Thursday, August 31, 2017

Wednesday, August 30, 2017


Tell me a little about yourself (where you live, who you are, what you look like, what you hope to achieve, etc.)

Folks call me Rawhide Robinson. It’s been “Rawhide” for so long I don’t recall what name they hung on me at birth. I ain’t nothin’ extra—just an ordinary cowboy. Not too old, not too young. Not short, but not exactly tall, either. Whilst dogs don’t bark and women don’t run when they see me coming, I ain’t much to look at. You could say I’m from Texas, but my home is wherever you find cattle to look after and horses to do it with, and my trail has taken me hither and yon across the Old West. For an ordinary cowboy, I guess you could say I’ve had more than my share of extraordinary adventures—and that’s what them books about me is all about.

What do you like to do in your spare time?

Other than catchin’ a little extra shut eye when the opportunity arises, there ain’t no such thing as spare time for a cowboy. Evenings around the campfire or the bunkhouse will find me socializing with the other hands. I’m inclined to spin a windy now and then—fact is, I’m known far and wide for such stories. Some folks claim to disbelieve my tales, but I’ll swear with a straight face and a twinkle my eye every word of ’em is true.

What is your favorite color and why?

I ain’t never spent no time ruminating on such foofaraw. I guess you could say dun. I’ve forked a fair amount of fine horses in my time, and most of them has been of the dun persuasion of one shade or another, from claybank to coyote to buckskin to grulla. Most of the West is dun-colored, too, so my eyes is accustomed to the hue.

What is your favorite food? Why is it your favorite?

Where I come from, a man eats what’s put in front of him and he don’t ponder on it much. In terms of tonnage, I’ve et more beans than anything else. Like ’em, too. Especially if they’re spiced up some with chili peppers.

What would you say is your biggest quirk?

I won’t admit to having no quirks, but them that knows me would likely say it’s a gift for gab and an uncanny ability to string words together in a euphonious manner.

What is it about your antagonist that irks you the most, and why? Share a line in the book where this irk is manifested.

While my vocabulary is filled with fancy words, I confess unfamiliarity with “antagonist.” But I’m told it means something like “opponent.” I’ve had plenty of them in my time, and they’ve been written up in the various books about me.

In Rawhide Robinson Rides the Range, there was a button name of McCarty whose lack of appreciation of my stories was downright obnoxious. His typical response was %&@*!# or some such. But, him being young and all, I believe that as he got some miles on him he would come to recognize the value of those true tales of adventure and daring in the Wild West that I tell.

If you read Rawhide Robinson Rides the Tabby Trail, I think you’ll come to share my dislike of an old frontier relic name of Buckskin Zimmer. Rustlers ain’t fit human beings in any situation, but hanging is too good for a man who would kidnap cats.

My next adventures, which you will read about in Rawhide Robinson Rides a Dromedary, involve a hulk of a man called Balaban. In his hometown of Smyrna, he sets out to upset by various nefarious means our acquisition of camels for the United States Army. And if that ain’t bad enough, he attempts to inflict bodily harm upon a young girl I call “Hurry” (Huri in her native tongue) who knows more about dromedaries than any ten men you could round up.

What or who means the most to you in your life? What, if anything, would you do to keep him/her/it in your life?

That’s an easy one. I’ve spent my life horseback babysitting cows, and them critters and the cowboy life are what mean the most to me. I’ll keep rolling out in the morning and saddling up and riding the range as long as I am able.

What one thing would you like readers to know about you that may not be spelled out in the book in which you inhabit?

Somewhere, deep down inside the wrinkled recesses of my brain, there lies an itch (that also tingles my lips) to play the flugelhorn in a marching band.

If you could tell your writer (creator) anything about yourself that might turn the direction of the plot, what would it be?

While not inclined to be idle or lazy, I believe Mr. Miller consistently overlooks opportunities for me to take naps. I am firm in the opinion that if you read about me in them books of his, you’ll see that the siestas he does allow me often precede strange and exciting adventures. (The dreams ain’t bad either.) How’s about he spends a few more pages allowin’ me to prop my thirteen-gallon hat over my face and check my eyelids for leaks? 

A Question for Kathryn:

Why is it you writer types is so fussy about the way words is spelled? Mark Twain said he had no use for a man who could only come up with one way to spell a word, and I tend to agree with that sentiment.

Lovely question. While I love Mark Twain myself, I don't happen to agree with him.

While reading a book, you want the reader to be on the same page, so to speak, as you (the author) are. You don't want the reader wondering about a spelling of a word when they should be enjoying the scene. You don't want them so hung up on a word or a phrase of words that they frankly forget to finish the book. Accents like yours are quite another story, however.


Learn more about Rawhide Robinson:


Monday, August 28, 2017

AUTHOR SPOTLIGHT: Mark Minson and Nic of Time

"After leaving Will O'Reilly to pursue the removal of Paul from The Council of Magic, Nicole finds the tables have turned. When she finally returns to Will's house, he has disappeared leaving her a mystery to unravel. 

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Meanwhile, Kyle, Will and Leroy find themselves neck-deep in the ongoing war with MAIM. 

Can any of them survive long enough to prevail?

The thrilling conclusion of the Phoenix Cycle Series!"

 Chapter 1

Will stood up from his couch slowly, using his left arm instead of his right to push himself up after the bullet to his right shoulder. His poor right leg suffered a knife wound and now a bullet wound. 

Nicole stepped to him, wrapping her arms around his waist to stabilize his left-dominated stance. This better end quickly because his wounds hurt her too. Being in his own home should provide some protection and emotional healing. As one of the last extraordinary-talent level magic holders alive, he had become more valuable to the world.

She kissed him again.

“Don’t forget about me,” he said.

Nicole smiled as she stepped back pulling out her wand. Forget about him? He had buried himself too deeply in her soul. Had the attack at Peterborough really only been hours ago? Her teeth ground together. Paul was the leader of MAIM and the Speaker for The Council of Magic. She almost wished she didn’t belong to The Council anymore. All of the ET’s that died on her watch, all of those blank stares from dead eyes. Paul had caused them all. A calming rage settled on her. Time to take out the garbage on The Council. But first, she needed her official red Council robe back—the heavy, hooded symbol of the position she still held.

“Same to you William O’Reilly. Same to you.” She cast the travel spell and a beam of light appeared around and above her. She followed it to the destination fixed in her mind.

Will’s hotel room in Peterborough came into focus as the light vanished. The foot of the bed was a few feet away. Her robe lay on the bed. Will’s suitcase propped open on a chair to her right. Four men sat on the bed playing cards by the light of an electric bulb overhead. For a small town trying to stay that way, they adopted technology quickly.

One of the men looked up at her, “Whoa! Get the guns!” ...

Learn more about Mark:

Monday, August 21, 2017


Tell me about yourself. What got you started in writing?

I was raised in Riverton, Utah and am the fourth child in a large family. Growing up I discovered I had dyslexia and was sent to resources classes. I hated words and could barely write or read. In 9th grade, my English teacher gave the assignment to write a short story using dialogue. I did everything possible to get out of the assignment. My wonderful teacher, Rosie Ruff, wouldn’t budge. Instead, she helped me push through. Inch by inch, I discovered I enjoyed the creative process  The scenes came to live in my head. Once I turned in the story, I began writing for myself and never stopped.

How do you schedule your writing time? When do you write?

I don’t have a particular time to write. When I can fit it in, I do. Often times, I’ll skip extracurriculars to ensure I do get writing done.

How and where do you write? Do you prefer a laptop or some other method of getting your words down?

I write on my laptop, when possible. If I don’t have it with me, I use my phone or grab paper and whatever writing utensil I can to make notes for when I get home. At the moment, I'm writing in my bedroom, in a large, red, rocking chair. I play soundtracks and classical music matching the mood of the scene and off I go. Dialogue is usually a great place for me to pick up from when I have taken a break, I can jump right into the moment. I try to begin at soon as possible in the day. My brain enjoys jumping into the story fifteen minutes before bedtime. Many times, I roll with it and stay up until three to get a scene written.

What's your favorite part about writing? Your least favorite part about writing?
I don’t have a favorite part of writing. I enjoy all of it in turn. Development is a blast. Seeing characters come to life and then take off in directions I wasn’t planning for them to go in. Conflict and battle scenes get my adrenalin going, but usually, require me to go a bit slower. I want to make sure I get battles right. I even enjoy the revision process, especially when I see eye to eye with my editor. Collaboration to make my work better or see it in a way I hadn’t consider, gets me excited, most days.
My least favorite part is the anxiety; the anxiety of being judged. The anxiety of letting my dyslexia get the best of me. Worrying that perhaps, my fantastic story idea isn’t as mind-blowing as I believed it to be in my euphoric state of madness of development.

How did you come up with your book idea? How long did it take you to write your book?

I came up with the idea of Deadly Seven from a dream I had back in 2007. The dream gave me the basic concept and my wonderful family helped me develop around it. I managed to write the first draft in eleven months.

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What types of marketing do you do to promote your writing?

At the moment, my marketing tactics have been Facebook, Twitter, and local events: Local Authors & You, Spring into Books and Barnes & Noble’s Author Palooza and word of mouth. 

What are you currently working on? Do you have a new book out?

I am working with an editor to finalize the other two books in the Deadly Trilogy, Deadly Fables, and Deadly Consequences. To keep my creativity going, I am working on Fantasy/ Sci-Fi, working title “Ragnarok”. A twenty-something woman working through mental illness gets swept up in her delusions and is carried away to Asgard, home of the Norse gods, only to discover, she’s not as crazy as she has been forced to believe.

Do you have a project on the backburner? Tell me about it.

I currently have eleven books started or somewhat developed waiting for my attention. I enjoy using myths and conspicuous theories combined with aspects of our day-to-day lives. I mix sci-fi and fantasy together quite a bit.

What would you tell a beginning writer who wants to publish but doesn't believe he/she has enough talent?

I would tell new writers, any time you write or read, you’re learning and getting better at your craft. Write for the sheer love of writing. Fear stems from being judged, if the focus shifts to fear, the love gets lost in the shuffle. Every person has at least one story inside them, just bursting to get out. Write the first draft for yourself and write it with all the love you are capable of. If your work is written in love, you can’t miss.

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 A Question for Kathryn:

Is there actually a right or wrong way to write and publish?

We each have our own voice and we each have our own direction to follow. We should write what brings us joy, not what is currently selling online at Amazon. We should publish the way we want to publish. I began traditionally and decided that being traditionally published wasn't for me. Now I self-publish and have my own company where I assist other authors in publishing.

Wednesday, August 16, 2017


Tell me a little about yourself:

So very nice to meet you, Ms. Jones. My name is Mal Mu. Captain Mu, I guess I should say since I’m active duty U.S. Air Force, attached to the National Air & Space Intelligence Center (NASIC).

I’m American. So were my parents, grandparents, and great-grandparents. Their parents, though, were immigrants from China. Can you tell it really bugs me when someone calls me “Chinese-American” as if Chinese is the first and dominating part of my identity? It’s not. I’m an American.

My family didn’t even speak Mandarin in the home. I learned it in school, winding up with a master’s degree in Mandarin Studies. I’m a linguist. And that’s how I came to the attention of NASIC: they recruited me to help translate Chinese space program intercepts. And that’s where all the trouble began that Mr. Tarbet writes about in his book, Dragon Moon.

Other than being ethnically Chinese, I’m just a normal American. I’m 5’2”, usually right at 100 lbs. I stay pretty fit, running and training in Wing Chun martial arts. I specialize in my own variation of the butterfly swords, using two-ended Philippino karambits that I designed myself.

What do you like to do in your spare time?

Right now, after all the stuff that happened with Dragon Moon, I have a lot of time on my hands, and I’m using it to complete my doctoral studies. I’m still active duty, but I’m not much use to NASIC anymore, now that my face and story have become so well known.

What is your favorite color and why?

Ooo! Great question! I’m sure for a lot of your readers that might seem almost innocent, but in traditional Chinese thought, it is a profound one. According to the Theory of Five Elements, my color is yellow. And that is especially meaningful since it means my element is Earth, my development is Ripening, my phase is Yin/Yang balance, and my Heavenly Creature is Yellow Dragon. Pretty cool, when you think about all the crap I’ve been through and the cover of the book.

What is your favorite food? Why is it your favorite?

I’m really partial to Texas-style barbeque, especially baby back ribs. I grew up with my dad doing them for special occasions like the 4th of July and Labor Day. There’s just nothing quite like them.

What would you say is your biggest quirk?

It’s embarrassing to say, but enclosed spaces really drive me nuts. That’s pretty ironic, right? I mean, with all the stuff the guys and I went through on the Dragon Moon mission? It got really bad at times—so bad I thought I was going to lose my mind.

What is it about your antagonist that irks you the most, and why? Share a line in the book where this irk is manifested.

Oh man! You really hit a nerve there! For me, the worst part about my antagonist, Colonel Yang Liwei, is how attractive he is, despite the fact that he was just 100% wrong for me. And for my country. For the entire world, as a matter of fact. Here’s Mr. Tarbet’s description of him, from early in the book:

“Guiying [that’s me—that’s what they called me in Beijing during the first part of my mission] removed her hat, stepped into the back of the limo, and sat facing Yang.

“She kept her face impassive. She did not return his smile, which was warm, and twinkled with their secret game. This game of cat and mouse—hiding their relationship from everyone around them—had its own little thrills. But the furtive thrill of dodging the military space program’s strict anti-fraternization rules paled in the deadly light of the bigger stakes.

“Quite the inviting picture, this colonel. Her attraction to him was undeniable, and would have been overwhelming if the stars had aligned differently. Despite her caution, she found herself leaning into his clean, musky scent.

“She allowed her eyes to roam over him, the carefully-maintained appearance of the ideal modern senior officer, the tailored uniform that accentuated his athletic frame. His hair, just beginning to gray at the temples, kept to military standards, but not by any on-base barber. She had been with him more than once on his frequent visits to a Hong Kong esthetician.

“Everything about him, including his closely guarded love life, was orchestrated to fit the subtle but unmistakable impression of a man on the rise, a man with a bright future in the top echelons of power.

“His mirror-polished shoe slid forward until his instep cradled hers, innocent to any observer, a clear message for her alone. Without taking overt notice, she tucked her feet together and pulled them beneath her, the reply deliberate: wrong time, wrong place. Much as she wished it could be different.”

What or who means the most to you in your life? What, if anything, would you do to keep him/her/it in your life?

I’m very much a mission-oriented person. Whether it’s Wing Chun, mastering a language that isn’t my own, or surviving under cover, I will do whatever it takes to overcome any challenge. That trait has come close to killing me more than once, but it’s something I just can’t let go.

What one thing would you like readers to know about you that may not be spelled out in the book in which you inhabit?

I expected to be finished with my doctorate by now, and be in some quiet teaching job at a prestigious university, writing learned articles about classic Mandarin literature. I expected by now I would be settled down, playing tennis on the weekend with my perfect, blond, Ivy League, hedge fund manager husband, summering in the south of France. And maybe even thinking about a child of our own.

But no. Instead of my idyllic imagined life, I still put on the blue uniform every day, work on my thesis at my Pentagon desk, and wait for the phone to ring with questions from NASIC, NASA, or the White House. And at the end of the day, I go home alone, to a quiet little apartment in the Georgetown neighborhood of D.C. I’m a long way from where I thought I’d be.

If you could tell your writer (creator) anything about yourself that might turn the direction of the plot, what would it be?

Hah! Scott is an older guy, older than my dad, in fact. He looks after me and cares for me, and my sisters who are the main characters in so many of his other novels and stories as if he were my dad. He twists himself up in knots describing the bad things that seem to happen to all of us at one time or another.

If I could tell him one thing to ease his mind, to make the plot twists any more comfortable for him, it would be to thank him for letting us change and grow, for helping us mature through all the stuff he shoves on us. And I would thank him for loving me—for loving all of us, his daughters—so much. It comes through in the stories.


A Question for Kathryn:

I am intrigued by one of your titles, Conquering Your Goliaths. I would like to know what are the five Goliaths you have conquered, and how.

Wow, what a question. The book is fiction, but I think I can still answer your question. First, you need to know what the five stones represent that the main character, a Ms. Virginia Bean. gathered to defeat her personal goliath. The five stones, in this order, are Listening, Trust, Optimism, Tenacity, and Constancy. Ms. Bean's struggle? She is single, has just lost her only real job, and doesn't know how she can continue to move forward in life. And then she meets God. And God has five stones for her. 

The five stones that David gathered before he met Goliath could have represented just these five things. Because David had these five qualities, he was able to defeat Goliath.

I have had my own share of goliaths that I've had to conquer through the years - and these five stones - even before I realized they were five stones - have helped me to overcome struggles in my marriage, in raising kids, in my work, in my life's choices, and even when I've had to do something difficult like speaking in front of a crowd.

Thanks for the question.


Learn more about Captian Mallory and her author at the following sites:


Tuesday, August 15, 2017


How long have you been narrating books? What was your first project and what did you learn from it?

I’m relatively new to the audio book genre. I’ve been a voice actor for 20 years and ventured into audio books two years ago. I started with “Never Alone” a nonfiction book. I learned a lot about the subject of the book, which was childhood cancer and I learned the ins and outs of producing books as well. It was a real eye opener! I knew from the first book that narrating audio books was in a class by itself and nothing like doing commercials, training videos and telephone narrations.  

What is your favorite genre of book to narrate?

My favorite genre is Mystery/Thrillers. I love them. I love the way the author spins a tale of “who did it?” I get completely caught up in the characters. I’ve actually taken on their personalities to the point of feeling their pain and bringing real tears forth when the character is crying. It’s an amazing genre and I love it.

What have been your biggest struggle with narrating a book? Your greatest joy?

My biggest struggle was learning the technical side of production. Since I was already an audio producer, I had an advantage over someone who doesn’t know who to edit audio, but there are requirements that ACX (and other Audiobook outlets have) that a producer needs to learn, that was my biggest struggle. My greatest joy happens every two to four weeks when a new audio book that I’ve narrated is released. I can’t get over it! This NEVER becomes boring. A new Audiobook is always a huge joy! 

How long does it typically take you and the author to produce an audio book?

It really depends on the length of the book and whether I’m producing it, or having someone else produce it for me. If I can, my husband, who is also a producer, can get a book narrated and fully produced in two weeks. If the book is eighteen hours, then we obviously need more time, typically a month for something that long.

What can an author expect to make on the sales of their audio book?

That is a great question and one I wish I could answer. It really depends on the success of the hard copy and electronic sales as well. Has the book been out for a few years? Or is it newly released on audio with the electronic and hard copy? Established, popular artists (like John Grisham) are going to make quite a bit of money, because they are already selling books. It does require quite a lot of marketing for authors who haven’t had a best seller yet, but I see audio books being the number one way of “reading” a book in the future. I don’t know if that will be five years or ten, but our culture is changing so rapidly, that I think it will be necessary for an author to have their books on audio as well as electronically in order to be a best seller. It’s the way we are going technically.   

How does an author make sure he/she has the right narrator for their book?

I’ve learned that an author’s intuition is extremely important. That book is their baby! For example, I was hired for a series just last week. The author was going to go with the narrator she used for all of her former books.  I sent a sample to this author and fortunately for me, she felt that I captured her characters perfectly. That was really a joy for me so I would encourage authors to listen to as many voices as they can before choosing a new reader for their books. They know their characters since they, the author created them and they will know when they hear the right voice! Also, if you are happy with your reader, stay with them. There’s a chemistry with an author and a narrator… Friendship forms and also a trust, so I would also advise them to stick with their narrator unless that reader is failing to do their job.

What additional advice would you give to a first-time audio author?

Keep using that intuition, seek out voice talents on ACX and market, market, market!!!! This is the way people will be “reading” books in the future. Use that intuition I highly recommend getting those first books on audio as well as hard copy and electronic versions.


Learn more about Lauren and the books she has narrated for me!

Holladay Productions Inc.

Mobile: 941-800-7264
Skype ID: Lauren_Holladay
Twitter: LaurenHolladay7

Thursday, August 10, 2017


For all of my mystery fans, it's time to check out my new mystery, Tie Died, with Brianne James as the main character. I am always open to new readers as well as reviews of my books. Let me know if you're interested in reviewing and I'll set things up.

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Tuesday, August 8, 2017

TUESDAY TRAILERS: Christian Science Fiction & Fantasy Explained

I love this! It just so happens that I'm writing my first Christian science-fiction and fantasy book entitled, Light/Shade. It's a middle reader and should be out in the new year - 2018!

Monday, August 7, 2017


Tell me about yourself. What got you started in writing?

I've always wanted to be three things: a wife, a mom, and a writer, so I guess you could say I'm living the dream! I've been married to my husband, Harrison, for seven years and I'm a stay-at-home mom to three kids, ages 4, 2, and 1. But I've always wanted to be a writer. When I was about 10 I went to a friend's house one day and she had written a story for a kids' writing contest. Something about seeing that story written on paper just resonated with me and all I wanted to do was write my own story. That hasn't changed since. I have always read a lot of books and even when I'm not writing, I'm probably thinking about writing. 

How do you schedule your writing time? When do you write?

As a busy mom, finding time to write isn't easy! I sneak it in during nap times and late at night when my kids are asleep. But I also try to plan one night a week when my husband stays with the kids and I go to a coffee shop or somewhere quiet and spend time focused on writing. 

How and where do you write? Do you prefer a lap top or some other method of getting your words down? 

I really enjoy writing at a coffee shop where I don't have the distractions of home. I play music in my headphones and that keeps me focused. When I start out a story I like to outline with pen and paper. Sometimes my mind works faster when I'm writing by hand than if I'm typing. But once I'm working on the actual book, I work on a laptop. It's nothing fancy, just a Word document open on the computer and I keep my written outline close. 

What's your favorite part about writing? Your least favorite part about writing?

My favorite part is seeing the characters come to life. I also love it when my characters do something I didn't expect them to do. That might seem funny since I'm writing and creating them, but sometimes I'll type something out and think "Oh, well I didn't know that was going to happen," and that's pretty fun. My least favorite part is major edits, like seeing that a plot just isn't going in the right direction anymore and having to hit the delete button on a lot of work. It happens though, and usually, the writing comes easier and better once I get rid of it and get back on track. It's just hard to lose something after you've worked so hard. 

How did you come up with your book idea? How long did it take you to write your book?

For this particular book, the idea came from one sentence someone said to me. The book doesn't have anything to do with that person, but when they said it it was like I heard a character say it and I could see the circumstance and storyline behind it. I actually started writing the book about ten years ago, but I would just work on it here and there and didn't have any kind of time frame for when I wanted it finished. Once I really got serious and said I was going to finish it, it took me about four months to write the first draft. But then I put it on the backburner and it was close to a year before I picked it back up. Then editing and beta readers and proofing took several months. 

What types of marketing do you do to promote your writing?

I promote through social media, on Instagram and my Facebook page. I also like to cross-promote with others authors and work with book bloggers and reviewers. 

What are you currently working on? Do you have a new book out?

I'm currently working on the sequel to my book, Even Still, and I'm hoping to finish that by the fall. 

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Do you have a project on the back burner? Tell me about it.

I have lots of projects in my mind at all times. I'm always making notes in my writing notebook for story ideas that I hope to get to someday. 

What would you tell a beginning writer who wants to publish but doesn't believe he/she has enough talent? 

I would say, just start! Read a lot of books that you like and get a feel for your favorite kind of writing. And just write! Your first writings might be just for you, or it might be a terrible first draft, but just write. You've got to start somewhere. And once you've got something put together, find a few people to read it and give you some feedback and just keep going!


Learn more about Hannah: