As you get through the book, water, rain, and drowning are pretty important things. Simply enough, Grey Skies is representative of bad weather, and Roman’s experience, especially as the reader dives into the darker parts of his past, can be equated to “feeling under the weather.”
If your book had a candle, what scent would it be?
Wet dirt in the middle of spring.
Do you see writing as a career?
I’m here now, aren’t I?
Do you read yourself and if so, what is your favorite genre?
I’ll read almost anything besides fantasy. Fantasy itself isn’t bad, but it’s slowly becoming the most tired genre. Every book has started to feel the same to me. A lot of reading online has led me to believe that it’ll be a pseudo-medieval world where a collection of misfits gets together to fight evil that is re-emerging after being dormant for centuries. Prophecy stories are awful, so is dragon-riding, so are epic stories about a bloodline battling for control. It’s just an exhausting genre. No disrespect to whoever writes the stuff, I’m sure there are some very very talented people out there writing fantasy that would knock my socks off.
Besides that, horror and bizarro fiction can always be pretty fun. I prefer my books to be on the condensed side and not meander around for a few hundred pages. The perfect book is between 150-400 pages. Maybe it’s just my attention span, but books like Under the Dome by Stephen King are just exhaustingly long and don’t really take me anywhere new. In that same breath, Carrie is a good example of a perfect novel, as is something like Piercing by Ryu Murakami. Despite my love for horror, I’ll read anything that’s good.
Roman Toguri finds himself burying the body of a nun in Boone, North Carolina. As the skies darken and it begins to storm, he is forced to shove the corpse into his trunk and take it home for the night, unaware of the torment that playing God will bestow upon him.
Enter Hell with two bonus short stories: The White Shade, an ultra-violent look into the mind of a mass shooter, and The Black Box, a psychedelic dive into weird horror.
About the Author: William Becker is an 18-year-old horror author with a mind for weirder sides of the universe. With an emphasis on complex and layered storylines that tug harshly on the reader to search for deeper meanings in the vein of Silent Hill and David Lynch, Becker is a force to be reckoned within the horror world. His works are constantly unfathomable, throwing terror into places never before seen, while also providing compelling storylines that transcend the predictable jumpscares of the popular modern horror.
His first novel, WEEPING OF THE CAVERNS, was written when he was 14. After eight months of writing, editing, and revising, the story arrived soon after his 15th birthday. During the writing sessions for his debut novel, he also wrote an ultra-controversial short story known as THE WHITE SHADE that focused on the horrors of a shooting. Living in a modern climate, it was impossible for THE WHITE SHADE to see the light of day. Following a psychedelic stint that consisted of bingeing David Lynch movies, weird art, and considering the depth of the allegory of the cave wall, he returned to writing with a second story, THE BLACK BOX, and soon after, his second novel, GREY SKIES.
Can you, for those who don’t know you already, tell something about yourself and how you became an author?
My journey as an author began with a corporate merger. I loved where I worked, and I had this feeling that I would not survive the transition. I grabbed a bottle of wine, went out onto my deck, drank the whole thing and had a good long cry, while I thought about would do. I decided then and there, that I was going to write the book that had been swimming around inside my head. I got up, went inside, and started writing Seer of Souls, my debut novel.
What is something unique/quirky about you?
I am a rabid Harry Potter fan, and I own a prop wand (‘swish and flick!’) from HP & the Sorcerer’s Stone movie set.
Tell us something really interesting that’s happened to you!
Wow, there are so many! I worked as an insurance adjuster for many, many years. One thing that stands out in my mind was the day the burnt house I was in, decided to rekindle. Occupational hazard, but fire departments are really good about not leaving a smoldering fire scene.
What are some of your pet peeves?
As an author, I’d have to say troll reviews. It’s sad that common decency is in such short supply these days. I understand if someone doesn’t like a book, I have books I don’t like, too. I have big girl pants; I can handle honest criticism. But there seems to be a segment of people who get their jollies tearing people down. Bullies exist everywhere, and online forums give them a platform, which is unfortunate.
The Spirit Shield Saga
Genre: YA Fantasy
Prequel to the Spirit Shield Saga
An ancient feud that spills from the realm of the Gods. Four desperate agendas that cross the line. And a boy with a mysterious box is the world’s only hope.
Helga, demi-goddess of the underworld has but one true desire, a young man named Genii. But Genii belongs to her sister star gazing sister, Artio.
Obsessed with possessing Genii any way she can, Helga sets herself against her siblings. The vicious rivalry sets brother against sister and flesh against spirit, as they battle each other for ultimate control of the souls of the dead.
Helga summons a great evil, spawn of the underworld, which left unchecked, will sweep all life into the depths of the underworld, where Helga rules supreme.
In the epic battle that ensues, only one will be left standing, and if it is the wrong one, how will the world survive?
Download this tale of love, jealousy, and magic, today, and dive into this award-winning epic mythology fantasy series!
The time for hiding is finished. The dead are restless. Fate and destiny collide.
Twins Cayden and Avery Tiernan have grown up in isolation on the fringe of the realm. Gifted with forbidden skills, they hide their growing magical powers. Ancient prophecies speak of the ones with the power to depose the queen.
To protect her throne, Queen Alcina scours the land for evidence of magic, while the darker force she serves threatens the land with chaos. She is not the only huntress however. Primordial seekers discover the twins first but before they can escape, the death of a queen’s guard puts the entire village in jeopardy. To save their town, the twins flee, only to be dragged toward an unknown destiny.
Guided by her gift, Avery senses lies and treachery where others see only truth. Dare she trust her instincts? For Cayden, an irresistible voice whispers to him. Does it belong to the souls of the dead and are they calling him home?
Buy Seer of Souls and plunge into the first book of the Spirit Shield Saga today!
A temple awakened. The forbidden mountain stirs.The dead are missing.
Snatched from her home by a Primordial Seeker, seventeen-year-old Avery is imprisoned by the people she intended to serve. In a desperate bid for freedom, she escapes, only to find herself racing against time to save those who seek to use her.
\riven by jealousy, the lust for power and the stain of ancient crimes, conflicting factions struggle to gain control of the magic of a Spirit Shield. Avery must dodge all who cross her path, for each group vies to control her actions.
Aided by the mythical creatures of her native land, she discovers that a true Spirit Shield is much more than a simple priestess. She must fight for control of the souls of the world, and in doing so must face her worst fear of all: family.
Purchase the next exciting chapter in this must read epic saga, today!
The underworld writhes. Terror unleashed. Souls enslaved.
The Spirit Shields with memories returned are plunged into a conflict older than mankind. The pending battle pits family against spirit and flesh. The godlings face off for ultimate control of the souls of the dead, each with their own agenda, for there is no love lost between these siblings.
Helga, goddess of the underworld, tightens her hold on those who hold the key to ultimate victory. Meanwhile, Avery struggles to convince her sister Artio that unless they become allies they will fail in their misaligned quest. Cayden, with the aid of Brimstone, struggles to fulfill a destiny prophesied since their original deaths long ago.
Can four warring siblings find peace and forgiveness? Or will they battle to the end of the world, sacrificing all living souls in the conflict?
Don’t miss the exciting conclusion to the Spirit Shield Saga! Purchase your copy today!
*Winner, Dante Rossetti First In Category, Chanticleer Reviews (2018)*
About the Author: Winner of the Dante Rossetti Grand Prize for Best Young Adult Fiction of 2016 (Seer of Souls, Chanticleer Reviews) and First in Category, Dante Rossetti Best Young Adult Fiction of 2017 (Soul Sanctuary, Chanticleer Reviews) Susan loves to bring new worlds and fantasy adventures to young adults and inspire them to join her on her make-believe journeys. She is actively crafting stories that sing in your memory.
Charred remains are all that is left once they’re gone. The fields are still verdant, the stalks rustling in the wind as smoke carries the scent of burned flesh outward. It was a horrific and swift end to a chance at something better—something good. But they would never have allowed that—only death, destruction, and absolute ruin will reign supreme when they’re done with their mission.
When the Scourers come, there’s no hiding and no escape.
He must make a decision even though it is hard. To kill his darlings, the ones he nurtured and brought to their pinnacle, is a task no Creator wants. But sometimes it’s a must.
It seems unnatural these beloveds would be so cruel, but it’s nature of the willful to think themselves invincible. Oh, the havoc they wreak—all of it in wayward ignorance but no less dangerous and damaging to the One who gave them the choice.
Each time He tries to get them right, but every time they fail. Like an ouroborus of creation, the circle remains unbroken. The Ultimate Destruction endures only to destroy through renewal, it’s carnage a regeneration of chance.
Today I welcome author Denise N. Wheatley to The FlipSide to talk about writing and her book When It’s All Said & Done. Welcome Denise, tell us what When It’s All Said & Done means to you and what you’re hoping readers will take away from the story.
I’ve always been a lover of romance and enjoy writing it just as much as I enjoy reading it. When It’s All Said & Done is fun, contemporary romantic comedy that’s very close to my heart. As the novel came to fruition, I found myself wanting to be friends with the smart, savvy, beautiful women in the book and date the handsome, strong, sexy, men! My goal was to tell an entertaining story that embodies matters of the heart and would leave readers thinking about the colorful characters long after the final chapter.
What are five of your favorite quotes from When It’s All Said & Done?
“Michael, I know it’s not your fault that she came here, but it will be your fault if she stays.”
“If this night has to end now, then I’d love to see you tomorrow.”
Right before she closed her eyes, Leslie looked down at her left hand and decided that maybe an emerald cut diamond would better suit her….
But as Ann Landers once said, if you have love in your life, it can make up for a great many things that are missing. If you don’t have love in your life, no matter what else there is, it’s not enough.
Then she turned back around and walked out the door, knowing that when it was all said and done, she would be entering this next phase of her life with absolutely no regrets.
What makes a good story?
For me, a good story involves an element of romance. That, along with creating strong, interesting, relatable characters, while developing a thoughtful, interesting plot that will keeping readers guessing, makes for an awesome storyline.
Do your characters seem to hijack your books or do you feel like you have the reigns of the stories?
My characters absolutely hijack my books lol! A perfect example would be the protagonists and antagonist in my novel The Road to Bliss. When I began writing that story, I had a solid idea of how it would progress and how things would end. But as I wrote and the storyline developed, certain characters pulled me in a different direction, which completely changed the course of the narrative. I don’t want to give too much away, but let’s just say my main character Timber West did not end up with the man I thought she would.
How do you handle writer’s block?
When I get writer’s block, the first thing I do is grow patient with myself, understanding that I’m just not on a roll that day or week. If I spend a whole day on one paragraph, then so be it. I’m just glad to be making progress and moving forward. Another tactic I use during those periods of writer’s block is to just write whatever comes to mind without judging it. No matter how terrible the words may seem, I just write. And usually when I go back and edit what I’ve written, it isn’t nearly as bad as I thought it’d be. I also like to tinker with photography and graphics programs (usually to create promotional pieces for my work) or dabble in another project when I burn out. It’s therapeutic and helps get me back on track.
Do you prefer to write in silence or with noise? Why?
I like to write with noise. Nothing too loud, but I always need a little bit of activity in the background. As strange as it may sound, total silence can be disruptive me when I’m trying to write.
Let’s play ten questions in ten seconds. Go!
Favorite Author: Terry McMillan
Favorite Book: Butterfly by Kathryn Harvey
Sweet or Salty: Sweet
Dream Vacation: Paris
Music or Silence: Music
Plotter or Panster: Plotter
Vanilla or Kink: Kink
Morning Bird or Night Owl: Night Owl
Half Full or Half Empty: Half Full
Boxers, Briefs or Bare: Bare
When It’s All Said & Done
Denise N. Wheatley
Genre: Contemporary Romance
Savvy, fun-loving writer Leslie James dreams of one day joining Limelight magazine’s writing staff. In the meantime, she keeps her journalistic skills sharp with Blissful Beauties, a beauty blog that celebrates all women.
Leslie’s passion for writing takes her mind off her current relationship status: Single. She’s okay with leaving love out of the equation, until she meets Michael—a handsome, sexy single father and sports journalist with everything Leslie could want in a man. At the urging of her supportive, sassy best friend Crystal, Leslie befriends Michael but insists that they remain strictly platonic, but Michael has other plans. He’s determined to make Leslie his lady for life, and as their undeniable chemistry begins to sizzle, Leslie is powerless to resist him.
But their budding romance is abruptly cut short when Michael’s ex-wife suddenly resurfaces, wanting to rekindle their relationship. Will the love Leslie has for Michael ever be enough to truly win his heart?
Reader Alert! Leslie James is at her wits’ end when it comes to love. The minute she decides to throw in the towel, gorgeous and charming Michael Allgood comes along. Mesmerized by this fine specimen of a man, and against her better judgement, Leslie decides to give him a chance—but she regrets that decision when his greedy ex-wife Mia suddenly shows up on his doorstep. Can Michael prove to Leslie that his intentions are good and he wants a love with her that’ll last forever?
To My Readers: I’ve been a lover of romance for as long as I can remember. WHEN IT’S ALL SAID & DONE is fun, contemporary romantic comedy that’s very close to my heart. As the novel came to fruition, I found myself wanting to be friends with the smart, savvy, beautiful women in the book and date the handsome, strong, sexy, men! My goal was to tell an entertaining story that embodies matters of the heart and would leave readers thinking about these colorful characters long after the final chapter. I hope you enjoy reading it as much as I enjoyed writing it!
About the Author: Denise N. Wheatley is a lover of romance, happy endings and the art of storytelling. She used to cry as a three-year old child when her mother read to her because she so badly wanted to read the books herself! Once she learned, Denise constantly had her nose in a novel (especially the ones she’d sneak from her mom’s bookshelf). She’s been writing for as long as she can remember and draws inspiration from Chicago, the city where she was born and raised, as well as Los Angeles, which is one of her favorite places in the world. Denise has published several books and novellas with Simon & Schuster, Red Sage Publishing, eXtasy Books and independently, has written screenplays and teleplays, and has ghostwritten for some of your faves. When she isn’t sitting behind her computer, you can find Denise in a movie theater, on a tennis court, watching true crime television or chatting on social media.
Today on The FlipSide, author Rachell Nichole stops by to talk about her newest release and all things writing. Welcome Rachell!
Hello! And thank you for hosting me today to talk about my newest release, Awakening Submission. This book is a spinoff to my K Club series. It’s darker, and very hot. Sure to melt your Kindle in minutes! 😊 I want to tell you a bit more about my hero, Sir Clayton Schultz, PhD.
It’s late, he’s bored. What does he do?
Write. Clayton is an English teacher, but also a writer, so if it’s late, and he doesn’t have his submissive around to play with, he’s writing about all the naughty things they might get up to.
What kind of food would he impulse buy if hungry?
Italian. The man loves pasta in particular. So manicotti, ravioli, spaghetti, cavatappi. This guy hasn’t met a noodle he doesn’t like!
Describe the kind of clothes he prefers to wear.
He’s a college professor by day and a writer by night, so it can be anything from suits to jeans or lounge clothes.
What is he like first thing in the morning?
Grumpy. And sexy. 🙂 He can wake up ready and raring to go with his submissive, but if he wakes up on the wrong side of the bed, honey, watch out! Sir Clayton can have a little temper.
What is his greatest fear?
Definitely hurting someone he loves. He has a history of making some mistakes as a Dom which ended badly, and so he’s constantly checking in with Jacey and making sure that what they’re doing is okay with her. Does he have siblings?
Clayton has two older sisters who are twins. He doesn’t get to see them very much, and was never super close with them as a child, so while he has siblings, they’re not really a huge part of his life.
What’s his favorite position?
On top, of course. But really, any position which allows him to have his way with Jacey. Whether that’s up against a wall, or with her bent over the spanking bench, or in the kitchen, on the floor – he’s not real picky, as long as she’s writhing beneath him! They like to get creative, so he’s had her every which way, on the car, in the playroom, in the kitchen, in his office at the college. You’ll just have to read the books for all the fun and interesting places they’ve had naughty time.
Android or iPhone?
Beard or clean-shaven?
Mostly clean-shaven, but a little stubble goes a long way. The model photo is a pretty accurate representation of who Clayton is inside my head.
Personal vehicle or public transport?
Personal vehicle. Clayton likes to be in control, at all times. He is a Dom, after all. He wouldn’t be able to rely on someone else forgetting around.
The K Club Dark Side Series
Genre: Dark Erotic Romance
The K Club Dark Side Book 1
I am not a submissive. Nuh uh, no way. As a relationship therapist, I understand the appeal of kink, I really do, but it was never for me. Until him.
Sir Clayton Schultz, PhD strode into my life unannounced and with the air of arrogance that only a Dom like him could have.
A chance meeting at a kinky conference where I’m teaching a workshop on the psychology of relationships, leads to one hell of a night. But Sir has rules to follow.
We’re intent on having a little fun at the conference and going our separate ways, but when we get home, and realize we don’t live far from one another, we make it all of a week before we’re together in his bed.
But I’m not sure if I can do this whole submissive thing full-time, or how to reconcile being a strong, independent feminist, and Sir Clayton’s submissive.
In our world, No and Red are two very different words.
It doesn’t matter that I’ve decided I’m done being his submissive. I know something is broken between us and I can’t seem to fix it. So, I am intent on no longer being his. But my insistence that I don’t want him is futile, and we both know it. Until and unless a safeword comes out of my mouth, Sir will show me no mercy.
When he asks me to move in with him, I have never felt more secure. But co-habitation brings its own set of issues, and as we navigate the new stage of our relationship, things get complicated.
And when Sir’s first submissive suddenly comes back into his life, and she reveals parts of his past he hasn’t shared with me, I’m not sure what else he’s been hiding. When I discover his secrets, and the accusations against him start flying, I fear I’ve made a terrible mistake.
I can do nothing except fight this battle by his side, even though I now know he’s been hiding secrets from me. When I’m confronted with his past first-hand, I have to find a way to fight not just for his freedom, but for our lives.
**Coming Soon!! **
About the Author: Rachell Nichole is a contemporary steamy romance author, who loves writing sassy sizzling romances about memorable characters who have to fight to hold on to love.
Rachell is the author of more than a dozen romances. In addition to writing, Rachell loves travel, teaching, and foreign languages. She holds BAs in Professional Writing and French, along with an MFA in Writing Popular Fiction from Seton Hill University.
Rachell lives in Pennsylvania with a mountain of books and the love of her life.
Today I welcome Barbara Russell, author of the New Camelot series to The FlipSide to answer a few questions about writing and her series. So Barbara, what inspired the New Camelot series?
I’ve always loved steampunk stories. The first I read was a steampunk/futuristic novel set in Italy by Stefano Benni. A rarity since the majority of the steampunk novels are set in Victorian London, and I fell in love with the genre because it’s always a bit funny, has some sci-fi elements, and there’s usually a lot of action. Also, I love Arthurian stories. Every time I find a novel set in Camelot, I grab it. So I thought, why not setting a story after King Arthur’s death?
What is your favourite scene in the A Damsel In Shiny Armor?
The kissing scene between Tristan and Nineveh. I wanted to insert it in book 1, but there was no room for another POV, so I moved it to book 2.
What do you do when you aren’t writing?
Trekking and climbing! I love hiking with my dogs. Forests are the best places ever to think about plot holes and characters’ developments. Not to mention that a good trekking recharges me. I need to get out of the city and its noises now and then and be surrounded by trees and nature.
What advice would you give new writers?
Read everything, from memoirs to sci-fi novels. I love fiction, but true stories are the amazing. There’s a lot to learn from non-fiction books as a writer, and you never know what might inspire you.
What’s your work in progress?
I’m currently writing book 3 of the series. It’ll be the last instalment of Nathair and Bryhannon’s story. Book 4 will have new protagonists.
Which character can you relate to the most and why?
They say that an author is the sum of all of his characters, including the villains, lol. But I feel closer to Raulyn. He’s clumsy, he’s a wizard but not very talented, and he’s always optimist.
Anything else you’ll like to add?
Actually yes, I’d like to the tell to those people who say they don’t read book to please don’t say out loud. Every time a person says they don’t read, somewhere a writer gets a writer’s block.
Genre: YA Arthurian Steampunk Fantasy Romance
A Knight to Celebrate
New Camelot Prequel
Nathair and two other fellow cadets of the Sir Lancelot’s Academy for Knights are pulling a prank on the ladies of Lady Guinevere’s Academy for Damsels. After the ladies filled the cadets’ quivers with honey, it’s only fair that the cadets return the favour.
Knights are supposed to rescue damsels. That’s the natural order. So when Nathair, a knight in training, finds himself rescued by the princess he’s supposed to save, he’s annoyed. And when the princess proves she can fight like a knight? Well, that’s enough for a boy to think about a career change.
After fighting dragons, wild Vikings, and clockwork monsters, Nathair is facing the biggest challenge of his life: proposing to Bryhannon. Apparently, flowers and a three-month salary worth ring aren’t enough because she doesn’t seem thrilled by the proposal. She has a devastating power to control, Reapers to face, and more importantly she has to find the courage to tell Nathair that she’s a Morrigan.
About the Author: I’m an entomologist and a soil biologist, which is a fancy way to say that I dig in the dirt, looking for bugs. Nature and books have always been my passion. I was a kid when I read The Lord Of The Ring and fell in love with fantasy novels.
When I discovered cozy mystery and crime novels, I fell in love with Hercules Poirot and Sherlock Holmes. Then I grew up and . . . Nah, I’m joking. I didn’t grow up. Don’t grow up, folks! It’s a trap.
PS I hate gardening. There, I said it. Sorry fellow Kiwis.
Today I welcome Sara Butler Zalesky, author of the Wheeler Series to The FlipSide to answer a few questions about life and writing. Tell me Sara, what is something quirky about you?
I like to crochet, which is kind of an old lady thing to do but it helps me think while I’m writing. I used to play Guitar Hero when I needed to clear my mind, but the TV keeps everyone else awake.
Tell us something really interesting that’s happened to you!
My life is pretty routine and boring.
What are some of your pet peeves?
Loud gum chewing. Not using a turn signal. Drivers who try to run me over while I’m on my bike.
Where were you born/grew up at?
I grew up in Wharton, NJ. Exit 34B off Rt. 80.
What are you passionate about these days?
I’m passionate about cycling, especially women’s cycling. The women’s races are more exciting than the men because their race distances tend to be shorter and more intense. The teams don’t have the same number either, between 6 and 9 riders, whereas the men can have up to 12. Women racers have to be good at everything – sprinting, climbing, endurance. It’s difficult to specialize in one thing like the men’s teams when your teammates rely on each other to fill every position.
What do you do to unwind and relax?
Ride my bike or binge Midsomer Murders on Acorn TV.
How to find time to write as a parent?
I have spent many a late-night writing Wheeler, but that quickly caught up to me. Now I write whenever I get the time, be it 10 minutes or an hour, and often at work. SHHH! Don’t tell.
When did you first consider yourself a writer?
I still don’t consider myself a writer. It was a strange congruence of events that led me to put the first novel on paper – and finish it. A first for me.
Do you have a favorite movie?
There are so many films I can watch over and over, but I cringe at what I used to bolt home for when I was a kid. I prefer action and suspense films, like Tom Clancy or Dan Brown. I really liked Tom Cruise in Jack Reacher and Oblivion.
Sara Butler Zalesky
Wheeler Series Book 1
Loren Mackenzie is at the top of her game, leading an elite team of pro cyclists in the Women’s World Tour in Europe. But for her, cycling was a way to escape, using the burn of her muscles to cleanse her mind.
After a change in the management of her team, Loren is brought back together with a man she once loved. His amorous attention resurrects the feelings she once had for him, but also how he tried to force her to sleep with him, and the sting of his hand on her cheek at her refusal.
When mishap puts her in the sights of an A-list actor, the flirtation quickly develops into something more for Loren, but the relationship exposes her to the tabloid media, dredging up the past she wanted to bury. It also reveals a dangerous rival who puts her chances in the World Championship in jeopardy.
Love and obsession collide in the first book of the Wheeler series, can Loren stand at the center of the storm, or will she lose the success she has worked so hard to achieve?
“Atherton Leaves Her! Has the Actor’s Whirlwind Romance with the Women’s Pro Cyclist Run its Course?”
Loren Mackenzie knew the headline in The Sun was misleading, but the Elite Women’s World Champion cyclist still felt the sting. With her team’s season winding down, reuniting with boyfriend, Graham Atherton is tops on her holiday to-do list. But as rumors and innuendo swirl around the couple, secrets they have kept from each other shake their relationship to its foundation.
Her fragile confidence is tested when Loren discovers details of her relationship with Felix Lalonde were provided to the media. Still reeling from the headlines, a bittersweet reunion with someone she thought lost becomes the catalyst for reliving the fractured memories of her childhood. Resentment and betrayal only add fuel to the fire already burning in her heart.
All the while obsession and greed churn into a storm on the horizon, threatening Loren and those closest to her. When the tempest hits, what is uncovered tilts the axis of her world.
In the second novel of the Wheeler series, can Loren believe that even in darkness, there is still light, there is still hope; there is still love.
It’s the start of a new year for World Champion cyclist Loren Mackenzie and already, her luck has taken a nosedive. Tensions rise at training camp in Mallorca, Spain, with the arrival of team sponsor, Ryzak Sports. There’s something familiar about Maksim Ryzak’s charm, and while Loren can see through it, she can’t shake the attraction.
Fingers are pointed at Loren when a reporter hints at her involvement in a doping scheme allegedly begun by Felix Lalonde. She denies it, but her fears that no one will believe her drag her down. When pictures of Graham with another woman are published by the tabloids, a match ignites that could burn their relationship to the ground.
The Spring Classics begin with races in Belgium, the Netherlands, and Italy, where rivals become allies and friends become adversaries. Loren is tested in both mind and body, but she is determined to prove herself worthy of being a World Champion.
But, as one fire is put out, another takes its place. Loren is still haunted by Felix, and it’s his voice in her ear in competition, whispering she’s not good enough. Even with her friends and family rallying behind her, can Loren free herself once and for all?
About the Author: Sara has never lacked for imagination, but it wasn’t until the Fates decided to give the string of her life a tug, bringing her romantic leanings together with her passion for the sport of cycling and Poof! A story was written down and completed, much to her surprise and chagrin.
She is a (self)published author of women’s fiction/sports romance novels, Wheeler and Wheeler: In Darkness, There is Still Light. A third novel to complete the series is in development.
The author resides in the suburbs of Philadelphia, PA, with her husband and their son. Sara is a paralegal for a law firm in Chester County, Pa, an avid road cyclist, and indoor cycling instructor at a national chain.
Today on The FlipSide, I welcome Tracy Lawson, author of The Resistance series, to answer a few questions about life and writing. When did you know that writing is what you were called to do? What is it about being a writer that you love the most?
I’ve wanted to be a writer as long as I could read. Now that I’ve published several books, I like that it’s a means to reach out to others, to entertain and inform them.
Can you tell us a little about your books and where our readers can find out more about them and you?What projects are you currently working on?
I’ve written the YA dystopian Resistance Series, and two nonfiction history books. My current project is historical fiction, and that, for me, is the best of both worlds. I based the story for Answering Liberty’s Call on events in the lives of my 6x great grandparents. According to family lore, he was a soldier during the American Revolution and she became a courier/spy for General Washington while traveling to bring supplies to Valley Forge. I did extensive research into the period so I my story would be authentic and free from anachronisms, and I learned as much as I could about my family so I could incorporate plenty of real details about their lives into the story. I loved everything about this book, and can’t wait for it to find a home. I just created a Facebook page for the new book, and I hope your readers will come like and follow: https://www.facebook.com/AnnaAsburyStone
What has been your most significant achievement as a writer thus far? How have you dealt with rejection within your writing career?
Two of my books have won state-level awards, and it’s a great feeling to know you’ve done a quality job. Eighty agents and publishers rejected my first novel before I found an interested publisher. I was so happy at first, but the situation turned out to be a bad fit. After a series of unfortunate events, I got the rights back to my books and now I self-publish my fiction. I’m much more in control of my situation.
Do you have a schedule for when you write? Do you outline your novels? How long does it generally take you to finish a novel?
I’m not as disciplined about having a schedule as I’d like to be. I also work as a freelance choreographer, doing musicals for middle and high schools, so when a show is in production, I don’t really have the time or the energy to write. I like to write in the middle of the night when nothing else is going on. I outline my novels, but my characters often divert and force me to follow! It usually takes me about a year and a half of writing and revision on a novel, but the ideas ruminate before I begin to write.
Where do you see yourself within your career in the next five years?
I’m currently developing the Resistance Series books into a television pilot. It’s a huge undertaking and I’m learning as I go—but in five years, I’d love to have a show on the air. And a couple more books on the shelf. Aim high, right?
Do you believe that there is ever a point in life where it’s too late for an aspiring writer to become successful in this industry? Do you feel a late start would hinder their chances?
I published my first book at age 46, and I guess it depends on what you mean by successful. I hope to earn more money from my books as time goes on. Some people might think not hitting the #1 bestseller rank with a novel is failure. But living with regret, rather than trying, is true failure. Don’t be afraid to try.
What’s the first book you ever read that really touched you emotionally and moved you? What’s the first book you read that made you know that you could do this for a career?What book are you currently reading?
The Velveteen Rabbit affected me profoundly as a child. Years later when I read it aloud to my little girl, I broke down sobbing during the part where the stuffed rabbit becomes real and had to stop. I think I scared her! I still can’t read it without crying. About 20 years ago, I read an unpublished draft of Pioneer Girl, Laura Ingalls Wilder’s first attempt at fiction. It later evolved into the Little House books, which are still some of my favorites. I realized that if she could start off like that and achieve what she did, there was certainly hope for me.
So many writers say that they hate reading their own work? Do you ever just sit down and curl up with your own book?
I have a love/hate relationship—mostly because I want to keep revising. I always think my work could be better. But I have experienced falling in love with my books after they’re published. One evening my husband came home from work and said, “Hey, wanna go out for dinner?” I responded, “Sure—but hang on—I’m right in the middle of this really good book.” It was one of mine.
What are your thoughts about how the publishing industry is drastically changing? Are you more of an e-book person or a traditional book person?
As a hybrid author (meaning I self-publish my fiction and have a traditional publisher for my nonfiction) I’m glad the doors are open wider than ever before. I do believe indie authors need to hold themselves to a high standard, and that means hiring editors, getting professional cover design, etc. to make sure their books’ quality rivals those from traditional publishers. I love the feel of a book in my hand. I definitely prefer books, but I love taking several books with me on my Kindle when I travel.
Genre: YA Dystopian Adventure
Resistance Series Book 1
Who do you trust when your world unravels and everything you believed is a lie?
For the past fifteen years, The Office of Civilian Safety and Defense has guarded the public against the rampant threat of terrorism. Teenagers Tommy and Careen have never known life without Civilian Restrictions. For them, there’s no social media. No one is allowed to gather in public places or attend concerts or sporting events. Only a small, select group of adults have driving privileges, but it’s a small price to pay for safety.
Now a new, more deadly, terrorist threat looms: airborne chemical weapons that can be activated without warning. The OCSD is ready with an antidote to counteract the effects of the toxins. Three drops a day is all it takes. It’s a small price to pay for health.
The day the disaster sirens signal the dreaded attack, Tommy shares his last dose with Careen, even though doing so might hasten his death. It’s a small price to pay for a friend.Follow Tommy and Careen as they uncover a web of lies and deceit reaching to the highest levels of the United States government and join an underground resistance group that’s determined to expose the truth.
“Counteract is a novel for our times, but with a decidedly different plot twist. Most dystopian thrillers focus on the devastating consequences of the unleashed virus or poison on society, community, and the individual. They become character studies of the protagonists and antagonists.
“Tracy Lawson’s novel asks an even more disturbing question–what if the real culprit was someone or something we trusted? I thought The Hunger Games might be the Millennial generation’s version of George Orwell’s 1984. Now, I think Counteract and the Resistance Series are more primed to take that spot.”–SR Staley, author of St. Nic, Inc., and the Tortuga Bay series.
“I loved the first book in this series so much that I jumped right into the second one to continue the adventure. The Resistance Series is another great YA dystopian adventure that combines elements of thriller, romance, dystopian, and much more to create a well-rounded story that is sure to appeal to many readers – it definitely has my attention.”–TFL Reader, top 500 Amazon Reviewer
Knowledge comes with a price.
Tommy and Careen no longer believe the Office of Civilian Safety and Defense’s miracle antidote can protect them from a terrorist’s chemical weapons. After accidentally discovering the antidote’s real purpose,they’ve join the fight to undermine the OCSD’s bid for total control of the population.
Being part of the Resistance brings with it a whole new set of challenges. Not everyone working for change proves trustworthy, and plans to spark a revolution go awry with consequences far beyond anything they bargained for.
Tommy and Careen’s differing viewpoints threaten to drive a wedge between them, and their budding relationship is tested as their destinies move toward an inevitable confrontation with the forces that terrorize the nation.
Where does love fit in when you’re trying to start a revolution?
“Dystopian YA literature needs more writers like Tracy Lawson! Lawson’s lean writing style and idea-driven dialogue reminded me of the novels of Ayn Rand, particularly Anthem, but Resist is much faster paced and holds your attention from the beginning.
“Resist picks up right where the first book, Counteract, leaves off, and readers are thrown immediately into the action. I also loved the way Lawson doesn’t give her characters the easy way out–they are forced to make decisions and suffer the consequences. These are real people that anchor the story, even if the setting is not.” –SR Staley, author of St. Nic, Inc. and the Tortuga Bay series
Nationwide food shortages have sparked civil unrest, and the Office of Civilian Safety and Defense’s hold on the people is slipping. The Resistance’s efforts to hasten the OCSD’s demise have resulted in disaster, with Tommy Bailey and Careen Catecher taking the blame for the ill-fated mission in OP-439.
Both teens struggle to survive the circumstances that force them into the national spotlight—and this time, they’re on opposite sides. On the run and exiled from the Resistance members in BG-098, Tommy makes his way to a Resistance safe house in the capital.
The OCSD is preparing to monitor all under-eighteens with the Cerberean Link, a device that protects them against hunger and sickness and can even locate them if they’re lost. Tommy’s now living in close quarters with Atari, an operative who has been assigned to sabotage the Link. But does Atari plan to use it for his own purposes?
Through it all, Tommy refuses to believe Careen’s loyalties have shifted away from the Resistance, and he’s willing to assume any risk to reconnect with her. Will they be able to trust each other when it matters most?
The Explosive Conclusion to the Award-Winning Resistance Series
To Deny Freedom is to Deny the Human Spirit.
Fugitive Resistance fighter Tommy Bailey has come out of hiding to help rescue Careen Catecher from the clutches of the Office of Civilian Safety and Defense, where she’s been held and interrogated for information about the rebel group. The OCSD is poised to launch the Cerberean Link, a security device that will put all minors under constant surveillance under the guise of protecting them.
Fearful that OCSD director Madalyn Davies’s bid for control won’t stop there, the Resistance puts its own plan in motion to sabotage the Link and oust Madalyn from the directorship. Just when everything seems leveraged in the Resistance’s favor, treachery, lies, and long-held secrets threaten to derail it all.
Will even a life together on the run be impossible for Tommy and Careen? Or will the Resistance’s efforts convince the public to put their fears aside and demand freedom?
“What was our heroine Careen Catecher like BEFORE she became a firebrand for the Resistance? Well, she was just a normal teenage girl trying to survive college in the totalitarian state of Tracy Lawson’s creation.” –review by Patrick Hodges
“Careen is a believable, strong female protagonist who, having survived a harrowing terrorist attack, is now trying to survive [college] in a new ‘Quadrant’ where she can’t seem to fit in.” –review by Candace Williams
A strong heroine is made, not born.
Though Careen Catecher survived a terrorist attack when she was nine, her childhood ended on that awful day. Now, nine years later, she’s ready for her life to truly begin.
A full scholarship to a prestigious university far from her beleaguered home quadrant seems like a dream come true, but when she arrives on campus, she’s perceived as a charity case, despite grades and test scores that prove she’s the academic equal of the best students there.
Careen knows she’s tough enough to survive just about anything, but fitting in with her acquisitive peers—at least on the surface—is necessary if she’s going to leave the past behind and claim the stable future she craves.
But her past won’t stay buried. She’s only been at school for a few weeks when a cryptic message from an unlikely friend raises questions that may put her in danger all over again.
Check out this novella-length prequel to the award-winning Resistance Series, “a promising new YA series about a totalitarian America.”
About the Author: Tracy Lawson knew she wanted to be a writer from the time she could read. In the first grade, she authored sixty-seven contact-paper bound books through her school’s Young Authors program. Though that pace proved impossible to maintain, she always intended to be a real author one day.
While working toward her Bachelor’s degree in Communication at Ohio University, she studied creative writing with the late Daniel Keyes, author of Flowers for Algernon. After short stints as a media buyer and an investigative analyst, she settled into a 20-year career in the performing arts, teaching tap dancing in Columbus, Ohio, and choreographing musicals. Though her creative energies were focused on dance, she never lost her desire to write, and has a non-fiction book to her credit: Fips, Bots, Doggeries, and More, (McDonald & Woodward, 2012).
Tracy’s love for writing Young Adult fiction is sparked by all the wonderful teens in her life, including her daughter Keri, a college student. Counteract is Tracy’s first novel.
Today I welcome Elle Linder, author of the Faithful Falls series to The FlipSide to answer a few questions about life and writing. Hi Elle, tell me: where are you from?
I was born and raised in California among the dairies and orchards of the Central Valley. It was a great place to be a kid with beaches and mountains all within two hours of my home. Though I didn’t live in Southern California, I had relatives there and visited the area frequently.
What do you do to unwind and relax?
I like to jam to music while drinking wine or spend a weekend binge reading or watching a favorite TV show like Arrow or Lucifer.
Which of your novels can you imagine made into a movie?
I think my novella, Redemptive Love, would be an excellent movie! It’s a gritty, second-chance romance about inherited double-standards. Joseph and Kate are both Latinos who grew up in families where boys and girls were treated differently. They were high school sweethearts who broke up after a betrayal. Ten years later their paths cross again, and they attempt to reconnect. When ugly truths from their past are uncovered, the only way they’ll get a second chance at love is if they can forgive each other.
When did you first consider yourself a writer?
I received an honorable mention for short story that I submitted for a Writer’s Digest contest a couple years ago (2017, I think). It was a validating and proud moment for me. At that moment, I really felt like I accomplished something as a writer and that this could really go somewhere.
Faithful Falls Series
Luke Hamill: Before Faithful Falls
Semper Fi and honor above all else
Luke Hamill, staunch in his convictions, is a family man who will go to any length to preserve his marriage, even leave his beloved Marines. After his final tour of duty, his life is upended by the two people he trusted most. Now, a new course is set, one that takes him to Faithful Falls, Idaho.
In this prequel to Stay With Me, Julia, discover what drove Luke to leave all that he knows, and discover Faithful Falls. Even though the road ahead is bumpy, it leads Luke to abundant love and a strong community beyond the horizon. Meet some friendly, unique locals and get comfy in the little tourist town, where those destined to together prove love is stronger than any obstacles life throws their way.
Her task is simple: run the lakeside resort in her aunt’s absence and return to her life in Los Angeles.
Easy. Or maybe not.
Ruggedly handsome Luke Hamill—Brook Trout Resort’s grounds manager—instantly piques her interest. A former Marine and divorced father of two, Luke introduces Julia to small town living and a passionate love like she’s never known. The mountain man is the total package: tender, strong, sexy, and honorable. He could be everything Julia wants… except for his problematic and meddling ex-wife.
Julia is smart, sensible, and irresistible, and she immediately captures Luke’s heart with her playful tenderness and saucy independence. Now he can’t imagine his life without her.
As Julia’s departure nears, Luke’s mission is clear: show her their love can conquer anything life throws their way.
Can Julia embrace her feelings for Luke, and will they be enough to keep her in Faithful Falls? Or will the challenges of a blended family make her abandon it all and head back to Southern California?
Stay With Me, Julia, is the first book in the Faithful Falls series, where those destined to be together prove love is stronger than the obstacles threatening to tear them apart.
Lauren, a fiercely independent woman, is afraid to commit. Still, she secretly desires to fall in love.
Could it be that simple?
Enter Rick, ex-Marine and single dad, who is looking for a fresh start in Faithful Falls. He has big plans to open a brewery, and no time for love. When he crosses paths with Lauren, her formidable lure is irritating yet irresistible, and sparks fly.
Unexpectedly, Lauren is rattled when her past collides with her present, exposing her fears and insecurities. Once the truth is revealed, it may destroy Rick’s plans, her dreams, and their future.
Can they find the courage to face down Lauren’s demons together and ignite the fire and passion that leads them to their HEA?
Love Me, Lauren is the second book in the Faithful Falls series. Reconnect with Luke and Julia and the quirky characters of this little Idaho tourist town.
About the Author:Elle lives in NW Minnesota (or the Frozen Tundra, as she likes to call it) with her family. She has lived in all four corners of the U.S., and as a native California country girl, her heart yearns for the Pacific Coast. The One That Matters is Elle’s first novel.
Elle is currently wrapping up several novels in the Faithful Falls series, which include:
To find out more about Elle’s published books, future books, biography, and other information, visit her website and be sure to sign up for her newsletter while your there to stay up to date on her book releases and to participate in special promotions and giveaways.