Interview with Matthew Rattsifer

Welcome to what is usually a weekend interview (but I didn’t get it posted over the weekend, so…). Today we have Matthew Rattsifer, the author of Thirteen, the sequel to The Demon Journal. He’s been kind enough to answer some questions for us, so let’s dive right in.


J: Hello, Matthew. Can you tell us a little about Thirteen?

M: Firesouls: Thirteen is the concluding book to Firesouls: The Demon Journal.  I wanted to your typical story of taking what people consider the worst and make it the best.  Meaning I wanted to take people (or beings in this case) and make them the heroes.  I decided to create a group of a half-demon, a werewolf, an old-world gypsy, and a vampire that’s been around since the beginning of time.  Their mission in this book is to collect the thirteen crystal skulls to prevent others from using their powers to rule the world and to stop a forgotten God from taking over the Earth.

J: That sounds really intriguing. What inspired you to write it?

M:  In 2011 we went through a flood.  At the time we were living in a trailer.  Once the water receded we had no electric or hot water so all my money went to fuel for a generator to run the fridge and one light or the television.  At night we turned the light off so we could watch t.v.  I wasn’t able to buy new books to read to my kids so I began writing short stories for bed time.  Soon those stories got longer and longer, then because of everything we were going through I only saw the bad stuff in the world so I decided to write a story with bad guys as the good guys – thus the Demon Journal was created.

J:  It sounds like you were able to turn something negative into something positive. Speaking of positive, what was your favorite part of writing Firesouls: Thirteen?

M: Creating Asudem, the vampire.  She’s so unique, I had a lot of fun developing her character.

J: Is Asudem your favorite character, or does that honor belong to someone else?

M:  My all-time favorite character of this series would have to be Callisto, the gypsy.  She has mind control powers that give her the ability to control others or look into their minds.  She’s often referred to as the Mind Spider.  With those powers she can become intangible like a ghost, fly, and essentially be nearly immortal.

J: She does sound awesome. Did you have a least favorite part of writing the book?

M: In ‘the Thirteen’ there wasn’t really any of it I didn’t like to write.  I like looking into conspiracies and this book  is loaded with them, both church and government.  I had fun twisting them together.

J: What do you have planned next?

M: I’m finishing up my fourth book, ‘Chalk Hearts II’.  One of the main characters is a horror writer.  He’s well known for his ‘Justin Daemon’ series.  A vampire series.  I decided to create that series.  I’ve already got an outline for the first two books.

J: Wow! Sounds like you’re going to be busy! We know a lot about your book now, but what about you? Can you tell us one interesting thing about yourself before we go into the bonus round?

M: mmm, I don’t know if anyone will find this interesting or not, but when I write I play soundtracks.  With Demon Journal it was ‘the Craft’.  With ‘the Thirteen’, it was Men In Black.  With ‘Chalk Hearts’ I and II, it’s been Twilight.

J: That is interesting! I’ve always loved The Last Unicorn soundtrack. And now for the lightning round!

Favorite drink: Coke or Swiss sweet tea
Favorite cookie: Chip A Hoy chewy peanut butter cup
One weird habit: When I’m writing I gradually bring out more of the Fortnite characters I collect so by the time I’m done for the night the table is filled with a small army watching me.
Favorite dinosaur: the anklyosaurus because I think it looks like a spiked tank and who wants to mess with a spiked tank
Your spirit animal: Since I studied Druidry most of my life its a rat for my curiosity and an owl for the fact most of my life happens during the night

Thanks so much for coming to see us today, Matthew! And for the rest of you, thanks so much for stopping in. You can find Thirteen, and Matthew’s other books at

Interview with Margaret Marr

Happy Saturday! Today we have Margaret Marr with us, the author of the YA novel Creature.


J: Welcome, Margaret! Thanks for stopping in! Can you tell us a little about your book?

M: CREATURE is a young adult paranormal with a hint of romance. A group of teenagers decide to investigate a human-like creature living in the mountains of their hometown. As they dig deeper, they uncover secrets best left buried. Strange things roam the mountains of Hayton County where tourists, and sometimes locals go missing on a regular basis. Mandy, Abe, and the  high school science club risk danger to discover what’s going on, but exposing long buried secrets might not be in the best interest for two curious teenagers.

J: That sounds interesting! What inspired you to write it?

M: A picture, caught on a hunter’s trail-cam in the next county, showed a human-like creature crouching in the leaves starring into the camera. Its eyes glowed and it appeared to be anorexic. The picture was probably a hoax, but it captured my imagination and CREATURE was born.

J: I’m often inspired by visual things, too, so I think that’s awesome! What’s your favorite part of the story?

M: My favorite part is where Mandy and Abe settle in to try and catch a glimpse of the creature but are interrupted by the science club (a group of four nerds) who have the same thing in mind. They make so much noise that it becomes comical, but it’s the start of an unusual friendship between the characters.

J: That sounds fun! What was your least favorite part (if you have one)?

M:To be honest, I don’t have a least favorite part in CREATURE. I’m sure if I read through the novel again, I might find something I dislike, but not at this point.

J: That’s great to hear. My least favorite part is always the bit I had to edit the most, just because I’m sick of it, ha ha! Do you have a favorite character?

M: My favorite character would have to be Simon Rogers. He’s funny sarcastic, logical, and nothing much bothers him. He’s curious but cautious and is often the voice of reason.

J: That sounds like a fun character. What do you have planned next for us?

M: I’ve already published the second book in the Hayton County Supernatural Series, BANSHEE. A banshee is stalking Simon and he needs to figure out what it wants. This book also available for purchase. Now, I’m working on the third in the series called DEMON. Mandy becomes possessed with a demon who keeps leaving and coming back.

J: Awesome! Can you tell us something interesting about you or your book?

M: In the past year and a half, I’ve lost 95 pounds simply by cutting out sweets and junk food. I’m thinking about writing a weight loss book to inspire and encourage others to do the same. Feeling and being healthy is one of the best things that has ever happened to me.

J: And now it’s time for the lightning round! Favorite Cookie?

M:  don’t eat cookies much anymore, but my favorite would be ooey-gooey chocolate chip.

J: Favorite Dinosaur?

M:  Does a dragon count as a dinosaur? If not, the brachiosaurus. It’s such a gentle giant, with big eyes and a cute face, but it can stomp you into the ground if threatened.

J: Your spirit animal?

M: Panther. I love the elusiveness of this animal and the fact that experts say it doesn’t exist in the mountains of Western North Carolina where I live. Yet, it’s been spotted and heard by numerous people, including me. I heard its scream once as child and have never forgotten it.


J: Thanks so much for saying hi today, Margaret! And thanks to all our readers for stopping in. You can find more of Margaret at the following places:



Facebook Author Page:

Amazon Author Page:



And be sure to grab your copy of CREATURE:



Interview with C.G. Coppola


Today we have C.G. Copolla, author of Better Than This, with us. Let’s pick her brain! (Not literally, that would be too messy, and no one would ever agree to it anyway. Besides, I left my brain pick at home.)

Jo: Welcome Caitlin! Please tell us a little something about your newest release.

Caitlin:  Better Than This is my first Contemporary YA Romance and I started writing it in 2016 without any intent to publish. I’d been toying with a scenario about a high-school girl who discovers the quiet skaterboy has been keeping a sketchbook of her, and I decided to write the scene. Again, there was no plan to let anyone read it, so I indulged myself and paired them together, just to see what happened. I kept going until I realized I was writing a series, but it wasn’t until I heard Kodaline’s “All I Want” that I understood the depth of my story. The boy with the sketchbook becomes a current-day famous musician known for his songs about the girl who got away. (I write HEAs. Just FYI)

J: It better be a HEA because I’m already invested! I love your characters, seriously, and not just these, but those in your sci-fi series as well. Speaking of the sci-fi/fantasy, what inspired you to write contemporary YA?

C: Like I said, it was just a scene playing in my head. Although, if we can be honest, there was some *slight* inspiration. The characters, Autumn and Alex, were originally modeled after the Extra Gum commercial couple featuring sketches on gum wrappers. I was such a sucker for that commercial that I Youtubed it on more than one occasion, and would quiet the room whenever it came on television. I was a little obsessed, but it worked out well in the end I think.

J: Hee-hee, I’ve seen that commercial! What was your favorite part of writing Better Than This?

C: Oh, geez. I loved writing the entire thing, but I’d say my favorite part is the ending. I wish I could say more, but that’d be silly.

J: No, no, you can tell me. *looks convincing* No? Alright then, what was your least favorite part? 

C: Not sure. I kind of like it all, but, maybe…the parts that made me cry when I was writing? I didn’t enjoy them so much.

J: Um…crying? Oh-oh. I guess I better buy some Kleenexes! What do you have planned next for us?

C: I have the second book (Better Than Now) coming out in August and the then the third and final installation (Better Than You) releasing in November. I’m excited for these two because while BTT shows the origin of the story, BTN and BTY explore the meat of the relationship and the thing that everyone wants to know: what’s happens ‘after the girl got away’. Told in both Autumn and Alex’s voices, the last installment answers the question of how and why he’s become one of the most famous young musicians, and what happens when the two are thrust back together.

J: Thrust back together. Thank God. I know you said HAE, but I still worry! Where can people find more of you and/or your work?

C: I have a very lovely blog that I update regularly; it should tell you anything you’d need to know about what I’m up to/what’s next. For those more interested in the in-depth, I have a Patreon where I keep an even more detailed account of writerly things, including original drafts, flash-fiction, how I do certain Indie items (cover image/blurb) as well as scenes from different POVs. After that, maybe try twitter -@writercgcoppola – or my author fb page – @Cgcoppola.

J: One final question before you escape.. erm, I mean, have to go…Leave us with something interesting about you or your book.

C: There was a lot of doubt writing this, even when I thought I wasn’t going to show anyone. Since I’m used to writing Fantasy/Sci-Fi adventures, conflicts come in the shape of monsters and impossible tasks and plagues and armies set to destroy everything. In high-school, you don’t get much of that. I was worried my conflicts wouldn’t be that bad, but as I went on, my characters assured me quite the opposite. All problems—whether big or small—can have a huge impact, even if you don’t see them at first.

J: This is very true! I know I’ve loved what I’ve read of it! And now, I suppose I’d better let you go (or I could pull a Misery and make you get those last two books edited. Hmmmm.) Thanks so much for coming in today and talking to us!

You can pre-order Better Than This from Amazon!

Interview with Stephan Morse


Today we have Stephan Morse, author of The Fiasco in News, with us. His book will release August first. To celebrate, he has a Rafflecopter contest going on that you can enter for a chance at a paperback copy!

TheFiascoInNews800CoverRevealPromotionalJo: Welcome Stephan! Please tell us a little something about your newest release.

Stephan:  My newest book is The Fiasco In News, which follows Adam Millard­—a sarcastic and cursed person in a world of high superpowers like Marvel of D.C. universes. Adam’s power attracts superpowered events of all sorts and keeps him alive. Since he has no other powers of note, we end up getting a chronic kidnap victim’s point of view on all these hero and villain events. I took a chance to showcase less desirable abilities, how they impact people, those trying to find their place in a crazy world, and the repercussions of being constantly yanked around by people with too much power.

J: That sounds really interesting! I love superheroes and I always find it interesting when they’re looked at from a different perspective. What inspired you to write this story?

S: Over the years I’ve read a lot of comics, seen the movies and series coming out, and a ton of books. I love the genre backdrop that super powers can bring to a story and sought a lesser used point of view on the old situations. The idea sat on the back burner a few years while I finished another series. Since that other series wrapped up July of last year, I found myself drawn to The Fiasco as a chance to be deliberately humorous while still writing a serious plotline. It was a great chance to branch out into new genres.

J: What is your favorite part of The Fiasco in News?

S: There are a ton of parts to The Fiasco’s first book which amuse me greatly. So much, that I’m fairly sure someone else sneaked in while I slept (or one of the many editors who’ve perused the piece) wrote all the humor. I assume I did all the dry and boring bits. In this case the best part was a specific line that I got to hear over and over as part of the audiobook auditions. There’s a snippet in there where Adam, narrating to the reader, tries to provide a lesson. It makes me laugh every time. I dug up the full line for anyone interested.

“So I’ll pause the recount here with a hard-learned life lesson. If a woman whose hobbies include gutting children’s storybook villains is even remotely attracted to you, don’t ever mention another girl in her hearing. Don’t even mention that you know other girls. Don’t mention that your mother or grandmother are technically female. Hopefully you just popped into being and grew up in a vacuum. Of course that’s insane, but so is The Alice. And please, if you meet The Alice, don’t tell her I ever mentioned any of this. Just smile and tell that wonderful woman that I’m counting the seconds until our next reunion.”

J: Hahahahahahahaha! Yeah, that is a good one – and some good advice! What was your least favorite part in writing The Fiasco?

S: Knowing that I wrote one book that feels amazingly creative, humorous, and slightly maddening. I rarely, ever, feel proud of my own work (despite my wife’s support), but this one struck me as a great combination of those elements. The least favorite part comes in knowing I may not be able to pull it off twice more to finish out the series. I aim to try.

J: I bet you can! Or else you can bribe the writer elves who did it this time. I sometimes think writer elves nip in and do the good parts of my own books while I’m asleep! Especially with some of my characters…Speaking of characters, do you have a favorite from The Fiasco?

S: There were a lot of side characters in this novel, probably too many to pick a favorite one. Of the main characters, of course I identify a bit with Adam. He’s sarcastic to the point of painful dryness. Giving voice to that was a wonderful activity. Alice sneaked up on me as a character in terms of enjoyment. However, if I were to pick a favorite one, it would be Flux—for reasons that would contain spoilers. He’s the small flying camera orb on the cover with a red eye, and was fun to write.

J: Okay, since you can’t tell us too much about your characters, tell us something interesting about you!

S: I’m utterly useless on my own and this is all my wife’s fault. So if this interesting fact makes it to the final page, you’ll know she agrees.

J: Ha ha! Well, she must agree! What do you (and your wife) have planned next?

S: A lot. Most immediately, I’ll be finishing the fourth book on an Urban Fantasy series I’m writing. After that I’ve got a Fantasy Apocalypse series to debut, and of course the second book in The Fiasco’s series.

J: Sounds like you’re both going to be busy! Before you escape to get to work, erm, I mean, head out, tell us where we can find more of you and your work.

S: Me, myself, and all my ineloquent musings can be found at—which is my website. My wife (who’s super awesome) also posts from time to time on stuff she finds, books, games, television shows, and so on. We try to share what inspires us.You can also follow me on twitter @FrustratedEgo, or drop a line through My work can be found on Amazon

J: And we’re out of time. A huge thank you to Stephan and his (awesome) wife! Don’t forget to check out that rafflecopter!


Interview with Paris


Hello! My name is Katelina, and welcome to the Character Interviews. Using state of the art-mumbo-jumbo author magic, Jo has temporarily bent the laws of fictional space and time to allow various literary universes to converge long enough for me to ask different characters a few questions. Since I spend a lot of time in the Amaranthine series quizzing vampires on what they’re doing, where they’re going and why, Jo thought I would be the perfect interviewer. 

Today we have Paris from the sci-fi romance Worlds Away, by J.L. Hendricks

Katelina: Welcome Paris! Can you tell us a little about yourself?

coverParis: Well, my name is Paris and I have just been abducted by aliens! But, oh my word, are they hot, hot, hot!!!! I guess I shouldn’t complain too much because I have a very able bodied Commander who is taking good care of me now. You see, I used to live on the streets of LA. I was homeless after my parents died and I never was able to get out of my rut. But, I am only 22. My alien Commander, Venay, is in love with me, although a bit over-protective. If you read Worlds Away, by J.L. Hendricks you will see what I mean.

K: Oh wow! I guess we know you’re involved in a romance, then!

P: Yes, I am the soul mate to an alien commander. His name is Commander Venay, but I call him Venay. Some of the other girls tease me about it, but they are jealous. Sheila wanted him if I was going to turn him down, but I think she ended up with the right guy. Venay is a strong warrior who actually has a great moral compass. He isn’t happy with abducting slaves, but he doesn’t know how to change the situation of his people. Letting them die out is not something he can do, so I think he will work with me to change their society for the better and abolish slavery and human abductions.

K: He sounds hot *fans self and looks to make sure her vampire boyfriend isn’t hanging around* Um, anyway, he sounds almost perfect, except for that slave thing.

P: I am still having a hard time supporting Venay because he is responsible for abducting humans and bringing them back to his home planet to be either slaves, or mates. I can understand why he is doing it, his species almost died out due to a disease, but there are better ways to rebuild a society than forced slavery or marriage.

K: Exactly! Though as you said, he isn’t happy about it, so hopefully he will work for change.  Since we’re talking about his evolution, how do you evolve during the story?

P: I have always been strong and independent, so I am that way even when I am abducted. At first I choose to be a slave, but then I start to realize that I can make change happen much faster if I agree to be the mate, or wife, of the alien commander. For these aliens, once they meet their true, fated mate, they never love anyone else and will do whatever they have to in order to keep their mate safe. I start out taking advantage of his bond to me so that I can try to free the prisoners he has in his cells. Their intent is to sell them as slaves once we reach their home planet. Well, a lot of the women will agree to be mated to the warriors on the ship, but not all. So over the course of the trip (book) I realize that I have fallen in love with the giant alien. He is over 7 feet tall! And did I mention he is gorgeous? I do try to help keep my people from being used as slaves, especially one girl who is only 18 and hasn’t even graduated high school yet! What were they thinking abducting a kid like that? Some men are just stupid, whether they are aliens or humans, doesn’t matter. I hope to talk the alien government into changing how they view humans, and to stop the abductions, but that is something that will take time. I hope by the end of the series all humans will be free and the V’Zenians will stop abducting my kind.

K: I’m guessing when you got taken they didn’t give you time to pack. If you could have anything of yours from back on Earth, what would it be?

P: Lola. I miss my dog. She is the most loyal and loving pet a person could ever hope for! If you read my story you will learn about how she chose me to be her companion. I really hope that one of our friends is taking good care of her. If anyone reading this can go to the Santa Monica or Venice Beach area, could you look for Lola? She must be missing me something awful by now.


Not Lola, but it is a dog at least.

K: Poor puppy! I’m sure she’s okay, though I’m not sure if anyone reading this can cross into our dimensions…my author would say sarcastically, “Do you think your life and universe are real?”

P: Yes, of course they are! How else could you be interviewing me if I wasn’t?

K: Exactly. Authors have a weird sense of…I don’t know. Megalomania if you ask me. Speaking of authors, if you could say one thing to yours, what would it be?

P: I have two things: 1-don’t make me pregnant! I have too much work to do and no time to care for a baby, especially if I am going to change an entire society. 2-don’t kill off any of my friends! I have read your Eclipse Series and you kill off a lot of great characters, like Xandrie! So please leave my friends alone. And by friends I mean Lisa, Sheila, and their mates. Please!!!! I will gladly do whatever you want if you grant me my two wishes.

K:  Do you have an enemy, aside from the whole alien kidnapping thing. Though they sound less like enemies and…*cough* anyway…

P: The Zateelians attack my ship right after we leave the solar system. Well, not MY ship, but Venay’s ship. They have acquired some advanced weapons and attack us which forces us to crash land on a planet that is controlled by the V’Zenians, thankfully. But a few of them get on my ship and try to kill me, but to be fair, they are trying to kill us all. However, I prove to them that I am a force to be reckoned with! Well, I have a laser pistol. Sooo, I guess my pistol is a force to be reckoned with.

K: I need a laser pistol! What is the one event that you think helped to shape your personality?

P: When I was 17 my parents died, I don’t wish to go into the details, it is still a tough subject for me. However, I have survived living on the streets for the past 5 years. All of the things I have had to deal with, like finding dead bodies of other homeless people I knew, and fighting off men who wouldn’t take no for an answer, have all made me the strong fighter I am today. I don’t think I could have survived this current situation if I was still living a fairy tale life with my family. Not that I am happy about it, but it has made me the warrior I am today.

image by Yogendra Joshi via Flickr used under a CC license

image by Yogendra Joshi via Flickr used under a CC license

K: And it looks like we’re running out of time. If you could say one thing to your readers, what would it be?

P: Keep an eye out for some recruiting opportunities to join the V’Zenians on their home world!

K: Hee-hee! Right? I mean, um…For a final question, if you could have anything in the world, what would it be?

P: For my parents to come back to life. But this is real life, for me at least, and people don’t come back to life. So what I want most, is to help the V’Zenians to save their species and to stop abducting humans. I know there are better ways. How many people on Earth would jump at the chance to mate with an alien? Or to come to an alien world to work, not be a slave, but for an actual job with benefits? A ton! They would have to get in line and only the best and brightest would be chosen, but the V’Zenian society would benefit so much from this. Earth would too!

K: Yes! I can see the possibilities! And with that we’re out of time. Thanks so much to Paris for letting me interview her. You can read more about her in Worlds Away, by J.L. Hendricks.

Worlds Away, available on pre-order now for only .99c at Amazon. Price will go up after launch date.

And a special thanks to J.L. Hendricks for playing along!


If you’re an author and would like your character(s) to be interviewed by me, then check out this very cool page that has all the details:


Interview with Josh and Cherry


Hello! My name is Katelina, and welcome to the Character Interviews. Using state of the art-mumbo-jumbo author magic, Jo has temporarily bent the laws of fictional space and time to allow various literary universes to converge long enough for me to ask different characters a few questions. Since I spend a lot of time in the Amaranthine series quizzing vampires on what they’re doing, where they’re going and why, Jo thought I would be the perfect interviewer.

wantedKatelina: Today we have a special two-fer  from Terry Compton’s Wanted – in other words, two characters. Please meet…um…

Josh: My name is Josh Gunn.  That blue pile of junk over there is Cherry Kang.  In case you can’t tell, he’s an android.

Cherry: A very special android.  You’ll have to excuse him, he’s still too young to have matured yet.  He’s only thirty-two.  I on the other hand am over a hundred.

K: You’re both older than me. Since this is a text only interview, would you mind describing yourselves for our audience?

J: 6′ 2″  black hair hazel eyes.  Scar on left cheek.

C:  6′ 8″ humanoid shape.  Blue skin with lights underneath.

K: The blue skin is interesting, I have to say. Where do you guys live?

J: Right now we’re living on a spaceship or the asteroid city we found.

K: A spaceship could be cool.  Are there any other interesting characters in your story?

C: Well, I’d say a rogue Hanami captain would be interesting.  We have to find out if we can trust him.

K: I imagine that’s pretty hard to determine. So is this story your only adventure?

J: No, we have a few others and I think we’ll have more.

K: Do you guys have an enemy, or a nemesis?

J: A really stand out enemy or just an enemy?

C: Yeah, he has a tendency to invite trouble when he acts without thinking things through.

J: I do not.  I’ll have you know…  Oh, never mind.  Let’s just say our main nemesis is Lobos.  She’s a real piece of work.  Works several sex palaces from her spaceships.  We’ll shove one of them —

C: Josh, let it go.  The readers can see for themselves.


space, the final…wrong story

K: Ooookaaaaay. Are either of you in a relationship? Like, with someone else? I mean, a romantic…

 C: He definitely has a sweetie.  What she sees in him is beyond me.  Humans are just impossible to understand.  Her name is Kassie Stevens.

J: What about Lemmy?  Isn’t she your honey?

C: Bite your tongue.  How you made that crazy Ezrawe a partner, I don’t know.  She should be committed but she’s the best ship’s engineer we’ve ever seen.  And man can she eat.  Don’t hold any food in your hand when she’s around or you might lose your hand.

J: She’s not that bad.  He just doesn’t like it because she calls him Twinkles.”

*Cherry shakes his fist at Josh.*

K: *laughs* Twinkles? Oh, because of the lights, right? Or is there something more? Never mind, I bet it’s in the book. Okay, next question, would you kill for those you love, and would you die for them?

J: I already have – umm killed that is.  I almost died but that’s a different story.

C: I agree with him.

K: This sounds like an exciting story. What’s the biggest challenge you face in it?

J: Oh, I don’t know.  Maybe trying to keep from him and Lemmy from killing each other.  Getting a spaceship that’s workable is also a bit of a problem.

C: A bit?  Taking two derelicts and piecing them together is a bit?  And you in a body cast so all you can do is give ‘helpful’ hints.

J: What can I say?  I’m just good.

K: Body cast? Oh my! You guys must be living dangerously. Do you have any family?

J: *frowns* I’d just as soon pass on that.

C: I only have factory made family.

K: Can you give me an interesting fact about yourself?

J: We’re both from 500 years in the future.

K: Oh wow. And with that we’re out of time. Thanks so much to Josh and Cherry for coming in today! You can read their adventures FREE in Wanted by Terry Compton.

And a special thanks to Terry Compton for playing along!

If you’re an author and would like your character(s) to be interviewed by me, then check out this very cool page that has all the details:

Interview with SMW Claw


Today we have SMW Claw (how cool is that name?), author of the FREE children’s book Goggles Gone Strong: Mighty Monday. 

Jo: Thanks so much for coming! Please tell us a little something about Goggles Gone Strong: Mighty Monday.



SMW: Goggles Gone Strong: Mighty Monday is a clever adventure novel for children ages 9+.

In the book Calypso Blue finds herself on a strange island with a strange family, wearing an absurd pair of goggles, but has to save the dad from a giant saltwater crocodile, the mom from a sacrificial ritual, herself from mauling by the evil guy’s vicious tigers (oh, and a shark!) before she can figure out those danged goggles and nab the treasure to bring it home.

J: Oh wow! That sounds really fun! (Yes, I enjoy kid books, myself!) What inspired you to write this story?

S:I came to writing a novel a little bit differently than most, I think. I’ve never aspired to be a writer, but I have always been a voracious reader–cereal boxes, junk mail, calculus textbooks… anything!

I had to give up my novel reading habit when I started having kids. The problem was I’d stay up until 4 AM trying to finish the story and wake up as the Wicked Witch of the West (not exactly the mother or wife of anyone’s dreams). My nighttime routine had gradually devolved to me reading Facebook and design and political blogs to unwind.

Eventually it occurred to me that I’d been spending every evening for a couple of years in this way and I had nothing to show for it. I wasn’t a better person. I wasn’t better friends with anyone. I had no new talents or skills.

What if I used that time to do something productive? Something that could potentially stand the test of time? Something I could hand off to my kids and grandkids?

I decided to try and write a book. It took me three years, but I did it!

d975f53d-6ec1-46bf-9f99-3546dffb3a2cJ: That sounds like a good way to go about it to me! What was your favorite part of writing the story?

S: I was very surprised to find that writing a book is just as fulfilling and satisfying as reading a really good book. Except for instead of staying up all night trying to finish it, my brain is full after a couple of hours, and I can get to bed on time.

J: I love that answer – it’s so true, I think! What was your least favorite?

S: That few minutes just before I start writing when I think I have no new ideas, my brain is too tired to work, maybe I should just take a day off… Of course, all that ends once I sit down and get to work, but it’s a hump to get over every single time.

J: Yep! It’s that moment where you think “What am I doing?” Ha ha! Can you tell us something interesting about your writing experience, something we might not guess?

S: My husband is morally opposed to Word or any word processing software really (who needs words when you can code??), so my entire book was written in Google Docs, usually with my iPhone or iPad.

J: I’ve actually seen discussions about apps to use to write books, so this is really interesting! What do you have planned next?

S: The next book in my Goggles Gone Strong series–True Tuesday. This one is told from the point of view of Reggie Blue and he’s a hothead.

J: That sounds like fun! Thanks so much for stopping in today to chat with us.

Be sure to check out SMW Claw’s cool website at And don’t forget to pick up your FREE (yes, FREE) ebook at:



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Interview with SM Randle


Today we have SM Randle, author of Night of the Shadows: Murder and Mayhem

NewBookCV_upd3Jo: Welcome ! Please tell us a little something about your newest release.

SM:  This story picks up where the Night of the Shadows: The Beginning left off.

Night of the Shadows: Murder and Mayhem weaves a spellbinding tale of murder, love, deceit, and revenge.

In the summer of 2013, in Miami Florida, a series of brutal, unspeakable, seemingly random murders captured headlines across America. Bobbie Jean Pratt and her lover lured their victims to their horrible deaths with such ease; they were able to carry out these murders for months.

J: You had me at murder! What inspired you to write it?

SM: Writing is very comforting to me.  It helps me to relax.

J: That sounds like a good reason! Do you have a favorite character? 

SM: No, I don’t have a favorite character.

J: Fairness to all. That’s a good policy. What was your favorite part of writing the book?

SM: My favorite part about writing is developing the characters and telling their stories.

J: That is the best, isn’t it? What’s your least favorite?

SM: My least favorite part is actually ending a book.  The characters always want to live forever.

J: That is so true! Can you tell us what  you have planned next?

SM: I’m currently writing a mystery book.

J: Mystery is a good genre, too! before you go, can you tell us where people can find more of you?

SM: My Website is at

J: All right! Thanks so much for stopping in today to chat with us, and thanks everyone for checking this out. 

You can find Night of the Shadows: Murder and Mayhem at:

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Interview with Rami Ungar


Today we have Rami Ungar, author of Video Rage, with us. Let’s pick his brain! (Not literally, that would be too messy, and no one would ever agree to it anyway. Besides, I left my brain pick at home.)

gas mask

“Are you my mummy?” (sorry – gas mask and British flag… *cough*cough* Never mind.) Meet Rami!

Jo: Welcome Rami! Please tell us a little something about your newest release.


Rami:  Video Rage is the sequel to my first novel, Reborn City, and the second book in the Reborn City series. The series follows  Zahara Bakur, a young Muslim teenager who moves to the futuristic city-state of Reborn City and finds herself forcefully initiated into the Hydras, a rising street gang in the city’s western projects. As time goes on, Zahara finds out that the leaders of the Hydras have mysterious powers. And when she finds out where the leaders got their powers, she gets caught in a conspiracy that jeopardizes not only her life but the lives of all whom she holds dear.

J: That sounds really good! (So good in fact that it’s the next book on my TBR list assuming my new kindle cable ever arrives!) What inspired you to write it?

R: The movie Freedom Writers. I’d just seen the movie, and it really resonated me, especially its theme that you could overcome your past and your environment and become something great. And then one day, I was walking home from the library, listening to some rap music, and thinking about how the music could’ve fit in the movie. And then I thought, “I should write a gangster story.” I spent the next hour over ice cream and rap music planning details, what sort of story it was going to be. Seven or eight years later, here we are, with Book 2 coming out!

J: I haven’t seen that, but maybe I should. Do you have a favorite character in Reborn City? Why are they your favorite?

RC coverR: I think Zahara is definitely my favorite character. She starts out as not much of a heroine: timid, shy, very adverse to violence. However as time goes on, she grows braver and much more confident, and I love that about her. I really enjoy heroines who grow into their roles. They are so fun to watch as they grow and evolve. I also love antagonist Jason Price, whom I modeled after Samuel L. Jackson. He’s diabolical, motivated by his desire to keep power and by his old prejudices. He’s a great villain, and I love myself a good villain.

J: I love a good villain too! Can you tell us what  you have planned next?

R: After Video Rage is out and I’ve done all the necessary marketing, I’m going to edit another novel that I haven’t touched since I graduated college last year, and then I’m going to write the final book in the Reborn City series for National Novel Writing Month. I’m thinking of calling it Full Circle. That’s a catchy title, don’t you think?

J: Yes! I like that title – but then you’re good at titles! Where can people find more of you and/or your work?

R: You can find me on my blog, Rami Ungar the Writer, as well as on Facebook and Twitter. If you want to check out my books, they’re available on Amazon, Barnes & Noble, iBooks, Smashwords, and Kobo.

VR CS front coverJ: And it’s an awesome blog, might I add. One final question before you escape.. erm, I mean, have to go…Leave us with something interesting about you or your book.

R: I’m about to start a new job and move into my own apartment. That’ll make writing soooo much easier!

J: Yes it will – and congrats on the new place ans the new job! Thanks so much for stopping in today to chat with us.

You can find Rami Ungar’s books at:

Reborn City:
Video Rage: 

Author Interview with Lori Soard

Today we have Lori Soard, author of the Cupid’s Crossing series, with us. Let’s pick her brain! (Not literally, that would be too messy, and no one would ever agree to it anyway. besides, I left my brain pick at home.)

Jo: Can you tell us about a little about your newest release?

lori-head-greenLori: My latest release is Cupid’s Quest. It is the first in a new series called Cupid’s Crossing. Cupid’s Crossing is a fictional town I created where magical things happen. In Cupid’s Quest, the two main characters are both participating in a scavenger hunt put on by a local radio station. They have a little help from their friends, a zany bunch of senior citizens. Along the way, they find true love. It is a Christian contemporary romance.

J: That sounds like a lot of fun! What inspired you to write it?

L: Believe it or not, I kept thinking about the town and what if there were this picture perfect little town where amazing things happened. I created a map for the town and started to plug in the people who lived there. It all started with an abandoned book idea. The book just did not fit the lightness of the town. Over time, the characters and stories took shape.

J: I love it! Especially the idea of making the map. With all those characters it might be hard to pick a favorite, but do you have one?

L: Libby Henderson, the senior citizen I mentioned above, is definitely my favorite. Like most other people, there are times I don’t like Libby very much. She is cantankerous and she constantly tries to take everything over, even my stories. However, like my heroine Gracie, I see that Libby has a heart of gold underneath it all. She is wise, smart, sassy and a very strong woman. She will appear throughout the series.

J: Speaking of favorites, what was your favorite part of Cupid’s Quest?

L: My favorite scene in Cupid’s Quest comes after the senior citizens break out of the nursing home, steal a van, and go on a “high speed” chase at about 20 mph through Cupid’s Crossing. When Gracie, the heroine and director of the nursing home, arrives at the police station, Libby Henderson (in her 80s) has the officers cowering from her cane. You have to know the characters to really understand how funny the scene becomes and how quickly things escalate.

J: Ha ha! Even without knowing them I am chuckling, so I imagine it’s hilarious in the book! What would you say was your least favorite part of writing Cupid’s Quest?

L: There is a side story where the hero’s mother is very ill. I didn’t like writing those parts. It hits very close to home. We’ve had to deal with a lot of death and ill family members. However, I think it helps me write the emotions the characters are going through in these situations. When my husband was a deacon, we would often go visit church members in the hospital and pray with family members. There are some basic emotions that everyone goes through when faced with these things, believer or not.

J: I think sometimes it helps reading about them, too – kind of cathartic to have characters who are going through the same thing you are or have. You mentioned being a deacon’s wife, can you tell us something else interesting about yourself?

loritornadoL: The town I live in was the birthplace of Colonel Sanders of Kentucky Fried Chicken fame and one of my best friends is related to him. The only other thing the town is famous for is an EF4 tornado that tore our school apart in 2012. Lady Antebellum came to the town and put on a concert for us after and we’ve slowly rebuilt until you can barely tell the tornado was ever here.
We were so blessed. The second tornado that went through brought tennis ball size hail that did about $25K in damage to our home, but the EF4 beast went behind our neighborhood. My husband took some pretty startling pictures of it. It missed us (barely). I hope we never have to experience anything like that again. It was terrifying and an ungodly sound that can best be described as a growling monster, which is why I call it the beast.

J: Tornadoes are one of my ultimate, all-time fears, so… wow! Terrifying! So glad you were both unhurt! What do you have planned next?

L: I am working on the next book in the Cupid’s Crossing series. This one will be Sinclaire’s story. Sinclaire works with Gracie at the nursing home. She is broken in every way imaginable. Her heart has been damaged almost beyond repair, she is discouraged, and she does not believe in God when the story opens.

J: That sounds like a good read! Good luck, and before you go I have to ask, where can people find more loribookof you and your work?

L: I am on social media (Facebook, Twitter, Pinterest, LinkedIn, Google +). I often update people on what I have going on there. I also have a website: All my books are on Amazon.

Thanks so much to Lori for stopping in an letting us… talk to her today. (You thought I was going to mention brains again, didn’t you?) Be sure to check out her website and her newest release Cupid’s Quest. It sounds like a lot of fun!

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