Author Interview #336: Trust Me by Sheena Binkley

November 26, 2014

Sheena Binkley, Amazon best-selling book, Trust Me, from the Love, Life, & Happiness series (African-American Romance, 4.6 stars, 36 reviews). Here is more about the story:

Cheryl: Falling in love is something I’d never imagined. I didn’t think love existed, mainly because of the way I was raised. Relationships were never in the cards, especially since I gave a chance on one, and it nearly destroyed me. When I met Marcus Walker, I was only looking for a fling, nothing more; but the more time I spent with him, the more I realized he could be so much more. Not only has he helped me through my family drama but also with a situation I thought was way behind me. Now, I understand what love is and how powerful it can be. But will I let myself be loved, or will I continue to believe that love is not for me?

Marcus: One thing I said I will never do in my life is fall in love. Being in love is great for some people, but not for me. That all changed when I met Cheryl Thompson. At first, I thought she would be like the rest, just a one-night stand, but when I saw what she was going through, I realized she was much more than a fling; she was someone I wanted to commit to. Will I be able to trust myself and give her what she needs, or will I end up destroying her even more?

Sheena Binkley brings a unique spin to the African-American Romance and New Adult genres with Trust Me, the second book from the Love, Life, & Happiness series. This book is available in e-book and print on Amazon and other major retailers.

1. What was unique about the setting of the book and how did it enhance or take away from the story?

The setting for Trust Me was built around a college town and gave an excellent backdrop to college life and what people have experienced in a given semester. It provided a visual for readers to go on a journey with the characters and the experiences they’d shared throughout the story.

2.  What specific themes did you emphasize throughout the novel? What were you trying to get across to the reader?

I think readers will take away the fact that it’s okay to trust your significant other by being understanding and having each other’s back throughout any situation. Although relationships can be rough and can cause problems, by being in love, it can help majority of your situations become happy and joyous. Read more »

Author Interview #334: My Home Sweet Rome by Sari Gilbert

November 19, 2014

Our interview is with Sari Gilbert author of My Home Sweet Rome (4.3 stars, 55 reviews). Before we get to the interview a brief description of her book.

It’s a wonderful place to visit, but would you want to live there? Sari Gilbert, who has lived for close to 40 years in what many have called the Eternal City, answers with a resounding “yes….. but”. A native New Yorker who moved to Rome after finishing graduate school and then became a journalist, Gilbert’s book “My Home Sweet Rome: Living (and Loving) in the Eternal City” describes what life is really like in the Italian capital: to sum it up, “fascinating, and delightful, but not at all easy”.

Many foreigners have moved to Italy, but relatively few have decided to stay on for the rest of their lives, unless they are married and have put down family roots. Gilbert uses her own particular status – as an attractive and single woman, as a journalist for major U.S. and Italian news organs, and as an American – as a magnifying lens to examine the various aspects of Italian and Roman life. She gives us an unveiled view of the country’s politics, its stifling bureaucracy, its contradictory social customs, everyday concerns and gastronomical habits.

Author Interview With Sari Gilbert

Q. Why did you decide to write this book?
A. I had been living in Rome since the early 70s, actually from before that if you want to count periods of study, and I felt I wanted to let people know what life here is REALLY like.

Q, Well, haven’t lots of people done that?
A. Maybe not lots, but, yes, quite a few. But most of these books tend to glorify the Italian experience, waxing eloquent on things like Italian food, the beauty of the country and so forth. Those things are real, of course, otherwise there wouldn’t be massive numbers of tourists here. But Italy is a very complex country where daily life can be very frustrating and this is something the average visitor just is not aware of.

Q. Is there anything else that makes your book unique, other than the fact that you kind of take the wraps off? Read more »

Author Interview #332: Sliding Past Vertical by Laurie Boris

November 12, 2014

Our interview today is with Laurie Boris, author of Sliding Past Vertical (contemporary fiction, 4.7 stars, 29 reviews) and other novels, including of the award-winning Don’t Tell Anyone, The Joke’s on Me, Drawing Breath, Playing Charlie Cool, and novella The Picture of Cool. Before we get to the interview, a brief description of the novel: Ten years after a brief college romance, Emerson and Sarah have remained comfortable, long-distance friends. Yet secretly he longs for her and is quick to offer comfort and support when her hasty decisions end in varying degrees of disaster. When her drug-dealing boyfriend lands her in deep trouble, she calls Emerson again. But is this the rescue that pushes their friendship to the breaking point?


Laurie Boris likes to write about realistic characters going through sometimes painfully realistic situations, usually with a romantic thread. Combining pathos and humor has earned her positive reviews, an IndieBRAG medallion, and a win in The Kindle Book Review’s 2013 Best Indie Book Awards. Sliding Past Vertical, as well as her other novels and short fiction, are available in print and e-book through Amazon and other major online retailers.

1. When did you start writing, and was there a significant event that prompted you to do so?

I’ve been writing since junior high school, when I kept a journal as a companion. That habit continued for years. I returned to fiction in my early twenties when I left a graphic arts job in advertising to pursue freelance work. Between gigs, I wrote stories…really bad stories. Eventually I got better and worked up the nerve to submit them. Then one felt like it had the potential to become a novel. On a dare from my husband, I finished it and kept writing more.

2. What inspired you to write Sliding Past Vertical?

The idea came from a writing exercise I did at a conference. We were asked to go back to a time in our lives when we were at a crossroads…and take the other path. Then write a scene based on a character landing in the consequences of that decision. This character was so broken, and in that space, she did something that hurt a friend of mine very badly. The exercise had so much power that I wrote an apology note to that friend. (Never sent it, of course!) Years later, I found the notebook and the apology. It still had power for me, so I decided to write a novel to let the character explain herself and seek redemption.

3. What’s your book about? Read more »

Author Interview #330: A Human Element by Donna Galanti

November 5, 2014

Our interview today is with Donna Galanti, author of book 1 of the Element Trilogy, A Human Element (suspense, 4.5 stars, 68 reviews) and book 2, A Hidden Element, and Joshua and the Lightning Road (2015). Donna’s debut novel, A Human Element, just re-released by Imajin Books, reveals a haunting look at what it means to be human and a suspenseful ride through life and love…and death. Fans of paranormal suspense will enjoy this thriller noted as being “unrelenting, devious but full of heart” and “a story that will have the reader pondering about supernatural powers and the evil forces of humanity.”

In A Human Element, Laura Armstrong’s loved ones are being murdered, and despite her unique healing powers, she can do nothing to stop it. The savage killer haunts her dreams, tormenting her with the promise that she is next. Determined to find the killer, she follows her visions to the site of a crashed meteorite in her hometown. There, she meets Ben Fieldstone, who seeks answers about his parents’ death the night the meteorite struck. In a race to stop a madman, they unravel a frightening secret that binds them together. But the killer’s desire to destroy Laura face-to-face leads to a showdown that puts Laura and Ben’s emotional relationship and Laura’s pure spirit to the test. With the killer closing in, Laura discovers her destiny is linked to his,and she has two choices—redeem him or kill him.


Donna Galanti writes murder and mystery with a dash of steam. She’s called “a true storyteller, highly reminiscent of Dean Koontz”, who blends dark fiction with horror, science fiction, and suspense in her newly re-released novel A Human Element. Drawing rave reviews for being “a page-turner filled with fascinating twists and turns”, A Human Element is available in print and e-book through Amazon and other major retailers. More of Donna’s dark fiction can be had in her short story collection, The Dark Inside, which“builds a world of horror and suspense anchored deeply in humanity”.

1.  What draws you to the paranormal genre? Do you feel they are the same things that draw the rest of us?
So many things fall under the paranormal, but I think we are drawn to it because they all have the same theme: the mysterious unknown. Are ghosts real? Do we have the power to read minds? Can we heal with our touch? Can we move objects with our thoughts? Can we kill with our mind power? Research says we use a very small percent of our brain power. I like to imagine the possibilities if we could access the remaining percent. We may not need physical bodies at all or need to talk to communicate. Read more »

Author Interview #328: Homeless Hero by Michael Tapscott

October 29, 2014

Our interview today is with Mike Tapscott author of Homeless Hero: Understanding the Soul of Home (4.9 stars on 44 reviews) (Social Sciences, non-fiction, 4.9 stars, 40 reviews), grand prize winner of the 2014 Great Southwest Book Festival.

A brief description before we get to the interview: Homeless Hero: Understanding the Soul of Home explores humanity and homelessness in a way that is vibrantly vivid and personally accessible to the reader. Many questions that we have probably asked ourselves at one time or another are addressed: what is homelessness, why does it exist, are they just on drugs, how do I help, when is helping really enabling, and why does it bother me so much in the first place? Here is a compilation of experiences from Tapscott’s experimental journey into life on the streets, his own volunteer work, and his fascinating interviews with individuals utilizing and individuals working for the social service system. Homeless Hero is a case study, an experiment, an adventure, and a multi-layered examination of American society that seeks to expand the readers’ understanding of homelessness and more importantly their own humanity. Homeless Hero: Understanding the Soul of Home is available in print and e-book through Amazon and other major retailers.


1. What inspired you to write Homeless Hero?

My father. When he retired, he took up volunteer work at a homeless shelter in Albuquerque. I was shocked. I was thinking he would travel the world and play golf.

Trying to make sense of his decision led me to write this book and answer the question, what is homelessness? It’s a difficult question to answer with any authority. Think about it. Can explain homelessness? 

2. What’s your book about?

Besides homelessness, it’s about you and me. The book approaches homelessness from up close without staring it in the face. It goes beyond exploring the issue from the outside and invites readers to take a journey with me where true exploration of the self begins—of self and other. I think that’s something that comes natural to writers and readers that other people don’t get. We sense that lack of separation between self and subject, because it takes both—to read or to write.

3. What makes your writing style unique? Read more »

Author Interview #326: The Good Sister by Wendy Corsi Staub

October 22, 2014

Our interview is with Wendy Corsi Staub author of several books including The Good Sister (4.0 stars, 144 reviews). A brief book description before the interview: In New York Times bestselling authorWendy Corsi Staub’s electrifying new thriller,a mother races to save her daughter beforeher darkest nightmare comes true.

Sacred Sisters Catholic girls’ school has hardly changed since Jen Archer was a student. Jen hoped her older daughter would thrive here. Instead, shy, studious Carley becomes the target of vicious bullies. But the real danger at Sacred Sisters goes much deeper.

The only person Carley can talk to is “Angel,” a kindred spirit she met online. Carley tells Angel everything—about her younger sister, about school, about the sudden death of her former best friend. Angel is her lifeline. And Angel is closer than she knows.

When another schoolgirl is found dead, Jen’s unease grows. There are too many coincidences, too many links to her past. Every instinct tells her that Carley is the next target. For someone is intent on punishing the guilty, teaching the ultimate lesson in how to fear . . . and how to die.


1. What was unique about the setting of the book and how did it enhance or take away from the story?
A few summers ago, I found myself in Alabama with my husband and sons as part of my ongoing 50-state book tour. I’d been to Mobile but never to the eastern bay area, and I fell in love. We spent a week at the Grand Hotel, exploring Pointe Clear and Fairhope, and I knew I had to set my next book there. A steamy Deep South summer lends itself well to a suspense setting, from the violent thunderstorms to the pervasive sense of something heavy and oppressive hanging in the air.

2. What specific themes did the author emphasize throughout the novel? What do you think he or she is trying to get across to the reader? Read more »

Author Interview #324: When Dreams Are Calling by Carol Vorvain

October 15, 2014

Our interview today is with Carol Vorvain, author of the award-winning When Dreams are Calling (4.7 stars, 31 reviews, Inspirational, humor).

Before we get to the interview, a brief description of the book:

There is no greater fear than the fear of change and no greater joy than overcoming it.
Inspired by a true story, When Dreams are Calling is a transformational journey through five continents, seven countries that will redefine your idea of courage while making you laugh all the way.

The main character, Dora, is a witty young woman who chases her dreams across continents, from Europe to America, then to Asia, and finally, to the far away shores of Australia. We see the changes she goes through, the price she pays for following her dreams, but also the rewards she gets on the way. Her life is a roller coaster and her plan is nothing more than the confidence that everything will work out for the best. The story is filled with magical words of wisdom that will inspire and delight you, while making you reflect on the beauty of friendship, lust, love and kindness. “Words have power, dreams have power, we have power” is the motif which echoes all through this enthralling novel that bursts with optimism.


1. The book encourages people to follow their dreams. But what are the dreams of the author Carol Vorvain?

My dreams are all wrapped up in a poem that opens the last chapter of my book, When Dreams are Calling:

I dream of flowers yellow and blue

Surrounding a red house and a canoe,

With parrots that squawk be it sunny or rain,

With books in my hands picking my brain,


Making a soup from my own veggie patch,

Writing a tale about match and mismatch,

Travel the seas and the world in between,

Touching Antarctica and a croc’s skin.


Growing older with him by my side,

Laughing at my first Wonderland ride,

Listening to his jokes always funny and true,

While we keep philosophizing on what’s old and what’s new.

2.  The book reads like an inspirational book. And the reflections at the end of each chapter confirm this. Which one is your favourite? Read more »

Author Interview #322: The Invisible Enemy by Anthony Howard

October 8, 2014

Our interview today is with Anthony R Howard, author of the bestselling, award-winning novel The Invisible Enemy: Black Fox (Suspense/Thriller, 4.9 stars, 42 reviews) and its sequel, The Invisible Enemy II: Vendetta.  Before we get to the interview, a brief description of the series: There is a secret that will bring America to its knees. In The Invisible Enemy: Black Fox, Reporter Dorian Valentine discovers the horrific truth regarding the Strategic Offensive Reduction Treaty (a critical peace agreement between the former Soviet Union and the United States): One side is cheating, and even worse – the cheating side holds the ultimate trump card. Brutally trained from birth to live, talk, and think like Americans, foreign powers have constructed the most dangerous network of secret operatives ever known – created for the ultimate trinity: Intelligence, Espionage, and Warfare. This dynamic organization has been planted on US soil long ago by the former KGB to retrieve information at any cost, cause political catastrophe, or kill on moment’s notice. Now they are out of control, striking fear into the heart of the Pentagon. The Central Intelligence Agency assembles a powerful team of assassins that “do not exist” in an attempt to terminate an enemy that cannot be caught by any traditional methods. The Invisible Enemy grabs the reader by the arm, and casts them deep into the furious depths of intense warfare, awesome espionage, and unpredictable deceit – where there is a frightful undercover agenda that even the operatives themselves are not aware of


Anthony R Howard unites cutting-edge technology, real life experience with the dept of defense and fast-paced action in his bestselling novel. The reader is paralyzed with anticipation as the plot somersaults out of control after the enemy operatives swiftly perform a devastating political strike, and then realize they have been set up. Here the game changes and no one has told them the rules. Betrayed by their own country and thrown into a world they can not trust, they are forced to depend on the most potent weapon they had ever been trained to use: their unnatural minds. The Invisible Enemy: Black Fox, and its sequel The Invisible Enemy II: Vendetta  is available in print, audiobook, and e-book through Amazon, Barnes and Nobles & other major retailers.

I’ve heard this book is very different from most fiction books. Tell us about your book The Invisible Enemy: Black Fox and why it’s different from all of the other fiction out there? Read more »

Author Interview #320: The Artist by Angelo Marcos

October 1, 2014

Our interview today is with Angelo Marcos, author of psychological thrillers The Artist (4.7 stars, 23 reviews, Amazon U.K.) and Sleep No More, and new short story collection The Walk.

Angelo is a writer, comedian and actor, and a graduate of both law and psychology.  He has performed stand up comedy all over the UK, and has acted in numerous short films and theatrical productions.

He also co-wrote the musical ‘Love and Marriage’ which was performed at the Edinburgh Festival, and in 2011 he contributed to the Royal British Legion book ‘In the Footsteps of War’. His articles and short stories have been published both online and in print.

1. When did you start writing, and was there a significant event that prompted you to do so?

I don’t there was anything in particular that prompted me to start writing.  In saying that, I started writing when I was about 13 so if there was a significant event I may well have forgotten it…

I have always liked writing, and used to spend hours writing stories, comedy sketches, poems, and even song lyrics at one point.   When I started performing stand-up, that became my main focus so everything else pretty much went on the back burner from then on.  It was only when I had a 1-2 month period of not doing stand-up gigs that I got back into fiction writing, and remembered how much I enjoyed it.

2. What’s The Artist about?

The story is a crime thriller set in London, which revolves around a serial killer who is preying on young actresses and filming the last 15 minutes of their lives. The recordings are then sent to the media. It’s a perversion of Andy Warhol’s quote about Read more »

Author Interview #318: Family Pieces by Misa Rush

September 24, 2014

Our interview today is with Misa Rush, author of Family Pieces (new adult/chick lit, 4.3 stars, 134 reviews). Before we get to the interview, a little about the book.

Adding a splash of romance, a pinch of family drama and a dash of mystery, Misa Rush combines chick lit with coming of age in her debut novel Family Pieces.  The heartwarming story is available in e-book, paperback and audio through Amazon and other major retailers.


1. Can you tell our readers a little bit about yourself? When did you start writing, and was there a significant event that prompted you to do so?

A little about me: my real name is Melissa Rush, but I wrote Family Pieces under my nickname, Misa (pronounced Miss-uh). I’m an Indiana native, but now reside in Arizona with my husband and two children. I’ve been athletic all my life and have even suffered through running a couple of marathons, although lately I’ve spent more time on the floor playing make believe with my kids than exercising.

Although I’ve always loved to write, I didn’t start writing my first novel until 2008. I was sitting on the couch, reading one of my favorite authors, when I must have mentioned out loud “I could do this.” Of course, my dear husband chirped in with a quick “Then do it.” The challenge was there, so I had no choice but to follow through, right? (Insert giggling here)

2. What inspired you to write Family Pieces?

The entire story was built around a real necklace charm. I had previously seen charms made into puzzle-pieced shapes and the puzzle piece is the symbol for the Autism Foundation. Then I met someone who made charms for families that really did connect together and I thought it was a creative idea. The next thought was what if a family had fitted charms and then found out a piece was missing … who would have the piece and how would it build into a story? Read more »

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