Thursday, October 19, 2017

New interview!

Beverly Bateman just published an interview with me on her blog! She wanted to know my thoughts on animals and their place in literature. I had fun with it, so please come check it out!

Wednesday, July 19, 2017

Dragon Born

A new dragon was born in Duskain last night...

What should we name him? Comment below!

Thursday, June 22, 2017

Nifty Newly, featuring Juanita Aydlette

Juanita is a fellow author from Louisiana. Her first novel, It's in the Blood, is a paranormal fantasy/romance released by Class Act Books in 2016. She loves dogs, and is excited to be working on the sequel to her first book. Please welcome Juanita Aydlette to Nifty Newly!

What's the title of the book you're working on?

I am working on part-2 of It's in the Blood, entitled Blood Ties.

How many books have you written? Published/unpublished? What genre? 

I have actually written three novels—published one. I love romance, fantasy, suspense, thrillers, paranormal and whatever. The other two books are a paranormal, and a suspense. After working with my editor from Class Act on my first book, I'm going to re-work them before submitting them. I wrote them a long time ago and put them on the shelf.

What inspires you, as a writer? 

I lived in my own fantasy world as a child, and now I'm bringing that world to life.

How do you come up with names? 

Wow! They sort of pop up most of the time. I do try to pick names from a certain era or culture that I'm writing about.

How do you come up with ideas? 

A good question. I read a lot, trying to come up with something that I think would be different. Some of the ideas, however, might offend my church, so I try to be careful about what I write. I like to take past events, sometimes, and extend on the actual facts, you know—take them in a different direction from the original story. Not always does it work...

Why is originality important in fiction? Or is it important? 

I think originality is important, because it brings out the real creative mind of the author—really tests your skills.

What would you consider a good example of originality in your fiction? 

Most fiction I feel is combined with true facts, and there will be a pinch of my life story in all of my future fantasy books, whether it's a wish or and actual fact. Since I've traveled a bit and experienced how people of different cultures live, I feel I can possibly bring something different to my stories.

Thank you so much for your time, Juanita. Happy writing! 

Thank you for having me. It's been great talking to you.

To support Juanita, check out this excerpt from her first book, followed by links to purchase her work and explore her websites. 


Never stare at a green-eyed, shirtless hunk. Gabrielle Madsen is drawn in by such a pair of eyes that captures her soul and leaves her a prisoner of an addictive kind of love--not that she's complaining. But her educational trip turns out to be more than just a fun-filled summer escapade.

She’s faced with a life-changing decision that could affect the world around her. Her discovery of this ancient, legend-come-to-life proves to be deadly, but her heart can’t break away. She and Josh Van Ness fall in love and must battle the forces that want to keep them apart.

Excerpt from It's in the Blood:

“This is the Kikuyu tribe,” Josh explained. “They live isolated from the outside world and they’ve hunted successfully in this area. They have practically no contact with the world beyond this jungle.”
“How did you find them?”
“They found me,” he said. I wasn’t quite ready for an explanation, so I decided to save all my questions until after the adventure.
“We made it just in time,” Chris shouted. She took my hand from Josh and led me over to a group of women who were carrying bowls made of mud. They smiled as they reached for my hands.
“Don’t be afraid, they only want to paint us.”
I looked around for the guys and they had a head start—already being slathered in red and green. They had removed their shirts and were wrapping themselves with garments made of hides. Josh had a tattoo of a tiger over his heart. I tried not to stare at it when I gave him my dad’s shirt. Chris handed me a straw skirt, and the ladies proceeded to cover us with mashed berries. It turned our faces and arms a pretty shade of purple.
“How will we get this off?” Chris didn’t answer. She simply laughed and removed her blouse—exposing her breasts.
“Oh, no! I’ll do the paint thing but that’s as far as I’m going.”
“Suit yourself.” She shrugged. “Maybe next time.”
“Maybe not.” We were nearly unrecognizable when they finished our makeover and so were Josh and Mike.
After our severe camouflaging, the natives formed a circle around a pile of smoldering branches. Drum beats echoed, splitting the air. The women began a sensual dance, swaying their heads back and forth with their hands placed on their sides. They lowered themselves into a squatting position, singing and moving their midsections in synchronized rhythm. Though it was all foreign language to me, their song was soothing to my ears. Their nimble bodies made contact with their partners while never breaking the rhythm of the drum beats. The men cradled the women as they succumbed hypnotically to their harmonious chants.
Without warning, Josh joined the circle and danced with them. His movements were perfectly in sync with theirs. His skin glimmered with perspiration, and his pierced navel ring circled with an embarrassing invitation. I glanced away. He then ran over and grabbed my hand, pulling me back to the circle of entranced dancers.
“No!” I shouted above the drum beats. Mike and Chris were right behind me, prancing and following Josh.
“Come on Gabby, have fun. We come here all the time,” she said. “Josh sometimes spends the night here.”
Josh was then holding me close—my stomach smashed into his—a little closer than I had planned to be. With his face just inches from mine, he held his mouth open, inhaling deeply and sucking the breath right out of me.
“Do you?”
“Do I what?” he asked. He bit down on his bottom lip.
“Spend the night here sometimes.”
“I have, a few times—when I needed to get away from things.”
“You’re not afraid at all, are you?”

