Ninestar Press. Looking at the timestamps on the earliest drafts of The Facility I finished it while smack in the middle of my arm problems. I queried it to literary agents and publishers. Sending out queries was one of the jobs I gave myself so I had a purpose. When queries didn't come out well I worked to rewrite the book. After being diagnosed and learning how to deal with my ever ossifying elbow tendons I wrote a different book and serialized it on Patreon.

The Facility is a story in which I recycled some characters from those early pink jelly pen adventure scripts I wrote as a kid. I replaced the concept of the main character being a were-dinosaur with her being a were-Tesla. I tossed in ideas from the failed comics I had attempted over the years. I poured my stress and anxiety and pain into it to give myself a future in a time when I thought I had none.

It's a book I felt I needed to tell myself to distract myself from the pain and fear of the future so I'd survive and also a book I wanted to share with others. The Facility is rough. It's no perfect first book. The characters, particularly Neila the protagonist, are messy and anxious. The plot builds slow and then things happy quickly. In that way it echoes the damage done to my arm. There were signs something was wrong for years. Signs I ignored. Until everything came to a head and it felt as if I had been stabbed. My muscles were red and swollen. It hurt to make a fist. It hurt to sleep without it on a pillow. It hurt to sleep with it on a pillow. I didn't sleep much.

The things that got me excited to be a writer as a kid, the idea that I can share my constant daydreams with strangers, and the things that got me excited to be a writer as an adult, that I could help someone else escape whatever they were going through when they read my work, are very different. Both are ever present in my mind. Psychic Underground: The Facility was born of both those reasons for writing. I am proud I finished the book and prouder still that it's found a place in print and in the hearts of readers. They may be few but they are dear to my heart. Thank you if you've read the book, and thank you if you choose check it out. No matter what I go through, I will not stop writing because it means I can continue to create worlds and have adventures even when my body betrays me.

Sarah, thank you for sharing your personal journey with us. I’m so glad you persevered and continued writing, it’s an inspiration to everyone who has a dream. Never give up your dreams and they won’t give up on you. Well Scribblers, I hope you enjoyed this week’s author spotlight. Remember to like and share below, especially if you know people who may enjoy The Facility. Until next time have a great week.

About The Facility:

Being psychic is just another aspect of life for Neila Roddenberry. So are dreams of a past life as Nikola Tesla. She's sure the last part is the result of reading the wrong mind at the wrong time without realizing it. neither are things she talks about much. Her friends know she's psychic, but no one knows about the dreams. She's twenty-three, asexual, and unemployed with ambitions to become a freelance artist and writer.

On the way home from visiting friends, Neila gets caught up in a terrorist attack, then wakes up in an underground psychic testing facility. Raised by a doomsday-prepper father, Neila is unusually prepared for the possibility of being whisked away to a secret lab somewhere. When she is faced with the choice of working for the scientists studying psychics at the facility, she takes the job as both an agent and a test subject.

But not everyone in the facility wants to be there.


Where to Buy The Facility:

Get it on Amazon here.

Get your copy at NineStar Press here.

Get it on Barnes and Noble here.

About Sarah:

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Sarah Elkins is a freelance comic artist and writer who nearly had to give up art entirely due to a form of ossifying tennis elbow that forced her to be unable to use her dominate hand for nearly a year. She spent much of that time writing novels with her left hand as a means to deal with the pain and stress of possibly never drawing again. Thanks to a treatment regime she is able to draw again albeit not as easily or quickly as she once did.

Sarah enjoys reading science fiction, horror, fantasy, weird stories, comics of every sort, as well as any biographical material about Nikola Tesla she can get her hands on (that doesn't suggest he was from Venus." She has worked in the comics industry since 2008 as a faltter (colorist assistant,) penciler, inker, and colorist. She contributed a comic to the massive anthology project Womanthology. Currently she (slowly) produces a webcomic called Magic Remains while writing as much as her body will allow.


Where to find Sarah:

Find Sarah on Twitter here.

Check out her website here.

Find her on Facebook here.

Top Ten List with Abigail de Niverville

Happy Wednesday Scribblers this week I’m pleased to have fellow NineStar Author Abigail de Niverville on my Scribbles Page to do a Top Ten List for her debut novel, I Knew Him. Without further ado let’s get to the question.

What are ten things about Julian that make him unique and an interesting character that readers will be excited about?

  1. Julian lives in a small town called Riverview, which still exhibits a lot of backwards notions. It makes it difficult for him to decide if he wants to come out.

  2. He doesn’t like being the centre of attention, mainly because that gives more opportunity for people to speculate things about him.

  3. His star sign is Aquarius, and he definitely embodies certain traits. He runs from his emotions, he finds it difficult deciphering those of others. But he’s also very adaptable in different situations and with different people.

  4. He has a lot of constellations memorized.

  5. His parents are divorced and he’s having trouble unpacking his feelings surrounding his father’s absence in his life.

  6. He’s not very talkative and prefers the company of people who give him space to speak instead of demanding information out of him.

