Interview With Author And PA, Ebony Simone McMillan

Ebony has to be one of the most multi-talented authors I have come to meet. Her organizational skills are something to envy. We’re actually talking about working on a co-write together, which I’m really excited about. How does she keep up with the demands? What is her inspiration? Read on to find out.


J. V. Stanley: Hello and welcome dearie and thank you for being here today. First, I was wondering if you could tell us about your books. When did you first start writing?

Ebony Simone McMillan: Hi Julie! Thank you so much for having me today! I have been writing for as long as I can remember. I have been publishing for the past 11 months.
My stories are all over place. I have a few erotic naughty shorts. I have a social justice/contemporary story called Stand. I also have a bunch of stories in different anthologies ❤️💜❤️

J. V. Stanley: Oh I love a steamy romance and Stand sounds interesting. Tell me more about it. What is the story about?

Ebony Simone McMillan: Stand is about a young boy who is suspended from school because he refuses to stand for the pledge of allegiance at school. We got to watch how his mother evolves in the wake of her son growing up right in front of her eyes ❤️

J. V. Stanley: Ebony Simone McMillan I love stories where I can see the protagonist grow throughout the story. What was your favorite scene to write? What was the hardest scene to write do you think?


Ebony Simone McMillan: I think my all-time favorite scene to write is in my story After The Rain…we get to watch a man admit to his father that he is so heartbroken after the death of his wife..that he doesn’t think he can go on with life anymore.

J. V. Stanley: Have you ever cried while you were writing because the scene was that emotional?

Ebony Simone McMillan: I cried the entire time I wrote The Visit. It is coming next month in the Art Inspires Words Anthology ❤️




Ebony Simone McMillan: These are my 3 favorite that Rita Deludecreated for me ❤️💜❤️

J. V. Stanley: Rita Delude is such an amazing woman.

Ebony Simone McMillan: She really is ❤️

J. V. Stanley: You work as a PA as well, how do you balance all of your work and family life?

Ebony Simone McMillan: Julie Stanley it really just flows together. I work from home…so it is easy to go back and forth between work and family life.

J. V. Stanley: What is the best experience you’ve had working as a PA? And do you have any horror stories?

Ebony Simone McMillan:  Julie Stanley some of my best experiences of being a pa is watching my authors succeed. I don’t have any horror stories, just a few experiences of working and then being stiffed. But I honestly think that goes with every job. All I can do is bounce back and focus on the people who appreciate me ❤️💜

J. V. Stanley: Do you have a writing nook and if so, can we see it?

Ebony Simone McMillan: I have an office p…that is a hot mess right now. I am in the process of cleaning it out. So, right now I am writing/working all over the house 💜

J. V. Stanley: What are the causes you are most passionate about and is it reflected in your writing?

Ebony Simone McMillan: I am a huge supporter of foster families. My grandmother raised over 15 foster children. When my boys get older, I want to become a foster parent as well. I have a short story about foster families in the Beyond Oz Anthology ❤️💜


J. V. Stanley: That is truly a beautiful thing. We need more people like that in the world. I had a friend who was raised in foster care and her foster mother, to her, WAS her real mother. I commend people for opening their homes to children. What plans do you have for your books in the future? What genre do you tend to write?

Ebony Simone McMillan: I hope to keep bouncing around to different genres.

J. V. Stanley: What makes you excited about writing a new story? Do you have a mountain of unfinished stories that you’re working on simultaneously or do you tend to work on one story at a time?

Ebony Simone McMillan: I love getting lost in the different worlds. It is my escape from life’s craziness ❤️

J. V. Stanley:  I can’t wait to do that co-write with you. Have you done others and what was your experience with them?

Ebony Simone McMillan: I actually just finished a co-write with JA Lafrance today and it has been a crazy experience…I mean crazy in a good way. We have flowed together and created something amazing ❤️💜❤️

J. V. Stanley: Lastly before we close, What do you want your readers to take away from your books?

Ebony Simone McMillan: I hope that I give my readers stories that they enjoy and that sticks with them ❤️💜

J. V. Stanley: Thank you so much for being here. It was lovely talking to you about your books and your work.

Ebony Simone McMillan: Julie Stanley Thank you so much for having me ❤️💜❤️. Whenever you are ready, just let me know 😉

Rita Delude: This was another great interview. Thanks, ladies.


Follow Ebony here:

E.S. McMillan is a self-proclaimed Superhero. She is a mom to 4 amazing boys. Married to one of her best friends and has plans to take the world by storm.

E.S. was born in California, raised in New York, and now resides in Connecticut.

E.S. is a lover of the written word and cannot remember a time when there was not a book in her hand or an open notebook close by, waiting to be filled with her stories.

Author Links:
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Facebook Fan Group ~ 
Goodreads ~ 
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Pinterest ~…/the-weekend-getaway-by-es…/ 
Website ~

Interview With Samantha Rae, Author of “The Magic of Rainbow Sherbet: Frankie & Zeke”

I had the wonderful opportunity the other day to speak with the up-and-coming author Samantha Rae about her books and new release. It was fun speaking with her and really enjoyed the conversation.


J. V. Stanley: Everyone please welcome here for her live interview, Samantha Rae. She’ll be talking to us about her new release, the grand finale of The Ice Cream Shop Series. I cannot wait to hear more about Frankie and Zeke. *purr*

Samantha Rae: Oh my! What would you like to know?

J. V. Stanley: Before we get into your books, let’s begin with yourself. What sorts of things do you like to do? Hobbies? Job? Who are you outside of being an author?

Samantha Rae: I’m 47 years old and I’m from Virginia. I work will special needs children. I have 2 great kids. I ride horses.

Megan Damrow: What inspired your town of Liberty?

Samantha Rae: Jett and Jazz from Casserole Anthology inspired Liberty but also the small town I live in.


Megan Damrow: How would you describe your books/writing if you had to sum them up in 3 or 4 words?

Samantha Rae: Easy…hard and therapeutic.

J. V. Stanley: I can’t wait to hear more about Frankie and Zeke. What inspired the characters and what are they like?

Samantha Rae: Frankie is little bit lost.. she grew up in foster care and has had some terrible things happen to her. She seeks out Jett her foster brother. Zeke is the type of man I would love to meet. He is gorgeous sweet strong and stubborn.

Megan Damrow: Why did you choose Rainbow Sherbet as your ice cream flavor?

Samantha Rae: l love Rainbow Sherbet lol.

Megan Damrow: Do you have more planned for Frankie and Zeke?

Samantha Rae: idk yet but they will be popping up in another character stories. If you get our secret nook coming out in August there is a short story in there and it has a bit of a teaser.

J. V. Stanley: I love it when authors do that. I just did that with a current WIP.

Megan Damrow: I already preordered it♡♡♡

Samantha Rae: I know you love Jett and Jazz you will see them.

Megan Damrow: What’s your secret to managing a family, job, writing, publishing, graphics, etc? How do you make it all happen?

Samantha Rae:  Megan Damrow lol well my son is 23 and lives on his own. My daughter is 17 and going to be a senior in high school.. I’m separated and sleep very little lol plus I’m getting my Masters.

J. V. Stanley: Wow, you sound like me a couple years ago *blink blink* how do you find the energy?

Samantha Rae: honestly I love it. I’ve spent so much time doing for kids and I love them. it’s time to do me.

J. V. Stanley: What genre do you usually tend to write in?

Samantha Rae: Julie Stanley contemporary romance but I will have a YA publishing in July.

J. V. Stanley: What’s the best part of being a romance author?

Samantha Rae: Honest answer. Tt’s about overcoming issues, falling in love having great sex and being HEA.

Megan Damrow: Do you need or do certain things to get in a writing mode?

Samantha Rae: Megan Damrow that’s a hard one.. sometimes it just flows like with Frankie and Zeke. Other times I have to brainstorm with my friends to get me going.


Megan Damrow: As a new author yourself, what advice would you share with other new authors?

Samantha Rae: Just do it.. find a core group of authors/friend you trust and can be supportive of each other and do it.

J. V. Stanley: What is the one part in “The Magic of Rainbow Sherbet” that was hands down the best part to write?

Samantha Rae: Julie Stanley wow that’s a hard one.. I love writing the parts when Frankie opens herself up to Zeke.

J. V. Stanley: When do you celebrate? When you finish a book or after it’s published?

Samantha Rae: When my friend Tiffany tells me she loves it. She has been with me since Jazz and Jett so she is invested. I call her a townie.

J. V. Stanley: A townie? lol

Samantha Rae: Yeah she is there watching the whole thing going on and one of my new characters Sammy actually showed up in her ice cream story.

J. V. Stanley: OMG that’s so much fun!

Samantha Rae: Julie Stanley yes it is lol

J. V. Stanley: Tell me about your writing adventures prior to publishing. What got you into it?

Samantha Rae: lol that’s an interesting story.. I’ve always wanted to be a writer. But marriage and kids kind of put it on hold. I was lucky enough to be introduced to Tiffany Sokolowski who needed help with the organizing the charity anthologies.

J. V. Stanley: Samantha Rae It’s amazing how things have a way of circling back to where you are meant to be, ya know? I’m so glad you met her. She’s an amazing woman! I’m glad I met her!!!

Samantha Rae: Julie Stanley I clicked with Tiffany Sokolowski and Maria and the rest came out of that. I love Tiffany Sokolowski and she is my townie lol.

Megan Damrow: What’s your all-time favorite book?

Samantha Rae: I have one book and then an entire series.. the book is Gone with the Wind and the series is the Savage Destiny series by F.Roseanne Bittner. That’s where the name Zeke came from.

Megan Damrow: What is the biggest challenge for you when writing?

Samantha Rae: Megan Damrow when a story doesn’t flow and I have a deadline lol

J. V. Stanley: What was the most intimidating thing about stepping out into the publishing world?

Samantha Rae: The nitpicking and drama really bugs me. It feels like high school. But I love the indie world and have met the most amazing people. I want more than anything to see them succeed. If I succeed that’s a bonus but seeing my friends do it is better than. Anything.

J. V. Stanley: I’m of the same mindset. We’re all in this together as creatives and colleagues.

Samantha Rae: Yes the more supportive we are the more successful we all could be.

Megan Damrow: Do you plan to organize any more charity Anthologies?

Samantha Rae: Well we have the Out Secret Nook Vol2 in August that benefits an anti-bully foundation We have the Spicing Up My Life anthology that benefits and animal shelter.,Our ChristmasNook coming in November its benefits the Independent Cat Society.. lol so yes I’m sure.

J. V. Stanley: One last question before we close, did you eat rainbow sherbet today?

Samantha Rae: lol I actually did.

J. V. Stanley: That’s brilliant!

Samantha Rae: Thank you so much Julie Stanley I had a great time.

J. V. Stanley: Samantha, you have been amazing. Megan Damrow-it’s always a pleasure. Thank you for being here and sharing your time with all of us and giving us a glimpse into your characters as well as yourself. Good luck on your new release!  you ladies!

Samantha Rae: Thank you and I had a blast the entire month of July. All the authors are amazing. Pick up any one of these stories you will not be disappointed.


Be sure to follow this new up-and-coming author!

Samantha Rae’s Dreamers

Author page

Facebook Profile



News Letter

The Ice Cream Shop Series:


Fiery Party Room

Teespring Shop

Eden Books



Interview With Megan Damrow/Marie Ahls, Author Of “It’s My Birthday Cake”

“It’s My Birthday Cake” just released on July 28th. I had a chance to sit down and talk with the author who released this gem on her birthday.


