Posted in Creekside Cafe, interview

Thomas Kane visits Creekside Cafe

Bio: After growing up in the woods of Maine, I spent eighteen years teaching international relations at Britain’s University of Hull. Now back in Maine, I draw on my studies to write fantasy novels full of spies, secrets and high-stakes political intrigue. 

Welcome to Creekside Café Thomas Kane. Are you an early morning riser or a late-night rambler? I work until 6 or 7 pm at my “real” job so by the time I fix supper and sit down to the computer it’s late. I’m lucky to get to bed by midnight. I really do try to quit writing and go to bed but it’s not easy. How about you?

Thomas: Late night. I used to think I wanted to go to bed and get up very early, in order to have the dawn hours to myself. Even when it has technically been possible, I’ve never made that work for more than a day or two at a time. I’ve heard that the human body clock is set for more than a 24-hour day, and that’s certainly my experience.

Sherri: Do you go by Tom or is it, Thomas? I am just plain Sherri.

Thomas: Tom is great, thank you! Thanks for letting me know what to call you.

Sherri: Living in a small town I forget that not everyone knows me. It’s great to have you at my virtual café. If I ever win the lottery, I’d love to open a little coffee shop where writers and other creatives can hang out and talk about books and drink coffee.  

I have a bad habit of drinking coffee late at night. It relaxes me. While I rarely have trouble with caffeine keeping me awake, I’m at that age where sleep is somewhat elusive, so I’ve gone to half decaf. What is your drink of choice?

Tom: Half decaf sounds like a good solution, if it tastes good. I like coffee too. I also drink a lot of green tea, although seriously I do it more for the health benefits than because I like it.

It’s 3:45 AM, which, for better or for worse, is a normal time for me to be awake. Even though it’s June, it’s chilly at this time of night. I’m drinking Celestial Seasonings Bengal Spice tea, which warms me up, has body to it, and won’t stop me from getting to sleep.

Sherri: What age is your ideal reader? Who are you marketing your books to?

Tom: I write for adults. My books feature complex political situations and a few big words. However, the main character is a child in Book One, so sometimes people get confused. Since a lot of adults read YA, I sometimes wonder whether I should just go with the flow and market to that audience.

Sherri: Are you self-published or traditionally published?

Tom: I’ve published about 27 books traditionally, and I’m publishing my fantasy novels as an indie. Indie publishing seemed like a way to retain creative control and cut out the people in the middle.

Sherri: I know what you mean about creative control. I always wanted to be traditionally published but after self-publishing I don’t think I could relinquish that control.

Your books are a bit of a genre blend but mostly fantasy, is that correct? Are they contemporary or historical?

Tom: Yes, you’re right. They’re set in an imaginary world similar to Europe in the sixteenth century. Cannons and ocean-going galleons are new technology. The government persecutes people accused of being witches, but the main character is working to change that.

Sherri: Tell us a little about your main character?

Tom: Mara thinks a lot, and she asks questions about things other people take for granted. When no one else is doing anything about a problem, she takes the lead. As she grows up, she makes close friends, but she’s often at odds with the authorities, and she’s often an outsider.

Sherri: Who are your favorite characters?

Tom: Mara is pretty close to my heart, for sure! And I liked her formidable lawyer mother enough to write a book just about her. Other fun characters include Princess-Consort Cordelia, who is close to inventing calculus, Horace, Cordelia’s pet lizard, Euclid Fisher, an aging spy who sees Mara’s potential and Gretchen, whom one reader described as “the moxie girl.”

Sherri: Do you have a favorite scene, one that just feels really right? Tell us why.

Tom: There’s one in which eleven-year-old Mara figures out that people are unjustly accusing her aunt of witchcraft because she’s challenging the authorities and says “That was how I learned what a witch is. A witch is someone who scares people. I always knew that, sort of, but then I understood it in a different way. You can become a witch without meaning to. You can become a witch by being right.” I like to think my depiction of a child figuring out something disturbing about the adult world hit the right notes.

Sherri: For the writers in the group, what is your writing process? Are you a full-time writer?

Tom: Well, I revise as I write, which I know a lot of people say you shouldn’t do. I think a big part of my writing process is auditory. When I can imagine a line of text and hear the cadences in it, I feel as if I’m on the right track. And yes, it feels weird to say, but I am a full-time writer.

Sherri: What do you wish you’d known before you started publishing?

Tom: Running Amazon ads does not need to be that difficult or expensive. I found them intimidating for a long time, but I took Bryan Cohen’s free course, and it helped a lot.

Sherri: What are you working on now?

Tom: I’m finishing work on a fantasy legal thriller called The People vs. Abigail Bennet. Seventy-eight-year-old lawyer Abigail comes out of retirement to defend a teenager against charges of murder. Readers of my Mara of the League series will remember Abigail as Mara’s mother. People will be available in late 2022 or early 2023.

Sherri: Thomas it was so good to have you visit my Creekside Café. If you guys enjoyed this interview, follow Thomas Kane on social media and check out his books. The links are bellow.

Ten Facts about me and my Books

1. My Mara of the League series is an emotional story which follows an introspective woman’s life from childhood to middle age. Mara discovers secrets about her family and her world which send her on a personal mission to save her country from invasion.

2. Mara of the League begins with The Witches of Crannock Dale, in which eleven-year-old Mara tries to save her aunt from trumped-up charges of witchcraft.

3. The story continues in The Rebels of Caer City. Mara is a teenager now, and miserable at a strict boarding school When her best friend vanishes, she risks everything to find her. To succeed in this quest, she must learn to trust her bold classmate Gretchen, and to navigate her first turbulent romance. Mara and her companions end up confronting a conspiracy involving some of the most powerful people in their world.

4. Mara’s school companions move on from political intrigue, but she does not. Book Three, The Hideous Garden, follows her adventures into adulthood. By her forties, she has become head of her country’s off-the-books spy services and close friend to the mathematically gifted Princess Cordelia. Mara and Cordelia uncover an enemy plot that threatens their realm.

5. Mara races to save her country in Book Four, The Rending of the World. To succeed, she must cooperate with her idealistic but misguided former lover. Meanwhile Cordelia’s daughter, the teenage Princess Deborah, finds herself unexpectedly on the throne.

6. The complete Mara of the League series is available in e-book and paperback format.

7. Book One, The Witches of Crannock Dale, is available as an audiobook narrated by the awesome Stevie Marie. The rest of the series will be coming out in audio in coming months. 

8.I am currently finishing a stand-alone fantasy legal thriller featuring Mara’s seventy-eight-year-old mother Abigail. Abigail, a lawyer, comes out of retirement to defend a teen accused of murder.  This novel, to be titled The People vs. Abigail Bennet, will come out in the fall of 2022.

9. The Hideous Garden features a bearded dragon named Horace. I’ve never had a pet reptile, but after researching them for the book, I’ve sort of fallen in love with them. 

10. I recently discovered Gillian Flynn’s thrillers Sharp Edges, Dark Places and Gone Girl. Really amazed by Flynn’s writing!


Mara of the League: The Complete Series 

Book One: The Witches of Crannock Dale

Book Two: The Rebels of Caer City

Book Three: The Hideous Garden

Book Four: The Rending of the World

Audiobook: Mara of the League Book One:The Witches of Crannock Dale

Social Media

Facebook: @thomasmkaneauthor

Twitter: @thomasmkane11

More stories and articles free with my newsletter! Visit to subscribe.

Join the conversation! Discuss the Mara series and other thought-provoking stories in the Facebook group Kane’s Coffeehouse

Posted in interview, promo

My Interview with Awesome Gang

Tell us about yourself and how many books you have written.
I have published eight books, nine if you include the box set for my first three books. I’m currently working on three books, two are part of my current series, The Harrell Family Chronicles. The third book is something totally different, a historical series I’ve been playing with for several years.

What is the name of your latest book and what inspired it?
Willow’s Retreat released in September, the main character Dr. Willow Rider is estranged from her family. She wants a second chance with her husband and sons but when ghosts from the past threaten them she will sacrifice herself to keep them safe. She is surprised to learn they are willing to do the same for her. After the family’s home is attacked by a motorcycle gang, Willow comes to terms with her own failings and instead of retreating as she has in the past, she faces them and gains all she has been hoping for, a home and family. With the help of those she loves she starts a therapy ranch, thus Willow’s Retreat takes on another meaning.

Do you have any unusual writing habits?
They aren’t unusual for me. Since I’m still employed full time and have a very large family, six sons and twenty-one grandchildren, I’ve learned to carve out time wherever I can. I write on my phone, usually just scenes or notes, on my laptop at work or when I take my mom to doctors, and although I don’t outline, I do plan parts of my story and I fast draft. I think fast drafting is a lot like an outline but it works as my first draft. It’s a rough, bare bones story which I later go back and add details and emotions.

What authors, or books have influenced you?
Oh wow, so many… being a part of several writer’s groups I have had the pleasure of meeting some wonderful authors in person: Reese Ryan, Virginia Kantra, Sabrina Jeffries and Maya Rodale, but one I haven’t had the pleasure of meeting but would love to is Jayne Ann Krentz. JAK made me believe that I could write historical or contemporary books because she wrote successfully in both worlds.

What are you working on now?
My main focus at the moment is a Christmas novella for my current series. I’m hoping to get it out the first of November.

What is your best method or website when it comes to promoting your books?
I use Twitter, Instagram, Facebook and LinkedIn. I believe Twitter is reviving again, while Facebook is losing traction. Instagram seems to be holding steady but LinkedIn has begun to pick up notice. I have also gained more attention with my website. I haven’t taken the time to learn any of the newer methods, it’s already a juggling act to be present on these other sites.

Do you have any advice for new authors?
Don’t wait until you are ready to publish to start gaining followers on social media. Build your audience early. Share your writing, research, interest, etc. It will be only friends and family at first but you will be surprised by how it builds.
Do not be afraid to write your truth even in fiction. Someone needs the story you are writing. Write and rewrite until it’s good but remember it will never be perfect but that’s okay, publish it anyway.

What is the best advice you have ever heard?
Not just for writing but for life, do what scares you. If you aren’t a little afraid, do you care enough? Write, do what you are passionate about not what everyone expects or what is popular.

What are you reading now?
I’m reading a debut suspense novel by L C Larsen “Some Men Deserve to Die” and a historical romance by Erica Ridley, “The Duke Heist.”

What’s next for you as a writer?
I am planning another book in my Harrell Family Chronicles and plan to get my historical series finished and launched next year.

If you were going to be stranded on a desert island and allowed to take 3 or 4 books with you what books would you bring?
I don’t know how to answer that question, the practical side of me says I need a survival guide, maybe something by Bear Gillis, I’d want a journal to write in, a Bible to give me hope and comfort, and one of my favorite authors, Jayne Ann Krentz or Sabrina Jeffries, maybe Reese Ryan.

As an indie author I’m always looking for ways to promote my books that doesn’t cost a fortune. My friend and fellow author, MK “Marni” Graff told me about Awesome Gang. Their author interviews are free and their promo prices are reasonable. Here is a link to their author resources.

Hi Awesome Author Tomorrow is National Coffee Day! I love coffee to say the least. I probably drink 7-10 cups a day. (yeah I know that’s a lot) Even though it really starts tomorrow I was thinking we send out a coupon to celebrate our love of coffee. It has been a hot minute since I have sent out a coupon for Why not use this Holiday to perk things up. (Sorry for the pun – not really)  For a limited time if you go to and use coupon code COFFEE you will save 25% off our regular $65 price. Remember to hit apply after submitting the coupon to see the new total. This will only be good for 48 hours or 50 book submissions whatever comes first.  Thanks for being awesomeVinny PS. Remember to use the hashtag #nationalcoffeeday today to get more buzz for your social media post. 

Author Websites and Profiles
Sherri Hollister Website
Sherri Hollister Amazon Profile

Sherri Hollister’s Social Media Links
Goodreads Profile
Facebook Profile
Twitter Account
Pinterest Account

Posted in Creekside Cafe, interview, promo

Creekside Cafe Chat with Protagonist, Clay Dabrowski

Today I’d like to welcome Clay Dabrowski to Creekside Café. Clay is the hero of Tyler Wittkofsky’s new novel, The Seeds of Love (Sunflower Kisses Book 1). It’s great to have you, Clay. I have to say, I like the car you arrived in.

Clay: Thanks for having me. I love my Challenger. Whenever I need to unwind, I crank up the radio and cruise down the highway. It helps me clear my head.

Sherri: I know the feeling, windows down, radio up, country roads. I doubt we listen to the same music, I’m old school classic rock. Who do you listen to?

Clay: I’m more into alternative rock, I love Twenty-One Pilots.

Sherri: I just checked them out. They are pretty good. What’s your favorite song?

Clay: Shy Away

Sherri: Oh, that’s the one I listened to, great song.

You just graduated from college, where did you go to school?

Clay: Yes, I graduated from Coastal Carolina with a degree in communications. I managed to finish in three years, but I sacrificed a lot.

Sherri: Like what?

Clay: Mostly my social life, my ex-girl friend didn’t like me being so focused on my education.

Sherri: Is that why you broke up?

Clay: We should have broken up a long time ago, I guess I was just hanging on because I didn’t think anyone would love me for who I am. I’m not easy to love at least, that’s what she said.

Sherri: You seem like a nice young man. I cannot imagine why you couldn’t find a nice person to love you.

