Flash story: Baking The Cake


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From her kitchen window, Sandy Mark, stared out at the world.

It was a glorious afternoon after rain drenched morning. The sun was singing high in the sky and there wasn’t a cloud in sight. Outside in the park, people were laughing and enjoying themselves. There was such fun and joy in the air.

It would have been a happy time for Sandy if she wasn’t so scared. So fearful at the situation. In the distance, she stared at two young lovers passionately kissing each other and remembered what things were like before.

She poured in sugar and slapped in fat into a mixing bowl and began whisk the contents. Then she broke two eggs, not caring about about the shells. A little shell never killed anyone, she thought.  But he had.

The lovers had now risen from from the park bench and were walking hand in hand to the fountain feature.

Sandy mixed the batter with a passion. The man had not seen her. He didn’t know she had watched him kill. Held her breath in the tiny space where she’d hid until he had completed his coldblooded mission and going. A shiver ran down her spine.

She poured in flour, and continued to mix the batter. She was baking the cake for her birthday party. Though she was fearful about that too.

Then killer had murdered Tiger. And Sandy knew only time will tell if he’d strike again.

She poured the batter into greased tin, and shoved in her pre-heated oven. In an hour the cakes should be ready, then left to cool before icing.

“We meet again,” growled a deep voice.

Sandy jumped and stared at the door. A masked intruder stood at the door and fired two shot.

Screaming, her life flashed past her. And then she was down.

Interview with Misty Carlisle



My next author guest, Misty Carlisle, lives with her sexy hubby and three gorgeous felines in a beautiful part of the world. She turned to writing when she couldn’t find the kind of worlds she wanted to live in, and loves the freedom to twist plots, and tropes and play with an audience’s expectations. As well as romance, she publishes in other genres, loves belly dancing and adores Japanese pop music.

Welcome, Misty, and thanks for doing this. It’s such a glorious morning today over here, may I ask what inspires you to get out of bed each day?


I have three cats who are very punctual about when they want their bowls filled and quite creative about making sure that I get up in time to fill those bowls. Once I’m up, my muse is usually dancing in my office so I have to go see what she’s up to and before you know it, it’s bed time.

I agree, it’s said to be the most important meal of the day. Speaking of your muse, I get this question a lot and I’d like to know what other writers say about it. Is there anything you find particularly challenging in your writing as far as content?

There is something that challenges me in every story. What that challenge is changes from novel to novel and short story to short story. I’m always trying to push a boundary or two. I want my stories to show the world as it could be, even when they aren’t about this world at all.

That is a thought provoking answer, pushing boundaries in fiction, I’m sure your readers love that. So do you read much and if so who are your favourite authors?

I wish I had time to read more. I’m absolutely addicted to the written word and will read just about anything that gets in front of my eyes. I used to read the whole cereal box every morning over breakfast – my brother teased me about that. Now, most of my reading is in the form of beta-reads for my fellow authors. My favorite authors (in no particular order): Devin Harnois, Francisco Cordoba, Ash Litton, Mercedes Lackey, and Patricia Briggs.

Excellent writers, I love Francisco Cordoba’s work. He is such a talented wordsmith who writes with a sense of humour and originality. So with such admirable writers on your reading list, what was the hardest thing about writing your latest book?

The research. For Adelaide’s House of Ill Repute, I’m digging into a sex culture that is, by its very nature, hard to research. I’ve had to rely heavily on people who don’t know me well to tell me private things. But I’ve seen what happens when you don’t do the research and I’m not up for that kind of criticism. The BDSM community has a bad enough reputation from others not doing their research.

That’s interesting. In my non-writing life, I know someone who runs a fetish fair and is active on the scene, and she just laughed at some stuff. So where do the your ideas come from?

My Muse, Missy, brings me most of my ideas. I have absolutely no clue where she gets them. She gathers them up and drops them on me, usually before I’m ready for them, which is how I end up with so many open projects. Sometimes I’m inspired by a writing prompt, or more likely had one thrown at me in a challenge. I can’t resist a good challenge.

You are so lucky to have Missy as a muse, she sounds awesome! I wish we had more time to continue this interview, it’s been great having you! Thanks Misty.

Misty’s books are available on her Amazon, and to connect with her on social media check out her website and blog, The Crazy Worlds of Misty Carlie https://mistycarlisle.mreauowpublishing.com, and Twitter @AuthorMisty

Interview with Sherry Terry



For my next author interview, I’ve got the awesome Sherry Terry who is well known in writing circles for supporting and inspiring other writers. Before Sherry gave it all up to be a writer, as a single mother, Sherry put herself through college and worked as a Radiologic Technologist for almost twenty years.

Now she lives in a small Texan town with Hermy, her adorable hermaphroditic cat where in-between plotting and writing sexy romantic stories, she runs her blog dedicated to helping aspiring writers with how-to articles and awesome research links. Her first erotic romance, Voyeur in the Mist, a must read is now available on Amazon.

With a warm welcome I present VerySherryTerry! I just love that name!

Hi Sherry, it’s super-exciting to have you today and congratulations on your publication – Voyeur in the Mist. What drew you to write in the romance genre?

Thanks so much for having me, and thank you for your kind words. I was drawn to the romance genre by romantic love.I want to feel loved, have the man of my dreams worship the ground I walk on, feel giddy every time my lover walks into the room. Romance gives me that and more. It’s a total escape from my mundane, daily grind, and it makes me feel good. Romance isn’t the number one selling genre around the world for a reason. Everyone wants to feel sexy and wanted. There’s gold in them there hills.

I totally agree and it’s one of the reasons I read romance. Now you’re taken the exciting big leap to publish your first book, what are your ambitions for your writing career?

My ambitions and dreams are the same as many other authors. To make a living with my writing. I would love to earn enough with my stories to pay the bills, take my grand-kids to McDonalds once a week, and eat sushi whenever I want. Champagne and caviar every day wouldn’t be bad either.

Great, I wouldn’t mind so of that too! Given you’ve helped and inspired a lot of writers, and you also run a successful writer’s resource blog, what do you think is the hardest thing about writing?

The marketing and promotions. Finding a balance between getting the word out and not annoying people with your advertising. And, not procrastinating. When it’s flowing, I can get down several thousand words in one sitting. But. When it’s not, I spend a lot of time staring at a blank page.

I recently came across an interesting debate on a writer’s forum about researching or winging it. I know you love research and think it key to good writing, so how much research do you do?

I love to write historical romance, so that requires a lot of research. I find it fun. Hours fly by like minutes when I’m searching for any information I can find on the era and people. Even when I write contemporary, I like to do a lot of research. Nothing is worse than reading a good book and coming across bad research.

Do you prefer to write alone or in the company of other people?

I prefer to snuggle up in my bedroom and write alone. I can concentrate better, and no one is pestering me to get off the computer. I cannot lose myself in my characters, and their stories, with other people around. The urge to join in the conversations and people watch is too strong to overcome.

Thank you, Sherry. To connect with Sherry, Please feel free to friend her on Facebook, follow her on Twitter, take a look at the inspiration for her stories on Pinterest and visit her blog, verysherryterry.

Interview With Julia Ward




For the end of February, I’m pleased to interview romance author Julia Ward. She is witty, funny and writes one of my favourite blogs – The Half Fast Writer. She is an absolute blast of fun, so I was thrilled when she agreed to be interviewed.

Thanks for doing this, Julia, it’s a pleasure to interview you. So first things first let’s talk about your inspiration. Where do the your ideas come from?

Julia: I’m a pantser. This means I don’t outline or plan or plot things out first. Everything just falls out of my brain as I’m typing. It’s like I’m telling myself a story. Sometimes a plot twist can really surprise me. I get done writing a scene and think, well, it was odd that I added the detail of that candle stick. I can take it out later. Then later in the story the FMC is in that room and has to fend off an attacker! How handy the candle stick is there. Though they don’t all work out. Sometimes, I have to repair some scenes.

Great, I love twists but find them challenging to write. So following from that do you remember the first story you ever read, and the impact it had on you?

Julia: I remember my mom reading Go, Dog, Go and we had dogs so I related to that one. I loved that story. I still love that story. The FMC always coming along with more and more hideous new hats and the MMC couldn’t care less. It let me know that fashion trends come and go. If you like something, then enjoy it. If you don’t, don’t. But don’t glare at someone because they do. And most important, drive.

Talking about trends and drive, do you have any advice for other authors on how to market their books?

Julia: My whole plan is to put a few out and just keep writing. The more I have out there the more visible I become. But I’m an introvert. I’m not going to be splashy.

That’s sensible. To just keep writing is key, especially to develop a back catalogue and gain visibility. So a more craft question next, tell us about your writing process and the way you brainstorm story ideas.

Julia: Mostly I sit down and just start writing whatever random things comes to my mind. That usually prompts something else and suddenly I have a story. There are times that I end up stumped because I don’t know what to do next. If I sit, sometimes another character will come up and then I can write again. Other times, I have to take a break, that’s when I might get dishes done. In the middle of the night I’ll get inspired with what happens next. I make myself remember it and then it gets written the next day.

Sounds cool. Finally is there anything you find particularly challenging in your writing as far as content?

Julia: God, yes. First of all, I had a difficult time acknowledging that I wrote romance. Romance was not the best genre to be classified as. I used to think of romance as a crutch for those for people who just wanted to wallow in self-pity in their own relationships, maybe mediocre or maybe there are only embers rather than hot flames. Now I see it as a way to inspire and boost those situations. Romances can boost oxytocin and bring about feelings of affection and attachment and what the reader does with that is up to them.

The other challenge I have is that my characters seem a bit weird. Turns out, I’m very mildly autistic. Very mildly, but I think it affects my stories and characters. They are a little quirky. Sometimes that means overly analytical, sometimes overly blunt. Sometimes astoundingly slow, especially when it comes to relationships and social interactions.

I’m hoping that I’ll find my niche, perhaps other Aspies looking for romance stories with characters they can relate to.

Awww…that is so sweet and inspirational. Thanks for the interview and for being a real sport!

Julia: Thank you for having me.

You’re welcome!

To connect with Julia,  you can find a little more about her at About.Me/JuliaWardAuthor . And some of her rambles (and perhaps a snippet or two) at halffastwriter.wordpress.com

Did you Know?  Quick Facts About Julia Ward

  • She is a Pacific Northwest native.


  • During childhood she delighted in running with the family’s pack of dogs through the neighboring forest, pretending so many adventures.


  • More stories filled her head over the years with only a few making it to paper. Now, with kids grown with kids of their own, she looks forward to sharing her stories with others and hopes they’ll bring a little fun or love into someone’s life.


  • A variety of disparate jobs during her years including a waitress/bus person, hotel housekeeper, pageant contestant, programmer, security guard, electronics technician, singer/actress, office clerk, cook, cashier, seamstress. All of that before she was 23. This has given her some interesting experiences and knowledge leading to the formation of some quirky characters.


  • Her primary genre leans toward the romantic side but she also has works in progress that wander into the sci-fi as well as the paranormal realms.


Super interesting person. To connect with her,  you can find her at About.Me/JuliaWardAuthor  and halffastwriter.wordpress.com

Destination Hell’s Star


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Happy New Year!


There are dark paranormal elements in this story.

On a dark and cold rainy day, Vera Lou, an elderly woman stood at the bus stop, her shabby shopping trolley on ground, waiting for the bus. She stared at a black and gold double-decker bus clanging down the street with a sign in flashing lights, ‘Destination Hell’s Star’.

For some reason, it reminded her of her wild youth in Las Vegas when she was a showgirl with dreams of becoming a star. In those days she’s was a rare beauty –  model-slim, big breasted, and legs up to her armpits.

On a whim, she waved down the bus. It stopped and its doors whooshed open.

You only live once, Vera Lou told herself, lunch with her granddaughter can always wait. She hopped and in the mist of excitement left her shabby shopping trolley behind.

An exotic scent of jasmine, sandalwood and spice filled the bus and soft jazz music breezing through the air.

The person in the driver’s cab was a rather intimidating hulk of a man. Handsome and bare-chested, he had on a black military beret, and a black bow tie.

‘Destination Hell’s Star,” he murmured in a deep sexy voice that sent delicious shivers down Vera Lou’s spine and weakened her knees.

Thinking she was too old for such feelings, she ripped her eyes from his naked muscled and toned chest, and locked eyes with his intense blue ones. Then blushed. She chided herself for acting like a school girl though it was very dark in the bus.

‘You will have to pay the required fare,’ he warned smoothing with a smothering gaze that nearly had her melt in puddle. He did not elaborate what the fare was.

You only lived once, she thought again, life was an adventure. She nodded in agreement to the fare and went inside the bus.

Further inside the bus, the interior had a red and gold theme and looked like a gentlemen’s nightclub. A well-stocked bar dominated one length of the bus with a handsome bartender dressed only in a pink bow tie and black leather thong. At the far end there was a pole on a tiny stage.

In the her youth, she had been quite a good exotic dancer before she got a chance at the big show in Vegas.

The sexy bartender flashed her a friendly smile, and she blushed.

‘Ladies Night tonight. Would you like a flute of pink champagne? It’s included in the fare.’

She ignored a niggling feeling about the fare and accepted the drink then wandered upstairs.

The upper deck was sectioned into three intimate booths furnished with large comfy red leather sofas. A group of trendily dressed people sat in one booth sipping red wine and eating bar snacks and laughing and talking and seemly having a good time.

One of the group suddenly noticed her and rose. ‘Are you going to Destination Hell’s Star?’

She was about to answer him when she noticed his lips were bloodless and his eyes soulless. A dark angel revealed.

Fear trickled down her spine and she hesitated. A faint smell of warm blood drifted in the air and she realised it wasn’t red wine they were sipping. It was blood.

The man repeated himself, this eyes shone dull with desire.

She was too scared to say a word, her nerves shredded and fantasy broken. Vain memories of the past had lured her here.

‘Are you going to Destination Hell’s Star? Answer me!’ he roared, his human mask vanished revealing a hideous twist of fangs and hate.
Terrified, Vera Lou screamed! The scent of death rose in the air.

Beyond the hideous one, the group jumped up flapping huge blacken wings, dark angels each of them. Next, they formed a circle around her, dancing to soundless tune. ‘Now you pay the fare, you may be old and ugly be you’ll have to do the crypt,’ they screamed in a chant and repeated. ‘Now you pay the fare, you may be old and ugly but you’ll have to do for the crypt.’

Old? Ugly? Will have to do?

How dare they!

Rage possessed Vera Lou and with a shot through her vein and with a fury, she  began to whack them with her handbag. ‘At least I’m alive you waste of dead space!’
Her courage surfaced an old wives tale about salt and garlic in her mind, and she always carried a salt shaker of garlic salt when she went for lunch. She pulled it out of her pocket and threw the salt in the air and towards demons.

Haunting bloodcurdling screams filled the bus, and the creatures squirmed in agony. Fire erupted from the floor. Next there was a loud explosion and the force threw the Vera Lou and the creatures from the bus.

Afterwards, she found herself bewildered wandering in a field, surrounded by several scattered ghoulish mounds of debris and ash. In the far distance the bus burned and smoke and flames raced to the grey skies.

Then she saw the driver and bartender walking towards her, both still dressed in bow ties and thongs, shivering from the cold.

‘Thanks for saving us from the fanged ones.’

She sighed, thinking her ego and vanity still got the better of her. ’You’re welcome – no one gets always with calling me old and ugly,’ she replied, not when she used to be Las Vegas Showgirl.

Then she thought what a nice story to tell to her granddaughter if she made it in time for lunch.

The end.

The Birthday Party


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There are paranormal elements in this story.

It was early afternoon on a cold rainy summer day. The sun hid behind a cloud. Jane sat in the corner of the garden and puffed on a cigarette. She wore her black jeans, sparkly top and boots. She thought she looked good, hot even.

In another corner, some kids played birthday games. In the centre of the garden was a table. On it were stacks of blue and yellow cups and jugs of lemonade and orange juice. There were tiny sandwiches, fairy cakes and bread pudding. It looked a delicious spread.

Near the table on the lawn was a music player. It blasted out party tunes and a few people danced. It looked so happy but Jane was in a miserable mood. The party was boring.

Inside Aurora was getting the cake ready. Suddenly Aurora appeared carrying the cake. Everyone started singing happy birthday.

Jane tried to ignore her by turning her back. However Aurora shouted, “Jane, come on, join in the fun.”

She didn’t want to speak to Aurora, so she told her to go away.

Aurora yelled, “don’t be like that, cheer up.”

So Jane gave a fake smile. Then she saw him. A tall dark handsome man. He was standing in the corner with a drink. She tossed her hair and asked Aurora who he was.

Aurora looked worried. “Bad boy Alex.”

He had long hair, devilish eyes and a wide grin. He wore a velvet jacket that fitted well. He walked to Jane. She was memorised.


Jane could only nod. A shiver went down her spine.

“Let’s go somewhere quiet,” he said.

They went round the front of the house. He put his hands around her shoulder.


Jane and the handsome stranger disappeared.


They reappeared in a front garden. The house’s living room was decorated with balloons and streamers. But no one was there. There was a large Happy Birthday Sign hanging up. On the coffee table was a large blue iced cake with candles. It was scary.

Jane squeezed the stranger’s hand and asked what should they do. She wanted to go back to her party.

The man laughed. “Let’s see if anyone is in.”

The man approached the front door followed by Jane. He pushed it. It creaked open. The house was silent.

They walked into the room which was decorated for a party. Streamers, buffet of finger food, sweets, crisps and chocolate. It was perfect but silent.

Aurora came out dancing and singing. She was headless and dripping with blood. Jane screamed!

Jane ran from the house. She yelled, running down the street. She noticed the place was too quiet. No one was on the street. Where was everyone? Behind her were the man who was now a vampire with long fangs and headless Aurora. They were groaning happy birthday and juggling oranges.

Headless Aurora and the vampire were gaining on her. There was no way to hide. Jane started to sing happy birthday. It was her last.

Zap! Puff!

She reappeared at party, just in time to sing. Aurora smiled. The man nodded. Jane was relieved to be back.

The End

The Start



man-979980_1920This was an exotic city, full of the ambitious, rich and beautiful. An oasis for some and hell for others.

Money knew no bounds here and everything had a price. The ugly were rare and priceless, the exquisitely beautiful common and cheap.

It was a place I loved and despised in equal measure.

I leaned over the balcony of my lover’s penthouse and stared down at forty floors below me, contemplating, planning, considering the unthinkable.

Yet would he miss me?

I straightened up and threw a wary glance at the kingsized bed partially covered with crumpled black silk sheets. My skin was clammy and damp with sweat. I only had six hours before I left this hellhole and flew back home. The thought disturbed me so much I blocked it. I still hadn’t seen my lover that evening. I looked back down onto the city and gulped. Miniature cars moved like worker ants on a trail. Did I have the courage or would I fail myself again?

Deciding to give us another chance, I withdrew from the balcony and padded into the bedroom.

The stench of sex hit me. Not mine.

That hurt me. That wounded me. That bled me.

A bitterly cold breeze invaded the room, and I shivered. Opening up the large closet, I pulled out his varsity sweatshirt, hesitating a fraction before I hauled it over my thin cotton blouse then left the bedroom.

In the adjoining living room, my lover sat nursing a glass of malt brandy. The nightscape of the sinfully glamorous city lit up like fairy lights on a holiday tree, and gave him a menacing outline.

The way he gripped his glass with his deftly graceful fingers revealed he was angry. Beautifully angry. So angry that a rouge passion lit in his tremulous green eyes.

I leaned against the inner wall studying is exquisite male form. Powerful. Perfect. Lethal.

Callum Ryman, one of the most beautiful yet dangerous males in the world. I knew he was powerfully  rich but I didn’t how rich or how he made his money.

Legal or criminal, I was blissfully ignorant. All I knew was I was bound to him.

He looked up from his drink and frowned. His beautiful face etched into an exquisite scowl. His steely green eyes, the depth of an enchanted whirlpool. ‘Ethel, don’t linger. We need to talk,’ he ordered ominously. ‘Then we fuck.’

In the Shack



His wooden shack was tiny and cold with a faint aroma of strawberries. The moonlight flooded in though a sole tiny window. The walls were bare and the only furnishing was a naked mattress on the stone floor.

She trembled. Finally, she was ready. Steading her breath, she drank him in. His shaven head gleamed in the moonlight, his molasses eyes deep and intense.

He ripped off his leather bracelet, throwing it on the floor and pulled off his hoodie flinging it to the far corner of the shack. Underneath he was dressed in an oil stained wife-beater and ripped jeans. His body definition was flawless.  He kicked off his shoes, not once breaking his burning gaze from her.

“Are you sure you want this?” he murmured, low and seducive.

She trembled even more and stared at the bare mattress, biting her lip. Unsure, yet sure.

He closed the gap between them. Sexy and in control. She inhaled his earthy scent and her heart raced even more, firing burning desire through her entire being.  Simply flawless. A god amongst mankind. She couldn’t go back even if she wanted to.

He stilled and traced a long graceful finger down her cheek and over her lower lip, scotching her with a sensation so deep she nearly came.

Interview with author Milli Gilbert





For January, I’ve got another inspirational interview. My next guest is author Milli Gilbert who loves to write about cowboys and shifts. All her stories involve romance, and perhaps a bit of mystery. And they are without a doubt red hot and sizzling with raw sex appeal.

Do you remember the first story you ever wrote?

I’m pretty sure it was a story I wrote in fifth grade for a Minnesota History project we had. Some cheesy little mystery in a museum. Fifth grade was far from being my favorite year – I had the teacher from hell, so I opted to forget most of it.

The teacher sounds dreadfully, thankfully you are still writing. So where do your ideas come from?

Where don’t they come from? Song lyrics, movie quotes, watching kids play, watching a movie I’ve seen a thousand times and saying, “what if this happened instead?” or something I overhear somewhere. It could be a dream, or just bouncing ideas off a friend, and suddenly there it is. Or it could be just a random thought that floats through my head. Writing prompts. I basically can’t say “no” when those are presented to me.

With so many ideas floating around, do you think real life can ever live up to the fantasy of the ideal romance?

Personally, I think reality is better anyway – it’s real. It’s not a fantasy. Besides – for me, at least – it’s not about the grand gestures, the fancy dinners, or the trips around the world. It’s about the little things – cuddling on the couch during a movie, the yearly expansion of flowers on our anniversary (I finally got my dozen roses last year!) and goofing with the kids. It’s the show of emotion when he’s worried about me, or the gentleness he had for our daughter last summer when she split her lip (left a scar) or the patience he has when he’s teaching our son to drive the tractor, and the completely random, “Thank you for being you” type comments, and the 6-hour search for a Lego set. For me, not the kids. It was my “Christmas bonus.”

That is so sweet. I guess, it’s more can the romance ideal live up to your actual reality. Living in such a romantic reality, what is your favorite romance trope to write and why?

I don’t know that they’re necessarily my favorites, per se, but I do write the siblings best friend and best friends to lovers tropes a lot. I have them…. 11 times in The Series That Got Away. It just seems to be what happens. It seems like those just happen to be the characters that find each other. But they are fun to write because it’s fun to watch the couple navigate the change in the relationship – how do you even approach that kind of a change in the relationship? I guess that depends on the couple, and it’s fun seeing how they all approach it.

I agree, to see love blossom between friends is a beautiful thing. When you develop characters, do you already know who they are, or do you let them develop as you go?

I’ve had characters on both ends of that spectrum. I’m a pantser by nature, so technically, they all develop as I go, but sometimes it’s more like I’m just still getting to know them. Sometimes I meet my character, and I feel like I’ve know him/her forever. Others, it’s a process to get to know them. So I guess it’s not so much that they’re developing, but my relationship with them is.

Thank you, Milli, it’s been great chatting to you. To connect with Milli on social media you can find her on her blog,  Hairballs of GeniusFacebook and follow her on Twitter (@AuthorMilliGib). Her books are available on Amazon.



Interview with Renee Grace Thompson


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Happy New Year!

To celebrate the New Year, I interviewed Renee Grace Thompson, a former Nuclear Medicine Technologist, who now manages her family-owned business and in her sparetime pens delicious romances.  We discussed her recent work, authors that inspired her and her thoughts on good and bad reviews.

Do you work to an outline or plot, or do you prefer to just see where an idea takes you?

I’ve tried to plot, to write it all out and follow the map I create. But then I get aggravated at myself because I stray so far off the path that it’s not even salvageable.

I will continue to create rough outlines with the hope of refining the process to make it usable, but so far I haven’t had much luck with outlines. My fingers type things out that my brain had no previous knowledge of, so I just end up letting things work themselves out.

That sounds awesome, so what have you written using the above method?

So far I’ve written two full length novels which are currently in the final revision stage, and I have three more novels at the half-way mark. A few more novels are floating around in my head, but I’m trying to keep those muses quiet for now so that I can polish up my current works and get them published.

All my novels are Romance. I like to dip the characters into deep, dark emotion, but there’s plenty of humor in my books as well.

The books I have planned for 2017 include the two I’m currently cleaning up—Claim Me and Save Me, both of The Assumptions Series. With any luck, I may have a third of that series ready also. These are all stories where the main characters start off on the wrong foot because they make wrong assumptions of one another.

I’m also planning a short story for each month, usually with the theme of that month’s holiday, beginning with Valentine’s Day in February. Those will more than likely be silly little humorous stories, much different from my novels.

My goodness, you are super-prolific, it would be interesting to know which writers inspire you. Could you tell us?

Well, of course all the classics. But for contemporary writers, I really enjoy Tara Sivec, Aleatha Romig, Pepper Winters. And those are just the few who quickly come to mind. They make me laugh and cry and lose sleep and binge-eat chocolate, all in one book.

And of course, my biggest writer inspirations are those I work with on a daily basis, beta reading for each other, complaining, encouraging, and generally being good friends with. Those writers include Imogen Keeper, Cassandra Zolotoff, Rosie Amber Rifae, Pinkie Tam, Elle Wylee, Julia Ward, Janet Reid, and Francisco Cordoba. I just love each one of these folks, and really enjoy their work.

I totally agree with your list. Last year, I had privilege of interviewing Imogen Keeper and Francisco Cordoba, and hopefully on this year I’ll be able to get Julia Ward!  Now for a somewhat sensitive maybe even controversial question, what are your thoughts on good or bad reviews?

Hmm, that’s a tough one. People are all unique and have their own likes and dislikes, so what one person raves about, another person might be offended or bored or not at all impressed with. When I’m shopping to buy a book, I do look at reviews just out of curiosity, but they don’t typically sway my decision. If I like the story line, I’ll give the book a chance.

That sounds good, thanks for answering it… I’ve seen rooms metaphorically set on fire when the ‘good vs bad review’ question is asked. Now for my final question do you remember the first story you ever wrote?

Ha! This question makes me laugh. Um, no. No I don’t. I always hated writing. Like really, really hated it. I was always a very practical, scientific thinker. Facts. There was no room for such nonsense as made up stories. I mean, I loved to read, but I never had time for it once I hit, oh, say, middle grade. And any writing I did was because of some kind of school assignment, which meant there were strict guidelines and deadlines and whatnot. I hated all of that stuff.

I didn’t discover the joy of writing until a few years ago when I was having trouble finding something I wanted to read and decided the stories that I constantly played in my mind were better than anything I found to purchase. So I decided to start transcribing them. I’ve been hooked ever since.

It’s been awesome having you, Renee Grace, and thank you for your time.

To connect with Renee Grace,  she can be found at: