Interview with Lori Soard, Author of Cupid’s Quest!


Lori Soard lives in a tiny town in southern Indiana with her husband and house full of pets. She loves miniature dachshunds and has one named Daisy Mae and one named Dolly Pawton. In her spare time, she enjoys reading, gardening, cooking and traveling. You can read more about her at her website: You can also get a free novella from my Cupid’s Crossing series on my website when you sign up for my monthly newsletter.


Can you tell us a little about your background?

I grew up in the far east suburbs of Indianapolis. When I was a kid, we played outside and needed to be in when the lights came on. You could go for a walk or to a friend’s house without all the fear there is today. I NEVER let my children do that. Summers were spent running barefoot through the grass, sucking honeysuckle off the bush next to our back porch and swinging until you couldn’t see anything but the sky and you felt the metal frame come out of the ground a little bit.

A train ran behind our house, so I’d run to greet the conductor and he’d honk his horn as he flew past. My mom had a huge family, so I just always remember being surrounded by people who loved me dearly. Aunts, uncles, cousins, grandparents and a great-grandma. I honestly feel so very blessed by my family.

How did you get started as an author?

had always told and written little stories. It was for fun. In high school, my two best friends and I would swap stories in the hall and write round robin style. We’d each add a little to the tale and then trade again. I still have some of those stories around here somewhere.

However, it never occurred to me to be a writer for a living until I took journalism in college. The teacher had us go out and find a local story and submit it the paper. Well, not only was the assignment fun and right up my alley, but the local paper put my article on the front page and PAID me $25. A light bulb went off and I started researching everything I could about making money as a writer.

Can you talk about your latest book and the inspiration behind it?

My last book was #3 in the Cupid’s Crossing series. I live in a tiny town in southern Indiana. We’re only known as being the birthplace of Colonel Sanders of KFC fame. We don’t even have a stop light in our town, just a flashing four way stop.

I love my small town and all the ones I’ve visited, so the idea of a small town where love matches happen and you can see God’s design in things made perfect sense. I am currently writing Book # 4 and I have to say that it is my favorite so far. I don’t have a release date yet as I’m still writing it.

How do you approach the writing process? Do you have a specific routine or method?

I tend to have a whole folder of ideas. I jot them down as they come. When I’m ready to start a new book, I begin looking through them and brainstorming. Sometimes I use an idea I already had and sometimes a character from another book is screaming for their own story.

My ideas come from songs, conversations, things I observe, stories I hear people tell and I do believe are sometimes just heaven-sent.

Can you share any challenges you faced during the writing process of your latest book?

I’m having some challenges with finding the time I’d like to devote to my books. My readers want them a bit more quickly than I’m able to release them. I’m working full-time as a copywriter and I help my daughter with my grandgirls. They’re little and they need me now. I’d love to write more quickly and devote myself to it full-time, but financially I still need the day job right now.

How do you develop your characters and bring them to life on the page?

I write out a character profile for each one and I add to it as they come to life for me. I used to adore my Barbie dolls as a little girl. I’d make up all these soap opera themed stories for them. Barbie and Ken were always breaking up and there was always some villain on the loose.

I think those childhood make believe days made it so much easier for me to come up with characters and stories. I kind of know how plots work from all the books I’ve read over the years and I am able to give characters flaws they need to overcome.

I think the BEST characters are the ones who have flaws but are good at heart, just like all of us. One of my favorite examples is of Emma in the Jane Austen novel by the same title. Emma is a bit of a gossip and a busy body. She also can be a bit snooty if she thinks someone is beneath her. By the end of the story, however, she has had a change of heart when she hurts a woman who adores her as a friend by being a bit cruel in what she says to her. She also sees that all her meddling made no difference and she should have just minded her own business.

While PRIDE AND PREJUDICE is my favorite of Austen’s novels, I really love EMMA as well. I like her character and how she grows and develops. I hope my characters are the same. I hope they are flawed but they see the error of their ways and they change and grow as humans and in their faith.

Can you discuss your research process for your latest book?

My current work in progress involves a hero who knows a lot about music. I’m having to do a ton of research, because I only know a little. I’ve read about pianos, which are the best and talked to a local music store a bit about it. I also am going to have to dig into sheet music and learn more about that here soon.

Every book is different. I don’t stop when I’m in the flow of writing to research things. I will put a marker where I know I need to flesh something out or understand something better and then search for the markers during editing and expand or fix those areas. I usually edit at the end of each chapter, so it works well.

How do you handle writer’s block and overcome creative obstacles?

My blocks come with getting started and finishing a story. I just push through and get something on paper. I can always go back and fix it or completely change it later. For my first draft, I just want to get the story out.

Can you share any upcoming projects or books you are working on?

In addition to Book # 4 in Cupid’s Crossing series, I am working on a novella for You Are on the Air series. It’s a series of novellas based around radio talk shows. They go in alphabetical order, so like “Dial V for Valentine’s Day.” I have the letter Q. I’m leaning toward a book about a quilt and doing Dial Q for Quilt, but I am also tossing around a few other ideas including “Quickstep.” It’s a fun project. I like the group of readers and writers a lot. I can’t wait to contribute to the project.

Can you talk about your experience working with a publisher or literary agent?

I’ve worked with just about everything. I was published by Thorndike, which is a bigger publisher, with a small press, with an ebook publisher and I’ve self-published. I did have a literary agent for a bit but she retired and I’ve not sought another one.

I’m just not sure what one can do for you unless you’re negotiating something complex these days. I’m not against having one, I just haven’t reached out to any and am unsure where they could take me next.

How do you stay motivated and disciplined while writing?

When I’m not completely overwhelmed, I have a schedule where I try to write a certain number of words each day. There really is something to just sitting your butt in the chair and doing it.

Can you discuss any themes or messages you hope readers take away from your book?

Most of my books in the last 10 years are either sweet or inspirational stories. I hope that readers find some small glimmer of faith in a difficult time. I hope they see that my characters aren’t perfect Christians and sometimes not Christians at all. They struggle, they mess up but they seek God and they try to do better and they become Christ followers if they’re the main character.

Each book has a different theme, but if I give just one person a glimmer of hope in a dark world or can plant a seed that strengthens their faith or leads them to faith, then I’ve done my job. I don’t know how God might use me through my stories but I hope He does.

How do you market your book and connect with readers?

I belong to several social media groups. I’ll do online book tours. I keep a mailing list I notify of big events. It’s hard in today’s crowded marketplace. There’s so much noise of authors just self-promoting and screaming, “Buy my book!”

I want to be that author you discover and becomes a new favorite, not just the loudest voice. It’s okay if my audience stays intimate. I like that some of my readers are on my friends’ lists and feel free to comment and connect over various things.

Can you share any advice for aspiring authors on how to get published?

Keep sending stuff out and keep writing. Your first book will probably be awful. Mine was. I pulled it out the other day and laughed at myself. At the time, I thought it was such a good book. Trust me that it is not and the editors were right to reject it.

Learn to take criticism. If an editor takes the time to tell you something you need to change, they see a jewel in the rough. Take their advice if it makes any sense at all. I’ve been writing for 27 years, much of that professionally with my articles. I am STILL learning and growing as a writer. I adore my editors I have for my day job because they push me. They call me out if I fall back into passive writing or I am repeating myself or I’m mirroring as I write. We have to find one thing to work on and improve every quarter. I love being pushed like that. It’s one of the main reasons I’ve kept working the day job even though it cuts into my fiction writing time.

Can you discuss any other genres you have written in and if you have plans to write in other genres in the future?

I’ve written young adult. I have several children’s books ready to go but just haven’t quite figured out how to make my illustrations publish-worthy, although the HUNGRY, HUNGRY CATERPILLAR makes me think it doesn’t matter so much.

I also am working on a mystery that is on the back burner for a moment and some nonfiction books.

Can you discuss any literary influences or inspirations that have shaped your writing?

When I was a little girl, my dad would make up bedtime stories with me. My mom’s family were from Appalachia and they always had stories and adventures to tell. Huge oral storytelling traditions there. My dad would also take lists of words from Reader’s Digest and quiz me when I was like five or six. It was a game we played. I credit my family for my imagination.

As far as writers who’ve inspired me, I love Jane Austen, the Brontes and Shakespeare. I adore lyrical language that sounds like a song. For modern authors, I really like the skills of Dean Koontz, Nicholas Sparks (if he would stop killing my favorite characters) and too many romance authors to mention because I’ll leave someone out.

Can you share any experiences you have had with book clubs or other reader groups?

I have mainly just seen the ones on Facebook. I’m not involved in a lot of reader groups. I probably should be but time is limited and I need to spend it writing. I do occasionally participate in group events to meet new readers.

How do you handle criticism and negative reviews?

I think it depends. If the criticism is warranted and they tell me what to fix, I always consider it and look at it and maybe get additional feedback from trusted fellow writers and editors.

I try really hard not to read my negative reviews. The person is entitled to their opinion. I’m not for everyone. However, I made the mistake of reading one that was lengthy because I was like, “Man, they really HATED my book.” In the review, she said the book talked entirely too much about God. It was a Christian fiction romance. I kind of wanted to respond and say, “Thanks so much! That was the point.”

I restrained myself because what good could come from engaging like that with someone who already hated the book? I don’t want to be snarky—something I battle anyway—and drive her even farther from God. So, I didn’t say a word. I will admit, however, that the review ate at me. It wasn’t anything I could change without changing the entire story or the reason I wrote it.

How do you balance your writing with other aspects of your life?

Balance? What’s that? LOL I try to write on the weekends. If I get free time to myself, I will either research, plot, read in my genre or write a bit. I do try to find a few weekends where I can just write or take long weekends as part of my PTO.

Lori Soard lives in a tiny town in southern Indiana with her husband and house full of pets. She loves miniature dachshunds and has one named Daisy Mae and one named Dolly Pawton. In her spare time, she enjoys reading, gardening, cooking and traveling. You can read more about her at her website: You can also get a free novella from my Cupid’s Crossing series on my website when you sign up for my monthly newsletter.


***They’re just like family to her and she can’t imagine losing them or this place…***

What if you were about to lose everything you ever knew or loved?

Saving Those She Loves…

The only life Gracie has ever known has been the nursing home and the residents who are like family to her. Now, she risks losing it all and her friends scattering to different homes if she can’t come up with the money to save the business.

Granting a Mother’s Last Wish…

Between caring for his ailing mother and running the family farm, Brandt is stretched thin. Too thin. When his mother begs him to enter a local scavenger hunt, win the prize money, and convert the farm into an orchard, he knows he can’t refuse her anything, so he reluctantly agrees.

Finding True Love…

While seeking clues to the scavenger hunt, Gracie and Brandt keep bumping into each other. Gracie’s always had a crush on him that keeps her from stringing two coherent words together. Brandt doesn’t understand why she dislikes him so much she won’t even talk to him. If the nursing home residents would settle down and stop getting into crazy shenanigans long enough, the two might figure out that they have more than a little in common.

What Are Amazon Readers Saying About This Book?


Clean, Fun, and Downright Awesome!

“Lori does an amazing job capturing the hearts of readers as she all but draws a visual of her characters by words, giving you a vivid mental picture of their daily lives and how they handle difficult stressors in life. What’s even more incredible is the heart of Gracie, the main character, am amazing young lady who will take on the very difficult job of providing for nursing home clients. After losing a mother-in- law to Alzeheimers, I know first hand how wonderful it is to have people who really care. This is very well written, emotional in a good way, ends with a sweet, promising love. Well done, Lori!!!” — LovetoRead



“What a truly delightful story. Very refreshing to read about a young woman who is so selfless and gives of herself to help the elderly. I also enjoyed the farmer aspect.” — Fun Grandma


Amazing Characters

If you’re looking for a sweet, clean romance with small town values, you’ve found it with Lori Soard’s Cupid’s Quest. This is the first book in what is sure to be a wonderful series, Cupid’s Crossing. Gracie and Brandt, as well as the quirky nursing home residents, will capture your heart. The story is well-written with amazing, well-rounded characters that are thrown into true-life situations. I will be sure to read the rest of this series.” — Kimwrtr


Gracie Was Called “The Nursing Home Girl” for a Good Reason…

“Years ago I worked in a nursing home similar to Days Never New. The patients all knew each other and they felt at home there. When that nursing home closed many of the patients were moved to others parts of Texas. It was hard for them to lose another home, more friends and the feeling of security. This story offers love and hope along with a great story.” — Kindle Customer


Cupid’s Quest is the first in the Cupid’s Crossing series by Lori Soard, author of “small town stories with heart.” If you love a feel-good story with faith-based characters, you’ll enjoy this sweet, wholesome tale of love and sacrifice.

*** This sweet, wholesome romance will tug at your heartstrings and remind you why you love small towns and believe God still answers prayers and performs miracles.


The Challenges and Rewards of Writing in Multiple Genres

I write in multiple genres, and it can be both challenging and rewarding. So far, I’ve written mystery, romance, paranormal, women’s fiction, and a mixture of two or three together. I have two historical books I want to write as well. See below the genres where I’m published.

Here are some of the challenges and rewards that writers may face when writing in multiple genres:


  1. Audience Expectations: One of the biggest challenges of writing in multiple genres is that readers may have certain expectations of the author’s writing style or subject matter based on their previous work. When a writer shifts to a new genre, they may have to work hard to earn the trust and interest of their readers.
  2. Learning New Skills: Each genre has its own rules and conventions. Writing in multiple genres requires the writer to learn the rules of each genre and master the necessary writing skills. This can take time and effort.
  3. Branding: If a writer is known for a particular genre, it can be challenging to establish a brand in a new genre. This is especially true for authors who have built a large following in a particular genre.
  4. Marketing: When an author writes in multiple genres, it can be challenging to market their work effectively. They may need to create different marketing strategies for each genre, which can be time-consuming and expensive.


  1. Creativity: Writing in multiple genres can be a great way to explore new ideas and stretch one’s creativity. The writer can experiment with different writing styles, characters, and themes, which can lead to exciting and unexpected results.
  2. Flexibility: Writing in multiple genres can also make a writer more versatile and adaptable. They can switch between genres based on their mood, inspiration, or market demand.
  3. Broader Audience: Writing in multiple genres can expand an author’s readership by attracting readers who may not have been interested in their previous work. It can also make an author more appealing to literary agents and publishers who are looking for versatile writers.
  4. Intellectual Challenge: Writing in multiple genres can be intellectually stimulating and challenging. It requires the writer to master different styles, techniques, and themes, which can be a rewarding experience.

In conclusion, writing in multiple genres can be a challenging and rewarding experience for writers. While there are challenges to overcome, the benefits of expanding one’s creative horizons and attracting a broader audience can be significant.

For more information on my books visit my website at

Paranormal Cozy Mystery with Romance and Humor

Lana Malloy Paranormal Mystery Series

Paranormal Romance and Mystery

Wandering Spirits Series – Multi-Author Anthologies

Romantic Suspense and Romantic Mystery Novels

Style & Profile Series and Stand Alone Novels

Women’s Fiction

Love’s Endurance – A Novelette

Contemporary Romance – Short Stories

World-Building for Contemporary Romance Short Stories

I’ve written a few contemporary romance short stories but while writing, as a seat-of-your-pants writer, I’d never given much thought to the world-building part of it.  When I first started writing, this part of the craft was one of those things required for the Fantasy and Science Fiction genres. While thinking about blogging topics specific to the genres I write, this came up as a possible topic and I decided to do a little research to see what I could find.

It turns out that world-building is the process of creating any fictional world that is believable and consistent, with its own rules, cultures, and history. Although it is often associated with science fiction and fantasy, world-building is a crucial element in any type of fiction, including contemporary romance short stories.

Think about when you create the fictional setting or town for your main character, and you begin to fill in their surroundings. This too can be world-building. When it comes to contemporary romance, world-building is about creating a rich and compelling setting that enhances the story and draws the reader into the character’s world. In a short story, due to the brevity, you wouldn’t want to create anything too elaborate or complicated, but you should include bits and pieces of information to make your characters and their surroundings realistic.

Here are some tips on how to world-build for your contemporary romance short stories:

  1. Set the scene: The first step in world-building is to establish the setting. Where does the story take place? Is it in a small town, a big city, or a rural area? What is the general vibe of the location, and how does it affect the story?
  2. Create a backstory: A rich backstory can add depth and complexity to a contemporary romance short story. Consider the history of the location, the culture of the characters, and any relevant events that have shaped their world. This can help you establish the rules of your world and create a sense of verisimilitude.
  3. Establish cultural norms: Cultural norms are important aspects of world-building. They can create tension, drama, and conflict between the characters. Think about the social mores and values of the setting, and how they affect the relationships between your characters.
  4. Develop secondary characters: While the focus of a contemporary romance short story is usually on your main characters, secondary characters can add depth and complexity to the world. Consider the supporting cast of the story and how they interact with your main characters.
  5. Consider the role of technology: Technology plays a significant role in modern romance stories, so it’s important to consider how it affects the world. Does everyone have a smartphone? Is online dating a common practice? How does social media affect your characters’ relationships?
  6. Don’t forget the sensory details: Finally, it’s important to create a world that is rich in sensory details. Use descriptive language to paint a picture of the setting, including the sights, sounds, smells, and textures of the environment. This can help immerse the reader into your story and create a more vivid reading experience.

In short, world-building for contemporary romance short stories is about creating a setting that enhances the story and draws the reader into the character’s world. By setting the scene, creating a backstory, establishing cultural norms, developing secondary characters, considering the role of technology, and including sensory details, you can create a rich and compelling world that will resonate with readers.

When I finish with my work-in-process novel (Book 3 of the Style and Profile series), I’m planning a large book of Christmas short stories. Some will be romantic, some mysterious, and some will be paranormal. Whatever the genre, world-building will be an integral part.

My short stories aren’t your normal boy meets girl, will they or won’t they be together. Mine are about mature couples between thirty-somethings and retirement, who later in their lives after some time apart are interested in forgiveness and second chances (A Dream Come True and In His Arms). Or they are couples struggling with the obstacles of life and fighting to make their relationships work (All For Love and Love Conquers All).

Below are my single short stories:

Purchase as singles (above) for 99 cents each or get them all together for the same price (left) in a short story set, Dream Conquer and Love.

Amazon Kindle: A Dream Come True, In His Arms, All For Love, and Love Conquers All.

Other Booksellers: A Dream Come True, In His Arms, All For Love, and Love Conquers All.

Dream Conquer and Love: Amazon Kindle, Other online Booksellers.

LOVE’S ENDURANCE – Kindle Countdown Sale

Love’s Endurance
SALE PRICE – 99 Cents
Began: 11/29
Ends: 12/5 (Saturday – 8 a.m. PST)

A Christmas Miracle in the works! Inspirational!



Love bears all things, believes all things,
hopes all things, endures all things.
1 Corinthians 13:7 (ESV)

Twenty-eight-year-old, Madison Barrett, and her husband, Eric, decide it’s time to start a family? She’s young. She’s healthy—until she gets news no woman wants to hear . . .

Readers who enjoy women’s fiction full of love and emotion will love Love’s Endurance.

Hurry! Buy your copy today while the sale lasts! or Read Free with KDP Select


Short Excerpt:

A few months later, I sat on the cold brick steps by the fireplace, staring into the flames of my first self-made fire. It didn’t warm me as I’d hoped. Eric normally built the fires, but he didn’t anymore. Never would again. He’d left, and it was all my fault. Wasn’t that what I wanted? Not really, but what choice did I have? He deserved more than I could give.

I glanced out the window at the Christmas lights glistening on the new-fallen snow. A chill ran down my spine as I contemplated the events bringing me to this point in my life.  A life I now hated. At one time, I almost had it all: the perfect husband, the perfect job and a perfect future full of love and happiness. A child would have made my life complete.

Why had I wanted to wait to start our family? Eric wanted it all from the very beginning. But I wanted a college degree and a career first—an interior design business I cared little for and now considered selling. I planned to move away from Naperville, Illinois, my home, and Eric. Away from everything I had known and held dear the last five years.

“Excellent writing and realistic example of how loosing focus on your helpmate can strain the relationship…”

The phone rang, interrupting my thoughts.

I slipped the earring from my ear and answered. The voice I longed to hear whispered through the wires. I knew it would be like every call. He wanted to come home and try to make it work.



“I love you.”

I remained silent, not saying it back no matter how much I wanted to. We’d gone through this a number of times. Pushing him away hadn’t worked. I needed to make him believe I didn’t care anymore.

You will want to buy a copy while the sale lasts! or Read Free with KDP Select



Readers Review Room ~ Jena C. Henry

“There’s no use borrowing trouble, as Mom says.”

Madison “Maddie” Barrett and her husband Eric have been married five years. They have successful careers and a solid, loving relationship. until they must face their first major challenge together.

Eric wanted me to see a doctor, get therapy, or anything to bring me out of the funk. Readers will certainly be attracted to the kind and positive Eric and will empathize with Maddie’s struggles.

Author Cox gifts us with a short Christmas novella that is full of relatable characters and themes of sadness and joy. This book is well-written, positive and uplifting. There are several possible endings to the Barrett’s story and I was pleased and happy with the way the book resolved their situation.

This is a charming story to read by your Christmas hearth. Sip a cup of hot cocoa and thank God for your blessings. And remember, Mom’s wisdom is always right!

You will want to buy a copy while the sale lasts! or Read Free with KDP Select


Other 99-Cent Books/Short Stories by Kim Cox

Short Story Collection:


Short Stories:






Other Books by Kim Cox

Lana Malloy Paranormal Mystery Series

HAUNTED HEARTS – BOOK 1 (also available at other bookstores and in audio at this URL)

GET OUT OR DIE – BOOK 2 (also available in audio)

Romantic Mystery/Suspense

Anthologies by Various Authors:



All books available at Amazon

Note: At the end of 2022 and in 2023, all books will be available at all bookstores as their KDP Select membership ends. Come back here for updates.

Newly available in Hard Cover

All books available at Amazon



Hi and “WELCOME” to Rave Reviews Book Club’s HOLIDAY TRAIN “BOOK TRAILER” BLOCK PARTY at Kim’s Author Support Blog!  Location:  North Carolina, USA.

Here’s What I’m Giving Away Today:

All This Time – Romantic Suspense ebook

The Wedding Crasher – Paranormal Mystery ebook

# of Winners for this stop:  2

To visit other author pages, click here.

I’d like to introduce you to my book trailer. Please take the time to check out my book, if my trailer interests you.

Christmas Cruise Description

Lana Malloy Paranormal Mystery Series – Book 4

In Christmas Cruise, Lana has the ghosts of ten women, nine  are yelling for her help and one wants to dish out her own revenge on her killer. Has the killer already selected his next victim?

Pleas visit Christmas Cruise book trailer here. If you like the trailer, check out a preview of the book.

Only $2.99  in ebook through Amazon and Books2Read and $7.99 in  print. Visit and Amazon to learn more about Kim Cox and her writing.

Visit Kim’s Pinterest page and check out the Lana Malloy Paranormal Mystery series casting page.

The Writer’s Journey – Guest Author, Pamela Schloesser Canepa

Indie author finally realizes a life-long dream of sharing her writing habit with the world.
Pamela Schloesser Canepa, self-published author and Earth inhabitant.


How and when you started writing: I recall writing my first short story at age 8, when we traveled from Florida to Tennessee to visit my uncle and his family. I had to entertain myself in the car, and this came in quite handy! It was shared with family, and they all encouraged me profusely. I continued writing, for class, for myself, to exercise strong emotions, etc., but much of it was shown to no one. Still, it was good for me! I was a quiet little girl, and this helped me channel my voice.

How and when you first published: I entered poetry contests and got into vanity published books. If nothing else, it felt good. In my thirties, I published stories on my Myspace blog. (Don’t laugh)! I recently started blogging on WordPress this year, and shared some stories in contests on Wattpad, which started ideas for my novellas that have been published just this year (2016), in the sci-fi romance genre. My second two are science-fiction, but not strictly romance, however, and they carry a stronger theme.

Are you published Traditionally, Small Online Press, Indie Author, or combination?
I am an indie author. I think of the poems I got published in vanity press as a build up to where I am now.

Tell us about your journey to where you are today.
In a nutshell, I had to change from the little girl whose family gushed over her cute little stories, to the solemn, confused teen who wrote dark poetry and hid it. Then, I grew from the young woman who journaled her way into self-esteem after processing and leaving a bad marriage, to the woman who wrote poetry expressing her parental fears/frustration and shared them with the world, to who I am today, putting my thoughts into fiction in an attempt to get a message across while entertaining my reader at the same time. My writing journey has been a growth, not just as a writer, but as a person. I recently had a reader call one of my novellas “thought-provoking.” That was such an honor! Yet, I realize it is out there for criticism as well as praise, and I need to be ready for both. Some will love my work, and some will not. It comes with the territory.

What have you learned along the way?
I’ve learned that self-publishing also means self-promoting. That it is a lot of work. I’ve learned that some days I will get the writing or promoting fever and cannot stop until I’ve beaten that fever into the ground. I have also learned that having a friend who is in the same position as an indie writer is so invaluable. So I have joined Rave Reviews Book Club, through which I met the wonderful owner of this blog that is allowing me to spread news of my writing! I have also joined other writing forums online and made many helpful friends. I see that you can’t just take others’ support, you need to give it as well. That is what builds a community of indie writers who can learn from each other, and it really gets these books out there for the world to see.

What would you do differently? I would do more promoting, pre-publication. I would also likely expand the ideas in my first few novellas. However, when all three are read, they tend to make my intended point. I may add to them in the future. But for now, I am working on a full-length novel and I am going through the entire process of editing, re-writing, and editing again. It is not for the faint of heart.

Published e-books:

Made for Me is a sci-fi romance, the first in a series of sci-fi novellas. Be sure to also check out the sequel, Seeing Through Sampson’s Eyes! The third, and latest, in this series is From Bedlam to Ben! All are available at Amazon.









Thank you for reading, and I hope you will find time to read and enjoy my books!

Book Review: “Babe Driven” by Lizzie Chantree

lizzieAbout The Author

Lizzie is an enthusiastic inventor, businesswoman and artist. She founded her first company at the age of 17 and has been creating products and driving her family mad ever since.