Clay: I’m bipolar. I’ve always been ashamed of my diagnosis. It’s taken me a long time to come to terms with it and realize I worthy of real love, not that fake stuff my ex called love.

Sherri: Clay, we all have challenges to overcome and few adults I know don’t have a little baggage. You’re young, handsome, hardworking, you deserve a forever kind of love.

Clay: Well, thanks, I’m trying to treat myself the way I treat others. I’ve always been so down on myself. I’m my own nemesis.

Sherri: You’re a college graduate and you’re employed. For a new graduate that’s not always the case.

Clay: Yeah, I know. I work at The Door, a great restaurant in Myrtle Beach but I’m hoping to get a job in communications so I can use my degree.

Sherri: I wish you luck. Clay, it has been so nice to meet you. Now how about a ride in that awesome car?

Clay: Yes ma’am, think you can stand my music?

Sherri: Bring it on!

If you enjoyed my interview with character Clay Dabrowski, then check out the novel where he’s the hero, The Seeds of Love (Sunflower Kisses Book 1). Releases June 1st!

Looking for your next Book Boyfriend?

Clay is a hopeless romantic who is looking for a forever love. His interests are Romantic Comedies, superhero shows and young adult fiction novels. He’s hardworking, kind and humble. If you are looking for Mr. Right, you may want to give this hero a chance.

Social Media Link:

You can also check out my interview with author Tyler Wittkofsky.

Posted in Creekside Cafe, interview

Interview with Thyra Dane

Thyra was my second interview. We will both have stories in the winter historical anthology published by the New Romance Cafe, Kisses and Other Scandalous Pastimes.

Thank you for being a part of my journey as a writer and interviewer. I hope someday to meet in person.

Today I have the luxury of visiting with a new writer friend, Thyra Dane. Some may recognize her name from her years of writing fanfiction. Welcome to the Creekside Café, Thyra. It’s almost fifty degrees here, I imagine our North Carolina winter seems more like spring to you.

view from Thyra’s cabin

Thyra: Yes, I was born in Denmark and grew up just south of Copenhagen. We traveled a lot when I was a kid. When I was 18 I moved to California and then to Norway when I was 19. I met my husband in Norway and live in Oslo now.

Thyra: Thank you so much for having me here, too bad it is only by way of our computers.

Sherri: What would you like to drink today?

Thyra: Tea, tea and tea. I drink different kinds of tea at different times of the day. High on caffeine in the morning, no caffeine in the evening. Right now I’ll take tea with ginger. Yum. And just to be clear, to those of us who live in cold climates, tea is always hot. I’m not yet quite over the shock of people serving me iced tea when I ordered tea in North Carolina.

Sherri: I have a terrible secret that could get me tossed out of the south. I don’t like iced tea, sweet or otherwise. You’ve been to North Carolina before?

Thyra: I have. Several times, actually. One time I drove down the coast from Washington DC to Florida with my husband and two friends. Later I visited my good friend, author Suki McMinn, in Tryon. She and her husband opened their home to me and my family, which was incredibly nice. That last trip was part of a vacation where we visited nine southern states in one summer.

Sherri: Wow that gave you a lot to write about. How long have you been writing?

Thyra: I’ve been writing for a long time but it wasn’t until I found fanfiction that I realized that romance was my genre.

Sherri: I’m not familiar with fanfiction.

Thyra: Fanfiction is huge and is essentially about taking characters from books, movies, TV shows etcetera and playing with them.

50 Shades was originally a Twilight fanfiction named Master of the Universe and one of the most popular fanfictions. It’s the same place I published my fanfiction.

We were a great writer’s group. We encouraged each other and quite a few have branched out and become published authors. Suki McMinn and others have done very well by self-publishing, which is very encouraging.

Sherri: Have you published a novel yet?

Thyra: I did have a nibble with a publisher but they went out of business just as I was finishing my story. They wanted a Viking romance and I did write one, but I wasn’t pleased with it so it was probably just the same that it was never published. I am planning on writing a Viking series about three sisters. I have the titles ready: The ShieldmaidenThe Healer and The Wife. I also have the stories outlined but I always stumble over some historical details. I LOVE the Viking age and don’t want to mess up on historical facts. Unfortunately, it’s almost impossible not to since we know so little about the Vikings.

Sherri: Write the stories. Continue to research but don’t let the details hold you back. I believe we often let our fears cripple us. As we’ve been emailing back and forth for this interview, I have enjoyed your sense of humor.

Thyra: I’ve been reading a lot of romance and I feel that this is what has made me a better writer. I have found my voice, so to speak, and know that I need to write stories with a dash of humor or it just won’t work for me. This is why most of what I’m writing these days is contemporary romance.

Sherri: Do you have another job or do you write full time?

Thyra: I am the manager of a PR agency that does PR and marketing for schools for young adults. I love my job and I love writing. What I don’t love is the fact that the day only has 24 hours and a week only has 7 days. I need moooore time.

Sherri: Don’t we all. I work full time, write and chair my local writers’ group, plus have a very large family, six sons and nineteen grandchildren. Some days feel like there is no end and others need another twelve hours just so I can finish what needs to be done.

Thyra: Wow, 19 grandchildren! That must be a lot of fun!

I have two kids, one is 17 and one is 19. The oldest is away for school and is actually leaving for a school trip to Japan tomorrow. My husband and I met each other when I was 19 and he was 20. We’ve been married for 29 years now.

Sherri: What do you enjoy about writing?

Thyra: I love creating characters and making them do fun things. I love the creative outlet, I love thinking about my characters, trying to solve a difficult situation and suddenly having a great idea. Unfortunately, my great ideas usually come just as I’m closing my eyes and going to sleep.

Sherri: What do you feel are your writing strengths and weaknesses?

Thyra: I would like to think that my humor is my strength and, of course, that I have inside knowledge to Scandinavia. My weakness is procrastination.

Sherri: Who are your favorite authors/genres?

Thyra: I have a lot of favorite authors. I love Suki McMinn’s books and also authors like Laura Kinsale, Courtney Milan, Sherry Thomas, L.H. Cosway, Mhairi McFarlane and Roni Loren. I read all subgenres in romance and the only thing I look for is quality writing and well written characters. Historical, contemporary, urban fiction and even alien romance – I’ll read anything as long as the story is good.

Sherri: Would you like to tell everyone how we met?

Thyra: We met through The New Romance Café (Facebook Group) and through the anthology project we’re both participating in. I’m very excited about that book project because I finally managed to finish a story. I’m terrible at beginning new stories instead of actually finishing some of the many I’ve started over the years. I guess, I needed the deadline.

I have an old blog that was very popular (over a million readers of one of the blog posts) but it doesn’t fit my writing now. It was for my fanfiction. So I’m currently moving the best parts to a new blog I’m currently creating: I hope to have it up and running in a few weeks.

Sherri: Thanks, Thyra for visiting with me today. I’m looking forward to reading your story in our spring romance anthology, Love in Bloom. The anthology is due out in March 2019. The proceeds will go to Pink Ribbon International. 

Posted in Creekside Cafe, interview

Interview at Creekside Cafe with Donna Steele

In lieu of new author interviews during the weeks leading to Thanksgiving, I’d like to thank the authors who first gave me a chance to interview them for my Creekside Cafe. Donna Steele was my first interview and I’d like to take a moment to honor her kindness and friendship as well as update her interview. Those of you who read the original interview, thank you, I hope you enjoy the new additions. To those who missed it, this is how it all began.

Interview with contemporary romance author, Donna Steele, Women strong enough for love is the theme of her stories.

Happy Martin Luther King’s day. It’s cool on the river in January and today is downright cold. But it’s a beautiful, sunny day. When the sun is shining in through the windows of the café and a there’s a fire burning in the old wood heater, we can grab a big mug of something warm, and visit with a good friend, everything is cozy.

My guest today is Donna Steele. We’re sipping hot Russian tea with a little extra ginger. I love ginger. It’s really warming. Great for a day like today. What a great idea Donna. We are here in my virtual café looking out at South Creek.

Donna Steele is the author of twenty-five books from Sci-fi romance to contemporary. We are both members of the Romance Writers of America and the local branch, Heart of Carolina. Welcome to Creekside.

Donna: It’s nice to be here.

Sherri: I have to say, I’m impressed. How did you manage to write twenty-five books?

Donna: Lots of Sundrop. That’s my caffeine of choice. I’ve been writing for over ten years. I started with fanfiction. I’ve been published for seven. I’m now retired and I can devote more time to my writing. I wake up around 6 am, start writing about 7:30. I try to write until noon. If the words are flowing it might go a little longer but usually the juice seems to cut off about then.

Sherri: I read your book Cancun Memories and recently started your newest book, Don’t Look Back, The Conall Clan series, I love your characters. You have a great way with dialogue. Where did you learn to write such great dialogue?

Donna: I love writing dialogue. Stephen King is one of my favorite authors. His dialogue reads like people are really talking. When I’m reading one of his books, I even dream about them. I think he has been the biggest influence on my writing. His characters are definitely three dimensional.

Sherri: Stephen King is one of your favorite authors? Who else do you like to read?

Donna: I read any fiction—sci-fi has always been my go-to, then paranormal. I prefer contemporary to historical, but now authors are giving those women strength. Sherri Tepper, Larry Niven, Sherrilyn Kenyon, and I’m getting so many more by reading local authors in HCRW.

Sherri: I’ve started reading more variety. If you could suggest one book to a reader, what would it be?

Donna: Gibbon’s Decline and Fall by Sherri Tepper should be required reading for every woman.

This is from the description of Gibbons – A wave of fundamentalism is sweeping across the globe as the millennium approaches, and a power-hungry presidential candidate sees his ticket to success in making an example out of a teenage girl who abandoned her infant in a Dumpster.

She’s an incredible feminist writer.

Sherri: Your own characters, especially the females are strong women. Often, they are stronger than they realize. Your newest book is the first in a shape shifter series. It’s a bit of suspense, romance and paranormal. Tell us about it.

Donna: Megan Sullivan is trying desperately to escape her stalker. When Detective Wesley Conall suggest she move, at least temporarily, to Sweetwater, North Carolina to disappear, it sounds like a plausible idea.

Lou Conall, Sheriff in Sweetwater, is less than enthused when his cousin foists a victim on him, but he can’t say no to a woman or child that needs protecting. This one shouldn’t be that much of a bother and no way could her stalker track her to this location.

At least that’s what he think until he meet her.

Sherri: I have to laugh because you start it off with a bang. Poor Lou doesn’t see her coming.

 Of your twenty-five books, you are both traditionally published and indie published. What do you think is the hardest thing about publishing a book?

Donna: I’m a Hybrid author. I was with Rebel Ink until they closed, now I’m with Soul Mate Publishing and Indie. The hardest thing about publishing a book is advertising it once it’s finished. There’s so much competition it’s hard to get people to see yours in the crowd.

Sherri: So true. So where can readers find your books?

Donna: Everything is at Amazon –

And Don’t Look Back will remain on sale for $.99 through January. Book two Family Ties, comes out February 1  –

Sherri: for more information about Donna Steele  check out her webpage –

I have read a reviewed all of Donna’s Conall Clan series except the last which I will be starting soon.

Thank you all for joining us.

Low-Calorie, Slow-Cooker Russian Tea recipe:

One pot steeped, strong tea, discard tea bags and add to slow cooker


3-cups orange juice

1-cup lemon juice

I don’t measure the spices, I like a lot of spice



Cinnamon sticks

When ready to serve, strain and put into pot to keep warm

Sweeten to taste with preferred sweetner. (I prefer honey)

Garnish with orange slice

Posted in backstory, promo

Interview with Rae and Logan

The Main Characters of Chrome Pink

Interviewer: The two of you are the main characters in Chrome Pink, how did you meet?

Rae: We met at the opening of the Bryant Foundation Art Gallery.

Logan: No, we met at the bar where you were singing Karaoke.

Rae: But I didn’t learn your name until the gallery.

Logan: True, you rode off angry.

Rae: You talked bad about my bike.

Logan: It was a pink Harley. Who paints a Harley Pink?

Interviewer: That is an unusual color for a Harley, isn’t it?

Rae: It was to raise money for breast cancer. I restored the bike, even had the seat upholstered to match.

Interviewer: The two of you are together now?

Rae: He’s asked me to marry him.

Interviewer: Have you given him an answer?

Rae: I’m thinking about it.

Logan: I gave her a ring.

Interviewer: It’s pink.

Rae: Yeah, he wanted something unique and this reminds us of our first meeting.

Logan: And the pink Harley.

Interviewer: Are y’all planning a big wedding?

Rae: God, I hope not.

Logan: My mother and sisters are planning the wedding.

Rae: And my best friends: Jenna and Dana.

Logan: Well, Dana is kind of my sister, too.

Interviewer: She’s your sister?

Logan: My stepdad, Sam is Dana’s dad.

Interviewer: Oh wow, that’s interesting.

Rae: You have no idea. Our lives have gotten very interesting this past year.

Logan: We’ve been accused of murder.

Rae: People have tried to kill us.

Logan: And we fell in love.

Rae: Yeah, that’s the good part. I’ve been sober for a few months now.

Interviewer: Wonderful, did Logan help you get sober?

Logan: She was already sober when we got together.

Rae: But he gives me incentive to stay sober, we just found out we’re going to have a baby.

Interviewer: Congratulations. That’s a lot of changes in a short amount of time.

Rae: Yes, but we’re learning to handle things together.

Logan: Being part of a team isn’t always easy but working together makes it better.

Interviewer: I can’t wait to see what happens next.

Rae: We can’t either.

Interviewer: Thank you both for joining me and I look forward to reading more of your adventures in the upcoming holiday book, Evergreen Crystals.

Posted in Creekside Cafe, interview

Creekside Cafe Chat with Reese Ryan

Reese and I met when she was president of the Heart of Carolina Romance Writers, her open, engaging smile and outgoing personality made her an excellent and inclusive president, welcoming all who attended. I am so excited to welcome Reese Ryan to Creekside Café.

Reese: Thank you for this opportunity.

Sherri: I’ve been wanting to ask you back to the area since the workshop you gave the Pamlico Writers’ Group. It’s too bad this is only a virtual café. Shall we have a bourbon drink in honor of your Bourbon Brothers Series?

Reese: I’ll just order a Caramel Macchiato hot–even in the height of summer.

Sherri: I drink hot coffee any time of the year so I’m right there with you.

You’re not native to North Carolina, are you?

 Reese: I’m originally from Cleveland, Ohio, where I spent the majority of my life. I’ve been living in Central North Carolina for the past ten years.

Sherri: What do you think about Eastern North Carolina? My virtual café exists in my dreams on the banks of the Pamlico River.

Reese: I’ve had a chance to spend time in New Bern, Duck, Jacksonville, and Little Washington. We adored our trips to each of these little towns. We can’t wait to return for our next Eastern North Carolina adventure.

Reese at the Turnage Theatre in Washington, NC with Pamlico Writers’ Group members.
Reese and I from the Pamlico Writers’ Workshop

Sherri: If you get down my way, give me a holler and I’ll show you around. I believe I owe you a dinner.

Do you write full time now, or do you hold down another job as well as write? When did you start writing full time?

Reese: I have been writing full-time for at least the past two years. Before that, my day job was writing marketing copy for small businesses.

Sherri: I work at our local ABC store, for those of you not from North Carolina that’s a liquor store owned by the county and regulated by the state. People are always asking if my job ever influences my writing. Has your career influenced your writing?

Reese: I spent several years working in the non-profit sector. This manifests itself in my writing because many of my characters either work in the non-profit sector or they are passionate about philanthropic endeavors. My time as a copywriter is likely the reason so many of my heroines work in PR or marketing.

Sherri: How long have you been a writer/published author? First discovered your love of writing?

Reese: I first discovered my love of writing when I was in middle school. I started writing stories and submitted my first short story to a magazine when I was about seventeen. I stopped writing altogether until I was in my mid-thirties. I’ve been a published author for six years. My first book was published in July 2013.

Sherri: Well, you know I’m a huge fan but tell our readers what genre of books your write. 

Reese: I write steamy contemporary romance with a diverse cast of characters.

Sherri: It’s your awesome characters that keep me coming back for more. I just love the way you people your stories. Everyone feels real. Your characters are multidimensional, generational and cultural. In your recent Cattleman Club Book, “His Until Midnight,” you have an older couple in the background with a bit of history. They are so well written I want to know their story. I want them to have their HEA.

Do you plan to write any other genres in the future?

Reese: I have plans for future romantic thriller and historical romance series.

Sherri: Historical romance is my first love, I love Beverly Jenkins’ Old West Series. I’ve started reading her Women Who Dare series and I want to read more about the LeVeq family.

Amanda Quick aka Jayne Ann Krentz is the author who inspired me to move to contemporary books both reading and writing.

I’d be happy to be a Beta reader if you need one.

Tell us, what is your latest writing or publishing project?

Reese: I just signed a three-book deal with Grand Central Forever to write a diverse, small-town series set in the Outer Banks. Starting Over, the first book in my new Holly Grove Island series, is scheduled for a November 2020 release.

Sherri: Oh wow, you know I loved your Pleasure Cove series. Will this have more of a small-town feel?

Reese: Yes. My Pleasure Cove and Bourbon Brothers series are contemporary romance series that happen to be set in small towns. But the Holly Grove Island series will be a bona fide small-town series.

Sherri: What are some of the things you love about writing?

Reese: I love writing strong entrepreneurial or career-minded women and heroes that while strong, also display some type of vulnerability.

Sherri: And you do it so well.

What do you barely tolerate about writing?

Reese: For me, the hardest thing is always getting through that first rough draft. Revisions, I love. For me, that’s where the real magic of storytelling happens. I can fix anything, but a blank page just taunts me.

Sherri: I’m a bit of a foodie. With six sons and my herd of grandchildren food plays a big part in everything we do. I often post recipes on my website. Do you have a favorite food/recipe?

Reese: It should come as a surprise to no one who has read my books that I enjoy food. LOL. My characters like to eat and often cook together or for one another. My favorite comfort food is chicken and dumplings. My favorite dessert is peach cobbler, which I make for most family functions.

Peach Cobbler Recipe

1 pkg of Pillsbury or other refrigerated pie crust (taste matters, so get a good one)

2 bags of frozen peach slices (about three pounds)

¼ cup lemon juice

¾ cup orange juice

½ cup butter

2 cups white sugar (modify this to your taste)

½ teaspoon ground nutmeg

1 teaspoon cinnamon

1 tablespoon cornstarch

1 tablespoon white sugar

1 tablespoon butter, melted

  1. Preheat over to 350 degrees. Roll out one sheet of dough thin enough to cover the bottom and partial sides of a 9 x 13 baking dish. Bake until golden brown, approximately 20 minutes.
  2. While the bottom of the crust is baking, combine the frozen peaches (fresh or canned can also work), lemon juice, and orange juice in a large sauce pan. Add the ½ cup of butter and heat until the butter melts. In a separate mixing bowl, combine the 2 cups of sugar, nutmeg, cinnamon, and cornstarch. Mix dry ingredients well, then add it to the peach mixture. Remove the peach mixture from heat and pour it into the baking dish on top of the pie crust.
  3. Take the second pie crust sheet, roll it out a little thicker than you rolled the bottom crust. Cut strips approximately ½ inch wide. Use strips to create a lattice crust over the peach mixture. 
  4. Sprinkle the lattice crust with the tablespoon of sugar, then drizzle the tablespoon of melted butter over it.
  5. Bake cobbler in 350 degree, preheated over for 35 to 40 minutes. The top crust should be a nice, golden brown.
Delicious homemade peach cobbler with vanilla ice cream.

Sherri: I know how difficult being a full-time writer can be so in all your free time, do you have any hobbies or interests and do any of these show up in your writing?

Reese: I’m forever looking for a new outlet for my creativity. I have tons of knitting and jewelry making supplies, though I do very little of either. LOL. My fascination with jewelry making (my mother and I can watch YouTube videos on the topic for hours) showed up in Book #3 of my Bourbon Brothers series. The heroine owns a handmade jewelry and consignment shop.

Sherri: I think the Bourbon Brothers series is my favorite but then I do enjoy a good bourbon.

What are your writing strengths and weaknesses? As one of your readers, you make it all look so easy but as a writer-friend, I know we all have our struggles. What comes easy for you and what do you have to work harder to get?

Reese: The thing that seems to come easiest is the dialogue between the characters. Sometimes it almost feels as if I’m just typing out what the characters are already saying to me. I struggle with poetic descriptions. Mainly because as a reader, that’s not what I want to wade through. I just want to know what happens next.

Sherri: I think you hit it on the head, writing the way we want to read is important. If we don’t want to wade through beautifully crafted, poetic descriptions, other readers probably won’t either. A writer friend told me you cannot be an effective writer if you are not an avid reader.  

Who are your favorite authors/genres?

Reese: Though I watch mostly murder mysteries at home. (The Murdoch Mysteries is my current obsession, and I eagerly await the Miss Fisher’s Murder Mysteries movie.) However, I primarily read contemporary romance. There are too many incredible authors out there for me to pick one or two as my faves. But some of the authors I enjoy reading include: Elle Wright, Sheryl Lister, Karen Booth, Jules Bennett, Delaney Diamond, Naima Simone, Michelle Styles, Beverly Jenkins, Rochelle Alers, Kathy Douglass, Cheris Hodges and many, many more.

Sherri: You turned me onto several wonderful writers: Nana Malone, Delaney Diamond and Karen Booth, I can’t wait to check out some of these other authors.

Thank you so much for joining us at Creekside Café, Reese, you truly are one of my favorite people and I can’t wait to read Off Limit Lovers, your newest in the Texas Cattleman Club series.  

Reese Ryan writes sexy, emotional romance with captivating family drama, surprising secrets, and a posse of complex characters. Past president of the Heart of Carolina Romance Writers, a panelist at the 2017 Los Angeles Times Festival of Books and recipient of the 2018 Donna Hill Breakout Author Award, Reese is an advocate for the romance genre and diversity in fiction.

A Midwesterner with deep Southern roots, Reese currently resides in semi-small-town North Carolina where she’s an avid reader, a music junkie, and a self-declared connoisseur of cheesy grits.

Follow Reese on Social Media:







Posted in Creekside Cafe, interview

Chatting with Miranda Jameson

I’d like to welcome my new friend, author Miranda Jameson to Creekside Café. I started doing these interviews to help cross-promote my own books as well as introduce other authors to my friends and readers. Thank you for joining us here at my virtual café.

Miranda: Absolutely, Sherri! It’s all about networking. I’m Indie published. It’s not an easy choice, but for most newish authors, trad publishing isn’t an easy choice either. These days, no one does your marketing and networking for you unless you’re an established name. 

Michael Anderle, a highly successful Indie author, advises Indies to ‘Patterson the s@** out of your career’ – referencing James Patterson’s excellent marketing skills! Now, I might not be Pattersoning (haha – invented a new word) but for better or worse, I have control over my own publishing journey. 

Sherri: I think most of us who are indie published or as you say, traditionally published but not yet a big name, have learned to get creative to let readers know we’re here. So, what interesting things have you tried to promote and market your books? Anything you want to share with our readers?

Miranda: It isn’t easy being Indie. It’s a 24/7 job. I made many mistakes, learned a LOT, and became part of the awesome Indie writing community. I received a tonne of help and guidance and try to pay that forward. This year, I plan to boost my marketing beyond organic growth. I have enough books out for a better return on investment. It’s daunting, but doable. 

Sherri: Miranda and I met through the New Romance Café readers and writers’ Facebook group. It’s great to have a supportive and fun online group. 

Miranda: Yes, we met in the Romance Café, of course! It’s a friendly, virtual place where the virtual cake and coffee have 0 calories. Working on our joint project has been great fun. 

Sherri: I’m so excited about the anthology. You and Andi have put in so much work to see this project come to fruition. What are you plans for the future?

Miranda: I have four books planned this year. The first two – Zephyr and Deimos – will complete my Empaths of Venice trilogy. The third one will loop back to before my Warriors’ Council trilogy – and hopefully lead new readers to those books. This story will be set on the Western Front during WW1, so there’s a fair bit of research to do. Its hero and heroine are the two characters in my Love in Bloom story. Henri and Ysabeau appear as supporting characters in all my books. My readers love them and wanted their story. This is another good thing about being an Indie – having direct conversations with readers. 

I like mixing history into my paranormal romances; after all, if you live hundreds of years, you’ve witnessed seismic world events. The last book this year – London Symphony – will be part of my spin-off PNR series set in the 1940s. All my books can be read as standalones, but the stories, events and characters are connected. Readers love cameo appearances by their favourite characters from the other books. 

Sherri: History with the paranormal, that makes sense to me and makes me want to read your books. I too, love history, something I shared with my father. What or who has influenced your writing?

Miranda: Well, I was born in England, grew up in India immersed in stories of gods, goddesses, elephant-riding princes and bejeweled princesses. I studied in both countries, and now live permanently in England. My home is in North Yorkshire, a beautiful part of England steeped in history (which I love).

Like any writer who has read thousands of books, my writing must be an amalgam of all of them – good, and bad. I would encourage every writer to read. You always learn new ways to tell a story better.

Sherri: Have you always been a writer? 

Miranda: Yes, always, but never with any serious intent. It tended to be a clandestine thing. I’m quite a private person and putting my work out there makes me feel exposed and rather vulnerable. After all, writing is a window into a writer’s head. Good reviews take me by surprise because I secretly think my writing is crap! Imposter syndrome – moi?

Sherri: We share the same affliction. It’s exciting when someone likes your work but it’s also a bit surprising and terrifying. I suffer from what if the next book isn’t as good. I try to quiet the voices in my head with creating characters who are more confident, stronger and smarter. Writing is a way for me to speak my mind. I could no more stop writing as stop breathing. What is your favorite thing about being a writer?

Miranda: Creating worlds. Sounds grandiose, doesn’t it, but that’s what writers do. It’s as close to magic as it’s possible to get. Writing is my solution for coping with life’s challenges. It’s also about control. My stories are one place where I get to decide what does or doesn’t happen. Characters become real. Their stories clamour to be told. When I finish writing a novel, I get a real slump because I miss my people!

Sherri: That’s why I write sequels or if you prefer, series. I like bringing characters back for an ovation. Unfortunately, there are also the not so fun things about being a writer. When you start working towards getting something published or sending it to a contest, you are no longer writing for your own pleasure, you are writing for an audience and there are certain expectations between a reader and writer. I suffer the bobble head syndrome. I mean really, how many times can someone nod their head before it rolls off into oblivion. And I reuse the same words and phrases…

Miranda: Oooh! Those gluey glue words. ‘Just’ – why does it pop up everywhere? And what’s with the ‘really’? Delete. Delete! Repeat phrases are something I have to keep my eye on. Thankfully, they get banished during editing. I’m a loose plotter. I have a direction the story has to go and I know the end. I plan plot points and pinch points, but things may change and it’s usually for the better.

Sherri: You mentioned this earlier and I say it to beginning writers all the time, if you want to be a good writer you must first be a reader. Learning what works and what doesn’t by reading other people’s work, developing good techniques and learning the craft of writing, these are important skills that take time to build. What do you think is your greatest strength as a writer? 

Miranda: As for strengths, that’s hard to say. I’ve learned to trust my gut and perhaps that’s a bonus. If my gut tells me a scene isn’t working, it isn’t. I dump it and begin again. I try to create pictures in readers’ minds without miring them in long paragraphs of description. Sight, scent, sound – all those things add layers and make the scene immersive. One reviewer said she felt she was really living in the alternate reality I’d created. Another loves the ‘feels’ in my stories. I like my romances to be romantic. My characters struggle internally, however confident they appear on the outside. Their happily ever afters come with meeting someone who makes them feel right, whatever their flaws. It’s not about feeling ‘completed’, it’s about finding a person who encourages you to be yourself, and loves you despite everything.

Sherri: Yes, anyone can love the beautiful, perfect character but show me the person who loves the recovering addict, the person who is scarred whether inside or out by life’s trials, the person no one else has bothered to really see, that’s real romance. I can’t wait to read your books. 

Who are some of your favorite authors or your favorite genres?

Miranda: I prefer historical and paranormal romances. Probably because I love history, and I love the possibility of powerful, magical beings living alongside us. For historical, I’ve recently discovered Sarah McClean and, through the Romance Café, Lara Temple and Tabetha Waite. As for paranormal, I’ve read all the usual suspects – Larissa Ione, Nalini Singh, J R Ward, and recently, I.T. Lucas. And let’s not forget Anne Rice. Apart from reading romance, I’m a huge fan of mysteries, and historical whodunnits. I blame an early addiction to Agatha Christie. My list of favourite authors is unbelievably long, but if I ended up on a desert island with only two books, I’d want a poetry collection (including Keats and Elliot), and the complete works of Carlos Ruiz Zafon.

Sherri: Wow, the time has just flown by. I hate to bring this visit to an end but I should get back to work on my novel and it sounds like you have a schedule to keep. If you ever get to North Carolina, please look me up. 

Miranda: I have never visited the United States. Can you believe it? It’s a big gap in my travels I hope to fill in the future. Especially since most of my current readers reside in North America. I’d love to see the famous autumn (fall) colours, and I’ve always wanted to visit San Francisco. I’m also a fan of Ina Garten’s cooking shows and enjoy her visits to California’s Napa Valley. Ideally, I’d hire one of those huge RVs and tour around.

Sherri: Now that sounds like an adventure. Let me know when you go visit Ina Garten, I’d love to tag along. 

For those of you who’d like to know more about Miranda or buy her books, here are the links to do just that. 

Miranda’s Bio:

Miranda Jameson grew up in India immersed in stories of gods, goddesses, elephant-riding princes and bejewelled princesses. She firmly believes there is magic all around us if we only take a minute to look.

She now lives in North Yorkshire, England, where she translates her passion for art, history, mythology and travel, into writing action-packed paranormal romances with all the ‘feels’.

 She loves honourable badass heroes with undiscovered depths, and smart dauntless heroines who can save themselves. 

When not clicking away on her laptop, she runs mum’s taxi service and the bank of mum. In other words, she’s got kids. Coffee, gin, and good friends, keep her sane.

Here are my links:

The Warriors’ Council trilogy

Gabriel –

Javier –

Rafe –   


The Empaths of Venice trilogy

Alexis –


Warriors’ Council World prequel novels

Berlin Nocturne –

Berlin Nocturne is also available as a bonus when you sign up to for Miranda’s Inner Circle monthly newsletter

Paris Prelude –


Follow Miranda Jameson on Facebook for updates, sneak peeks, and offers –


Posted in Creekside Cafe, interview

A Visit from Author Rachell Nichole

Today I’d like to welcome contemporary romance author, Rachell Nichole to Creekside Café. 

Welcome Rachell, is this your first time in eastern North Carolina?

to sir new

Rachell: Thanks for having me. No, I’m from the East Coast, so I’ve been up and down the area. Never spent a lot of time in the Carolinas, but a day here and there. We had a stop in Charleston, South Carolina on the honeymoon cruise we took.

Sherri: Ah yes, you’re still honeymooning.

Rachell: Yup, Mr. Nichole and I have been married just over two years now. So we’re still newlyweds.

Sherri: We’re getting ready to celebrate twenty-eight years and my husband says we’re still honeymooning. We’re a little more sedate about it now that we’re older. You describe your books as contemporary with a little kink. That sounds interesting.

Rachell: Wow, that’s an amazing run! 28 years. Congratulations. I have some books that I consider Kink Lite, but some are really quite kinky. Right now, I’m focusing on some heavier kinky books. I’ve also got several different flavors of books that don’t have kink. I have F/F and menage, and multicultural books out as well. All of it is steamy. I’ve also written paranormal and romantic suspense as well, but those are not published yet.

Sherri: I read the excerpt on your blog, A Love Affair in Las Vegas it’s very heart warming. I felt a connection with Barnaby. Like Sylvia Day, you weave real life and emotions with steamy sex. 

What are you working on now?

Rachell: Aw, that’s so sweet. I can’t believe I was just compared to Syl Day! That is one of the best compliments ever! Thank you. And yes, I love Barnaby. He’s such a sweetheart. Right now I’m working on Bound by Submission the second in the ABCs of Submission series, which is connected to the K Club series, that is in this anthology. I also just got ideas for the next two books directly in the K Club series, so I’m simmering those right now and trying to not get pulled into the brand new shiny projects.

Sexy woman face closeup with black lace mask
Sexy woman face closeup with black lace mask cover her eyes and fresh red apple. Seductive red lips and nails. Fashion Make up and manicure

Sherri: We met through The New Romance Café and the Love in Bloom anthology. Tell us about your story for the anthology.

Rachell: Yes, I love that group. It’s such a great place for romance readers and writers to connect. I’m so glad to have met folks just like you there. So, for this story,  I really found it hard to fit Syenca and Jensen’s piece into only 10,000 words, but I also really really loved writing it. I titled it Blooming for Sir because it serves as a prequel story to To Sir, and starts out in the K Club, where the rest of the books in the series really take place. It’s also just got a touch of kink in it, and is about Syneca kind of trying this whole kinky thing out. Syneca and Jensen are both from old money New York families from the Hamptons, and Syneca was arranged from an early age to marry Jensen’s older brother, Jackson. She and Jensen shared a friendship as kids and a few kisses in their youth, but then Syenca broke things off with Jackson and moved away. The story starts out in The K Club during an auction to raise money for Syneca’s foundation to help LGBTQ homeless youth who have been disowned by their families. Jensen offers to buy her for the night, even though he knows she’s not for sale.  I love love loved writing this short piece and I can’t wait to share it with the world. Here is the official blurb: 

It’s springtime in Spartan Nevada, and that means it’s time for the K Club’s 2nd annual fetish ball to raise money for a good cause. This year, one of the club’s owners has chosen a cause close to his heart – the Madison Foundation that helped him when he was a homeless LGBT youth. Syneca Madison Lexington is delighted Dusty wants to help her foundation, particularly since she’s quickly running out of the trust fund money she could still access when her own parents disowned her for being bisexual. But a submissive auction? She doesn’t know if that’s something she can get behind or not. When Jensen Elmwood enters the K Club, intent on purchasing himself a submissive for the night, the last thing he expects is to run into the one woman he’s loved since he was a kid, the same woman who’s been engaged to his brother since high school. When the sparks reignite between them, can a springtime romance bloom into something more? Or will their past hurts and old family influences tear them apart?

Sherri: Well, I can’t wait to see what happens with Syneca and Jensen. I’m sure things are going to heat up. 

You’ve been a published author for several years now. Are you traditionally published or indie? 

Rachell: A bit of both, actually. I have been published now for 7 years. I started with a small press, and indie pubbed a few titles, but the small house I was with closed in 2018, so I’ve since republished my backlist all on my own, with the help of my writer-editor husband. So, with those titles all republished, and with three new titles I wrote and published last year along with the relaunch, I currently have 12 titles out. The story in the anthology will be lucky number 13. 

I’ve been writing for as long as I could string sentences together, and I was writing romance fanfic in high school but didn’t start my first original paranormal romance novel until I was 18. I got my first novel publishing contract at 21, which is really early for so many people, and I feel so lucky to have started my career out that way, with the help and support of the editors, cover artists, and the rest of the team at Loose Id. 

Sherri: You hold several degrees, do you use these in your writing? 

Rachell: All the time, actually. Two of my degrees are in writing. So I feel like I use things I learned in those degree programs every day. The other degree in French is something I pull from in a lot of different ways. I’ve set books in France, and French culture and language end up in several of my books.

Sherri: Do your hobbies and interests show up in your writing?

Rachell: Languages and travel definitely make it into my writing, as does my love affair with food. My characters are eating quite a bit, or cooking for each other, or talking about food. I guess “food” isn’t really a hobby, but I really love cooking, and I think that bleeds into my writing in a lot of pieces. 

I grab most of my recipes online, so here’s one I use a lot that I adore. It’s just some great good, comfort food! 

Sherri: Do you write full-time or do you hold down another job as well?

Rachell: Hah! There isn’t a job I’ve encountered I haven’t also worked! Currently, in addition to writing, I work a normal 9-5 (though those aren’t my exact hours) four days a week at a law firm and I teach writing for an online college. I also do some tutoring on the side, but not very steadily, just in between things.

Sherri: Oh wow, and I thought I was busy. When do you find time to write? You must really enjoy writing to be able to do it as well as work two, sometimes three other jobs.

Rachell: Sometimes, it’s really hard to balance, but right now, I block my writing time, usually on Fridays-Sundays when I’m not at the firm, and then i work my teaching around those 6-10 hour blocks of time where I’m writing. I’m fortunate that I can work on a piece for multiple hours without a lot of breaks. I love the excitement of a new project rattling around in my head begging to be let out. I also love talking to people about my stories. These characters are so real to me so when I talk to others about them like they’re also real people, the feeling is amazing.

Sherri: Oh yes, I feel that way too, especially when writing a series, you feel like they’re part of your family. Is there anything you don’t like about writing? 

Rachell: Writing. Hahaha. I mean, I love it, but I hate it all at the same time. My very least favorite is the final edits and doing the formatting on a book.

Sherri: You’ve been writing several years and have a dozen books out. What do you feel your writing strengths and weaknesses are?

Rachell: I write cleanly. This comes back to my work as a writer and training, but also the fact that I learned to type when I was 9 and I can type by feel entirely. This makes typos less likely. I write what I call a dirty draft, where I can kick out 50,000 words in three weeks, and then dig in and revise it which I’m only able to do because I can type so quickly and without having to stare at either the screen or the keyboard. As to weaknesses, I overuse the shit out of words and I repeat things. So I have themes and names and things that crop up in each manuscript that I then have to revise out.

Sherri: I think we all have our pet words that show up in our writing. Even some of the more famous authors have said they have to go on a search and destroy mission from time to time. Who are your favorite authors or your go to genres?

Rachell: Hah, pet words. that’s a great way to describe it. As to my favorite authors… that’s really hard. Right now I’m obsessed with Roan Parish, Stephanie Julian, Priscilla Oliveras, and Alyssa Cole, in romance and Juliet Blackwell, who writes mysteries and general fiction. I read almost exclusively romance, but am sometimes looking to branch out. These are insta-buy authors for me right now. That list used to include a lot of other names, but I’m rather irate with a particular author who shall remain unnamed for killing off the heroine in the last book of hers I read. She was an author I always always loved, and I don’t know that I’ll ever read her again.

Sherri: I feel that way about a certain author. He writes beautifully, great characters you just fall in love with and then he kills them off or leaves them in a state of flux. NO! I want my happy ending. Life is hard enough without killing off the characters I love. 

Before you go, give us a little insight into you as a person and as a writer.

Rachell: Well, my husband would say I’m perfect… hahaha, okay, that’s a total lie, but he would say that I’m worth it! He is the second biggest fan of my writing (my mom still holds the first spot) and he tells me all the time how talented he thinks I am which just means so much. As a writer, I like to think I’m a lot like I am as a real person. As to my overall personality, I’m loud, and crass and constantly busy. I flit from project to project, and have an inability to sit still.

Sherri: Rachell, it has been lovely to have you at my virtual café, maybe someday I can make it a reality and you can come back for a real visit. I look forward to reading your story in the anthology and hope to do more projects with you. 

Rachell: That would be so much fun, Sherri. I’m definitely game. Thanks for inviting me. 

Here are all of Rachell’s links. If you enjoyed our chat and her excerpt for the anthology, “Love in Bloom,” you buy your copy with just a click.

Author website:
Author blog:
Author Facebook page:
Author Twitter: 
Author Goodreads Profile page:
Author Amazon Profile page:
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