Alison Bruce on Tour: Ghost Writer


Alison Bruce will be awarding an ebook copy of Deadly Season to a randomly drawn winner via rafflecopter during the tour.

Author Interview

  1. Woohoo! You are a published author. Describe a strong character trait you possess, good or bad, and how it helped you become a published author.

Have you seen the movie Romancing the Stone? There’s a part where the central character is called a hopeless romantic. “Hopeful romantic,” she replies.

That’s me, a hopeful romantic.  I identified as a writer when I was in my teens and no matter what else I had to do to make a living, I’ve held onto that identity. There have been times when that made me look like Don Quixote tilting at windmills.

Fortunately, I also have a strong practical streak to balance the dreamer in me. When my cousin, a professional management coach at the time, ask me what I was writing, I said “What do you want written.” That was the start of my freelance writing and editing career.

Similarly, when a colleague of mine asked if I had any completed novels, I said “I have a western, a mystery and a paranormal suspense. Which one do you want to see?”

What seemed to be tilting at windmills turned out to be groundwork for getting published.

  1. Sometimes an author begins writing a story before they are aware of its genre. Did you choose your genre, or did it choose you?
    When it comes to genres, I’m fickle. As a reader I go on author and/or genre benders. One month I may be reading all things western, the next I might be working my way through a new author’s series. I’m not quite as bad when I write, but there’s a reason why my published books include one historical western romance, one Civil War romantic suspense, two detective mysteries, and amateur sleuth mystery and now a paranormal suspense. Usually I know what I’m writing when I write it.3. The plot thickens, or does it? Which one are you, a pantser or a plotter?

Yes. Both.  I usually plan out the broad strokes of plot in my head before I starting to write. When I do start writing, I fly by the seat of my pants when I can. Since there is usually a mystery involved in my books, I have to do a certain amount of planning to make sure I drop the clues in the right places.

It just occurred to me I drive the same way. I figure out where I’m going but don’t worry about the exact route until I get lost or bogged down in traffic. Then it’s time to pull over and check the map.

4. Fear 101: As writers it is our duty to make our characters face their fears. Have you ever included one of your own fears in a storyline?

One fear? I’ve included many of my own fears and anxieties.

There are plenty of things that can be researched but basic emotions like fear, love and hate need to come from within to ring true. The source of the emotion can be changed, but the emotion itself needs to come from experience.

5. Fear 102: Yes, deadlines are terrifying. Have you conquered the juggling act between writing and the rest of your life? What do you do when it feels like the balls are dropping all around you?

That is an ongoing battle. Somethings are easier than others. For instance, my kids are very understanding. Not only do they let me work to meet my deadlines, they remind me I have to work to meet my deadline when I feel like slacking off. They also help me slack off when time permits.

6. Switch positions with one of your main characters in a scene. What is the outcome, disaster or divine intervention?

I’m generally wiser than my characters, but not always. My characters are generally younger and fitter than I am. I suspect it would be a disaster or, at the very least a medical emergency.

7. Where is your favorite place to write? Add that one comfort food that you can’t do without.

Is coffee a food? My favorite place to write is in a coffee shop. When I am having trouble getting down to work, I pack up my laptop and go to a café with plugs (my laptop doesn’t hold a charge the way it used to). The place doesn’t need to provide Wi-Fi. I don’t log in so I won’t get distracted by email messages. If I’m have a really tough time focusing, I go old school and take my pen and a yellow pad out with me.

8. Writing inspirations?

Boredom is a great source of inspiration. I’m not one of those people who can just think about nothing while doing the dishes or waiting in line. One of my books, A Bodyguard to Remember, was plotted it out in the dead times at the corner. (I’m a crossing guard, not a street walker.) The opening was inspired by my desire for new flooring in the living room.

Ghost Writer started off as a nightmare about being trapped under water. Thanks to lucid dreaming, I was able to turn the nightmare into a romantic adventure. Most of the dream made no sense, but it provided the seed from which the novel grew.

9. You are introduced to your favorite author. Who is it, and what is that one burning question you must ask them?

Two of my favorite authors, Georgette Heyer and Terry Pratchett, are dead. My burning question would be “Are you ghosts or am I hallucinating?”

One of my favorite living authors, Melodie Campbell, is alive and well and we have lunch regularly. The burning question for her would be, “Shall we do Funky Thai again or do you want to go somewhere else?”

10. I’ve gone mad – why don’t you come with me? Some people just don’t understand us writers. Name a quirky, writer-thing you do that friends wish you didn’t.
This one drives my kids nuts. I will stop and talk to almost anyone for the sake of research. I’ve embarrassed them in front of police officers, tinkers, tailors and an artillery sergeant in the Canadian Army.  Most of my friends are either authors or understand writerly ways. My kids understand as well, but I know they’d rather I kept my questions to times when they aren’t around.


Ghost Writer

by Alison Bruce


GENRE: Paranormal Suspense





She has to deal with two kinds of spooks: spies and ghosts.

But which one is trying to kill her?

Jen Kirby has seen ghosts since she was a teen, but she can’t talk to them or help them cross over. And, after a violent death in the family, she doesn’t want to see them anymore.

In her role as ghostwriter, Jen joins a Canadian Arctic expedition to document and help solve a forty-year-old mystery involving an American submarine station lost during the Cold War. The trouble is, there are people—living and dead—who don’t want the story told, and they’ll do anything to stop her.

Now Jen is haunted by ghosts she can’t avoid or handle alone. That means confiding in the one man she doesn’t want to dismiss her as “crazy.” But can he help? Or is he part of the problem?



My name is Jen Kirby. I have several things going for me including great hair, nice eyes and an ability to turn experts’ research into readable prose.

I have a few weaknesses. I enjoy chocolate too much. I hate enclosed spaces. And I prefer to experience open bodies of water from a distance. One sailing trip with my cousins made me swear off boats for life. So, you’ll understand how much I wanted the job when I said I’d go to the Arctic Ocean to look for a sunken underwater base.

The offer came from Dr. Dora Leland, a forensic psychiatrist and my good friend. Dora is a professor at the University of Toronto, a consultant to various law enforcement agencies and author of seven books which I have ghostwritten with her. Her idea of a vacation is volunteering her skills to researchers who would never have thought they needed a forensic psychiatrist on their team, let alone afford one.

Her latest project was helping out a team who were bent on raising US Navy’s Arctic Station Alpha and finding out what happened to its crew. AFFA, which stood for “Answers For Families of Alpha” not the Hell’s Angels motto “Angels Forever, Forever Angels,” included now grown children of the crew. Other family members contributed funds or in kind services. But it was Dora and her agents that made the expedition possible.

As the only team member who wasn’t paired off, Dora anticipated needing a buddy to play cards with of an evening. She sold the deal by offering me co-author credit on the book we were going to write.

It was an offer I couldn’t refuse.


AUTHOR Bio and Links:

Alison Bruce writes history, mystery and suspense.  Her books combine clever mysteries, well-researched backgrounds and a touch of romance. Her protagonists are marked by their strength of character, sense of humor and the ability to adapt (sooner or later) to new situations. Four of her novels have been finalists for genre awards.


Copywriter, editor and graphic designer since 1992, Alison has also been a comic book store manager, small press publisher and web designer. Currently she is the Executive Director of Crime Writers of Canada.


Links & Stuff or



Twitter: @alisonebruce




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Amazon Author Page:


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Memory or Past Life? #MFRWauthor 52-Week Blog Challenge

Have you ever had a ‘memory’ that just doesn’t fit into life as you know it? I have, and it’s led me to question if it is a memory from this life or before I was born. Sometimes they are like blurred pictures. Other times they are crystal clear.

It’s the recurring ‘memories” that get me. These crystal clear memories were very frequent before the age of ten. After that, I suppose innocence was lost – I never had them again. The one I’m thinking of now is a page boy running for his life on a castle’s battlements. In this memory, I am that page boy. I have no proof, I just feel like this was in medieval France. Weird, but recurring for me. At the time, I was an inner city kid living in the concrete jungle of New York City.

What is your earliest memory?

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My Favorite Vampire – Week One MFRW 52-Week Challenge


Happy New Year everyone!

I’ve joined the MFRW challenge to share with you each week – and it’s a challenge! Considering I’ve recently received my rights back to my first two books Love Entwined and Falcon’s Angel, I’m busy re-editing them for you. But more on that in a later post.

This MFRW challenge will keep me on track as you know us writers have too many thoughts in our mind sometimes its hard to contain!

This week I want to share with you the Favorite Thing I’ve written and it’s the vampire Layla from Dark Love Rising. I love Layla because she is conflicted and so very human for a 2,000 year old vampire. She is a very relatable character because she has loved and lost so much in her short human life. It’s a life she wants back. Who hasn’t wished they could turn back the hands of time?

You can find Layla’s story here.


Spread a little love this new year!

Chris Malburg: Man of Honor

Chris Malburg will be awarding a $15 Amazon or Barnes and Noble GC to a randomly drawn winner via rafflecopter during the tour.


Man of Honor

by Chris Malburg

GENRE:   Cyber Thriller


There is a unit buried within the Chinese People’s Liberation Army. Unit 61398—the cyber warfare unit. Li Yong prepared his entire life for command of Unit 61398. Li Yong believed this was the ultimate honor and service to the State

Then America’s airliners started plunging from the sky. There is no honor in being the world’s worst mass murderer. How do you right the most terrible wrong? How do you prevent the State from slaughtering your entire family if you fail? How do you balance a moral imperative against a lifetime of homeland allegiance? How does Li Yong stop the unstoppable?

From Chris Malburg, author of God’s Banker, comes the Enforcement Division Series’
next riveting installment–Man of Honor.



“Getting colder,” Jack said and shuffled his boots over the icy turf. “By the time this is over all these people will be half frozen.”

Helen Kaito turned toward her husband and into the onslaught of wind and snow. Snatches of live broadcasts from breathless reporters floated on the wind and swirled around the crowd 200 strong. Just his way of preserving that stoic reserve, Helen thought. She pulled her scarf tight around her neck and stuffed both hands into her jacket pockets. Around them people stamped their feet in the snowy field hard against the banks of Elkhart’s St. Joe River. “How much longer?”

She watched Jack look around the field. Police officers stood in small groups talking quietly among themselves. Firefighters stayed near their rigs waiting to put their exhaustive training to work. The silence spoke volumes. No celebration here. “They told me it should happen about 4:10 pm.”

“My God, Jack…”

Jack nodded slowly. “I know, hon. It sucks.”

Helen watched the crowd searching the northeastern sky. Some pointed. At what? She checked her watch. Not yet. Too soon.

Jack unzipped his backpack and pulled out binoculars. Helen had given him the heavier items when they geared up back home. She took water—frozen by now—energy bars, extra gloves, socks, and the knit cap she knew Jack probably wouldn’t wear. Summer or winter, he liked the feeling of the breeze on his shaven head. “What?”


AUTHOR Bio and Links:

Chris Malburg is a widely published author, with over 4 million words published in 22 popular business books and four novels. Simon & Schuster, Putnam, Wiley and McGraw Hill all publish Chris’ work which is consumed in most western countries. 

After Stanford Writers School, Chris began the fun side of his career. He has crossed the chasm into fiction with the fourth installment in his Enforcement Division series. Man of Honor is a cyber thriller about the storied Chinese PLA’s Unit 61398—the cyber terror division.






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A Husky Christmas

This is a very special time of year. It’s vacation time with faraway family. Lots of spontaneous dinners from house to house where we reminisce about the past year’s accomplishments and growing pains. A great deal of looking towards the New Year’s hopes and dreams in our respective corners of the world.

This time of year is all the more special because it’s also birthday time for my Husky boy Khan. Seven years ago on one snowy day, our sweet, loyal boy was born. He’s even sweeter now, and doesn’t chew on my fingers anymore – or the couch – as he did in this throw back picture below.

From my Husky family to yours, have a blessed holiday.

Spread a little love in the New Year.



Erin Jensen: The Dream Waters Series

http://goddessfishpromotions. book-tour-dream-waters-by- erin.html

One randomly chosen winner via rafflecopter will win a $50 Amazon/ gift card.


Author Interview: Erin A. Jensen

What is your favorite ice cream flavor? Turkey Hill Double Dunker—it’s mocha flavored ice cream with chocolate chip cookie dough and chocolate cookie swirls.  My sister and I may or may not have polished off a whole carton in one sitting the last time we got our kids together for a sleepover.

Which mythological creature are you most like? Well, I didn’t want to sound full of myself by picking some fabulous creature, and I honestly couldn’t decide.  So, I approached the question in a non-biased scientific manor and took a BuzzFeed quiz to get the most accurate answer.  Not to brag but according to the quiz results, I’m a dragon!

What’s the first book you remember making an indelible impression on you? Beauty and the Beast was the first story from my childhood that made an indelible impression.  I remember getting the audiobook (which, was called a record way back then) from the library multiple times and listening to it over and over again.  It’s such a beautiful story.  When the Disney movie came out, I took my little sister to see it at the theater for her birthday.  She just texted me the other day to say she came across a Belle baby doll while doing some online shopping for her daughter, and she immediately thought of me.  So, I guess the story also made an impression on her.

How do you develop your plot and characters? I start out by thinking the major parts of the story through in my head.  The characters solidify as I picture them in various scenarios—some scenes that will become chapters in the book, and others where I imagine what they might be doing if they were wherever I am at the time.  I jot down the basic plot on index cards, using one card for each scene in the book.  That way, if I think of more scenes to add or want to get rid of any, all I have to do is add or remove cards.  I arrange the cards in the rough order I imagine the scenes taking place, change them around as I write the story and flip through the cards when I get stuck and need to figure out what should come next.  By the time I get to the editing phase, I can picture everything as if I were watching it play out on a movie screen.

Describe your writing space. My writing space is nothing glamorous.  I write at a desk in my room with my computer and printer on it (and a copy of Dream Waters that I’ll never sell because both Jason Isaacs and David Tennant held it in their hand when they posed for a picture with me at Comic-Con in Montreal.)  I plan to frame those pictures and hang them on the wall above my desk someday but like lots of other plans, I haven’t gotten around to it yet because I’d rather spend every spare second writing.  I use the bed behind my desk to spread out the binder that holds my book-in-progress, whatever pages I’ve printed recently, a hole-punch and red pens.  And there are stacks of books surrounding my writing space.  The dream home my husband and I hope to build one day has an office with big beautiful book shelves and a picture window.  For now, I’m content to sit at my little desk, drown out the world with music from my iPod and lose myself in the Dream World.


Dream Waters (Book One of The Dream Waters Series),

Dream World (Book Two of The Dream Waters Series), Dream Sight (Book Three of The Dream Waters Series)

by Erin A. Jensen

GENRE:  Contemporary Fantasy


Book One of The Dream Waters Series

All his life, Charlie Oliver has watched the people around him morph into creatures that no one else sees.  Unlike the rest of the world, Charlie remembers the Waters that transport him to the Dream World each night.  And he sees glimpses of people’s Dream forms in the waking world.  Condemned to spend his waking hours in a psychiatric facility because of his Dream Sight, Charlie doesn’t expect anything to change.  But everything starts changing the day Emma Talbot walks through the door in the middle of a group therapy session.

Haunted by memories of the events that led to her admission, Emma plans to end her life the first chance she gets.  But something about Charlie stops her.  From the moment they shake hands, his friendship feels safe and familiar.  As Emma begins to let down her guard, Charlie catches a glimpse of the fiery-eyed dragon that lurks behind her Dream form.  Each night, as Emma dreams of the man who’s been banned from visiting, Charlie searches the Dream World for the monster that shadows her.  But when Emma’s suppressed memories begin to surface, Charlie finds more monsters than he bargained for.


Dream Waters (Book 1) Excerpt:

“Where were you afraid I’d land when I fell in and why did you say finding the dragon wouldn’t be easy?”

She started drawing waves in the sand with her finger and I got the distinct impression she was doing it to avoid looking at me. “Honestly Charlie, I wasn’t sure where you’d land. It’s unpredictable when you don’t jump on purpose. You could end up anywhere the people you’ve met have been. You’re a mental patient. Can you imagine the sections of Dream some patients might inhabit?” Her finger stopped drawing mid-wave. “Trust me boy. There are Dark places in the Dream World, places you should never go. Venture too far into them and you risk losing a part of yourself to the Darkness.”

I was really getting tired of the cryptic shit. “Great. Thanks for the vague ominous warning. I was afraid you might give me an actual answer for a second there.”

“I’ve already said too much.” Even at a whisper there was a waver to her voice. “Just thank me for keeping you safe and jump back into the Water.”

“I don’t know which world I find you more annoying in.” It wasn’t the nicest thing to say to the one person who understood me but I said it out of frustration and maybe a little out of fear.

Nellie was about to snarl something back, but the leaves of some bushes just off the beach started rustling and I hopped to my feet to get a better look. “Something’s over there.”

Nellie stood up with a weary sigh and as she turned toward the bushes I saw the scars. Large deep identical scars marring the flesh on both of her shoulder blades.

I took a step closer to her. “What happened to your back?”

She turned and gave me a hard shove toward the Water’s edge. “It’s time for you to go now Charlie.” It caught me by surprise and knocked me off balance, back into the surf and the icy Water pulled me back in.


AUTHOR Bio and Links:

Erin Jensen is a part-time pharmacist and a fulltime creator of imaginary worlds.  She lives in upstate NY with her incredibly supportive husband, two sons (who are both taller than her) and a Yorkshire terrier who thinks he’s the family bodyguard.  In the early days of her writing career, Erin vowed to get a dragon tattoo—once her books received a milestone number of reviews—but she won’t disclose that number any longer, for fear of actually reaching her goal and having to go through with it.


Dream Waters: Book One of The Dream Waters Series (The first book is on sale for $0.99)

by Erin A. Jensen

Book 1:


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Barnes and Noble Buy Link:

iBook Buy Link:

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Dream World: Book Two of The Dream Waters Series

by Erin A. Jensen

Book 2:

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Karin Rita Gastreich: Daughter of Aithne

Karin Rita Gastreich will be awarding a $15 Amazon or Barnes and Noble GC to a randomly drawn winner via rafflecopter during the tour.

Daughter of Aithne

by Karin Rita Gastreich


Author Interview: Karin Rita Gastreich

1. Woohoo! You are a published author. Describe a strong character trait you possess, good or bad, and how it helped you become a published author. It takes a lot of strong traits to become a published author. I think one of my greatest assets is patience. I’m willing to spend the time necessary to make sure my stories are as good as they can possibly be. I love to dive into words, play with them, tweak each passage until it feels perfect, send drafts out for editing, and then fix all the rough spots when the edits come back. Writing is one of those activities where the journey is more important than the destination. Don’t worry about when – or even if – you are going to finish that novel. You need to focus on where you are now, scene by scene, and trust where it will lead you.

2. Sometimes an author begins writing a story before they are aware of its genre. Did you choose your genre, or did it choose you? My genre chose me. I was not very well versed in fantasy when I began writing Eolyn, but the protagonist lives in a fantasy world. To tell her story, I had to write a fantasy.

3. The plot thickens, or does it? Which one are you, a pantser or a plotter? Both. I generally have an idea as to where I the story will go when I start writing a novel, but inevitably the characters take on a life of their own, resulting in many unexpected twists and turns, and even unexpected endings.

4. Fear 101: As writers it is our duty to make our characters face their fears. Have you ever included one of your own fears in a storyline? A lot of our fears are universal; this is why novels capture the popular imagination. The central conflict of my series is being denied the freedom to pursue one’s deepest dreams. The main character, Eolyn, is very gifted in magic, yet magic is forbidden to women in her world. I grew up in a time when women were denied many paths because of gender stereotypes; I think this situation has changed somewhat, but it is still true for most women the world over today.

5. Fear 102: Yes, deadlines are terrifying. Have you conquered the juggling act between writing and the rest of your life? What do you do when it feels like the balls are dropping all around you? I love writing, but other things in my life still have priority. My family and friends, my career as a biologist (which also pays the bills), my commitment to my own health and well-being. When the balls are dropping, I shed unnecessary commitments, pure and simple. It’s not always easy to say no, but you have to do it. If you don’t set limits on how you invest your time and energy, no one else will. Sometimes, believe it or not, this has meant setting aside writing. I never guilt trip myself over not having time to write, because that would only add to my stress. I know when things calm down, I will start writing again. Writing should be a source of enjoyment, a place to find freedom, not a guilt-inducing commitment. I have enough of those as it is.

6. Switch positions with one of your main characters in a scene. What is the outcome, disaster or divine intervention? Disaster permeates my books, but divine intervention – usually in the form of love – always triumphs.

7. Where is your favorite place to write? Add that one comfort food that you can’t do without. Once a year I travel to Virginia Beach, where a rent a house for a week with a group of women who are close friends and fellow writers. This is generally the best week of my year, and also my favorite place to write.

8. Writing inspirations? Anything and everything can inspire a story. As a writer, this is how you look at the world: every moment, every movement, every creature, every person you meet can inspire the next great idea.

9. You are introduced to your favorite author. Who is it, and what is that one burning question you must ask them? Seriously? I can only pick one? It’s almost impossible to pick just one. I guess I’d like to meet Gioconda Belli. I’d ask whether she believes there’s still a chance for revolutionary change in this world, whether a brighter future is still within our reach.

10. I’ve gone mad – why don’t you come with me? Some people just don’t understand us writers. Name a quirky, writer-thing you do that friends wish you didn’t. By design, most of my quirky writer-things happen when friends aren’t around. So, I don’t know…Maybe my friends wish I wouldn’t talk about my books so much!



GENRE:   fantasy


Betrayed by her own prodigy, Eolyn stands accused of treason. As power-hungry nobles dismantle her life’s work and honor, the desperate queen forges a risky alliance with the ruthless and cunning Mage Corey. Determined to defend her son’s claim to the throne of the Mage King, Eolyn prepares for her last and greatest battle, this time against her own sisters in magic. Across the Furma River, Taesara of Roenfyn is drawn out of seclusion and into an ever-more vicious game of intrigue and war. Subject to the schemes of a shrewd uncle and the mysterious ambitions of the wizards of Galia, Taesara struggles to assert her own destiny, even as she takes up arms to defend her daughter’s inheritance. In the climactic finale to The Silver Web trilogy, threads of love, honor, betrayal, and vengeance culminate in a violent conflict between powerful women, opposed to each other yet destined to shatter a thousand-year cycle of war. “An enticing and elegant series finale, filled with magic and turmoil.” -KIRKUS REVIEWS



“Speak plainly, my Lord King,” Eolyn said. “I will not be subject to this cat-and-mouse game. If you do not trust me, if you do not believe me, then say so.”

“I trust your heart, Eolyn,” Akmael replied, “but your heart has led you to ill-advised decisions in the past. For this reason, I am not always inclined to trust your judgment.”

“For the love of the Gods! I am not the confused and frightened girl I was when my brother took up arms against you.”

“No, but you must understand the dilemma you have put me in.”

“The dilemma I have put you in?”

“If you knew of Ghemena’s plan and did not inform me, you were party to treason. If you did not know, then your authority over the magas is uncertain. Either way, the magas must remain bound and imprisoned until this conflict is resolved.”

Eolyn blinked and stepped away. “The magas have lived in peace in Moisehén for more than a decade. You cannot let the action of one woman—”

“Three women. The blatantly treasonous act of three women, all devoted students of yours. They have brought war upon us, Eolyn. Who knows how many others among your followers support them?”

“The magas who remain in my service have done nothing to merit suspicion.”

“All magas merit suspicion.” Akmael hesitated at her stricken look. He let go a slow breath and softened his tone. “There is a history here that we have not yet overcome, Eolyn. You, of all people, must understand that. Too many of our subjects still remember the war against my father.”

“And the purges that followed?” she shot back.

“The violence that tore this kingdom apart,” he conceded. “Right or wrong, the magas were left with the blame. We must manage this situation carefully, to protect you and your daughters. To see that justice is done.”



AUTHOR Bio and Links:

Karin Rita Gastreich writes stories of ordinary women and the extraordinary paths they choose. She lives in Kansas City, Missouri, where she is part of the biology faculty at Avila University. An ecologist by vocation, Karin has wandered forests and wildlands all her life. Her pastimes include camping, hiking, music, and flamenco dance. In addition to THE SILVER WEB trilogy, Karin has published short stories in World Jumping, Zahir, Adventures for the Average Woman, and 69 Flavors of Paranoia. She is a recipient of the Spring 2011 Andrews Forest Writer’s Residency.



Twitter: @EolynChronicles


Purchase link for EOLYN, Book One of THE SILVER WEB:

Purchase link for SWORD OF SHADOWS, Book Two of THE SILVER WEB:

Purchase link for DAUGHTER OF AITHNE, Book Three of THE SILVER WEB:


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Ann Swann: The Remains in The Pond

Ann Swann will be awarding a $10 Amazon/BN GC to a randomly drawn winner via rafflecopter during the tour.



Author Interview – Ann Swann

1. Woohoo! You are a published author. Describe a strong character trait you possess, good or bad, and how it helped you become a published author. I think one of my best character traits is my stubborn streak. It means I never give up and I seldom give in. Of course it’s also one of my worst character traits!

2. Sometimes an author begins writing a story before they are aware of its genre. Did you choose your genre, or did it choose you? The romantic suspense genre definitely chose me. I started out writing what I thought would be another contemporary novel like my first one, All For Love, but then a kernel of darkness revealed itself in the character of Kurt, the sociopath.

3. The plot thickens, or does it? Which one are you, a pantser or a plotter? I’m a hybrid when it comes to plotting. After an idea presents itself, I always write the first few scenes and usually the ending (because I have to know where I’m going), then I start free-writing and plotting as I go.

4. Fear 101: As writers it is our duty to make our characters face their fears. Have you ever included one of your own fears in a storyline? I do sometimes include bits of myself in my characters. Whether it be my fears or my beliefs, I often recognize these things only after I’ve written them.

5. Fear 102: Yes, deadlines are terrifying. Have you conquered the juggling act between writing and the rest of your life? What do you do when it feels like the balls are dropping all around you? Agh! Some days I only have a half hour to write. I help with my elderly (disabled) father, pick up and cook for a couple or three grandkids, and try to say hello to my amazing hubby now and then. It’s tough some times! Oh, I also still do research for an online journal a couple of days a week. If I didn’t, I would probably never put on mascara or lipstick!

6. Switch positions with one of your main characters in a scene. What is the outcome, disaster or divine intervention? In The Remains in the Pond, Gabi must face her nemesis at the old pond. It doesn’t end well for one of the girls. If it had been me, I would not have left the pond without knowing the outcome, but one of them left without knowing if the other one was dead or alive. I could never do that. I’m too much of a control freak.

7. Where is your favorite place to write? Add that one comfort food that you can’t do without. I usually write in my recliner with my laptop on my lap (LOL). I have my Bose radio remote on the end table beside me and the station varies between Classic Rock and New Country (I would listen to old classic country but I can’t pick up any of my Sirius stations in the den). I also keep my iPhone beside me for inspiration. I have dozens of playlists and thousands of songs. Even though I do my main writing and revising there, I’m also constantly writing notes for future stories (I write a lot of short fiction, check out Easy Street Magazine or Reader’s Digest, I think I had stories in both of those last June or July) or for the novel I’m currently working on. My iPhone notepad is excellent for that, and I also dictate notes into my phone and email them to myself so I won’t forget what I wrote later on. While I’m writing, I must have coffee, diet Coke, cashews, something chocolate and/or raw spaghetti to crunch.

8. Writing inspirations? I’m constantly inspired by family dramas, both within my own family and in those around me—even news reports and old news articles. In fact, the horrific child-bait-incident in my novel, Stutter Creek, was based on an actual incident that occurred on the Interstate near my hometown. I still wonder what became of that little boy . . .

9. You are introduced to your favorite author. Who is it, and what is that one burning question you must ask them? Oh this is a tough question – Stephen King has always been one of my favorite authors, but after he severely dissed Stephanie Meyers over her Twilight books, I lost a lot of respect for him. I think there’s plenty of room for both his terrifying vampires (I’ve always loved them!) and for her sparkly vampires (I devoured those books when they first came out). So I guess I would ask him why he was so vehement about her work.

10. I’ve gone mad – why don’t you come with me? Some people just don’t understand us writers. Name a quirky, writer-thing you do that friends wish you didn’t. Hmmm . . . I’m just so stinking normal . . . not!  A lot of people don’t seem to understand why I question everything. But I’m just curious. I need to know how things work and why people do what they do. I also love to watch people, especially in grocery stores, restaurants, and parking lots. Another thing some folks don’t seem to understand is why I have to have alone time every day. Too much togetherness can be quite overwhelming for me. I like my own company—and that of my characters.


The Remains in the Pond

by Ann Swann


GENRE: Romantic Suspense





Senior prom is the happiest night of Gabi’s life. Her crush has just revealed that he is every bit as infatuated with her as she is with him. When he has a car wreck and is transported to the hospital in a coma, Gabi feels as if she’s taken a knife to the heart. But his jealous cousin, Rose, sees her chance to give the knife an even harder twist. She convinces Gabi to meet her at a local parking spot outside town. It’s a night that will change several lives forever. One of the girls will return, and one will become known as the remains in the pond.



I didn’t see Matt anywhere. There weren’t any vehicles in the gravel lot. I parked but didn’t roll down the windows. Something felt wrong. The night began to feel as opaque as the murky water. If Matt wanted to see me, where was he?

Backing up, I shined my headlights a different direction, then I made a small tight circle and lit up the entire parking area a little at a time. Low mesquites and spindly live oaks bordered one side of the lot. It was the sort of foliage that loved a little water now and then but thrived just as well without it. I saw neither Matt nor Rose.

After a few minutes, I pulled out of the lot and circled the pond as far as I could go. The gravel road didn’t loop around the entire thing, only about three quarters of the way, and then you were forced to turn around in the only remaining wide spot unless you wanted to get out and have a picnic beneath the single stand of oaks tall enough to give good shade.

Of course I didn’t need any shade now. And I really didn’t want to get out of the car. This seemed too weird. I put the car in reverse and executed a careful turnaround. When my headlights picked out the figure at the edge of the water, I inhaled sharply. It was not what I expected to find.

I rolled down my window. “Rose?” I called. “Is that you?”

A branch cracked, a shadow moved, and panic slid between my ribs like a blade.  The figure turned toward my headlights, definitely female. She wore her long hair lose and flowing. Under the moonlight, I couldn’t be certain if the woman’s hair was red or light brown.

“What are you doing here?” No answer. “Where’s Matt?” I tried to keep my voice steady, to show her I wasn’t afraid. I put the car in PARK and opened my door tentatively, putting one foot on the ground.

She stared into my headlights, one hand shielding her eyes like a sailor looking for land, and then, like a flash, she ran straight at me. Straight toward my little Honda with the window rolled down. Her hair flew out behind her and it was all so surreal that for a moment, I simply sat there, paralyzed. Then she raised her right hand above her head. In her grip, I caught a glimpse of silver.


AUTHOR Bio and Links:

Ann has been a writer since junior high school, but to pay the bills she’s waited tables, delivered newspapers, cleaned other people’s houses, taught school, and even had a short stint as a secretary in a rock-n-roll radio station. She also worked as a 911 operator and a police dispatcher.

Ann’s stories began to win awards in her college days. Since then she’s published novels, novellas, and short stories. But even if no one ever bought another book, Ann wouldn’t stop writing. For her it’s the cathartic pause in a sometimes-crazy world. Most of the time, it even keeps her sane.





Twitter: @ann_swann


Buy Link:

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Kris Bock: Counterfeits #BookHugs

Please welcome guest author Kris Bock!

People have mixed feelings about autumn – that “back to school” anxiety can last well into adulthood – but it’s my favorite time of year in New Mexico. The temperatures are finally dropping, and the smell of roasting green chile fills the air. (Stop by my blog for information on the New Mexico chile and some Southwestern recipes.) It’s the perfect time to curl up with a good book. Of course, ANY time is the right time for a good book! I hope you’re staying safe, warm, and dry, with plenty of good books to read. ~ Kris




Jenny returns to her grandparents’ art camp in a remote New Mexico town after her grandmother’s sudden death. That night she wakes to the noise of intruders. What do the strangers want? As more bizarre events unfold, Jenny realizes the people she thought she knew are not what they seem – least of all Rob, an old friend whose past may be coming back to haunt them all.

Counterfeits is romantic suspense in the Southwest that will interest fans of Mary Stewart, Lillian Stewart Carl, and Barbara Michaels.

Counterfeits is the kind of romantic suspense novel I have enjoyed since I first read Mary Stewart’s Moonspinners…. 5 Stars” – Roberta at Sensuous Reviews blog


Chapter 1

Jenny’s rolling suitcase bumped up the porch steps. Once, twice, three times, like a knock that would never be answered. Tears stung her eyes in the cold night air. How many times had she rushed to this door with a sense of coming home? Growing up, she had spent every summer at her grandparents’ art camp. She hadn’t been back as often in the last ten years, but it still felt more like home than any place else in the world.

She took a shuddering breath and turned away to gaze up at the dark sky. Stars splashed across the moonless night, so many stars she could hardly pick out the constellations. The band of the Milky Way sparkled like a streak of glitter paint on velvet paper. She had gazed up at that sky a million times, and yet it filled her with awe. After a decade living among the lights of New York City, it was easy to forget that nature had her own Great White Way.

She shivered. During her summers in the northwestern New Mexico mountains, nights had typically been mild, even at over 6000 feet elevation. Now the temperature had to be dropping toward freezing. Maybe that was why the vast, chilled sky seemed so distant and lonely.

Jenny leaned back against the door and closed her eyes. She was so tired. Maybe she’d take a few extra days and rest. But she couldn’t bring herself to enter her grandparents’ house and go to bed, knowing she’d be alone. When her grandfather had died two years before, her heart had broken. Now her grandmother was gone as well.

Jenny tried not to imagine her grandmother’s last moments, when the car she was driving had skidded off the twisty mountain road two days before. She tried to blank out all thoughts, all grief. She took a ragged breath, the frigid air searing her lungs, and released it slowly, hoping to empty her mind as well.

Her thoughts refused to quiet, while her heart ached with emptiness, a dark hole as vast and cold as the night sky


Jenny rose from sleep slowly, her body resisting. She could see nothing in the pitch black. Where was she? She blinked, trying to make sure her eyes were really open.

Memories broke through the fog. The phone call, the rush across country, the late arrival. Crawling into bed in her grandparents’ upstairs guest room. She groaned and pulled up the blanket. Morning must be hours away, given the darkness.

The old house creaked, but no sounds drifted in from outside. Maybe that’s what woke her; she was used to the murmur of city sounds all night long. Who’d have thought that would become normal?

Her head pounded. Probably dehydration from the high elevation and dry air. She should get up, drink a glass of water, take a couple of aspirin. Her head would thank her in the morning. If only she could make herself move.

The house creaked again, followed by a rhythmic sound – like footsteps. Jenny jerked upright, her ears straining. Had she heard a voice?

She shook her head. She must still be half asleep, dreaming. Imagining her grandparents were still here. Wishful thinking.

Downstairs, a door closed. Jenny clutched the blanket. Imagination be damned. She was not alone.


Kris Bock writes novels of suspense and romance with outdoor adventures and Southwestern landscapes. The Mad Monk’s Treasure follows the hunt for a long-lost treasure in the New Mexico desert. In The Dead Man’s Treasure, estranged relatives compete to reach a buried treasure by following a series of complex clues. In The Skeleton Canyon Treasure, sparks fly when reader favorites Camie and Tiger help a mysterious man track down his missing uncle. Whispers in the Dark features archaeology and intrigue among ancient Southwest ruins. What We Found is a mystery with strong romantic elements about a young woman who finds a murder victim in the woods.


Read excerpts at or visit her Amazon page. Sign up for the Kris Bock newsletter for announcements of new books, sales, and more.

The Mad Monk’s Treasure, “Smart romance with an ‘Indiana Jones’ feel,” is currently free at all e-book retailers.


Sharon Buchbinder: Legacy of Evil #BookHugs


Ghost #BookHugs from Romance Authors: Legacy of Evil: The Hotel LaBelle Series, Book 2 by Sharon Buchbinder



Release date: October 13, 2017

Keywords: Paranormal, Mystery, Thriller, Suspense, Fantasy, Psychics, Undercover Agents, Small Town, Native American Heroine, Biker Hero

When a wild mustang is shot in Montana, renowned horse whisperer and telepath, Emma Horserider, is called in to calm the herd and find out what happened. Once on scene she is almost killed by a bullet-spewing drone, and calls her black ops brother for back-up.

Emma’s help roars into her life covered in tattoos and riding a Harley. Remote viewer Bronco Winchester takes the assignment because he is ordered to, but he wonders what type of assistance, his boss’s sister needs. That is until he sees Emma, a valiant Warrior Woman proud of her Crow heritage.

Posing as a married couple, Emma and Bronco go undercover to infiltrate and stop a hate group. Both are anxious enough without the now growing attachment they feel for one another. When the lives of many are on the line, they are not sure if they will live or die—let alone have a chance at love. One battle, one outcome. Who will win? Good or evil?



Bronco now stood squinting in the late afternoon sun, knocking at a door with no bell,  and  waiting  for  a  response.  Dogs  barked  and a window  curtain  twitched.  Good.  Someone  was home. He adjusted his pack, leaned his head back, closed his eyes, and said, “Any time now.” As the words slid out of  his  mouth,  he  heard  the  unmistakable  sound  of a shotgun being pumped.

Uh. Oh.

He raised his hands. “Don’t shoot. I’m unarmed.”

Turning slowly to face his fate, his jaw fell open, and his  heart  rate  kicked  up  a  notch  from  being  on  thewrong end of a shotgun or from the weapon holder’s looks, he wasn’t sure. A raven haired Amazon in a tank top,  jeans,  and  metal  tipped  cowboy  boots  held  the Mossberg 500 in a perfect military stance. Long strands of hair blew across her face in the hot breeze. A large purple  bruise  bloomed  on  her left cheek. She squinted her dark brown eyes and gave him a laser-beam once over from his dusty black boots to his sweat soaked do-rag.

“Who are you, and what do you want?”

If he hadn’t been so intent on not getting killed, he would  have  spent  more  time  staring  at  those  full, luscious,  kissable  lips  and  thinking  about  how  she would taste. As it was, he guessed he had less than a minute to respond before getting blasted into the next county.


Book Trailer:



The Wild Rose Press



Sharon Buchbinder has been writing fiction since middle school and has the rejection slips to prove it. An RN, she provided health care delivery, became a researcher, association executive, and obtained a PhD in Public Health. When not teaching or writing, she can be found fishing, walking her dogs, or breaking bread and laughing with family and friends in Baltimore, MD and Punta Gorda, FL.


Author Links

Facebook: Sharon Buchbinder Romance Author

Twitter ID @sbuchbinder





A Message from the Author One of the things I have learned in my life as an author, professor, wife, sister, mother, aunt, grandmother, great-aunt, and pet lover is that we are more alike than not. For me, romance is not only about the story of people falling in love, but also about connecting with readers and their lives. We are living in challenging times and at times those challenges can feel overwhelming. I call on each of us to take a moment to reach out and connect with other people. Let someone know they matter. It only takes a few words of kindness to lift someone up. You may be the one person who helps someone get through a rough patch.