Monday, September 15, 2014

Author Alicia Dean and Scrimshaw Dolls

This week Wild Women Authors is so pleased to welcome author Alicia Dean, a talented and busy woman who clearly has more hours in her day than the rest of us mortals. Aly consented to visit us this week and we are thrilled!
First, a bit about her:
Alicia Dean lives in Edmond, Oklahoma. She has three grown children and a huge network of supportive friends and family. She writes mostly contemporary suspense and paranormal, but has also written in other genres, including a few vintage historicals.
Other than reading and writing, her passions are Elvis Presley, MLB, NFL (she usually works in a mention of one or all three into her stories) and watching her favorite televisions shows like Vampire Diaries, Justified, The Mindy Project, and Dexter (even though it has sadly ended, she will forever be a fan). Some of her favorite authors are Michael Connelly, Dennis Lehane, Lee Child, Lisa Gardner, Sharon Sala, Jordan Dane, Ridley Pearson, Joseph Finder, and Jonathan Kellerman…to name a few.
Please visit her website/blog at:
Follow her on Twitter and Facebook
Thank you for having me, Veronica. I’m always happy to talk about a project that is dear to my heart. A few years back, some of my Oklahoma friends and I decided to write a series of related stories with a recurring theme. After discussing, we settled on an ancient, cursed Scrimshaw doll. Out of the idea grew about a dozen stories. They are all stand alone and in various genres but all have ties to Oklahoma (Except the first few which were set in an era before Oklahoma was even a territory), and they all share, in some way, whether big or small, an ancient hexed doll. A few have not been published yet, but we are hoping that happens soon. Ten of them are available now.
The curse she carries is: All those who betray you will suffer. Only true love can break the curse.
It was so much fun to see how the different authors handled the idea of the doll. In some, bad things happened to those who betrayed the owner of the doll. In others, bad things actually happened to the owners themselves, when the doll felt she was being betrayed.
The ten stories are published with The Wild Rose Press, and now, they are available as two different boxed sets and ON SALE for a limited time for only $2.99 each. The sale ends September 19, so be sure to grab your copies while you can get them at a discount.
*** GIVEAWAY – In a few days, I will draw a name from all those who comment and the winner will receive a choice of either Cursed or Burdened for Kindle or Nook. Please be sure to include your email address in your comments.
Cursed buy links:
The Wild Rose Press:
Barnes and Noble:
Burdened buy links:
The Wild Rose Press:
Barnes and Noble:

Thanks so much, Aly. We really enjoyed this visit and learning more about the Scrimshaw Doll series.
Kat Henry Doran and Veronica Lynch

Monday, September 8, 2014

Meet Romance Author Susan Coryell and A Red Red Rose

We are back from a glorious vacation to the 1,000 Islands region in Northern New York State and delighted to welcome Susan Coryell, author of A Red Red Rose, and female protagonist Ashby Overton. First, a blurb about this delightful story:
 When twenty-year-old Ashby Overton travels to Overhome Estate for the summer, she hopes to unearth her ancestral roots and the cause of a mysterious family rift surrounding the horseback riding death of her Grandmother Lenore many years ago.
From the moment she enters her room in the oldest wing, Ashby feels an invisible, enfolding presence.  She learns the room belonged to a woman named Rosabelle, but no one is willing to talk about Rosabelle—no one except Luke, the stable boy who captures her heart. As Ashby and Luke become closer, she realizes he can be the confidant she needs to share the terrifying, unfolding secrets.
  Ever present is a force Ashby never sees, only feels.  Candles light themselves, notes from an old lullaby fall from the ceiling, the radio tunes itself each day.  And roses, always meant for Ashby, appear in the unlikeliest places.  Are the roses a symbol of love, or do they represent something dark, something deep and evil?
Wow. Let's hear a bit from Ashby. 
Where are you from? I’m from New Jersey, but my dad grew up in Southern Virginia and I’m visiting there this summer—to be an au pair for my 7-year-old cousin, Jeff. He and my Aunt Monica and Uncle Hunter live in the historic family estate, Overhome, on Moore Mountain Lake, an active horse farm. I wanted to search out my family roots while there.
Tell us a bit about A Red, Red Rose. My first night in my room in the oldest part of Overhome I had the oddest feeling—like someone was welcoming me, wrapping me in a warm blanket, and I smelled roses, though none were evident. With each passing day, I became more and more aware of this invisible, enfolding presence, that seemed to be responsible for the self-lighting candles, the self-tuning radio, the melody from an old lullaby that fell on my ears at all hours. I kept finding roses in the unlikeliest places. Did they represent love or something I should fear? I finally got Miss Emma Coleville, the housekeeper, to tell me a bit about the first occupant of my room many years ago. Her name was Rosabelle and she had served as a nanny to the first family of Overtons in the house during Revolutionary times! With every nerve in my body, I knew Rosabelle’s spirit was still present at Overhome and I knew she had something important to tell me. It took a lot of sleuthing and snooping to ferret out the secrets that lay buried deep in the past in A Red, Red Rose.
What did you think the first time you saw Luke? Well, that’s an easy question. Luke, the stable boy, was the first person from Overhome I met, since he picked me up at the bus stop the day I arrived. Luke was cynical and sarcastic with a thick hick accent; he acted like I represented a Yankee invasion, or something. And. oh Lord, his hair! Like a haystack struck by lightning. I knew for sure there was no future with Luke Murley.
And your second thought? When I saw how beautifully Luke interacted with my cousin Jeff and his own grandfather Abe, I became more interested in the stable boy. Jeff coaxed Luke into teaching me how to ride a horse. I began to look forward to those early-morning lessons, knowing Luke would be in close proximity while teaching me to ride, touching my hands as he settled the reins and grazing my legs as he helped me mount my horse. When I discovered his job as stable boy involved a lot more—keeping the books, organizing the pony club and other horse events, managing the estate—I knew he was a rare and genuine guy. And underneath that haystack of hair, Luke was ruggedly handsome. I could not figure out why he seemed supremely uninterested in me.
Did you think it was love at first sight? No way! Not for either of us. I'd pegged him for a local yokel and Luke figured I was a spoiled, rich city girl come down South for the adventure and nothing more. It took a while, but eventually we both came to realize a depth of character within each other to admire—to cherish. I admit: I had to do a lot of growing up myself for this to happen.
What do you like most about him? Hard question because there’s so much! His intelligence, his work ethic, his love for his grandfather, his patience with Jeff and, let’s face it, with me. Plus, he was the best kisser I’d ever met!
How would you describe him? Luke was a river running deep—no currents visible on the surface. He made my Jersey boys look like adolescents.
Good one! How would Luke describe you? Once he realized I was neither rich nor in search of thrills and that I was acquiring maturity through my experiences at Overhome, he fell for me pretty hard. He liked to call me his “Beautiful Babe.”
What made you choose writing for a career? I had always been a writer and a reader—especially historical romance. Put me in an old setting and I immediately found myself interacting with the natives—no matter how long ago they lived. So, you can understand why I found my muse at Overhome.
What is your biggest fear? My biggest fear, I think, was that I would never find out who I really was. You see, my aunt and uncle adopted me when I was two years old because my birth-parents were killed in an auto accident while living at Overhome. We adopted children feel a blindness—a blank spot when it comes to our bio-parents. We feel an innate need to know who they were and, thus, who we are. Much of what I sought at Overhome had been purposely hidden.
How do you relax? I learned to relax while riding my beloved horse Sasha over the bucolic fields and streams of Overhome Estate. Luxuriating in the rhythm of the ride, I experienced peaceful freedom from my fears. Once I was in the saddle, I felt my worries whirl away with the wind.
Who is your favorite fictional character and why? Oh dear—I have so many! Anyone conjured up by a Bronte author or Victoria Holt or Mary Stewart! And I cannot remove from my psyche Mrs. DeWinter from DuMaurier’s Rebecca. What trials that woman faced—haunted by the beautiful, dead Rebecca.
What is the best piece of advice you ever received? Miss Emma, the long-time housekeeper at Overhome, told me, “I’d be real careful of what I say if I was you. You never know who might be listening.” Oh boy! Did that ever turn out to be true.
That was great. Thanks, Ashby. Now a few questions for author Susan. What movies or books have had an impact on your career as a writer and why? Like my protag, Ashby Overton, I am a sucker for romantic mystery. I re-read Jane Eyre every year, whether I need to or not! Some classic movies like Gone With the Wind and Ben Hur are among my favorites.
What real thing or event from your private life were you able to bring to this story and how do you feel it impacted the novel? Well, two things, really. My husband, a real estate broker, actually listed an old historic estate very similar to Overhome in the hunt country of Virginia—rumored to be haunted, of course. That became the prototype for Ashby’s family estate, Overhome. Then, the fictional setting of Moore Mountain Lake is based loosely on where I live now at Smith Mountain Lake, Virginia.
Would you do the same [use a real event or person/thing] at in your next story? Yes—Beneath the Stones (under contract with The Wild Rose Press) is actually the sequel to A Red, Red Rose—same characters, same setting, five years later, though it is very much a stand-alone cozy mystery/Southern Gothic, as well.
Tell us a bit about your publisher. How did you hear about them? The Wild Rose Press was recommended by another publisher and colleague authors. I knew A Red,Red Rose would fit their line perfectly. The name alone says it all!
Tell us about the submission process and how long from date of query to date of release. They were able to get A Red, Red Rose out in about five months and I’m hoping for a similar time line with Beneath the Stones.
Add anything else you feel blog visitors would like to know about your publisher. The Wild Rose Press is a joy to work with at every level. The editors, cover artists, administration, marketing and promotion tools—all are outstanding. What project[s] are you working on now? I will soon be hard at work on edits for Beneath the Stones. After that—who knows? I may go for the third book in the series and make an Overhome Trilogy.
Thanks for visiting, Susan. Kat and I appreciate the time you've taken out of your busy schedule.
Here is the buy-link for A Red, Red Rose:

Monday, August 18, 2014

Travel to Old Kinsale with Michael McKee and MJ Schiller

This week we have imaginative author M.J. Schiller, creator of Damage Done and protagonist Michael McKee. Welcome M.J. and Mikey!
When an unhappy youth leaves him damaged, will Teddy McKee be able to find love?
Teddy Passmore McKee was born in Cork, Ireland, with a limp and a chip on his shoulder that threw his balance off all the more. When he falls in love with the dark haired beauty born of an Irish father and a Spanish mother, will Gabrielle Quinn be able to restore his balance? And what about the charming Sean Hennessey? When Gabby catches his eye, too, will Teddy’s playboy best friend cause his own damage?
Fourteen years later, will Teddy and Gabrielle’s son be able to overcome the damage done to him in his childhood?
Even through bloodshot eyes he could see she was different. But can Michael leave behind the bottle, and his womanizing ways, to win over the lovely Tess Flanagan? Tess has sustained some damage of her own. Can she and Michael overcome the terrors of the past and learn how to love each other?
And if they do, will they be able to elude those after them who want to create their own damage?
On the run after an altercation leaves their boss in a pool of blood, will Michael and Tess be able to stay one step ahead of their pursuers? Or is it simply too late to correct the damage that has been done?
Well, gee. With that, we have to know more about this man. Where are you from, Michael? I guess you could say I’m from a lil’ bit of everywhere. I was born in Cork, Ireland and lived there until I was twelve, lived in Limerick for a while, then on the Old Head of Kinsale. I get around.
Tell us a bit about Damage Done. It’s pretty much the story of me life, and the lives leading up to mine. It’s about me mum and da and me Uncle Sean, and about Tess and me. There’s a lil’ bit of mystery to it, too.
What did you think the first time you saw Tess? Ahh! I thought she was a fine thing. She was…fresh. Different. Tess.
And your second thought? I thought that any man who could fetch her would be living the life of Reilly, and I wanted to be that man.
Did you think it was love at first sight? It was, but I didn’t know it at the time.
What do you like most about Tess? Oh, it’s so hard to say. It’s the whole package, you know? She’s sweet, but sassy. Innocent, yet sexy. She keeps me in me place and sends me to the moon!
How would you describe her? You mean physically? She’s got this gorgeous cascade of wavy red hair you just want to grab hold of. And eyes that reflect the greenest green of Ireland. And a heart as big as County Cork.
How would she describe you? I think she’d say I’m a goofball. But a lovable goofball.
What made you choose musician and woodworker as careers? Never considered what a queer mix that is. I play me music because I like to fancy meself a rock star. The woodworking I do to bring home a paycheck. Or at least what passes for a paycheck.
What is your biggest fear? I guess it’d be reliving the night me mum died.
How do you relax? Oh, the usual. Playing with the kids, making love to me missus, strumming me guitar or plunking away at the keyboard.
Who is your favorite fictional character and why? I guess I’d have to say the legendary hero, Cuchulainn. Or Fionn and Fianna, distinguished warriors and guardians for all Ireland. Tess has kind of got me into them when she tells the kids bedtime stories.
What is the best piece of advice you ever received? Let go of your past. There’s a reason it’s behind you.
Excellent! We'll remember that one. Now, let's spend a bit of time with MJ, your creator: What movies or books have had an impact on your career as a writer and why? Nora Roberts' books have had both a positive and negative impact on me. Positive, because her books so captivated me I wanted to write romance. Negative because Nora has a habit of head-hopping, a giant faux pas in our industry and I’ve had to battle that in my own writing. Nora can get away with it because, well, she’s Nora.
What real thing or event in your private life were you able to bring to this story and how do you feel it impacted the novel? My trip to Ireland in 2003 heavily influenced this book. The cottage we stayed in was on the Old Head of Kinsale and that is where Tess and Michael’s story begins.
Would you do that same thing in your next story? My next story is set about as far away from the Old Head of Kinsale as can be. In outer space! And I’ve never been there so I don’t see that shaping the book.
Tell us a bit about your publisher. I traveled the traditional publisher route but now I self-publish all of my books. I love having artistic control over my work and cover art as well as being able to make my own business and marketing decisions. I discovered my traditional publisher through my Romance Writers of America chapter. It was five months from query to e-book, four more before I had a print copy out.
What project[s] are you working on now? I’ve just started edits on a new, sci-fi romance trilogy. The first book is titled Leap Into The Knight and is about a couple of space-aged knights and the princess they are called to rescue.
What's up next for you? After the trilogy is out I’ll be looking at putting out Blackout, a contemporary romance with a love triangle. Things start heating up for Eli and Faith when they are stuck on an elevator during a blackout. Ironically, it is a second blackout that tears them apart. An event that takes place when Eli is passed out. Eli’s friend Max steps up to fill the void in Faith’s life after that and eventually she has to choose between two very worthy men.
MJ has been kind enough to bring an excerpt to the table for us:
“Tessie…” He offered again. “We have to get out of here.”
She remained frozen in her spot, staring blindly over the cliff. He moved a step closer and gently grasped her elbow. “Tess—”
She whirled around and his heart caught in his chest as he stared into her wild green eyes. Tears shone on her damp cheeks, glimmering in the moonlight like trails of scattered diamonds. “Nay, Michael,” she said, her words coming out choked. “I have to tell them the truth. It’s my fault. …I k-killed him.” She sobbed.
He looked at her sadly, begging her, “Let me help you.”
The back door creaked open and light spilled out from the bar across the grass, startling them. He saw Jimmy Flynn’s outline in the doorway. “They’re out here!” he yelled.
Without waiting for a response, Michael took Tess’s arm and steered her along the cliff’s edge. He stepped over the railing and helped her to the other side as well. They stood on a narrow ledge. To the left a trail dropped off toward the sea. He led her skittering down the path, loose rock pebbling the beach far below. He had taken the pathway many a night when he was drunk and feeling particularly reckless. Tonight he hurried over it with only self-preservation and Tess’s safety in mind.
They heard voices above them, coming from every direction as searchers fanned out along the top of the cliff. Their eyes met. They hardly dared to breathe. A flashlight beam ventured over the railing and along the cliff face. She clutched his hand, squeezing it until he lost feeling in his fingers. He tried to flatten himself even more tightly against the rock face, wishing it would somehow melt and absorb them. Several seconds passed and the beam of light was joined by another, and another, each swinging away, and then toward them again.
He grabbed a quick look at the churning sea below then closed his eyes for a second, and his stomach dropped. He took a deep breath before turning his head to look at Tess. Her eyes were closed and her lips were moving fervently, but she emitted no sound. He swallowed, wondering again why the sight of her affected him so. After several minutes a voice called out, “You won’t get away with this, Mikey.” Had someone seen them? He heard Jimmy Flynn mutter, “Wherever they are, we won’t find them tonight.” One by one the lights disappeared until only a solitary beam shone.

This has been great fun for us, learning more about a loyal and frequent visitor to Wild Women Authors. All the best to you, MJ
To learn more about MJ Schiller, go to:
To purchase DAMAGE DONE, go to:

Monday, August 11, 2014

The Postman Who Never Gives Up

Today Wild Women Authors is pleased to welcome author Pamela S Thibodeaux and Raymond Jacobey, from The Inheritance a romance released by the Pelican Book Group.
First, a bit about this fascinating story:
The Inheritance is about the chance we all long for…the chance to start over. Widowed at age thirty-nine and suffering from empty nest syndrome, Rebecca Sinclair is overshadowed by grief and loneliness. Her husband has been deceased for a year, her oldest child has moved to New York in pursuit of an acting career and her youngest child is attending college in France. Having spent over half of her life as a wife and mother, she has no idea what God has in store for her now. Will an unexpected inheritance in the wine country of New York bring meaning and purpose to her life and give her the courage to love again?
US Postal worker Raymond Jacobey has been in love with the little widow since he first set eyes on her. A wanderer searching for the ever-illusive soul mate, Ray has never stayed in one place too long. Raised by self-centered, high-power executives, he’s longed for the idyllic life of residing in a cozy house in a small town with the love of his life. Will he gain the heart of the lovely widow or will he lose her to the wine country of New York?
Hi, Raymond, welcome to Wild Women Authors. Tell us what you thought the first time you saw the Rebecca. Oh I knew the moment I laid eyes on her that she was the woman of my dreams.
And your second thought? That I’d have to bide my time and be patient. You see, I took over the mail route (which is how I met her) right after her husband died. My heart broke for her and her children.
Did you think it was love at first sight? Most definitely. Every think about her touched me on a level deeper than anyone else had.
What do you like most about Rebecca? That’s hard to say, I mean she is sweet, beautiful, tender, funny.
How would you describe her? Becca has jet-black hair and eyes so rich in color they remind me of violets. Though not tall, most wouldn’t call her a raving beauty. Her eyes are a bit too wide-set, but they are fringed with thick, black lashes that most women would die for. Her cheekbones appear too high for the small, baby-like face and, like most of the women I know, she constantly battles with that infamous extra ten pounds. But there’s just something about her slightly rounded figure and soft features that melts my heart.
How would she describe you? Oh I don’t know. I’m not a big man, nor am I male model material. But she and her daughter said I’m “incredibly cute and sweet.” HA! Don’t know how I feel about that. A man likes to be reminded of his strength and prowess, not ‘cute and sweet.’ But I guess since I’m not overly buff, and basically a happy guy that’s OK. Anyway, I have sandy-blond hair, which constantly needs trimming, green eyes and sport a healthy tan all year. I stay fit by swimming almost daily in addition to my mail route on which I walk miles and miles every day. At least it feels like miles and miles.
What made you choose Postal Carrier as a career? A wanderer at heart, my biggest desire was to see the world. Flat feet kept me out of the military so, I obtained my first job fresh out of high school with the U. S. Post Office in my hometown. Whenever wanderlust takes hold, I’d pick several places on the map, send in applications and resumes then wait for a job offer. Once that was received, I’d put in for a transfer and move on to continue my career in a whole new state, city or town. This enables me to see at least some of the country. Until I met Rebecca, I very seldom stayed in one place more than a year or so and I occasionally take a college course or two, but that was as deep as my roots went in any given place. In the past eighteen years I’ve lived and worked in fifteen different locations.
What is your biggest fear? My parents were high-strung, high-powered executives and we never had a lot in common. They’re wealthy, powerful and passionate about everything and I’m a bit shy and insecure. My biggest fear was that I’d never meet my soul mate or if I did, she wouldn’t want to settle down in a cozy place or raise our children, if she even wanted them, to love and honor their individuality and without trying to mold them into little replicas of us.
How do you relax? Swimming helps ease the tension when I feel all wound up but a nice glass of wine and a good meal, which I don’t mind cooking, always works. And of course prayer.
Who is your favorite fictional character and why? Rebecca of Sunny Brook Farm. I know she was a precocious child but I just love her effervescent personality. My Becca makes me think of her.
What is the best piece of advice you ever received? Forgiveness is the key to happiness and even when you think you’ve forgiven until you let go of those toxic emotions, you’re not really free nor can you truly be happy.
Now a bit about our author visitor: Award-winning author, Pamela S. Thibodeaux is the Co-Founder and a 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.”
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? What influenced your decision to submit to them? I initially wrote The Inheritance, with Harlequin’s ‘Next’ line in mind but after reading a couple of those books I knew it wouldn’t fit. Then I heard about The Wild Rose Press’s inspirational line (White Rose) and after checking the guidelines, decided to submit to them. . It took about six months from query to release. Takes a little longer now since the White Rose line is now an imprint of Pelican Book Group.
What book are you currently reading? On my bedside table it The Alchemist and on my Kindle, The Practice of the Presence of God.
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 an experience. Sure wish Raymond delivered our mail—in that he seems responsible and gets the job done in a timely and professional manner. Thanks for visiting us this week.
Kat and Veronica
To learn more about Pamela S Thibodeaux and the stories she creates go to:
Face Book:
Twitter: @psthib

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.