Lizzie has appeared on Sky News, ITV Lunchtime News, This Morning, The Big Breakfast and the BBC’s worldwide radio service, amongst others, for becoming one of Fair Play London’s female innovators.

Lizzie lives in Essex, with her gorgeous husband, two vivacious children and a very unusual dog. In between the school run and baking cakes, (or burning them!) she sits in her rooftop studio daydreaming about gaps in the market and how she can fill them. Babe Driven is her first novel, Love’s Child is her second. She is currently writing her third novel and is collaborating on a children’s book range with her family.

About The Book


Babe Driven

Driving straight out of trouble and into paradise!

Harriet’s crazily successful business idea is under serious threat, and the danger seems to be coming from inside her own family. She whisks her sister and her friends away to an exotic location to try and work out whose side they are on. It’s time to start damage limitation.

When the girls arrive at the glorious villa owned by Harriet’s maverick business partner Nikki, they find a gorgeous band and their sexy lead singer Max staying next door, out to entice their new neighbours into all kinds of trouble.

This isn’t a holiday for Harriet and she can’t afford to be distracted. She has to sell her business idea to the powerful resort owner, the elusive Mr Grant, while she is there, or she may not have a business to go back to. Harriet will have to choose between family and friends, business or pleasure. For someone who stays out of the limelight, even though her new company is the hottest ticket in town, she’s going to have to avoid the front pages of every newspaper if she wants to survive the ride!

My Review

Strong and Fun Characters

I thoroughly enjoyed reading Babe Driven with a strong and fun cast of characters. Each one presented with their own set of problems to overcome. It may be their misconceptions of those around them, either friend or foe, to the realization of those who love them for who they are. You follow the strong personalities on their journey of enlightenment of those they love, even when they’re deeply flawed. They all grow in some way. Some may come to see others as they truly are and some may see themselves as others see them, whether good or bad. But they all grow and learn along the way.

I recommend this book to readers who love well-defined characters, mystery, romance, and humor.

Get your copy of BABE DRIVEN today!!!  Other Books by Lizzie Chantree: LOVE’S CHILD and FINDING GINA.

Next TEN books and short stories on my Review List are:
Cupid’s Quest by Lori Soard (finished)
Return of the Gulls by Maureen McMahon (starting 8/29/2016)
Taken by the Huntsman by Mistral Dawn
Myth and Magic by Mae Clair
Spirit of the Book by D. E. Howard
Waterlillies Over My Grave by Patricia Guthrie
Dragon Fireside Tales by Adam Boustead
Trusting Jack by Beth Hale
Haunting Megan by Rebecca Riley
Trafficking by Bill Ward

Book Review: “Papala Skies” by Stephen Geez

stephenGeezAbout The Author

Stephen Geez earned his undergrad and grad degrees at the University of Michigan. A composer, producer, publisher, and writer, he watches too much television but prefers diving tropical reefs. Watch for his essays, stories, and more books at

Bestselling Books:Invigilator, Fresh Ink Group Short Story Showcase #1, Papala Skies

papalaSkiesAbout The Book

Chicago native Rochelle DuFortier likes to imagine the future, her world a series of picture postcards so vivid they sometimes seem real. When a foolish mistake at thirteen causes her mother’s death, she’s sent to a secluded Hawaiian valley, an outsider “haole-girl” among pidgin-speaking boys who hurl flaming papala spears under the full moon to summon her mother’s spirit. After boarding school and a prestigious university back east, the ambitious young woman is torn between chasing new career opportunities, discovering her mother’s heritage in a remote French village, and meeting obligations pulling her back to Hawaii.

On this island steeped in ancient mythology and modern superstition, Rochelle tests the possibility of sharing pieces of her life with those whose beliefs she barely understands and never intends to embrace. She dives the depths of a pristine coral lagoon, conceals bodies in a subterranean lava tube, and challenges the eruptions of a living volcano, even as she deciphers the truth about her mother’s death and struggles to satisfy new debts born of old betrayals.

Papala Skies is the story of a young woman who makes all the right choices, only to find herself living an unexpected life. It is about the need to belong, and seeking one’s own version of truth amid such differing cultures’ responses to wrenching loss and abiding grief. It is about yearning for a sense of place, yet having to confront new ways to honor the love of family and friends.

Will Rochelle lose what matters most, or might she learn what the smart octopus already knows?

My Review

Intriguing and Character Driven

The vivid descriptions of imagery virtually transport you to the Hawaii island, and carry you to the city of Chicago, an ivy league university, and to France.

A complex story with tragic situations and reactions. The main character, Rochelle, is faced with the challenges of getting on with her own life or helping others with their challenges. Her life does not turn out as she always thought it would.

There’s an underlying suspense surrounding how Rochelle’s mother died, and Rochelle’s guilt over her mother’s death is felt throughout most of the story. But that’s not all. There are primary forces driving chaos in her life and those she’s come to love. There’s the complexity of plots and sub-plots as Rochelle is drawn from one tragedy to another.

The characters are so well-drawn that you feel you are right there with them, wanting to help but unable to prevent the next heartbreak life throws their way. You will cry, laugh, and revel in their victories over life’s unrelenting obstacles.

I highly recommend this character-driven tale with strong relationships, as well as intrigue, action, and yes, some romance too.

Purchase PAPALA SKIES today.

Next TEN books and short stories on my Review List are:
Babe Driven by Lizzie Chantree (completed reading, review coming soon)
Cupid’s Quest by Lori Soard (starting 8/23/2016)
Return of the Gulls by Maureen McMahon
Taken by the Huntsman by Mistral Dawn
Myth and Magic by Mae Clair
Spirit of the Book by D. E. Howard
Waterlillies Over My Grave by Patricia Guthrie
Dragon Fireside Tales by Adam Boustead
Trusting Jack by Beth Hale
Haunting Megan by Rebecca Riley

#RRBC Spotlight Author: Micki Peluso

With great pleasure I’d like to introduce to you, Micki Peluso, this week’s Rave Reviews Book Club’s Spotlight Author. Welcome, Micki!

What’s In A Word?

“In the beginning was the word . . .”
John 1:1 King James Bible


Remember the childhood taunt, “Sticks and stones will break my bones, but names will never hurt me?” (from Robert Fulghum). This is not true. The “pen is mightier than the sword,” and the complexity of language plays upon everyday living. It can be subtle,(my favorite) sarcastic, ironic, menacing, hateful, loving, instructive; the list is long. Ultimately words hurt much more than stones, because the scars from hurtful words do not always heal.

Writing is how I express emotions that cannot be exposed through any other outlet. All the feelings that encompass my psyche, subconscious mind, and yes, even soul, are transposed to a large yellow legal pad with an Erasermate pen. This most sacred experience allows me to examine my feelings from other points of view, vent words that hide from me verbally as I cope with the school of life–hoping to pass the test.

Words make or break relationships, erase the tears of a crying child, soothe an aching heart, cheer on an athlete, or manipulate an enemy. Words are power and it is essential to learn to use them wisely, to understand their strength. As applied to writing, proper word choice is critical to a successful essay, short story or novel. Making an error in word usage can change the tempo and alter the perspective of any given piece of writing.

Years ago, four years of Latin was a required course in High School. Students groaned, but this arcane language was the best example of how the nuance of a word can completely change the meaning of a sentence or story. English, based in part, on Latin, is no different.

The words one uses in narrative or description develop character traits and personality.”He was a tempting, seductive piece of work,” shows the reader much about this character, as does, “She donned her reading glasses and began stamping books the children brought to the library desk.” Words in dialogue express emotions and character behavior. Words are all one has to work with, both in real life and in writing. It is prudent to choose them well. Roget’s Thesaurus should be every writer’s bible, packed as it is with synonyms that shift context and meaning in subtle ways.

Who and what I am or hope to become is evident in my stories. In romance, I am the character searching for love, in paranormal, I am the character facing his/her demons, real or imagined. Humorous stories disguise me in my character’s take on the foibles of daily living. In every story that I write, I am there–in words.

“Words express ideas, name things. They carry you from one place to another. . .  When your words change, you change.” Taken from The World Book Complete Word Power Library. “‘In the Miracle Worker,’ based on the life of Helen Keller, the little blind and deaf girl’s mother asks the child’s teacher what is to be taught first. “Language, I hope, replies the teacher . . . what is she without words?” Taken from the Dictionary of Problems and Expressions,” by Harry Shaw.

My losses, sorrows, joys, loves and dreams are forever etched in print. They cannot exist without me or me without them. Yet, I do not write to live, or live to write. Writing helps me make sense of the drama called life. Writing defines me. 

It is an avenue of escape in an uncertain, sometimes frightening world – where love is fragile, dreams shatter, hope is dashed, then renewed. Writing takes me through the dark tunnel to the awaiting light. I will one day pass on to another realm with writing as my epitaph. Writing is not what I do . . . It is who I am.

lastscan (4)Micki Peluso began writing after a personal tragedy. This lead to a first time publication in Victimology: An International Magazine and a career in Journalism. She’s freelanced and been staff writer for one major newspaper, written for two more and has published short fiction and non-fiction, as well as slice of life stories in colleges, magazines and e-zine editions. Her first book was published in 2012; a funny family memoir of love, loss and survival, called, . . . And THE WHIPPOORWILL SANG which won the Nesta CBC Silver Award for ‘Writing That Builds Character’, won third place in the Predators and Editors Contest and first place for People’s Choice Monthly Award. This book is close to her heart since it’s a deathbed promise to her dying child. It has the humor of ‘Cheaper by the Dozen,’ with the heart of ‘To Kill a Mockingbird. Some reviewers liken her writing to a cross between Erma Bombeck and Harper lee. She has over a dozen short stories in ‘Women’s Memoirs’, ‘Tales2inspire’, and ‘Creature Features’. Two of her short horror stories were recently published in an International Award winning anthology called “Speed of Dark.” She is presently working on a collection of short fiction, and slice of life stories in a book collection called, ‘Don’t Pluck the Duck’, due to be released in late 2017. Her first children’s story, ‘The Cat Who Wanted a Dog’ will be released in June of 2017. Author Peluso is a multi-genre and speculative writer who plans to tackle novels next.

000_bookcover for email normal (3)And The Whippoorwill Sang
by Micki Peluso

It is a day like any other, except the intense heat wave has broken and signs of early fall are in the air.

Around the dining room table of her 100 year old farmhouse Micki Peluso’s six children along with three of their friends eagerly gulp down a chicken dinner. As soon as the last morsel is ravished, the lot of them is off in different directions. Except for the one whose turn it is to do the dishes. After offering her mother a buck if she’ll do them, with an impish grin, the child rushes out the front door, too excited for a hug, calling out, “Bye Mom,” as the door slams shut. For the Peluso’s the nightmare begins.

Micki and Butch face the horror every parent fears—awaiting the fate of one of their children. While sitting vigil in the ICU waiting room, Micki traverses the past, as a way of dealing with an inconceivable future.

From the bizarre teenage elopement with her high school sweetheart, Butch, in a double wedding with her own mother, to comical family trips across country in an antiquated camper with six kids and a dog, they leave a path of chaos, antics and destruction in their wake. Micki relives the happy times of raising six children while living in a haunted house, as the young parents grow up with their kids. She bravely attempts to be the man of the house while her husband, Butch is working out of town.

Hearing strange noises, which all the younger kids are sure is the ghosts, Micki tiptoes down to the cellar, shotgun in hand and nearly shoots an Idaho potato that has fallen from the pantry and thumped down the stairs. Of course her children feel obligated to tell the world.

Just when their lives are nearly perfect, tragedy strikes—and the laughter dies. A terrible accident takes place in the placid valley nestled within the Susquehanna Mountains in the town of Williamsport, Pennsylvania. On a country lane just blocks from the family’s hundred year old haunted farmhouse, lives are changed forever.

In a state of shock, Micki muses through their delightful past to avoid confronting an uncertain future—as the family copes with fear and apprehension.

One of her six children is fighting for life in Intensive Care. Both parents are pressured by doctors to disconnect Noelle, their fourteen-year-old daughter. Her beautiful girl, funny and bright, who breathes life into every moment, who does cartwheels in piles of Autumn leaves, who loves to sing and dance down country roads, and above all loves her family with all her soul. How can Micki let this child go?

The family embarks upon yet another journey, to the other side of sorrow and grasps the poignant gift of life as they begin. . .to weep. . .to laugh. . .to grieve. . .to dance—and forgive.

To learn more about Micki Peluso, or to purchase her book, …AND THE WHIPPOORWILL SANG,
please visit:
Twitter: @mickipeluso

Book Review: “Dangerous Liaisons (Royal Command, #1)” by Sarah Stuart

About The Author

sarahStuartSarah Stuart lives on the edge of a quiet English village where wildlife sightings are common, though becoming less so. Hunting with dogs is now illegal in the UK: it goes on in secret and incidences of this are almost impossible to prove in court. Many of her dogs are, or have been, rescues and only those who enjoy the limelight perform onstage. 50% of her royalties are donated to animal charities.

Dogs were Sarah’s opening into show business. During a period when she lived in Wales she supplied them to professional companies using Aberystwyth University’s Arts Centre Theatre during student vacations. Many musicals and plays performed there were on their pre-West End premiere run, which gave her an unrivalled opportunity to talk to directors, choreographers and the many other vital members of the backstage staff, and the performers. These ranged from actors and actresses in their first, or early, roles to worldwide superstars of stage and screen. That experience, and her association with the Northern Ballet, underpins the vivid portrayals of show business triumphs and heartbreak.

Sarah has studied English language and literature, and history, with delight since her early teens. She is a qualified adult literacy tutor and has written short stories, in addition to other resources, for her students. Her published articles have been in magazines dedicated to wildlife and dogs. The Royal Command series, her debut into full-length fiction, has been well received. Book One, Dangerous Liaisons, is a Romance Finalist in the Independent Author Network Book Awards 2015 and the first version of this book, now lightly edited, gained a five star rating from Readers’ Favorite within weeks of publication.

Sarah’s hope is that readers will enjoy her novels as an escape from reality, but be left understanding that fame and fortune often comes at a high personal cost. Also, an increased perception of the threat to animals: those shot in the name of sport for trophy heads, endangered species, many poached for their fur and ivory, and tragically discarded pets.

About The Book

SARAH.STUART1-DLLizzie, daughter of a wealthy Scottish laird, inherits Margaret Tudor’s secret diary. A decoded message reads “I direct and beseech my heirs to find love where they may”. Lizzie falls in love with Michael, a poor aspiring actor whom she helps become a superstar. Lizzie passes the diary to their daughter, Lisette, who is influenced by Queen Margaret’s manipulative, vengeful, granddaughter, sparking dangerous passions and betrayals. Can Lizzie outwit the paparazzi or will the scandal of adultery and incest end in tragedy for them all?

My Review

Fast-paced Family Saga

I enjoyed this book and the second part lives up to the title of Dangerous Liaisons. This book could’ve been two separate books, the two parts are so different. The love story of Lizzie and Michael is breathtaking. The second part reminded me of V. C. Andrews’s family sagas of which I’ve been a huge fan.

While I could buy the forbidden sex the first time it happened, from the way the male lead was portrayed as never straying during his entire marriage up to this point, no matter how long he’d been away or how tired he’d been from traveling, I couldn’t buy it happening more than the one time. It seemed out-of-character for him to me.

Gorgeous new book cover.

Next TEN books and short stories on my Review List are:
The One Discovered: Chronicles of Diasodz, Book 1 by Yvette M. Calleiro
Bravura (The Music We Made Book 1) by Lisa Kirazian
Letting Go into Perfect Love by Gwendolyn Plano
Finch’s Crossing by Katheran Allen
Flash 40: Life’s Moments by Janelle Jalbert
The Bloody Shoe Affair by Joy York
Son of My Father by Peggy Hattendorph
Papala Skies by Stephen Geez
Babe Driven by Lizzie Chantree
Cupid’s Quest by Lori Soard