Fill Up at Book Lovers’ Buffet Through May 3

bouquet-sale-FacebookHeaderIntroducing the Book Lovers’ Buffet. Load up, you won’t gain a pound!

The Buffet;s “Bouquet of Books” sale will be open May 1-3. More than 175 ebooks, all reduced in price to just 99 cents. Save in categories such as Young Adult, Contemporary, Paranormal, Suspense, Erotic Romance and more!

PLUS, visit the website to win gift cards to your choice of online retailers. $400 in gift cards up for grabs!

Titles from popular authors such as: 

  • Gemma Halliday
  • Angie Fox
  • Jenna Bennett
  • Amanda Brice
  • bouquet-sale-buttonJennette Marie Powell
  • Clover Autrey
  • Carly Carson
  • E. Ayers
  • Genevieve Jourdin
  • CJ Lyons
  • Renee Pace
  • Sophia Knightley
  • Tori Scott
  • Meredith Bond
  • Emily Ryan-Davis
  • Anthea Lawson
  • Diana Layne
  • Lindsey Brookes
  • Gina Robinson
  • McKenna Chase

And many, many more!

The book sale is hosted by Indie Romance Ink.

Check out this video about the sale:


My home town: London

One of the things I love to do is travel to different places, meet different kinds of people and learn about different regions and cultures. I’ve always been a lover of history and always love when I have the opportunity to talk to someone who has stories that have helped shape the history of the world. I hope you like this glimpse of one of the places I’ve always dreamed of visiting, London, which happens to be the hometown of Julia Hughes, who was gracious enough to share her experiences living in “The most beautiful city in the world.”

Whenever folk ask me where I’m from, I always answer “The most beautiful city in the world.” Those who guess correctly first time go on my “Discerning People with First Class Taste” list!

peter_panSteeped in history, there are many layers to London: traces of the Luftwaffe’s Blitz are still visible, dig a little deeper and there is evidence of the last person before Hitler who attempted to raze London to the ground: wild Queen Boudica and her chariot riding army of Celts. In between these two very different eras, evidence of the Great Fire of London includes a monument on the site where it started. A Viking King once pulled down London Bridge, and a few scant centuries later, the grandson of a Norman tanner put the fear of God into the English by constructing The Tower of London, (c. 1066), which still looms over the Thames, and ol’ William the Conqueror also commissioned the “Doomsday Book.”

Scars heal, often the new skin emerges more beautiful than before, and enhance the magnificence of the London skyline: St Paul’s Cathedral designed by Sir Christopher Wren being merely one example.

ARIT_ebookThe architectural splendours are complemented by the green spaces of London, and the Royal Parks were our childhood playgrounds. My favourite of all, Kensington Gardens, is also where Peter Pan played, and JM Barrie told his spell binding tales of Never-Never Land, and the boy who refused to grow up. Charles Dickens is another author who left his stamp on London, and there’s even a set of steps leading from the pavement to the river Thames named ‘Nancy’s Steps’ after a character in “Oliver Twist.” Shakespeare’s plays were first shown in London of course, and although the Globe Theatre has been rebuilt to closely resemble the original 16th Century playhouse, take my word for it, Regent’s Park Open Air Theatre on a balmy summer’s evening is the place to watch “A Mid-summer’s Night Dream.” 

I haven’t begun to tell you yet about the markets of London; ancient though some of them are, they’re all vibrant and bursting with local colour: though fashion may change in a blink of an eye, walk through Camden Market to find the latest alternative and vintage clothing – design a style all of your own and you’ll never be off trend; Portobello Road is still home to many antique dealers, while Petticoat Lane remains a popular Sunday market with over a thousand stalls spread over two streets.

Much as I want to explore the pubs, clubs, eateries and music venues with you guys – like every other lover I’ve banged on a little too long about my infatuation. If I don’t outstay my welcome this time, maybe Jason will invite me back – or maybe this is the start of a whole new adventure on Jason’s brilliant site – we can all enthuse about our little corner of the world, and why we love our home towns!

me&tink3 (2)Julia Hughes is the London born author of “A Raucous Time”, “A Ripple in Time” and “An Explosive Time” featuring the Celtic Cousins; in addition to a stand alone romantic novel set in Cornwall: “The Bridle Path” Her latest title “The Griffin Cryer” has received over seventy readers’ reviews in the US and UK.  

A Ripple in Time” a romantic time travel adventure will be free to download from Sunday 14th April – 18th April from

Author’s Roundtable: Jennifer Brink

How did your family and friends feel when they heard you were writing?

I got very little response when I first started writing. My husband and kids were jealous of the time I spent writing. My older sister said, “You can’t even be a stay-at-home mom, right?” I’ve been known to be a little quirky so most of those who know me assumed that I would get bored before ever finishing the book. When they found out that I had finished it, there was some hesitancy to embrace the idea. I was not a published author and they just didn’t expect it to be any good. I had to beg people to read it.

How long have you been writing?

I started writing just short of two years ago. 

Has writing always been something you wanted to do?

No. We had just moved to Washington State, and I wasn’t licensed to work there as a counselor. I went on a few job interviews, but the jobs I was interested in didn’t want to hire me once they found out my husband was in the military. For the first time in my life, I had nothing to do but take care of little kids, the dog and clean the house. 

What books or stories have you written? Published?

My debut novel, Black Roses, has a planned publication date of May 1, 2013. The sequel, Cerulean Seas, is almost finished and will be published by Aug. 1, 2013. I am also working on the third book in the series, Silver Bells, with a planned publication date of Nov. 1, 2013. In addition to The Jessica Hart Series, I am working on a YA/paranormal book with the help of my teen, Nail Polish, Push Up Bras & Pirate Ships, which will be published in the spring of 2014.

Can you tell us a little about your books? What are they about?

Black Roses is a comedic mystery about a woman who seems to have the perfect life until her fiancé goes missing and she acquires a deadly stalker. She starts to question the life she’s chosen when she learns that those around her aren’t who she’s always thought they were. Those who’ve read it have compared it to Janet Evanovich’s Stephanie Plum series. 

How did you get inspiration for the characters/books?

I’ve loved mysteries since I was a little girl. I can remember taking my mother’s Agatha Christie and other mystery novels she brought home from the library because they wouldn’t let me check out of the Adult section. Add to that a professional life working within the mental health world, too much late night drama TV, and some time on my hands.  Honestly, the stories just come to me. The characters, they are a mixture of different people that I’ve known and my overactive imagination made real by my understanding of human nature, sociology and psychology.

Are the books based on personal experiences?

No, but I do base them on places that I know and real-life possibles.

Is there any advice you have been given that you could give to a young up-and-coming writer?

Write the book you want to read, something you won’t be embarrassed to have your grandmother or your children read. Take the time to do it well.

Can you talk a little about the benefits of getting your work professionally edited?

Editing is a big deal. First, grammar, language, spelling, etc. is more difficult than you think, even if you’re good at it. Second, you’re going to miss things in your own work. I can’t say how many books that I’ve stopped reading or not recommended because of annoying editing errors.

What are some of the hardest things you’ve had to overcome as a writer, in order to be published? 

Pride. It’s difficult to have people tell you that what you think is good, isn’t good enough. It’s even harder to take that criticism, even when it’s not constructive, and make it work for you. 

How did you find time to write your books?

That’s the hardest part. My husband is active-duty Army, so he’s gone a lot. And, we have a teenager, two preschoolers and a puppy at home. Something always needs doing. I make time to write, and when I can’t, I take the precious minutes when everyone else is busy doing something else. 

IMG_2500 2 (2)Do you think writing has any benefits, and if so what would they be?

I think the benefit is different for everyone. It keeps me sane and gives me a place in life other than somebody’s wife or mother.
Several of my guests have often said writing is therapeutic and relaxes them. Can you talk a little about how writing relaxes you? Any specific examples you can share?

Yes, it can be relaxing, when you’re not stressing about an ending or trying to word a paragraph just so. When I’m “in the zone,” it’s like reading a “choose your own adventure” for big people. Remember those? I loved those! You trade your life and reality for a glimpse of something else for a while. Then, you can come back to the real world refreshed and ready to be a part of it. 

