Tag Archive | Interview

An Interview with Maya Sacher


My guest today is Maya Sacher, author of Hungry for Love.

Maya is a law school graduate, an activist, and the author of three books. Two books were published in Croatia, a short story collection and a novel.

Hungry for Love is a new adventure for her, as it is her first self-published book and an attempt to reach a new, wider market.

Hungry for Love is due for release on March 1st, and can be pre-ordered on Amazon


07Hi Maya, and welcome to Rainne’s Ramblings.
Would you like to kick off by telling us what motivates you to write…?

Life, experience, people, society and its anomalies.

…And how your interest in writing originated?

I was twelve when I first dabbled with writing. I remember we used to frequently go down to the air-raid shelter, (Croatia was at war in the early nineties), and there wasn’t much to do for a kid in a shelter. I would bring a notebook with me and I started writing down stories. But it wasn’t until I graduated high school that I realized I wanted to be a writer.

Who or what has helped you become a better writer over time?

One of my first teachers was my Croatian editor, Mr. Kruno Lokotar, who helped me shape up my first two books. I also learned a lot from the mentors of The Writers’ Workshop, Elizabeth Garner and Laurence Daren King, who I have worked with on Hungry for Love.

What are the hardest and easiest parts about being a writer?

Writing is the easiest part, that’s where all the fun is. Rewriting is not as fun, but it’s still writing. Researching, although it has its moments, is the hardest part for me because it isn’t writing.

What was the best money you ever spent as a writer?

I don’t know yet. I’ll let you know when one of my books hits bestseller list.

Walk us through a day in the life of Maya

After my cats and I have had our breakfast, they find a cozy place to sleep, and I tap away at my computer until lunch break. After lunch I write some more. If the weather is nice, I’ll go for a walk. I usually finish off my day with a movie or I catch up on my reading or both. See, quite glamorous.

Are events in Hungry for Love based on someone you know, or events in your own life?

I’m sure most writers draw their inspiration from their own experience, the people they know and the world around them. Actually, this is the first rule of writing – write what you know. So most stories have a touch of their author’s lives in them. Hungry for Love tells of trials and tribulations of a woman who falls in love with a new man while her husband is in a coma, and the most difficult decision she has to make when her husband wakes up. This premise is made-up, however some characters were inspired by the people I know.

Who is your favourite character from your book and why?

I could say the main character, Elizabeth, because she is both fragile and strong, but I could also pick her therapist, Dawn, because she is wise, cool and understanding. On the other hand, I also love the two male characters, Elizabeth’s quirky husband, Jesse, and her lover, Aidan, who is somewhat rough around the edges but has a big heart. I can’t really take my pick.

How about your least favourite character?

I can’t choose the least favorite character either because they are all my creation and I sympathize with all of them. All characters are, in essence, bits of their author. Choosing the least favorite character would be like saying I don’t like some part of me, and that wouldn’t be true.

Would you please tell us about the delicious cover and how it came about.

book cover


My friend, Sonja Kovač, takes pictures of books for publishers and websites. I love her photographs, so I asked her if she would take my cover photo.

I told her I wanted cookies theme, since Elizabeth bakes cookies, but I also wanted the cover to suggest a love triangle without actually showing people.

At the bottom you will notice a recipe. It was Sonja’s idea. It’s actually a recipe for happiness taken from the novel. So when the readers watch the table on the cover, it’s as if they are seeing from Elizabeth’s perspective, as if they are baking cookies themselves.


Who is your intended audience and why should they read Hungry for Love?

Women (and men) who enjoy unconventional love stories and family dramas.

Have you any books in the pipeline? Can you tell us a bit about it/them?

I am currently working on a young adult novel, a dystopian romance.

Your book is being made into a movie, what music would you use as a soundtrack?

Something along the lines of early Maroon 5.

Other than writing, what are you passionate about?

Movies, traveling, food. I love trying new flavors, visiting new places, and I’m probably addicted to movies.

What can we expect from you in the future?

Hopefully, more books.

If you could change one thing from your past, what would it be, and why?

I used to fantasize about changing this or that about my past, about whether or not I could have made a better choice or prevented something bad from happening, but now I don’t want to change anything. Let bygones be bygones and all that.

What are your pet peeves?

I guess my biggest pet peeve is when people don’t believe you even in the face of evidence. And when people spend more time on their phone than they do interacting with the people they are supposedly having a conversation with.

Quick fire round:

  • favourite thingsFavourite book?

    The Little Prince.

  • Favourite food?


  • Favourite flower?


  • Favourite animal?


  • Favourite quote?

    “I believe that everything happens for a reason. People change so that you can learn to let go, things go wrong so that you appreciate them when they’re right, you believe lies so you eventually learn to trust no one but yourself, and sometimes good things fall apart so better things can fall together.”
    Marilyn Monroe

Is there anything else you’d like to share with us before you head back to your writing and your cats?

I hope the readers will enjoy Hungry for Love. If you’d like to share anything, ask a question, or just chat, feel free to get in touch via my Facebook page.

Thank you for joining us, Maya. Best wishes for Release Day!



An Interview with Jane Risdon

Jane Risdon

Last week Only One Woman by Christina Jones and ‎ Jane Risdon was in the spotlight here on Rainne’s Ramblings.

Today I have Jane Risdon here with me and she has agreed to answer a few questions.


1-image1Hi Jane, thank you for joining us.

Hi Rainne, thanks so much for asking me here today, it’s wonderful to chat with you and your readers.


Would you like to start by telling us a little about yourself and your background, please?

Where to begin? I met my husband back in the late 1960s when his band arrived in England to record and tour and we’ve been together ever since. We have one son who lives in California with his wife and their three children.

Married to a musician my life has never been what you call normal I guess. He recorded and toured and I held down a ‘proper’ job in the early years – I worked at the Foreign and Commonwealth Office in Whitehall, and in various other government departments until we decided to go into the ‘talent’ side of the music business.

We built an International Music Management company together, managing and producing singer-songwriters, record producers, musicians and bands of all musical genres, as well as working on TV and Movie soundtracks – and on some other areas of movie and TV production too – and most things music related. We lived mostly in the USA, Taiwan, Singapore, and of course England. We’ve had some interesting adventures.

How did your journey as a writer begin?

I’ve always wanted to write but with our lifestyle it was never practical. Babysitting testosterone fuelled young men and hormone crazed young female singers never allowed for time to ourselves. We lived life in the fast lane, to quote the Eagles.

Back in the 1960s my husband’s fan-club secretary, Christina Jones, was also a rock journalist and short story writer for teen magazines and she knew I wanted to write and we always said we would write together one day. Trouble is I had an eye on writing crime thrillers. She went on to become a successful best-selling, award-winning author of what she calls Bucolic Frolics, so how we’d ever write together was a conundrum.

Fast forward many years and I found time to write and started – on the quiet – writing crime stories for anthologies and I began work on a few novels. She asked to read what I’d written and after some discussion we decided to get on with it and write together. By this time I was already signed with Accent Press – oddly she was also signed with them by then as she’d ended her former publishing contracts with the ‘big’ boys.

I have never written anything remotely classed as ‘romantic’ so it has been a journey for me writing Only One Woman with Christina. There aren’t any dead bodies, crimes to solve, just a rollicking good tale of two girls in love with the same musician back in the late 1960s. I cannot tell you how I itched to find somewhere to stick a corpse.

