Tag Archives: author

Arts Goggle 2018


Guess who’s going to be hosted by a local bookstore this weekend? Arts Goggle is an annual local celebration of all things eclectic that takes place in the Near SouthSide and Magnolia districts of Fort Worth. I’ve been a couple of times and sampled a spinach grilled cheese, deep friend whole okra, considered a ride in a pedicab, got instructions on how to make my own terrarium, and listened to some live music. One year there was a booth where you could screenprint your own t-shirt, and there’s been a graffiti wall where you could spray paint to your heart’s content.

For the second year, Leaves Book and Tea Shop is having an event where they’ll be hosting local authors and I was accepted to participate! I’m taking three titles with me – Drowned History, Only a Rogue Knows, and The Search for Sam – and will have them for sale at the shop all day. Not only that, but I will be in the shop from 4-6 PM to sign books, meet people and generally have a massive internal panic attack. I wonder if they’d let me bring a glass of wine or a flask. Either would be suitable.

So if you’re local, mark it on your calendar! October 20th from 4-6 PM at Leaves, and I’ve placed the address below just in case:

120 St Louis Ave
Fort Worth, Texas 76104


October is shaping up to be another September!

And I might have just committed to writing a book set in the early 1930’s.


A Release Day Walk Down Memory Lane

Detective's BrotherIt’s finally here! Today is the official release day for The Detective’s Brother and I wanted to celebrate by telling you about how it came to be. Some of you may have already heard all about it, in which case you can head over to my Facebook page and enter to win an autographed copy by checking out the pinned post.

To give you an idea of how important today is to me, you have to go all the way back to 2011 (previously I might have said 2009, but I went back to the original files and checked the date. It just feels like that long). I wrote it in about two months and adored my characters. I did my research, went through a couple of different settings, and was extremely cruel to Simon Creed. I edited it and sent it to beta readers, who enjoyed it a great deal, then in about 2012 I started querying agents. After a couple of false starts, I decided to try small presses.

By 2014 I was certain that my only option was self-publishing. There’s absolutely nothing wrong with self-publishing but I also have a full time day job, which leaves little time for marketing, designing, and learning the ins and outs of publishing, and definitely no time for writing. Then I was scooped up by a little startup in Canada called Sinnful Ebooks. We got a contract signed, a bonus paid, and a cover. Then they shut down abruptly, leaving Simon and Quinn stuck in literary limbo.

I submitted the story to Booktrope on a whim after seeing a couple of author friends talking about them and a few months later they accepted it! I was so happy about it that I had to keep checking my email to make sure it was true. Not gonna lie, there were times I thought that there must have been some mistake. After so many rejections, it was hard to believe that someone really wanted to publish it.

So today I’m looking at my name on a book cover that’s up on Amazon and Barnes and Noble and thinking to myself wow, it’s real. Pretty soon I should have a box of paperback copies and I’ll offer them here for anyone who’d like an autographed copy. I’m nervous and excited, and I hope people read my story and at the very least are entertained for a few hours.

If you’re so inclined, stop by my Facebook party tonight and meet some awesome authors, win some prizes, and just generally make me feel like a princess on my release day! And if you’re not a Facebook person, you can still get your copy of The Detective’s Brother for $0.99 here:

Amazon.com – The Detective’s Brother

Barnes and Noble (Nook) – The Detective’s Brother


Author Interview: Em Shotwell

Blackbird SummerToday I’m super excited to have Em Shotwell, the author of Blackbird Summer here with me! As I’m sure you know from yesterday’s review, it has the distinction of being the best book I’ve read in a long time (and there’s some stuff competition!) so I’m thrilled she took the time to answer some of my questions.

Where did you get your inspiration for Blackbird Summer?

I don’t even know, lol! The story has changed so much since my first idea, which was about a couple of sisters who lived on the wrong side of the tracks in a hateful little town. The original story didn’t have magic-but somehow it kept working its way into the story. Along  the way, the Caibre family kept getting stranger, the town kept getting meaner, and the magic kept growing until the basis for Blackbird Summer took hold.

Who is your favorite character in the book and why?

I love to hate Myrtle Delacroix. She’s such a trashy busy-body, and we all know someone like her in real life. But my favorite character is probably Tallulah. I know that’s cheating since she’s the main character- but she grows so much throughout the book. In the beginning she doesn’t know who she is or even who she wants to be, but by the end she is kicking ass.

Is Brooklyn inspired by a real town?

Not really. I’ve moved quite a bit, starting when I was a kid on into adulthood, and I think some of the best and worst or the towns I’ve lived in have give to the fictional town of Brooklyn, Mississippi. There is actually a post on my blog about this if you want to check it out- www.EmShotwell.com

Is The Chans a real thing or something from your amazing imagination?

First- thanks for such an awesome compliment!

The word is a real word, but as far as what it means in the Blackbird Summer universe, I made it up. 🙂 Logan had to be a special guy to fall for Tallulah and all her crazy baggage. In order to so readily believe in magic, he needed a little inexplicable magic of his own, so that’s where the Chans came in.