  7. He bought his car off someone’s front lawn.

  8. Though there were other signs he found in retrospect, Julian first began wondering about his sexuality when a boy kissed him at a party a couple years before the beginning of I Knew Him.

  9. He loves action movies and sci-fi, though he might not be willing to admit that to everyone.

  10. He throws a lot of his energy into school instead of dealing with his problems.

Blurb:

In his senior year of high school, Julian has one goal: be invisible. All he wants is to study hard, play basketball, and pretend he’s straight for one more year. Then, he can run away to university and finally tell the world he’s bisexual. And by “the world,” he means everyone but his mom and best friend. That’s two conversations he never wants to have.

When he’s talked into auditioning for the school’s production of Hamlet, Julian fears that veering off course will lead to assumptions he’s not ready to face. Despite that, he can’t help but feel a connection to this play. His absent father haunts him like a ghost, his ex is being difficult, and he’s overthinking everything. It’s driving him crazy.

The decision to audition leads Julian on an entirely different path. He’s cast as Hamlet, and the boy playing Horatio is unlike anyone Julian has met before. Mysterious and flirtatious, Sky draws Julian in, even though he fears his feelings at the same time. As the two grow closer, Julian begins to let out the secrets he’s never told—the ones that have paralyzed him for years. But what will he do if Sky feels the same way?


Buy Links:

Universal Link click here

For Amazon click here

For Barnes and Noble click here

For NineStar Press click here

Author Bio:

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Abigail de Niverville is an author and composer based in Toronto, Canada. Born on the East Coast of Canada, Abigail draws inspiration from her experiences growing up there. When she’s not writing frantically, she also composes music and holds an M.Mus from the University of Toronto.

Find Abigail here:

Website: adeniverville.com

Twitter: @adeniverville

Blog Take Over by Matt Doyle

Happy Wednesday Scribblers. This week we are shaking things up. I’ve invited fellow NineStar Press Author Matt Doyle to drop by and take over my blog for the week. Matt’s going to share about himself, his writing, and his amazing series The Cassie Tam Files. I’ve had the pleasure of starting the series and I can’t wait to see what Matt has to share with us.


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Hey everybody. Before we dive into my main post, I wanted to give you all a short introduction to myself and my work. Don’t worry though, I’ll keep it brief. So, my name is Matt Doyle. I was born to an Irish family in England, and that dual nationality status is something that I’ve always liked to embrace. I identify as pansexual and genderfluid, and believe me, it took a long time for me to find the right terms to fit my circumstances.

I’ve done a lot of different things over the years, including performing a duet with my brother at a charity concert and spending ten years working in pretty much every side of the pro wrestling business. I also run a pop culture website, and design T-shirts. Oh, and I created my video game at age fifteen, and intend to eventually get around to working on a new one when time allows.

I’m a published author. While I started out with a four-part self-published series, I also have three books with NineStar Press and (a fourth on the way), and have appeared in multiple anthologies ranging from Queer Sci-Fi’s annual flash fiction collections to Bad Dog Books’ furry series, ROAR.

I’m a lifelong sci-fi fan and so, while I tend to write stories that span multiple genres, there’s almost always a grounding in science fiction. I also tend to write LGBTQ+ characters in almost every story. Growing up, I was less interested in coming out stories, and really wanted to see stories about people like me who’d found their place in the world. So, my characters usually (but not always) are already comfortable in themselves and their orientation just happens to be part of them rather than a focal point of the tale.

So, that’s me in a nutshell. Today though, I want to talk a little about my current series, The Cassie Tam Files. It’s a lesfic mystery series with a sci-fi setting, and is published by the LGBTQ+ publishing house NineStar Press.

The Cassie Tam Files – An Introduction To The Themes And Characters

The World of Cassie Tam And New Hopeland City

The books are, in many ways, reminiscent of the old novels of the noir era, and have had comparisons to the works of Raymond Chandler, Dashiell Hammett and Marele Day before now. At the same time though, that science fiction influence is still there. The story is set in the near future, and New Hopeland itself was built to be a very technology focused place. What this means is that, through the setting, you get to see some examples of potential places we could be heading with technology. Everything you see in that regard is a natural progression from where we’re at. From VR being used by businesses to tech enhanced theaters, and futuristic fursuits to theoretically plausible vampire gear, everything exists to a degree now. This just ramps it up.

So, expect hardboiled inner monologues and forays into a dingy criminal underworld, all playing alongside cyberpunk-ish science fiction elements and a slow-burn shy FF romance that spans the whole series.

Cassie Tam

Our protagonist is a PI working in the fictional city of New Hopeland, Utah. She’s a snarky, hardboiled detective that solves cases with a mixture of smarts and toughness, all the while sticking stubbornly to her rigid moral code. It’s that stubbornness that is, in some ways, both her best tool and biggest downfall in the job. Once she decides that a particular outcome is the correct one, she pursues it doggedly, no matter the consequences, which does seem effective, but also lands her in a lot of difficult situations.

Cassie is a lover of horror films. She doesn’t strictly have a preference for style; practical effects or CG, creeping dread or gore, it’s all much the same for her. Despite this love of the genre, they almost always give her nightmares though. This is something that confuses her as she’s encountered plenty of real-life life or death situations and can’t quite figure out why fiction hits her that hard. When not scaring herself silly, she’s a big coffee drinker. I’m not entirely certain that her blood isn’t ninety per cent caffeine at this point.

Despite her confidence in her abilities, and the tough persona she adopts when on a job, Cassie is not the most confident when it comes to social situations, especially romantically. She tends to keep most people at arm’s length until she knows them well, and is prone to bouts of embarrassment with prospective romantic partners. Her previous relationship ended despite neither her nor her then-partner Charlotte doing anything specific wrong, so when she starts to find herself attracted to her client in Addict, she isn’t entirely certain how far to push it. After all, if you can seemingly do everything right and still have things fall apart, that’s got to be a risk going forward too, right?

When it comes to technology, Cassie makes use of what she needs, but has a bit of a love-hate relationship with the various new things that get released. She has a particular issue with Tech Shifters as one of her first major collaborations with the police in New Hopeland was during a spate of brutal murders carried out by people in Tech Shift gear.

Lori Redwood

Cassie’s client in Addict is a Tech Shifter. This means that she uses a metal suit to roleplay as an animal in her free time, in this case a panther called Ink. The process involves an operation to insert rubber tipped plugs running from the Shifter’s head down to the base of their spine, so it’s not something that people enter lightly. It also means that Lori keeps her head shaved at all times so as to avoid hair getting tangled in the plugs.

For Lori, Tech Shifting is a form of non-sexual kitty-play that she uses to destress from the week, though there are many reasons people do it. She’s well respected in the local Tech Shift community and actually runs a regular meet for those looking to meet like-minded people. Lori works as a photographer for a local news company, and is often called upon to cover some difficult cases. For Lori, that causes some issues because she often feels like she’s not able to do enough to help people. This is something that spills over into other parts of her life too, as she has a tendency to blame herself for things that she can’t control.

In Addict, she hires Cassie to investigate her brother Eddie’s death. He was a virtual reality junkie, and the police put his death down to an accidental overdose on experience enhancing drugs. Lori doesn’t believe this because, to her knowledge, he never used drugs, and was working towards getting a career in a VR focused company. Though initially going through a whole host of emotions in response to her situation, she grows an attraction to Cassie.

Unlike Cassie, Lori is quite naturally flirty and approaches most social situations with a smile and the occasional joke. She particularly enjoys teasing Cassie when she gets flustered, but never acts in malice. She is willing though to point out when Cassie is doing something silly, like overanalyzing a situation that simply doesn’t require it, and so tends to try to keep Cassie on track rather than encourage some of her potentially negative traits. Lori tends to fall hard and fast in relationships, and is making a conscious effort not to push this too hard with Cassie as she fears scaring her off. 

Bert

Perhaps the most popular character in the series, Bert is an AI gargoyle that lives with Cassie. Familiar Units were built to act as replacements for flesh and blood pets in New Hopeland. Their durability meant that they wouldn’t get hurt when playing with heavy handed children, but would also be very good in security roles. Most units are built to take on one of these two roles exclusively, known as Family or Protector classes. Bert differs in this regard because he has a hybrid programming of the two.

The reason for this is due to Cassie’s job. She reasoned that Protector class programming would be useful for tough cases but that, as she lived and worked in a small apartment, she couldn’t have a miniature tank running about the place. The result of this hybrid programming is that Bert has a few character quirks. He’s certainly loyal to Cassie, and will rush in to save her if her life is in danger, often in a brutal manner. At the same time though, he enjoys playing and gets bored easily. This often results in him causing mild issues, such as deciding that the bag of sugar on the kitchen worktop may be an intruder that needs to be taken down. Cassie describes him as being akin to a particularly sarcastic house cat that happens to be loyal enough to protect its owner.

Bert can only say, “Caw.” Despite this, he is perfectly capable of showing a range of emotions, often including exasperation. 

Devin Carmichael

A regularly appearing and popular side character, Devin is a bit of an enigma in the city. He’s known to be an assassin for hire, but the police won’t touch him. The reason for this is that, when they can’t themselves deal with a criminal that’s committed an atrocious crime, Devin is often called in to clean up. As such, he has become strangely ingrained with the fabric of the city, working with not only law enforcement but the criminal underworld.

Like Cassie, Devin has his own rigid moral code. He understands his job and what it entails, but will not take every job that comes his way. He likes to understand not only his client and target, but the reasons for the hit, and won’t kill someone that he views as relatively innocent.

Though their roles should put them at odds, he and Cassie get along well, with Devin describing her as the closest he gets to a friend in his job. Though she’s never hired him to kill anyone, Cassie has worked with him in a number of different capacities, such as paying for information and for additional protection when Bert isn’t an appropriate option. He seems to know more than most about what’s going on in the city, at least most of the time. 

Where Are We Right Now?

The series is set to run to five books in total. Right now, the first three are already available. The details for these are as follows:

Addict – Cassie is hired to investigate the death of a local VR junkie. Though she expects it to be an open and shut case, she soon finds herself drawn into a potential murder investigation that threatens not only her life, but that of her client’s.

The Fox, The Dog, And The King –Cassie finds herself hired to find a missing dog. The case sees her not only hunting for the pooch, but also getting embroiled in a conspiracy that could shake the New Hopeland criminal underworld to its core.

LV48 – When walking home from a night out with Lori, Cassie is attacked, and wakes up at the police station. She expects help, but instead finds herself forced to act as bait to draw out an attacker with a fascination for blood. She wouldn’t mind so much if doing so didn’t mean facing down a tech-suited wannabe vampire.

An untitled fourth book has been signed by NineStar Press and is currently going through the editing process. This book collects two novellas into one. The first is told from Lori’s POV and sees her helping Cassie on a case relating to workplace harassment. The second is back with Cassie as she’s hired to deal with a stalker.

The fifth, final book will bring the previous four together and see Cassie delving into the deep secrets of new Hopeland City. I’m currently busy road mapping the book before I start writing. 

And Finally…

Well, that’s about it from me! So, here’s a big thank you to M.D. Neu for hosting me today, and another to everyone who reads my ramblings. Please do feel free to check the books out. You can find them on Goodreads, and all the purchase links are on my site.

There’s plenty more to come from me too. My current plan for what to do after I finish with Cassie is for something that I can only describe as James Bond meets Alien with a genderfluid protagonist. In the meantime, I cover a ton of different things on my site, ranging from diverse books and comics to video games and anime. I also have a webstore, so feel free to check that out too. Thanks again everyone, have a good one!


Thank you Matt for taking the reins today and sharing The Cassie Tam Files with us. I hope everyone rushes out to pick up their copy of book one and diving in on this amazing series. Now, don’t forget if you know someone who might enjoy these novels or anything else you’ve read on my Scribbles Page you can share this post by clicking the ‘share’ button below. Until next time have a great week.

Interview with Author Glenn Quigley

Happy Wednesday everyone. This week I want to say a big hello to fellow NineStar Press Author Glenn Quigley. Glenn has two amazing novels out The Lion Lies Waiting and The Moth and Moon and he is coming to us from beautiful Northern Ireland.


Before we jump in, I just want to say welcome to my Scribbles Page.

Thanks very much for inviting me along!

Let’s start off with you telling us something about yourself that we won’t see in your bio.

Hmm, let’s see. I’m a huge fan of Transformers, and have been since 1984. I trained with a paranormal investigation group and have been on ghost hunts in people’s homes, a jail, and the Belfast Opera House. Oh, and I used to make teddy bears from socks. New socks, mind you!

No way! That is so cool.  Okay, I need to focus.

I know you’re also a graphic designer and I’ve seen some of your amazing art that you’ve posted on Social Media, you are very talented, clearly being creative most be a passion of yours so what came first the writing or the art?

Oh, thank you very much! I’d say the art came first, I was always a doodler as a child, but I also read a lot. Books and comics. I was never any good at schoolwork (I hated school), except for essays in English class, which I really enjoyed. Once I left school, I kept working at my art and taught myself Photoshop and other art programs. The writing took a back seat for many years, but I would often note down story ideas and write little passages that usually never really went anywhere.              

It’s amazing how that works. I sort of did the same thing. I had all these ideas, but nothing ever came of them. Of course, the extent of my drawing is creating an amazing stick figure. So, what inspired you to start writing?

From secondary school onwards, my mother urged me to keep writing. It was always her dream to one day have a book with my name on the cover and she would regularly ask me if I was still working on my writing.

I went back to college as a mature student in 2014 to study photography and graphic design, and while the first year went really well, the second year was in a different college and it was a horrible experience. It was like being back in school. I dropped out of the course and thought I’d better have something to show for that year, so I decided to try writing a short story. When I managed that, I thought I’d try expanding it into a full novel, and it became The Moth and Moon.

Speaking of The Moth and Moon, let’s talk about your books, you have two out right now, The Lion Lies Waiting and The Moth and Moon why don’t you tell us about them.

Click on the image to buy the books.

Click on the image to buy the books.

The Moth and Moon is set in the 18thcentury and is about a burly gay fisherman named Robin Shipp who lives on a tiny island off the coast of Cornwall. One day a storm blows in and turns his life upside down. 

The Lion Lies Waiting is set four months later, and sees Robin embroiled in political intrigue, family drama and a possible revolution on sinister Blackrabbit Island.

The books are set in a world without religion, so nobody suffers any kind of prejudice for their sexual orientation or gender. I knew when I started writing the story that I wanted it to be historical fiction but I didn’t want it to all happen behind closed doors, or have characters face any hardship for their orientation. Frankly, the real world has enough of that, and I wanted an escape. I reasoned that religion was the excuse many people used to persecute LGBT+ people so if I removed that, I removed a huge stumbling block for equality.

I needed the world of 1780 (the year the books are set in) to be recognizable, but believably different. The answer I came up with was to still have the Romans invade Britain, which gave me the history, cultural impact, names, language, etc. needed to make the world recognizable, but then when their empire falls, the church goes with it. Word spread throughout the world of what life could be like if people just believed in themselves and in each other, and gradually all religion is left by the wayside. So by the time the books are set, a thousand years later, society has embraced all genders and orientations. Oh, and there’s a clockwork technology in there too, just to serve as a little reminder that this is meant to be *a* past, not *the* past.

The main characters are a mix of gay, lesbian, bisexual and straight. 

That is an interesting concept. I have heard people say work could be called historical fiction, but considering the changes your made is that a correct assertion? Why did you pick this genre to write in? 

I think given the massive liberties I’ve taken with history a more accurate label would be Historical Fantasy. I love history documentaries; I find them a great source of inspiration. I chose the late 18thcentury because I think there’s something about being on the cusp of the industrial revolution that’s romantic, in a funny way. It’s like the last few years before the birth of the modern world.

Tell us about the characters we are going to meet in these novels, are they based on real people or are they completely made up? 

They are completely made up, although Robin, my main character, has a lot of my clumsiness in him. I think, as I was writing, some mannerisms from friends and family creeped in to characters here and there, but there are no direct similarities. I based characters appearances on real people just so I could keep them consistent, but I think a lot of writers do that.

Robin Shipp is 50, extremely tall, broad, heavy, and not that bright. He’s a fisherman who lives in the little village of Blashy Cove. When we first meet him, he’s living a quiet life, ostracized by the wider community as they believe his father murdered a local artist forty years ago. He has no family, and lives alone in a tall, thin house. He has friends named Edwin, a handsome baker, and Morwenna Whitewater, an elderly neighbor who took pity on him after his father died. We also meet Robin’s ex-lover, Duncan. A short, stocky man who works as a toymaker. He and Robin have a very frosty relationship and can’t bear to be around one another. Over the course of the first book we meet the grumpy innkeeper, Mr. Reed, the married aristocrats Ladies Eva and Iris Wolfe-Chase, Edwin’s mother Sylvia (who loves to stir up trouble) and a whole host of other characters.

That sounds like a fun cast. Now, living in Lisburn, Northern Ireland, I would love to hear about your home, what are five must does if I were to ever make it over there?  

Lisburn is a small city, but it’s good for shopping as it’s so compact. It’s close to Belfast, which has lots of great bars, restaurants, and shops. Also nearby Hillsborough village is picturesque, with a lovely forest.

That sounds amazing. Ireland is on my list of places to visit so I hope to get there. Lastly, is there anything else you would like to share with us today?

I design geeky tshirts for Moodybear, so head over to www.themoodybear.comand have a look!

I have a fun little series of Five Questions with Ninestar Press authors on my website, www.glennquigley.comand I’m always happy to chat on Twitter, so anyone can contact me on there. I’d also like to say thanks again for having me on your blog!

I want to thank fellow author Glenn Quigley for stopping by today and chatting with you us about his two books. If you have questions for Glenn leave them in the comments below and I’ll have him swing by and answer them. Remember to like and share this post with your family and friends. You can share by clicking the share tab below. Until next time have a great week.

book promo photos final 20TH Feb 2019 ~01.jpg

About Glenn Quigley:

Glenn Quigley is a graphic designer originally from Dublin and now living in Lisburn, Northern Ireland. He creates bear designs for www.themoodybear.com. He has been interested in writing since he was a child, as essay writing was the one and only thing he was ever any good at in school. When not writing or designing, he enjoys photography and watercolour painting.

Where to contact Glenn Quigley:

Click here for his website.

Find him on Facebook here.

Find him on Twitter here.


Conversation and New Book Announcement with K.S. Trenten

Here we are, another Wednesday and we are at the beginning of spring, can you believe how quickly the year is going? This week I welcome back fellow NineStar Press Author and friend K.S Trenten to tell us what she’s been up since the last we talked and of course to tell us all about her newly released novella A Symposium in Space. If you didn’t catch her prior interview check it out here.


Before we jump in, I just want to say welcome back to my Scribbles Page.

Thank you for having me! And may I say from the bottom of my heart as someone who’s been called the Scribbler by her characters, I’m delighted to see you have a Scribbles Page. :)

Instead of sharing your bio with us, why don’t you tell us something about yourself that we won’t see in your bio.

Psst! I write fanfic. :) You can find a lot of mine at Archive of Our Own written under the name of rhodrymavelyne. This March when I wasn’t preparing A Symposium in Space for publication, to Blog From AZ, or for Camp NaNoWriMo, I was working on an ongoing fanfic which I’ve had some lovely readers show real appreciation for. I love the people who’ve given me positive feedback at Archive of Our Own. If it hadn’t been for them, I would never have had the guts to submit my work to a publisher.

It's wonderful when readers connect with your work. Congratulations. Now what have you been up to since the last time you were here?

Getting ready for the BloggingFromAZAprilProject and Camp NaNoWriMo. Both are April traditions for me. March and April are mad months. :) This April’s blogging theme is Character Conflicts. It’s a good time to pop by the Cauldron of Eternal Inspiration and the Formerly Forbidden Cauldron (two of my blogs) and meet some of the various denizens in my imagination.

Camp NaNoWriMo will involve picking up my NaNoWriMo project and trying to finish a rough draft of it. My Tool, My Treasure is Damian Ashelocke’s story, a major character in my Tales of the Navel: The Shadow Forest series. Hungry shadows, memory ghosts, predatory matriarchs with eight arms (called arachnocrats) gods manifesting in their followers, and how one young man becomes this god’s ‘devil’ are a few of the ideas brewing for this particular story.

Tell us about A Symposium in Space.

ASymposiuminSpace-f500.jpeg

A mysterious and powerful citizen of the Intergalactic Democracy, Agathea, invites Phaedra (the main character) and her lover, Pausania to her ‘symposium’. Tensions between the couple manifest when Phaedra finds she really wants to go, but Pausania doesn’t. Phaedra decides to find her own way…and ends up falling in love. With a spaceship. She crosses the path of Sokrat, wandering philosopher who also wishes to go to the symposium, while avoiding a formidable space pirate who’s pursuing her. This pirate, Alcibiadea almost catches up them, but Phaedra and Sokrat eventually reach the symposium, only to find they’ve got quite the unusual dining experience waiting for them.

What inspired you to write this Novella?

I fell in love with Plato’s Symposium when I first read it at age 19. I was blown away by the speeches about love (yet at times extremely insulted by the casual misogyny mixed in with them). Alcibiades’s confession of love to Socrates remains one of the romantic things I’d ever read. It was so new, reading something like that back in 1990. Plus it was a younger man admitting he’d completely fallen for an older man, fallen for the beauty of his character. It took my breath away. Years later, there was a submission call for a science fiction anthology called Theory of Love. The title made me think of The Symposium. I imagined a scene like something out of Mystery Science Theatre, with Socrates and his pupils in philosophy being pursued throughout space by Alcibiades. I mentioned the idea to another writer, A. Catherine Noon. She said, “Write it!” I started writing, but I found myself writing about futuristic versions of the characters, which were female…and I ended up with a completely different story. :)

Tell us about the characters we are going to meet in this novella. Do you have a favorite?

Oh, it’s hard to choose. I love Sokrat, because she is my tribute to Plato’s Paragon, the Socrates which survived over the centuries through his writing. I do feel it’s one of the most enduring love tributes to a man Plato idealized as the embodiment of wisdom, who gets to the truth through questions. Sokrat does the same thing, carrying on the same ‘quest’ you might say that he does. At the same time, I also love Phaedra, because she ended up voicing a lot of my insecurities about technology, society, and never quite understanding whatever the latest trend or fashion is. All the characters surprised me, taking me in directions I didn’t expect, which was a lot of fun. I ended up getting attached to all of them, even Diotym, who didn’t go the symposium, yet snagged a spot at the Cauldron (my blog).

Changing topics a bit, I know from getting to know you, that you take a lot of amazing pictures, is there any chance we are going to see more of your photography, maybe in a book? Are you considering sharing more of your photos in another medium?

Wow, thank you! One of the problems is I’m seriously techno-phobic…Phaedra and I share that quality. Computers and the technology I use to create any photo art have a way of breaking down or not cooperating with me. I appreciate the vote of confidence! Hmm, maybe I should think about this…

You and I are both Bay Area Locals, so I want to ask, what are five of your favorite places here in the Bay Area, if you want to keep it to the San Jose area that is fine too?

Books, Inc is one. I love the Books, Inc in Mountain View and in Campbell. I also love the Mountain View public library…it’s a wonderful place to read and study. Frascati’s is a little Italian coffee house around the corner from Il Fornaio and the Convention Center. It’s an easy hop from the light rail to get there. The Il Fornaio on that street is beautiful with an old-fashioned feel to it. Easterly is right across from the Piatti I met you at. It has very good Chinese food, although it can be *really* spicy.

This is more of a me questions, but I want to ask it anyway, where is your favorite Dim Sum place here in San Jose? I’m always looking for some great Dim Sum.

Alas, our favorite dim sum place in San Jose, the Joy Luck Palace closed. The Joy Luck Cafe is still open, but it only has a fraction of what the Joy Luck Palace had. My husband and I are looking for a new local dim sum restaurant. There’s a place in Little Saigon we want to try out…yes, it’s Chinese, not Vietnamese, despite the location. We used to really like Koi Palace, but it hasn’t been as good lately. Too much is premade and brought to the restaurant rather than cooked on the site. Our current favorite dim sum place is in Emeryville, the Hong Kong East Ocean Seafood Restaurant. It’s very expensive, but the food is excellent. We can’t afford to go there too often, alas.

Is there anything else you would like to share with us today?

Please come and visit my Cauldrons at wordpress and blogspot this April! It’s a chance to meet a lot of my characters from different Works in Progress. And thank you for stopping by to see me! I hope you’ll all enjoy A Symposium in Space!

And thank you for having me stop by, M.D. Neu! It was an honor to return to the Scribbles Page!

I want to thank fellow author K.S. Trenten for stopping by today and telling us about her newest novella A Symposium in Space and for sharing some of her personal picks. If you have questions for K.S. leave them in the comments below and I’ll have her swing by and answer them. Remember to like and share this post with your family and friends. You can share by clicking the share tab below. Until next time have a great week.


About A Symposium in Space:

Phaedra and her lover, Pausania are invited to a dinner party. Only this won’t be like any party Phaedra has ever been to. Nor does Pausania want her to go. Phaedra is determined, even if she has to find her own way to this symposium in space. A fateful encounter with the spaceship of her dreams and the wandering philosopher, Sokrat, lead Phaedra to a unique gathering of individuals where thoughts of love are offered up…and consumed.

About K.S. Trenten:

K.S. Trenten lives in the Silicon Valley of California with her husband, two cats, and a host of characters in her head, all wanting attention.

Where to contact K.S. Trenten:

Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/rhodrymavelyne/?ref=bookmarks#

Twitter: https://twitter.com/rhodrymavelyne

tumblr: https://rhodrymavelyne.tumblr.com/

Archive of Our Own: http://archiveofourown.org/users/rhodrymavelyne

Goodreads: https://www.goodreads.com/author/show/14876500.K_S_Trenten?from_search=true

Amazon Author Page: http://www.amazon.com/author/kstrenten

Nine Star Press Author Page: https://ninestarpress.com/authors/k-s-trenten/

Blogs, Otherwise Known as the Cauldrons of Eternal Inspiration:

inspirationcauldron.wordpress.com

inspirationcauldron.blogspot.com

cauldronkeeper.livejournal.com

rhodrymavelyne.dreamwidth.org

A New World-Conviction Book Launch

Wow! Wow! Wow! Hey Scribblers. Conviction is here, this is book two of my epic Sci Fi series A New World has arrived. I’m excited for you all to get your hands on the newest installment. Check out the blurb and an exclusive expert from the novel.

Here is the blurb for Conviction:

Conviction Composite.png

A little blue world, the third planet from the sun. It's home to 7 billion people with all manner of faiths, beliefs and customs, divided by bigotry and misunderstanding, who will soon be told they are not alone in the universe. Anyone watching from the outside would pass by this fractured and tumultuous world, unless they had no other choice.

Todd Landon is one of these people, living and working in a section of the world called the United States of America. His life is similar to those around him: home, family, work, friends and a husband.

After the attack on San Jose, Todd is appointed to Special Envoy for Terran Affairs by the nentraee, a position many world leaders question. Undeterred Todd wants to build bridges between both people. However, this new position brings with it a new set of problems that not only he, but his new allies Mi’ko and Mirtoff must overcome. Will the humans and nentraee learn to work together despite mistrust and threats of more attacks by a new global terrorist group, or will the terrorists win? Will this bring an end to an already shaky alliance between nentraee and humans?

Here is a short excerpt from the book:

Excerpt:

This is a fun moment where Todd finally meets Faa, Mirtoff’s companion animal. It’s a moment I’ve been wanted to share with people since they first met Faa way back in book one:

“Hello, Todd,” Mi’ko said, speaking English.

“Good afternoon, Mister Vice Speaker. You wanted to see me?” Todd turned to Mirtoff. “Oh, Madam Speaker, hello.” He bowed.

Todd hadn’t spent a lot of time with the speaker general. However, during his interactions with her, she seemed remarkably intelligent and professional. Unlike those times, today, she didn’t have a cup of tuma. As always, her auburn hair was braided up into a bun with a few wisps running along the side of her face. Her brilliant dark brown eyes, which Todd had learned were rare for the Nentraee, always seemed to sparkle, giving her a kind appearance.

“Todd, a pleasure,” Mirtoff said.

Faa trotted over next to her and sat down as she spoke.

“I should go.” Todd adjusted the cuffs of his shirt. “I didn’t mean to interrupt you.”

“No sense, Todd.” Mi’ko waved him over. “We are finishing up, and I requested your presence, so there is nothing for you to interrupt.”

“It is I who should go.” Mirtoff dusted off her pants. “I need to get Faa back for his lunch.”

“A cádo.” Todd knelt to look at Faa. “I didn’t know you had one, Madam Speaker.”

Todd hadn’t seen one this close. From what he understood about them, they were akin to dogs or, maybe, cats. Bigger than Bianca for sure, Faa seemed to be about the size of a cocker spaniel, if not a little bigger.

“Oh, he’s beautiful. I love his eyes,” Todd said. “Hello, little guy.” He stuck his hand out for Faa to sniff. “I’m not gonna hurt you.”

“Provider, this human Todd?” Faa asked, tilting his head toward Mirtoff.

“Jesus H. Christ!” Todd shouted and dropped on his butt.

Both Mi’ko and Mirtoff shared confused expressions as Faa jumped on the chair behind Mirtoff. A small whimper came from his mouth.

“It talks. I didn’t know it could talk. How in the holy hell does it talk?” Todd picked himself up off the floor and knelt. “I’m…I’m sorry. He startled me. I didn’t mean to scare him.” He gestured to Faa. “You never said they talked.”

“You have animals that speak on your planet, don’t you?” Mi’ko questioned.

The cádo shook and his eyes were double their normal size.

“Well…” Todd tried to calm his voice. “Parrots or some other birds, but that—not like that. I thought he would mimic words like them, but he’s smart. He knows what he’s saying, doesn’t he?”

Mirtoff’s hand gently rubbed Faa’s back and his head.

“Human scared Faa.”

The Nentraee words came out slow and deliberate so Todd could understand.

Mirtoff sat. Faa climbed onto her lap and nuzzled her arm.

“It’s all right, little one. He won’t hurt you.”

Todd recognized the words. “I’m sorry.”

“Faa, this is Todd Landon,” Mirtoff said. “Todd, this is the cádo who selected me, Faa.”

“Hello,” Todd said and waved.

Faa turned to Mirtoff and then to Todd. His muzzle shifted around, and then he finally said, “Todd.” He swished his tail.

“How?” Todd asked.

“They communicate at a lower level than we do, but they have intelligence. However, they are totally dependent on us.”

“But the language? The intelligence?” Todd asked.

Faa murmured as Mirtoff rubbed his head. He had stopped trembling.

“The best comparison is they are similar to small children,” Mi’ko said. “We assumed since humans have animals that talked and are smart it wouldn’t be so shocking. You said yourself you talk to your cat all the time.”

“But Bianca doesn’t talk back.” Todd paused. Well, she did, in a way, and they understood each other, but not like this. “I just…that is an animal trait that we’ll need to let people know.”

Faa sniffed the air and got up. He jumped off Mirtoff and sauntered to Todd. He sniffed the air again. “Todd Landon.” He seemed to struggle to pronounce the words.

“Just let him come to you,” Mirtoff said.

The three watched Faa move closer, each step cautious. Todd remained kneeling on the floor.

“They don’t eat meat, right?” Todd asked.

“Correct.” Mirtoff kept her eyes on Faa.

Faa sniffed and moved closer, his tail swishing. With a nimble movement, he jumped and landed on Todd’s lap. Faa pushed his front paws into Todd’s chest and stared at him. “Todd Landon.”

Todd’s heart skipped a beat as Faa looked him in the eyes.

Faa was gray and had a short muzzle, dwarfed by his large green eyes and his floppy ears.

“Faa.” Mirtoff snapped her fingers and pointed to the floor, addressing Faa in Nentraee words that Todd didn’t recognize.

Faa mentioned Todd’s name twice, along with other words, but Todd couldn’t focus, his heart starting to pound. He wasn’t fearful of animals, but he had never run across an animal that looked him in the eyes as if sizing him up for a meal.

Relax. It’s fine. He’s just like a big dog. He’s not going to hurt you. Look at those big, beautiful eyes. I’m sure he’s more scared of you than you are of him.

Faa continued speaking and used Todd’s name again.

Todd turned to Mirtoff and Mi’ko for some hint of what the creature said. He couldn’t read their expressions.

“He likes you and wants to be friends,” Mi’ko said.

Faa nudged against Todd’s legs and started to murmur happily.

“Okay, by far this is the oddest thing I’ve experienced since I started.” Todd paused and sat so Faa could sit more on his lap instead of knocking him over. “He’s adorable and beautiful. Don’t get me wrong.” His voice cracked as he forced a small chuckle. He wasn’t sure what to do with the cádo resting happily on his lap.

Faa is a heavy little beast.

Mirtoff called to Faa in Nentraee and clicked her fingers.

Faa’s muzzle shifted.

“I’m sorry, Todd,” Mirtoff said. “I didn’t expect him to act that way. He’s normally not that curious. It’s good information so we can address this with our population. I should have had you and Faa meet sooner.”

Faa jumped off and walked to Mirtoff’s side.

Todd’s shoulders and neck relaxed now that Faa was off him.

Faa nudged the back of Mirtoff’s leg and addressed her in Nentraee.

“He hopes to see you again, and he wants to be your friend,” Mirtoff said.

Mirtoff and Faa moved to the door. She knelt next to Faa and whispered in his big floppy ear.

Faa giggled and then padded over to Todd, glancing up with his big doe eyes. “Bye Bye, Todd,” he said in English, then padded back to the door, and Mirtoff and he walked out.

“Bye, Faa.” Todd waved.

Amazing. That was incredible.


Want to check out the reviews of Conviction before you buy it, click here.

Here is where you can buy Conviction:
     Click here for NineStar Press.
     Click here for iTunes.
     Click here for Amazon.
     Click here for Barnes & Noble.
     Click here for Kobo.

Alternatively, ask for it at your local bookstore or you can find it at the San Jose Public Library (click here).





For the launch I have a giveaway going on so don’t forget to sign up below. That’s it for this week. Don’t forget to share this post with family and friends who love epic Sci Fi stories by clicking the ‘share’ button below, and since you’re down there today don’t forget to like this post as well. Until next time have a great week.