Can you also talk a little about how writing your book was therapeutic? What do you mean?

Those who know me will tell you that overall I’m a nice, happy, cheerful person. Writing is where I let out the “dark side,” those areas of the mind that know about the world that I choose not to be a part of. I spent ten years as a counselor working with everyone from the chronic/severely mentally ill to the abused, abusers, addicts, adults, men, women and children. I’ve been privy to happenings that no one should ever know about, let alone experience. This gives me a compartment to put it in.

Has writing made you a better person?

Yes, it balances me.

Do you like to read? If so, what are your favorite genres and why?

I love to read and at this stage in my life I read everything, when I have the time. I still love a good mystery, but they’re harder to find than I’d like to admit. I love comedy like Job, A Comedy of Errors, not so much into romances. I’m just not into the happily-ever-after ending, never have been. Even as a kid I wondered if Cinderella was really happily-ever-after or if the castle got a little claustrophobic. I like a well-written thriller like The Lincoln Lawyer, but they tend to get caught up in boring details. I’m a fan of Stephen King, but his books give me nightmares, still can’t look at clowns the same after reading It. I like chic-lit because it’s fun and a relaxing read. I love the classics like Bram Stokers Dracula. Young adult (YA), like Gallagher Girls is fun and so much better written than when I was in high school. I also enjoy some middle grades (MG) and children’s and the occasional nonfiction book. I think my favorite book is still Where the Wild Things Are. I can’t tell you how many times I’ve read that book.

Can you talk about how important reviews are to writers?

Reviews are a big deal. Other people read or don’t read your book based on them. But, even popular books like 50 Shades of Gray get bad reviews. That woman has made millions off a book that reviewed poorly. I think the most important and hardest thing is to get someone to review your book, positive or negative.

Was there ever a point in your life where you felt like giving up because nobody understood you? How did you overcome this time in your life?

No. Sometimes, I barely understand me. It doesn’t bother me. I am predispositioned to proving others wrong. I’m more likely to try harder just so that, years later, I can say, “See, I did it and better than most people.” Everything I’ve ever achieved was in opposition to someone telling me that I couldn’t. Yeah, I know it’s annoying but that’s me.

Could you talk a little more about your time as a counselor and dealing with different sorts of people. How did your time working with them change you or your perceptions of others?
That is a loaded question and so difficult to put into words. I was young and not sure who I was when I followed that path, so it molded me. 
I tell people there’s a reason I am the way I am. Working with the people that I’ve worked with has given me a unique perspective. I have learned not to judge others by my own standards. That each of us has difficulties and strengths, sometimes unknown. Even the most passive can be violent and even the most violent can be passive. We all have a breaking point, some of us are mentally stronger than others. We all have good days and bad days, play on the good days. We all have something good about us. Some of us just hide it better than others. We all have choices who and what to allow into our lives, regardless of anything else. And, not to expect more of others than they are willing or able to expect of themselves. 
Although simple, those are some of the most difficult concepts for us as people to understand. Knowing my clients has made me an accepting and nonjudgemental person.  I have been privy to other’s deepest, darkest selves and secrets. They have given me an understanding of why they do the things they do, the way that they do them. I am also adept at recognizing mental illness and dependency issues. Most times, I keep my thoughts to myself. I tell people that I try to only use my powers for good. When I am goaded into discussing those delicate internal issues, I tell people “You asked for this.” I was good at what I did. I know for a fact that there are large numbers of people out there that I was able to help. But, taking other’s secrets into your mind takes its toll on you. It changes you, forever. Now, my burden is finding a way to keep the demons at bay while simultaneously keeping that faith of confidentiality that was promised.

Check out Jenn’s blog, buy her books on Goodreads, find out what she’s interested in on Pinterest, become a friend or a fan on Facebook, follow her on Twitter and connect with her on Google Plus. And as long as your still here, check out this amazing review Jenn wrote about my blog. Don’t forget to comment on this post, “Like” this blog, tweet about it, add it to a sticky note on Facebook or pin it to your bulletin board on Pinterest.

Enslaved with Shoshanna

What books or stories have you written? Published?

I recently sold my 33rd book! I do a mix of self-publishing and traditional publishing, with Simon & Schuster/Pocket, Ellora’s Cave, Wild Rose Press, Cleis Press, Pengin/Berkley Heat and Entangled Publishing.

Twelve books are coming out in 2013 – two trilogies from Simon & Schuster’s Pocket Star imprint (the Enslaved Trilogy and the Pulse Trilogy), one from Entangled (I think it will be this year, at least, LOL), four anthologies featuring my erotic short stories from Cleis Press and one self-published book. I have a full list of my books on my website.

But I’m really excited right now because Enslaved, the first book in the Enslaved Trilogy from Simon & Schuster, is out April 8!

Can you tell us a little about your books? What are they about?

I write mainly erotic romance, and within that, mainly BDSM erotic romance. This is the blurb for Enslaved. I actually didn’t write this blurb…my publisher did. But I love it because it really encapsulates what Enslaved is about.

From a red-hot erotica writer comes an original e-book—a sensual romp across the playgrounds of the unbelievably rich and extremely sexy.

Elisabeth Anderson has seen Trevor and his friends at the infamous Manhattan BDSM club WhipperSnapper, where everyone calls them the BAD Boys, for “Billionaire Arrogant Doms.” The BAD Boys—Trevor Brooks, Marc Wilde and Roman Chase—are aptly named; they’ve made money hand over fist due to their aggressive investing at the Brooks Wilde Chase Fund. These guys are so rich they can get away with anything, or so the rumors go.

Enslaved_02Trevor gives Elisabeth full reign of his estate in Westchester, letting her do as she pleases. He has only two rules. Rule One: she must obey and submit to him while she is living in his house. Rule Two: always answer the blue cell phone. She’s happy to oblige because being with Trevor makes her want to obey, to love him the way he seems to be falling for her. But Elisabeth’s never been good at being the quiet sub; she’s feisty and gets off on the punishments more than she does by pleasing Trevor.

Elizabeth can’t submit to Trevor the way he needs her to, so his friend and business partner (and fellow BAD Boy) Roman takes her in hand. But love triangles can have sharp edges…and somebody’s bound to get hurt.

Is there any advice you have been given that you could give to a young up-and-coming writer?

Keep writing and working on your craft. Read every book you can find on writing, marketing and publishing. And if you’re trying to get an agent, don’t stop after a few rejections. It takes time to find the perfect agent for you and your book.

If you want to write erotica, I have a non-fiction book that I edited entitled How to Write Hot Sex: Tips from Multi-Published Erotic Romance Authors. If you’re interested in self-publishing, you can download a FREE pdf of my anthology Successful Self-Publishing: How We Do It (And How You Can Too) on the website I co-founded!

About Shoshanna Evers

Critically acclaimed author Shoshanna Evers has written dozens of sexy stories including Amazon erotica bestseller Overheated. Her work has been featured in Best Bondage Erotica 2012 and Best Bondage Erotica 2013, the Penguin/Berkley Heat anthology Agony/Ecstasy, and numerous erotic BDSM novellas including Chastity Belt and Punishing the Art Thief from Ellora’s Cave Publishing.

ShoshannaBenchStilettosThe non-fiction anthology Shoshanna Evers edited and contributed to, How To Write Hot Sex: Tips from Multi-Published Erotic Romance Authors, is a #1 bestseller in the Authorship, Erotica Writing Reference and Romance Writing categories.

Her BDSM erotic romance The Enslaved Trilogy releases April 8 from Simon & Schuster’s Pocket Star imprint.

Shoshanna is a New York native who now lives with her family and two big dogs in Los Angeles, California. She welcomes e-mails from readers and writers, and loves to interact on Twitter and Facebook.

Sign up for her mailing list to get an email when new books release, visit her website and check out her blog for writers!

Birthday Girl

YardSale_1aHi guys. I just wanted to give a very special hello and shoutout to Patricia Preston, who is celebrating the big 25 today. Happy birthday Patricia!!

Do yourselves a favor and check out her website, become a fan of her author page on Facebook and follow her on Twitter. You won’t regret it. Patricia is a wonderful woman, and I’m truly blessed to know her, even through the virtual world of social media.

I’d love to stay and mingle at the party, but I’m going to have lunch with a very special friend of mine tomorrow, and she’ll smack me out of the wheelchair if I’m late. She told me herself yesterday 😉

Author’s Roundtable: Anita Melillo

How long have you been writing?

I have probably been writing since I was in elementary school, which began with poems and progressed into stories as a young adult. I only have recently decided to get back into the swing of writing by having a couple of my novels published.

Has writing always been something you wanted to do?

I have always wanted to write, and do receive a lot of enjoyment out of it. I feel like it is my way of expressing myself through stories.

What books or stories have you written? Published?

I have written a novel entitled The Great Empty, which is a contemporary fiction, coming-of-age book. I have also written another one entitled Ford At Valverde, which is a Civil War-era historical novel, soon to be released.

The_Great_Empty_Cover_for_Kindle_23-001Can you tell us a little about your books? What are they about?

Although both are fictional adventure novels, they are different genres.

The Great Empty is a coming-of-age story about a rebellious youth named Donovan who leaves his home in Europe for a family trip to Australia. Once there, he quickly determines another course when he takes advantage of an opportunity to seek out adventure of his own. While slipping away from the care of his guardian and sister at the airport in Darwin, he decides to take a tour bus to a crocodile farm, which inadvertently continues to take him hundreds of miles deeper in the outback and into Kakadu National Park. His curiosity continues to get the best of him, when he sets off on foot to explore a trail to a waterfall and plunge pool. One mishap leads to another until he finds himself alone in the dark and unprepared to face the unknown that envelopes his surroundings. Once he discovers that he is lost, he continues to make his way through the bush, but not without its perils. Eventually, he befriends an Aborigine boy named Neji, who is on a journey into manhood. Together they fight against the elements and the mysteries of the dark, with beliefs and rituals as deep as the Dreamtime. All the while, a peculiar stranger continues to shadow them for unknown reasons. Pretty soon, Donovan finds himself on an unexpected course with this deliberate swagman, with his harsh ways and cruel intentions. Without warning, Donovan is forced to use all that he has learned, in order to survive this downward spiral that seems to be leading him nowhere, with his only hope of making it back to civilization again…

The Great Empty excerpt one

The lime-green stems of the water lilies kept Donovan pushing forward as the sun rose hot against his back. It wasn’t enough nourishment for the strength he needed, but it would sustain him until he could unearth something more. At least there had been enough water trapped inside the shoots to wash them down, but the aftertaste was awful. He hadn’t seen a billabong or natural spring all morning and with the rising temperatures, he hoped to find one, before something else found him.

Somewhere in the night he had lost his shoes, and the makeshift socks had gotten so laded down with mud that they had been shed too. The wound on his heel had caked dry so it didn’t bother him as much when he took full strides. If he could only find a way to avoid the prickly vines that swam across the ground and pierced his raw feet.

A few times he had tried walking in the grass, but the insects on the reeds made him itch too much. And he felt safer being able to see what moved around him. He reasoned that if something did creep up he would be in trouble, but at least he would have a running chance.

His backpack was with the spear, and he had no intentions of going back for them. His only mission now was to find a sturdy walking stick and to keep heading east, and as far from the river bank as possible. Whatever remained back there would stay behind him. If only he could convince his mind of the same.

The night had passed with his eyes wide open, but the nightmare never ended. The fear of being hunted was his constant companion. With the hours of silence that had followed the madness, he wanted to believe that the swagman was gone, but he couldn’t stop the delusions from coming. Images of the half-mangled predator seeking him out was as an apparition in his thoughts. And as much as he kept fighting against the loss of food and sleep, the enemy seemed to be winning the battle—whether dead or alive. So he held onto to the ax pick, and he journeyed deeper into the bush.

The further he went the more tropical it became with the changing landscape. Leaves stretched wider on thick rubbery plants and weeping foliage filtered out the direct light from the shade of tall paperbark trees. The ground turned soft with a mixture of sand and dark soil where long winding strands of lush green ferns swung coiled from branches. A big shell of stringy bark had fallen from the base of a trunk and he picked it up, comparing it with the vines that hung like trapeze ropes from the trees.

The air smelled fresher as he got to the base of the mountain. Among the few roots that were edible, Neji had recommended these in a pinch. Even though the shoots and nuts looked much better, he was careful to leave them alone because Neji had also warned that they were poisonous before being soaked in water or cooked. So he shoved the root into his mouth and continued scraping at the dirt with the pick in hope of turning up some yams.

After a while, he was too exhausted to dig so he laid back in the leaves, and his eyes followed the vines to the top branches. In his mind’s eye the tree became a towering skeleton and the thick strangling vines were veins, twisting to the top sockets of branches where light pierced the openings, exposing the green bulbous eyes, thousands of them.

The Great Empty excerpt two

In the most dramatic hours of dreaming, the Dreamtime came alive… A pack of snarling dingoes surrounded him while the Aborigine stood with one foot on his chest laughing with the spear pressed at his throat, all the while Mimi spirits danced in and out of consciousness… and the bubbling sound… must be too close to the creek… got to run… Viola can’t swim…

As daylight crept into the cavern, Donovan’s legs spontaneously jerked when he heard footsteps. But how could that be?… Neji didn’t wear shoes and each step was so… heavy.
He sat up and rubbed his eyes. They were puffy and stinging from the saltiness of his sandstone pillow. He twisted his aching back from side to side. The dry bones were still in the corner, the wooden bowls and cutting implements still scattered about, but where was Neji?

The footsteps grew cautiously closer and his knees began to shake. As much as he wanted to be discovered, he didn’t want it to be by a cannibal. What should he do? Call out? Hide? He considered his options. Then the opening was dark again as a man-sized shadow blocked the recesses of his slumber.

“Who’s there?” his sleepy voice wavered as he pulled the end of Neji’s spear towards him.
The shadow crouched and the light broke free above his head.

Donovan scampered backwards, but stopped when his foot hit the pile of bones. As the image moved into the darkness, what became clear was more horrid than anything he had dreamt all night.

The man leaned forward for a closer look, his sulfuric grin stretched wide as he sneered, “Well, now, if it ain’t the little pomme himself!” His eyes shifted to the pillage behind him. “I see you’ve met my friend Arnie,” he paused to speak to the skull. “Arnie, wave hello to the pomme if you can…”

Donovan pulled the spear inward, guarding the five feet distance between them.
A smaller shadow filled the opening. The tin of water was still boiling over the smoke stack as he said, “Hey mate. Get a look at what I found.” he cupped four small turtle eggs in his hands, anxious to show his friend the find.

“Wait, Neji,” Donovan called out, but it was too late. He had already entered the cavern and was surprised to see the visitor.

Buy The Great Empty on Amazon.

155010_1457679571758_146825_n-003Ford At Valverde is a historical adventure romance of sorts. It is about one man’s attempt at dodging the war while on a treasure-seeking mission for gold, that leads him on a quest that he never imagined possible. As he crosses state borders from north to south, he is hell-bent on determining his own path, until circumstances continue to fuel his situation beyond his control. With each tacking pace of the train, he will eventually venture into the bayous of Louisiana where he is beaten and left for dead, until he is discovered by someone that can alter the course of his destiny forever, but not before many battles are waged against him. Eventually, he is brought to a place where he must choose to live as a soldier of misfortune or discover the real reason why he began his journey in the first place.

From the timber mills of Wisconsin, into the deep South and the rugged West, nothing will keep Daniel Stone from going after what he wants, neither the cruelty of strangers or the vengeful warriors of the plains, while the Civil War looms around him. He would rather die trying to get where he wants to go, than to live with the regrets of a life unlived…

How did you get inspiration for the characters/books?

I have always had a strong sense for adventure, and I believe that the characters journeys stemmed from my own curiosity of places that I thought were intriguing, along with the Indian cultures in both, as well as ideals that I thought were important. I do have a fascination with different places and different cultures, and believe there is a lot to be gained from learning what all of our experiences have to offer.

Are the books based on personal experiences?

My books so far are not based on personal experiences, which is not to say that I will not write about my own experiences at some point. I simply feel that my imagination can take me to places that my everyday experiences can not. I also like to get behind different character perspectives, so that my views aren’t limited to my own experiences and inclinations. I believe it makes for more interesting writing, and it takes me away from the everyday.

Is there any advice you have been given that you could give to a young up-and-coming writer?

Advice that I could give to a young writer would be to begin at an early age, and don’t put it off until later years if you are truly passionate about your gift. I think that it is too easy to get caught up in the details of making a living or other life plans, and the writing can get pushed to the side. I often reflect on how much more I might have accomplished through writing, if I had focused on it more as an early adult and pressed on through. Take advantage of opportunities that come your way and create them when necessary. If you are passionate about it, pursue it. I truly feel the effort is worthwhile.

Do you think writing has any benefits, and if so what would they be?

There are certainly benefits for writing, even if a writer doesn’t become a well-known one. It is freeing to release something that you feel is bottled up within you, especially if you feel it is beneficial to those outside of your initial sphere of influence. I think there is a part of us that wants to connect with the rest of the world, through many different forms of gifts and talents. For the writer, writing is that expression.

Several of my guests have often said writing is therapeutic and relaxes them. Can you talk a little about how writing relaxes you? Any specific examples you can share?

What I feel is relaxing about writing is that it is a way of getting in tune with your inner self, much like meditation. It is a way of exploring the depths of imagination and is freeing to the senses. This is what makes it therapeutic.

Has writing made you a better person?

I feel that writing has made me a better person, only with respect to the ability to express myself through a talent. From my perspective, it would be the same if I was gifted in another area. I don’t think a person really feels complete, if they are not enjoying something they love, especially an art form.

Do you like to read? If so, what are your favorite genres and why?

I do like to read and wish that I actually had more time to read. I do like fictional novels, which involve adventure and different locales or periods of time. I also like psychological thrillers.

Can you talk about how important reviews are to writers?

Reviews are important to writers because they provide exposure for a writer to express his/her point of view. It may even allow the reader to feel that a writer is more accessible or approachable based on their perceptions. Writer reviews can also help pave the way for new writers to find success through their advice. It also is an avenue for talking about a book that a writer has written to potentially gain more interest from readers.

Have you ever received a bad review? If so how did it make you feel?

I haven’t received a bad review as of yet, but I can only imagine that I wouldn’t feel very good about getting one. However, if the criticism is constructive, there may be something to be gained from it, as long as it doesn’t appear to be publically damaging or harmful. Pleasant and well-received reviews are the best!

Anita 1-001I really appreciate the opportunity to be featured on your blog. I looked at it and am really impressed with your author features, and only wish that I had the list of published books that some of the others have. The Great Empty is my debut novel. I will have another, a historical fiction novel entitled Ford at Valverde, which will be released sometime in April.

About Anita Melillo

In addition to writing, which I wish I had the luxury of doing full-time, I also have a nursing career and am a volunteer firefighter in the community that I live in.

Is a Monster Lurking in the Black Woods?

If you’ve been following and reading the blog the past year or so, you’ll know I have a soft spot for authors, especially indie authors. I love reading and helping authors get their name out there, and it’s my honor and pleasure to present Laura Wright LaRoche’s new book, Black Woods Revealed. If you remember I had Laura on the blog last summer, discussing the writing process, her advice for writers, and where she gets ideas and inspiration for her stories. Please help me in welcoming Laura back to the blog. It’s great seeing you again Laura.

 black woods revealed RESIZEDExplore another tale of the Black Woods in Black Woods Revealed.


The fierce creature lurking in the woods now has a buddy in the lake. Laura has visions of disastrous events. In order to help find out if what Laura is envisioning is true, Julie and Laura team up with a reporter named Beth, who specializes in historical facts and myths. The three of them dive into the past to see what is hiding as they search for answers to the Black Woods mystery. In a race against time, they try to find closure to the killings that have occurred. Can the disasters be stopped before anyone else dies? How is the creature in the Black Woods connected to the monster in the lake? Find out, in Black Woods Revealed!


The storm blew evil across the land, causing a fishing boat to capsize, and it floated helplessly around on a large lake. Rain poured steadily, making visibility limited. A crack of thunder sounded, followed by lightning that illuminated the dark sky. The surrounding woods glistened as if a fairy had sprinkled dust. Beautiful, for one brief second, then eerily dark once again. Waves smacked into the boat, banging loudly like a bass drum. Pelting rain bounced on the lake surface, steadily raising the water level. Thunder rolled for miles before exploding above.

Husband and wife held onto the boat. Invincibility was only a myth while they struggled for their lives. They were beginning to lose their grip on the cold metal boat as their muscles weakened against the fight. Their voices were hoarse from screaming for help.

Hopelessly, they stared at one another.


Something large broke the lake’s surface.

The frightened couple held on desperately to their upturned boat, startled by a sound louder than the storm. Looking for the source was impossible, as they barely could see one another.

“I love you,” Amy moved her lips, hoping her husband understood.

“I love you too,” Victor mouthed in reply.

The boat had capsized over thirty minutes ago, and the water was cold. The occupants’ body temperatures were dropping, threatening hypothermia.

In these conditions, Victor knew they wouldn’t last much longer. He motioned for his wife to move her arms and legs.

Amy shook her head no, too scared to let go.

They would surely die if they didn’t try moving. Victor urged his wife once more to do something to create warmth inside her body.

Still clinging onto the boat, Amy remained unmoving. She was too terrified even to kick her legs.

Victor feverishly kicked his legs, working the circulation.

Suddenly, a torturous scream escaped Amy when something brushed her legs, and it felt unnatural as if it was covered in coarse, prickly hair. Then she lost her grip from the boat.
Victor reached out with one hand, while the other held tightly onto the boat. Grabbing his wife, he knew she was also losing grip on reality. He tried to yell, but only a hoarse whisper escaped when he began rising from the water. Something beneath his feet pushed him upward. With bulging eyes, mouth agape, his mind tried to understand. Still holding tightly onto his wife, she began rising with him. Looking into his wife’s blank eyes, he knew whatever sanity she had left was fading fast.

Seconds ago, the couple had been clinging to the boat to stop from going under the water. Now they clung on for dear life to prevent themselves from rising. Their bodies were exposed to the waist. Gripping Amy firmly with one hand, Victor let go of his hold on the boat’s railing. He half leaped, half flung himself at the boat’s upturned hull. As he landed on top of the slippery surface, he lost his grip on Amy. Frantically, he reached for her and missed.

The water beneath Amy’s feet thrashed and swirled, exposing a mysterious beast. Victor didn’t know what it was, except that it was alive. A strong wind blew, and Victor began sliding from the boat. His upper body dangled over the side, and he stared into the water. Only inches away and looking directly at him was a pair of monstrous eyes, glowing blue. They were large and round. Just as Victor thought the eyes would break surface, they receded swiftly back into the deep.

Screaming, Amy reached for her husband as she plunged into the lake, into which the animal had disappeared.

Victor’s hand reached out, grabbing only air. He watched his wife as she sank beneath the water. Her panic was the last thing he witnessed before she fully submerged.

“No!” Victor screamed.

Lightning struck a nearby tree, and Victor heard it crash, but his eyes stayed focused on the lake. Then he noticed a large red area spreading throughout the water. Before he had time to react, the beast broke surface. It rose swiftly and fiercely from the water as it jumped into the air like a ten-foot bass, but whatever it was, it was nothing that innocent.
The large animal smacked the water upon reentry, and a two-foot high wave rushed towamerd the vessel. Victor managed a scream before being thrown into the cold water.

Buy Black Woods Revealed on Amazon and check out this interview I had the pleasure of doing with Laura last summer.

Laura, I can’t thank you enough for sharing your new book with my readers. It sounds like an amazing, thrilling read.