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When the Big Bad Comes

T.L. Bailey Author Interview

Eve of Destruction finds Eve transported back to Virginia and must stop Nyx by seeking a weapon that will help in the battle. What were some sources that shaped this novels development?

In Eve of the Hunters book two we find Eve turning her back on her duties and running away. Eve of Destruction she finds herself and the others transported back to Virginia by an unknown force. One of the factors about the book is that evil wins when good people do nothing. She is being forced to confront her fears and her duties. Innocent people are dying and the seals of hell are being opened because she refuses to step up and face Nyx. Another source is a new character that is being introduced in this book. The development of this character shaped the way I was allowed to write the scenes in this book. In fact, the monsters and the way people reacted to them and my characters shaped the novel.

What were some challenges you set for yourself as a writer with this book?

One of the challenges was to stay true to the characters at all times and to see from their POV how they would each react in a scene. People react differently so I had to make sure that I made Black act a certain way than Rowan would if they saw a zombie. No two people are going to react to situations the same way so that was the challenge. The monsters were a challenge in making sure they were there for a reason, not just popping them up. They had to be created for a reason. Cause and effect. Even though it is a fantasy novel it still needs to be believable and make sense to the reader. Another challenge was to make sure people believed this was happening in the 1700s. To create scenes when I can’t “see” these places myself is a challenge unto itself. I needed to paint a picture and hope the reader could see the places I created.

What were the morals you were trying to capture while creating your characters?

That it doesn’t matter what color we are, what station we are born into, how much money we have… in the end when the big bad comes he won’t care what color we are just that we are to be eradicated. The whole human race.

That you don’t have to be “born” into a family to have people love you and be willing to die for you. That people from diverse backgrounds can come together and forget their differences and end up respecting and caring for one another.

Courage, friendship, love, trust, hope is all the morals in all my characters. This book is about the dark side of humans, but it also about humans at their best and how we can fight back the hordes of hell to save our planet.

Can you tell us more about what’s in store for Eve and the direction of the next book?

Eve of the Battle is the last book of the series and it takes Eve on a journey of self discovery and healing emotionally from what Randall Cambridge did to her. She learns how to be a leader and what it takes to really be a Santorian female. She has a lot still to endure and battles that will be fought with loss and consequences to every decision she makes. The last book is about losing her fear and becoming what she was meant to be… a hero.

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The DEAD are walking…
After being transported back to Virginia by an unseen force, Eve learns that Nyx has opened another seal, and released the Ancient Enemy on mankind. To stop Nyx, they must find the one weapon that will help them in the battle, the Amulet of Kvasir or let humanity face the horrors of the walking dead. But a terrible new enemy has risen to threaten Eve and her friends…an enemy so relentless, so COLD that it will take all their efforts to evade it…or be consumed by its rage.

Kill Supernatural Troublemakers

Ann Charles
Ann Charles Author Interview

Devil Days in Deadwood follows Violet, mother/demon executioner, who must risk her life to save her aunt. What was the inspiration for the setup to this entertaining novel?

Throughout the first 10 books in the Deadwood Mystery series, we travel along with Violet Parker as she grows from being a newcomer, both in town and as a real estate agent, who knows nothing about her family history as “Executioners,” to her finding out she comes from a long line of killers. Eventually she realizes there is no escape from doing what she was born to do—kill supernatural troublemakers. Until now, through books one through ten, Violet has fumbled and stumbled with her duties, both as a real estate agent and as an executioner. But, at this point in the series, she has accepted her role and is now going forth with help from those around her. Inspiration wise, I’ve had a fun time building Violet’s character and skills through the first part of the series. Readers came along for the ride, cheering Violet on as she faltered, fell, got up again and began to see more and more successes. Now that we’ve rounded the first bend in the series along with Violet, we are able to watch her face foes that would have been the death of her back in the beginning. For those readers who have read the previous ten books, this eleventh in the series is doubly exciting.

Violet is a riveting character that I had fun following. What were some driving ideals behind her character motivations?

