Welcome to Limelight, Ruth Kozak

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W. Ruth Kozak is a Canadian travel journalist with a strong interest in history and archaeology. A frequent traveller, Ruth lived for several years in Greece and instructs classes in travel journalist and creative writing. A travel writer since 1982, her publications include the Vancouver Province, The Vancouver Sun, 50 Plus, Senior Living, and various other newspapers and magazines in Canada, US and the United Kingdom as well as on-line publications, www.EuropeUpClose.com and www.travelgeneration.com. Ruth also edits and publishes her own on-line travel zine at www.travelthruhistory.com She has been published in the APA Insight Guides 1994, Writer’s Abroad anthology “Foreign Flavours” as well as two poetry anthologies and was writer for The Vancouver Guide for Planet Eye Traveler. Ruth was recently invited to Egypt by Egyptian Tourism and you can read her blogs about this trip a http://travelthroughhistory.blogspot.com She is currently working on an Athens Guide e-book for Hunter Publishing, US.

Ruth’s first historical fiction novel SHADOW OF THE LION: BLOOD ON THE MOON (volume one) was recently published by www.mediaaria-cdm.com UK. This is her first published literary work. Volume Two BLOOD ON THE MOON: THE FIELDS OF HADES will be produced in 2016. Ruth just returned from a successful book promo tour where she attended the Historical Novel Writer’s Conference in London, Eng. and was invited to three events in Greece including a reading at the Athens Centre, a presentation at the World Poetry Conference in Larissa and a reading for two grade nine classes at the Athens Community School. SHADOW OF THE LION: BLOOD ON THE MOON is currently available on Amazon.com and in bookstores.




1.  When did you first start writing? I started writing when I was very young. By the age of 10 I was writing plays for classmates and friends and at the age of 12 I began writing stories, mostly about Canadian Indians and pioneers and later Biblical themed stories, then the Romans and by the age of 16 I became interested in Alexander the Great.  During my last year of high school I wrote an Alexander themed novel. When I was 19 I wrote a play The Street: A Modern Day Tragedy that was produced, and later (in 2000) rewritten and successful produced by a local theatre company.

2.  Please tell us about the book you have written—title, genre, and storyline. SHADOW OF THE LION is historical fiction but based on a true historical timeline. The theme is “How blind ambition and greed brought down a world power” and the story tells of the end of Alexander the Great’s dynasty after his dead in 323 BC. It is in two volumes (because of its length). Volume one SHADOW OF THE LION: BLOOD ON THE MOON was published July 2014 and the second volume SHADOW OF THE LION: THE FIELDS OF HADES will be out in 2016

3.  Where do you find your inspirations? I have loved that history since I was a teenager and ended up visiting Greece first in 1979 then went there to live in 1983. I spent a lot of time visiting sites related to Alexander and lived there part time during the 1990’s while researching and writing.

4.  Are you an Indie Author or are you part of a publishing house? My book was traditionally published by AriaMedia-CDM publishing, Bristol Eng.

5.  When you are not writing, what do you do to recharge? I never stop writing. I also instruct writing classes, do workshops & readings, one-on-one writing coaching and editing. I have been a published travel journalist since 1983.

6.  When you need to get away from it all, where is your favorite vacation spot? Of course I love to spend most of my holiday time in Greece. I am also a travel journalist and I recently enjoyed a trip to Egypt courtesy Egyptian tourism with a special side-trip to Alexandria because of my novel. Locally, I love going to the beach or walks in the many lovely local parks.

7.  Do you read books within the genres you write? I mostly read historical but also memoirs.

8.  To help first time authors and aspiring authors, can you please tell us how you promote your work. By readings, social media, Facebook, sending promo to local newspapers etc.

9.  Do you have any advice on how to deal with negative reviews? The only negative review I have had was from a source that really disappointed me. It was my first review and the review was very bland and unenthusiastic. What the reviewer said was totally opposite to anything any other readers had said about my book (or reviews on Amazon). It happened to be a review published in the Historical Novel Society magazine so I was very disappointed by it, but chose to ignore it.

10.  Will you share some encouraging words for authors still struggling to publish their first book? Don’t give up. But mostly be dedicated, determined and get the work done! SHADOW took me 15 years to write. I had it critiqued all the way through by my writer’s group, then the complete MSS read by two critique readers before sending it to a well recommended editor. This is important! If you can, try to get into a good writer’s critique group as I find that great encouragement.




To learn more about or contact Ruth Kozak, go to:


Website            Novel Blog           Facebook           Twitter

Goodreads         Blog         Travel Through History

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Welcome to Limelight, James Gordon

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James Gordon better known as G.P.A.(Greatest Poet alive is an international award winning author and poet from the South Side of Chicago. He has written six books of Poetry, a Children’s Book, and his first novel, The Warmest Winter. James can be seen on upcoming episodes of Empire, Chicago PD, Chicago Fire, and Shameless, as well as the movies Batman vs Superman and A Slice of Life. You can follow him on Twitter at gr8estpoetalive and on his website iblowyourmind.net.




1.  Please tell us about the book you have written—title, genre, and storyline. The Warmest Winter is a murder mystery that takes place in an unusually, warm January in Chicago.

2.  Have you written other similar books? This is my first novel of any sort. My other books have been Poetry.

3.  Are your books connected like in a series, or are they stand-alone stories? This book is the first in a series featuring the characters in the novel.

4.  Successful mysteries are difficult to write. Where do you find the inspirations for your plots? I read a lot and watch movies that have plot twists and cliffhangers. That’s where I got the inspiration from.

5.  What made you decide to write Mysteries? I love reading Mysteries, so this was a natural risk for me to take.

6.  Which famous mystery writer ignited the fire in you to write mysteries? Carl Weber, James Patterson, and my favorite, Ed McBain.

7.  Are you an Indie Author or are you part of a publishing house? I am proud to say that I am an indie author

8.  What sort of books do you love to read on a normal basis? Besides Mysteries, I enjoy books of Poetry

9.  Besides being an author, do you have a second job? I am an actor and performer.

10.  What is your goal as a mystery writer? To be as good and better than the authors I named above

11.  Is there another book in the making? It is called A Cruel Summer.



To learn more about or contact James Gordon, go to:


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Welcome to Limelight, Isla Grey

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Isla Grey is from Central Virginia and still lives in the same small town she grew up in. She developed a love of writing at an early age and over the years has tried her hand at penning poetry (some good, some not so good), screenwriting, newspaper articles and historical stories. She’s “old school” when it comes to writing and is a hoarder of more pens, post-it notes and writing journals than she’ll ever need. Isla likes to write different types of stories from romance to mystery and anything in between and loves a “happy for now but there could be some bad things coming” feel. When Isla’s not writing, she spends her time being called “Mom, Mama, Mommy” (well, you get the picture) by her daughter who is forever active, even in her sleep. She considers herself an unofficial “cat whisperer” and is a pet human to a plethora of cats that have taken up residence at her home over the years. Isla also enjoys reading a good biography or ghost story, traveling even though “there’s no place like home”, good music played loud and walking.

Isla loves movies and is the movie mistakes editor at Bellaonline.com where she talks about…well…movies.  Her novella, “A Voice in the Dark”, is available now and her book, “Asylum Harbor”, will be released September 16th, 2015 through Wild Rose Press.


1.  Please tell us about the bookyou have written—title, genre, and storyline. Asylum Harbor is a contemporary romance with a bit of suspense thrown in.  It tells the story of Devon Brown who moves to Shell Island to take a new job as the bartender of the Salty Dog.  Once there, she meets Kerr, the island’s renowned loner and harbormaster.  When the two become an unlikely pair, trouble arrives in the form of a jealous co-worker and Kerr’s nemesis.

2.  Is this book part of a series, or is it a stand-alone story?  At the moment Asylum Harbor is a stand-alone.  It’s the first book of the Salty Dog series.

3.  What made you decide to write a love story?  I was on a beach vacation a few years ago and we visited Shell Island.  Yes, this place actually exists but there’s no one living there—you can go there during low tide to find seashells.

4.  When you are not writing, what do you do to recharge?  I have a seven-year-old so she keeps me pretty busy!  That also means I rarely sleep and I’ve seen every episode of Teen Titans Go.  I love to travel to different places—Williamsburg, VA, Pigeon Forge, TN and the beach are some of my favorites.  One of my favorite things is to walk or hike with my Ipod playing—it brings out my inner, imaginary rock star!  I also watch movies and write movie mistakes articles for Bellaonline.

5.  Are you an Indie Author or are you part of a publishing house?  My book is being published through the Wild Rose Press.

6.  Do you read books within the genres you write?  Sometimes.  But I have to admit I usually prefer a good biography.  I’m going through a “golden age of Hollywood” phase with bios on Jean Harlow, Carole Lombard and Clark Gable.  I loved the Harry Potter books and most books by Stephen King, so it usually depends on what kind of mood I’m in that determines what I read.  Sometimes I’ll pick up a book on a whim just from looking at the cover.  That’s how I found the Miss Peregrine books by Ransom Riggs.  I’m anxiously awaiting Library of Souls, the third book in that series.

7.  What character traits do you love to include when you write about your male protagonist?  He’s usually the strong, silent, brooding type with that tough exterior that only the heroine can break through.  He’s good…but not TOO good!

8.  Are the female protagonists in your stories like you or the person you wish you could be?  I think it’s more of a mix.  They might say something that I might say in that situation.  But, I think for the most part, they have some traits that I might wish I had but they also have those that I’m glad I don’t have.

9.  If you could pick anyone to be the cover model on your latest release, who would it be?  When I first started writing Asylum Harbor, my all-time favorite soap, One Life To Live, was still on the air.  Can I pick Michael Easton and Melissa Archer who played one of my favorite couples on there?

10.  How would you define a happily ever after ending?  Happily Ever After to me means a resolution to the story that the characters find satisfying.  I always say that I write “happy for now but bad things could be lurking around the corner” stories.

11.  Is there another book in the making?  Yes!  I’m working on the follow-up to Asylum Harbor.  That will be the second of three stories.  I also work on two other stories when the characters from Asylum Harbor aren’t talking to me or when I’m having trouble making a scene work.


To learn more about or contact Isla Grey, go to:

Website          Facebook          Twitter         Goodreads

Blog          Amazon Author Page





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Welcome to Limelight, David Reynolds

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Join me in welcoming David Reynolds to Limelight!








I am one of the few people living in Tucson, Arizona that was actually born here.  Other than one semester at Northern Arizona University I have lived here all my life.  The main lesson I learned at NAU was that I don’t like snow.  It’s fun to visit; not fun to live in.  I grew up on the far east side of town close to the base of the Rincon Mountains with the Saguaro National Park across the street.  Thanks to this environment I am well versed in the creepy crawlies that call the desert southwest home – I’ve relocated rattlesnakes, been attacked by Javalina (a particularly grumpy wild pig), seen the magic of a six foot wingspan owl melt out of the trees, and been stung by bark scorpions so many times I’ve lost count.  I live with mylovely wife, a demanding cat, and a crazy dog.  When not at work I am usually in my workshop working on some model airplane project or motorcycle project.  In order to pay for all this I teach GED classes for the Arizona Superior Court.




1.  When did you first start writing? I have been playing with short stories for about 10-15 years.  I first got into self publishing about 3 years ago.

2.  Please tell us about the book(s) you have written—titles, genres, and storylines.  My stories tend to cover a range of areas; I think the most often is Sci-Fi.  

Aware is one of my more recent short stories.  Aware is a short Sci fi set on an ore transport that has struck a meteor in space.  Navigation Specialist Jenkins must get the ship running again along with the help of a repair robot that is becoming self-aware.  The two must figure out how to work as a team in order to survive.

I wrote Aware because I wanted to explore what happens to a robot that becomes self-aware and along the way the story surprised me.  I created Jenkins simply so that Repair Bot Three would have someone to interact with and I made her hate robots for the tension it created.  Along the way Jenkins took on a life of her own as she also became self-aware in a way.

Also in the list –

The Interview (fiction)

Stephan Gordon is down on his luck. Despite good qualifications, his career path has hit the skids and he is worried about his future and his family. A dream job has possibly landed in his lap that promises to be around for a lifetime. But will it be worth the cost?


A Burning Problem (non-fiction essay)

A Burning Problem is a short satirical essay on education reform


Futurecaster (fiction with a touch of sci-fi)

A man learns to tell the future and tries to avoid his destiny. Will he succeed or will fate claim him?


Spirits Last Vision (Sci-fi)

The Mars rover Spirit far exceeded its expectations, running longer and discovering more than hoped. Along the way it gained many fans with it seemingly human ability to keep going in the face of failure. What if its greatest discovery is yet to be known?


The Eternal Question (fiction with a touch of sci-fi)

Why are we here? I had a chance meeting with a strange old man the other day that claimed to know. His answer makes a frightening amount of sense.


Contracts of the Father (fiction)

After being down and out with a family to support, Stephen Gordon luckily manages to land a job that ends the bad days forever. Stephen eventually learns that perhaps luck had nothing to do with getting the job and that it comes with a very high price that he may not want to pay.

This is a continuation of The Interview.


3.  Are your books connected like in a series, or are they stand-alone stories?  Most are stand alone stories.   Contracts of the Father started as a single short that I then added five other shorts to but I sell it as one story.  I have a few ideas that branch off of previously written works, but nothing has come of them yet other than some outlining and jotting down of ideas.

4.  Where do you find your inspirations?  Anywhere I can.  Conversations with other people, themes from other books, sudden inspiration in the middle of the night, I’m angry about something…  It’s all grist for the mill.

5.  When you are not writing, what do you do to recharge?  To recharge the bank account I teach GED classes for the county adult probation program.  To recharge myself I build and fly model airplanes, play with photography, play with my motorcycles, read, and generally goof off.

6.  Are you an Indie Author or are you part of a publishing house?  I publish independently with a label I created – Renaissance Redneck Media

7.  Do you read books within the genres you write?  I read everything.  Short, long, deep, shallow…  If it’s in front of me I’ll give it a go.  I even enjoy reading car repair manuals.

8.  How much time do you put towards promoting yourself and your books?  Not enough, I’m sure.  I try to work Facebook and Twitter a bit each evening and I am always open to others offering interviews or promotions.  I have used some paid promotions with mixed results.  After a few years I am beginning to see some results.

9.  To help first time authors and aspiring authors, can you please tell us how you promote your work. Currently most of my promotion is on Facebook, Twitter, and word of mouth.  I put a link to my website on the signature for the various internet forums I am active on and links in the signatures on my email accounts.  Vistaprint makes very nice business cards for a good price that I hand out to people.  My website has short sections of all my stories as well as photography and flash fiction stories.  My latest effort has been building an email list to market directly to those that are already interested in me.

I have also spent time on various forums like Goodreads and if I see anybody asking for authors to interview for their blogs, I jump at the chance.  Through some of the groups I discovered Book Nymph.  Book Nymph has various publicity packages for sale and since I have been using them I have seen more traffic.  At first I didn’t want to spend any money on publicity but I had a shift in thinking one day as I realized that I am basically running a small business.  A business needs to get the word out to potential customers and that means advertising.  Advertising takes money.  I’m not going to take out a full page add in a national magazine, that’s beyond my budget, but I have become more open to what it takes to become a bit taller in a very crowded field.

10.  Do you have any advice on how to deal with negative reviews?  Step one – spend some time convincing yourself that the person that left the negative review is a brain dead ignoramus that fails to see your genius and wouldn’t recognize good writing if it walked up to them and smacked them in the head.

Step two – Go back and look to see if they had any bit of wisdom that you can use to improve your work.  There is always room for improvement.

Step three – Realize that some people really are brain dead ignoramuses that fail to see true genius and wouldn’t recognize good writing if it walked up to them and smacked them in the head.J




To learn more about or contact David Reynolds, go to:


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Welcome to Limelight, Erik Buchanan

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Please welcome Fantasy author Erik Buchanan to Limelight!








Erik Buchanan is the author of the Thomas Flarety Stories (Small Magics, Cold Magics and True Magics) published by Dragon Moon Press. He is also a fight director, an actor, a ghostwriter, a communications consultant, a black belt and a parent. In addition to his books, Erik has written short stories, film scripts, web series and more than 300 articles on everything from consumer electronics to why to get the flu shot. He has acted on stage, TV and film, and has directed fights for more than 50 stage productions. His home on the web is www.erikbuchanan.ca and he invites everyone to come visit and read the stories and blog there.




1.  Please tell us about the book you have written—title, genre, and storyline. True Magics is the final book in my fantasy trilogy.  In it, Thomas Flarety, who accidentally became the most powerful magician in his world, has returned with his friends Henry, George and Eileen to the city of Hawksmouth after fighting a war in the north. They had hoped their adventures were over, and that the hardest thing they would have to do is convince the Academy to take Eileen as its first female student in 200 years.

Then stories of Thomas’s magic reached Hawksmouth.

The king orders Thomas to keep his magic hidden and to find the other magicians in the city. The Cult of the Daughter wants Thomas for one of their own. The Archbishop wants Thomas to surrender to the Inquisitors and redeem his soul. Preachers rage in the streets against witchcraft, the Academy and the king.  And Thomas’s friends are starting to disappear.

As Hawksmouth falls into chaos and the Academy stands divided against itself, Thomas must save his friends, find the other magicians, and decide what to do with his magic before the struggle between the king and the archbishop turns into an all-out war that will destroy everyone and everything he loves.

2.  Have you written other books? Many. The other two I have published are Small Magics, and Cold Magics, the first two books in the Thomas Flarety Stories.

3.  When did you decide to write toward publication? I began writing novels in the early 1990s. It was always in my mind to get published, but at the time I was going to university, pursuing an acting career and building a life. It wasn’t until 2004 that I began sending my work out to publishers. In 2005 my first novel was accepted by Dragon Moon Press, and published in 2007.

4.  What made you decide to write a Fantasy? I began writing fantasy because I enjoyed reading fantasy. It gives us a chance to explore the mythic in a much more direct way than most other genres, while still allowing for character development and growth. I also write historical fiction, science fiction and horror as well, but fantasy remains my first love.

5.  Are you an Indie Author or are you part of a publishing house? I’m currently published by Dragon Moon Press, but also am developing a line of novellas to self-publish as well.

6.  Do you read books within the genre you write? Continuously. 

7.  Besides being an author, do you have a second job? I make my living primarily through ghostwriting, script writing, and corporate communications, as well as through my own writing.

8.  When you are not writing, what is your favorite hobby? In my spare time I practice and teach martial arts and stage combat.

9.  What do you enjoy most about being an author? The opportunity to explore other worlds, to live other live and to explore other visions of reality.

10.  Is there another book in the making? There are three: I am currently editing the first book in a YA Horror series set in Victorian London. After that I have a Historical Fiction piece set in Pre-Elizabethan England.




To learn more about or contact Erik Buchanan, go to:


Website          Facebook         Twitter         Goodreads






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Welcome to Limelight, Sue Duff

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It gives me great pleasure to introduce to you contemporary fantasy author Sue Duff











When not saving the world one page at a time, Sue is a speech therapist by day. She can often be seen walking her Great Dane, whipping something up in her kitchen, or tooling around in the garden. Sue is a Colorado transplant, in large part due to the incredible seasons, and appreciates that Mother Nature doesn’t make her shovel her driveway, too often.



1. Please tell us about the bookyou have written—title, genre, and storyline.  I am the author of the Contemporary Fantasy/SciFi Adventure series, The Weir Chronicles. The first two, of the planned five book series, FADE TO BLACK and MASKS AND MIRRORS are available on Amazon and can be purchased on other sites (Smashwords, Barnes&Noble, Apple iBooks, Kobo, etc.). They can also be ordered through any book retailer. They are available in all formats. The third book, SLEIGHT OF HAND is coming February 2016!  

The series is about an illusionist with real powers. He’s the last of the Weir who are caretakers of Earth. They keep the energies of the planet in harmony with all that roams across it. The Weir are dying out and Ian didn’t inherit their powers as expected. As a result, natural disasters are on the rise in frequency and intensity. To combat their extinction, the Weir turn to modern science to perpetuate their race, with not so great results. After all, it’s not wise to mess with Mother Nature!

2. Have you written other books? The novels in The Weir Chronicles series are my first novels. I have written flash fiction, short stories and occasionally blog. A few of my favorites can be found on my author website: www.sueduff.com

3.  When did you decide to write toward publication? About two years ago. Fade to Black was a finalist in a prestigious writing contest and that’s when I caught the bug (and my confidence as a writer grew). It took a couple of close writer friends, though, to talk me into going the rest of the way!

4. What made you decide to write Fantasy and Science Fiction?  I have been a huge fan of both Fantasy and Science Fiction for as long as I can remember. It’s what I grew up reading, watching, and absorbing every chance I got! When I started to write seriously, I couldn’t choose between them, so I created a story, a hybrid of sorts, that encompasses both subgenres. I love the fact that in spite of my heroes having incredible, enviable powers, they still rely on cell phones and the internet to help save the world!

5. Are you an Indie Author or are you part of a publishing house?  I chose to be Indie because of the extent (epic, really!) story line of the series. I have a handful of primary characters that are introduce by the end of the first book and each storyline leads into the next book. After hearing how frustrated many of my traditionally published author friends were, I was afraid of being at the mercy of publishers, and the real potential that they might not allow the story to be completed. I also live and breathe this series and have had very strong images of how I wanted the book covers, marketing, etc. to be handled.

6. Do you read books within the genre you write?  Absolutely! It’s what I love. Who wouldn’t want to possess super powers, or have the unique ability to control nature? I have a fun imagination.

7. Besides being an author, do you have a second job?  I am a speech therapist in an inner city school district in Denver. I love my kids and enjoy helping them to become the people they dream they are!

8. When you are not writing, what is your favorite hobby?  Just as I combined Fantasy and SciFi in my writing, I found a way to combine my love of cooking with writing. Check out my website blogs, “A Cook’s Guide to Writing,” where I give pointers about writing from a cook’s perspective!

9. What do you enjoy most about being an author?  Meeting fans and hearing from them! I was a guest author at the Denver Comic Con this past Memorial Weekend. I was so energized by connecting with fans of my characters and who get so excited about the twists and mysteries that I incorporate in my story telling. My characters are truly real to me and it never gets old hanging out with them. It’s a real kick to know that others love them as much as I do!

10. Is there another book in the making? SLEIGHT OF HAND will be hitting the market February, 2016!



To learn more about or contact Sue Duff, go to:


Website         Facebook         Twitter         Goodreads




For samples of the first few chapters in each novels, check out:

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Welcome to Limelight, Andy Crossfield

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It gives me great pleasure to introduce to you, mystery writer Andy Crossfield







Andy Crossfield grew up in Griffin, Georgia, the middle son of innately curious parents. Like most kids coming of age in the sixties and seventies, he experienced both the optimism of a better world the 21st century would bring, and the fear instilled by the cold war. “I didn’t get the urge to write until my late fifties- when I found myself reading to my father every day. He had macular degeneration, and reading helped us communicate. Our favorites were Dan Brown, Michael Crichton, and, for historical context, David McCullough. They just have a clarity about their writing, and plot twists we couldn’t see coming. It makes them hard to put them down. I wanted to emulate that style as best I could. “With ‘The Premise’, I wanted to give people hope. Particularly those who have lost faith in America. I wanted to present a story that is fairly plausible and gives us all hope in the next big scientific discovery. I wanted to save the world from ourselves. And failing that, as one reader remarked after reading the subtitle, at least I’m humble 🙂




1.  Please tell us about the book you have written—title, genre, and storyline. The Premise, A Novel To Save The World is a tale of suspense, espionage, and political corruption. When noted criminologist and writer Jack Colder tries to help beautiful, violet-eyed geneticist Colleen Baker uncover who has targeted her, they embark on a path that leads to a scientific discovery that can upend the economy and cause people to rethink what they are doing with their lives, how they relate to their neighbors, and change the future course of humanity itself.

2.  When did you first start writing? I started writing recreationally more than 20 years ago, but I started writing The Premise in 2012.

3.  Where do you find your inspirations? In everyday life and from books and research.

4.  Are you an Indie Author or are you part of a publishing house? I’m an inde.

5.  When you are not writing, what do you do to recharge? Traveling with my wife, playing with our cats, reading, and photography

6.  Do you read books within the genres you write? Usually, although I like biographies too.

7.  To help first time authors and aspiring authors, can you please tell us how you promote your work. Mostly social media, joining and speaking at book clubs, and recently on paid promotional sites like www.dailyfreebooks.com

8.  Do you have any advice on how to deal with negative reviews? I haven’t actually had but one bad review, but it may be because I only have 17 reviews. If I were to start getting them I would take the criticism seriously and evaluate whether they were accurate. If so, I would correct my writing.

9.  Will you share some encouraging words for authors still struggling to publish their first book? In this day of Amazon.com, don’t wait for a publisher. I waited 9 months or a publisher to tell me my novel wasn’t what they were looking for. Make the effort to get something out there. Tell your friends. Promote it yourself. Getting your friends to regard you as an author is harder than getting strangers. Go for it, work everyday to improve your next effort. Success and effort are linked.



To learn more about or contact Andy Crossfield, go to:

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Welcome to Limelight, Francis Powell

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Please welcome Francis Powell







What better way to put all my angst into short stories. Born in a commuter belt city called Reading and like many a middle or upper class child of such times I was shunted off to an all-male boarding school aged eight, away from my parents for periods of up to twelve weeks at a time, until I was 17. While at my first Art college through a friend I met a writer called Rupert Thomson, who was at the time in the process of writing his first book “Dreams of leaving”. He was a bit older than myself, me being fresh out of school, but his personality and wit resonated, despite losing contact with him.  I had a stint living in Austria,  where I began writing.  It wasn’t until I moved to Paris, that my writing began to truly evolve.  I discovered a  magazine called  Rat Mort (dead rat) I sent off a short story, in the hope it would match the seemingly dark world the magazine seemed to embroiled in. I got no answer. Not put off I sent two more stories. Finally I got an answer. It seemed the magazine editor was a busy man, a man prone to travelling. It seemed my first story really hit the right note with him. His name was Alan Clark.  I began writing more and more short stories, some published on the internet. A bit later my anthology Flight of Destiny slowlyevolved,  published April 2015, by Savant publishing.




1.  When did you first start writing? I moved to a remote village in Austria. It was not far from Vienna, but a very oppressive and strange environment. I thought I should try writing a book. I launched into it…nothing came of it. I do many creative activities, painting as well as writing music. Writing lay dormant, put to one side. Then later, living in Paris at this point in time, via an advert, I made contact with a man called Alan Clark, who had a literary magazine called “Rat Mort” (dead rat).  I submitted four short stories for this magazine, encouraged by Alan, I began to write more and more short stories, and developed a style…I guess if I compare these stories to earlier efforts at writing…there has been a huge development…I am sure my early attempts were imaginative but raw.

2.  Please tell us about the book you have written—title, genre, and storyline. Flight of Destiny is a collection of short quirky stories about misfortune. They are characterized by unexpected final twists, that come at the end of each tale. They are dark and surreal tales, set around the world, at different time periods. They show a world in which anything can happen. It is hard to determine reality and what is going on a disturbed mind. People’s conceptions about morality are turned upside down. A good person can be transformed by an unexpected event into a bad person and then back again to their former state. The high and mighty often deliver flawed arguments, those considered wicked make good representations of themselves. Revenge is often a subject explored.  It is not a horror book, it is dark but with elements of wit and wisdom…I would say in the current climate it is a rather unusual book.To some extent my stories are indirectly autobiographical, my life has not always been a smooth journey, with many setbacks along the way. I don’t think I consciously draw a line between real events and the fiction I write. I doubtlessly draw from my experiences, good or bad.

3.  Where do you find your inspirations? Ideas seem to plant themselves in my head and I feel a need to expand on them and develop them.  Sometimes newspapers provide excellent sources.  I read obscure stories about people stealing other people’s identities, a person who pretends he is a Duke, but in reality he is a fraud…like in my story “Duke”.

4.  Are you an Indie Author or are you part of a publishing house? My book is published by Savant publishing, based in Hawaii.

5.  When you are not writing, what do you do to recharge? I am a painter…I went to art college…I would not say painting recharges me…when I am painting, it is like I am in a trance…  I am really frantic…I get paint everywhere…I have ruined a lot of nice clothes while painting…It’s not that I intend to get in such a state…it happens…I paint on objects I have found in the street…One I found three skateboards (just the wooden parts) they made great objects to paint on. I also write music…I have a sax, but I mostly write electronic music…I wrote the music for my book trailer…it is very dark…I also make videos…check out the Flight of Destiny youtube channel.

6.  When you need to get away from it all, where is your favorite vacation spot? I live in France there are many great places to go to.  Recently I have been a few times to Brittany, it’s a magical place…I love going to the coast…I particularly love Cornwall (in the UK) it’s similar to Britanny…I went there a lot when I was a child, I have wonderful memories.

7.  Do you read books within the genres you write? I would say mostly yes…I love books by Rupert Thompson (who wrote books like Dreams of Leaving) I met him when I was just starting out as an art student and he was writing his first book. He’s a great writer.  When I was a child I read “Kiss Kiss” by Roald Dahl and this had a lasting impression on me and influenced the style of writing of Flight of Destiny, particularly as to the ending, which like Roald Dahl, I try to include an unexpected twist.

8.  To help first time authors and aspiring authors, can you please tell us how you promote your work. Hours on facebook. Connecting with other authors.Doing interview exchanges.Posting my book trailer all around.Joining forums.Doing guest spots on blogs about subjects to do with writing or other subjects.Sending endless e mails.Sending tweets and retweets, as part of a “Tweet team”.  It takes a lot of time, but it is rewarding when you start to find new outlets for promoting your book and build up a network.

9.  Do you have any advice on how to deal with negative reviews? Think about the person who rejected the Beatles when they first started out. Everybody has knock backs, they are good ways of making us stronger and more determined. Anyway why do you write? To make lots of money? Or because you are naturally creative an ”artist”? If you began writing because you believed you had something to say, what does it matter what others think.

10.  Will you share some encouraging words for authors still struggling to publish their first book? Stick at it, don’t fall by the wayside. Find a niche, find a formula that works for you. I met a woman who is an aspiring writer, who told me of the heartbreaks of her rejections. Maybe some people aim too high or have high expectations. If you post stories on the internet, there are sites I have come across like ReadWave and Scriggler, maybe you can get useful feedback, people actually get to read your stories, rather than languishing on a hard drive doing nothing. Even if 50 people read your story, it’s a start.



To learn more about or contact Francis Powell, go to:

Website        Facebook        Twitter      Goodreads

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Welcome to Limelight, Aimee Marie Bejarano

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Please welcome Aimee Marie Bejarano to Limelight!







Aimee’ Marie Bejarano is a simple country girl living in Texas with many four legged children. She is a musician and has a growing fowl farm. Aimee’ is a writer of the supernatural and paranormal and loves to pray for people. Often times you can catch her watching a thunderstorm or having movie nights with her loved ones. Stay tuned and follow for her next novel in September, a paranormal thriller “Aiden Jenson Presents, The Gateway.”


1.  When did you first start writing? Great question.  I began writing when I was 16 years old.  I did home school then and one of the assignments was to write a creative writing page.  Well, it began with angels and demons battling one another but then I stopped since they only wanted one page.  When I gave it to my mom to read and look over, she was intrigued.  Said, “Where’s the rest of it?”  Then she told my sister to read it and she responded the same.  It was then that I took that assignment and began using my imagination even further. 

2.  Please tell us about the book you have written—title, genre, and storyline. The novel I have written is entitled “Angelica” and it’s a historical fiction. It is about a young woman imprisoned in Jerusalem for preaching about Jesus.  While awaiting a death sentence, she writes her life’s story beginning on a prophetic night.  Her father was an inn keeper and met a young couple that same night.  There was no room in his inn and all he had to offer them was a stable.

3.  Where do you find your inspirations? I draw my inspiration from several things. First, from the Lord.  He gives me ideas and storylines I really would never have been able to conjure up on my own.  Second, I do have vivid dreams from time to time and one of the first things I think of is, “How the heck can I make this into a really awesome story?” Thirdly, I have seen things in the supernatural. I know this may cause some people to go “Yeah right!” or “Uh huh.” But, I have.  I take those things and incorporate them into my books quite regularly.

4.  Are you an Indie Author or are you part of a publishing house? Proudly, I am an indie author. I was tired of fighting to break through the barriers of traditional publishing.  I figured I have the ability to do this thing myself.  I’m glad I did because I have complete design control etc.

5.  When you are not writing, what do you do to recharge? Recharging is important. I like to take a break and read or study.  I also love to just go outside and sit in the sun and garden.  I’ll soak in the rays and watch the bees fly by, it’s so relaxing.  Funny enough, I also like to grab a game on my little Mario cart. Anything to give my eyes and brain a much needed rest.

6.  When you need to get away from it all, where is your favorite vacation spot? I don’t really go on vacation haha. But if I did, I’d probably pick Ireland because the scenery is just so beautiful. Right now, having the house to myself in peace and quiet is vacation enough for me.

7.  Do you read books within the genres you write? I don’t really read historical fiction. I do read a lot on the spiritual realm though.

8.  To help first time authors and aspiring authors, can you please tell us how you promote your work. Considering that I am also a new author I can only tell you to get help from book clubs online especially from Facebook and Twitter.  Get family and friends who don’t mind giving word of mouth because that’s important. I also have used and will continue again to use Books Go Social. They are awesome and are everywhere. There is such wonderful help there from so many authors you can’t go wrong.

9.  Do you have any advice on how to deal with negative reviews? I have yet to have a negative review but I’ve had a lot of “criticism” on the side in the form of “help”. It can be frustrating because not everyone will like what you write or the style in which you do. Just brush it off like water off a ducks back. You can’t and will never please anyone. My advice is to ignore it. Never get into a battle of wits or arguing. Remember your fan base. Completely do not EVER respond to it. I have had to ignore personal messages off my Facebook and Twitter account and I’m sure I will have to in the future too. Just remember your novel and all the work you have done can be completely damaged by arguing over opinions or a typo. To me, it’s never worth the risk or the time to battle in that way.

10.  Will you share some encouraging words for authors still struggling to publish their first book? Just do it! If it’s your dream just do it. Remember it will be hard work but if you are willing to do then you can.



To learn more about or contact Aimee Marie Bejarano, go to:


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Welcome to Limelight, Brenda Perlin

Brenda's new Book cover




Join me in welcoming returning author Brenda Perlin







Brenda Perlin is an independent contemporary fiction author of five titles and numerous short stories. From novels to illustrated books, Brenda evokes passionate responses in her readers by using a provocatively unique writing style. Ever since Brenda was a child, she has been fascinated with the process. She draws her biggest inspiration from Judy Blume who sparked her obsession with pursuing personal expression through prose. Brenda has always lost herself in the world of literature, especially in coffee shops where she documented her ideas on paper napkins.

Her first series, the highly-acclaimed Brooklyn and Bo Chronicles, captures the soul-wrenching conflicts of a couple struggling for emotional fulfillment against those who would keep them apart. Next, Brenda ventured into the realm of graphic novellas with Ty the Bull, a story about a young boy who overcomes bullying, and Alex the Mutt, which explores the journey of love and loss of a beloved dog.

Brenda is diligently working on her next project while sipping hot lattes. She has replaced napkins with a laptop, but her enthusiasm hasn’t waned. All her works are available through Amazon.com and its subsidiaries.



1.  Please tell us about your book—title, genre, and storyline.  L.A. Punk Rocker takes you back to the eighties when punk rock was going strong in Hollywood. When music was the focus and being young was about free expression and independence. For me it is part of my coming-of-age story, being an outcast, a period of ups and downs but also some of the greatest days of my life.

2.  Why did you choose to write about this topic?  I like to write stories that I am passionate about. Recently I announced that I was done with writing and then Mark Barry stepped in and said, waaaaait! He told me I should write about my punk days. Calling me #LAPUNKQUEEN he said it would make a killer read. Not sure if he said it exactly like that. He is a bit more proper than I am but he was convincing enough that I gave it thought. And from then I didn’t stop thinking. Couldn’t sleep. I had to re-visit the past and try to do it as authentic as possible. I lost hours of sleep but the stories came rushing out and before I knew it I had almost enough to fill a book.

It was later that I decided sharing other people’s experience would be even better. Lucky, not all punks are flaky and received some very good stories. Mark agreed to put something together and boy did he perform. I am memorized by his talent and natural ability to take the shape of any character he decides to write about. Right now I am looking at him as the King Rocker himself since he took on Billy Idol.

3.  Is this a personal story, or is it about someone else?  This story is very personal to me. Calling myself a “punk” in my teens was very empowering. I came out of my shell and didn’t feel like such a misfit amongst all these outsiders.

4.  What was the most difficult part to write in your book?  Why?  Well, going back over thirty years is not such an easy task. I mean, sometimes I can’t remember what I did last week! Ha ha. It look a lot of reflection and focus. Since I always went around with my camera I still have most of them to look at. It also helped to talk to some of my friends from that time period.

5.  Why should readers choose your book over others in your field?  Are there are books like this available? I am not so sure. There might be photo books and even some biographies but L.A. Punk Rocker takes you back in time. Maybe it will give you the feeling of actually being there. Meeting the bands and being in the middle of all the excitement of the times. This bit from a review might be able to explain it better than I can.

Brenda talks about visiting places which many of us have only heard of in movies and in articles. She talks about hanging around with musicians before they became known. She leads us through her struggles as a teenager dealing with conservative parents yet trying to fit into the emerging punk scene – the only place she felt she belonged. It is a struggle many of us can relate to. KM

6.  Are you an Indie Author or are you part of a publishing house?  I am an Indie Author. I publish under Blossoming Press.

7.  Have you published other books?  Tell us about them please? Thanks for asking. I have a completed trilogy, Brooklyn and Bo Chronicles, the first two are based on my life and the third is from Bo, a guys point of view. These books are full of reality. Coming-of-age, marriage, divorce, illness and infidelity. It’s not all pretty but is relatable to many. Plus, all my dirty little secrets are plastered all over the pages. Yes, I put myself out there. Then I wrote two short stories, Ty the Bull based on a ten year old boy who was bullied by the kids at school. I hated seeing this happen and set out to empower not just this one boy but all children in this situation. KD Emerson had a big role in writing the fictional parts of the story making it an entertaining and meaningful little read. Lastly there is Alex the Mutt is about my experience with rescuing dogs. After Brooklyn and Bo Chronicles I have tried to write about the things that are closest to my heart. I guess you would say that stopping the bullies and saving animals is top on my list but more than anything my message from everything that I do is about following your heart and be your truest self.

8.  Have you ever suffered from writer’s block?  What did you do to overcome it?  I don’t think I have diagnosed myself with writers block because I don’t give myself that kind of pressure. I haven’t had a deadline or feel that I need to write everyday though I know to write better you need to write more. I do read quite a bit which I believe does make you a better writer if you pay attention to the good and the bad.

9.  Do you do any of your own marketing?  If yes, how do market your book?  Do I market my books?????? Ha ha. Don’t make me laugh, Jessica!!! Most of us in the Indie world have to market our books. Social media either becomes your best friend or your worst enemy. The books are not going to sell themselves. Of that I am certain.

I don’t have a secret potion or magic wand. I just go with my instincts. If it feels good and authentic then I am in. If it seems fake I am more likely to lose interest and walk away.

Selling books is darn hard. Who’d thought it would be so difficult to sell books at these dollar basement prices? You have to reach your audience and bond with them. I might have made more friends than I have sold books but doing this does have its rewards.

10.  Have any readers tried to reach out to you?  Are your replies short and to the point, or do you partake in a conversation with them?  I am a chatty girl but it depends on what my gut is telling me. It’s just like choosing friends. Is there a connection? If so, go with it. If not, be nice and don’t put that much into it.

11.  If you can connect with your favorite author on one of your networks, which author would that be?  I know of a ton of people on Facebook but I don’t call them “friends” since with Amazon it is a no no. Feel free to share post…


But there are several authors I would love to meet. That would make me so happy. I have only met one thus far and that felt like a dream.

I do hope we get to dine together one day, Jessica.

12.  What is next on your agenda?  Well, as the book marketing continues to change I plan to stick with it. Since most of us want our books to be read I have to keep this choo choo train on track.

I want to travel more and spend quality time with my honey and of course with my “friends.” Haha. It’s almost become a dirty word.

Then, I dream of rescuing another dog or two. Nothing better than the unconditional love of an animal. 💚

More than anything, I have learned not to take your health for granted. I have had good health and very bad health and I am grateful everyday that my focus is not on that for me or a loved one. I want to enjoy it all while I can and I still plan to dance on tabletops any chance I get.

Thank you so much for playing with me once again. It’s always so much fun to visit. You are known in my home as the sexy kitty lady. People who have read your books will understand! Appreciate your ongoing support. That is what makes this Indie thing so rewarding!



Much gratitude to the contributors of L.A. Punk Rocker. Steven E. Metz, Deborah Hernandez-Runions, and Cindy Jimenez Mora, pals that I knew in the eighties on the streets of Hollywood. They put themselves out there and I love that.

Mark Barry of the UK wrote stories that gives me chills when I think about them. Well worth the ride back in time.

This book wouldn’t have seen the light of day without Mark Barry’s motivation, suggestions and cheerleading.

Mary Ann Bernal’s laborious work on L.A. Punk Rocker caused her many headaches, that I am certain of. I can’t apologize enough but I so appreciate her professionalism and expertise. I call her my spartan warrior princess for a reason. A title she should wear proudly.

People don’t realize all that is involved in publishing a clean book. L.A. Punk Rocker turned out pretty pristine, if I do say so myself.

Also, Steven Novak captured my vision for the cover perfectly. He is an expert and always goes the extra mile.


If you would like to learn more about or contact Brenda Perlin, go to:

Amazon Author page           Website        Twitter 

Blossoming Press         Blog         Facebook Page One

Facebook Page Two        Facebook Page Three

Facebook Page Four       Goodreads             Google +





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Available At:

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