Monday, July 28, 2014

Visit Ancient Rome

Today Wild Women Authors is pleased to welcome author, John Caligiuri, who brings Lucius Bernius, from Red Fist of Rome a July release from Nightmist Publishing. First up is Lucius.
Tell us a bit about Red Fist of Rome. Set in the last days of the Roman Empire, it takes a Fantasy/Alternate History view. . .
Life is cheap in the mid-four hundreds as the dying Roman Empire struggles with endless swarms of barbarians. Lucius, the son of a Senator, joins the Legions prepared to face the savagery of his nation’s enemies. But his vision of the world is crushed when he encounters the depravity of Rome’s own rulers. Despite this reality, he defiantly clings to the ideals of ancient Rome.
In Gaul, Lucius discovers Dervla, a slave, brutalized by the worst of the Empire’s nobility. Thrown together by chance, they forge an improbable alliance that grows into love. His indomitable nobility draws an unlikely coalition of others yearning for a better world. Those efforts draw the wraith of a power hungry despot who ruthlessly smashes the visionaries and drives them into hiding. They hatch a desperate plan, but it might be too late.
The Vandal horde is descending on the gates of the Eternal City and Rome is about to be ransacked. These idealists must find a way to come together, overthrow the Emperor and rally the dispirited citizens. Whether or not Rome can be saved lies in the hands of those who were named traitors. . .
Thanks for that, Lucius. It gives us exactly what we wanted to know about the story. More about you—what influenced you to choose Roman legionnaire officer as a career? I joined the legions to make a difference. Rome represents all that is beautiful in the world, but it is decaying on the inside and being pressed by the barbarians from the outside. It is only as a soldier that I believe I can stand against both of these curses.
Knowing what you know now, if you had it to do over again, would you stick with being a soldier for Rome or do something different? I have tried farming on my father’s estate and failed and I have dipped my toe into politics and failed even more miserably. The life of a soldier fits my temperament and goals. I believe it is the one place where my limited talents are of some use.
What is your biggest fear? I have two great fears. First is that I lack the courage to live an honorable life, and second, that I cannot be persuasive enough to draw my fellow Romans into my dream of a better world.
Who is your favorite fictional character and why? That is an easy one. My hero is Horatius Cocles. He was the legendary Roman warrior in the 6th Century BC written about by Livy. He stood almost single-handly on a bridge over the Tiber fighting off the Etruscan invaders. His valor saved Rome during its infancy.
What is the best piece of advice you ever received? My mentor came from a mysterious land beyond the Silk Road. He told me, “A brave man only dies once.” Those words have helped me face the obstacles this hard world has set in my path.
Now for a word from John: Which writer or character[s], from either books or movies, have had a major impact on your writing? My writing is in the style of Michael Shaara (Killer Angels) and Tom Clancy (Red Storm Rising).
With regard to research, John, where did you start for this novel? Did that lead you down different paths, thereby changing the original concept? I am a lifelong student of history. My research took me deep into the studies on the Roman Empire. I have walked the roads and visited most of the sites referenced in the novel. This story emerged from my keen interest in and study of ancient Europe and my curiosity in asking “what if” at watershed events in history.
John was kind enough to offer an excerpt to further entice us:
Lucius stood before the General never so scared and angry in his life. One minute he was putting his new command into order, the next, the ten deserters who recanted were being dragged off. Some pleaded with him to save them. Others just stared stone faced with looks of betrayal. He could live with neither.
Imperator Aetius, with all due respect, I cannot allow these men to be punished. I had already judged them and set the terms for their return. I cannot go back on my word. If there is any transgression here it is mine.” He took a shuddered breath. “They have fully abided by my conditions.”
The ten shackled men looked up with their first glimmer of hope.
Well, General, then the answer is clear. The traitor who should be stoned to death stands before you. He flaunted Roman law and directly countermanded your order,” Publius hissed.
Aetius felt caught like a rat in a cage. He looked over at his senior officers. Their silence was deafening. I can’t defer this decision to anyone else.
Only Satewa spoke up. “He’s the hero who managed to get the entire army moving. We should be piling honors on him. Not threatening him.”
Hold your tongue, savage. I heard he merely stood half naked in the field while the Visigoths argued and never even lifted his sword. I would hardly call that a hero. General, you must do your duty.” He pointed his flabby hand at Lucius. “You’ll never be able to control the Emperor’s army if every whiskerless boy can flout Rome’s laws. I should not have to remind you the Military Code is very specific.”
Aetius looked around the packed audience chamber. I need a thousand officers like this and now I am forced to kill the one I do have. In a soft voice he spoke to the trembling young man in front of him. “Forgive me son. I am as bound by my word as you are by yours.”
His jaw clenched. “Lectors, take the Tribune out to the yard and bind him to the post. Unchain those Legionnaires. They are free.”
As cruel callous hands lay hold of him, Lucius’ numb mind snapped into focus and he shook free of their grasp. “I am a Tribune of Rome. I’ll go of my own accord.”
The Chief Lector chuckled with glee. “It’s not often I get to ply my trade on a nobleman.” The bull necked torturer raised his club to smash Lucius for his insolence.
He was halted in mid-swing.
You’ll escort him with the dignity he has earned or I swear I’ll have you staked to the ground next to him,” General Aetius roared.
The lector bowed his head and turned to his men. “Strip him.”
Lucius stood stiff and silent as his clothes were torn from his body. When they had finished, he raised his head and walked out on legs that had difficulty supporting him.
Thank you so much for that powerful piece of writing. Back to you. What are you reading currently? The First Man in Rome by Colleen McCullough and What If, edited by Robert Cowley
What's next for you? I am working on two exciting projects: The Last Roman’s Prayer which is a sequel to Red Fist of Rome set in the last days of the Byzantine Empire, and Cocytus which is a science fiction, another of my loves, set in present day with a twist reminiscent of Dante’s Divine Comedy.
This has been a real pleasure for us, for a number of reasons. Thanks so much for visiting with us today, John. Much luck in sales with Red Fist and future books.
Kat and Veronica
To learn more about John Caligiuri and the stories he creates go to:
To purchase RED FIST OF ROME, go to AMAZON.COM


Monday, July 21, 2014

Let's blog with a visionary

Today Wild Women Authors is pleased to welcome award-winning author, Pamela S. Thibodeaux who is the co-founder and lifetime member of Bayou Writers Group in Lake Charles, Louisiana. Multi-published in romantic fiction as well as creative non-fiction, her writing has been tagged as, “Inspirational with an Edge!” ™ and reviewed as “steamier and grittier than the typical Christian novel without decreasing the message.”
Welcome Pamela and Alex Broussard from The Visionary a women’s fiction release from Five Star Expressions & Temperance Publishing.
Alex, tell us a bit about The Visionary. A visionary is someone who sees into the future. Taylor Forrestier sees into the past but only as it pertains to her work. Hailed by her peers as “a visionary with an instinct for beauty and an eye for the unique”, she is undoubtedly a brilliant architect and gifted designer. But she and twin brother Trevor share more than a successful business. Their childhood was wrought with lies and deceit and the kind of abuse that’s disturbingly prevalent in today’s society. Can the love of God and the awesome healing power of His grace and mercy free the twins from their past and open their hearts to the good plan and the future He has for their lives?
What did you think the first time you saw Taylor Forrestier? That she was as breathtaking as sunrise or sunset on the lake. I didn’t know her name at the time because she was jogging and I was sitting on a bench at the Civic Center in Lake Charles, Louisiana.
And your second thought? That I was too busy to get involved with a woman despite that it had been way too long since my last relationship. Then when I saw her again, an hour or so later at the firm she and her brother owns, well….
Did you think it was love at first sight? Not sure I believe in love at first sight but something definitely happened. Guess I’d call it “intense interest” from the moment our eyes met and then when we shook hands….wow….
What do you like most about the Taylor? Everything! But that’s too general. I love her sheer, natural beauty. She has a gorgeous body and intriguing brain and her talent, her gift, is absolutely mind boggling.
How would you describe her? She has rich, honey-colored hair shot with equal proportions of red and gold highlights. Flecks of green and gold sparkle in wide, deep-set, topaz eyes fringed by thick, golden lashes. I’ve always heard that fraternal twins aren’t identical but she and her twin, Trevor are as “mirror image” as I’ve ever seen.
How would she describe you? I’m not exactly the tall, dark and handsome type but Taylor says “short and sexy.” That’s just hilarious! But I’ll take it as truth. Actually, I’m only about five-eight or nine and a little over endowed around the middle—though not overweight or sloppy—with sandy-colored hair, hazel eyes that alternate between green and brown and I have a mustache. She’d probably tell you I’m generous and kind but I can be tough and inflexible when necessary. Guess I’m just an all around good guy.
What made you choose Financial Analyst as a career? Before he and my mother died in a collision with a train, my father was an investment banker. Being a geek who loved math more than sports, I chose financial analyst as a way to do what he did, only on a larger scale.
What is your biggest fear, Alex? Up until I met Taylor I guess my biggest fear was that I’d never find the woman of my dreams to settle down and have children with. I was an only child and orphaned as a young teen so I’d love to have a whole passel of kids.
How do you relax? A glass of wine always works but my favorite way to relax and reflect is to sit on a bench at the Civic Center and watch the sun rise or set over the lake.
Who is your favorite fictional character and why? To tell you the truth, I’m not big on blood, gore and violence in the books I read or movies I watch. I love a good story that’s funny and true to life but has a happy or at least emotionally satisfying ending. Just as life’s too full of blood, gore and violence, it’s too short for anything less than the hope and promises of happy ever after.
What is the best piece of advice you ever received? After my parents died I had a really rough time with anger and rebellion. That caused me to bounce around foster homes then the local boys’ home. There my dorm parents and I really connected. One evening Mr. Doucette told us we had a choice in how our lives turned out. We could continue on our destructive paths or we could know and understand our weaknesses, focus on our strengths and make something positive out of our individual circumstances. He is also the one who helped me decide to pursue a career in the financial industry. He was just an all around great guy who believed in me, in us, when no one else really cared.
Thanks, so much for that insight, Alex. Now it's time to share the spotlight with Pamela. What movies or books have had an impact on your writing? That’s hard to say. I’ve been an avid reader since early childhood where I started with Dr. Suess then moved into horse stories then sweet romances at about age 12 or 13. By 15 I was into historical romances. So I guess you could say romance books of every nature impacted me the most because I just love a HEA ending!
Tell us a bit about your publisher. How did you hear about them? I heard of Five Star Expressions when another author friend of mine got published through them. I submitted The Visionary in 2009. It took a little over a year for acceptance then another 18 months to publication. Since Five Star bought First Rights and publishes only in hardcover, the softcover and electronic rights are published through my indy imprint, Temperance Publishing.
What book are you currently reading? For the past couple of months I’ve been on a Nora Roberts kick along with my standard spiritual non-fiction reading.
What's up next for you? Currently I have 2 fiction and 2 nonfiction projects in the works as well as a novel I’m getting ready for publication. I am also proofing my 4 part Tempered series to go to print.
This has been a great visit. Can't wait to see what Pam brings to the table next month!
Kat and Veronica

To learn more about Pamela S Thibodeaux and the stories she creates go to: Website address:
Twitter: @psthib

Monday, June 30, 2014

Dr. Vigil Simon-medium of mediums

Today Wild Women Authors is pleased to welcome author Christy Effinger and Dr. Simon from Say Nothing of What You See, an upcoming paranormal release from the Wild Rose Press.
First up is Dr. Simon. Tell us a bit about yourself, sir. Greetings. My name is Dr. Virgil Simon and I’m originally from Chicago, Illinois. I now live in the Upper Peninsula of Michigan where I run a small spiritualist retreat. I train my followers to become mediums.
Tell us about Say Nothing of What You See. It’s about a girl named Mira whose mother abandons her at my commune. Things were going well enough until we received an uninvited guest who wreaked havoc on Mira’s heart and on my well-ordered life.
What did you think the first time you saw Mira, the heroine? I saw a great deal of potential in her. I perceived that she was a strong but sensitive girl, quite attuned to the spirit world.
And your second thought? She was attractive—or would be, once I dressed her in some decent clothes.
Did you think it was love at first sight? I was never in love with Mira. She amused me; she was like a pet bird I kept for my enjoyment. She had her uses. Everyone has their uses.
What do you like most about Mira? I like that she will do whatever it takes to survive. I admire that in a person.
How would you describe her? An old soul—someone wise beyond her years. And yet there was an air of innocence about her . . . at least, until our uninvited guest arrived.
How would she describe you? Mira would probably say that I am cool and aloof. She might even say that I am cruel, but that’s not really true. I simply enjoy punishing people who deserve it.
What made you choose being a medium as a profession? I didn’t choose to be a medium; the spirits chose me to be a guide between their world and ours. I opened my home to students so that I could share my knowledge with others.
What is your biggest fear? I don’t have any. Fear is weakness. Do I look like a weak person to you?
How do you relax? I play the piano. I was something of a musical prodigy as a child and trained classically on the piano in Europe.
Who is your favorite fictional character and why? Mordred from the Arthurian legends. Most people would call him a villain, but we all have our roles to play. What good is a hero without a villain to challenge him . . . or her?
What is the best piece of advice you ever received? People who discourage revenge have never tasted its sweetness.
Dr. Simon's enigmatic responses intrigued us so much we decided to slip the book's blurb in here. We think you'll agree this is a different type of story—and one to consider picking up.
When her aunt steps off a grain elevator into the emptiness of a prairie evening, Mira Piper loses her one protector. Chloe, her flighty mother, impulsively drags her daughter to Bramblewood, an isolated spiritualist retreat in northern Michigan, run by the enigmatic Dr. Virgil Simon.
Chloe plans to train as a medium but it's Mira who discovers she can communicate with the dead. When her mother abandons her, Mira discovers a darker aspect to Bramblewood: the seemingly kind doctor has a sinister side and a strange control over his students.
Then one winter's day Troy Farrington arrives, to fulfill his mother's dying wish and deliver her letter to the doctor. But calamity strikes and he finds himself a captive, tended by a sympathetic Mira. Haunted by her dead aunt and desperate to escape Bramblewood, Mira makes a dev'sil's deal with Dr. Simon. But fulfillment comes with a steep cost...betrayal.

It's now Christy's turn at bat. What movies or books have had an impact on your writing? I read a wide range of books. I enjoy writing that is lush and lyrical, such as the poetry of Darcy Cummings. I also admire writers like Ian McEwan, who wind sympathetic characters in a tight web of emotional tension.
Tell us a bit about your publisher. How did you hear about them? What influenced your decision to submit to them? A friend from graduate school had a novel published by the Wild Rose Press. I knew she was a good writer and I admired her work, so I added TWRP to my list of small presses to query.
Tell us a bit about the submission process. How long did it take from query to release? I submitted my initial query to TWRP at the end of July in 2013. I received a request for a partial, and then a full, and had an offer to publish in early October. My editor requested some revisions to the manuscript, and then we worked on edits. She submitted the final galley in May 2014 and my release date was set for August 29, 2014. By my release date, the time from initial query to publication will be 13 months.
Kat and I thank Christy and Dr. Simon for taking the time to visit us this week. We wish Christy much luck with sales on this book and future stories.
To learn more about Christy Effinger and the stories she creates go to:
Say Nothing of What You See will be available for purchase beginning August 29, 2014.

Monday, June 9, 2014

Meet Rock Star Josh Dunningham

Today Wild Women Authors is delighted to welcome author M.J. Schiller and rock star Josh Dunningham, protagonist from Rock Me Gently, a new romantic suspense release from Kissmet Publishing.
First, an excerpt from Rock Me Gently:
Josh steered Cassie toward an exit, hoping fresh air would help to sober her up. They ended up at the outdoor pool, a monstrosity complete with overhanging palm trees. Not a soul was in sight, unusual, even at this time of night.
Away from the casino hubbub, it was easier to talk. She eyed him. “Tell me about the band.”
“What do you want to know?”
“Well, as an advertising person, I’m interested in the gimmick, Money Back Guaranteed. Did you ever have to back up that promise?”
Josh took a couple of seconds to think about that. “Yeah. A few times. Once, when an elderly couple came with their granddaughter. They didn’t like the show at all.” Remembering their reaction, he grimaced. “And once, when a girl caught her fiancé in the hall with another girl. Hardly our fault, but, she didn’t enjoy the concert, and that’s our promise, so…” He shrugged.
“Interesting. Interesting.” She lifted a leg, grabbing his shoulder for balance, and tugged on the heel of her boot.
“Uhh…what are you doing?”
“My feet are killing me. You’re so lucky you are a guy and don’t have to wear heels.”
“Yes. I was just mentioning that to my friend, Ryan, the other day.”
She didn’t look up. Having successfully removed one boot, she switched legs to work on the other. “Really?”
He smiled. “No. Go on.”
Yanking the other boot off, she nearly toppled over, though still holding on to him. She squeezed his arm. “You’re built.”
He nearly laughed at her frank statement. “Thank you.”
Holding her boots in one hand, her brow furrowed as she concentrated on her next question. She began to balance on the edge of the pool, which was deserted, and scoop stepped, trailing one leg in the water, not seeming to mind at all that her jeans were getting wet.
“I don’t think that’s such a good idea,” he warned, taking her arm to steady her.
“I’m fine,” she assured him, breaking away for an instant to do a pirouette in the pool’s gutter to demonstrate.
“Okay, okay,” he muttered, grabbing her arm again. “No need to show off. So why are you in the advertising game?”
“I like the creative aspect of it. And, I can be very persuasive,” she said, smiling at him.
As if he somehow silently challenged her, she stopped with a jerk and turned toward him, lifting up on her toes to kiss him. The taste of her was just as intoxicating as the booze had been, and left him equally dizzy. The flavor of sweet lime and midnight rolled across his tongue and sank into him unbidden. Someone in the hotel rooms surrounding the pool above them slammed a door, startling Cassie, the sharp sound almost like gunfire.
She jumped away from him like she had been shot herself and started to lose her balance. He reached to save her, but too late, she fell into the pool, dragging him in after her.
What a way to start an interview! Josh, tell us a bit about yourself. Where are you from? The corn fields of Cedar Rapids, Iowa.
What is Rock Me Gently about? It starts with the day my life really began. I was doing a show in Vegas, and was unwinding at the bar after practice. I was drinking tequila and noticed this other shot being poured with mine and followed it to its receiver. Cassie looked so cute with that lime wedge for teeth and I thought she would just be another distraction for me. I didn’t realize she wasn’t an opening act, she was the headliner in my life.
That is so sweet! What did you think the first time you saw Cassie, who wears a lime wedge for teeth? Like I said, my first thought was easy conquest. But when I actually walked up to her and looked in her eyes, all coherent thinking stopped.
Nice one. Was it love at first sight, do you think? To be honest, I didn’t know what it was! I just knew that it was different. She was different.
Another zinger. What do you like most about Cassie? She makes me laugh. She moves me. Literally moves me to become a better person for her. She awoke something in me that I never even knew existed.
Do you have a brother? Perhaps an older [much] uncle? Sorry for the digression. We want to know more about Cassie. How would you describe her? Man, that’s hard! She’s fun. She has this enormous capacity to love other people. She’s incredibly hot! Yet another way she moves me. She’s smart, creative, a little crazy, but that works because I’m a little crazy, too. How’s that?
Perfection. How would she describe you? I think she’d say I try. I’m kind of a fixer-upper, but I’ve come a long way since meeting Cassie. We have a lot of fun together, so I think she might say that I’m game for just about anything she comes up with.
What made you choose being a rock star for a career? I think most people in this business would tell you that you don’t choose it, it chooses you. My music is so much a part of me…it was the only thing that could make me feel before Cassie. But that probably makes no sense to you. It was like I was playing at life, or just letting it tick away while I played the role that people created for me. People like managers and label execs.
What is your biggest fear, Josh? Before it would have maybe been being alone with my thoughts. If I kept myself busy, playing my music, drinking…making physical connections with people without the real connection, then I wouldn’t realize just how empty my life really was. Now I guess my biggest fear would be going back to who I was before.
How do you relax? Oh, nothing special. The ways everyone else relaxes, I guess. Goofing around with friends…I like playing sports, tennis, basketball…not golf. I’m not really a golf guy. I used to play baseball when I was a kid. I might like to coach that someday. Like Little League coach. I recently discovered that I like working with kids.
Who is your favorite fictional character and why? Wow! I haven’t done a lot of reading. But fictional could mean movies, right? Uhh…now don’t laugh. That Valjean guy from Les Miz. He made mistakes, but he owned up to them and became a better person.
Very deep. What is the best piece of advice you ever received? I think that would be when my friend Ryan told me to write about confusion. It’s a long story, but it helped me to write a piece of music that some say is my best, and it helped me to understand what I needed to do. And he was right there telling me to go to Cassie and make things right. Or, oh! Wait! I also got some great advice once from Ryan’s dad. Well, probably more than once, but this one particular time it really helped me. He told me to look at the fruit of people’s actions to determine whether they are good or not. Whether you could trust them. Only he probably said it a lot better than that.
That was something. Now it's M.J.'s turn at bat. What movies or books have had an impact on your writing? Books, I’d have to say Stephen King’s On Writing. But I’ve also read a lot of writing books. And really, any book I read helps to make my writing better. Movies, probably all of your standard rom-coms, although I do like the classics, like Pride and Prejudice, which is actually mentioned in Rock Me Gently.
Tell us a bit about your publisher. How did you hear about them? What influenced your decision to submit to them? I first started out with a small publisher, then created my own company, Kissmet Publishing. I just didn’t see my publisher doing enough to earn their 70%. I was doing most of the marketing. And editing, cover art, and formatting were all things I could have done for me by freelancers. With my first book with the small publisher it took about five months from submission to release, just for e-book. Add another four months for paperback. I think I found out about them through my local RWA chapter. I sent a query letter for a different book, which they rejected. Then, in a na-na-na-na-na sort of move, I sent a second query out to them. To show them I wasn’t fazed by their rejection. They asked for the whole manuscript and offered me a contract. Now that I’m doing my own work it takes me about three months to go through the editing process and acquire cover art and formatting.
We thank M.J and Josh for stopping by at Wild Women Authors and wish you much luck with sales, with Rock Me Gently and future stories.
Kat and Veronica
To learn more about M.J. Schiller and the stories she creates go to: or find her on

To purchase Rock Me Gently, go to

Monday, June 2, 2014

Meet a New Frontier Sheriff

Today we are pleased to welcome Diane Burton who brings Laning Servary, from THE CHAMELEON a science fiction romance.
First, a bit about our author guest: Diane Burton combines her love of mystery, adventure, science fiction and romance into writing romantic fiction. Besides the science fiction romance Switched and Outer Rim series, she is the author of One Red Shoe, a romantic suspense. She is also a contributor to the anthology How I Met My Husband. Diane and her husband live in Michigan. They have two children and two grandchildren.
Now, let's hear from Laning: Where are you from? I’m originally from the planet Traish in the Coalition of Planets Central District. For the past eight years, I’ve been a Security Chief out on the Frontier of space, the Outer Rim—comparable to a sheriff in your old west.
Tell us a bit about “The Chameleon”. Socialite Jileena Winslott appears to be the spoiled, bubble-headed daughter of an industrial magnate. In reality, she’s her father's smart, savvy aide, who yearns to run the family business. When her father sends her on a covert mission to the Outer Rim, she has the chance to prove herself. But he insists she take along a fake fiancé—the man she’s secretly loved for years. That’s me, even though I never knew.
What did you think the first time you saw Jileena? Just what she wants everybody to see—Baby Winslott, a fluff-brain ditz, a royal pain in the butt. I didn’t realize I’d met her a long time ago when she was 12 and I was a Space Fleet Cadet. I thought she was charming.
And second thought? There’s a lot more to Jileena than meets the eye. She’s very talented and more sensitive to others than she lets on. Once she revealed her true nature, I was quite attracted.
Did you think it was love at first sight? Absolutely not. I had a mission—to protect her on what I thought was a damn fool sightseeing trip. If I returned her safely to her father, he promised to procure for my family the land they farmed on Traish. I’d do anything for my family—even pretend to be Baby Winslott’s fiancé.
What do you like most about Jileena? Her determination to prove that she’s worthy to take control of her family’s business. I couldn’t believe she earned 3 degrees and worked in various departments under an assumed name. That took a lot of guts.
How would you describe her? She has curly blond hair that brushes her shoulders. On shipboard, she ties or clips it back. Though she looks more serious that way, I like her hair all mussed after we’ve made love. Her green eyes reveal her intelligence (when she wants to). They can go from warm to flashing green fire when I put my foot in my mouth, which I do often. She’s tiny, her head barely reaches my shoulder. Yet when she stands up to me, she seems so much bigger.
How would she describe you? An arrogant, reluctant participant in her plan. She thinks the dimple in my left cheek is charming. She also thinks I have a cute butt.
What made you choose Space Fleet as a career? When I was young, I wanted to fly, to explore. I wanted no part of the back-breaking farm work that was slowly killing my father. My brothers, on the other hand, enjoy the challenge—if only they didn’t have to give away so much of the profit to the landowner. If Jileena’s father fulfills his promise to give my family the land, they will be set. Then I can pursue my dream to have my own charter service.
What is your biggest fear? At first it was that Jileena’s father would renege on his promise. But it took marauders capturing her to make me realize I never wanted to lose her again. Terror doesn’t come close to how I felt when they left me tied up and took her away. Idiot that I am, that’s when I realized I loved her.
How do you relax? A drink at a local tavern with my buddy. But he found his true love in “The Pilot” and they’re off the stars know where. I exercise, run, read all I can on owning my own business.
Who is your favorite fictional character and why? I don’t have a lot of time to read fiction, but I remember a fairy tale about a knight and a fairy queen who could make dreams come true. Jileena says I’m her knight. I know she’s my fairy queen.
What is the best piece of advice you ever received? My buddy Trevarr said when you want something bad enough, go for it. He certainly did and got more than he bargained for. I’m finding out that’s true for me, too.
Now it's Diane's turn at bat. What movies or books have had an impact on your writing? Star Wars and Star Trek opened my eyes, and imagination, to space adventures. Linnea Sinclair, Jayne Castle, and Ann Aguirre showed me the world of science fiction isn’t all dry facts and mind-numbing descriptions of how things work. That romance and space adventures were a lot more fun.
Tell us a bit about your publisher. That’s me. Almost four years ago, I learned about self-publishing. I was hesitant at first—scared to try something new until a friend mentioned that since I had the rights back to my first sci-fi romance, “Switched”, what did I have to lose. I’m so glad I did. That was in November 2011. Since then, I’ve self-pubbed 2 more books in the Switched series and “The Chameleon” is the second book in the Outer Rim series. I contract out the editing and cover design and control where my books are distributed. There are drawbacks to self-publishing, of course, but then there are drawbacks to being traditionally published. I’m glad I did it myself.

Let's get a preview of “The Chameleon”:
“Commander Servary, your assignment is to escort Baby Winslott on a sightseeing tour of the Outer Rim.”
Security Officer Laning Servary clenched his teeth so hard his jaw ached. By the Matriarch’s left tit, that was why he’d been recalled from the Rim to Coalition HQ? To be a glorified tour guide? A babysitter? He thanked the Exalted One that he was standing, his feet wide apart with his hands clasped behind his back. Otherwise, he might have wrapped them around Chief Vanutial’s neck and throttled him.
“Baby, sir?” Laning knew full well who Baby was. He’d met her Royal Pain-in-the-Ass at a social function last year.
“Chief Representative Winslott’s daughter wants to visit the Frontier. Her father insists you protect her.” The man’s eyes narrowed. “She has some damn fool notion about having an adventure. Apparently, those damn fool pioneers have been filling her head with damn fool ideas.”
“But, sir, I have an assignment—”
“Servary, your assignment is what I say it is,” Vanutial boomed, shattering the air in the spacious office much the same as his Volpian Cruiser did when shooting through the atmosphere.
Laning cleared his throat and snapped to attention. “Yes, sir.”
“At ease, Commander, at ease. By Lexol’s Fire, I need you out there patrolling Malcor Sector for smugglers and other miscreants. And keeping that gangster Hallart out of your sector. Not escorting some spoiled rich girl who wants a damn fool adventure.” Chief Vanutia’s voice rose.
Although he agreed, Laning knew enough to keep his mouth shut.
“Winslott insisted on you specifically. Although I don’t know why after that fiasco with President—ex-President—Filana’s son. I still can’t believe she was in Hallart’s pocket. The Divine One only knows how far his influence extends.” Chief Vanutial blew out a breath. “Never mind that. Screw this up, Servary, and your next assignment won’t be a cushy sightseeing tour. You’ll be swabbing decks on a garbage scow.”
Veronica and I thank Diane and Laning for visiting us this week. We wish you luck with The Chameleon and all future stories in this series.
Kat Henry Doran
To learn more about Diane Burton and the stories she creates go to:
For more info and excerpts from her books, visit Diane's website:
Connect with Diane Burton online at:
The Chameleon” is available at:

Monday, May 12, 2014

Susan JP Owens, Faery Rose author

Today Wild Women Authors is pleased to welcome author Susan JP Owens who brings Shelby Littleton, from Walking Into Her Heart, a Faery Rose, paranormal and fantasy, release from The Wild Rose Press. Welcome Susan and Shelby.
First up is Shelby. Where are you from? Originally from Central Texas and now Wyoming.
Tell us a bit about Walking Into Her Heart. It's about two people destined to be together while learning to trust one another and dealing with ancestral curses while surviving assassins.
What did you think the first time you saw Kyle? When I first met him, I literally couldn’t speak. He’s so handsome!
And your second thought? His eyes were stunning!
Did you think it was love at first sight? No, it was something deeper­-- drawing me closer to him. At the time, I didn’t understand all the powers pulling us together and the evil forces ripping our fragile relationship apart.
What do you like most about Kyle? There are several, but if I have to choose, he is an extremely patient man.
How would you describe him? He’s my hero in every sense of the word. Kyle never gave up on me. It took me forever to tear down the protective wall around my heart and to trust him fully without any doubt. Kyle stuck by me until I was ready. I had a lot of emotional baggage he had to deal with, but he remained by my side.
That is so sweet! Now, for the good stuff. . . how would he describe you?
I can answer that.
Hey, what a surprise! I’d like to introduce you to Kyle Pressley.
Hello everyone. I dropped by to give Shelby a family update and I want to answer the question. Shel is my soul mate, the other half of me. I never knew I needed Shelby until I met her. I’ll always love her and this may sound corny—Walking Into Her Heart was the best thing that ever happened to me. I have to go now—good talking to you all. Shel, I’ll see you at dinner.
Wow, he’s so sweet. Makes him a keeper in our book. What made you choose being in business for yourself as a profession? I love working long hours to reach my goals. The high I get when I attain them is a rush. Don’t get me wrong, being self-employed is a tough road and has many drawbacks, but I wouldn’t change it for the world. My sister, Alessa, has been my right hand and there are lots of changes coming over the next year.
How do you relax? I love unwinding in the hot tub with Kyle and have a glass of wine. And it doesn’t take a stretch of the imagination where we end our evening together.
Who is your favorite fictional character and why? Indiana Jones – When the story is in a tense scene and you wonder what he’s going to do next to get out of trouble, his eyes swim with deviousness! Can you tell I’m a sucker for eyes?
Nah. Never entered our minds. What is the best piece of advice you ever received? A wise woman told me to trust the man who loves me and my own heart. I’ll never forget her words as long as I live. Hopefully, my life will last long enough to help vanquish the evil ones so the child will survive to help others.
Whoa, heavy stuff here. Let's get Susan up here for a second. What movies or books have had an impact on your writing? Romance books of all genres influenced me. It wasn’t any particular one, but the culmination. Walking Into Her Heart was created from a poignant dream I had and is the first book in “The First Realm Series”. Also, if I may tell you about, The Beginning Comes Quietly, The Dawning Series is in edits and should be out this summer. Yeah! And I have another series I’m hoping will be accepted soon. Crossing fingers!
Tell us a bit about your publisher. How did you hear about them? The Wild Rose Press is a marvelous publisher out of New York. I went to a retreat they sponsored and pitched three books to an editor. She asked me to email her a query letter, a synopsis and send the full manuscript.
Tell us a bit about the submission process. How long did it take from query to release? The span of time varies according to the length of the story. I probably drove my editor crazy because I constantly wanted to recheck the edits. My editor was a trooper from the beginning to the end which was a total of nine months. I know, I know, it was totally me. I had a hard time letting go and bless her heart, she supported me every single step. The Wild Rose Press has a great dedicated team, and they truly care about their authors.
Thanks for visiting us this week, Susan. Veronica and I wish you much luck with sales on this book and future series you have in the works.
Kat Doran and Veronica Lynch
To learn more about Susan JP Owens and the stories she creates go to:
To purchase Walking Into Her Heart, go to

Monday, May 5, 2014

Kathryn Shay on Writing the Portals of Time Trilogy

Today, Wild Women Authors is pleased to welcome NYT's best selling author Kathryn Shay. Rather than get into a long harangue, we'll let her take the helm. . .
          I’ve been a science fiction fan since I was a child. I remember watching The Twilight Zone episodes with awe. I thought Rod Serling was a genius. As I got older, I started to watch science fiction movies and I remember being terrified of The Thing and Dr. Jekyll and Mr. Hyde. Later on in life, my favorite books and movies became 1984, Brave New World, The Day the Earth Stood Still, The Time Machine, Somewhere in Time, Soylent Green, Blade Runner, The Handmaid’s Tale and of the Star Wars series. Of course, now we have The Hunger Games Trilogy and Divergent which I thought were wonderful.         
          The stories I came to like most were those about the future and time travel. I discovered a lot of these plotlines on television, particularly in The Outer Limits and Star Trek. I remember watching all of the old episodes, over and over, and still catch them once in while on TV. I was fascinated by the future and what it might hold. Some were grim, showing the post-apocalyptic view—a barren world deprived of resources and often their humanity. But the future world in Star Trek showed a benevolent, advanced society, still with its problems, but professing the same values as we do today, only on a higher level. I eventually taught a science fiction class as a high school teacher where I expanded my knowledge of the shorter fiction on these issues.
          With that foundation, and when I became a published author, I always wanted to write some science fiction. But since my first love is romance, there never seemed to be an opportunity to combine the two genres until now. I came up with the original concept for the series years ago, but while shopping it around, I sold another book to Harlequin and they weren’t doing paranormal then. So I let the project go while I busily wrote what turned out to be 49 contemporary romances (so far). However, about 8 years ago, I went back to the time travel story. But so much had changed in society today. Many things I’d had as futuristic in the books were in place now, like the electric car needed for the plot of the first one, and much of the technological progress, especially in the Internet and Social Media world.
          In any work of fiction, every writer has to create his or her world, but in science fiction and fantasy all of that world has to be explained, whereas I don’t have to tell you what  a cell phone is in modern romances. It was great fun to create the world my women come from: the sad parts of living in a dome, the inability to bear children, a world that had to be torn apart before it could heal. But I also appreciated the peaceful nature of future centuries, the lack of any kind of materialism, and the interesting progress that was made in technology. Creating a society with corrupted language--a dog is a drog because there are no animals, supplements for food (think world hunger), clothing, how people read, exercise, what jobs they do was a real challenge. Most of the planning was done before I started this new version, but as I wrote, I found myself stopping to think, “Oh, that’s right, there wouldn’t have been day and night in the domes because the out of inside was covered with pollution.” Then I’d have to go back and interlace those elements into the books. And, yes, in case you’re wondering, I did have themes in mind: we are wasting our earth, we are too violent, we make drugs common, even when we have no idea their side effects, if we corrupt religion we will lose it. We must keep our interpersonal relationships as most important and if not, the result can be the sexual dysfunction of the future.
          The humor in the books was a total surprise: my forte has always been making people cry. I didn’t really think the metaphors would be as funny as they were, nor the women discovering the true meaning of intimacy in sex as delightful. That was a plus.
The entire writing of these books was a labor of love, done in twelve months. I don’t think I’d ever expand the trilogy or even write another futuristic, but as all writers have leaned, “Never say never.” Who knows what will evolve in my own personal future?