Friday, September 29, 2017

Interview with K. Ferrin, ACROSS THE DARKLING SEA

Can you give us a brief overview of your latest book? Is it part of a series?
Across the Darkling Sea is the first book in the five book Magicfall series. The series follows the trials and terrors of Ling, a young woman who discovers she’s actually a changeling. In Across the Darkling Sea she sets off on a journey to find the warlock that cursed her family and convince him to break the curse. But she soon discovers there is much more going on that she ever could have imagined, and in book two (A Dying Land) she finds herself embroiled in a centuries long war. Her adventures continue in the third book, The Poison of Woedenwoud, which will be available in November of this year.

What is your writing process? Do you listen to music or do you like silence?
I use music when I’m trying to elicit a certain emotion. I may write with the same song on a loop, playing over and over again, to help me stay in that particular emotional state while I write a scene. Outside of that, I generally prefer to write in silence, or with the vague background noise of a coffee shop.

Do you outline your story or just go where your muse takes you?
The first book I tried to write ended up being about 180,000 words long at the point I abandoned it. Most full length novels these days run about 80,000 - 100,000 words. And if you were to ask me what it was about, I wouldn’t be able to answer. It was a meandering hot mess that will never, ever, see the light of day!

Up front work is essential for me. Before I write the first word of the novel I’ve spent considerable time thinking about what this story is really about, who my characters are, what they want, and what forces are at play that are preventing them from getting it. I don’t need to have every detail planned out, but I need to know the start, the end, and a general knowledge of the arc of the story between those two points.

What factors influenced your decision to self-publish your book(s)?
I have always been a very business minded person, so when it came time to decide how to publish there was no question I wanted to take the indie route. I love owning the entire process of creating, publishing, and selling my books. I hire artists whose work I love and admire, I work with the most amazing creative people every day, and I wouldn’t trade it for anything.

What have you’ve learned during your self-publishing journey?
It’s not easy. It takes an incredible amount of dedication and focus to see this thing through to the end, and in the beginning, each step seems harder than the one before it.

Typing The End on a novel is such an emotional high. The amount of work that occurred between page one and The End is hard to explain to someone who has never done it before, and you feel as if you’ve hit the top of Everest. But then comes editing, an emotional whirlwind of delight and absolute suffering that you’re sure you won’t survive, until suddenly you do. When you finally get a book out in the world you feel like you’ve made it, that you are real writer, and now you can sit back and wait for the accolades to roll in. But then you realize that 288 other people published their book on Amazon the same day you did, and that over 100,000 books have been published on Amazon in the last 12 months or so, and that you have no idea how to help people find yours.

I think the most valuable thing I have learned after going through this process four times now, is to respect the process. It’s easy to get really down through all of this, but don’t. Just take each step as it comes to you, breathe deeply, make sure you’re replenishing yourself as you go, and just keep moving forward.

Do you find it difficult to juggle your time between marketing your current book and writing your next book?
Yes, most definitely. For me, I decided I wouldn’t do any paid marketing until I had three books on the market. The reason for this is something called acquisition costs. To put it simply, when you only have one book, the most you can sell from your advertising money is the sale of one book. But when you have two books, or five books, or twenty five books, that same amount of advertising money can land you two or five or twenty five sales. So in the beginning I focused almost exclusively on writing more books.
I still focus primarily on book creation to this day, but I do make sure I’ve got at least one promotion going on somewhere every month.

If you used a graphic designer/publisher’s designer, how involved were you during the creative process for your cover?
This is one of the real delights in being an indie author... you are completely involved in this process, and have approval or veto power every step of the way. I was able to hire an artist who’s work I loved and who I felt I got along with very well. I typically give her a couple of ideas of what I’m thinking for a cover, and she weighs in with an artists eye. Once we’ve settled on the image she creates a draft of it and sends it my way, giving me the opportunity to tweak/change as I see fit. It’s really a collaboration, and I love that process.

Besides writing, do you have any other passions?
Why yes I do. I love to travel and I do it often. I’m a garden geek, I love eating fresh fruit and veggies straight from my garden. I am a beekeeper as well. I’ve got two hives in my urban backyard.

Some fun facts about you, which do you prefer – dogs or cats? Chocolate or vanilla? Coffee or Tea? Talk or Text? Day or Night?
Dogs, for sure. Dark chocolate. Tea - hot or iced is fine by me. Text. (I am a writer after-all!). While I love the cool light of a looming moon and the liquid puddles of light street lamps leave on black pavement, I’ve got to go with day. The soft kiss of sunlight on my face is one of the best things ever.

What’s next for you?
More writing of course! I’m planning on releasing Book Four of the Magicfall series around June of 2018, and Book Five early in 2019. We are also planning our next big adventure - a few weeks visiting Prague, Krakow, and Berlin next summer.

Across the Darkling Sea
K. Ferrin
Publication date: November 12th 2016
Genres: Fantasy, Young Adult

Across the Darkling Sea is the first book in the new serial fantasy series Magicfall, by K. Ferrin!
Magic is forbidden in Brielle, but that never stopped Evelyn. Until Now. Because Evelyn has discovered she is magic, and now she is running for her life.
Her only hope is on an island cloaked in shadow, an island of dark magic and even darker beasts. An island warlocks call home.
Evelyn’s friends have turned against her, her own mother tried to kill her, and the place she calls home has banished her. Hidden away in the belly of a riverboat, a stowaway, her journey begins.

Across the Darkling Sea is book one in a serial series. Each book is roughly 50,000 words or about 150 pages. To emphasize, this is a serial series, meaning it’s one story that stretches across multiple books.

Author Bio:
K. Ferrin spends her days surrounded by engineers, technology, and humming machinery, but her evenings are steeped in magic, myth, and adventure. She writes fantasy, loves gardening, and eats way too much pie. She lives at the foot of the Colorado Rockies with her husband and two pooches.

Her novels include the stand alone YA fantasy novel Magicless, as well as Across the Darkling Sea, and A Dying Land, the first two books of a series. You can find her online at

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Thursday, September 28, 2017

#Review: THE REUNION by Sara Portman

4 of 5 stars
Lady Emmaline Shaw never wanted to be engaged and certainly not to the rude and arrogant Duke of Worley, John Brentwood. When he disappeared 4 years ago, she was relieved that she never had to think of him again, that is, until he showed up at the ball and informed her he intended to keep their engagement and marry her. Thus begins an unlikely marriage where Emma would help tutor his sister Charlotte in the ways of society.

Ms. Portman teases out the story of Emma and John's growing attachment for each other. Of course, along the way, there are numerous misunderstandings. There is also a small side plot with a villain, but I wasn't particularly impressed with it. It was bland at best. The story moved along at a good pace and I it kept me turning the pages until the end. Fans of Regency romances will certainly enjoy the story.

I received a copy of this book in exchange for a fair and honest view.

Amazon buy link:

Wednesday, September 27, 2017

Interview with Janice Jones, BY BLOOD SWORN

Can you give us a brief overview of your latest book? Is it part of a series?
By Blood Sworn is the continuation of the Dagger Chronicles series. Alexa (Alex) Stone, former vampire assassin turned fashion mogul, is leading a team of young bodyguards whose latest assignment is the protection of an up-and-comer in the vampire world, Jason Stavros. We pick up where book one, In Her Blood, leaves off.

Do you have a favorite character?
Of course, Alex, but I think I like my main bad guy just as much. Tristan Ambrose is highly intelligent, straight forward, and determined to get his revenge. He’s a lot of fun to write. When he and Alex are together in any scene, he challenges me to make her just as smart, if not smarter.

Have you ever had a minor character evolve into a major one? Did that change the direction of the novel at all?
Yes. Benjamin Palmer was a minor character when I started writing the series. He developed as I started the editing process because I needed someone Alex could trust. Someone that made her more human. Ben was that character.

Did you try the traditional route to publishing, i.e. querying agents/publishers?
I wanted to be able to focus on writing so I chose the traditional route. I queried publishers that were interested in new writers, but it was still a challenge to get them to read my manuscript. I got lots of rejections. Mostly, because I was told it would be hard to sell a thirty something black female lead in any market. I disagreed and kept trying until I got someone who was willing to take a chance on that thirty something black female lead character.

What is your writing process?
Do you listen to music or do you like silence? I hand write everything before it goes into my computer. Music helps with certain scenes, but mostly I write with the sound low. Once I get into something, I hardly hear anything, but what’s going on in my head.

Did you hire an editor to review your manuscript before publishing?
All the editing was done by me. As I was finishing my manuscript, I was also earning a Master’s in Creative Writing. I used the manuscript as my thesis, so feedback on what worked and what didn’t was abundant. And, I was able to edit and rewrite the weak parts and feel confident about sending it out again.

Besides Amazon, are there any other sites where your books are for sale?
 Barnes and Noble online and an independent bookseller, IndieBound.

What kinds of marketing [twitter, facebook, blog, forums] are you involved with for promoting your book(s)?
 I promote on Facebook, Twitter and Instagram, mostly. With the help of my publisher, Amberjack Publishing, I think we’re reaching a lot of potential readers in the market.

Do you find it difficult to juggle your time between marketing your current book and writing your next book?
Not really. My publisher is doing a great job with promotions, so I just retweet or re-post what they send out if I haven’t created something for myself. Facebook has an easy ad creation tool that I’ve found to be really helpful as well.

What’s next for you?
I’ve got a lot of things on my computer, but I’d like to try my hand at YA and contemporary romance. I’ve been working on a cross between Ferris Bueller and Vampire Academy. And, a romance with no vampires or superpowered heroines. Just that crazy little thing called love.

By Blood Sworn
Janice Jones
(The Dagger Chronicles #2)
Published by: Amberjack Publishing
Publication date: August 22nd 2017
Genres: New Adult, Romance, Supernatural
As the Dagger, Alex Stone hunted down supernatural threats on covert ops team, Night Command. After the capture of a particularly bad-ass vampire, Tristan Ambrose, Alex gets out of the game. In the years following her departure, Alex started a hot new clothing line and moved on with her life. She was happy pretending the supernatural didn’t exist, but, with Tristan’s escape, she’s pulled back into the game.
Alex is hired to continue guarding the very tempting body of Jason Stavros–up-and-coming vampire politico–alongside her new team, The Trackers. Stavros is scheduled to head to an international conference of the supernatural community in Bucharest, and Alex and her new team must keep him safe while investigating new threats, and ghosts from the past.
When the conference is interrupted by betrayal and sabotage, Alex must pull her weakened team together to bring the saboteurs to justice–and get some well-deserved revenge.
Suddenly, she’s not just back in the game, she’s all in.

By Blood Sworn is the thrilling, psychological, and sexy sequel to In Her Blood , the first book in The Dagger Chronicles series by Janice Jones.

Author Bio:
Graduating with a Masters in Creative Writing from Southern New Hampshire University, Janice's first novel, In Her Blood, is the first book in her vampire adventure series The Dagger Chronicles. This series introduces you to the world of Alexa "Alex" Stone, ex-vampire hunter and assassin turned fashion mogul. Hiding in plain sight, Alex must return to the world of the supernatural in order protect a handsome vampire and her own secrets.
Look for Book Two, By Blood Sworn to hit online outlets soon. Janice is looking forward to readers of New Adult Fiction and Vampire lore to embrace a new kind of action adventure hero, a woman with many secrets and many stories to tell.
(Author photo courtesy of Omar Ramos Photography by LaChandra Middlebrooks)

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Tuesday, September 26, 2017

#Review: THE SCOTSMAN WHO SAVED ME by Hannah Howell

  3 of 5 stars
This book was not my favorite Hannah Howell book--maybe because it was set in the American frontier. Being set in America, I think it loses the wonderful setting of the Scottish Highlands. Iain MacEnroy is definitely a standup guy who has taken care of his seven brothers and built a new life for them all in the Ozarks. When he comes across a burnt out cabin, he finds Emily Stanton and her 3 year old nephew hiding in the woods. Too honorable to leave an injured woman alone, he takes Emily and Neddy to his home. He soon learns why the cabin was destroyed and why her sister and husband murdered. Can he protect Emily and Neddy without endangering his own family?

Ms. Howell is a talented author who knows how to built the heat between the hero and heroine, but I just didn't feel the spark between Iain and Emily. I kept turning the pages hoping to find it and although there is kissing, it didn't move me at all. I guess I like the Scottish Highlanders story better and will stick to those stories by Ms. Howell in the future.

I received a copy of this book in exchange for a fair and honest review.

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Interview with Cindy Lynn Speer, THE CHOCOLATIER'S WIFE

What is the sweetest thing someone has done for you?
A group of friends recently got together and spent over 300 hours sewing, embroidering and beading a fencing cloak as a present for me.  To be honest I am extremely lucky in my friends, and they often do nice things for me, like bring me tea or a flower randomly.

How would you spend ten thousand bucks?
On a vacation.  I’d love to say I’d do something sensible, but I always spend any spare cash I have on travel.  I would probably spend it on going somewhere in Europe or the UK.  Recently a cheap airline has come in locally, so I’ve been eyeballing the airfares to England and Scotland, which I’ve wanted to visit all my life. 

Where do you get your best ideas?
I tend to think ideas form organically, that you feed this part of your mind…it’s like a compost heap, I guess?  You feed your muse with everything you see and do…every experience, every book, every photo, and that part of your mind chomps away at it, turns it into the base elements it needs to cobble together the story you are about to tell.  Now I have this image of a steam punk robot taking apart things for spare parts and putting them together in her lab…

What comes first, the plot or characters?
It changes…mostly it is about characters, and my desire to see them in a story.  The next story I may be working on started with a vision of this man, dressed up in furs and a uniform like a 1800’s soldier, playing with little foxes of fire that ran along his knuckles.  I knew he missed his now dead wife, but that he was mostly content being a soldier.  I knew I wanted to challenge that, but how?  Then I was sick and on bed rest for a week, and I thought, what if there was an assassination attempt on a princess, so to protect her they sent out a bunch of princesses, in all directions, who looked exactly like her?  So while I was playing with the mechanics of that, my soldier showed up, with his little foxes made of flame, and I thought, OK, I think we have a match.

What does your main character do that makes him/her special.
William is a former merchant sea captain – a very (generically speaking) masculine, hard, unpretentious job – who thought, one day, he’s like to quit the sea and make chocolate, because it would sell well and make people happy.  I like the contrast of this man, who would chase down pirates and slavers and slaughter them without as part of his sense of duty, yet come home and cook candy, collect molds, and potter around and be happy that way.

Tasmin is also a person of contrasts.  She is very self-possessed, she knows that she is smart, loves studying, and approaches life very practically, more so than her husband.  When she is freed, though, and can go do anything she wants, she still goes to see what happened – she still wants to make her life with him, even though she knows it means suborning or putting off her goals.  So she’s interesting because she is like a lot of us, balancing everything.



A truly original, spellbinding love story, featuring vivid characters in a highly realistic historical setting.

When Tasmin's bethrothed, William, is accused of murder, she gathers her wind sprites and rushes to his home town to investigate. She doesn't have a shred of doubt about his innocence. But as she settles in his chocolate shop, she finds more in store than she bargained for. Facing suspicious townsfolk, gossiping neighbors, and William's own family, who all resent her kind - the sorcerer folk from the North -- she must also learn to tell friend from foe, and fast. For the real killer is still on the loose - and he is intent on ruining William's family at all cost.

The Chocolatier's Ghost: Married to her soul mate, the chocolatier William, Tasmin should not have to worry about anything at all. But when her happily ever after is interrupted by the disappearance of the town’s wise woman, she rushes in to investigate. Faced with dangers, dead bodies, and more mysterious disappearances, Tasmin and William must act fast to save their town and themselves – especially when Tasmin starts to be haunted by a most unwelcome ghost from her past…literally.

The Chocolatier’s Ghost is an enchanting sequel to Cindy Lynn Speer’s bestselling romantic mystery, The Chocolatier’s Wife.

Amazon author page:

AUTHOR Bio and Links:
Cindy Lynn Speer has been writing since she was 13.  She has Blue Moon and Unbalanced published by Zumaya.  Her other works, including The Chocolatier’s Wife (recently out in an illustrated hardcover to celebrate its 10th anniversary) and the Chocolatier’s Ghost, as well as the short story anthology Wishes and Sorrows. 
When she is not writing she is either practicing historical swordsmanship, sewing, or pretending she can garden.  She also loves road trips and seeing nature.  Her secret side hobby is to write really boring bios about herself.  You can find out more about her at
or look for her on Facebook (Cindy Lynn Speer) and Twitter (cindylynnspeer).

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Monday, September 25, 2017

#Review: THE ROGUE'S CONQUEST by Lily Maxton

  4 of 5 stars
The one thing former prizefighter James MacGregor wants and strives toward is to be a gentleman and accepted by the ton. He wants to marry a wealthy young woman of the ton to further that dream. When he blackmails the shy Eleanor Townsend into introducing him to Society, he gets more than he bargains for when he begins to want Eleanor more than just a friend.

I was a little thrown by the title of this story because James is definitely not a Rogue and there was no conquest. I loved that the book was based in Edinburgh and not the ballrooms of London. That was a refreshing change. The friendship that developed between James and Eleanor after a not so auspicious start was a delight to see. Their conversations were witty and surprising, especially on Eleanor's part. Most young women would never be so honest in talking with a man. The story is short and I wish their growing attraction between them had been more fleshed out. All in all, this is enjoyable book.

I received a copy of this book in exchange for a fair and honest review.

Amazon buy link:

#SALE .99 during REVIEW Tour: THE ACCIDENTAL WEDDING by Debra Elizabeth

THE ACCIDENTAL WEDDING is currently on a review tour with Goddess Fish Promotions. Follow the tour and comment. The more you comment, the better your chance of winning a $25 Amazon or BN gift card. 
You can find all the stops here:

The book will be ON SALE for .99 during the tour.
Has Keira made the worst mistake of her life?

Unemployed Keira Callahan decides to try her luck at the casino before delving back into job hunting. As she walks through the casino, she bumps into the most handsome man she’s ever seen. When he asks her to dinner, she doesn’t hesitate. As she learns Cade Tyndale’s story—he needs to wed or lose his British estate, her impulsive nature rears up and she agrees to marry him and move to England for one year. What does she have to lose except her heart to the impossibly handsome Earl of Barrett?

Keira looked around for the nearest cashier window, spotted one past the roulette and craps tables, and hurried toward it. As she passed the craps table, she looked at her ticket again, with its final payout of one thousand and seventy-five dollars. It was the most money she’d ever won at the casino. Tonight was indeed her lucky night. This money would certainly give her some added time while she made up her mind about what she wanted to do next about finding a job. Still looking down at her ticket, she nearly fell to the floor when she ran into something rock hard. Or make that someone. As she began to fall backward, her arms doing wild cartwheels to try to regain her balance, her eyes found the most gorgeous man she’d ever seen standing in front of her.
He was tall and lean, with striking blue eyes and light-brown hair that fell in waves to his shirt collar. Women would kill for hair like that, it was so perfect. He looked like he’d stepped out of a GQ magazine cover; or better still, put him in a suit of armor and give him a sword, and he would become the legendary knight Tristan come to life. A hero destined to make the ladies swoon, and Keira was ready to swoon. He was impossibly handsome.
All these crazy thoughts swirled through her mind as she fell backwards. This tumble was going to be so embarrassing, never mind the bruising her bottom would endure. Much to her surprise, none of that happened. A strong arm wrapped around her waist at the last minute and prevented her from falling. Instead of sitting on the floor embarrassed, she found herself pressed against a hard and very toned chest.
“Oh, my God! I’m so sorry,” she blurted out. “I wasn’t looking where I was going.”
Blue eyes twinkled at her. “The fault is mine. I stepped back from the table without looking. Please accept my sincere apology,” the handsome stranger said in a charming English accent before releasing his grip on her waist.
Could he be any more perfect? Not only was he Adonis, the god of beauty and desire, in the flesh, but an Adonis with an English accent. Her mouth hung open as she stared at him.

#Excerpt: BEYOND THE MIST by Casi McLean

Beyond the Mist
Casi McLean
(Lake Lanier Mysteries, #2)
Published by: The Wild Rose Press
Publication date: September 15th 2017
Genres: Adult, Romance, Time-Travel

Piper Taylor concedes she’ll never fall in love, until a treacherous storm spirals her into the arms of the handsome Nick Cramer. Unrelenting remorse over a past relationship haunts Nick, but he can’t deny the mysterious connection and hot desire Piper evokes.
The allure of a secret portal hidden beneath Atlanta’s Lake Lanier tempts him into seizing the opportunity to change his mistakes. But his time slip triggers consequences beyond his wildest dreams.
Can Piper avoid the international espionage and terrorism of 2001 New York, find Nick, and bring him home before he alters the fabric of time, or will the lovers drift forever Beyond The Mist?

Are you a book reviewer?
You can request a review copy here!

A soft mist hovered over the moonlit lake, beckoning, luring him forward with the seductive enticement of a mermaid’s song. Rhythmic clatter of a distant train moaned in harmony with a symphony of cricket chirps and croaking frogs. Spellbound, Nick Cramer took a long breath and waded deeper into the murky cove. Dank air, laden with a scent of soggy earth and pine, crawled across his bare arms. The hairs on the back of his neck bristled, shooting a prickle down his spine that slithered into an icy pool coiled in the pit of his stomach. He clenched his fingers into a tight fist, determined to fight through the emotion consuming him. Fear sliced through his belly like icy shards until he finally heaved, forcing rancid bile to choke into his throat.
I have to do this––he inched forward––only a few more steps and––
A sudden surge swirled around him, yanking him into a whirling vortex, where a violent blue streak dragged him deeper, deeper beneath the lake into the shadowy depths. Heart pounding, he battled against the force, twisting, thrusting toward the surface with all of his strength but, despite his muscular build, he spun like a feather in wind into oblivion. When the mist dissolved, Nick Cramer had vanished.

Author Bio:
Award winning author, Casi McLean, pens novels to stir the soul with romance, suspense, and a sprinkle of magic. Her writing crosses genres from ethereal, captivating shorts with eerie twist endings to believable time slips, mystical plots, and sensual romantic suspense, like Beneath The Lake, WINNER: 2016 Gayle Wilson Award of Excellence for BEST Romantic Suspense.
 Casi's powerful memoir, Wingless Butterfly: Healing The Broken Child Within, shares an inspirational message of courage, tenacity, and hope, and displays her unique ability to excel in nonfiction and self-help as well as fiction. Known for enchanting stories with magical description, McLean entices readers in nonfiction as well with fascinating hooks to hold them captive in storylines they can't put down.
Her romance entwines strong, believable heroines with delicious hot heroes to tempt the deepest desires then fans the flames, sweeping readers into their innermost romantic fantasies. Ms. McLean weaves exceptional romantic mystery with suspenseful settings and lovable characters you'll devour. You'll see, hear, and feel the magical eeriness of one fateful night. You'll swear her time travel could happen, be mystified by her other worldly images, and feel heat of romantic suspense, but most of all you'll want more.

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Friday, September 22, 2017

Interview with Leigh Walker, PREMONITION

Leigh Walker
(The Division #1)
Publication date: July 19th 2017
Genres: Romance, Science Fiction, Young Adult

When Riley heads off to boarding school for a summer work-study program, she knows it’ll be demanding. What she doesn’t expect? To be thrust into an intense physical training program described as special, exclusive and worst of all–top-secret. She signed up for tuition assistance, not to be held in a secret government facility for boot camp…
Welcome to The Division, the government agency that’s so classified, most United States senators have never heard of it.
The Division wants Riley bad, but she can’t figure out why. Skeptical of what she’s being told, Riley’s determined to uncover the truth. Boot camp is intense, physically and mentally draining. The upside? One of her new teammates is the cutest boy ever. Watching Finn hit the gym wearing a tank top doesn’t suck–although sometimes his brooding attitude does. But when training forces Riley to confront her tragic past, even Finn’s big biceps aren’t enough to make her want to stay…
Beware: The Division isn’t something you just walk away from. You better run.
Riley realizes her capabilities and strengths are greater than she’d ever imagined. But she also learns she wasn’t just chosen for this special program…
She was made for it.

Q: Wow, you’re interviewing yourself…how pompous!
Right? It’s to tell people more about the series, lol. Although I should admit that I normally talk to myself a lot, so this isn’t much of a departure.

Q: Tell us about “The Division” – it’s a bunch of teenagers with psychic powers, right? How did you get inspired?
Everyone on the team has psychic powers, yes. I was watching “Stranger Things” on Netflix and I WAS SO PSYCHED they were testing poor Eleven for psychic powers. But I was also like, YEEHAW! Because I LOVE psychic powers, and I can’t remember the last time I saw or read something that included them. I’ve always been obsessed by the concept, and there’s so many variations of powers, so many incarnations it can take… Anyway, after watching that show and having that reaction, I thought, other people must love this stuff, too, I can’t be the only one. So I wanted to give us all more!

Q: Tell us about the main character, Riley Payne.
Riley is a ‘normal’ girl dealing with a lot. Her father and sister died in a car accident and her mother started drinking heavily after it happened. She just wants to get out of her house and go to boarding school, but she gets more than she bargained for when she abruptly gets recruited into a secret agency…

Q: The ‘secret agency’ is The Division, correct?
Yes. It’s a secret cell of teenagers who were genetically engineered with psychic gifts. They work for the American government to combat domestic terrorism.
Riley thinks they’re nuts, of course. Until she unlocks her powers, then she’s blown away by what she can do.

Q: As the series goes on, you get into genetic engineering, fated love, eco-terrorism, loyalty, isolation, human nature, climate change…some pretty heavy themes. But would you describe the series as a difficult read?
I don’t think so, but certainly some parts were hard to write – like about Riley missing her dad and her sister. I still cry when I read those parts. And in the second book, an eco-terrorist is introduced, and some terrible things happen in the book. So yeah, there’s definitely a heaviness to some of what the characters are dealing with. But they’re teenagers, and their youth is sort of a tonic against everything they’re dealing with. They still care about their friends. They still want to hang out, tell stories, joke around. They are still very interested in falling in love. I think my writing style is naturally light and breezy, so it’s sort of a counterpoint to the storyline. If that makes sense, lol.

Q: What’s your favorite part of this series?
Riley and Finn’s relationship. They have so much on their plates, and they’re so young, but they genuinely care for each other in a way that makes me ache.

Q: What do you do when you’re not writing?
I have three large, unruly boys who like to play every sport and eat as much food as possible. When I’m not at my computer, I’m busy carting them around and grocery shopping. But I also love to relax with a great book or television show – I am currently completely obsessed with Riverdale, OMG!!!

Thanks for having me! Happy reading!!!

Author Bio:
Leigh Walker lives in New Hampshire with her husband and three children. She has a degree in Journalism and a law degree. She's never been to the Naval Shipyard prison in Kittery, ME, but she's driven by it...and boy, is it creepy!

Leigh has lots of books planned for The Division Series. Sign up for her mailing list at to be notified of the next release in the series! You can also find her on The Division's FB page:

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Interview with Eileen Colucci, SHE'S LIKE A RAINBOW

Can you give us a brief overview of your latest book? Is it part of a series?SHE’S LIKE A RAINBOW stands alone. It is not part of a series. I think the Blurb provides a good overview:

“The summer I turned ten, my life took a fairy tale turn.”

So begins Reema Ben Ghazi’s tale set in Morocco. Reema awakes one morning to find her skin has changed from whipped cream to dark chocolate. From then on, every few years she undergoes another metamorphosis, her color changing successively to red, yellow and ultimately brown. What is the cause of this strange condition and is there a cure? Does the legend of the White Buffalo have anything to do with it?  As Reema struggles to find answers to these questions, she confronts the reactions of the people around her, including her strict and unsympathetic mother, Lalla Jamila; her timid younger sister, Zakia; and her two best friends, Batoul and Khalil. At the same time, she must deal with the trials of adolescence even as her friendship with Khalil turns to first love. One day, in her search for answers, Reema discovers a shocking secret – she may have been adopted at birth. As a result, Reema embarks on a quest to find her birth mother that takes her from twentieth-century Rabat to post-9/11 New York.

Reema’s humanity shines through her story, reminding us of all we have in common regardless of our particular cultural heritage. SHE’S LIKE A RAINBOW, which will appeal to teens as well as adults, raises intriguing questions about identity and ethnicity.

Do you have a favorite character?
I think my favorite character is elderly Lalla Mumtaz. She is the quintessential Moroccan grandma and a consummate storyteller. I drew on my own experiences in creating her but I also had to do some research because she comes from the deep south of the country. I got to explore different aspects of Moroccan culture in more depth. That was a lot of fun.

If you used a graphic designer/publisher’s designer, how involved were you during the creative process for your cover?
My husband, who is an architect, designed my cover. Because he uses CAD and other graphic design programs all the time at work, he was able to provide a professional product. I was very involved in the creative process. He began with a sketch of Reema, the main character of the novel, partly inspired by photos and paintings of young Moroccan girls. We chose the image together. He would draw and make proposals and I would tweak them to my liking. Reema appears on the finished cover as a “blank canvas,” a white silhouette against a background of rainbow colors. The colors symbolize her many transformations.

What is your writing process? Do you listen to music or do you like silence?
I like to write in the afternoon after lunch. I work in my “office” which is one of my son’s former bedrooms. I need silence when I’m writing. I always have. I think this comes from years of working as a translator where I had my own office with limited distractions. When I sit down to write, I go over what I’ve written at my previous session and edit that. Then I pick up the narrative and continue.

On my desk I have a tiny empty picture frame. This comes from Anne Lamott in BIRD BY BIRD. At each session I try to write just one scene at a time; one picture. I try to fill that frame and nothing more. This keeps me from feeling overwhelmed by the enormity of writing a novel, which frankly can be very intimidating. Maybe that is why it takes me a long time to finish a book. But that is okay. As long as I am happy with the end result, it doesn’t matter how long it takes to get there.

Do you outline your story or just go where your muse takes you?
I don’t outline my books per se. That is I don’t create written outlines. But I do create outlines in my head. I usually know the general direction I want the book to go in, have the ending in mind, but there may be some unexpected detours that the characters take me on along the way.

Did you hire an editor to review your manuscript before publishing?
I did not hire an editor but I had several people edit my manuscript for me. I belong to a Book Group with nine other readers. I printed out the manuscript when I was on my second or third draft and asked the group to critique it. A month later, we all got together to discuss it and they shared their thoughts with me. One had even gone through and marked up the manuscript with her comments/suggestions. I got such fantastic feedback. I actually went back and edited the entire book afterwards, taking into consideration the group’s advice. There was one notable exception. Two of the members wanted an alternate ending. After writing it, I ran it by them and they both loved it. Other members however said they thought my original ending was fine and urged me to stick with it; which is what I ultimately did. After that I gave the manuscript to one other writer-friend. She suggested only a few very minor corrections which I made. From readers’ comments it appears the book is well edited.

What kinds of marketing [twitter, facebook, blog, forums] are you involved with for promoting your book(s)?
I am on my second virtual book tour with SHE’S LIKE A RAINBOW. I hope that readers will enjoy following the current tour.

I also promote my book on my Goodreads blog and my website. Since I live in Morocco, I’ve been doing a lot of marketing here at the Casablanca Book Fair, the U.S. Embassy’s Dar America and most recently participating in a Creative Writing Camp in Casablanca.
In addition, several libraries in New York and Virginia have accepted the books I donated and placed them on their shelves. While I’m not selling those books, I am hopefully increasing my readership which is essentially the goal of any writer.

Do you find it difficult to juggle your time between marketing your current book and writing your next book?
Marketing does take up a lot of time. It is rewarding though when it involves interacting with readers. That is the most fun aspect, I think. I love getting feedback from readers.
It would be easy to blame time spent on marketing for my not starting on my next book but I don’t think that is the problem. At least not the main one. I am really waiting for inspiration, searching for my muse. That can take an incredible amount of time. And a tiny bit of luck.

Besides writing, do you have any other passions?
I really enjoy practicing yoga. I’ve been doing it since 2010. While I was working it was a great stress-reliever. Now that I’m retired, my life is thankfully mostly stress-free but I still practice twice a week. I like to “be the tree.”
My other passion, if you consider it that, is spending time with my dog, Phoebo. He loves to play, especially Frisbee, but he’ll also come and sit by my side with his head in my lap while I’m reading. Oh yes, of course, my other passion is reading. If I’m not writing, you can usually find me with my nose in a book.

What’s next for you?
I am hoping to start working soon on my third novel, but I am waiting for inspiration. In the meantime, I am working on a piece about having my dear father’s vintage Gibson guitar restored more than forty years after he died.

Thanks so much for hosting me!
I love interacting with readers and invite everyone to contact me through my website or through my Goodreads blog. I hope you enjoy SHE’S LIKE A RAINBOW and look forward to hearing your thoughts!

AUTHOR Bio and Links:

A native New Yorker, Eileen Colucci has been living in Rabat with her Moroccan husband for the past thirty-plus years. She is a former teacher and recently retired after twenty-eight years as a translator with the U.S. Embassy, Rabat. Her articles and short stories have appeared in various publications and ezines including Fodor's Morocco, Parents' Press, The New Dominion and Expat Women. SHE'S LIKE A RAINBOW, which was recently published, is her second novel.

Colucci holds a BA in French and English from the University at Albany and an MA in Education from Framingham State University.

When not writing, Colucci enjoys practicing yoga, taking long walks and playing with her chocolate Labrador Retriever, Phoebo. Now that she and her husband have four grandchildren, they spend as much time as possible in Virginia with their two sons and their families.

Buy links:


It is my hope that SHE’S LIKE A RAINBOW will promote peace and understanding among people of different cultural and ethnic backgrounds. My aim is to stimulate discussion on everything we have in common as human beings regardless of our particular heritage. We are all connected.

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