Thursday, June 28, 2018

20 Questions with Memoirist Dax Marie @conchieconfess #blogtour

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Dax Marie was five or so, when the man that she would otherwise call, “father” gave Dax her issues. What’s the medical terminology for that? Oh, Daddy Issues! For nearly the whole of her life she has tried to deny this grave medical condition and up until about seven years ago, she was doing alright. By no means was she swimming through the world with ease, but she did like aight (that’s hood talk for alright).

It was not until sometime in high school when she discovered her self-diagnosed condition. Sigmund Freud (you may have heard of him, he’s like a coke-head genius) told Dax (in a text book) that she has Penis Envy. Poor thing, she was absolutely flabbergasted!

“Me, Dax Marie? Associated with male genitalia?” She thought to herself.

So, it was then and there, her junior year of high school that she knew what
she was destined for…MEN.

Dax’s latest book is the memoir, Conch Shell Confessions.



1.Are you a morning writer or a night writer?
Night and Day—literally—are polar opposites in my writing material/musings.
Typically all of my brooding, darker writing is done at night while, all of my light-
hearted writing is done at coffee shops in the late morning.

2. Do you outline or are you a pantster?
Honestly my writing process varies. Some days I meditate on words for days
before I start writing. Other times, I just let it go and see where my laptop-ticking fingers
take me. The only thing that remains the same is when I write and where I
write…morning coffee shop stops!

3. Which comes first – plot or character?
I’m going to say plot! More often than not, it’s a theme that inspires me the most
which is usually “love.” I’m obsessed with “love” and all of its various manifestations.

4. Noise or quiet when working on your manuscript?
I want to hear the muffled sound of an espresso machine hissing underneath the
booming of my Bose headphones and the loud, noxious voice of some hipster guy
screaming into his headset as a means to show everyone how he’s “made it” in
Hollywood. Coffee shops are the stomping grounds of my creativity.

5. Favorite TV show?
Call me lame, but I just discovered Girls and I am OBSESSED with the honesty
of it. Lena Dunham is a genius!

6. Favorite type of music?
I love anything that inspires me to write. I listen to everything from classical to
alternative to rap…if it makes me feel something or sets me in the emotional state of
what I am working on, then it’s going to be my jam.

7. Favorite craft besides writing?
Are you ready for this—PANCAKES—pancakes are my craft right now. Almost
every morning I make/create some new Frankenstein concoction of pancakes. My
craziest so far has been black bean pancakes with a cayenne pepper, cinnamon infused
maple syrup…my boyfriend still talks about them today.

8. Do you play a musical instrument?
Ugh, I wish! I tried learning guitar but I couldn’t get my fat fingertips just right.
All the males in my family are musically-inclined so I thought I would have the same
blessed gene but I was so very wrong.

9. Single or married?
Boyfriend—who’s absolutely amazing. He was the driving force behind me
completing Conch Shell Confessionals.

10. Children or no?
I am the proud (and sometimes ashamed) mother of a bastard child, Igor Schnitzel
von Frankenstein. He’s not mine by birth but he doesn’t know that so please don’t ever
tell him if you see us walking the streets of Venice. We’re both natural blondes that tan
easily and are weary of strangers, only he growls and may bite—Okay, fine! He totally

11. Pets?
No pets, just my fur baby.

12. Favorite place to write?
I love writing in coffee shops, my favorite is Intelligentsia.

13. Favorite restaurant?
I can’t limit my obsession to one restaurant, instead I am going to name the
chef/founder of my favorite restaurants, Travis Lett. If you ever make your way to Venice
it is mandatory that you eat at Gjusta, Gjelina, GTA, and MTN…never ask me where I
want to eat because I guarantee that it be one of these four places that I say we NEED to
eat at.

14. Do you work outside the home?

15. What was the name of the last movie you saw?
I just saw Wes Anderson’s new movie, Isle of Dogs and was absolutely blown
away by the animation and the creativity. If you like quirky, dry-humored movies, then I
highly recommend Isle of Dogs!

16. Favorite outdoor activity?
If you consider walking around with a cup of coffee an outdoor activity then you
can call me a pro. Igor and I have a routine of getting an almond croissant (they’re his
favorite), a cup of coffee and cruising around the beach. I love walking and hiking and
anything else he can spazz out at…chasing squirrels and lizards are another favorite
outdoor activity of ours.

17. Pet peeve?
Tardiness. More often than not, you can control your timing or at least notify the
person you are meeting. Don’t be late or I’ll ditch you—ask my boyfriend.

18. Your goal in life?
Film. I want to write, direct and act but more than anything, I want to inspire and
create an escape for other people. I want to tell stories that resonate with people. There
was a time in my life when I didn’t have any friends or real relationships but movies were
always there for me and I want to be able to create that escape for someone else if they
need it.

19. Your most exciting moment?
Any time I find a coffee shop that has cool vibes and great coffee is an exciting
moment for me. It’s the little things, you know?

20. The love of your life?
Hmmmm, I’m not sure how to answer this considering I have a few loves of my
life but I guess I’ll limit myself to just one—Well, someone (sorry coffee). My boyfriend
has been the greatest positive force in my life. He inspires me, encourages me, and loves
me more than I thought I ever deserved. It is because of him that I am pursuing writing
and film. He has this magnetic life force that makes me feel like anything and everything
is possible. He is the love of my life, the lighter of my lighthouse, the peanut to my
butter…the list goes on!

Conch Shell Confessions

Inside the Book

Author: Dax Marie
Publisher: Author House
Pages: 202
Genre: Memoir

This is a book about love: hunting it, chasing it, losing it, tripping, and falling into it.
And yes, it’s a book about sex: hunting it, chasing it, losing it, tripping from it, and falling onto…ahem…it.

But more than anything, it’s a book about self-discovery, navigating the learning curve of adulting, and learning the kind of tough lessons that only come when you have to pick yourself off the floor, block a guy’s phone number (for the second time), and clean some curious stains off your dress.
I dove headfirst into love and sex, and for better or worse, they have taught me that sometimes you just need to try the world on for size to really understand what it is you want and learn who you are. So here’s my experience in the world of men.


Amazon | Barnes & Noble

Interview with Shane Stanley: 'Go out and shoot as much as you can and learn what works and what doesn't' @shanestanley

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“Remember, when you pitch an investor to finance a film, you’re selling something different. You’re selling the magic and the sizzle of Hollywood and most importantly, you’re selling yourself along with the upside (or fallacy) of what their investment might return. If someone is really in the position to write a check to finance a film, they’re probably pretty savvy. Trust me, they have been pitched everything from financing movies, to night clubs, clothing lines and widgets by someone a lot slicker and more qualified than you. Investors know they hold the key to unlocking the door to the dreams that can change your life, so go deep in thought when creating a presentation…because you’re pitching them on a fantasy (smoke and mirrors), not real estate or something they can look, touch or feel at the moment.”

--From What You Don’t Learn in Film School by Shane Stanley

Multi-Emmy Award winning filmmaker Shane Stanley has worked in almost every capacity on and off the set starting with hit shows like “Entertainment Tonight” and “Seinfeld.”

Along with his father, Stanley produced “The Desperate Passage Series,” which was nominated for 33 individual Emmy Awards and won 13 statues. In this series, five of the seven specials went No.1 in Nielson Ratings, which included “A Time for Life” and “Gridiron Gang.”

Stanley has produced films starring Marlon Brando, Mira Sorvino, Thomas Hayden Church, Donald Sutherland, Marisa Tomei and Martin Sheen. He co-wrote two of the films and has worked closely with top Hollywood executives.

Stanley has taught workshops at many film schools and universities. He is the founder of Visual Arts Entertainment, a production company based in Los Angeles. He is still active in teaching, working with several schools, film students, and recent grads as a mentor and guide.

Book Description:
Multi Emmy-Award winning filmmaker Shane Stanley, a lifelong entertainment industry insider, has worked in every aspect of the film industry, covering a multitude of movies, television shows, and other projects. In his valuable new book, WHAT YOU DON’T LEARN IN FILM SCHOOL: A COMPLETE GUIDE TO INDEPENDENT FILMMAKING, Stanley takes a candid look at the film business and offers ambitious young filmmakers important information on how to navigate every aspect of making movies, from initial pitch to distributing a finished product. The book “is written for anyone who hopes to have a career in the industry at any position, but (is) geared for (the) total filmmaker,” Stanley says.

Producer Neal H. Moritz (“Fast & Furious,”S.W.A.T.,” “21 and 22 Jump Street”), says that WHAT YOU DON’T LEARN IN FILM SCHOOLpulls no punches. It's one of the most insightful and accurate books ever written on the subject, a master class bridging the gap between school and real-life experience that will save you years of heartache. A must-read for anyone interested in pursuing a career in film.”

Jane Seymour, two-time Golden Globe and Emmy Award winner, actress, producer and founder of the Open Hearts Foundation, declares that Stanley’s “step-by-step guide is a must-read for anyone hoping to break into the world of independent cinema, along with many useful tips for those who desire to work within a studio or network system.”

Jeff Sagansky, former president of Sony Entertainment and CBS Entertainment, notes that “Shane Stanley takes you to a film school that only years of practical experience can teach. He covers both the business of independent filmmaking as well as the hard-earned secrets of a successful production. A must-read for anyone who wants to produce.”

A lifelong veteran of the film world, Stanley has directed and produced hundreds of film and television projects, including the 2006 No. 1 Box Office hit “Gridiron Gang,” starring Dwayne “The Rock” Johnson. His clearly-written guide to navigating the shoals of independent filmmaking comes from his hands-on experience, covering such topics as choosing what material to produce, raising independent capital, hiring a production crew and selecting the right cast.
WHAT YOU DON’T LEARN IN FILM SCHOOL is an essential book written by someone who clearly understands the independent film business from the inside.
Can we begin by having you tell us how you got started as a filmmaker?

Shane: I grew up in and around the industry. My father was a working actor and when I was about 9 months old, he started peddling me out as the baby-for-hire to his friends and colleagues whenever they needed an infant for a project. My career in front of the camera lasted until I was about five. My father had made the transition from acting into filmmaking and I was fascinated with the whole ‘concept to delivery’ process of how a project could go from an idea scribbled on a note pad into becoming a completed film. I was a quick study and learned how to operate a flatbed Steenbeck and Moviola (old-school edit machines), Arri 16mm cameras and all the toys that came with making movies. I started working in our family’s production company doing whatever I could to help. Back then our budgets were meager, so we had to wear many hats in order to get the films made. Before I graduated high school, I had years under my belt as a camera operator, editor, writer, production supervisor and post-production coordinator. I also landed a lot of product placement for our shows and negotiated crew and talent contracts so by the time I started my own company I had a basic idea of what it took to produce a picture.

What is one thing you would tell up and coming filmmakers to prepare themselves for the crazy world of filmmaking?

Shane: Fail and fail often. Today technology allows you to be a filmmaker with just a cell phone and a laptop. On the other hand I think people are too often afraid to learn by trial and error. This gift of technology allows you the freedom to discover who you are as a storyteller and it doesn’t cost anything. Go out and shoot as much as you can and learn what works and what doesn’t - and why - so you can build from your mistakes and hone your craft to becoming the best you can be. Read what you can about the basics so you’re not reinventing the wheel or pushing rocks uphill. There are so many great books written by the masters of our industry that can really help shorten the learning process. But shoot, shoot and go shoot some more. Look at it, edit it and learn. When you’re done, keep on shooting!

What is your best advice on approaching an investor to get them interested in your screenplay?

Shane: Investors have been warned by those in their camp not to invest in movies - so don’t hustle them. Everyone seems to want to pitch potential money sources the blockbuster independents like Napoleon Dynamite, Juno and Paranormal Activity. Those films had a lot more studio muscle behind them than people realize and are extreme cases. If you’re pitching an indie darling, compare it to films like Lovely and Amazing, Once, or Like Crazy. These films cost little to produce and turned very respectable profits that are more realistic to obtain as an independent filmmaker. Base hits and doubles make sense to savvy investors and they’ll be more apt to develop a sense of trust with you early on.  If you use nothing but grand slams in your proposals, they’ll get very skeptical.

Do filmmakers necessarily have to have an agent or can they go about everything themselves? What’s the pros and cons?

Shane: This is a loaded question and I exclude actors, models and cinematographers in this answer, as I feel a respectful agent might be of help in getting them traction. Bottom line is, you’re either chasing it or it’s chasing you, and I think as filmmakers our best agents are ourselves. You have social media, YouTube, Vimeo and a host of other platforms that can allow you to show your stuff. Cream rises to the top and gets recognized. I haven’t heard of a fruitful agent/filmmaker relationship that was birthed by the artist knocking on doors or making cold calls hoping to get representation. By in large, agents don’t want to do the grunt work. They want to represent artists who have made names for themselves and just field calls that come in offering more work to their clients. Sorry, that’s just the way it is. The plus side is when your work is drawing respectable agencies who believe they can help you get to the next level or want to help map out your career plan. But don’t worry about it if they don’t come knocking. You posting your work on a populated Facebook page can get more eyeballs and attention than any agent can if you’re not in demand.

Can you tell us one thing you don’t learn in film school?

Shane: I don’t think there’s enough emphasis on the consequences for not having a backup plan. Many students believe their going to be the next Tarantino or Damien Chazelle right out of film school and countless institutions prey on that mindset. Fact is, very few of the grads who get film degrees will ever earn a living in our industry, so I think its important for those who are expecting to be the next big thing to pay extra close attention during camera assistant workshops, grip and electric seminars and editing class. Don’t just get a degree in playing the lottery - learn this business inside and out and learn as many of the positions surrounding it as you possibly can to assure yourself a career in doing what you love.

What are you currently working on, Shane?

Shane: Currently I am focusing on my ‘Summer Sessions’ where I am teaching free workshops to film school students and recent grads giving them a better understanding of what to expect once they leave the nest and go out into the wild. Anyone can sign up at and follow the ‘Summer Sessions’ tab. Once summer is over, I plan to continue writing my next book, “Why Good Actors Don’t Work, which I plan to release before summer 2019. It’s a comprehensive and brutally honest guide to everything actors need to know but never seem to learn, told from the point of view of decision makers and how to become a commodity when you have absolutely no commercial value.

Wednesday, June 27, 2018

Book Teaser Spotlight: What Happens in Summer by Caridad Pineiro @caridadpineiro #romance

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Inside the Book

Author: Caridad Pineiro
Publisher: Sourcebooks Casablanca
Pages: 320
Genre: Contemporary Romance


The sizzling heat doesn’t always stay in summer. . .

Connie Reyes and Jonathan Pierce only discovered how different they were after a magical summer on the Jersey Shore. She was ambitious and practical; he was artistic and rebellious. Their parting was heartrending, and the intervening years have only made a reunion less and less possible.
Now, Jonathan is back in Sea Kiss, having made a fortune in tech. He has everything money can buy, but his bed is empty and his heart is hollow. He’s never stopped thinking about Connie, and he’ll do anything to show her the man he’s become. . .
What Happens in Summer is available at: 
You can also watch the book teaser at :

Meet the Author

Caridad Pineiro
Caridad Pineiro is a transplanted Long Island girl who has fallen in love with the Jersey Shore. When Caridad isn’t taking long strolls along the boardwalk, she’s also a NY Times and USA Today bestselling author with over a million romance novels sold worldwide. Caridad is passionate about writing and helping others explore and develop their skills as writers. She is a founding member of the Liberty States Fiction Writers and has presented workshops at the RT Book Club Convention, Romance Writers of America National Conference as well as various writing organizations throughout the country. You can connect with Caridad at You can also find Caridad on:
Want to receive Caridad’s newsletter with exclusive content just for subscribers and special giveaways? Just visit to sign up. Caridad values your privacy and will not share your e-mail or personal information.

20 Questions with YA/Thriller Author Michael Okon @IAmMichaelOkon #20Questions

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Michael Okon is an award-winning and best-selling author of multiple genres including paranormal, thriller, horror, action/adventure and self-help. He graduated from Long Island University with a degree in English, and then later received his MBA in business and finance. Coming from a family of writers, he has storytelling in his DNA. Michael has been writing from as far back as he can remember, his inspiration being his love for films and their impact on his life. From the time he saw The Goonies, he was hooked on the idea of entertaining people through unforgettable characters.

Michael is a lifelong movie buff, a music playlist aficionado, and a sucker for self-help books. He lives on the North Shore of Long Island with his wife and children.

His latest book is the YA Fiction/Monsters/Thriller Monsterland Reanimated.



1.      Are you a morning writer or a night writer?

2.      Do you outline or are you a pantster?
Outline always.

3.      Which comes first – plot or character?

4.      Noise or quiet when working on your manuscript?
Quiet, but TV has to be on. 

5.      Favorite TV show?
Spongebob (because of my kids). Otherwise, I don’t watch much TV. 

6.      Favorite type of music?
Rock N’ Roll.

7.      Favorite craft besides writing?

8.      Do you play a musical instrument?
Drums for 20 years.

9.      Single or married?
Happily married.

10.  Children or no?
Two. Boy & Girl.

11.  Pets?
Nope, allergic to cats & dogs.

12.  Favorite place to write?
My den. 

13.  Favorite restaurant?
Peter Lugars 

14.  Do you work outside the home?

15.  What was the name of the last movie you saw?
The Greatest Showman. Loved it!

16.  Favorite outdoor activity?
Swimming in my pool.

17.  Pet peeve?
Social media.

18.  Your goal in life?
Get a movie made from my works.

19.  Your most exciting moment?
Having kids and getting an agent. 

20.  The love of your life?
My wife.

Author: Michael Okon
Publisher: WordFire Press
Pages: 250
Genre: YA Fiction/Monsters/Thriller

After Monsterland has imploded, the entire world is thrown into chaos. World leadership is gone, economies have collapsed, and communications are non-existent.  Wyatt must go beyond the boundaries of his small town to reestablish contact with the outside world, and alert the government about a traitor-in-chief. 

During his journey he discovers a new threat released from the bowels of the defunct theme park.

When an army of relentless mummies, a life-sucking ooze called The Glob, and a hybrid reanimated Behemoth rise from the depths of Monsterland, who will survive?


Amazon Link:
iBooks Link:
Kobo Link:
Barnes & Nobel Link:
SmashWords Link:

Monday, June 18, 2018

Should You Or Shouldn't You Self-Publish? l Lydia & Santina Casablanca @TDawsons #vbt #fantasy #romance #puyb

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Every writer that has a dream to be published think about what they’re going to do and how they’re going to go about it, when their manuscript is complete. They think about how they want to publish and who they want to publish with. Now we thought about it for years, wondering how it would happen and what would happen once it was done. We somehow always knew that we were going to need money to fulfil our dreams, even before we decided to sign up with a self-publishing company. We wanted to work with a mainstreaming publisher. Of course we did, but we always had concerns when it came to giving the rights to our work to a publisher. We were worried that they would change everything, like the name of the book, the characters names, their features, personalities, the places they went to, the powers they possessed. We were worried that so much would be changed and we refused to let that happen. It wasn’t an option because we loved everything just the way it was.

Finally, when the manuscript for The Dawsons was almost complete and we were thinking about which option we would go with, either it be the mainstreaming route or the self-publishing one, our best friend tagged us in a post on Facebook where Xlibris Publishing was advertising their company and what they offer. We took it as a sign that self-publishing was the way to go. We filled out a form on Xlibris’s website and the next day we got a call. Of course we were really excited, and new nothing when it came to the publishing industry. We spoke to them for hours, sussing them out and finding out what was involved. At the end of the conversation we told them that we would think about it. Our story is precious to us and we wanted to make sure that it was in safe hands so we did our research. We did see some bad reviews about the company but we decided not to think much of them at the time because we were impatient, we really wanted to publish our book and we saw it as every company has bad reviews. Other than the reviews everything seemed good. Xlibris gave us a call the next day and we decided to go ahead with them. Xlibris was also offering discounted prices with publishing packages and we didn’t want to miss out on the opportunity, so the pressure was on. Self-publishing companies offer you deals and marketing options at a high price when you can find the same options somewhere else that are a lot cheaper. You can even do some of the stuff yourself for nothing. Unfortunately we didn’t know this at the time.

Since then we have spent over $27.000 on The Dawsons and continue to do so today because the success of our book means so much to us. But that is how these companies suck you in. They know how badly you want it. From word go Xlibris has continued to ask us for money. We think that they even added an error in the final draft of our manuscript just so we would pay more money to get it fixed. We didn’t. We are still signed up with Xlibris but refuse to give them any more money. This has been our mistake.

We were told recently by an award winning author that if you publish with a mainstreaming publisher they are unlikely to make many changes. They just make suggestions to improve your work and make it make sense. If we had been told this earlier we probably would have gone down another route. We were in the dark when we decided to self-publish. We have since then learnt so much. Every dream is hard and takes great dedication. With self-publishing you need to make all the decisions and do all the hard work. So much more than if you were to publish with a mainstreaming publisher. The only hard part would be getting awareness for our book. But it’s hard enough getting the attention of people when you self-publish, definitely so much more expensive. If we went the other way and got picked up by a mainstreaming publisher we would have spent hardly anything, if anything at all.

We are sending cover letters to mainstreaming publishers anyway, hoping to catch a break. Save yourself a lot of time and just get an agent who will only get paid when you do. Keep sending cover letters to mainstreaming publishers and if you’re manuscript is good and you’ve worked hard for it you’re bound to be noticed and get signed. Don’t waste your time and money on self-publishing. They are all scam artists. Do it the old fashioned way. It’s got to be worth it in the end.

If you self-publish your work you get to keep all the rights but you spend a hell of a lot of money and time on the marketing of your book. You barely get time to write which is what you really want to be doing. If you go with a mainstreaming publisher they might change a few things but it will still be your story, your work. And the great part is they do mostly everything for you. You get better marketing and you don’t have to pay for anything. So, should you or shouldn’t you self-publish? We wouldn’t, if we had known what we know now. If you don’t want any surprises learn the game before you enter into it. You want to know what you’re getting involved in. If you do know everything that is involved and you decide to self-publish we admire you tremendously. It is a lot, and I mean a lot of hard work and time. We’ll let you know if it’s worth it in the end. If it is your dream to be a successfully published author then never give up. We know we won’t, not even after all this hard work. Thank you for reading! We hope it helps. God bless. Love from Lydia and Santina Casablanca. The authors of The Dawsons.


Lydia and Santina Casablanca are twin sisters who were born in Brisbane, Queensland Australia. They grew up mostly in New South Wales, moving around all the time and never staying in one place for more than three years. Growing up, Lydia and Santina were left at home a lot with nothing to do while their mother worked to provide for them. The twins had wild imaginations and would often play make believe where they lived in this world where only the supernatural inhabited it. They made up all kinds of characters and story lines, and in doing so they did not realize that they were creating magic.

When Lydia and Santina were 14 years old they noticed they were starting to forget the stories, the characters and the families they had made up and they didn’t want to forget, they wanted to always remember the adventures they went on when they played, pretending they were witches who lived in a magical place. The twins decided to put down all their adventures they had had, all the characters and the families they had made up on paper so they would always remember them.
While writing their book they were suddenly aware that they had a passion for it, and realized they didn’t want their stories to be hidden, to just be shared between themselves. They wanted to share the families they had created, the adventures, the characters with the world. The twins wanted to share their love of writing, their magic and write for a living.

Lydia and Santina worked on their first novel (The Dawsons) for ten years, adding to the story, maturing and professionalizing it, editing it and trying their best to make it as perfect as a manuscript can be before they approached the self-publishing company Xlibris in October 2016. The twins knew that self-publishing a book is not cheap so they saved up for years, working at Gloss Cosmetics, Coles, etc. to earn the money that would help them to publish their first novel.

Lydia and Santina’s book The Dawsons was finally self-published with Xlibris Publishing in April 2017. The twins went through a crazy, exhilarating ride making their book a reality, and haven’t regretted taking all the nerve-racking risks in the hopes of being successful. They have been trying to get as many people as possible to know about their book, contacting radio and television stations, bookstores, newspapers and social media in the hopes that their dreams will come true.
The twins are now 24 years old and are living on the Central Coast, New South Wales. Lydia is currently working on the second installment to The Dawsons. She is also working on the first novel by contacting anyone she can to popularize their book. Santina helps Lydia with the marketing of The Dawsons whenever she can.



About the Book:

Author: Lydia and Santina Casablanca
Publisher: Xlibris
Pages: 432
Genre: Fantasy/Romance

Witnessing the horrific demise of everyone he knew and loved has made Derrick Dawson strong, but it has also made him cold and broken. Tormented by his past and fears for the future, Derrick drowns himself in alcohol and drugs to dull the pain he can’t seem to escape. When Rose, the granddaughter of his sworn enemy, suddenly appears in his life, his world turns upside down. The wall he has built to protect his heart is crumbling. Will Derrick ignore what he feels or will he let the wall fall?
Francesco has felt alone and miserable all his life. The loss of his family and the harshness he receives from his constantly intoxicated older brother has left a void inside him that he thought he would never fill. Until a young princess named Rosa stumbles into him and changes his life forever. There’s only one thing that stands in his way—King Antonio has forbidden Rosa to have anything to do with a Dawson.


The Magical World of the Sunwrights l Kevin M. Villegas @sunwrightcron

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The Magical World of the Sunwrights

Hello Everyone! Thank you for taking time to read my guest post! Today I would like to tackle the interesting way I have approached magic in my novel, “The Sunwright Chronicles: A New World.” We all know that every book is different with their magical approaches, in my novel you won’t find wands, staves, or staffs. The mages of the Sunwright family draw magic from the very world itself. For the Sunwrights worlds are classified as no magic, low magic, medium magic, or high magic. Depending on the strength of the magical aura of the world it will decide how powerful the Sunwrights themselves are.

When we get to their new homeworld of Alavar it is a high magic world, allowing for example Paris Sunwright the patriarch of the Sunwright family to draw in power from the essence of Alavar and create and cast his most powerful spells. Mages in my world work in the exact same way as I just described above except for one type of mage. That would be the necromancer.

The Necromancer is the most powerful type of spell caster, their power is innate, it is wild, and it is dangerous if the necromancer is not taught to control their power at a young age. Young Jaedus Sunwright is born a necromancer, in the book you will see what it is like to have a necromancer in the family, it is not a good proposition.

I know my blog is a little short, but I don’t want to give too much away, the book will spell out the rest of the magical system. I hope you have enjoyed the blog and it has given you some insight to the novel itself. Thank you for your time.
About the Author

I have been writing for as long as I can remember. My ongoing series The Sunwright Chronicles is a culmination of fifteen years of creating a unique living world with a rich history. I am currently writing the third book in the series. Besides writing I enjoy computer gaming, reading, playing the guitar and watching the history and science channels. My favorite activity though, is hanging out with my awesome family.
My latest book is the fantasy, The Sunwright Chronicles: A New World.



About the Book:

Author: Kevin M. Villegas
Publisher: Independent
Pages: 120
Genre: Fantasy

The Sunwright Chronicles : A New World, takes place in the world called Alavar, the Sunwrights a mostly Magical family made up of Paris Sunwright, Suadela Sunwright, Calia Sunwright, Tobias & Jaedus Sunwright and last but not least Pershing Sunwright, have all arrived from a long but bitter stay from modern earth. Alavar is a fresh new world, so the Sunwrights are directed to stay away from the "creators as they work" young Jaedus Sunwright is discovered to be a "necromancer" the most powerful type of mage.
Paris Sunwright the patriarch of the family takes it upon himself to train her before she accidentally kills anyone in the family with her wild powers. Conflict ensues between Suadela, Paris's wife and young Jaedus before Paris can take Jaedus away to be trained. We skip ahead in time and Jaedus is trained properly, The "Creators" are long done with their work and the Sunwrights decide to reside with the elves of the world. The Sunwrights help teach the Elves many things. It is not long before it is discovered there is a sickness amongst the elves, called the soul disease. Because of her special powers Jaedus Sunwright is the best fitted to help combat this disease, only a few elves succumb to the disease, one being the wife of the second most prominent Elf in the land.
Now we move forward, the Elves are prospering the soul disease is gone, the population boom for the Elves has produced several distinct tribes amongst them. A power struggle ensues, in which the first murder occurs in the land, leading to the breakup of the tribes into separate nations and the very real possibility of war.



Friday, June 15, 2018

20 Questions with Women's Fiction Author Maureen Brady #20Questions

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Though Maureen Brady wrote the humor column of her junior high school newspaper, she didn’t actually comprehend that she was a writer until after she had moved to New York City in her twenties, where she began taking writing workshops at The New School and then fell headlong into the consciousness raising groups of the early 1970’s.

She published her first novel, Give Me Your Good Ear, in 1979, and it was published by The Women’s Press in England in 1981. Her novel, Folly, was excerpted in Southern Exposure, received wide critical acclaim, was nominated by Adrienne Rich for an ALA Gay Book Award and was reprinted as a classic by The Feminist Press. She published a collection of short stories, The Question She Put to Herself, in 1987, then turned to writing nonfiction in the ’90’s, publishing Daybreak: Meditations for Women Survivors of Sexual Abuse and Midlife: Meditations for Women. She returned to fiction with the novel, Ginger’s Fire, and her most recent novel, Getaway.

Her recent work has appeared in Sinister Wisdom, Bellevue Literary Review; Just Like A Girl; Cabbage and Bones: Irish American Women’s Fiction, Mom, In the Family, and Intersections: An Anthology of Banff Writers. Brady’s essays and stories have been nominated for the Pushcart Prize and were finalists for the Katherine Anne Porter Fiction Prize and the Nelsen Algren Short Story contest.

An Adjunct Assistant Professor, she teaches creative writing at New York University and New York Writers Workshop @ the Jewish Community Center, and works as a free-lance editor and tutor, helping writers across the spectrum take their writing to the next stage.

A co-founder of Spinsters Ink, Brady edited such books as The Cancer Journals by Audre Lorde and The Woman Who Breathes Fire by Kitty Tsui. She also served as a panelist for The New York State Council on the Arts Literature Program and as a fiction judge for Oregon Literary Arts. She is a founding member of The New York Writers Workshop and has long served as Board President of Money for Women Barbara Deming Memorial Fund.

She has received grants from the Ludwig Vogelstein Foundation; New York State Council on the Arts Writer-in-Residence; New York State Council on the Arts CAPS grant; Holding Our Own; Briarcombe Foundation; and The Virginia Center for the Creative Arts Fellowship to The Tyrone Guthrie Centre, Ireland. She was the winner of the Saints and Sinners short story contest for 2015 and is also a Saints and Sinners Hall of Fame winner.

She lives in New York City and Woodstock with her long term partner, Martha, and their joy dog, Bessie.

Visit Maureen’s website at

1. Are you a morning writer or a night writer? Morning almost always

2. Do you outline or are you a pantster?  No outlining. I work my way through a novel, starting with an idea I want to explore and peering ahead into darkness.

3. Which comes first – plot or character?   Character, almost always, but it’s best if I have an idea that something crucial is going to happen to that character.

4. Noise or quiet when working on your manuscript?  Definitely quiet. I work in a small out-building that looks upon a meadow and has no phone service in it.

5. Favorite TV show? Right now in this horrible country-wide drama, Rachel Maddow and PBS news.

6. Favorite type of music? Classical

7. Favorite craft besides writing? Gardening
8. Do you play a musical instrument? Played drums as a kid

9. Single or married? Live with my domestic partner of 23 years and a sweet dog.

10. Children or no?  No

11. Pets? Bessie, Cairn terrier

12. Favorite place to write? Either my studio, an artist’s colony, or The Writers Room in NYC.

13. Favorite restaurant? Locally, The Red Onion or Cucina

14. Do you work outside the home? Yes, teach creative writing at NYU, New York Writers Workshop and Peripatetic Writing Workshop, and do private editing (but that I can do at home.)

15. What was the name of the last movie you saw? Three Bulletin Boards

16. Favorite outdoor activity? Gardening, tennis, walking

17. Pet peeve? Lack of courtesy in the publishing world, where editors and agents don’t even feel the need to write you a response.

18. Your goal in life? Sustainable good heath, time to write more books, amicable relationships with family and friends.

19. Your most exciting moment? Winning a writing contest, receiving a positive response from an agent.

20. The love of your life? My long term partner who makes much possible.

Author: Maureen Brady
Publisher: Bacon Press Books
Pages: 230
Genre: Women’s Fiction


After stabbing her abusive husband and leaving him dying on the kitchen floor, Cookie Wagner flees to remote Cape Breton, Nova Scotia. For a moment, she seems to have gotten away with murder. But, consigned to a secretive life with a new name and the need to be on constant alert, she faces all she has not gotten away with. She is helped by the recently widowed Mrs. Biddle, who offers her a place to stay, and the lobster fisherman Butch, who gives her a job and later falls in love with her. Walking the cliffs and beaches, taking in the scruffy windblown plants that survive the buffeting wind by growing at an angle, she begins to heal.

Yet, there is no leaving behind the notion that Warren is dead as the result of her action.
Or is he? And if not, will he one day come to find her?

Sexual harassment and abuse are all over the news these days, often involving celebrites and other well-known figures, but Cookie, the protagonist of Getaway, is no celebrity. She’s an ordinary woman married to a working class guy who drinks too much and resorts to violence. Their story reveals how endemic the phenomenon of abuse is, and the quandary Cookie lands in when she fights back.

Praise for Getaway:

“Sensitive, sensual, and stirring. “Getaway” is a true page-turner, but one with heart and with context. I couldn’t put it down until I got to the end, not just to find out what happened, but also to discover who these intriguing and complex characters would develop into. An extremely satisfying read!”
Danielle Ofri, author of What Patients Say, What Doctors Hear, Editor-in-Chief, Bellevue Literary Review.

Getaway is available at Amazon.

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