Featured Author #10

Born and raised in Ramsey, New Jersey, Patrick Johns attended university at Virginia Tech, obtaining an engineering and mathematics degree. Go Hokies! However, writing is Patrick’s true passion. After writing his first novel, Junkland, the first book in The Hoarding series, Patrick left his engineering job to teach English overseas. Four years laters, Patrick returned from living in Spain to spread his love of reading and writing throughout New Jersey. When he’s not writing, managing his literary magazine, The Kraken’s Spire, and teaching English, he’s surfing, hiking, traveling, or writing music.

Author Links:

Website: https://patrickjohnswrites.com/

Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/patrickjohnswrites/

Instagram: https://www.instagram.com/patrickjohnswrites

Twitter: https://twitter.com/patjohnswrites


Tell me something about you aside from being an author.

I actually was a math nerd growing up. I loved math so much that I studied engineering and math at Virginia Tech. Now looking back I truly believe my engineering and math background has helped me become a writer. Writing a book is hard. I’d say it’s even harder than running a marathon. The discipline I learned throughout my college years of struggling through problems has helped me to have the patience and mindset to sit down and write a book and publish it.

I also don’t think I would have become a writer if I hadn’t pursued engineering and math. I like to view my life as solving one big math equation; the answer presents itself once all the variables are put in place. Becoming a writer wasn’t clear at first, but once I was able to see all the variables, the answer was simple: I was born to write. After discovering this answer, I realized I didn’t want to solve problems in the real world, I wanted to solve problems in the worlds that I create. So I left my engineering job and moved to Spain to teach English and pursue writing. I would not have had the guts to leave my job and move to another country if it wasn’t for my engineering and math background. As my engineering advisor once told me, don’t let your degree define you, but let it guide you through life.

When did you start writing?

I always wrote little stories in school from first grade to fourth grade. My teachers allowed us to write our own stories, illustrate the pages, and design our own books. We would then exchange our stories with our classmates and leave each other reviews. These writing projects were my favorite memories in school. I loved the process of writing and creating a book so much that I would go home and expand on my stories.

But then time turned me into a teenanger, and the angst hit hard. I released my bottled up emotions by writing song lyrics and creating my own songs on guitar. I did this all throughout high school, but rarely shared my songs with the rest of the world because I was too afraid to sing. So I just stayed hidden, playing as a guitarist in a band.

When I went to college I found it difficult to find people to play with. I knew if I wanted to keep playing there was only one option: learn how to sing. So I began whining and hurting the ears of my roommates and whoever was brave enough to sit through my performances at open mics. Years of practice gave me a voice to work with, and I was able to experiment more with writing songs and lyrics. I was going through a difficult breakup at this time, and I began to write enough lyrics that would eventually fill three poetry books.

As I continued down my engineering path in college, writing always was on the back of my mind. Curiousity made me take a creative writing class my junior year. This class opened my mind to another side of thinking, creativity, and connecting with others who also enjoyed reading and writing. But soon enough I graduated, and I found myself working for a large engineering firm. I didn’t enjoy what I was doing; I knew that the very first day I stepped in the office. So I began to think…and think…and think some more about what I truly wanted to do in this world. After a lot of stressful pondering, the pieces came together. All those hours spent in bookstores. All those countless books I’ve read. All those songs lyrics I wrote. All those short stories and characters I created in school. Even that creative writing class in college. It all came together for me: I was meant to write. For the first time in my life I listened to myself and began to write seriously. And that was how my first published book Junkland was born. And my writing journey began…

What inspires you to become a writer?

Putting smiles on readers’ faces. I’m an avid reader myself, and every day I try to become a better role model for the reader world. I want readers to get lost in a story. To become inspired to write and go on their own adventures in life. Just like the story Aladdin inspired me to go on my own journey, I want to do the same for them. To remind others they aren’t stuck. That they can do whatever they want in this world if they put their heart in it.

Why would readers choose your book to read?

To connect with characters. We all need role models in our lives, giving us hope and direction, to inspire us to be better individuals. And that’s exactly what we do when we read books; we connect to characters. I try my best to write real and relatable characters that will guide my readers through life’s struggles. I always find it very rewarding when one of my readers reaches out to me to tell me how much they resonated with one of my characters. That makes it all worth it to me.

What do you consider first, plot or characters?

Characters. My stories are definitely more character driven. I like to let my characters lead me through the story. However, I also take time to outline my story’s plot. But the plot can only show me so much. I always hit a point in my outlining when I need to trust in my characters to guide me through the dark spots of the story, hoping they will know how to get me through it. I think every writer is different and has their own method. Little to no outlining will call for more revisions later on. But too much outlining can lead to an unfinished story that gets lost in your closet, covered in dust. It’s important to have a good balance between outlining the plot and trusting in your characters.

Would you consider writing a different genre than the one you used to?

I’ve already written in two genres: fantasy and poetry. I would like to dabble in mysteries and thrillers after I’m finished with my fantasy series. I love fantasy, but sometimes it’s good to take a break and try something new. Learning something new will make me a better writer.

Do you think that the cover plays an important part in the buying process?

Oh yes. I’m currently in a pickle at the moment with my current cover. The cover design for Junkland was created back in 2017. I didn’t know much about marketing on Amazon back then. After taking a lot of courses the past year, and realizing that cover art trends change constantly, it’s important to keep up with the times. Because if your cover art doesn’t match what’s selling, well…you’re not going to sell many books. So I’m currently debating changing the cover arts for The Hoarding series to something more fantasy. The current cover art looks a bit too dystopian and sci-fi. And if readers are in the fantasy section and see a dystopian/sci-fi cover, most likely they will not buy it.

How do you handle negative reviews?

I learn from them. If it’s a nasty negative review with no value to it, I ignore it. But if it’s actually constructive feedback, I take it as my opportunity to grow as a writer. No book is perfect. And no book will ever be perfect. Some readers will love it. And some readers will hate it. I am still flabbergasted when someone tells me they don’t like the Harry Potter series. But every person has their own particular tastes in books. So it’s important to know the difference between constructive feedback and deconstructive feedback so that you can make your books the best they can possibly be.

Do you have an upcoming book? Can you share something about it?

I am currently writing the third and final book in The Hoarding series called The Palms of Light. This book will conclude Jahrys’s journey of discovering the mystery behind the Hoarding. It’s such a strange experiencing writing the last book in my first series. This is it. Once I’m done it’s overs, time to move on. After spending six years of my life thinking about The Hoarding series, it will be odd saying goodbye to it. Writing The Hoarding series brought me from New Jersey to Virginia to Cádiz to Santander to Ferrol to A Coruña and back to New Jersey, turning a close minded boy into a global writer. I can’t even imagine where my next book series will take me in life.

The next book I’ll publish will be my third poetry book Stages of a Healing Heart (title may change). This will be the final book in my poetry collection A Poetry Collection of Growing Up, focusing on poems of false acceptance, moving on, and change. I will be publishing this book in 2023. This poetry series will have every hopeless romantic reminiscing on what could have been. Whether they be fresh wounds or years old, this series is perfect for anyone wanting to connect through a broken heart.

Any message to your readers?

Keep reading. Reading has so many healthy benefits. An avid reader can empathize with people more. Reading also reduces stress, stregthens your brain, and may even help you live longer! In a world of so much anger and depression and separation, it’s important to keep a healthy mind. And reading is a great way to do so.

Keep dreaming. Never let anyone tell you you can’t do something. You can. Pursue your dreams. They are possible to obtain. It will be a difficult road, and people will try to bring you down, but be confident and courageous. There’s a great quote I read recently by Moshé Feldenkrais, “The healthy person is the one who can live his unavowed dreams fully.”

Author’s Books

Blog Feature: The World of Aeora by Brett Palmer

Weekend blog feature!!! I should make this a thing, what do you think? I think it will be fun though. I would be searching for authors or bloggers that wants to be featured, to be known by other people. I’d love to help in some way if I could. I do hope you guys will support me on this. Thank you so much! Moving on, today’s feature will be The World of Aeora by Brett Palmer.

This is interesting, you would be thinking what is in The World of Aeora? I think this is the time I’ll tell you to go check the blog here: https://www.worldofaeora.com/. This blog contains free stuff (downloads) that you may use for yourself to read or for personal projects. The author is really friendly and easy to talk to so, you may reach out to him via his blog or Twitter: https://twitter.com/BGPportfolio.

Readers, check his work, Tales of Aeora, Part 1 at this link: https://www.worldofaeora.com/2021/07/tales-of-aeora-part-1-beta-20.html.

Source: https://www.worldofaeora.com/p/home.html

Blog Tour: Rock ‘N’ Roll ‘N’ That by Steven N. Gill


“Rock ‘n’ roll is a nuclear blast of reality in a mundane world where no-one is allowed to be magnificent.”

The former manager of The Runaways said that. The mad bastard. And Johnny Harrison swore by it. He had to.

Almost forty, fully paid up member of the rat race and bored sh*tless. He had to believe in something.

Then something happened. Something magnificent. A once in a lifetime band dropped out of the sky and right into his lap.

A band unaware of just how great they could be. A band that had no idea what was about to hit them. A band that needed someone to light the fuse.

That someone was Johnny Harrison and the truth was he needed them so much more. They were his ticket out.

That’s how it is with THE ROCK ‘N’ THE ROLL. ‘N’ THAT. Buy your ticket and take the ride.
– – – EXCERPT – – –




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He’d insisted on low-key.
Low-key. It’s
Without fuss.
No surprise parties.
Resolutely no fucking
surprise party.
No ‘see them once in a blue moon
friends making up the numbers.
No debauched weekend in Eastern Europe
being rinsed by preternaturally attractive girls.
And resolutely no
navel-gazing or ‘what if’ recriminations.
At least not outside the
confines of his inner narrative…
pattern baldness. Erectile dysfunction. Pension shortfalls. Prostate checks.
Taking up the saxophone. The fucking saxophone. Earhole, eyebrow & nostril
hair sprouting overnight. Middle aged spread. Just for fucking Men hair dye.
Fuck me. Buying a bike worth twice your first car and dressing up in lycra like
a Poundland Bradley Wiggins. Fucking Lycra. Prozac. Viagra. Vitamin
supplements. Antiwrinkle moisturisers at 30 quid a pop. Getting your five-a-day
every day. And your once a month bedroom treat. If you’re really lucky. Stop
wearing trainers. Christ. Health MOTs. National Trust membership. Three-day
hangovers. Dinner parties. Stroking you chin in Real Ales Pubs and Ministry of
turn the Sound down please. Going. Fucking. Bald. And so on…
better be fucking low key,
Johnny thought to
himself as he idly peeled at the dampened label on his bottle of lager.
Johnny Harrison.
Thirty-nine years and 364
days old.
Or young. Whichever way you want to wrap it
up. He had begun to warm to the vagaries of thirty-something… But forty.
Fucking forty.
Proper middle aged.
How the fuck had that
crept up on him?
4-0. That was a whole new demographic. The
39–45 bracket on applications. And that’s nearly 50.
He had been fifteen when his dad hit the
two-score milestone. The half century eluding him as he dropped dead of a
stroke at 48. Congenital heart condition. Long odds of it being hereditary. But
It was to be a drink or two with his
closest friends in Manchester’s burgeoning Northern Quarter.
Dressed for the occasion in his
immaculate, but seldom worn, Navy Stripe Boating Blazer, green gingham checked
shirt and jeans – the same brand and fit for the past fifteen years. A pair of
new brown Desert Boots completed the outfit. A present from his long-term
partner, Claire. Complete with a card saying that it should really have been
comfy slippers. Drum roll please. “There’s just no place for the balds in rock
’n’ roll,” said Johnny
“Elton John,” Mark replied,
with a self-satisfied look on his face.
“He’s not a bald! Proper
head of hair on him,” Johnny replied.
“Fuck off. He’s bald as a coot! He wears a
wig. I’m sure of it,” said Mark with an exasperated tone.
“AHH!” Johnny said as he held an index
finger to his nose and pointed at Mark with his other hand.
“You’re such a sarky
twat,” Mark grumbled.
“Look. For every bald you can think of, I
can name a dozen that are hirsute in the extreme. Ozzy. All The Beatles. Bowie.
Zep. Let’s not start on The Stones. Clapton. Duran Du-fucking-ran. The
Gallaghers. Him out of Depeche Mode. The Roses. Pete Doherty. But I wouldn’t
encourage his narcotic intake.”
“Yeah, yeah alright,”
Mark ceded.
“I’m right. A healthy diet of drugs gives
you a great fucking head of hair. For life. So, shut the fuck up and tuck in,”
Johnny said as he nodded in the direction of the mound of cocaine that sat
centre stage on his finger-marked glass dining room table.
“FLEETWOOD MAC! They took loads. Legendary
for it,” he shouted smugly.
“Behave. Stevie Nicks has got a lovely
head of hair. She wouldn’t thank you for that,” Johnny retorted.
“Always the smartarse,”
Mark said.
“Always. But you still love me. Now get
that polished off. Taxi will be here soon. Give Chris a shout. Chain-smoking
like a lab monkey out there.”
“Anyway. Don’t change the subject. That’s
it. All downhill from here,” Mark said pithily.
“Fuck off. I’ve still got my hair. Bit
greyer. Well, a lot greyer,” he said shrugging, “and my eyesight’s only just
giving up the ghost. And I won’t be shopping for Blue Harbour’s finest
elasticated jeans like you. That bay window above your belt,” Johnny said as he
reached across to pat Mark roughly on his receding pate.
Mark recoiled, slapping
Johnny’s hand away.
“Look at the fucking state of you man.
You’ve given up. Five years ago, you’d have never been seen dead in them shoe
trainers or whatever the fuck they are. They look like someone dropped two pies
and you’ve stepped in them”
“Given up? You’ve not got a fucking clue
mate. Given up. Fuck me,” Mark said with a weary shake of his head. “I’d love
to drop a week’s wages on clobber. But the last time I looked at something
smart, it didn’t come in a wipe down from baby puke range.”
“Come on mate, I’m only messing. I’m 40.
What changes? It’s only a number. I’ll be right. Something’ll happen for me…”
“Do you mean you’re actually going to grow
up and face up to your responsibilities?” Mark asked. “It’s not too late for
you to become a dad or make an honest woman of Claire. Decide what you want
from your career!” His tone becoming serious as he attempted to add gravitas to
his advice “Haha! I’d love to take you seriously mate! I’m hanging on your
every word. But I cannot take life coaching from a man with a lump of coke
hanging from his nose.”
Rubbing his nostrils furiously, “You could
at least start with a proper haircut,” Mark said.
Chris returned from the backyard, having
just extinguished his fifth cigarette of the afternoon. “But it’s not ‘just a number’ is it. You’ll look at
what you’ve achieved or in your case…”
“Balls,” Johnny said, a
little too defensively.
An angular chin away from being classed as
classically good looking. Just under six foot, with an athletic build he had
somehow retained despite a lack of any meaningful exercise over the last
decade. A thick head of hair that had seen teenage attempts at a Morrissey
quiff – lamentably limp – ’90s rave ‘curtains’ which morphed into an indie bowl
cut and was now worn in an unkempt fringe that he felt was an act of rebellion
towards his corporate paymasters. And in his vainer moments, made him look like
Richard Ashcroft.
Decent enough house. Money wasn’t that
much of an issue. His job as an HR manager at a large IT company paid well, but
it wasn’t exactly what he had planned. Claire was a good partner. Although she
was not behind the door at reminding him what a catch she was. He missed her
more free-spirited days. Sort of. She was seemingly now far happier planning
interior design makeovers, with hours spent slavishly pouring over aspirational
This can’t be it.
There must be more to the conundrum of
life. There’s got to be more than sitting on a sofa and asking each other what
you want to eat before you die.




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J. Gill is from  Manchester, living just
south of the city centre.
is his first book. Previously, his writing work was limited to music and
football fanzines.
has had quite the varied career, ranging from finance, delivering enterprise
days to schools, undertaker and. driver.
self-confessed cats, coats and Beatles obsessive.
much in right time and right place in the early 80’s and 90’s and duly devoured
all that the Manchester music scene had to offer. Talked a lot of nonsense and
managed  a couple of bands that never
unite made it big. Sings like a donkey braying into a bucket but a very good
musical ear would be a fitting epitaph…
had somewhat of a literary epiphany at the inaugural Festival No.6 in North
Wales, Steven decided it was time to set to and get writing. ‘The Rock ‘n’ The
Roll. ‘ N” That…’  is the fruit of
these labours.”
some Scouse pop genius once opined, “it took me years to write, so won’t you
take a look…”

Featured Author: Tiffany McDaniel

Tiffany McDaniel is an Ohio native whose writing is inspired by the rolling hills and buckeye woods of the land she knows. Also a poet and artist, she is the winner of The Guardian’s 2016 “Not-the-Booker Prize” for her debut novel, The Summer that Melted Everything. The novel was also a Goodreads Choice Award double nominee in both fiction and debut categories, is a current nominee for the Lillian Smith Book Award, and has recently been announced as a finalist for the Ohioana Literary Award and the Women’s Fiction Writers Association Star Award for Outstanding Debut.


Tell us something about your life as a writer.
While The Summer that Melted Everything is my first published novel, it’s actually my fifth or sixth novel written.  I wrote my first novel when I was eighteen and wouldn’t get a publishing contract until I was twenty-nine for The Summer that Melted Everything.  For me, it was an eleven-year journey to publication, full of lots of rejection and perseverance.  I write literary fiction, and my stories can be quite dark.  For this reason, I was always told I was risky to publish.  But the struggle to get published has made me the author I am today.  An author who knows the value of hard work and perseverance, and the value of each and every reader.    

Why did you choose to become a writer? Is it just a hobby or something else?
I’ve been writing since I was a kid.  It’s the first thing I remember doing as a child without being told to do so.  It was an innate desire to write down what was in my head.  I was born with story, as I think most writers are.  We don’t choose to write.  We need to write.  We can only hope we are fortunate enough to make a career out of it.

What inspired you to write?
I always say I’m inspired by the characters themselves.  They inspire me to write their truths, to the best of my ability. 
How do you handle negative reviews?
For the most part, authors will handle the bulk of marketing and publicizing a book, which means I’m in constant communication with reviewers and book bloggers.  It’s part of my job as an author to read the review and continue the discussion with the reviewer.  Sometimes the review is positive. Sometimes it’s negative.  The thing is that you have to know when to step away and re-energize.  The internet has changed the reviewing landscape.  It’s 24/7 access to everyone with an opinion.  In today’s age, your novel is rated and reviewed on a daily basis.  It’s important not to allow all that noise to take hold of you because that frequency of being reviewed can take a toll, emotionally and creatively.  It is easier said than done, because no matter how many positive reviews an author gets, it’s the negative reviews that linger in one’s mind.
Where’s your favorite place to write/read?
I don’t have a favorite place to write, because unless you have the money to spend on the perfect writing nook, you really have to write wherever you can.  Starting out I wrote on my bed because I didn’t have a desk.  Now I write in the corner of my bedroom at a desk.  I dream of a writing nook tucked away in a library one day, but the great thing about writing is that it doesn’t matter the place you do it at.  All that matters is the story, for the story can take you anywhere. 
How many books did you write or published? What’s your favorite book from the one you’ve written?
I have eight completed novels, though The Summer that Melted Everything is my first published novel.  It’s hard to say my favorite book because I love all the characters.  I will say The Summer that Melted Everything was a joy to write.  Even in its darkest moments, I never wanted to be away from this story, because being with the characters was one incredible journey.
Do you have an upcoming book? Can you share something about it?
The novel I hope to publish next is that very first novel I wrote when I was eighteen.  It’s been fourteen years since I wrote the novel.  It feels like a good time to return to this story and to these characters.  The title is, The Chaos We’ve Come From.  It’s inspired by my mother’s coming of age in southern Ohio from the 1950s to the death of her father in the early 1970s. 
What’s The Summer that Melted Everything all about?
The Summer that Melted Everything is about a man who one day puts an invitation in the newspaper, inviting the devil to town.  A boy, claiming to be the devil, answers the invitation, only this boy is not your stereotypical devil of red flesh and horns.  This so-called devil’s arrival coincides with the start of a heat-wave that threatens to destroy the town’s very sanity.  As the summer unfolds, the boy’s presence has tragic consequences on the town and everyone in it.  Who is the real devil?  That is a question The Summer that Melted Everything sets out to answer. 
Are you working on other books right now aside from this?
I’m always writing.  Currently I’m compiling my first poetry collection.  I’ve been writing poetry since I was child, and it’s always nice to balance the poet in me with the novelist. 

What’s your most favorite part of this book?
One of my favorite parts is the scene in which Fielding meets Sal for the first time.  Fielding is the son of the man who invites the devil.  And Sal is the one who claims to be the devil.  This first meeting of the two is one of my favorite scenes because in many ways it’s just two boys meeting for the first time on a summer day.

Fielding Bliss has never forgotten the summer of 1984: the year a heat wave scorched Breathed, Ohio. The year he became friends with the devil.

Sal seems to appear out of nowhere – a bruised and tattered thirteen-year-old boy claiming to be the devil himself answering an invitation. Fielding Bliss, the son of a local prosecutor, brings him home where he’s welcomed into the Bliss family, assuming he’s a runaway from a nearby farm town.

When word spreads that the devil has come to Breathed, not everyone is happy to welcome this self-proclaimed fallen angel. Murmurs follow him and tensions rise, along with the temperature as an unbearable heat wave rolls into town right along with him. As strange accidents start to occur, riled by the feverish heat, some in the town start to believe that Sal is exactly who he claims to be. While the Bliss family wrestle with their own personal demons, a fanatic drives the town to the brink of a catastrophe that will change this sleepy Ohio backwater forever.

Excerpt from The Summer That Melted Everything

Of Man’s first disobedience, and the fruit

Of that forbidden tree whose mortal taste

Brought death into the World


THE HEAT CAME with the devil. It was the summer of 1984, and while the devil had been invited, the heat had not. It should’ve been expected, though. Heat is, after all, the devil’s name, and when’s the last time you left home without yours?

It was a heat that didn’t just melt tangible things like ice, chocolate, Popsicles. It melted all the intangibles too. Fear, faith, anger, and those long-trusted templates of common sense. It melted lives as well, leaving futures to be slung with the dirt of the gravedigger’s shovel.

I was thirteen when it all happened. An age that saw me both overwhelmed and altered by life in a way I’d never been before. I haven’t been thirteen in a long time. If I were a man who still celebrated his birthday, there would be eighty-four flames flickering above the cake, above this life and its frightening genius, its inescapable tragedy, its summer of teeth that opened wide and consumed the little universe we called Breathed, Ohio.

I will say that 1984 was a year that understood how to make history. Apple launched its Macintosh computer for the masses, two astronauts walked the stars like gods, and singer Marvin Gaye, who sang about how sweet it was to be loved, was shot through the heart and killed by his father.

In May of that year, a group of scientists published their research in a scientific journal, revealing how they had isolated and identified a retrovirus that would come to be called HIV. They confidently concluded in their papers that HIV was responsible for the acquired immune deficiency syndrome. AIDS, as the nightmares say.

Yes, 1984 was a year about news. It was the year Michael Jackson would burn for Pepsi, and the Bubble Boy of Houston, Texas, would come out of his plastic prison, be touched by his mother for the very first time, and moments later die at just twelve years of age.

Overall, the 1980s would prove industrious years for the devil. It was a time you couldn’t just quit the horns. Satanic cult hysteria was at its height, and it stood tall. Fear was a square that decade so it could fit into our homes better, into our neat little four-cornered lives.

If a carton of milk turned over, the devil did it. If a kid showed bruises, he’d be put in therapy immediately to confess how his own parents had molested him around a bonfire while wearing black robes.

Look no further than the McMartin Preschool investigation, which started in ’84 and ended with fantastical allegations of children being flushed down toilets and abused by Chuck Norris. While these allegations eventually would be flushed down the toilet themselves, that time of panic would always be remembered as the moment when the bright, bright stars could not save the dark, dark sky.

Breathed’s own devil would come differently. The man who invited him was my father, Autopsy Bliss. Autopsy is an acutely strange name for a man to have, but his mother was an acutely strange woman. Even more, she was an acutely strange religious woman who used the Bible as a stethoscope to hear the pulse of the devil in the world around her.

The sounds could be anything: The wind knocking over a tin can. The clicking of rain on the windowpane. The erratic heartbeat of a jogger passing by.

Sometimes the things we believe we hear are really just our own shifting needs. Grandmother needed to hear the spook of the snake so she could better believe it actually existed.

She was a determined woman who pickled lemons, knew her way around a tool box, and raised a son by herself, all while earning a degree in ancient studies. She had the ancients in mind when she named her son.

She would say, “The word autopsy is a relative of the word autopsia, which in the ancient vernacular of the Greeks means to see for oneself. In the amphitheater of the great beyond, we all do our own autopsies. These self-imposed autopsies are done not on the physical body of our being but on the spirit of it. We call these ultimate examinations the autopsy of the soul.”

After the summer ended, I asked my father why he had invited the devil.

“Because I wanted to see for myself,” he answered with the definition of his name, his words doing their best to swerve his tears lest they be drowned on impact. “To see for myself.”

Growing up, my father was the wood in his mother’s lathe, held in place and carefully shaped over the years by her faith. When he was thirteen, his edges nearly smoothed, the lathe suddenly stopped turning, all because his mother slipped on the linoleum floor in their kitchen and fell backward with no parachute.

The bruises would come to look like pale plums on her flesh. And while not one bone had been broken, a spiritual break did occur.

As Dad helped her to her feet, she let go of a moan she’d been holding. Then, in a giddy woe, she dropped her knees back to the linoleum.

“He wasn’t there,” she cried.

“Who wasn’t there?” Dad asked, her shaking contagious to him.

“As I was falling, I reached out my hand.” She made again the gesture of that very thing. “He didn’t grab it.”

“I tried, Momma.”

“Yes.” She cupped his cheeks in her clammy palms. “But God didn’t. I realize now we’re all alone, kiddo.”

She took the crucifixes off the walls, buried her Bible in the infant section of the cemetery, and never again poured her knees down to the ground in prayer. Her faith was a sudden and complete loss. Dad still had the fumes of his faith left, and in those fumes, he found himself one day walking into the courthouse, where his mother was getting reprimanded by the judge for unabashedly vandalizing the church—the second time.

While Dad waited outside her courtroom, he heard voices a few doors down. He went in and sat through the trial of a man accused of pulling out a shotgun at the coin laundry, leaving bloodstains that couldn’t be washed out.

To Dad that man was the devil emerged and the courtroom was God’s filter removing that emergence from society. As he stood there, Dad could see tiny breaks in the courtroom wall. The holes of a net through which a bright, warm light shone, pure and glorious. It was a light that made him want to stand and shout Amen until he was hoarse.

While his soul had before paced back and forth from doubt to belief, on that day in the courtroom, his soul settled on believing. If not in everything else, then at least in that filter, that instrument of purity. And the handler of that filter, in Dad’s eyes, the person who made sure everything went the very best of ways, was the prosecutor. The one responsible for making sure the devils of the world are trapped by the filter.

Dad sat there in the courtroom, hands shaking, his feet swinging just above the floor they were too short to reach. When the guilty verdict came, he joined in the applause as he smelled a whiff of bleach that he associated not with the janitor in the hallway but rather with the filth trapped by the filter and the world being cleaner for it.

The courtroom emptied until only Dad and the prosecutor remained.

Dad sat on the bench, wide-eyed and waiting.

“So you are who I heard.” The prosecutor’s voice was like a pristine preaching to Dad.

“How could you have heard me, sir?” Dad asked in pure awe.

“You were so loud.”

“But, sir, I didn’t say a dang thing.”

The prosecutor laughed like it was the funniest thing he had ever heard. “And in that silence, you said it all. Why, you were as loud as shine on chrome, bright and boisterous in that silent gleam. And such loud boys will grow to be loud men who are meant to be in the courtroom, but never—no, not ever—as the ones in handcuffs.”

That was the moment Dad knew he himself would become a handler of the filter. And while his mother never regained her faith, he kept his in the courtroom and in the trials of humanity and, most important, in that filter.

They said he was one of the best prosecuting attorneys the state had ever seen. Yet there was something unsettled about my father. Handling the filter did not prove to be an exact science. Many times after winning a case, he would escape from the applause and congratulatory pats on the back to come home and sit quietly with his eyes squinted. That was how you knew he was thinking. Squinted eyes, arms folded, legs crossed.

It was on one such night that he uncrossed his legs, unfolded his arms, and widened his eyes, in that order. Then he stood, rather certain as he grabbed a pen and a piece of paper. He began to write what would end up being an invitation to the devil.

It was the first day of summer when that invitation was published in our town’s newspaper, The Breathanian. We were eating breakfast, and Mom had laid the paper in the middle of the table. With morning milk dribbling down our chins, we stared at the invitation, which had made the front page. Mom told Dad he was too audacious for his own good. She was right. Even the atheists had to admit it took a fearless man to audition the existence of the Prince of Darkness.

I still have that invitation around here somewhere. Everything seems so piled up nowadays. Hills all around me, from the soft mounds of laundry to the dishes in the sink. The trash pile is already waisthigh. I walk through these fields of empty frozen dinner trays and beer bottles the way I used to walk through fields of tall grass and wildflowers.

An old man living alone is no keeper of elegance. The outside world is no help. I keep getting these coupons for hearing aids. They send them in gray envelopes that pile like storm clouds on my table. Thunder, thunder, boom, boom, and there the invitation is under it all, like a bolt of lightning from the sky.

Dear Mr. Devil, Sir Satan, Lord Lucifer, and all other crosses you bear,

I cordially invite you to Breathed, Ohio. Land of hills and hay bales, of sinners and forgivers.

May you come in peace.

With great faith,

Autopsy Bliss

I never thought we’d get an answer to that invitation. At the time, I wasn’t even sure I believed in God or His antonym. If I had come upon a yard sale selling what was purported to be the true Veil of Veronica beside a bent Hula-Hoop, well, I was the type of boy who would have bought the Hula-Hoop, even if the veil was free.

If the devil was going to come, I expected to see the myth of him. A demon with an asphalt shine. He’d be fury. A chill. A bad cough. Cujo at the car window, a ticket at the Creepshow booth, a leap into the depth of night.

I imagined him with reptilian skin in a suit whose burning lapel set off fire alarms. His fingernails sharp as shark teeth and cannibals in ten different ways. Snakes on him like tar. Flies buzzing around him like an odd sense of humor. There would be hooves, horns, pitchforks. Maybe a goatee.

This is what I thought he’d be. A spectacular fright. I was wrong. I had made the mistake of hearing the word devil and immediately imagined horns. But did you know that in Wisconsin, there is a lake, a wondrous lake, called Devil? In Wyoming, there is a magnificent intrusion of rock named after the same. There is even a most spectacular breed of praying mantis known as Devil’s Flower. And a flower, in the genus Crocosmia, known simply as Lucifer.

Why, upon hearing the word devil, did I just imagine the monster? Why did I fail to see a lake? A flower growing by that lake? A mantis praying on the very top of a rock?

A foolish mistake, it is, to expect the beast, because sometimes, sometimes, it is the flower’s turn to own the name.

Featured Author: Marie Lavander




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Bestselling multi-genre author of UPON
YOUR RETURN and 21 other books. Mystery Blogger Award for 2017. A to Z Blog
Challenge Survivor in 2016.
2016 Empress of the Universe title – winner of the “Broken Heart”
themed contest and the “I Love You” themed contest on Poetry
Universe. SECOND CHANCE HEART and A LITTLE MAGICK placed in the TOP 10 on the
2015 P&E Readers’ Poll. Nominated in the TRR Readers’ Choice Awards for
Winter 2015. Poetry winner of the 2015 PnPAuthors Contest. The Versatile
Blogger Award for 2015. Honorable Mention in the 2014 BTS Red Carpet Book
Awards. Finalist and Runner-up in the 2014 MARSocial’s Author of the Year
Competition. Honorable mention in the January 2014 Reader’s Choice Award.
Liebster Blogger Award for 2013 and 2014. Top 10 Authors on AuthorsDB.com.
Winner of the Great One Liners Contest on the Directory of Published Authors.

Marie Lavender lives in the Midwest with her family and three cats. She has
been writing for a little over twenty-five years. She has more works in
progress than she can count on two hands. Since 2010, Marie has published 22
books in the genres of historical romance, contemporary romance, romantic
suspense, paranormal romance, fantasy, science fiction, mystery/thriller, dramatic
fiction, literary fiction and poetry. She has also contributed to several
multi-author anthologies. Her current series are The Heiresses in Love Series,
The Magick Series, The Blood at First Sight Series and The Code of Endhivar


1. Tell us about yourself.

Well, I’m a girl from the Midwest. I come from a pretty small town in Indiana. My family

has always been very close. I’m into shopping, reading, creative projects (I design my own

book covers sometimes, and whatever else strikes my fancy), and, of course, immersing

myself in my characters’ worlds. I don’t mind the occasional night out, but I’m just as

comfortable experimenting with a new recipe at home and cuddling with my fiancé while we

watch a good movie.

As I’m not sure if you mean my favorite book by any author, or one of mine instead, I’ll just

say that my favorite book now is still Dark Lover by J.R. Ward. Though I’m current on the

series, I have a soft spot for that book. Wrath is a total hottie, and I love the Black Dagger


2. Could you share your experiences as a writer? 

I’ve wanted to be an author since I was nine years old. I feel like I’ve been writing stories all

my life. In 2010, I got into the self-publishing craze, and in 2012, I received my first book

contract from a publisher. I’ve been with Solstice Publishing ever since. Now and then, I still

release books on my own, though. I’ve published in historical romance, contemporary

romance, romantic suspense, paranormal romance, fantasy, science fiction, mystery/thriller,

dramatic fiction, literary fiction and poetry, but I have works in progress in so many other

genres and subgenres (dystopian and time travel, to name a couple).

3. Do you have a favorite place where you write your books?

I usually write in a journal or simple one-subject notebook while in bed right before I fall

asleep. But sometimes I’ll write in the living room, dining room or some place outside. I’ve

also written at cafés in the past. One day, I plan to have an official writing room in my house,

just like Virginia Woolf insisted a woman should have.

4. How do you handle negative reviews?

If there’s decent feedback, then I’ll go back into the story and check the details mentioned to

see if I can learn anything from the comments. However, if the individual is being negative

just for the sake of being mean, I try to brush it off and move on. It’s just better all-around to

stay professional about the whole thing.

5. Can you tell us more about Directions of the Heart?

Sure! Directions of the Heart is a collection of tales with heartwarming moments and others

that just as easily make you cringe or cry. It’s not to be taken lightly, but all my early readers

loved the book. DoH, as I affectionately term it, is a journey of drama, romance and passion,

as the characters encounter loss, growth, redemption and healing. Though I love them all

dearly, the excerpt I’ve provided is from one of my favorite stories in the collection. The

novella is titled “A Touch of Dawn”.

6. Aside from this, are you working on other books right now?

Yes, I am editing a futuristic paranormal romance/urban fantasy, which is also book two of

the Blood at First Sight Series.

7. How long did you write Directions of the Heart?

I wrote all four novellas years ago, but it’s been six months since I went back and fully

revised the tales in preparation for this book.

8. Do you think that the cover plays an important part in the buying process?

Definitely! I think it’s half the battle. I always try to pick the best cover that honors the story

and the characters, at least if I have any say in the matter.

9. Are you planning to shift genre in the future?

I don’t think that’s an issue right now. I consider myself a multi-genre author; that keeps my

mind open to new ideas and experiences. I don’t like boxing myself in. Plus, the stories

continue to flow in various directions. A while back, I surprised myself by writing a horror

scene. So, I try to not to dictate that I am in one specific genre these days.

10. Any message to your readers?

You can find a full list of books on the ‘My Books’ page of my author website. I run three

blogs; Writing in the Modern Age, the I Love Romance Blog, and Marie Lavender’s Books!.

The best places to track me on social media are probably on Google+, Twitter and my

Facebook profile or my official author page on Facebook. I also have a YouTube channel

that you can follow. Additionally, you can subscribe to my monthly newsletter for periodic


Embark on a remarkable journey of drama, romance and passion…

In all of these amazing stories, there’s one burning question…is love worth the risk?

Without You

and Jenna are two childhood friends separated by time and distance. Can
they find a way to heal their bond, or perhaps forge a new one?

Strange Heat

by her friend’s close call, Victoria decides to take a risk and prove
the lifestyle she led was her downfall. But as Tory sinks deeper into
the tumultuous abyss of desire with the mysterious Rick, can she climb
back out before it’s too late? Or does she even want to?


to run her family’s farm on her own, Sadie takes on a hired hand, Matt.
As they grow closer, so does the danger. Someone wants her legacy. Can
they combat this new threat, as well as the demons of the past, before
Sadie loses everything, including her life?

A Touch of Dawn

thought she’d be in the dark forever. But with the light came Jack, the
police consultant who found her. Can they take a journey of healing
together, or will Caitlyn retreat into the darkness of her mind, where
she lived for so long?

(CONTENT WARNING: With an abuse awareness
theme in this collection, there may be triggers here for past trauma
sufferers. However, HEAs are guaranteed.)

Excerpt from Directions of the Heart

the behest of a soft tone, his spine straightened. Recognizing the voice right
away, he turned off the burner and spun away from the half-seared scrambled
eggs. “Everything all right, Caitlyn?”

she repeated the pained plea, and his stomach clenched.

what’s wrong?”

don’t know. I need to talk to you. Can you come?”

got it. I’ll be at your house in a few minutes. You hang on.”

try,” she managed and it broke his heart. He hung up, grabbed a fitness shake
from the fridge, threw on a pair of shoes and was out the door. He went for a
run every morning in his neighborhood so he knew how to be fast.

wasn’t kidding. He didn’t live far away from her either. Since his clients were
always traumatized, it was useful to be on call. And to be prepared for any
situation. Anything. Slit wrists,
hangings, panic attacks, nervous breakdowns. The list went on. And he could get
a psychiatrist pal on the phone at the touch of a button if admission or
medications were necessary. It also helped to have an excellent memory; he
could dictate all his notes to his recorder after any session.

nothing…nothing had ever scared him like her soft plea. It was hard to admit
the woman had gotten to him, but she had. And he wasn’t going to lose her.

he pulled the car up, he shut it off as quickly as possible, shoved the keys in
his pocket then scrambled from the vehicle. Jogging up the walk, he pounded on
the door.

mom appeared with a worried look. “Mr. Thomas?”



pushed past her, casting pleasantries aside. “How is she?” he demanded as he
turned to face her.

Johnson wrung her hands. “I don’t know. I’m not sure what’s wrong. She…” She
shook her head.


woman pointed the way. 

followed a corridor to a small bedroom. Pink walls, pink spread. Caitlyn had
thrown a red blanket over the window to block out the light. He saw a huddled
form beneath the bedspread, reached out and threw back the fabric. 

sat down to get a look at her. Caitlyn rocked, wet tracks down her face. She
must’ve been crying. Her eyes were shut tight and her hair was wild. She wore a
pair of lavender sweats, and was pretty much unresponsive to his touch. He
checked for marks on her arms and wrists, but found nothing. So she hadn’t
tried to hurt herself.

suspected what was happening, but could only try to pull her from the
nightmare. It was too easy for someone who had been traumatized like she had to
revert to a catatonic state and he wished that hell on no one.

Caitlyn, it’s Jack. Jack Thomas, remember?”


small sound came behind him, and he glanced back to see her mother cover her
mouth. It didn’t matter right now. It couldn’t.

on. Come back to me. Caitlyn, can you hear me? It’s going to be okay. I’ll help
you get through this,” he vowed, and almost choked on the words. He pushed
through the panicked flutter in his chest, gathering her into his arms.

I won’t let them hurt you anymore, okay? No one will. It’s just you and me.
You. And me. I’m going to take care of you, I swear,” he said with his lips
pressed to her temple. “Come back to me, sweetheart. Come on.”

tried once more, unaware what words spilled out of him. Desperation alone drove
his actions. As he cradled her to his chest, a fruity scent drifted into his
nostrils. Strawberries, he thought. He felt the strangest combination of
rightness and deep concern. “The world needs you, darling. Don’t hide away.
Come back to us. Please.”

a few moments, a shudder went through her and a small voice whispered, “Jack?”

right. I’m here, honey.”

filmed her eyes. “I, I was back there again. In the cellar.”

know. I’m so sorry. But you’re here now. You’re safe in this house, and with
me. You just go ahead and cry it out, hmm? Then you can sleep.”

sobbed hard as he held her tight. Soon, she quieted to the occasional sigh and
he pulled back to look at her. Her face was flushed and wet from her tears. He
caressed her cheek. “How ya doing?”

shook her head.

right. That’s fine. It’s a hard road, but I know you can do it. I’ll help you.”

really mean it,” she whispered, her tone incredulous.

nodded. “Yeah, I do.”


skin was so soft beneath his hand and he had to stop himself from stroking
further. “How are you sleeping?”

didn’t answer.

what I thought.” He looked at her mother. “Mrs. Johnson? Could you get her
sleeping pills?”

woman slipped out of the room.

about your antibiotic? The pain medicine? Have you been taking those?”

They make me a little nauseous.”

to hear that, sweetie, but they are necessary. And if you do use the sleeping
pills, don’t try to drive, okay?” She murmured an agreement.

her mother returned with the pill bottle and some water, Jack measured out a
tablet, then watched as Caitlyn took it, eyeing her throat. “Good, that’s good.
I’ll stay till you get to sleep, but we need to talk this out soon. All right?”


he held her against his shoulder, the minutes passing, until she went limp and
her breaths evened out. It shook him that he could’ve held her forever, and he
wouldn’t have had a problem with it. He checked her eyelids to be sure she
slept before he covered her up with the bed’s blanket and spread, and cleared
out of the room.

Johnson followed him. “What was that? What’s going on?”

daughter almost went into a catatonic state. What happened was too traumatic
for her.”

sat down on the sofa abruptly as if she’d lost the strength to stand. “But…I
assumed I could handle her. I thought she would be okay.”

is more than anyone can handle alone. And she won’t be all right for some time.”
frowned. “Then she needs a professional.”

want a therapist? Fine. I can do that—”

stood up. “You? But, why?”

have the credentials. I told you before.”

don’t have the money. This isn’t necessary—”

not asking for money,” he cut across her complaints. “Do you realize what just
happened in there? She trusts me. It’s good for Caitlyn to have someone to rely
on right now, and she trusts me. She needs an anchor. Do you get that?”

nodded slowly, and then frowned. “I don’t understand her. She’s despondent. She
won’t even look at me or talk to me. I hear her cry at night, but she clams up
when I’m around. She won’t let me touch her at all. What made her like this?
Was she abused? I haven’t seen any obvious bruises on her. Of course, they
might have been hidden by her clothing. I…I just thought she’d want to be home
after being gone so long.”

sighed, sweeping a hand through his hair. “Mrs. Johnson, do you know what
happened to your daughter?”

course I do. She was kidnapped, held for a while. And when they said there was
no ransom demand, it made no sense why she was even taken.”

Do you know what really happened to

got quiet. “I…wasn’t told. And she won’t say anything.”

tone dropped low, stark, but he couldn’t have prevented himself from expressing
it if he’d tried. “It’s a living nightmare, not knowing if you’ll die from
physical abuse or neglect from one minute to the next. Do you know where they
kept her? In a dark cellar, locked up, caged for their pleasure. That’s why she
couldn’t stand the light and is still sensitive to it. Three months in the
dark, terrified, battered, half-starved and raped constantly. Can you imagine
anything worse?” 

By the time he was
done with his soliloquy, Caitlyn’s mother was weeping. Hard. He crossed the
room and grasped her shoulders, but didn’t move to embrace her. He couldn’t
offer much sympathy to the woman right now; it wasn’t in him. The past was
closing in on him fast. The flash of a dark closet with only a rim of light at
the bottom was all he could see for a moment, but he managed to shake it off. 

Thank you Layerace for the banner!

Featured Author: Joy Avery


Book Title: Another Man’s Treasure 
Publication Date: June 18, 2016 
Genre: Contemporary Romance


joy_avery_2By day, Joy Avery works as a customer service assistant. By night, the North Carolina native travels to imaginary worlds—creating characters whose romantic journeys invariably end happily ever after.

Since she was a young girl growing up in Garner, Joy knew she wanted to write. Stumbling onto romance novels, she discovered her passion for love stories; instantly, she knew these were the type stories she wanted to pen.

Real characters. Real journeys. Real good love is what you’ll find in a Joy Avery romance. Joy is married with one child. When not writing, she enjoys reading, cake decorating, pretending to expertly play the piano, driving her husband insane, and playing with her two dogs. Joy is a member of Romance Writers of America and Heart of Carolina Romance Writers. 


Graphic artist Trinity Hargrove never knew real passion until she sleeps with her boss’s son. Mistake number one. Mistake number two…liking it too much. But they agreed to only one night. Simple enough, right? Wrong. He may be out of her bed, but their intense night together still burns in her memories. As long as she keeps her distance from the oh-so-desirable Xander Duval, everything will be okay. Unfortunately, fate won’t go along with her plan.

Restaurateur Xander Duval agrees to Trinity’s “one night” stipulation, but only in theory. He has no intentions of not being with her again. Especially when his mind—nor body—will allow him to forget the fire that blazed between them until the wee hours of the morning. When Trinity is injured in an automobile accident, he jumps at the opportunity to be her arms and legs. He plans to show her just how determined he is to make her his…for far longer than just one night.

Read A Preview: http://a.co/14ZfHvW 

Tour hosted by Write Now Literary Book Tours www.wnlbooktours.com



Featured Author + Giveaway: Kate Evangelista

Hi readers! I’m excited to introduce to you the featured author for the month of April, Kate Evangelista. I am honored that I was able to ask her a few questions despite her busy schedule. For other people who don’t know yet, Kate released a new book entitled No Love Allowed published by SwoonReads, not just that, she will be having her book release/signing in the Philippines on April 30, 2016 at National Bookstore, Glorietta 1.
Did you know? Kate is such a lovely author, a good friend and adviser. I’ve met her way back 2013 (if my memory is right!!! LOL) and since then we communicate on things not just books and she knows very well that I love Demitri from her book Taste. She’s an inspiration to me. 
Thank you Kate for everything and congratulations to your new book! ^_^ 
When Kate Evangelista was told
she had a knack for writing stories, she did the next best thing:
entered medical school. After realizing she wasn’t going to be the next
Doogie Howser, M.D., Kate wandered into the Literature department and
never looked back. Today, she is a graduate of De La Salle University –
Manila with a Bachelor of Arts in Literature. She taught high school
English for three years and was an essay consultant for two. Currently
she writes full-time and is based in the Philippines.
(Source: Goodreads


1. Tell me something about you aside from being an author.When I’m not writing, I usually think about writing. But when I don’t have my author hat on, I usually spend my time taking care of my cats, watching movies, catching up on a ton of TV and books. And I miss baking. Like miss it a lot.

2. When did you start writing? High school. But it didn’t turn into an actual career until a little less than a decade ago.

3. What inspires you to become a writer?There are so many stories in my head. I feel bad for the characters and want to share their stories with the world. If I don’t write those stories then those characters die. And we wouldn’t want that.

4. Could you share your experiences as a writer?
Being a writer, like anything in life, has its ups and downs. I’ve been fortunate enough that there are more ups than downs. And every step I take is a learning experience. But one of the best things about being a writer is getting a chance to meet readers who have enjoyed your books.

5. Where’s your favorite place to write/read?I have a little writing nook in my apartment that inspires me on a daily basis. As for reading? Anywhere.

6. Would you consider writing a book with another author? With whom?I haven’t really thought of it. Collaboration is great, don’t get me wrong, but I haven’t really thought about sharing the writing experience with anyone just yet.

7. Would you consider writing a different genre than the one you used to?
Always. I love experimenting, stretching my limits. Doesn’t mean I will always be successful at it, but I can’t fault myself for trying.

8. How many books did you write or published? What’s your favorite book from the one you’ve written?Currently, I’ve published 7 books. But my favorites would have to be my 8th, 9th, and 10th books which will all be released by Swoon Reads. The first is No Love Allowed, out on April 19, 2016.

9. Do you have an upcoming book? Can you share something about it?
No Love Allowed is the one I’m most excited about. Didi is such a special character to me. Caleb too. Their story I wrote in two weeks. I’d have to say it was divine intervention because I’d never written that fast before. It’s the story about a boy who doesn’t believe in love until he ends up falling in love with his fake girlfriend
who also happens to be a quirky, straight-forward, brilliant artist.

10. Any message to your readers?I love you all. Thank you for welcoming the stories of my characters onto your bookshelves. I know space can always be an issue for a bookworm, so having one of my books on your shelf is indeed an honor. 


Featured Author: Michael Grant

Hi readers! I’m excited to introduce to you the featured author for the month of March, Michael Grant. I am honored that I am able to ask him a few questions that he gladly answered. I can still remember our conversation over Twitter when he told me that I can e-mail him with the subject “You Said You’d Do This”. At first I thought he was kidding but when I asked again he was serious. I can’t believe it because I was like forcing him to answer the questions but then he explained to me that it was his way to remember that there’s something he needed to do. Michael Grant is such a kind man. I personally like his books and probably I’ll end up reading all the books he will write. 
Thank you Michael Grant for the opportunity to interview you *smiles* 
Okay, trying this again. Goodreads lost the bio I just spent 30 minutes writing. So now it’s just going to be incoherent rambling. Yes, the earlier draft was also incoherent rambling, but way better. 

I’m the co-author or author of about 160 books, including the ANIMORPHS series, the GONE series, the BZRK series, the MAGNIFICENT 12 series (Mommy, make him stop saying series!), the MESSENGER OF FEAR series, and soon (well, eventually) the SOLDIER GIRL series.

The best way to reach me is at Twitter @MichaelGrantBks. I’ll be honest: I keep forgetting there’s mail here. Here’s the thing: I don’t have an assistant or a staff. I would, but then I’d have to hire someone and train someone and give them stuff to do, and relate to them as a human being, possibly even care about them. I’m exhausted just thinking about it. 

But if my handle is in the Tweet, I read it. And once or twice a week I go on at random times to chat with fans. I love my fans, but it’s either be honest with you and be my actual self on Twitter, or fob you off on some assistant, and how would that be better? I already have my father-in-law handling email from my ancient website. I’d rather be harder to write to but really be me, and really talk to you, if that makes sense. 

Honestly, if it was up to me and I had the time we could all just hang out at random Starbucks. Or if you’re over 21, a pleasant cocktail lounge perhaps. At some point there would be ice cream. There must always, at some point in the day, be ice cream. 

I also have a personal Facebook page at AuthorMichaelGrant, but that’s limited to 5000 friends and apparently I actually have that many. Who knew? But I leave it public so if I have something to say I’ll do it there. 

I hope you’ll give my books a try. If you don’t like one, that’s cool, I don’t like every book I read, either. But maybe give them a try. People seem to like them. 

Now, my publishers want me to sell you on my stuff, so I’ll do two brags: 1) Everything I write is like nothing you’ve ever read before in young adult literature. I don’t copy, I don’t imitate, I don’t clone. 2) I know how to end a series. 

And that’s my advertisement. Thank you. 

(Source: Goodreads)


Tell us something about your life as a writer.
I get up and drive my 16 year old daughter to school. When I get back, I make breakfast – usually two poached eggs on an English muffin.  Lots of coffee.  I live in Tiburon, California.  My home is on a hill directly across the bay from San Francisco, and most often I work while sitting outside on my deck, with that view. I drink a bunch more coffee, smoke a cigar, waste time online, then start work.  I work for maybe 3 hours.  Then I’ll do chores – I’m the kitchen, trash and food shopping person.  Then I’ll go on Twitter and agree to answer questions for some girl in the Philippines. 
When did you start writing a book?
1989. I was 34 or 35. My wife (Katherine Applegate) and I were working as a cleaning service at the time.  
What inspired you to write?
Well, we were poor. We were cleaning toilets. So honestly, we just wanted to make a living.  Over time of course other ambitions developed.  I wanted to say something worth saying.  I wanted to be good at my job.  I wanted to feel I was doing something useful.  And yes, I still like making money.
Do you have an upcoming book? Can you share something about it?
Well, FRONT LINES is my most recent book.  It’s an alternate history of the US involvement in World War 2, European Theater.  I’ve made one big change in the actual history:  I’ve invented a court decision that allows women to be drafted and to enlist.  I think it’s probably my best work.  I’m proud of it.
Lastly, any message to your readers? 
I love my readers.  It’s incredibly flattering to have people read what you write.  I don’t always make it easy for my readers, I don’t spoon feed them.  So the fact that they still read my books is pretty cool.  

Featured Author + Giveaway: Aoife Marie Sheridan

Hi guys, I have another author to feature for this month and I will probably do this thing once a month if I could. Today, I’m lucky to be able to feature one of my author friend whom I adore so much. She writes good books and series which I’m sure other readers would love. Let me introduce to you the author of Saskia Trilogy, Demon Series and her upcoming book is Drowning in Lies (Seven of Kings Series), Aoife Marie Sherdan. 
Aoife Marie Sheridan has loved
reading from a very young age, starting off with mills and boon books
given to by her grandmother. Her love for romances grew, by the age of
14 she had read hundreds of them.

Aoife has a passion for
writing poetry or in her eyes her journal entries. It was something she
did throughout her teens and into her twenties. Aoife won first place
for two of her poems and had them published at a young age of just

Aoife’s first book Eden Forest (Part one of the Saskia
Trilogy) took first place with Writers Got Talent 2013. Aoife continues
to write tales of fantasy and romance.





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Tell me something about you aside from being an author.

I love to help other authors promote their work. So I
created a platform called ultimate fantasy books. link: www.ultimatefantasybooks.com Here
we promote an author weekly and also showcase books that are on special
offer.   We also give each author their
own page listing their books, purchase links and a bit about themselves. Competitions
are running from this site as well as weekly reviews.

When did you start writing?

In 2011 is when I put pen to paper and since then I haven’t

What inspires you to become a writer?

For me it was the passing of two people. Writing became my
escape, my way to cope. I feel grateful each day that I found writing it’s made
me feel complete.

Why would readers choose your book to read?

If a reader is looking for an adventure with some romance
and plenty of magic then my books are the ones. I also use life experience to
write the sadder scenes, I really dig deep to make them as real as possible. I
pour my heart, soul and sweat into my writing.

How do you handle negative reviews?

At the start they would make me cry, but I am three years
writing, publishing and reading reviews so I like to think I’m a bit stronger
now. 🙂

What do you consider first, plot or characters?

Plot, my stories are plot driven. It’s always at the
forefront of my mind. But as my characters grow they change the flow of the

Would you consider writing a different genre than the one
you used to?

I already have I normally write fantasy. But my book Hunters
is a paranormal horror, and right now I am writing a romantic comedy with an
element of magic in it.

Do you think that the cover plays an important part in the
buying process?

100% yes. For me when I’m looking for a book to read the
cover is the first thing I look for and I do believe most people do this also.
I think money should be poured into the cover and the editing of a book, as
they are the most important.

Do you have an upcoming book? Can you share something about

I have a short story about Queen Bellona coming out early
this year with the re-release of the Saskia Trilogy. I will also be releasing
hunted part two of the Demon Series.

Any message to your readers?

I would like to thank every single reader that picked up one
of my books and took the time to read and review them. Without you guys writing
would still be a far away dream. So thank you from the bottom of my heart.




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To find out more about Aoife Marie Sheridan you can visit her at:

Amazon Page: http://www.amazon.com/-/e/B00B5W8SK6
Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/Aoifemariesheri
Website: www.aoifemariesheridan.com or email her at aoifesheridan101@gmail.com
Blog: aoifesheri.wordpress.com
Goodreads: https://www.goodreads.com/author/show…
Twitter: https://twitter.com/aoifesheri
Google Plus: https://plus.google.com/+AoifeMarieSh…
Linkedin: http://ie.linkedin.com/pub/aoife-mari…
Pinterest: http://www.pinterest.com/aoifesheri/
Mailing List: http://aoifemariesheridan.us7.list-ma…
TSU: http://www.tsu.co/aoifesheri