Showcase And Reviews

My Vibrating Vertebrae by Agnes Mae Graham

Posted on Updated on


Working on My Vibrating Vertebrae by Agnes Mae Graham instantly became a labour of love for me rather than just another job. Some books will do that to you. It was special firstly in that it was the labour of love by Agnes Mae’s children, our much beloved Chris Graham and his lovely sister Lorna, to honour their Mum by sharing her delightful poetry with the world, and so they jumped in boots an all to the rather terrifying world of publishing for the first time.

Mum Enhanced JPG.jpgweb
Secondly Agnes Mae’s words really resonated with me so much that I instantly felt a kinship with her. She’s one feisty lady, but also so able to reach in to the well of emotions in all of us, with that talent so particularly given to truly great writers, and give a heart a firm squeeze. So I bow and tip my writerly hat to one prodigious talent – Agnes Mae Graham. Her words will live forever now, and rightly so!





Buy from Amazon

Nonsense Rhyme

Did you ever see an elephant in pyjamas?
Did you ever see a jackal in a coat?
Did you ever see an adder in a bikini?
Did you ever see a giraffe with a scarf around his throat?
Did you ever see a panther in white sandals?
Did you ever see a chimpanzee with short pants and a vest?
Did you ever see an ape with medals on his chest?
Did you ever see a hippopotamus in a corset?
Did you ever see a tiger drinking tea?
If you ever, really, truly ever did see any of these things,
then you’re twice as daft, no, thrice as daft as me.


If you need cover design, logo and image advice and creation, not to mention the most FABULOUS trailers for your books, zoom on over to Chris Graham for the best out there – I did!

Book Blog Tag Monday!

Posted on Updated on

Mondays are TAG days! I’ve been tagged by a lady who I greatly admire, not only because she writes the stories that I love to read, but because she’s a wonderful and caring friend. I had difficulty picking which of her books I wanted to share today because I love everything that she writes, then it occurred that you all probably know how to surf Amazon to find her others. So, here is the latest release from author Christine Campbell. Thank you for including me Christine!

When Tom asks Jayne to marry him, he unwittingly opens her personal Pandora’s Box, and now she can’t seem to close the lid on all that rushes out at her, whirling her into a cycle of self-sabotage.
Unable to commit to a relationship, she pushes Tom away…along with everything else that’s important in her life.
There are things she had chosen to forget. There are others she can’t remember even when she tries. What she does remember is fear.
Feeling emotionally trapped by her past, her biggest challenge is to break through its bars and fly free.
Then she finds someone to help her make sense of what’s happening, but, instead of slamming the lid shut on all that has been let loose, he helps her open it wider and makes her face her fears in order to overcome them.
Remembering the past helps her make sense of the present and allows her to begin the process of healing and she finds that, as in the fable, there is one last thing left in the Box. That thing is hope.
But, when she is ready to commit to a relationship, will Tom still be waiting?

This novel traces a woman’s struggle to become the woman she wants to be in order to marry the man she loves.
A contemporary novel about someone who could be your neighbour, your friend, or even you.

The rules of this tag are to answer the following four writing questions, and then tag three other authors. Next week, February 24, these three authors will answer the same questions and tag three others, and so the chain continues to grow larger. This will enable readers to get to know more authors and their books. It will also allow everyone to get to know these authors a little better.
Because I’ve already participated in one of these tags, and because I’ll be participating in a couple more, I’ll try not to repeat myself. Try.


1. What are you currently working on?

I’m working on a few projects right now, and seeing as how I know I’ll be answering this question again, I’ll use one at a time. My goal for this year is to publish four books, two of them fairly soon. Lesser Being is the first in a collection of novels featuring Judith, a ghost writer specialising in memoirs. Each book tells the life of the person whose memoir she’s currently writing. The first one is Emmaline.

LB2 sized 2ab (3) Web

2. How does your work differ from others in the same genre?

I’m sure that there are lots of books about ghost writers. I think that the way each author tells their story makes most decent books unique.

3. Why do you write what you do?

I have an abusive muse. She pelts things down on my head until I write what she shows me.

4. How does your writing process work?

This particular story started out as a memory of someone, then turned into a daydream about what route her life had taken, then it became a high definition movie in my head with surround sound in 3D. All I had to do was write it down, and try not to use too many exclamation marks again.


Lucy Pireel is one of the first authors I met online, and we’ve become firm friends over the time that has passed since then. She’s funny and brilliant, one of the most hard-working people I know, and she has a heart of pure gold. I want to share the cleverest twists on fairy tales that I’ve ever read. Add talent, wit, and a little touch of wicked and you have….

Once upon a time …

Little Red Riding Hood took matters into her own hands

And the miller’s daughter struck a flawed deal with Rumpelstiltskin

In these–and two more–twisted fairy tales there are no happy endings, and what you’ll find from these heroines is not what you would expect to find at all.

I’m a poet collector. I’m a sucker for anyone who can turn words into magic, and twist your heart with a sentence. So far I have about seven favourites, and right up at the top is Pamela Beckford. She’s also become a favourite blogger, and another one of those lovely people whose words I never want to miss. Dreams of Love is a must have for anyone who loves beauty and of course, love.

Poetry can soothe the soul. While many are short, these poems are filled with emotion. Perfect love and love lost are all represented in this collection of poems.

John W Howell is one of the authors I stalk in the blogosphere, and another favourite person. I love his regular short fiction, and now his brand new novel is launched and perched right on top of my reading pile. Enjoy!

John J. Cannon successful San Francisco lawyer takes a leave of absence from the firm and buys a boat he names My GRL. He is unaware that his newly-purchased boat had already been targeted by a terrorist group. John’s first inkling of a problem is when he wakes up in the hospital where he learns he was found unconscious next to the dead body of the attractive young woman who sold him the boat in the first place. John now stands between the terrorists and the success of their mission.

I’m not planning on asking permission to tag any author. I’m just going to tag those I find awesome, but any indication from you that you actually won’t throw stones at me if I send the chain your way would be cool too.

Dreams of Love by Pamela Beckford

Posted on


Description: Poetry is an expression from deep within the soul. It can be therapeutic and healing. It can bring out all the best or the worst in life. Her poetry comes from the heart, not the head. It is an outpouring of emotion and she exposes it to reader in the pages.

Various poetry forms are explored: free verse, tanka (5-7-5-7-7), doidotsu (7-7-7-5) and etheree (1-2-3-4-5-6-7-8-9-10).

Dreams of Love

Dreams of you and me
Together in ev’ry way
Your lips pressed to mine
Assuring me of your love
Dreams of love eternally

Purchase here!

pamelaPamela began writing poetry in just the last year. She is a nonprofit executive by day and spends her hours trying to be sure that everyone has a chance for a good life. Pamela is passionate about her job and it spills over into her writing. Dreams of Love is her debut poetry collection. Pamela feels that poetry can be very personal but invites you into her soul as you read her poems.

Visit the Author!

Poetry by Pamela
Year ‘Round Thanksgiving Project

Beginning Anew by Paula Rose Michelson – Book Blast and Giveaway

Posted on Updated on

Blast banner



Beginning Anew CoverNaomi and Chaz know that miracles really do happen for at a friend’s wedding they reaffirmed their love and are Beginning Anew!

Yet there are consequences that the couple must face. Will Chaz love and protect his wife? Will Naomi learn to trust Chaz?

Find out in the first novel of Paula Rose Michelson’s four-book saga e Naomi Chronicles.

Available at:

Smashwords –
Goodreads –





Casa Series 001-1

Paula Rose Michelson is not only an author but also a mother of two married daughters, and the grandmother of seven. She authored the Casa de Naomi Series. And today, February 1, 2014 The Naomi Chronicles, Book One, Beginning Anew will release on Amazon.

In 1988, she founded LAMB Ministries which teaches women recovering from trauma and abuse.

While awaiting the copyright for the first LAMB recovery book titled, “Why Did We Become Angry?” She wrote a series of politically incorrect articles that will be published under the title, “The Purple Pitch Seduction of America.” These will release in 2014.

Paula can be found online on:

Her site, blog, Twitter, Facebook, Amazon, and Goodreads


For this release blast Paula has decided to do a giveaway.

The prizes are:

Prize pack Anew Blast

3 sets of the previous Casa de Naomi Books (digital format)


3 x Casa de Naomi: Book One (digital format)

a Rafflecopter giveaway

Chaz carried Naomi over the threshold and into the vestibule. His gaze caressed her every feature, resting at last on her eyes. They were a striking couple. She, a petite woman with olive skin, azure blue eyes, and curly hair that, when let loose, fell to her waist; he, a lanky man with close cut, dark brown hair and strong features who had once again married the woman his heart yearned for. As Naomi met his gaze with her own, she found herself believing that the Spanish tiles and sideboard stood as silent witnesses to the love encompassing them. She felt Chaz tighten his hold on her and remembered the first time she came to this casa, a teenager handcuffed and dragged here against her will.
He nuzzled her neck, and her thoughts turned toward Chaz coming to this casa the first time they wed, unaware of her secrets. When they looked at each other, Naomi believed each of them were experiencing the magic that surrounded them, magic carried on the soft velvety breeze that drifted in through the front door, enfolding them in its embrace. Noticing that they breathed in unison, her heart rejoiced, for their unity affirmed to her that this was the beginning of all their tomorrows as their yesterdays faded away. She smiled, certain each of them was remembering the vows they had reaffirmed, the promise of the night they shared, and the many promises they made; promises to love, cherish, and obey.
Naomi drank in her surroundings, amazed that the place of fear and trepidation that had become a refuge for her while serving others, and from which she had fled weeks ago, was now a place of love and joy. Bringing her thoughts back to the present, she saw Chaz’s gaze sweep the casa and noticed his scowl. She wondered if he was remembering their first wedding night a little more than a month ago that for him, she believed, was a night of unmet…She blushed and was about to ask him when he turned toward her. Though she believed, she would never be sure, his look seemed to say…Nomi, you take my breath away!
She flicked a piece of lint from his tuxedo jacket.
“Nomi! Did you hear me?” He stared at her.
Though not given to mind reading, because of the way Chaz looked at her, Naomi wonder if he was remembering the way they meet years ago when he was on the street inebriated. Before their life had fallen apart, he had told her that the few moments they spent then changed him forever. Now, as she relieved the moment, Chaz had called her “Nomi” she realized once more the manifold blessings of remarrying this man who used the same endearment her papá had. Chaz had called her “Nomi” before, but this time, when he spoke that name it sounded like a benediction, and her heart filled with joy. She was certain he truly loved her as her family had, for none but her family had ever called her what her papá had until Chaz claimed her heart.
“Nomi, you take my breath away!”
“Oh, Chaz, I thought I imagined you saying that.”
Chaz smiled and kissed her. “Dear one, let us remember what we went through to come to this place and this time. Let us never take lightly the love we have for each other.”
“I promise…I will not forget.”
“Amore, time has robbed us of many things. Commitments unconsecrated at the beginning of our marriage and your promise of their completion on that first Sunday night.”
She blushed. “This is true, but there is nothing we can do about that now.”
“We can have our special Sunday as you planned.”
Naomi took the measure of her man with new insight. “Do you mean to tell me that after all of this, you are willing to wait?”
“Sí, that is exactly what I mean. If there is one thing I have learned from all of this, it is that I need to be patient with you…with us.”
“Are you trying to develop this trait by putting off our union?”
“I believe we should come together after we have sorted things out. I must confess, you were not the only one hiding. I came to you with one suitcase and allowed you to think I was less than I am. For that, I ask you to forgive me. It is because both of us have not been open with each other that we need this time. Besides, waiting until Sunday will be wonderful agony for us both. After all, what is it they say, ‘waiting makes the moment more special’? I believe we should wait as you originally requested.”
“What do you mean, you made yourself to be less than you are? Who exactly are you?”
“See, you are aware that we do not really know each other, or you would not be reacting this way.”
“That is true. I can see the wisdom in what you suggest. But…”
Chaz watched his bride’s emotions as they flitted across her face. “What are you thinking about?” he asked as he put her down.
Seconds ticked by. She smiled at him. “I was thinking about the sign.”
Chaz drew her close. “I am glad you like it.”
“Well…who would not be surprised…I mean pleased, to come home and discover the casa had been named after them, with a sign saying so now hanging above the front door?” She remembered asking him, “Why did you pick these words?” Though she hated having her name where everyone could see it, she smiled when he answered, “I told you before, you are my casa, Naomi. I am at home in you!” Amazed by her response, “I never thought of this as my casa,” Naomi knew she sounded happy like new brides do. Now, those words seemed to reverberate within the walls of the casa, as if the house was rejoicing with her because it somehow knew that home had always been an illusion to her until now.
She thought of the yellow butterfly on the sign and asked, “Chaz, are you one who watches butterflies?”
“No, my sweet, I am one who watches you.”
“What do you mean?”
“What were you thinking of that made you blush when I proposed?”
“Well…I said I would date you…because outside my bedroom’s French doors each spring, I watched caterpillars spin their cocoons and emerge later in the season as beautiful butterflies. I wondered if…if I…could be like them…becoming all I was meant to be by…marrying you.”
“When hearts beat as one like yours and mine, in time we come to understand each other’s secret yearnings.”
“And what is my secret yearning?”
“That we be happy—”
“Oh yes, I want us to be happy and… hope for…”
“Una mariposa amarilla, sí?”
“How did you know my secret wish was to be free like a yellow butterfly is?”
“Naomi, for one who was taught that observing the Jewish faith could lead to her death, who sought freedom in America, then needed to live in isolation because she had entered the land illegally, thinking of a butterfly that goes where it wants and does what it pleases must have seemed like heaven. As for yellow, that, my lovely, is no secret. Given the choice, if you are not trying to be invisible, or dressing to please me, you wear something yellow.”
Naomi thought of the lovely yellow sunhat with embroidered red roses Chaz had bought her and nodded. “Yes, you are right.”
“Un momento.” Chaz hurried away, returning a moment later with that hat in hand. She smiled at him as he placed it on her head and draped the matching scarf artfully around her neck. “I promised myself that when you came back we would begin again with good memories. For me, this hat and dancing with you on the patio are the best!”
She smiled at him.
He picked her up, and hurried towards the backdoor. Before he crossed the kitchen’s threshold, she motioned for him to put her down. “Is there a problem?”
She frowned. “It is going to be hard enough to wait until Sunday, so…”
He saw her frown and understood all she had not said. “Sí…dancing with you is out of the question! Now I wish you had not agreed to wait until…”
“No. I know you were right…though it seems odd to be married twice in such a short time and never come together.”
Chaz chuckled. “When you put it that way, I can see the humor in our situation.”
“It might not seem funny when some will insist that we wed on June fifteenth, 1967 instead of on July twenty-sixth, 1967.”
“I do not care what date we use. All that matters is that we are really and truly married.”
“Yes, a new beginning.”
“Now there are things we need to do.”
“What things?”
“We must go shopping for some new bedding and other things for the master
At the mention of bedding, Naomi blushed.
“What is it?”
Aware that if she shared her desire, Chaz’s plan might go awry, Naomi cast her eyes down. “Nothing…nothing at all…”
“Naomi, do not hide from me again.”
Oh, God, how do I do this? she wondered as her color deepened.
“Naomi…please, please…” The way Chaz looked when he uttered those two
words made her feel weak in the knees.
Talk about something else, she told herself. “All right…since you spoke of Madre Vida and the sign, I must share that her name is misspelled.”
“Is that all?”
“Tell me.”
“I am so sorry that I did not clear out her room for you.”
“Nomi, it is all right. We can do that together.”
“I could not let go of her presence. With your help, now I can.”
“Good! Let us make that room our own.”
“I am glad you will help because that way the room will really be ours. What should we do with Madre Vida’s things?”
“We could pack them away,” he suggested. Then seeing his bride frown, Chaz exclaimed, “Why not pick some of her things and frame them!”
“Oh, Chaz, that is a wonderful idea, but…”
“Well,” she looked at him for assurance. Seeing him nod, she continued, “It might be silly to speak of such things now, but though I lived with Madre Vida for more than five years, I do not know anything about her except her work with girls like me, and the market she owned and passed on to me along with all her other commitments. Though not my real mother, she gave me this life.”
“Maybe, in her things, you will find what you want.”
“I hope so. I would like to know…” Naomi smiled at him. “She was my only family here in America.”
Chaz hugged her tight. “Now you have me.”
“We have each other.”
Chaz heard the kitchen clock chime, marking the midnight hour. He escorted his wife to her bedroom door and forced a smile. “Then we agree, tomorrow we begin to make the suite fit for us.”
Naomi smiled and opened her door. “Yes, tomorrow we begin to be us instead of you and me….Us, as only a couple in love can…”
“Will be,” Chaz finished her sentence, then he kissed her lips longingly. Drawing circles in her right hand, he moved closer, so close each could feel the other’s heart beating. “Naomi, I…” he pulled her to him.
“Whatever you want, I am yours,” she murmured as his lips encircled hers.
“Naomi,” he moaned, “I must leave you now or I will never go!” He forced himself to turn away and walk down the hall.

Paula answers some questions:

Sweet or savoury?
Sweet! Growing up next-door to my grandparents,’ I was blessed to eat bread or sweets anytime I liked because grandpa owned a Jewish bakery and my dad frosted all the cakes. In that day no one sold anything that was a day old, so there were a lot of delectable treats. At one year old, I weighed 32 pounds and have had to watch my weight ever since…but I still love sweets!

Coffee or tea?
Tea! I have a tea pot collection that my friends have added to over the years. Once while Ron was in Idaho, staying at a pastor’s house over night before he preached on Sunday, he admired the wife’s teapot collection and she took one of her prized teapots that she gotten when she was in Russia and gifted it to me.

Chocolate or cookies?
Chocolate or cookies…hum mm, that’s like asking Winnie the Pooh to pick between Piglet and Eeyore! I guess it would depend on what the chocolate or cookie choices are…I know, how about white chocolate tea (I’m fantasizing here) with cinnamon chocolate cookies!

Favourite dish?
My mother-in-law, God bless her, was a chief. She taught my hubby how to cook! So my favorite dish, as my hips can attest to, is anything he makes! However, if we’re going out, I’ve got a list of fave’s we don’t eat at home like anything Greek or hor dourves.

My GRL by John W Howell Book Launch

Posted on

Big Launch in 2014 My GRL Fiction Thriller

By John W. Howell

Now available on Amazon a new Fiction Thriller published by Martin Sisters Publishing

my grl5star-shiny-web

My GRL by John W. Howell is fast-paced thriller that shows how your life can be turned upside down in the blink of an eye. . . It is a well-written story that kept me glued, page after page.” Readers’ Favorite Five Stars – Reviewed by Faridah Nassozi. See the entire review HERE

Click cover to visit Amazon


John J. Cannon successful San Francisco lawyer takes a well-deserved leave of absence from the firm and buys a boat he names My GRL. He is unaware that his newly purchased boat had already been targeted by a terrorist group. John’s first inkling of a problem is when he wakes up in the hospital where he learns he was found unconscious next to the dead body of the attractive young woman who sold him the boat in the first place. John now stands between the terrorists and the success of their mission.

Author Bio:

Photo by Tim Burdick

Photo by Tim Burdick

John W. Howell’s main interests are reading and writing. He turned to writing as a full time occupation after an extensive career in business. John writes thriller fiction novels and short stories. He also has a three times weekly blog at Fiction Favorites .

John lives on Mustang Island in the Gulf of Mexico off the coast of south Texas with his wife and their spoiled rescue pets.

Author Contact:


Twitter: @HowellWave


Amazon Author Page:

Author Spotlight – Phil A Davis

Posted on Updated on

A big welcome to my guest today, Phil A Davis, award winning architect and hugely talented author, all the way from the island of Maui. He studied music and was a songwriter and performer from 1969 to 1971. He has been a practicing architect since 1984 and has worked on projects across the U.S. and in other countries around the globe. Phil and his lovely wife Barbara have three grown daughters, three granddaughters, and a grandson. Apart from being a really great guy, I love his writing, and find his points of view on many subjects really inspiring. Thanks for joining me Phil. Love the lei!

IMG_4188 - Copy

When did you start writing? Did you write as a child, and how do you think that your life has influenced your writing? Share a little with us about who Phil A Davis, the man behind the pen is.

My oldest friend, Graham, is the son of two prominent actors who performed at the Laguna Beach playhouse way back in the fifties and sixties. Later in life he became an accomplished actor and was once a part of Clint Eastwood’s troupe. He is best known on the silver screen for a supporting role in the movie Pale Rider. He’s living in Virginia with his wife and teaching theatre at the University of Virginia, and we get in touch about once a year.
Graham and I used to make up stories, always fictional verbal accounts and each of us would contribute a portion to advance the story. It was all on the cuff and there were times when we actually did some of the storytelling with his parents listening – that must have been entertaining.
I didn’t do much with writing or storytelling again until I was in high school. Music became important to me when my then girlfriend asked me to join a singing group that performed locally. I wrote a few of the songs we performed and actually learned to score music on my own because most of the members could actually read music. As you can imagine, when I went to music school I was bored for the first year. It became a long piano lesson that I intend to kickstart in the future.
The end to my potential music career came when a few of us broke off and started performing in local bars and coffee houses and it was three years of working for next to nothing. As idealistic as I was I came to realize that our chances of becoming the next “thing”, or anything for that matter, were pretty slim. I broke off from the group and took a two-month vacation to drive across the country. I flew from Los Angeles to Maryland and then drove from Virginia to California. The trip didn’t take long to make life changes in my thinking. I remember sitting by a remote lake in Tennessee watching lighting bugs fly among the reeds along the shore and thinking architecture school didn’t seem so intimidating.
My young life as a musician is a time I look back at often when I am writing.

Tell us a little about your two very different careers. Do you sometimes wish you could just write all the time?

I have many interests, but creative endeavours have always challenged me.
I’ve always loved working on cars and I paid a large part of my college tuition keeping them running for friends and other students. I hated that I smelled like parts cleaner most of the time and my knuckles looked like I was a prize fighter in the thirteenth round. At that point in my life girls were becoming discerning young women and my red knuckles and odour wasn’t appealing to them or me. I still work on my cars, but only as a break from my version of everyday insanity.
I was also a pretty good baseball player in high school and college and for a time was scouted by the Los Angeles Dodgers – that is until an arm injury took me out of contention.
Architecture is my mistress. It always was, even when I studied music, and it always will be. It’s hard to explain the feeling of creating environments that people live and work in. It’s not just the buildings it’s the impact we as architects can have on people’s lives – and all the cool technology that is being employed today is something I’ve waited years to see evolve.
I did my thesis on “Passive Gain Solar Systems” way back in ’78 and back then I came to understand that the technology wasn’t up to the dream. I really thought we had come a long way since putting a man on the moon, but we were neophyte’s in a world we’re just beginning to see emerge today. We’re getting closer to the dream and we can do a lot in making buildings smarter and safer, but there is still a long way to go.
Up until three years ago I only wrote for mental recreation. I don’t tout my novel The Red Poppy too much, but it was written over twenty years ago on my Mac Plus. It was parked on a floppy disk, far from my professional pursuits until I ran into Jason Mathews. Jason opened my eyes to self publishing. I dug out that floppy (and it actually worked) and did some editing. The urge to write was re-invigorated in me at that point and I’ve kept on going since.
Raindancer was about half way complete on the same floppy disk so I did the same and published it as well.
When I was deeply immersed in The Affect of Red my wife was visiting in California and Colorado most of the spring and summer that year. Architecture work was pretty slow at that time so I was able to develop my writing habits. I wrote from 4 am to 9 am every morning. By 6 pm I was back at it until around 10 or 11 pm and by the end of the last chapter I was physically and mentally drained. I then asked my editor (Amy) to run through it with me and the dance started over again.
I work that same disjointed way today. Small bursts of inspiration in the morning, a little mind wandering around mid-day, and then back to more writing.


I love reading different genres by my favourite authors, and you in particular do them all incredibly well. What were the inspirations for Affect of Red, Raindancer, and Red Poppy? Do you maintain the same writing style across genres, or do you take on a different author persona for each of them?

New technology has always interested me. Even today I will sit and watch YouTube videos on new technology, physics and scientific subjects (Geek – I know, I know).
The explorer in me really came to life when Star Trek and Star Wars came out. Although I was never of a mind to become a trekky, I did spend a lot of time thinking about the reality of space travel and the technology it required.
The movie Serenity had the most impact on me as a writer. The characters were more interesting and very different than other space-based stories. Although technology is part of the story, it was mostly in the background and the personalities of the characters drew me in. I’ve watched it several times and still enjoy Mal’s (Nathan Fillion) wild west gunslinger persona. The sexual tension between him and Morena Baccarin (Inara) isn’t too far removed from Marshal Dillon and Miss Kitty from the old western, Gunsmoke, and it’s a relationship much to my liking.
But I didn’t want to get pigeon-holed into SciFi. I wanted to write something in the fiction genre for a change, but I needed a topic to draw me in and hold my interest.
The topic became apparent when I began to think about the human condition we experience today. I saw a program on human trafficking and was horrified with the images. I remember thinking that as a species we’ve come a long way, but we’re still very primitive in many respects. The strong (still) exploit the weak, men abuse women and children bear the brunt of societies short comings.
I needed a cause to write fiction and The Affect of Red came from the disgust for this exploitation. I thought about how to present the subject for some time and after doing some research I began an outline. To get my details correct I did volumes of research on human trafficking, and then I read other novels on the subject. Two were very graphic, I mean blow-by-blow, hardcore descriptions. That’s not my style, but I’m glad I stuck through it. The brutality is harsh, but it’s real today.
There were times when I almost stopped writing. One part of the story that is a mainstay of the storytelling, a short chapter of 2083 words and it took me over a week to write. I walked the beach from Kihei to Maalaea almost every afternoon that week. I considered what I was about to do and what was the best way to do it. I was breaking major writing rules. I knew the reaction would be strong but I was in twenty chapters and needed to see it through.
Why? Because my writing style, no matter the genre, is an exploration of my characters lives. I came to know Camille Durran, Robert Jordan and Stacy Babineaux like old friends and there was only one resolution to my hesitation. Do it and don’t look back.

Do you have a favourite genre to read or write?

Just something that holds my interest and is written well. Thanks to Lelani Black (a good Hawaii girl), I’ve even read some romance.

You live in a very beautiful environment. How do you prefer to do your writing? Out on the beach, or do you have a particular writing area and set routine?

When I talked about distractions earlier I wasn’t talking about sitting on the beach to eliminate distractions. Really? Sitting under palm trees and tickling the keys sounds very romantic, but you know who shows up on the beaches of Maui? Too much skin – way too much distraction.
Believe it or not, I write at the kitchen counter.
Architecture for me these days is more about solving problems and less about designing buildings, but it’s all done from my home office and I spend long hours at that desk.
I need a change of venue for writing. I also know my most creative work comes in the mornings as opposed to afternoons. It’s quiet from 4 am to 8 am in the kitchen and I can listen to music (with my earphones) or enjoy the quiet.

What books have influenced your life most?

OMG! What part of my life are we talking about?
I had an English professor who loved Ibsen. We read Narcissus and Goldman and Beneath the Wheel (among others) that semester. I attribute my love of intense character development to Ibsen.
Anything by Mark Twain. He had an amazing gift for words, wit and humor. Tolstoy’s grace in the simplicity of his writing influenced my belief in what good writing and thorough storytelling is.
Contemporary indie writers like Liz Hoban, who writes amazing fiction much in the style of Pat Conroy, Sarah Hoyt’s science fiction and Mary Fan’s science fiction have had an influence on me through their writing. Oh yeah – there’s a girl from South Africa by the name of Jo Robinson whose prose is magical and whose point of view is unique.

Coming from you, that’s the nicest compliment I’ve ever had. Thank you Phil! Now, tell me, What do you find most challenging when you’re writing?

My finicky, convoluted style or writing. If I don’t know it, can’t see it or believe it, I won’t write it.

I’m glad you have such a fantastic imagination then! What do you like to do to relax, when you have the time?

Barb and I both have a lot going on. We try to get down to the beach at Ho’okipa or baby beach and just walk. I grew up in a beach town and the ocean was always a soothing place for me. Barb didn’t have the same experience growing up in inland Orange County, but living in Hawaii and spending so much time at the seashore has instilled the same sense of cleansing in her.
Living in paradise gives us the advantage of getting away to one of the large resorts for a weekend. When we lived on the Big Island and our youngest daughter was away at college we’d get a room at the Royal Kona or the Outrigger in Mauna Lani and have a short Hawaiian vacation. Really! A Hawaiian vacation just like any of you would enjoy.
I’ve been travelling for work quite a bit lately and Barb recently decided to start coming with me. We just did a couple of days at the Ala Moana in Honolulu. I visited sites with my client during the day and then Barb and I played tourist in Waikiki in the evenings. It was a great time and something we will continue.
Learning new things has become a new form of relaxation these days. Coding Java has caught my interest recently. Who knows, maybe particle physics next week (Geek – I know, I know).

Geeks rule!


What are your thoughts on publishing and marketing books in this new world of the internet?

Writing a novel is an incredible adventure. Marketing is tedious, internet or not.
After attempting to publish The Red Poppy years ago I learned that breaking into that world was much like the music business. Sure, you’ve got to have some talent, but it’s better if you know someone who’s willing to help push your career.
As an indie writer I’ve come to believe that books in the mainstream have a sanitary feel about them. Don’t get me wrong, the work of today’s top writers is incredible no matter the genre. But it’s all so formula-driven and just like Hollywood, it’s all so perfect and so predictable, and it’s all so controlled by the big publishing houses.
When I read for pleasure I always seek out something from the indie world. The internet has given us access to great writers and stories via Amazon, Goodreads and Smashwords – there’s so much out there. I could read every hour of the rest of my life and barely scratch the surface of what’s available.

Tell us about your books?

Isn’t that what I’ve been doing?

Mmf, titter. The covers for all of your books are great. How did you choose them?

I can’t say too much about cover design. Until I started using Photoshop (in my case, GIMP) I’ve thought my covers have been pretty one-dimensional.
As there is a lack of bookstores here on Maui (and the Big Island) I’ve resorted to combing the books at Costco for cover inspiration. I know I should just scroll through Amazon but I’m always looking for an excuse to get out and interact with people from time to time.
Cover design starts early in the writing process. A recent habit has been to find images that depict characters and settings for my stories. It’s become a standard process in developing my characters and for me it really helps with the writing. My editor was all over me during The Affect of Red. The words “Get into her head!” was a familiar cry in her editing comments. I found that coming up with images helped me identify with my characters at a different level earlier in the writing process. When I came up with an image for Camille Durran she became familiar and easier to write. With Amy’s help I went back to the beginning and re-wrote her character. She became more real to me through that experience and I crossed some difficult bridges in my writing during that process.
I’ve done the same in my current SciFi series (Beyond the Door) and I’ve turned all the images into a Glossi (online magazine). It’s just another way to stave off block and I get inspiration and I’m able to generate different covers as a break during the process of writing.

I love that idea, and have every intention of pinching it! I know that affairs of the real world have a big influence on your writing. What would you change in the world if you could, and what affects you the most.

I’m affected by the ignorance of educated people and the tolerance of those same people to let shameful acts continue, and then do nothing.
When we were young our inexperienced and sometimes undisciplined minds jumped without thinking for almost anything. Enthusiasm is part of the growing and learning process. Today I see grown adults blindly drawing conclusions based on the beliefs held by their social groups. I see leaders who aren’t leaders, they’re more like celebrity entertainers.
Maybe it’s always been that way. Maybe it’s the 24/7 media with a voracious appetite that brings it to light, spewing venom in the guise of news stories.
Don’t get me started, Jo. Until recently I’ve stayed away from social commentary in my writing. Up to the time I delved deep into research for The Affect of Red world affairs was never a part of my writing mindset.
Just recently I did inject a little corollary to current affairs in my scifi series that runs on my blog, but that’s about as far as I’ll go. Rather than providing a mirror on society, I view my place in writing as an entertainer, hopefully a teacher and inspiration motivator. But I’m always looking for ways to draw my readers into the story.
How would I change this world? Eradicate ignorance in its many forms. It’s a game changer – maybe the exploitation of young women and children would stop if people really stopped to think – stopped to really care. Maybe, just maybe…

Hear, hear! I totally agree. So. Do you believe that fiction can make the world a better place, and if you do how do you think it could be written to make any sort of social impact?

As writers we have the opportunity to entertain and teach. Not teaching like lectures and lessons, but something more subliminal. Fiction should capture the readers interest, open their eyes to an objective or bring humor into their lives.
When I put on my writing hat I might take my reader into the gutter and expose man’s inhumanity to man, but my characters struggle and find a way to overcome. Good over evil is a yin & yang of storytelling, but the reality is that evil never goes away – it requires periodic maintenance.

What’s the funniest thing that has ever happened to you in your writing career?
My novel, Exit Wounds, just flowed out of me a year ago. I don’t know why I wrote it, but there it is on Amazon.
My main character is a young hit-woman in Europe. Although she wants ‘out’ she knows the only retirement program is a death sentence.
When I got to what needed to be the end of the story I reached a philosophical dilemma. Hoping I could spare her I had her successfully managed to extricate herself from the profession of death, and then I had two choices: let her re-enter normal society and fade into obscurity, or make her pay for her past.
I was bothered by my choices and began soul-searching for the right path, so I posed the dilemma to ten friends, five men and five women. Here’s the general gist of their responses:
From the men: is she good looking?
From the women: let her burn in hell.

And now your latest book! What is Affect of Red about?
Robert Jordan and Camille Durran both find themselves victims of failed relationships. Robert is a studio manager for successful engineering firm and Camille is a young attorney in San Francisco. They both have consuming jobs that leave little time for romantic affairs.

Camille meets Robert in a bar in San Francisco. She is wearing a red evening dress and she attracts Robert’s attention. They both quickly realize their connection is a fairy tale of love at first sight. They meet the following weekend in Reno, Nevada for lunch, and then find themselves fleeing to Costa Rica from the Russian Mafia thugs who are after Camille. They fall in love, and when they return to the US, they marry, have a child, and begin living an idyllic life in the wine country of California. But the threat of the Russian Mafia never leaves their lives.

Thank you so much for taking the time to join me here Phil. It’s been fantastic to find out more about you, and your amazing life, and I’m really looking forward to reading Affect of Red soon.

Beyond the Door on Glossi

Find Phil Davis on Amazon.

Visit his author website.

Visit the author’s blog.
Find him on Facebook.
Phil Davis on Twitter
About Me:

Cover Reveal! Legends of Windemere: Allure of the Gypsies by Charles Yallowitz

Posted on Updated on

Allure Final Cover

Legends of Windemere: Allure of the Gypsies

The epic adventures of Luke Callindor and Nyx continue after their journey down the L’Dandrin River in Legends of Windemere: Prodigy of Rainbow Tower.

Reeling from his failures in their previous adventure, Luke leads his surviving friends to his hometown. With his mind frayed and his confidence fractured, Luke must face the family and fiancée he left behind. It is a brief homecoming when the vampire Kalam attacks the village, forcing Luke and Nyx to break into his lair for the key to resurrecting a fallen warrior. It is a quest that will force both young heroes to reach new heights of strength and power that they never knew they had.

Can Luke and Nyx escape the lair of Kalam? And, what role will the orphaned gypsy Sari play in their looming destiny?

Release Date- December 1st, 2013

Previous Books-

Beginning of a Hero-

Prodigy of Rainbow Tower-

Cover Artist Info- Jason Pedersen

Author Bio-

Charles Yallowitz was born and raised on Long Island, NY, but he has spent most of his life wandering his own imagination in a blissful haze. Occasionally, he would return from this world for the necessities such as food, showers, and Saturday morning cartoons. One day he returned from his imagination and decided he would share his stories with the world. After his wife decided that she was tired of hearing the same stories repeatedly, she convinced him that it would make more sense to follow his dream of being a fantasy author. So, locked within the house under orders to shut up and get to work, Charles brings you Legends of Windemere. He looks forward to sharing all of his stories with you and his wife is happy he finally has someone else to play with.
His blog:

A Menu of Death by Lucy Pireel – Book Blast!

Posted on Updated on


Today is the day author Lucy Pireel introduces her new book, A Menu of Death to the reading world, and I am honoured to be part of her Book Blast team. So, here we go!

Underneath the veneer of humanity lies darkness.
Eight deadly tales that explore dark desires in which some do what it takes to obtain what they want, while others are led by events.
Wishes gone wrong, unhealthy obsessions, and cravings to sate.
A Menu of Death will take you on a blood curdling journey that you may not survive.

A Menu of Death

A collection of stories centered around vengeance, obsession, cravings, and life.

Pick one item on the Menu or devour the entire buffet
Make sure you don’t bite off more than you can chew
Read, but not with greed for
Death awaits, ready to come and collect its due

MOD Book

These eight short stories revolve around obsession, revenge, craving, love, and Death.
Whether it be a woman in need of rescue, a man who hungers for his wife, a demon lost, or wishes come true, all characters want something. Badly.
But … You can’t always get what you want, but you might just get what you need.

Available at:
Amazon UK

Amazon US



About the author

Lucy Pireel

Lucy Pireel is a writer who doesn’t let herself be restricted to any one genre. She loves to write in whatever direction her current story leads her.
When she’s not writing, or reading, she is practicing or teaching yoga, her other passion. Or she could be on a long hike somewhere in the beautiful British nature.
Being an author it is almost a given she has a great love for chocolate and coffee to live on while writing, but she doesn’t shy away from trying to prepare intricate dishes, for cooking is another thing she enjoys.

Should you want to follow her she can be found at:

And because I know everyone’s just as nosy as I am when it comes to finding out more about our favourite author’s lives, I asked the lovely lady a couple of extra questions.

What inspired you to write your first book?
My son and his lovely way of asking for more stories.

What was the inspiration for the story?
Fairy tales, because I love them, my son loves them and we both wanted less of the sugary Disney version and more how they should be. Dark, gritty and not much in the happily ever after department.

Did you find a lot of support on your writing journey?
Yes, I can’t say anyone has ever not supported me in my writing. But there are moments when real life gets in the way of the writing, or is it the other way around? At those times the people around me wish I wasn’t an author with a deadline.

Who was most supportive?
Most supportive? Difficult, because like I said I didn’t really have had many adversities in my writing life, but if I have to choose someone, I’d say the dog, because the poor beast has to keep everything in and wait for food until I am done typing. I do rush when I know I have to feed the mob, or go for a pee round. 🙂

You write in more than one genre. Even so, do you have a specific writing style?
I love stories with a double layer, the underlying layer being a morale.

What’s your favorite colour? Why?
I love blue because the eyes of my favourite man are blue, and brown because … Well, the colour of my son’s eyes is brown.

What do you enjoy reading?
All well written books. Really I don’t have a favourite genre. All I can say is I do like sci-fi and paranormal, and thrillers, and crime, and the classics the best, but even dystopian has books worth my time.

What books have most influenced your life most?
The classics and Shakespeare. Mythology is another thing that keeps popping up.

Who’s your favourite author, and what turns you on?
Jo! I had no idea you did naughty questions too! Erm, I mean I quite like… Music? Yoga?
Ah, not naughty after all. 🙂 In that case, both! Music to relax to, to dance to, to have fun to, and to write to. And yoga to balance it all.

Have any new authors really grabbed your attention, and are there any indie authors out there today that you love?
I love the stories of Cammy May Hunnicut, naughty and not suitable for the ones who do not love love. 🙂 You yourself Ms. Robinson with your sci-fi scribblings as well as your shorts. Mike Saxton and his dystopian work, which is quite a feat knowing I do not like dystopian novels at all. I could go on, because in each genre there are those more than worth time and money to tip the scales in favour of the indies.

What do you like to do when you’re not writing?
Yoga! And spending quality time with my loved ones, and cooking, and baking, and walking the neighbour’s dog, and gardening, and … Oops, sorry!

Is there anything you find difficult in your writing and publishing life?
Yes, to balance time between writing and engaging with people/fans who want to know things and I do love to engage with people even knowing it gobbles up valuable writing time.

What do you think has made you the writer and person you are today?
I guess life? Without all that life has thrown at me and how I dealt, I wouldn’t be who I am today.

Tell us about your already published stories.
Well, the first one was really a sci-fi diptych called Life for a Trea and Craddle of Life, and then Consummation (zombie), followed by The Deserted Road (contest winner Writer’s Beat Quarterly).
But you mean my full works? Red Gone Bad, a collection of twisted Fairy Tales, followed by Heaven’s Closed, two short stories which are free on, and Bound, a BDSM novella, till we arrive here–today–at the release of A Menu of Death, a collection of horror shorts with a message much like fairy tales would have.



Follow this link to enter the Rafflecopter competition!



Posted on Updated on

I’m not a professional reviewer, and I only read for my own pleasure. Being a scribbler myself, I don’t ever leave a bad review, so it’s just as well that I’ve loved the last three books I’ve read. I gave them 5 stars ***** – every one! Here they are:-

Fantastic Tale, September 18, 2013
By Jo Robinson
Amazon Verified Purchase(What’s this?)
This review is from: The Fall of Onagros, Sage Book 1 (Kindle Edition)
This is the best fantasy book I’ve read in a very long time. Marian Allen created a world I got totally absorbed in, to the exclusion of all else until I’d read the last sentence. I loved the way the thread of this story is woven, and the clever way the connections between the characters become clear. The parts played by mysterious, mythical creatures introduced at the beginning of the book is revealed in unexpected and delightful ways. A truly fantastic read. I’ll definitely finish reading all the books in this series, and any other book I come across by this author. She’s the real thing – a true story teller.

Delightful!, September 18, 2013
By Jo Robinson
Amazon Verified Purchase(What’s this?)
This review is from: Red Gone Bad (Kindle Edition)
This collection of short stories surprised me all the way. Lucy Pireel has taken traditional fairy tales and made them her own with dark, tragic, and sometimes hilarious twists. Absolutely absorbing – I loved every single tale. I don’t want to give away any of these clever plots, so I’ll just say that I recommend this book to anyone, regardless of your preferred reading genre. This author is not only clearly very clever, but has a unique and enjoyable way of sharing her tales.

A Superb Story!, September 18, 2013
By Jo Robinson
This review is from: The Hangman’s Replacement: Sprout of Disruption (BOOK 1) (Kindle Edition)
I won a paper copy of this book in a competition. It’s quite a long book, but at no time did I get the urge to stop reading it. I loved every page! Having lived in Zimbabwe for eighteen years, I was fortunate enough to be able to picture exactly where the hero was, and that just made an already immaculate story all the more real and enjoyable for me. But regardless of that, I would have liked this anyway. I love this author’s obvious keen intellect, and his dry sense of humour. I absolutely recommend this book, and will buy every other story this author ever publishes. Fantastic book!

I’ve got a couple more reviews to do, but that will be next week, because I need to get back to a bit of work instead of lounging on the couch reading and stuffing my pie hole. These were all fantastic reads, and I’ll be revisiting all of these awesome scribblers one at a time on my blog in the future. In the meantime if you’re in the mood for a really good read, I totally recommend them all.