Featured Author: Melissa Silvey

Featured Author:

Melissa Silvey

Melissa Silvey

  1. Please introduce yourself. Tell us a little about the person behind the pen.

Who is Melissa Silvey?  I’m a mom and a student.  I also have a part time job so sometimes my schedule can be hectic.  I’m 42 years old which means I’m an older student.  I’m finding I don’t mind that at all; in fact it’s kind of liberating.  I don’t have any social pressures and can just be myself.  I’m taking my second creative writing class.  I don’t have a lot of free time to work on my own novels, but I love going to college so I’m not complaining.  Also I’m currently addicted to ABC’sOnce Upon A Time” and I’m learning a lot more than I thought I’d ever want to know about tumblr and twitter and shipping and canon and otp.  The show is blowing my mind, and learning the lingo behind internet pairings of fictional charcters is fun and new and exciting!

2.   What made you decide to write (the genre of your book), were there any influencing factors, or were any of the stories based on true events.

What brought me to romance novels?  I remember when I was pre-teen to early teenage years picking up second hand romance novels and I just fell in love.  Although I go through spurts of reading other genres, I always go back to romance.  I think it’s because it’s half fantasy and half reality.  And that’s the fun of it.  I want my stories to be relatable and still have a hint of, “I wish that would happen to me!”

3.   How do you promote your book, and do you find that difficult or just par for the course.

I don’t really have a lot of free time to promote myself and my books.  I post the odd tweet or FB post, but currently not much more than that.  I’ve decided to take a few marketing classes, I think that will help significantly.  Yes, I think it is difficult to try to be writer and promoter.  Thankfully I have a couple of people who believe in me and are trying to promote my books some as well.

4.   Do you remember your first review and how it made you feel?  (If it was a bad one, also tell about your good one too).

I remember the first time someone liked my books other than my mom and my sister.  I felt validated.  I’d been writing half my life but not really allowing anyone to read what I wrote.  Finally I came to a point of, “What the heck am I waiting for?”  My mom encouraged me to self-publish, and since then I am really encouraged by the response.  And of course I try to improve my writing skills when I get a bad review.  But of course it hurts when someone gives a bad review to your life’s work.  I just think I have to use those to better myself and my writing.

5.  Tell us about your book and if it’s a series and how the public is reacting to this book.

I have several books available on Amazon and Barnes & Noble.  I’m currently working on the third book of my Executioner series.  Happy endings are hard sometimes!  Most of the reviews are positive; I don’t think I’ve had any negative reviews yet.

6.   Can you share any and all links that are important to you as a person and the book?  (You can relate more to a book if you know more about the author).

My website is: http://www.melissasilvey.com/

The link to the list of my books on Amazon is: www.tinyurl.com/msilvey

And I love goodreads.com so here is the link to my author page there:  https://www.goodreads.com/author/show/6949604.Melissa_Silvey

7.    I’ll wrap it up with this question since “7” is a lucky numberJ.   Can you share an excerpt from your book, and I’d like to thank you so much for taking time to share your book with me. Please share as much as you’d like.

I’d like to thank you for having me!  It’s my first so I’m very excited to share with you!  This is an excerpt from The Executioner: A Love Story.  My mom actually gave me the idea for the book and I ran with it.  Everyone needs love, I guess, even kick-butt vigilantes.  Arianna has to be one of my favorite characters: gorgeous yet insecure, hard as nails on the exterior but a lost girl on the inside.  She’s more than enough woman for any man, so I guess that’s why she needs two!

The link to The Executioner: A Love Story is here: www.tinyurl.com/mj75vjp

The Executioner: A Love Story

When they returned to her car he opened the door for her.  He was polite and chivalrous.

“How old are you,” she wondered as she drove back to the apartment.

“I am twenty-six,” he said as he pushed several buttons on her radio and set her clock.

“That’s been off since daylight savings time.  Thank you.  I tried to fix it, but I couldn’t figure it out.  I thought it would at least be right again in the fall.”  He also reset the navigation system that had blinked on the menu page for days.

“I have a talent for technology,” he said proudly.

And I have a talent for killing people, she thought.  “I wish I had your talent.”

“I’m twenty-six too, by the way.”  She examined his face again.  She knew she looked young, but he looked much younger than her.  “Where did you go to college?”

MIT,” he said offhandedly.

“Wow,” she said, stunned to silence again.  She glanced at her newly set clock, and saw it was only 5:30.  “We’re here early.”  She pulled into her parking space and he hurried out of the car to open the door for her again.

“Where did you go to college?”  He asked as they walked up the steps together.

“I went to college in Pennsylvania.”  Her voice became quiet.  “But I didn’t finish.”

“Maybe, if you want to start again, I could tutor you,” he offered as they made it to their shared porch and he unlocked his door.

“I think you’d get tired of me really fast,” she remarked innocently.

“I don’t think I’d ever get tired of you,” he smiled.  Her heart skipped a beat.  She held her keys to her side.  She didn’t want to unlock her door and go inside.  She didn’t want to be alone again, staring at the TV and trying not to think of what she’d done.

“You could go to church with me if you want,” he offered lightly.  “I’ll let you drive, even.  Your car is awesome.”

She made a noise in the back of her throat and stared down at her hands.  He looked disappointed.

“I’m sorry, I just…”  What could she say?  She committed twenty-three murders in five years and she didn’t think Jesus would care about her reasons and her excuses?  “I’m just really tired from the flight,” she lied quickly.  “Thank you for going out with me.”  She reached out her hand to him, and he took it and shook it.  His hands were soft and warm.

He released it suddenly.  “I hear you crying at night,” he said lightly.  He didn’t look away.  “I feel bad and wish I could knock on your door.  I wish I could help.”

Her mouth flew open and her eyes grew wide.  “You can knock on my door any time.”  His eyes were gentle, and his smile was warm.  She quickly unlocked her door and hurried inside.

*** Melissa is a good colleague of mine and I urge you to check her book out.  Thank you Melissa for allowing me to interview you 🙂

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Featured Author: Shanna O’Quinn

Featured Author:

Shanna O’Quinn

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1.  Please introduce yourself. Tell us a little about the person behind the pen.

I am Shana O’Quinn, artist and author of Lady of the Sidhe and Secret Ones Volume 1, both in my Ages of Telamon series.  I’m your favorite internet redneck.  I love cats, classic rock, bacon, feminism and elves.  Zombies are way up there on the list, too.  Let’s just say the country folk living round about are a bit…wary of me.

2.   What made you decide to write (the genre of your book), were there any influencing factors, or were any of the stories based on true events.

I’m a huge fan of fantasy, horror and science fiction, and after a while I began to get ideas of stories of my own.  Over the years (and it took me years to get my first book, Lady of the Sidhe, out) it became my goal to make everything elves.  When given the opportunity, always elf. ALWAYS.

3.   How do you promote your book, and do you find that difficult or just par for the course. 

I mainly promote using Facebook and Twitter and the Virtual Ebook fair, I’ve also hit message boards I used to frequent to leave my links there.

4.   Do you remember your first review and how it made you feel?  (If it was a bad one, also tell about your good one too).

My first review was an editor with his own independent publishing company, and it made me feel great.  I didn’t feel like such a buffoon. “Ms. O’Quinn/Driftwood has that refreshing ability to weave a memorable story from myth and, possibly, poetic license, not unlike the bards of old. I was captured by the title – being of Scot’s descent and a follower of the Old Religion, to boot – and became even more entangled as the story progressed.” —David Keith, November First Publications.

5.   Tell us about your book and if it’s a series and how the public is reacting to this book. 

Secret Ones Volume 1 is the second book in my Ages of Telamon series, the first being Lady of the Sidhe.  Basically, it is set in an alternate 1970’s where Elves live among us (mostly unseen and unrecognized) and superband White Death is topping the charts.  Little does the public know that the band has Elves in it, and that they’re only the tip of the iceberg of the creatures of legend.  Lilith, once human and once innocent, comes back out of the shadows, and the cousins of the Elves, the Drow, have re-emerged as blood-drinking vampires.  Add to that a race that was spawned from Lilith, the werewolves, and there is a worldwide disaster waiting to happen.

6.   Can you share any and all links that are important to you as a person and the book?  (You can relate more to a book if you know more about the author).

7.     I’ll wrap it up with this question since “7” is a lucky number.   Can you share an excerpt from your book, and I’d like to thank you so much for taking time to share your book with me. Please share as much as you’d like.

Joehnar_draft2b                                     Print

Somewhere in the West Coast, USA

“Magdalena,” came the low-pitched female voice.

The Drow Overlord ignored the voice, choosing to pace the chamber instead.  Her blue hair bounced with each step.

“Magdalena,” it came again.  The owner of the voice stepped into the faint light from the single lamp in the room. “Magdalena!”

“What?” she finally snapped, whirling on the blonde woman.

“I need to find the others. It’s the edge we need on these Sidhe and their Mohrtei allies.”

Maggie snorted.  She was taller than the woman and much more angular, which belied the power of those of the Faery race, and her amber eyes missed little.  The blonde however, was more muscular than the Dark Elf, and she radiated power.

It may be because she had never truly died, and was much, much older than the Overlord. “My people have little experience with your…children.  It may cause more trouble than it’s worth to–”

“My followers won’t hurt your precious vampires,” the blonde interrupted. She wasn’t a Fae, but she didn’t look exactly human either. At least, like any Mohrtei that now lived.  Her blue eyes were wide-set, her mouth wide, her forehead high.  She wasn’t unpleasant to look upon, just…different.  Maggie felt like a child next to her.

“Are you–were you, human?” Maggie asked, genuinely curious.

Valillia, for that was her name, laughed outright.  “I was born to a simple, peaceful tribe of mortals so long ago, that the very face of the world is vastly different from it was in the time of my youth. We had no idea of the evils and cruelty of the world. Blissfully ignorant, as they say. What am I now? That I do not know. I am Lilith, I am the Night-mare.  I am the Mother of Wolves.”  She smiled a dangerous, sharp-toothed smile, and melted back into the shadows.

“Del, you and Janet head to the east coast and collect all the Lyceans you can.”

“Are you serious?” asked Janet, her dark eyes narrowed.  “They are called the Hidden Ones for a reason.”

“I taught them well,” put in Valillia.

“We’re gonna need all the help we can get, those rock star fools will have alerted all the Hunters, Guardians and Elf-friends they can to us,” Magdalena explained.

“I’ll meet up with you in three weeks,” the blonde tells them.  “I’m still weak after all these years, it’ll take some time to replenish myself.” She turned and was gone.

She would see others of her kind soon. Her children and grandchildren. As she went to the loft above Maggie’s headquarters where she slept she tried to remember if she’d actually given birth in her first life.  She’d been in love, she recalled that much.  Jor had been a young man, and they had met that night to go off together.  They were going to run away and it would just be him and her.  She entered her room, slammed the door, and leaned against the cold surface.  She squeezed her eyes shut at bits and pieces forced themselves on her brain.

Jor embraced her, whispering in the language of their clan, one that she’d long since forgotten.  They were completely unaware that their village had been attacked, until they heard screams ring out in the night.  It froze the pair’s blood into ice. They ran back to their people to see strangers pouring through the area, killing people at will.  Behind them were creatures Jor and Valillia had never encountered before: trolls.  Large humanoid creatures with arms like pile-drivers and fists of iron, who were bloodthirsty opportunists.  Valillia screamed as her tribe were butchered.  She and Jor grabbed pieces of wood and rushed the invaders, flailing and yelling.

It had little effect. Jor went to his knees with two spears in him.  He looked more surprised than anything as his life’s blood spilled out.  She shrieked and ran to him, only to have a sharp, searing pain in her side.  The girl looked down to see a stone-tipped spear embedded in her.  She fell over, her hands instinctively scrabbling at the wound.  She dimly heard the screams of her tribe as they died.  The humans were searching for anything of value to them while the trolls pilfered any food.  She heard men laughing as some of the trolls raped some of the tribeswomen before caving their heads in with heavy clubs.

She lost consciousness for a short time, then her eyes fluttered open.  Dawn was coming and the scent of smoke came to her nostrils.  The village was burning. Jor was dead.  Everyone was dead.  Why didn’t she die?

Why?

She somehow managed to pull the spear out of her body and drag herself clear of the flames.  And there she lay for some time.

Valillia opened her eyes. She finally noticed her face was wet with tears.  Idly she wiped them away, glad that these honor-driven Dark Elves hadn’t seen her like this.  She wasn’t driven by greed or domination like these simpleminded Drow were.  She loved to live, and to make more like herself. And endure she had.

Joe sat at Keith’s bedside, generally fidgeting and biting his nails.  The man had taken a fever and drifted in and out of consciousness, but it seemed to be improving.

“You look like hell, mate,” came the drummer’s voice.  Joe’s head snapped around.

“How you feeling?” the singer asked him.

“I’ve felt better,” was his raspy reply. “I’m no longer burning up. Am I…gonna make it?”

“‘Course you are!” the elf interjected.  “You uh–well, um..”

“Out with it!”

“Ok, so you’re likely gonna start craving blood and avoiding sunlight. Good news is, unless you taste the Drow what bit you’s blood, you won’t completely become a vampire. “

“And that’s good news?” the drummer snorted.  “Guess I’ll start taking my steak rare from now on.”

“This is no laughing matter!” Lindsey’s voice, ever serious, echoed from across the room.  She came into Keith’s field of vision, and he saw with visible relief that she was all right.  Her arm was in a sling, but she seemed to be fine.  “You’re connected now with the one that bit you. She will be able to sense when you’re near and vice versa.”

“Oh, that’s lovely.”

“Roger’s been keeping an eye on you,” Joe pipes up. “And Malcolm got released on bail for the murder of that groupie.”

“Jesus Christ,” Keith exhaled. Things were just getting better and better, it seemed.

***Shanna is a published author and colleague of mine, please check this book out 🙂

Featured Author: Christine Murphy

Featured Author:

Christine Murphy

Christine Murphy Small File

  1.  Please introduce yourself. Tell us a little about the person behind the pen.

Hi, I’m Christine Murphy, romance author by night and careerist in clinical laboratory by day.  I have long enjoyed delving into new worlds and characters through my imagination and have read hundreds of books through the years.  Having had quite the imagination since childhood, I decided to put all that creativity down on paper and share it with the world. I have lots of experience to pull from as I have traveled throughout the United States and locations throughout the world.  Looking out my back lanai, there is a small pond where the wild-life will gather and the flowers bloom in exotic pinks and purples.  This is my place of peace and freedom that I have searched for and where my husband and crazy African Gray Parrot, Raider, hang out with me.  It’s the place where my creativity runs wild as I spin tales of adventure and passion.  I have been writing in my head since I was a teenager and I finally realized I needed to capture these unique characters, civilizations, conflict, passion, and love in writing.  To capture the strong, spirited, and powerfully attracted characters and all of their adventures and share it with others who are searching for that very thing to make their lives more exciting.  If I accomplish nothing else in life, I hope to share the romantically magical worlds and the lovers that I see with all of the passionate readers out there.

I can be found at my website, http://christinemurphybooks.com/  and my Twitter or Facebookhttps://twitter.com/CLMurphyBooks, http://www.facebook.com/ChristineMurphyBooks  Check out my blog at http://christinemurphybooks.com/blog.

2.   What made you decide to write (the genre of your book), were there any influencing factors, or were any of the stories based on true events. 

I’ve been reading and writing in my head for years so after my husband had to go through chemotherapy for leukemia it taught me something.  Life is too short and if you really want to live fully do something you really love – don’t put it off.  I love to read romance and love to spin tales of romance in my head so why not write them down and share them with all of those who love to read romance.  The specific area of romance I enjoy is paranormal because I love heroes and heroines who may be vampire, or have special powers, or even be part demon. As long as there’s love and passion, I’m hooked even if I create it in my own mind.  I also like futuristic romance where a touch of science fiction may be sprinkled in.  All of my stories are fiction but I do pull from things I may have seen or done in my travels.  Some of my books have information on lab testing which is my day job where I may talk about DNA analysis or some other lab procedure.  I weave fact and fantasy together to set up quite the romantic story.

3.   How do you promote your book, and do you find that difficult or just par for the course.

I promote my books through my publisher, but a lot of it I do on my own and includes my website, my blog, my twitter, my facebook, and a whole bunch of other odds and ends.  I also go online and promote in groups or through different blog hops and eBook Fairs.  The biggest challenge is to find the time as I have a day job, take care of my husband and my African gray who is even calling to me now for attention, and let’s not forget the ever important writing, my first love.

4.   Do you remember your first review and how it made you feel?  (If it was a bad one, also tell about your good one too). 

I remember my first good review which was five stars and gave me so much excitement I wanted to sit down and write a whole other book then and there.  The person had enjoyed it to the point they had stayed up all night reading it and wanted to make sure I was going to write more.  They just knew the following books would be just as exciting to keep one up at night to finish them.  I’ve also had bad reviews with one star.  I kept thinking the person reviewing had started out as if they were enjoying the book actually sounding like they were praising the book in the first paragraph and as they went on by the end they were slamming the books.  I almost had the eerie feeling the person had gone from a good mood to a bad mood and thought maybe they had gotten in an argument with someone while writing my review it sounded so personal.  It was rather depressing but I just kept remembering an article that I had read not to let reviewers destroy the creative child within you so shook it off and just told myself there will always be those who love my books and always be those hate my books and there will be plenty in between.  The biggest thing was to enjoy what I was doing and no matter if no one read them or liked them, a piece of me would always be out there to share to the world through my creative eyes even after I am gone.

5.   Tell us about your book and if it’s a series and how the public is reacting to this book.

My first book is Sphinx Resurrected, the first book in The Sphinx Warriors Series.  In Sphinx Resurrected, Stormy is abducted and Transformed by the magnificent blue eyed Sphinx leader, Michael. Secretly he Joins with her to save her and must deal with the desire and needs which manifest. Michael and Stormy’s undeniable attraction to each other will make them powerful as they join as one force to battle the evil Wraith.  The next books in the Series will start being released in April 2014 and will be released one after another each month until all seven books are released including Sphinx United, Sphinx Transformed, Sphinx Imagined, Sphinx Awakened, Sphinx Tempted, and Sphinx Revealed.  Sphinx Resurrected is my first book and has had a mix of reviews.  It has been a positive learning experience and I have integrated the feedback into the next books in the Series to make them better, more action packed, more intriguing, and more passionate to capture readers imagination.

6.   Can you share any and all links that are important to you as a person and the book?  (You can relate more to a book if you know more about the author).

Here are my many links and they will only continue to grow as I keep reaching out through the electronic world to those avid readers and authors out there.

My Website:  http://christinemurphybooks.com/

My Blog:  http://christinemurphybooks.com/blog/

My Facebook:  http://www.facebook.com/ChristineMurphyBooks

My Twitter:  https://twitter.com/CLMurphyBooks

My Tumblr:  http://christinemurphybooks.tumblr.com/

My Pinterest:  http://pinterest.com/cwmurphy2016/the-sphinx-warriors-series/

My GoodReads:  http://www.goodreads.com/author/show/6922300.Christine_Murphy

My Freado:  http://www.freado.com/users/34458/christine-murphy

My Authorgraph:  http://www.authorgraph.com/authors/CLMurphyBooks

My Red Sage Publishing Author Page:  http://eredsage.com/store/MURPHY_CHRISTINE.html

My Amazon Author Page:  http://amazon.com/author/christinemurphybooks

My TheRomanceReviews Author Page:  http://www.theromancereviews.com/cwmurphy2016

7.    I’ll wrap it up with this question since “7” is a lucky numberJ.   Can you share an excerpt from your book, and I’d like to thank you so much for taking time to share your book with me. Please share as much as you’d like.

Please enjoy an excerpt from Sphinx Resurrected

sphinx resurrected final fiona

Michael was spell-bound watching her. At first, he thought perhaps she wanted to just have the feel of the fresh grass under her feet while searching out the Life Force. But to his surprise, she was quite the quick study. As soon as she had made contact with the bare earth and searched the Life Power out, it had been drawn to her like it had been waiting for her forever. It embraced her much like the way he wanted to. To surround her in his energy and enjoy every square inch of her while she responded to him in a way the pure rapture on her face indicated she was responding now. He watched and almost felt he was guilty of spying on something intimate. She was a natural, harnessing the Life Power and quickly her body showed it. Her skin was sparkling and glowing from head to toe and he could see where her eyelashes were brushing her cheeks there was a slight glow coming from her eyes. He realized he had to intervene or she would quickly absorb too much. Being her first experience, his little Power Keeper could quickly get into trouble with what to do with it and possibly injure herself or someone near her. Had he known her intentions, he would have cautioned her on how far to go with this first experience.

He stepped up as close as possible to her as he could. Reaching out, he moved to place his hands on specific spots used for contact during the Transference of Life Power. He had to place them correctly to make sure there was no back lash from the Life Power rampantly running through her. He grasped both of her arms with his hands positioned under her forearms and slid them as close as possible to her elbows. Luckily, with the movement, Stormy naturally grasped his forearms with her hands. He leaned forward and whispered in her ear, “Stormy, I hate to interrupt your enjoyment, but this is the first time for you as a Power Keeper, and any more we will both be in trouble.” On so many levels – he groaned in his mind.

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 ***Christine is an accomplished author and good friend/colleague of mine.  I strongly recommend her book.

Featured Author: C.J. Galaway

Featured Author:

C.J. Galaway

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  1.  Please introduce yourself. Tell us a little about the person behind the pen.

Hi my name is C.J. Galaway and Bite Marks is my debut novel.  I have self published on all major e-book markets and am in the final stages of having a paperback for sale on Amazon.  I live in the Charlotte area and am an avid reader as well.  My reading like my writing spans several genres.  When not writing or working  I can often be found playing Runescape online with friends.

2.    What made you decide to write (the genre of your book), were there any influencing factors, or were any of the stories based on true events. 

It actually was built around a scene that popped into my head on a snowy night stuck in the house with nothing to do.  One random page out of the blue, and it sat for several years until I found it again and after reading it saw the story unfold before me.

3    .How do you promote your book, and do you find that difficult or just par for the course

I’m learning and adding new ways to promote the book, but right now it’s mostly through social media such as Twitter, Facebook, and word of mouth.  I’ve just discovered Goodreads and am looking for every avenue possible to further promote the book.  It’s a learning process and at times it’s frustrating because it feels like no one is around to help.  But having said that I have found a network of amazing independent authors out there willing to offer their help if you ask for it.

4.   Do you remember your first review and how it made you feel?  (If it was a bad one, also tell about your good one too).

Yes, I do.  It was on Amazon’s UK site for their Kindle books.  The person who read it gave it a glowing review and ended with that he was waiting on the net book.  I remember reading it and thinking wow, this is really happening and that I really need to get started on the next book.

5.   Tell us about your book and if it’s a series and how the public is reacting to this book.

The title is Bite Marks and it’s the story of Angela Stewart, a young woman who is enamored with the Hollywood image of vampires.  When she meets Amanda and finds out she is a real vampire, she asks to be made one and it changes her life in ways she never thought possible.

So far the feedback I’ve been getting is really good.  What has surprised me are the people who are recommended by a friend and say that it isn’t their typical book to read, but end up liking it.

6.    Can you share any and all links that are important to you as a person and the book?  (You can relate more to a book if you know more about the author).

I have a few sites up that I try to update on a regular basis.  I can be found both on Facebook and Twitter if you search for C.J. Galaway.  I also have a blog at cjgalaway.blogspot.com which I try to visit and update often.  Plus I have two websites that are up but undergoing some fine tuning and should be completely bug free soon I hope.

www.bitemarksthebook.com and www.cjgalaway.com

7.  I’ll wrap it up with this question since “7” is a lucky numberJ.   Can you share an excerpt from your book, and I’d like to thank you so much for taking time to share your book with me. Please share as much as you’d like.

This is a small taste from close to the beginning of the book.  I hope you enjoy it.

The sounds of the city fade away as I walk through the park.  It’s not crowded, but quite a few couples are taking advantage of the war night by spending it outdoors.  Stepping off the path, I move into the shadowed areas of the park.  It’s quiet and I smile as I make my way through the trees.  The dark, secluded areas of the park are always my favorite places to be.

“You are a very handsome man.”  The words drift to me and I stop to hear where they come from.  A man and a woman are in the small clearing ahead, kissing.  I move to get a better look and realize it’s the crazy chick from the bar.  I gasp as her kisses trail down his throat and she tilts his head back.  Her white fangs glisten briefly in the moonlight before she buries them deep into his neck.  The sight of her drinking this man’s blood excites me and my breath comes in short pants timed perfectly to her swallows, as if I were drinking with her.  I lightly lick my lips as she finishes drinking from this man and tosses him casually aside.  A wave of excitement mixed with revulsion washes over me as she cleans herself much like a cat after a kill.  I tense as she turns and sees to look directly at me.  There’s no way she can see me here, I’m too well hidden.  Closing my eyes I quickly count to ten, like that will help me to stay hidden from her, because I’m not sure if I want to be seen right now.  Taking a deep breath to calm my nerves, I open my eyes and Amanda and the man are gone.  A strange mixture of emotion passes through me as I stare at the empty clearing.  I truly believe she was telling me the truth about what she was last night.  I really, really need a drink, I think as I walk to the nearest exit.

********

                The Esquire Club is packed as I walk in and look around.  I need a drink in the worst way.  I stand at one end of the bar and order a double shot of Jack.  As my drink is served I see that Amanda is standing at the other end of the bar waiting to be served and she is all I see.  I can’t explain why, but all I can think about is becoming a vampire, whatever it takes.  Draining my glass I make a beeline straight for the other end of the bar, not stopping until I’m standing beside her.  She turns and smiles at me and suddenly I’m terrified of this beautiful woman.  I take a deep breath to try to steady my nerves.

“I saw you in the park and I believe you now.”  I pause briefly and the rest tumbles out.  “I wanted to be with you, drinking his blood too and it felt like I was.  Make me a vampire.  I’ll do whatever you ask of me.  I’ll be your servant for the rest of my days…please do this for me.”  Amanda studies me for a moment, and then smiles.

“I will honor and answer your plea, Angel, for it comes from your heart.”  She takes a step closer to me.  “Follow me and your new life will begin.”  She leads me across the dance floor and I willingly follow, even though my heart is pounding so loudly I can barely think or breathe.  I may be going to my death for all I know.

*** C.J. Galaway is a very good colleague of mine and I STRONGLY URGE you to check out her book. 

Featured Author: Debra Kamza/ Ampbreia Weiss

Featured Author:

Ampbreia1

Debra Kamza / Ampbreia Weiss

1.  Please introduce yourself. Tell us a little about the person behind the pen.

I was born in Vallejo, CA but have lived in Everett WA since I was 5.  My childhood was a mostly happy one full of countless pets, huge family get-togethers, camping trips, and lots of books.  I have always loved reading, learning, and writing.  For as long as I remember, I’ve written stories and poems and loved to keep my little brother and friends entertained with ongoing stories whose ends I teasingly left dangling.  My older sister was annoyed, though, at my habit of getting up in the middle of the night to write whenever a dream inspired me, which was often.

I was raised a Pentecostal Christian, rebelled from its social divisiveness, anti-feminism, and boxed thinking when I was a teenager but fell straight into Shi-ite Islam not long after, not because I was particularly attracted to it but only because I was curious about it and greatly mislead about it by the Iranian guy I met in college and later married.  Yeah.  My book covers that in detail.  Suffice it say her that I am seriously burned out on religion.  I don’t mind if other people practice it; good for them if it makes them happy; but I’m long since done with it.  It’s just not for me.

I used to play piano, sing, and even wrote some music as a young adult but have since lost interest in that.  Having kids kind of diverted my attention from it in no small way.  Little fingers on the keyboard you know?  But my own little girl eventually took up where I left off all on her own initiative.

In the present, I’m married to a good guy now and we work together in an aerospace calibration lab.  I also love to dabble in arts of all kinds, dress up with my family and go to festivals, and dance.  I especially love belly dancing and have been doing it for seven years now.

2.   What made you decide to write Lost in Foreign Passions? Were there any influencing factors, or were any of the stories based on true events?

It’s a memoir of that turbulent time of my life when I mistakenly put my trust in a foreigner, went to live in his very troubled homeland, and adopted his religion just because it was so important to him.  A three-year nightmare was the immediate but mind-opening result, not to mention the loss of my son.  Writing it all out was a necessary catharsis for me and I thought it might help others as well.  Even if not for all that, it was still the adventure of a lifetime and an important learning experience.

3.   How do you promote your book, and do you find that difficult or just par for the course.

I honestly don’t really know how to do that other than to mention it in my blog now and then and to have an author site here and there. I have never had an agent, never found one willing to deal with that kind of political-religious hot potato.  I did originally trust it to Publish America because they claimed they were a “traditional publisher” but ended up having to end my 7-year contract with them four years early due to very shady unprofessional, non-traditional behavior on their part.  After that, I couldn’t bring myself to trust another publisher and, like the thing with religion, decided to go it on my own when the right opportunity presented itself: Amazon Author Central, which has been wonderful to me.

4.   Do you remember your first review and how it made you feel?  (If it was a bad one, also tell about your good one too).

Happy and relieved I guess that someone actually cared and that they found my story worth their time.  She was really enthusiastic about it and that felt wonderful, reassuring, you know.  I’m confident in my writing ability, but I wrote this memoir AND published it despite my very real fear (a terror really) that people would judge me very badly for it or consider me hopelessly stupid for haven fallen for all I did.  Nevertheless, it was a story I felt needed telling.  I was being brave, you see.

5.   Tell us about your book and if it’s a series and how the public is reacting to this book.

DreamLover  Passions2ndEd

Those who have read it have liked it very much.  Many who know me personally or have heard of me from others have told me they’d like to read it and are disappointed that they can’t find it in brick and mortar book stores.  But it really isn’t very widely known.

6.    Can you share any and all links that are important to you as a person and the book?  (You can relate more to a book if you know more about the author). 

Well, I have two author sites:  one for my pen Debra Kamza (former married name) under which I wrote my memoir at

http://www.amazon.com/-/e/BOOBNVI6Y2

and one for the fiction and poetry I write under the name of Ampbreia Weiss at http://www.amazon.com/-/e/BOOBNVPADM ,

only one book of which is posted there right now, Dream Lover.

These are the only two I have published through Amazon Author Central so far, but I plan on doing more.

I also have a blog at http://www.ampbreia.wordpress.com

where I write about anything and everything.

7.     I’ll wrap it up with this question since “7” is a lucky number.   Can you share an excerpt from your book, and I’d like to thank you so much for taking time to share your book with me. Please share as much as you’d like.

I was staring right up the surgery lamp as they lifted me onto to table and peeled up my dress in order to shave me.  I felt the cold of the water and heard the scrape of the razor below my abdomen while seeing only the lamp, a male surgeon, and a nurse.  I knew they were going to cut me open yet, wrapped in a strange euphoria, I didn’t care.

They didn’t see me watching and acted as if I was still unconscious.  I wanted to let him know I wasn’t, so I asked the surgeon if he could please arrange a mirror for me to watch the surgery in.  I must have been out of my mind to want that!

He gave me a startled look, dropped whatever he was holding and ordered the nurse to him on the double.  Dazedly, I watched the nurse put together a hypo and even that didn’t bother me (usually, such a sight would have made me cringe).  Then, recovering himself nicely, the surgeon inserted the hypo into my IV, telling me, “You will fall asleep in ten seconds.”

I didn’t believe him.  I giggled while he counted to ten.  It was the last thing I remembered of the surgery room.

Two days later, I awoke in a hospital bed in a dirty and dimly lit room. A stranger — a tall, swarthy, young man — was sitting, asleep, in a chair at my side. I couldn’t move my hand to nudge him, so I patiently waited for him to wake up on his own.  When he did, he jumped up with a show of great excitement and said, “You have a son, Honume Jon!”

I almost had heart failure at this I was in such a total amnesiac stupor.  I gave him a long stare.  “A son?  How could I have a son when I’ve never been pregnant? Who are you, anyway?”

“I’m your husband Peeshee jon.  Don’t you remember me?”

I didn’t remember him or anything else.  I demanded proof of everything he said.  I checked my belly for signs of pregnancy: It lay flat as a pancake with nothing of note moving within.  I thought nothing ever had been in there.  As disoriented as I was, I think I expected being pregnant to be proof of having just delivered a baby.  I wanted to see marriage documents.  I wanted to know where I was and, when he answered that, where the hell Iran was.

He willingly showed me marriage documents and where Iran was on a world map, but it didn’t mean anything to me.  The last thing I could recall was being in high school, and that was foggy.

Seeing the baby was all that would make any of this real, but that was the one thing the dark young man failed to produce on demand.  I bugged him endlessly to see the baby he swore I’d had.  Why couldn’t he show me this baby if it really existed?

For this last he offered no answer.

A day and a half passed during which the stranger, Reza, stayed with me almost constantly, making his wild claims, sleeping on a lower bed at the side of the room, and taking savory meals of choloe kebab.  I was brought nothing but bouillon and juice.  My stomach churned in hungry protest at this unfairness.  Besides being discombobulated to say the least, I waxed a bit cranky.

“When are you going to show me the baby you claim I had?” I demanded for what must have been the umpteenth time.  “I don’t know why you people are telling me such a thing when you’re not prepared to prove it.  Is this some kind of elaborate hoax? because if it is, your hoax has got holes in it.  This place is furnished like a hospital, but get real: it’s filthy!  Everyone knows that hospitals are sterile and new mothers in them are allowed to hold their babies as soon as they’ve given birth.  So where’s my baby?”

Reza was, by now, waving his hands in desperation for me to shut up. Finally, he swore he’d get me the baby if it were the last thing he did that day.  He did too, within the very hour.  He chased the nurse in with him and had her place the warm, flannel wrapped bundle in my arms.

At first, even then, I didn’t believe the baby could be mine.  I thought, for one thing, that a mother would remember nine months of grueling pregnancy.  I didn’t remember any of it.  Secondly, the baby was huge: almost ten pounds.  He was either a month old already or had come from a much larger woman than I was.  Heck, I knew my own size at least: five foot nothing and ninety-five pounds soaking wet.

The baby was beautiful, though.  He had huge black eyes, a shock of curly brown hair, and the sweetest little grin on I’d ever seen.  The feel of him against me was like the tickle of a kitten’s purr at my side.  Well, I thought, he certainly is a sweetie even if this is a trick.  I still didn’t think he could possibly be a newborn.  I thought that, besides being much smaller, newborns were always bald, red-skinned, and incapable of smiling.  This baby, if he was mine, put lie to that theory.

For nearly a half-hour, they let me hold him.  He smiling at me nearly the whole time, snuggled in the crook of my arm but when he started gnawing on his fist, then crying, I didn’t know what it was about.  The nurse did.  She came rushing to take the baby from me, saying it was his feeding time and she had a bottle ready for him in the nursery.  She was gone with him before I’d even thought up a protest.

I started regaining my memory from that moment on.

*** Debra is a great friend and colleague who I’ve known for MANY YEARS.    We share a common interest, we both lived in Iran while married to our Iranian husbands and had traumatic experiences.  I urge you strongly to read her book.  Debra also designed the cover of my book, so her talent runs LONG!