Spotlight & Guest Post: Of Dreams and Shadow by D.S. McKnight

About the book Of Dreams and Shadows by D.S. McKnight

Of Dreams and Shadows

We live. We die. Is there anything more? Jenna Barton is about to find out. After moving to the coastal North Carolina town of Parson’s Cove, Jenna has unwittingly stepped into the middle of a mystery involving a missing child. Unfortunately, the predator is still on the loose and Jenna has become his new obsession. With a little luck and a bit of paranormal help, Jenna might survive.

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About the author, D.S. McKnight

D.S. McKnight

D.S. McKnight has enjoyed a varied career—from working as a radio DJ on a small AM station to serving as president and co-owner of a marina, until Hurricane Ophelia took aim at the Carolina coast. Currently, she works at an insurance agency as well as hosting her blog – Novel Notions.

It is her love of the North Carolina coast that fueled her desire to write. Of Dreams and Shadow: Forget Me Not (book 1) is her first novel.

Connect with D.S.

Web | Blog | Facebook | Twitter | Goodreads


Read a Guest Post from D.S. McKnight

 

For approximately 2 1/2 years, I spent every available moment in Parson’s Cove – the fictional town where Of Dreams and Shadow takes place.  I knew the town – the name of the streets as well as the locations of shops and restaurants.  I knew the characters, how they looked and what they liked. I witnessed the tragedy that set the story into motion.  So, I found it difficult to let go when it came time to say goodbye.  Fortunately for me, I was able to visit the story in other ways.  One way was to become the reporter for The Parson’s Cove Daily News:

 

The Parson’s Cove Daily News

 

June 19, 1997

 

(Parson’s Cove)  Area authorities continue to search for Sarah Jones.  The four year old girl was last seen the morning of June 17, while playing outside of the family home located on Sandpiper Drive.  Parson’s Cove Police Department spokesman,  Sgt. Joe Wilkes confirmed that there was a witness to the abduction.  The suspect is described as a male however there was no further description available.  The suspect is believed to have been wearing dark clothing.

 

Neighbor Bob Williams spoke for the family.  “At this time, the family is asking for prayers for the safe return of their daughter.”  When asked how the family was doing, Williams became visibly upset.  “I guess they are doing as good as possible considering the situation.”

 

Besides canvassing local businesses, search and rescue teams have been called in.   “Bloodhounds are a valuable asset in this type of investigation,”  Sgt. Wilkes said.

 

Sarah is described as a white female child approximately three feet tall with light brown hair and green eyes.  She was last seen wearing pink shorts and a white top.

 

Residents are asked to contact the police department if they remember seeing anything suspicious in the area.


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Read an excerpt

Prologue

June 17, 1997

Details…they were the making or breaking of any plan and he

felt sure that his plan was perfect. He surveyed the yard one last

time, slid back into his hiding place and waited. It wouldn’t be

long now. She would open the door and come out to play as she

did every morning: swinging, pulling her wagon, playing with her

doll. Only this morning would be different, this morning would

be special.

Laying in her wagon was his gift, a necklace he had taken from

his mother. He was certain Sarah would love it. A door slammed,

pulling his attention from the wagon to the patio where the little

girl stood.

“Big…black…bug’s blood,” she said slowly. And then, looking

rather pleased with herself, she continued a bit faster, “Big, black

bug’s blood, big black blugs blug, blig black blug’s blug.” Shaking

her head, she stepped off the patio, “I don’t like bugs anyway…well,

maybe ladybugs…and butterflies,” Sarah added as a swallowtail

fluttered by.

Sarah found herself following the butterfly’s trail, stopping

when it lit upon a flower and continuing on as it once again took

flight. “Come back butterfly,” she called as the butterfly

flitted from place to place, always just out of her reach. The

tinkling sound of her laughter floated across the yard to his

hiding place. He couldn’t believe his luck. It seemed that fate

was lending him a hand as the butterfly fluttered ever closer to

the wagon.

     Just a little further, sweet Sarah.

She stopped, looked up at the butterfly as it changed course,

then set off in the opposite direction. He clinched his fist. Fate,

he thought, is like a fickle strumpet. But patience on the other hand,

was quite the virtuous lady. Damn. He hated virtuous ladies. And

strumpets…they weren’t any better.

The swallowtail, perhaps tired of playing the game, circled

around and carried Sarah back toward the wagon. Its flight was

now one of purpose. It had nectar to collect and flowers to pollinate

and a curious little girl was a hindrance. The butterfly, however,

didn’t need to worry. It had lost Sarah’s attention. She had seen the

Picking up the silver chain, she watched as the blue stones

glistened in the sunlight. It was the most beautiful thing she had

ever seen. Sarah slid the necklace over her head and ran back to the

house calling out for her mother.

Liza Jones opened the door. “Is everything okay, Sweetie?”

Sarah lifted the pendant. “See what I found.” Her voice dropped

to a whisper, as she looked over her shoulder. “Do you think a fairy

dropped it?”

Liza shook her head. “I don’t know about a fairy, but someone

certainly did.” She put out her hand. “I think maybe you should

give the necklace to me. We don’t know whose it is.”

Sarah’s lip began to tremble. “But I found it and it’s so pretty.

Can’t I please wear it for a little while? I won’t lose it.”

Liza smiled as she touched her daughter’s cheek. She hated

telling her no. “Okay, as long as you’re careful. But when we find

out who owns it, no tears.”

“No tears, Mommy,” Sarah agreed. “I promise.”

Liza closed the door, her mind already going over the phone

calls she needed to make. She felt certain that one of the neighbor’s

children had been exploring in their mother’s jewelry box.

Smiling, Sarah whirled around and set off for the swings. Her

soft caramel curls, caught in a ponytail, danced about as she skipped

across the backyard. She hoped her mommy couldn’t find the owner

of the necklace.

As she sat in the swing and pushed off with her feet, Sarah

noticed her shadow. It moved along the sand, stretching out just as

she did. Higher and higher she went, her shadow following below.

Taking a flying leap from the swing, Sarah sailed through the air,

landed on the soft grass and toppled over. Giggling, she righted

herself. Her shadow did the same. And so the game of chase began.

Like a small rabbit, Sarah scampered across the lawn, her

little feet swiftly changing course. Sometimes, depending on the

direction she was going, Sarah noticed that she was being chased by

her shadow. Other times, she was doing the chasing.

The slamming of the neighbor’s back door didn’t go unnoticed.

Boys! She thought to herself as she wheeled in the opposite direction,

making sure to avoid the fence. Glancing over her shoulder, she saw

the neighbor boy peeking over the pickets.

As she neared the back of the yard, Sarah slowed to a walk,

sat down, and leaned against a large boulder, her shadow all but

forgotten. She fingered the silver chain before carefully lifting the

pendant. Blue stones surrounded a small crystal, reminding her of

the flowers that grew in her mother’s garden. “Buttercup, Poppy,

Forget-Me-Not,” Sarah recited her favorite nursery rhyme, “These

three bloomed in a garden spot—” her soft voice trailed away to

nothing as the sensation of being watched rolled over her.

Sarah lifted her eyes from the necklace and glanced toward the

wood line, looking for anything that seemed out of place. Seeing

nothing out of the ordinary, she continued to search the yard,

looking for the source of her discomfort. She paused, realizing that

the only place left to look was behind her. The hair on her arms

began to rise as did the instinctual feeling to run to safety. Slowly,

she turned her head to look over her shoulder. Her eyes rested on

the dark figure standing behind her right shoulder.

“Shadow?” she asked in a bewildered voice.

“Who else could it be?” hissed the childlike apparition as it

took position between Sarah and her house. A ragged whimper

wrenched from deep in Sarah’s throat, her eyes darted, looking for

an escape but seeing none. From across the fence, the frightened

eyes of the neighbor boy found hers, his small hand waved for her

to run.

“Mommy!” she cried out, her eyes welling with tears.

“Thy mother hearest thou not, sweet Sarah,” the specter hissed

as it took a step closer to the child.

Sarah’s mind told her to flee yet her body refused to move.

Tears streamed down her face. The shadowy figure looked over

its shoulder at the house. Satisfied, it turned its attention back to

Sarah. Cocking its head to the side as though in thought, Sarah’s

silhouette paused for just a moment before lunging and engulfing

the child. Sarah had no time to scream. She was gone, swallowed

by the blackness that was the shadow. The dark figure of the little

girl stretched upward and outward as it shifted into the dark shape

of a man.


Of Dreams and Shadow

This post is part of a virtual book tour sponsored by Pump Up Your Book. For more information and the list of tour stops, click here.

Guest Post by William Buisch, author of The Ark’s Cargo

About the book, The Ark’s Cargo

The Ark's Cargo by William Buisch

This memoir describes the challenges a young man faces in achieving his dream of becoming a veterinarian. Even a period of homelessness and limited resources do not interfere with his commitment to achieve success. And this is only the beginning! Soon he is faced with the challenges of working in the jungles of Panama, facing the ravages of a roaming black jaguar and the defenses of a native village against the entrance of man or beast.

Then, how about Haiti, where the Tonton Macoute militias believe in instant justice, rarely valuing life, or Columbia, where the drug lords have absolute rule. As if that isn’t enough, consider working in the African continent, along the tales surrounding the first shipment of Charolais cattle to the United States or the many facets of working with the wild mustangs in Colorado. Each exciting adventure is told with suspense, drama, and humor! Enjoy!

Buy a copy of your own!

The Ark’s Cargo at Trafford Publishing


About the author, William Buisch

Inspired by biblical passages and teachings, the author cherished his work as an international veterinarian. His passion for improving the health and welfare of domesticated and wild animals is most noteworthy. Working within diverse cultures, he observed vast health improvements in animals and, as a result, in people living nearby.


Guest Post from William Buisch

If you like romance, love, excitement, drama, adventure, exotic tales/tails and situational comedy, I have just the right book for you! And then with the ever present animalistic behavior and the discussion of male prowess while being, a bit bullish at times I am sure you will appreciate and love this collection of real life stories. Don’t be sheepish or cackle at the story line! But rather, enjoy the horsing around and the descriptions of unusual harems and the sexuality of a semen collection facility. All of this and more is included in the award winning book entitled, The Ark’s Cargo: For the Love of Animals!

The memoir is about an International Veterinarian who worked in poverty stricken areas of the world including that of working in Haiti, the jungles of Panama, in Colombia in areas under the control of drug lords, in Mali, along the road to Timbuktu and in Kenya where the Maasi believe they own all of the cattle in the world.

The stories include efforts to improve the health and welfare of both wild and domesticated animals in order to improve the well being of the human populations living near by. While the episodes may get a little wild at times, each adventure doesn’t necessarily achieve the success hoped for. Nevertheless, the lessons learned and the relationships developed established long lasting effects of international trust and respect that will last for years to come!

Having worked with the Wild Mustangs in Colorado and Nevada may be the highlight for some. But facing the terror of a black jaguar, or being “attacked” by a Battalion of Troops, or facing a native with a shield and spear aimed at one’s heart; will often attract the attention of others. And then there is the matter of the ever “screwing” Screwworm Fly; the experience of shipping cattle in a school bus; or the experience of being an unseasoned seaman in the North Atlantic. All I can say is; this is only the beginning! And as such, do enjoy!!!

In their Words: Scott Eder, author of Knight of Flame

Every time I talk with an author, one of the subjects that comes up is marketing. Most of them tell me that they never expected to be so involved with the process. Today, author Scott Eder, whose novel Knight of Flame I spotlighted yesterday, talks about marketing, and specifically about Local Independent Bookstores.


 

Working the Marketing Plan – Local Independent Book Stores 

 

With Knight of Flame coming out on October 15th, I turned the crank on my great wheel of marketing to the notch labeled—Local Independent Book Stores (LIBS). While a tremendous amount of work can be done online, there is no substitute for, or a peripheral device yet invented that replaces, a firm handshake, and that personal touch.

 

Building relationships is still important, still relevant, and a great way to garner support at your local independent book seller. It’s not a one visit, wham, bam, buy my book, kind of deal. It can be, if your end goal is to see your book on their shelves; but, if you actually want the store personnel to keep you in mind and recommend your books to their customers, it takes a little more time and attention. I learned a lot during my first visit, and would like to share it with you.

 

The LIBS I targeted is touted as one of the biggest new and used book stores in Florida. They host quite a few author events, as evidenced by the huge array of signed book cover posters along the walls. These guys have been around a long, long time, founded in 1933 to be exact. I haven’t been in a store like that in years. The arid smell—of old paper, dust, adventure, and wisdom—filled the place. I loved it.

 

Now, I’ve been in tons of bookstores before, but as a reader. This was my first sojourn with more on my mind than picking up the latest release from Brooks, Farland, Anderson, Owen, or several of my other favorites. So, my expectations were low. I wanted to go in, look around, introduce myself, ask how they made stocking decisions, buy a book (I didn’t want to take up their time without giving something in return), and call it a successful recon mission with a plan to come back in a few weeks.

 

It didn’t quite work out that way.

 

I struck up a conversation with one of the guys behind the desk. It only lasted a few minutes, but I got the chance to introduce myself, handed him my business card, and mentioned that I had a book coming out soon. He gave me the owner’s card in return and suggested I give him a call. Done. Nothing major, but I was nice, made the initial contact, and gained the information I needed. Mission accomplished.

 

Free to peruse the shelves, I found the Fantasy section. Being an avid Fantasy guy, most of the other shelves, and there were shelves everywhere, appear grayed out to me anyway. While perusing the new releases, the gentleman I had spoken to, Roger (name changed to protect the innocent), walked over and picked up the conversation where we left off. We talked about some of the different authors, and then changed topics to cover art.

 

Roger appeared to be roughly my age, give or take, and he’d worked in the store since he was three, THREE, said he started in the comic book room. Based on his confident demeanor, and the comfortable, familiar way he talked about the authors that had held signings over the years, I got the impression he’d seen just about every book that had come out in the last thirty years worth seeing.

 

We discussed some of the old Frank Frazetta and Boris Valejo covers from the ’80s, among other things. Then, in the midst of Roger bemoaning the trend of some Sci-Fi covers being too abstract, I offered to show him my cover art. I mean, what could it hurt? We were in the midst of the cover conversation and he seemed to know a lot about the topic. He said, “Uh, sure.” Not overly enthused, but willing to take a peek. (He mentioned earlier that the owner of the store gets at least twenty calls a day from authors asking for him to stock their books. I bet he sees all kinds of covers, all the time. By his demeanor I assume that most aren’t all that spectacular.)

 

So, I pulled my cover up on my cell phone. Did I mention that I love technology?

 

Roger’s eyes widened. His stance changed. He stared at the cover. “That’s a really good cover.” His voice sounded deeper, different than it was before the reveal. “You know, every book is judged by its cover. I don’t care what anyone says. And yours is really good.”

 

His demeanor changed. I felt he took me more seriously. That great conversation we were having before just took on a new level of subtext.

 

Still on the topic of cover art, he pulled me to another section in the store, explaining how one particular cover sold well. It was a serious military series with a rifle on the cover. Nothing else. It left no question as to what the story was about. He related that the publisher was concerned that the cover was too serious, and rebuffed some readers who were looking for an element of romance. But there was decidedly no romance in the series. At all. None. Still, they changed that cover, depicting an abstract human torso dressed in a nebulous uniform. It gave no clues as to what the story was about, and the artwork sucked (his words). Sales for that entire series tanked. Roger said that he practically had to force people to check it out. Once they did, though, the story sold the rest of the series.

 

Since our relationship had evolved, and we were talking about a series of cover, I boldly took another step forward. I explained the plan for the changing covers in my four-book series. There are three consistent POV characters throughout my series to ground the reader. In each book, there is an additional POV character, typically one of the other members of the Knights Elementalis. I explained that each cover would showcase the face of that new POV character in the same style as my Knight of Flame cover. The next book features the Knight of Air.

 

Again, he paused for a moment, taking in the new information. Eyes wide, assessing, mulling over the possibilities, he said, “That sounds really cool. That could work well. Very distinctive.”

 

I got the same impression as before, could even see it on his face.

 

We talked about a few other things, moseying about the store. He kept track of the work going on around him, making sure the guys behind the counter could handle the steady flow of customers. When we got to the subject of local writers using recognizable settings in their work, I couldn’t resist. I mean, he lobbed a big juicy pitch over the center of the plate, I had to swing for the fence.

 

“Hmm,” I said. “Knight of Flame takes place here in the Tampa/St. Pete area. There’s an epic battle atop the Sunshine Skyway Bridge, and major events take place on the top floor of the Regions Bank building in downtown Tampa. I’ve got a strong mix of real and fantasy settings in the story.”

 

He waited for me to continue.

 

“While the first book in the series is primarily local, the next book expands to the west coast, Canada, and Europe as the influence of the Gray Lord is felt on a more global scale. It escalates further from there until things wrap up in book four. My plan was to build a large story that would draw in readers all over the world.”

 

He smiled and nodded as I spoke. “Sounds really good.” That’s when he told me the process to win over LIBS. I’ll paraphrase.

 

  • When you go into an independent book store, don’t talk about the big retailers like Amazon, and Barnes and Noble. It really doesn’t matter to them how much you’ve sold through the other guys. Focus on the store at hand.
  • Be nice. Roger called out a number of the authors on the wall, all exceedingly nice people. He mentioned a few others, no posters marking their presence, giving examples of how not to behave.

 

That’s it. The key is to be nice. Got it. Roger that, er…uhm, Roger.

Business picked up in the store, so he excused himself. Not to belabor the issues, or to push my luck, I paid for my selections and left, exhilarated.

 

I’ve had a few days to mull this phenomenal adventure over, and I think there are more steps for a successful visit than Roger let on. I lucked out to some degree. I always try to be nice on general principal, and I have no past history with the big book dogs, so there was no way for me to cross the line there. Here’s the process I came up with:

 

  • Be Professional
  • Plan the trip – Don’t go in on a whim. Set the date and treat it like a business meeting.
  • Look decent – Look the part. Be the protagonist in your own author success story.
  • Leave a business card – A good looking, professional business card will enhance their perception of you, and leave a souvenir of your visit.
  • Be Nice
  • Courteous
  • Respectful
  • Watch language – treat the encounter like it’s a professional business meeting.
  • Get to the point – don’t waste their time.
  • Be Prepared – if you follow the first two points, especially number two, be prepared to take it to the next level. Create the opportunity to sell yourself and your work.
  • Cover art – my awesome cover art was done by Brad Fraunfelter – www.bradfraunfelterillustration.com
  • Back cover copy
  • Story pitch – you’re not selling to an agent or editor, but you are trying to interest someone in your work.
  • Anything else you might be able to use to tell your story
  • If you have the means, buy a book – the LIBS guys and gals need to eat too, and your to-be-read pile can never be too large.

 

That’s it. Simple, right? Now, go out and win over your LIBS.


About the Author, Scott Eder

Scott Eder

Since he was a kid, Scott wanted to be an author and explored many genres through high school and college. Fantasy, though, captivated his soul. Tales of Knights and magic, dragons and elves filled his dreams. After greasing the gears of the corporate machine for many years, he escaped the Information Technology vortex to focus full-time on writing. The stories he’d envisioned years ago—of nobility and strife, honor and chaos—demanded they be brought to life.

Scott lives with his wife, two children, and a giant Chihuahua on the west coast of Florida.

Connect with Scott

Website: ScottEder.net
Facebook: Scott Eder
Twitter: @ScottEder

In their Character’s Words: Kaylin McFarren’s Buried Threads

Kaylin McFarren interviews her character, Shinzo Yamada

Kaylin McFarren: “Hello everyone! Today I’m interviewing Shinzo Yamada, one of the main characters from my latest novel Buried Threads. This handsome gentleman is a Buddhist monk who has a remarkable gift of prophesy. He travels the world freeing trapped souls and can see into the past lives of people he meets. This non-traditional monk is 29-years-old, has a tan complexion and trendy haircut and wears stylist European suits. He is definitely a “metro sexual man” by Tokyo standards, at least according to a recent New York Times article I read. So tell me, Shinzo, are you happy with how you were portrayed in Buried Threads?”

Shinzo: “We all have parts to play in this world. Some of us are leaders, others are followers and some prefer to sit back and simply watch the world go round. As for myself, I do whatever I can to help the lost find a path to enlightenment and to realize their true potential and purpose in life. Although I would have been happier assisting your readers in finding peace and contentment, my preoccupation with preventing a natural disaster in Japan was most apparent in your book. So in answer to your question, under the circumstances, I would have to say you did a fine job.”

Kaylin: “As I’ve indicated in your introduction, you have the ability the visualize past lives. How did you acquire this ability, how do these visions come to you and how does the past impact our personalities?”

Shinzo: “I believe I was actually born with this gift, but with training and the guidance of my superior, who is a direct descendant of Moses, I’ve learned how to control it and use it in a positive way. When I close my eyes and put myself into a meditative state, I can telepathically transport myself into the inner consciousness of the person I’m with and visualize the soul’s memories of past-life activities. Of course, their memories of past-life actions influence how they react to others. Through the same eyes that the personality sees life, the soul sees it, but the soul looks with a memory covering centuries of passion and adventure, caring and love, hatred and revenge, doubt and fear. When we feel a seemingly unfounded fondness for another person, it is very likely due to soul memory of the positive role he or she played in our past lives. On the other hand, when we react with what seems to be an unfounded revulsion or hatred towards another person, you can be pretty sure it is because the soul recalls their past actions against us or our loved ones.

However, the influences of past-life actions are rarely so clear cut. Often those with whom we have had many good lives and relationships are the same people with whom we have had many problems and disagreements, a mix of “good” and “bad karma,” so to speak. In fact, it’s rare that a past-life relationship has every aspect of life in good, clear focus. Those positive, well-developed aspects from our past lives will give us much pleasure and support in the present. Conversely, those aspects, which we did not have in proper focus, will give us opportunities for pain and growth in present relationships. Avoiding these influences is simply not possible. Whether we like it or not, the Universal Law of Karma constantly brings before each of us the meeting of our past use of free will and consciousness. Thus, what we have done to other souls and they have done to us is reflected in the circumstances surrounding our present relationships and the basic, innate urges, attitudes and emotions we feel toward each other.”

Kaylin: “Hmmm…I see where you’re going with this. But since my readers are not able to meet with you, can they personally acquire this ability on some level?”

Shinzo: “A past life meditation is an exercise you can do on your own, although it may take some practice and more than a couple of attempts to get anywhere. In a past life meditation, the Seeker uses meditation techniques to travel back to previous lifetimes. You can achieve this by allowing your mind to wander back through your current lifetime, to earlier memories, and then telling your mind to go back to an earlier period. Although this doesn’t always work for everyone, you may find yourself experiencing memories from what seems to be another lifetime.”

Kaylin: “Fascinating. I’m sure everyone will be trying this tonight. So going in another direction, were you able to win the affections of Mariko Abe, the beautiful geisha you fell in love with in Buried Threads?”

Shinzo: “Ah…I’m sorry, Kaylin-san. I’m not a fan of spoilers and would hate to ruin the fun, so I suggest having your audience investigate themselves by reading Buried Threads, since the answer is buried inside.”

Kaylin: “Thank you, Shinzo, and my thanks and best regards to readers who are sure to experience a wild, fun ride in this new steamy, non-stop action story.”

 


About the book, Buried Threads

 

Buried Threads 2

Rachel’s mouth sagged. “You mean you’re really a monk? But how’s that possible? You’re not even wearing a robe, and your hair…”

He simply smiled.

A disturbing prophecy sends a treasure hunting duo on an urgent race to rescue a country in Kaylin McFarren’s heart pounding new novel, Buried Threads. Full of erotic suspense and wild adventures, this is one trip that readers will never forget!

Rachel Lyons and Chase Cohen work together as the successful owners of a treasure hunting company. But a seemingly simply assignment – to track down a priceless gem that is believed to buried in a shipwreck deep within the Sea of Japan – takes a starling, and dangerous, turn.

Faced with a monk’s dark prophecy that a natural disaster will soon strike Japan, killing millions, Rachel and Chase must embark on the mission of a lifetime in order to uncover the three cursed samurai swords that can avert the catastrophe.

Chaos ensues as their adventure takes them from shark infested waters and creepy caves to haunted hidden tombs and a confrontation with Yakuza gang members.

Time is running out as the prophecy’s day of reckoning draws near. Will Rachel and Chase succeed before disaster strikes?

Buy a copy from Amazon.

Watch the Trailer on YouTube


About the author, Kayin McFarren

Kaylin McFarren

Kaylin McFarren is a California native who has enjoyed traveling around the world. She previously worked as director for a fine art gallery, where she helped foster the careers of various artists before feeling the urge to satisfy her won creative impulses.

Since launching her writing career, McFarren has earned more than a dozen literary awards in addition to a finalist spot in the 2008 RWA Golden Heart Contest. A member of RWA, Rose City Romance Writers, and Willamette Writers, she also lends her participation and support to various charitable and educational organizations in the Pacific Northwest.

McFarren currently lives with her husband in Oregon. They have three children and two grandchildren.

Connect with Kaylin:

Website: KaylinMcFarren.com
Facebook: Kaylin.McFarren
Twitter: @4Kaylin
Goodreads: Kaylin_McFarren


Pump Up Your Book and Kaylin McFarren are giving away a $100 Amazon Gift Card/Paypal Cash!

Terms & Conditions:

  • By entering the giveaway, you are confirming you are at least 18 years old.
  • One winner will be chosen via Rafflecopter to receive one Amazon Gift Card or Paypal Cash.
  • This giveaway begins October 7 and ends December 31.
  • Winners will be contacted via email on Monday, January 3, 2013.
  • Winner has 48 hours to reply.
  • Only U.S. citizens can win the Kindle Fire.

Good luck everyone!

ENTER TO WIN!

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Buried Threads

In Their Character’s Words: A Guest Post from J.R. Rain’s SAMANTHA MOON

Moon River

Guest post from Samantha Moon

by J.R. Rain

Some call me a vampire.

I say, why use labels? I’m uncomfortable calling myself anything other than a mother. That’s the one label I am comfortable with. I’m a mom first and foremost. A private investigator next, even though that is fairly recent. Seven years ago, I wasn’t a private eye, but a federal agent.

So, even that was subject to change. Perhaps someday I might find myself better suited for a different job, although I will always help those who need help. Although I’d always admired Judge Judy, I would never want to be in her position: to judge the actions of others. That took wisdom…a lifetime of wisdom. Technically, I’m only in my mid-thirties, although I look much younger. Still, far too young to judge others.

Truth was, my current lifestyle was perfectly suited to private investigation. Other than meeting new clients, who tended to want to meet during the day, I got along just fine working the night shift.

So, yes, one of the constants in my life was that I was a mother. Of course, even that was threatened just a year or so ago, when a rare sickness almost took my son from me. A son who was growing so fast.

Supernaturally fast.

Don’t ask.

I have a daughter, too. A daughter who offered many challenges, the least of which was that she could read minds as easily as she read her Facebook newsfeed.

Yes, I was a mother…and a sister. My sister has had a rough time of it, of late. She’s recently been introduced to the some of the darker elements of my world, and might be holding a grudge against me. But she would get over it. She’d better. I need her in my life.

Of course, there was another constant in my life…a constant that I ignored. A constant that I denied. And, as they say, denial isn’t just a river in Egypt.

Denial is my sanity.

You see, I have to deny what I am. Who I am. Or I would go crazy. I know I would. In fact, a part of me is certain that I just might be crazy. But not let’s not go there.

Yes, call me anything. But please, just please, don’t call me a vampire.

At least, not to my face.

About the book, Moon River:

Moon River

Seven years ago federal agent Samantha Moon was the perfect wife and mother, your typical soccer mom with the minivan and suburban home. Then the unthinkable happens, an attack that changes her life forever. And forever is a very long time for a vampire.

Now in MOON RIVER, private investigator, Samantha Moon, is asked to look into a string of bizarre murders, murders that are looking more and more like the handiwork of a bloodthirsty vampire. But when her sister, Mary Lou, goes missing, Samantha, Allison and Kingsley take the fight underground…into the dark heart of a vampire’s lair.

Buy a copy from Amazon.com.


About the author, J.R. Rain:

J.R. Rain

J.R. Rain is an ex-private investigator now writing full-time in the Pacific Northwest where he lives in a small house on a small island with his small dog, Sadie, who has more energy than Robin Williams. He will be publishing a slew of new novels over the next five years, so stop by often and check out what’s new.

Connect with J.R.

Website: jrrain.com
Facebook: J.R. Rain, Mystery Author
Twitter: @jr_rain

 

In their words: Arnine Weiss, author of She Ain’t Heavy

She Ain't Heavy

As part of the blog tour for her newest book, She Ain’t Heavy, author Arnine Cumsky Weiss has written a lovely guest post for me about the benefits of joining a writing group, something I’ve always waffled about. I think it’s really appropriate considering the number of my friends and acquaintances who will be starting NaNoWriMo on Friday.

Five Benefits to Joining a Writing Group

by Arnine Weiss

I moved to New York City several years ago, kicking and screaming. My husband transferred here for a new job, and I learned that a mid-life move is not easy. I came from a small town in northeastern Pennsylvania where people on the street said hello and neighbors watched out for each other. I arrived in NYC to learn that the only people who will risk making eye contact with you are those with their hands out.

To make a better connection to the city, I registered for a writing class, which has evolved into a writing group. One of the highlights of my week is getting together with these fine folks and sharing our writing. I’ve realized there are five major benefits in belonging to a writing group.

  1. It forces you to meet deadlines. We all have busy lives and best-laid plans are often thwarted. By making a commitment to yourself and your fellow writers, the group keeps you on task and forces you to produce the expected number of pages.
  2. The feedback. The groups I’ve been involved with provide gentle, honest feedback while mutual respect is fostered. Our members come from a wide demographic, making the perspectives varied and more interesting.
  3. Sense of Community. Writing can be a very lonely endeavor, and writers spend time with characters that often don’t talk back. It can be isolating and requires constant discipline. The writing group creates camaraderie with like-minded individuals who understand your struggles and celebrate your triumphs.
  4. Familiarity. As your history grows with your writing group, your colleagues get to know your work and your characters, sometimes better than you do. I’ve heard comments like, “Oh, John would never do that.” Or “Mary would never say that.” They refer to your characters by name and know what they look like and how they behave. And the group will call you out if your work is not up to your professional standards.
  5. And finally, the snacks! We meet in each other’s apartments and celebrate each other’s work in an atmosphere of collegiality while snacking on fun food. It’s always a joy to get together.

Joining a writing group has changed my outlook on living in a city that can be cold and unfriendly. We started out as colleagues and have evolved into friends and like any good relationship, most of us are in it for the long haul.


About Arnine Weiss:

Arnine Cumsky Weiss

Arnine Cumsky Weiss is a nationally certified sign language interpreter and a teacher of English as a second language. She has worked in the field of Deafness for over thirty years. She is the author of six books. BECOMING A BAR MITVAH: A TREASURY OF STORIES, BECOMING A BAT MITZVAH: A TREASURY OF STORIES (University of Scranton Press), THE JEWS OF SCRANTON (Arcadia Publishing), and THE UNDEFEATED (RID Press) and THE CHOICE: CONVERTS TO JUDAISM SHARE THEIR STORIES (University of Scranton Press). Her second novel, SHE AIN’T HEAVY (Academy Chicago)was published in June, 2013. She is married to Dr. Jeffrey Weiss and is the mother of Matt, Allie, and Ben.

Connect with Arnine Weiss:

Website: ArnineWeiss.com
Twitter: @Arnine


About the Book, She Ain’t Heavy:

SheAintHeavy

Just when counter clerk Teddy Warner is about to be evicted from her Scranton apartment, she bumps into beautiful, brilliant, blond Rachel – her estranged childhood friend whose mother forbid their friendship thinking Teddy was beneath them.

Teddy and Rachel reconnect over hot chocolate and under New Year’s Eve fireworks. Their discussion leads to an invitation. Soon, Teddy’s on her way to Philadelphia, where Rachel is a student, to share an apartment and begin an exciting new life in the City.

Teddy views Rachel as perfect. Rachel can’t bring herself to shatter the image by letting on that she is having an affair with a married man. Just when Teddy is starting to feel at home, Rachel insists on some privacy. Acting out her anger at being asked to stay away, Teddy indulges in a one-night stand.

When Teddy returns to their apartment the next morning, Rachel is being carried out on a stretcher – the victim of carbon monoxide poisoning. This unforeseen tragedy leaves Teddy alone in a strange city, with no money, no friends, and no connections.

As Teddy struggles to find her way, she meets a mentor at the same university Rachel previously attended who takes an interest in her, but with strings attached. She also develops a unique bond with the firefighter who rescued Rachel. And yet, Teddy remains committed to helping Rachel get back on her feet, at a time when no one else who supposedly loves her can accept her in this diminished way. Along the way, Teddy discovers her own strength in the roles of caretaker, lover, and friend.

Buy a copy at Amazon.com

Watch the Book Trailer:

In Their Character’s Words: Jess Money’s Public Enemies

I’m participating in a virtual blog tour for Jess Money’s new novel Public Enemies, and he was kind enough to write a guest post from the point of view of one of his characters. Enjoy! (And don’t forget to buy the book!)

Going Out With A Bang

by Kenneth Johnson, FBI Sr. Special Agent (Ret.)

Public Enemies banner

Everyone who becomes an FBI agent harbors the dream of helping break a big case, the kind that gets taught to future recruits at the FBI Academy. Fortunately, working under Supervisory Sr. Special Agent Darren “Doc” Medlin in Special Assignments Section Bravo, my very last case turned out to be the biggest in FBI history. Given how it ended, whether or not it gets taught at the Academy is still in question.

To a casual observer, Doc and I probably seemed like an unusual team; he was in his mid-30’s and I was approaching the mandatory retirement age of 65, yet he was my superior. This happened largely because Doc was willing to deal with the bureaucracy and political nature of leading an SAS team while I wasn’t. (Okay, the fact that he was a born leader and maybe the best FBI agent ever had a little something to do with it.)

The age difference never mattered to us. We were completely simpatico, Butch and Sundance, Batman and Robin. And like those fictional characters we had our own special woman, our Etta Place, our Bat Woman. Her name was Kelli Randleman and aside from Doc, she was the best agent I ever worked with.

To the public, it was known as the Manifesto case; inside the bureau it was the Crusader file. At its core, the case was simple: a guy using the alias Tom Paine, after the famous Founding Father, set out to force the country to reform through the adoption of a set of Constitutional amendments. As laudable as his goals were, unfortunately he set out to accomplish them using vigilante violence.

Doc’s team was assigned to spearhead the manhunt for Mr. Paine, which proved to be no simple chore. Paine was exceedingly smart, some might even say he was a genius, and during the course of living a normal productive life he had accidentally gained a skill set that later served his terrorist goals quite well. His understanding and command of technology let him evade some of our best investigative tools and even turn some of those tools against us. The more he eluded us and the more his movement grew, the higher the tension among the public rose. Our concern wasn’t just fact that we just couldn’t allow self-appointed vigilantes to whack politicians and business leaders they disagreed with. Doc and I both knew that domestic political terrorism and civil unrest are milestones on the road to civil war.

Our efforts were further complicated by the fact that Paine chose to communicate his messages and demands by calling a young, previously obscure female talk show host named Crystal Dickerson. Doc carried around this vision of his mythical ideal perfect woman and she was it. In all my life I never saw any man fight so hard against inevitable natural attraction, but he refused to let it compromise the case. Of course, for professional reasons she did a pretty good job of holding her ground, too. In the end you could say that we all won, but only because the country also won.

And I got to end my thirty-seven year FBI career with a bang.

* * * * *

About the Book, Public Enemies:

Public Enemies

The only thing the elite fear, an uprising of the people, is about to be realized.
After bankruptcy took away his dying wife’s medical care, Thomas Paine is on a crusade for a Second Bill of Rights using violence against politicians, banksters, and CEO’s.

How far will FBI Agent Darren Medlin go to stop the public from joining Paine’s insurgency? Forced to publicize Paine’s demands, what decisions will talk show host Crystal Dickerson have to make? And which way will the country turn?

Buy a copy at AMAZON

In their Words: Guest Post from Tami Goldstein

Tami Goldstein’s book Coming Through the Fog may be about her daughter’s journey through autism, but it’s she who wrote the story. She was kind enough to write a guest post for me:

The Story Behind the Story

I have no training as a writer and the story Coming Through the Fog was an emotional, all consuming, financially training account that played out over a 13 year process from diagnosis to Functioning Recovery and independent living. I have 3 storage containers with information, medical, psychological, educational and the training that I took to understand the disability and how my daughter presented. Heather’s Occupational Therapist, Sue Kratz, continued for years to encourage me to write Heather’s story and I had many failed attempts.

In the spring of 2012 a good friend of mine, Cheryl “Smitty” Smith a 30 year retired school teacher familiar with Heather’s story and my inability to get it on paper, gave me a cassette tape recorder with a bunch of tapes and said, “Tell me Heather’s story. Nine months later, Coming Through the Fog was published.

Though it is Heather’s story, we walked this journey together. She understands how difficult the journey was and feels as strongly as I do about the need to reach out and help other families.

Reading Coming Through the Fog will make it easier for others to navigate the world of autism spectrum disorders and provide tools inspiration and hope for their journey.

About Coming Through the Fog

Coming Through the Fog
A mother tells the journey of her daughter’s recovery from Autism and Sensory Processing Disorder to Functioning Recovery and independent living, giving tips to parents on how to navigate the medical and educational domain. This story is an example of the unique obstacles facing a parent raising a child with Autism. The challenges they face getting supports. What is Sensory Processing Disorder, CranioSacral Therapy and Bio-Medical Therapy, and what roles they play on the road to Functioning Recovery and independent living? See actual projective trials pertaining to sensory supports. Is educational discrimination the reason there is difficulty getting help in school? As this story unfolds it provides useful tips to other parents to help them on their journey with their child. This story is notable because this mother’s daughter was successful overcoming numerous obstacles while providing useful tools, inspiration and hope to others.

Purchase:

AMAZON | BARNES & NOBLE

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About Tami Goldstein:

Tami Goldstein

This journey begins with a mother’s love for her daughter. After learning her daughter was on the Autism Spectrum Tami began to tirelessly educate herself in the sciences of: Behavioral Health, Child Psychology, Human Anatomy, Occupational Health, Pharmacology and Therapeutic Massage and Bodywork and has been a parent advocate for her daughter since 1997.

In 2002, as her knowledge and passion grew, Tami began reaching out to other families in need of help. In 2005, Tami founded the Rock County Autism Support Group and she is the community resource liaison for the SPD (Sensory Processing Disorders) Parent Connections Support Group of Rock County and the surrounding areas. Since 2005, Tami has been State and National Certified in Therapeutic Massage and Bodywork and in 2013 she certified in CranioSacral Therapy with the Upledger Institute in Florida.

Tami currently has two offices where she facilitates CranioSacral Therapy. Approximately 38% of her clientele are children, teenagers and young adults on the Autism Spectrum or with other neuro-developmental delays. When asked to lecture, Tami uses her personal experience, extensive knowledge, and dedication to help others learn about and understand the medical and educational aspects of Autism, Autism Spectrum Disorders and SPD.

You can view her website at http://www.comingthroughthefog.com.

Tami’s latest book is the autism awareness book, Coming Through the Fog.

Connect with Tami:

FACEBOOK

In Their Words: a guest post from Julia Ibbotson

I love learning about how and why authors choose their material, and I love even more when authors find inspiration in their normal lives, so when I was offered the opportunity to have Julia Ibbotson write a guest post about her amazing book, The Old Rectory: Escape to a Country Kitchen I had to accept. I think her story is compelling, and I want to make all the recipes RIGHT NOW. But don’t take it from me, let Julia tell you about it in her words.

The Old Rectory by Julia Ibbotson

English afternoon tea and cakes in a Victorian rectory….
I wrote my first novel at the tender age of 10 years old, and I was desperate to be an author. The book was about my passions at the time: horses, farms and childish adventure, set in quintessential English countryside with afternoon tea and cakes on the large rectory lawn after a gallop in the hills…a local mystery solved over tea, in a sort of early teashop/coffee house mystery style. The stuff of romantic dreams for a little English girl from the city suburbs! But it never even made it to the publisher’s desk, and remains unpublished to this day!

Then, many years and two marriages and a long career in education later, on a romantic whim, my husband and I bought a dilapidated Victorian rectory in the middle of the English countryside, a mile from the nearest village, and spent the next four years renovating and restoring the house and gardens to their former glory.

I researched the house’s history: who lived there? What was it like for them? What happened to them? And because I love cooking for family and friends, I also wanted to incorporate recipes in my book: what were our family favourites? What recipes did previous occupants make? What did they eat in Victorian times or in the world-wartime when food in England was scarce? I documented it all and found my friends from across the world loving the idea: “Write a book about it!” Biting my nails with doubt, I decided to take a chance.

It was to be, I decided, the true story of our renovation of the rectory, but also about the history of the house and the village, and, because the kitchen was, and is, the heart of the home, I wanted food to somehow be the thread that held it all together. So I included recipes at the end of each chapter: cream scones, chocolate fudge cake, sticky toffee pud….

I wrote every weekend after a long week at work as a senior university lecturer. I wrote in my vacations. I took some annual leave simply to write. Once again, the creative juices began to flow, after many years of writing academic texts to a formula. I found that I was really enjoying it; so much so, that if I didn’t get to write on a particular day I felt lost.

Yes, some days it was hard going, some days I spent far too long on the distractions of Facebook and other social media, some days there was too much coffee drinking. At times I doubted my ability to write a whole book. But overwhelmingly I loved it. And gradually I got into a routine of writing and scheduled my days in the same way that I scheduled my professional days in my paid work. After all, I wanted to be a professional writer!

My book took shape and took on a life of its own. And then it was adopted first by an American publisher and now, this year, by a UK publisher. It felt wonderful! An author at last!
The Old Rectory has won awards at international book festivals and five star reviews, so this new author is beaming over her tea and cakes on the rectory lawn – or even over bubbly and chocolate fudge cake (from the recipes in the book, of course)!

I am now engaged in writing the first novel of a trilogy which follows a woman’s life through from the 1960s to the millennium. The first is called Drumbeats and will be out later this year; it’s set in the 60s in West Africa. It is a story about romance and tragedy against the backdrop of a small war-torn nation, about a young girl finding out what it means to grow up. Please do look out for it. Like The Old Rectory it will be available from amazon.com, amazon.co.uk, and Barnes & Noble, in paperback, Kindle and Nook.

Thanks for sharing my English afternoon tea and cakes on the rectory lawn today!

About the Author:
Julia Helene Ibbotson

Julia Ibbotson is the award-winning author of The Old Rectory: Escape to a Country Kitchen, first published to acclaim in the USA and now re-launched with a brand-new cover by her new English publisher in the UK. Julia has been writing creatively all her life (unpublished!) but her day jobs to pay the mortgage have been as a school teacher and latterly a university academic, gaining her PhD at the age of 57. She delights in being a wife and mother to four, with four little grandchildren. She loves reading, gardening, growing food, cooking for family and friends and country life. Having published many academic texts and papers, she came late to actually publishing her creative writing, at the age of 60 plus, when she was persuaded to write the story of the renovation of her Victorian rectory in The Old Rectory. She has combined memoir, history, research, story and recipes in this first published book, which has won a number of international book festivals in the biography category, gained 5 star reviews on Amazon, and has been widely featured (along with her house) in the media. She has begun to delve into the world of blogging, Facebook and now has her own website at www.juliaibbotson.com at which she also posts blogs regularly, about writing, life and her passions. Her new project is a trilogy of novels following the life story of a new character, Jess, through from fleeing to West Africa as a volunteer teacher/nurse in the 1960s to the millennium. The first of the series, Drumbeats, is due to be published later this year. You can find out more on her website and on her author page on Amazon.

Connect & Socialize with Julia!
TWITTER| FACEBOOK| YOUTUBE

The Old Rectory banner

About the Book:

Author Julia Ibbotson and her husband glimpsed the old Victorian rectory on a cold January day. It was in dire need of renovation, in the midst of the English moorlands and a mile from the nearest village, but they determined to embark on a new life in the country, to make the sad neglected house glow again and to settle into the life of the small traditional village. As Julia researches the history of the house and village, supervises the renovations and cooks for family and friends, she records their journey. This real-life, award-winning account focuses on the quest to “live the dream” and, in the end, to find what is important in life. As the book foregrounds the centrality of the kitchen as the pulse of the family and home, each chapter ends with delicious but easy recipes, both current favourites and those from the historic period unfolding within the chapter: Victorian, Edwardian, wartime and present day. Reviewers have been fulsome in their praise, including “ enchanting”, “a talented writer”, “charming story”, “delightful”, “a jewel”, “ a great writer”, “inspirational”, “truly engaging”, and “destined to become a classic”.

Purchase your copy at AMAZON.

Watch the Book Trailer:

This post is part of a virtual blog tour.

In Their Words: Author Kyra Gregory talks about SECRETS CLAD IN LIGHT

When I sat down to read Kyra Gregory’s novel Secrets Clad in Light I wasn’t sure what to expect, but her unconventional 19th-century romantic thriller hooked me fairly quickly. (Read the review here.) Today, Kyra answers my questions about the book, among other things.

Kyra, tell us a little bit about who you are and what hooked you on writing.

I’m a young writer on the island of Malta. I’m quite an introverted personality but I love putting everything out there into a story.

It started out very simply; at a point in my life when I felt like I had nothing I wanted something that was my own. It had to be something I created that nobody could touch or try to take away from me. Writing came quite naturally to me, I still don’t quite know exactly how it started but when a friend of mine found out he pushed me to keep doing it because he said my words made people feel something.

Kyra Gregory (provided by Kyra Gregory)

Secrets Clad in Light is set in the 19th century. What about that period inspires you? Why choose that period for this story?

I’m not sure what it is that I love about that period. It’s so different to now in so many ways but the 19th century was when some things really began advancing, such as medicine. The clothing, the speech, the setting; I think it’s all so beautiful and interesting.

I wanted to write a story in that period for a really, really long time but it was killing me trying. When you write a story set in the past you have to be really committed to the history; you can’t easily blow up a building or something to that extent without needing to provide some sort of explanation as to why we don’t know of this. Unless, of course, you’re writing fantasy. Still, I’m not one to easily give up so I thought I’d try one more time; I was successful finally.

The lead character in this book is in love with another man. Did you set out to write a gay love story, or do you think of it as a love story in which the characters happen to be gay?

Before I started publishing I always saw what I wrote as simply a romance novel or love story, regardless of who the characters were in love with. It was only once I started publishing that I paid more attention to this; to me, it’s still just a love story and the characters happen to be gay.

In addition to romance, Secrets Clad in Light is also a mystery/thriller, and I don’t think Sherlock Holmes would have felt out of place in this story (or at least his Baker Street Irregulars wouldn’t have). Are you a fan of the mystery/thriller genre in general? Did those elements of the story make it more difficult to plot than if it had been JUST a romance?

I do really enjoy the mystery/thriller genre, but I never had any faith in actually writing it. I don’t think there was a week growing up where someone in the house didn’t watch a Sherlock-Holmes-type mystery. I never planned on writing one, but Mary was just so stubborn that she was pushing the story in that direction. I chose to go with it. That direction caused me quite a bit of trouble but I love to experiment with new things so the challenge was fun.

Your characters, particularly Henry and Mary, are very vivid, complex people, each with their own set of secrets. Did you base them on people you know, or are they entirely your own creations?
They developed all by themselves; I gave them a few traits as the story started, but before I knew it they had completely developed.

Henry remained quite similar to what I had first imagined him to be, although he wasn’t really inspired by anyone I knew. Mary, though, became something entirely different; I still look back sometimes and wonder, “What happened to you?” Even as I ask that though, I have no longer have a clue what it was that I had expected from her.

Henry’s love-interest, Seth, is injured when we meet him, and spends the vast majority of this novel recuperating and essentially mute. Did your decision to effectively deny him any dialogue cause any challenges when trying to define his personality?

I often asked myself if I had made a mistake doing that. I really and truly enjoy writing dialogue, so when it came to him I did begin to wonder what on earth possessed me to do something like this.
Then I would remember how much conversation between people is more body language than actually spoken word and it made things a bit easier.

I still feel that there is a certain part of his personality that would have shone better had he been able to speak, but also if that were possible I feel like the story would have been very different.

We, the reader, are doled out pieces of Mary’s story in tiny bits, as she warms up to Henry. As the author, do you have a fully-developed backstory for her? Is there any chance of another book with Mary’s story expanded?

For quite some time while writing, I only knew as much about Mary as Henry did. Now, I can say that I have a bit more of her past, and her personality, figured out. That being said, I’m not too sure if it will ever be revealed. There’s something appealing in keeping it a secret. I’m not too sure though; maybe if I can come up with a story on Mary’s terms she’ll allow me to reveal what I know. I’m sure she’ll find some new secrets to keep from me by that time.

I really loved the two main settings in the novel – the sewer lair where this unconventional family coalesces, and the abandoned bakery they move into later. What inspired you to use the sewers?

Something interesting about the 19th century is the distinct line between the different classes. Most recently we often see the 19th century, and similar periods, as quite extravagant and I wanted something different.

I thought it suited the characters also. In the sense that on the surface late 19th Century London was seen as something thriving, improving, but a lot of people forget what was beneath the surface of it all; that there were still plenty that were poor, hungry and living in slums. The characters are similar; though they appear to be one thing to the social circles they form part of there are layers to their personalities that were kept hidden for the sake of those ideals.

Is there a specific passage in Secrets Clad in Light that you particularly love? What is it?

I truly enjoyed writing the scene between Mary and Henry in the church. It was a moment in which, unexpectedly, Mary and Henry opened up to each other a little about their pasts, their fears and hopes. It felt very easy to write and there was something about it that really touched me.

This is your second direct-to-Kindle publication. What made you decide to publish your work this way?

Although I had never thought of trying to make a career out of my hobby a few years ago I sent a manuscript out to a few publishers just to challenge myself as a writer and see what kind of feedback I would receive.

I got a few rejections, one no-answer and one acceptance. That acceptance was on the condition that I changed the gay romance into a straight one. I’m a control freak and, while I appreciate people’s opinions and advice, in the end I just want to do things the way that suits my vision the best. I don’t like being told a project can’t go the way I want.

For this, self-publishing was the way to go. I started with Kindle to test the waters and I hope to branch out a little more soon.

What should we look for from you in the future?

I want to keep trying new things because I love the challenge. Very soon I will be re-writing and extending a series that I started a few years ago so there’s that to look forward to. I have quite a few projects lined up and hopefully it won’t be too long of a wait.

Social media is a key part of promoting any book these days; where can readers connect with you on the web? How about Facebook, Twitter, and Pinterest?

I try not to have too many sites and such; it’s difficult to keep many up to date constantly but I’m always on twitter and recently started a page on facebook. Of course, there’s also my blog.
Twitter: @Kyra_Lyrical
Facebook: Kyra Lyrical
Blog:KyraLyrical
Goodreads:Kyra Gregory