Posted in interview, my books, Uncategorized

Sherri Lupton Hollister – Rebellion Lit

Hello Readers and Writers! Today we would like to introduce you to an author who combines genres to get everything she wants from her stories. Starting out categorizing her writing as Romance, this author began to understand how much she loved Suspense. This shaped her writing, and gave us a series already grown to 5 t
— Read on

Posted in audio books, Book Review

Close Up

Close Up by Amanda Quick aka Jayne Ann Krentz

Narrated by Morgan Hallett

I caught part of Jayne Ann Krentz’s Facebook live a few days ago. I was surprised that people were complaining about the era she is setting her historical romances in now. The last few books have been set in 1930s in a resort community just outside of Hollywood. Don’t get me wrong, I adored her regency romances, but this time period in history is so full of interesting breakthroughs in science and politics, music and technology.

The town of Burning Cove just outside of Hollywood is a hotspot for the rich and famous. Amanda Quick has crafted a town peopled with characters we’ve all come to know and love. Close up brings art photographer, Vivian Brazier to the cove when she becomes the target of a killer.

Nick Sundridge uses his talent to protect others. When he is sent to Vivian after she is attacked by the “Dagger Killer,” he knows there is more to this job than just protecting a stranger.

Vivian’s vision with the camera allows her to see the story inside her subjects. It makes her photographs more personal. It also allows her to see the darkness of a murderer, but will she realize too late the danger she is in?

The action-packed romance is in true Amanda Quick style, a little paranormal, a little suspense, a lot of drama, some humor and romance, wow, this is another example of why Amanda Quick/Jayne Ann Krentz is one of my favorite authors.

I’m addicted to audiobooks and Morgan Hallett did a fantastic job of narrating Close Up. She lent her talents to bringing this story to life, allowing us to see and hear the characters as if we are watching it on screen.

Posted in Creekside Cafe

Terry Conrad Visits Creekside Cafe

Today I am happy to welcome a new writer friend, Terry Conrad to my Creekside Café on this rainy day. It is so good to have you here.

Terry: It’s good to be here. I loved living in the Raleigh area and have many fond memories of my time in NC.

Sherri: I’m on my way to Raleigh for the North Carolina Book Festival. Are you from North Carolina?

Terry: I’m originally from Cleveland, Ohio, but have moved around a bit since having left home for college.  I lived in Florida while completing my undergraduate degree, then moved to Wake Forest, North Carolina while getting my first Master’s degree, and then moved to Atlanta when my wife’s job relocated her.  We’ve been living here now for 18 years.

Sherri: I love Atlanta but it’s a little too busy for this country girl. I lived in Columbus, Georgia for a while but that was many years ago and I have a son who lives in Ohio now. I hope to visit soon.

Are you a full-time writer or do you have another occupation as well?

Terry: I’m a Senior Manager Accountant now, having recently switch careers from being an auditor for the State of Georgia.  Prior to that I was a middle school guidance counselor and a high school Assistant Principal.  When my days of working for the State are over, I will probably spend my retirement writing more.

Sherri: Now I find that interesting, you are analytical as well as creative. Your novels follow this path as well, do they not?

Terry: To a certain extent they do.  I am a fan of and write suspense and/or action fiction, and the creative side of me comes out when I try to write stories that are as unique as possible.  Nearly everything under the sun has probably been written at some point, but I try to put my unique twist on it, if it has.  The analytical side of me is evident in the way I approach my writing, which is very structured in nature.

Sherri: Tell us about your books.

Terry: My third book, The Idealist, having just been released in January this year.  It is a political thriller, which given all that is going on in politics these days, fits perfectly with what most Americans are thinking about at this time.  It is about someone who figures out a way to remove corruption from government, only to find that those in power aren’t willing to give it up so easily.

My first book, Illusion of Grandeur, was published in 2011 and was a quarterfinalist in the Amazon Breakthrough Novelist Award (top 250 out of the original 10,000 entries).  It is about a cult that is attempting to bring about the end of the world, and the PI and cult specialist that attempt to stop them.

My second book, Fugue, is a psychological thriller.  A fugue state is similar to a mix between amnesia and multiple-personality disorder.  Someone in a fugue state forgets who they are, and reinvents themselves as another person, usually moving to another place in the process.  They live as a completely different person until they begin to remember who they really are.  In my book, a person in a fugue state is believed to be a serial killer and is being chased by a rogue policeman and the father of the latest missing victim.  Since he’s in a fugue state, he doesn’t think he is a serial killer, but as he begins to recover his memory, he begins to wonder whether or not he is who they think he is.  It’s only at the end, when he fully recovers his memory, that the truth is revealed.

Sherri: All three sound like books I’d love to read. I’ll will have to check them out. I’m a suspense writer as well and find I like a faster paced, action-filled book more often than something that is more leisurely paced. Who do you like to read?

Terry: I have read quite a bit of James Patterson novels, and I am a big fan of Lee Child (Jack Reacher).  Additionally, I’ve read the series that led to the TV show Dexter (by Jeff Lindsay) and the Stieg Larsson/David Lagercrantz novels (The Girl with the Dragon Tattoo, etc.). 

Sherri: We have similar tastes in books and television shows.

Who or what has most influenced your own work?

Terry: My writing style is probably most influenced by James Patterson.  My books are fast paced with lots of action/suspense, and generally have shorter chapters.  I would also say that my editor and long-time friend, Jay Waitkus, has played a role in helping shape my writing as well.  He is a journalist and a published author as well.

Sherri: Tell me about your writing journey. How did you get published? Are you traditionally published?

Terry: I have been published by Elizabeth River Press, a very small, up-and-coming indie publisher.

Like many aspiring writers, I wanted to be published by a traditional publishing company, and I wrote letters to various publishers in the Writer’s Market, a large volume with thousands of publishers listed in it.  Unfortunately, none of them were interested in my first novel. 

Eventually Elizabeth River Press came around, however, and it is a small publishing company that helps good writers get published.  ERP decided to publish my first book and has published my other two books as well.

Probably the best feeling in the world came shortly after my second book was published.  I was back in school getting another degree so I could change careers, and we had a class in Washington DC.  I was able to go to the Library of Congress and confirm that both of my books were in there. 

That’s when I realized that it didn’t really matter to me whether the big publishers had picked my book or not.  I may never sell the amount of books that someone like James Patterson does, but my stories are out there just like his are, and that’s enough for me.

Sherri: I feel the same way, Terry. While I might want to be the next James Patterson or Nora Roberts, I’m okay with being Sherri Hollister and just having my books out there for people to read. I love to write and no matter how many books I sell I will continue to write.

So, tell me, what is one of your favorite things about being a writer?

Terry: For me, it’s about getting to express myself creatively.  I don’t generally have many outlets for it, but with writing I do.  There are lots of great book ideas floating around in my brain – it feels good to get them on paper and share them with others.

Sherri: Like any job, even one we love, there is always a downside, what is the worst thing about being a writer?

Terry: The editing process can at times be a bit grueling.  It certainly was with my latest book and took a long time to get through for various reasons.  I despise making mistakes/typos, but unfortunately sometimes they still happen no matter how careful you try to be in not making them.  This does imitate life though – not everything will go perfectly, no matter how hard you may plan and work at it.  It’s about doing the best you can and improving as you go.

Sherri: I agree, the editing can be rough and finding people you trust who will tell you the truth but not crush your spirit is important.

With that revelation, would you be willing to bare all and tell us your strengths and weaknesses as a writer. I know for me, when I read the authors I love, I think, oh they just sat down and wrote an amazing story. They didn’t have to do all of this learning and fixing I’ve had to do.

Terry: I’d say one of my strengths would be creating suspense and ending a chapter in such a way as to get the reader to want to read on.  I’d like to hope I’m good at keeping my reader guessing about what is going to happen next as well.  I’d say that my weakness might be character development.  Since I write more of a commercial style of fiction, it is harder to do, but I am working on it.

Sherri: You mentioned your wife, how long have you two been together?

Terry: I’ve been married to my wife Dawn for 16+ years and we’ve been together for over 18 years.  We live just outside of Atlanta with our dog Boomer.

Sherri: Does your wife support your writing? How long have you been writing?

Terry: Yes, she’s very supportive and is always the first person to read my book other than the editor and maybe publisher.  She also helps me catch things that I or my editor may have missed.

Technically speaking, I’ve been writing since I was in the 5th grade, so about 36 years.  Back then I was a fan of the Hardy Boys Mysteries, and my short 40-page books reflected that, with non-stop action.  They were the Stephen Chase Mysteries.  I took a long break though before writing again, as my focus became my academics.  I started writing again as an adult about 10 years ago and have written when my busy schedule allows.

Sherri: How do you juggle work, writing and a social life?

Terry: I work a schedule that gives me every other Friday off, and that is generally when I will do my writing.  Sometimes on the weekends I will as well, but it depends on whether I have other plans or not. Weekends are generally when we get together with friends, so I usually don’t write much on the weekends, but if I do it would be earlier in the dayIt can be difficult to find time to write sometimes with my hectic schedule – more than half of the year I’m working close to 50-55 hours a week and don’t have time to write at all.  It’s during the “slower time of year” that I try to plan and do my writing.

Sherri: Do you have any other hobbies or interests? Do these show up in your stories?

Terry: My main hobby/interest would be sports.  I used to play soccer when I was a kid and as an adult, have refereed and coached it as well, and now I just attend and watch.  I am a founding member and season-ticket holder of Atlanta United FC.  To this point they haven’t showed up in any of my books, but possibly one day.

Sherri: What are your future writing plans?

Terry: Soon I will be starting on my fourth book, which is a sequel to the first book, Illusion of Grandeur.  Tentatively, it is called, Numbers Game, and will involve the return of the cult and its numerologist leader as they work with a group of domestic terrorists to accomplish their plan of death and destruction.

Sherri: Terry, it has been so nice to meet you. I look forward to reading your books and to seeing what happens next in your career.

Thank you for joining me at Creekside Café and a special thank you to your publisher for suggesting we get together.

Check out Terry’s links below for his books and social media.


My website: Terry Conrad | The Official Website of Terry Conrad

Facebook pages:

TerryConradAuthor –

New Day Party (related to my 3rd book) –




Posted in my books, promo

Cover Reveal for Red Steel and Winner of Free Book Announced

Thank you to everyone who chimed in with suggestions for the cover of my new book “Red Steel.” I took your suggestions and I hope you like what I decided. The winner of the Free Book is Diana Andrews! Congratulations DEE!!

I’m happy to announce that the proofs should be ready this week and the books will be ready for purchase by the end of February!! I am so excited about this book. It was a lot of fun to write.

Posted in audio books, Book Review

Blonde Hair, Blue Eyes

Blonde Hair, Blue Eyes by Karin Slaughter, Read by Kathleen Early (Chirp)

I liked and hated this book. It felt unfinished at the end but then again, it made me think and isn’t that what a good book does?

This thriller brings us into the life of a sweet and beautiful young college girl, Julia Carroll, who struggles to find her voice amid the male-dominated world of journalism. She has an idea for a story based on a missing student and a missing homeless woman, both, like her, were young and beautiful.

Julia is afraid but the fear is unnamed and a bit unreasonable. She worries she might be the next victim but has no reason, really to believe it, other than she is young and beautiful, just like the others.

Posted in Book Review

Inherit the Dead

Inherit the Dead (Chirp) by many of my favorite mystery writers, Lee Child, Charlaine Harris, C J Box, Lawrence Block, Mary Higgins Clark, just to name a few. Each author wrote one chapter and they seamlessly go together as if written by one mind.

Pericles “Perry” Christo is a P.I. with a past, a former NYPD homicide cop. When he is called to the Upper East Side apartment by the wealthy and notorious Julia Drusilla, what he thinks is a straight forward case quickly becomes a knot of lies, scandals, and murder, but who is telling the lies?

Hired to find her missing daughter and heir, Julia Drusilla is as cold as the February night and not nearly as pleasant. Each thread he pulls tightens the knot even more until he’s not sure what is the truth.

This tangle of lies is a true mystery and will leave you wondering who is the bad guy. Join this all-star cast for a delightful tale and see if you can unravel the mystery.

I thought it was a unique idea to have a novel written by several different authors.

Posted in Book Review

Family Ties

Family Ties: Book 2: Conall Clan

Do not mess with the Conall Clan, you will regret it, if you live long enough. This werewolf/shifter romantic suspense is full of family dynamics, drama and romance. It brings the past and present together with strong characters and intense emotions. This is an edge of your seat suspense thriller that will leave you sitting up to two in the morning to finish it.

Even if you don’t like shifters, I bet this one will change your mind. A great story with fantastic characters.

You don’t have to read the first in the series to enjoy this book but you should because it is just as good. Don’t Look Back

For more about the author, Donna Steele, check out our Creekside Cafe chat.

Posted in Book Review


By Jayne Ann Krentz, narrated by Amanda Leigh Cobb

Jayne Ann Krentz is the first author that made me fall in love with contemporary romance. Her slightly paranormal character-traits, strong heroines and the combination of romance with intrigue, makes her romantic-suspense novels a thrilling read.

When meditation expert, Winter Meadows first takes on Jack Lancaster for a client, she was just trying to pay the bills. She never expected to fall in love with him or get tangled up in his obsession of hunting a dead man.

Jack Lancaster is an FBI consultant with the ability to find patterns and details through lucid dreaming. When his dreams threaten to overwhelm his reality, he seeks out Winter Meadows and her meditation techniques. In a short time, Jack comes to rely on Winter. She understands him in a way no one else, not even his family can.

Quinton Zane knows he must first get rid of Jack Lancaster before he can fully realize his goals. When he underestimates Winter and thinks to use her to destroy Jack, he makes a huge mistake. Together, Winter and Jack are Untouchable.

Jayne Ann Krentz weaves the fabric of a story with character, plot and a glittering strand of what-if. She makes the reader believe in possibilities and leaves us entertained and ready for more. One of my favorite authors and Untouchable is another reason why.

Posted in my books, promo

Join My Takeover at Bently’s Book Babes!

Join me for my Takeover and let’s talk about books, writing and the inspiration for my Leeward Files Series.

A rape survivor accused of murdering her dates
must prove her innocence before becoming the next victim.
Plus-sized diva, Dana Windley battles her own
self-image, racism and learns she is the heroine of her own story.
After losing his leg in Afghanistan and battling PTSD, Tar believes he can handle anything in order to get his family back. Fate will test that theory.

Join me in Leeward, North Carolina where everyone knows your name and your business, and will do anything to keep their own secret.