Meet the Author with Melissa J. Crispin

I have another wonderful young adult author in the hot seat today. Her debut novel, Collide, came out recently with Evernight Teen. Welcome, Melissa!

Before I dive into the questions, I just want to take a moment to say thank you for having me on your blog today!

Have you ever done what the author t-shirts threaten and written somebody you dislike into a story? No need to name names, or anything.  If so, what did you put them through?

Yes, I’m guilty of this. I once had a terrible boss who I swear enjoyed making people miserable. She inspired a story about a woman who discovers her boss is a demon who thrives on the misfortune of others. The demon would draw strength from the stress and chaos that she created around her. My protagonist catches on to what’s happening and creates order in the workplace that ultimately leads to the demon’s downfall.

Ha! I think I’ve had one or two of those bosses myself. What’s your favorite paragraph from Collide and why? No spoilers now, just a nice, slow tease if you please.

Wow. It’s tough to pick ‘the’ favorite paragraph for me, but this is one of them. Alright, so I cheated because I included two paragraphs, but they’re really short so I feel like they can count as one. In this scene, Alec is helping Kayla dismount from a horse. It is written from Kayla’s POV:

When my feet hit the ground, he didn’t let go, his arms circling my waist while mine wrapped around his neck. The familiarity of his closeness and the overwhelming comfort that followed nearly dropped me to my knees. Torment swirled in those sapphire eyes, and all I wanted in that moment was to calm the storm.

My gaze lowered to his lips, and I recalled the many kisses we shared, all of them emblazoned in my memory, clear as day. But it was too late for us, thanks to me.

Ooo, nice. *dashes off to grab myself a copy* Where did your hero come from? Someone you know?  Dreams of the *ahem* daytime persuasion?  What makes him tick?  Inquiring minds would like to know.

The inciting incident for Collide entered my mind before I really knew who the characters were. Alec wasn’t based on anyone I know. I used the exercises in The 90 Day Novel by Alan Watt to discover who he was, though it took me much longer than ninety days to finish the first draft. I was able to formulate his likes, dislikes, motivations, and goals through the questions presented toward the beginning of the book.

As far as what makes him tick? I’d say Kayla definitely does. But, seriously, he is a hard-working guy dedicated to protecting the girl he loves. When he’s not worried about the fate of the universe, he spends his time making kick-ass meals. What’s not to love about a guy who could kick some butt should the need arise, and cook an impressive dinner when things are chill?

Mmm, love me a guy who can cook. Are there any other fantastic novels waiting to burst free from your imagination in the future? Can you tell us about them?

Collide is a stand-alone story, but it is the start of a series. Book two has been started, but it’s in early stages yet. It picks up only a few months after where the first book leaves off. I’d love to tell you more, but that would give away what happens at the end of Collide, so I’ll have to keep it to myself for the moment.

I’ve also been working on a new adult, futuristic sci-fi romance where the President’s daughter falls in love with a galactic garbage man. She finds out later that his father is the head of a very powerful mob that her own father does shady dealings with. The main character and her love interest find themselves in the middle of a dangerous disagreement between their dads.

Tell us about your road to publication. Was it short and sweet?  Long and winding with many bumps?

My road to publication fell somewhere in the middle. Though short and sweet would have been awesome, I didn’t get published as quickly as I would’ve liked. I started writing six years ago. My first manuscript was a contemporary romance which needed so much work that, to this day, I still haven’t gathered the courage to go in and edit it.

Collide was written after that. It took me about a year to write the first draft. I remember thinking it was taking forever, but I work full-time so finding the time to write can pose interesting challenges. I went through multiple rounds with beta readers, and received several rejections when I started submitting to various literary agents. Each time I was lucky enough to get feedback with a rejection, I fine-tuned whatever I could. At some point, I switched gears and decided that I wanted to work with a small press. I had heard great things about Evernight, and decided to submit to them. I was over the moon when Evernight Teen accepted Collide for publication.

Going back to edit a story is so hard, isn’t it? We’re so glad you persevered with Collide! If you could be a superhero, what would your power be and why?

I don’t know if other people would find this boring, but I would love to be an omni-linguist like Wonder Woman. Though it may not seem exciting on the surface, it would be incredibly useful. I love the idea of being able to hop on a plane to anywhere in the world, and be able to communicate with anyone, no matter what language they spoke. How cool is that?

Awesome answer – you could be a master negotiator of peace with those bad-ass skills. If I opened up your purse/handbag right now, what would I find in there?

I carry around a wristlet, rather than a regular-sized handbag, so there isn’t much I can cram in there. The only thing it can hold is my wallet, a pack of gum, and a pen. If I get crafty, I can sometimes stick my phone in there, too.

 Thanks for letting us into your creative mind today, Melissa. And now for the pretty. Isn’t it awesome?



When the balance between Earth, Afterlife, and Heaven are threatened, the fate of the universe falls on a selfish girl who must sacrifice everything to save it.

Kayla has a plan. She’s moving to the city after graduation and Luke’s coming with her. He’ll eventually become a doctor, she’ll be a ballerina—and they’ll live happily ever after. That’s what she thinks, until dark forces, led by a sister she never knew existed, start hunting her down for a power she never knew she had.

When Kayla starts working with a boy named Alec to learn how to defend herself and to stop the evil from eliminating the worlds, she finds herself falling for him. Hard. Torn between two loves and struggling to do what’s right for Earth and Afterlife, Kayla must decide if she’s fighting to keep her life together, or letting it go to save everyone else’s.


Buy Links for COLLIDE:


Evernight Teen website

Where to connect with Melissa:






Did Annabelle Blume ever have a broken heart? #nalit #giveaway

We have a very special edition of Meet the Author this morning with Roane Publishing’s Annabelle Blume as part of her book tour for her new novella, Old Flame. Don’t forget to enter the giveaway at the bottom of this post. Check it out.

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Have you ever had your heart broken?  How did you cope?

Of course I’ve had a broken heart. I was great at moving on from relationships. I accepted that they were over, cried a bit, and then went back out into the world. It helps if you don’t get so lost in your relationship that you alienate your friends. When my young romances were over, I always had a great group of friends around me to help me get through.

So you took the mature route. Awesome. Have you ever done what the author t-shirts threaten and written somebody you dislike into a story?  No need to name names, or anything.  🙂  If so, what did you put them through?

No, I haven’t, yet. But honestly, I have plans to!

You HAVE to try it. It’s so much fun. Where did your hero come from?  Someone you know?  Dreams of the *ahem* daytime persuasion?  What makes him tick?  Inquiring minds would like to know.

Marc and James have been inspired by guys I’ve known in real life. I’ll go to my grave with their identities.

Hmm, I wonder if they’d recognize themselves if they read the book? 🙂 Are there any other fantastic novels waiting to burst free from your imagination in the future?  Can you tell us about them?

Definitely. There are more books coming for Hannah, Marc, and James. Their story is far from over. And, eventually, I will be working on an Urban Fantasy, but that’s on the back burner while Hannah is doing her thing in the Hearts Aflame Files.

UF is my fav thing to write! I’ll have to keep an eye out for that one. There are a lot of stereotypes cast in a romance novelist’s direction, like they must sleep in slinky lingerie when most I’ve met are dressed from head to toe in flannel jammies when they hit the sack.  Are you a warm and comfy girl?  Or an in-the-buff or silk and satin kind of girl?

Why just one? Right now, being the middle of winter and all, I’m rocking my sock monkey PJs and fuzzy socks on a regular basis. In the summer, I’m known to sleep in a tank top and some boy shorts. Naked doesn’t really work–three kids and all.

Ah, it gives kids character when their folks strut around naked. Or is that trauma? *snort* Do you have any quirks?  Odd little tidbits about you that few people know?

I wave my freak flag pretty proudly, so everyone who knows me probably knows my quirks. Let’s see…I can pick things up with my toes. How’s that for a quirk?

Ha! I do that too. I can even write with them in a pinch. 🙂 Biggest pet peeve, can be in writing or about people or circumstances.

Assholes disguised as nice people.

Oh yeah, that’s a big one of mine, too. If you could take back a single moment of your life, what would it be and why?

No regrets. I wouldn’t be who I am today without every single decision I’ve made along the way.

Wow. Oh yeah, me too, totally. Not!

Now that we’ve gotten to know Annabelle a little better, let’s have a look at the pretty, shall we?



Hannah Sullivan has spent the past three months stalking her ex-boyfriend, lurking in the bushes and hiding behind fake social media personas, convinced she can eventually rekindle the love they once shared.

But when she meets Marc, who is everything James never wanted to be and more, she begins to wonder if she’s got it all wrong.

Hannah must come to terms with her own demons before she can decipher between her delusional mission and the man of her dreams.

To find out more about Annabelle…

Website    Twitter    Facebook  Goodreads

Pick up a copy

Amazon (UK)
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Click the link below to enter the tour giveaway to win an e-book copy of Old Flame and a $10.00 Amazon gift card. Good luck!

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{Meet the Author} Viola Ryan #giveaway

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Welcome to a fresh new addition of Meet the Author and a blog tour stop for Viola Ryan, author of The Mark of Abel.  Below, you can enter to win a $50.00 Amazon gift certificate.  Who couldn’t use more books?

Lovely to have you here, Viola.  Have you ever done what the author t-shirts threaten and written somebody you dislike into a story?  No need to name names, or anything.    If so, what did you put them through?

In one of the original drafts of The Mark of Abel I put my arch-enemy from my childhood in. When I  say arch-enemy, I mean we met after school and actually fist fought multiple times. She was incredibly popular and blackballed me from third grade on (we started out as best friends in third grade). It wasn’t until high school that I really had friends again. I needed someone bitchy for the dean of the college where my heroine taught art appreciation.  Dean McKneely ended up edited out before I submitted my draft, but it felt good to write about her.

Holy Hell Tour

I bet that actually felt better to write her out.  Torture her for a while, then just erase her.  Yeah, that works.  🙂  What author do you most admire?  What about him/her earned the place at the top of your list?

I’m going to count Joss Whedon as an author, since he writes screenplays. I started writing because I was inspired by Buffy the Vampire Slayer. I learned how to write listening to his and the other writers at Mutant Enemies talk about how they wrote the show. I admire Joss for three main reasons. 1. His message of female empowerment extended beyond the script to how he empowered women like Marti Noxon and Jane Espenson.  2. He isn’t one of those writers who hides away in a writing cave. He interacts with his fans, allows fan-fiction, and is a phenomenal ambassador for the genre.  He not only shows us how to write, but how to be a writer. 3. His speculative fiction is full of meaning. It is much more than mindless entertainment. I used to belong to a group  called the Existential Scoobies.  We talked about the show on many levels, including philosophical and psychological.

Awesome.  I’m a fan as well.  Firefly was amazing.  Are there any other fantastic novels waiting to burst free from your imagination in the future?

Next up is The Chalice of Creation. It will continue with the redemption theme started in The Mark of Abel. The tagline is “Lucifer must find the Chalice of Creation before fallen angels or face humanity’s extermination.”

I’m intrigued by the blurb for The Mark of Abel, and this one is just as enticing.  How much of you is in your hero/heroine?

This was a tricky one. I come from Buffy/Angel fan-fiction. The worst thing you can possibly do in fan-fiction is create a Mary Sue. That is when the author inserts herself into the story as a wish fulfillment in such a way that it degrades the canon characters. I was  uber-leary of putting any of myself in my heroine.  I made her an artist because I cannot paint  (at least I used to not be able to. I had to learn hot to in order to write her scenes. At my website you can see my paintings). I made her look as different from me as possible. She turned out boring. Then I poured myself into her and she came to life. i even dressed her by going to my closet. At book signings, I plan to wear the black quilted oriental jacket she’s always wearing.

I think every MC has to have a little of his/her author to have that extra spark.  Very interesting journey you took with your heroine.  If you could be a superhero, what would your power be and why?

I want to be able to fly. If you can fly, you don’t have to worry about falling. I’m not scared of heights, so much as I don’t trust my own balance. I’m a major clutz. I’d love to look at the world from above. I’d love to be able to travel from one place to another  by going “as the crow flies.” I’d love to feel the wind caress me as I cut through it.

Yikes.  I’d join you if not for my pee-my-pants fear of heights.  Give me a motorcycle, and that’s as close as I’ll get to flying.  🙂 If you could live your life as an animal, what would it be and why?

I’m a cat at heart. I like to fall asleep while sunning myself. I like choosing who I deal with and who I turn my tail at and walk away. I wish I could get people to wait on me like cat owners do. And …ooh look….shiny thing.

*snort*  That’d be the life, wouldn’t it?  I’d totally pick that, too, if it weren’t for the tiny little paw fingers that aren’t much good for writing books.  🙂  Best.  Movie.  Ever.  As in, went to the theatre ten times to see it.

As I said, I adore Joss Whedon. It would be a tie between Avengers and Serenity. I’ve seen Serenity in the theatre 5 times, including 2 sneak previews.  I even dressed up at Inara for one of them. I’ve only seen Avengers in the theatre 2 times.  I’ve seen both countless times on DVD/Blu-Ray, including with commentary.

Serenity was how I discovered Firefly, though I saw it at home.  Good choice.  If I found a genie in a bottle, my three wishes would be __________.

I’d have one wish. I’d want to be a genie. Thanks to Romance Writers of America, I  have a huge autograph collection. My favorite comes from Rachel Caine. It’s in Total Eclipse the last Weather Warden novel. It reads “To  Jeanie, who is  probably secretly a Jeannie, or, maybe a DJINN! Rachel Caine.” I adore her.

And now for the pretty.  Check it out!  What a great cover.

themarkofabel333x500 (2)Back of the Book:

Lucifer is fed up with humanity. He created hell to deter evil, but man’s inhumanity is only escalating. He just wants to return home to heaven, but ever since that little problem in the Garden of Eden, the Pearly Gates remain firmly shut to him. It doesn’t help that he’s the first vampire, an abomination in God’s sight.


Fortunately, two thousand years ago Lucifer’s estranged brother, Jesus, gave him a prophecy. To fulfill it, all Lucifer has to do is find the right artist, study her artwork and the path back to heaven will be revealed. The artist even bears a symbol so he knows who she is. Too bad she is murdered every time he finds her.


Janie’s a frustrated artist and college art teacher who wants two things—a guy she can show her paintings to and a night without nightmares. Each nightmare plagues her until she paints it. She doesn’t realize these paintings are key to unlocking her destiny, one that could redeem the original fallen angel.

Connect with Viola:






Amazon Author Page:


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{Blog Tour} Soul Avenged by Keri Lake #giveaway #soulavenged

Today I welcome Keri Lake for a stop on her blog tour to celebrate the release of Soul Avenged, a Sons of Wrath novel.  Check below for details of Keri’s amazing giveaway.

Welcome, to the hot seat, Keri!  Where did your hero come from?  Someone you know?  Dreams of the *ahem* daytime persuasion?  What makes him tick?  Inquiring minds would like to know.

The hero in my book came to me after I’d fleshed out the female protagonist.  Ordinarily I like to write the mean, brooding bad boy types, which seems like, would be right up Ayden’s alley.  But the deeper you dive into her character, the more you realize the kind of hero that would challenge her the most and probably make her fall harder. 

I remember watching Blade: Trinity (warning explicit language and violence) and Ryan Reynolds’ character cracked me up.  I loved him in this movie and thought his smartass attitude would make the perfect compliment to such a serious character as Ayden.  So Kane is slightly modeled after Hannibal King’s character in the movie.

Ooh, I need to watch that again now that you’ve mentioned his character.  Love me some Blade.  Are you a thrill seeker?  What’s your adrenaline of choice?  Motorcycles?  Roller coasters?  Sky diving?  Bungee jumping?

This isn’t going to be on par with jumping out of an airplane or swimming with Great White sharks, but I’ve always had a thing for fast moving vehicles.  My dad and uncles fixed up old cars as a hobby so I grew up with an appreciation for them.  But there is something about motorcycles that just gets my adrenaline going.  The faster, the better.

Yup.  Ditto.  Bikes have always been my fav, too.  Are there any other fantastic novels waiting to burst free from your imagination in the future?  Can you tell us about them?

Yes!  Book 2 of Sons of Wrath, with a working title of Soul Resurrected, is written and ready for edits.  I’ve also plotted a couple of novellas that will explore some of the characters a bit more intimately, and then I’ll begin book 3 sometime this summer.  Very exciting stuff on the horizon!

Sons of Wrath Logo

I can’t wait to get my hands on number one, then I’ll be bugging you for the rest.  🙂  There are a lot of stereotypes cast in a romance novelist’s direction, like they must sleep in slinky lingerie when most I’ve met are dressed from head to toe in flannel jammies when they hit the sack.  Are you a warm and comfy girl?  Or an in-the-buff or silk and satin kind of girl?

Words cannot express how much I love this question… in fact, I wrote a blog post during this tour and referenced Mary Fisher from She Devil.  Haha! 

I’m definitely not writing romance in the buff, and silk or satin would make the laptop slide around too much.  Nope, I’m a pajama pants and t-shirt kinda girl.  

You gave me a total visual with the writing in the buff thing.  Can you say laptop burns!  *snort*  How much of you is in your hero/heroine?

Quite a bit of me is in my heroine, actually.  That’s not to say I’m out slaying wolves or anything, but I’m very quiet and have been called feisty at times, just like Ayden. 

What kind of high school personality were you?  Band dork?  Jock?  Loner?  Brainiac?

I was actually a combination of these.  I didn’t have tons of friends, but I was very close to the ones I had.  I was a member of National Honor Society and kept a pretty high grade point average, but I was also a cheerleader and played sports.  Kind of a mixed breed, I suppose.

Wow, way to go on the Honor Society!  🙂  If you could have an hour alone with any literary character, who would it be?  What would you say to him or her?  Or do with, if you’re more adventurous 😉

Oh my gosh.  Rydstrom Woede from Kresley Cole’s Kiss of a Demon King.  See, I know that there are a lot of drool-worthy heroes in books—I’ve seen JR Ward’s brothers listed a few times as book boyfriends and Larissa Ione’s demons always get a lot of love from the readers.  I don’t know what the hell it is about this character, but he gets my fan-girl flags a-waving.  Perhaps it’s his clearly alpha male dominant presence, mixed with calmness & logic, and a very reverent and protective approach to the female lead in the book … you know, what’s-her-name chick who—rolls eyes—ends up with him in the end.

But if I got to be the lead … well, let’s just say I’d keep him chained up a little longer than she did.  And I don’t think I’d be too worried about interrogations.

Okay, interest spiked.  I have not read that.  Will soon rectify.  *sneaks away to add to TBR*  Do you play music when you write?

Yes I do!  Music is a must!  My favorite type of music is Alternative/Rock.  I listen to a lot of Avenged Sevenfold, Paramore, Flyleaf, Deftones, NIN, Metric and The XX.

Now for the pretty and the deets!

Soul Avenged cover - LargeBack of the book:

Passion is blind in vengeance and love  …

Ayden’s suburban home was invaded by a pack of Lycans.

The brutal attack is the only memory she carries of her former life.

Now, one motive burns in her soul:


The Sons of Wrath—a brood of vengeance-dealing warrior demons—band with Ayden to hunt the Lycans on Detroit’s most deadly feeding grounds.

Kane Walker should’ve been her easiest kill.

Unfortunately, the newly bitten Lycan has something she wants—clues that may finally lay her past to rest.  To reach them, she must be willing to submit to the sensual pleasures awakened by his touch.

Time is running out.

In seven days, Kane will become what Ayden despises most.  She can halt his transformation but the antidote requires the ultimate sacrifice.  As the beast takes hold, Kane becomes more of a threat.

Ayden must choose between her lust for revenge, or surrender to her enemy and discover a horrible truth.

SOUL AVENGED (Sons of Wrath, #1)

By: Keri Lake

Release Date:  February 6, 2013

Genre:  Adult Paranormal Romance/Dark Urban Fantasy

ISBN:  978-0-9848517-3-7

Number of pages:  533

Pick up a copy:

Soul Avenged Page on Keri Lake’s website:

Barnes & Noble (Nook):

Amazon (Paperback):

Amazon (Kindle):

Amazon UK (Kindle):


Connect with Keri Lake here:





 Amazon Author Page

About Keri Lake:

Keri Lake is a married mother of two living in Michigan.  She writes paranormal romance, urban fantasy and loves a good, tragic love story.  Though novels tend to be her focus, she also writes short stories and flash fiction whenever distraction manages to suck her in to the Land of Shiny Things.

When she isn’t toiling away on plots and protagonists, she enjoys reading, music and travel.  If she could create mystical powers for herself, she’d have the ability to flash to anywhere in the world.  And if she could flash to anywhere in the world at this very moment, she’d be staring at the ocean from her adirondack chair on the shores of North Carolina.


To enter, click HERE to be taken to the Rafflecopter site.

Grand Prize:  (Valued at approximately $280)

1-Kindle Fire HD (approximate value $199)

1-Signed Paperback Soul Avenged (Sons of Wrath, #1)

1-Sons of Wrath t-shirt

1-Sons of Wrath coffee mug

1-Soul Avenged Notebook

 1st Runner-Up:  (Valued at approximately $75)

 1-$25 iTunes giftcard

1-Signed Paperback Soul Avenged (Sons of Wrath, #1)

1-Sons of Wrath t-shirt

1-Sons of Wrath coffee mug

1-Sons of Wrath notebook

2nd Runner-Up: (Valued at approximately $35)

 1-Signed Paperback Soul Avenged (Sons of Wrath, #1)

1-Sons of Wrath t-shirt

Blog Tour Dates:

Blog Tour Dates

{Meet the Author} Jennifer M. Eaton

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It’s time for another round of Meet the Author.  Today I welcome Jennifer M. Eaton to the hot seat so she can introduce her newly released story, Jack and Jill, Volume I.

Welcome, Jennifer! 

Let’s turn up the heat a little, shall we?  😉  If you met a yummy man who had a time machine, where would you ask him to take you, and when?

Oh!  So many scrumptious choices!  Let’s see… He’s yummy right?  Well, there’s nothing sexier than a guy in armor jousting, so lets go back to Medieval England.  Yeah, a big flowing dress for me, and a knight in not-so-shiny armor.  Sounds like a date to me!

I’m a medieval girl, too, when the men were mostly devilish brutes.  *swoon*  What’s your favorite paragraph from Jack and Jill?  No spoilers now, just a nice, slow tease if you please.

This is the paragraph that immediately came to mind.  It might lose a little without the lead in, but these are the woes of a secret office romance… 

He leaned back down to my computer and moved the mouse. The cursor swept across my screen, pointing at nothing. “Do you realize how long it’s been since I kissed you?”

“Before Christmas, you’d never kissed me.”

He kept his eyes on my monitor and brushed his smooth cheek against mine. A sweet musky scent embraced my senses as the heat of his touch raged through me with the speed of a chariot. “What a waste of six years.” He stood and walked toward my cubicle doorway. “Thanks. I’ll go get those reports.” He winked and slipped into the hall, leaving me trembling in the wake of his Jack-ness. 

Ooo, I’m all tingly.  Nice scene setup.  Do you have any odd rituals when you write, like stand on your head to get the blood flowing or turn around three times before you sit at your desk?  Not that I do that, just saying.

Ha!  I totally bet you do… I hope you keep those drapes drawn at all times.  I have caught myself “turning into” a character and talking “to the right” then I turn into the other character and “talk to the left”  It helps me to get a feel of the conversation if I’m part of it.  🙂

I have no curtains 😉 and I can honestly say I’ve never thought of acting out my scenes.  *nods*  That could be interesting.  Where did your hero come from?  Someone you know?  Dreams of the *ahem* daytime persuasion?  What makes him tick?  Inquiring minds would like to know. 

Tee Hee.  Everyone needs a little daytime persuasion, right?  I must admit, the guys in my stories are hunky from MY PERSPECTIVE, but I have very particular tastes, which don’t match what’s on the covers of Romance Novels.  The funny thing is, I married a cute, plump guy who just lost 60 pounds or so, and is coming close to looking like one of these cover-guys.  I’m not complaining. 

Right on!  Good for him.  Mine recently lost a great deal too.  What scared you most as a child?  Has it changed as an adult?

As a child I was scared to death of things that went bump in the night. There was an old movie called “Don’t Be Afraid of the Dark” that kept me up and terrified for over a year.  I recently got a copy of it for my husband, but I have not had the guts to watch it yet myself, even though the dark doesn’t bother me anymore.

I’ve never seen it, but now I have to.  With all of the lights on and long before I have to go to bed, of course.  🙂  Are there any other fantastic novels waiting to burst free from your imagination in the future?

Oh Yes!  Always a ton on the Horizon.  Jack and Jill Volume One is (you guessed it) volume one of a series.  I’ll be telling their story through the first year concentrating on events that happen during holidays.  Great fun.  I also have a Paranormal Romance called Une Variante that I am currently shopping at publishers.  I should have my first Young Adult novel, Fire in the Woods completed in the next few months.  That’s my current baby.  It’s a roller coaster chase through the woods while dodging explosions kind of novel.  Tons of fun!

Wow, you’re a busy girl!  Good luck with your submissions.  Speaking of that nerve-wracking task, tell us about your road to publication.  Was it short and sweet?  Long and winding with many bumps?

I was lucky enough to pay my dues before actually getting to the point of being slapped by publishers.  I did a deep dive into the beta world and learned everything I could from anyone willing to teach me.  It took several years. I also shelved the first novel I wrote after a twenty year hiatus, and started fresh with my new wealth of information.  Because of this, I think I was a little more honed than some.  My first two submissions to publishers (for anthologies) were accepted.  Jack and Jill Volume One is my third publication. I’m far from perfect, though.  I’m still learning every day.

You’re far more patient than I am.  🙂  Do you have any phobias, like run-screaming-at-the-mere-mention-of-it, fears?

This is going to sound weird, but I have a fear of places I’ve never been to before.  I can go into a new store, or restaurant, but usually not alone.  Lately I’ve had to force myself into situations like these for book-signing and the such, so I am getting better, but it still makes me uncomfortable.

That almost sounds like something akin to agoraphobia, but for places instead of people.  I have a bit of that myself, so I sympathize.  Thanks for letting us get to know you a little better!

photoAbout Jennifer

Jennifer Eaton lives on the East Coast USA with her husband, three boys, and a pepped up poodle.  She hosts an interactive website aimed at making all writers the best they can be. 

Her Contemporary Sweet Romance, Jack and Jill Volume One is currently available in both print and ebook.  The Dystopian novelette “Last Winter Red” is available as part of the “Make Believe” Anthology.  Jennifer M. Eaton’s Christmas Romance “Connect the Dots” is available as part of the “For the Love of Christmas” Anthology.  Each title is available from and and Smashwords.

And now for the pretty!


Back of the Book

Jack and Jill Volume One:  Jill stumbles back into the dating world after twelve years of motherhood.  But things have changed a lot since the last time she dated.  Jack and Jill stories follow the challenges of a woman holding on to traditional values in a world that has evolved without her. Now that she has found the man of her dreams, will Jill be able to hold on to him without compromising what she believes in?

Connect with Jennifer






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What is Terri Rochenski’s biggest pet peeve? #MeetTheAuthor

Up today on Meet the Author, where we lift up their skirts and check out their clockworks, we have Terri Rochenski, author of Sacrificial Oath, a short story in the upcoming anthology, Make Believe.

Nice to have you here, Terri!  *rubs hands together and gives an evil snicker*  Let’s get to the good stuff, shall we?  What is your biggest pet peeve, as in shred someone’s face if this happens to you?

Always hated when people mocked me. When people mocked me.
It’s really annoying. It’s really annoying.
Childish. Childish.
Makes me want to stab them with a pitchfork.  *mocker slinks away*

Gah!  That is annoying, isn’t it?  Nobody has ever done that to me an adult, and probably a good thing, too.  Yep, the pitch fork thing sounds just about right for me, too.  😉  After you’re done stabbing your mocker to death, what if you ran into a yummy man who had a time machine … where would you ask him to take you?

Assuming that yummy man was Henri Cavill & in a high ranking duke in Henry VIII’s court, I’d ask him to take me to his castle. To be locked in his bedchamber, of course.  And here he is just for your viewing pleasure, Joce. (And mine, of course.)

Oh, my, yes.  I seem to remember drooling … I mean *ahem* seeing him in that HBO series a while ago.  You have great taste, my dear.  Whoeee!  While I’m over here fanning myself and trying to will the rest of his shirt open, why don’t you tell us what scared you most as a child?  Has it changed as an adult?

Snakes, and no it hasn’t. To this day I still pull my feet up off the floor if I see one slithering on the TV – even tiny garters. Give me ants. Give me spiders galore. Give me rats & cockroaches. Just. Not. Snakes.

I have a couple of family members like you.  I’d snicker and point, but I’m that way with spiders, so … yeah, I’ll just keep my kisser shut tight.  When you aren’t skittering away from little slithering reptiles, you must be writing.  Are there any other fantastic novels waiting to burst free from your imagination in the future?

I like to think my brewing WIP, The Crystal Portal, is that fantastic novel that will shoot me to stardom along with Patrick Rothfuss and Terry Goodkind. Set in a Tuscan-like fantasy world, it’s the story of a sheltered vinter’s daughter thrown into a court led by a lecherous young king and his power-hungry mage. Forced to take part in a contest for the king’s hand, she steps through the portal into another world, and finds the means to dethrone the man ruining her homeland.

Ooo, that sounds positively intriguing.  When will it be done?  Seriously, when?  Now?  In two sleeps?  Three?  😉  You wouldn’t know I had a six year old, or anything, would you?  Ha!

Speaking of kids, we all began somewhere as an awkward or possibly way cool teenager way back when.  What kind of high school personality were you?  Band dork?  Jock?  Loner?  Brainiac?

Good Lord. My 20th reunion is this summer, so I’ve been thinking about this lately. I was a total choir dork, had a small group of friends, ran track, and was considered a snob. Don’t know why, though. I guess because I was a confident, self-righteous farm girl. All but the farm girl part changed when I went away to college. But that’s another story.

Points to Terri.  WE HAVE ANOTHER FARM GIRL HERE!!!!  Yesssssss!  You’re the only other farmer’s daughter-turned author I know.  We rock!  *snort*  Growing up in the country, I wonder what kind superhero you’d choose to be if you could.  The overalled avenger, perhaps?  😉

Ever see that movie ‘Jumper’? Yup. I’d totally be that. I have one in my current WIP which is in the editing stages. Obrin’s a big oaf, but he’s got a kick@$$ Talent.
WHY? Well … I could literally jump through time & space to anywhere. Anytime. First place I’d go after robbing King Henry VIII blind? Off to Duke Henry Cavill’s bedchamber, of course.

I do remember that movie, starring the guy who played Anakin Skywalker, right?  Oh yeah, that would be fun.  I’d go to 15th century Scotland to ogle all of the big kilt-wearing lads. 😉 

If you could have an hour alone with any literary character, who would it be?  What would you say to him or her?  Or do with, if you’re more adventurous 😉

Oh boy. I can think of LOTS of characters I’d like to do … erm … listen to. *clears throat* Seriously, though, I’d have to say Laura Ingles Wilder.
I know, I know. Your brow just rose a good four inches & you’re wondering WTH??? Her Little House on the Prairie series were the first ‘big girl’ books I read – gifts from my Mom Mom. Read & re-read them till the pages wore & tore. Sadly I no longer have that gift set, but my life changed upon receiving it.
I always thought I was born in the wrong era—I should have been a woman of the American Frontier, traveling by wagon train to Montana or Oregon.

Spoken like a true country girl.  Love it.  What would you serve her for dinner?  Favorite food, as in need-to-get-a-room-to-be-alone-with-it, favorite.

Well I’ve got lots of those. My newest, though, would be Red Cat (sweet red wine from Hazlitt Winery in NY), asiago cheese, and green olives.  Major yums right there. Major.
Thanks. Now my mouth is watering on a TOO-early Saturday morning. Blah.

I’m not a big wine drinker, but I LOVES me some asiago cheese.  Yummers!  And speaking of yummies, isn’t this cover B-E-A-utiful?

Back of the book:

Sacrificial Oath by Terri Rochenski

An impetuous act unwittingly makes Alesuela the fulfillment of the Sovereign’s Blood Oath to their Goddess. In five days, she’ll be forced to make the greatest choice of her life: become the virginal sacrifice already promised, or force the man she loves most to die in her place.

With an impossible choice in front of her, she searches for ways to undo the oath, and in her quest, finds not everything in her life is as she expects.

To check out the rest of the contents, click here

Connect with Terri here:

 Pick up a copy of this great collection:

Amazon Barnes & Noble / Amazon UK

Where do Claude Dancourt’s characters come from? #MeetTheAuthor

Thanks for stopping by another edition of Meet the Author, where we have authors turn out their mental pockets so we can see what interesting bits of lint fall out.  🙂  Today in the hot-seat, we have Claude Dancourt, author of the fantasy novel, Return to Caer Lon. 

Welcome, Claude.  Let’s start right in with a juicy morsel.  Have you ever done what the author t-shirts threaten and written somebody you dislike into a story?

Yes, actually. One character in Return to Caer Lon is someone I know and don’t particularly like. But I won’t tell who! And I played fair… I can’t tell you more or I will ruin the party ;p

Ah, come on!  You’re such a tease.  😉 I guess we’ll just have to read the book and make our own guesses, right?  Time to entice us a little more–what’s your favorite paragraph from the book?  No spoilers now, just a nice tease if you please.

That’s a tough one, I like so many! Okay, I’ll go with one which occurs in chapter 26. It involves socks. I like that scene because it shows that the dynamic between the main characters remains the same, though their relationship has already evolved. And I can just picture their faces while they talk.

“I beg your pardon?”

The young man glowered. Had she coerced him to visit places of his soul he voluntarily ignored, only to mock him? It would be… exactly like her; the former her. The one she was back in Haven, when they disregarded each other; the one she was, well… before.

Derek returned his attention to Sacha, brows knitted.

“… Not what I meant. I have enough with looking after Elwyn and Sebastian. I have no wish to include you in my list of brothers.”

“Sebastian is your cousin, not your brother.” Derek corrected her out of habit “And last time I checked, you were hitting Elwyn on the head with his own socks. It is a strange way to look after him.”

Ha!  A strange way, indeed.  I totally need to read this!  Where did your characters come from?  Someone you know?  Inquiring minds would like to know.

Generally, my characters are not one person in particular with one or two exceptions maybe. They are more a patchwork from people I know, read about, saw, etc. They have a part of me, a part of my relatives, my neighbors, coworkers, girl/boy next door, actors. Sometimes they are born out of a sunset, or a piece of music. I can’t really pinpoint where they come from.

I’m totally with you, there.  Most of mine are compilations of several people, too.  Makes for more interesting personalities that way.  🙂  Are there any other fantastic novels waiting to burst free from your imagination in the future?

I am blessed (or cursed) with restless muses. I have tons of ideas for new novels. I am not attached to one genre yet, though I like to include romantic issues in my plots. I am seriously working on a paranormal fantasy, Moonshadows, and I am also playing with ideas for different stories. I’d like to use some characters from Second Chances again. It seems fun to build an entire universe through different novels. Maybe I’ll write a sequel to Return to Caer Lon, I’m not sure yet.

Right on.  I love it when an author knows where he’s going, and I also like to know where he’s been.  😉  What kind of high school personality were you?  Band dork?  Jock?  Loner?  Brainiac?

Loner brainiac. Which is probably why I love books so much.

I’m utterly shocked at the number of authors in that category.  It seems to be a precursor to becoming a writer.  I’ve always fantasized about having some neat skill I could use to wreak havoc … uh, I mean keep peace in the world.  Yeah, that’s what I meant.  😉   If you could be a superhero, what would your power be?

I don’t think I want to be a superhero. In Smallville, my favorite character is Chloe Sullivan. She orchestrates the whole thing with a computer and wits. That’s more my style. But if I have to pick one, I would probably choose Rogue from the X-men. She can borrow every power.

Oh yeah, I like Rogue, too, though Wolverine is my favorite.  Okay, superheroes aside, there are lots of other neat stuff I’d like to try on for size.  If you could choose to be any supernatural being, werewolf, vampire, god, demon, what would it be?

An Elf. I like their ears!

*snort*  Haha!  Can you tell I wasn’t expecting that answer?  Love it.  Speaking of loving it, check out the cover of Return to Caer Lon!  Very mystical.  I have a thing for amazing skies, and this one is incredible.

Back of the book

Thirty hundred years ago, Arthur Pendragon, High King of the Ten Kingdoms, was betrayed and the royal city of Caer Lon became a myth.

Fifteen years ago, the sorcerer Wolfryth killed King William Pendragon in his quest for power and usurped the throne of Camelot. Queen Ylianor and her five year old son fled the kingdom to take refuge in Haven at Duke Geraint’s court.

Today, Prince Derek follows Geraint’s beautiful daughter Sacha into a reckless mission to save her brother from Wolfryth. He will need to embrace his heritage and to trust magic if he wants to find his way back to Caer Lon and unlock its secrets before the sorcerer kills them all.

Connect with Claude here:

Purchase Return to Caer Lon here:

Is Aimee Laine a country girl or a city girl? #meettheauthor

I have a very special guest for you today on Meet the Author.  None other than Aimee Laine, paranormal romance author extraordinaire, creator of such heart-touching masterpieces as Little White Lies and Hide & Seek, has agreed to plunk her lovely butt in the hot seat for your reading pleasure.  Welcome, lady! 

No squirming, now, while you finish this sentence: 

If I couldn’t be an author, I’d be a ____________.

A ping pong champion. Okay, not really. 🙂 I’d be a professional photographer. Oh! Wait, I am! Actually, I LOVE what I do — managing the development of eLearning programs.

Love ping pong!  Though I suck at it.  And I’ve seen your photography, and it’s awesome!  Liking what we do is so important, isn’t it? 

It is! HUGELY important.

There are a lot of stereotypes cast in a romance novelist’s direction, like they must sleep in slinky lingerie when most I’ve met are dressed from head to toe in flannel jammies when they hit the sack.  Are you a warm and comfy girl?  Or an in-the-buff or silk and satin kind of girl?

Are there really? LOL I definitely don’t sleep in slinky lingerie. Don’t even own any! No flannels for me either. That would be like wrapping up fully in blankets without the ability to kick one leg out! Yes, I’m one of ‘those’ people. For me, to be honest, it’s whatever’s most comfortable for the moment. Could be a T-shirt. Could be undies only. Could be nothing. 

What!?!?  No lingerie?  Ah!  You’ve shattered my image of you!  *snort*  Okay, so no slinky stuff, but I know you’re into romance, so let’s uncover  your secrets, shall we?  😉 

Food is often a good way to create a tension-filled moment in a steamy novel.  What’s the most sensual food you’ve ever eaten?  Have you ever written about it? Come on, no being shy, now.  We have ways of making you talk.  *grins*

I have in fact eaten snails! Yup, the eraser-texture-like gooeyness. And yes, I like them! No, I haven’t written about them though. On the other hand, I’ve also eaten chocolate covered strawberries and oh yeah, those ARE in a book. Oh yeah. 

Ick.  Yeah, me and anything resembling bugs don’t get along so well, but I’d totally hit those strawberries.  Yum!  Do you have any quirks?  Odd little tidbits about you that few people know?

I crack my knuckles incessantly. Bad, nasty little habit, I know!

*cringes*  I live with one of those.  Ouch!  Hey, where are you going?  I’m so not done with you yet.  Let’s go back farther into your past.  What kind of high school personality were you?  Band dork?  Jock?  Loner?  Brainiac?

Band dork and PROUD of it! I played the Oboe in concert band, the xylophone in marching band and piano in jazz band! Year-round music for me!

Wow.  A multi-talented band dork.  Ha!  Damn, do I feel lame now, considering I only played clarinet, which has to be the most uncool of all the instruments.

I played the clarinet in middle school, actually! But for some reason, that instrument made my front teeth vibrate! That’s why I switched to Oboe!

Do you have any phobias, like run-screaming-at-the-mere-mention-of-it, fears?

I cover my ears and sing ‘lalalalalalaa’ anytime my son starts talking about his girlfriend and anything they’ve done of a more intimate nature, which includes a simple kiss!

Hehe.  Ah, the things I have to look forward to.  Good thing mine’s only six. 

Be happy and wish she could stay that way!

If you could live your life as an animal, what would it be and why?

Cat. I’d love to be lazy, but I can’t be, so I’d be forced to me in that case!

Oh, good choice.  Yes, being lazy all day sounds spiffy.  If you were a cat, where would you live?  Would you be a country cat or a city cat?

I love urban life but with the opportunity to go to the city or country whenever I want. That’s exactly why I live where I do. 20 minutes to big city, 10 minutes to country, 2 hours to beach, 2 hours to mountains, 2 hours to Grandma and Grandpas! 🙂 Love it!

Sounds just about perfect.  I’m so deep in the boonies it takes me an hour to get to the closest city that has decent shopping. 

Yikes! The farthest I’ve lived from civilation is 15 minutes and I thought that was unbearable!

I kinda like it that way, though.  🙂  Now for your entertainment druthers.  Best.  Movie.  Ever.  As in, went to the theater ten times to see it.


I can definitely see that as your favorite.  Deeply touching, great characters.  Good choice.  Do you play music when you write?

I do play. I’ve played the piano since I was 5 ish. I own a baby grand in fact. It was my present to myself for getting my MBA. I love piano music, especially like Norah Jones, but I also love listening to Adele, Katie Perry and others like them, with their beautiful voices that touch more than one way of singing.

Hey, that’s my playlist, too!  🙂  Love the piano, but I’m one of those people who can play the notes, but it doesn’t sound like music.  Envious!

Now for the pretty!  Check it out.

Back of the Book

Face the past or look to the future? Both will hurt. One could kill her.

All her life, Lily Crane has supressed her childhood memories, masking the signs of abuse with a variety of looks. From brunette to blonde, tall to short — as a Mimic, changing shape is her gift. Her right. Her achilles heel.

It’s Lily’s latest likeness, chosen simply by accident, which threatens to repeat a history she’s desperate to forget. Worse, she must do so without the one man who takes all her pain away: Cael Aldridge.

Cael has no intention of leaving Lily on her own. He never has. Now, with the woman he loves in the hands of a predator who wants Lily for her genetics, Cael will do everything he can to bring her home.


He can only pray he isn’t too late.

About the author

Aimee is a romantic at heart and a southern transplant with a bit of the accent (but not a whole bunch). She’s married to her high school sweetheart, and with him, she’s produced three native North Carolinians, two of whom share the same DNA.

With an MBA and a degree in Applied Mathematics, there’s absolutely no reason she should be writing romance novels. Then again, she shouldn’t need a calculator to add two numbers, either … but she does.

Connect with Aimee here:

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Does Jaye Frances have any odd rituals? #meettheauthor

Welcome back to Meet the Author Friday, where we strip, poke and prod any brave enough to take the hot seat.  Today’s contestant is Jaye Frances, paranormal romance author. Nice to have you here, Jaye.  Fears tell us a lot about a person.  Do you have any phobias?

I don’t know if I’d call them phobias, but I really freak out over spiders (especially the brown, furry, jumping-bean kind), snakes (all varieties – no discrimination here) and raw cotton. I know – go figure!

Ha!  Raw cotton, now there’s a new one on me.  Mind you, I freak out if I have to touch wet wood, so … 🙂  There are a lot of stereotypes cast in a romance novelist’s direction, like they must sleep in slinky lingerie when most I’ve met are dressed from head to toe in flannel jammies when they hit the sack.  Are you a warm and comfy girl?  Or an in-the-buff or silk and satin kind of girl?

Okay, so here’s the deal. Before I hit the sack, I might cuddle up in a soft cotton shirt, wool-lined slippers, and a quilted blanket. But before I slip between the sheets, every stitch comes off – right down to the headband and toe ring.

So a little from column A, and a little from column B, huh?  🙂  Boy shorts, granny panties, thong, g-string or commando?

Given the choice in any situation, public or private, I’m going to strike out commando. (Sorry, mom – guess if I’m in an accident we’re all going to be a little surprised . . . ) The only exception would be on those Saturday night visits to a club where the combination of an extremely short skirt with a thong is the expected outfit.

Whew, flashy!  Or it could be without the thong.  *snort*  If you met a man at said club who had a time machine, where would you ask him to take you, and when?

This one is easy . . . I would ask him to take me to dinner at a romantic restaurant on the edge of the sea, where we would dance in perfect sync, oblivious to anyone else around us. Over several bottles of heady wine, we would share an incredible meal specially prepared by the chef, followed by a gooey, decadent dessert. After one last twirl on the dance floor, we would take a bare-foot stroll down a silky-sand beach, letting the warm, gentle surf caress our toes. Then we’d head to our hilltop villa, shedding our clothing along the way, where we would enjoy a midnight swim in a private salt-water pool. After drying each other off with thick, plush towels, we would head to the bedroom, holding hands and trading soft kisses as we playfully flirt in the moonlight. And the next morning, we would climb into his time machine, and I would ask him to take us back exactly one day . . .

Huh.  Seems like that fantasy has been brewing a while.  🙂 While on that beach, you trip over a genie in a bottle, what would your three wishes would be?

(1) To have as many wishes as I want, (2) to have the ability to change the outcome of any wishes that don’t quite work out, and (3) to retain all my memories and travel back to the moment just before I found the genie in the bottle . . .

Okay, I suppose I probably should have put some parameters on that statement.  🙂  Cheeky.  Favorite food, as in need-to-get-a-room-to-be-alone-with-it, favorite.  Other than the gooey, decadent dessert you’re enjoying with Mr. Yummy, of course.

Home-made pasta with fresh veggies and chicken, crunchy garlic bread, and chocolate anything – may as well write me off for the night. Or perhaps join me . . .

Mmm, sounds nummy.  Love me some pasta, too.  Tell us about your road to publication.  Was it short and sweet?  Long and winding with many bumps?

The road to publication was a rather circuitous one with lots of detours. I initially pursued the traditional approach, believing my books had to be in a bookstore before anyone would buy them. But two years ago—about the same time as Amazon and the Kindle began to revolutionize the publishing industry—I realized I wanted more control over the marketing and sales process. I also began finding books from new authors—really great authors—who were self-published. For me, it was confirmation that writers could reach an audience without the frustrations, delays, and politics of traditional publishing. And just as important, it also meant the stigma attached to self-publishing was being replaced by expectation and possibility. So I jumped in. The biggest hurdle since is trying to wear all the hats in both a creative and business mindset. I’m still learning, but I wouldn’t have it any other way.

That’s awesome.  Are there any other fantastic novels waiting to burst free from your imagination in the future?  Can you tell us about them?

My next release, titled Love Travels Forever, is a collection of poignant short stories and essays and scheduled for a November 2012 release. The Karetakers, book two in The Kure paranormal-occult romance series, is under construction and evolving as we speak. And rather than be too specific about the other projects I have simmering on a low boil, I’d rather grant my imagination the room to wander.

And an author’s imagination needs a universe to wander in, doesn’t it?  Do you have any odd rituals when you write, like stand on your head to get the blood flowing or turn around three times before you sit at your desk? 

That stand on your head thing sounds interesting, but I’m not sure I could pull it off. There are, however, a few things that help get my creative juices flowing. The choice between a mug of green tea or a generous pour of merlot is based on what I’m writing. If I need to tighten up a ho-hum scene or do the final edit on an article, the tea is perfect. However, if I need that virtual first-hand experience with a new lover, adding a little merlot to the mix is like taking the training wheels off a bike, giving me the opportunity to put it through its paces and really see what it can do.

From an external standpoint, a must-have is a quiet environment devoid of boom boxes, crying children, and revving motorcycles. Oh, and I usually write in the nude.

I’m going to have to try this wine and buff thing now that I’ve switched gears into the PNR genre.  *taps chin*  Perhaps I should put up some curtains first?  *snort*

Thank you, Jocelyn, for hosting me on Meet the Author Fridays. I really appreciate this great opportunity, and wish you the best of luck with all of your books!

My pleasure.  Now for the pretty!

Back of the Book

John Tyler, a young man in his early twenties, awakens to find a ghastly affliction taking over his body. When the village doctor offers the conventional, and potentially disfiguring, treatment as the only cure, John tenaciously convinces the doctor to reveal an alternative remedy—a forbidden ritual contained within an ancient manuscript called the Kure.

Although initially rejecting the vile and sinister rite, John realizes, too late, that the ritual is more than a faded promise scrawled on a page of crumbling paper. And as cure quickly becomes curse, the demonic text unleashes a dark power that drives him to consider the unthinkable—a depraved and wicked act requiring the corruption of an innocent soul.

Ultimately, John must choose between his desperate need to arrest the plague that is destroying his body, and the virtue of the woman he loves, knowing the wrong decision could cost him his life.

Connect with Jaye:

Website   Blog  Facebook   Amazon Author Page   Goodreads Author Page

Purchase Links:

Amazon US  Amazon UK

About the author:

Jaye Frances is the author of The Kure, a paranormal-occult romance novel, The Possibilities of Amy, a coming-of-age romance novella, The Cruise-All That Glitters, a humorous adult satire about searching for love at sea, and The Beach, a sci-fi fantasy about a man who is given the opportunity to receive his ultimate wish and lives to regret it. Her next book, scheduled for a November release, is titled Love Travels Forever, a collection of poignant short stories and essays. She is also a featured columnist for the NUSA SUN magazine. Born in the Midwest, Jaye readily admits that her life’s destination has been the result of an open mind and a curiosity about all things irreverent. When she’s not consumed by her writing, Jaye enjoys cooking, traveling to all places tropical and “beachy” and taking pictures—lots of pictures—many of which find their way to her website. Jaye lives on the central gulf coast of Florida, sharing her home with one husband, six computers, four cameras, and several hundred pairs of shoes. For more information, visit Jaye’s website at, or Jaye’s Blog at


What would Helen J. Christmas be if she wasn’t an author? #meettheauthor

Friday, Friday.  How I love thee, Friday.  Today we welcome Helen J. Christmas, author of the thriller, Same Face, Different Place – Beginnings.  Welcome, Helen.  I’ll ask you to start off by finishing this statement:  If I couldn’t be an author, I’d be a:

“PHOTOGRAPHER since I love all things visual – especially beautiful architecture and scenery – I would love to visit Canada one day where I understand the scenery is just stunning. I also love to describe places of beauty in my writing too.

Oh yeah, you’d love it, especially where I live on the Canadian Shield.  Rock cuts and wild forests and lakes galore. 

We know you write thrillers, and inspiration often comes from our literary heroes.  Is there an author you admire?

It would probably be Ken Follet, since he plucks historical events from different periods of time and then weaves brilliant stories around them and invents great characters. The last book I read by this author was ‘Fall of Giants’ which is based around the 1st world war, but with such compelling people and story lines.

I don’t know a lot about historical fiction, but I love great characters.  I’ll have to check him out.   Let’s dig deeper into Helen the writer.   Do you have any odd rituals when you work on a manuscript?

I do most of my writing very early morning at around 5-6:00 am while my husband is still asleep, pour myself a big glass of sparkling water, switch on my computer and then call our dog into the office to sit with me. For some reason I write much better when he’s in the room, just curled up by my feet – maybe it’s doggy telepathy.

Dog is a writer’s best friend?  I could see it.  Happy doggy mo-jo could change the ambiance.  Fur slippers are always nice, too.  🙂  Are there any other fantastic novels waiting to burst free from your imagination in the future?

The story I’m involved in writing too huge to be contained within one book, so yes, I’m writing the first sequel ‘Visions’ and there are two more after that! As I love old buildings and have a rare fascination in architecture I wanted to base ‘Visions’ around the restoration of an English Country mansion – but with a psychological thriller element.

I also crave the opportunity to write a story centered around the hedonistic club and drug culture in the loved-up 90s – with plenty of steamy relationships included, which will be book number 3 ‘Pleasures’ based around a nightclub.

You had me at psychological thriller.  Love them, the darker, the better.  And y’all know I love steam.  🙂  Tell us about your road to publication.  Was it short and sweet?  Long and winding with many bumps?

The first book was an absolute pleasure to write and everything fell into place. It seemed as if the universe gave me everything I needed to succeed – from inspirational music to an exhibition in London which showed me photos of the very place my novel was based and in the exact year too! Then came a chance trip to Holland, home to one of my characters. Self-publishing was also easier than I thought – the only bane was the proof reading, to check for errors, which if you do it yourself, is a real headache! Positive feedback from the two people who proof-read my book was also very positive.

Yes, the first books are always the easiest, right?  The next ones are much trickier.  Let’s talk bedtime.  Are you a warm and comfy flannel-from-head-to-toe girl?  Or an in-the-buff or silk and satin kind of girl?

Oh definitely silk and satin. I’m never quite comfortable in the buff and worry that I might find myself naked in my dreams.

Ha!  One of those dreams where you’re giving a speech and realize your clothes have evaporated?  Hate those.  Real people make the most interesting characters.  How much of you is in your heroine?  

There is a lot of me in Eleanor, the main heroine in my book. She starts off a vulnerable teenager, who is easily manipulated but comes back a rebel. She is feisty and out-spoken but also very sensitive and compassionate, with a strong drive to help others. But in my next book ‘Visions’, one of the heroines in this story, Avalon, is the vengeful type which isn’t really me at all.

Ah, a bit of a rebel back then, were you?  😉  How about high school?  Band dork?  Jock?  Loner?  Brainiac?

I supposed I was a bit of a loner really, just not super intelligent – academic achievement wasn’t really my strong point, I was more of a creative individual.

Yep, that was pretty much me, too.  Are you a country or a city girl?

The country – cleaner, more peaceful and with less stress. I don’t like cities, I find them a bit scary and people don’t look out for one another in the same way as they do in a quiet country village. As I’m an introvert, I don’t really care for wild parties or night life.

Geez, are you sure you’re not describing me?  🙂  If you could change one thing about yourself, what would it be and why?

I suppose I wish I could be more confident. People with masses of confidence definitely get much further in life. I suffer from a fear of failure which possibly holds me back from achieving my goals.

Confidence is a big one, isn’t it?  I think we all take blows to the old confidence now and then, so you’re not alone in that one. 

It’s time for the pretty!  Check it out.

Back of the Book

‘Same Face Different Place – Beginnings is a dark and fast-paced thriller, set in the criminal underworld of 1970s London. 

Eleanor Chapman is only 16 when she discovers her Father, Oliver, is employed in a world of organised crime. The day he is forced to go on the run, she is left to the mercy of dangerous people. But during a short spell in captivity, she stumbles across another prisoner – a mysterious musician from Holland, named Jake.

Jake is the one vital witness to a scene leading to a devastating car bomb which claimed the life of a British MP. Now those responsible want him silenced. Their daring escape, coupled with a terrifying chase across London, places them in even greater danger until they eventually find a place to hide.  Yet they know that out there somewhere, a lethal contract killer is hunting them. And the conspiracy runs deep.

But as two young people thrown together by fate, they develop feelings for each other. Their powerful love bond will keep you turning the pages as you relive their journey; a story of survival in a secret world full of dangerous enemies.’

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