Tuesday, 1 August 2017

Book Spotlight: The Black Lily

Today I have  a book spotlight for the newly released fantasy novel, The Black Lily (The Arestea Chronicles Book 1) by Mandy and G.D. Burkhead. Enjoy!

The Black Lily by Mandy and G.D. Burkhead

Courtesan. Spy. Assassin.

Across the Kingdom of Arestea, the shadowy league of professional killers known simply as the Guild has long since earned its terrifying reputation. And none of its current members are more infamous than the Black Lily. No one knows who the Lily is, but everyone recognizes the efficiency with which he or she brings down even the most guarded targets. There is no one, it is said, who is safe from this fiend once they have caught the assassin’s attention.

Now Lily herself is about to discover if her reputation has been inflated or not, for she has just been assigned the most daunting mission of her career: infiltrate the royal palace and eliminate the entire Arestean line of succession to make room for the Guild’s puppet ruler. It’s a challenging job, but one that will secure her place in the history books should she succeed.

But when unplanned circumstances take the king from his country to help secure the front lines in his latest war of expansion, Lily is left trapped in her assumed persona behind the palace walls and forced to stall for time. And when a particularly bad stroke of luck reveals her cover to the king’s brother, Crown Prince Adrian, Lily finds herself ensnared in her own web, forced to use all her skills of subterfuge and manipulation if she is to stay one step ahead of the na├»ve but righteous young man and finish her mission — or die trying.

You can find The Black Lily on:

Author Bio:

Mandy and G.D. Burkhead met in high school in a writing chatroom, where they began an episodic story together. They attended college together at Lindenwood University and both received BA's in Creative Writing. 

They currently live in the Nashville area. Mandy has her MLIS and works at the Nashville Public Library. Gary is a copy editor for the Tennessean. 

When they aren't working or writing, they enjoy reading, playing video games, cosplaying, and attending conventions.

The Black Lily is their first full-length fantasy novel.

You can find and follow them on:

Sunday, 30 July 2017

Interview With Author Thomas Keech

Today I have an interview for you, with talented author Thomas Keech, who stops by to chat writing and his latest crime thriller, Doc Doc Zeus: A Novel of White Coat Crime. Enjoy!

Interview With Thomas Keech

Why dont you begin by sharing a little about yourself.

Im one of those people who always wanted to write – and do everything else too. I started a novel when I was ten in which “an eerie something came out of the night fog and ran down a high school football player. I gave up because I couldnt think of any suspects except the football coach (who was the only other character). I would have loved to have stopped writing and lived a normal life, but even as I worked as a juvenile counselor, Legal Aid lawyer and lobbyist, state administrative appeals judge and Assistant Attorney General representing my states medical board, I kept trying to write at night, on weekends and on vacations. Im happy to report that Im now retired and have been speeding up the writing process a lot in recent years.

Could you tell us a bit about your latest book? 

Doc Doc Zeus: A Novel of White Coat Crime is the story of a narcissistic physician who sexually preys on his women patients, including sixteen-year-old Diane, even while being pursued by the medical boards investigator.

How long have you been writing, and how many books have you published to date?

My first success was with The Crawlspace Conspiracy, a novel about an old, poor, sick laborer whose dream house gets caught up in a struggle between two warring state politicians. Prey for Love was about two suburban teenagers from broken homes who get caught up in a web of suburban corruption. Hot Box in the Pizza District was about three twenty-year-old guys finding their way in life.

Why did you write this book? What was your inspiration?

I wrote this for two reasons. I wanted to dramatize the critical work of medical boards and the many obstacles they work against to bring miscreants to justice. Then I wanted to do something with the character of Diane. She was a minor character in Prey for Love, but I liked her so much I felt she deserved a novel of her own. And I couldnt just leave her hanging out there, fourteen and pregnant, without finishing her story.

What did you hope to accomplish by publishing your book?

I hope people will read it and enjoy it. I hope theyll understand a little more about how sexual predation by authority figures works and also appreciate that the medical boards are there to help, although sometimes in a slow and clunky way. I hope they like the character of Diane half as much as I do.

When did you realize you wanted to be a writer?

I read my first adult book, Our Virgin Island, when I was seven and bedridden for a week with poison oak. It was about a couple who bought a tiny island and tried to build a house on it. It wasnt very exciting for a seven-year-old, but I knew I was into reading then. The writing bug came soon after that.

Can you tell us about your writing process? Where do your ideas originate? Do you have a certain writing routine?

When Im in the middle of a novel I write for five to eight hours a day. My plots are always complex, and if something isnt working out in the last chapter Ill go back and change the whole thing, plot, characters, tone, whatever. And Ill do it again and again. At the end of the process, I go back once more and try to take out every word that is not absolutely necessary. Im not a great literary stylist, so I try to make believable characters and a plot that moves along.

What advice would you give beginning writers?


Whats your next project? Any upcoming book secrets you care to reveal?

No secrets will be revealed here. I try really hard not to write the same novel over and over again. I want everyone, including myself, to be surprised.

Thomas Keech is a retired Assistant Attorney General for the state of Maryland having represented the State Board of Physicians for sixteen years in its attempt to discipline doctors who were sexual predators, perpetrators of insurance fraud, violators of self-referral laws, and many other types of misbehavior. Currently, Keech is a contractual consultant to the Maryland State Board of Physicians, where he helps write regulations, coordinate with other boards and agencies, as well as participate in investigations. 

Learn more about Thomas Keech  on www.realnicebooks.com or by connecting with him on Facebook or Goodreads.

Tuesday, 18 July 2017

Interview With Author Thomas McRae

Today I have another interview, this time with poet and author Thomas McRae. Enjoy!

Interview With Thomas McRae

Why don't you begin by sharing a little about yourself?

I started writing when I was in Elementary School and from that point on I couldn't stop moving a pen or pencil on my paper.

Could you tell us a bit about your latest book?

Yes. Pimp in the Pulpit is inspired by my family and the craziness that comes with them all.

How long have you been writing and how many books have you published to date?

I've been writing since I was a child but I didn't start pursuing publishing as a real career until I got into my twenties. As of now I have 12 books published to date. But if you want my honest opinion Pimp in the Pulpit really feels like my first book, because it's the first time I'm taking full responsibility and control in regards of marketing, promoting and generating sales virtually all by myself.

Why did you decide to write in the short fiction genre?

Because I have so much to say but I don't want to say it all at once. Short fiction is a great way to tell a significant piece of your story without giving out all the necessary information at once.

What is the hardest part of writing short fiction?

Truth be told I don't find anything hard about it. I just take different story lines from my personal experiences and write it down as much as possible, then I remember to orchestrate other people's events into the storyline as well. And if for some reason I do develop some writer's block or if I'm not sure I should put something down in the story line  then I would read that section to my mom and get her perspective. Because she's kind of like my ghost writer and personal editor.

What do you enjoy most about writing in the short fiction genre?

I enjoy the whole process, because thinking about new storylines from personal experiences is amazing and therapeutic. I find it refreshing when I can take frustrating personal experiences whether it's mine or someone else's and find some humor and entertainment which could be used in my story line and plot.

Who is your intended readership?

That's the beauty about this book Pimp in the Pulpit. Everyone and anyone can relate to it because it's full of family issues, drama and suspense. It doesn't matter if you're black or white, Muslim or Jewish we all have family issues and we all need to express those issues in a constructive and positive way. If not for our selves then for the younger generation that is observing much of the bad and misguided behavior that is surrounding our family's.

Why did you write this book? What was your inspiration?

What inspired me to write this book was numerous things. First thing that comes to mind is how my parents would struggle to raise my brother and I and none of my relatives would make any real attempt to help out only on occasion and that is when they needed or wanted something in return. My reason for writing  this book is simple Redemption. Redemption for my loved ones, myself and for anyone who can relate to these troublesome times in their own lives.

What did you hope to accomplish by publishing your book?

All I ever wanted was to be heard. For years I felt invisible and now I have a voice and it feels good being heard. It doesn't matter who likes it or not I'm damn proud to have a voice and as long as God keeps air in my lungs I will continue to use my voice.

What advice would you give beginning writers?

I will tell them the truth, that it's a long road ahead of them. But it's also very fulfilling especially when you start taking things and doing it yourself and not look for anyone to help you. Because in the end of the day life is a one-time deal so live it to the fullest and make sure you make it count.

What do you like to do when you're not writing? Any hobbies? 

Personally I like to watch movies every now and then I read a good book. Or I will listen to some music depending on my mood but for the most part I watch movies and hang out with my immediate family members. Such as my mom, brother and my father and some very close friends that I consider family as well.

Are you working on another book? 

Yes actually I've been working on the sequel of Pimp in the Pulpit. And I'm happy to inform you that the book is done and being processed by my publisher Eber & Wein  Publishing. It's slightly longer than the first book and I have some surprises inside of the book as well. Such as newspaper clippings, a personal review from Mrs. Shirley Gerald Ware owner of Fresh  Literary Magazine and some magazine clippings about my article along with some poetry certificates. The book is Well written and it goes a little back during my child years and early 20's.

You can find Pimp in the Pulpit on:

Other books by Thomas McRae:

Poetry for the soul 
The soul of a poet 
The lost poems 
Poetic Salvation my acknowledgement to our Lord 1 & 2 
Blue Print 
Street Trash 
The Best of Thomas McRae

Friday, 30 June 2017

Interview with Author Marie Kammerer Franke

Today I have a wonderful interview with science fiction and fantasy author Marie Kammerer Franke, who chats about her writing and her book, A Charming Nightmare. Enjoy!

Interview with Marie Kammerer Franke

Why don’t you begin by sharing a little about yourself.

Sure! I’m originally from St. Paul MN, but I grew up all over; Chicago ILL, St. Louis MO, St. Petersburg FL, finally settling in Upstate NY.  I have 2 boys (which any parent of boys knows that if you have one, you have about a thousand adoptive children…so I tell people I have 6 boys).  And have been disgustingly happily married for 15 years.  We live in the country, farmland as far as the eye can see (yes NY has grass, and trees, and farms, and mountains…and SNOW, holy mother of everything do we have SNOW)

Could you tell us a bit about your latest book?

A Charming Nightmare is a science-fiction book.  It is book 1 in a series of 4.  It follows Aylin through time and space (a taken against her will from the present day).
40,000 years after Earth’s demise we are still trying to settle. That’s what the survivors are called now, settlers. Survivor, by the way, is derogatory word. So are words like gadget, computer, and machine. Those are people. We evolve into them, and something in the mechanics that make up a human is killing. That’s where I come in, not intentionally mind you, but forcibly by our distant descendants. They could be a little more hospitable, and offer a tissue when telling you that your family, job, hairdresser, and newspaper boy are all dust. But they don’t. So you compromise; you translate children’s books for scientists who cannot read or write its written language in hopes of curing their diseased parts, and in return they back you up when you start a war to end all wars on their front lawn. Sounds fair, right??

Do you have a favourite character? If so, why?

I adore Aylin, the way she sees the world in front of her.  She is snarky and never steady on her feet, everything is new to her and she’s looking for a way to connect, something that is familiar.  It just happens that you, the reader, are all that she has, and she spends time talking to you as if you are right there next to her.

Why did you decide to write in the science-fiction genre?

Scifi is what I grew up on, my father used to watch carl Sagan’s ‘Cosmos’ every weekend, he would fill in quiet moments with facts and discussions on things that are so much bigger than us.  I grew up in a house filled with Nova, Doctor Who, and Star Trek.  Which was perfect for a child whose hobbies included daydreaming, and all things make believe. When I was an adult raising my own children there was no other lifestyle than a fandom and books for me to use as a parenting tool.  My boys would listen to their mom read A Hitchhiker’s Guide to the Galaxy as their bedtime story, or make them sit through Neil Degrasse Tyson’s ‘Star Talk’.  Don’t even get me started on the day they published the first pictures of Jupiter Cassini took!

What is the hardest part of writing science-fiction?

I would have to say the hardest things about science fiction is knowing when to stop.  When writing A Charming Nightmare I kept going until it was over 1500 pages long (and if I hadn’t forced myself to walk away it would probably be close to 8000 pages by now).  There are so many ways that the story can turn, so many possibilities, people, planets, things…and in a science fiction world NONE of them are wrong.
I physically had to divide the book into 4 complete novels, stand up, send book 1 to my editor and cover artist, and then walk away.  Even today, running through book 2 I have to sit on my hands so not to add, or take the story in a completely new direction, because science has new discoveries.

Who is your intended readership?

ACN (as we fondly nicknamed it), covers a wide variety of readers; it is first of all science-fiction with a side of fantasy, but it is also Aylin’s story of finding herself-a coming of age, so it could fit into NA, it is also a fandom based off of everything I grew up watching, and has a side of romance.  I can tell you it’s not intended for children, or even YA, Aylin is very brazen, she likes her four letter words.

What advice would you give beginning writers?

On my page acnbooks.com I talk a ton about starting out, the process to see what’s the right fit for you; traditional or indie. I went with being an indie writer, solely because I have a hard time giving someone else control.  Too many times I have been told by big agencies to change my book, or a character.  I have been asked to take my scifi novel and turn it into scifi erotica…ummm…no thank you.
As an indie a lot of truthful advice is hard to hear; things like ‘I can’t wait to get a copy’ is just another way to congratulate someone-don’t over order your own product just because the bank teller said she couldn’t wait for it to come out.  Grandma is your only true sale.

What do you like to do when you're not writing? Any hobbies?

When I’m not writing you can find me hiking; my husband and I have a thing for hiking waterfalls,  and eating tacos…ok, that last part about tacos is more my thing. 
I also took on being the head costumer for a local high school, who just wrapped up an AMAZING showing of Les Miserables.  They are now diving head first into the world of Shakespeare with A Midsummer’s Night Dream.
And when I have a free weekend or to you can find me judging robotics for some NYS FIRST Lego League competitions.

Are you working on another book?

While all 4 books in ACN are finished, my editor seems to think grammar counts.  So I’m taking her notes and going back through Sister’s Lament.  Sister’s Lament is darker, more out of my comfort zone in characters and situations, so much so that grandma has been warned; she can own it, but she’s not allowed to read it.  Sister’s Lament is scheduled to be released March 2018.

You can find A Charming Nightmare on

Author Bio

Originally from St. Paul MN, Marie moved a lot growing up allowing her to see some amazing places, which for a child who loved to daydream was heaven on earth!  After settling, she missed traveling and would come up with her own ideas of what a place would look like, taste like, smell like.  She would create the people living there in her mind, carry on conversations with them, learn their traditions, fumble through their make believe languages, until one day the US or earth as a whole wasn't enough (she blames her father and his Doctor Who obsession.). She started fantasizing about entire new worlds and galaxies, the aliens that lived there, the entire "what if they use ice cream as soap instead of dessert" ideas of a new races' comprehension of items we take for granted.  

From this and the bedtime antics of her children, she started writing, and writing, and creating until everything that was a daydream became suddenly very very real.  That is how A Charming Nightmare (The ACN series) was born.

For more on the author, check out her Website

Tuesday, 20 June 2017

Interview with Author Bailey Ordiway

Today I have an excellent interview with multi-genre author Bailey Ordiway, who chats about his writing and his books. Enjoy.

Interview with Bailey Ordiway

Why don’t you begin by sharing a little about yourself.

I was born in Michigan and spent a great deal of my life there. I grew up on farms and in small towns, going to small schools. After I dropped out of high school I got my GED and went to college. My major changed a dozen times throughout, but, it was a great experience. After that I joined the Army, that was cut short very quickly though. I'm now married and live in South Dakota where I own my own business and write daily.

Could you tell us a bit about your latest book?
American Holdovers is my third published novel and chronicles not only my time, but, also my many friends and fellow holdovers during our time as a holdover at Ft. Jackson during a hurricane and the consequences and events that transpired because of this a couple years back.

You write in several genres. Do you have a favourite? And if so, why?

I actually don't, no. I try to write in multiple genres to not get stuck in a niche and expand my writing horizons. I'd also like to have something for everyone.

Why did you write this book? What was your inspiration?

Well I thought that it was a story that needed to be told. Not very many people know that holdovers are even a thing, and it's wildly undocumented. On top of that I believed it was a good story, a series of unfortunate events occurred one after another that just makes for a good read.

What did you enjoy most about writing your book?

It was nice to relieve some of the better experiences I had with my friends and keep the experience alive for us all.

When did you realize you wanted to be a writer?

I've wanted to be a writer since I was very young. I would always look at my mothers bookshelf as a child and just think "one day I will have my name up there".

Can you tell us about your writing process? Where do your ideas originate? Do you have a certain writing routine?

I find it difficult to focus. So, because of that everything I write is meticulously outlined. Before I ever even open a word document I fill up multiple binders on my book. Everything from minor characters to a step by step progression of each chapter. When I do eventually write however I sit at the same desk, listen to the same music, drink the same coffee, and light the same candle.

Do you have a favourite author, or writing inspiration?

John Green is by far my favorite author. Being a fan of his is rather torturous though since he releases a book about every five years at this point.

Are you working on another book?

I will be, soon. I have been working on this one for nearly two years now though and would like to focus a bit on my blog. I enjoy writing movie reviews and it has gone to the back burner a bit while writing this book.

You can find Bailey Ordiway's latest book, American Holdovers, on Amazon.

And you can check out the rest of his books at his Amazon page.

For more on the author check out these sites.

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