J. V. Stanley: So Megan, let’s begin with your new release. Birthday Cake ice cream is amazingly delicious. What made you choose that flavor and could you tell us a bit about it?

Marie Ahls: It was a natural fit since today is my birthday and it’s my big 40th birthday. Yikes!!!! It’s a little sentimental for me because both characters had a great relationship with their grandparents similar to what I had with mine.

J. V. Stanley: Wow, thank you for being here on your birthday! How are you celebrating?

Marie Ahls: I went out with a bunch of my gal pals for a wine tasting plus a friend who is visiting from California. My husband and I went for a long weekend last week to celebrate.

J. V. Stanley: That sounds like fun! Thank you again for being here! Happy birthday, by the way, 😀

Marie Ahls: Thank you.

J. V. Stanley: What genre do you prefer to write in and why?

Marie Ahls: I’ve been writing in Contemporary Romance. I enjoy that genre because it can be sweet, fun, sexy, etc all at the same time.

J. V. Stanley: How many books have you written?

Marie Ahls: I have 3 stories, 2 books. The first was a story for an Anthology that is no longer available. It released last November. I released my first solo project in May, Tapping Back In, and now It’s My Birthday Cake.

J. V. Stanley: What would you say is your crowning achievement when it comes to writing?

Marie Ahls: As a newbie, I think it has just been writing a story that people actually want to read.


J. V. Stanley: What do you do when you’re not writing?

Marie Ahls: My husband just started a new career, he has been busy, so for me, it’s being with my kids and trying to make memories with them. I have two boys (9 and 5 years old).

J. V. Stanley: What does success look like to you? Where do you see yourself in five years?

Marie Ahls: On the side, I’m a teacher. In the daily grind, success is about helping kids. When I’m writing, it’s about writing the best story I can that people want to read. In my personal life success is about giving my family the best I can.

In five years, I hope to have a few readers who want to one-click all my releases and continue what I do every day at school and with my family. I believe that there is always room for improvement no matter what, I’m also trying for that.

J. V. Stanley: Do you publish traditionally or are you an indie?

Mary Ahls: I’m indie all the way. That’s what opened the doors for writing for me. I used Fiery Vision Publishing for both “Tapping Back In” and “It’s My Birthday Cake”. They have been amazing.

Brandy McIntosh Megan Damrow Fiery Vision is great!! ❤️


J. V. Stanley: What do you think is the biggest obstacle when it comes to marketing? I know a lot of authors struggle with that, especially new authors.

Marie Ahls: The best part of the indie world is how supportive everyone is. It’s been great. I think the biggest obstacle is knowing the ins and outs of the business and networking with others I don’t know well.

J. V. Stanley: So what are you working on now? Are you a part of any other Shop Series?

Marie Ahls: I have a story releasing in August, Getting to Third, as part of the Anthology Heart to Heart. All proceeds go to Heart Heroes. This is a special cause for me because my husband was born with a heart deficit and has had two childhood surgeries. He’ll be having a third in the next few years. We are huge supporters of being heart healthy and all things heart related. I’m also doing a charity Anthology in November and December. Then I have a little break until a secret project releases, I’ll be announcing it soon.

And I am writing for all the Shop series.

next book

J. V. Stanley: That’s really impressive! And a secret project? Are we allowed a hint? 😉

Marie Ahls: Sure. It will be a spin-off of my ice cream shop series and Tiffany Carby ‘s ice cream shop story.

J. V. Stanley: Two going on three surgeries? That’s got to be scary. I can understand why this cause is so important to you. It’s a beautiful thing when people give back.

That’s so cool! So you’re working on a cowrite or are you just using her universe?

Marie Ahls: She might not be happy with me for sharing, lol, but we are doing a co-write in my town but one of her characters.

Tiffany Carby I don’t mind! We’re gonna announce this special project in our group next month with ALL the details 

Marie Ahls: It’s a combination of both of our ice cream worlds.

J. V. Stanley: I can’t wait! That does sound like fun.

Brandy McIntosh I can’t wait either!! 😍

J. V. Stanley: What does your ideal writing nook look like or do you have one already?

Marie Ahls: Usually it’s the recliner in our living room. If my kids are home it’s laying across the bed.

J. V. Stanley: Lastly, before we close, and this question is cliche, but where do your ideas come from? Do you borrow from real-life experiences or from other people?

Marie Ahls: My best inspiration comes from driving in the car with the music on and letting my mind go. I’ve always had a vivid imagination so coming up with ideas is easy it’s the details in between that are tough for me. I also have a notebook where I pop quotes, ideas, etc. into until I can use them.

However, I do use a friends name in all my books. They aren’t always a complete match for the character, so sometimes it’s just in name. It’s my thing, I guess♡ I do draw from my own experiences too.

J. V. Stanley: Do you listen to music while you write? What kind of music do you listen to?

Marie Ahls: I do listen to music when I write. It’s always the same songs over and over again. I listen to whatever speaks to me, but usually, it’s something pop or top hits.

J. V. Stanley: My tastes are pretty eclectic but I DO THE SAME THING! If the song goes with the scene I’m writing I’ll stick it on repeat.Okay I lied, one more question. What was your favorite scene to write in “It’s My Birthday Cake”?


Marie Ahls: My main male character takes my female character on a series of fantasy dates. Swoon. I’d love to go on any or all of them. However, I think my favorite scene is when he takes her on a blind ice cream tasting and then shows her the journals his grandfather wrote. It was just so romantic.

J. V. Stanley: That sounds so swoon-worthy and romantic. I can’t wait to read it! I barely know your main male character but he sounds like my next book boyfriend! Happy Birthday sweetie and thank you so much for being here today. It means a lot that you took time out of your birthday to chat with us.  I hope you enjoy the rest of your day.

Brandy McIntosh: Happy birthday and congratulations on “It’s My Birthday Cake”!! 😘


Here you can learn more about Marie Ahls

The Shop Series Reader Group:
My reader’s group that I share with author Tiffany Carby: 
To Order “It’s My Birthday Cake”
To Order “Tapping Back In (Rock Hard Gym)
To Order “Heart To Heart Anthology”










Interview With Rita Delude, Author of “Bubble Gum Love”

On July 27th, 2019 I had the honor of interviewing author Rita Delude. Not only was it her release day for her newest YA novel, “Bubble Gum Love”, it was also her birthday. What an awesome way to celebrate a release. She was kind enough to lend me an hour to talk about her work and we ended up having a lot of engagement from fans and authors alike. I learned a lot from this talented woman and it was really fun.



J. V. Stanley: Let’s give a warm welcome to Rita Delude, author of “Bubble Gum Love”, which released yesterday! She has taken time out of her day (her birthday, no less) to chat with us about her new releases as well as getting down and personal. Let the shenanigans begin!

Rita Delude: Thank you

Kimberly Lee: Whoohoo! Happy release day AND birthday!🎉🎉🎉

Rita Delude: What would you like to know about me, Julie?

Author John Watson Happy birthday, Rita. Can you tell us where your story ideas come from?

Rita Delude: The answer Author John Watson is below.

Kimberly Lee:  Rita I have read all of your books. I have 2 favorites, Caught in the Middle and Bubble Gum Love. What is your favorite book you wrote?

Rita Delude: My favorite book I wrote is usually the last book I wrote, which in my case is Sister’s Revenge. But I love Caught in the Middle because it represents real married life to me.

Kimberly Lee: I definitely got that too on Caught. Can’t wait for Sister’s Revenge!

Erin Lee: #babyblues

Kimberly Lee:  Erin Lee Author yep…that one too and Kaleidoscope

J. V. Stanley: Thank you so much for being here this morning, let’s start with your new release, why did you pick Bubble Gum as your ice cream flavor?

Rita Delude: My story ideas come from my many years of experience and the experiences of my four children and my four siblings mostly.

Callie Carmen:  Rita, you’ve been successfully writing adult fiction for some time now. Was it difficult to switch to a young adult? And if so why?

Rita Delude: It wasn’t hard to switch to YA because I’ve been surrounded by kids my whole life having four of my own, plus siblings, plus I was a teacher for many years. And for some reason, I have very clear memories of my childhood. Very happy memories for the most part.

Shelby West Hello! Do you have any plans for your birthday?

Rita Delude: For my birthday, I’m going to one of my son’s home for swimming, a barbeque, and birthday cake. I picked Bubble Gum as my ice cream flavor because I wanted to do a YA book and kids like gum and especially bubble gum, so I thought that fit. Amanda, the protagonist is a constant bubble gum chewer.

J. V. Stanley:  Rita Delude tells us more about the characters, what are they like? Do you have any snippets you could share?

Rita Delude: Amanda and Seth have been friends since they were six. They live next door to each other. However, going into their junior year of high school. Things are changing for them. They are wondering if there’s something more happening–maybe love. Then Cory moves into town. He’s a handsome Asian in a very white, small town in NH that is very welcoming to him. Seth is jealous. Sparks fly. I’ll BRB with a snippet.

Erin Lee Author Welcome! HAPPY BIRTHDAY!

Lorah Jaiyn Happy Birthday, Rita

Callie Carmen  What are you working on now?

Rita Delude: I just finished a suspenseful horror adult story called Sister’s Revenge. My first reader says it is his favorite. I’m beginning Adam’s Anguish, which will release on December 15. It is the sequel to Baby Blues, which is set in Escape, CO and is a novella. A love story.

Kimberly Lee: I can’t wait for them!


Erin Lee: Did YOU ever make the first move?

Rita Delude: Yes.

Kimberly Lee: I can’t tell you how much I love that.


Erin Lee: LOL!!!! I know a mother who would say this.

Callie Carmen: I’m sure you never embarrassed your children like that when they were growing up. Lol. Did you?

J. V. Stanley: How many books do you have published now? What inspired you to start writing? *edited* Wow that was worded wrong (I blame my phone) it was supposed to read How many books do you have under your belt?

Erin Lee: Julie Stanley this is fun – ty for doing these

J. V. Stanley: Oh I’m loving these! It’s so much fun!

Rita Delude: I’ve got four novellas and two novels now and about 12 published short stories. I taught writing at a community college for almost 18 years, but never had the time to write fiction because I also was a newspaper and magazine journalist at the time, so when I retired, my daughter encouraged me to write fiction. She inspires me to write. I wasn’t sure what you meant by that belt question until you clarified. Thanks.

J. V. Stanley: So writing has always been a big part of your life albeit in different mediums. What was the best experience you’ve had while teaching?

Erin Lee Author Julie Stanley great questions!

Rita Delude: The best experience I’ve had while teaching is having students come back to me after graduating and tell me they’ve used what they’ve learned in real life. I love that.

Kimberly Lee: Love this!

Callie Carmen: Forgive if this was asked already. How did you come up with the title Bubble Gum Love. Lol, I first wrote Bubble Gum Wars. Maybe a sequel.

Erin Lee: Authors needed to use their ice cream flavor in the title so that probably helped – wars is cool!!

Rita Delude: I picked Bubble Gum as my ice cream; everyone in the series had to choose an ice cream. It’s National Ice Cream Month in July. I picked that because it is something kids can relate to and I added love because I wanted everyone to know it was a romance. I doubt that there will be an exact sequel to BGL, but I’m in other Shop Series books that will be coming up and in at least one, these characters will come back–perhaps two.

Callie Carmen: Awesome.

Shelby West I am addicted to bubble gum/chewing gum, is there anything you are addicted to? Can’t live without?

Rita Delude: I’m crazy about dark chocolate but have really tried to steer clear of it since December of last year because once I start, I want the whole bag.

Erin Lee: Wow – what flavor gum? Watermelon here

Shelby West: Erin, peppermint, Wrigley’s Doublemint. I buy it by the case. ha!

J. V. Stanley: Do you have any writing quirks, like things you do before you sit down to write or something you absolutely have to have?

Rita Delude: I have to have absolute quiet. I know some people need background music or noise. I need no interruptions or sound. I get a coffee mug full of water and sometimes a snack like fruit or nuts and get comfortable and write until my characters take over and write the words for me.

Erin Lee: Rita Delude I didn’t know you needed quiet too! #Twins

Rita Delude: Erin Lee Author Not surprised.

Erin Lee: Maybe we should just merge into the same exact person and call it quits LOL

Rita Delude: If there’s music with lyrics, I end up typing the lyrics. If instrumental, I end up daydreaming.

Erin Lee: YES!!!! Same

Kimberly Lee: You two are so cute lol

Shelby West: These are interesting facts.

J. V. Stanley: What would you say makes a successful writer?

Rita Delude: I’d say hard work. Learning from mistakes and being willing to take constructive criticism from editors and readers and improving your writing based on that. I don’t mean a writer has to cave to every suggestion readers make, but they should understand that if a reader is confused by something, then maybe clarification is needed or if an editor suggests that a writer adds more of a sense of place, the writer should take a careful look at that and perhaps add some more description of where the events are happening. Plus a writer needs to read a lot.

Shelby West: Great answer.

Kimberly Lee: Love it!

J. V. Stanley: That is excellent advice.

Shelby West: Do you have a favorite child? (just kidding).

J. V. Stanley: How about a favorite character and why?

Erin Lee: oh I promise she does 😉

Rita Delude: Julie Stanley In Bubble Gum Love, my favorite character is a minor one, Tara, friend to Amanda, who is a drama queen, whose parents are going through a divorce. She’s a bit overweight, she’s funny, she’s spunky. I love her. My all-time favorite character is Wanda Sterling from my and Caught in the Middle novels–she’s very much the same as Tara except that she’s an adult.

Erin Lee:Wanda is mine too.

Kimberly Lee: Love Wanda…I am partial to Cory and Seth though too😉

Rita Delude: This releases on August 2. A Paranormal romance 18+ read. Dracula steals Emilia from her fiance and takes her to his castle. She fights him, but may later succumb to his seduction.


Erin Lee: “Dracula’s Choice” Rita Delude

Emilia a betrothed virgin crosses paths with the Prince of Darkness.
He lusts after her and has the wealth and power to acquire what he craves.
Yet Vlad wants her to desire him as much as he does her.
Lives change when Emilia understands why she’s Dracula’s Choice.

Shelby West: I really enjoyed this story and the cover is everything.

J. V. Stanley: Oohhh that sounds pretty steamy!

Erin Lee: #WhenWandaGoesWild This book is up your ally.

J. V. Stanley: One clicking this one!

Erin Lee: Thank you.

J. V. Stanley: Do you or have you ever hid any Easter eggs in your stories?

Rita Delude: Is “Easter Egg” a term I’m supposed to know? I don’t.

Erin Lee: Not sure either – she may mean references to other books?

Rita Delude: I leave references to other books many times. In fact, in most books, I do.

Erin Lee: Yep you are pro at that.

J. V. Stanley: Easter eggs like inside jokes That only a select few readers would get.

Erin Lee: Learned something new – thanks!

Shelby West: As a reader, I learned something new, too. Awesome.

Rita Delude: Oh, sometimes, I have inside jokes that family will get. A character may say, “I’m sick, sick, sick of it.” A saying, I often repeated to my children when I was frustrated. Yes, I drop Easter eggs often.

Erin Lee: Shelby West I’m doing an Easter egg hunt in Inklings now – pure coolness

Kimberly Lee: Yes!

Erin Lee: Wow’za why not? this will be cool and tribe will get it.

Rita Delude: Love this. Easter egg hunts for every book would be fun.

Erin Lee: We need to do a ci easter egg hunt at easter.

J. V. Stanley: Rita Delude that’s awesome and a CI Easter Egg Hunt? That would be fun!

Kimberly Lee: I’m in!

Rita Delude: For readers here who don’t know, CI is Crazy Ink Publishing. I’m an exclusive author with Crazy Ink Publishing and love it.

J. V. Stanley: Tell us more about your upcoming releases? Do you have anything new planned?

Rita Delude: Dracula’s Choice was a fun story to write but took a lot of research into the world of Dracula and the clothing and the lifestyles of the period. I learned a lot and enjoyed that.

Erin Lee: The research books are so much harder but always end up being my favorites.

Rita Delude: Yes, I enjoying learning from the writing. And I do the work it takes because I want the read to be authentic for the reader.

J. V. Stanley: I love it when authors really dive into their stories and do their research. Was there any part that was particularly difficult to write?

Erin Lee: It’s also helped me to discover new genres I NEVER would have given a chance.

Rita Delude: Before Dracula’s Choice I had only written two short stories involving vampires, so I felt for the book I needed to do more research before doing a whole book, but all of my books are relationship stories, so once the research was done, the writing came fairly easily because then it was a matter of establishing and developing the evolving relationship between Dracula and Emilia, who he swept away from her fiance to come live with him.

J. V. Stanley: One last question before we wrap up. What do you want your readers to walk away with after reading your books and stories?

Rita Delude: I’d like my readers to walk away feeling they’ve experienced a satisfying read. Maybe not necessarily always a HEA ending, but a story that’s complete, makes sense, and feels right in that the characters have developed and grown throughout the story by virtue of what they’ve experienced. If they feel that, then I’ve done my job. If they walk away wanting to read more of my work, I’m thrilled.

Erin Lee: You achieve that every time.

J. V. Stanley: Rita Delude it’s been such a pleasure talking to you today. I hope you have a wonderful birthday and congratulations again on your release!

Rita Delude: Julie Stanley thank you so much for having me here and generously sharing your time and your friends with me. Thanks for the happy birthday wishes. Have a wonderful weekend.

Kimberly Lee: Happy release day and birthday day!

Shelby West: Awww, man, the interview is over. It was a great session. But Rita Deludewould you ever consider co-writing with another author? My dream is for you and MW Brown (Mia Brown) to write together. What ye think, Erin😁

J. V. Stanley: I’d love to work with Rita and Erin#lifegoals

Shelby West: That would be awesome.

bubble gum love


Bubble Gum Love
A YA Romance
Rita Delude

Although Amanda loves it, she recognizes that life is much more complicated than ice cream and bubble gum.
She and Seth are a pair and have been forever. Along comes newcomer, Cory, who doesn’t act or look like them. Will he shake up their world? Cory wants only to finally be accepted by his peers. Seth longs for the courage to grab the one thing that he desperately wants.
And what does Amanda wish for besides ice cream and bubble gum? She craves what they all want—a special someone to love.











Interview with Lorah Jaiyn, Author Of “Banana Split Sunsets”

Although we had internet difficulties, I had the chance to speak with author Lorah Jaiyn about her new releases as well as her advice for aspiring authors. It was so nice of her to take the time out of her day to discuss her work, her spirit animal, and of course, “Banana Split Sunsets”


J. V. Stanley: Hey everyone! Lets’ try this again! Please welcome our special guest, author Lora Jaiyn. For the next hour, we’ll be talking with her about her newest release. *insert applause here*  Ask her anything.

Lorah Jaiyn: Happy to be back – and actually be here this time! 🙂

J. V. Stanley: Finally the internet is cooperative lol. Let’s start off by talking a little bit about yourself. What got you into writing?

Lorah Jaiyn: I’ve been writing since high school – at least I’ve always had the stories in my head; they just didn’t always make it to paper. Life always seemed to get in the way, or when I did have a little time to dabble in the art, I was helping someone else or running a creative writing group. When I got empty nest syndrome, I finally started to focus on me and that’s when the stories finally saw daylight. It’s been full speed ahead ever since (the last couple years). And yes, my internet is cooperating too! Now if Facebook would quit saying “recover webpage” I’d be set!

J. V. Stanley: What inspires you? Like when you sit down to write, what do you need to be prepared? An I.V. of coffee or music?

Lorah Jaiyn: Mostly, deadlines inspire me. I definitely work best under pressure. I’ve tried music, I’ve tried the Hallmark Channel in the background. But mostly I need my dog asleep, my squirrel set for the night, the house quiet, and then I can focus. Oh, and my daughter in Japan has to have had her nightly phone call (and so I can talk to my grandson). Believe it or not, I only drink Mountain Dew in the morning, then water the rest of the day/night. But mostly, a deadline is what gets me going 😉

Megan Damrow: I wanted to know last night, but with all the internet issues it got lost, so what got you into squirrels?

Lorah Jaiyn: I was doing the Pack Walk, which is where the local shelter took a busload of shelter dogs to Silver Springs State Park and volunteers walked them. It was fun to volunteer but hard not to get attached to the poor dogs who LOVED being out of the cages. But then one afternoon I stayed too long and saw the dogs’ broken spirits when they got loaded back on the bus. My heart broke and I had to find something new. So I started volunteering at a local wildlife rescue (which has since closed) and I fed all the babies (squirrels) in the nursery. Then Hurricane Irma came along and there was no gas so no one could get to the rescue facility – foster parents, me being one, had to start keeping squirrels at our homes until the aftermath of the hurricane settled. I ended up keeping my babies (I had five) until four were released. Huckleberry was found in a woman’s attic with his deceased mother and because he was so emaciated, his claws never grew. He can’t climb a tree. So, he’s a lifer with me now, and just as spoiled as my dog. Squirrels have fascinated me ever since my first day of volunteering in the nursery.

J. V. Stanley: Oh that is so sweet! I once had a rescued chipmunk. He was a little handful lol. I love animals. I wish I could adopt them all.

Lorah Jaiyn: I would LOVE to have a chipmunk!

Tiffany Carby: If you could live anywhere, where would it be?

Lorah Jaiyn: For me, it would be New Zealand. But since it’s my grandsons now, wherever they are. 😉 (trick question haha) Although, I hear that an island in Ireland is looking for people…..

J. V. Stanley: *blink blink* Ireland? I’d move there in a heartbeat. I need details lol

Lorah Jaiyn: Arramore – Ireland they’re looking for people because the population is dwindling. 

Megan Damrow: Do all your books contain an animal? And what is your spirit animal?

Lorah Jaiyn: Almost every book contains an animal of some sort unless it’s more toward the horror genre. I don’t want any animals to actually get hurt lol. At this point, I’d have to say squirrels have taken over the spirit animal thing. My attention span is as short as theirs, I’m in the process of taming the wild ones in my back yard (my merry band of freeloaders – I go through a lot of hazelnuts and pecans), and they each have such a personality that you wouldn’t think just watching them in the wild.


Megan Damrow: What advice would you give an aspiring author?

Lorah Jaiyn: Thank you for asking me this – it’s been my peeve lately. My first piece of advice to any inspiring author is THERE IS NO WAY TO DO IT WRONG. FIND THE WAY THAT WORKS FOR YOU. Everyone has their own opinion, and everyone has a way that worked for them, but it’s different for everyone. Working as a team, working as an individual, using a publisher, self-publishing, I like this way, you like that way – no one is wrong. It’s like the personal preference of where you choose to shop or what brands you like best. You have to network and play the field to find where you fit, but don’t let anyone say you’re doing it wrong because you’re not doing it their way!

Megan Damrow: Thank you. That’s fabulous advice.

J. V. Stanley: I often hear writers compare their success (or lack thereof) to others. They get discouraged and want to quit. What would you tell them?

Tiffany Carby: To add to Lorah’s wisdom, I know I am continually learning something new about this industry on a daily basis. I’m sure we all are! It’s ever-changing. And being open to new ideas has been invaluable for me.

Lorah Jaiyn: You can’t compare yourself to anyone, especially if you’re still relatively new to the industry. Like Tiffany said, things change daily. Your story isn’t the same as the next person, your characters are different, your style is yours. If you continually compare yourself to others, how do you learn who you are? It’s not a quick thing – it’s a lot harder than I ever imagined. Every writer definitely has to earn their stripes and start from the bottom. Yes, there are those extremely rare people who start out on top, but that definitely isn’t the norm. There is no get rich quick formula for the majority of authors. But when things start to click and you have that first fan, it’s amazing. Don’t ever give up when that’s just around the corner.


J. V. Stanley: Tell me about your new release? What inspired the story and the flavor?

Lorah Jaiyn: I love fruit and ice cream, and there is no bad component of a banana split. I started creating the small town as I thought about the story, which is how it became a series (I fell in love with the town). I’m not exactly sure where the story started in my imagination, but I love writing stories that give hope to those who may not think there is any. Banana Split Sunsets is about a woman fleeing her abusive ex-husband who has escaped from prison and ends up in the small town of Grouper Cove, which is a fictional town in the panhandle of Florida on the Gulf of Mexico. (Living in Florida, I much prefer the west coast to the east coast.) The islands off the coast have always held a fascination for me when it comes to creating stories.

J. V. Stanley: I love falling in love with the setting of the story. That’s what really gets me into it.

Lorah Jaiyn: Good thing about using the same town is I don’t recreate the wheel for every story. I get stuck in the “town building” and then get behind in writing the story. Using the same town, I have the florist, and the bed and breakfast, etc…. saves me a lot of time.

Tiffany Carby: Tell us about Grouper Cove!

Lorah Jaiyn: Grouper Cove is located right in the bend of the panhandle. It was founded by the McEwen family who still lives there. There have been several times I had to remind myself it wasn’t a real place because I’m in love with the people and the place lol. The Grouper Cove series has expanded to 20, but each story is standalone, although characters will overlap in the stories. Each will be a mixture of Nicholas Sparks and the Hallmark Channel, but have a theme that’s a little too deep for Hallmark 😉

J. V. Stanley: Wow, twenty books? How do you do it all? Can you share some healthy writing habits with us?

Lorah Jaiyn: I have a corkboard with all 20 titles and characters plotted out. The one to the left of the corkboard is a piece of poster board with the timeline of another project planned out by chapter.


Tiffany Carby: I love this!

Lorah Jaiyn: healthy writing habits is not taking on too many projects at once. Eventually, I will get into healthy habits as well as a writing routine that sticks….. right now it’s pantsing.

J. V. Stanley: I was wondering if you were a plotter or a pantser?

Lorah Jaiyn: Pantser Extraordinaire!

Tiffany Carby: Lorah is a pantser 😂

J. V. Stanley: Have you ever had to cut a scene you really didn’t want to during the editing process in any of your books?

Lorah Jaiyn: Thus far, no. However, most of that is because I took a seminar a year or so ago on just that subject. I’m very mindful of that when I’m writing so I don’t have to cut anything later lol. Now in my first novel, I didn’t cut any scenes but I did spend about six months rearranging and rewriting to make everything flow smoother.

Megan Damrow: Do you have a favorite character that you’ve written?

Lorah Jaiyn: Brandon. Hands down, it’s Brandon Rivera, my main male in Whisper of an Angel. He’s romantic, sexy, flirty, and knows how to make his woman laugh. I think he’s just about perfect (but yes, he does have a few flaws).

J. V. Stanley: Oh I like a guy who has a good sense of humor.

Tiffany Carby: 10 year from now goal?

Lorah Jaiyn: (.gif) Millions. Joking – but it would be nice. In ten years I hope to have a good, strong following and be that go-to writer when someone needs a good story to read. And maybe slow down a little on the projects, but that’s not looking likely at this point 😉

J. V. Stanley: How many projects are you working on right now?

Lorah Jaiyn: haha I have four projects due in the next couple weeks, and I’m pretty booked through 2022. With Grouper Cove, I always have to think ahead so I keep characters straight and make sure that the stories don’t all start sounding alike. That’s my biggest fear with a long series, but I have almost all of them plotted out and no two are even close to being the same.

Megan Damrow: Do your children read your books?

Lorah Jaiyn: My daughter (only child) doesn’t read – she also has a 3 year old and a 6 month old, so someday she might. However, I babysit for a friend who has a 12 year old voracious reader. She saw a couple of my books and asked if she could read them. I thought about it, and was happy to tell her yes, she could. Any of my solo projects thus far have cuss words, but nothing graphic that would be inappropriate for a pre-teen (especially when she has three brothers who use words they heard in school that I’ve never heard of). Some of my anthology stories aren’t quite kid-friendly, but for the most part, there’s nothing I wouldn’t want my daughter to read.

J. V. Stanley: Is there anything about your characters that you don’t like?

Lorah Jaiyn: So far, no. Other than they continue to live in my head after their story is done. If there is a character I don’t like, I usually put him/her in a story where I kill characters. Problem solved. 😀

J. V. Stanley: How do you balance life with your writing? Do you have any hobbies other than writing?

Lorah Jaiyn: I have CDD – Creative Decision Disorder. I want to do too many things and get bored if I just do one at a time I write, I create with polymer clay and take my kritters to craft shows, I love photography (although I don’t like listening to proper photograph techniques – my husband and daughter are both experts, I’m not interested in that 😉 ), and I love to paint. Trying to fit it all in is challenging – painting has definitely taken the back seat, which is fine, cause I’m not very good at it but I have fun doing it. I also like hiking and fishing……. the weather here isn’t real cooperative with either of those cause it’s so hot it’s miserable.


J. V. Stanley: Lastly, What was your favorite scene to write in “Banana Split Sunsets”?

Lorah Jaiyn: I think when Abby washes up on the island she was told to stay off of and has a brief meltdown. If you’ve ever been to the Gulf of Mexico when the no-see-ums are out, you’ll understand 😉

Tiffany Carby:  Lorah Jaiyn this was Tristan’s live read scene wasn’t it?

Lorah Jaiyn: Yes! Maybe that’s why lol. Thank you so much for having me! It’s been a lot of fun. I’m always around, so if you have any other questions, find me and I’ll do my best to answer. Have a great week everyone! Thank you Julie Stanley and Megan Damrow (and Tiffany Sokolowski)!!

Tiffany Carby:  Lorah Jaiyn always a pleasure hanging out with you!

J. V. Stanley: My internet pooped out on me before I had a chance to thank you and say goodbye! I really appreciate you taking the time out of your day to talk with us about your work.


Don’t forget to follow Lorah Jaiyn!

Twitter: (although I’m not much of a tweeter)
Clay Page:




Interview With T. Elizabeth Guthrie, Author of “Chocolate Peanut Butter Delight”

I had the wonderful pleasure of interviewing the talented, T. Elizabeth Guthrie the other day. We spoke at length about her writing, her newest release, along with tidbits of information about her as a writer. There is so much we can learn from each other and it was such a pleasure to have her share her time.

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J. V. Stanley: So today is your release day. Congratulations! Tell me about your release. What’s the story about and what genre?

T. Elizabeth Guthrie: Thank you Julie Stanley and all the Jewels for having me. My book is about a couple who work at an exclusive BDSM club just outside Vegas. Chad wants what he can’t have (typical male?) and he wants to convert JuliAnna into a switch.

Megan Damrow: Do you write mostly BDSM?

T. Elizabeth Guthrie: Actually this was my first. I’ve been asked how I was able to write it and all I could say was…hubby and I have been married for a LONG time and we’ve done a lot of experimenting over the years…lol

Megan Damrow: Sounds like a bunch of stories there.

T. Elizabeth Guthrie: Private play parties are the best….lol

Megan Damrow: Without giving too much away, how does your ice cream flavor relate to your story?

T. Elizabeth Guthrie: The guys who built the club had a favorite sub of their own…after playing they’d feed her chocolate peanut butter ice cream.

chocolate peanut butter delight 2

Megan Damrow: Are these characters part of a series or will they be?

T. Elizabeth Guthrie: Eventually the book will become part of a series. I fell in love with the characters when writing the book. I’m probably more like JuliAnna than I want to admit…lol

J. V. Stanley: What’s JuliAnna like? How would you say you relate to her?

T. Elizabeth Guthrie: She’s a very strong woman and is afraid to let someone else have control until she finds that ONE man she can do that with.

Megan Damrow: What’s your worst fear?

T. Elizabeth Guthrie: Being tied up and something happens that I can’t get loose fast enough….lol.

Megan Damrow: That does sound scary.

T. Elizabeth Guthrie: I need to thank the inventor of Velcro…lol

J. V. Stanley: I can’t imagine trying to get out of velcro…🤣

Megan Damrow: That’s a good tip!

T. Elizabeth Guthrie: Julie, It’s much better than knots to get out of. It’s a good thing I really trust the hubby.


J. V. Stanley: How long have you been writing and if you could tell your younger writing self anything, what would it be?

T. Elizabeth Guthrie: I’ve been writing since I was a child of 11 when I lost my mom. I’d tell myself not to wait so long to get back into it.

J. V. Stanley: That’s really touching. I bet your mom is really proud of you. I think I would tell my younger self the same thing. I gave up writing for a good long while. Makes me wonder how far I’d be had I continued back then.

T. Elizabeth Guthrie: Thank you for that!!!! 

Megan Damrow: If you could describe your writing/books in three words, what words would you use?

T. Elizabeth Guthrie: Eclectic (which is really just a nice word for strange), sexy, adventurous.

J. V. Stanley: Every writer has a favorite piece–one that they are proud of. In all of your writing, which piece (published or not) would have to be your favorite?

T. Elizabeth Guthrie: Actually it’s a children’s book I published earlier this year. It’s under a different pen name and features my two grandsons. It’s called Planted Pines and written under T. E. Guthrie.

Megan Damrow: Grabbed myself two copies…one for my son and one for my school library♡♡♡♡

T. Elizabeth Guthrie: Thank you. That one won an Indie literary award last month.

J. V. Stanley: Wow that is a great achievement!

T. Elizabeth Guthrie: 2019 Indie Originals Book Competition

Megan Damrow: Do you have more children’s books? Please share.

T. Elizabeth Guthrie: There are four so far. The series is called Phantom Chillers and you can find them on my other page/alter ego Author T E Guthrie. There will be 12 total.

J. V. Stanley: I’m going to need to get these for my son!

T. Elizabeth Guthrie: They’re similar to goosebumps.

J. V. Stanley: Oh he’s going to love that!

Megan Damrow: Do you have a writing nook? If so what does it look like?

T. Elizabeth Guthrie: Don’t look at the mess…lol.

writing nook

J. V. Stanley: That looks really cozy.

T. Elizabeth Guthrie: My husband built me the desk. We have a side business where we make live edge furniture.

Megan Damrow: Love it. Thanks for sharing.

J. V. Stanley: Do you have any writing quirks or things you absolutely have to have when you’re writing?

T. Elizabeth Guthrie: I like it quiet most of the time. I like to watch the story play out in my head.

J. V. Stanley: Do you need to be inspired to write or does it come naturally?

T. Elizabeth Guthrie: My mind is always going 100 miles an hour so it seems to come naturally.

J. V. Stanley: Do you outline or do you pants it?

T. Elizabeth Guthrie: I tried doing outlines and my characters always laughed at me for wasting my time with that.


J. V. Stanley: What advice would you give to a new author? Any tips or tricks you can share?

T. Elizabeth Guthrie: Jump in with both feet and just do it!!! I like to help anybody that needs it. And be sure to get every piece professionally edited. I started out doing charity antho’s and my first ones were awful…lol

Megan Damrow: Be real with us, do you love chocolate peanut butter ice cream?

J. V. Stanley: I know I do. Must eat all the peanut butter!

T. Elizabeth Guthrie: I absolutely LOVE chocolate peanut butter ice cream. My favorite totally.

Megan Damrow:  I’m not a huge fan of chocolate and peanut butter mixed. I prefer them separate, but I’m up for giving it a try.

T. Elizabeth Guthrie: It’s da bomb…lol

J. V. Stanley: It really is *swoons* So how many books do you plan for your series?

T. Elizabeth Guthrie: For this one, I’m not sure. Depends on which characters demand their own story.

J. V. Stanley: I love it when stories inspire stories. Characters develop minds of their own sometimes, don’t they?

T. Elizabeth Guthrie: Yes they do. I have a novella coming out later this year for a box set and those guys wanted a second chance at getting this right. (BTW it was in one of those charity Anthos and wasn’t edited.)

J. V. Stanley: Any teasers for that yet? Or do we have to wait in suspense? 😀

T. Elizabeth Guthrie:  I’ll be doing those soon. 🙂

J. V. Stanley: What would you choose as your mascot/avatar/spirit animal?

T. Elizabeth Guthrie: My cat Samhain. She’s a real b*tch and matches my attitude perfectly…lol.

J. V. Stanley: How many unpublished and half-finished books do you have?

T. Elizabeth Guthrie: I guess I gotta be truthful…A L O T!!! I have several notebooks full of ideas and pieces started.

J. V. Stanley: So we’ll be seeing a lot more of you in the future.

T. Elizabeth Guthrie: Absolutely! I love writing.

Megan Damrow: What was your go-to book when you were growing up?

T. Elizabeth Guthrie: It still is when I need to take some time to myself…Bedknobs and Broomsticks.

Megan Damrow: You mentioned earlier you’ve been married a long time, how long is a long time?

T. Elizabeth Guthrie: 29 years next month.

Megan Damrow: That’s amazing. Congratulations!

T. Elizabeth Guthrie: He’s my best friend…biggest kid…biggest fan and love of my life.

J. V. Stanley: That is beautiful and Happy Early Anniversary!

T. Elizabeth Guthrie: Thank you very much.

J. V. Stanley: I assume he’s a strong supporter of your writing. Is there anything special he does to help you get your writing done?

T. Elizabeth Guthrie: He’s a very big part of all I do. He pushes me forward when I want to quit at times. You know how some days those words just won’t flow…that’s when he’s at his best.

J. V. Stanley: Aww *heart melts* Sounds like one hell of a guy.

T. Elizabeth Guthrie: He can be a royal pain at times too…lol.

J. V. Stanley: What’s the best way to market your books would you say?

T. Elizabeth Guthrie: I’ve found that with the kids books I hired a marketer to get them out there. I love her…she’s amazing. With the romance, horror, and sci-fi I have an amazing PA for those!

J. V. Stanley: I love multi-genre authors. (I am one myself) I couldn’t stick to one genre if I tried. Do you lean more toward one genre or another?

T. Elizabeth Guthrie: I’m the exact same way and no I can’t bring myself to write just one thing. I’m always amazed at the authors that can. I’m too bipolar I guess….lol. Hubby says I have a split personality which is why I can’t commit to just one genre.

J. V. Stanley: ROFL That is awesome! Do you tend to read the same genre or are your tastes more eclectic like your writing?

T. Elizabeth Guthrie: I read everything I can when I have time. My day job is a velociraptor wrangler (aka grandma) and they take most of my time. I also have the side business, Phunky Junk Alley, where we make furniture so time is a commodity that’s precious.

J. V. Stanley:  It seems our time is up hon. I had so much fun talking with you and getting to know you and your writing. Thank you so much for being here today. I know with release days, it gets pretty hectic. I appreciate your time.

One last question though? What do you think makes a good story?

T. Elizabeth Guthrie: Thank you for having me. A good story to me is something that catches you right away and never lets you go till the end.


T. Elizabeth Guthrie is the mother of two daughters, BamMaw (grandma) to two handsome young grandsons and one beautiful granddaughter. She’s happily married to her best friend and business partner. She loves to make jewelry, remake dolls into fantasy creations and dressing up to play at the Ren Faire and Steampunk Festivals. She also likes to redo furniture (shabby chic, cottage, primitive, country) along with building new live edge pieces with her husband, in a small family-owned/operated business., @TElizabethGuth1,, (kids books)…





Interview With Tiffany Carby, Author of “S(mint)ten Chocolate Chip”


J. V. Stanley: Let’s welcome Tiffany Carby. For the next hour, we’ll be talking with this amazingly multi-talented author and getting to know her and her work. Feel free to ask questions, too! Let the shenanigans begin!


Tiffany Carby: Hey y’all!
J. V. Stanley: Hey there! I’m so glad you’re here! It is such a privilege being able to interview you like this. Thank you so much for being here. I wanted to start by asking you about your newest release and what genre you tend to write in.
Tiffany Carby: It would be a very crazy day if I wrote anything other than romance. Everything I have published is romantic, but with different sub-genres. I’m a contemporary gal, and tend to write on the sweet side 
Megan Damrow: What inspired your idea for Griffin Gas Company? And what characters, that we have met, will we be seeing again in upcoming releases? Are you introducing new characters to Griffin Gas Company?
Tiffany Carby: This girl gets right to it and asks the big questions! My Griffin Gas Company series was inspired by my dad, actually. Growing up he owned what he called filling stations, which are gas stations, and he had a couple bays to work on cars as well. Then one day I saw a nice looking guy pumping gas while I was out one day and the idea of the shirtless fill-up came from that. ❤ As for characters…
Megan Damrow: I love that GGC is inspired by your dad♡♡♡♡
Tiffany Carby: There are several reoccurring characters that you will see again and again. I have at least two full-lengths planned for the series that will have some regulars… Raleigh and Dafne will be showing up for sure. They are the patriarch and matriarch of the series. You will soon meet Mason and Haven. And after that Ben and his gal (who I have named but will have to end up changing it so that someone I now know doesn’t think I named a character after her LOL).
Megan Damrow: Have you always wanted to be an author?
Tiffany Carby: Yep, ever since I was a little girl. I “published” my first book in 4th grade…bound and everything. It was probably the one time in my life I wrote about aliens LOL.
J. V. Stanley: What other authors are you friends with, and how do they help you become a better writer?
Tiffany Carby: I am blessed to have many author friends! I’m a huge fangirl of Anne Conley. She’s my buddy (and she knows it LOL) and is one of my own one-click authors. I strive to be as good as she is and hope to attain that one day! I’ve met and keep in touch with Kathleen Brooks; she is a Kentucky author that I love and admire.
Megan Damrow: Tell us your secret to managing it all. You write, run groups, make covers, support others, etc all while being a mom, a wife, and working? I swear you never sleep, lol.

Tiffany Carby: I sometimes wonder how I do it too LOL I actually do sleep, or I’m really grumpy HAHAHAH

I think my secret is that I tend to work in chunks, so it doesn’t feel like I’ve bitten off more than I can chew. I give the current project at hand all my attention, then move on to the next. The series’ that I coordinate doesn’t take all my time every single day, so I tend to work on those as time permits and I can throw an hour at them. As for writing, I give it a good go to write every day, but it doesn’t happen. And sometimes I sneak in a few words while hanging out with my kiddo and hubs when their programming of choice isn’t my jam!

J. V. Stanley: Your covers are absolutely beautiful and I am so honored that you designed the cover for my novella (and will design the covers in the rest of the series 😀 ) How do you balance making demands on the reader with taking care of the reader? By this I mean, do you write what the reader’s want or write what comes naturally?
Tiffany Carby:  Luckily, what comes naturally has been what the reader’s want. So for that, I am thankful. I WILL say I have had to make one concession… when I started the GGC series, I had plans to “kill off” two characters which would further develop another character BUT if I did that now, the reader’s might kill off the author. I think Megan Damrow would be first in line LOL
Megan Damrow: You bet I would be. #savethegriffinchildren
J. V. Stanley: That is so cool! I can’t wait to read it! What’s the most difficult or challenging thing about writing characters from the opposite sex?
Tiffany Carby: The sex scenes. There I said it. I blush while writing them and question whether or not what I’m writing might even be logical LOL It’s mostly the words. I don’t like typing words I wouldn’t normally say myself hahahahahaa!
J. V. Stanley: I sympathize with the awkward feeling of writing sex scenes.
Tiffany Carby: The first in my series is She’s a Tiger Lily. Griffin Six is next and all of mine are standalone, they just live in the same fictional world of Spring City. But beware, Megan has already claimed Manny, the main character… so there’s that. 
J. V. Stanley: He sounds hot. I may have to abscond with him, Megan Damrow lol
Tiffany Carby: Julie Stanley I’m skeerd of Megan Damrow lol
J. V. Stanley:  Uh oh…*hides*
Megan Damrow: Griffin Six is an amazing story. One of my favorites by Tiffany Carby. I’m willing to share Manny but never will I give him up.
Tiffany Carby: I published a collection of shorter stories that all take place in Spring City as well, called Spring City Juleps ❤ 
J. V. Stanley: Ooooh! a boxset! *yoinks* Have you read anything that made you think differently about fiction?
Tiffany Carby: The next two are semi-related, as in once you read Upon a Dream, you’ll want to read Snow Cream & Bourbon because these characters all have connections
upon a dream.jpg
Tiffany Carby: Hmm, Not to be a nerd or predictable, but when I was younger, getting into stories like Pride & Prejudice and Little Women steered me toward thinking fiction could be like real life, but still whatever you want it to be. It’s a blank slate. And I really enjoy adding words to it!
J. V. Stanley: I do believe you are going to be one of my favorite one-click authors for sure!
Megan Damrow: What was one of your favorite stories to write?
Tiffany Carby: Smitten has probably been my most favorite to write, but I have really enjoyed them all. Bad Egg was also fun because of that little twist I had to figure out how to include 😉
Snow Cream & Bourbon is book 6 in The Ice Cream Shop Series and also in my Company of Griffins Series
snow cream and burbon.jpg
Megan Damrow: Julie Stanley you’ll love Mal. Swoon.
J. V. Stanley: Can you read each one stand-alone or would one have to start at the beginning of the series?
Tiffany Carby: You can read each as a standalone 🙂 I would recommend reading Upon a Dream before Snow Cream though, just for your own pleasure.
Megan Damrow: They can all be read as a standalone, but I would suggest you read She’s A Tiger Lily first to get the background and introduction to the series and then have at it.
Tiffany Carby: That’s a good suggestion 🙂 There’s a lot about the company in that one.
J. V. Stanley: Do you hide any secrets in your books that only a few people will find, like Easter eggs?
Tiffany Carby: YES!!! Speaking of… would you like to know a secret?
J. V. Stanley: YAAAAAS!! Spill!
Megan Damrow: Do tell.
Tiffany Carby: I had to collaborate with Megan Damrow to pull off one of the scenes!! One of my newest releases, and the beginning of a new series, I am so excited about book one of The Ice Cream Shop Series, S(mint)ten Chocolate Chip. So my secret is about S(mint)ten… In this story, my characters take a little road trip. And the road trip involves stopping at various ice cream shops around the country…And most of those shops are shops from other ICE CREAM SHOP SERIES books!!!
J. V. Stanley: That is awesome! Where do you plan on going with the series? Tell me about it!

Tiffany Carby: I’d love to tell you about it! As you know, the Shop Series will continue with further installments, so I’m also continuing my series with the Mint theme. Every future story for a Shop Series of mine will be a Mint book! Marie Ahls and I are tag teaming some of them as our books collide in a follow up to S(mint)ten! So we’ll have…

S(mint)ten Chocolate Chip
Mint to Be (not a shop book, but still related)
Doughnut Shop ExperiMint
White Wedding Mints

And others I’m still working on the plans for!

Megan Damrow: What does your writing zone look like? Do you have a particular spot you write from? Do you listen to music? Etc.
Tiffany Carby: This is gonna sound funny but I’ve learned over the years I get too distracted by music, I guess I get the tunes stuck in my head and either sing or can’t focus. So I generally turn on the TV to something I’ve already seen so I don’t get sucked in – or write while someone else in the house is watching something I’m not interested in… like Barbie or a documentary LOL
J. V. Stanley: LOL I’ll admit. I love Barbie movies
Tiffany Carby: Girl, I find myself watching Barbie all the time LOL
J. V. Stanley: My favorite is Barbie and the Diamond Castle. My daughter would watch it over and over again. I have the words to the songs memorized 🤣 Would you mind listing your books in order, by chance?

Tiffany Carby: Griffin Gas Company suggested reading order, though all can be read as standalones…

She’s a Tiger Lily –
Griffin Six –
Spring City Juleps –
Upon a Dream –
Snow Cream & Bourbon –

New series…
S(mint)ten Chocolate Chip –

Everything is on my author page as well, other anthologies and such too 🙂

J. V. Stanley: What is your favorite childhood book?
Tiffany Carby: The Giving Tree and A Wrinkle in Time 
J. V. Stanley: The Giving Tree was such a good book. I have yet to read A Wrinkle In Time. That one was made into a movie. What are your thoughts on books turning into movies?
Tiffany Carby: I generally love books to movies – however, I didn’t like the Wrinkle in Time movie. Not at all what was in my head. Nicholas Sparks books to movies are pretty good though. I do like those. I’m a sap.
Megan Damrow: Will you let your daughter read your books when she is older?
Tiffany Carby: I think when she hits that maturity level, I definitely will. She already thinks it’s pretty cool that Mom makes books 
J. V. Stanley: Oh, here’s a good question for you–if you could have any actor/actress star in the movie version of your book(s), who would you pick to play the leads?
Tiffany Carby: I think Daniel Day Lewis would be a good Raleigh, he’s the main lead in the GGC stories. Michelle Pfeiffer would be an amazing Dafne. Ben Affleck has been my actor that I’ve loved since I was a teen and I think he’d be an amazing (older) Wil.
J. V. Stanley: Do you have any writing quirks? Things you need to do or have before or during your writing process?
Tiffany Carby: I usually have a drink of some sort. And I prefer to type if I’m trying to make headway on a story. I rarely “write” write anymore. It slows me down LOL
J. V. Stanley: Thank you for being here today!  I loved chatting with you and getting to know your work. I can’t wait to delve into your books!
Feel free to contact and follow Tiffany everywhere.
Reader’s Group: 
The Shop Series Reader’s Group: 
The Shop Series Page: 
Fiery Graphics: 
Fiery Party Room: 
Vision Anthologies: 
Crazy Ink: 
Crazy Ink Anthologies: 
Would you like to be one of my beta readers and be the first to find out more about the Griffin Family? Sign up here: 
Would you like to join my ARC team? Sign up here: 
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Interview With Author T. A. Moorman Author of “Chocolate Vanilla Swirl”

J. V. Stanley: We have a surprise today! T.a. Moorman has agreed to an interview today. She’s a busy woman as it is the release-day of her newest novella, “Chocolate Vanilla Swirl”. This awesome lady will be spending the next hour talking to us about her work. Feel free to join in and ask questions of your own!
Megan Damrow: You’re a new author to me♡♡♡ As a potential reader, what is something I should know about your writing and books?
T A Moorman: That it truly is a paranormal romance, not just romance with a set of fangs thrown in. LOL! And no, my vampires or any of the rest of my creatures are not sympathetic to humans. They aren’t human and don’t pretend to be. Some of them are shorter stories than others, but they ALL are full stories. 🙂
J. V. Stanley: So, today is the release day for “Chocolate Vanilla Swirl” (congratulations 😀 ). Tell us about your characters.
Megan Damrow: What draws you to write paranormal?
T. A. Moorman: I have been through way too much in the real world, so I stay as far from reality when writing and reading as possible.
J. V. Stanley: I am speechless by how busy you are, being an author, PA, and graphic designer? How in the world do you balance all of that and family?
T. A. Moorman:  I rarely sleep. LOL! Seriously, I might lay down at about 3am and back up 7 or earlier.
J. V. Stanley: You sound like me lol I can’t live without my planner. Without it, I would be utterly lost.
T. A. Moorman: C, I really need to get one of those. The electronic ones just don’t cut it for me.
In Hybrids, Anya and Kierra (a gender-changing demon) had a child, Lucas. Who is now full-grown and thinks he’s ready to go off on his own, to the human realm. Not a good idea since he’s part vampire, witch, angel, and demon. But he wants to get away from his mate that refuses to be with him. For more reasons than she’s letting on.
Megan Damrow: Why did you choose Chocolate Vanilla Swirl as your ice cream flavor?
T. A. Moorman: Cookies and Cream had already been taken. LOL!! Plus, Lucas’ dad is a gender shifting demon, by the time the gene got to Lucas, the only thing he changes is from black to white. No big deal in Underlayes, but he should probably stick to just one in the human realm.
J. V. Stanley: that sounds awesome! I love the way you worked the title!
T. A. Moorman: Thank you.
J. V. Stanley: What would you say was your writing Kryptonite?
T. A. Moorman: My 3-year-old!! And sometimes the 6yo. The lack of sleep makes for great hallucinations to add-in. LOL!
J. V. Stanley: rofl Do you listen to music at all or have any quirky things you need to get inspired?
T. A. Moorman: I have to watch something slightly interesting, but not too much so that I get way into it. With music, I get waaaaay too into it and get next to nothing done.
J. V. Stanley: What kind of books interest you? Are there any authors that inspire you? Or any that influenced you to write?
T. A. Moorman: Paranormal only. Krestley Cole, L. A. Banks, Laurell K Hamilton, Kim Harrison, I could go on all day. Lol.
J. V. Stanley: Do you want each book to stand on its own, or are you trying to build a body of work with connections between each book?
T. A. Moorman: They’re all connected, but can be read as a standalone.
J. V. Stanley: oooh I love it when authors do that! There have been times I accidentally read the third book in a series and I stopped reading halfway because I had no idea what was going on.
T. A. Moorman: U and me both!! So I always give just enough backstory where readers can enjoy each book, but be curious about what happened before. 😉😎😍
J. V. Stanley: How long have you been writing? Every author has a story that they’re most proud of. What would you say yours is?
T. A. Moorman: I am most proud of Witch Wars. As a published author? 2 years now, I think. Lol.
Megan Damrow: Is Chocolate Vanilla Swirl part of a series or will it be?
T. A. Moorman: Part of a series, but can be read as a standalone.
J. V. Stanley: How did publishing your first book change your process of writing?
T. A. Moorman: The reviews. They let me know I was actually pretty good. Lol.
Megan Damrow: Other than publishing (which is a huge accomplishment♡♡♡), what are you most proud of in your life?
T. A. Moorman: My kids, even though the teens hate me. Ha! Two r now I’m Wayne State, one with a full scholarship, one heading to high school, another to first grade, and the youngest diving me insane. 😂
J. V. Stanley: I would love to have a big family like that! A full scholarship, that’s really impressive! You’re seriously Supermom.
T. A. Moorman: Awe, thank you!
J. V. Stanley: How would you describe your writing style?
T. A. Moorman: Pantser! Couldn’t plot to save my life.
J. V. Stanley: I would consider myself a “Planser” sometimes I need a bit of a guideline to go by or at least know where I’m going.  Oh! Do you participate in NaNoWrImO? Do you plan on participating this year?

T. A. Moorman: Yes, and probably. 😊

Megan Damrow: Do you have a writing nook?
T. A. Moorman: Nope, I just get in where I fit in.
J. V. Stanley: What do you do when you’re not being Superwoman? Any hobbies or things you like to do? Tell me more about yourself and the things you enjoy outside of the writing sphere.
T. A. Moorman:  I have no time for hobbies! Lol. Used to play the violin, and going to the movies used to truly be my thing, other than that, reading.
J. V. Stanley:  You play the violin!? I’ve always wanted to learn how but it looks really hard. Speaking of movies, do you think Hollywood has done a good job in recent years making books into movies?

T. A. Moorman: up, I was first chair in high school.

I think they need to stop. Seriously. It’s like they have no writers in Hollywood anymore.


J. V. Stanley: One last question before we close, What advice would you give aspiring
authors. Any tips you can share?
T. A. Moorman: Write what you’d like to read. If u don’t like it and don’t find it interesting…
J. V. Stanley: Thank you soooooo much for taking the time to chat with me, especially considering your schedule today! I really enjoyed talking to you and getting to know you and your work. I’m really looking forward to reading “Chocolate Vanilla Swirl” Happy Release Day!!  

T. A. Moorman: Underlayes is a world created by T. A. Moorman (me) that includes pretty much every paranormal or supernatural creature you can think of, and NONE of them sparkle. What started out as a few books about three magical sisters has begun to take on a world of its own. Though the first three books in the series are about the sisters and the royal families, the books following will involve much more than JUST them. Each book is written somewhat as a standalone, with openings for future books. As with all series, you get the most from starting from the beginning. But, with these, you can follow along without having done so.

These paranormal books are definitely not all about romance. It’s in there, but it’s not what the entire book is about. While you may not run screaming in terror, these books were very much not made for the faint of heart. Be prepared for violence, blood, a bit of torture, and more than a few questionable circumstances. These beings are not human, and don’t bother trying to pretend to be. Unless absolutely necessary, and even then they tend to grow short. None of the vampires are vegetarians, most of the werewolves are assholes, and the witches, well, that depends on which one you entangle with. And none of the females can be described as damsels in distress. Far from it.



So come on in and step into the dark mind of my imagination, where you never really know which twists and turns will happen until the end. Even I don’t.

Book 1: Witch Wars

Book 1.5 Hybrids (Permafree)

Book 2: The Succubus, The Demon, and The Witch…/38899839-the-succubus-the…

Book 3: In My Dreams (part of the Bleeding Hearts Anthology

“I was just about to shut my eyes and pretend the night hadn’t even happened when I heard the bathroom door creak open. The light from the bathroom was still on and seemed to surround Genie like a spotlight as she stood there in the doorway. I wanted to walk over and grab her into my arms but knew that’d be an unwelcome move. Instead I just stared like a lovesick puppy. She wasn’t wearing anything sexy like lingerie, I didn’t have that type of luck. Somehow what she did have on seemed even more sexy.
Matter of fact the more I looked at the oversized sweatshirt with the sleeves cut off, the more familiar it looked, “Uh, where’d you get that?”
Genie spoke with her head bent down almost all the way to her chest, her words were so muffled I could barely make them out.
“You mind actually lifting your head and repeating that?”
“I said,” she responded as she held her head a bit higher and repeated herself, “I stole it from you about a week after we met. I can’t sleep at night without it.”
That admission not only pulled at my heartstrings, but it also had my ballsack tighten up so bad I was pretty sure they were some hint of blue.
I don’t even know how long we stood there just staring at each other, it was almost as if both of us were afraid to even blink. I knew for sure that I was. My tongue felt like it was in literal knots as I watched Genie shift from one cute little bare foot to the other.
Genie was the first to break eye contact as she walked from the bathroom to go hop onto the bed. Once her body was no longer on display my ability to process thoughts rationally came back online. “Genie, if that’s really the case, why do you keep finding new ways and excuses for us to not be together?”
#SneakPeek #ComingSoon #ChocolateVanillaSwirl #PreOrderSale#Only99Cents #Lucas #Genie #Supernatural#SupernaturalRomance #NewBookBoyfriend #ForgetMeKnot#Fantasy #MustRead #AmReading #Excerpt
Chocolate VanillaSwirl by T. A. Moorman
Underlayes Book 4
Published July 14, 2019 by GothicMoms Studios
Paranormal Fantasy Romance
Synopsis – 
Bound and determined to spread his wings and live his life to its fullest, nowhere near his parents, Lucas decides to take a trip to the human realm. Especially since he has a mate that refuses to settle down with him, be with him physically in any way, or even admit to it out loud that they belong together. So, he figures the best thing for them to do is to stay as far away from each other as possible. Even if that means leaving Underlayes, and everyone else he loves behind. But when he gets his first taste of life, and ice cream, he may not be in such a big hurry to get back home.
What Lucas doesn’t realize is that his parents kept him secluded from the world for a reason. Anya, his mother, is an elemental witch/vampire. Kierra, his father, half angel, half gender shifting demon. Which makes him…
When the angels from Heaven and the hounds of Hell sense his presence Lucas may just get a lot more than he bargained for. Especially with him being part vampire and witch, heaven and hell aren’t the only ones that could take claim. The question is will the other dieties step in to help, or agree that he shouldn’t even exist?
***This can be read as a standalone. But may be a lot more fun when read in order.***
***Including a bonus Underlayes Short Story***

the Author:
T. A. resides in Detroit,
Michigan with her five children, and the rest of her dysfunctional family,
where she was born and raised. She started her writing career in the midst of a
very hard time in her life and is now a best-selling author. Her debut and
award-winning novel, Witch Wars, and the world of Underlayes, was born from a
mind that desperately needed an escape, so she created one.
The novel was inspired by
her love of all things paranormal and how she wanted it seen. “We live in a
diverse world, shouldn’t all of the characters in books, even paranormal also
be diverse,” she says. “I saw so few paranormal books with a diverse cast until
I read L. A. Banks. You know, with more than one or two characters thrown in
for good measure. Mine have it all, too.”


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Interview with Brandy McIntosh/Trinity McGregor, Author of “Red Velvet”


Hello everyone, I’ve decided to start interviewing different authors and have had a blast doing so. Brandy McIntosh (aka Trinity McGregor) is one of the authors in The Ice Cream Shop Series with her newest release in the series, “Red Velvet”. Read on and discover your new favorite author.

Brandy: I’m so happy to be here!! Ask me anything!!🤩

J. V. Stanley: Oh!! I”m so happy you’re here. This is going to be fun! So let’s start with you as an author, tell me a little about yourself.

Brandy: My author name is Trinity McGregor. I have a website I’ve published twice, but the first one was a limited-time run anthology, and I still need to republish it as a stand-alone novella. Red Velvet released today, and it’s a full novel, the start to a series.

J. V. Stanley: What’s it about? What genres do you write? Yo, Tiffany Sokolowski, you should totally join us 😀

Tiffany Carby: I’m here! Trying to decide how to harass Brandy McIntosh LOL

J. V. Stanley: Let the games begin!

Brandy: I love paranormal. This one has vampires and some cameo fey. The vampires have decided to save mankind from demons, but they have to make friends first. So Alek opens the first vampire-human bar and throws in an ice-cream infused cocktail menu to draw in the food-eaters. Then he hires the human girl he’s been stalking as his barista!! 😮

Megan Damrow: Why did you pick Red Velvet as your ice cream flavor?

Brandy: It sounded good for the name of my bar!!

Tiffany Carby: What’s your favorite alcohol beverage?

Brandy: Bloody Mary. And that’s the truth, not just because I like vamps!! 🤣

J. V. Stanley: I want this book!

Megan Damrow: What’s next?

Brandy: Dominic and Nova’s book. You’ll meet them in Red Velvet!

J. V. Stanley: What would you say was your most interesting writing quirk?

Brandy: I haaaave to have music and my fountain pen. I’ve made my writing playlist public and collaborative for my writer friends!…/6CIMCd8rVmkHsdf02bvQTQ…

J. V. Stanley: That is awesome! I need new writing tunes myself! What types of music do you listen to? Having a collaborative collection of writing tunes is a pretty cool idea. I listen mostly to classical or anything interesting I find online, but I haven’t found anything in a while so I am definitely going to check out your list.

Brandy: Everything. 80s soft rock, hair band ballads, indie, and adult alternative like Korn, Shinedown and Breaking Benjamin. If it has emotion, I’m all over it!! And I love Blue October, too!!

J. V. Stanley: What fascinates you about the paranormal genre? I write in that genre as well and love ghosts and goblins, monsters and all that.

Brandy: I’ve always read it, even back in the 80s, when it was rare. Vampires (and weres) are full of angst and drama and needs. It’s like taking our own emotions and heightening them. And let’s face it, super strength and super speed in the bedroom is fun to write!! 🤣

J. V. Stanley: Oh I can imagine! Sounds like your books are pretty steamy!

Brandy: That they are!! 🔥

J. V. Stanley: So this is your second book? Tell me what got you into writing and what your inspirations were.

Brandy: My mom let me read Sweet, Savage Love by Rosemary Rogers when I was 8. I devoured it. I loved Scottish romance so much I married myself a Scot. I’ve read romance every day of my life. I’ve written my whole life, but never thought I’d publish traditionally. When the indie author market opened doors, I pulled out my boxes of manuscripts. You’ll be seeing a lot more from me, soon!!

J. V. Stanley: GOOD! I can’t wait to read your books! What piqued your interest when it came to joining The Ice Cream Shop Series?

Brandy: We’d (Tiffany Carby and I) recently published together in the anthology, and she reached out. I was already working on Alek and Paige’s story, and it fit so well, I jumped on board. Tiffany also did my covers and graphics!! 😍

J. V. Stanley: Tiffany Carby is amazing beyond words. I just love her!! Can you show us some of your graphics?


red velvet

J. V. Stanley: THAT is a beautiful cover! Tiffany does such amazing work.

Tiffany:  Love you girls!

Brandy: I agree!! #fierygraphicsrules

J. V. Stanley: OH! I should probably ask, what is your favorite ice cream flavor? Is it Red Velvet?

Brandy: Blue Bell Pralines and cream!! (Preferably before a stranger licks it, but even then…)

J. V. Stanley: LOL I know what you mean. If I could get away with it, I’d probably lick the box dark chocolate comes in roflmao

Megan Damrow: Who’s your favorite paranormal character other than your own?

Brandy: I have to pick ONE??? NO WAY. Laurell k Hamilton’s Anita Blake, or Acheron from the Dark Hunters or Quinn and Blay from the black dagger brotherhood … To name a few.

J. V. Stanley: OH! What are Alek and Paige like? What type of characters are they?

Brandy: Paige is recovering from an abusive relationship. She’s scared of men. Alek is a white knight, but that’s not how he wins her over. He helps her find her own strength. And you’ll see more of them in the coming books.

J. V. Stanley: Oh one last question, I know we’re going overtime, but I was wondering, are you a part of any of the other Shop Series books?

Brandy: I’m pretty sure a couple of Tiffany Carby‘s characters show up at Red Velvet… But I didn’t get any added to my book… 😌 Oh…. I misunderstood. I’m not publishing in the other shop series as of right now, because I’m concentrating on my series, but I might fill in if someone dropped out or I was needed. 😃

J. V. Stanley: Brandy McIntosh you have been amazing. Thank you so much for taking the time to chat with me about your work. I hope to be able to do this again with you in the future.  Especially for your next book! You certainly made a fan out of me. Take care and have a good night.

Brandy: Thank you so much for having me here, Julie Stanley!! Congrats on your own ice cream shop series book!!…/dp/B07S8JPV55/ref=mp_s_a_1_1…

J. V. Stanley: Thank you! I swear I could probably keep on talking your ear off for hours! Happy writing.



Follow Trinity McGregor and order your copy of “Red Velvet” today!

[Red Velvet on Goodreads](…): […](…)

[Order Red Velvet Here](…/dp/B07S9P7G8C/ref=sr_1_1…): […/dp/B07S9P7G8C/ref=sr_1_1…](…/dp/B07S9P7G8C/ref=sr_1_1…)











Fame, Fortune, and Glory: Convoluted Intents of Writing

So you imagined yourself as the future Stephen King. Isn’t it funny how that name is synonymous with fame? Whenever I hear of anyone who is an aspiring author, writer, poet, etc talk…they always reference Stephen King. Not Dean Koontz, not Heinlein, V. C. Andrews, Terry Pratchett, Orson Scott Card, Anne Rice, Arthur Golden, Norah Roberts, freaking Shakespeare, nope. It’s always Stephen King.

Have you seen how many authors are out there? I took a few minutes to peruse my likes on my Facebook page, I’ve watched the threads on various writing groups. Isn’t it really intimidating how so many people have reached out and harnessed the English language? Doesn’t seem like there’s much of the capital pot to go around these days when everyone is trying to get their slice.

Remember the days of traditional publishing? When we’d send out our query letters, and wait months for a response? Remember signing up for workshops, reading every book on writing and the craft that we could get our hands on? Remember that?

Oh my goodness, how much time and energy I put into practicing the fine art of writing and cultivating beautifully intrinsic sentences and clever turns of phrase. Oh, my content is so original, it sings to the rafters where the angels play their harps and shine down that beacon of hope that envelops every fiber of my being and oh how majestic it will all be when suddenly I’ll be discovered and millions of wads of hundred dollar bills will rain down upon me like Charlie Sheen’s Ice Water Challenge video. But I’m getting carried away here (as was the previous run-on sentence.) …pardon the sarcasm…

When you stop and think about how many writers are out there trying to make a living doing what they love; building reputations on sites such as Linkedin, Facebook, Twitter, Pinterest, and the hoard of writer’s groups, can feel so daunting and irrevocably heartbreaking. Let me count the ways I’ve daydreamed of my success. I dreamed about it since I was a wee little authorling plucking away at a yarn I’d thread through my typewriter into the wee hours of the night, much like how I operate now that I’m approaching the first stages of my fossilization. Okay, so I’m not that old, but sometimes I feel older than I am. I think it’s when reality hit me like a cast iron pan to the back of my head. Even now, I can hear that dulcet tone of the crack and the reverb of the metal. My ideals and expectations were so bloody convoluted, I began second guessing myself and became so unbelievably butthurt over my rejection letters, that I felt that I had received ‘Life’s Seriously Bad Hand.’

Oh puh-lease! Success is going to simply fall into my lap! The angels said so!  You know, the ones with the harps singing their chorus of my awesome! This cannot be so! It mustn’t! I was destined for fame, fortune, and glory! How could these literary agents and publishers squelch my dreams like that!?


Seriously, that’s not how it works.

As writers, we all start off somewhere, right? Rock bottom. The novice. Think of it in terms of video games. If you’re just learning the ropes and haven’t gone through the educational tutorial or the practice, advancing into the Literary God mode right off the bat will end up causing you to fall right on your tail.

There are some who expect, and they’re serious about it, too-that an agent will respond with a glorious letter of acceptance, showering their work with praise even though the author hadn’t studied up on the market or even bothered to peruse their websites. There are writers out there who will think that it will only take a handful of rejection letters before they start raking in millions upon millions of dollars. They imagine themselves being extras in the cinematic adaptation. They imagine interviews on Conan, Larry King, Ellen, and reputable literary journals. Huffpost will take special interest in them. So will BuzzFeed and Upworthy. They believe that they will travel the world and people on the street will stop just to take a picture with them and ask for an autograph. If the author is a male, a fresh set of breasts will be exposed to him once a day so he can autograph them. They think they will write by candlelight and the first draft is absolutely flawless; they’re so good they don’t need an editor. The epic masterpiece they create will be coveted by millions to where they can no longer sustain the humble demeanor and have to *gulp* sell out and make profit for *gulp* products based on their book.

Oh, and forget about education and reading to improve writing skills. Who has time for that when that time could be spent writing a literary masterpiece-a timeless contribution to the literary world and humanity as a whole!? You can hold a pen in your hand and write your way out of life’s biggest issues. Your writing inspires and will be adored and studied in great depth in major universities across the country…no….the world!

Don’t listen to me, though.  Listen to Peter Dinklage.  Although he’s an actor, he’s also a creative mind who dreamed big and worked his tail off.  If we can dream it, we can be it, but don’t become so convoluted in your ideas that you forget to work.

Yes, I realize I’m laying the on sarcasm thicker than the entirety of the online yellow pages in print form. I’m a horrible person for doing that. Please excuse.

But no, I’m not sorry because it’s true.

Yes, you heard me. It’s true! When I first started out, I was convinced that this was my reality. Okay not to the degree of sarcasm I laid out, but pretty damned close. That was almost twenty years ago, though. I was still a high school kid.

Suddenly reality strikes while I’m earning my BFA. It was in my creative writing class. Now mind you, I’ve taken about five creative writing courses throughout my years in college. Yep five. Two more if you include the ones I did back in high school. I loved the classes so much, I kept on repeating them because I love to write…that much. What I loved most about the last one I took before I graduated college was that it challenged me to go beyond my standard genres. I had to bend and origami my way into writing assignments I wasn’t accustomed to. It was challenging and quite humbling. As a writer, I’m always learning and always growing. I’m going to go ahead and quote myself here from a poem I wrote for, which was the most emailed article on the site for two consecutive years thus far and still remains one of the most popular. It’s also included in my forthcoming collection of poetry, ‘Chasing The Red’, which is due out….well…soon.

“After a while, you begin to laugh at the naiveté of youth; for those who are young believe that they know everything, but those older believe that there is still so much more to learn. Those who are young tend to look for what is easy, at least in some ways. Those older know that nothing worth having ever comes easy, and if it does come easy, it is not worth having.”

Remember that Stephen King guy that we all know and love? Yep, the one I mentioned earlier. I’m sure a lot of you remember how he got his first big break with Carrie, right? Plucking away at an old typewriter in his laundry room if I’m not mistaken. No one had even heard of him back then and then WHAM, he took a chance and sent it out. I think the biggest discouragement that a lot of authors have is that they won’t take the risk and submit. Or if they do submit, they give up far too easily.  Keep writing, keep submitting, even if you decide to go indie.  There are so many other publishing opportunities out there for poetry, short stories, articles and the like that a single novel isn’t (and shouldn’t) be the end-all, be-all in your writing career.  Take the opportunity to submit to publications such as Oddball Press, Miracle E-zine, Nostrovia Poetry, and Vending Machine Press.  There are so many others as well, you just need to get up and find them.

With the Amazon-Hatchette nonsense, I don’t blame anyone for opting to go indie. I’m a huge supporter of independent publishing and often find myself backing up indies far more than the standard ‘signed’ authors who get all the fame and glory. These authors seem, from a fledgeling author’s perspective, to have everything thrown into their laps.  Meanwhile, the rest of us sit here and slave away at our computers, bleeding words like we are going toe-to-toe with Vlad The Impaler

Okay, Let’s face it, kiddos-writing is hard work and I mean hard work. I try to warn people that it takes a lot more than plucking away 50.000 words in November to create a finished product. There are drafts. More drafts. Oh look, yet another draft! There are hours upon hours of note taking to make sure that the characters are consistent. There is murdering your precious little prose children that you gave birth to and fell in love with, but give absolutely no substance to the story. There’s the overuse of description here and the holes within the story that need to be filled there.  There’s the description of what people look like that don’t involve cliches (or mirrors, for that matter).  There’s that funny remark you heard the other day and decided upon a whim to include it in your story even though it sticks out like a sore thumb. Then there are the run-on sentences that go on and on and on and on and on and on and on and on and begin to not just run, but cartwheel, skip, jump, frolic, and do somersaults across the page with your clever and highly witty literary acrobatics. (Heh, see? I did it again! Take a breath and now read that sentence out loud three times fast 😉 ) So you self-edit and you get that nonsense out of the way. Yes, self-editing sucks. It’s horrible, you hate it, and you just don’t wanna, but you do and you get it all cleaned up. Now the question is, do you either A. Hire a professional editor to look over your work and dissect it so as to avoid trauma from the vultures of literature tearing it apart, or B. Have your best friend take a gander at it because he/she owes you a favor and they seem….smart. Or worse, C. You don’t think you need an editor at all!

I can read between the lines of your prose, dear and your words are weeping. They are sad that you butchered the English language like a Texas massacre. Trust me, you think editors are bad when it comes to the massacre of language, read someone’s book that’s published as a first draft and then you come and talk to me.  Especially if that first draft has a listed price of $9.99 with a string of vicious (yet sadly accurate) negative reviews.

“But Julie, I have beta readers.”

Let me just stop you right there.  Again, beta readers are the readers who happen to catch last minute mistakes, not point out the ones you should have had an editor fix for you.  They are the last eyes that see the book before its published and an opportunity to have a string of reviews up and out.

“But Julie, I can’t afford an editor!”

If you can afford a few hundred for a cover, you can afford an editor.  Most good editors will work with you on pricing and setting up an affordable payment plan.

“Eh, I’ll just do it myself.  I can always hit up Grammarly.”

Did I mention that editors need editors, right?  Even I need help with my own writing because I can’t see my own mistakes, like everyone else.  A fresh set of eyes is fantastic.  A professional set of eyes is your best option.  Now, don’t get me wrong, Grammarly is bloody fantastic.  Its an excellent program and a valuable resource.  However, a machine cannot…I repeat cannot replicate the abilities of human editors.  The day that a machine can improve the quality of writing, tone, voice, and intrinsic emotional detail is the day that we’re all going to be able to tell our stories telepathically.  This would also be the day that Amazon is bought out by Hatchette (heaven forbid).  Remember, your reviews are an extremely important selling point for your book.

This of course leads me to the fact that well, as a writer, you need thick skin. I’m talking so thick you could have a pitbull latch onto your neck and walk pleasantly around with it dangling from your jugular.  Thick skin. You’re going to run into people that will seem highly apathetic to your work. They’ll seem disinterested or wanting a freebie. They’ll ask what your book is about and then nod their head and casually walk away, patting your head thinking ‘Awww, you’re writing a book.  Isn’t that precious?’  There’s also the possibility of running into people who simply don’t care about tact and blatantly shred your hard work.  Every author gets that, even the traditionally published ones.

You’ll want to hit the condescending jerks, but don’t. Instead smile because you can kill them off in your book. Yes, that’s right ladies and gentlemen of the world:  Authors get a shiny complementary get-out-of-jail-free-card for murder.  *gasp*  (figuratively speaking, of course.  I do not condone the murder of actual people.  Mentally conjured people are fair game.)  Well, at least if you don’t connect the person to the character, you should be golden, but I digress.

Okay, self-editing, editing….formatting. If you’re self-publishing, formatting is going to be a chore. I have spouted not a string of expletives, but a skein of expletives while formatting for Kindle for the first time. It got better as I’ve had more experience, but yeah. Joy. Try doing it yourself and it becomes a clusterfied mess. Most people I know pay to have it done.  This is why I charge for formatting.  From there, its cover design. Unless you’re skilled in photoshop, I suggest hiring someone else to do this and you’re going to need someone who knows what they’re doing. You can’t skimp on the cover; it’s one of the major selling points of your book.  Did I mention it’s expensive?  If you’re going to spend a few hundred or even a few thousand dollars on a cover, don’t you think you should put as much into writing your book?

Does this all happen overnight? Sure, it can, but only if you’re willing to skimp out on quality. Are you writing because you want to get rich quick, or are you writing because you have a love of the craft of writing? Do you love literature? How much? Enough to pour your soul into it, swallow your pride, and get down and actually work?

A friend of mine recently had her sci/fi book published, Christina Rozelle’s The Treemakers (which is a fantastic read-still haven’t finished the book because I’ve been working, but thus far LOVING IT!) She spent two years writing, editing, and modifying her little gem. Two years!

Let that sink in a bit…

That’s not even the longest time spent on a novel. Take my debut novel, for instance. Faces In Still Waters was written between 2006 and 2008 between diaper changes and being the proverbial dairy farm to my daughter when she was first born, to chasing her around with a bottle once she learned how fun it was to run away from Mommy. I shoved it away every so often where it would collect dust on my desktop.  I’d then go back with clear eyes to revise it.  I went through five drafts of that novel.  I didn’t have it officially completed and published until November 2013. Writing and being a writer takes patience and endurance. You will bend your mind and exercise your vocabulary in ways you never though you would or could…that’s if you’re doing it right and for the right reasons.

Anyone can slap together a few words and throw it up on Amazon and call oneself a ‘published author’ and expect riches to rain down from the heavens. Those aren’t authors, those are just writers. They are hobbyists who aren’t serious about it and are, unfortunately, cheating the rest of us who pour hours upon hours of work into what we do. The real authors do it because they are passionate about storytelling. They do it to entertain the masses. They do it because they have to, not because they want to. It’s in their souls and part of what makes them who they are. They live and breathe words and see the world differently. They don’t look to get rich, just to write and hopefully build themselves up to their own status-not someone else like Stephen King.  He earned his status on his own path-we need to earn ours by walking our own.

It’s not until we are in the midst of a first project when we realize how much work is required. You can either do a half-assed job, slap it together, call it good, and face the consequences or you can do it right the first time. There’s no rush. If you rush, you’ll miss out on the growth of your characters; your children who won’t stay young forever. They grow and blossom into the people they were meant to become, just like you, but you have to work hard to help them achieve their full potential.  In doing so, you will also be one step further in reaching your own.  Just don’t forget how much you’ve struggled once you’ve succeeded.  The struggle is what gives others hope that they can succeed as well.