Friday, December 16, 2016

Guest Blogger: J.K. Knauss (An Interview with Doña Lambra from Seven Noble Knights)

I'm super excited to host J.K. Knauss on my blog today.  J.K. is a fellow author and blogger and is here to share an interview with one of her characters from Seven Noble Knights. Welcome, J.K.!

When Does a Blood-Soaked Cucumber Solve Your Problems? 
J. K. Knauss interviews Doña Lambra, Villainess of SEVEN NOBLE KNIGHTS
The author with Doña Lambra in Barbadillo

As Chapter II of Seven Noble Knights opens, the people of the capital city of Burgos are already celebrating while they prepare for the wedding of Don Ruy Blásquez, one of the Count of Castile’s most loyal knights, to Doña Lambra de Bureba, some twenty years his junior and the most beautiful lady in the land. Today author J. K. Knauss sits down at the long table in the farmhouse in Barbadillo sometime between Chapters VII and VIII to talk with Lambra while the cooks try to prepare supper quietly at the hearth.

JKK: For the record, my lady, where and when were you born?

Lambra: At Busto de Bureba under the sign of Leo in the year of Our Lord 959.

JKK: You recently got married. I don’t think things went as well as you’d hoped.

Lambra: Of course they didn’t. Not only was I forced to marry some minor noble I’d never heard of before, but I also unwillingly became the aunt of the so-called seven noble knights, and they killed my cousin Álvar Sánchez! (Looks at her maid Justa, who has been sitting in the corner so quietly the interviewer didn’t even know she was there until she tried to cover up a sob with a cough.) If you can’t keep quiet, go outside and slop the hogs! (Justa slips out the front door.) Sorry about that. She really doesn’t know her place these days. What right does she have to be sad about Álvar? He was my cousin, not hers.

JKK: Tell me about your cousin Álvar.

Lambra: Oh, I loved him so much! He was the best knight Castile ever had, so strong and brave, and he loved me. He took such good care of me at the wedding, always asking how I was and holding my hand when I was scared. If he hadn’t been so closely related to me… His body was so perfectly formed, he was more beautiful than a sculpture. Tall and blond with icy blue eyes….

JKK: So he looked a lot like you, my lady?

Lambra: Until all his teeth were knocked out! They blame the horse, but I know it was my “nephew” Gonzalo’s fault. And then, what that Gonzalo did to Little Page, my wedding present from the count!

JKK: I am deeply saddened by what happened to Little Page, but do you think Gonzalo was provoked? I mean, it’s not every day your aunt’s servant dips a cucumber in a bucket full of hog’s blood and throws it at you to stain your shirt—and your honor.

Lambra: No, not every day, but it does happen and a man should know how to deal with it. If it had only been because of the cucumber, he might’ve controlled his awful temper. But he hates me. His whole family hates me, and that’s why they keep attacking my household.

JKK: You weren’t trying to say anything with the bloody cucumber? I heard Gonzalo say it could be interpreted as a death threat.

Lambra: What does he know?

JKK: He’s studied the law of your Visigothic ancestors, my lady.

Lambra: Enough! You didn’t say we were going to talk about my so-called nephews.

JKK: I thought all was well between you. I thought you apologized for overreacting and sent your husband, Ruy Blásquez, to make amends with his brother-in-law and nephews.

Lambra: (muttering) Oh, he’s making amends. (Justa drags in the door, even more disheveled than when she left.) Justa, escort this… interviewer… to the road out of Barbadillo, never to return.

JKK: (Takes Justa’s arm and walks out to the road.) I’m happy to leave, Justa. I’m only sorry you have to stay here. (They embrace.) Please forgive me for leaving you here with Lambra, dear girl. But without you, Part Two can’t happen. I promise I’ll make it up to you in the sequel.

Available on Amazon
Spain, 974. Gonzalo, a brave but hotheaded knight, unwittingly provokes tragedy at his uncle’s wedding to beautiful young noblewoman Lambra: the adored cousin of the bride dead, his teeth scattered across the riverbank. Coveting his family’s wealth and power, Lambra sends Gonzalo’s father into enemy territory to be beheaded, unleashing a revenge that devastates Castile for a generation.

A new hero, Mudarra, rises out of the ashes of Gonzalo’s once great family. Raised as a warrior in the opulence of Muslim Córdoba, Mudarra must make a grueling journey and change his religion, then chooses to take his jeweled sword to the throats of his family’s betrayers. But only when he strays from the path set for him does he find his true purpose in life.

