Tuesday, May 16, 2023

Straight From the Mouth of Romantic Suspense Author W.L. Brooks


 10 Things You Might Not Know About Crossing a Fine Line

By W.L. Brooks 

  1. This is the fifth and final book in my McKay Series. 
  2. I have been working on this series for twenty years (ten of which the manuscripts were in a box under my bed). 
  3. Fletcher is a reader favorite. 
  4. I’ve been building this enemies-to-lovers storyline over the last four books.
  5. I wrote the original first draft in one week back in 2005. 
  6. Fletcher was the first character of the McKay series I wrote words for. 
  7. As in the book(and the series), the show Murder, She Wrote was the inspiration for this series—this character.
  8. Fletcher is one of my favorite characters to write. 
  9. This book gives Jasper’s POV for the first time in the series, and I can’t wait to hear what people think. 
  10. Noah and Fletcher are one of my spicier couples.


W.L. Brooks was born with an active imagination.  When characters come into her mind, she has to give them a life- a chance to tell their stories. With a coffee cup in her hand and a cat by her side, she spends her days letting the ideas flow onto paper.  A voracious reader, she draws her inspiration from mystery, romance, suspense and a dash of the paranormal.

A native of Virginia Beach, she is currently living in Western North Carolina. Pick up her latest novel, Unearthing the Past – available now!

Website: www.wlbrooks.com

Facebook: http://www.facebook.com/authorwlbrooks

Goodreads: https://www.goodreads.com/author/show/16200243.W_L_Brooks


Purchase Information for Crossing a Fine Line



Tuesday, May 9, 2023

Straight From the Mouth of Historical / Contemporary Romance Author J. Arlene Culiner


 10 Things You Might Not Know About Blake's Folly Romance Trilogy

By J. Arlene Culiner 

Blake’s Folly, Nevada, once a silver boomtown, is now a backwoods community of clapboard
shacks and scraggly vegetation. The local saloon is a leftover from another century and, inside
country music whines, while eccentrics dish up tall tales, and suspicion.

But living in an unusual setting does have advantages. It makes us sit up and take notice of our
environment, and gives us a good knowledge of unusual local history. For example…

1) Nevada was once covered by a warm shallow sea filled with reefs, mollusks, and ammonites. There were also ichthyosaurs — large marine lizards — and they appeared around 250 million years ago, evolving from a group of unidentified land reptiles that returned to the sea, like the ancestors of modern-day dolphins and whales.

2) In the first half of the 1800s, women were scarce in the West, and husband-hunters, whether ugly or good-looking, mean-tempered, sharp-tongued, or sugar sweet easily found partners. By the 1880s, things had changed. Women fleeing domestic service, poor farms, millwork, or factory toil, were arriving in abundance and men could take their pick.

3) Like all Western boomtowns where the male population outnumbered the female, there were many brothels. Being out in the wasteland, panning for gold, trudging over empty space hoping to find silver, working hard in the mines, or ranching on poor soil and barely surviving, all made for a pretty lonely life, so brothels and saloons were oases. What could be more appealing than an oasis where scantily clad women served alcohol and pleasure?

4) Although their silks, gaudy jewels, and perfumes set them apart from “decent” town women, brothel madams made certain their “girls” were well behaved and lady-like in public. In reality, they had no reason to be otherwise: although a few were tough, gritty women, most were those who, through bad luck, circumstance, betrayal, or personal choice, had come to work in the sex trade. They were as sentimental and vital as any woman, crying each Christmas over the memory of faraway homes, inaccessible families, and a way of life no longer open to them.

5) Local wives detested the ladies of pleasure, and their disapproval condemned them to the last row at social events, theatrical performances in the local community hall, and church services. But these less respectable “ladies” were welcomed by local shopkeepers, for they spent their hard-earned cash on fans, furs, clothes, all manner of fluffy and shining gewgaws.

6) Despite all the lovely stories we hear about western romances, the reality was less romantic. Men looking for wives in the Far West usually went for young, fresh, strong women who would raise children, attend to harvests, garden work, laundry, scrounge for firewood, and cook. Many of the men were looking for women to replace their previous wives who had died during childbirth or from sheer exhaustion.

7) Without experience in the working world, older women who were widows, or who had been
abandoned, or divorced hoped their grown children would take them in. However, not every couple wanted a mother, or mother-in-law in residence unless she was still strong enough to help out with the drudgery. The very many who found no home with their children were often reduced to begging in the towns.

8) Although prohibition effectively cut off Nevada’s much-needed tax revenue, it didn’t reduce social drinking. In one year alone, the 90,000 Nevada residents managed to wangle 10,000 prescriptions for medicinal alcohol.

9) The names of the old railway companies still sound familiar to us — the Philadelphia and
Reading, the Erie, the Northern Pacific, the Union Pacific, the Atchison, Topeka and Santa Fe.
However all those companies failed during the depression of 1893. Even back then the politicians lied, claiming the economy was prospering as 500 banks closed and 16,000 businesses declared bankruptcy.

10) And for those who want to know about me, the author J. Arlene Culiner, I’ve spent my life
shifting from one country to the other, and I’ve often done it in an original way: on foot. I also
travel on slow trains, get off in out-of-the-way places where I can’t speak the language and where I don’t know a soul. I now live in a small, sleepy village in France where there’s nothing going on. There are no shops. Occasionally a tractor passes through. There is a main square with a 13 th century church and houses that date from the 16 th and 18 th centuries. There are many wonderful bats, quirky pigeons, and other lovely birds that I delight in. That about wraps it up, though.


Writer, photographer, social critical artist, and storyteller, J. Arlene Culiner, was born in New York and raised in Toronto. She has crossed much of Europe on foot, has lived in a Hungarian mud house, a Bavarian castle, a Turkish cave dwelling, on a Dutch canal, and in a haunted house on the English moors. She now resides in a 400-year-old former inn in a French village of no interest and, much to local dismay, protects all creatures, especially spiders and snakes. She particularly enjoys incorporating into short stories, mysteries, narrative non-fiction, and romances, her experiences in out-of-the-way communities, and her conversations with strange characters.





All sites: https://linktr.ee/j.arleneculiner



Storytelling Podcast: https://soundcloud.com/j-arlene-culiner

Purchase Information for Blake's Folly Romance Trilogy


Wednesday, April 12, 2023

Straight From the Mouth of Women's Fiction Author Evy Journey

 7 Things You Might Not Know About The Shade Under the Mango Tree

  1. A small, short journal I unearthed from a box in my garage inspired me to use the epistolary device to tell much of the story.
  2. I’ve made the mango salad in the story using a Vietnamese recipe for green papaya salad, substituting green (unripe) mango for the green papaya.
  3. I usually situate my stories in places I’ve lived in or have visited. But I’ve never been to Cambodia, where half of the action takes place. To learn about Cambodia, I interviewed a young man who grew up in Cambodia and lived for a while in the west. I also read books and online articles about its current society and traditions, as well as the experiences of survivors of the Khmer genocide. I also watched a few movies.
  4. Two movies currently on Netflix depict the Cambodian genocide: Angelina Jolie’s First They Killed My Father and a French graphic animation, Funan. Maybe, the first film ever made of it is The Killing Fields (1984), about five years after this particular holocaust ended.
  5. Towards the middle of writing the story, I switched the male protagonist’s profession from computer science to architecture as a tribute to my husband’s frustrated wish to be an architect. He became a clinical psychologist, instead.
  6. I interviewed an architect from one of my Facebook groups to learn more about the profession. I also took a brief online introductory course on architecture.
  7. The coffeeshop where the protagonists meet is also featured in Books 4 and 6 in the series, Between Two Worlds


Evy Journey writes. Stories and blog posts. Novels that tend to cross genres. She’s also a wannabe artist, and a flâneuse.

Evy studied psychology (M.A., University of Hawaii; Ph.D. University of Illinois). So her fiction spins tales about nuanced characters dealing with contemporary life issues and problems. She believes in love and its many faces.

Her one ungranted wish: To live in Paris where art is everywhere and people have honed aimless roaming to an art form. She has visited and stayed a few months at a time.

Website or Blog: https://evyjourney.net

Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/ejourneywriter/

Goodreads: https://www.goodreads.com/author/show/14845365.Evy_Jour

Purchase Information for The Shade Under the Mango Tree

Monday, February 20, 2023

Straight From the Mouth of Mystery Suspense Author Sean Keefer


 10 Things You Might Not Know About Sean Keefer

Being a writer is about a lot more than just writing. Much goes into the process, but not all ends up on the page, though many different factors influence the final product. I wanted to talk about the top 10 things that not everyone knows about me, many of which have a decided impact on my writing. Other? Not so much, but I thought I would share nevertheless.

1 - Though I ended up practicing law as a profession, that was not my initial plan. In high school, I was very involved in student media. When I started college, my first major was computer science, but, well, because of math, that just didn’t work out. I bounced around for a bit and ended up studying journalism with a concentration in photojournalism. While I ended up in law school, even today, I spend a great deal of time behind the camera.

2 - I have found I have a great love of writing and intend to keep writing Noah Parks books (and maybe delving into some other non-Noah storylines), but folks who have known me for a while, were surprised when my first book was released. They thought it would be an album. While I had dabbled at writing on and off in a sporadic fashion, I had been a musician since high school. So while everyone had been waiting on an album, a book appeared. Then another. But not to worry, while The Code was delayed a bit as a result, during the delay, I recorded my first two EPs of original music.

3 - Much like writing, there are a few things that I never planned to do. Cooking is one of these things. I’ve been lucky to have made several friends in the restaurant business, among them some incredible chefs. The more I learned, the more I realized I was fascinated by the art and science of cooking. As a result, I love to spend time in the kitchen. Through my writing, I try to convey some of that love with details about meals or various kinds of food, and, well, drink. Who knows, maybe there will be a Noah Parks cookbook in the future. 

4 - Growing up on the coast of South Carolina, water sports are just a way of life. While I love the water, I’ve never gotten into boating. Not that I don’t enjoy every opportunity I get to be on a boat, I’ve just never owned my own boat. That is partly because as much as I realized how much I loved being on the water, my true love was being under the water scuba diving. 

5 - Never being one to rest with just one, multiple dogs has been a reality for the majority of my adult life. Presently, there are four dogs (Australian Shepherds) in the picture ranging from the age of, at the time of this writing, four months to 14 years. Oh, and there is also a horse that is, after all, just a pasture puppy. 

6 - Not being content to write fiction, I decided to try my hand at non-fiction. The result was a book published by the South Carolina Bar Association entitled “Mediation in the Family Courts of South Carolina.” This of course, begs the question: How many readers have all three of the Noah Parks books and the mediation book?  

7 - While this point is related to cooking, I decided to delve into hot sauce making based on a conversation I had with a friend a little over two years ago. From planting pepper plants to fermenting to even putting the finished product in woozy bottles (yes, that’s what those little bottles are called), it’s been a fun diversion, and the final product has been rather enjoyable. To date, there are 9 versions.

8 - Years ago, Apple had a slogan for their app store when the first iPhone came out. “Yeah, there’s an app for that.” So one day, I went to the app store to get an app I needed. Much to my surprise, I found out when Apple said there was an app for that; well, that was a somewhat fluid term - meaning there was no app for what I needed. So I designed and marketed my own app.

9 - Somewhere in my DNA, there is a gene; I’ve come to call it the collector’s gene. I’m pretty sure it is not far from a hoarding gene if that is a thing, but I curate several collections. Most notable, besides guitars, would be signed baseballs. 

10 - I just love the X Files. 


Sean Keefer
is the award winning author of three legal thrillers, The Trust, The Solicitor, and The Code, all set in and around coastal South Carolina.

He is also the author of Mediation in the Family Courts of South Carolina, a legal treatise on family law mediation.

He lives and writes in Charleston, South Carolina.

In addition to his writing, Sean is a recording and performing guitarist/singer/songwriter of Americana and Alt-Country music. Watch him sing Carolina Sunset which was inspired by his latest book, The Code. Listen here!

For more information about his writing and music, visit SeanKeefer.com and ADogNamedBear.com.

Follow him on Facebook @theNoahParksMysterySeries and @SeanKeeferMusic. Follow him on Instagram @NoahParksMysteries and @1ADogNamedBear1 

Website | Instagram | Facebook | Goodreads

Purchase Information for The Code

Straight From the Mouth of Keith Sykes



 10 Things You Might Not Know About Keith Sykes

By Keith Sykes

1. I am the youngest of 8. 

2. I served 20 years in the United States Army.

3. I lived for a year in Sinai, Egypt.

4. I am a cancer survivor. 

5. I swam with sharks on the great barrier reef in Belize.

6. I lost my father at the age of 11.

7. I lost my mother at the age of 20. 

8. I have been cancer-free since February 2022. 

9. I love nature and the outdoors.

10. I have a passion for photography.



Keith Sykes grew up in New Orleans, Louisiana with his 7 siblings; he is the youngest of 8. Keith attended Xavier University of Louisiana where he studied Computer Information Systems and Graphic Design. He lost both parents by the age of 20 and joined the United States Army in 1990 where he completed 20 years of active military service. He continues to serve as a Department of Defense civilian where he works as a Health Systems Specialist at Fort Bragg, North Carolina. He is a freelance writer, photographer and event planner and is heavily involved in the community. Keith is a cancer survivor as of February 2022 and attributes his positive attitude in dealing with the condition to his mother Violet who succumbed to cancer in January 1990. He loves exploring nature and traveling. Some of his most memorable trips have been to Egypt, Belize, and Cuba.

You can visit his website at https://kasykes.com/ or connect with him at Facebook at www.facebook.com/ikreate4u.

Purchase Information for Being Present

Monday, February 13, 2023

Straight From the Mouth of Suspense Author Rob Kaufman


 10 Things You Might Not Know About Rob Kaufman

By Rob Kaufman

1. Rob grew up on Long Island in New York

2. Rob checks his book reviews every day to learn from any negative feedback

3. Rob does the happy dance when five-star reviews fill his inbox

4. Rob would rather write novels full time than make his living as a marketing consultant

5. Rob edits/rewrites his books six times before sending them to his editor

6. Rob needs absolute silence when he writes. His fingers can’t type if there’s any type of noise

7. Rob’s partner of 33 years, his harshest critic, reads his books before anyone else gets a glimpse

8. Rob’s dog, Nikki is the only living thing allowed in his office when he writes - and that includes plants

9. Rob has a degree in Psychology which has helped him bring emotional depth into all his books

10. Rob plays the lottery every week so he can win enough money to turn his books into movies!


Rob Kaufman novels are known for having characters with whom people can relate, while at the same time, bringing them on a journey from which most people would crumble.

His degree in Psychology was the first step toward getting beneath the surface of the people in his life. What followed was a lifelong search for what makes people tick – what forces them to become evil when deep down they are yearning for love. Rob’s characters walk this search with him, deep into the human psyche, creating psychological thrillers from everyday events.

Rob’s books are perfect for those who enjoy thrillers but also need strong emotion to keep them deeply involved with the characters.

“All my books hit home for me,” says Rob. “There are always parts that make me laugh out loud as I write them… and many, too many, that make me cry. And the great thing is, I’m finding that many readers of my books experience the same emotions.”

Rob’s books receive both national and international praise with most reviews noting that his storylines are extremely “unique” and “sobering” and the twists and turns are “masterful”.

Website or Blog:  www.authorrobkaufman.com

Twitter: http://www.twitter.com/AuthorKaufman

Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/AuthorRobKaufman

Goodreads: https://www.goodreads.com/author/show/745558.Rob_Kaufman

Purchase Information for Altered

Monday, December 26, 2022

Straight From the Mouth of Suspense Thriller Author Richard I. Levine


 That Little Voice

By Richard I. Levine

That little voice is always there. We all have one, maybe two. We simply need to acknowledge it exists and allow ourselves an open mind to hear its counsel. Trust me, I don’t have a multiple personality or dissociative identity disorder of any kind. At least I don’t think so. To be clear, I’m not poking fun at anyone who is coping with this condition. With that disclaimer out of the way, the little voice I am referring to is also known as our intuition.

But what is it exactly? At the risk of seeming to be “out there” (or as my friend describes it, being connected to the woo woo world), based upon so many past experiences I firmly believe my intuition is a connection between me and my spirit guides, or if you prefer, my guardian angels.  We all have them and they’re always with us—from our entry into this physical world at birth, to the time we are called back home.

It’s that little voice that warns us something doesn’t seem right. It’s that reflex that makes the hairs on the back of our necks stand up.

It’s that second-guessing that convinces us to delay a trip or to take a detour.

It’s the whisper that seemingly comes out of nowhere when we suddenly think of a long-lost friend or relative right before they call. How many times have we had that happen and think “what a coincidence, I just thought of her yesterday!”  

     Sadly, many people are no longer tuned into their intuition and they no longer hear their little voice. With all the static noise and stress we are subjected to from the artificially created environment of the world we live in: traffic, construction noise, work deadlines, family obligations, political messaging, and so on, most folks have forgotten that we are all spiritual beings in the midst of a physical existence. But with intention and practice, we can learn to tune out the static and reconnect with our innate ability to listen to that little voice.

     On several occasions, while driving and simultaneously deep in the imaginary world of a current book project, I’ve arrived at my final destination without being able to recall any part of the drive. How did I not end up in a ditch on the side of the road? Please keep in mind that I don’t imbibe or do drugs—although one time after driving home late at night through a torrent of rain and wind (it was a dark and windy night…), and not being able to recall most of that journey, a stiff drink would have been justified.  Was one angel providing the crystal-clear imagery of my next chapter while another angel took the wheel and safely guided me home?

To that end, I believe my guardian angels have worked with me when I am writing—from an idea that wakes me in the middle of the night, to when I’m searching for just the right phrase, or better yet, when I’ve finished several pages of dialogue between two or more characters, and I then have to read over what I couldn’t recall having written. Sure, my fingers were dancing all over the keyboard, but I am convinced that those characters, by way of that little voice (my guardian angels or spirit guides) dictated the direction, tone, and length of the conversation.

For my fellow authors who might feel frustrated because of writers block, allow me to suggest that you stop trying to force the next paragraph, sentence, or word. Take a break. Go for a walk and enjoy a little fresh air and sunshine, listen to some beautiful inspirational music or simply turn off all the electronics and find a quiet, peaceful place to meditate. Make this a part of your routine and I’ll bet, without trying, your intuition will reconnect, your little voice will begin to sing, and your imagination will begin to flow.

As I button this up, my angels are laughing right now because one of them just said they should receive equal billing on my book covers. What’s next, a percentage? ☺


Richard I Levine is a native New Yorker raised in the shadows of Yankee Stadium. After dabbling in several occupations and a one-year coast to coast wanderlust trip, this one-time volunteer fireman, bartender, and store manager returned to school to become a chiropractor. A twenty-three-year cancer survivor, he’s a strong advocate for the natural healing arts. Levine has four Indy-published novels and his fifth work, To Catch The Setting Sun, is published by The Wild Rose Press and was released in August 2022. In 2006 he wrote, produced and was on-air personality of the Dr. Rich Levine show on Seattle’s KKNW 1150AM and after a twenty-five year practice in Bellevue, Washington, he closed up shop in 2017 and moved to Oahu to pursue a dream of acting and being on Hawaii 5-O. While briefly working as a ghostwriter/community liaison for a local Honolulu City Councilmember, he appeared as a background actor in over twenty-five 5-Os and Magnum P.Is. Richard can be seen in his first co-star role in the Magnum P.I. third season episode “Easy Money”. He presently resides in Hawaii.

Visit Richard’s Amazon Page or connect with him on Twitter, Facebook, Instagram and Goodreads.

Purchase Information for To Catch the Setting Sun

Amazon: https://amzn.to/3Rl42Aw 

Barnes and Noble: https://bit.ly/3BRB0mv