Category Archives: An Author’s Desk

An Author’s Desk: Emma Wyelin

Welcome to Emma Weylin, an author of paranormal romance at Liquid Silver Books. Emma shares her writing home and her first installment on her spicy new series, The Time Walkers.

DeskMy writing area is usually a total mess. I seem to think best when I am surrounded by clutter. I often do other projects while I am writing, like crochet or painting a paper mache box. Somehow doing something creative with my hands opens up the creativity for my writing, too. I am currently editing my next novel Going Under and I am planning out the next few books in the different series I write in.

Bring Me to Life
Paranormal Romance from Liquid Silver Books (9/2014)

HRbringmetolifeThey say love can conquer all … but Vincent’s been dead for two hundred years, and Bryna is the one who killed him! Ominous warnings, time travel, love, revenge, vampires, demons, and so much more

Being dead sucks, or so Vincent Asher believes. He’s spent the last two hundred years of his death battling vampires because his boss won’t let him kill demons. Known as a force called the Wraith, Vincent has become bored with preventing the apocalypse. When he hopes his boss will give him a more exciting assignment, he gets the shock of his afterlife. He must protect the woman who killed him.

Bryna Wildrose accidentally killed the only man she ever loved. In a self-imposed death sentence, she’s spent the last ten years of her life trying to get herself killed. She never meant to kill Vincent, and the guilt is eating her alive. A vampire gives her a dire warning. The Wraith is coming for her. She can run, or she can let death take her.

Given no choice, Vincent goes back in time to find the one woman he loved more than life itself, but when he expected to torment her for causing his death, he learns nothing is what he believed it to be. Real love never dies, but Vincent’s power might not be enough to keep Bryna alive.




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Gordon Osmond Visits An Author’s Desk

OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERAAuthor Gordon Osmond  is today’s guest at An Author’s Desk. Gordon is a multi-genre writer of humor, non-fiction, instructional, autobiography, and contemporary American fiction. He is published with Secret Cravings Publishing and America Star Books.

“After moving to Brazil five years ago, four of my books have been written and published. I’m retired and very well taken care of by a domestic companion whom I married last year under Brazilian law; therefore, I can dedicate all of my working hours to writing books and book reviews for and and teaching English as a Second Language.”


“My book, So You Think You Know English—a Guide to English for Those Who Think They Don’t Need One is a humorous take on the essentials of English, grammar, spelling, and punctuation.

Wet Firecrackers—the Unauthorized Autobiography of Gordon Osmond is a tell-all book which cost me the friendship of many friends and family members.

 My two novels, Slipping on Stardust and Turner’s Point are described below.

IMG_0102When writing a book, as contrasted with correspondence and social and political blogging, I write in cursive, usually in a bucolic outdoor setting furnished with instrumental music and light alcohol. I then turn to the computer for transcription and editing. My computer desk is unremarkable, but my chair is a miracle. I have always used the same ergonomic chair, which involves kneeling rather than sitting. As I am not a churchgoer, the chair fulfills my kneeling needs. Because of hours, days, and years with this chair, I’ve never experienced a moment of back, neck, or shoulder pain.

As I have written both fiction and non-fiction books as well as eight full-length produced stage plays in genres from drama to serious comedy to farce to futuristic horror, I am looking for something new. It’s not easy.”


Turner’s Point
A Contemporary American novel (serious comedy) Secret Cravings Publishing (April, 2014)

TurnersPoint350dpi_Cropped_(1)The reasons for the explosion of the Brockway marriage are folded into the narrative of Turner’s Point, making it a stand-alone novel. Those reasons are explored in detail and in real time in my debut novel, Slipping on Stardust, published by Secret Cravings Publishing in 2013, which is available at the same online booksellers as Turner’s Point.

Turner’s Point follows the fallout from the explosion of the marriage of Dan and Eileen Brockway. Specifically:

  • Their son’s discovery of his sexual orientation and his true love
  • the travails of Dan, his new bride, and Dan’s longtime friend, Raul, in establishing a new law firm in California
  • the triumphant efforts of Eileen and her son to resurrect their shattered lives back in their hometown of Johnson, Ohio
  • Raul’s reunion with his secret daughter

In addition to San Diego, Hollywood, and Johnson, the story travels to the world of Wall Street lawyers and media personalities in New York City.


View YOUTUBE TRAILER for Turner’s Point





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An Author’s Desk: Susanne Matthews

Author Susanne Matthews is this Sunday’s guest at “An Author’s Desk.” She writes romance/suspense with and without paranormal elements, contemporary romance, and historical romance and is published with Crimson Romance, Secret Cravings Publishing, Solstice Publishing, and Anaiah Press. Susanne is a prolific writer who will share a bit of her writing routine and her latest release (On His Watch, her third romance suspense novel published with Crimson Romance). Meet Susanne …

Although I’ve only been writing since September 2012, I have sold ten novels, six of which are currently available. Three others will be released by Christmas, with another in May of 2015. I’m currently working on a YA novel as well as a chapter book for kids in grades 2-5. In addition, I co-author contemporary romance novels under the name Misty Matthews with a gal who lives about 1500 miles away from me. We’ve never met, and have spoken on the phone twice. Everything we do is done online and through the Internet. It’s definitely a 21st century partnership. We have a novella available now and a novel due out in October. Coming Home is the first book in a four book series called Taking a Chance on Love.  


Hello. I’m pleased to have been asked to share information about where and how I write with you.

desk 1Unlike many authors who have to juggle a part-time or full-time job along with their writing, I’m retired with as much time on my hands to write as I like. I have a home office all to myself where I can shut out the rest of the world and focus on my writing. I prefer using a desktop computer, although I do have a laptop which I use when I travel. I work in as quiet an environment as I can get. As I write I use a screen reader to reread the work to me. That way, I can catch the awkward sounding sentences, over-used words, etc. Although the system isn’t perfect, I can’t imagine working without it.

 I tend to research my story thoroughly before and during the writing of a particular manuscript. Sometimes, I’ll come across an interesting fact I hadn’t known and I’ll incorporate it into the story somehow. I’ll print out information occasionally, but most of the time I’ll save the information in a folder and retrieve it as necessary. At other times. I’ll bookmark specific links. It like being able to use my research in different books. For example, the information I learned about fire for my novel Fire Angel, has proven useful in two other novels: In Plain Sight and Coming Home.

 While I have a phone on my desk, I rarely answer it especially if I’m deep into my edits or my characters are taking me on a new journey. I use a note book to keep track of POV, word count per chapter and number of pages per chapter since these things change according to the publisher’s needs. It helps me keep the stories balanced. If I hit writer’s block, I turn to a friend. I’m usually connected to my chat lines, but I’m good at ignoring them if I have to. One of the first things I do each day is check my emails and my calendar. I blog regularly and host other writers as well, so I need to stay on top of who’s where when.

 I can write at any time of day, and other than family and church obligations, my time is my own. I’ve been known to burn the midnight oil getting the last of the edits done. Most days, I’m at the computer by eight. How long I write is directly related to where I am in a project. I’m fortunate enough to be able to stay focused when I’m editing. I’ve been known to put in 16 hour days—not even breaking for lunch—when the muse has me, but most of the time I write for 6-8 hours a day.

 I’m a pantser, which is actually quite ironic since as an English teacher I insisted on plot graphs, character sketches, and the whole nine yards. When I decided to try my hand at writing, I simply started keyboarding. The story comes out of my fingers. I have no idea what’s going to happen next. The characters are real to me, and they direct the story. I suffer with them, grieve with them, and of course rejoice when everything works out at the end. I’ve been known to torture them if someone in my real life annoys me too. Venting inside a fictitious world is a lot safer and surprisingly just as effective. Plus, I never have to eat my words or apologize to any of my characters no matter how badly I treat them.

 I don’t write a story from start to finish as one draft. Instead, I add and create it bit by bit. I’m a linear thinker. A has to come before B, but if I have a brainwave, I’ll make a note to remind me of it later. My writing is a lot like building a wall. I’ll create a paragraph, go over it, add details, and then move along. I’ll save the work at the end of the day. The next morning, I’ll go back to the previous day’s work, revise, edit, and add to it until it’s doubled in size until the story is complete. As the story moves past the first chapter, I’ll start my writing day by reviewing the two last chapters I’ve written. This helps situate me in the story again and get the creative juices flowing. Sometimes I’ll move chapters around, add a chapter before the one I started with or I’ll add one between chapters. I constantly make sure that suitable clues have been planted as I move along—go back to verify details, and make sure that every issue is believable and resolved in a satisfactory way by the end of the story. Character names can change throughout a story if I come across a name I prefer or if I think similar names are needed or need to be avoided. One fact is consistent in all my work. The title of the book is always found somewhere in the narrative or dialogue in the story.

 And there you have the story of this author’s desk.


On His Watch

A romantic suspense novel from Crimson Romance   (August 18, 2014)

On His WatchWhat starts as a quiet evening alone watching football turns into the night from hell for FBI agent Jason Spark, who is covering sheriff duties for his honeymooning brother. He thought the 911 call was a butt dial but instead stepped into a bloodbath, complete with writing on the wall. It’s a scene straight out of a slasher movie—a dead physician, his son, and his wife so badly beaten, it’ll be a miracle if Nikki Hart survives.

When Nikki Hart awakes from a coma, she’s terrified. She doesn’t know her name, recognize her face, or remember anything about herself and her past. She clings to the memory of the angel who comforted her in her darkest moments, but no one in the world she wakes up in resembles the good guy.

Evidence in the case leads Jason to The Butcher, a hired assassin usually contracted by the Sicilian mob, a man who doesn’t quit until the job’s done. News of Nikki’s recovery puts her in the killer’s sights again. Jason will do whatever it takes to protect the woman he’s learning to love. But can he save her from a vicious killer intent on earning his million dollar fee and his employer bent on revenge?

And when the smoke clears, can Nikki ever forgive the secret role he played in her injuries?

On His Watch Buy Link

Media Links: Webpage / Twitter / Facebook / Goodreads / Email:

Author Page: Amazon



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An Author’s Desk: M. S. Spencer

  This week M. S. Spencer returns for another visit. She writes romantic suspense and is published by Secret Cravings. Since her last visit, she has some huge, totally cool, changes to share.


M. S. Spencer StudySince I last visited the Author’s Desk, my desk, study, view and venue have radically changed. I now live on the Gulf Coast of Florida in a small bungalow within steps of the beach. My study is part of the lanai and is all windows, with a view of a mangrove swamp on one side and my patio and fountain on the other. In the distance I can see the changing sky over the gulf. I work all morning, then head to the beach around noon. It is, indeed, idyllic. I have managed to write three novels since I moved here 18 months ago—the first in the midst of major renovation. I wrote my new release, Whirlwind Romance, in relative quiet. My current work-in-progress, the Penhallow Train Incident, is set in Maine, where I spent the month of July with my daughter and her main squeeze.  I find it hard to write about a setting I’m not in—do other writers feel that way?

View from M. S. Spencer's StudyWhirlwind Romance, which released September 2, is a romantic suspense full-length novel (M/F, 3 flames).  I’ve started a funny, sweet murder mystery set in Maine, tentatively entitled The Penhallow Train Incident.  Rachel Tinker, director of the Penhallow Historical Society, meets her match in Griffin Tate, a curmudgeonly retired professor. Together they wade through a on scene awash in red herrings to solve not one, but two murders. If, in fact, they are murders. Along the way they deal with ancient rumors, ancient crime, and ancient tragedy, as they grope nearer and nearer to love in the small coastal town of Penhallow, Maine.

Expect Solomon and the Queen of Sheba, lost tombs, and lost mummies!


Whirlwind Romance

Romantic Suspense Secret Cravings   (September, 2014)

WhirlwindRomance_LRGAbout Whirlwind Romance: I didn’t mean to write this story. I meant to write a nice romantic interlude set on Longboat Key, a lovely barrier island on the Gulf Coast of Florida. Even before I’d reached Chapter Two, however, things had taken a geographical turn and veered off into the western Caribbean. Even now I’m not sure how it happened, but everything started to go awry when Lacey Delahaye, my heroine, finds a bedraggled castaway in her mangrove swamp. Fine. Not a problem. He’s handsome, injured, and clearly has a secret. Could he be a lost tourist? A real estate agent caught up in a Florida land scam? An environmentalist who’s discovered that whales have become man-eaters? No, sir. With his exotic, dark looks (flashing black eyes, shimmering ebony hair, etc.), he hardly seemed the real estate agent type. And he has an accent. Therefore he comes from elsewhere. He eventually confesses to Lacey that…well, I certainly won’t divulge his secret. I will say that he and Lacey find themselves in a remote, tiny, tropical paradise, which would be very romantic, except for the vicious serpent lurking there.

Whirlwind Romance: In the aftermath of a hurricane, Lacey Delahaye finds herself marooned on an island on the Florida coast with a mysterious man. Before he can confess his identity, they are kidnapped and taken to a tiny island in the western Caribbean. In a story laced with adventure and romance, Lacey encounters pirates, power-mad ideologues, and palace intrigue, not to mention the advances of three men, only one of whom she loves.

Buy Links: SCP / Amazon / ARe / Bookstrand

Media Links Blog / Facebook /  Twitter  / Pinterest

Author Pages:  Secret Cravings Publishing  / Amazon / GoodReads

Tomorrow, Release Day for The Caretaker’s Lady


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A Writer’s Desk: Annette Mardis

Annette Mardis is the guest author at A Writer’s Desk. She is a journalist and writer of contemporary romance at Liquid Silver Books. Annette offers some insights into writing and the writing process based on her perspective from writing in the newsroom of a newspaper. Annette will also introduce her writing assistant and her story, The Shore Thing, a contemporary romance set in a Florida aquarium, available from Liquid Silver Books (pre-order until September 1st release).



Writing assistantThanks, Rita, for hosting me on your blog. I’d like to share a valuable lesson I learned more than thirty years ago at a convention for high school journalists. It was simple advice, but it has stayed with me all this time.

Peggy Peterman, a longtime features writer for the then-St. Petersburg Times, gave a talk on the realities of making a living as a newspaper writer. It doesn’t matter how you feel on a given day, she told her rapt audience, because deadlines don’t care if you’re sick, tired, unmotivated, restless, bored, whatever. Put it aside and get your work done because the newspaper and its readers are counting on you.

I went on to work in the newspaper business for more than three decades, and my resolve to adhere to Ms. Peterman’s advice was sorely tested on many occasions. But the discipline I developed over those years has stood me in good stead as I strive to build a second career as a novelist.

Newspaper offices are about as calm and quiet as train stations, and if you can concentrate in a newsroom, you can concentrate anywhere. I write my books at home, where I’m often interrupted by my barking dogs, Shelby (pictured) and Cocoa, and a screeching pet parrot named Ozzie.

I’ve read a lot about writers finding their muse and creating the proper environment to spur their creativity. If psyching yourself up and locking yourself away in a quiet room is what you need to get the job done, then by all means, do it.

But I have an easier solution, stolen from an effective advertising campaign for Nike: Just do it.

The only surefire way to break through writer’s block is to sit down and write. Having trouble with a sentence, a paragraph, a chapter? Type something on your computer screen, even if you’re not happy with it. Just getting your fingers moving on the keys often will help break the logjam in your brain. You can always return to it later and rewrite.

Sometimes, just the act of getting away from the computer for a bit — to visit the bathroom, get a drink, fix a snack, read a few pages of another book, take a walk, anything — can help unlock your thoughts, too.

Another very effective remedy, at least for me, is to sleep on it. Sometimes this makes for a frustrating, insomnia-filled night, but very often I’m able to envision a scene or an entire plot line as I’m lying in bed. Fantasizing about your characters helps bring them to life and often leads me in directions I’d never thought of going otherwise.

Never forget that writing is hard work, but it doesn’t have to be painful. Let someone else play the part of the tortured scribe. Enjoying your vocation is a lot more fulfilling.



 On Monday, Sept. 1, Liquid Silver Books will release my new contemporary romance novel, The Shore Thing. It’s the first book in a series set in the fictional west-central Florida beach town of Gulf Shore, where you’ll feel sugary white sand between your toes, the warm sun on your shoulders, and a sea breeze ruffling your hair.

You’ll meet swoon-worthy alpha males who aren’t embarrassed to cuddle a rescued baby dolphin in their muscular arms, and accomplished women looking for an equal partner who thinks that smart is sexy.

You’ll get up close and personal with sea life, join the “snipe and gripe” club for girls’ nights out, and fall in love with a talking parrot who acts like a little boy in a bird suit.  You’ll go behind-the-scenes at the local aquarium and out to the beach to rescue marine animals in distress. And once you visit Gulf Shore, you just may find yourself wishing you could stay.


 The Shore Thing

A Contemporary Romance from Liquid Silver Books (Sep 2014)

Danielle “Dani” Davidson vows to just say no to workplace romances after her first post-college job is soured by a messy breakup with a manipulative coworker at a fish hatchery. That’s just one reason she doesn’t trust any man with her heart, let alone one who swims with sharks for a living. So why can’t she get cameraman Evan Sanders out of her mind?         Evan is twice shy, too, after an alluring but self-absorbed colleague at Gulf Shore Aquarium takes a bite out of his heart. Thought he’s dead set against dating anyone else he works with, he’s intrigued by Dani’s shyness and tempted by her intelligence and low-key sexiness.

Dani leads tours and educates guests, and Evan is the chief photographer/videographer at the aquarium and marine animal hospital in Gulf Shore. Their attraction smolders until an unfortunate encounter with a stingray sends Dani to the emergency room, and Evan steps up to help her through her recovery.

The two also bond over the rescue of an orphaned baby dolphin. But will Evan’s vindictive ex-lover, his career ambitions, and Dani’s inhibitions tear the young lovers apart?



Tomorrow, My Traditional Labor Day Salute    Rita Bay


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An Author’s Desk: Author Tami Lund

Author Tami Lund is this week’s guest at An Author’s Desk. Tami who writes contemporary and paranormal romance is published with Liquid Silver Books, Crimson Romance, Soul Mates Publishing. She is also self-published. Tami’s book, The Resort, the first book in a self-published series, won third place in the Great Expectations Contest hosted by the North Texas Romance Writers of America. Into the Light, a paranormal romance that was recently published by Liquid Silver Books, won first place in the On The Far Side Contest, which is hosted by the Fantasy, Futuristic and Paranormal chapter of RWA. Thank you to Tami for sharing a bit about her writing style and area and introducing her new book from Silver Publishing, Love Gumbo.


writing at beach 2014I love to be outdoors, preferably at the beach. There is nothing more peaceful and relaxing than lounging in an Adirondack chair with my laptop in my lap, my toes in the sand (or in the water, if it’s warm enough), and a glass of wine within easy reach. Okay, coffee, since I am, without question, a morning writer. I also write better when listening to music and drowning out all other distractions (read: kids, husband). Sometimes, on the weekends, I get really lucky and manage to distract myself so much that I’ve written well into the afternoon, at which point I trade the coffee for wine.


HRlovegumboLove Gumbo is part of a new line of short stories offered through Liquid Silver Books, called Afternoon Delights. I originally wrote this book for an anthology call from another publisher. They were looking for short stories involving animals bringing the protagonists together. I was just about to press send when I noticed the fine print: male/male protagonists only. Oops! I loved this story, though, and knew I had to publish it anyway. Liquid Silver decided to create the Afternoon Delight concept at just the right moment. Release date: August 25th

In her new contemporary novel, Love Gumbo. Tami has mixed the perfect ingredients to bring you a fun and flirty romance.

Jake just wants a new job. Natalie just wants her restaurant to succeed. The dog just wants a new home. A guy, a girl, and a dog named Gumbo.




Tomorrow: Back to Pompeii




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An Author’s Desk: Author Jamie Salisbury

My guest today is bestselling author Jamie Salisbury who writes women’s fiction and contemporary and historical romance. Jamie is a 2012 RONE finalist and her historical-romance westerns have topped Amazon’s Bestseller’s List. Choice Matters, a contemporary erotic romance from Secret Cravings Publishing, is the first in the brand new series, “Southern Heat.” Jamie will share a bit about her writing style, her current work in progress and her current release, Choices Matter.


10565693_10203449290425467_2065799498_nThis past winter I was forced to take to my bed in an effort to allow an ulcer on the bottom of my foot to heal. No longer could I sit at my desk and gaze out at the peaceful landscape of  a rolling lawn and trees as I wrote. While out on a rare shopping trip with a friend, and in a wheelchair we came across this. My new writing space!

Well that was last winter. Since then my foot has healed and I’m free to move about as I please. Though I could easily go back and write at my desk, I find my new environment far more attractive and coy.

My writing style is more of a panster. I let the characters tell the story. I keep a running notebook of each project containing character names, plot ideas, etc. I write the book, then go back and begin the self edit process of what is working and deleting what is not. At present I’m on a much needed vacation at an undisclosed location. My current project is the sequel to Choice Matters, tentatively called, Choice Affairs.


Choice Matters

Secret Cravings Publishing  (August, 2014)

ChoiceMatters_SMApolo Choice…self-made billionaire before the age of thirty. At a time when most men are still trying to figure out what direction to take their careers, Apolo Choice is enjoying luxuries they are still dreaming about. But behind every powerful man come secrets, and Apolo is no exception.

Confident, intimidating, arrogant and handsome, Apolo Choice is a man who gets whatever he wants. At least in the boardroom. Away from the power deals, he has a dark side. One he allows few to enter. Until he meets Caitlyn White.

Caitlyn White…smart and self-assured, she has quietly worked at Choice Enterprises for four years. Until one day her world is turned upside down by the man at the top. Taking her from the cubical to executive suite faster than you can blink an eye.

Together they become a power couple both in the boardroom and the bedroom.

Will Caitlyn learn Apolo’s darkest secrets? Will he reveal them to her, when he has no one else? Or will she leave screaming as others have in the past, leaving him alone once again?





Thank you for visiting, Jamie.

Tomorrow, The Eruption of Vesuvius in 79 AD

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An Author’s Desk: V.L. Locey

Author V.L. Locey is my guest at “An Author’s Desk.” Her O Captain! My Captain!, , the third book in the ‘To Love a Wildcat’ series from Secret Cravings Publishing,  is  an Amazon bestseller in sports fiction. V.L. will share some tidbits about herself, her writing area, and her writing routine.


I love worn jeans, belly laughs,  reading and writing lusty tales, Greek mythology, the New York Rangers,  comic books, and coffee. (Not necessarily in that order.) I share her life with my husband, my daughter, one dog, two cats, a steer named after a famous N.H.L. goalie,  a pig named after a famous President, and a flock of assorted domestic fowl.

Building a ficitonal sports teamAs you can see, my work area is my kitchen table. We live in an incredibly small house, so this is where I sat up shop when I began writing seriously. Once my daughter is on her own (she`s a commuting college freshman this fall so it won`t be for a few years yet) I have plans to convert her bedroom into an office. One with a real desk and a Fathead of Henrik Lundqvist on one of the walls. *sighs dreamily*

I do my best writing in the morning, although I do put in about 6 to 7 hours per day at the laptop. I generally begin writing at 8 am, if not before, break for lunch, do a bit more, then attend to the domestic chores as well as the farm chores. After dinner I try to do an hour of editing every night, but sometimes Pinterest or Facebook distracts me. When it`s hockey season, there is nothing that gets done after dinner aside from me putting on my lucky Rangers t-shirt and getting ready for that night’s game!


O Captain! My Captain!

An Erotic Hockey Romance from Secret Cravings Publishing (July, 2014)

Naked man in hockey helmet and skatesO Captain! My Captain! is an Amazon bestseller in sports fiction, as well as being the third in the ‘To Love a Wildcat’ series. The story centers on two forty-somethings who decide to give romance another chance, even though both had previously been cross-checked by love

Being a single working mother isn`t easy. Just ask Maggie Charles. She`s juggling a job she hates, a rebellious teenage son, and the aftereffects of an abusive first marriage. There isn`t room in her life for a love affair, not that anyone would want to romance someone her age anyway, right? So why, after all these months, when she runs into the strapping Wildcats` captain at a charity event, does the sight of Derrick Andersson leave her so breathless once again? Is that really desire burning in the captain`s green eyes when he looks at her? Is it possible for a couple of been-there-and-done-thats to find love the second time around?







Thank you for visiting, V. L. Tomorrow, A Special Guest Referral.


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An Author’s Desk: Nikki Andrews

This Sunday’s “An Author’s Desk” guest is Nikki Andrews. Nikki is a very special guest because she is my editor extraordinaire at Champagne Books. Why extraordinaire? Because when Nikki’s finished editing, I know the story is the best that it can be. Nikki is the standard by which I judge editors. Nikki is also an extraordinary author of cozy mysteries and sci fi. Here’s Nikki in her own words …

“And what do you want to be when you grow up, little girl?”  “A cowboy.” Note, I emphatically did not want to be a cowgirl. Later, when the question became, “What would you like to do for a living?” my answer was specific, even if  I had no idea how to make it happen. “I want to read.” Many years passed, but I’ve finally reached my goal. I’m now happily working as an editor for two independent publishers as well as freelance. My great joy is working with writers like you, Rita, and being midwife to some wonderful books. My only regret is that sometimes I have to write a rejection, but even then I try to offer suggestions to help the writer improve.


DSC_4531The first thing you should notice about where I write is that it’s flanked by windows. One window looks over my backyard garden and into the woods that separate me from my neighbors. The other has a view of our small stock pond, frequented mostly by frogs, deer, foxes, a wide assortment of birds, and the rare fisher cat. In an ideal world, I’d write on paper with my back propped against a tree, but the realities of creaky old bones and a plethora of no-see-ums have driven me indoors. Still, I need these windows to the natural world when I write. Other than that, I prefer silence. No music, TV, or company. I guess I’m easily distracted. Oh, look, a purple finch!

You might also be able to see the little brown horse on the top shelf. She represents my muse, a buckskin mare named Irish. Irish has been my companion, guide, mentor, and salvation for more years than I care to admit.

I have a bit of a split personality when it comes to my writing style. I start out as a total pantser, with almost no idea where my story will go. Like Ray Bradbury, I follow my characters down the hall, typing madly. Later I write a brief synopsis and a sketchy outline, neither of which rule for very long. I have very persnickety characters with quite definite ideas of what I should write.

Two projects vie for my attention at the moment. Both are sequels to Framed. In the longer one, A Thousand Words, the women of Brush & Bevel gallery find themselves investigating the death of a journalist, and in Oil & Water, an art show in Lobster Cove, ME, (a shared universe created by The Wild Rose Press) leads to mayhem and intrigue. Both stories feature the New England quirks I’ve come to know and love, with a bit of humor thrown into the mix.

And one day I will get back to my series about saving the universe with music, motor racing, and cyclically-gendered alien time travelers. So many stories!

Framed, Nikki’s featured story is a cozy mystery published by The Wild Rose Press (April, 2014). According to Nikki, “The best job-job I ever had was working at an art/framing gallery for nine years. Alas, there was no Chowdah Bowl nearby. The staff, customers, artists and neighbors of that shop serve as models for Framed, but I altered, amended, added, subtracted, invented and blended freely. No artists were harmed in the writing of this novel.”


Framed by Nikki Andrews (The Wild Rose Press, 2014)

perf5.000x8.000.inddWhen a long-lost painting turns up at Brush & Bevel, a decade-old mystery is reawakened. What really happened to artist Jerry Berger and his model Abby Bingham? Was it a murder-suicide, as the police proclaim, or was it something far more sinister?

Gallery owner Ginny Brent and her loyal staffers, Sue Bradley and Elsie Kimball, each take a different path to unravel the mystery. Together, their discoveries start to form a cohesive whole. But as they get closer to the solution, they discover to their horror that art is not the only thing that can be framed.

Buy Links for Framed:  AMAZON / The Wild Rose Press,

Nikki’s Links:  Webpage / Twitter  / Blog   /  Amazon Author Page  / The Wild Rose Press Author Page  / email:

Thank you, Nikki,  for visiting and sharing your story and your book. Tomorrow, A week of Ancient Plagues   Rita Bay


Filed under An Author's Desk

An Author’s Desk: Hannah Lokos

I am so pleased to welcome Champagne author Hannah Lokos to “An Author’s Desk.” Hannah will share a bit about herself, Labyrinth of Lies – her debut novel of historical fiction published by Champagne Book Group, and the story behind the book.  BTW, Hannah’s the youngest guest to visit but she’ll tell you all about that. Meet Hannah …


IMG_4946I am a pre-med/biology college student, and as such, I have learned to write in a variety of places at a variety of times.  Honestly, I can write pretty much anywhere.  Sometimes, it’s my dorm room.  Other times it might be the school library, a different library, Denny’s, Starbucks, the stairs, or, if I’m at home, my couch.  I write whenever I have a spare chance, often as a study break from physics or organic chemistry, and often at one o’clock in the morning.   Even though writing and science are both intense and intensely time consuming, I am finding that, surprisingly, different types of insanity can actually work to balance each other out.  This has definitely been true in my case.   The cat in the picture is Chocolate.  She has been my faithful writing companion for the past twelve years.  When I’m writing at home, she often tries to squeeze onto my lap with my computer.

I wrote Labyrinth of Lies when I was eighteen years old. The idea came from an art history class I was taking.  I was already familiar with the Greek myth of Theseus and the Minotaur, which basically states that Crete went to war with Athens and won.  The cruel king of Crete, King Minos, demanded that the defeated king of Athens, King Aegeus, sign a peace treaty stating that, every year, he would send fourteen of his nation’s youth to Crete to be fed to the Minotaur, a vicious half-man half-beast that dwelt locked in the labyrinth.  The myth states that Theseus, the son of King Aegeus, eventually decided that enough was enough, so he sailed to Crete, killed the Minotaur, and freed his people.  This was all very well and dandy; nothing earth-shattering. But then I learned something: it was real.

Historical evidence indicates that Theseus may have been a real person.  King Aegeus was nearly certainly real; the Aegean Sea is named after him.  King Minos lived also; you can still tour the ruins of his palace (and see all the frescoes on the walls) at Knossos in Crete.  Crazier still, in the ruins, there was discovered to be a structure that resembled a labyrinth.  This really got me thinking.  We know there can’t be such a thing as a Minotaur.  It just isn’t possible.  Yet, everything else seems to be true.  So why on earth would you need a labyrinth if there was no monster to contain?  Why on earth would you kill fourteen innocent kids if there was no beast to eat them?  What was truly going on all those thousands of years ago?  And that is precisely what my book is about.  Theseus struggles to unwind a massive web of motives and lies to discover what truly lies at the heart of that infamous maze. What happens?  Well (cue maniacal laughter) you’ll just have to read it and find out!

Fun facts about me?  I like needlepoint and baking, but I also enjoy paintball and geocaching.  I have been stung by a jellyfish and I hate Twitter and cheese. Earlier this summer, I spent six weeks working overseas in Togo, West Africa, in a missions hospital.  Now, I’m studying for the MCAT and working on my next novel.  After that?  We’ll see!

DividerBar428x25 LABYRINTH OF LIES

LabyrinthofLies600x900@300dpiSomething foul is afoot in Ancient Greece. Athens is bruised from a previous war with Crete. Worse still, King Minos annually demands fourteen Athenian youths to be fed to the Cretan Minotaur locked inside a maze. When his own beloved, Zosemine, is taken to be fed to the Minotaur, Theseus finds himself at the heart of a web of conflicting motives, with the sense that even those closest to him cannot be trusted. Theseus must navigate the various plots, motives, and secrets through the labyrinth and see past the masks to slay the Minotaur

Buy Links for Labyrinth of Lies: CHAMPAGNE / AMAZON


Thank you for visiting, Hannah. All the best in your bright future.  Rita Bay

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Filed under An Author's Desk