Tag Archive | Interviews

Slater’s Leverage by Claudia Shelton

SR_BlitzBadgeAn agent is assigned to protect the only woman he ever loved and deserted, while he continues to hide the secret involvement of his family in her parent’s death in Slater’s Leverage by Claudia Shelton

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Title: Slater’s Leverage
Author: Claudia Shelton
Series: The OPAQUE Task Force
Genre: Romantic Suspense
Pub. Date: November 10, 2015
Format: Digital eBook
ISBN: 978-0-9968226-0-2


Protector Agent Josh Slater has spent years working for the secret government-sponsored agency known as OPAQUE. All the while hoping to find the man who paid his father to bring down a plane killing the then head of OPAQUE. Now, Josh’s new assignment brings him back face-to-face with the one woman he ever deserted. His life would have been easier letting Mackenzie continue to hate him for leaving, but she’s been targeted as leverage and he’ll do anything to insure her survival. Even face her anguish over his family’s shame.

Mackenzie Baudin has been over Josh Slater for years, so the idea of her uncle sending him to be her protector meant only a slight hiccup in her steel resolve emotions. But her uncle’s promise that within the next twenty-four hours she would know the complete truth about her life hit her like the plane crash ten years ago. The day her mother and father were killed.

Find out more at: Goodreads | Amazon


“What’s going on?” Josh asked his boss.
“OPAQUE intercepted Coercion Ten’s Target List again last night. My name’s still there. So’s yours.”
“Sounds about right.” Most every OPAQUE agent had their name on the enemy’s list. If not, then Josh figured you needed to work a little harder at pissing them off.
“They’ve added a new column. Titled it—Leverage. There’s nothing in that column next to yours. Next to mine is one name.”  Drake speed dialed his phone again. “Mackenzie Baudin.”
Josh’s chest tightened as if a belt had been notched three sizes too small. Not only was Macki an ex-cop, wealthy hotel owner, and the boss’s niece, she was also the only woman Josh had never shook from his system. The idea she was a target in the underbelly game of life and death slapped him upside the head like a brick.
The two men shared a glance, then looked away. He’d controlled his breathing. Controlled his expression. But he’d felt the flare of his nostrils. Coercion Ten had gone too far this time. There’d already been too many deaths in Macki’s family.
“Do you think it’s real?” Josh asked.
“All the signs point that direction. I’ve been trying to reach Mackenzie all day.” The corner of Drake’s right eye twitched. “All I get is her damn voice mail.”
“She’s probably just busy. You know, running a high class hotel isn’t all glamour and glitz.” Hearing the words come out of his own mouth didn’t make Josh feel any better.
Drake shot him an evil-eye look. “Don’t give me that bull. You and I both know this is damn serious.”
Josh had to agree. When someone was targeted by Coercion Ten, every hour, every minute, every second counted. He nodded.
“They’ll try to break me and OPAQUE by targeting her.” Drake paused. “We can’t let that happen.”
“You can count on me. What’s my assignment?”
His boss’s expression blanked, the look he always got when he was torn on which way to turn. Torn between going with his gut or over thinking the situation. Josh knew the look. Not only from Drake, but from himself as well.
Squaring his shoulders, Drake rose to his feet. “Bottom line, I need you to go to Riverfalls, Illinois and protect Mackenzie.”
“Get this straight, old man. There’s no way in hell I’m going back to my hometown.” For years Josh had accepted every assignment. Every duty. Every dirty job out there. All for OPAQUE. All to pay back the debt he felt he owed. But the old man had stepped over the line this time. “You don’t know what you’re asking me to do, sir.”

About Claudia Shelton

Award-winning author Claudia Shelton could write her name before the first day of school, but now she writes romantic suspense and contemporary romance, all with sexy alpha heroes and women strong enough to love them. She also presents workshops on everything from character development to networking to the ins-and-outs of being a new author.

Claudia’s debut novel, Risk of a Lifetime, released to 5-star reviews, reached Amazon’s Best Sellers Romance Series Top 100 and was named one of eBooks Galore top reads for 2014. She is also a two-time Daphne Du Maurier (Unpublished) finalist for excellence in mystery. Her new book, Slater’s Leverage, will be available November 2015.

Shelton is a member of Romance Writers of America (RWA), MORWA (Missouri RWA), Sisters in Crime, St. Louis Writers Guild, Missouri Writers’ Guild, and Saturday Writers.

For more information about Claudia and her books, visit http://www.claudiawriting.com

Connect with Claudia at: Website | Twitter | Facebook | Goodreads | Amazon | Pinterest | Google+

Interview with Claudia Shelton

Claudia Shelton- SLHi Claudia, thank you for agreeing to this interview. Before we get started on the questions, can you tell us a bit about yourself.

