Monday, February 23, 2015

An Interview with Marta Moran Bishop!

Marta Moran Bishop

Good morning, Marta! It's a joy to have you on my blog! I was looking at your bio on your Amazon author's page and was intrigued. You're a prolific writer who's the product of three generations of women writers. That's so cool! 

Jan, I am such a fan of your books and writing that I'm truly honored that you asked me to chat with you today.

Marta, you write children's books, fantasy and paranormal stories, and poetry. Which genre do you find the most challenging? 

What a great question. It would be getting my mind and spirit to see the world through either an animal's eyes as I did in Dinky: The Nurse Mare's Foal, Dinky's Quest: The Journey Begins, and both my children's poetry books Wee Three: A Mother's Love in Verse and Innocence and Wonder, to be the most challenging.  

To some, writing for children might seem easy. I think it would be difficult. Can you share some insight?

The first children's book was Wee Three: A Mother's Love in Verse. The most difficult part was taking my grandmother's half-finished verses and expanding them.

While doing this, I had to relearn how to see the world through the eyes of a child and keep her voice intact. I didn't want someone reading it to know where her verses ended and mine began, but probably 95% of the book was written by me and I believe there were only five verses I left untouched and didn't add to them.

Marta, can you describe your writing style?

My writing style depends upon what I am writing, however there is one common theme, at some point in the book or story a glimpse of hope, a spray of light at the end of the tunnel, must be there.

When I write it is fast paced, (except of course for the rewrites, ugh) When I write paranormal or fantasy the stories usually write themselves, the characters name themselves and the stories come alive as my fingers type. This is true of all my paranormal and fantasy books.

Dinky's book was different in that it went through eight rewrites as I wrote it first-person-horse and it was based upon a true story. It was my first experience writing first-person anything let alone a horse. Even though the story could tell itself, I had to find a way for him to know about things that he wouldn't have known about as a baby (foal). That was the most difficult thing for me and that part required some deliberation.

Do you have any writing quirks that we would enjoy hearing about? When you need to get in the zone to write, is there any person, place or thing that prompts your creativity?

Another fabulous question and a difficult one to answer. I have so many things that inspire me or put me in the zone. I watch people, animals, make cloud pictures, watch the trees, or sometimes it is an article I read or a dream I had that inspired me. I guess the quirkiest thing I do is open myself to life and nature. The Between Times came to me after reading some articles and one morning I was sitting outside in the pre-dawn light and the book took over my mind. The characters came to light. The Void, The Choosing, and The Night of the Fairies seemed to birth themselves. 

I believe writers are daydreamers who finally got the chance to put the stories in their heads down on paper (or on the computer). When did you decide to make your daydreams a reality? What is the first book you published?

The first book I published was Wee Three: A Mother's Love in Versethough it went through three incarnations and three publishers. 

You live on a farm in Massachusetts. Does farming and animals play a big part in your stories?

Absolutely, bugs, horses, dragonflies, sunrises and sunsets, snow, wind, rain, droughts, and even clouds find their way into either a poem or story. They all help me to see the world differently.

When I wrote The Choosing, based upon a mythical society of pre-historical native tribe, much of what they might have gone through I found in the artifacts and critters here on this piece of land.

Besides the usual social media sites for promotion, you also are involved in blog/talk/radio. Can you tell us a little bit about that experience?

My first foray into blog talk radio, was as a guest, after that I found I wanted to feature other authors in ways I couldn't as a guest and my show was born. Blog talk Radio has its technical issues, but I find it a rewarding way of giving back to those authors who have given me so much joy when I read their books. 

A little bit about Marta Moran Bishop...

Marta Moran Bishop is the product of three generations of women writers. Their legacy to her was an inquisitive mind and a joy of writing and reading. She reads to children and adults alike taking her books from children's classes to senior centers.

Her first book, Wee Three: A Mothers Love In Verse, a children's poetry book, illustrated by Hazel Mitchell, was a collaborative effort and a labor of love. She took the short, sweet verses her grandmother wrote in the nineteen thirty's for her children and expanded those and added additional verses of her own.

Ms. Bishop, is a prolific and versatile writer, she currently has two children's poetry books, Dinky: The Nurse Mare's Foal, which is based on the true story of her rescue foal and written from his point of view and is enjoyed by both children and adults alike.

Her novel The Between Times, tells the story of a bleak world, where society consists of the poor and the rich and the poor live in squalor, with only a prophecy for hope of a better future. It has a touch of paranormal in its pages.

She has written three adult poetry books and a variety of fantasy and paranormal stories. A few of them are stories that her mother wrote over forty years ago and she finished while others are new and vibrant stories.

She states "I learned that one needed to have a plot and conversation to move the story forward from a particularly bad play I wrote at the age of six. It was the worst play ever written or performed. It was so awful my mother stopped the production after about three minutes."

She currently lives on a small farm in Massachusetts with her husband, three horses, cats and a conure parrot named Beau. They help her remember to view the world through a child's innocence and keep her young and imaginative

Thank you so much for being here, Marta! Wishing you big success with your writing career. May the writing spark/gene you received be passed down to the next generation!

Jan, thank you for spending this time with me today and for the well wishes. It has been delightful!

You can follow Marta here:


Publisher's Website:






Amazon Author Page:

Friday, February 20, 2015

Max is back!! Smitten With Death by Sharon Saracino!

I've had the pleasure of reading the first two books in the Max Logan series -- Death Benefits and Life After Death. Now author Sharon Saracino has released book number three -- Smitten With Death! 

Maxine Logan is a snarky character you can easily relate to and she's easy to love! I can't wait to see what she's up to in this new book!

Here's the blurb to whet your appetite:

A year after the death of her ex-husband and boyfriend, Roger-the-Proctologist, Max has accepted the loss and moved on. Well, at least she's tried, but a dating pool consisting mostly of weekend golfers in plaid polyester has left her unenthusiastic about her prospects. When Morgan Kane, the sexy Hellhound Grim Reaper, suddenly reappears seeking her assistance to rescue the bumbling teenage Zombie King from Cerberus' filthy paws, Max realizes that maybe she was holding out for snug denim all along. But a trip to Hell during Vegas Week, with Lucifer masquerading as a tone-deaf Wayne Newton and Kane's psychotic mother as Satan's Showgirl Bride, isn't exactly her idea of the perfect date. In Hell, everything has a price, and though Max discovers she's already paid dearly, if she and Kane are to succeed, another sacrifice is required. Will Max finally get her happily-ever-after or will she lose the man she loves to the Sweet Hereafter? Again.

And an excerpt to heighten the excitement: 

“Reaper, I need a favor,” I choked out and cleared my throat.

“Sure, Logan.” His gaze came back to rest on my face. “What can I do for you?”

“Um, kiss me?” I squeaked as my face heated with the fire of a thousand desert suns.

“Huh?” Judging by the expression on his face, whatever favor Morgan Kane had been anticipating, locking lips with the crazy woman hadn’t even made his list.

“Look,” I whispered in a rush after glancing back to confirm Denise had almost gotten the invading hoard under control. “My sister is determined to hook me up. The minute she sees you, she will devote the remainder of the morning to cute and embarrassing stories designed to impress you with my charm and delightfulness. Trust me, you’ll want to stab knitting needles in your eyes after about ten minutes.”

“Oh, I don’t know, Logan.” He had the temerity to smirk while crossing his arms over his chest. His broad, muscular chest. “I think I might enjoy the cute and embarrassing stories. And I already think you’re charming and delightful.”

My eyes widened in shock, and my mouth fell open yet again. “You do?”

“Logan? You digress.” He snapped my pie hole shut as he had before. But this time he didn’t remove his hand. Instead, he stroked his forefinger lightly along my jaw, sending my pulse into a gallop to rival the Clydesdales pulling a beer wagon away from a crowd of alcoholic zombies.

“I do? Oh yeah. I do. So, anyway I thought if we gave her the impression we already had something going, well maybe it would divert her attention away from my relationship status for the day.”

“I see,” he murmured as he slipped his hand along the side of my neck and curled his fingers around my nape.

