Writing Paranormal Fiction


Paranormal fiction is a genre of fiction that involves supernatural or paranormal phenomena. This type of fiction often includes ghosts, vampires, werewolves, witches, and other creatures of the supernatural realm. If you want to write paranormal fiction, here are some steps you can follow:

  1. Develop your concept and theme: Start by deciding on your story concept and theme. This is the idea that will drive your story forward. It could be anything from a haunted house to a vampire love story. Once you have your concept, think about what theme you want to explore. Is your story going to be about love, fear, or redemption? Having a clear idea of what you want to explore will help you stay focused as you write.
  2. Build your world: Next, you need to create the world in which your story takes place. This involves not only the physical setting but also the rules of the paranormal universe. Will your vampires be killed by sunlight? Can your ghosts interact with the living? The rules of your world should be consistent and make sense within the context of your story.
  3. Create your characters: Your characters are the heart of your story. Take time to develop them fully, giving them distinct personalities, backgrounds, and motivations. Make sure that their actions and decisions make sense within the context of the story and that they are consistent throughout.
  4. Establish the conflict: All stories need conflict, and paranormal fiction is no exception. Your conflict could be anything from a battle between two supernatural beings to a character struggling to come to terms with their own powers. Whatever it is, make sure that it is compelling and drives the story forward.
  5. Write with atmosphere: Paranormal fiction is all about atmosphere. You want to create a sense of unease and tension throughout your story. Use vivid descriptions and sensory details to transport your readers to your world. Make sure that your tone and language reflect the mood you want to create.
  6. Edit and revise: Once you have a first draft, take time to edit and revise your work. Look for plot holes, inconsistencies, and anything else that might detract from the story. Make sure that your characters are fully developed and that their actions make sense. Finally, make sure that your pacing is appropriate and that your story flows well.

Writing paranormal fiction can be an exciting and rewarding experience. By following these steps, you can create a story that engages readers and transports them to a world of supernatural wonders.

Different Types of Paranormal Fiction

There are various types of paranormal fiction, and here are a few popular ones:

  1. Ghost stories: These stories involve ghosts, spirits, or other supernatural entities that haunt a place or a person. They usually focus on a person’s experience with the supernatural, and the protagonist is often trying to understand or come to terms with the haunting.
  2. Vampire fiction: This type of paranormal fiction involves vampires, who are typically portrayed as immortal beings with superhuman strength and a thirst for blood. Vampire fiction often explores themes of power, mortality, and love.
  3. Werewolf fiction: Werewolves are another popular paranormal creature that appears in fiction. These stories often involve a person who transforms into a wolf-like creature during a full moon and the challenges they face in controlling their primal urges.
  4. Witchcraft and wizardry: These stories involve characters who have magical abilities and practice witchcraft or wizardry. These stories often take place in a world where magic is commonplace and follow the protagonist’s journey as they navigate their magical powers.
  5. Urban fantasy: This genre combines elements of paranormal fiction with elements of urban and contemporary fiction. These stories usually take place in a modern-day setting, and the protagonist is often an ordinary person who discovers a hidden world of supernatural creatures living among humans.
  6. Supernatural romance: This genre combines elements of romance with the paranormal. These stories often involve a human falling in love with a supernatural being, such as a vampire or werewolf.
  7. Paranormal mystery: This type of paranormal fiction involves a mystery or a crime that has a paranormal or supernatural element to it. The protagonist is usually a detective or an investigator who must use their knowledge of the paranormal to solve the case.

Most Popular Paranormal Fiction

It’s difficult to determine the most popular type of paranormal fiction at any given time, as popularity can fluctuate depending on current trends, new releases, and media adaptations. Some of the more popular paranormal fiction sub-genres that have enjoyed significant popularity in recent years include supernatural romance, urban fantasy, and witchcraft and wizardry.

 In particular, supernatural romance has been a consistent favorite among readers for many years. Popular series such as Twilight by Stephenie Meyer and The Vampire Diaries by L.J. Smith has contributed to the genre’s continued popularity. Urban fantasy, which often combines elements of paranormal and mystery fiction with a contemporary setting, has also seen a surge in popularity in recent years, with series such as Jim Butcher’s Dresden Files and Charlaine Harris’s Sookie Stackhouse novels achieving significant success.

The Future of Writing Paranormal Fiction

Paranormal fiction has been a popular genre for many years and continues to attract a dedicated fan base. While the popularity of the genre has fluctuated over time, it remains a viable and profitable area of publishing.

In recent years, many publishers have continued to acquire and release paranormal fiction titles, and there are still many readers who enjoy the genre. With the rise of self-publishing and digital publishing, there are also many opportunities for authors to publish their paranormal fiction independently and reach a wide audience.

That said, like all genres, the success of a paranormal fiction book depends on factors such as the quality of the writing, the strength of the plot, and the author’s ability to market their work. As with any genre, some books will succeed and others may not, but there is still a future for paranormal fiction in publishing for those who are passionate about the genre and willing to put in the work to create engaging stories.



Interview Beem Weeks, Author of The Thing About Kevin!


Beem Weeks is an author, editor, blogger, podcast host, and audio/video producer. He has written many short stories, essays, poems, and the historical fiction/coming of age novel entitled Jazz Baby. Beem has also released Slivers of Life: A Collection of Short Stories and Strange Hwy: Short Stories, and the novella The Thing About Kevin. He is a lifelong native of Michigan, USA.


Can you tell us a little about your background?

I am a lifelong Michigander, born and raised. I spent two years living in Ft. Myers, Florida, in the 1980s.

How did you get started as an author?

I’ve been writing since I was eight years old. I co-wrote a play that was performed for the entire school in fifth grade. Once in high school, I wrote a music column for the school newspaper. From the first time I learned to read, I’ve been a voracious reader. Reading helped fuel my desire to write.

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

My most recently published work is a mystery thriller set in Chicago. It’s a shorter read, at just over seven thousand words. A young man named Jacob returns home for his father’s funeral. Dad was a mob man, part of the local mafia. The oldest son walked out of the house more than thirty years earlier, and just disappeared. Talk is, he may return for the funeral. Secrets begin to spill; life isn’t what Jacob remembers. When the truth finally comes out, his family may never be the same. The inspiration for this one came from my desire to write a mystery thriller, since I usually work in coming of age or historical fiction. 

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

I am a plotter. I outline my stories. They usually begin with a simple idea that I’ll jot down on a Post-It note or in a notebook. Once I begin to work on it, I’ll close myself off in my office/bedroom, and I’ll begin to outline the story. Once I know where it starts and where it ends, I map out the road between. Once I have a general idea of what the story will look like, I’ll begin writing. I don’t have a special process or routine, though I do require silence.  

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

I can’t really say there were any challenges. I’ve been writing most of my life, I tend to just plow ahead. I do find that my writing time has been limited in recent years, simply for the fact that I’m busy with my day job—editing other writers’ work.

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

Often, it’s the characters that come to me first. I’m a people watcher, so ideas are all over the place. I’ll hear an accent or a stutter that works for a character. There might be a limp or a nervous habit that fills out a personality. The idea is to make the characters so real, the reader will feel they know this person—or somebody just like him or her.

Can you discuss your research process for your latest book?

Research is vital to a good story. It’s one of my favorite parts in the creative process. I write a lot of stories set in past decades. If the story is set in the 1920s, obviously I need to know what that era was like, since I wasn’t around back then. I use Google and various websites to address any questions I need answered. If you’re telling the story of a man living in, say, 1977, you need to understand smart phones and apps and the internet didn’t exist back then. It also helps to know the popular television programs of the day, the common vernacular, clothing fashions, music, fads. There is a lot to consider when crafting reality from fiction.

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

I’ve never encountered writer’s block. There are days where I’m just not motivated, but writer’s block has never been an issue. For those who may suffer from this issue, I suggest stepping away from the story and letting the mind rest for a period of time. Then, sit down and read what you’ve written from the beginning.

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

I am currently working on two novels, several short stories, and the outline for the sequel to my first novel Jazz Baby. The two novels currently in progress are set in 1910 and 1977. In 1910, a young woman becomes involved in the suffragette movement. She’s a free spirit who just wants to see the world around her and face life on her own terms. But family secrets tug her toward a showdown with the very people she loves most in this world. One mistake will change the trajectory of her life. The story set in 1977 is perhaps my best—as far as plot is concerned. A nine-year-girl from West Memphis, Arkansas, lives with her grandmother and tests at a genius level. While on summer break from school, she works with her grandmother cleaning houses for wealthy people across the river in Memphis, Tennessee. It is during one of these jobs that she is tapped to fill in for a young model during a photo shoot for a department store catalog. The photos, and a trip to New York City, will put her on a collision course with a truth that will forever change her life, and the lives of those around her. One of these projects will hopefully be finished before summer.

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

I don’t have an agent. I honestly see little need for one in the publishing world today. I work with publisher Fresh Ink Group to get my work in front of readers. It’s a good fit for me. I tell them what I want, they make it happen. They’ve opened my work to worldwide outlets other than Amazon.   

How do you stay motivated and disciplined while writing?

Basically, I write when I feel like it. I don’t write just to reach a daily word count. When I write, it needs to mean something. It must be important to the story I’m working on. I’m disciplined in that I plot my stories. I edit as I write. I employ the dreaded re-write when needed. But motivation comes with belief in whatever I’m writing. If I believe the story has potential, I’m motivated to see it to the finish line. In a nutshell, if a writer enjoys their current work, that should be motivation enough. Excitement comes from the creative process. Excitement equals motivation—at least to me.  

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

Many of my stories carry a coming-of-age theme. We all start out as simple lumps of clay. Over time, we’re molded by our families, our teachers, our environments. I try to convey that idea of growing up under uncertain circumstances in my stories. We have dreams and aspirations almost as soon as we learn to walk and talk. Often, those dreams fail to materialize. We change or, maybe, our circumstances change. There will be disappointments galore as we travel this life. I want to capture those growing pains in my characters. I hope readers can relate to the struggles of my characters. 

How do you market your book and connect with readers?

Social media is a huge part of the marketing process. There are so many platforms available. Some work better than others. The world is literally at our fingertips today. Interacting with readers and other writers online really helps bring about name recognition. I’m still learning after more than a decade of working our craft.

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

I don’t believe in the term aspiring writer. One is either a writer or they are not. There are many fine unpublished writers in the world today. Getting published is easy today. My advice to those who are seeking to publish is to be certain your work is the best it can be. I’m not just talking about punctuation and spelling—though those are incredibly important. Understanding Point of View in your narration is vital. Who is telling your story? Head-hopping is a sure way to lose readers. Choosing a tense and sticking with it is important. Don’t slip between past tense and present tense. I’ve seen that. It ain’t pretty! Learn strong dialogue for your characters. The best way to do that is to be a listener. Hear those around you, the way they speak, the cadence of their sentences, their choice of words and slang, their accents. Consider using beta readers who are NOT also writers. A reader can offer a whole other take than can a writer.  

