Sunday, July 31, 2011

Interview with Sherree Funk, Author of Peter: Rock Star from Galilee

Joining us today is Sherree Funk, author of Peter: Rock Star from Galilee: A Guided Bible Study for Teens.

Well-grounded in biblical Christianity, Sherree is passionate about sharing her love and knowledge of God’s Word with the next generation. She has earned Bachelor’s and Master’s degrees and holds a Certificate in Christian Studies from Asbury Theological Seminary. Sherree leads small groups of teens at Ingomar UMC.

Welcome to The Book Connection, Sherree. Where did you grow up?

I grew up near the Santa Susanna Mountains in Chatsworth, California, just down the road from Roy Rogers and Dale Evans. (In fact we attended the same church.) The Southern California weather was almost always sunny and mild. I didn’t know until much later in life what real seasons were like.

What is your fondest childhood memory?

One fond memory from my childhood summers is buying fresh California produce from a farm stand near my house. Juan, the stand owner, introduced us to exotic Casaba and Crenshaw melons with juicy sweet samples. Fruit salads, sliced tomatoes and steaming corn-on-the-cob made their way to our backyard picnic table at the hands of my mother.

And I can’t forget the warm ripe apricots, red-staining pomegranates, black olives, and early season strawberries from neighborhood trees and local farms. Delicious!

When did you begin writing?

I took a creative writing class at UC Davis, wrote a technical master’s thesis and many technical reports for work, and then did very little writing until 3 years ago when I started writing Bible studies for teens.

Do you write during the day, at night or whenever you can sneak a few moments?

I normally like to write during the day in a comfy chair at my local Starbucks. I like to have a good cup of coffee in hand, the aroma all around me, and good music playing on the speakers. Somehow that environment inspires me.

What is this book about?

This book is a close look at Peter and his relationship with Jesus. Peter had a rock star personality. His name means rock, and he became a star disciple. But there is so much more. Peter is a central character in Acts, too, and he wrote a couple of letters.

Peter is impulsive, eager to do well, and prone to pride. He does some amazing things like walking on water, but he gets in trouble, too. When his pride comes tumbling down after his triple denial he learns humility. Peter finally understands that his own efforts are doomed to fail, but when he is filled with the Holy Spirit he becomes the rock upon which the Church was built.

The book is designed for personal study with discussion questions to encourage lively debate in small groups. There are real-life challenges to stimulate teens to service and greater faith. Each chapter begins with a playlist of contemporary Christian songs and hymns to highlight the Biblical themes. By combining music, song lyrics, and Bible study, the lessons of Peter’s faith journey can be retained for life.

What inspired you to write it?

I was leading a group of Middle School students in Bible study and found very little in the way of high-quality materials for that age group. At the same time, I was participating in one of Beth Moore’s engaging studies for adults. Suddenly one day, while doing my own study, I felt a gentle nudge – well, maybe a strong push - to write in a similar style for teens. With the help of the Holy Spirit, I first wrote a study on Lydia of Philippi. Peter: Rock Star from Galilee is my fourth teen Bible study.

Who is your favorite character from the book?

One of the most appealing characters in the Bible, Peter has long been a favorite of mine. His life is given more coverage than any other New Testament figure, except Jesus of course. He is so lovable. One minute he’s brilliant, the next he is screaming for help. In my experience, many young teens have similar personalities.

There is a minor character, Rhoda, who I love, too. Once, when Peter escaped from prison, he headed to a home where a prayer group was meeting. They were praying for him, but Rhoda, rising to answer the bell, couldn’t believe it was actually Peter. She almost turned him away. You can find that story in Acts 12.

Who is your biggest supporter?
My husband, Jim, is my greatest fan and biggest supporter. I have several long-time friends who give me advice and encouragement and keep me laughing. I am so thankful for them all.

Where can readers purchase a copy of your book?

Peter: Rock Star from Galilee can be purchased from,,,,,,, and, and it should be available at your local Christian store soon.

Do you have a website and/or blog where readers can find out more?

I do, and would love more visitors and

Do you have a video trailer to promote your book? If yes, where can readers find it?

My book trailer is on my website,  and at

What is up next for you?

My next Bible study will be about Hannah, the prayerful mother of Samuel in the Old Testament. She faced childlessness and relentless bullying, yet she cried out to God in faith. She’s a beautiful, relatable character for teens today.

Thank you for spending time with us today, Sherree. We wish you continued success.

Unbeatable Resumes Giveaway Winner!

Our congratulations go out to KarenK, the winner of a copy of Unbeatable Resumes: America's Top Recruiter Reveals What REALLY Gets You Hired by Tony Beshara. I'll be emailing Karen tonight. She'll have 72 hours to respond with her mailing address. If I don't hear from her within that time frame, I'll select a new winner.

Thanks to everyone who participated. Keep your eye out for new giveaways coming soon!

Pump Up Your Book's! August 2011 Authors on Tour

Join a talented and diverse group of 32 authors who are touring with Pump Up Your Book! Virtual Book Tours during the month of August 2011.

Follow them as they travel the blogosphere from August 1st through August 26th to discuss their books. These tours include genres for everyone: historical novels, romantic comedies, horror novels, thrillers, and more!

The month of August finds us host to romance novels from Jeanette Baker, Greg Messel, and K.L. Brady. Hazel Statham returns this month to promote two Regency romance novels, “Consequence” and “My Dearest Friend.”

We have some great books for tweens, teens, and young adults in August. Kara Bartley and Theresa Wallace talk about their YA fantasy novels, while Elizabeth Parkinson Bellows promotes the first book in her middle grade fantasy series, “Alexander Drake’s Extraordinary Pursuit.” In nonfiction, Sherree Funk tours with her guided Bible study for teens, “Peter: Rock Star from Galilee.”

Women’s fiction comes to you from Debra Brenegan, Helen Laibach, Susan Still and Alretha Thomas. We also have some wonderful literary fiction titles from Lilian Duval, Phyllis Schieber, and Bonnie Trachtenberg. Thrillers are being promoted by co-authors David Fett and Stephen Landford, L.L. Reaper, and Pamela Samuels Young.

Also on tour are Melanie Benjamin, F.J. Dagg, Benjamin Kane Ethridge, Dr. Jeri Fink, Joseph Garraty, James Mace, Malcolm Petteway, Caridad Pineiro, and Paula Wiseman.

On the nonfiction front, you’ll find self-help books from Michael Martel and Lynne McTaggart. Chamed continues to promote her survival memoir, “My Heart Stopped Beating,” and Tom McLaughlin returns with his travel journal, “Borneo Tom.”

Visit YouTube at to view a video trailer introducing our authors on tour in August.

Pump Up Your Book! is a virtual book tour agency for authors who want quality service at an affordable price. More information can be found on their website at

Contact Information:
Dorothy Thompson
Founder of Pump Up Your Book! Virtual Book Tours
P.O. Box 643
Chincoteague, Virginia 23336

Saturday, July 30, 2011

Book Review: In the St. Nick of Time by K.M. Daughters

A sexy, suspense-filled mystery concludes the award-winning Sullivan Boys series by K.M. Daughters.

In the St. Nick of Time finds Kay Sullivan Lynch returning to the Chicago Police Department, much to the dismay of her family. She's not sure it's the right move for her either, but the widow needs to make a life for her and her children so they can move past their loss.

Captain Flynn Dowd transfered to the CPD to escape his own troubles. He hasn't thought about having a woman in his life for a long time, but beautiful and dedicated Detective Lynch sets his pulse to racing. When Sidewalk Santas collecting to feed the hungry are dropping dead all over Chicago, Kay and Flynn are hard pressed to find a motive or MO. They do however, find a strong mutual attraction they can't deny.

Racing against time, Kay and Flynn try to connect the pieces of this strange murder mystery, while exploring their feelings for each other. Will the Lynch children's opposition force Kay to choose between her family and her man?

I am both excited and upset at the same time. I've loved The Sullivan Boys series since the first book, Against Doctor's Orders. Now that the series has come to an end, I'm sad to know I won't have more Sullivan family stories to look forward to.

In the Saint Nick of Time is a romantic, suspenseful conclusion to a great series. The strength of this series has always been its characters. K.M. Daughters creates wonderful, complex characters whose stories you want to follow. You root for these couples to get past all the obstacles standing in their way.

We see the focus shift to the one girl in the Sullivan family, Kay. Having given up her job with the CPD years ago in exchange for life as a wife and mother, she is at a crossroads. Her husband is gone, her children are growing up, and she's not quite sure what she should do. She's only sure that being a depressed, grief-stricken widow isn't the only thing in her future. Her decision to be reinstated is met with mixed feelings in her family. Add in her attraction to Flynn, and her plate is more than full.

What I truly appreciated about In the Saint Nick of Time is that we get to experience all of Kay's doubts and triumphs with her. When she and Flynn are together for the first time, we see the shyness of a mature woman who is exploring a new relationship, unsure if she is still attractive after giving birth to four kids. We see how she is accepted by her peers, despite that her brother Pat doesn't give her a break and treats her differently than the rest of the members of the department. We witness Kay in all her roles: mother, detective, sister, and daughter.

While Bobbie and Joe's story in Beyond the Code of Conduct remains my strong favorite (I still re-read passages from it), In the St. Nick of Time is a close second. The motive and modus operandi are unique, the storytelling spectacular, and the conclusion very satisfying.

I highly recommend In the St. Nick of Time by K.M. Daughters. If you want sexy romance and suspense, you'll find it in this book.

Title: In the St. Nick of Time
Author: K.M. Daughters
Publisher: The Wild Rose Press
ISBN-10: 1601549032
ISBN-13: 978-1601549037
SRP:  $11.99
Also available in a Kindle edition.

I received a copy of this book from the author in exchange for my honest opinions. I received no monetary compensation of any kind to provide this review.

Friday, July 29, 2011

Guest Blogger: Jaime McDougall, Author of So You Want to Write A Guest Post

Today's special guest is none other than one of my partners in crime. Jaime McDougall and I both work for Pump Up Your Book. I can't tell you how excited I was to learn of the release of So You Want to Write a Guest Post: An Author's Guide to Promoting with Guest Blogging. Here's the official blurb:

The publishing world keeps on changing and, now more than ever, it is important for authors to have a presence on the internet.

But where do you start?

So You Want to Write a Guest Post is an easy to follow guide that will help you connect to bloggers and to write guest posts that get potential readers interested in your book.

Since we work in online book promotion and are bloggers, we've seen it all. Guest posts that need to be heavily edited; posts that are so short you can read them aloud without taking a breath; and ones that are so long you know readers will fall asleep before they're done.

I'm thrilled to be one of the final stops of Jaime's month-long virtual book tour. I didn't know she was going to write such a lovely post (honest, I didn't pay her to say any of it), but I can tell you I am honored to call her my friend.

Holding Out for a Hero by Jaime McDougall

I didn't have heroes when I was a child. I didn't understand idolizing people I had never met, and my female family members weren't exactly the best examples to follow. I began to admire authors in the way you admire people who are successful at the thing you want to do when you grow up, but they still weren't quite my heroes. After all, I didn't know for sure what I wanted in a hero. Someone simply successful at what they do or someone with something more?

I grew to accept that I would never have a hero and dismissed it as a childhood wish. After all, most people didn't go around eagerly gushing about their heroes. At least, not that much. I figured that having a hero meant having someone you could identify with on multiple levels, and if I couldn't do that as a child I simply never would.

Then I met Cheryl Malandrinos.

Cheryl and I met through working with Pump Up Your Book. She'd been with the group for a long time and seemed to me to be an intimidating figure, yet someone I could learn a lot from at the same time. I was completely right in my initial impression.

Over the years, Cheryl has always believed in me not only as a writer or only as a tour coordinator, but as a still fairly young woman trying to find her way in the world. She encouraged me; didn't hesitate to be honest with me even when it might hurt, and assured me every time I doubted. She did the one thing that I have come to see a hero needs to do: she never let me feel sorry for myself.

I knew before I even had a book out that I wanted to guest post at this site - and not just because it's a great place to be. I wanted to pay her back for all the encouragement and honesty she has always given me. When So You Want to Write a Guest Post came out, she was the least surprised that I had written an ebook.

Cheryl is the first person to buy a print copy of my paranormal romance Echo Falls, and I couldn't be happier that my first sale came from her. An author herself, she taught me to understand the importance of connecting with fellow authors who not only believe in you, but do so enough to be honest when you're not hitting the mark. She's not at all what I thought my hero would be, but she is everything I knew my hero should be.

Now pardon me just in case she starts throwing virtual tomatoes…


Jaime McDougall is a citizen of the world, currently loving life in beautiful country Victoria in Australia. She loves eating sushi, kidnapping her husband and naming her pets in honour of science fiction authors. She has been published in Chicken Soup for the Soul: High School: The Real Deal and Chicken Soup for the Soul: Campus Chronicles. She has also enjoyed writing a column called ‘The New Australian’ in local newspapers as well as various articles online.

So You Want to Write a Guest Post is her first ebook and is available on Kindle and at Smashwords. You can visit her website at

Book Review: How to Encourage Your Husband Compiled By Nancy Campbell

Nancy Campbell, editress of the magazine Above Rubies, compiles a wealth of information on how wives can encourage their husbands on a daily basis. Having dedicated her life to strengthening women in their roles as wives and mothers, Campbell fills this book with the same godly wisdom she has shared for over thirty years.

I decided to check out Prescott Publishing when I saw this review of Love Your Husband Love Yourself by Jennifer Flanders over at Confessions of an Overworked Mom. As a Christian, it is important for me to receive advice that is Biblically sound. When I visited Prescott's website, I also discovered How to Encourage Your Husband by Campbell.

This slim book (132 pages) is filled with advice from subscribers of Above Rubies. Campbell also includes some wise words of her own. Some of the advice I couldn't see me following through on. If I started placing love notes in my husband's lunch bag, he would call the paddy wagon to haul me away. He's not into that kind of thing at all.

What I also discovered, however, are many great insights into how to make my husband feel respected and loved. From making a point to tell him how much I appreciate that he goes to work, so that I can stay home with the kids, to making sure the house is peaceful and a place he wishes to come home to, these little things go a long way.

These women share their thoughts on the importance of making sure to take a few minutes to pick up the house before your husband arrives home from work, being sure to look nice when he comes in the door, and how vital it is to nourish your relationship and intimacy. Yes, there are passages about wives submitting to their husbands and creating an atmosphere where the husband is clearly the head of household, which  may or may not be well accepted, but How to Encourage Your Husband stays true to the Word of God in those respects.

The final chapter compiles some popular answers from a survey Campbell conducted asking what qualities husbands honored in their wives. I found this to be especially important, because it shows the results of what encouraging your husband can do. It also provides insight into how important it is to men when their wives embrace all God created them to be.

How to Encourage Your Husband can help you revitalize your marriage and make it all God desires for both of you!

Title:  How to Encourage Your Husband
Compiled by: Nancy Campbell
Publisher: Prescott Publishing
ISBN-10: 0982626940
ISBN-13: 978-0982626948
SRP:  $11.95

Thursday, July 28, 2011

Interview with Jan Marquart, Author of Voices From the Land

Joining us today is Jan Marquart, author of Voices From the Land (Volume 1).

Jan writes every day and encourages writing as a tool for healing and creativity. I connected with Jan thanks to literary publicist, Stephanie Barko, who asked me to review Jan's book, Voices from the Land.

Welcome to The Book Connection, Jan. It's great to have you with us. Can you tell us where you grew up?

I grew up in Bay Ridge, Brooklyn in apartments that were solid brick buildings from corner to corner. It was a time when ice cream trucks and carnival rides like the whip and ferris wheel rode down the streets to please kids. Those were the days when trucks had bins they opened on either side filled with both food and knife sharpening equipment for neighbors. Everything came down the street. If mothers couldn’t get out of the house to shop or take their kids to playgrounds, they didn’t have to.

What is your fondest childhood memory?

Peach ice cream made with huge chunks of real peaches. My parents would take me to the ice cream parlor on hot evenings for this delight. I think it cost only a nickel.

When did you begin writing?

When I was about eight, my mother bought me a Girl Scout Diary. You know the one. It had a little gold key. I remember one rainy day sitting on my bed fascinated by the blank page and its ability to hold secrets. I wrote about a boy named Peter who had moved onto the block a few years earlier and who had the cutest freckles I had ever seen. So I wrote about him. That was the first time I wrote anything out of school. But I stopped writing when my father made a comment of disinterest and I didn’t start writing again until I was 22 and in college. I haven’t stopped writing since.

Do you write during the day, at night or whenever you can sneak a few moments?

I write every day and the whole day is a blank page waiting for me. I love to journal write in the morning around 6 or 7. But I have been known to get up at 3 when it’s quiet and the world isn’t stirred up yet because ideas for stories or books wake me up. There is something about the sleep process that stirs up creativity. Unfortunately it plays havoc with my sleep patterns.

What is this book about?

Voices From the Land is the strangest and yet most inspiring book I’ve written. It is told from the point of view of several voices who started and endured in a small town around 1860 in the Midwest. These voices speak about how their hardships in a lawless land brought out the deep compassion of its inhabitants. It is about the spirit in all of us that attends to the humanity in each of us and how we need to strengthen that spirit when we live in community. It is a timeless piece in my opinion because it speaks to the values that we each need to live--a life a love, peace and harmony.

What inspired you to write it?

This is the strange part I mentioned above. In 2006 I was speaking with an intuitive and describing to him the power I felt from walking on the five acres I had just purchased in Lamy, NM. When I mentioned I felt a particularly strong energy as I walked around a circle of hundred year old pinon and juniper trees on my property, he told me to take pen and paper out to the trees and write. He said there were spirits inhabiting the land who wanted me to record their stories. Now, I am not freaked out easily by spirits or ghosts because I used to live in a 100-year-old water tank and had exposure to them. I was so frightened about what I might be getting myself into that it wasn’t until I was bored one day in the late fall of 2008 that I traipsed out to the end of my property and waited with pen poised. Then the stories came. I talk about this in detail in the Introduction.

Who is your favorite character from the book?

That’s a good question. I have taken each character into my heart. But I suppose I was especially touched by the girl who wanted to be a boy. She was the most delightful.

Who is your biggest supporter?
My women friends. I have three or four women friends who read everything I write. They love the way I write and buy my books as soon as they come out.

Are you a member of a critique group? If no, who provides feedback on your work?

Not formally. I do have a handful of writers who read and critique my work in pieces.

Who is your favorite author?

That is a very difficult question. I read everyone and like them all for different reasons. Recently I have read everything by Elizabeth Berg and Paulo Coehlo. Their simplicity in telling a story while throwing a powerful philosophical punch makes me unable to put their books down once I read the first sentence.

Do you have an agent or are you looking for one?

I did have an agent but publication companies these days are not taking many books from new writers so I’ve been self-publishing.

Was the road to publication smooth sailing or a bumpy ride?

The road to publication is expensive and detail oriented which I don’t normally mind because I can get anal about my writing. Lately I’ve worked with CreateSpace. They published my last three books including Voices From the Land. They are reasonably priced considering they edit and design covers. At first I fought against working online because I am fussy about the way I want my books. But CreateSpace made it so easy and they took phone calls quickly so it worked great.

If you knew then, what you know now, is there anything you would have done differently?

I don’t think so. Maya Angelou says- when you know better you do better. I stay focused on that and don’t like wasting my time on regret.

Where can readers purchase a copy of your book? gives links directly to each book.

Voices From the Land is

This link takes you to my other books.

Amazon for Voices is

Buyers can email me for a signed copy:

Any bookstore can order it. Libraries can order it.

Do you have a website and/or blog where readers can find out more?

My website is

My blog is is a site for authors and readers

What is the best investment you have made in promoting your book?

Hiring a publicist and doing book signings.

What is one piece of advice you would like to share with aspiring authors everywhere?

Keep the pen moving. That is the only way to write. I give writing workshops at libraries and other local venues and I can’t tell you how many people who have a burning desire to write stop writing after one sentence or a short paragraph. Writing is an action. You must keep writing to get what you want accomplished.

What is up next for you?

I have been developing skills around flash fiction and poetry. This is strange for me because I love writing books. I like room to develop my ideas with as many pages as I need. My life is in a lot of changes at the moment so I’m not into any big projects now. Besides in the last few months I’ve published three books so I need time to fill up again.

Is there anything you would like to add?

Yes. In writing Voices From the Land I realized that there are more ways of getting stories than you can know. Although I’ve read channeled books before, I never thought I would write one. It opened a new horizon for me. So I’d like to add that for anyone wanting to write, first tackle your fears. I was so fearful of taking the intuitive up on his instruction. It scared me and I let those fears haunt and cripple me for two years. And since I don’t do boredom, when I became bored that day, I allowed myself to open to the weird task of listening to spirits. I was so excited and inspired from what the voices had to say that I could hardly contain myself. And I got Voices From the Land out of it. I’m in ecstasy.

Thanks for joining us today, Jan. We wish you continued success.

Book Review: Voices From the Land by Jan Marquart

is an engaging collection of stories from the pen of Jan Marquart. Proving how much we are all connected, this collection combines the stories of numerous people from a town set in the years after Lincoln freed the slaves.

The reader meets a variety of characters whose stories were told to the author from an intuitive named Sam, who encouraged the author to record them. From the blacksmith's wife to the cattle ranger, from the preacher to the gossip, and from the stagecoach driver to the Indian, their stories blend together to create a town that sees tragedy, loss, love, and forgiveness.

While I enjoyed reading these people's stories, I have to admit that other than the town gossip and the Indian Wind Eagle, they sounded mostly the same to me. Even though I expected the simple manner of speaking, as these were working folks, I couldn't isolate unique voices that made me truly feel I was reading one person's story over another's.

Voices From the Land has a profound message, which is definitely its strength. I encourage you to read the reviews found on Amazon and decide if this book is for you.

Title:  Voices From the Land
Author:  Jan Marquart
Publisher: CreateSpace
ISBN-10: 1456562908
ISBN-13: 978-1456562908
SRP: $14.95

I received a copy of this book from the author in exchange for my honest opinion. I received no monetary compensation of any kind to provide my review.

BLOGGER's NOTE:  I was supposed to post an interview with Jan today, but our area was hit by severe thunderstorms and we're currently without power. The review was scheduled to run weeks ago, but I don't have access to the interview on my PC. I will post it as soon as I am able.

Wednesday, July 27, 2011

Interview with C. Elizabeth, Author of Absolute Obsession

Joining us today is C. Elizabeth, author of Absolute Obsession.

Welcome to The Book Connection, C. Elizabeth. Can you tell us a bit about yourself?

I live in Canada with my family and work full time as a paralegal. In the past year and a half writing has become quite a passion for me. Not only to write novels but writing in general. I find words to be incredibly fascinating, I often wonder how I managed to get this far in life and not know that about myself…interesting.

Where did you grow up?

I grew up in Edmonton, Alberta, Canada

What is your fondest childhood memory?

My fondest memories are the summers spent on Protection Island, just off Nanaimo, BC’s coast. Those were truly wonderful days.

When did you begin writing?

I only started writing in December, 2009

Do you write during the day, at night or whenever you can sneak a few moments?

I’ll write when my characters demand my attention, giving me the details of the next scene, so that means pretty much any time or any place.

What is this book about?

It is about how fate can conspire to guide the lives of two people from different counties to fall in love in the most unusual way and once Michael and Rose fall in love, there is nothing that fate won’t do to ensure their dreams come true.

What inspired you to write it?

That is a loaded question and my only answer is, I didn’t get inspired to write it…the characters were inspired to tell it to me.

Are you a member of a critique group? If no, who provides feedback on your work?

My critique group is my family and friends, which of course I insist on honesty from them. Now whether I get it or not is another story.

Was the road to publication smooth sailing or a bumpy ride?

The road to publication was difficult at times. You learn to have patience and if you don’t give up on yourself, one day you’ll get that most wonderful phrase in your inbox “we would like to offer you a contract.”

Where can readers purchase a copy of your book?

The purchase it through, Amazon, Fictionwise and also there are links from my website

Do you have a website and/or blog where readers can find out more?

Absolutely you can find me and my blog at, which is where my blog is. I can also be found on Twitter at!/search/users/CElizabeth4 and Facebook at

Do you have a video trailer to promote your book? If yes, where can readers find it?

Yes I do have a book trailer you can find it on Youtube at

What is the best investment you have made in promoting your book?

There are actually two: doing book signings and working with Dorothy at Pump Up Your Book.

What is one piece of advice you would like to share with aspiring authors everywhere?

Don’t give up yourself and most of all don’t give up on your characters, they will one day be heard.

What is up next for you?

I’m going to continue writing. I am working on novel three and dabbling with a fourth.

Is there anything you would like to add?

Thank you for having me today and allowing me to join this elite group.

Tuesday, July 26, 2011

Interview with Christine E. Schulze, Author of Bloodmaiden

Joining us today is Christine Schulze, author of Bloodmaiden. Her collection of YA fantasy books, The Amielian Legacy, is comprised of series and stand-alone books which can all be read separately but which weave together to create an amazing fantasy.

Christine has published several stories with Calliope and Kalkion magazines and is an active member of the WE book online writing community. She has also published several Christian/fantasy books which are available at various online retailers, as well as publishing several eBooks via Writers-Exchange.

Her latest and most exciting venture includes her publications with Old Line Publishing: Bloodmaiden and Tears of a Vampire Prince: the First Krystine. She also anticipates her upcoming publication with Old Line, Lily in the Snow, as well as releasing The Chronicles of the Mira with Writers-Exchange in both paperback and electronic forms.

Christine currently lives in Belleville, Illinois.

Welcome to The Book Connection, Christine. It's wonderful to have you here. Can you tell us a bit about yourself?

First of all, thank you very much for having me; I am delighted to take part in this interview!

Well, that's one thing about me: I love interviews. As well as blog posts, character interviews, in short, anything to do with my books. That is because, ever since I was a small child, I've loved my books, both creating them and sharing them with friends, hoping to someday share them with the world.

I also love composing music for my books, photography, singing, playing piano, playing video games (okay, well, mostly games in The Legend of Zelda series), and hanging out with friends, especially my best friend and sweetheart, Jonny.

Oh, and as all authors, I'm full of quirks. I hardly ever write a book in order from chapter one to the end, I'm allergic to milk and sugar, I love to name everything (especially Kiwi, my favorite teacher's car), and I am a bit of a stalker when pursuing a new "character" of mine (hence my knowing what my favorite teacher's car looks like).

When did you begin writing?

I've actually been writing since I was around four. The first books I created were just full of illustrations telling the story. However, my first book with both pictures and words came when I was a flower girl in a wedding and the bride requested one of my books as a wedding gift. Thus, Jonny to the Rescue was born. It would spark the inspiration for my now-published series, The Legends of Surprisers (and, interestingly enough, Jonny turned out to be the name of my soul mate).

Do you write during the day, at night or whenever you can sneak a few moments?

I write whenever I am inspired. Of course, this is rather difficult when one is still at one's day job--and very annoying. I am actually very cranky when I have a wonderful idea until I am able to get home and jot it down.

What is this book about?

Bloodmaiden is both fantasy and adventure, sweet romance and horror, humor and suspense. It tells the story of a young couple, Crisilin and Chalom, who must defy all odds--and a horrible tradition--to save their dynasty of Tynan, and thus all Sulaimon. Sulaimon is divided into four dynasties ruled by dragons who are meant to protect the human races living beside them. But something has gone terribly wrong in Tynan, and only the Aria, protective strains of an ancient song created by guardian fairies, can save Tynan. If, of course, Crisilin and Chalom can find all the parts of the Aria first.

What inspired you to write it?

Bloodmaiden came about through a variety of factors. First off, I was taking my first fiction class in college, and this spurred me to focus not just on the characters and plot, but more heavily on the writing of a book. The opening chapters of Bloodmaiden are full of rich, metaphorical imagery. They are also in first person, present tense, to make the readers really feel like they are "there".

Secondly, Jonny and I had done a photo shoot on myself in a red gown and cape; I always forget if the ideas for the book or photos came first, but doing the photo shoot really helped set the mood for Bloodmaiden. The photos can be seen on my blog and in a trailer I made for Bloodmaiden on Youtube, which also includes music to accompany the book. Yes, I went all out for this one and still envision it one day--hopefully--breaching the big screen.
A final factor included the fact that, while I had done fairies, elves, unicorns, vampires, banshees, genies, you name it, I'd never done dragons. Maybe because I'd never really liked dragon books that much. So, determined to create a book with dragons that I myself would enjoy, the four dragon dynasties were created and grafted into the book.

Who is your biggest supporter?

If I may, my biggest supporter(s) are my Mumsie and my Jonny.

Are you a member of a critique group? If no, who provides feedback on your work?

No, I am not. But I have wonderful friends, a wonderful and very critical sweetheart, and have always had the opportunity to work with and learn from wonderful editors.

Do you have an agent or are you looking for one?

Definitely planning on procuring an agent. I'm not actively seeking right now, but hope to be able to in the next year or so. Right now, I'm working on beefing up my writing resume.

If you knew then, what you know now, is there anything you would have done differently?

No, because even my mistakes or hasty decisions have provided great learning experiences.
Where can readers purchase a copy of your book?

Someday, I hope for Bloodmaiden, as well as all of my books, to be available in brick-and-mortar stores. Until then, readers can find my book on websites like Amazon, Barnes and Noble, as well as the publisher's site;
Do you have a website and/or blog where readers can find out more?

Yes. I always tell everyone to go to my page on Goodreads; not only do I have a blog there, but there are book reviews and I often host giveaways of my books.

I also have a blog readers should check out:

Do you have a video trailer to promote your book? If yes, where can readers find it?

Yes. Readers can find several on Youtube:
1. From Old Line Publishing

2. From Apex Reviews

3. Author-made (includes original music and artwork)

What is the best investment you have made in promoting your book?

Honestly, probably this and other blog tours. A great way to get good reviews and publicity. My giveaways have also been great to garner interest from brand-new readers.
What is one piece of advice you would like to share with aspiring authors everywhere?

Never give up! Whether you wish to share your work with the world like myself or just with family and friends, always be learning and perfecting your craft. God has given you a gift, so use it well.

What is up next for you?

Well, several exciting things actually. First off, a new YA fantasy release from Old Line Publishing, an anthology called Lily in the Snow and Other Elemental Tales, due out in October. Also, from Writers-Exchange, The Chronicles of the Mira, another YA Christian fantasy anthology due out sometime this year. In the meantime, I'm working on both a children's book and a YA book for Book By You, a publisher specializing in personalized books. This is an exciting new venture for me, one that will get me closer to my ultimate goal of building up a professional writing resume to present to a literary agent, hopefully in the near future.

Thanks for spending time with us today, Christine. We wish you continued success.

Monday, July 25, 2011

The Fairy Tale Bride (Once Upon a Wedding) by Kelly McClymer

Miranda Fenster was known as the Fairy Tale Miss during the one disastrous London season that convinced her she would never have a happily-ever-after. But when her brother's love match is thwarted by the impossibly proper Duke of Kerstone, Miranda sets off to convince the duke to champion her brother's cause for love. Unfortunately, he is too proper to consider love a suitable reason for marriage, and too proper not to marry Miranda when they find themselves compromised. Now, Miranda has a second chance for happily-ever-after, if she can uncover her new husband's darkest secret. Originally published by Kensington Zebra Ballad, October 2000.


"One of the most thrilling romances I have read recently, The Fairy Tale Bride will keep you turning the pages in eager anticipation."

--B.S. Andrews, Amazon Reviewer

"Ms. McClymer offers us a wonderfully original tale laced with wonderful, deeply drawn characters and a romance that makes you hold your breathe. Her writing puts me in mind of Amanda Quick and Lynn Kurland. I think that I have found a new favorite author."

--Teagan Oliver

Also by Kelly McClymer:

The Unintended Bride

The Infamous Bride

The Next Best Bride

Kelly McClymer started out writing plays for her sister to perform for their parents. She branched out to writing for her high school newspaper, and then began a futile attempt to write science fiction. At last, with her historical romance novels, she achieved the goal of published author. And then, in a leap of faith, she left romance for the Young Adult world of fantasy and witchcraft. She may be secretly working her way back to science fiction, but mum’s the word on that one.

Visit Kelly online at!

Friday, July 22, 2011

Interviewed at Through His Eyes on Saturday, July 23rd

I'll be interviewed tomorrow at Salena Stormo's lovely blog, Through His Eyes. I'm so thrilled to be there. I hope you'll join me while I spend the weekend at this wonderful blog.

I'm sure she would appreciate some followers too.


Zumaya Birthday Bash with Guest Blogger M.D. Benoit, Author of Meter Parents

Today we're helping Zumaya Publications in "Celebrating Five Years of Irresponsible Reading!" We are featuring M. D. Benoit, author of the science-fiction mystery novel, Meter Parents.

Who can you trust? by M.D. Benoit

To my mind, part of a publisher’s job is to believe in its authors, not only for their market value but because of the quality of their writing. One goes with the other, you’ll say. True, in a way. If the quality isn’t there, the books won’t sell. But the opposite isn’t necessarily true. Many well-written books have never left the slush pile because the publisher believed they wouldn’t sell.

At Zumaya, quality of writing is the principal criterion for selection. Because of its business model, it can afford to publish books that are unusual, and that would sometimes have a hard time finding shelf-space in a bookstore. Zumaya has been taking risk after risk on authors who have something different to say and it has resulted in an amazing variety of high-quality storytellers. From the very beginning, Zumaya has been able to reach every corner of the world and has done so not only for its readers, but also by adding authors from almost all continents to its stable.

Several years ago, even before it was firmly established as a publisher in Texas, Zumaya took a chance on me with my first book, Metered Space. The book had several marketing challenges: it was a mixed genre, mystery and science-fiction combined, it was set in the very unsexy city of Ottawa, Canada, and it had previously been published by a now defunct publisher.

Yet Zumaya decided to take a chance on it—and me. And this month, Meter Parents, the fourth in the Jack Meter Case Files series that started with Metered Space, and my sixth novel, is coming out. I am thrilled about it, not only because I still get a kick out of seeing my name in print but because it has been published by a publisher I trust and who believes in me and my writing.

Zumaya publishes its books as ebooks—an increasingly popular medium—in formats compatible with most readers and on paper, through the on-demand printing system. This progressive business model, when Zumaya started using it, was at the vanguard of publishing, but was often reviled. Now many mid-size and large publishers are using it, seeing the wisdom in reducing our eco-footprint and minimizing unused inventory. And that, as Martha Stewart would say, is a good thing.

M. D. Benoit was born in Montreal, Quebec (that’s in Canada, folks) but was raised in a small Quebec Laurentians town called Mont-Laurier. She didn’t stay there long, though, and studied and lived in Montreal, Ottawa and Halifax, where she obtained her Masters’ Degree in Psychology from Saint Mary’s University. Throughout the years, she has been a housekeeper, a telephone operator, a military officer, and a Human Resources consultant. But writing always was her first love and she gave up her paying job over fifteen years ago to make up stories. She’s been writing full-time since then. Metered Space was her first published novel (2004), introducing Private Investigator Jack Meter in this SF Mystery series.

The Jack Meter Case Files continued with Meter Made in November 2005. The third in the series, Meter Destiny, came out in 2008. She has also written two SF Thriller, Synergy, published in April 2007, and Catalyst out in 2010. Meter Parents, the fourth in The Jack Meter Case Files, is out July 2011.

Visit her website at or follow her on Twitter@mdbenoit2.

Thursday, July 21, 2011

Interview with Greg Messel, Author of Expiation

Joining us today is Greg Messel, author of the historical romance novel, Expiation. Greg has spent much of his life in the Pacific Northwest living in Portland, Oregon and in the Seattle area since 2008. He has been married to his wife, Carol, for 40 years. Greg went to Brigham Young University with Carol and then began a newspaper career in rough and tumble Wyoming town of Rock Springs. Greg and Carol have three married children and nine grandchildren.

Greg has always loved writing. He worked as the news editor and sports editors of the Daily Rocket-Miner newspaper. He won a Wyoming Press Association award for his column. He also submitted and had published articles in various sports magazines. He left the newspaper business in 1981 and began a 27 year career with Pacific Power. Greg retired in 2008 and moved to Seattle.

It was there that he returned to his first love of writing. He has written two unpublished memoirs and published his first novel with Trafford in September 2009.

Currently, Greg and Carol live on the Puget Sound in Edmonds, Washington, just north of downtown Seattle. He also enjoys running, he has been in several races and half marathons.

Welcome to The Book Connection, Greg. It's great to have you with us.  Where did you grow up?
I was born in Indiana and my family moved to California when I was five years old. I grew up in the 1960s and 1970s in the San Francisco Bay Area, which was a very exciting place to be at that time. Those experiences are woven all through the story line in Expiation.

When did you begin writing?

I found two artifacts from my childhood at my grandmother’s house after she died. One was a canvas bag with the name of a newspaper written in crayon on it. Another was a book I had written by hand, folded the paper so it was like a book and even did some illustrations. As a child I used the bag to deliver newspapers that I wrote. I would deliver it to my family members. So apparently, I have wanted to write newspapers and books since I was a small child. It is what I was drawn to. I turned those childhood fantasies into reality later when I had a real newspaper career and was a sports editor and news editor for a daily newspaper in Wyoming. I supported myself in high school and college as a “stringer” for the local newspaper writing sports and movie reviews. Now that I have more time I am able to write novels which I have wanted to do for years.

Do you write during the day, at night or whenever you can sneak a few moments?

When I’m in “the zone” seriously working on a novel, I like to write regularly for several hours each day. I often run out of gas before I run out of enthusiasm. When I’m writing I also think a lot about the characters, plot points and storylines. I also find that I have to back off sometimes and not push it too hard. It is a creative process and sometimes I need to take a couple of days off, to not only recharge but also to think about what I’m writing. I love the moments of discovery that come that way.

For instance, I have gone for a run outside and during my jog imagined whole blocks of dialogue. That is really fun when that happens.

What is this book about?

The story jumps from the 60s and 70s in San Francisco to the present day, which I defined as 1999 in Seattle. I found the turn of the century a fascinating time. There was so much fear and uncertainty due to Y2K and several other pressures on society. This seemed to be the perfect backdrop for characters dealing with the uncertainty of their own life. It is a story of lost love. Dan loses his high school sweetheart and then they are re-united much later in their life. They wonder if their love can be reignited. The story explores many of the ‘what-ifs’ of life that we all face. If I would have made this decision instead of the one I made, how could my life be different?

What inspired you to write it?

I’ve always loved to write. Now at this point in my life I have the opportunity. I have been writing and in the newspaper business since high school.

Do you have an agent or are you looking for one?

I am self publishing but I would like to have an agent.

Was the road to publication smooth sailing or a bumpy ride?

Self publishing is a rocky road and you have to be persistent and patient.

If you knew then, what you know now, is there anything you would have done differently?

I have learned a lot about writing and publishing. I am more certain about what I want in the design and structure of my book. I also continue to refine my writing skills.

Where can readers purchase a copy of your book?

It is available on line at Amazon, Barnes & Noble, Borders and

Do you have a website and/or blog where readers can find out more?

All of the links to purchase my book are on my web site  I also have the latest news about my books and writing on my blog.

Do you have a video trailer to promote your book? If yes, where can readers find it?

This is the link to my book trailer on You Tube  

What is up next for you?

I have just completed my third novel The Illusion of Certainty. I am really excited about it. It has two parallel stories which come together at the end. A common theme is that the only certain thing in our lives is that there will be uncertainty. I think this theme and the characters in this novel are very much a product of the uncertain times in which we live.

Is there anything you would like to add?

My high school journalism teacher was one of my real favorites. She really encouraged me in my writing and got me to enter a writing contest. Her name was Mrs. Drew Robinson. I have no idea where she is now. When she was my teacher she was probably in her early thirties and when I see a yearbook picture of her now, she is really pretty. She convinced me that I was a writer. I base a character in Expiation, who I call “Mrs. Robinson” on her.

Thanks for spending time with us today, Greg. We wish you continued success.

Wednesday, July 20, 2011

Interview with Frank Zaccari, Author of When the Wife Cheats

Today's special guest is Frank Zaccari, author of the family/marriage book, When the Wife Cheats. A native of upstate New York, Frank Zaccari earned a degree in finance from California State University at Sacramento after serving as a military medic in the U.S. Air Force. He is currently the owner of an insurance agency and resides in Sacramento, California.

Welcome to The Book Connection, Frank. It's great to have you here. Can you tell us a bit about yourself?

My earliest dream was to play shortstop for the New York Yankees. Unfortunately my skills weren’t as great as my desire. I earned a degree in finance from California State University at Sacramento after serving as a military medic in the U.S. Air Force. I spent over 25 years in the high-tech industry holding positions from account representative to CEO, and for nearly 20 years I specialized in turn-around management of companies under 100 million dollars. Upon becoming a single, custodial parent after nearly 25 years of marriage, I left an industry that I loved to buy a small business in order to be home to raise my children. Currently I own an insurance agency and reside in Sacramento, California.

Where did you grow up?

I grew up in western New York in a little town named Dunkirk which is about 45 minutes from Buffalo.

What is your fondest childhood memory?

My fondest childhood memories are the hundreds of hours I spent playing baseball at the local playground.

When did you begin writing?

I wrote the book When the Wife Cheats at the recommendation of family/grief counselors. The counselors told me this was the first generation in the United States where the wife/mother was leaving the family. They added there is little to no data regarding the impact on the family, particularly daughters, since men are not willing to talk. They said writing what occurred would help my daughters validate their feelings.

Do you write during the day, at night or whenever you can sneak a few moments?

Writing When the Wife Cheats was a very emotional experience. My youngest daughter was still living with me at the time and I did not want to upset her while I was writing the book. I also wanted to be completely available for her when she wanted to talk or vent. So on the nights when my emotions would not let me sleep I would get up, go into the extra bedroom and write the book. When the Wife Cheats was largely written between the hours of 1:00 and 4:00 in the morning when my daughter was asleep.

What is this book about?

When the Wife Cheats is about a family, father and two young daughters, discovering then coping with and ultimately surviving the lies, deceit, betrayal and abandonment of infidelity.

What inspired you to write it?

As the word about my wife’s affair and leaving the family made its way around our community, a strange thing happened; male friends and acquaintances told me how sorry they were and shared a similar experience. I was shocked. I had no idea so many men had been victimized by infidelity. I thought I was the only man who was so terrible that my wife not only left me, she left our entire family. I knew something was terribly wrong with our marriage, but I had no idea what it was and my wife was not forthcoming with the reason.

As I heard more stories, I started to see a pattern, some common threads in all the stories. I decided to write this book about infidelity from the man’s and children’s perspective. It is based on actual situations told to me by many men who went through the devastation of their wives’ infidelity. Their story and mine were woven into one story.

Who is your biggest supporter?

My daughters Stephanie and Sara! They did not deserve the lies, deceit, betrayal and abandonment we all had to endure. Yet somehow we survived. I survived mainly because of their love and support during the saddest and lowest point in my life. We survived because of our unwavering love for each other and the commitment to our family of three. Both Stephanie and Sara have grown to be wonderful daughters, and soon loving wives and loving nurturing mothers. Being their father is the greatest joy of my life.

Are you a member of a critique group? If no, who provides feedback on your work?

I don’t belong to a critique group. Since I am a new author, I used friends and family to help me.

Who is your favorite author?

I love authors who tell great stories. I have read every Sidney Sheldon book. He was an amazing story teller. I enjoy Jeffrey Archer’s ability to create intrigue and the ability that Mitch Albom, Nicholas Sparks and Tim Russert have to touch the reader’s heart.

Do you have an agent or are you looking for one?

Since I self published When the Wife Cheats the entire writing world is new experience. I do not have an agent at the moment but would love to have a serious conversation with one who can guide me through this exciting yet confusing process.

Was the road to publication smooth sailing or a bumpy ride?

When the Wife Cheats is my first book. I guess the old saying ignorance is bliss is true. Since I didn’t know what I didn’t know, I just plowed forward, wrote and self-published a book. Getting the book published wasn’t very difficult, however the promotion after getting it was published has been an adventure to say the least.

If you knew then, what you know now, is there anything you would have done differently?

I would have spent more time researching the most efficient methods of promoting a self published book.

Where can readers purchase a copy of your book?

Currently When the Wife Cheats can be ordered at

Do you have a website and/or blog where readers can find out more?

My Website is

Do you have a video trailer to promote your book? If yes, where can readers find it?

I used You Tube to post a book trailer for When the Wife Cheats. The trailer can be found at  I hope as people read and hopefully enjoy this book and the trailer they will spread the word to their friends. This is a topic that must be discussed to help men and children survive the devastating effects of infidelity.

What is the best investment you have made in promoting your book?

After some trial and error I was introduced to Charles Barrett from the Barrett Company. I have thoroughly enjoyed working with Charlie and his associates.

What is one piece of advice you would like to share with aspiring authors everywhere?

Don’t take NO for an answer! You are going to hear NO far more than Yes.

What is up next for you?

I wrote a second book named From the Ashes: The story of the University of Washington Volleyball Program. This is a true story that chronicles how proper leadership and business management principals helped in turning UW’s volleyball program from a disorganized, losing system to an incredibly successful, elite program.

I am finishing my third book named Inside the Spaghetti Bowl. Like many of the “baby boomers” my family recently faced the difficult task of burying our Mother. This is a book about family and unconditional love through the good times and bad. It is about a family who is and always will be there for each other no matter what. We hope you see your family in this book and the memories make you smile.

Is there anything you would like to add?

Thank you for the opportunity to tell you about When the Wife Cheats.

I hope and pray that you never suffer the devastation of infidelity, but if you do, let me leave you with this one last thought. When you find yourself in the depths of depression and sorrow; when you don’t believe you have the strength to even get out of bed; when you have no idea how you are going to survive the next hour – let alone raise your children. Believe me you will have ALL of these feelings. When you feel completely overwhelmed – remember this”

Look up…Get up…And never ever Give up.

Thanks for spending time with us today, Frank. We wish you great success.

Readers can visit the author on Facebook at

Tuesday, July 19, 2011

For the King by Catherine Delores (Review Reprint and Giveaway)

I was contacted some time ago about hosting Catherine Delors for the paperback release of her novel, For the King. I had reviewed the hardcover version in August of last year. The reprint of this review appears below.

Here is the official blurb for the book taken from the author's website:

The Reign of Terror has ended six years earlier, and Napoléon Bonaparte has seized power, but shifting political loyalties still tear apart families and lovers.

On Christmas Eve 1800, a bomb explores along Bonaparte’s route, narrowly missing him but striking dozens of bystanders. Chief Inspector Roch Miquel, a young policeman with a bright future and a beautiful mistress, must arrest the assassins before they attack again. Complicating Miquel’s investigation are the maneuverings of his superior, the redoubtable Fouché, the indiscretions of his own father, a former Jacobin, and two intriguing women.

For The King takes readers through the dark alleys and glittering salons of post-revolutionary Paris. It is a romantic thriller, a tale of love, betrayal and redemption.

If you visit you will also find an excerpt of the book to read.

Now, you have to realize, I never much considered myself a reader of books set in Paris in the early 1800's, but the author's Mistress of the Revolution, which is set in 1815, captivated me so fully, I knew I had to review For the King when it came out.

You'll find my original review below. Make sure you read to the end of this post to see how you can enter to win a FREE copy of the paperback version of this amazing novel.

On Christmas Eve in 1800, First Consul Napoleon Bonaparte is on his way to the Opera when a bomb explodes on Rue Saint-Nicaise, narrowly missing Bonaparte and maiming or killing dozens of bystanders. Chief Roch Miguel has been given the task of apprehending the assassins in a city of millions, many of whom support King Louis XVIII and will do anything to overthrow Bonaparte.

The line between friend and foe is soon blurred, and Miguel is forced to trust those who most likely will betray him. Will he catch those responsible for the Rue Saint-Nicaise atrocity before the tumultuous situation in postrevolutionary Paris becomes more personal?

Bravo to Delors for following up the smashing success of Mistress of the Revolution with an equally wonderful new novel. Rich in detail, eloquently written, she pulls the reader into Napoleonic Paris with an intriguing tale based upon actual events. Blending historical and fictional characters into a thrilling investigation where revenge and betrayal play major roles, the reader follows Miguel as he seeks to uncover the hiding places of the assassins, despite the numerous obstacles placed in his way.

His personal problems are equally absorbing. His beautiful, married mistress with whom he is in love, seeks a ring. There is, of course, also Alexandrine to consider. Miguel's father had arranged a marriage between Roch and Alexandrine, and it seems she is more than willing to wait.

Character driven historical novels don't get any better than For the King by Catherine Delors. Masterful storytelling set amid the backdrop of political turmoil makes this an excellent novel. I highly recommend For the King and eagerly await this author's next book.

Author's bio:

Catherine Delors was born and raised in France. She graduated from the University of Paris-Sorbonne School of Law and became the youngest member of the Bar of Paris at the age of twenty-one.

She later moved to the United States and passed the California Bar. She worked at a few large American law firms before setting up a solo practice following the birth of her son.
She now splits her time between London and Paris, while remaining a partner in an international law firm based in Los Angeles.

Her second novel, For The King, was published in July 2010. Catherine is currently writing on a third novel, a prequel to Mistress of the Revolution. She is also researching a fourth one, which shall revolve about Jane Austen and her French connections.

Here are the rules governing this giveaway!

1) You must be a follower or subscriber of The Book Connection to win.

2) For your first entry, leave a comment with a valid email address. You can't win if you don't provide an email address.

3) One additional entry if you friend me on Facebook. Leave a comment with your profile link to show you're friending me.

4) One additional entry if you follow me on Twitter. Leave a comment with your profile link to show you're a follower.

5) Three additional entries if you blog about this contest. Leave a link to your post here.

6) One additional entry if you follow Catherine Delors on Facebook. Leave a comment with your profile link to show you're a follower.

7) One additional entry if you follow Catherine Delors on Twitter. Leave a comment with your profile link to show you're a follower.

8) Winner must be 18 years or older and reside in the United States.

Deadline for entries is 11:59 PM Eastern on Sunday, July 31, 2011. Winner will be selected out of all entrants who followed the rules governing this contest. The book will be shipped to the winner by the author's representative. The Book Connection is not responsible for lost or damaged goods.

Interview with L.L. Reaper, Author of Black Widow and the Sandman

Joining us today is L.L. Reaper, author of Black Widow and the Sandman. L.L. Reaper is two multi-published, award-winning authors who decided to write under a pen name for their dangerously sexy suspense series, Black Widow and the Sandman. You can visit their website at  or connect with them at Twitter at and Facebook at

Can you tell us a bit about yourself?

I’m two multi-published, award winning authors who are writing under a pseudonym for our dangerously sexy suspense, Black Widow and the Sandman because neither of us are known for suspense.

When did you begin writing?

The first manuscript I wrote was almost twenty years ago. It was a screenplay that is GOD awful. At the time I wrote it, I thought it was so good. LOL. My family loves me entirely too much because they all told me how great it was.

What is this book about?

A mysterious illness is killing children in Cuba, and all indicators point to a terrorist organization being behind it. Black Widow, a drop-dead gorgeous scientific genius, and the Sandman, a mercenary the likes you’ve never seen, are brought in to do what government and scientific channels have failed to do—find a cure and stop those behind the plot.

What inspired you to write it?

In the evenings, my writing partner and I often IM each other about plots and whatever we are working on. One night we were bouncing ideas off each other and the next thing you know, we came up with the concept for the Black Widow and the Sandman series. We both loved the idea so much that we decided to write it together

Are you a member of a critique group? If no, who provides feedback on your work?

It’s extremely difficult to find a good critique group or partner, so I use beta readers for my novels. Beta readers read the draft and give you feedback. I think of them as a focus group.

Where can readers purchase a copy of your book?

Black Widow and the Sandman is available in bookstores everywhere, online and physical. If you’d like an autographed copy, visit the books page of the website to order for a discounted price.

Do you have a website and/or blog where readers can find out more?

My website is located at I’m a read-a-holic, so I have guest author interviews to introduce readers to authors they may not know about. From the website you can also subscribe to my newsletter, which goes out once every few months. There are also links to my Facebook and Twitter pages.

Do you have a video trailer to promote your book? If yes, where can readers find it?

Yes we do:

What is one piece of advice you would like to share with aspiring authors everywhere?

Learn the craft, read with a critical, inquisitive eye and hire a good developmental editor. What you learn from a good developmental editing of your manuscript will warp you way ahead in the learning of the craft.

What is up next for you?

Black Widow and the Sandman will be coming out in Spanish, so we are looking into marketing avenues for it. We are also completing the second installment and readying for our release party (July 23) for Black Widow and the Sandman.

Is there anything you would like to add?

Thank you for giving me this opportunity to introduce Black Widow and the Sandman.