Inspired by a lost medieval epic poem, Seven Noble Knights draws from history and legend to bring a brutal yet beautiful world to life in a gripping story of family, betrayal, and love.

“Let Seven Noble Knights welcome you to historical fiction! …it’s a rich saga populated with characters you will grow to love (and a few you will love to hate). The ancient empires of Spain are a beautiful backdrop to the struggles of humankind across all generations of all lands: romance, revenge, war, and adventure.”
—Pushcart Prize nominee Reneé Bibby, The Writers Studio

Born and raised in Northern California, J. K. Knauss has wandered all over the United States, Spain, and England. She has worked as a librarian and a Spanish teacher and earned a PhD in medieval Spanish literature before entering the publishing world as an editor. Her acclaimed novella, Tree/House, Kindle Scout–winning paranormal adventure Awash in Talent, and short story collection, Unpredictable Worlds, are currently available.

Her epic of medieval Spain, Seven Noble Knights, is now available on Kindle from Bagwyn Books! The softcover edition comes out on January 16, 2017. Discover all the amazing stops on the Grand Book Launch Blog Tour at Feel free to sign up for her mailing list for castles, stories, and magic.

Monday, November 14, 2016

The Trouble with Thieves (a.k.a. Those Blasted Bunnies)

Welcome to Shifter High

Paulie's story is finally here!

Paulie Porcupine is determined to catch the thieves who've been stealing his acorns. 
His prime suspects are the bunnies and the human, Amelia.

All Paulie has to do is figure out where they're taking his acorns and steal them back. 
With the help of his best friend, Melvin Moose, 
those acorns should be back where they belong in no time. 
That is, if Paulie can keep Melvin from getting all antlered up
every time he sees Amelia. 
No problem, right?
Available on Amazon now

Saturday, November 12, 2016

Guest Author: An Interview with Sheri Queen, author of Bounty Huntress

I'm thrilled to host Sheri Queen on my blog today. Sheri is a fellow blogger and author and she's hear to speak with us about her novel, Bounty Huntress. Welcome, Sheri!
Bounty Huntress by Sheri Queen
Bounty Huntress

Janda Gray’s a Lykoi—part werecat, part wolf—shunned by both sides of her lineage.

She yearns for the day when she can escape the disdainful glances and leave her home on the outskirts of Sleepy Hollow, NY. When she lands a lucrative bounty hunter contract, she thinks her life is finally turning around. All she has to do is lure her werecat target from the safety of the Hotel Paranormal.
Then she meets a werepanther. Her life will never be the same.

Alexander Holden, second-in-command of a powerful werecat clan, is accused of murdering the woman he was to marry. He must find the real killer to clear his name or spend the rest of his supernaturally long life on the run.
Complications arise after Janda falls for the man she’s supposed to be capturing.

Now she must decide if following her heart is worth risking everything, including the love they’ve found in each other’s embrace.
Love is about making sacrifices. Saving him is all that matters.

Bounty Huntress is the introduction to the Sleepy Hollow Hunter series.

How did you come up with the title for this book?
It’s my protagonist’s job—bounty hunter. I decided I wanted to separate my novel from the many other bounty hunter ones, so I came up with the gender switch of huntress. It worked. 

Is there a message or theme in this story you want readers to be aware of?

There are several themes within the story, mostly about family and relationships, but the biggest one is that it’s okay to be different. Love who you are, and don’t let what others say make you think you’re not good enough.

Is this part of a series? If so, can you share a little about what’s coming next?

This is a short novel that’s part of a multi-author series, The Hotel Paranormal. Over twenty authors have penned their own paranormal story set in a common world—the Hotel. It’s been so much fun to do. You can find out more about the series at, but basically it’s a hotel set in an alternate dimension that’s a gathering place for paranormal creatures.

The Hotel Paranormal is THE place for supernatural beings looking to get away from it all. Beings like werewolves, vampires, elves, sprites, djinn and more check in from all over the world for business and for pleasure—and sometimes for both.

Also, I’m using this as an introduction to a new series I’m working on, the Sleepy Hollow Hunter series. The next novel will be out in 2017, although I don’t have a release date as yet. It will see Janda Gray take on her hunter role in earnest. She’ll have great joys and even greater sorrows as a Sleepy Hollow Hunter.

Is there a process you go through when deciding your character’s names?

I find names in all sorts of places—street signs, town names, shop names. My character, Janda Gray, was inspired by a florist shop—Janda’s Flowers. Lol. If the name fits the character, why not?

What made you become an author?

I love reading. It was my go-to activity growing up. I make up stories in my head all the time, so I thought it would be good to actually learn how to write them down. The other thing about being an author is that you can do it any place. It’s portable. I spent years getting uprooted as a Navy wife, and it’s hard starting over all the time. This is something I wish I had done sooner, but at least I’m doing it now.

Beginning writers look to published authors for advice, so what words of wisdom can you give new authors?

Well, I’m still a new author. This is my first release. I have other stories written, but other than some short stories in a college journal, I have not been previously published. I’d say, keep at it. Don’t give up.
Do you have one particular character in your current novel that you just love?

Besides my main character, I have several I really like. Sebastian, the vampire in the story, is probably one of my favorites. He was a lot of fun to write.

Social media takes up a lot of an author’s time, but it’s crucial to expanding our readership. Can you tell me which social media platforms you prefer to use when connecting with your readership?

This is a hard one for me. I’m building my following, so I try to hit most of the major platforms. I connect with a lot of people on my personal Facebook page, but I restrict that to people I know. Pinterest is a lot of fun, but Twitter and Instagram seem to be the best spots for me to connect with potential readers.

How do you want to be remembered as an author?

I write stories I hope people will enjoy and that will resonate with them in some way. I don’t need to be remembered, but if one of my characters makes a difference in someone’s life, then I’d be happy.

What new stories/projects are in your pipeline?

The next story in the Sleepy Hollow Hunter series is a priority. I also have a SF short story that may be dusted off to become part of a group anthology in the spring. That’s plenty for me at the moment.

The next ten questions are fun ones to give us a glimpse inside the author’s life:

Coffee or tea? Or, neither?

Neither. I don’t want to give up the summer weather, so I’m still drinking lemonade infused with fresh strawberries. Lol.

Chocolate or Vanilla?

Chocolate all the way!

Favorite color?

It changes with my mood. It was red, now it’s deep green. Who knows what it will be tomorrow? 

Favorite TV series or movies that inspire your creativity?

There are several, but the most recent ones are on Netflix. I love Jessica Jones. Also, Penny Dreadful, although some of that can be tough to watch. On television of course, Dr. Who and Game of Thrones. AND, Outlander. I read that whole series years ago, so it’s cool seeing it do so well..

Where do you prefer to write?

In warm weather, I love being outside. Otherwise, I have a writing room that’s in a quieter area of my house. Really, I will write pretty much any place. 

Do you have a playlist to listen to when you write, or do you prefer the quiet?

I like to play certain tunes when I’m just getting into my writing, but most of the time I prefer no distractions. Generally, I write where it’s quiet.

Reading preference: E-Books, paperback, or hardcover?

All of them. My Kindle and a paperback go with me on plane trips, to the beach, and pretty much everywhere. Hardcovers are bulkier, so I read those when I’m at home. Plus, those cost more, so it would have to be a special series for me to splurge on them. For instance, Harry Potter. Absolutely, must be in hardcover. Those are keepers.

If you could vacation any place in the world (or universe) where would you go?

Some place isolated and in a natural state. I love the water, too. I like to wander, though, so it would have to be a series of places to satisfy my inner wanderlust. 

What three things are in your refrigerator now?

Yogurt (chocolate variety), Kale that only I seem to like, and I’d say lemonade, but I just drank the last of it. I guess I need to go to the grocery store.

Most writers wear many hats, but if you weren’t a writer, what else would you be?

I’ve worn a lot of hats in my life, but I have a special spot in my heart for anything craft oriented, especially my quilting. I had a longarm quilting business for ten years, but those monstrous machines (12 feet long) are hard to keep moving around.


Sheri Queen, author of Bounty Huntress
Sheri Queen received her MFA in Writing Popular Fiction from Seton Hill University. She grew up in the Hudson Valley region of New York—an area she loves to depict as a backdrop for her stories—and enjoys traveling to new places where she is constantly discovering inspirations for her writing. In particular, she loves visiting graveyards.

Connect with Sheri:



Twitter: @SWQueenFlemming


Thursday, November 3, 2016

The Trouble with Thieves: COVER REVEAL

I am super excited to reveal the cover for my second installment of Shifter High: The Trouble with Thieves (a.k.a. Those Blasted Bunnies).

I've had so much fun writing Paulie's story and can't wait for it to go live in a couple weeks. In the meantime, here's a sneak peak at its awesome cover, created by the always amazing Jeanine Henning.

Monday, September 5, 2016

Guest Blogger: Jessica Knauss (An Interview with Beth from Awash in Talent)

I'm thrilled to host Jessica Knauss on my blog today.  Jessica is a fellow author and blogger and is here to share an interview with one of her characters, Beth. Welcome, Jessica and Beth!
Available on Amazon

Multiple Talents in a Talentless World: Beth from Awash in Talent Interviewed by Her Author 

Beth spends most of her childhood languishing in an isolation room because adults don’t know what to do about her apparent severe allergies. When she follows her big sister, Emily, to an archaeological dig in Ethiopia only to be ignored, it’s the last straw. She has an operation and her Talents are released into the world. She turns out to be one of only 100 people in the world who can heal with her touch, and she can also move objects with her mind.

She is the most extraordinary person in Awash in Talent, but because he story is narrated by others, this exclusive interview is the only place you’ll get the real story straight from her.

Jessica Knauss: Hi, Beth. How are you today?

Beth: I am so nervous and excited! No one’s ever asked to talk to me about me before. The closest I’ve come is the psychological interviews about Emily. She’s crazy, you know.

JK: Your sister might say the same thing about you.

Beth: Well, I think more people agree with me than with her. I may have attacked Carlos with my 
telekinesis, but it was a complete accident. Emily’s attempted kidnapping of Carlos was premeditated, as the cops would say.

JK: That is the conclusion everyone’s come to. What do you really think is going on with Emily?

Beth: It’s a disorder. She can’t help being manipulative and relentless. I still love her, she’s my sister, and sometimes I still look up to her. Then our parents remind me to keep everything in perspective and not fall for Emily’s tactics. And here we are talking about her again!

JK: I’m sorry. You are the interesting one, after all. You’re one of just 100 people in the world who can heal wounds and illness with your touch, and additionally you have the most valued of the more common Talents, telekinesis. How does your exceptional status make you feel?

Beth: A lot of the time I feel like a regular kid.

JK: But not when you’re healing hopeless cases at the hospital.

Beth: Honestly, that’s become second nature, too. People still applaud when I cure cancer or give a burn victim new skin, but then I go home to my apartment and I wonder where to find friends

JK: They’re all at school, aren’t they, the kids your age?

Beth: I’m not an age snob. I’ll be friends with anyone.

JK: I understand how hard it is. As normal as you may feel, your job and your apartment in Boston set you apart from other 16-year-olds.

Beth: (wipes away tears.)

JK: Oh, no, don’t cry! Lets talk about something else. Do you have a crush on anyone?

Beth: I’m not sure. I look at the way Emily feels about Carlos and can’t even approach that with the radiologist’s son, even though he’s really nice to me.

JK: What has been your favorite place you’ve lived?

Beth: Boston is too lonely. I love Providence the most. It’s got so much more going on than in my hometown, but you can still get around on foot or the trolley bus. I made so many friends at my telekinesis school, and I even know a few firestarters in Providence. I loved going to that giant mall in the middle of town with Emily, and eating New York System wieners with Del’s frozen lemonade. You can’t get any of that in Boston. Providence has so many unique things, and more than one movie theatre, unlike my hometown. It’s perfect. 

JK: What about the weather? 

Beth: It’s awesome. My hometown was always the same temperature, but in Providence you have seasons, spectacular fall foliage, and in the winter it can be 60 degrees one day and then the next morning you wake up under six feet of snow. 

JK: You have a distinct advantage in a dramatic snow storm. Has the city ever enlisted the help of telekinetics for snow removal?

Beth: I never did it, but I think that’s the job of some of my friends’ parents. I’m needed elsewhere.

JK: Not to mention you’re still a teenager.

Beth: I can handle anything they need me to do.

JK: I know you can, and you will. But what do you really want?

Beth: (hesitates, whispers) I never want to see a sick person again. (Gaining volume) I’d like to construct buildings based on M. C. Escher paintings. A few of them might require a fourth dimension, but a lot of them I could make work with telekinesis.

JK: That sounds like a blast! Thank you so much for talking with me.

Beth: Of course. You are the author, after all.
Jessica Knauss’s Awash in Talent was released by Kindle Press on June 7 to praise from readers who love something different. 
This is the first stop in a week-long Awash in Talent blog tour. Don’t miss the crazy character interviews and writing advice at the blogs of Carrie S. Miller, Andi Adams, J.L. Gribble, and Jennifer Loring
Author Bio:
Born and raised in Northern California, Jessica Knauss has wandered all over the United States, Spain, and England. She has worked as a librarian and a Spanish teacher and earned a PhD in Medieval Spanish Literature before entering the publishing world as an editor. Her acclaimed novella, Tree/House, and short story collection, Unpredictable Worlds, are currently available. Her epic of medieval Spain, Seven Noble Knights, will be published by Bagwyn Books in December 2016. 
Find her on social media and updates on the sequels to Awash in Talent and Seven Noble Knights and her other writing at her website: Feel free to sign up for her mailing list for castles, stories, and magic. 
Author Links: 


Monday, July 25, 2016

Guest Blogger: Jennifer Loring (Tea Time with Alex)

I'm thrilled to host Jennifer Loring on my blog today. Jennifer is a fellow author and blogger and is here to share some information about the second book in her Firebird trilogy, What's Left of Me, which releases tomorrow. The hero, Alex, loves tea and so in today's blog entry, Alex will be instructing us on the correct (i.e., Russian) way to brew a cup of tea. Welcome, Jennifer and Alex!

Now available on Amazon

WHAT'S LEFT OF ME by Jennifer Loring
The Firebird Trilogy, Book #2
Release Date: July 26, 2016
SYNOPSIS — Recovering from years of living the superstar hockey life wasn’t easy, but now Aleksandr Volynsky finally has everything… 

He’s married to the love of his life, expecting a daughter, and has a new job as an assistant coach with his old team, the Buffalo Gladiators. His happiness is short lived, however, when a sexual assault allegation surfaces, and Alex is forced to cooperate with an investigation for a crime he didn’t commit. 

Stephanie Hartwell is juggling her dream job with marriage and motherhood, but she’s not convinced she’s doing any of it well… 

Stephanie’s stress level goes from bad to worse when she’s diagnosed with a serious illness. Battling declining health and the critics who question her commitment to Alex in light of the allegation, she makes a decision that could change their relationship forever. 

Alex is afraid he’s about to lose everything—especially when he sees Stephanie’s friend kiss her… 

Devastated that his life is spiraling out of control again, Alex turns to his friend, Natasha, a Russian pop star. Convinced that Stephanie and her friend Brandon are having an affair, Alex resumes his self-destructive behavior. 

What Alex doesn’t know is Stephanie has been conducting a secret investigation of her own. She learns the truth behind the sexual assault—a truth no one, especially Alex, expects. 

With everything now out in the open, can Stephanie and Alex commit to a fresh start for the sake of their daughter, or will the ghosts of their pasts finally tear apart everything they have left? 


Tea Time with Alex
You’ve probably had black tea at least once in your life.
You’re doing it wrong.
Where I come from (Russia), we take tea very seriously. In fact, we have an entire tea culture. So no, we’re not just sitting around drinking vodka all day. Today I’m going to teach you how to brew a proper cup of tea, and you can thank me later.
First, you’ll need a samovar, a metal container traditionally used to heat and boil water. It has a faucet near the bottom and a metal pipe running up through the center. We fill the pipe with fuel to heat the water. After the water boils and the fire is extinguished, the smoke-stack on top is removed and a teapot placed there to be heated by the rising hot air. We use the teapot to brew a strong concentrate called zavarka. Then we serve the tea by tempering the concentrate with boiled water. Here’s how you do it:
1.     Boil the water. Rinse the inside of your teapot with boiling water then, while the teapot is still hot, add one heaping teaspoon of tea leaves per cup. Immediately cover to steam the leaves.
2.     After 5-10 seconds, add the boiled water. We typically add fresh fruit jam at this point as well, so the tea and fruit can steep together.
3.     Steep the tea for at least fifteen minutes to get the best flavor.
4.     After it has brewed, place a tea strainer in your tea cup, and pour in equal parts zavarka and boiled water.
5.     Serve the tea with containers of jam, honey, or sugar—or all of the above, so your guests can enjoy it as they wish. Should you need to have a lot of tea on hand, save at least half the zavarka in your teapot, and add more boiling water and jam to keep the tea replenished for several hours.
This is a strong, flavorful tea, not your typical weak American tea. Even my tea-hating wife is starting to come around. 

ABOUT THE AUTHOR — Jennifer Loring has been, among other things, a DJ, an insurance claims assistant, and an editor. Her short fiction has appeared in numerous magazines, webzines, and anthologies, including Crystal Lake Publishing’s Tales from the Lake vol. 1 and Black Mirror Press’ Snowpocalypse. Longer works include the novella Conduits (DarkFuse, 2014) and the novels Those of My Kind (Omnium Gatherum, 2015), Firebird, and What’s Left of Me (Limitless Publishing, 2015 and 2016). Jennifer’s novella No One on Earth (After Glows Publishing) will be released in late 2016. She lives in Philadelphia, PA with her husband, their turtle, and two basset hounds.