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

I write primarily in coming of age and historical fiction, but I may try other genres at some point. I may even try science fiction or dystopian.

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

My biggest literary influences are those who write with feeling and truth. The stories may be dark with shades of light—just like real life. Barbara Kingsolver is one of my favorites. Her novel The Poisonwood Bible is a master lesson in writing Point of View and dialogue. The Poisonwood Bible happens to be my all-time favorite novel. Daniel Woodrell is also brilliant at creating reality in his characters and situations. Read his Winter’s Bone or Tomato Red for a lesson in strong southern dialect and old-school storytelling. Real life events have also shaped my writing. There may be elements of people I’ve known embedded in some of my characters. Situations I’ve witnessed in the real world may add color and tone to scenes in some of my stories. It happens that way sometimes.

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

I was part of a book club some years ago. I’ll just say, I’m glad I’m no longer involved. I’ve interacted with some reader groups over the years. Those can be useful in discovering new authors and books.

How do you handle criticism and negative reviews?

Reviews are just opinions. You’re never going to write something that everybody loves. If the majority enjoy it, consider that a win. I don’t take a negative review to heart. It just represents a reader who didn’t connect with my characters or stories. As writers, we can’t take reviews to heart—good or bad. I just write the stories and let others form opinions of them.

Can you discuss your experience with book promotion and advertising?

I’ve used some Google ads and Amazon ads over the years. I can’t say they really did much to up my sales. Other than those two outlets, I really haven’t advertised. I use social media mostly. It helps, though it isn’t a magic bullet.

Can you talk about any challenges you faced during the publishing process?

I really haven’t faced any challenges. As I mentioned before, I use Fresh Ink Group. They’ve seen a lot over the past 25 years. When issues arise, they usually have a plan.

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

Unfortunately, there are days when I don’t write. I have to prioritize work over writing. But it does balance out. Eventually, my projects reach the finish line and I publish them. It works for me without driving me batty.


Jacob Radner returns to his suburban Chicago roots to bury his departed father. The family is all there—except for older brother Kevin. Thirty-seven years earlier, Kevin Radner walked out the front door and vanished. Will this prodigal son return and finally make peace with the ghost of his mobster father? As the patriarch’s body is lowered into the earth, long-hidden family secrets become uncovered: a former girlfriend, a child born out of wedlock and adopted out, a mother willfully blind to the sins of the father. In this novella, author Beem Weeks examines the notion that sometimes those closest to us are the very ones we should fear most.

Interview with Stephen Geez, Author of Comes This Time to Float!


Retired TV producer and composer/producer of music for television, Stephen Geez has mellowed into the lakeside-living life of a writer, editor, graphic-artist, and Fresh Ink Group publisher. His work includes novels, short fiction, personal-experience essays, blogs, GeezWriter How-To material for authors, podcasts, video scripts, marketing content, and more.


Can you tell us a little about your background?

I grew up in the Detroit suburbs, multi-degreed at the University of Michigan, spent seven years growing a non-profit training at-risk people, then transitioned into television producer and composer/producer of music for television. I started writing stories young, did traditional publishing, got fed up with traditional publishing and founded Fresh Ink Group in 1995 to publish my books and my friends’. Writing, publishing, cover design, editing, trailer and audiobook production, and marketing out the wazoo are what I do now.

How did you get started as an author?

I wrote stories when young, then later started writing novels to flex my fiction muscles while producing non-fiction television. I did a second B.A. at Michigan in literature, as that literary itch is powerful.

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

Comes this Time to Float is a collection of 19 short stories written over several decades. They vary widely in genre and style. Each opens with a short explanation from me about why/when/how that story came about. Two audio-shorts read by me with music and sound effects are in the Fresh Ink Group channel on YouTube: “Bus, Boy” and “Sidekick.” This is my only collection of short fiction, following a collection of mini-memoirs.

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

I am a hardcore outliner. When you write for television, you have to work with pieces than can be arranged, timed, and adapted. I write fiction the same way. I’ll start with the first scene or two to refine whatever new style I’m using while at the same time spending a few months honing that outline. Then I write, knowing everything that has to happen in each scene, which frees me to be creative with my techniques. I edit scenes as they are done. After a handful of chapters, I’ll re-read from the start for flow and pace and style variations, continuing to edit. At some point, I’ll read my scenes aloud to Beem Weeks for feedback, then send it all to the layout team while I work on the covers. Nobody else sees my work before it is published.

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

As an outliner, I do make character notes, but not in detail. Instead, I’ll spend time thinking about them and how they would act in the situations I intend for them.

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

Not to sound crass, but I don’t understand the concept. Seriously, I could spend the rest of my life writing ideas I have in a single day. Is someone who can’t think of anything to say really a writer?

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

I am halfway through writing a novel called How It Turns Out, which alternates three points-of-view, including an old man who is descending into dementia. In November 2021 a goofus I now refer to as “Defendant” totaled my car and fractured both of my hands badly. Both have permanent damage and limit my capabilities, not as much what I can do as how long (and how painfully) it takes me to work. Since Fresh Ink Group’s scores of authors are most important, I’ve shelved the novel until someday when I can spend the time it needs.

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

 My agent experiences were great, except for losing my favorite to cancer. Traditional publishers, not good at all. Being lied to or misled, promises unfulfilled, zero control over any aspect of the final product, pricing issues, and availability had me ready to move on. Then my contract got sold to a Canadian publisher as a package deal and I backed away, instead turning my literary management “Fresh Ink” into Fresh Ink Group, LLC, a full-service multi-media publisher. My experiences working with myself and my team are scintillating!

How do you stay motivated and disciplined while writing?

I have things to say, and that’s the only way they get said. Sometimes poignant feedback can be affirming, too.

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

Well, there are nineteen widely different ones, as my thing is that every time I write something it has to be a new style and techniques for me. The trailer does a good job showing the variety of themes: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=evGhXAQQ10Q Note: we usually hire pro voiceovers, but this one is narrated by me to match the audio-shorts.

How do you market your book and connect with readers?

At FIG we are big on support materials, a quality video trailer, a radio commercial, packages of social-media posts, plus the usual blog tours, appearances, podcast guesting, and so on. We have an 18-year-old influencer on staff who blankets social media for me and all of our authors. This interview will be my best effort today! (Thanks, Kim.)

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

I like hybrid publishers. The author invests some to have skin in the game and retain control and ownership. The publisher invests some. Everybody works together. Talk to writers you like and compare their experiences, costs, and results. Those who still want to try for an agent and a traditional contract should note that authors are expected to show a track record, have a platform with built-in audience, and have other support to get the attention of a quality agent. I know one who says if you self-publish and can’t sell 10,000, she’s not interested. That’s sad, really, as that’s likely more a marketing limitation, but the competition is severe.

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

I think by now all except erotica/porn—not that I don’t have a steamy scene or two in some novels. I like literary levels of any genre.

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

My lit degree opened the world to me. After that, it’s reading and recognizing quality work. My teen years were mostly about sci-fi, but now I’m a literary reader. You can’t read a book by Edmund White, A.M. Homes, Barbara Kingsolver, and their ilk and not learn.

How do you handle criticism and negative reviews?

I see if there’s anything useful there. Normally a sack of flaming dog poop on the porch makes my point.

Can you discuss your experience with book promotion and advertising?

This is way too big a question for a short answer. I’m lucky to have enough authors and several hundred titles to have a support team. One big point: I prefer and do better paying someone to help work free channels than I do paying for advertising.

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

This is tough, as I’m a few months from 65. My plan had me easing back from cover design and other FIG work by now to spend more time writing and composing music. I’d hired an engineer to work with me on recording an album, but his start day would have been two days after the car wreck busted my hands. So right now my balance is keeping up with FIG author needs while my novel and music hold. I do make it a point to travel and attend concerts, plays, symphonies, etc. I skip reading books I want in lieu of working on books by FIG authors. Still, someday I’ll finish How It Turns Out and we’ll all see how it turned out.

Prepare to think as you explore these wildly disparate literary short stories by author, composer, and producer Stephen Geez. Avoiding any single genre, this collection showcases Geez’s storytelling from southern gothic to contemporary drama to coming-of-age, humor, sci-fi, and fantasy—all finessed to say something about who we are and what we seek. Some of these have been passed around enough to need a shot of penicillin, others so virgin they have never known the seductive gaze of a reader’s eyes. So when life’s currents get to pulling too hard, don’t fight it, just open the book and discover nineteen new ways of going with the flow, because NOW more than ever Comes this Time to Float.

The Trailer and Two Audioshorts from the Book

Trailer: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=evGhXAQQ10Q

“Bus, Boy”: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=6OYSaSMDXIQ

“Sidekick”: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=rbdVKknrOxc



Interview with Verwayne Greenhoe, Author of Finding Myself Again!


Born and raised in West Michigan, author Verwayne Greenhoe spent the last seven years in the Upper Peninsula of Michigan. After freezing his keister off, he and his wife moved to Florida in late 2021 to spend more time writing and less time shivering. Author of multiple stories, genres, & formats including 28 Audible books & counting, Greenhoe spends his free time working in his backyard, plotting on where his next story will go.


Can you tell us a little about your background?

Raised on a small dairy farm in west central Michigan, the oldest of six kids, I enjoyed working with the cattle and other animals. I learned to drive a tractor at eight, and was hauling hay and straw in from the fields.

I graduated from high school and went to a small local community college before going to the University of Michigan, where I got a Bachelor’s in Biology and Psychology. I was one of the very first medics/paramedics in Michigan in early 1973.

After several years of that, I spend two years working in the psych ward of one of Michigan’s several prisons. THAT was a learning situation.

I got my nursing license and worked twenty-seven years in the Emergency Room before retiring.

How did you get started as an author?

Working on the farm with my father and grandfather, both of whom were notorious story tellers. I would spend many summer nights after the chores were done, listening to them tell tall tales of things that never happened, and they fascinated me! I began writing at seven. My first story was a total rip-off of the movie, “Bambi,” but I fabricated my wild tales in the fashion I had heard them told at the feet of my dad and grandpa as I got older.

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

My latest complete story was also based on my childhood. While my father was a loving man, my mother was not. Due to head injuries she sustained as a teen, mom was never right. She spent more time screaming at her children than she did anything else. While she was an equal opportunity abuser, mom had a thing for me in particular. She would beat me (not discipline… she BEAT me) nearly every day of my youth. Sixty years later, I still bear the visible scars of her beatings.

“I Hate My Mother” is the story of how I came to forgive her and then learned to forgive myself. It was a personal nightmare reliving those days, but by the time I was done, I found the peace I had been seeking all of my life.

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

Writing comes to me as easy as breathing. It is medicine for my mind. The signature line of my email account reads:

Writing is the only thing that I don’t feel I should be doing something else when I do it.

I will sit down in the morning and work on whatever project I was thinking about in my sleep. Most days, I will get 300 to 1500 words done in the morning and another 300 to 1500 in the evening.

I keep a list of possible story ideas in my email drafts, and a quick look shows me I have at least seventy-five stories I could write. Since Amazon came out with their Vella platform, I have been using it versus finishing a story and then uploading it.

Vella allows writers to serialize their stories in 600-5000 word episodes. I have found the best method is to upload at least three to five new episodes every week. I currently have five Vella projects in motion – two active and the other three are at least once every seven to ten days. Doing this allows me to avoid the dreaded *writer’s block.* Sometimes, you can be stymied on one project, but my brain is always ready to go on a different project.

Can you share any challenges you faced during the writing process of your latest book?
“I Hate My Mother” presented an unusual problem for me. I’ve worked as a medic, and I saw a lot of horrific stuff with no problems, but emotionally reliving the hatred, filthy language, emotional beat downs, and the physical injuries caused me to have terrible nightmares which did not stop until that story was done.

How do you develop your characters and bring them to life on the page?
I model my characters after people I know. If I am basing it on my nephew, *Jim,* that character will look like Jim, act like Jim, and react like Jim. My *bad man* characters are based on men I met while working on the prison. I do the same thing with my female characters. The story plots are based on things I read about, things I witnessed, or things that came to me in a dream.

Can you discuss your research process for your latest book?

Most of my stories are based on things I know about and have experienced, thus requiring very little research. But…  

I am currently writing a Vella project about the Singularity, the concept that humans and computers will become a single type unit. I did tons of research, but could not find much valid information… until I tried the ChatGPT bots.

After I learned to properly talk to them and ask the right questions, my bot (I named it George!) spat out mountains of information I wasn’t finding anywhere else. In a single one hour chat with George, he gave me over 6500 words of information of how a Singularity unit could go rogue and, after lecturing me about me using any information he was giving me could be “evil,” he began to spit out how a human could cause this to happen. 

This Vella is going to be a challenge, but once the foundation of the story is laid in, George and I have it covered.

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

Writer’s block is a very rare thing for me, but there are days when I just can’t get started. Those days are rare, but I have learned to get up, go outside and work in the yard. My body might be busy, but my brain is perking and fighting with itself, and when my next possible writing slot comes available, I am on it. The longest it has ever sidelined me with “block” is six days… the longest two months of my life! LOL.

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

As mentioned above, I have my sci-fi Vella story, “Trouble in The Singularity” started with about ~3000 words. It is cooking as I work to explain how the error that occurs in 2035 will affect this Singularity unit to go rogue in 2089.

I also have a steady Vella titled , “Dealing With Grief.” As a medic and then an ER nurse, I have seen more than my share of grief, up close and personal.

Another Vella project is titled, “How I Keep Smiling in A World That Isn’t.” My dad always called me his kid that was always looking in the horse manure for the pony. (There’s a joke that goes with that name!) With all the horse manure life throws at me, I still keep smiling because there is nothing I can gain by crying about it.

I have another dystopian political Vella titled, “The American Storm.” Oddly enough, the man running a site that took over when Matt Drudge sold his site picked it up. I got a Twitter message from him a few weeks back that he had started reading the story, and had linked it on his site. Depending on what device you use, it is in the middle column at the bottom or the very bottom if using a cell phone. Check it out at Rantingly dot com.

One of my other Vella projects I sat aside when “I Hate My Mother” took off is titled, “A Knock On The Door.” It is a series of Twilight Zone type stories that have the phrase, “There was a knock on the door” in them some place. That line is from the 1948 “flash fiction” story, “Knock” by Fredric Brown. That entire story read: “The last man on Earth sat alone in a room. There was a knock on the door.” I found it intriguing, and I am about to pick that Vella up and run with it again until something big hits me again.

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

Angela Hoy published my first paperback at her company, Book Locker dot com. I was new to the game, and I wanted to see how a pro did it. Angela is the definition of pro, and while I do my publishing right now, Angela is still friends with me on FB.

Since then, my association with a publishing group has been the Fresh Ink Group at Freshinkgroup dot com. Stephen Geez and Beem Weeks, the two men who run the place are both extremely professional, and I consider them both friends. They have been beyond helpful to me in my efforts, and I can not thank them enough.

How do you stay motivated and disciplined while writing?

LOL. Writing is like breathing to me. Consider it like a cocaine habit gone good. If I am not feeling good, I write. If I am upset or angry about something, I write. If I am happy, I write.

You get the idea.

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

I rarely write for a message, but I have written a story on child abuse that was not based on my physical abuse, but on the abuse I had seen as a medic and working in the ER. Child and spousal abuse is rampant, and growing every day.

How do you market your book and connect with readers?

I do my best to be a modern day PT Barnum, “This way to the egress!” on Twitter and FB. I develop a series of tweets that promote the same story, but spelled out differently. On my computer, I have at least thirty different tweets promoting my better-selling stories. Twitter is the best so far because I have found that if you aren’t paying FB to promote your material, they throw shade on it.

The Fresh Ink Group made a nice video trailer for “I Hate My Mother,” and it has been helpful in drawing attention to the story. I include my email in every story, and it is remarkable how many emails I get about various stories.

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

Keep at it. Don’t stop. Bounce your material off people who have the courage to tell you, “This sucks! Fix it!” If all your beta readers tell you is “This is great!” find new beta readers.

The odds of getting a professional contract are two: Little and none. I think most people would be more likely to win a few million dollars in the lottery than getting a professional contract. It’s nice to dream about, but the reality of the situation is to find a reliable company to help you edit your material and then get it to the market.

The two companies I listed above, FreshInkGroup dot com and Book Locker dot com, are the two companies I would recommend to my friends. Neither company knows I am saying this, but there are dozens and dozens of companies that will promise you the moon, but will deliver nothing but the stuff I used to scoop out of the gutters in the dairy barn. I know the people behind both companies well enough to tell people I trust them.

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

Oh, my! I love to write murder stories! As a medic, I was at more murder scenes than I can remember! I also have written two romance stories that have done very well, with the last one, “Finding Myself Again,” doing exceptionally well. When asked about the disparity between the two genres, I tell people, romance can lead to murder, so it’s only natural!

I have written stories about handling grief based on personal experiences. I did a story about growing up with my father (Things My Father Taught Me – Lessons In Life) as a role model. I’ve written a children’s story based on my grandson, (Johnny Robot – Space Alien), and several other genres.

My plans include a series of romance stories to be posted on the Vella platform, tentatively titled, “Midlife Romances – The Series.” I have the template Vella uses set up, but I’ve had a few things going on in my personal life that have slowed the actually writing of those stories. I expect by early April, I will have multiple episodes posted, with others to follow steadily.

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

I wrote this several years ago for this same question:

Someone recently asked who had ‘influenced’ my writing style. From youth on up, I’d say it was Truman Capote, Dorothy Parker, Thomas Wolfe, Ernest Hemingway, and Stephen King. Capote and King taught me story arcs, Hemingway and Wolfe taught me color, while Parker taught me humor.

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

I had an unpleasant experience with one group that I have since washed from my memory. Their goals were much different from mine. Since then, I found the FreshInkGroup, and I am happy and grateful with and for everything they have done for me and all of my author friends. Check them out at the dot com site of the same name.

How do you handle criticism and negative reviews?

I always tell people, “You can’t hurt my feelings because I have already looked in the mirror this morning.”

I have gotten a few bad ratings that bothered me until I realized what I had done. When I attempted to make a few minor changes to about a dozen stories, I uploaded the wrong version of the story. Those first/second drafts got some sharply worded comments, but they taught me something. I deserved them because I made a dreadful mistake.

If you write multiple stories as I have done, put each one in a separate folder. Once you are done with the story, delete every other copy of the story after you are done. Keep only the final copy and upload the document, cover, and anything else related to that story to a place like Dropbox dot com to make sure a computer crash doesn’t make it go bye-bye.

Can you discuss your experience with book promotion and advertising?

I have done several book signings that were good and one that was bad. It happens. Keep doing them. I have a small one in my local library this weekend.

Avoid the places that promise you to “reach thirteen gazillion readers” in a week or less! There are one or two good ones, but there are thousands of bad ones. Find a group of like-minded authors and work with them to promote each other. My promotion of my friend’s cop/murder story does not hurt my sales of my romance story.  

Stick with a group that stands behind you and supports you. It can be a rough and tumble situation. Find solace with a group that supports you. You support your friends, and your friends will support YOU!

Can you talk about any challenges you faced during the publishing process?

If you are a self-publishing author, and there are thousands of you out there, the big problem I have found is making an eye-catching cover. My partner that used to make my covers died of Covid in September 2020. If you are in a group, as I mentioned above, there will always be someone who can make a nice cover without taking your first two years of earnings.


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

I’m retired. Writing keeps my mind perking and happy. I have a wonderful wife who understands the two to three hours a day I spend at my desk writing makes me much easier to deal with later in the day!

I WANT to write daily, but I understand I owe her a fair portion of my time. No one lives forever, and you need to remember the time you spend talking and laughing with your loved ones is always more profitable than any time you spend writing. My wife improves my life and worth living. Every single day, I am thankful for her being with me.


A Lonely Man Finds Love Again

After forty-seven years of a great relationship, courtship, and marriage, the author found himself alone. His wife had struggled with a rough fight with dementia. Suddenly, she took a sudden and unexpected turn for the worse, leaving him alone for the first time in his adult life. He was sixty-four at the time but felt more like he was forty physically and ninety-five emotionally.

For over a year, he had tried to go forward with his life, but when he was alone at night, his heart’s emptiness reminded him that he needed someone to fill the ache inside him.

Loneliness is a killer, and he was dying from grief. He was dying inside because he had never been alone in his life. He told himself that he would be alright, but he wasn’t and was fading fast.

Then he found Heather. They were two souls drifting in a sea of loneliness and grief that found one another amid a building storm. Is she the one that can pull him out of an escalating depression?

We’ll see.

Interview With Susan Clayton-Goldner, Author of Dark River Rising!


Susan Clayton-Goldner was born in New Castle, Delaware and grew up with four brothers along the banks of the Delaware River. She is a graduate of the University of Arizona’s Creative Writing Program. Susan has been writing most of her life. Her novels have been finalists for The Hemingway Award, the Heeken Foundation Fellowship, the Writers Foundation and the Publishing On-line Contest where she received a thousand dollar prize. Susan won the National Writers’ Association Novel Award twice for unpublished novels and her poetry was nominated for a Pushcart Prize. 

Her work has appeared in numerous literary journals and anthologies including Animals as Teachers and Healers, published by Ballantine Books, Our Mothers/Ourselves, by the Greenwood Publishing Group, The Hawaii Pacific Review-Best of a Decade, and New Millennium Writings. Prior to moving to Oregon and writing full time,

Susan worked as the Director of Corporate Relations for University Medical Center in Tucson, Arizona. 

Susan shares a life in Grants Pass, Oregon with her husband, Andreas, her fictional characters, and more books than one person could count.  Website: https://susanclaytongoldner Goodreads Author Page


Can you tell us a little about your background?

I was born in New Castle, Delaware, and grew up with four brothers. After graduating from high school, I attended the University of Delaware where I received an Associate’s degree in Applied Science. I married and moved to Arizona. After my two children started school, I enrolled in creative writing classes and ended up pursuing a MA in Creative Writing.

How did you get started as an author?

From the time I could hold a pencil, I was always writing. It seemed I had to write about something before I fully understood how I felt. I believe writers are born with the passion to write. We can learn to perfect our craft, but writers write because they can’t help themselves. Who’d choose such a difficult and isolating path? So few of us can make a living writing.

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

One of my reviewers inspired my latest book, Dark River Rising,—a retired minister and police chaplain, who sent me his idea for a novel. I try to deal with a social issue in each of my mysteries and he suggested I consider writing about the difficult topic of child pornography and sex trafficking of minors. I have a kidnapped ten-year-old girl, sold into pornography, and eventually murdered as one of my point of view characters. It was a difficult novel to write from the POV of a dead child. I knew it was risky, but I didn’t think there was any way to convey the horror without hearing it firsthand from a child who’d experienced this trauma.

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

I consider writing to be my job and I go to work daily—sometimes spending 8-10 hours at the computer. Until my husband of 34 years died unexpectedly from a brain bleed, I was producing three novels a year. I’ve slowed down considerably during the past two years, but still manage at least one.

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

I always begin by writing an elaborate character sketch for each of the point of view or important characters in the story. I delve into both their physical and psychological history. Sometimes these sketches are ten or more pages long. Writing the sketching helps me to find their voices and to know how and why they behave the way they do. I ask them a lot of personal questions about their childhoods, their parents, their siblings, what they do for a living, what they are most ashamed of in their lives. I ask them what makes them happy. And what hurts them most?

Can you discuss your research process for your latest book?

I always try to read at least three autobiographies of people who have experienced the social issue my character is going through in the book. For example, I wrote a book called Lake of the Dead where I have a transgender individual. In order to climb into her head, I wanted to understand what it felt like to be born into a body that didn’t fit your image of yourself. In Forgotten Creek, I deal with homelessness and, besides reading autobiographies, I went to a homeless encampment in Ashland, Oregon (where my mysteries take place) and spoke with many members of that community. It helped me so much with the character I called “Corndog.”

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

I rarely have writer’s block, but for months after my husband died, I could write about anything except grief. Mostly when I feel stuck, I reread what I’ve written so far, along with my character sketches, and that puts me back into the fictive dream.

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

My next novel is called River of Mercy. It is about a mercy killing. When my husband had his first brain bleed, he was paralyzed on his entire left side. Most of the time he was coherent. He begged me to help him die. We’d had many discussions about this and I’d always said that I would. But, when it came down to it, I couldn’t. He begged. He cried. He even screamed, “Susan, why won’t you help me?”  About a month ago, I woke up after having had another nightmare about that time and the thought entered my mind, “What if I had?” With that thought the seeds for #14 in the Winston Radhauser mystery series was planted.

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

In the course of my writing life, I’ve had 3 agents. None of them were successful at placing one of my novels. When the third one took a paying job as foreign rights manager for another agency, she dropped the clients who were not yet making money for her. I was among them. I tried smaller presses and queried three. Two of them accepted my stand-alone novel, A Bend In The Willow. One of them was Tirgearr Publishing in Ireland. I love them. They have now published 16 novels for me, designed beautiful covers, provided great editing. I could not be happier. What I like most is the response time. If I write with a question, I get an answer within minutes—never longer than a day. That was so refreshing after waiting months for a reply (if you get one at all) from one of the major houses.

How do you stay motivated and disciplined while writing?

Because I love writing so much, it is not difficult for me to be motivated and disciplined. There is almost nothing I’d rather be doing than creating characters and telling their stories.

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

As I mentioned earlier, I like to deal with some social issue in my novels so that they are more than a mystery. The books in my series are a cross genre—somewhere between a family drama and a mystery. I want my readers to come away from the books moved to a place of feeling—be it sadness, empathy, joy. I want them to have taken a journey with the characters and come to care deeply about the outcome. I hope that I can change someone’s heart from contempt to compassion—as in the book about the homeless man.

How do you market your book and connect with readers?

This is the hardest part of the process. I’ve found Bookbub to be a great resource, but it is expensive and difficult to get. I put the first book in the mystery series, Redemption Lake, on Bookbub for free. The first day, over 100,000 people downloaded it. And this turned out to be a smart move because the other books sold at full price. I’ve also used the newsletters like ENT, FKBT, Bookbaby, Book Adrenaline. I have a website and a blog. I send out a newsletter to about 5,000 people. Every year I try to enter a few contests and line up reviewers who will post on launch day. It’s hard work and not nearly as much fun as the writing itself.

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

Be tenacious. I think tenacity is the best gift a writer can receive. Keep trying. Never give up. I was writing for two decades before I finally found a publisher. But it was definitely worth the wait.

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

I have written 3 stand-alone novels. One, Tormented, is a thriller. It won the Rone Award for Best Thriller 2019. Missing Pieces is a family drama about a daughter’s journey to forgiveness with her father. A Bend In The Willow, my first published novel, is about a mother’s love for her son who has leukemia and the lengths she will go, risking her own life, to save him.

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

I love talking to book clubs. I recently did one in Tucson with a group of women who were so conscientious. I gave them a list of questions to answer about A Bend In The Willow. They actually typed out their answers. We had a lively discussion. The host put on a catered luncheon and she’d bought copies of all my books and created a centerpiece for the table with them. It’s fun for the writer and the readers. I highly recommend them.

How do you handle criticism and negative reviews?

It’s a crazy thing, and probably true for most writers, but we remember the critical reviews. We can have 100 excellent, glowing, five-star reviews, and not remember one of them. But we never forget the bad ones. They hurt more in the beginning. I now understand that not everyone will love my books. And that there are mean-spirited people in the world who leave a one-star review just because they see the book has a lot of five stars. I used to read every review, now I often skip the bad ones. But the most important thing to remember is not to respond to the negative ones. Thank a reader for the positive ones if you can.

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

This is often difficult to do, especially if you have a young family. I did not start writing full time until I’d retired from my job and my children were off to college. So, for me, it has not been difficult. I often take my computer with me on vacations and write during long train, airplane rides or any other time I can steal away and write.


Where has Ava Cartwright been for the past three years and why was she dumped on the eve of her thirteenth birthday?

When Detective Winston Radhauser’s phone rings in the middle of the night, he knows something terrible has happened. On this night, a homeless man, rummaging for food in a local dumpster, finds the body of a severely beaten young woman. On scene, Radhauser estimates the victim to be in her early twenties. He’s overcome when he learns the forensics reveal she is the girl whose disappearance has haunted him for three years–Ava Cartwright.

In broad daylight, Ava’s bicycle had been found parked with the kickstand down near a wooded area. Search parties inched their way through every portion of those woods, the neighborhood, nearby Lithia Park, and along miles of railroad tracks, but there was no sign of the little girl.

Where has she been all this time? And why was she dumped on the eve of her thirteenth birthday? There must be something, some tiny detail, he missed that will give him a lead. This time, Radhauser won’t quit until he finds it.


Book Review: “Spirit of the Book” by D. E. Howard


D. E. Howard was born and raised in the small seaside town of Southport where she still resides and dreams of a wo
rld where chocolate is better for you than an apple and of giving up her day job to become a full time writer.


Do you believe in magic?
Ellie Forrester didn’t.

Raised an only child by a mother who never hid her resentment Ellie learned from an early age to be self sufficient.

sotbFinally moving away from her mother’s negative influence Ellie thought her small run down flat was a little piece of paradise.

The old book she found hidden away didn’t seem to be anything remarkable but Ellie soon discovered that it contained far more than just the words on the pages.

Ellie soon discovered that not only did magic exist but it was within her reach.

Do you believe in magic?
Ellie Forrester does!


A Magically Delightful Read

Ellie Forrester is a plan girl who has lived a lonely life. She plans and succeeds in whatever she endeavors, but she has no friends. Her only family, her mother, is a sad woman that never gave her any attention. Then she moves out on her own to discover she has a gift.

After the beginning chapter or two, the story moves at a good pace. I gave he story 4.5 and rounded up to 5 stars. The characters are well-fleshed out and enjoyable. Spirit of the Book has a wonderful plot and a satisfying ending. Excellent writing.

Get your copy of Spirit of the Book today!

Next scheduled books and short stories for my Review List are:
Waterlillies Over My Grave by Patricia Guthrie (Completely Read – Review Coming Soon)
Dragon Fireside Tales by Adam Boustead (Just started)
Trusting Jack by Beth Hale
Haunting Megan by Rebecca Riley
Trafficking by Bill Ward
Beyond the Hidden Sky (Star Trails Tetralogy Book 1) by Marcha Fox
Jem by Michelle Abbott
Everything to Lose – Gavin Shawlens Thriller #2 by Gordon Bickerstaff

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 http://www.StephenGeez.com.

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
Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/AndTheWhippoorwillSang
Website: http://www.mallie1025.blogspot.com/
Email: mallie1025@aol.com

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

#RRBC Spotlight Author – Kim Cox



Asheville, North Carolina USA —Rave Reviews Book Club is pleased to introduce, Author, Kim Cox as their “SPOTLIGHT” Author for the week of May 22-28, 2016. Kim’s featured book, All This Time, is available at Amazon and Barnes and Noble.

Book Description

ATT-kindleCoverAt thirty, Jenny Morgan’s biological clock is ticking. But as a fashion magazine CEO with a busy schedule and no significant other, her wish is unlikely to come true. When her father receives a terminal diagnosis, he wants a grandchild before he dies. With her religious beliefs, a sperm donor isn’t an alternative. Jenny’s only option is her single co-worker and best friend, Trevor Drake. Can she really trust him to be a good husband?

Trevor has loved Jenny since college, but she only sees him as a friend with no ambition. After he finds out her predicament, he proposes and sets out to prove he can provide everything she needs. Jenny is determined to have a prenuptial agreement with an “out” clause after one year. Can he convince Jenny of his love by then?

As if they don’t have enough on their plate, someone at the magazine is out to sabotage their marriage, their impending parenthood, and the magazine. Jenny is nearly killed in one such attempt. Can Jenny and Trevor work together to uncover their common enemy?

To learn more about Kim Cox, or to purchase All This Time, please visit:

Website: http://www.kimcoxauthor.com Amazon Author Page: http://amazon.com/author/kimcox

Twitter handle: https://twitter.com/KimCoxAuthor Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/kimcoxauthor

For more information on Kim Cox, Rave Reviews Book Club, and other great authors, visit:


Rave Reviews Book Club authorizes the immediate use of any of the above information (in part or in whole) for publication.