What inspired Only One Woman, and how did you come up with the title?

23316470_156873331586164_1681214585976771281_nInspiration for OOW (as we call it) was something that came from the ether. Christina and I wanted to write together but as I said before, she and I write in completely different genres. Finding something we could write about together seemed a distant fantasy. In 2012 I moved house and as I was going through some boxes I came across my husband’s old tour schedules, posters, fan letters, and some of our old diaries and I began to make notes. These soon became little chapters under diary date headings and before I knew it I’d written Renza’s story and it cried out for another voice. I sent it via email to Christina and she loved it and started writing her parts which turned into Stella’s story. This went on until 2014 when it went into our publisher who wanted to publish it later that summer. We wrote by email, text and Facebook messages – very 21st century! Due to various comings and goings at our publisher it has taken until November 2017 or it to be published. I learned patience in the recording studio making records and working with young musicians – just as well!

Only One Woman is the title of a single written by The Bee Gees which was a massive hit for The Marbles – lead singer Graham Bonnett went on to be a super-star with Rainbow and many other bands. In fact Graham and his girlfriend are reading OOW and he is going to write a foreword for the main Paper-back (for stores worldwide and audio) publication 24th May 2018. He just needs to find time as he is recording and touring at the moment. Fingers crossed. OOW is peppered with songs and musical references. It is about the blossoming UK music scene late 1968/69. We have our own YouTube playlists.

What is your favourite scene from Only One Woman? Can you give us a peek?

Gosh, now there is a question. I don’t really have a favourite scene – I love them all but how about when 16 year old convent girl, Renza, is taken by her new boyfriend, lead guitarist Scott, to a gig on Salisbury Plain with Narnia’s Children for the first time and she experiences ‘the swinging sixties’ full on. This is part way through a chapter. Renza is at an after-gig party with some weird and wonderful hippies and musicians….


Renza’s Diary from Only One Woman:

June 29th 1968 – later

…A girl in a tight fitting bolero top and hipster trousers came over to us and flung her arms round Scott, kissing him on the mouth, a bit too long and hard for my liking. Scott didn’t seem in too much of a hurry to push her away, and she melted into him as if she was trying to come out the other side.

‘Scott lover, how’s it hanging?’ She sounded just like Fenella Fielding, all breathy and wanton.

‘Yeah Scott, just how is it hanging?’ I snapped and flounced off to where I could see Rich sitting on his own, hugging a beer.

‘Hi Renza, babe, what’s up?’ Rich held the glass up to me in greeting and took another drag on his ciggy.

‘Who’s that girl talking to Scott?’ I asked plonking myself down next to him on the huge bean bag. We both nearly fell off as it settled itself with my extra weight.

‘Hey, don’t waste good beer babe.’ Rich held his glass away from me as I wriggled to get comfy.

‘Rich, who is she?’ I asked again as I saw her drape herself all over Scott and nestle into his shoulder. The bitch! Scott didn’t seem too bothered.

‘She used to help Stephan – he’s the band’s manager I told you about earlier – in the office in Jersey and then she came to the mainland with her boyfriend. She’s no one important, she sometimes hangs with the band when we’re over.’


I watched her like a hawk. Scott looked over and waved. The nerve!

Rich took a few gulps of beer and patted my leg. ‘Don’t fret about Scott, he’s mad about you. She’ll get the message after tonight.

I looked round the grubby room with its crates and boxes, and fake Greek Taverna decorations hanging from the walls, the fake fishing nets, glass baubles attached, and wine bottles with candles burning in them. And the couples seething in a mass on the floor, in the shadows, and on the cushions, doing goodness knows what, and I wanted to go home.

Actually, I wanted to get Scott to myself. Back home. In the village. Where things were normal.

‘Magical Mystery Tour’ came on and I suddenly thought about having to miss The Beatles at the Hammersmith Odeon, because I was ‘Mrs Spoffington’ in the school play, and couldn’t get out of it. Instead of The Beatles giving me the thrill of my life I was stuck on stage singing ‘Oh I do like to be beside the sodding sea-side,’ to a hall full of boring parents. Not that mine bothered to go.

‘Rich, mate, hi. Good gig. Stephan about tonight?’ A huge man of about thirty came up to us and nodded at me. ‘Want to sort some stuff out with him.’

He was wearing beads and a kaftan with an orange and green squiggly pattern on it, and had his ears pierced. His long black hair hung in tight curls around his shoulders. Mum would just love him.

‘Oh Renza, this is Psychedelic Smith,’ Rich said. ‘Remember we told you about him, he’s our fixer.’ I remembered. Apparently he was helping Stephan get Narnia’s Children a record deal. Everyone had to kiss up to him I was told. Well, thankfully, I don’t.

Psychedelic Smith dismissed me with a brief smile before turning back to Rich.

‘Stephan’s back in the smoke mate, got Top of the Pops with The White Knights, so he’s gotta be there for that.’ Rich drained his glass and put it on the floor next to him.

‘Right, yeah, going up the charts fast. That’s cool, I’ll ring him later. I’m in town tomorrow and want to arrange some record company auditions for the guys. Got some label interest.’

‘Do I need to re-organise anything for the boys?’ Rich asked.

‘Nope, I’ll sort some dates out with Stephan, he’ll let you know in good time. I’ve got some songs lined up for the guys to hear, so we’ll sort some dates for visiting publishers in town, too.’

I couldn’t help wondering what mum and Mrs Digby would say if Psychedelic Smith turned up in the village to visit the band. I giggled quietly.

Psychedelic Smith began to roll a ciggy and offered one to Rich. .

Rich shook his head and got to his feet. ‘Nah, mate, gotta drive back soon or her Mum’ll kill me if she’s not home on time, won’t she, babe?’ Rich smiled at me and looked at his watch, then went off to round up the band.

Psychedelic Smith took a few more drags and offered me one. I shook my head. I could just see me floating in the front door with Mum waiting up to look me over and make sure I hadn’t ‘been up to anything’.

‘No thanks.’

The Demis Russos look-alike shrugged and headed for the kitchen. Dad would have a blue fit if he knew I was ‘fraternizing,’ with blokes in dresses.

I knew the only reason I’d been allowed out so late with the band was because Mum quite liked Rich and he’d sweet-talked her into letting me go to the gig. God! If she could see me now, in this horrible house with everyone stoned, she’d have a migraine for a week worrying in case the village found out.

I looked at my watch. If we didn’t leave soon I was going to be seriously late and that would mean all hell breaking loose. Scott was nowhere to be seen now and Rich was chatting to ‘The Bitch’ by the food. I know it is horrid calling her that but she’s got right up my nose, wall-papering herself all over Scott.

People were still wrestling on the floor which meant I had to watch where I looked: I didn’t want to appear a Peeping Tom, though it was hard not to cast a sly glance now and again. I mean, seriously, some were actually ‘at it’ in full view. Anyone would look, wouldn’t they?

Thinking about it, how do you ‘do it’ in public without all your bits and stuff being on show? I couldn’t see anything, you know, rude or anything, but they were definitely ‘doing it’, I just couldn’t fathom how.

‘You look deep in thought,’ Scott made me jump, ‘what’re you looking at?’

Before I could answer he followed my gaze to the nearest couple. He threw his head back and laughed loudly. I blushed as if I’d been caught out doing something naughty.

‘Ah!’ he said, ‘I see.’

I felt really stupid. I could feel the heat rising up my neck to my face, thank goodness it was so gloomy.

‘Bit of an education eh?’ He grabbed my arm and led me through to what could only be called an apology for a kitchen. ‘Can you wait here while I get the others? We should leave now. Don’t move. I won’t be long.’

And off he went again….onewoman



Who is your favourite character from your book and why?

I have to say Stella, as she is the sophisticated, worldly, gorgeous babe Renza would love to be and she has the best scenes I think. I am sure everyone is routing for her throughout the book. She seems to have the most fun with Scott.

What do you enjoy most about writing…?

Reading the finished product back to myself and thinking I’ve gone as far as I can with the story and then getting feedback from my husband – poor man has to read it all.

And what motivates you to write?

I love chatting and relating stories, writing them is just a step further. I spent a lonely childhood – eldest of a large family with siblings a lot younger than I – reading and writing kept me sane. I find writing helps turn the pressure cooker off inside my head when something is giving me grief. Also, living the life we’ve led there are so many stories to tell, so many characters we’ve met who did the most outrageous things – all fodder for a writer. How could I not write about some of it! Hollywood is stranger than fiction for starters.

Do you aim for a set amount of words/pages per day?

No I cannot do that. I can write to a deadline and word count if told to but I don’t break it up into hours or days. I just write until I get tired, or other things call for my attention.

Do you use your personal experiences in your writing?

Well, I guess so, who doesn’t? Indirectly, subconsciously, we all must. There are some events which I’ve experienced which would be criminal not to include in my stories, however, I am always conscious of not stepping too far out of line and waking up with a horse’s head in the bed or concrete boots on! One has to be very careful.

How important are names to you in your books? Do you choose the names based on liking the way it sounds or the meaning?

Names are important to me but funnily enough names just pop into my head and they are usually very pertinent to the character I am writing. Sometimes it is a name which gives me inspiration for the book.

Your stories have appeared in a few anthologies, did this experience help move you to writing your novel?

I’ve had several novels on the go simultaneously as well as writing short stories and flash fiction at the same time, so it has not helped or hindered me really. Short stories and flash fiction are great for concentrating the mind, making every word and sentence count. I tend not to go in for long sentences or chapters when I can help it. Keeping the pace up.

Could you give us a brief synopsis of one (your favourite) of the stories?

51ennCOdBPLWow this is difficult. I love all my stories – I can’t help it. As it is Christmas (as I write this it is, anyway**) I will tell you a little about ‘Merry Christmas Everybody,’ published by Accent Press in the anthology ‘Wishing on a Star.’ The title is from The Slade hit.

It is based on true events one Christmas when we were recording in a studio in the North of the UK, owned by a super-star guitarist. We were working with a now deceased producer and I have exaggerated events a lot, and of course indulged in poetic license.

Twister is in the studio recording their follow-up album to their last massive hit and tensions are rising as the band work day and night to keep to their recording schedule and budget. Time is money. Their new producer obviously doesn’t like them and there’s no love lost on Twister’s side either. Daily they meet to review the previous night’s work but something’s wrong with the previous two night’s recordings – there’s keyboards all over the track and no-one in the rock band has played keyboards on the tracks and won’t be either. They are not bloody Night Ranger for goodness sakes. The producer is furious and accuses the band of sabotage and the band accuse him, but it soon becomes clear that other forces are at work…soon the atmosphere erupts and violence ensues…

**My apologies for the delay in getting this interview posted

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

I am an avid reader, I love photography and can be found with my camera photographing the countryside, wild-life and ancient churches, cathedrals and villages – some of which are later locations for my stories. I do family history research, I love astronomy and science and I am a history buff. Actually I’m curious about everything so keep my mind active with all manner of activities. I have undertaken 7 university courses since 2015, mostly studying Forensic Science and Criminal Justice so that I can have a basic understanding and knowledge for my crime writing.

As a child, what did you want to do when you grew up?

I first wanted to be Doris Day and then I decided I’d love to dance with Fred Astaire so you can see a theatrical streak appearing. As a teen I wanted to be a writer and had hoped to work as an apprentice journalist on the Sunday Times with a dream of being a War Correspondent – the school careers officer soon put paid to that idea. I ended up working for the government for years until the theatrical side was satisfied when I managed bands etc.

Do you read much and if so who are your favourite authors?

Oh cripes I read and read…I love reading. I love so many authors, but here are a few: Kathy Reichs, Tess Gerritsen, Karin Slaughter, Michael Connolly, Peter James, Steall Rimington, Frederick Forsythe, John le Carre, Roger A Price, and so many more. Anyone writing crime and espionage basically.

You’re stranded on a desert island and you can take three people who would they be and why?

My husband, my son, and Professor Brian Cox because we can all talk about music and science and argue about UFO’s and so on.

Is there anything else you’d like to share with us?

That is a huge ask. I would love your readers to seek out my writing – I have a wide and diverse range of work from crime to ghost stories (not too scary) to basic fiction, and therefore I hope to have something for everyone. Only On Woman has been an epic undertaking second only to my Ms Birdsong Investigates series – in with my publisher still. Like all writers we need readers who review and are happy to share their thoughts on Amazon and GoodReads. For some reason it makes the publishers happy and any agents looking at an author. I have stories in two anthologies last December: Ghostly Writes Anthology 2017, and Stab in the Dark: Christmas Capers 2017 – both best-sellers on Amazon.Jane Risdon Christmas

Oh! And if you want a giggle….Only One Woman was put in the wrong category on amazon and we had a little wait for them to put it elsewhere (still not right but better). They put it in BDSM and Erotica – it went to #33 in their chart. Hilarious but actually, not very helpful for us. It is Women’s Fiction and Saga but we are not holding our breath.

And finally, a few quick-fire questions if you don’t mind…

When was the last time you walked for more than an hour?

I walked in the lake district for a whole day.

If you could wake up tomorrow having gained one quality or ability, what would it be?

I’d love to Time Travel.

Are you an early riser or a night owl?

I am an owl and a lark. Working in the music business you learn to operate on little sleep and cannot afford to stay in bed and we mostly work at night anyway.

When did you last sing to yourself? To someone else?

I sing often and sometimes my husband and I sing duets and harmonise. It has to be done and we cannot help ourselves. It is in our blood.

Thank you for spending this time with us, Jane. If you wouldn’t mind leaving us some links before you get back to your busy schedule!

Thanks so much Raine. I loved doing this.

Here are my links. Not all my books are on amazon but my blog should provide links.

Blog • Facebook • Twitter • Amazon • Goodreads

Only One Woman

Amazon • Facebook

View across the fields (c) Jane Risdon 2011

View across the fields (c) Jane Risdon 2011

An Interview with Raechel Lynn



Last week I featured Raechel Lynn’s recently released book, Enthralled. Today Raechel has joined me for an interview.

Thank you for your time, Raechel, and welcome to Rainne’s Ramblings.



Would you like to start by telling us a little about yourself and your background?

Hi, my name is Raechel, I’m an author based out of Seattle, WA where I grew up. I’ve been an avid reader all my life, I’ll read anything, however fantasy, paranormal, and sci-fi are my favorites to read and therefore write. I have three four-legged children that are my world. A blue nose Pitbull named Remington, and two American Quarter Horses, Frisco and Cinder.

When did you start writing for publication, what made you decide to put your work out there to be read by others?

I wanted to challenge myself to do something outside of my comfort zone. I started with a few standard romance novels, but it wasn’t until I got a push from my good friend to jump into the paranormal erotica genre that really pushed me into the public eye. I got picked up by CHBB publishing, and they’ve supported my budding career.

What gets your creative juices flowing…?

Any and everything. My mind is constantly people watching, wondering what goes on beneath the surface. I want to know what makes people tick, and I’m fascinated by how people interact with one another to serve themselves, or the greater good. A phrase, or an image, or even a song will start my mind spinning off in many directions.

…And what does writing mean to you?

Ultimately it is a creative outlet. I thoroughly enjoy the act of creating things. Building entire worlds in my head is great, but letting all of them out with their crazy cast of characters is even better. It’s a challenge, and I thrive on challenges.

How long on average does it take you to write a book?

That depends on how long the book is. For my previous release, Enticed, it took me a few months, only because I was working on other things as well at the time. For my second Enthralled, I think start to finish it was about a month.


Tell us a bit about Enticed and how we can get our hands on it.

It’s the first in the Eleanor and Magnus series. You’ll want to read it to know how they got to the point they are at now. It’s on Amazon, smarturl.it/RLEnticed.



In love fashion couple kiss against a grey wall.

Enthralled is your latest book, isn’t it. What inspired it?

Enthralled is the newest one. It is the second in the series that my amazing friend TL Travis laid down a gauntlet and said, “you should write vampire erotica”. So, I did. As soon as she put the challenge at my feet, my brain ran with an idea, and Enthralled is the continuation of that idea.


What is your favourite scene from Enthralled? Can you give us a peek?

It’s hard for me to choose just one scene, but for me, a pivotal moment between the two main characters is when Magnus drops his guard and lets Eleanor take the lead.

      His gorgeous body once again took her breath away. His muscles had filled out, though he was still leaner than he should be. But even though he was covered in blood, she wanted to lick every single inch of him, exploring all his valleys and peaks to find what drove him wild. “Magnus…”
      “Don’t ever stop looking at me like that little girl.” He crushed his mouth to hers, aching for a taste of her honeyed haven. She was even sweeter than he remembered, opening willingly to his invasion, desperate as he was to be as close as possible. With minimal effort, he gathered her into his arms and carried her into the shower. The pounding spray was warm, easing all the aches in his muscles, leaving behind the fire of his desire for her.
      “Are you certain you aren’t hurt?” Eleanor framed his face with her hands, forcing him to meet her eyes.
      He couldn’t help the smile that broke over his face. “Why don’t you look for yourself?” He set her on her feet, and took a step back under the pounding water.
      Eleanor couldn’t stop herself from reaching out to him, running her fingers over his shoulders, down his arms, back to his chest then down his perfect washboard abs. He was the most beautiful man she’d ever seen, and on a primal level that she couldn’t understand, his body called to hers. She didn’t hesitate to run her hands down his hips, checking his strong muscular thighs for wounds, all the way down to his ankles before coming back up the inside of his thighs as she stood up to his waiting erection.

Which, if any, of your personality traits do you write into your characters?

That depends on the character! I love giving each character a piece of personality that makes them a little bit unique. I myself am sarcastic, and usually at least one of my characters has a serious problem with their sarcasm. I’m also stubborn, which works great with reluctant heros, so I use that trait regularly.

Where would you like to you see yourself in 5 years time?

I’d love to be able to support myself between writing, and coaching swim team. That’s my big dream, but at the very least I’ll still be writing and have a fresh and current voice in the industry.

When you’re not writing, and it’s time to relax! What do you do…?

Well, if I can find a patch of sunshine I’ll be laying in it, reading a book. If not, I’ll be curled up under a blanket snuggling my dog, reading a book.

…And other than writing, what are you passionate about?

My horses. I compete year-round, though summer is my busy season. I participate in western gaming, also known as patterned horse racing, or essentially barrel racing. The goal is to go as fast as possible, stay on your horse, run the correct pattern, without knocking anything over.

What is the hardest thing you’ve ever done?

Training my horse Frisco was probably the most challenging thing I’ve ever done. He had a lot of emotional baggage that we had to work through. He taught me the value of starting over at ground level, patience, tolerance, and persistence. He turned into an amazing horse, but it took about five years to get there.

Lagertha & Janeway
Which fictional character, book or film, would you like to meet and why?

That is a tie. Both characters are strong female leads, who deal with way more crap than they should, make some choices that not everyone agrees with, and are survivors. I’d love to meet Lagertha from the history channel series Vikings, and Captain Janeway from Star Trek: Voyager.


Thank you for joining me, and my readers, Raechel.
Before you go is there anything else you’d like to share with us?

Just a piece of philosophy: this world is full of positives and negatives, light and dark, good and bad. Unfortunately, we cannot have one without the other. However, we can choose how we as individuals view what is around us, and often what is darkness for one person, is light for another. Treat others better than you want to be treated, because you never know anyone’s full story.

Thats a wonderful thought to leave us with, Raechel. Thank you!


Enthralled by Raechel Lynn



An Interview with…


Thomas McRae

Author of Pimp In The Pulpit and Pimp in the Pulpit: Part II


20180101_155301Where were you born and brought up?

I was born in The Coney Island Hospital located at Brooklyn New York and grew up there for half my life.

Where do you live now?

I live in Areverne N.Y. along with my parents and hopefully someday soon I’LL be able to buy myself and my folks a house we all can enjoy and share together.

How would you describe your childhood in general?

I grew up in a two-parent household. My father was the primary Financial supporter and my mother was the nurturer and economical genius. Both of my parents are hard-working individuals who dedicate their lives to providing a better future for their children. Now truth be told my parents weren’t perfect but they were definitely extraordinary role models and wonderful human beings. Who till this day still inspires me and give me a glimpse of hope to look forward to.

Did you enjoy school?

I enjoyed certain aspects of school because certain classes appealed to me more. But I wasn’t crazy about going to the same school as my brother because for years I was living under his shadow and for the most part people didn’t see me they saw Marshall’s little brother.

As a child what did you want to be when you grew up?

At first, I wanted to be a veterinarian because I was really into animals such as dogs, cats, parrots and fish. But once I got older I wasn’t sure what I wanted to be because I had a lot of confidence issues. And it took me a while to find my creative niche but once I did I decided I was going to be a writer or at the very least just die trying.

20180102_170348Tell us about Pimp in the Pulpit 1 & 2 in your own words rather than the blurb?

Both books are inspired by personal experiences in my life, but not all facts. Many of these stories contain funny and silly antics that my family has done over the years I also took some stories from friends of mine and combine each dialogue into one story. If you’re easily offended than these books isn’t for you because it’s full of foul language and crazy unexpected surprises. Basically, you would see these type of things on a television or movie production but believe me it’s filled with fiction, wishful thinking, personal experiences and some facts all submerged in to one hilarious story.

Would you say your books have a message or an underlying theme?

My response to that would be yes there is a message and the message is you should never let others Define Who You Are or what you are trying to become. No matter how rough life maybe you should always love yourself because it took me a while but I finally realized that no one is going to love me like me.

What do you think makes a good story?

A good story consists of many things. First, you need entertaining characters people that are relatable and unforgettable. Then you need several solid punchlines and an imagination that appeals to a large audience no matter the race, religion, or creed. After that, you just need one more thing and that would be passion. Because passion will give your story life and with that, you will have the people’s attention.

Why do you think your books will or should appeal to new readers what makes them stand out?

First of all my books are very honest in regards to my experiences in life and my pain. These books share a glimpse of light to those who have lived a privileged life and never experienced this type of situations with their family or Inner circle. Pimp in the Pulpit 1 & 2 have the ability to make you laugh, cry or even appreciate your own family. Truth be told I think these books have the potential of being an instant Tyler Perry classic film and I would consider it a personal honour and privilege if I can meet with him and Hammer out some kind of agreement. Because Pimp in the Pulpit 1 & 2 are destined to do great things – this I believe and have no doubt.

What do you consider your greatest achievement?

It’s a very delicate question to answer because I feel like I accomplished a great deal and still have much to accomplish. But if I had to pick just one then I would say my greatest achievement is knowing that I didn’t allow myself to become a statistic.

I feel like my greatest achievement is that I was a success the moment I grew up and left my old neighbourhood without any criminal background or drug or alcohol issues. I believe I was a success the moment I decided not to allow my environment to be my reality.

My greatest achievement is I don’t have any bastard children or numerous mothers who have conceived my kids. I’m not out there selling drugs or robbing & hurting innocent people.

My greatest achievement is I’m being my own person and my own man and I’m not allowing society to dictate who I am or should be because of the colour of my skin or the circumstances I was brought up in.

What is your greatest regret?

I try not to regret anything I’ve done or didn’t do. But there have been times I wonder if I did something differently how my life would have been. For example, if I would have told my childhood friend how much I adored her when we were younger what would have happened. Or maybe if I told my Aunt Gloria, my Uncle Snell, my good friend Mrs Virginia Bell and several other people who have touched my heart in a positive way that I sincerely and generally love them all. How would that affect my life up till this very day? But for the most part, I try not to dwell on regrets because life is all about learning and growing and trying to become a better person and God willing I’ll be able to inspire others through my words my heart and my spirit.

If you could change one thing from your past what would it be and why?

Honestly nothing I wouldn’t change anything for the mere fact all my mistakes and virtues are what turned me into the man I am today. I have many flaws and a lot of good qualities but one thing is certain I do not regret being me and I look forward to going to heaven to meet my maker and accept any judgment He decides to pass on me.

What is your most treasured possession?

My most treasured possession would be my mother Mrs Sylvia A McRae who is my best friend in the whole wide world. And my Goddaughter Kayla Veronica Lewin who is just the sweetest thing you will ever meet.

What makes you laugh?

Pretty much anything that is funny or amusing. But at the same time, I do have a rather unique sense of humour so it could be anything depending on the moment and how I feel.

What three words best describe your personality? And would others use the same three words? If not what words do you think they use?

Publication1The first three words that pop into my head are loving, caring and loyal. I believe most people would say the same thing especially if they genuinely know me. But if not I hope they say he’s got a good heart, generous spirit plus a humble kind soul.

How many unpublished and half-finished books do you have?

I have so many unpublished materials especially in the Poetry section. But I am currently working on several new short fiction novels each one inspired by personal experiences, but not all facts. I promise you these books will bring you joy and suspense from one page to another.

When you consider your future what would you like to make happen for you?

I’m not a very complicated person I just want a family of my own, a happy prosperous life and I would like to promote and Market my books at a much higher level. Also to get that home for my family that I always wanted. And last but not least I would love one day to turn my books into a movie and that would be something.

What advice would you give to your younger self?

I would tell myself to stay focused and determined because your blessing is coming. I would also say to myself not to overextend your hand for everyone because not everybody who says they love you generally loves you. But the last thing I would tell myself is to keep trying and never let anyone discourage you or try to put you in a bubble. We’re all a blessing and that is why God gave us life.



Pimp in the Pulpit: Amazon * B&N
Pimp in the Pulpit part II: Amazon

I previously interviewed Thomas on Just Books.
When he contacted me, to let me know he had released Pimp in the Pulpit: Part II I jumped at the chance to ask more questions!

Thank you, Thomas!



Featured Author of the Week by Patty L. Fletcher (pt 1)

pattys pick

As we near the end of 2017 I have been going through my folders, thinking about all the wonderful clients that I have the privilege of representing.

The following post stood out for me and I hope you’ll take a moment to read all about a most talented lady.

So, without further ado, I give you Award-Winning Author Wanda Luthman.

~Patty (Campbells World)

First, tell us, in your own words, a little about you.

new-author-pic-side-arm-up-6-17I’m a High School Guidance Counselor and hold a license in Mental Health Counseling. I love helping kids figure out their dreams and passions and help them pursue them. I’m married. I have one child and four step-children. One grandbaby and one on the way. I have two yorkies that I love dearly. And my neighbor and I have rescued 15 feral cats. They are all fixed but we feed them and provide a comfy porch for them to get out of the rain. I live in Florida so it doesn’t really get cold here. Life is good!

What are your likes, and dislikes?

I love God and my country, even though things seem kinda crazy right now. I love people. I love my family and friends. I really have a passion to help kids be the best little people they can be so one day when they grow up, they will be happy, fulfilled, and productive people.

Dislikes—well, I’m sure I have some, but I can’t think what they are. I tend to put myself in other people’s shoes before I judge. I believe we’re all trying to do the best we can. I do hate war and terrorism. I don’t understand why we have to kill each other. I would prefer a world where we understand each other’s differences and live and let live.

What are your hobbies?

I cycle and swim. Not as often as I should but I do enjoy both activities. I love to bake which is another reason I should cycle and swim more. LOL. I love to read and of course, write.

What motivates you to write?

I get inspired from things around me and a little story will pop in my head. I am motivated to write magical, adventurous stories with positive messages woven into them to encourage children to be the best they can be.

What motivated you to write your first book?

My very first book, when I was 6/7, was inspired by 3 wild baby bunnies that my sister found abandoned in the cow pasture behind our house. She brought them home and I fell in love. Since I am the youngest of three children, it was only natural that a little story would pop into my head about the three bunnies being siblings, just like the three of us and I wrote a little story about us. My sister, the eldest, was named Snowball; my brother, the middle child, was named Cottonball; and I, being the youngest, was just Ball.

51H9VykOPyL._SX311_BO1,204,203,200_The first book I decided to publish was inspired by something deep inside of me because I woke up one morning with the story bursting out of me. I had to stop and write it all down. The words came faster than I could write. I published that book, The Lilac Princess, in 2014 and just re-published it under my own label this summer (2017). I re-read it recently and realized it was my story—a story of a girl who needed to learn to forgive her dragon. At the time of writing the story, I hadn’t been able to forgive. But, a few years later, I was. It was amazing to me that this story mirrored my life so much.

What keeps you going?

Other authors, my parents, and the children. When I read to an audience of children and look into their faces and see how they enjoy my books, that’s a thrill and I know I don’t ever want to stop writing and encouraging children.

In what conditions do you write? Do you have a favorite writing space?

I write on paper, notepads, even napkins, but mostly I write on my computer. My computer isn’t in my office which has double doors that face our pond and wildlife which would be an ideal place to write. My computer is shared with my husband and sits on our dining room table.

If you could create your dream writing space what would that look like?

Really, my office is pretty ideal. But, if I could have a cabin in the mountains on a lake—man, that would be ideal! A quiet, beautiful place would be so inspirational!

When you begin your writing process, do you create an outline, or do you simply write from your heart?

I write from the heart. I almost feel like an outline would stifle me. But, I know many authors do that.

What is your favorite song?

Forever Young by Rod Stewart

What is your favorite movie?

I don’t have one single favorite movie, but I love Goldie Hawn movies

What is your favorite book?

I love The Hobbit trilogy, or it might be called The Lord of the Ring Series

Who is your favorite author?

3066814584_0d0db6817cIt’s most definitely Dr. Seuss although I also love A.A. Milne. I think Winnie the Pooh is my favorite character ever!

What is your favorite food?

Steak, most definitely steak. I do wish I didn’t love steak, but I grew up eating meat and well, I just can’t stop.

What is your favorite quote?

Your past does not determine your future.(I don’t know who said that, but it certainly has been true of my life)

What is your favorite affirmation?

“All will be well, and all will be well, and all manner of things will be well”(I don’t know who said this either, but I learned it at a retreat I was at during my divorce)

What is your biggest pet peeve?

People talking in meetings. I think it’s so rude and I can’t hear what is being said.

What do you think your best strengths are?

Understanding others and having an analytical mind

What are your weaknesses, and, how are you working on making them stronger?

I don’t have a lot of trust in myself. I am, at least, aware of it now whereas before I wasn’t. That’s step one. Now, I’m working on catching myself when I realize I’m giving my power away. That’s step two. Then, it will be making a different choice in the moment. That will be step three and I believe change will occur at that point.

What is your dream for the future?

I dream that my books help kids be better people. I dream that my books catch the attention of others and they share them with the world. While it’s okay if I only make a difference here in my backyard, I hope to be able to make a broader difference in the world.

What books have you written?

41hfVNev5VL._SY346_The Lilac Princess
A Turtle’s Magical Adventure
Little Birdie Grows Up
Gloria and the Unicorn,
Franky the Finicky Flamingo.

Are you planning to write more?

Yes, many more! I have several others written but I don’t have the time and money to get them published as quickly as I would like.

What of all you have written is your favorite?

My favorite is The Lilac Princess because it’s a story that reflects my own story.

What is your preferred way of communicating?


How can readers contact you best?

Email me at wandalu64@gmail.com

Is there anything about you, that you’d like to share, that I’ve not covered here?

No, I can’t think of anything. Thank you so much for this interview. I enjoyed answering the questions. Many of them made me stop and think and I love that!

WOW! Wanda! Thanks, so very much for sharing so very much about yourself with us.

I, for one, truly enjoyed getting to know you better.


Come back tomorrow when we will continue with part 2 of Patty’s Pick and take a look at the wonderful books Wanda has written.
Thank you for spending some time here with Patty, Wanda and myself.


Gone Daddy Gone by Cheryl Bradshaw

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 Title: Gone Daddy Gone
Series: Sloan Monroe Mysteries #7
Author: Cheryl Bradshaw
Genre: Crime Mystery, Thriller

From New York Times bestselling author Cheryl Bradshaw:

A single moment is about to change Sloane Monroe’s life forever …

ebook-2_400x600On an early winter morning, college student Shelby McCoy walks the quiet, snowy path back home. A tree branch snaps in the distance. Then another. A man is there with her, following close behind, whispering her name. She looks back, sees him gaining on her, and runs. Who is this man, and why is he carrying a gun?

*Can easily be read as a standalone!

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The man stood across from Bonnie and Hank’s hotel, watching everyone say goodbye. From the looks of things, Cade appeared to be returning to Wyoming, and Sloane would stay behind.
It would be much easier for him to divide and conquer this way.
He took one last drag on his cigarette and flicked it to the ground, stubbing it out with the bottom of his shoe. He thought about leaving, but he couldn’t tear his eyes away from Cade and Sloane, holding hands, standing together beside the truck for one last embrace. The embrace was long. Too long. It made the man uncomfortable.
Get on with it already.
Viewing such tenderness between two people turned his stomach, like a virus had entered his body and quickly spread.
Slow, festering anger.
His heart beating faster and faster.
He reached out, clutching a tree for support, inhaling and then exhaling and then inhaling again.
Remember what you’re here for and why.
You’re in control.
It’s all going according to plan.
Cade gripped the handle of the door, but then leaned back to Sloane, whispering something in her ear. For a moment it looked like she might cry, but she didn’t.
Seeing the display of emotion between them was almost like witnessing two lovers on a movie screen, a magical connection that seemed too unrealistic to be real. For a fleeting moment the man was reminded of a time in his own life when he too had been in love. A time so long ago, he strained to remember it.
Over the years he’d been with plenty of women. A few of them he’d even cared for on a marginal, detached level. The rest served a single purpose—a warm body on a cold, lonely night. He had only ever felt real love for a woman once, and that woman had been his wife, and when he lost her, he lost everything.


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About the Author:
cherylbwA New York Times and USA Today bestselling author, Bradshaw writes in the genres of mystery, thriller, romantic suspense, and supernatural suspense. To date, she has published almost two dozen novels and novellas, including her New York Times bestselling mystery series based on a sassy, OCD challenged private eye named Sloane Monroe. In 2013, Bradshaw’s fourth novel in the series, Stranger in Town, was a finalist for a Shamus Award, and that same year, book three in the series, I Have a Secret, won best thriller of the year from eFestival of Words. She was raised in California and currently resides in Salt Lake City, Utah.

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An Interview with Cheryl Bradshaw:

Where did you grow up?

I was born and raised in California and consider myself to be a California girl, although I’ve lived in Utah longer. I go back often, mainly because I miss being by the ocean.

Describe yourself in 5 words or less!

Driven, passionate, creative, nurturing, full of life

What made you want to become an author and do you feel it was the right decision?

Reading and writing has always flowed through me in a way that made it obvious it was a talent I needed to explore. As a child I read books that were above my school grade. One of my teachers was concerned and approached my mom about it, but my mom understood that I was mature enough to handle reading books meant for a slightly older audience. By the time I reached high school I was writing and publishing short stories and poems. Then for almost two decades I stopped writing for the most part while raising my daughter and picked it back up in my thirties. Now I publish several novels a year.

How long have you been writing?

I’ve been published since 2011. It took a couple years for me to hit the USA Today bestselling books list, and about a year later I hit the New York Times bestsellers list. I’ve also been a finalist for awards, including a Shamus Award. It’s been an amazing journey.

What kind of research do you do before you begin writing a book?

It depends on the book. I spend the most time researching forensics so I can be as accurate as possible with my descriptions, but it’s always surprising the interesting things I end up looking up. For example, yesterday I watched videos on how to protect yourself from a frontal attack in a parking lot, and I actually learned a few things that are beneficial for me to know!

What inspired you to write this book?

My fans waited quite a while for me to write it. It’s the seventh in my Sloane Monroe series, and one thing I wanted to do was to bring back several of the secondary characters I’ve used throughout the series that they’ve been missing. It worked out really well, and I was thrilled to give my fans what they wanted.

What did you enjoy most about writing this book?

It was so much fun bringing old characters back that I’ve used in previous books in this series. They added a lot of flavor to the plot and weaved in and out of the story well.

Tell us about your main characters- what makes them tick?

Sloane Monroe is driven by justice and seeing things through to the end. She’s a methodical character, who sees clues in different ways than most, and this ability allows her to solve even the hardest cases, where others fail. She’s flawed, of course, and struggles with OCD and anxiety, which sometimes works to her benefit, and other times cripples her. By layering her personality she comes across as a real and authentic, which makes her a lot of fun to write.

Do the characters all come to you at the same time or do some of them come to you as you write?

It’s a combination of both. I usually create main characters at the onset of starting a new book and then allow my secondary characters to be created as I’m writing their part in the story.

Do you have any “side stories” about the characters?

People who know me assume that Sloane Monroe is me. She is in many respects, but she also isn’t. I feel like there’s a piece of me in every character I write. As humans we are all multilayered, not single layered, and this aspect rings true for me in many of my characters.

A day in the life of the author…

It rarely the same two days in a row! A typical work day has me checking and responding to fan mail in the morning, working with my assistant on things we’re doing, dealing with different promotions I’m running or planning to run, and checking my social media. Once that’s done I write for the rest of the day.

Describe your writing style.

I believe I do a good job of keeping the action moving in my books and writing good cliffhangers to keep my readers turning pages. It’s always nice when my fans say they had only planned to read a couple of chapters and ended up staying up all night because they couldn’t put the book down. I don’t think there’s a compliment better than that!

What is your writing process? For instance do you do an outline first? Do you do the chapters first?

I attempt an outline, but it’s always loose. For me personally, I find if I outline too much it takes away from the spontaneity of my characters and the plot. So I generally have an idea of what the next three chapters I’m working on will be, and then I allow my characters to take it in the direction it seems like it needs to go.

What can we expect from you in the future?

More Sloane. Always more Sloane! But I also have other a few other series I write as well, and I’m toying with the idea of starting a witch series once my ghost mystery series is finished.

What makes a good story?

Good characters and a good plot, characters fans connect to on a personal level.

What advice would you give to new authors?

If you’re just starting out, take time to research the genre you’re writing in. I spent a year familiarizing myself with the mystery and thriller genres while I was writing my first book, and it paid off in ways I couldn’t imagine.

What are you passionate about these days?

Aside from writing, I’m passionate about traveling and seeing the world, and I often find inspiration for my writing by visiting places I haven’t been to before. Recently I spent time in Spain and Amsterdam. Both places offered a unique perspective and insight into how others live across the world.

What do you do to unwind and relax?

I usually listen to relaxing music or watch a television show or see a movie that doesn’t require me to do much thinking and allows me to tap out, even if it’s just for a small amount of time. I also spend time with those I love, and that’s usually all I need to rejuvenate.

What is something unique/quirky about you?

My personality, I suppose! I’m an INFJ, which is the rarest of the 16 Myers-Briggs personality types, and classified as The Advocate. Less than 1% of the population is this personality, and while I enjoy being unique, I’ve always felt like I’m a lot different than most from a young age. As a writer, it seems to work to my benefit though, so I’ll take it!

What are some of your pet peeves?

Things like people not canceling the microwave out when they’re finished cooking, so it sits there at :15 forever (haha), bad drivers or drivers who sit in the fast lane and never pass, and people who lack compassion and kindness for others.

What kind of world ruler would you be?

I’m a blue (The Color Code), and not just a little blue, I’m pretty much a full-blown blue personality! This makes me reliable, creative, and practical (sometimes TOO practical, haha) so I surround myself with yellow personality types who help pull out my often reserved playful side. I’m not a big risk-taker, but as a ruler I would consider all options before making what I believed to be the best decision.

Who is your hero and why?

It’s honestly hard to choose one, so I’m going to list two here. The first would be Abraham Lincoln. I quote him at the beginning of every story I write. He was an impressive man, with values I admire. The second is the Dalai Lama, who I was fortunate enough to see in person last year. What an amazing man he is. He continually discusses compassion in his speeches, and I’ve always felt that if we had more compassion for others, the world would be a more peaceful, happy place.

If you knew you’d die tomorrow, how would you spend your last day?

I’d spend it with those I love, eating my favorite food, sharing memories, and letting those closest to me know how much I care for them before I made my exit from the world.

What book do you think everyone should read?

The Art of Happiness – Dalai Lama

Tell us about a favorite character from a book.

If we’re talking one of my books, Sloane Monroe was the first character I created and the one my fans connected with first, so she will always be special to me in many ways. I still love writing her too and allowing her to grow and develop through the series.

What are you currently reading?

The Crime Book

What are your top 10 favorite books/authors?

  • Murder on the Orient Express – Agatha Christie
  • Death on the Nile – Agatha Christie
  • The Godwulf Manuscript – Robert B. Parker
  • Sense and Sensibility – Jane Austen
  • Jane Eyre – Charlotte Bronte
  • The Art of Happiness – Dalai Lama
  • Codependent No More – Melody Beattie
  • Lonesome Dove – Larry McMurtry
  • The Political Genius of Abraham Lincoln – Doris Kearns Goodwin



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Jo Ann Wentzel – Author

Jo Ann Wentzel remembers always writing from at least her late teens. There always seemed to be some type of writing going on even though she spent years working at other jobs such as retail and in the human services field. She did all kinds of selling which now she finds very helpful in promoting books. For decades she and her husband did full time foster care where their house became a group home. They then created and implemented two separate programs where they contracted with many counties to provide services.

Her writing covered numerous topics for many years and she wrote hundreds of non-fiction pieces for several online websites and print outlets. She spent a couple years writing for a local weekly newspaper and college newspapers as an older student. Many of her articles were aimed at helping parents and foster parents. Jo Ann also wrote about rescue pets and party planning, two of her greatest interests. The topics were endless since all this happened over many years.

The parenting topics were of such interest to people that it encouraged Jo Ann to write her first book, a non-fiction volume called It Begins and Ends with Family. Originally, it was put on a CD-ROM for the parents that they worked with; other than that it languished in a box for many years. When she felt a new need for this she was spurred into action. Jo Ann finally did something with this in the past few months and now it is available as an e-book and in a print format on Amazon.

Meanwhile, Jo Ann felt compelled to write about a topic both disgusting and unpleasant. She felt it necessary to produce a book about this issue and was excited to try her hand at fiction. The book features the issue of pedophilia. Decades ago a case worker told her one out of four divorces was because of incest. Not sure how accurate that was but, she always remembered that fact. It was evident that the majority of foster kids they welcomed into their home had been victims of sexual abuse. The signs were there and the ways it destroyed young lives prompted her to write Ultimate Betrayal. Yes, it is fiction and an improbable scenario but, all the signs are there for this sickening problem increasing. The evidence is in the news daily. Jo Ann has already been asked for a sequel and has begun to write it. Knowing how many people prefer to bury their heads in the sand and ignore unpleasantness, this is a challenging book to market. She will persist because that is who she is when something is this important and this problem should be of concern to everyone.

Picture2One year ago, Jo Ann and her husband, Dan, retired to a small, older motor home and travel the country with their two rescue dogs. This old Mallard, affectionately known as ‘the Duck’ needs constant repair but, the lifestyle is appealing. In the past, she says, their lives were always too busy to do much traveling but, now they finally can get to see some of the beautiful country they live in. Jo Ann reports her husband of over 51 years and the love of her life is helping her with promoting the books and freeing up all her time to write, a wonderful man for sure. He takes care of her website as well as Jo Ann and the pets. Family is everything to them so they fit in visits to their scattered family as often as possible.

Website | Amazon | Twitter | Pinterest | Blog
Profile page | Author Page | Ultimate Betrayal page



When did you first realize you wanted to be a writer?

Picture5When in grade school, I enjoyed doing essays and extra writing assignments. As a teen and young adult I continued to write for myself but, never thought seriously about being a writer. I always wrote stuff while working at additional jobs. Eventually I started to submit articles here and there, but, did not look at this seriously until maybe 20 years ago and after that began writing for many online websites. It took a need for a book to help explain the calling of foster care and give new parents some advice and help to supplement their training when the first book was born. It was many years after that till it was first published. The next book was my first novel.


How long does it take you to write a book?

The first book took a whole year and the novel was about 2/3rd’s that time. I’m fascinated by different lengths of time to complete a book due to the varied writing styles of authors. I’m sure some books are harder to write than others and take more time or research.


What is your work schedule like when you’re writing?

I have not yet developed one that works perfectly as other projects and just life cause me to be more flexible. I try to work for at least a couple hours most days, if the words are flowing easily I work more time. I prefer to work mornings since I seem to come to the blank page less worried and less frustrated about results. I prod myself, most days, to write a certain number of words, but, still word count varies.


What would you say is your interesting writing quirk?

Don’t know that I have one but, I have already awoken in the middle of the night, quickly wrote notes about my idea but, was unable to decipher them by daylight. I also remember a time when I ran dripping from a tub with an idea that was really not that great. Mostly I stare at a blank screen till genius hits which is very rare. I suspect this is a more common occurrence for most authors. I find certain places seem to be more conducive to writing. I love being outside or at least be able to see and enjoy nature, especially looking at water relaxes me and helps creative juices flow. I seem to be more productive and imaginative.


How do your books get published?

The only way I can be sure they will get out there and be exposed to readers is to self-publish until I am an expert and seasoned writer. Being an Indie writer means lots more work in addition to writing. Promoting is time intensive and you must have help to do it. One thing about self-publishing is that you are forced to learn a lot, most of it the hard way.


Where do you get your information or ideas for your books?

First and fore-most from life experiences. There are other things that just come to you as an idea and require research but, mainly it is just what is of importance to you, what life has given you as challenges, passions and values that direct your thinking in the beginning. What you hold dear will usually end up in a book.


When did you write your first book and how old were you?

I wrote my first book in 1999 at 52 years old. It Begins and Ends with Family is a non-fiction describing our experiences of foster care. We had a group home with up to 8 teen boys at a time. Boys that chose to come to our house instead of detention were our specialty. Some parenting and mentoring with girls and young children were part of other programs and experiences.


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


I like to read, love to hunt for antiques and collectibles, to cook, to enjoy pets, to fish, to travel and to experience new things.


What does your family think of your writing?

My husband Dan is my biggest fan and help. My children have always been supportive and my best fans are family and friends but, because they love and know me and are probably a bit prejudiced.


What was one of the most surprising things you learned in creating your books?

That I know a lot of stuff that is not particularly valuable but, my interests have always been widespread and the stuff that means nothing to others-well I have a wealth of knowledge in those areas. Once in a while, it comes in handy.


How many books have you written? Which is your favorite?

I’ve only written two so far but, am working on the sequel to my novel. Of the two my first try at fiction is my favorite. Ultimate Betrayal is set in ‘end times’ when everything is falling apart and crime in one factor of the population is widespread. This is also a time of technological advancements and the two collide to solve a horrific problem.


Do you have any suggestions to help me become a better writer? If so, what are they?

I’m too new at this myself to offer much advice but, my own would be don’t be easily discouraged. Write what you want to write and be genuine. Readers can spot a fake. Don’t write for fame or fortune.


Do you hear from your readers much? What kinds of things do they say?

Not too many readers yet but, my family is good at giving me feedback. They wanted a sequel. They liked it and they thought it was good. I’ll take that till more readers weigh in.


Do you like to create books for adults?

I do but, nothing too erotic, there are already plenty of works on the market for those who prefer those types of books. I also have planned a project of a kid’s book. Hope not too limit myself too much by age group or genre.


What do you think makes a good story?

Some people are born story tellers and their ideas never end. The story should flow. Dialogue should be believable. It should be full of the unexpected with well – drawn characters that seem real enough for you to love or hate them. I’m aspiring to learn to do all that one day.


As a child, what did you want to do when you grew up?

I always wanted to have a large family. We were so happy to have two wonderful children. I wanted to be a ballerina as a child and then as a teen a model. Foster care met my first need and the other dreams made place for another impossible one to become an author. I am technically one now and so the next dream is to be a well-read author  – different than a top selling author.




Picture8Ann Wentzel’s first novel about a topic she feels passionate about and a concern she has for the direction society has taken to a more and more immoral place. Morality is fast disappearing. Caring about others has almost become obsolete. Selfishness prevails. These characteristics are also said to be present in the biblical period called ‘end times’ so the problems fit the ‘what if’ theme of the book. The book explores the fight we are all engaged in of good against evil. Everyone has a personal battle going on inside themselves and depending on your faith, personal philosophy or even your perceptions your choices are made and one side of evil versus good will win. Jo Ann says,”Since society had broadened its concept of what is acceptable more people feel freed from restrictions and boundaries. Behavior that should be unacceptable is now running rampant because no one cares or says ‘NO’. As a Christian this concerns me, knowing the bible teaches we are all sinners, I know people are not perfect. But, when one groups behavior destroys lives and results in broken people my heart hurts.” The characters in this book may be fighting the battle and a unique solution could temporarily stem the tide of this explosion but, what can we do about this problem in real life? The sequel will offer yet another tact to dealing with this issue. But, readers will need to wait on that for a while yet.

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Picture3Parenting has never been foolproof. It has never been easy and without challenges. For most kids that you might call average, ’normal (though I do not believe that child exists) well -known, tried and true measures are sufficient. The average parent has instincts good enough to help kids through tough times and parenting skills that allow them all to survive the ordeal of children growing up.

For those kids who have additional behaviors that are a bit out of the norm, unusual and troubling some of the old time methods do not always work. I believe in tougher discipline for these kids than most modern parents want to engage in. Not abuse mind you, but, spanking in certain cases might need to be one of the tools in your arsenal. This can be a last resort but, if you wait too long it will be of no use at all. When the thinking changed from making your child obey and be responsible for their actions to coddling and letting them run a muck, all hell broke loose. This is responsible for the breakdown of many families.

For foster parents, they rarely have a placement without problems and issues. Partly for the reason stated above that no one makes a child responsible for their actions and also because the current parent is part of the first ‘if it feels good do it’ generation of kids. They want to be kid’s buddies not their parents. Foster kids are difficult because of all these factors and the non -parenting action has gone on too long.

These children need more innovative and practical parenting. Unusual situations call for unique parenting methods. This book supplies new ideas and challenges all parents to think out of the box. When we truly listen and watch our children, we learn to head off unacceptable behaviors. We must connect with foster kids on many levels so they want to please us and are willing to work with you. When they decide they wish to succeed, you have a great chance of helping them to function in a way society accepts and move them closer to their personal goals.

Jo Ann and her husband, Dan, fostered full time for decades and worked with more than 75 kids. Often their house saw eight teen boys at one time.

This author’s future will also see the publishing of a Life Skills manual since they taught that program for many years.

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