Wednesday, September 30, 2015

Interview with Author Sue Coletta

This week, I got a chance to virtually sit down with MARRED author Sue Coletta.

A member of Mystery Writers of America and Sisters In Crime, Sue Coletta is a crime fiction author.
She's written five novels: Marred, A Deadly Yearning, A Strangled Rose, Timber Point, and Silent Betrayal. Marred, a psychological thriller, is slated for release on November 11, 2015, Tirgearr Publishing.

The Interview
Q: Sue, I’d like to imagine that you and I are doing this over a cup of coffee in your living room, since you seem like the type of person I’d like to have coffee with. If we were, indeed, in your living room, having coffee, would you feel the need to offer baked goods? And if so, what would it be?

Sue: If we were having coffee, I’d be breaking out in hives all over my body. I’m allergic to coffee. I know, I know, a writer who doesn’t drink coffee. Crazy! So, I’d be drinking tea, but yes, of course I’d offer you a baked good. I used to bake a lot, but now, time is an issue, so I hope you don’t mind if I offer you an apple and walnut pasty ring from the local bakery. The icing drizzled on the top is to die for.

Q: You and I are both drawn to write about blood, mystery, and murder; in your honest opinion, are we messed up in the head?

Sue: Umm…depends on who you ask. *awkward smile* On my site I have a free giveaway, 60 Ways to Murder Your Fictional Characters. After people have had a chance to look it over, I tend to get comments like, “Bet your husband sleeps with one eye open.” Or, “Remind me never to cross you.”

Q: What is the best, and worst, thing a reader has ever said about your work?

Sue: Marred, my debut psychological thriller, hasn’t released yet. But in the past I’ve definitely had some comments from agents and editors. Worst: Rejected! (Is there anything worse than that, regardless of how they sugarcoat it?) Best: You have an amazing ability to drag your reader along, forcing them to flip the page.

Q: What are your favorite authors and how have they affected the way you write?

Sue: My all-time favorite author is Larry Brooks. His thrillers are so mind-bogglingly awesome; how they twist and turn; how you never know what’s real and what’s not. Because he’s also a friend, his writing has been a huge influence on the way I write and how I structure my novels.

Q: At what point did you go from ‘writing is a hobby’ to ‘writing is what I want to do?’

Sue: I’ve always wanted to write professionally. Years ago, I wrote children’s stories. It wasn’t until I wrote my first novel that I chose to make my dream a reality.

Q: You’re pretty awesome at blogging. How important do you think it is, in this day and age, for writers to build their own platforms?

Sue: It’s everything. Without a social media presence you’re sunk. We live in an amazing time, where we can reach across the world in an instant. To not take advantage of that would make no sense. And, thank you! You’re an awesome blogger too.

Q: If you could pick one of your own characters to meet with, who would it be, and what would you say to them?

Sue: Of course I love all my characters, but I have the most in common with Deputy Frankie Campanelli. I would have to ask her how it feels not worry about what anyone thinks and to say whatever comes to mind.

Q: You have a 99 cent pre-release sale today of your novel, MARRED, but it comes out on 11/11. How will you celebrate on the big day?

Sue: I do, yes! The sale lasts until Marred is released on 11/11/15. My publisher would kill me if I missed this opportunity for a shameless plug.

When a serial killer breaks into the home of bestselling author, Sage Quintano, she barely escapes with her life. Her husband, Niko, a homicide detective, insists they move to rural New Hampshire, where he accepts a position as Grafton County Sheriff. Sage buries secrets from that night—secrets she swears to take to her deathbed. Three years of anguish and painful memories pass, and a grisly murder case lands on Niko’s desk. A strange caller begins tormenting Sage—she can’t outrun the past. When Sage’s twin sister suddenly goes missing, Sage searches Niko’s case files and discovers similarities to the Boston killer. A sadistic psychopath is preying on innocent women, marring their bodies in unspeakable ways. And now, he has her sister. Cryptic clues. Hidden messages. Is the killer hinting at his identity? Or is he trying to lure Sage into a deadly trap to end his reign of terror with a matching set of corpses?

To take advantage of the pre-release sale, and to view all buying options, go here. On release day, I’m hoping to have a book launch party at a local inn that does mystery dinners, where you solve the murder while enjoying a great meal. Folks around here love local authors, and I have a connection there, so I’d like to combine my book launch with the event.

