Wednesday, February 10, 2016

Talking Books with John Calicchia, author of MIRROR WORLD

I’m John Calicchia and I write stories of fantasy, action and adventure. In the fall of 2015 my book Mirror World was released! It's a story of two powerful young sisters and their epic battle against evil. But, this book has something in it most do not: hidden secrets. It's a teen and young adult fiction book with a self-help book hidden inside. You see… after publishing in psychology books and journals for decades I felt my writing was not helping the young people I love to work with. So, I took famous psychology studies and put it in the characters and plot in Mirror World. As you become part of the story you can learn about psychology or you can just enjoy the story! You can also get a free copy of the users guide to help you understand the psychology behind the book by joining my website

John Calicchia Ph.D. is a professor of psychology who also works with children and young adults as a licensed psychologist. He lives near Boston with his lovely wife and two amazing daughters. You can usually find him in the pool swimming with his two big dogs.

For More Information

Can you tell us what your book is about?

It’s a story of two brave sisters who fight against a dark Angel who has the ability to corrupt humans self-perceptions...When Cailyssa Larkin looks in a mirror she has an ominous feeling that someone is watching her. Stranger still, she has visions that foretell the future. While visiting her Uncle Spencer,
Cailyssa gazes into a mirror and sees a dark future that only she can change. With the future of her own world hanging in the balance, Cailyssa bravely enters the portal to the Mirror World. Here, the Dark Lord controls all the mirrors and bends reflections so all creatures see evil within themselves. With her sister Terry, her mysterious best friend Daemon, and a host of weird and wonderful creatures, Cailyssa embarks on an epic quest to overcome the evil forces trying to destroy her world. She can only defeat the Dark Lord by finding her true self and discovering the family secret that has led her to Mirror World.

Why did you write your book?

The inspiration for this book came from the things that I love in life. I have always loved reading and writing young adult fiction and fantasy, I am also passionate about my work as a psychologist with young people, and since I have two daughters that I love dearly, I have always been disappointed with the lack of strong female heroines in literature and movies. Although this has changed a bit recently, not long ago it was difficult to find a female lead character especially in strong action roles.  So I wrote a YA book with strong female characters, and elements of psychology are embedded within!

Can you tell us a little about your main and supporting characters?

Cailyssa Larkin is a 17-year-old strong female heroine, but she has always had problems fitting in. She possesses extraordinary martial arts fighting abilities and the ability to influence people. Despite her amazing abilities to understand others and see the future, she cannot understand herself. Her family secret is obvious to everyone but herself. She is also cursed to fall in love with a young man, sworn to always protect her, that she will never be with. Everyone’s favorite character seems to be her sister Terry. She’s Cailyssa’s sister and a ton of crazy fun, with wings like an angel and 12 inch razor-sharp blades that come out of her knuckles she takes on any evil foe! But like all superheroes,  she has hidden weaknesses.

Do you tend to base your characters on real people or are they totally from your imagination?   

Of course, as an author I would say that they come from my imagination, but a psychologist I know that’s not quite true –  I think I might know a couple of those characters in my book.

Are you consciously aware of the plot before you begin a novel or do you discover it as you write?  

I always knew where I wanted to go, but some days I just wasn’t sure how I would get there.

Open the book to page 69.  What is happening?

It is the last page of chapter 7  – one of my favorite endings. A Dragon and a Dwarf just became united after narrowly escaping death. They now share an unbreakable bond. “The Dragon and the dwarf, now one, flew on toward Castle Larkin. For the first time in a long while, they both felt something they had not in a very long time: love and hope.”

What would you do with an extra hour today if you could do anything you wanted?  

Spend more time with my family and of course read or write.

If we were to meet for lunch to talk books, where would we go?

Addicted to Chipolte.

Can you tell us about your family? 

 I know I am a lucky man. I have a wonderful wife, two amazing daughters, and two very cool dogs!

What do you like the most about being an author?

I love the escapism, and the ability to live inside an imaginary world.

What is the most pivotal point of a writer’s life?

I believe everyone has a book inside of them waiting to come out. Write what you love and you will love what you write – other people will too. You will become passionately addicted to the process!

What kind of advice would you give other fiction authors?

My publishing experience is probably different from many authors who write fiction. I came from an academic background and have been traditionally published in the psychology field since the early 90s. However, I didn't feel that my academic books and journal articles were helping the young people I love to work with. So, I decided to write a teen and young adult fiction book that had famous concepts in psychology embedded in the characters and the plot; almost like a self-help book hidden within a fiction book!  Since I have been reading young adult and teen literature for my entire life – this book was the most enjoyable publication experience of my life!  Also, using Create Space and KDP  from Amazon  was a wonderful experience.  The editorial staff was top-notch and the platform is easy to use

Tuesday, February 9, 2016

Book Feature: Pickles by Raymond Mendoza


Inside the Book

  Title: Pickles
Author: Raymond Mendoza
Publisher: iUniverse
Genre: General Fiction
Format: Ebook

 The most deadly of enemies are often those we cannot see. The greatest battles are not the ones written on the scrolls of history but plague the battlefields of our hearts. We all encounter grief, pain, and loss. Sadly, many do not survive their struggle. In author Raymond Mendoza’s Pickles, Michael Harvey is lost in a stormy sea of hopelessness. He is trying to find himself again after his wife and their unborn child are killed by a drunk driver. Grief holds him captive as he tries to continue maintaining his art gallery with his father after the devastating loss. However, as Michael begins to realize, there are things that are solely constructed by His hand. As Michael struggles with the unseen battle, signs begin to appear through a newly discovered journal. While it seems like there is no hope for a man who is like a lost ship at sea, the glow from the lighthouse seemingly guides him back to the shores of loving again. And sometimes it comes from unexpected sources, like a dog named Pickles. Pickles is an emotional journey that portrays the power of true love as it is lost and then found once more. No matter how bad things may seem, through God’s power and love, one can be restored.  

Spotlight and Giveaway with Chris Karlsen, Author of 'In Time for You'

To celebrate the release of her latest time-travel romance, IN TIME FOR YOU, Chris Karlsen is giving away 2 Amazon $15 gift certificates and 2 ebooks! Simply leave a comment at the end of this post to enter! The winners will be announced and contacted on February 20th.
While horseback riding in the English countryside, sisters, Electra and Emily Crippen find themselves trapped in a tear in time. Thrown back to 1357 England and caught by a local noble, they are in a place that is home but as frightening and unfamiliar as an alien world would be. With no idea how the tear in time came about, the one thing they do know is: they must stay together and stay near to where the event took place in hopes of discovering the way back to their modern life. That certain need to stay together is the first certainty taken from them when one sister is forced to remain in England and one is sent miles away to Wales by royal order.
There is one other hope for help the sisters don’t know exists. It’s Electra’s lover, Roger Marchand. A time traveler himself, he never told her of his past. When he realizes what has happened to the sisters, he enlists the help of a scientist friend to help him open the suspected passageway through time. Any effort to save Electra and Emily will likely cost him his life. This was the time Roger came from, a time when his country, France, was at war with England. If he is discovered on English soil while searching for the sisters, he will either be killed or taken prisoner of war. Any risk is worth saving the life of the woman he loves.


While she ate, the button on Electra's sleeve fell out of the frog loop. She didn't hook the button again, reaching for her wine instead. The sleeve pulled back from her wrist to expose her watch, which she hadn't thought to remove.
"What is that?" Simon asked and pointed to her Seiko.
"A watch." What a bizarre question. There wasn't a corner of the planet that people didn't recognize a wristwatch.
A frown slowly formed and he stretched across Emily and took hold of Electra's hand to tug it toward him for a better look. He turned her hand over and in a matter of seconds had the clasp undone.
He brought the candle in front of his trencher closer and held the watch under it. "What do the numbers mean?"
"It's a clock, a miniature timepiece you wear on your wrist."
From his expression, the explanation puzzled him. "Do they not have candle clocks in this Greenland you claim you're from?"
How to explain the abundance of various clocks to a man who apparently has no context for the anything beyond a candle clock or similar ancient means of telling time?
"Are you saying you've never seen a clock?" Emily asked.
"One like this? No, I have not."
Emily bent her head nearer Electra and whispered, "Are you thinking what I am?"
"Sadly, yes."
Simon ran his finger over the watch face. "These small digits, what is their meaning?"
"It's the date and year: 5.14.15."
He shook his head. "What year is 15?"
"2015, of course."
"You are mad. It's the year of our Lord, 1357."
"What year were you born?"
"1327, why?"
Electra didn't care for the speed which Simon answered. She held onto the small hope this was some odd reality show and that he'd stumble or hesitate before coming up with a year. "No reason, I was just curious." She turned to Richard who'd been chatting with the serving girl. She tapped his arm. Getting his attention she asked, "Richard, what year is this?"
He tipped his head like a dog hearing a strange noise. She assumed he too thought her mad for asking. "1357. Do you measure your years differently in your native country?"
"Yes, it's a different time there." A different world. She looked over at Emily, who'd been listening. The color had drained from her face.
For both their sakes, Electra fought to keep from falling apart in front of the whole room. She failed and began to tremble uncontrollably. She balled her hands into fists and turned from Simon to Richard. "I need to go outside. I feel sick."
"I'd like to go too," Emily told Simon.
"I'll go as well." He smiled. "Just to make certain nothing untoward befalls you."

Chris Karlsen is a Chicago native. Her family moved to Los Angeles when she was in her late teens where she later studied at UCLA. She graduated with a Business Degree. The daughter of a history professor and a mother who was a voracious reader, she grew up with a love of history and books.
Her parents were also passionate about traveling and passed their passion onto Chris. Once bitten with the travel bug, Chris spent most of her adult life visiting the places she'd read about and that fascinated her. Her travels have taken her Europe, the Near East, and North Africa, in addition to most of the United States. She most frequently visited England and France, where several of her books are set.
After college, Chris spent the next twenty-five years in law enforcement with two agencies. Harboring a strong desire to write since her teens, upon retiring from police work, Chris decided to pursue her writing career. She writes three different series. Her historical romance series is called, Knights in Time. Her romantic thriller series is Dangerous Waters, and he latest book, Silk, is book one in her mystery/suspense series, The Bloodstone series.
She currently lives in the Pacific Northwest with her husband and five wild and crazy rescue dogs.

Sunday, January 31, 2016

"Why I Believe Novels are the Best Books to Write," by Robert V Baynes, author of 'The Day the Dollar Died'

I am not saying that every book that is written should be a novel. However, I am partial to them. Once I wrote my first novel, I sort of got hooked on them. If you look at the history of books, most of the great ones have been novels.

Some people may say that they have a message that they want to tell people, so they are not interested in writing a novel.  Well, when I started my first book, I wanted to get a message across to others. I chose to do that in the form of a novel.
I decided to write a novel because I believe that often the best way to get a message across is to tell a story about it. Even though my first book was a novel, I don’t think anyone missed the message I was trying to convey.

Almost every novel has some message or values that the author holds and is trying to get across to their audience. As a extreme example of this, I think of ‘Atlas Shrugged’. If you have ever read this book, you definitely know what the author’s values and ideals are.

I believe that novels are far easier for people to read and to remember. For some reason we as people relate to stories easily. Even Jesus conveyed many of the lesson’s he wanted people to learn in story form.

Another great thing about writing novels is that you don’t have to document all of your points you want to make. You are making up that story as you go along, so every little detail doesn’t have to be itemized. If you are trying to get a point across, however, you should still try to be as accurate as possible.

I have read a lot of books, both novels and otherwise. I can tell you from experience that I remember the novels best and I also remember the messages of certain novels better than I do the books that just gave me facts.

So my point is, if you decide to write a book, think carefully about whether or not, you could make the message of your book into a story and get your message across in an easier to read form.

Title: The Day the Dollar Died
Genre: Political/ Christian  Fiction
Author: Robert V Baynes
This is a novel about an ordinary farmer who finds that his country is changing and it affects his own life. He loses more than he ever imagined and has to make some hard choices to save his family.
The main character is John Birch and he has a pretty good life. He has a great wife and children and is doing pretty well financially. He gets to do a job he loves and still spends time with his family. He finds that circumstances beyond his control change his world so that he ends up losing the financial security he worked so hard to build up. All he has left is his family and now he has to risk everything to try to save them from an ever growing government.
This book is very realistic and follows a line of thinking  that many find very logical and possibly inevitable.
dad 2
Robert V Baynes is concerned about the direction America is headed and wants to share his concerns with others who care about their freedom. In his spare time, he likes to fish, cook and read.

Thursday, January 28, 2016

The Writing Life with Georges Ugeux, Author of 'The Flying Dragon'

A Belgian and U.S. national, Georges Ugeux is the Chairman and CEO of Galileo Global Advisors LLC, an investment banking advisory boutique.  Ugeux joined the New York Stock Exchange in 1996, as Group Executive Vice President, International. An adjunct professor at Columbia Law School, Ugeux is the author of a numerous nonfiction books about finance.  The Flying Dragon is his first work of fiction

What’s inside the mind of a mystery novel author?

First and foremost, you have to like the genre. I was raised with Agatha Christie and my compatriot Hercule Poirot. I also love Georges Simenon. I love the challenge of finding out what the characters have planned and have a passion for people. I began writing the book without knowing exactly what would happen. It was breathtaking.

The second element for me, is the joy of creating a character. I chose an unusual one: a young Chinese woman. I have been working with Chinese women for many years and was inspired. I am proud to have created Victoria Leung and will continue to develop her character in future books.

What is so great about being an author?

It is incredibly rewarding to have creative freedom while also being able to draw from my extensive personal and professional experience in international travel and financial services. The creation of characters is also a unique experience. As an author, receiving feedback that readers are excited to learn more about the protagonist is very gratifying.

Being an author is also a personal journey. I wrote several “serious” or non-fiction finance books, which require sources and analytics. Fiction writing stems entirely from imagination, experience and existing relationships. It is for this reason that I chose to create a personal website - it truly depicts who I am as a person.

When do you hate it?

The editorial part is excruciatingly detailed and challenging. Making sure one does not confuse the days of the week or the names of the characters can be quite a task. It is a word by word and line by line process. I created a time line with details about the characters to ensure consistency.

While the process is certainly frustrating, without it, the book makes zero sense. Discipline is as essential in fiction as it is in non-fiction writing.

What is a regular writing day like for you?

My professional life consists of extensive international travel, which includes long flights to Asia and Europe. I often write on planes, at home, in hotels and outside. As I don’t have the time to use full days for writing, my traveling is key in providing me the time to pursue both my fiction and non-fiction pursuits. 

Do you think authors have big egos? Do you?

Without an ego, one would likely never start writing a book. You must believe that you have something to say that you want to communicate. This belief requires a confidence that is impossible without some version of an ego.

This same ego pushed me to start my own company, to teach, speak publicly, blog and write. Of course, I am proud…but ultimately, I am mostly fascinated by the reaction to the content.

Ego is like Esopus tongue. It can be a huge engine for creativity and innovation. Unfortunately, I have seen too many instances in which egos have become an end in themselves as well as the source of arrogance and destruction. It is important to keep a balanced view.

How do you handle negative reviews?

I am a blogger and am gratified with comments. In “Le” the leading media in France, I have had more than 70,000 comments.

There are two types of negative comments, the most common being insults and derogatory comments about or directed at the author. I simply ignore them.

The second types of comments focus on the issues. I try to find time to explain better or understand where the commentator is coming from. What I write can sometimes offend others. When this happens I have to admit it and recognize that it can cause people to react strongly. I have my part in it.

How do you handle positive reviews?

I try not to take myself too seriously. Positive comments are gratifying, especially if I really feel they are not complacent but sincere – like I might have actually done something right. It is a reward to be appreciated and recognized. I see no reason not enjoy them.

What is the usual response when you tell a new acquaintance that you’re an author?

It would be preposterous to introduce myself to a new acquaintance as an author. Having just written my first book, I will absolutely remain modest. However, when I do share that I’ve just published my first fiction book, people are usually impressed and genuinely interested (especially since they met the author).

The most common question is: Where are you finding the time to write a book?

What do you do on those days you don’t feel like writing? Do you force it or take a break?

I only write when I feel like it. I see no reason to force myself. Nobody is chasing me – it is a real pleasure.

Any writing quirks?

People are dying to read books in which they feel like they really “meet” the author, the characters and their voices. I don’t try to be anybody else. I am truthful and just write what I feel. Readers will very quickly recognize fakeness.

What would you do if people around you didn’t take your writing seriously or see it as a hobby?

I would agree with part of their thinking. Writing is currently something I do for pleasure, or as a hobby. I am a professional financier and a teacher. However, writing is a serious undertaking and I do and continue to take my own writing seriously.

Some authors seem to have a love-hate relationship to writing. Can you relate? 

We all have our doubts. There will always be a moment when I am convinced that my book is not good enough and/or maybe not worth writing at all. This is the right moment to do something else: go out, exercise or sing. Let the moment pass.

I have a love affair with writing. Hate is not part of it.

Do you think success as an author must be linked to money?

Not at all. This idea is one that is communicated to authors by the publishing industry, but it is wrong. Realistically, there is very little money in writing. Don’t do it for money..and you might even be pleasantly surprised! Success can come from many other places - being understood is one of them…the pleasure of the reader is the other. 

Success is much more than money.

What had writing taught you?

Disciplined imagination. Writing (like teaching) requires discipline and imagination. I have plenty of imagination but there is no shortcut. Without imagination, it is sterile.

Leave us with some words of wisdom.

Writing a fiction novel is a journey – both a fascinating and sometimes frustrating one. Ultimately, the joy and enjoyment has to exceed the frustration or it might not be worth it. Take it easy and breathe. The secret of success is inside the author. 


Title: The Flying Dragon
Genre: Mystery novel
Author: Georges Ugeux
Publisher: Archway publications

About the Book:

No one can resist Victoria Leung. She's beautiful, brilliant, and fearless. Since leaving the fraud department of the Hong Kong Police, she has enjoyed her new status as senior detective at Pegasus, an international security firm based in London. She climbed the ladder by taking down Sun Hung Kai Properties' Kwok Brothers, a real estate empire, and earned the nickname “The Flying Dragon” in the process.

On an otherwise typical morning, Victoria receives a panicked message from her close friend Diana Yu asking for help: Diana's ex-lover, Henry Chang, is in grave danger. Bertrand Wilmington, head of the derivative trading desk of a global bank, has fallen from a window of the twenty-second floor trading room, and Henry Chang is somehow involved. Perhaps with Victoria's help they can clear his name and reveal the secret behind Wilmington's death.

While Hong Kong and Mainland authorities attempt to crack the case with little success, Victoria puts her experience as a banking auditor to use. Her expertise is critical in discovering key clues, and she won't back down until she gets answers. As she searches for the truth, The Flying Dragon quickly becomes enmeshed in a web of arrogance, power, money and sexuality. Will she expose the corruption and bring down a financial giant?

Wednesday, January 27, 2016

Book Excerpt: Sabotage by Bryan Koepke

Title: Sabotage
Author: Bryan Koepke
Publisher: Writers Cabin Press, Ltd.
Pages: 316
Genre: Thriller

Reece Culver and his friend Haisley Averton travel to Scotland with only one thing on their minds - fishing.  After witnessing an automobile accident involving a freelance journalist they quickly realize that something far greater than a crash caused his SUV to sink into the frigid waters of the North Atlantic.

With increasing curiosity, Reece inserts himself into the complicated life of Marie Rhodes who is in the middle of her own crises as she watches her 20-year marriage crumble.

Realizing that they’ll never make it out fishing, Haisley uses his skills in computer forensics to find out who hacked into Karl Rhodes’ office computer at Draecon International and made it appear that he’d remotely accessed the dead journalists laptop.  As Haisley combs through logs on the chief of strategy’s computer he stumbles upon an even bigger plot involving a secret drone factory somewhere in the United Kingdom, what looks like funds being embezzled out of Draecon International, and a plot that threatens the national security of the U.K.

Reece spends increasingly greater amounts of time with Marie Rhodes trying to learn what she knows and soon finds that he can’t resist the temptation of falling in love with the woman of his dreams.  But as things heat up he questions her true motives.

When Karl Rhodes’ executive secretary is found dead Reece agrees to protect Marie’s soon to be ex-husband Karl.  In a tricky game of cat and mouse Reece travels the globe as he tries to keep Marie, her husband, and Karl’s mistress out of harms way, and unknowingly puts himself directly into the crosshairs of a hired assassin.

For More Information

  • Sabotage is available at Amazon.
  • Discuss this book at PUYB Virtual Book Club at Goodreads.
Book Excerpt:

Saturday June 8, 2013
             Julian had been told the target would be traveling south along the coastal road. With a practiced hand he pivoted the stock of the Russian-made sniper rifle on its black steel swivel mount atop the bipod legs and aimed toward the highway below. The SUV would be passing right through his sight . . .  there. A chilly breeze blew through the tent, rippling the damp cotton shirt that lay molded to his back. He wasn’t nervous, but he did tend to sweat as the killing hour approached. He regarded the unpleasant sensation as just part of the job. It wasn’t like anyone would ever find out.
Peering through the custom-made rifle scope, he adjusted the magnification between his thumb and index finger, zooming in on the worn white strands of the highway’s center line several hundred yards below. As he rotated the knob back out, he spotted the farthest flag he’d placed in the branches of a nearby tree. The strip of white plastic barely fluttered, telling him the wind was calm.
His square unshaven chin pressed firmly against the cold black stock of the Dragunov SVD, and he pushed upward, seating the steel magazine that housed multiple 7N1 steel-core sniper rounds. With its 151-grain projectile and velocity of 830 meters per second, it was perfect for this type of work.
A rifle was the best—precise, anonymous, and decisive. He ran the shot through his mind one more time. Envision what you want to have happen. He’d read about that in an e-zine, and he adopted it as part of his preparations, even though it was supposed to be part of his ten-year life plan. He didn’t need any plan. In ten years he’d be rich and retired on a private island in the Caribbean.
The tracking device he’d stuck under the rear bumper would tell him when the SUV was near. It would approach on its way south toward the city of Talbert. He’d picked the perfect spot. The narrow Scottish road curved left around a large hill, and the vast expanse of the North Atlantic Ocean spread beyond the guardrail.
Confirm the license plate BV-061-EK, lead the target, and pan upward to the windshield. He’d draw a bead on the man’s head, squeeze the trigger, and watch as the windshield filled with a fine red mist. He’d envisioned the heavy vehicle veering sideways and crashing through the flimsy rusted guardrail before plunging into the depths of the sea. The driver would be dead before he realized how freezing cold that water was.
            As the assassin waited patiently enduring the wet chill that reminded him of his home on Bainbridge Island, he monitored the moving red dot on his cell phone. A young woman with a yellow scarf drove past in her blue Volvo sedan. His stomach growled, and he remembered the bacon he’d had at the inn.  The slabs were thick and cooked only in patches. Typical British cuisine.
            The dot was rapidly approaching, and he shifted his attention to a silver Nissan Pathfinder rapidly making its way up the road. It carried two occupants. Damn it, he thought as a maroon BMW X5 came around the corner. The Pathfinder would pass in front just as the BMW entered his field of fire.
He could feel a drop of sweat rolling down the knobs of his spine. He zeroed in the rifle scope on the BMW windshield. The cross hairs remained steady as the SUV slowed to make the curve. He saw the Pathfinder pass through in a blur. He had a split second of clearance as he squeezed the trigger. The windshield misted red and flashed beyond his line of sight.

Tuesday, January 26, 2016

Interview with S.K. Derban, author of 'Uneven Exchange'

Born in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania, S.K. Derban moved to London within the first three months, and remained in England until the age of five. Her mother, born and raised in the United Kingdom, was involved with the London Royal Ballet Company, and a great fan of the arts. Even after returning to the United States, S.K. Derban’s life was filled with a love of the theatre and a passion for British murder mysteries.  Her personal travel and missionary adventures also help to transport readers virtually across the globe.  S.K. Derban has smuggled Bibles into China on five separate occasions, and has been to Israel on seven missionary trips.  When writing, she relies on all aspects of her life, from a strong faith in the Lord, to her unique combination of professional experience.  The many personal adventures of S.K. Derban are readily apparent as they shine through into her characters.

Her latest book is the mystery romance, Uneven Exchange.

For More Information

Can you tell us what your book is about?

UNEVEN EXCHANGE celebrates the many facets of a woman. Just hours before completing a mission to help her country, Alexandra Callet is brutally abducted.  Her beloved Mexico has now become a place from which she struggles to escape.  As she fights for her survival, Alexandra’s faith in God gives her the strength to make a difference.  Although her life is in danger, Alexandra emits resilience, determination, and the will to succeed.  Her reward is due.

Why did you write your book?

It is my strong desire with all of my books to make a difference in the lives of my readers. Throughout all of my different stories I hope to bring them joy. I also hope that their strength and faith will increase by reading about the strength and faith of my characters.

Do you tend to base your characters on real people or are they totally from your imagination?

Although all of my characters are from my imagination, each character is made up from little bits of someone I know. Sometimes I feel like a mad scientist using parts from a number of people just to make one!

Are you consciously aware of the plot before you begin a novel or do you discover it as you write?

Before I start writing, I have already planned the book from beginning to end. Imagine that you just watched a fantastic movie, and you are asked to explain the movie in detail from beginning to end. Before I write, I have the entire book in my head. Then, I sit down and write about it just as if I am explaining a movie.

Open the book to page 69.  What is happening?

Alexandra is just finishing her meeting with DEA agent Kevin O’Neil. It is during this meeting that she is recruited to work undercover.

Is it hard to get a Mystery Romance book published?

It is difficult to get any book published. First and foremost, I believe that a true writer must write because they simply cannot imagine not writing! I would write even if never published. Write because you love to write. When you write for yourself first, good writing will find its way to others.

Have you suffered from writer’s block and what do you do to get back on track?

Fortunately I have not suffered from writer’s block. I suffer from not having enough time to write. I fear I am beginning to run out of room in my brain for all of my ideas!

What would you do with an extra hour today if you could do anything you wanted?

Pour a glass of red wine, light a candle, snuggle into a comfortable chair, and read a good book.

If we were to meet for lunch to talk books, where would we go?

It would be my pleasure to take you to Little Italy in San Diego. If fact, I am a third of the way through a book that takes place in the heart of Little Italy.

What do you like to do for fun?

Spending time outdoors is a passion of mine. Spending time outdoors with my family and friends makes it even better! I am blessed to live in San Diego where the weather is near perfect. The hardest thing to decide is if I want to go bike riding, golfing, stand up paddle boarding, or to play tennis!

What kind of advice would you give other fiction authors?

To all of the writers, I would like to remind them to Keep Writing! Try and write at least one page per day. It took me 10 long years and 500 rejections before my first book was published.