On a personal note, I enjoy anything to do with boating, swimming, fishing, etc. And walking through the leaves in the fall, whether it be in the woods or just through the neighborhood, is a pure joy. Some of my favorite places to travel are: New York for the museums, Broadway shows and excitement; Washington, DC for the history and excitement; and any place with water for the sun, relaxation and excitement. Do you notice my tendency for excitement?

Slater’s Leverage is Romantic Suspense isn’t it, What draws you to this genre -do you write other genres?

I write alpha heroes and the women strong enough to love them, but since I can get easily bored I need to have a touch of suspense and adventure mixed into their stories. In fact, my books could be considered crossovers for suspense at times. I do have the beginning of a family saga, plus a couple of completed Contemporary Romance, also. Right now though, readers seem to like my romantic suspense voice.

You’ve self-published Slater’s Leverage, how has *writing and self-publishing* changed the way you read?

Whether working with my publisher or doing a self-pub, my TBR pile has always been varied in genres and publishing avenues. I like what I like in reading, but am open to a new voice, a new author, and sometimes even a new sub-genre.

Can you tell us about Slater’s Leverage, and what inspired you to write it?

Short version—Ultimately, what if your past had been a lie?

Long version—Slater’s Leverage is a fast paced, second chance, romantic suspense that ranges from the gritty, anything’s for sale, D Street atmosphere, to the luxurious penthouse in Hotel MacKenzie that the heroine owns. The story allows the reader to see that sometimes being willing to give up your own happiness for what’s best for another, can be the true meaning of love. Of course, coming back to protect the one you love with your life, is the ultimate for a happily ever after ending.

Do you work to an outline or plot or do you prefer to just see where an idea takes you?

I start with an idea or a hero, and work from there. Yes, I have a brief floating outline to begin with, then about half way through, I plot out the remainder of the book. There are times I write the ending when I’m only a few chapters into the manuscript.

Can you tell us anything about any of your current work(s)-in-progress?

I have two books in the works. One is the second in the Risk series and will be Betsy’s story. And the other work in progress (in my plotting mind) is for the second in the OPAQUE Task Force series. You meet that book’s hero in Slater’s Leverage, but I’m not telling you which man he was. 

There’s also a future series in contract talks with a fantastic publisher, but I can’t expand on that at the moment.

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

My main priority is family, friends and making time to enjoy life—travel, vacations, music, art, being outdoors and on and on and on. That is followed by my desire to keep writing. There are so many heroes nudging me to write their stories, and so many heroines looking for the right hero to love—my goal is to put them together in my books. Along the way, I’d love to become a NYT, and USA Today, Best Selling Author. Plus, I’m always happy to meet new readers and authors along the way.

Is there anything else you would like to add?

First, thanks so much for having me on your blog, Rainne.

Here’s a little about my writing and books, I began seriously writing (and learning the craft) about eight years ago. My debut novel, Risk of a Lifetime, released April 2014 to five star reviews, and I’m working on a second book in that Risk series which should be out in 2016. I’m very excited about my new romantic suspense and first book in the OPAQUE Task Force series—Slater’s Leverage—which releases November 10. I hope my readers are swept away by Josh and Mackenzie’s story, and are excited by the fast paced suspense. And, btw, I love my cover! How about you?

I love the cover, Claudia.
One last question before we go. Which famous person, living or dead would you like to meet and why?

Audrey Hepburn – With everything to talk about from her great acting to her charity involvement to those fabulous sunglasses, I think it would make for a wonderful get-together over lunch.

Thank you for joining me, Claudia. Good luck with the release of Slater’s Leverage and your future releases.


TROLL by Ashley Harris


TROLL by Ashley Harris

Seductive teens & trolls meet #Gameofthrones!

Get ready for a rollicking action and adventure story set in a magical world where
a creature emerges from thousands of miles underground, seeking revenge, treasure,
and a key that once belonged to an old enemy. Fans of the Lion, the Witch,
and the Wardrobe by C.S. Lewis and The Vampire Diaries  by J. L. Smith will be
enchanted by this new YA novel selected by Kindle Scout readers for publication!

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CJY-j-dUcAE90F3About Troll:

Title: Troll

Author: Ashley C. Harris

Author Location: FL, United States

Genre: Young Adult, Paranormal Fantasy

Release Date: October 6, 2015

Words: 319 pages

Publisher: Kindle Press

Format: Digital eBook




At the age of sixteen, Abby is undergoing major household changes. Her mom is getting ready to remarry and her new step-brother is driving her insane. She is just trying to keep herself busy with school and her part-time job when a most deliciously handsome stranger moves to her little seaside town and won’t leave her alone.

New arrival Wilhelm is unlike any other student at Abby’s school. His emerald eyes and tattooed body don’t truly reveal what he really is: a creature emerged from thousands of miles underground, seeking revenge, treasure, and a key that once belonged to an old enemy – a key Abby wears suspended from a chain around her neck. Why she has it is a mystery that Wilhelm will need to solve, and fast, in order to defeat a powerful mortal adversary.

As an attraction between Abby and Wilhelm develops, more creatures like Wilhelm are drawn from beneath the ground to Abby’s town; wreaking havoc as they offer Abby’s classmates the fulfillment of their deepest desires. Will Abby and her new family survive as a game of magical warfare is unleashed? Her ability to reverse Wilhelm’s bargain depends on it.

Available at Amazon.


Interview with Ashley C. Harris

Ashley C. Harris Summer 2015 New Author PicHi Ashley, thank you for agreeing to this interview. Tell us a little about yourself and your background?

Hi Rainne, I’m an author and film director from south Florida who loves everything sci-fi and fantasy related.


Troll is YA/paranormal fantasy .. What draws you to this genre – do you write other genres?

Since I was a child I’ve loved reading and writing sci-fi and fantasy novels; stories where anything can happen. In addition to writing YA sci-fi and fantasy, I also write Romance, NA, and contemporary work as well.


Tell us about your writing routine; what’s a typical writing day for you?

I used to be a night time, midnight writer. But now that I work behind the scenes in the news and media field, my writing routine varies daily. Most of the time when I get home from work I write for two hours, take a break to exorcize and get errands done, then write for another two to three hours later that day.


Did you learn anything from writing your book and what was it?

I think I actually learned more during the journey to getting this novel published, compared to when I first wrote the novel. TROLL was actually written a few years ago, along with book two in the series, and has been a project in the making for a long time. What I learned most about this project is to just never give up on your dreams and plans no matter how many doors are placed in front of you.


Who is your favorite character from your book and why?

It’s a big tie for me between Abby, the main female heroine in TROLL, and her cousin Ashlynn, who readers will learn more about as the series goes on. Ashlynn is a very strong and cunning female character that Abby will have to react off and deal with as this story unfolds.


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

Some of my readers Facebook message me or write on my Goodreads page, and that is so nice of them. When they tell me what they like about my novels it always puts an extra good jolt in my day. I’m so thankful to anyone who takes the time to do that or leave a review.


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

I’ve always wanted to write/ be an author since I started writing long novels in the third grade. In addition to that, as a little girl I think I figured I’d become a nurse like my mom, I never thought I’d be a women in the media working behind the scenes at a news station and an Amazon best selling author. So, I’m over the moon with the way things have turned out. 🙂


Excerpt from Troll:

Seconds went by and he found nothing, except a distraction. It wasn’t the human’s heartbeat drumming steadily on the second floor that he found unnerving, most likely it was the fact that she was reading a rhyme aloud – that wasn’t a human thing as much as it was a trolls’: “A kiss was made,” he heard her voice whisper, trying to ignore it. “A rose was dropped.” He looked up when she said the word rose. “A heart was snapped in half. The love of your life has left you in a world that’s dark and black.”

He moved toward the sound. Perhaps she was really one of his kind in disguise, here to spy on him.

“Thunder sounds, the sky turns gray, there is nothing recognizable at all. The love of your life has left you in a world that’s sad and small.” The words made him think about Helena, his Helena, kissing Klaus, while he had her fully under his control. It was sickened him and pissed him off.

He crept down the bookcase where a girl was reading from a book out loud, unaware of his presence. She was definitely not a troll, he concluded when he got a good look at her, growing bored.    “But then the sun comes out. A rainbow appears. An angel has come to tell you, your hope is stronger than fear.”

“Are you sure that’s what an angel would say?” he asked.

Her blue, puppy-like eyes shot up, her body nearly jumping out of its skin from being startled.           “Where did you come from?” she squeaked as she looked around, her heartbeat doubling.

“About five shelves over,” he answered as he looked her up and down. She was a tiny, petite thing compared to himself, with light brown hair and blushed fair skin that made her blue eyes pop. She also had four freckles on one cheek and three on the other. This human was both plain looking but also strangely captivating compared to others in the building.

“Oh, I see, and were you standing there the entire time?” she asked, her free hand going to her hip, as she tried to stand up straighter, trying to seem tall and authoritative. He could see she was irritated at being disturbed, and that was the most entertaining thing of all.

“Yes, is that a problem?” he asked with a smile.


“I’m sorry … I thought you worked here. I was just looking for some help,” he lied. Did she think he wouldn’t notice the fact that she was standing next to a filing cart and wearing a library badge that read: Abigail? That, and the feelings of servitude and obligation that he could smell all over her.

“Oh, I – I do,” she said, as if this had just occurred to her. She was unable to wipe the annoyance and unease off her face, as she looked down his arm, judging him because of his numerous tattoos.        Humans…so sadly sheltered. “How can I help you?”

He didn’t answer. This irritated her more.

“The college used book section is downstairs, and so is the art and tattoo section,” she suggested, trying to guess his reason for pestering her.

“Do I really look old enough to be in college to you?” he asked, half insulted because college years for humans were death years for his kind.

“Yes,” she said honestly as she took in his tall, six-foot-five frame. “You look at least twenty.”

“Nope, time to get your eye’s checked maybe?” he asked, stepping closer, letting her guess his age; this seemed like a game she didn’t want to play.

“Well you’re definitely a least eighteen,” she replied as she turned part of her body away from him, her eyes back to her books; as if being eighteen put him in a different category than her. “You’d have to be to get a tattoo, now is—”

“Or maybe I had really cool parents,” he cut her off. “And I’m seventeen. That was an enchanting poem you read by the way. Who was it by?”

He took another step closer as she took a step back, nearly colliding into a bookshelf. “Amber Paris.” She handed him the book she’d read from and appeared much more comfortable when he was looking at it and not her. He examined it with only partial interest. “She got it published when she was fifteen.” she seemed to know all about the subject.

“Well, that explains why it’s so good, then. People always come up with their best work when they’re young. I bet at twelve her poems were even better.”

Each word he spoke was like a hook, spinning magic to pull her in to him even as she wanted to get away. “Where are you from, exactly?” she asked as she noticed what he was wearing; heavy jeans instead of the more typically Floridian surfer shorts, and a thick dark green shirt that went down to his elbows, only showing off half of his tattoos. Probably weird attire for the hottest months of Florida, but as a troll he craved warmth and hated the cold. “Are you from up north?”

“No, not at all,” he said, offering no other explanation. “So, why read a poem aloud? What about you does it relates to?” he asked with a grin, it was a pretty personal question and yet she’d have to tell him. Soon his powers if he kept talking to her would be able to push Abby to do all sorts of things… for a short time anyway, until a price was paid.

He read over the beginning lines of the poem again. “A kiss was made, a rose was dropped.” The words tripped him up, making him think about Rosabel’s last feelings before she died. Feelings that held a deep meaning for him, letting him know that even though she had never been able to claim him as an inheritor, she still had cared about him more than any other treasure.

His eyes could have almost teared up just thinking about his murdered mother. Trolls could be insanely emotional – good thing for him he was better at shielding how he felt than most. He turned his face away, getting a hold of himself, as the little human rambled, her voice a comforting distraction.

“I don’t think it relates to me. I just write poetry so my teacher asked me to look over another writer’s work.”

“Because maybe you want to be like this writer, famous and well liked?” he stated to test if her interest in the author was shallow, sensing what she didn’t even know was one of her most hidden desires. Humans could be so naive about their own ambitions, but these were easily recognized by trolls. This one clearly had no idea what her body and mind were capable of yearning for.

“No,” she lied, as if insulted. “That’s crazy. I’ve never wanted that; it’s just an assignment.”

“Are you sure?” he asked, as her hidden wants started calling to him – they tasted satisfying too.        Her craving for freedom, he could use that to trap her, and then trap all the humans here. He’d have some real fun after a day of anger and sorrow as he played with these fools until they broke.

 Leave her alone! a small boy’s voice suddenly screamed into his ear. He turned around, startled, only to find no one behind him.

“Are you okay?” he heard Abby ask him. His face must have looked haunted. That’s when he sensed where the book that he had been searching for was.

“Yes.” Finding the book and his key were far more important than this girl or having a little fun. He looked back in Abby’s direction, now needing to get rid of her. She looked nervous and still confused by his presence, still not knowing why she was continuing to talk to him. He decided in that moment to show her the kind of mercy and kindness his mother Rosabel should have received. Besides, he really didn’t feel like killing anyone innocent so the knights couldn’t find them later.

Before she could move, he reached out and gripped her shoulder, sending heat through her body, making her look deep into his eyes. “If you ever see me or anything like me again, anyone that has markings like this…,” he lifted his sleeve so she could take in his entire arm. His tattoos on it came to life and moved hypnotically, numbing her senses and making her go into a trance. “… you probably shouldn’t trust us. You should be smart and stay away from anyone like myself that you ever come in contact with.”

And with those words, he had given her a precious gift he hadn’t given any other human in a very long time. If any more trolls came along she’d stay out of their way now, wanting nothing to do with them. He watched her walk off in a beautiful daze. She’d certainly stay away from him if he changed his mind in the next few moments and decided to pursue her after all. Trolls often did change their minds about most things. He imagined her lips would have tasted pretty good, for a human anyway.      Her body would have most likely felt nice …

Please leave her alone! he heard the boy scream again, the voice coming from his head. He was hearing a past memory, one that was too dangerous for him to think about. He ran his fingers along the book spines one more time. They led him right to the familiar texture he had been looking for. To the very storybook a young knight had checked out and carried in his backpack years before Wilhelm had found

About Ashley C. Harris

Author and film director Ashley C. Harris resides in Florida. Ashley was first recognized for her edgy writing and unique film work when she wrote and directed the teenage film “Lines”. Lines was the first feature film in the world captured using only Mac Laptops.

In 2013 she teamed up with Barclay Publicity to release the first in a new young adult novel series, “Shock Me”. Ashley then went on to author eight other titles, in multiple genres, as she also worked behind-the-scenes on a morning news show that aired on ABC. In 2014, four of Ashley’s books landed on the Amazon’s Best Selling Top-Ten-List. In 2015, she received her first publishing deal for “Troll”, a KindleScout novel winner.

When Ashley is not dreaming up new manuscripts and working on film sets, she loves spending time with her family, obsessing about biblical mysteries, and watching lots of Doctor Who. Keep an eye out for her newest releases!

Connect with Ashley at: Website | Facebook | Twitter | GoodReads | Tumblr | Instagram



An Interview With Jen Winters.


Today I am lucky enough to have the talented author, Jen Winters, with me. She is a hard working stay-at-home mom, homeschooling two great kids. She spends her days with the kids and her nights with her book boyfriends. She is grateful to her hubby for all his support and love, and can’t imagine this life without him.12025294_1501438913499754_124657260_n

As well as being a parent and a wife, she reads, writes, promotes other authors and is co-admin for Author Promo Co-Op – a group of dedicated authors whose mission is to discuss ways to further the indie industry.

Hi Jen, thank you for taking some time out of your busy schedule for this interview.
You write Paranormal Romance. What drives a Paranormal Romance for you?

I love PNR and have for nearly a decade now. What makes it special is the escape into a different, but possible and believable reality. I love the tension of the secret versus the known. The secrets can be so intense, like a brooding vampire broods because he used to be a mass murderer, or the sexy man with the abs made of steel is jealous because the wolf inside him knows she is his mate. It’s the mix of the supernatural with the normal that makes it fun for me. My immortal Guardian watches the sci-fi channel, lol. Normal + supernatural.

When did you start writing for publication?

About 6 years ago, a little more than. I wanted to see if I could write something that readers would want to read. So far so good. If only I could get it into more hands, haha.

What made you decide to put your work out there to be read by others?

I’ve never in my adult life been the embarrassed type. Putting my work out there wasn’t so much an issue for me as putting it out there where my family could read it. The first time my mother read my book, I was nervous as hell, but I don’t really get that way about the readers in the internet ether.

What do you think you bring to your books that makes you unique?

I have a degree in biblical text and I have created a world that revolves around a monotheistic supernatural world. Certainly, Artemis shows up, but she isn’t a god so much as the daughter of a fallen angel. I interpret old manuscripts liberally, including ancient accounts of demons and battles, gods and heroes. Someone with a firm grasp of ancient near eastern literature would pick up on it; others don’t have to because I spell out everything they need to know there. I did a lot of research on my characters, having taken many of them from history.

How has self-publishing changed the way you read?

I committed this year to only reading indies and I must say that I am impressed with the quality of writers out there. The ones that take the industry seriously and are out there to give indies a great rep are fantastic writers and authors. I have read books that would give Kim Harrison and William Faulkner both a run for their money.

That’s also the tragedy of self-publishing. There are so many good ones out there and the market is just saturated. Getting your book in front of readers is a challenge I don’t think any indie has fully mastered, even the ones on the top 100 list. To get paid, we have to sell, but to sell we have to put out the money that traditional publishing companies already have. It’s a monetary challenge and a bit tragic, because there is such good quality out there.

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

My first editor, Jessica Augustsson helped me weave a better story and gave me great feedback on what makes a PNR good. My mother has alpha read for me and helped me get those little technical buggers I didn’t see the 5th time through the manuscript. Veronica Del Rosa has helped me see what I am missing in my male MCs. And then, just writing—a lot. Every day.

What is that one moment you have had as a writer that made you realize you were actually a real author?

Probably my first unsolicited review. It was a good one and it mean the world to me that someone I didn’t know read my book and liked it enough to review it.

How have your aspirations as a writer changed over time?

I thought I would write pnr forever, but I am seriously considering YA right now. I would really, honestly, like to see one of my books made into a movie (or TV show) and then complain about how they’re ruining it 😀

Tell us about your favorite memory related to reading or writing?

So, when I was in high school, my BFF and I wrote together—like all the time. We were on a school field trip and in the bus, just writing away. All of our friends and classmates and teachers expected this from us. We were good students, but in our downtime, we passed a notebook. So, there we are, stuck on a small part because we need a useful weapon that will main but nor kill, and suddenly we both look up at the same time and say “nailgun” at the same time. We hadn’t spoken a word to each other before that, we were just writing the story, but we came up with the same idea at the same time. Our teacher and fellow classmates all looked at us like we were both amazing and nuts because they had zero context for both of us shouting “nailgun” at the same time. It was hilarious for us and we never did explain it to them.

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

I would like to build a following of fans who keep up with my goings on and are excited about my new releases. Time and determination are my friends there.

What do you like to see from your fans, followers, readers, and supporters on your social media sites?

I love it when someone reads my books and then contacts me about it. That’s how I met some of my closest friends. They read my book and just sent me a PM about how much they loved it. It embarrasses the life out of me, but I appreciate it none the less. I like to see what my readers are all about and get to know them. I appreciate the reviews like you can’t even imagine unless you are a writer. I love to see my stuff being shared with friends.

If you read my stuff and like it, feel free to message me. I will talk to you. I’m not an out-of-reach author. I love my fans and some of them have become my best friends.

Tell us a bit about your current work(s)-in-progress.

I am working on the final installment of the first Guardian novels trilogy, Raising Hell. This one is about Yuruch’s redemption and will surprise you how much you feel sorry for his wicked ass.

I am working on a novella for an anthology due out in April. This is an introduction to my Dragonswan series the next PNR trilogy I will be working on before I go back to the Guardians. The anthology will be a charitable work with proceeds going to an autism awareness foundation.

I am also working on a YAF that I am keeping a bit secret because I don’t want to put it out there until it’s ready. I have some alpha readers who are reading along with me as I write it, but other than that, I am not releasing the title and description until the whole series (4books) is complete. It’s a long-term project.

Tell us a little about your previous works and how we can get our hands on them.

Kissing Demons is the first book of the Guardian novels.

I’ve been a Guardian for 800 years, and sometimes, even us immortals need a vacation. So when my big sister calls and tells me I’m off for two weeks, I take the opportunity to visit my favorite place: The Hunter’s Moon, a bar for supernaturals only. There’s a few things I want to accomplish while I’m not working: get a grimoire, find a little temporary fun, and make a friend. I did not want to find my soul mate, nearly die, watch a sister give up this life, and see my city in the throes of mass destruction.

What am I supposed to do now? My vacations over, my soul mate’s been kidnapped by a demon I’m not powerful enough to defeat, and Fort Worth, one of the cities I love, is in pieces. If I help the city, I will lose my soul mate; if I help my Alex, I will lose the city. What kind of Guardian would I be if I didn’t do everything in my power to defeat Yuruch? Am I even sure I want to be a Guardian anymore?

Kissing the Rain is a free novelette that introduces Alex and Geneva. http://www.amazon.com/dp/B00TUXIDAM

I was happy, living the good life in France. I taught Math and Computer Science, I mentored a group of great kids, and I had my dates—the lovers I visited regularly. Then My father decides it’s time to call me home. If I could, I would ignore him, but I’m a halfling and a demon bound to my father’s voice. When he calls his children, we all have to answer.

I want to be better than I am and I don’t want to help whatever foul plan he’s come up with. I can keep him off my back for a little while with the psychic static of the supernatural club, The Hunter’s Moon, but eventually the club with close and I would rather die than go to him.

My only hope is a petite, fiery Guardian, Geneva Archer. I’ve heard of her before—she’s famous among supernaturals for her dedication to her work—but can she really help me? I’m a halfling and she’s a Guardian, two of the world’s most infamous enemies.

When Yuruch calls for his children to join him in Ft. Worth, it takes every ounce will will-power Alex has to stay away. He may have to go to Texas, but he would rather die than become his father’s puppet. This novelette follows Alex in the days leading up to meeting Geneva. If you haven’t already read Kissing Demons, this is your chance to meet the MCs from Alex’s POV.

Falling Angels is the second novel of the Guardian series, and is on sale right now for 99 cents on Amazon. http://www.amazon.com/dp/B00ZPVX1SC/

What’s worse than losing your job? How about losing your life, your home, and everything familiar? I just wanted to work. What did I get in return? A long fucking fall with a sudden stop.
Stranded on earth with little hope for survival and an eternity of banishment ahead of me, I did the only thing I knew—I worked the jobs I could. Until I realized I’d been replaced. Then I got mad. Eleven thousand years of fighting for my destiny had me broken, bitter, and ready to just give up. And then my best friend blew up Fort Worth and screwed the entire universe in the process. Now I have to save his ass from everyone including the Guardians.
I hate Guardians—those intrusive vixens replaced me, took over my job, and left me utterly useless. But this one, Lavinia, she’s almost as old as I am and she is starting to get under my skin. I can’t concentrate when she’s around—everything about her mystifies me and why the hell do I remember her from before? She shouldn’t even exist! And certainly not in my memory.

Where can we find you to tell you how amazing we think you are?

Friend request me on facebook and send me a message: https://www.facebook.com/WintersJen
Or follow me on facebook: https://facebook.com/jenwintersne
Join my street team (benefits for members): https://www.facebook.com/groups/859499660796902/
Email me at jenwintersne@yahoo.com
Find me on GoodReads: https://www.goodreads.com/Jen_Winters
Follow me on Twitter: @jenwintersne
Follow my blog: https://jenwintersne.wordpress.com
Or join the groups I moderate or admin:
APC: https://www.facebook.com/groups/1605983442956270/
Trail Mix Readers: https://www.goodreads.com/group/show/153603-trail-mix-readers

and finally… If you ever got stranded on a deserted island which three books would you bring?

Oh my!
1. The bible…it’s part of my daily life and I can’t live without it.
2. The Abhorsen Trilogy by Garth Nix—best epic fantasy I’ve ever read.
3. Shakespeare Anthology—because it contains anything I need: tragedy, comedy, drama, poetry, love…

Thank you for joining me, Jen. I’m looking forward to reading Raising Hell and I wish you every success in your career. 😀


Spotlight on The Guardian Novels
Books I Read in August
Books I Read in July

An Interview with Markie Madden

Hi Markie, thank you for joining me and agreeing to take part in my first interview.Markie
Firstly can you tell us a little about yourself?

Hi there, I’m glad to be here. I was born in Midland, Texas, though I moved to the small town of Flushing, Michigan, when I was 10. I grew up and went to high school there. Then I married my husband 21 years ago, and we now have 2 daughters. We live in small farm town Fisk (population 326) in southeast Missouri with our three rescue dogs and my horse, Athena, who’s pictured on the front of my Amazon best-selling book Keeping a Backyard Horse.

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

My first novel, Once Upon a Western Way was actually written while I was still in high school, though it’s been reworked and edited many times since. But my classmates had a great time reading what I’d come up with the previous night (shh, the teachers aren’t supposed to know we passed these around in class!) and everyone mentioned how I should try to publish it. I solicited publishers on my own (back when some did still accept unsolicited manuscripts), and I even hired an agent for a year when publishers would no longer accept books other than from a literary agent. It wasn’t until 2012 that I became aware of the self-publishing trend, and after that, it’s all history!

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

I have to give kudos to several people here, first to my beta readers (and authors) Claire Plaisted, Sharon K. Miller, and Gary Seaton. All three have offered wonderful advice and helped my writing to become as good as I can get. Also, to writer’s group Scribophile (www.scribophile.com) where you earn karma points by reading and critiquing the work of others until you get enough karma to post work of your own for critique. It’s a wonderful place that all writer’s should check in to. Membership is free, although if you pay for membership you get a few more perks.

How has writing and self-publishing changed the way you read?

It’s funny you should ask that. I don’t read as much as I used to (never seem to find the time, curse that social media that sucks in so much of my daily minutes…!) but when I do read, it seems that I look at the book formatting a lot more than I used to. Or, at least I notice it now. You know, that occasional ‘someone stuck an extra line space in here’ or whatever. I’ve been called Grammar Nazi numerous times and I guess that goes for formatting as well. I’m of the opinion that as indie authors, we can compete with big name authors only by putting out the most professional looking product

What is that one moment you have had as a writer that made you realize you were actually a real author?

I published Once Upon a Western Way on Smashwords in April of 2012. But it seemed as if I was only partly an author, since it wasn’t available in print. I think that moment came when I got my first print book in my hands. That was Keeping a Backyard Horse, just about one year ago now. I’ll never forget that moment of opening the box and seeing the books inside with my name on them.

Tell us about your favorite memory related to reading or writing?

It’s not necessarily related to writing specifically, but it was in English class. ;p In 8th grade we were having trouble remembering prepositional phrases. So Mrs. Sharp, the teacher, began to throw chalkboard erasers around the room. Not purposely at people but I think she came close to boinking one or two. Wherever those erasers landed, she would say it’s under her, or over his head, and so on. As long as I live, I’ll never forget a prepositional phrase!

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

I have the first book of my new series out, and I think at the moment I have 6 more books outlined, and ideas for several more, so I think I have enough to keep me busy for a while. I’m disabled from cancer now, so I get to spend my time doing something that I love to do. Couldn’t ask more than that.

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

For me, the hardest parts are definitely editing and marketing. I hate to edit so much that I even invented a new word for it: fediting (we used to make up curse words like this when our kids were small, so you get the idea behind that one!), and it seems like I always end up rewriting when I edit, though I’ve hopefully developed a routine with it now after 5 books published. And marketing is just tough for anyone, I think. I’m not much of a social butterfly anyway, and I’m certainly no salesperson! I hate it when I go to the auto parts store for X and they try to tell me that I need to buy Y to go along with it. You know, if I wanted Y I would have picked it up already (and yes, I worked in auto parts for almost 2 years and am guilty of doing this myself, but only when they made me!). But the other side of that coin is if you don’t market, you won’t see any sales.

What is the name of your latest book and what inspired it?


Fang and Claw is available for Pre-Order at 50% off. Visit Metamorph Publishing for a full list of retailers and formats.

My newest book is called Fang and Claw, and it’s out in paperback now. The e-book is releasing October 4, 2015. The idea for this series came to me in that twilight moment between sleep and wakefulness, and I think it was after a marathon of Supernatural season DVDs! When the inspiration struck, I had the ideas for the first 3 books. Fang and Claw is a crime/paranormal story and the first book in The Undead Unit series. It’s a bit of a future world where Immortal beings (Vampires, Werewolves, Zombies, and more) are known and accepted (at least as much as any minority) by society. They live and work among humans, after taking an Oath not to harm any humans and to abide by all their laws. The Dallas police department has set up and elite new squad dedicated to solving crimes among these Immortals. Lieutenant Lacey Anderson is a Vampire whose entire family was massacred by a pack of Werewolves. Detective Colton Scarber, assigned as Lacey’s partner and second in command, is a descendant of that pack, but Lacey isn’t aware of this from the start. When she finds out the Colton was keeping this to himself, it threatens the fragile beginning of their partnership. And in the meantime, a mysterious suspect and strange physical evidence leads them to solve a case spanning decades, and leaves Lacey with no other choice than to rely on her enemy when her very life is in danger!

And for those of us who are thinking of reading your book, could you tell us what to expect?

One of my beta readers told me after reading Fang in full, “You’re going to be the next JD Robb.” Now, I don’t really care about fame or fortune, but if in being like JD Robb I can leave my readers with the same sense of satisfaction at the end of reading my books as I get at the end of reading hers, then I have to say “Mission accomplished.” That’s all I truly want, for my readers to enjoy the story. After all, I don’t write for myself, though I love to do it. I write for my readers!

Can you tell us anything about any of your current work(s)-in-progress?

Right now I’m about 15,000 words into Souls of the Reaper, which is book two in The Undead Unit series. It involves a rogue Reaper who is stealing the souls of people who are not yet due to pass on. His victims then run around town with no soul or inhibition (you can imagine the havoc this would cause!), and the Reaper himself finds it difficult to hold onto that much extra energy. So he grows more and more psychotic with each steal. It’s up to Lacey and Colton to find him, and stop him, before he graduates to something even worse than stealing souls: stealing lives!

What about your previous books, tell us a bit about them and how we can get our hands on them.

My three other books are Once Upon a Western Way, a dystopian romantic fantasy set in a time of handsome princes, beautiful princesses, an evil foe, and an epic quest. In the end, you’ll never guess who the bad guy really is! No spoilers though!
Kindle EditionPaperback or for other retailers or formats, visit Metamorph Publishing.

Keeping a Backyard Horse is a simple and fun horse care guide aimed for the average horse owner who knows nothing of how to care for these animals (maybe the parent whose daughter says daddy, I want a horse!). The guide is laid out with simple terms, with a glossary included defining horse terms that cannot be avoided. Best of all, it’s narrated by my horse, Athena, who is also featured on the cover!
Kindle EditionPaperback or for other retailers or formats, visit Metamorph Publishing.

And last of all, My Butterfly Cancer is my memoir. It’s an uncensored look at a year in the life of a cancer patient. This book is purposely short (after all, it was just a year) and purposely unedited to an extent; I wanted reader to be able to see and feel just how poorly my brain function was; this was not even a full year post-chemotherapy when I wrote it, and much of the information came from my family members, and there were large chunks of time during treatment that I’m still (blissfully?) unaware of. A portion of the proceeds from the sale of this book goes to cancer charities.
Kindle EditionPaperback or for other retailers or formats, visit Metamorph Publishing

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What do you like to see from your fans, followers, readers, and supporters on your social media sites?

I love it for fans and readers to engage with me after reading my books. One reader even messaged me while she was reading, to discuss questions she had as she made her way through the book. It pleased her as well, because she said she’d never had the opportunity to talk with an author about a story and have the chance to ask all the questions that come to her while she’s reading.

Where can we find you to tell you how amazing we think you are?

Among other places you can find me on FaceBook, Twitter, Goodreads and Pinterest.

And finally… If you were ever stranded on a deserted island what would you miss and which three books would you take along?

If I were stranded on an island I would miss a bathroom! LOL My dad always wants me to go camping. IN A TENT! I don’t mind sleeping on the ground in a tent, but please don’t take away an actual REAL bathroom with a functioning toilet! I don’t think I’d survive! Ha, ha!
My three books if stranded on a desert island? I can’t name three, just let me have my phone! Lol No, really, um…
1) The Black Stallion and Satan,
2) The Mammoth Hunters (Clan of the Cave Bear Series), and
3) Anything by Kay Hooper out of the Special Crimes Unit series!

Thanks again, Markie. I wish you the best of luck on your forthcoming release.!