Thanks, Mia! Done with your coffee? Great. Well, it’s been nice chatting with you. Now get out of my house so I can get back to work. Books don’t write themselves. Oops. Sorry about that. My inner “Frankie” slipped out.

Despite being kicked out of your house, Sue (I have a feeling Deputy Frankie Campanelli and Aston Ridder would get along great), a big thanks for the interview, and more importantly, the apple walnut pastry—it was delish.

Friday, September 18, 2015

Interview with Author Lily Gardner

The Introduction

Lily GardnerLily Gardner plays cards and writes noir mysteries in the rainy city of Portland, Oregon. She’s a big fan of noir film, Scandinavian noir and American murder mysteries, both hard and soft-boiled.

A Bitch Called Hope is the first book in Gardner’s Lennox Cooper series, a story about a poker playing detective who only catches a break at the card table. Her second book in the series, Betting Blind, is coming out on March 29, 2016.

The Interview

Your novel, A Bitch Called Hope, ruled the B&N bestseller list. Did you know you wanted to do the sequel, Betting Blind, even before the first one became a hit?

When I found my detective, Lennox Cooper’s character, I knew I wanted to continue to tell stories with her voice. A story is one thin slice of a human life, so there’s dozens of stories that could be told.

Did you find writing the sequel to be harder or easier than writing the first Lennox Cooper novel.

Both.  I found it difficult to reveal the backstory for Lennox and her poker buddies in a new and artful way from A Bitch Called Hope. That said, having a protagonist and supporting cast with developed characters and voices is a wonderful thing. I also had the confidence of having written a novel from start to finish, so I knew I could do it again.

When do you let your friends and family read your novels, pre or post release?
The problem is readers’ fatigue. My books change with every critique and edit, and I go through this process over and over. Which version do I give my friends and family? The best version—the published version.

Lennox is a a strong, capable woman, as well as a seasoned card player, and you are too. How and when did you start playing?
I started playing Pitch my freshman year in college. I’d like to say I played during my lunch hour, but the truth is I skipped a lot of classes to keep playing. When I moved to the country post college, I played hours and hours of Hearts and Canasta. I’m pretty solid with those games, but I suck at poker. I have the worst card luck when I’m playing with my own money.

Are there other parts of Lennox that you identify yourself with?
We both have potty mouths, and our thoughts about Luck and Chance are identical. Otherwise we’re very different. Lennox is little and tough and never stands down from a confrontation, whereas I am tall and timid. She puts her work before her love life. Yeah. Well. All her friends are men. All my friends are women. She has only her mother. My family is the size of a small village. It’s wonderful imagining a character so unlike me.
What is your most, and least favorite part of writing?
Building a new scene is the most difficult stage of writing for me. Accomplishing my scene goals; creating conflict between my characters; and placing them in an interesting setting that is so vivid that the reader feels she’s there in the story is really freaking hard. My favorite part of writing is re-writing. Once I have the raw prose on the page, I can make it better.

How will Betting Blind differ from its predecessor?
In A Bitch Called Hope, Lennox’s primary motive for solving Bill Pike’s murder is to prove to her cop community that she still has the investigative chops she had as a homicide detective in the Portland Police Bureau. In Betting Blind, Lennox is fighting with all her skill to clear her dear friend from a murder charge.
A Bitch Called Hope is a world of wealth and entitlement. Betting Blind is a world of cyber crime, a place where people prey on the lonely.

Image result for a bitch called hope


A big, big thanks to Lily for letting me interview her!

If you’re yet to read the best-selling first book in the Lennox Cooper series, A Bitch Called Hope, or want to sample it, here it is:
Betting Blind comes out on March, 29, 2016 through Diversion Books.


Interview with Author Ash Krafton


Ash Krafton has been hard at work on being her alter ego, AJ Krafton. She released her New Adult debut THE HEARTBEAT THIEF on Kindle in June and is thrilled to have made the Amazon Bestseller lists in four countries so far. Follow #AshKraftonEuroTour2015 as she takes the THIEF on a tour of Germany, Switzerland, and Venice (or follow @ash_Krafton on Instagram).

The Interview

First of all I want to say how much I love your name: Ash Krafton. It may be the best name I’ve ever heard. I know you also write under AJ Krafton. What made you decide on a pen name and how did you settle on AJ?
That's so funny that you say that. I remember getting a rejection from a magazine editor who said she loved my name (but I guess not the story, considering the rejection.) But her email went, "Ash Krafton, Ash Krafton, Ash Krafton. I love saying that out loud!" Writers are a wacky lot : )
I decided to use a pen name for this book because up until that point, my writing has been for adults. The Heartbeat Thief is more of an all-ages (or at least mature teen and up) book so I wanted the different name to make that distinction. The J in AJ represents my family, which is a little heavy on the J names.

Both you and I write NA, a genre that makes a lot of people frown and say: “New…Adult?” How do you usually explain the genre to those who don’t know?

New Adult differs from Young Adult in that the themes are heavier, more mature. It represents the 18-30 year old group, that place in between YA and mainstream adult reading. Often, NA books feature sexual relationships, career/life choices, leaving home, or emotional situations that would be difficult for a younger teen to fully digest.

I chose a NA approach to this story because it's a dark fantasy that explores the phenomenon of death. It contains violence and a sexual relationship (along with its consequences). Now, as the story is also a historical told in the style of Jane Austen, a reader shouldn't expect steamy sex scenes. However, I didn't feel that it was a book aimed at young readers in middle school. A YA tag would mistakenly present it as such.
That being said, there have been several readers who say it's recommended for readers of all ages. I've been reading Stephen King since I was twelve and look at me: I turned out juuuuussssstttt fine. *winks*

How old were you when you started putting stories together, and who got to read them?

I've been writing since I was a kid. Most of the time, my mom would read it and send it into the newspaper. I'd just shrug and think, that's cool. I wasn't really writing for an audience other than my mom.
I started writing professionally when my youngest started Preschool. (He's fourteen now.) My husband is the first reader of everything I write. Then, it goes out to the world.

And my mom still reads my books, too. <3

With a name like Ash Krafton, have you ever considered starting a Detective Agency? And if so, would you hire me if I promised to dump my boring name and change it to something equally cool?

Only if you want to run it. I'm clueless when it comes to mysteries. I never fail to be surprised at The Reveal. Worst part is, I watch a lot: Sherlock, Castle, Miss Fisher, Poirot, Miss Marple, Jessica what'shername from the 80s. And I have NEVER guessed who did it. NOT ONCE. So, I'll go in on the business if you make us look good because I'm fairly certain I'd suck at it.

Some writers read in the same genre they write, some don’t. Do you read NA and Speculative Fiction, or do prefer different genres?

I do read NA and loads of Spec Fic. I love sword and sorcery and epic fantasy. But I also like historical fiction and period writing, as well as poetry.

What is your favorite thing about the NA and Spec Fiction readers?

It's hard to know where their limits are and so pushing boundaries is a fun challenge. No matter how far-out an idea I have, there is always at least one reader saying, "Yeah, and then THIS happens…" and I'm left agape.

Click HERE to Check out The Heartbeat Thief

That's awesome.
Your novel, The Heartbeat Thief comes out in paperback today—Yay! What is next for you?

Um, um, um. A couple things.
Audiobook is in production for the first book in my urban fantasy series, The Books of the Demimonde. BLEEDING HEARTS is being narrated by the sassy and wonderful voice of Kelly Pruner and I can't wait to hear what my Sophie sounds like!
Currently I'm writing a serial about a magician/exorcist who is caught in the battle of Light versus Dark. I hope to make it very difficult for a reader to root for a particular side because I don't think big choices are easy to make.
I've also started work on my next NA title and write in that file when I need to switch gears.

Next week, I'll be blog touring The Heartbeat Thief. Stop by my blog for more details.

A big, big thanks to Ash for letting me interview her!



Monday, September 14, 2015


The SILENCING SAPPHIRE Book Club on Wattpad has officially begun!

For those of you who are yet to stumble upon Wattpad, this means, Silencing Sapphire, as well as its predecessor, Stalking Sapphire, will both be FREE on Wattpad for a certain amount of time.

Today, Sept. 14th, I have posted chapters 1-5 of Silencing Sapphire, and I will keep posting chapters until the full book is up.

For this book club, we, Diversion Books and I have also added a CONTEST feature.

The two contests will open at the last post, Oct. 7th. The winners will receive ALL three Sapphire Dubois novels, i.e: Stalking Sapphire, Silencing Sapphire, and Sentencing Sapphire in eBook format.


Click HERE to Read!

Contest #1 The Sapphire Dubois Quiz

Answer the 7 questions to the Sapphire Dubois quiz that will be posted on the last day of the book club, Oct. 7th, and submit them. Whoever submits the highest number of correct answers first, wins all three Sapphire Dubois books (ePub)
More details to come.

Contest #2 The Art Contest
Submit a drawing/sketch of Sapphire Dubois, herself, featured on a WANTED POSTER. The winning submission will be featured on the website and will also receive all three Sapphire Dubois books (ePub)

This contest will open on Oct. 7th. More details to come.

But for now, ladies and gentlemen: Chapters 1-5...


Friday, September 4, 2015

Interview with Dr. Suzana Flores

I was lucky enough to get to interview author and psychologist Dr. Suzana Flores. And I must say, I feel a notch wiser for it.


As a social-media expert and commentator, Dr. Flores has appeared on national and international newscasts, podcasts, radio and talk shows including "Leiberman Live" on The Howard Stern Show, PBS, WCIU Channel - "The U," National Public Radio (NPR), "Just Jenny" Sirius XM Channel, WGN Radio Chicago, The ManCow Show, Univision Television News, Mundo FOX, Charlotte News WSOC-TV, The Ron Kelly Show, and radio broadcasts out of Germany, U.K. and Canada.
Dr. Flores has been quoted in The Chicago Tribune, The Wall Street Journal, The Huffington Post,,,, Men's Health Magazine, Everyday Health Magazine,, Dame Magazine, The Nation Magazine,, New Parent Magazine, Hispanic Health & Beauty Magazine, La Raza Newspaper,,, Mujeres Sin Censura, and

She can be reached at or through her literary agent, Liz Kracht at

The Interview

Suzana, you’re a psychologist and the author of Facehooked, a book that presents the dangers of social media addiction. Those two things would trigger people to imagine you as a very serious woman but you’re, in fact, an extremely funny person. Do your clients ever see this side of you, and if so, how do they respond to your humor?

I use humor in sessions all the time. I honestly think that it's healthy to find the ridiculousness of certain situations in order to cope with them. I am brutally honest and blunt in my feedback, and truthfully, I'm can even be crass at times too depending on client comfort level and if appropriate to the situation. My clients understand that this is my style and respond well to it. They appreciate the ability to be "real" in sessions and hear someone "break it down" for them in ways they may not have previously considered. Additionally, my clients are encouraged to curse if they wish, laugh 'til the cry, and be as honest about their thoughts and emotions as they want to be, without judgment. Sometimes the best way for us to work through adversity is to either laugh ourselves, laugh at others, or allow ourselves to say what we're afraid to say. True psychological freedom occurs when we lose the self-critic and forget about censorship. What we feel is what we feel - period. We have to allow ourselves to feel raw emotion. Sometimes this isn't pretty and sometimes it's hysterical. 

How did the idea of writing Facehooked come about?

I first thought about writing about social media when I started noticing a new dimension in my clients presentations: Facebook. Day after day my colleagues and I started noticing that for many people, social media started being the platform for which people either started overtly hurting each other or it was the cause of misunderstandings and miscommunications. 
I spent a lot of time in doubt as to whether or not I could ever write a book about this subject. "I'm a shrink Jim, not a writer!" However, my intrigue about the psychological impact of social media got so strong that I'd talk about it to anyone who would listen to me go on and on about it, until finally one of my friends told me to stop talking about it and start writing. I began by interviewing people on their positive and negative experiences with social media, but the point at which I decided to take the book writing thing seriously happened on the day that I had to escort a client to the emergency room due to a toxic Facebook interaction. That's when I realized, fear or no fear, I had to write this book. 

How do you imagine Mark Zuckerberg, being a psychology major himself, reacting if he read Facehooked?

Ha! Well as fate would have it, I recently have been contacted by a few members of Mark Zuckerberg's staff about my book. I can't disclose more information than that for now but I can say, with a fair amount of certainty, that he likely knows about my book. 
If he read my book, I think that he would understand what I'm conveying through the case examples and the guidelines provided throughout the manuscript. I emphasize that there are many positive aspects to Facebook, but certain interactions and social media related behaviors can be harmful too. In Facehooked I point out that Facebook is not the problem because Facebook alone can't hurt people; people hurt people. Now that we have this newly found power to connect with each other and instantly interact with each other, we have a responsibility to treat ourselves and others with respect - both offline and within our digital expressions. 

One of my favorite parts of your book is a section titled Facebook: Helping Stalkers Since 2004. Have you ever been stalked on, or outside of, social media by a client?

Great question.  Truthfully, I've been waiting and wondered if anyone would ever ask me this question because it would cause me to self-disclose my own reactions to certain encounters on social media. Yes, I've been stalked on Facebook, but not by a client. When I first meet clients I inform them that one of the rules of therapy is that I will not interact with them on Facebook under any circumstances. The stalking experience I encountered was awful and required a lot of work to completely disconnect from this individual. I will not deny that the experience was one of the factors that inspired the book. I figured that if I went through a tough time trying to get rid of a stalker on Facebook, I wondered how many other people suffered through the same experience. 

Between writing and sorting other people’s brains out, you’re juggling two careers at once. How do you divide your time between the two?

Maintaining a balance between the two is still a work in progress. Writing Facehooked while working a full-time job, and caring for my father who's health was failing at the time (he's doing much better now) was one of the most challenging experiences of my life - even more difficult than writing my dissertation or studying for my licensing exam. Luckily I had an amazingly patient and supportive agent, Elizabeth Kracht. I couldn't have done it without her encouraging words. She has become a very dear friend. 
I've been wrapping my head around the idea of jumping into the writing process once more. Most people don't realize the immense pain, frustration, exhaustion, self-doubt and fear a writer experiences several times throughout the process, and this doesn't even include editing!  One minute I'm jotting down book ideas while enjoying the euphoria of feeling brilliant and clever, and the next minute I feel like slamming the keyboard on my forehead out of frustration. I envisioned myself flinging my computer out the window and accidentally killing a poor bird that was minding his own business, but was flying by at the wrong place and the wrong time.  #DeathByFlyingLaptop. No, the writing process is no picnic…but then I remember the times when I felt "in the writing zone" and it was during those times that I was deeply inspired to write. No matter how tired I was (it could've been three o'clock in the morning) once an idea hit me I wanted to get up and write, and it felt amazing. These moments make the process all worth it. 

Click HERE to Check out Facehooked

Lastly, I’ve heard that the book you’re currently working on is about sex. As a psychologist, do you still get shocked by people’s sexual impulses and endeavors, or have you heard it all?

The next book is partially about sex and partially about romantic relationships.  It is rather difficult to shock a psychologist, but every time I say I've heard it all, I soon regret it because sure enough, someone will share a story that's stranger than fiction. I've heard some incredibly detailed sexual fetish fantasies that were played out in reality, and they've forever influenced the way I look at the power of fantasy. These stories intrigue me, which is why I became a psychologist. I like to examine all parts of the human psyche…both the light and the dark. These elements, embraced together, make us...perfectly imperfect. 

A BIG thanks to Suzana for letting me interview her!
If you're curious to find out more about Facehooked...


Wednesday, September 2, 2015

SENTENCING SAPPHIRE Cover & Description Reveal

SENTENCING SAPPPHIRE (Book 3 in the Sapphire Dubois Series), is scheduled for release on Oct. 6, 2015, but here's the cover and description!

Sapphire Dubois is back in the follow-up to the international bestsellers STALKING SAPPHIRE and SILENCING SAPPHIRE, fighting her most grueling serial killer yet.

A summer has passed since the catastrophe at the country club. Heiress and vigilante Sapphire Dubois has escaped to Paris, where she has shed her rich persona and lives as the infamous Serial Catcher. When the handsome Detective Aston Ridder tracks her down, Sapphire returns home to find Beverly Hills in chaos. A new vigilante has taken over Sapphire's old job, and will stop at nothing to get her predecessor out of the way.

Meanwhile, a man with dark intentions and a deceiving smile has nestled his way into the rich community and is killing off heiresses. It doesn't take long before Sapphire finds that this man, the next killer she has to catch, is none other than her estranged father. Already plagued by sickening memories, Sapphire is pushed to the limit when her father initiates a deranged game that threatens both her sanity and the lives of everyone around her.

While Aston struggles to keep the woman he loves from drowning in her father's madness, Sapphire battles to outwit her merciless opponents before time runs out and more innocent blood is spilled.