I have always enjoyed reading about heroes and heroines that I can relate to on different levels. Violet is a mother trying to protect her two kids. At the start of the series, she is like many single moms I’ve known—struggling financially, trying to raise her kids without a strong father figure, and wishing she had someone in her life to offer companionship, emotional support, and love. From the beginning, I wanted to create a heroine who was not only relatable, but funny, too. Violet handles her fears, frustrations, and worries with humor. I’ve always turned to humor in tough times, so it felt natural to write about a heroine who does the same. My goal with Violet was to give readers someone with whom they could laugh and cringe. Someone they could identify with on some level. A heroine who would refuse to give up, keep pushing onward and upward. In the end, I think Violet is a fun character because she doesn’t quit when the going gets tough, even though she sometimes would rather hide under her bed than go forth and conquer.

I enjoyed the dynamic between Executioner and devils throughout the story. How has this changed as your series progressed?

Initially, Violet’s reaction to supernatural beings included a lot of fear and fumbling. While many of her skills as an Executioner are innate, she is always learning about what else she is able to do both physically and mentally. Of course in the beginning, she struggled to accept what she was becoming and wanted more than anything to go back to her everyday life struggles rather than deal with the frightening creatures and adventures in front of her. By this eleventh book, though, she has more confidence in her abilities and a better understanding of what she can accomplish on her own, as well as with the help of her crew of friends and family. I’ve enjoyed watching Violet’s confidence and skills grow through the series. There have been a lot of laughs in the process that have made her journey even more fun.

This is book eleven in your Deadwood Humorous Mystery Book series. What can readers expect in book twelve?

There will be more laughs, more chills, and more fast-action page-turning fun. Violet has accepted what she is and what she needs to do to fulfill her role in her family line and protect those she loves. I have book 12 plotted and the first chapter written. I’m putting it aside to work with my husband, Sam Lucky, on book 3 of our Deadwood Undertaker series (which is the prequel series to the Deadwood Mystery series), but I will return to finish book 12 this fall for release in late 2020 or early 2021.

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Violet Parker knows better than to play with devils. They always cheat, especially when lives are at stake. Deadwood’s charming, troublemaking, and soul-sucking devils are no different, and they’re biting at her heels.

But the clock is ticking and Violet has no choice—she must risk her life to save her treasured Aunt Zoe. With any luck, she might be able to trick the devils and beat the old terrors at their own game. If not, Deadwood could end up short one Executioner.

Throw in a Hell Hound

T.L. Bailey Author Interview

Eve of Darkness really puts the ‘dark’ in dark fantasy. Was this intentional or did this just happen organically while writing?

It was intentional. I wanted to take a time when we were at our cruelest to one another. Slavery, piracy, stations, disease, etc. I wanted to show that and then throw in a hell hound, demons, the walking dead, shapeshifters, and then some magic and see what would happen.

Eve of Darkness is really brought to life by Wesley Bruff’s narration. What was the collaboration like to convert your book to audio?

I was so very blessed to have found Wesley Bruff. Not only is he a talented narrator but he also just seems to “know” the characters and seems to understand what I want. He would do a character’s voice and then send it for me to review and it was so mind blowing how dead on point he was. He is AWESOME! He brought my book to life and made it seem real for me and the listener.

Do you see storytelling from a different perspective now that you’ve had your story read aloud?

Yes, now that I can listen I see how different it is then sitting down and creating that world.

Just hearing how the characters interact help me a lot more when I am writing.

Which of your other books do you plan to have in audiobook format?

Wesley Bruff is set to start on book two soon.

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In 1717 it was a time of darkness,where stations kept to their own and people struggled to survive. A time where pirates still roamed the seas, slavery was suffered and ignorance reigned supreme. But there is coming a greater darkness that man can’t hope to fight A darkness that will consume every soul on earth. One young girl named Eve, born with a mark on her hand, outcast and abused, learns that she is the chosen one that must stop the rising evil. The last of a known race who protected the world, she must fight a horde of demonic hell hounds, demons, and her worst fears. Together with six others, she must learn to use powers she never knew she had if she ever hopes to defeat Nyx…. the most powerful Necromancer ever born.

A Different Type of Diversity

Kris Condi
Kris Condi Author Interview

Lefty Saves the Day follows Gracie as she tries to overcome her anxiety about an upcoming baseball game. What was the inspiration for the setup to this lovely children’s story?

From a personal experience, the first time I played baseball someone put the bat in my right hand. I swung and missed each time. Then, I switched hands, which felt natural to me. I swung. The bat made contact with the ball. I was told to run. I made it to the make-shift base which was a sweatshirt. I am left-handed. Ruth Craver, the illustrator, is left-handed. Neither of us had read much literature about being left-handed.

Gracie is presented with some unique challenges for being left handed. Why was this an important topic for you to discuss?

There are so many different approaches and mannerisms left-handed people adapt to such as reading the print on a pen (upside down if you hold in your left hand), measuring cups, rulers, and wall-fastened pencil sharpeners to name a few. Being left-handed is a different type of diversity and one that comes with some challenges but can be accomplished with awareness.

The art in this book is cute and lively. What was the art collaboration like with Ruth Craver?

Ruth and I have known each other for over twenty years. Ruth is a very creative illustrator. Our first work together was in N Is For Noah, then with the debut Lefty novel, Don’t Call me Lefty. We work well together even though distance makes it rare to discuss the books in person. We go over all of the artwork and placement of Ruth’s illustrations within the book. I really appreciate her timeliness, gift, and dedication.

Lefty Saves the Day is the second book in your Don’t Call Me Lefty series. What can readers expect from book three in the series?

Gracie Carter will address other challenges for being left-handed. The next few books in the series are a bit more humorous and of course, Scott and Gracie bump elbows. The exact book from the remaining four has not been determined so the precise lefty challenge cannot be revealed.

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Lefty Saves the Day is the second of six in the Don’t Call Me Lefty series. When a class pizza party depends upon winning a ball game Gracie Carter wants no part of it. Gracie’s parents think it is a great idea for Gracie to get involved. Gracie’s dad buys her a left-handed mitt and teaches Gracie how to throw a ball.
A group of Gracie’s classmates join the Carter’s play ball. Gracie hopes for rain. The surprise was Gracie could throw a ball but that’s all. She could not bat especially when the pitchers are all right-handed.
The day of the game arrived, and the sun was shining. Gracie wanted to pitch but her class already had a pitcher. She also did not want to bat. Then there was her nemesis, Scott Collins, who referred to her as trouble.
Gracie was not sure why teams switched places. Then, it was her turn and she felt like throwing up. She saw a relief pitcher warming up before going to the mound.
“I got this,” Gracie said.

Spirits Who Pester and Haunt

Randy Overbeck
Randy Overbeck Author Interview

Crimson at Cape May finds Darrel between a battle for his reputation and a battle against paranormal forces. What were some sources of inspiration that influenced this novels development?

Having lost his job—and maybe his love—in Wilshire, Darrell heads to Cape May (New Jersey) to help coach a summer football camp. With being forced to resign, he needs the money and hopes it will give him the time and opportunity to restore his reputation. When he arrives in Cape May, he finds a town almost frozen in time, surrounded by incredible Victorian mansions everywhere. But he also discovers the old seacoast town is flush with spirits who pester and haunt him to help out one of their own. Darrell has to balance both his “gift” for seeing into the spirit world with his efforts to get his old job back. In the end, he commits to help another young student whose sister has gone missing, which ties to all his problems.

There have been several times in my life where reputation, job and livelihood was threatened and I drew on these experiences and the reserves I used to meet these very real challenges to help sketch Darrell’s predicament and his way of navigating out of it. Because of my experience, my hope is the reader will find Darrell’s journey credible and something they themselves can relate to.

I enjoyed Cassie’s character and found her relatable. What were some ideas you wanted to capture in Cassie and Darrel’s relationship?

My choice of Cassie as a POV character was deliberate and carefully thought out. First of all, she and Darrell are opposites, or appear to be. Darrell is a traditional, successful (kind of) teacher and coach, from a good family and good upbringing. Cassie is none of those things. She has been abused and denigrated and runs away from her family, such as it is. Instead, she has had to learn skills to survive on her own, in her teens. But Darrell’s first instinct is to reach out and protect children and young people in trouble. As a teacher, it’s part of his DNA—a characteristic I witnessed for real in my many of my teaching colleagues. When he encounters Cassie, Darrell recognizes the vulnerability of the young woman, even through her hard-shell, street-smart armor she has wrapped herself in. Then as “sensitives,” they begin to check each other out and eventually learn to trust each other. Erin proves to be critical in their evolving relationship as she stands in almost as an older sister for Cassie. Darrell never stops feeling responsible for the younger Cassie—especially as her life is threatened—but in the end, he realizes they have to work together to solve the murder of the Haunted Bride. This fictional relationship reflects the very real dilemma that parents and teachers face everyday with teenagers. Adults who care for kids have to find a way to take care of them and try to keep them from the greatest risks, while at the same time allowing the adolescents to begin to make some decisions themselves, even though some of those decisions are unwise and even dangerous. It’s a tightrope that is not easy to navigate. Darrell, like parents and teachers, has trouble knowing when to let go.

I enjoyed the compelling mystery behind this story. Was the arc planned or did it develop organically while writing?

My approach to my stories fall some where between the “plotter” and the “pantser” mindset. Before beginning a novel, I will have completed a general outline of the story arc, of essential characters, of the crime itself and, of course, of the thematic issue. In addition, since each entry of this series is set in a new resort location (BLOOD on the Eastern Shore, CRIMSON in Cape May), I do a considerable amount of local research to ensure my setting is accurate and thorough, which in turn requires a considerable deal of planning including how the setting snd plot will interact. Layering over all that is where the ghost elements will intrude, another planning aspect.

I realize that sounds pretty far in the plotter camp, but there is much more. Then as I begin the actual manuscript, I find myself “pantsing,” more writing by the seat of my pants. As characters develop, I find myself adjusting the trajectory of the narrative and writing accordingly. There are elements of the plot and storyline that I deliberately do not plan in advance. For example, I don’t make a final decision on who the actual antagonist will be until I am well into the narrative. That way I make sure that several suspects are viable and keep my inner reader guessing until the reveal—as I hope I do for the actual readers of the novel. I do make some slight adjustments to this plotter/pantser balance for different novels but find overall this approach works well for me.

What is the next book that you are working on and when will it be available?

I’m currently completing the third book in the Haunted Shores Mysteries Series no title determined as yet), a Christmas ghost mystery set in Crystal River, Florida. I thought the idea of setting a holiday mystery in the warm climes of Florida’s Gulf coast to be an interesting challenge and decided to take Darrell and his new wife, Erin, on their honeymoon there. And number three will have a very different ghost twist—the ghosts are those of two young Hispanic children who have mysteriously disappeared. An added plus is this gave me an opportunity to explore another serious issue the nation is grappling with, the life of migrant workers and the fate of illegal immigrants. I hope I’ve come up with a mix that will make number three another interesting entry in the series. This third installment is scheduled for release for October 2021—in time for Christmas, of course.

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No matter how far you run, you can never really escape a haunted past.

Darrell Henshaw—teacher, coach, and paranormal sensitive—learned this lesson the hard way. Now, with his job gone and few options, he heads for Cape May to coach a summer football camp. The resort town, with gorgeous beaches, rich history and famous Victorian mansions, might just be the getaway he needs. Only, no one told him Cape May is the most haunted seaport on the East Coast.

When a resident ghost, the Haunted Bride, stalks Darrell, begging for his help, he can’t refuse, and joins forces with Cassie, another sensitive. As Darrell and the street-wise teen investigate the bride’s death, they uncover something far more sinister than a murder. Can Darrell and Cassie expose those behind the crimes before they end up becoming the next victims?

The Garden And The Glen

Elizabeth Moseley’s The Garden and the Glen is a delightful fable with a timeless feel. The story, which follows a blue butterfly exiled from her home for being different, is simple yet poignant. With the help of her charming woodland friends, who take her in with gracious, open arms, blue butterfly finds the strength to overcome the tyranny of the bossy butterfly and once again turn the forest into a safe haven for all to inhabit without fear of discrimination.

The book is divided into sixteen chapters, including the epilogue. Each chapter is bite-sized and easily digestible by younger readers, while still remaining enjoyable and engaging to older readers. The delivery of this fantastic story is similar in style to Aesop’s Fables.

Maggie Green, the illustrator, does a superb job at capturing the idyllic imagery of the garden and the glen. Her use of soft pastel watercolors throughout makes both the woodland creatures and the scenery of their home appear magical and precious. The illustrations also help the reader follow along with the dialogue and happenings of the story.

The content is just as welcome in an elementary school classroom as it is to a contemporary adult audience. The author’s ageless message about the value of embracing our own differences, as well as the uniqueness of those around us, is particularly relevant at this current juncture of 2020. This is a read I would gladly pick up over and over again when I feel that I need the inspiration it provides.

The Garden and the Glen

GardenAndGlen.com

 

Oink and Gobble and the Missing Cupcakes

Oink and Gobble have very little in common, but that doesn’t stop them from being the best of friends. No matter what others on the farm may say about either of them, they manage to ignore it and live happy-go-lucky lives. When Oink’s cupcakes go missing, the two best friends set out on a mission to find the culprit. With Gobble’s love for logic and Oink’s overactive imagination, the pair is bound to solve the mystery–with some light-hearted moments along the way.

Oink and Gobble and the Missing Cupcakes, written by Norman Whaler and illustrated by Mohammad Shayan, is a children’s book filled with humorous moments between farm animals and best friends on their way to solving a mystery. Bright and colorful illustrations clearly convey the story line and further add to the plot. Included is a page with the names of each farm animal complete with labels.

I enjoyed this book, but I felt like the story line belongs in a book for children ages 2 to about 6 while the verbiage and some of the exchanges between characters I think might be above the heads of most children in that age group. I enjoyed the asides and the humor injected into the dialogue but found it more appropriate for older readers. I would recommend the plot of the story for young children, but the narrative is much more fitting for young adult readers.

Well-written and superbly illustrated this book will bring a smile to readers’ faces. I think this book is best read with parents or teachers as it presents many learning opportunities. Oink and Gobble and the Missing Cupcakes is a fun and funny picture book.

Pages: 30 | ASIN: B07YN4W37Q

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The Penitent: Part II

The Penitent: Part II (The Immortality Wars Book 1) by [A. Keith Carreiro, Jamie Forgetta, Hollis Machala]

The Penitent: Part II introduces readers to Evangel. Rescued by a hermit and raised to embrace her powers. Although she tries to keep her powers a secret, fate has other plans for her. As she struggles with understanding her powers while keeping them hidden, one vision she has will change her life and the lives of countless others.

This is book two in A. Keith Carreiro’s Immortality Wars epic fantasy series. While I picked up the series at book two I was no less intrigued by the compelling world and lured in by the fascinating characters. Evangel is a character that is well accustomed to loss and pain. She’s a character I could easily empathize with and root for. The slow development, and evolution of her character, was something that kept me turning pages. The story is colored with base tones of faith and religion and I appreciated the subtly of its presence balanced with the far reaching effects it had on the characters. Evangel’s perspective of the world is a bit naive, but I found that to be endearing. In light of the dangerous world in which she lives I found it to be a welcome contrast that is well portrayed by the author. Her faith and beliefs are challenged, but what protagonist isn’t challenged in some way in a good epic fantasy novel?

I recommend starting the series with book one if you can, but otherwise this book is still intriguing. Pall is an interesting character that I would love to learn more about, especially since his story line seems to be so closely connected to my favorite character Evangel. Their relationship is intriguing and I wanted to explore it further.

A. Keith Carreiro has created an intricate world for some enthralling characters to inhabit. Things are rarely what they seem and I enjoyed the air of mystery that seemed to color everything coupled with a relentless sense of adventure. With deep world building and multi-layered characters, fans of epic fantasy will have much to appreciate in The Penitent series. I can’t wait for part three.

Pages: 256 | ASIN: B01MAZDG4S

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