What are you working on right now?

I am working on a women’s fiction novel that I adore! It has a tiny touch of magic- but nothing like Blackbird Summer. I’m almost complete and then I’ll get to work drafting the Blackbird Summer sequel. It should be out the beginning of next year.

What other books have you written?

Blackbird Summer is my debut novel. I’m always writing short stories, and have a couple of truly awful plays I wrote in high school that will never see the light of day. I have a weird west short story that I’m editing and hope to find a home for soon. It’s called Vigilante Skin and you can read the synopsis on my website.

What is your favorite genre to read and who are some of your favorite authors?

I read everything. I’m mostly drawn to magical realism, light fantasy, and anything kind of weird. I also adore women’s fiction with grit. I’m a sucker for a flawed hero.

I will read anything by Sarah Addison Allen, Joshilyn Jackson, or Patricia Briggs. I also absolutely adore Octavia Butler. Her book, Lilith’s Brood is the weirdest thing I’ve ever read- but also one of the best things I’ve ever read.

Where can readers find you?

Being creepy at the corner table of the library! Lol TOTALLY JOKING! Find me online at www.EmShotwell.com. On Twitter at @MamaCrazySocks

Facebook- www.facebook.com/emshotwellauthor

Instagram- @blackbird_summer

Thank you so much for joining me today, Em! I can’t wait to read the rest of your work. I’ll be keeping an eye on that corner table to make sure you’re getting your words in!

Author Interview: Becca J. Campbell


I am incredibly excited today to welcome Becca J. Campbell to my blog! She’s the author of the Flawed series that I have gone crazy for and I’m super happy that she agreed to answer a few questions for me! If you’re not familiar with the Flawed series, you can check out my reviews of Empath, Outsider, and Protector, her newest one that was released in January. Now, on to the questions!

How did you get the idea for the Flawed Series?

I’ve always enjoyed stories involving unique powers: Heroes, X-Men, and even Stephenie Meyer’s unique vampires intrigued me. When I started writing, I put my own twist on the idea, leaning toward individuals with superhuman weaknesses rather than focusing on their strengths. Then I began crafting my characters, each with a unique ability, and figuring out the upside versus downside of that trait.


Do you have a favorite character and who/why?

Ethan was the most fun to write, and Alexandria is most like me, but Logan was probably my favorite. I have a pretty big crush on him. He’s like a combination of Wolverine, Edward Cullen, and my husband, with other mysterious drool-worthy qualities thrown in for good measure.


How many books do you foresee in the Flawed Series or is it too soon to tell?

The Flawed series will be four books, but following the release of book four I’ll be launching a brand new spin off series called The Uniques. The Uniques begins chronologically right after Empath, but takes a different angle as Cam Schuyler searches for a connection for why all these people with flaws have converged. It will introduce a whole slew of intriguing characters and feature even more abilities than the Flawed series does. Check out the short story Pulled for an early introduction to a couple of them.


Empath, Outsider, and Protector were all one trilogy – does Enchanter start a second?

Enchanter is actually book #4 in the Flawed series.


What are you working on right now?

Amongst several side projects, I’m currently working on finishing Enchanter (Flawed #4) so that I can publish it this summer.


What other books have you written?

I have two stand alone novels, Foreign Identity (mystery, suspense) and Gateway to Reality (science fiction). I’ve also published several futuristic sci fi/action short stories.


What is your favorite genre to read and who are some of your favorite authors?

I’ve been reading a lot of YA dystopian lately. I like science fiction that’s not too sciencey, and I love anything with super powers or time travel. Also, any story with amnesia or memory loss fascinates me. I’m not sure if I have just one favorite author, but I love Ted Dekker, Kiera Cass, and Marissa Meyer.


Where can readers find you?

I’m beccajcampbell at all of the social media outlets:

Author Website | Twitter Facebook | InstagramPinterest Goodreads Amazon Author Page

Also, I’d love to get them started on Flawed series right now, so I’ll send Empath (book #1) for free to anyone who’s interested and I’ll throw in Constricted (the short story companion to book #1). Click here to grab your free books.

Thank you so much for joining us today, Becca!

If you haven’t read the Flawed series yet, I strongly encourage you to pick up your free copy of Empath! I recommend it highly and I know you’ll be hooked like I was. Go, read!

Author Interview: Wesley McCraw

House Of Cabal V1

Today my guest is Wesley McCraw, author of The House of Cabal books!

Where did you get your inspiration for House of Cabal?

First, let me thank you for having me.
House of Cabal was inspired by quite a few things because I started writing it in late 1999 and I’ve been working on it off and on for the better part of sixteen years. Initially, the idea was a combination of my two favorite children’s books, The Thief of Always and Charlie and The Chocolate Factory. I wanted to do something like these books, only with more adults themes.

Fast forward quite a few years into the creative process. Pinsleep, the witness angel, was a framing device that I invented later on that took on a life of his own, inspired by a lot of my own musings on religion and faith. The Garden of Eden was always a feature in the series but was originally revealed much later in the plot. Once I created Pinsleep, the conclusion of the series hit me like a bolt of lightening and I discovered where I had to start my story.

What made you want to release it as several volumes?

House of Cabal was always going to be more than one book but the idea that it would be released in short episodes (45-55 thousand words) was something that I tried out a few years ago. I created stronger arcs for each episode and found that it enhanced the natural rhythm of the story I was telling.
The idea for House of Cabal is massive, but I wouldn’t say it has literary pretensions. I want its complexity to be easily digestible even though it has so many characters and spans all of time and space. It’s meant to be mysterious and fun, like a pulp serial, and while it has deeper themes, it’s not War and Peace.

I also found that the seed for House of Cabal can bear an endless number of fruits, and while I know the climax, there is plenty of room for play before I get to the conclusion. My main goal is to fulfill the promise of the idea to the best of my ability.
Besides, I don’t necessarily like reading huge tomes all the time. This is the story I would want to read in the way I would want to read it.

How many volumes will House of Cabal span?

When comics are collected into trade paperbacks, they are called volumes. These paperbacks are how I like to read my comics. Who wants to read a single issue? I want a big taste and a complete arc, even if the story doesn’t end there. That’s why House of Cabal is in volumes; it’s to suggest that the House of Cabal series might have a long run like a comic book series. To answer your question more directly, at least five.

What are some of the challenges you’ve faced in self-publishing?

The main challenge I think for any writer starting out is finding readers. There are a huge amount of quality books being published; even if your work is amazing, how do you get noticed?

What are you working on right now?

There are quite a few thing in the pipeline this year. I’m releasing House of Cabal Volume Two: Estate very soon. I’m writing weird short fiction for my collection The Queen in Yellow. And I’m rewriting my next novel, Brief Pose, about an advertisement campaign that makes people lose themselves in fantasy, which should be released this summer.

What other books have you written?

Only one that I have published. My first novel is The Forgiving. It’s a more straightforward horror novel about a cult, but it also has some unconventional elements.

What is your favorite genre to read and who are some of your favorite authors?

I mostly read speculative fiction, but I like a wide variety of things. Clive Barker is probably my biggest influence. The nonfiction book This Changes Everything by Naomi Klein, the graphic novel The Sculptor by Scott McCloud, and the memoir The Chronology of Water by Lidia Yuknavitch were my favorite books from last year.

Where can readers find you?

I’m active on Twitter @wesleymccraw and I have a blog called Self Write. https://selfwrite.wordpress.com/


Thank you for joining me today, Wesley! I’m looking forward to the next volume of House of Cabal and will definitely review it on here as soon as it comes out.

Air Conditioner Fail!

It seems the air conditioner on my car is back on the blink. A couple of months ago it was doing a most unpleasant thing where it would not only not cool down, it would blow hot air for a minute or two, then blow cool air, then hot air again. Now it’s doing the same thing!

It was supposed to be fixed when I took it to the shop in June (I think), and it worked great since then. Now it’s doing this and at the worst possible time – my stepdaughter was in town. I couldn’t exactly drive around town with a baby in a hot car so we were stuck at home trying to figure out a way to get the car to the garage. My husband and I were both off yesterday, but I work today and tomorrow. He’s off tomorrow and I’m off Friday, which was when we were supposed to take my stepdaughter back to South Texas, but we had to change our plans and take her yesterday. Driving a baby four hours in a car with no air conditioning was not fun!

Thankfully my car is still under warranty. I plan to take it back to the same garage and tell them that they were supposed to have fixed this two months ago so I’m not going to pay the deductible a second time. They’re very nice there so I don’t expect there to be a problem but I hope they can fix it in a day because we really need it. I’m within walking distance of work but my husband is definitely not. Maybe my in-laws can give him a ride? We’ll have to think about it a little.

I officially have a cover designer now and she’s wonderful! She hasn’t made too many covers yet but the ones she has made are gorgeous. I’m excited to have her on my team. Still talking to the editor. She’s not available until November but she likes my manuscript, so I’m going back and forth. She seems like she’s worth the wait, though, and if she’s swamped that just means she’s good and thorough. I’m excited, it’s all coming together!

Some Exciting News!

Now that the contract has been signed I can officially announce that I have signed with Sinnful Ebooks! My historical romance, The Detective’s Brother, will be published through them soon. They’re a new publishing house based in Canada and although they only have a few authors now, everyone starts somewhere!

I’m looking forward to publishing this book so people can read it and fall in love with the characters as much as I have. I hope lots of people read and enjoy it because I have two other historicals set in the same world and I’d like to get them out there. The more romance in the world the better, right?

Keep checking back here for release dates, a cover reveal and more info about my new book. Maybe I’ll even have a little bit of a teaser! You can also follow me on Twitter @becca_el or like my (just created) Facebook page, https://www.facebook.com/RebeccaLovellBooks. I’ll be posting things as soon as I know them and I hope you’re looking forward to these huge changes as much as I am!