Sunday 29 August 2021

Wind Down the Summer with this Labor Day Feast and Weekend Read...

An Italian dish full of sausage and veggies that’s guaranteed to put a smile on your face, and a napkin on your lap. The preparation takes about half an hour, with a bake time of 25 minutes, a setting time of 10 minutes, and serves ten of your hungriest family or friends. This hearty meal is ideal for those weekend warriors set to do some renovations at their home or cottage. Serve with a side salad, garlic bread, and your choice of wine, and you’ve got the makings of a trip to Italy without leaving the comforts of your home.

Potluck Penne and Sausage Casserole
16 ounces penne pasta
1 lb. bulk Italian sausage
1 tbsp. butter
1 tbsp. olive oil
1 medium onion, finely chopped
1 medium carrot, finely chopped
1½ tsp. dried oregano
1 tsp. salt
½ tsp. pepper
1 small zucchini, halved lengthwise and sliced
1 cup chopped fresh mushrooms
6 garlic cloves, minced
15 oz. tomato sauce14 oz. pasta sauce with meat
2 cups shredded part-skimmed mozzarella cheese

Preheat oven to 350° F.

Cook pasta according to package directions for al dente; drain and transfer to greased 13 x 9 inch baking dish.

Fry sausage in a large skillet over medium heat until no longer pink, about 6-8 minutes, breaking into crumbles. Drain and remove from pan.

In same skillet, heat butter and oil over medium-high heat. Add onion, carrot, oregano, salt and pepper. Cook 5 minutes and stir frequently. Add zucchini, mushroom and garlic. Cook 6 – 8 minutes or until vegetables are tender. Be sure to stir often.

Add tomato sauce, pasta sauce, and sausage. Pour the mixture over pasta. Sprinkle with cheese.

Cover casserole with foil coated with cooking spray. Bake 10 minutes. Uncover. Bake until golden brown and cheese is melted, 15-20 minutes longer. Let stand 10 minutes before serving.

Once dinner is done, and you’ve had your last sip of wine, I’m sure you’ll be ready to escape into your living room for some much-needed quiet time. Why not make a cup of tea, then relax with one of my books? May I suggest a nostalgic visit to Fairy Falls or perhaps go back in time with The Last Timekeepers? Just remember to breathe once in a while as you’re being led on a bumpy, unpredictable ride along with my characters.

The only witness left to testify against an unsolved crime in Fairy Falls isn’t a person…

City born and bred, Hart Stewart possesses the gift of psychometry—the psychic ability to discover facts about an event or person by touching inanimate objects associated with them. Since his mother’s death, seventeen-year-old Hart has endured homelessness, and has learned ways to keep his illiteracy under wraps. He eventually learns of a great-aunt living in Fairy Falls, and decides to leave the only life he’s ever known for an uncertain future.

Diana MacGregor lives in Fairy Falls. Her mother was a victim of a senseless murder. Only Diana’s unanswered questions and her grief keeps her going, until Hart finds her mother’s lost ring and becomes a witness to her murder.

Through Hart’s psychic power, Diana gains hope for justice. Their investigation leads them into the corrupt world threatening Fairy Falls. To secure the town’s future, Hart and Diana must join forces to uncover the shocking truth, or they risk losing the true essence of Fairy Falls forever.

Learn more about Sharon Ledwith on her website and blog. Stay connected on Facebook and Twitter, Goodreads, and Smashwords. Look up her Amazon Author page for a list of current books. Be sure to check out THE LAST TIMEKEEPERS TIME TRAVEL SERIES Facebook page.

Sunday 22 August 2021

Guest Post: Beyond the Simple Bio by Young Adult Author Leigh Goff...

I am a young adult author with type 1 diabetes. Why is that little fact important? Maybe it isn’t, but it has shaped me as a writer, a mother, and a person, whether I wanted it to or not. I didn’t by the way. I have never shared this publicly as I am a very private person. However, this is important because I’m not the only person dealing with type 1. You see, my younger brother had been diagnosed at the age of fifteen with the same disease. I watched how it ravaged his body over a short period of time. I saw firsthand how it attacks—one tiny blood vessel at a time until there’s nothing you can do to reverse the damage. I also remember quite clearly my mother being afraid to help him. He was on his own and terrified.

Eight years after his passing, I was thirty-one, active, slender and continuing to lose weight even though my weekly running had slowed. I had developed an unquenchable, burning thirst, my fairly good vision was growing blurry, and my strong legs were cramping in the middle of the night. I knew in my heart what it was. I’d seen the symptoms in my brother a decade earlier. After three months of denial, I went to the hospital where I was diagnosed with what the doctors’ thought was type 2 diabetes. They explained I was too old to have type 1.

However, I was running twenty miles a week. I kept asking myself, “How could it be type 2?” My husband told me he could see how thin I’d gotten and was concerned the doctors were wrong. They insisted and put me on an oral medication that clearly wasn’t going to work. It didn’t. The antibody test came back positive and the fact was, my immune system had turned on me. The insulin producing cells in my pancreas were destroyed and would never return.

It was a death sentence as far as I knew. I, too, was terrified. I had a husband and two young children. I had a life I wanted to live for as long as I could. I knew the chronic disease would kill me, if I let it. If I let it. So, I committed to not let it destroy me like it had with my brother. I’m not kidding. I was scared to death, but the disease that had taken him wasn’t going to take me.

I went to my medical appointments, feeling so desperately alone. I also went to support meetings at my local hospital, which were actually the opposite of support. There I met with fellow type 1 patients who had refused to accept the disease and its mighty power and that scared the hell out of me. They hadn’t seen what the monster could do. After two meetings, I never went back. They seemed to be in denial and denial was not an option for me. If I encountered another type 1 at a social event, I latched onto them like they were a life raft, but none of them seemed to be on the same path as myself. I acknowledge that everyone with the disease has to come to terms with it on their own and figure out their own plan.

My plan was to respect the monster, and in return my diligence would keep the monster at bay so as to allow me to live as normally as possible. Day by day. Some days great. Some not so great. But good health was and continues to be my goal.

I started my healthcare regimen with old-fashioned syringes and vials, moved on to insulin pens, and finally graduated to wearing top-notch medical equipment in the form of an insulin pump and a CGM (Continuous Glucose Monitor) in one of arms (I switch it to the other arm every ten days). After almost twenty years, the last ten with tubes and gadgets attached to me, I’m pleased to say I have no blood vessel damage to my eyes or kidneys. This is my life. For the rest of my life, but I’m thankful to have the technology to maintain my good health and I’m most thankful for the years my brother didn’t have.

Am I scared? Every single day I wake up summoning courage to face the day. Type 1 is truly a monster that never quits. I’ve dealt with other beasts in my life, some of them in my own family, but this monster is a killer waiting to snatch another victim. However, like in a fairytale the point of a monster is that it is meant to instill fear and test the hero. Will the hero face her fear and defeat the it? In my own story, I have faced my fear, my greatest fear, but until they find a cure for type 1 diabetes, I won’t be able to defeat it. In the meantime, I will continue to battle it every single day with strength and steadfastness.  

As far as writing, I’d love to craft a story that features a character with type 1. In the meantime, I am inspired by caffeine, enchanted spells, and unforgettable, star-crossed fates. Although I'm terrible at casting any magic of my own, I am descended from an accused witch, Elizabeth Duncan of Virginia, who went to trial in 1695 for charges including bewitching livestock and causing birds to fall from the sky. That’s pretty cool, right?

I am currently taking a charcoal drawing class and golf lessons to bring some new experiences to my writing. We'll see how that goes! I have three published young adult novels, I am a member of SCBWI, and I graduated from the University of Maryland.

At present, I am working on a manuscript about a teen witch, Abigail, fighting for her right to practice witchcraft in a conservative southern town with a history of burning witches. As she finds herself irresistibly drawn to the tale of the Silver Moon Witch, trouble begins to find Abigail who's discovering the witch's story has dangerous parallels to her own life, especially when someone is watching, waiting to toss a match.


This is a healthy, low carb casserole that I enjoy making and it doesn’t raise my blood sugar levels!

20 oz. frozen spinach, thawed and squeezed dry
4 oz. cream cheese, cut into small cubes
1½ cups shredded Monterey jack cheese
6 slices bacon, fried and crumbled
4 large eggs, beaten
¼ cup butter, melted
2 cloves garlic, minced
½ tsp. salt

Preheat oven to 350 degrees.

Add all of the ingredients to a large mixing bowl and stir well to combine.

Spread mixture into an 8x8 baking dish and bake for 35-40 minutes or until the edges are golden and the center is set.

Serve immediately.


Here's a brief intro to Leigh's latest novel. Hope you enjoy it. 

Koush Hollow
Where bayou magic abounds and all that glitters... is deadly.

After her father’s untimely death, Jenna Ashby moves to Koush Hollow, a bayou town outside of New Orleans, dreading life with her wealthy mother.

As the sixteen-year-old eco-warrior is introduced to the Diamonds & Pearls, her mother’s exclusive social club, she comes to the troubling realization that secrets are a way of life in Koush Hollow.

 How do the Diamonds & Pearls look so young, where does their money come from, and why is life along the bayou disappearing?

As Jenna is drawn into their seductive world, her curiosity and concerns beg her to uncover the truth. However, in this town where mysticism abounds and secrets are deadly, the truth is not what Jenna could have ever imagined.

Leigh Goff is a young adult author with type 1 diabetes who is inspired by caffeine, enchanted spells, and unforgettable, star-crossed fates.

 Although she’s terrible at casting any magic of her own, she is descended from the accused witch, Elizabeth Duncan of Virginia, who went to trial in 1695 for charges including bewitching livestock and causing birds to fall from the sky. 

Learn more about Leigh Goff on her website and blog. Stay connected on Facebook, Instagram, Pinterest, and Goodreads.

Wednesday 18 August 2021

Children's Picture Book Tour: Tabitha Won't Sleep by David McLain and Felix Eddy...

Mirror World Publishing and Sapphyria's Book Promotions Present
the 1-week virtual book tour for Tabitha Won't Sleep.

About Tabitha Won't Sleep:

It’s eight bells, and Tabitha Winter doesn’t want to go to sleep.

“Well, it’s time to go to bed,” Mama Kitty says. “Come on, let’s put your pajamas on. Dad will read you a story.”

Tabitha Won’t Sleep is a beautifully illustrated picture book about a young kitten whose parents encourage her to believe that she can do anything she wants to, as long as she goes to sleep first. Children will love exploring the wonderful adventures Tabitha has in mind as she tries to avoid bedtime, and adults will love that in the end, everyone goes to sleep. Seriously, it's past eight-thirty. Lay down your head and close your eyes.

Writing a Children’s Book: The Illustrator is the One with the Talent

Every so often, especially if I’m sitting in a hotel room somewhere, I will turn on a morning talk show, and they will talk to some actor or actress who tells a self-deprecating story, and then casually mentions that they have a new children’s book that has just been published. The host will usually get a little more excited about this than they should, and then hold the book up, as if two middle-aged people reading a bedtime story together is the sort of thing that people do every day. There are usually a lot of warm smiles all around, and if you pay attention to these things, you’ll see that the book will usually end up on the list of best-selling children’s books for a week or two.

This is a con job.

I have written a children’s book. It’s a wonderful book, and I’m very proud of it. I wrote it for my daughter, who at this point has had it read to her literally hundreds of times.  That being said, I can tell you that interviewing a children’s book author about their new picture book is roughly the equivalent of getting the reunited Beatles on your television show and asking Ringo all the questions. You see, I wrote the first draft of Tabitha Won’t Sleep in roughly two hours while watching the movie Hello Dolly! My wife, who did the pictures, worked on it off and on for three years.

After I finished, and after Barbara Streisand had ended up married to Walter Mathau, I emailed the text to my wife. She and my daughter had gone out of town for the weekend, and I was left behind. My daughter was three months old, and impossibly small. She had been born almost two months premature and had spent the first six weeks of her life in an incubator, with tubes coming out of her in multiple places. Once the tubes come out, the hospital staff made sure we knew how to change a diaper, and then they handed us a child the size of a Guinea Pig and wished us the best of luck. My wife wasn’t OK. Neither was I. Nonetheless we came home with Tabitha and started a new chapter in our lives.

So, while my wife was out of town, I wrote a story. A nice story about putting Tabitha to bed, a story where we showed Tabitha that she could do anything that she wants in life, provided that she goes to sleep first. I anticipated (correctly) that my daughter would look at bedtime as the end of the world, and might need to know that there would be a wonderful new day full of adventures tomorrow. In the book, Tabitha would be about three years old, and would be a cat. (My wife and my daughter both believe that the cat version of anything is better than the regular version of the same thing.)

I got a response to my email about three hours later. “Your story made me cry” my wife said. After that, she got to work.

The drawings started coming quickly. This part is fun to watch. Most writers will probably never get to see their work come to life quite like that, and my wife, inspired by the idea that our daughter would get to read this, did some great sketches with a lot of life in them. After that, she went to ink the drawings. Here we had a small disaster, as one of our real cats knocked over a bottle of ink onto a picture. (Our daughter ended up using it as a coloring page.) After that she started working on coloring. I could see that the book was going to be beautiful. Our book has a lot of fun settings that made for good imagery, like Egyptian Pyramids, and the moon. (It also features a lot of pictures of my daughter’s actual bedroom, which has a steampunk theme and is painted in red and yellow stripes and made a bit of a splash on the internet before she was born.) Weeks, and then months and then years rolled by. I made matters worse by adding a couple of pages to fill out the book. There were lots of times that I thought she would never be done, which was frustrating, because we were so close. Tabitha learned to walk and got out of diapers. Then one day she was done. I brought my daughter downstairs to my computer and read the book to her.

I learned a few things from the social experiment of writing a book about my daughter. For one thing, Tabitha always understood that the book was about her, even though in the book she’s a cat. For another, anything that was even slightly different about the way her room was depicted in the book had to be fixed in the real world. This led to an awkward conversation where my daughter suggested we buy the toy castle pictured in the book, causing my wife to explain “That castle isn’t real, it’s just a picture I drew.” To which my daughter replied, “It comes with a pony.”

Since then, we have read Tabitha Won’t Sleep a lot. I have been in the unique position of reading my book to the main character in the book while sitting in the room that book takes place in and having the person that I am reading to fall asleep at the same time as she does in the book.

I can tell you I worked as hard as Jamie Leigh Curtis worked on any of her children’s books, which is not very hard at all. My wife, the lovely and talented Felix Eddy, did most of the work, and she did an amazing job. I can tell you that I did have a wonderful time working on the book. If you decide to write one, I hope you do too.

David McLain

David McLain is the author of Tabitha Won’t Sleep, a new children’s book, available from MirrorWorld Publishing. It was illustrated by his wife, the lovely and talented Felix Eddy. It can be purchased {Insert like that I don’t have because the book is not actually out yet} here.  You can follow him on twitter @mclaindave. 

Release Date: August 17, 2021
Publisher: Mirror World Publishing

Meet the Author:

David McLain is the author of the novels The Life of Thief, Dragonbait, and The Time Travellers Resort and Museum. His stories and poems have appeared in over two dozen magazines, including Harvard’s Dudley Review. He is an occasional contributor to the podcasts The History of England, and Geek Salad. He graduated from Purchase College, where he directed a production of William Shakespeare’s The Tempest. He lives in upstate New York.

Meet the Illustrator:

Felix Eddy graduated Magna Cum Laude from Alfred University. She has illustrated over two dozen books for children and young adults, including The Big Red Purse, Dinosaur Boogie, Barks Mulberry Socks*, K-9 Merlin-Police Dog Extraordinaire*, and The Bestiary Alphabet, which she also wrote. You can find out more about her art and embroidery at her website (* Bark's Mulberry Socks and K-9 Merlyn are both 2020 TAZ award winners.)

Connect with the Author and Illustrator:

David McLain's Amazon Profile:

Monday 16 August 2021

Cover Reveal: The Last Timekeepers and the Noble Slave by Sharon Ledwith...

Welcome to the Cover Reveal for The Last Timekeepers and the Noble Slave
The Last Timekeepers, Book 3
by Sharon Ledwith

About the Book:

Eleven-year-old Drake Bailey is an analytical thinker and the genius of the Timekeeper crew. However, no logic or mathematical acumen can change the color of his skin, or prepare him for this third Timekeeper mission in antebellum Georgia. To survive, Drake must learn to play the role of a plantation slave and when confronted with the brutality, hatred, and racism of the deep south, he’ll have to strategically keep one move ahead of his sadistic captors to ensure his lineage continues.

In a dark world of Voodoo, zombies, and ritualistic sacrifice, the Timekeepers must ensure a royal bloodline survives. Can Drake remove both literal and figurative chains to save both himself and a devout slave girl from a terrible fate? If he can’t summon the necessary courage, humanity could stand to lose one of its greatest leaders.

Book Details:

Genres: Young Adult, Time Travel, Fantasy  

Release Date is September 17, 2021

Author Tagline:

Escape to the past and have a blast.

Meet the Author:

Sharon Ledwith is the author of the middle-grade/young adult time travel adventure series, THE LAST TIMEKEEPERS, and the award-winning teen psychic mystery series, MYSTERIOUS TALES FROM FAIRY FALLS. When not writing, researching, or revising, she enjoys reading, exercising, anything arcane, and an occasional dram of scotch. Sharon lives a serene, yet busy life in a southern tourist region of Ontario, Canada, with her spoiled hubby, and a moody calico cat.

Learn more about Sharon Ledwith on her WEBSITE and BLOG. Look up her AMAZON AUTHOR page for a list of current books. Stay connected on FACEBOOK, TWITTER, PINTEREST, LINKEDIN, INSTAGRAM, and GOODREADS

Publisher Website:

Mirror World Publishing 

Sunday 15 August 2021

An Author’s Greatest Fan…and Critic!

I was fortunate to be interviewed by
LITREAL in July (2021) as part of their Essential Reads segment. It was through a connection on LinkedIn that got me this amazing opportunity with CEO and co-founder Dr. Shasikala Palsamy. LITREAL introduces English speaking authors to India (and the world), so I thought it was a way for me to expand my literary reach, and perhaps gain some new readers. Here’s a smattering of what they do for authors:

“LITREAL wishes to have a hands-on approach towards the study of literary works. LITREAL BROADCAST is the official YouTube channel of our institution. We have several live segments on a weekly basis where we interview writers across the globe. The input that writers of the current era provide us can really be useful to bring out the literary scholar in every individual.”

Honestly, I’m blushing. I was so out of my comfort zone during our interview! Despite the technical difficulties I experienced (I couldn’t see my video feed, but they could see me) we persevered and the interview went on as planned. I’ll include the full interview in this post, but there was one question I’d like to revisit, and wished I had answered differently.

That question?

Can you mention a person in your personal life who is your greatest fan and someone whom you may regard as your harshest critic?

The harshest critic was easy. That would be me. But my greatest fan? Wait…what? I honestly had no idea, so I rattled off a few names of girls I knew that had read my books and loved them. After the interview, it hit me like a ton of paperbacks. I was my greatest fan. All authors must be the champions of their own stories or what’s the point of writing?

As promised, here’s the interview with LITREAL. It was a scary-wonderful, humbling, and just plain old fun experience. You can hear my enthusiasm rise out of my voice at times, and to my surprise, it made me feel like I belong in this crazy literary world. Enjoy!

The actual interview:

If you’re an author, do you agree with me about being your own greatest fan and harshest critic? I’d love to read your comments. Cheers and thanks for taking the time to read my blog. I appreciate you!

Sunday 8 August 2021

Recipe and a Read: Chicken Chili and a Sweet Romance by Catherine Castle...

The other day I made chicken breasts in the crockpot in anticipation of making a batch of chicken pot pies. I threw in a couple extra boneless breasts, and hubby and I went out to run some errands. When we got back later that afternoon we were hungry and the scent of chicken filled the house.

“What’s for dinner?” hubby asked. 

I decided to use some of the crockpot chicken breasts and throw together a quick White Chicken Chili with what I had in the pantry. I didn’t have enough cannellini beans so I substituted and came up with a pretty good chili, if I do say so myself. I hope you’ll think so, too. 

Quick White Chicken Chili
1 15-ounce can of cannellini beans (also called white kidney beans), drained
1 green pepper, diced
2 boneless chicken breasts, boiled and shredded
1 4-ounce can green chilies, chopped
2 cups chicken broth, divided
Salt and pepper to taste
1 15-ounce can of butter beans
Cumin to taste if you like a spicier chili

Combine cannellini beans, green pepper, breasts, green chilies, and 1 cup chicken broth into a pot.

Pour butter beans into a food processor and pulse until beans are mashed. Add to ingredients in pot and stir well.  

If chili is too thick add more chicken broth until it reaches the consistency you prefer. 

Heat and serve with homemade cornbread and coleslaw.  

Makes 4 1-cup servings 

While you’re waiting for the chili to heat check out Catherine’s Award-winning Inspirational Romantic Suspense The Nun and the Narc.

Where novice Sister Margaret Mary goes, trouble follows. When she barges into a drug deal the local Mexican drug lord captures her. To escape she must depend on undercover DEA agent Jed Bond. Jed’s attitude toward her is exasperating, but when she finds herself inexplicably attracted to him, he becomes more dangerous than the men who have captured them by making her doubt her decision to take her final vows. Escape back to the nunnery is imperative, but life at the convent, if she can still take her final vows, will never be the same.

Nuns shouldn’t look, talk, act, or kiss like Sister Margaret Mary O’Connor—at least that’s what Jed Bond thinks. She hampers his escape plans with her compulsiveness and compassion, and in the process makes Jed question his own beliefs. After years of walling up his emotions in an attempt to become the best agent possible, Sister Margaret is crumbling Jed’s defenses and opening his heart. To lure her away from the church would be unforgivable—to lose her unbearable.

Multi-award-winning author Catherine Castle has been writing all her life. A former freelance writer, she has over 600 articles and photographs to her credit (under her real name) in the Christian and secular market. Now she writes sweet and inspirational romance. Her debut inspirational romantic suspense, The Nun and the Narc, from Soul Mate Publishing, has garnered multiple contests finals and wins.

Catherine loves writing, reading, traveling, singing, watching movies, and the theatre. In the winter she loves to quilt and has a lot of UFOs (unfinished objects) in her sewing case. In the summer her favorite place to be is in her garden. She’s passionate about gardening and even won a “Best Hillside Garden” award from the local gardening club.

Learn more about Catherine Castle on her website and blog. Stay connected on Facebook and Twitter. Be sure to check out Catherine’s Amazon author page and her Goodreads page. You can also find Catherine on Stitches Thru Time and the SMP authors blog site.

Sunday 1 August 2021

On and Ready to Go in my Author Life…


Recently, I was contacted by—a general interest website with an "Author Interviews" section featuring both fiction and nonfiction authors across a wide variety of backgrounds, genres and writing experience. They constantly scour the web for interesting authors with inspiring stories, and asked me if I would like to publish an interview about my writings (no fee was involved; the bulk of the interview was frequently asked questions).

In anticipation for the September release of the third installment (fourth if you include the prequel) of The Last Timekeepers time travel adventure series, entitled The Last Timekeepers and the Noble Slave, I jumped at the chance to do the interview with NFReads and share some fun facts and interesting tidbits about me, my writing, and my personal life.

BTW—the cover reveal for The Last Timekeepers and the Noble Slave, and the preorder link goes live simultaneously on August 17th, 2021, so mark that date on your electronic devices or calendars! In the meantime, please enjoy catching up with my author life…

1. What is/are the real-life story(ies) behind your book(s)?

 The idea for The Last Timekeepers series came to me in a dream I had around 1998. In this dream, I saw seven arches, and there were seven people (five kids, two adults) with crystals in their hands, walking up to these arches. It definitely had an Indiana Jones feel to it, but with an ‘Atlantis’ slant. I love history. I also love myths and legends. So I put those two ‘ingredients’ together and came up with a time travel series with roots leading back to Atlantis.

When I created the Mysterious Tales from Fairy Falls series, I drew from all of my childhood and adult experiences from vacationing and living in cottage country. This gave my teen psychic mystery book series a nostalgic feeling coupled with a sense of adventure and…wait for it…the supernatural. Welcome to Fairy Falls. Expected the unexpected.

2. What inspires/inspired your creativity?

To tell the truth it’s been my life experiences, but sometimes single malt scotch helps. Kidding. I also loved watching Scooby-Doo as a kid. I mean, who didn’t? I also had an over-active imagination in school, and found it hard to concentrate on mundane subjects. I often drifted off into the land of story-making until the teacher called out my name. Yeah. I wouldn’t advise that. As I grew older I never thought I could channel those stories into something as concrete as a book, but I was inspired to do so by a deep, spiritual desire that whispered in my ear one evening. True story. Now with six books and two series on the go, I’m glad I listened to that voice, and haven’t looked back.

3. How do you deal with creative block?

I do something else other than stare at my blank computer screen. That’s more exhausting than trying to come up with anything creative. Stand up, move around, make tea or coffee, take yourself or your dog out for a walk. Sooner or later the words will come, and when they do, you’d better be ready to get them down.

 4. What are the biggest mistakes you can make in a book?

Rushing the story. Even when you’re writing a series, each book has something to say in its own time. And I’ve learned that each back has a soul. Allow the book to have its own unique voice. After all, every author has theirs.

5. Do you have tips on choosing titles and covers?

If you’re writing a series, you’ll want to brand titles and covers so that readers know those books are part of that series. Choose titles that reflect the main theme. Same with covers. Colors on your covers are so important and can set the mood, along with any elements you’ve chosen to display on the cover. You want to tease your readers enough to become so curious that they hit the buy link on your website.

6. How do bad reviews and negative feedback affect you and how do you deal with them?

I don’t let bad reviews or negative feedback run my author life. It’s not a healthy way to go in this business. I don’t even check my reviews. I realize every reader has a right to an opinion, and that’s a good thing. Variety is truly the spice of life. Some books will leave readers with a bad taste in their mouths, while other readers can’t get enough of what you’re dishing out.

7. How has your creation process improved over time?

Tremendously! With years come experience and wisdom. I’ve learned that I’m an intuitive plotter, and enjoy the process of planning a book more than being a pantser (writing by the seat of your pants). Since I’ve decided to write book series, I keep a handbook binder for both my series, filled with character tracking sheets and other pertinent information I can fact check when I’m writing a new installment. This saves me time and embarrassment, making sure colors of eyes remain the same, and what clothing my characters are wearing in that particular book. Plus, my pacing and tension has improved tenfold. Love leaving those readers hanging!

8. What were the best, worst and most surprising things you encountered during the entire process of completing your book(s)?

Seeing the finished product in my hands is an amazing feeling, and some of my book launches have been memorable. The worst is the mental anguish of my editor pushing me to the limits to produce the best story possible. It was gratifying and exhausting at the same time. The most surprising thing was the royalty payments. It was quite a wake-up call for me (and I bet for other authors out there). I’ve learned that a career in publishing is a dedicated path. Slow and steady progress assures success. That’s my motto now.

9. Do you tend towards personal satisfaction or aim to serve your readers? Do you balance the two and how?

If I’m being honest, a little of both. I write books for me AND my readers. The writing part is my journey—from seed idea to finished product—and all that’s happened in between. The way I serve my readers is to deliver the best possible story I’ve got in me, while entertaining and inspiring them at the same time. That’s where I find balance.

10. What role do emotions play in creativity?

Emotions are a scary-wonderful roller coaster ride for an author. We get out the best and worst of ourselves for all to see. It’s like wringing out a sopping wet sponge until there’s nothing left to squeeze. That’s when we (authors) get to exhale and if we’ve done our jobs well, our readers will have gone on that ride with us.

11. What are your plans for future books?

So many books, so little time. LOL! Actually, I’ve planned for a total of ten books, plus the prequel for The Last Timekeepers series, so I’ll be one busy gal. So far, I have three books in this series published. In September 2021, the fourth installment, The Last Timekeepers and the Noble Slave will be released through my publisher, Mirror World Publishing. For my other young adult series Mysterious Tales from Fairy Falls, there are five books total planned, two of which are already published. Currently, I’m working on the third book in this teen psychic mystery series.

12. Tell us some quirky facts about yourself

I’m an empath. Yeah, I feel ya. I never knew this until later in my life. It’s been a load to carry, and I honestly thought something was wrong with me. Guess that’s why I’m drawn to writing about characters with psychic abilities or delving into my past lives. I love exploring arcane subjects, attracted to unsolved mysteries, and always expect the unexpected. Bahaha…

If you’re a writer, do you resonate with any of my answers? If you’re a reader, is there anything else you would like to know about my author life? I’d love to read your comments. Cheers and thanks for taking the time to read my blog. I appreciate you!