Suddenly my knees buckled. I must have twisted my ankle more seriously than I thought. Fortunately, Morgan Kane caught me around the waist before I hit the ground and pulled me hard against him. I absently wondered if it would be considered rude to toss a breath mint in my mouth. Then it occurred to me I didn’t have any. Oh well, moot point. His soft chuckle skittered along my skin like a physical caress. I swallowed hard. I tipped my head back, licked my lips enticingly, and closed my eyes, resigned and ready to make this sacrifice in an effort to thwart my sister and her underhanded plans. Kane chuckled again and then gently swept his lips over mine. Except for Roger and that one tequila-induced episode of poor judgment right after senior prom, I didn’t have a whole lot of experience with men. I know, I know. Up until now, I’ve sucked you into that whole sophisticated woman-about-town façade I
wear so well, but really, it’s true. Morgan Kane, on the other hand, apparently knew his way around this town and most of the continental United States. The ground tilted, the sun spun backwards, and I had difficulty remembering my own name when Morgan Kane finally lifted his lips from mine. Would I never learn my impulsivity always comes back to bite me in the ass?

I coughed loudly, attempted to gather my wits, and looked around to gauge my sister’s reaction. Denise, et al, was nowhere to be seen. The whole crew had apparently hustled past our lip-lock and continued into the house completely unnoticed. At least, by me.
Kane’s wicked grin said he was well aware of the effect he’d had on me, and it was precisely the one he’d intended.

Wucking fonderful.

Buy links for Smitten With Death:

A little bit about Sharon:

Sharon Saracino is a paranormal and fantasy author who resides in the anthracite coat country of Pennsylvania with her long suffering husband, funny and talented son, and two insane dogs. She is the author of the Max Logan series and the Earthbound series with The Wild Rose Press. When she is not reading, writing, or enjoying photography and genealogy, she brews limoncello, dreams of living in Italy and works as a Certified Registered Rehabilitation Nurse.

You can follow Sharon here:

Monday, February 2, 2015

Katie Mettner comes to us with Winter's Rain!

Katie Mettner

Katie Mettner has been hard at it. She's written Winter's Rain - book #3 in The Northern Lights Series. Today, she's going to share some amazing cover art, a blurb and excerpt to whet our appetites for more. Katie writes from the heart. She creates characters and stories that tug all kinds of emotions from you. One particular line in the blurb for Winter's Rain sparked my interest right away. I hope it will spark yours too. 'Hidden somewhere in their past is the key to their future.' 

Winter's Rain blurb:

Winter Cheyne was a child bride, sold for the price of a gambling debt. After years of abuse she knew breaking free of his hold would be dangerous, maybe even deadly, but it was a chance she had to take. The freedom she found as Winter Rayne was an illusion, instantly shattered by the high beams of an oncoming car. 

Dr. Jedidiah Raintree never knew the truth about what happened to his best friend, Winter Cheyne. Growing up on the reservation together they were inseparable, until fate intervened and tore them apart. He's spent the last twenty years looking for the girl with the long black hair and almond eyes, but ran into dead ends at every turn. Where he didn't expect to find her was huddled in his cabin, pointing a gun at his chest.

With the first snowstorm of the season bearing down on them, Rain convinces Winter he can keep her safe until the storm passes, but quickly learns safety is an apparition. The only choice he has is to risk everything to save the girl he once knew.

Hidden somewhere in her are the secrets she's being hunted for. Hidden somewhere in him is the strength she will need to face them and be free. Hidden somewhere in their past is the key to their future. As the snow falls hard around them, desperation, deceit and death must work in harmony to fulfill their destiny. 

Winter's Rain excerpt:

     My name is Winter Cheyne and eight hours ago I killed a man. He was a ruthless animal who had every intention of killing me first, but I won this time. The first time in a decade. The cold wind blew across my face and I shivered, snapping my mind back to the reality of my situation. I ducked behind a tree and checked the clock on my flashlight. It was 2:00 a.m.
     Running on nothing but pure adrenaline for the last two hours, I was searching for a road I could run parallel with, while staying among the trees. Getting lost in the woods in Minnesota was easy, and dying alone in them was even easier. I was confused, wondering if I had done nothing but run in circles for the last few hours. I fumbled for my flashlight, desperate to check the compass. Desperate for it to tell me I was still going in the right direction. I had to get to Duluth and the bus station, buy a ticket then get lost in a big city. Maybe Chicago, New York, or Los Angeles, anywhere but here.
     My sore body and exhausted mind yelled at me to take a break. 'Find a place to rest for a few hours', my legs begged, but I refused. I had to keep moving. If his men found me now the last few months would be for nothing. I looked at the flashlight again. Its blackness blended into the night sky and in it I saw the look on his face. I wondered if I was really staying ahead of the danger, or running right into it.
     It was pitch black out, not even the moon wanted to come out tonight. I had to stop following the river a few hours ago. That meant I had to risk it and walk on the highway a few hundred feet. Those feet left me exposed by the headlights of the oncoming cars. I was taking a chance they would spot me, but trying to get across the river any other way was a risk I couldn't take. Back in the woods now sometimes I could hear the highway, and sometimes I could hear nothing but my footsteps and ragged breath. Other times I imagined the sounds of a bear, puma or wolf stalking me, watching me, waiting for me.
     I closed my eyes, resting my head against the tree. 'What direction leads me to safety, Lord?' The only answer I heard in the wind was 'Deep breath, Winter. I will keep you safe.'
     I opened my eyes. I'm not a spiritual person, but what people say is true. When your life is on the line, and you have absolutely nothing left, there is really only one thing to do, pray. I've never gotten an answered prayer before, so I quit praying. I quit praying when I was twelve and the Lord deserted me. Even thought that was what I thought, a part of my heart hoped that He, the Great Spirit, was still protecting me. That He was the reason I wasn't dead, because we all knew I should be.
     'There are on deep breaths, Lord, there is only fear and pain.' I thought then I waited, but heard nothing more. My chest rose and fell twice though, not under my own power. I nodded my head against the tree. He had to start somewhere, even if it was with my deep breaths. They relaxed me a little and I took two more, thinking through my options. I really only had one though, find a place to rest. Sitting here was already relaxing me too much. I need a fire for warmth and time to regroup. I need to rest a few hours, even at the risk of my life, or I would end up dead from a cloudy mind and worn out body. 
     My arm ached and my face throbbed. I touched my cheekbone, now swollen to twice its normal size. I could barely see out of my right eye and I wondered how bad the damage was. I tried not to think about it, but the pain was becoming hard to ignore. I'll get medical help when I get to a big city. My new ID was in my pack and all I had to do was get to a city where I could blend in. Small steps, Winter. Fire, food and water. Listen to the radio and regroup, then start walking again.
     I pulled my parka hood up over my head and stuck my hand in my pocket. Even though I was dressed for Minnesota weather, the air was still frigid. A fire was my only hope of getting warm, but that would require an open area in the woods. Someplace open enough for a fire, but hidden enough so no one could see it was a tall order. My casted left hand fumbled for the flashlight and it dropped to the ground. I swore under my breath, kneeling down to feel around for the clunky box. The hand crank flashlight was my lifeline. Breaking it would force me into civilization much sooner than I wanted. I had no idea how many men were part of this organization with Ono. For all I knew they are in every big city across the country.
     I knelt on my hands and knees, and tried to pack the hysteria down. 'You don't know that for sure, Winter.' I scolded myself while searching for the flashlight. My hand finally hit the box and I picked it up, cranking the handle and praying for light. It flickered on and I breathed a sigh of relief. Tarzan's Jane, I am not. I'm so far from a wilderness woman. I've never even been camping. Somewhat ironic considering I'm half Chippewa. It's the other half of me that has me in this predicament, and there is no way out. I wonder if this is how my ancestors felt, running through the woods being hunted like animals. 

From Jan...

All I can say after reading this excerpt, is WOW! I can't wait to read Winter's Rain!!

More about Katie:

Katie Mettner writes inspiration romance from a little house in the Northwoods of Wisconsin. She's the author of the four part epic family saga, The Sugar Series, Sugar's Song being runner up for sweet romance in the eFestival of Words awards. Her other romance series, The Northern Lights Series and the Snowberry Holiday Series, are both set in Minnesota and are a mix of new adult and romantic suspense. Katie lives with her soulmate, whom she met online at Thanksgiving, and married in April. Together they share their lives with their three children and two leopard geckos. After suffering an especially bad spill on the bunny hill in 1989 Katie became a below the knee amputee in 2011, giving her the much needed time to pen her first novel, Sugar's Dance. With the release of Sugar's story Katie discovered the unfilled need for disabled heroes and heroines! Her stories are about empowering people with special circumstances to find the one person who will love them because of their abilities, not their inabilities. Katie has a slight addiction to Twitter and blogging, with a lessening aversion to Pinterest now that she quit trying to make the things she pinned.

Follow Katie: