Author: dawbor

  Here is a piece I wrote as a Guest Blog spot about writing a ‘Kick-Ass Female Lead’ and how it can be challenging.


I believe a ‘Kick-ass Heroine’ should be smart and spunky, able to take care of herself but with a bit of a vulnerable side.

Holding a doctorate in scientific engineering Valesque Rhaugh is not the violent type, she believes in the sanctity of life and will do everything in her power to protect the innocent crew of her commandeered vessel.

Not that she can’t take care of herself when the need arises, as a Virrilian she possesses not only four sharp fangs, claw-like nails and a virtually indestructible body but also an exceptional ability she calls ‘hunting mode’, where her warm brown eyes turn a bright silver as they film over and her senses elevate, enabling her to see her ‘prey’s’ circulatory and nervous systems, even in pitch dark, and vastly improving her physical prowess.

Although she has not had much need for this natural ability as a scientist, and has in fact avoided using it ever since she was exiled from her home planet, as her unwanted adventure continues she is forced to use it more and more; to evade alien scavengers, escape captivity, track potential enemies, gain temporary employment as a ‘lie detector’ and to protect herself from the dark forces that threaten our world.

All ‘Kick-ass’ women have the same challenge; interpersonal relationships. Strong women can tend to be loners, preferring to go it alone and do it ‘their way’. Valesque is no different, she had been on her own for a number of years, after being wrongfully accused and put on the most wanted list of her home planet, she moved from place to place, working on engineering jobs, some of which she found ethically challenging, but a necessity for making a living.

When her, under-construction, science ship is stolen, with her onboard, she is reluctantly befriended by a young, genius, science officer and an extremely flirty ex-police pilot. These two people did not have much knowledge of Virrilians, as they lived in IPA space which has been at war with Virrilia for longer than any of them had been alive, and thus were extremely surprised at how much her small frame could take. From having fallen over twenty stories with hardly a thought to being barely singed by laser fire, her natural abilities continue to surprise them.

The first time they saw her in hunting mode they were taken aback by her unusually fierce appearance, with her glowing eyes and exposed fangs as she breathed heavily and growled at them in her heightened form. As time goes on they are still wary of the sight of her in that state, never sure which is more in control, the scientist they know and love or the beast that surfaces and grins at them with that cunning, blood-red smile.

Writing a strong female lead can be challenging, you always have to keep a balance of good (sweet) and evil (spunky) in her thoughts and behavior, and in others perceptions of her. Although Valesque is not a ‘hard as nails’, violent or gruff kind of person, she is strong willed, sturdy, a bit scary and aloof. Keeping her true to herself in many different situations, and especially while people she in not sure about want to keep getting closer, is something that takes a lot of planing out, so that we can see her development along the series of books things have to be paced evenly over the course of the story. Writing a ‘Kick-Ass Heroine’ is a challenge and even more so when she is the star of a series, but they are so much fun! Who doesn’t like a cool, talented, self-sufficient, spunky gal?


Check out my Space Trippers SciFi/Fantasy SciFan series to learn more about Valesque and the rest of her would be friends.

You can read FREE pages below or go to ‘Al’s Books’ for more info. Or look it up on your favorite Ebook Retailer!!




h2  After a long absence from illness I am back! Whooohooo! And I have a new ‘About the Book’ Interview with SciFi Author Jim Kooo ….. I am not going to try pronouncing that.

Jim has written a YA SciFi about a city that benefits from the use of drones….or does it?


First off tell us a little something about your main character.

She is a teenager who wants to explore and leave home but society makes it difficult to travel. She has a strong bond with her father while having an endless supply of questions about the mother she barely knew. Unlike most people, she distrusts the use of drones which most people feel have made their lives safer. She questions everything which tends to make her unpopular with school and friends.


Interesting concept, please share a few favorite lines or one paragraph.

Big mistake. Its circuits fired and it spiraled limply to the ground. Its legs kicked a few times and then its eye went dark. Two enemies down in as many seconds. There was hope for me yet. I looked over at the limp form of the officer.

“Why doesn’t your drone,” I pointed to the half man/machine floating silently, “pick up your partner? He could be dead if he doesn’t get any medical attention,” I said. The smaller officer glared at me but it took his attention away from the useless radio.

“Drones have to be given direction. They can’t think on their own,” he answered defensively.

“Well, your hawk just thought on its own.” I indicated the smoking circuits on the ground. One of its feet stirred slightly.

“They have some artificial intelligence, with an innate response to investigate questionable activities.”

“Curiosity got it killed,” I replied sarcastically.


How long did it take you to write this book?

A couple of years and another year to find a publisher. It’s hard to stay motivated to keep writing when you are not sure if the finished product is going to get published. I envy well established authors who know they have a market and readers waiting for their next book.


Yes, I think we writers all envy that. Tell us, how did you come up with the title for this book?

I had many titles – Eyes from Within, Obverser (watching those that watch us), Empire of Dirt – I was trying to convey a sense of menace with a place that was isolated. Nothing seem to resonate with friends until I realized that unless I named the main enemy in the title, I wasn’t capturing the essence of the story. It also allowed me to use a title that I could reuse in a series.

Ah, yes I think we all struggle with picking the prefect title. And this is the start of a series? Cool! It is always fun to learn about the creative processes that go into a work, tell us about your cover art and how it pertains to your story.

I wanted an image showing the threat of drone technology. The city could be anywhere but the number of drones should illustrate their menace. The main character has her back to us to represent that it could be anyone facing the drones.


It is easy to put yourself in the character’s shoes in that cover. Now the tricky question: Of all the books out there, why should readers choose this one?

Drones are very topical and many of us are both excited and scared about their use. The book explores a world where they are common place and provides a mystery of who controls them. It’s about showing a what if scenario that sci-fi readers will enjoy.


That is true, drones are a very controversial topic, and so very ‘SciFi’ too! Would you say then that there an underlying theme in your book?

Are Drones ultimately good or evil for society?

Drones represent the most transformative military innovation since the atomic bomb. Today drones are part of our lives from the military to enforcement to entertainment. Their use has permeated our society; you can buy them at a toy store or companies talk about using them as couriers. You can see they everywhere and not just spying into your window, but everywhere we live, eat, shop, and they exist in many different forms.

In my novel, Drone World, it looks at a city where drone technology is common place. Today drones are part of our lives from the military to enforcement to entertainment. Not just outside our windows – they are everywhere we live, eat, shop and the many forms they take.

But are we going too far with their use? The novel “1984” explored a world where Big Brother watched our every move. Isn’t drone technology taking us in the same direction? Or besides government watching our every move, will the drones allow any of your neighbours to spy on us? With cell phone and drone camera technology, is there any corner of our world where the events of our world are not recorded? Has that made our home safer or are we more fearful because no secrets are safe?

On the other hand, isn’t the world a safer place with their use? Drone have made it easier to attack terrorists without the loss of life of our soldiers. They can fly places that no human could go. They can record activities that we would never knew about in the past. Only guilty parties should fear the recording of their crimes. Isn’t losing some of our privacy worth the price of a safer world?


And there lies the dilemma, right? This book will definitely touch on some hot topics and ongoing controversy regarding drone usage. Thank you very much for joining us today and telling us a bit about your book. And how cool that one of your other books will be made into an animated Tv show!! WOW!! I wish I could do that with my Space Trippers series, how awesome would that be?

For those that had their curiosity piqued here are the links and Author Bio for today’s guest Author!

Now, go out and buy his book! And we will know if you did ….. we are always watching…..


Author Links –

Website |
Goodreads |

Author Bio:
Jim Kochanoff’s specialty is action/adventure, putting the reader into adrenaline driven stories. His first novel “Men of Extreme Action” is based on the action movie industry and is signed with Toonz Animation of India to be produced as an animated television pilot.

He is the former production manager of the animated children series, “The Hippo Tub Co.” airing on the CBC and created by Canadian musician Anne Murray

He is the Chairman of the Nova Scotia SPCA and uses the proceeds from his children’s book towards this worthy charity. He is Chartered Professional Accountant (CMA) and works for the Nova Scotia Department of Health and Wellness. He has a beautiful wife, Avai, an entertaining daughter named Jaya, and an extremely fast doberman named Lola

h2  Why no new posts lately?


I have been down sick with a really bad cold since the end of November so I have not been up to posting anything new. I am hoping this thing goes away soon so I can get back to the Friday posting schedule.I still have a lot of sinus pressure and a stopped up ear that are making life miserable.


I have been helping get a new genre specific Writers’ Guild up and running too. It should be able to go live Jan 1 at the latest. Our programmer still has a few bits to work out. But we have a Guild store live on Zazzle: Guild_Gear. It has SciFan logos merchandise and some art by our working partner who designed all the SciFan logos and is making the items for the shop.

The Guild site is and we are also on Twitter and Instagram! (we are on other social media sites too but the links aren’t up on the site yet.)

If you are a Science Fantasy writer follow us for updates about opening day when you can join the guild and get listed for fellow authors and readers to find you.

If you are a reader watch our feeds (links at the guild website) as we will be featuring authors and letting you know what kinds of stories our writers are putting out!

Till then, stay well everybody! Not. Like. Me. Blahhhhhh.



h2  Please Welcome Author R J Francis!


R J is a fellow member of SciFan Society! So that makes this a very special Author! *wink*


AL- Tell us a bit  about your book’s characters.



RJ- “The Orphan’s Secret” has four main characters. In that regard, it’s more of a “Breakfast Club” or “Goonies” (oops, I’m dating myself). If you make me choose one over the others I will resist…

Prince Jaimin is a sometimes melancholy, disaffected seventeen year old. He’s amazingly handsome and in fine physical shape, with longish curly dark hair. He’s fond of archery, collecting gems, the colors blue and green, and spending entire days in the Arran forest with his best friend Nastasha.

Nastasha is an elegant seventeen-year-old beauty, with impossibly long light blonde hair that her servants tie up in all manner of fancy braids. The daughter of a general, Nastasha has plenty of social connections, but she is a complete geek at heart. She’s infatuated with learning (and Jaimin). One of her hobbies is potion-making, for which her circle of friends serves reluctantly, and yet time and again, as her test subjects.

Elaina is another girl genius, this time a farmer, slightly older and taller than Jaimin and Nastasha. An expert mechanic and a gourmet chef, Elaina crafts the finest artisan dairy products in the kingdom in a factory she built herself. She is muscular from all her farm work. She has an exotic beauty about her—especially her eyes—and she’s captured the hearts of all the boys at the market. Although she will have none of them. She’s too busy.

Alessa, a lovely woman approaching her mid-thirties, is Elaina’s private tutor. She is unmarried and lives alone in a comfortable house in the woods. She avoids the city, as she hates crowds. She’s tough, streetwise, and sarcastic, which you wouldn’t expect from a loner like her. But she wasn’t always a loner…

All of these characters have many more secrets you will uncover as the story unfolds.



AL- Wow, nice, you make them all sound so enticing. Natasha sounds like she could be a Rapunzel. Goonies….. I am not saying a word….we might be the same age….shhhhhhh. *quickly changing subject*  What is your favorite personality trait of your main character?



RJ- For main character I would pick Elaina, and I would pick her innocence as my favorite personality trait. Elaina has never, and could never, tell a lie. She cannot be sarcastic, and she would not manipulate anyone. She is as straightforward and honest as a person can be. Sometimes this comes across as naïveté, but in this story, it’s power.



AL-  Ok, so I  am inviting your main character to dinner. What should I make?



RJ-You would be better off giving up and having Elaina cook for you. She’s a master chef, after all, and when she sees your amazing kitchen she’s going to be so curious she will probably kick you out to the living room while she prepares your feast.



AL- Fine by me, I like to be fed with no work involved. No mushrooms, please. While we wait for dinner, please share a few favorite lines or one paragraph.




Nastasha wore a low-cut blue velvet gown with white lace trim and detailed white embroidery. Her earrings were elliptical diamonds in settings of white gold, from which strands of miniscule diamonds dangled, giving the impression of snow falling from a cloud. Her rope necklace of white gold matched her eight woven-gold armlets, four on each arm.

That’s perfect,” Nastasha said of Elaina’s outfit. “What do you think?”

It’s lovely,” Elaina said. “I’ve never worn a dress before.”

Keep it. All of it. Take it home with you.”

Elaina tried to object, but Nastasha insisted, saying she had so many nice things, and that these were perfect for Elaina. “We were created with great beauty,” Nastasha said. “We must strive to look our best at all times. It’s a gift we give to others.”



AL- Authors all work at a different pace, tell us, how long did it take you to write this book?



RJ – Eight years



AL- Wow, that is an act of love right there. I bet you got very familiar with your characters in those years.Tell us about your cover art and how it pertains to your story.



RJ- Elaina, as she learns the truth about who she is and what her destiny is, has many reasons to stare out at the sea and reflect on things. The cover image portrays that scene and mood perfectly. It’s not even a scene from the book, but you know it happened. The color purple has significance as well, but I can’t get into that much here. You’ll just have to read.



AL- Oh, now that has got us all intrigued. Besides your mysterious answers, why do you think readers choose this book to read?



RJ- My book stands out because it’s not trying to fit into a genre, or meet anyone’s expectations. It is what it is. I’m not a big reader of fiction; so you can be certain this novel is reflecting more my keen observations of the world than things I have read in other works.

I am, however, a grammar geek and lover of language as an art form. I’ve been told that my detailed descriptions set “The Orphan’s Secret” apart—especially descriptions of the characters, down to how their skin smells after a kiss, the subtle changes in their heart’s motion when something bothers them, and how their earrings are put together. And the rest of their clothing, their fancy multi-course meals, and their environment are all delicately and carefully described. Through immersive, realistic dialogue, and scene after scene with the same cast, we get to really know, like, and remember the characters. The plot moves along, but it doesn’t overpower the details. And I don’t pull punches in describing blood, death, or the horrors of war.

Another aspect of the book which I believe is different is that it introduces a new cosmology or religion of sorts. It also is liberally sprinkled with science, technology and critical inquiry for the students and the geeks in all of us.



AL- Sounds like you put a lot of love into your book. Is there an underlying theme in your book?



RJ- We cannot hide. In fact, we are most powerful when all our defenses fall and our thoughts are laid bare. This is because when we are most honest with ourselves and others we are closest to the will of the divine spirit. And in the divine spirit’s will is true power.


Throughout the Principality series there is an underlying theme of social action and working toward the greater good. This is also a key theme of the series’ web site,, where Principality fans can become part of a magical race of “islanders” and do actual good works for the world, earning ranks on the web site as they following a path of enlightenment. (Trust me, this ties in with the novel).



AL- Thank you for that delightful introduction to your book and characters. I am sure readers have their curiosity aroused by your descriptions.

If you want read the book or find out more about R J Francis check out the links below



Amazon link to purchase “The Orphan’s Secret”:

Available on Kindle and in paperback.

Official Web site: (join us and do actual good works for the world!)





And check out a free mini-story about Elaina when she was three years old: It’s cute but intense.

h2  Today let’s Welcome a fellow SciFi, SciFan Author Safa Shaqsy!

She is also a fellow member of the SciFan writers Society on Facebook.



AL- First off, Safa, what was the inspiration behind this story?


SS- I had the inspiration for my book Alien Busters from science fiction movies and animations that talks about the relationship of humans with aliens. My book was planned to be a four chapters novelette to give it to my subscribers through my website. But it turned out to be very interesting and I enjoyed writing it, and still am.


AL- A short story turned full novel. I think we have all done that. Think we are writing a quick story and it becomes something more. Tell us about your main character.

SS- My main character is Nathalie, AKA Nat. She is a very strong female protagonist who fights aliens as her day job, just like her parents did when they were alive. But she has a soft heart when it comes to little creatures, such as baby aliens. Because in her mission she finds this baby alien and refuse to kill it, so she takes it home and start taking care of it as her alien pet.


AL- The description kind of reminds me of Men In Black, and that baby birth scene. Tell us which is your favorite minor character and why.

SS-  I like doctor Suzanne, because she seems to care about Nathalie and her case. And she offers her help anytime she gets in trouble, or if she has a question in mind.

AL- So what would you say is your favorite personality trait of your main character?

SS- She is very confident with her decisions and she knows what she is doing all the time. She still does what she thinks is right, even though the whole city is against her.


Al- Sounds like she is a strong-willed, morally confidant woman.  What would you say is your favorite personality trait of your bad guy or girl?


SS- One thing I noticed in my novels that I don’t completely create 100 percent a bad person or an antagonist. Everyone is good and bad at the same time. Good people can do bad things
sometimes, and bad people can seem bad, but they have good intentions. So it was very
hard for me to kill anyone in my novels.


AL- So they could go either way at any time. I don’t like killing off characters in my books either. I like things to stay a bit more upbeat. Tell us something funny about one of your characters.


SS-  My characters tend to mock and act in a sarcastic way even in bad situations.

AL- Sounds like a fun bunch. Let’s say one of your characters is going on a shopping spree. Where does they go and what do they buy?

SS- Nathalie will buy something dark of course. As for Kraig he is dark skinned and loves wearing leather jackets, even when it’s hot outside. Anderson would probably wear a sports outfit or a large dark T-shirt and trousers.


AL- I am sensing a gothish theme in their wardrobe here. What is one of your favorite lines or paragraphs from your book?

SS- I like the phrase Nathalie’s dad used to say in his speeches about aliens, which is “If you only believed”.


AL- How long did it take you to write this book?

SS- First part was supposed to be a novelette about 43 kindle pages (4 chapters), but now I’m writing more of it, and hopefully will publish 250 pages paperback books!

AL- That really did take off into a full story didn’t it! If your book was made into a movie, who would you like to play the lead characters?



SS- I don’t want any known actor/actress in my movie. I’d definitely choose someone new in the field. Because my characters have to be raw and not have the glamour of the popularity.
AL- Well I am sure the newcomers would appreciate your view. How did you come up with the title?

SS-  Nathalie, Kraig and Andie work as Alien Busters, so the title was it.

AL- Sometimes the titles are easy to come by, aren’t they? Other times coming up with one is a work of art in itself. Speaking of art tell us about your cover art and how it pertains to your story.

SS- The first blue cover I had for this story was a guy dressed in a mission suit in space, but I changed the cover to a female who wears a mission suit that represents Nathalie.

AL- So the big question; Of all the books out there, why should readers choose this one?

SS-  I think I represent alien and human friendship in a new way.

AL- They say fiction can often provide powerful life lessons. What message do you hope readers get from your book?

SS-  All the books I wrote can contain many messages and the most important ones were; support, love, friendship, uniqueness and humanity.



Thank you for visiting the blog today and telling us about your book, Safa.

If you want to learn more about Safa and the worlds she creates visit the links below.



h2  Interview with Chad Descoteaux


Please welcome to the blog, SciFan Author Chad Descoteaux.

His is a fellow member of the SciFan Society movement on Facebook as well as a friend on Instagram.

I see a lot of your….more interesting posts, Chad. Especially the ones with the Alien reading the paper. Tell us something about your book, what was the inspiration behind this story?


CD- My disdain for “news” outlets that are slanted one way or the other politically and my love for both 1950’s sci-fi movies and Weekly World News.


AL- You can’t beat the ’50s for campy Scifi, those are some fun movies to watch. So, tell us about your main character.


CD- Barry Young is a photographer for ‘Vicarious’ magazine. He makes a living going around getting pictures of popular celebrities. But he is also dealing with a bad break-up that happened a few months prior. This is the reason he is working at a trashy tabloid instead of the reputable newspaper he worked at previously with his now-ex.


AL- Which is your favorite minor character and why?


CD- Harry Squatch, a seven-foot-tall, fur-covered husband and father of one, who is passionate about helping others where he can. He struggles to balance that determination with keeping his family safe.


AL- I know tabloids like to run Sasquatch stories, I didn’t know they wrote them too. Back to your main character, what is your favorite personality trait of Barry?


CD- How witty and clever he is, using humor and whatever is around him to get out of potentially awkward situations.


AL- Now, what is your favorite personality trait of your baddie?


CD- Agent Kromwell is very focused and no-nonsense. This is a quality that would benefit Barry sometimes, but Kromwell, of course, uses it for evil.


AL- A no-nonsense villain, you have to appreciate that sometimes. Less soliloquies, more focus. Your story sounds like it has quite a bit of humor. How about you tell us something funny about one of your characters.


CD- Eddie Schultz, the editor of Tattler magazine, wears very 70’s-looking polyester suits and hangs out with a cyborg made from the cloned body of Abraham Lincoln. Zombie Abe is his muscle.


AL- A cyborg, zombie clone of Abe Lincoln. You don’t hear about one of those every day. Let’s say one of your characters is going on a shopping spree. Where do they go and what do they buy?


CD- Jessica Hashbury, the secretary at The Tattler magazine, would go to Hot Topic, Torrid or even Spencer’s and go clothes shopping. Her personal sense of style is very alt-rock/Goth.


AL- Oh, cool. I am not goth but I do tend to visit at least two of those stores to peruse their clothing and jewelry/accessories. Now let’s go to another store, your character is at a bookstore. Which section is he shopping in? What book is in his hand right now?


CD- Barry would buy books about photography because that is something that he is passionate about. It’s how he sees the world and how he deals with disappointments as well.


AL- Barry must have a very artsy take on life. How about music? Your character has the music blasting. What’s playing, and what is he doing while listening?


CD- Barry would be listening to Elvis while cooking.


AL- Does he do ‘shake-n-bake’ to ‘I’m all shook up’? Speaking of cooking,I’m inviting your main character to dinner. What should I make?


CD- Fried chicken. His family is from the South on his dad’s side.


AL- Fried Chicken, coleslaw, beans and biscuits. I was raised in the South. Where most people go for vacations. If your main character is planning a vacation, where is he going?


CD- Barry would be going into the mountains to take pictures of all the beautiful scenery.


AL- Mountain views are gorgeous, especially with a light foggy haze. I think that is when you tend to run into more Sasquatch though. Here is a fun question for writers: Were you surprised by the behavior of any of your characters or the direction of your plot at any point while writing?


CD- I must admit that Barry became more likeable through the course of the writing, despite the odd quirks that I gave him to make him funny.


AL- It is always good to have a likeable MC. Please share a few of your favorite lines or a paragraph from your book.



This endless parade of famous people would have been quite a pay day for Barry Young if he still had any desire to work for Vicarious magazine. But he had moved on with his life. He had gotten back the journalistic integrity that he once had when working for the Daily Chronicle. And the fact that few people believed what they read in The Tattler made no difference to him. He was working for a newspaper that told people things that needed to be said, things they needed to know…not which celebrity was having a wedding, baby, divorce, affair, tattoo, new haircut, body piercing, hot fling, mental breakdown, stint at rehab, sex change, boob job, nose job, rectal exam or coming out of the closet.


AL- How long did it take you to write this book?


CD- A few months.


AL- Wow, you are a fast writer. I bet my readers wish I was a fast writer, or even moderately paced. But they do say I write my books like a script and movies take a while to produce, right?  If your book was made into a movie, who would you like to play the lead characters?


CD- Joseph-Gordon Levitt as Barry. Kerri Washington as Nikki. William H. Macy as Eddie Schultz. Tommy Lee Jones as Agent Kromwell.


AL- That is quite a line-up. Be honest, you already had all of those written down, didn’t you? How did you come up with the title of your story?


CD- The story centers around Barry finding purpose in his life when he works for the only magazine on the planet that reports on things that government officials want to cover up (aliens, Big Foot, Elvis is alive etc.) with no political slant. That magazine is called The Tattler. It’s kind of like Weekly World News, except all that crazy stuff is true.


AL- Sounds like one of the ‘rags’ the Men In Black would read as daily news. How about your cover art? How does it pertains to your story?


CD- I like doing cover art that says something about the story in a sort of abstract way, not necessary depicting a specific scene from the book. The alien reading a newspaper is perfect for a story about a journalist exposing an alien invasion.


AL- True, and it gives that campy 50’s feel. Ok. so the big question: Of all the books out there, why should readers choose this one?


CD- I think readers will really relate to these two main characters (Barry and Nikki) working their relationship problems out during the course of this fun, sci-fi alien invasion plot.


AL- So besides the relationship mending, is there an underlying theme in your book? If so, tell us about it and why it’s important to you.


CD- I do kind of goof on how every news outlet has to have a political slant these days, to the point where even comedic news shows seem to be more insightful than the regular news.


AL- Don’t be dissin’ my Daily Show, Chad. That is real, insightful news right there…. and the only news program I will watch. They say fiction can often provide powerful life lessons. What message do you hope readers get from your book?


CD- Question everything. Until you find the truth. Don’t be one of those cynical people who asks questions just to argue, but don’t swallow everything you’re fed by mainstream media either.


AL- The Truth is out there, Mulder fans, and it is in the Tattler. Thank you so much for coming on the blog today. SciFi, SciFan and 50’s giant nuclear ant fans are clamoring to read your book now, I am sure.


The Tattler is now available for the Amazon Kindle.

…and will be price-dropped to 99 cents during the entire month of November. Check out for more information.

h2 Please welcome YA romance Author, Audrey Rich.


AL- First off Audrey, what was your inspiration to write, and specifically what was the inspiration behind this story?


AR- Funny thing about this story is that I never thought of even writing until 2011. One night, too wired to sleep, I decided to surf the net, but instead I opened up Word. My fingers flew across the keyboard without any real thought except for the story evolving in front of my eyes. I stayed up all night and the next morning there were thirty pages. My husband read the first six pages and pronounced that it flowed so I continued to write until I finished it.


AL- That is interesting, you were a real spur of the moment born writer. Usually when I get the itch to write it is because the main character has appeared to me and I have to get to know their story. Tell us a little about your main character.


AR- Thalía Reynari doesn’t like rocking the boat, so she always follows her parent’s rules, does well in school, plays the violin, and is super nice to everyone. She can’t even be rude to the guy who keeps chasing her, even though her BFF, Maria Santiago, smacked him twice in middle school. Everything changes when Christopher Mark swims into her life: Thalía ignores her parent’s rules as she begins dating this forbidden young man.


AL- Ah, a bit of a goody-two-toes rebel. If you had to pick, which would be your favorite minor character and why?


AR- Maria Santiago, Thalía’s BFF, happens to be my favorite minor character because she’s a spitfire: a petite junior high schooler who can jump as high as six foot volleyball players. I love how Maria is so versatile: she plays the guitar, she’s a star soccer player, is really smart. She also knows that she wants to be a nurse and she puts in the effort needed to get her there, including being dual enrolled. Her book will probably be my third book but that might change after NaNoWriMo.


AL- How about the bad guy? What is your favorite personality trait of your bad guy?


AR- Dave Martin, aka the antagonist, is a rich hottie that most girls want to date. I love how persistent he is: he won’t stop until he obtains what he wants.


AL -One of your characters is going on a shopping spree. Where does she go and what does she buy?


AR- If it’s time for a shopping spree then Sabrina is there. She’ll hit the exclusive stores on Worth Avenue on the Island of Palm Beach. Since her parents are well off she can spend their money without thinking twice, so she’ll buy two shopping bag worth of shoes.


AL- Ok, now your main character is at a bookstore. Which section is she shopping in? What book is in her hand right now?


AR- Thalía loves the classics so she’s in that section, probably holding Jane Austen’s Pride and Prejudice.


AL- Well, if she is a Jane Austen girl, we are new best friends. I’m inviting your main character to dinner to discuss classic tales and get her thoughts on Evelina. What should I make?


AR- Thalía loves Italian food, so maybe prepare some lasagna or baked ziti, garlic bread, and Tiramisu for desert.


AL- I know that sometimes our characters can get away from us, were you surprised by the behavior of any of your characters or the direction of your plot at any point while writing?


AR- Yes, when I first wrote Masquerading Our Love Maria Santiago’s love interest was supposed to be Frank Torres. Unfortunately their banter became more like that of siblings, no real chemistry. Somewhere in the middle of the story Frank’s relationship with Carol takes shape and Maria ends up with no guy and perfectly happy. By the time I began writing Trina’s book it’s revealed that Maria never wanted to date because of a secret, unrequited love. Her heart belongs to the teenager who rejected her when she was twelve.


AL- You tried to match her up but she had other ideas. I am sure that was a nice surprise she had for you. How long did it take you to write this book?


AR- It only took me three months; however it took another 4.5 years between rewrites, beta readers, critique partners, and my editor. There were so many countless hours of editing to achieve the version now on paperback.


AL- Oh, don’t get me started on editing. No really, don’t get me started I am still in writing mode with my WIP. How about you tell us about your cover art and how it pertains to your story.


AR- My cover designer chose it and it’s just perfect. It shows Thalía and Christopher Mark on the beach holding only their pinkies, facing the opposite direction. They’re together but they’re “hiding” it from everyone else.


AL- Well, thank you for stopping by and sharing the story behind your stories with us. They sound like real sweet love stories. I am sure there are lots of readers that just added you to their To-Be-Read list.

If you want to find Audrey Rich on the web go to these links-

Amazon Author Page

If you want to find her book, click here-



Book Genre: Non-Fiction, Nature, Art, Animals
Publisher: Falling Leave Press
Release Date: August 25, 2016
Buy Link(s): (to receive discount)50% off the retail of $25.00 for the run of the tour.

On Amazon:

Wholesale Orders:
Available through Ingram
Or through Nature Inspired Anthologies (inquire)

Book Description:
Nature Inspired: Animal Edition offers you the opportunity to see animals both big and small through the eyes of different artists. With more than sixty works in this full color edition, it is a treasure trove of touching, charming and curious images.

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Book Genre: Romance Suspense
Publisher: Books to Go Now
Release Date: 20th September 2016
Buy Link(s): Amazon

Book Description:

In A Stranger in France readers are taken on a fast paced, modern day romantic journey, that spans between the city of London, the glitz and glam of France, and the beautiful English coast in a gripping romantic story, between two complete strangers with enough suspense to keep you on the edge of your seat turning pages.

When career driven and successful 32 year old London born Kate Brown faces hard times in her marriage, she confides in her best friend Tanya Adams in Marseille southern France. Kate makes a bold move and spends two weeks in Marseille away from her husband in London. Her path crosses with tall, dark, devilishly handsome and wealthy Nicholas D’Coix. An immigrant to France from the Ivory Coast west Africa as a young boy, who turned himself around and built up an empire of wealth as a hustler and money maker, and now one of Paris’ top three entrepreneurs. In a whirlwind of sexy, lustful romance Nicholas and Kate fall in love, Kate returns to London to a few surprises of her own and still very much in love with Nicholas as she makes yet another bold move. Touching on real life issues these two strong characters battle it out against all the odds in the name of love, across the UK and France.


Author Bio:

Kim is 33, from London in the UK. She’s a qualified teacher and mother to a beautiful toddler. As a reader she’s head over heels in love with romance, historical fiction, crime fiction, African- American, suspense and thriller genre books.  After submitting three chapters of a romance /suspense novel she was writing to a USA based publisher in 2016, she scored her first publishing contact. Kim’s second novella will be released Christmas 2016. When she’s not reading or writing novels of her own,  her other passions include practising  her French, fashion and spending time at her sewing machine dress making,  watching make –up and beauty  tutorials on YouTube, letter writing and being a mum.



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Nicholas guides me to the side of
the bar, to the back and unexpectedly we reach a lift, we step in and
he presses P on the lift buttons. Alone in the lift I face him dead
on, I can’t help myself, his scent, and presence it’s doing
things to me and awaking parts of me that have been dead for so long
since Danny and I hit our rough patch.
I grab his tie pull him towards me
and kiss him with passion . He’s stunned and taken back I can tell;
his hands are full with a champagne glass in one and a bucket with
iced champagne in the other, he’s unable to touch me or push me
away. By the way he’s kissing me so passionately in return I doubt
very much we wants our passionate kissing to stop.
We reach our destination and I
release him, leaving lipstick stain on his lips I playfully remove it
with a finger, and step out the lift in front of him swaying my hips.
I half turn around to face him, Nicholas is still standing in
the same spot I left him with his champagne glass, ice bucket and a
huge wide grin on his face. Damn he looks so good. “What are you
waiting for Mr D’Croix?’’ I turn and say over my shoulder in a
seductive way, he laughs. “You took me by surprise Ms. Kate.

h2  Please welcome Rachael Eliker, Author of Midnight Slaves


For all of you YA distopian fans we have Rachael here to tell us about Book 1 in her New Haven Trilogy!

AL- First off, we all know a good villain can make a story great. Tell us your favorite personality trait of your bad guy?


R- One of my favorite characters to write in this first book was The Night Watchman. He’s mysterious, courteous yet venomous and tricky as a snake. He’s definitely one of those people you love to hate.


AL- A mysterious, courteous bad guy can get us all in knots, that’s for sure. How about your other characters? If one of them was going on a shopping spree, what would they buy?


R- Delphine is Jude’s younger sister and at the beginning of The Midnight Slaves, she’s pretty shallow and self-absorbed, so she’d happily spend hours at the mall buying all kinds of fancy, sparkly things for herself. By the end of the book, she’s grown and experienced enough that she would probably reconsider shopping sprees.


AL- I don’t know if I could pass up a shopping spree, well, if it was free anyway. Do you have any favorite lines or pieces of your book you would like to share?


R- Here’s one of my favorite clips from the book, that showcases what a tormented life could do to someone, in this case, Knox, who’s Zoe’s older brother. It’s brief, but it poignant:

Knox turned around and squarely faced his sister. His eyes were eerily dark and distant and his lips curled into a malicious sneer. “Who said I cared whether or not I’m any better than them?”


AL- Oooh, that is intense. It is amazing how something so short can give such an in depth view of a character, isn’t it? How long did it take you to write this book?


R- Like many of my books, this one has been playing out in my head for a long time. I often find myself daydreaming about favorite characters and working out plot details while doing otherwise menial chores. From start to finish, this book took about a year to complete, which isn’t too bad considering I’m also busy with a husband and four young children, in the middle of fixing up a monstrously large house and running a modest hobby farm, among other things.


AL-Wow, you sure keep busy. I must admit a hobby farm sounds like fun, especially if there are animals to cuddle. And I agree, I get my best ideas while daydreaming during boring house chores! While we are daydreaming have you ever thought of what actors or actresses you would want to play your characters if they were ever brought to the big screen?


R- It’s usually difficult for me to imagine what actor/actress would suit one of my characters because when I write them and they develop their personalities in my mind, they really are their own people, even if they are only imaginary. I don’t write thinking, “Ryan Reynolds would be really good at playing my character, ______.” However, with this book, there was someone who influenced Zoe, the mysterious girl Jude comes across late at night. Remember the Afghan girl with the green eyes who captivated the world on the cover of the June 1985 National Geographic cover? Her expression, body language, and looks very much embodied Zoe.


However, if Ryan Reynolds ever played a character in one of my books-turned-movies, I wouldn’t have any complaints.


AL- You and me both. I often thought his carefree, flirty ways would suit my Tim character very well. Him or Chris Pratt would make me happy! It is amazing how writers can take an image or a brief encounter and build a whole vivid persona, isn’t it? Tell us, what do you think makes your book stand out from all the others readers could buy?


R- I’m not under the illusion that everyone will love my books, but I do think this is one that appeals to a wide audience. It has action, suspense, romance, conflict and some great characters who really bring a lot to the story. One of my favorite elements of the story is that it was written without the gore, vulgarity, crudeness, etc so many other books employ to shock their readers. I feel like the story is strong enough to stand without anything that would offend a wide variety of audiences.


AL- It is a testament of a good story that you can strip it down to the bare essentials, without unnecessary ‘adulting’ and it can still hold a reader and entertain just as well as one peppered with ‘colorful adjectives’ and ‘mature content’. All you really need is a good story. And sometimes fiction can teach valuable lessons. Do you think your book has any life messages?


R- That’s one of the things I love about fiction—that if done right, it can be its own parable that teaches valuable lessons without being too “preachy.” In The Midnight Slaves, the main theme is being brave enough to do what’s right, even if you have to stand up against people who you highly respect. There are several other minor themes within the book, but I’ll let readers decipher those for themselves.


AL- Nice, inspirational message. It reminds me of the one I used to have written down, ‘To be brave enough to be crazy’. Having it as the moto on my checking account checks was probably a bad idea in retrospect though…..

It was a pleasure talking with you on the blog today, Rachael. I am sure there are many YA distopian lovers that would love to learn more about you and your books.

You can find Rachael on her site and social media links here:
And find her book on Amazon here: