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.

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.

Book Announcement and Interview for J.S. Strange

Happy Wednesday Scribblers, this week I’m welcoming J.S. Strange to share details about his newest book Murder on Rocks and to share details about himself. I’m so happy to J.S. a great friend of this Blog introduced me to J.S. and even though I haven’t read his book yet, I’ve got a tone of questions and have added the novel to my must read list.


Welcome to my Scribbles Page J.S. I promise this won’t be too painful of a process.

Before we jump the interview proper, why don’t you tell us something about yourself that’s not in your bio?

Well, I’m a massive Britney fan. I’m a self confessed Britney enthusiast. I suppose it’s because I grew up with her music, but also I really admired her for getting through the bad times and coming back better than ever. I could go on all day about how successful she is, how hard she works, and what she means to me, but I know a lot of people would just roll their eyes and think I’m being weird.

It’s not weird at all, we all have people we admire.

You are from Wales and after reading about you and Murder on the Rocks you very much want to spot light your home in this novel, it is something I can relate to as I do the same thing in my books. So, I want to ask you a question I get asked a lot, why Cardiff? Why Wales? What makes these places so interesting that you want to write about them?

I wanted to write a novel that had some realism to it. To do that, I wrote about places I knew about, or had been to. Some parts of the novel feature where I live, or where I work. Others are memories, or from when I’ve passed through the area. Welsh crime fiction needs to be taken seriously. I’ve read before that publishers won’t take it because ‘nobody wants to read Welsh crime fiction’, which I think isn’t true, because they’re out there. Yet compare Welsh fiction to the likes of Scottish fiction, or London fiction, and it barely compares. I wanted a city, and knew the importance of a location featuring as another character in your story, and Cardiff is a place of beauty, creativity, development – and yet it has another side, too. A darker side. I wanted to explore both, and write about both. Cardiff was a natural choice, because it’s up there with crime fiction settings such as Edinburgh. Wales, because I was born there and live there, and I think I wanted to help put it on the map, in whatever way I could!

I totally agree with that. I love books that don’t use the ‘traditional’ locations.

I also find it fantastic that you want to bring LGBT characters to the mystery genre. I especially love the point you bring up about Jordan being gay, “There is no tragic coming out story, and no internal sexuality struggle. His sexuality is not a plot device – it is his character. It is him.” I think it’s important in writing to go beyond the ‘gay’, you’re gay. GREAT! Now what else are you? What’s next? It sounds like this is your thought as well. Am I right? Care to expand on that?

Yes, that’s exactly right. I know sexuality is a big part of people’s lives. Living with the knowledge that you’re gay, and having to come out for the first time is scary. You have to constantly come out every time you meet someone new, or you start somewhere new. It’s not just a one time thing. Being gay, or being part of the LGBTQ community is not without it’s torments and struggles. But there are lots of stories about that, and it isn’t everybody’s experience. Lots of people come out and they live happy lives, even happier because they’re being their true selves. Also, I don’t think it defines who you are. You might be gay, but you offer a lot more. It’s not solely what you’re about or who you are. So Jordan Jenner is that type of man. He’s gay, but so what? He does the same job as straight male detectives, or straight female detectives, or even gay female detectives. He lives the same life, albeit he dates men. The story is simply there to say that gay men exist, that they do the same jobs as everybody else. He’s also there to serve a purpose of being in the crime and mystery genre, and hopefully holding his own with the likes of straight male manly leads, like Strike and Rebus. It’s important for me to write a gay character, to explore that side of him as the series progresses, but never detract from what the series is mainly about: a murder, and Jordan has to solve it.

Nicely said. I couldn’t agree more.

Something else that caught my eye as I read your information is that you wrote this after you hit a wall on your last story, a series you say you may not go back too. Why is that?

I was writing a zombie series. The first novel was my debut, and it didn’t do too badly, but could have done better. The second novel completely flopped. I had it all planned out, but one bad review came through and I was incredibly disappointed, with myself and with the story. I think second book syndrome existed, and I didn’t know how to move past this, even though the idea was there. I was going back and forth trying to write and third, and it wasn’t happening. But I still wanted to write. I read crime and thriller and mystery often, so I wanted to try it myself. I was terrified of that. I’d always told myself I couldn’t write a mystery, that you had to be clever to do so, but I gave it a go. I’m glad I did, because it brought me something new, something exciting.

I’m glad you found working on something new exciting. Bad reviews are never easy, I hope you’ll be able to go to your first series and finish it up.

As a follow up, what is it about Murder on the Rocks that excites you so much?

The possibility of writing this new series excites me. I really like Jordan Jenner as a character. I think he’s a great lead, and there is a lot more to explore with him. He strikes me as quite a complex character. I’m thinking of new ideas, and new stories to tell, and at the moment it all feels fresh and new. I think more people are interested in the series as well, which is exciting, and I think the idea of growing that series will be a great thing to do.

Okay we’ve danced around the topic a little so let’s dig in, tell us about Murder on the Rocks. What can you share without giving too much away?

Murder on the Rocks begins with Jordan Jenner at the crime scene. He has just returned to work following the seemingly natural death of his mother. His first case back involves the murder of a writer in a prestigious writing group. As Jordan investigates, he learns that his mother’s death may be involved with the murder of the writer. A sub-plot in the novel is Jordan’s developing attraction to Lloyd, a colleague (Buy the book here).

Sounds fun. I will be sure to add it to my TBR list.

Now, if you don’t mind, let’s chat a little about you. You mention that you enjoy travel. Where have you been and where are your top five dream locations to visit?

I love travel. I’d actually love to travel more, and depending on what happens with my job next year, I might look at taking a little break and going away to different places for a bit, but that’s easier said than done! I’ve been to America – California, Vegas, San Francisco, San Diego, Arizona, New York and Flordia, and would love to go back. I’ve been to Turkey too many times, Spain, Paris and Amsterdam. I’m going to Edinburgh soon, and then Ireland. I’d love to go to Venice, Sweden, Austria and other parts of America when I can. Recently I’ve liked the idea of going to somewhere like Bulgaria, or Cyprus.

Sounds like you have quite a few places to go. Several of the locations you mention are places I want to go to as well, especially Ireland and Paris.

Staying on the subject of travel, what are your top five must dos in Wales?

There is plenty to do in Wales. I’d say you have to go and visit St Fagans, a Welsh life museum. It’s like a right of passage for Welsh people, and it’s a good day out. Other places would probably include The Skirrid Inn, the oldest pub in Wales. You should definitely visit places like Cardiff Castle, and other castles that are around the area. Wales has a lot of history. I’ve never done Snowdonia or Pen-Y-Fan, but lots of people see that as a great tradition.

Don’t mind me while I take notes here. I may need to hit you up for travel tips, because, yes Wales in on my list of places to see as is London.

When you’re not writing or traveling what do you like to do?

I work in television, so when I’m not writing or travelling, I’m normally in work, editing for the Welsh news. I edit news items that get broadcast. It can be a stressful and scary job, especially when you’re editing minutes before air. Other than that, I like to relax with a new book, and I love discovering new authors.

At one point, I worked on our agency TV Show and was heavily involved in the editing process. It’s crazy how much more goes into it, so you have my complete respect on that. You’ll have to check out Recommendation section on my website I have a tone of great authors I enjoy, you may even recognize one.

We are to our last question, is there anything else that you would like to share with you us today?

Murder on the Rocks is the first in the Jordan Jenner Mysteries series. I have just finished writing the second, and now I need to edit it and redraft, but I’m hoping to have it published later this year, with Panther Publishing.

Wow! That is great news, I know how people don’t like to wait long for sequels so good luck.

I want to thank J.S. Strange for stopping by today and chatting with us. If you enjoy mystery novels and are looking for one that isn’t your typical run of the mill book check out Murder on the Rocks. Remember to share this post with friends and family who love mystery books. If you have any questions for J.S. Strange leave them below and we’ll have him pop back over and answer them. Until next time have a great week.


About J.S. Strange:

Author Photo.jpg

J.S. Strange is a Welsh author, living and writing in Wales. His new novel, Murder on the Rocks, published with Panther Publishing. When he’s not writing, Strange works for a leading broadcast television channel as an editor. He lives with his two cats, Miley and Dolly.

To buy Murder on the Rocks click here.

Contact J.S. Strange:

Twitter: www.twitter.com/JackSamStrange

Facebook: www.facebook.com/JackSamuelStrange

Instagram: www.instagram.com/jsstrange

Website: www.jacksamstrange.com

Q&A with Author CJ Bedell

Happy Wednesday Scribblers, this week I’m welcoming Chris Bedell to my Scribbles Page for a Q&A about their upcoming Young Adult LGBTQ thriller I Know Where the Bodies are Buried, which comes out latter this year.

Welcome to my Scribbles Page.

Before we jump into the Q&A why don’t you tell me and my Scribblers something about yourself and your writing that they won’t find in your bio?

One thing that fascinates me about writing is ambiguity. As humans, we like things to be in simple terms. However, that often isn’t the case—sometimes the truth can be somewhere in the middle. And when that theme manifests itself in writing, it is quite interesting.

Let’s talk about your upcoming Young Adult thriller I Know where the Bodies are Buried. When does it hit the stores?

The release date is still set fir 2019. However, I’ll post on my twitter (@ChrisBedell) when I know something more specific.

What can you tell us about the cast of characters? Do you have a favorite character?

The story is about teenagers. Carson, and his friends Chelsea, Freddie, and Amanda attend a New England boarding school. Carson’s “boyfriend,” Billy, allegedly died of suicide but Carson doesn’t believe it. So, Carson dates another student—Dean—who was close to Billy under the guise of trying to prove Billy was murdered. Except Carson doesn’t count on falling for Dean in addition to uncovering unpleasant things about Billy. Finally, the book rotates between the present (NOW) and the past (THEN) with the Billy mystery unraveling in the present and the past providing insight into Billy/Billy’s relationship with Carson.

That sounds intriguing. So, what makes this book different than what is already on the market, what is going to excite readers of young adult books?

My book is a twist on the Gone Girl narrative that inspired a lot of Adult Mysteries/Thrillers. I thought it’d be interesting to bring that to a Young Adult book. Particularly if the villain is male. Although overlooked, men can be as cunning and manipulative as Amy in Gone Gril.

What inspired you to write this story?

I’ve always wanted to write a Young Adult book about hazing, but didn’t just want it to be a “morality play.” Hazing is only a minor component of this book, but the implications from a hazing event reveal something major about one of the characters in I Know where the Bodies are Buried. Also, as I previously mentioned, I love Gone Girl and wanted to write a twisted Young Adult Thriller. Adam Silvera’s History is all you Left Me is also a comp title for the book—it inspired my book’s dual timeline.

We’ve talked a little about your upcoming book, would you like to share anything about your current books?

Sure. Just recently, I signed a contract for a Young Adult Paranormal novel—Deathly Desires—which is coming out September 19th of this year. The pitch for Deathly Desires is Tara Sim’s Timekeeper meets Pretty Little Liars when 17-year-old Cody enters a relationship of convenience with a grim reaper to get over a past unrequited crush. Plus, a I Know What you did Last Summer situation, which guarantees death if not solved. Also, my Young Adult Fantasy novel In the Name of Magic is currently out now and can be bought here:

Buy it on Amazon here.

Buy it from NineStar Press here.

Buy it on Barnes and Noble here.

Buy it on Smashed Words here.

Buy is from Indiebound here.

Is there anything else you’d like us to know?

That nothing is as it seems in my Young Adult LGBTQ Thriller I Know where the Bodies are Buried, in addition I hope readers enjoy the twists and turns. Furthermore, I Know where the Bodies are Buried has series potential, and I’ll release more information on my Twitter as it becomes available.

Excellent. Thank you for stopping by today.

I want to thank Chris for hanging out and sharing all about their upcoming book as they mentioned it will be released sometime this year, but Chris will announce the actual date on Twitter as soon as more information is learned. So keep your eyes and ears opened for more about this new young adult thriller. In the mean time if you know anyone who loves young adult books share this blog post and help get the word out. Have a great week and we’ll see you next time.

About I Know Where the Bodies are Buried:

History is all you Left Me meets Gone Girl: 17-year-old Carson befriends, and dates a classmate (Dean) to prove his ex-boyfriend's (Billy's) death was murder; not suicide. Except sleuthing unravels Billy's secret depravity and Carson actually falls for Dean. The novel rotates between the present (NOW) and the past (THEN). Here is the more detailed blurb:

NOW: 17-year-old Carson believes his former “boyfriend” Billy didn’t commit suicide by jumping off a cliff, and into the ocean. Billy’s sweater and suicide note might’ve been found, yet a body was never discovered. So, Carson befriends, and “dates” his classmate, Dean, on the possibility that Dean knows something about Billy’s death. Dean and Billy both belonged to the same community service club—where Billy devoted a lot of time to. Clues unravel like: an eyewitness seeing members of Charity Now in the woods near the cliff before Billy’s suicide, a diary entry, proving Billy lied about his father being homophobic, and a hazing incident involving a student’s death—that Billy might or might not have been responsible for. Carson doesn’t only have to grapple with Billy’s duplicity, though. Genuine romantic feelings for Dean emerge. Except Carson will have to finish his sleuthing if he wants closure about Billy’s death. Even if that means finding out facts about Billy that he wished he never knew or choosing between stringing Dean along or being honest.

THEN: Billy makes Carson feel special when he flirts with him at a party in addition to helping Carson deal with a past trauma. However, Billy refuses to go public with their relationship, and Carson must decide whether he can handle a secret relationship or if they should breakup.

About CJ Bedell:

Chris’s previous publishing credits include Thought Catalog, Foliate Oak Literary Magazine, and Entropy Magazine among others. Additionally, his debut Young Adult Fantasy novel In the Name of Magic was published by NineStar Press (a small press) in 2018. Furthermore, his 2019 publishing credits include: his Young Adult Thriller novel I Know where the Bodies are Buried by Magnolia Press, and his Young Adult Paranormal Romance novel Deathly Desires from Deep Desires Press.

Contact CJ Bedell:

Twitter is the best way to get in touch with me.

My Twitter handle is: @ChrisBedell