Find out more about Juanita at:
Twitter: @Juanita Aydlette

Buy Links: 

Publisher’s website:

Wednesday, June 14, 2017

Nifty Newly, featuring Rick McQuiston

Rick is a lifelong horror fanatic who also enjoys music and movies. He's been writing seriously for over 20 years, and plans to continue churning out horror fiction as long as he's able. He loves anything horror-related. Please welcome to Nifty Newly, Rick McQuistion

What's the title of the book you're working on? 

Tentatively: novel -- Things that Bite, anthology -- Through the Cemetery Gates

How many books have you written? Published/unpublished? What genre? 

Ten horror anthologies (self-published) and five horror novels (two self-published- three published by Class Act Books).

What inspires you, as a writer? 

Man's oldest emotion: fear, and how each individual character deals with it.

How do you come up with names? 

I have a running list that I keep. When I think of a character I try to affix the name that best suits him/her.

How do you come up with ideas? 

I like to take everyday situations and twist them into something completely different. However, I do feel it's important to adhere to a sense of realism, thus selling the supernatural aspects that much more easily.

Why is originality important in fiction? Or is it important?

Originality in fiction is very important, particularly in horror. Any genre, however, needs at least some sense of originality, otherwise a reader can guess what direction the story is going in.

What would you consider a good example of originality in your fiction?

"A Slave to my Passion," "Writer," "A Brief Eternity," and "A Tense Situation."

Thank you so much for your time, Rick! You can learn more about Rick McQuiston at: 

Publisher’s website:
Author's website:

And you can experience more of Rick's fiction with this excerpt from his new monster story, Eat the World. Purchase links follow. 


In picturesque Mackinac a growing army of rats are beginning to seep into the community of tourists. They seemingly appear out of nowhere, and it is up to ordinary people to gather their courage and battle the hordes.

But there is something more frightening beneath the surface, something that was born from the accumulated depths of Earth's creatures, something that can threaten the entire world.

Excerpt from Eat the World:

The rodent scurried through the narrow channel. It barely managed to squeeze its lengthy bulk into the tight aperture, but by inhaling a deep breath of warm, salty air, it was able to reduce its girth enough to allow it somewhat comfortable passage. A cursory glance to either side after it cleared the opening revealed nothing predatory or dangerous.

The rodent then scrambled into the brush.

In its wake was a vicious, gray-green substance that loosely resembled hydraulic motor oil left in the sun too long. It was thick in consistency, yet still transparent enough to allow the dozens of tiny organisms swirling within it to be seen. It bristled with unnatural life.

The small grass snake slithered through the brush. Its brown, speckled hide gave it perfect camouflage in the wild. It melted into its surroundings, becoming for all intents and purposes, invisible to both predator and prey. It was its natural defense mechanism as well as aiding it with tracking down prey.

The snake's belly convulsed with hunger. It hadn't eaten in days and was in danger of starving. It scanned the woods for any sign of movement, anything at all that it could inflict a bite on and swallow whole.

There was no movement whatsoever. Not even a stray beetle or ant scuttled by. The snake was completely alone in the vast wilderness of the island. It laid perfectly still, both to conserve energy and to avoid detection. It sensed that something was watching it from a darkened crevice nearby. Something bigger than it was and undoubtedly just as hungry.

The snake didn't move a muscle. It hoped that whatever was hidden in the crevice wouldn't notice it. The strange substance on the ground bristled beneath its body, but it had more pressing matters to be concerned about. Flicking its tongue, the snake tasted the air. Far below, the cold waters of Lake Huron washed up against I-67. Being the only state highway in the US without motorized vehicles, the pristine ribbon of asphalt circled the entire island.

The movement caught the snake's attention. It swung its conical head in the direction of the sound: the dark crevice. Whatever was watching it had moved. Several quick tongue darts picked up a scent, causing the snake to recoil back into itself. It could defend itself if need be, but if its adversary was larger it would quickly opt for retreat. Self-preservation was perhaps the only instinct that overrode all others, including hunger and the need to mate. When faced with a threat, survival was paramount.

The snake hissed in a feeble effort to ward off its potential adversary. It reared up then to display its size. It did not know if it was larger, or smaller than the other creature, but it was one of the few weapons it possessed.

The rodent poked its pink snout out of the crevice. It sniffed a few times, and satisfied that suitable prey was within striking distance, settled back on its haunches as it prepared to attack.

With a blinding ferocity beyond any member of its species, the huge, bloated rat launched itself out of the crevice and sucked down the too-slow grass snake in one violent swallow.

The reptile never had a chance.

With its hunger temporarily sated, the rat lumbered away into the brush. It left copious amounts of the strange substance behind, leaving a sickly trail leading into the woods.

The substance squirmed with minuscule life.

Buy Links:  

Publisher’s website:

Wednesday, June 7, 2017

Nifty Newly, featuring Tony-Paul de Vissage

Tony-Paul de Vissage is a Southerner of French Huguenot heritage, whose first movie memory is of being a six-year-old viewing the old Universal horror flick, Dracula’s Daughter, on television. He was subsequently scared sleepless—and that may explain a lifelong interest in vampires.

He is now paying back his very permissive parents by writing about vampires. Before the screaming starts, let's welcome Tony-Paul de Vissage to Nifty Newly. 

What's the title of the book you're currently working on?

I’m currently struggling with a little paranormal tome entitled A Single Shade of Red. It’s a sequel to The Last Vampire Standing, which was published by Class Act books in 2012. It’s taking quite a while because the main character Vlad Chemare is being difficult.

How many books have you written? Published/unpublished? What genre?

I’ve written a total of 25 novels, including the aforementioned Single Shade.
Sixteen were paranormal/vampires novels; three were M/M romances; two were historical horror; and three were short story collections, now out of print.

What inspires you, as a writer?

Being a writer of supernatural stories, I’m inspired by nearly any novel, movie, TV episode, legend, myth, or anecdote in the same vein (no pun intended).☺

How do you come up with names?

I have several books on names, and if I can’t find one to suit, I do a search on names from the particular country where my novel is set. I try not to use ones which are difficult to pronounce or which might be pronounced incorrectly by the reader, however.

How do you come up with ideas?

I’m afraid I have a quirky imagination and it has a habit of twisting the endings of stories I’ve heard onto new and bizarre paths.

Why is originality important in fiction? Or is it important?

Well, we certainly don’t want the same thing being churned out day after day, do we?  Occasionally, we need something to wake us up and stir our imaginations, not simply SO-SO…same old, same old…cookie-cutter assembly-line narrations.

What would you consider a good example of originality in your fiction?

My series the Second Species. I thought I was being exceptionally original by creating a group of beings who weren’t really vampires but sufferers of the genetic disease X-P in which a person’s DNA can’t repair the damage done by ultraviolet light. I thought I was being very clever.  Time will tell if I was.

Thank you so much for joining us, Tony-Paul! We've attached a selection from Shadow Lord, as well as links to Tony-Paul Vissage's website and where you can purchase a copy of Shadow Lord. Have fun exploring, and be sure to bring a friend! 

Blurb for Shadow Lord (Book 1 of the Second Species series):

While Humans multiply into Earth’s dominant life-form, the Tree of Man sprouts another prolific branch—the aventurieri, winged, nocturnal hunters with a dietary need for blood. As legends evolve about them, Mankind's half-brothers live their twilight lives in the Carpathians’ shadowed heights, where they develop their own civilization, laws, and religion—and a prophecy of a savior paradoxically betraying his people.

When Janos Strigoi is murdered by Mircea Ravagiu, his son’s demand for revenge expels him into the outside world of 18th century Europe. Marek Strigoi’s existence, as well as that of his species, will be forever changed as he seeks his father’s killer.

When both the hunter and the hunted are vampires, not even Hell can stand in the way.


Though the sun had been down for many hours, Elsabeta Suvoi was still abed. Her lover liked her that way, wanting his woman where she was convenient whenever his lust seized him. Elsabeta was slavishly in love with Mircea Ravagiu. He was violent and insatiable, as cruel in bed as out of it, but she worshipped him. It had been so from the moment they met, after her father’s reluctant invitation to a banchet at his castel. Elsabeta had taken one look at the black-eyed warrior, saw the lustful gleam in his eyes, and left with him that night against her parents’ wishes. She’d sullied the Suvoi name to become his iubita...and she didn’t care.

He never spoke aloud that he loved her, though often he praised her body for the satisfaction it gave him. He said straightaway she should never expect marriage or offspring, but Elsabeta was a female of her time from a family of women considered mere chattels to their males, so she accepted his domination without argument. Running away with Mircea was her one independent act.

At first horrified by the bloody orgies and attacks upon the deomi, the humans living on the edges of his estate, she now ignored his rapaciousness and his brutal games, letting his prowess in bed distract her. When her lover and his soldati returned from their hunts, she locked herself in her bedchamber, its thick walls drowning out the screams from below. It was the cries of the children that cut most into her soul. At those times, she thanked the Oracle Ravagiu swore he’d never get her with child, for it came into her mind should it happen, it might be her own infant shrieking out its life in the castel banquet chamber.

To Elsabeta, Mircea Ravagiu was like one of the dreadful Ancient Ones who devoured its own offspring. She truly believed he wouldn’t hesitate to rip out his own child’s throat and drink its blood should the thought come to him. Yet, with that perversity Nature renders some, she loved the man and never thought to leave him.

She was jerked from her semi-slumber by the chamber door being kicked open, sat up to stare at the figure in the doorway...Mircea, upper body bare, wings hovering around him. They were still quivering, evidence he’d flown rapidly and had just landed. From where she sat, she could hear his harsh panting. He held something in his arms.

“Get dressed.” No words of greeting or love. Just an order.

“Why? What’s the matter?” A loud crashing came through the doorway, voices crying out. “What’s that noise?”

“My men are disposing of the vanjosi.” He answered as calmly as if merely announcing the moon had risen. “Strigoi’s freak’s on his way here and we have to go.”

“You should’ve expected this.” She dared remind him of what he’d done, though it jeopardized her own life. “Did you think you could slaughter his family and he wouldn’t retaliate?”

She’d been horrified when he returned from his brother’s castel announcing they’d been executed by the Prince’s Taietor, didn’t believe it when he said he planned to kill the Shadow Lord and his family. She hadn’t thought he’d succeed and waited to be told he was dead, resigned to living the rest of her days as an outcast for the choice she’d made. And then, Mircea returned, bloodily triumphant...and Janos Strigoi and his wife were dead and their children carried away to be tortured before their blood nourished their father’s enemy.

“I never thought that book-bound scholastic’d have balls enough to take a sword in his hands.” He stalked into the room. The sounds from below got louder, women screaming, men shouting, voices abruptly cut off to be replaced by others just as terrified. “Get up or you’ll join my servants.”

Sliding from the bed, she hastened to obey but as she reached for her chemise and overskirt, he said, “We’re flying. Make certain your wings are unhampered.”

The bundle he held began to move. It squirmed, kicking itself free of the swathing
blanket. A plump little leg, an arm...a baby, a little girl-child, tiny and out of place in Mircea’s deadly embrace.

“Dear one.” Elsabeta stopped with the garment in her hands. A sick dread twisted inside
her. “Wh-who’s that?”

“My daughter.” His answer was as short as if he’d bitten the word. “Now.”

Daughter? How can he have a child? Hadn’t he told her he wished no brats, that the only thing he wanted from them was their sweet, immortality-laden blood?

Shrugging her wings out of their concealing pouches, she peered at the infant. The child
whimpered, turning her head and holding out her hands. She was blond and blue-eyed, not quite a year old. This is Janos Strigoi’s child. Elsabeta’s heart felt as if it had been wrung dry.

“What are you going to do with her?” Even as she asked the question, she knew she had to prevent it. If she had to risk her own life and finally brave Mircea’s wrath, she couldn’t let him harm this child.

“It’ll be fitting, don’t you think?” His laugh was harsh. “Raising the Shadow Lord’s brat as
my own? Teaching her how to be a Ravagiu and some day, letting the survivors know?”

“No! Please…” A woman’s scream floated up to them, dying away in a bloody wail.

“Are you ready?” He thrust the child into her arms.

Elsabeta cuddled it against her naked breast, holding the little body tightly. I must do whatever it takes to protect this baby. If it kills me.

He held out his hand.

“Where are we going?” She placed her own in it. He led her toward the window.

“I’m fortunate my brother saw fit to have holdings in other countries and I’ve traveled to them.” One fist struck the shutters, sending them flying. He climbed upon the sill. “We’re going to Budapest. Hold tight to the brat. If you drop her, I’ll kill you.”

He flung himself through the window into the air. Naked as she was, Elsabeta was pulled along, clutching the child. Releasing her hand, Mircea circled and rose swiftly, his body completing a graceful curve as he aimed himself over the trees, Elsabeta trailing after him.

Below them, the killings continued for another hour.

Find out more about Tony-Paul at:

Twitter:  @tpvissage

Publisher’s website:
Amazon author’s page:

Buy Link for Shadow Lord:

Tuesday, May 30, 2017

Nifty Newly, featuring Toni V. Sweeney

Toni has lived in the South for 30 years, the Midwest for another 30, on the pacific Coast for 10 years, and she's now trying for her second 30 on the Great Plains.  Presently, she lives in Lincoln, NE. She works as a promotions manager for Class Act Books, and has published 74 novels in fantasy, science fiction, and other genres. I've worked with her for almost a year now promoting my first book, and she has been a joy and an amazing resource. Please welcome to Nifty Newly, speculative fiction author Toni V. Sweeney.

What's the title of the book you're currently working on? 

I’m currently putting the finishing touches on Retribution, the 13th entry in the Arcanian Chronicles series, a sci-fi/fantasy which is written in two parts and will have a total of 16 novels.

How many books have you written? Published/unpublished? What genre? 

Counting reprints, I’ve had around 74 novels published. I have 2 that are WIPs and therefore not published yet. One is a paranormal, the other a contemporary romance.  I’ve a list of 56 novels I want to write and I’m working my way through the list. I’ve already written 22 of them.

What inspires you, as a writer?

Just about anything.

How do you come up with names?

Since a good many of my novels are fantasy/sci-fi, I like to take the original forms of names and use them. When I do that, I’ll write in a scene somewhere when a character mentions his/her name and how to pronounce it to help the reader along if the name looks difficult.

How do you come up with ideas?

Someone may say something to trigger a thought; I might see a movie and decide I could make a better ending. Once I dreamed of a character and ended up writing a horror novel called Serpent’s Tooth.

Why is originality important in fiction? Or is it important?

Someone once said there are no original ideas. They all boil down to the same theme. It’s what the writer does with that theme, where he gives it that little twist making it different enough that it stands out or makes the reader coming back for more.

What would you consider a good example of originality in your fiction?

I’ve two I consider originals.  One is the Adventures of Sinbad, where I took my favorite (at that time) tv show Beauty and the Beast (1980’s version) and transformed Vincent into Sinbad sh’en Singh, a humanoid feline smuggler who becomes the eighth richest man in the galaxy. That was to be a one-shot story and ended up as a series of 8 novels.

The other would be Bride of the Beast.  From the title, it sounds as if it’s going to be a Grade-B horror movie (actually there was a Grade-B horror movie by that name), but in reality, it’s the story of the Golden Calf…or, in this instance, the Golden Lion.  When Moses went to receive the Ten Commandments, the Israelites made a golden calf, the Egyptian goddess Hathor.  My question was:  What if there was a second faction within the camp who made a different statue, that of Maahdes, the lion king? What would’ve been their punishment?  Something much worse than being forced to wander 40 years in the wilderness, you can bet.

That involved a great deal of research, both into ancient Egyptian as well as Judaism. I guess I managed what I intended because one of my reviewers was Jewish and she said I was spot-in in my portrayal of Judaic custom and ritual.

Thank you so much for sharing your thoughts and your work with us, Toni! Her most recent novel, Sinbad's War, was released April 15 by Class Act Books. We've included an excerpt from the novel for your enjoyment. 


Sinbad sh’en Singh, smuggler-turned-shipping magnate, has become quite the family man, knee-deep in offspring and complacent with his life...but Fate is about to interfere...

Terra is again at war, attacked by the Severani, members of an aggressively militant planet daring to challenge the Federation.

That was the enemy’s first mistake.

Bombardment of other Federation planets follow...then they invade Felida, and among the casualties are the people Sin holds most dear...

...and that is the final and fatal mistake.

The hostile Severani are about to discover there’s nothing quite so dangerous as a Felidan who’s lost his mate...especially if his name’s Sinbad sh’en Singh.

Excerpt from Sinbad’s War:

The young man jumped to his feet, staring at the tall figure who stopped, looking down at him.

Nils Van Lewen considered himself tall, but the man coming through the door was a giant. He was also the first Felidan Nils had ever seen. Nothing had prepared him for this…

The creature said, “I’m Sinbad sh’en Singh. You wanted to see me?”

Nils stared up at him.

Before he realized it, he stuttered, like a fool, “G-G--, you’re tall!”

More than once he’d used his own height to intimidate someone and now he knew how that felt.

“We all are.” A slight smile touched the giant’s mouth, revealing another shock.

Pointed canines.

He leaned against the desk, arms crossed over his chest. “What do you want…” Green eyes flicked to the insignia on his right shoulder. “…captain?”

Good G--, they looked like a cat’s. The young man’s thoughts were a jumble.

“Van Lewen…Nils Van Lewen, Captain, Federation Armed Services.”

Thank God, he sounds like a Terran, speaks Inglaterre well, too. No accent at all.

“I don’t want to seem rude, but I’ve a business to run. I’d appreciate it if you’d state your purpose in being here so I can get back to it.” Sin stared at Nils expectantly.

Nils stared back.

“Well?” There was a hint of impatience in the deep voice.

“I’m sorry, but I was told you were paraplegic,” the young officer began, then shook his head as he realized the statement came out sounding like an accusation.

His assignment seemed so easy. Go to Felida, talk to the invalid owner of sh’en Singh Shipping, an old man partially paralyzed, dazzle him with Federation authority. Already nothing was going as it should.

“You are Andrew Malcom McAllister? Sinbad sh’en Singh?”

“I am,” Sin answered, a little brusquely. “And all that moving around you’ve witnessed is merely the work of a very finely-programmed micro-computer implant.”

For another minute Nils continued staring before bursting into explanation. “I’m going to get right to the point, Mr. McAllis…uh…sh’en Singh…sir.”

“I’m waiting.” Sin didn’t hide his sarcasm.

“Terra’s at war.”

“Am I supposed to be surprised? What else is new?” Sin shrugged. “Who’s the unlucky aggressor this time?”

“A planet called Severan.” Nils ignored his sarcasm.

“Never heard of it.”

“Not many people have. It’s a small world in the Drexus Cluster. A petty bunch of blackbirders barely surviving in the slave trade until about fifty years ago, when a dissident faction overthrew the emperor and set about establishing a military-controlled planet.”

“And they’ve been stupid enough to attack Terra? I doubt Earth attacked them.” Sin went on, before Nils could answer. “Tell me, has there ever been a conflict in which Earth was the aggressor? Still, fifty years isn’t long enough to get the military power to attack a planet that size.”

“That’s what the Federation thought when it was told a fleet of Severani warships were headed toward Terra, but they were wrong.” Nils shook his head. He got to his feet again. “The Severanis have devoted themselves entirely to building up their armed forces, sacrificing public welfare and natural resources to achieve their goal…and they succeeded. The attack on Earth was not only successful, but there was a sixty-five percent destruction rate in the areas hit and a severe loss of life. They fire-strafed both coasts. If the Federation hadn’t had that brief warning of the attack, the war might’ve been lost and won right then.” He shuddered.

“Damn.” Sin breathed the word. “I never thought I’d hear anyone say that. But they retaliated?”

“Of course, what else could they do?”

“Of course.” Once more that ironic tone.

“Nevertheless, this fight’s going to be a bad one. The Severanis are well-trained, dedicated, and fanatical in sacrificing for the Mother Planet.”

“This is all very interesting, Captain Van Lewen.” Sin went around the desk, dropping into the chair behind it. He frowned at the look of wonder still lingering in the young man’s eyes. “But what exactly does it have to do with me and mine?”

“The Fed’s sending officers like myself to members of the Federation, setting up enlistment stations.”

“I see.” Those two words weren’t encouraging.

“We’re going to need all the man-power we can get for this one. If we don’t get volunteers, we’ll have to start inductions, and they don’t want to do that. We haven’t had a true draft in three hundred years.” He carefully omitted mentioning the conscription in effect during the Terro-Felidan War.

“Quite frankly, with so many worlds involved, I doubt it could be effectively enforced.”

“You want to set up this enlistment station in Khurda?” Sin struggled to glean information from what Van Lewen wasn’t saying.

The young man nodded.

“Why come to me?” Sin spread his hands. “I’m merely a humble merchant. You should be talking to the emperor.”

“I have, sir, or at least his representative. Before I landed. His Excellency gave his permission, but told me since Khurda, as the largest pride on Felida, was chosen as the site, I had to get the Pride Chief’s permission also. You’re anything but a humble merchant, sir.”

And you damn well know it, Nils thought.

Sinbad’s slight smile said so.

“So, here I am,” Nils finished.

 “I’ve very little love for the Federation, Captain Van Lewen, and consider myself having no loyalty to it, either.” His answer was short and sharp. “This business now called sh’en Singh Shipping was originally a smuggling operation illegally supplying goods while we thumbed our noses at the Fed.”

“I’m aware of that, sir.”

Damn, the kid’s so polite, I want to deck him. How can I continue being rude to someone sounding so respectful? 

 “We…” Van Lewen’s expression changed to one of absolute terror. He swallowed convulsively and cleared his throat. “We were hoping you’d volunteer your ships, sir.” It came out in a near-whisper.

My ships?” Sin’s exclamation exploded into the air.

Nils jumped, knowing his reaction wasn’t very officer-like. “Y-yes sir. You see, your darters are nothing more than modified Federation Thunderbolts, and your pilots are already combat-trained and if we had them…”

Sin glared at him.

“…we wouldn’t have to waste time training a Felidan Defense Force…to…” His voice trailed away.

A Felidan Defense Force.” Sin laughed. “Isn’t that contradictory? According to the Peace Proclamation between Terra and Felida, we aren’t allowed to have a defense force. I suppose technically, my having these darters to protect my cargo ships is also in violation of the Treaty.”

“That part of the Proclamation’s been amended, sir,” Nils answered.

Sin frowned. “And…?”

Nils shook his head as if he didn’t understand.

“…do I need to remind you Felida isn’t a member of the United Terran Federation?” Sin’s voice went bitter. “No animals are allowed.”

“A special act of the PanGalactic Congress was passed before I left Terra. It also revoked the Federation Edict declaring Felidans non-humans, giving them First Class citizenship and bringing Felida into membership.”

“That generous move wouldn’t be just to get my ships, would it? Well, you can’t have them.”

Realizing he was wringing his fingers in a completely unofficer-like manner, Nils looked down at them and forced their nervous movement to cease.

The Felidan stood up, towering over him again. His ears seemed to flatten slightly, eyes narrowing.

Nils wanted to cower against the wall, but managed to stand still. His reactions had probably already disgraced the Federation and the uniform he wore. He hoped he wasn’t about to void his bladder, too. He definitely felt weak in the belly-region. Trying to do so without being obvious, he pressed his thighs together, grateful his tunic-tail covered that area of his body.

“I’m overjoyed I’m now a true citizen of the Federation.” Sin’s reply was deep and sarcastic. “I’m certain my wife’ll be greatly relieved to know she’s no longer sleeping with an animal, but you aren’t getting my ships, Captain Van Lewen. You’re here on sufferance, so be thankful you’re being allowed to stay at all.”

Buy Links (check 'em out!):

Publisher’s website:

Thursday, May 25, 2017

Nifty Newly, featuring Linda J. Burson

Linda Burson started out writing non-fiction stories, but now focuses her time and energy on writing contemporary fiction novels. Though she never published any non-fiction works, she has multiple fiction novels published and is working on another romantic suspense novel. This genre is what motivates her now, but that may change at any time. Please welcome to Nifty Newly, author Linda J. Burson.

What's the title of the book you're currently working on? I'm writing a short story at this time and as of this interview, I do not have a title for it. Usually, the title is the last step for me after I finish the end of the story.

How many books have you written? Published/unpublished? What genre? I have written 13 books for my Marcy series which is a romance thriller/suspense. Six of those books have been published so far. The balance, though already written, need editing. I have a stand-alone novel that was just published this month called The Colors of My Life; I have a murder mystery completed called Murder Between Friends which I'm hoping to have published sometime in 2017, and I have a suspense/mystery short story that is completed.

Rage (The Marcy series Book 1) by [Burson, Linda]    Confusion (The Marcy Series Book 2) by [Burson, Linda]    Agony And Ecstasy (The Marcy Series Book 3) by [Burson, Linda]   

The Agreement (The Marcy Series Book 4) by [Burson, Linda]    The Past Returns (The Marcy Series Book 5) by [Burson, Linda]    The Colors Of My Life by [Burson, Linda]

What inspires you, as a writer? Inspiration comes when I least expect it. It can be from something I see or hear or remember from long ago, but they all usually come to the forefront of my mind when I'm alone and it's quiet. Sometimes, just taking a drive in the country gives me a peace which lends itself to ideas, which gives me the passion to go home and begin another story or continue with one I've started.

How do you come up with names? I try as much as possible to use first names of people I do not personally know. As for last names, I play around with sounds and repeat the first name I've chosen to see how it fits. Also, I try to remember street names I've seen and sometimes use those. If I want names to direct someone to a specific nationality of my character, I learn how those names are spelled be it ending in a vowel, etc., and then play with the sounds out loud until I find something that I like.

How do you come up with ideas? Ideas come to me from a variety of ways. Maybe I reminisce about an event from years prior; or I think about a situation in my life that I can exaggerate or expand on. I've even thought about incidents in the news that I can take and twist into a different kind of story, but it gives me the basic idea.

Why is originality important in fiction? Or is it important? Originality is important for most stories; however, it most likely will not be achieved. I personally, do not believe there is anything that can truly be original. No matter what we write, it has all been done in some form or another. Maybe a novel isn't repeated in its entirety, but you can bet each part of a story is most likely to be found in a multitude of other stories.

What would you consider a good example of originality in your fiction? The biggest original part may be that I have a triangle marriage; a woman married to two men, having children and all living in the same house. I know it's been done with a man having multiple wives and children, but I haven't read anything where there was one woman with multiple husbands--but who knows. It may be out there somewhere.

Thank you so much for your time, Linda. Happy writing! If you would like to learn more about Linda Burson as an author, or more particularly her romantic suspense novels, check out the bio, links, and book excerpt below. We've labelled them all for you. :-) 

Author Bio:

Linda is an author from Connecticut.

After years of writing and editing for others, raising a family, and over twenty years of running her own businesses, Linda decided to tackle her first fiction novel entitled Rage, which began as a single book. Eventually, the novel became a trilogy, and finally a much longer series. All the books are a part of The Marcy Series, a romantic suspense series.

There are thirteen novels in the series, five of which have been published so far.

Links for more Linda: 

Website is
Amazon Author Page:
Twitter: @lindaburson23

Blurb for The Agreement, Book 4 of the Marcy series:

After the perfect honeymoon, Brad and Marcy return to reality to begin their new life together. Unfortunately, Brad and Marcy’s wedded bliss runs into complications. Brad seems distant and cold, and Marcy is confused by his unexpected behavior.

When Marcy goes into labor, Brad is by her side. Later, Marcy confronts Brad about their crumbling marriage and decides it may be better for them to separate. Brad begs Marcy to reconsider, pleading with her not to leave.

For now, Marcy agrees to stay put with their son. Brad and Marcy reconcile. Brad forms a surprising and unexpected friendship which changes the course of their lives.

Excerpt from The Agreement Book Four (Marcy series)

“I wonder why they came after you now. Do you think they know he’s dead?”

“I don’t think so. Maybe they were watching me, or they just happen to find me alone and vulnerable and took the chance. They did say something about me finally being there. It’s like they were waiting for me to return one day.”

“Maybe, but still something’s different. If they were scared enough of him that night, they must’ve thought he could find them anytime.”

“He could have, especially with Will’s help.”

“So, he’d have gone after them?”

“I don’t know. It was probably just a threat.”

“Marcy, the only thing that would scare someone that much is proving you can get to them anytime and threatening to kill them.”

I don’t say anything.

“Marcy, would he have killed them?”

“Bradley, why are you asking me this? How am I supposed to know?”

 “I think you do know, and you’re protecting him.”

“Protecting him from what? He’s dead.” I start to cry so I turn away from Brad.

“Marcy, why are you crying?”

“Because you’re being cruel.”

“No, I’m not. I asked you a question, and I didn’t yell. You’re crying for him, aren’t you?”

I can’t answer that because he’s right. I’m still grieving, and saying the words he’s dead after talking about him and remembering him all evening is too much to bear.

“I’m just feeling the effects of the night, that’s all.”

“Please, Marcy, don’t lie to me. It’s okay to cry because he’s dead. I know you loved him. You never lied about that, and you’re more emotional and sensitive being pregnant.”

“If I say that’s why I’m crying, you’ll think I don’t love you enough.”

“That’s not true. I know you love me very much.”

“Do you?”

“Yes, baby, I do. Come here. Turn back around to me, please?”

“Please don’t be mad at me. I can’t take it when you’re mad at me, Brad.”

“I’m not mad at you, sweetie. I’m just a little jealous that this man always seems to be your hero.”

“Brad, that’s what he does. He protects people. He was in the military for twenty years. He couldn’t protect his family from being murdered, so he protects others. You asked me if he would’ve killed them. If they hurt me, yes, I think he might’ve. What would you have done if they’d hurt me tonight? Shake their hands and forgive them?”

“You’re right, baby. I’d probably do the same thing he would’ve. I’d never let anyone hurt you, not ever. In fact, that’s probably the one time when he and I would be on each other’s side, working together, protecting you.”

Buy Links:

Agony and Ecstasy:
The Agreement:
The Past Returns:
Also available at the publisher’s website: