Who on earth is Vicki Wootton?

The eccentric

She has her own ideas about everything—her son says she’s opinionated—but she tries not to impose her opinions on others, not too much. She keeps those for her writing. Her eccentricity does not keep her from being an amiable person although she is a bit reclusive. She has been a vegetarian since the 1970s and refuses to eat the flesh of any creature that has legs, even spiders.

Where did she come from?

She was born in a town in England that had it’s inception in 64 A.D. when the Romans built a camp on the site. Once the Romans left it became a regular settlement. After incursions by the Angles and Saxons, along came the Danes (Vikings) who gave the town its name, Derby. Vicki came along a lot later.

The Old Derby Public Library and Museum  (c) Derby Telegraph.
Derby library (c) Derby Telegraph

This building was her favorite place when she was a little girl. she borrowed her first library book here and—at the age of six—dragged her sister downtown to look at the Egyptian mummy in the museum, and the paintings in the Art Gallery.  She has loved art since she was old enough to hold a crayon and always intended to become an artist


She sallied forth from England when she was nineteen on an ocean liner bound for North America where she landed in Montreal. She has lived in North America ever since and now makes her home in British Columbia, Canada.

Amazing discovery

King Kong movieposterAfter she started writing novels, she found out that her father had revealed on his deathbed that he was the illegitimate son of a well-known British writer, one of England’s most prolific in the twenties and thirties. His books were crime novels, at that time called Penny Dreadfuls. I’ve read quite a few and they were not very good. He is reputed to have written at the rate of one book each weekend.

This alleged grandfather was also the author of the original screen play for the 1930s movie King Kong. Whether one believes her father’s claim or not, it is interesting, at least to her. Alleged Grandfather 

Vicki is not nearly as prolific as he was, but she’s working on it.  Published Novels


In addition to writing several Novels, she was the editor of a newsletter called The Voice for a social club in Mexico for about eight years. Vicki is also the author of big reference book called Names of the World. More about that in a future blog.

She loves color and trees, and hates noise and cruelty. Her favorite food is Pizza and favorite flowers are peonies.



Author Profile – J.M. Frey

About J.M.

J.M. Frey (pronounced Fry) is a bisexual Canadian science fiction and fantasy author. While she is best known for her debut novel Triptych, Frey’s work encompasses poetry, academic and magazine articles, screenplays, and short stories. Frey calls herself a “professional geek.”

She is an author, fanthropologist and professional smartypants on AMI Radio’s “Live From Studio 5”. She’s appeared in podcasts, documentaries, and on television to discuss all things geeky through the lens of academia. She also has an addiction to scarves, Doctor Who, and tea, which may or may not all be related. Her life’s ambitions are to have stepped foot on every continent (only 3 left!)

Her debut novel TRIPTYCH was nominated for two Lambda Literary Awards, won the San Francisco Book Festival award for SF/F, was nominated for a 2011 CBC Bookie, was named one of The Advocate’s Best Overlooked Books of 2011, and garnered both a starred review and a place among the Best Books of 2011 from Publishers Weekly.

Latest Publication – The Skylark’s Song

The Skylark's Song (The Skylark Saga Book 1) by [Frey, J.M.]

A Saskwyan flight mechanic with uncanny luck, seventeen-year-old Robin Arianhod grew up in the shadow of a decade-long war. But the skies are stalked by the Coyote—a ruthless Klonn pilot who picks off crippled airships and retreating soldiers. And as the only person to have survived an aerial dance with Saskwya’s greatest scourge, Robin has earned his attention.

As a pilot, Robin is good. But the Coyote is better. When he shoots her down and takes her prisoner, Robin finds herself locked into a new kind of dance. The possibility of genuine affection from a man who should be her enemy has left her with a choice: accept the Coyote’s offer of freedom and romance in exchange for repairing a strange rocket pack that could spell Saskwya’s defeat, but become a traitor to her country. Or betray her own heart and escape. If she takes the rocket pack and flees, she could end the war from the inside … All she has to do is fly.

The Skylark’s Song

Out Now!

“This book soars with action, adventure and clever world building. The details are perfect, the characters are snappy, clever and real. Strap on your seatbelts, it’s quite the ride!”
—Arthur Slade, bestselling author of the Mission Clockwork series

Purchasing Options

GoodReads KindleKoboBarnes & NobleBook Depository  – Amazon

Other Books by J.M. Frey


TRIPTYCH is a poignant, character-driven science-fiction story about tolerance, love, loss, and a desperate attempt to find connection in a world that no longer makes sense.

***** Review: A truly well-crafted novel
J. M. Frey masterfully handles time, both in terms of plot development and time travel in this well crafted story. The book tackles the theme of intolerance with well developed, compelling characters. The subplots are also well thought out and fully engage the reader. I thoroughly enjoyed Triptych and look forward to Frey’s next offering.

J.M. Frey never expected her meta-fantasy novel about the relationship between author and fan, creator and creation, to become the sweeping, multi-book adventure that Readers have to come to enjoy; but just like her characters, this path has taken her to wondrous places she never could have anticipated.

 The Untold Tale – Book 1 of The Accidental Collection.


Fell in head first from the first pages

The Untold Tale (The Accidental Turn Series Book 1)

Utterly, completely, fantastical read. I fell head first into this story and was so sorry to reach the end of it. Pip and Forsyth have officially become my favorite characters for oh so many reasons.

The entire premise of the story is completely fabulous. Equal parts creator mythology and trope-challenging fantasy, The Untold Tale is gripping and inspiring and incredibly fun. I found myself cheering Pip on almost every single page. I absolutely adore her. She is smart, capable, and driven. When she is pulled from today’s modern world into the medieval age land of Hain, she is not cowed. She survives, and she revolutionizes. She uplifts those around her, showing them – in particular Forsyth – just how much more they can be.

My Words

I feel truly humbled by the writers I’m meeting through these blogs.  J.M. is so talented and has so many skills it would be hard compete with her in any field. I don’t know where she finds the time and energy to do all the things she does. She is obviously on the right track for a successful future and I wish her the all the best.

I was interested to discover that she is addicted to scarfs. So am I. Mine hang on the walls in my hallway so that I can enjoy the colors.

Work in Progress

Names of the World by [Wootton, Vicki]

I am still revising the book—Names of the World— that was originally published in 2006. It’s mostly formatting now, which is like trying to walk across a tightrope in the dark, the slightest wrong step and I have to do everything over again. I have to place thousands of names into accessible, uniform lists, making sure everything is in the right place and order.

One index section containing over 30,000 names and countries, was corrupted so I had to go right back to the original list and redo the whole thing. The list is  alphabetical and it’s taken me two days’ work to reach letter F.

I have been writing, designing, and publishing books for many years and this is by far the most challenging work I’ve ever done.  A magnum opus if ever there was one, but it’s a labor of love to me.

What else is there to do?

If I didn’t have my work, I don’t know what I’d do with my time. Most of my joy in life revolves around books, writing and reading them. I used to spend hours at role-playing games or watching videos, but I’ve lost interest in them now, and I discarded TV years ago. Needless to say, I don’t get much exercise siting at a computer all day, but I’m quite content the way things are, and sometimes I even have the satisfaction of selling a book!

Author Profile – Monique Singleton

About Monique

Monique Singleton writes compelling stories that mix fantasy with realistic psychological suspense and unique insights into the mind of the main characters.

The daughter of a British soldier and his Dutch wife, Monique was born in an English military hospital in Germany. The family toured the world where she was exposed to different cultures in many countries. Finally settling down in the Netherlands she pursued a career in Art and later in ICT.

She lives in a beautiful old farmhouse in the south of Holland with her two sloppy monster dogs, some horses, and a cat.
The cat is the boss.

On becoming a writer

About six years ago Monique started to put the scenes she had running around in her head, down to paper.
Scenes led to a story, the story to a book, and the first book to a series.
In addition to her writing, Monique still holds down a full-time job as a business consultant.

Latest publication

The Lion’s Den – Book IV in the Primal Series

Into The Lion's Den: The Primal Series IV by [Singleton, Monique]Anadi is Primal, the 5th Rider of the Apocalypse,  a true Force of Nature.
Old and new enemies unite against her as she finally comes face to face with her creator. She knew that killing Azazel wouldn’t go unpunished—her past has a habit of coming back to haunt her—but this time they’re taking hostages.
As Nature attempts to restore balance, a new Conquest has been chosen – the question is, which side of the scales will he be on?

And who will come out alive?

Purchase Options

* Barnes & Noble * Kobo * iBooks * Amazon *

More in the Primal Series.

Some reviews of the earlier novels


Absolutely brilliant – I can’t really put into words how great this really is. A wonderful new take on shifters, the Four Horsemen and the interaction they all have with Mother Nature. Imprisoned, she is only freed on the agreement that she terminates a dictator. Her mission leads her to finding out more about herself. Lies, greed, power and control are all mixed in this explosive read. Culminating in a fight with another like her. Fast moving action, plots within plots are skillfully wove with a subtle thread of romance. A great read that will have you wanting the next part to this story “Now!”


Wow, how to say how good this book was. It was a superior story, excellent, well written, the characters like Jess, toad and the group are good strong, likeable characters. Even the bad guys are good strong characters. At times things get quite violent and gruesome, with the fighting, however it’s necessary to the story. It would be hard to write a book with a beast and mafia groups without it. Jess is hired to help with some major corruption. Is was great watching things unfold, friendships made, enemies fight, finding out about the beast. There was mystery, backstabbing, a joking toad, a beast in need of killing, just to much to relay. A must read for sure. The best news there is another book 


I’m loving this series. It’s different to anything I’ve read before. The Beast Inside, the latest book is even more compelling and engaging, if that’s possible. The characters are realistic, full bodied and interesting. Good, bad and evil. The world Jess lives in is one you can almost see, hear and smell, especially the jungle. As always there is plenty of action, mostly when Jess has to let the Beast loose. At the same time you never lose sight of the woman underneath. She has to find her answers!

Visit Monique’s Amazing Website

My Turn

Monique Is another of those amazing women whose careers have followed a path I would have wanted for myself.  An artist, a writer, a home in Europe, and even a cat. She’s not just any writer, she has a unique imagination and her story building is so effective, she has a following of admiring fans. It looks as if her future as a writer is secure and I wish her the best of luck in all her endeavors.

This week

I received a message from one of my writer friends recently asking for ideas for a gift to give his wife, whom he adores. One of my ideas was, ‘get her a kitten.’ I can’t think of anything that would please me more although it is not possible for me because I live on the third floor of an apartment building.

As a consolation, I stick to planting a garden on my balcony, summer and winter. I just got the bulbs and pansies in, even though the geraniums are still thriving—at the end of November in Western Canada! 

The hopeful writer

Did you know that you can read any of my eBooks at no cost by ‘borrowing” them from the Kindle library? The only thing I ask if you do read one (or a few) is that you post a review on Amazon.  

Author Profile – Daniel Humphreys

About Daniel Humphreys


Dan grew up in a small town in southern Indiana. His parents divorced before his first birthday, so he doesn’t even remember having a two-parent household.
He was a always a bookworm growing up; it was not uncommon for him to check out twenty or thirty books at a time from the  public library.
Around third grade, this amazing kid got an adult library card and started checking out Stephen King books. The increased vocabulary he garnered from his more advanced readings got him into trouble a few times.

First steps

Dan believes that a desire to write and the love of reading go hand in hand, but it wasn’t until 5th grade that he realized you could tell a story and be compensated for it, rather than just getting a grade. His school had a creative writing contest to win tickets to see “The Land Before Time” on opening night. Like every 10-year old, he was a nut for dinosaurs.

He was always a very laid back kid, more lackadaisical than competitive, but he remembers telling himself that he was going to win a ticket. And he did, with a handwritten story, on double-sided wide-ruled notebook paper that ran, if as he recalls, about ten or eleven pages. Even then, he tended to go on and on.

Becoming a Writer

Progressing through junior high and high school, Daniel kept writing, laying weird stories on friends or teachers when they made the mistake of assigning them. By then, he’d moved out to Phoenix to live with my father. he even got the idea in his head that he was going to go to college and major in creative writing. Thankfully for his future prospects, he decided against that and began his career in IT. Getting his own, semi-modern computer was a big stepping point for him. (see blog post here: https://daniel-humphreys.net/2018/09/22/freeawfulnovel-parts-14-and-15-end-of-the-box/)
By the time Daniel turned 22, he’d written four full-length novels. The first three weren’t much to talk about, but the fourth one … he felt  he had something worth publishing. He went through the process of submitting to agents, checking the mail every day for the inevitable rejections, and paging through his copy of Writer’s Market to see if there were any possibilities he’d missed.
And then … one day it wasn’t a rejection!

Ups and Downs

The problem was, the agent who didn’t reject him turned out to be a notorious scammer.  (Background info here: https://accrispin.blogspot.com/2006/04/victoria-strauss-lisa-hackneymelanie.html). He was canny enough to recognize that certain things she said rang his alarm bells, and he reached out to a couple of the authors she claimed to have gotten deals. At least one of them was a shill account, because within an hour of sending an e-mail inquiring as to their satisfaction with Melanie’s representation, his “agent” sent him an email terminating his contract.
He’d dodged a bullet, but the fact that the only agent he could get turned out to be a scammer was a huge blow to his confidence. He posted a snippet from his novel on the web forum of a writer he respected, seeking input, only to have it shredded. Dan has thick enough skin to take constructive criticism, but this struck him as unnecessarily harsh. He thought it might be something about the way he’d asked, or his relative youth, but he took it pretty hard.

Life goes on

For the next decade or so, Dan put his dreams on the back burner. He focused on his career, met the wonderful woman who became his wife, and started a family. Once in a while, he’d write a something, but that little doubting voice in the back of his head would always pop up, and he’d shelve it after writing a few chapters.
In the summer of 2014, Dan earned a promotion at work to a virtual office job, and he suddenly had lots of spare time. He finished up long-overdue remodeling projects, and one day his wife asked if he ever thought about returning to writing. He had,  but he’d never really done anything with it. It’s safe to say she pushed him back into it, and he has no regrets. It was the push that started him on his career as a published writer.

Back on track

Dan took some writing classes, made some networking connections with other writers  and started writing seriously. He published his first novel, A Place Outside The Wild, in September 2016, and he’s put out four more since—two self-published, and two through a traditional publisher.

Daniel lives in Indiana with his wife and family. He enjoys science fiction movies, target shooting, and tinkering with computers. He has spent his entire career in corporate IT and suffers from elevated blood pressure due to a lifelong love of the Arizona Cardinals.

A Place Outside the Wild

A Place Outside The Wild (Z-Day Book 1) by [Humphreys, Daniel]A story about tripping and falling into your dreams. Goals grow and change over time, or they should. His first novel was a 2017 Dragon Award finalist–he’d love to win one day, because that’s a sweet-looking trophy.

Eight years after Z-Day, the surviving remnants of mankind face the unknown. The fences and walls kept the ravenous undead at bay until they wasted away. A once overwhelming foe has turned feeble and weak, and a world gone wild seems ripe for reclamation. The scars of the long war run deep. And hope is a dangerous thing when the real enemy might just be the survivors themselves.

A Place Called Hope

A Place Called Hope (Z-Day Book 2) by [Humphreys, Daniel]The survivors built a community and called it Hope. After eight years, they allowed themselves to think that the zombie scourge was ending; the hordes fading away in the face of time.

But the enemy they thought extinct was evolving – growing faster, stronger, and more cunning. The timely return of the much-depleted 1st Reconnaissance Battalion, US Marine Corps helped turn the tide of one battle. The prospect of renewed war against a different type of enemy will require sterner stuff and serious firepower. Now, they must go far beyond the overgrown wastes they call the wild in a desperate attempt to recover vital military equipment that will determine whether the future of mankind is one for the living – or for the dead.

Latest release! A Place for War
Book 3 in the Z-Day series 

A Place For War (Z-Day Book 3) by [Humphreys, Daniel]“We stand on the brink, ready to reclaim this continent. Our fight today is not for resources or supplies. We’re coming home.” The future is now.

Equipped with a mix of primitive and bleeding-edge technologies, the US military is bringing everything we have left to bear against the zombie horde. The evolution of the infected into vicious alpha predators has made old tactics dangerous and obsolete. It’s time to break out the big guns.

Meanwhile, Miles Matthews leads a small team on a last-ditch mission deep into infected territory. Miles and his team will be on their own, surrounded, and outnumbered. Succeed, and they end the alphas’ reign of terror. Fail, and they join the horde. Will this be our last stand, or the final victory in a decade-long nightmare?

What’s Next?

When asked what he is working on at the moment, this was his reply: “I’m about halfway through the the third book in the Paxton Locke urban fantasy series: “Come, Seeling Night”, which finishes up the story arc started in “Fade” and “Night’s Black Agents.”

Vicki’s Comments.

Isn’t Dan a likable person? I really admire the way he went through so many ups and downs—and didn’t give up— on the road to a successful career. He seems to have handled the course very well and deserves his more success and happiness.


What have I been up to? I’m still working on the revision of my name book, Names of the World. Yesterday I had to ditch a whole index of more than 29,000  names and nationalities because several hundred were corrupted and it would take weeks to repair them.

Book sales

A few years ago, I let it be known that I would donate 50% of my royalties to charities I support—Doctors without Borders, and the UN Refugee Agency. So far, I haven’t made any extra donations. I really would like to be able to give more, but I can’t do it without help. I need to sell some books.

Author Profile – Stephanie Osborn

About Stephanie

Few can claim the varied background of award-winning author Stephanie Osborn, the Interstellar Woman of Mystery.


Stephanie holds graduate and undergraduate degrees in four sciences: astronomy, physics, chemistry and mathematics, and she is “fluent” in several more, including geology and anatomy.

She is a veteran of more than 20 years in the civilian space program, as well as various military space defense programs, she worked on numerous space shuttle flights and the International Space Station, and counts the training of astronauts on her resumé.

Her space experience also includes Spacelab and ISS operations, variable star astrophysics, Martian aeolian geophysics (wind-generated geologic processes), radiation physics, and the effects nuclear, biological, and chemical weapons.

Current Activities

Now retired from space work, Stephanie has trained her sights on writing. She has authored, co-authored, or contributed to some 40 books, including the celebrated science-fiction mystery, Burnout: The mystery of Space Shuttle STS-281, and is co-author of the Cresperian Saga book series.

She has written the critically acclaimed Displaced Detective Series, described as “Sherlock Holmes meets The X-Files,” and its pulp-bestselling prequel series, Gentleman Aegis, the very first book of which won a Silver Falchion award. She has also dabbled in paranormal/horror releasing the ebook novella El Vengador, based on a true story.

Her recent popular science book, Rock and Roll, a discussion of the New Madrid fault and its historic quakes, was a multiple-genre bestseller!

Currently she’s launching into the unknown with the Division One series, her take on the urban legend of the people who show up at UFO sightings, alien abductions, etc. to make things…disappear.


Stephanie likes to travel but sadly, she doesn’t do so much, because she’s handicapped now. Despite multiple efforts, she has yet to make it out of the United States; every time she tries, something happens that makes it necessary to cancel the trip, which is quite frustrating for her.

She has a cat called Elrond Half-Siamese. He chose her when she and her husband visited the fostering home. He came out of another room, spotted them, let out a tiny yowl, and ran as fast as those stubby little legs would take him. He ran clear across the room, right up and over the couch where she was standing. Without even slowing he landed in her arms, whereupon he settled in and started purring. She turned to her husband and said, “Honey, we have a cat.” When he’s happy and excited, he arches his tail up and over his back like a tea-kettle handle; when he was a kitten and the proportions were different, the tip actually touched the back of his head.

In addition to her writing work, the Interstellar Woman of Mystery now happily “pays it forward,” teaching math and science through numerous media including radio, podcasting and public speaking, as well as working with SIGMA, the science-fiction think tank.

New release – October 2018

Has Alpha One been played?
At long last, Echo and Omega are going on their first real date, and Echo pulls out all the stops.
But when he introduces Omega to a Broadway star, they find art imitating life, as a dangerous nonhuman entity plagues the theater.
Alpha One goes undercover to bring to light what’s really happening. But is the entity after the show’s leads…or have Echo and Omega been played?



Division One: A Small Medium At Large by [Osborn, Stephanie] Alpha and Omega (Division One Book 1) by [Osborn, Stephanie]
*** The action in A Small Medium at Large takes place on Halloween. ***

My turn

Today’s author is an extraordinary woman. I’m awed by her to be honest. Her education and career are mind-blowing, and now she is a prolific and successful writer. She shows her fun-side by some of her activities, for example, her cat, and the photo that goes with this profile, which was her Halloween costume. It was made in the payload ops control center for the Shuttle program, where she was working as a flight controller on the STS-87 mission, and it occurred over Halloween, so she did a costume that would still be appropriate to the work environment.

Bios and what interests readers

One of the things that has come to mind as a result of profiling so many authors is, what exactly do readers want to know about their authors? I think most of them are interested in personal information more than anything.

The number one consideration when we authors write our bios is to show who we really are. Readers want to see the person behind the story. Where are we from? What have we done? How did we become writers? Where do we live? What do we do besides writing? I know that I like to find out about idiosyncrasies and interesting experiences, their families, pets, and so on.

Me, for instance.

  • I became a writer because I love books and failed at painting, my primary choice of artistic expression.
  • I was born and grew up in England. I’ve lived all over Canada from Newfoundland to the west coast and have finally settled in British Columbia. I’ve also lived in California, and Mexico.
  • I am the eldest of seven children and was a terrible bully with my siblings. I was married once, a long time ago, and have three sons and a daughter. I now live with my “significant other”.
  • Besides writing novels and blogs, I design websites and sometimes book covers.
    I enjoy tending a tiny garden on my balcony, and read a lot. I find exercise boring, unless there’s a purpose or goal involved.
  • I have a hearing defect called hyperacusis, which is  an intolerance to usual environmental sounds. Certain sounds are magnified and distorted, which makes them unbearable and can sometimes make me lose control and yell at the culprit. Car horns and loud radios and TVs are the two most unbearable. I’ll take a hearty thunderstorm any day.

The first person I profiled was a remarkable English woman called Tracy N Traynor, who overcame incredible odds to become a successful author. Her story is an inspiration  to everyone who knows her, an example of what a person can do—with faith and determination—to reach her goals.

Stephanie – Happy Halloween!

Author Profile – Susan McPhail

Image_square_webAbout the Author

Susan spent years writing technical documentation and developing marketing materials for high-tech engineering firms. Even though she enjoyed working with genius engineers. She always suspected that writing fiction would be more fun, and she was right. She is now a fantasy/science fiction author living in Canton, GA  with her husband and two cats.

Susan’s love of creating plausible fictional cultures is rooted in her early college days as an archaeology/anthropology major. Articles and documentaries on the ancient Hittites, Egyptians, Mayans, or other extinct cultures still make her eyes light up. Her mind is usually wandering around the intersection of Ancient Aliens and Indiana Jones searching for nuggets of inspiration for a new story.

Once while letting her imagination roam freely, she invented a children’s board game called Zombies at the Zoo, just for her family and particularly for a precocious little guy who had been watching The Walking Dead with his mom since he was four years old. It’s good, old-fashioned, non-terrifying, Zombie Apocalypse Fun. It may not be much competition for video games or an iPad, but it reinforces basic counting, matching, and alphabet recognition skills.

Chocolate chip ice cream is her personal Kryptonite. When she’s not reading or writing, she’s binge-watching television mysteries and period dramas or going to the movies. Sadly, her cherished collection of nearly 400 Star Trek paperbacks and Star Wars collectibles stopped growing when she ran out of shelf space, but her adult children still quibble over who will inherit which items. When her schedule permits, she enjoys handcrafts like crocheting and quilting because it looks as if she’s doing something useful while in fact she is pondering how to work out tricky plot points.

The Origin Key is her first novel, and is the first book in the Treasures of Dodrazeb series.

The Origin Key
Treasures of Dodrazeb Volume 1

The Treasures of Dodrazeb is for anyone who enjoys fantasy in a historical setting interwoven with compelling mystery. It chronicles the sword-and-science adventures of Persian warrior-prince Rasteem when he discovers a secretive kingdom deep in the Himalayas while pursuing a vicious assassin known as the Viper. Inhabited by descendants of an ancient, scholarly society hiding powerful technology, he finds the people and culture of Dodrazeb are by turns fascinating and frightening. Is Dodrazeb hiding the Viper or something even more dangerous? At once drawn to and confounded by its strong-willed princess, the would-be conqueror has much to learn about the treasures hidden in Dodrazeb—and why the outside world isn’t ready for them.

A video posted by the author.

More publications

Susan has also contributed to anthologies compiled by Russell Newquist.  She also penned a short story entitled Brotherly Envy, that is related to her novel The Origin Key.

     Between the Wall and the Fire Lyonesse Volume 1 (Lyonesse - Wondrous, Heroic Adventure Fiction) Brotherly Envy (Tales From the Treasures of Dodrazeb Book 1)


To find out more about Susan,  take a peek at her awesome Website 
email her, or follow her  on Twitter or Facebook at SDMcPhail.

My Turn

The moment I read the description of Susan’s novel, I knew I had to read it. It sounded like just the sort of book I enjoy.  I’m now waiting eagerly for more books from this lady.

Now that my website is finally online, I’ve returned to preparing more of my books for revision and paperback publication. The one I’m working on at the moment—Names of the World—is a real challenge. How do you pack and organize more than 90,000 names, over 570 pages, into one volume, complete with reference material, several appendices, and bibliography?

One of the things that amazes me about this work is that I actually typed all those names. I couldn’t do it now and am glad I’m only revising and formatting it now.

The formatting is very complicated and there are so many pages to check, I feel out of my depth sometimes. However, it’s rewarding in one way, recalling the enormous amount of work—three years worth—I’d put in writing it.

I always use this book as a reference when I’m looking for character names. It’s very useful to me, because I like to have a multicultural cast of characters.

Author Profile – Christa Bedwin

About Christa

As you will see, Christa is an amazing woman. She grew up on a cattle ranch in the Canadian Rocky Mountains, where she spent her growing years riding horses and getting to know more about trees and the clouds than people!

She subsequently earned a B.Sc. in Chemistry, and a B.Ed., which gave her an excellent basis for her interesting and diverse  career.

Christa has been a chemist, a logger, a high school math/chemistry teacher, a farm labourer, a baker, an oil company secretary, an Outback Jilleroo*, a belly-dancer and yoga teacher, a construction equipment operator, a musician, and an engineering business-writing consultant teacher. She has written many books and articles, including children’s books, romance novels, and Chemistry textbooks.

Her curiosity has taken her around the world. She has so far visited more than forty countries in her search for adventure and knowledge.

* The name for working cowgirls (the cowboys are known as jackeroos) on a sheep or cattle station.


Christa enjoys life as a freelance writer and editor, and plans to continue to travel in the future, finding fascinating settings for the adventures of her characters, including dragons. She finds special magic in wild places, in deserts, and on islands. Her uplifting novels include romance, humour, wise and wizardly characters, intriguing capable men, and enchanting sympathetic women. She also includes time travel to fascinating periods and people in history.

She says, “I believe that writing should be uplifting and should help us feel happy or give us ideas about how to live better lives. I like to write about real people, romance, adventure, history.”

The Future

Christa and her son Yarrow recently moved back to Canada after spending a few years homeschooling, farm volunteering, and travelling through Europe.

She is now working on a sequel to her popular novel, Caterina’s Renaissance.

The sequel, Blodwyn’s  Redemption, features the female villain from the first novel who goes back in time to post-Roman, pre-Christian Cornwall, and finds a better self than she ever knew she had. There are also two dragons, and not one, but two sexy heroes.

Plans and wishes

Christa intends to write more articles and books to inspire people, while she continues raising her amazing son. She also hopes to meet the love of her life, and to continue to enjoy life and love, and the people and beauty around her.

She is also working on an entertaining little time-travel trilogy about two smart young women from Edinburgh, both who find the loves of their lives. The first one, Idelle’s Inheritance, is available now on Amazon

Christa’s Books

Caterina’s Renaissance

Caterina's Renaissance by [Bedwin, Christa]

Caterina has finally found a small, peaceful island where she can raise sheep, illustrate children’s books, and hide away from the problems of her previous life.
Then Massimo, the sexy hero she dreams of, drops out of the Renaissance into her modern-day reality. He and her seem-normal-but-turn-out-to-be-magical neighbours help her understand that there’s a dragon living on her property (preposterous and impossible), and that she herself is a key to help to save the island from a modern-day threat.
Massimo and Caterina drop through time into Renaissance Venice, trying to find the treasure they need to save the island. Travelling centuries into the past with Massimo helps Caterina find deliciIous solutions she did not expect.

More Fiction by Christa Bedwin

Idelle's Inheritance by [Bedwin, Christa]Idelle’s Inheritance

Idelle has just inherited her clan’s Georgian home in New Town Edinburgh, and her great-aunt has left her with the task of finding a lost document that she’s convinced is behind a secret panel. However, when she finds the panel, she tumbles into the past and meets a cousin, who vows to help her find what she needs in 1798 Edinburgh… and decides to find what she herself needs in 2018!

The Canadian Girls Series
The Celtic Coast Connection (Canadian Girls Book 1) by [Bedwin, Christa]   Lanette of the Land (Canadian Girls Book 2) by [Bedwin, Christa]   Two Secrets and a Chase (Canadian Girls Book 3) by [Bedwin, Christa]

Links for additional information 

Amazon Author Page   Book Bub page
Web page  – LinkedIn – Facebook
Corporate training for consultants – Corporate communications

Now it’s my turn

Getting to know  Christa is inspiring. She seems to live the sort of life I would have liked but never had the courage to pursue. And her achievements are amazing. I know she will go far because she is so full of life and enthusiasm.

I doubt I could ever compete with her—that is not my intention—but reading about her adventures got me thinking about the things I’ve done. I’ve also had an interesting life, spent mostly shooting myself in the foot.

Job-wise, I started out as a helper in the kitchen of a hotel where my father was the head chef. I’ve been a clerk in a furniture factory, a progress chaser in a rubber factory,  a hotel manager’s assistant, and a pre-student nurse. That was before I became a wife and mother of three sons and a daughter.

Post marriage, I went through a slew of jobs, credit checker in a bank, nurse’s aid, government clerical worker, and so on. I went to college a few times, nursing school twice, and ended up in my favorite job, law office accountant. I’ve also been a galley girl on a fishing boat in California, and bookkeeper for two charitable foundations.an English teacher in Mexico.

My most challenging experiences related to civil rights activities in the 1980s. I went to Nicaragua as a Witness for Justice and Peace during the Contra war, and to El Salvadore during their civil war to support labor unions that were being  threatened by government death squads. The headquarters of the union organization was bombed by the death squads the following year and many of the people I met were killed.
(See my novel At War With Terror).

I have always been involved in civil rights and environmental protection.
My earliest environmental action was to give up eating meat in the early 1970s.

Author Profile – W Lehman

Wm. Lehman

About William

William has been reading since he was very young and was tackling R.A. Heinlein when he was seven. He actually started writing later in life, which he regrets as it would have been a great way to alleviate the boredom when he was a submariner in the U.S. Navy on Strategic Deterrent Patrols.

William has had a very interesting and challenging career in several government services. He spent his first twenty years in the U.S. Navy, and has also been a police officer and a shipyard worker. He currently works as the Fiber Optics Training Development Group Supervisor for a Naval Shipyard, where they are developing the training for all Federal employees that work on Fiber Optics on naval ships. 

He has been married for twenty-two years and has two children, and resides in Bremerton,  just across the Sound from Seattle. On weekends he dresses in 70 lbs of armor and jousts with fighters of various ages and sexes, using training swords. He also also enjoys woodworking  and hunting, when he has a chance.

First published series

What really got him to start on the John Fisher Chronicles is the observation that almost any Urban Fantasy writer today either portrays the government and police forces as being completely oblivious to what’s going on around them, or has them as the villains of the piece.

He asked himself what if all the legends and mysterious happenings were real, and existed right alongside modern technology?  His answer is the Fisher books.  John Fisher was a submarine sailor on a Spec Op boat, when he contracted Cougar Lycanthropy by accident.  He was given a choice: medical discharge, transfer to a more boring branch of the service, or volunteer for the special SEAL team, manned completely by Lycanthropes and other shapeshifters.  Fisher spent twelve years as a SEAL and then retired.  So, what does a retired SEAL werecougar do?  He becomes a Park Police Officer.

W Lehman Novels

John Fisher, retired Seal and werecougar, was having just another day at the office. He is a Park Police officer. His office is a Dodge Durango. The dark legends and creatures have always been around, and after the civil rights movement they’re legal. But when someone uses magic or anything else illegally on Federal land, it’s John’s job to bring them in. He will use all his skill, luck and connections inside the Supernatural world to get his man, or were, or vampire, or…


It was supposed to be a simple poaching case. An “easy way to get back on the horse, after your injuries”. Oh yeah, it involves lycanthropes, but that shouldn’t be a problem. The trouble is, NOTHING is ever simple when John Fisher, Federal Park police, and retired Navy SEAL is assigned to the case… When they found the dead Marine, that’s when things really went south. John and his partner have to solve poaching, the murder of an active duty Marine Lycanthrope and several other crimes, but it seems the Government isn’t exactly happy to help. This is the second in the John Fisher Chronicles, which started with Harvest of Evil, and will continue…

William is also a contributor to Secret Stairs,
a #1 Bestselling Horror Anthology!

Secret Stairs: A Tribute to Urban Legend – Kindle edition by Russell Newquist, Daniel Humphreys, Richard W. Watts, S.D. McPhail, Richard Paolinelli, Kristen Brand, Christopher Lansdown, Dawn Witzke, William Lehman, Jeremy Megargee.

Secret Stairs: A Tribute to Urban Legend by [Newquist, Russell, Humphreys, Daniel, Watts, Richard W., McPhail, S.D., Paolinelli, Richard, Brand, Kristen, Lansdown, Christopher, Witzke, Dawn, Lehman, William, Megargee, Jeremy]

You mustn’t talk about the stairs.

There they stand, surrounded by nothing but forest, pristine as the day they were built. No sign remains of any other structure around them, no ruins of long forgotten buildings. They look… wrong. They feelwrong. Bad things happen if you get too close. Horrible things.You must never, ever ever talk about them.

Thirty-four of today’s best up and coming writers provide wonderfully unique interpretations inspired by the urban legends of the Internet age. Tales range from science fiction to fantasy, horror to mystery, and one writer even penned a romance!

But you must never tell anyone about the stairs!


Wm. Lehman

This is where I’m supposed to say something! 

I enjoyed becoming acquainted with W. Lehman. Not only does he live an interesting and active life, he is well on the road to becoming a successful author. I think we can look forward to seeing a lot more from him in the future.

On the home front, life goes on in spite of numerous disasters and mishaps. I should have a new website online within the next week; that is if I can find out how to upload it. My publishing program doesn’t recognize the codes I got from the web host.

Are we happy? Yes! We’re having lovely warm sunny weather and, if I can overcome my impatience and stop trying to do too many things at once, I know I’ll succeed eventually.


Author Profile – Declan Finn

About Declan

Declan Finn

“Declan Finn is a New York City native, but requests that you not hold this against him. As a teenager, Finn got into fan fiction for a space opera, and by the time he was done playing in the universe (4,000 pages and several volumes later), he had been hooked on writing. But as there are no meetings for writing addiction, he decided to make a career out of it. He even majored in history in college because of the stories. This has led to one series of books called “The Pius Trilogy” (which is five books long — including an anthology and a nonfiction volume on the footnotes).  His trademarks include Catholicism, at least one romance subplot, and enough explosions and martial arts to make Michael Bay say “That’s too much.” His reviews tend to praise both his close quarter combat scenes and development of his vivid characters.

Finn has been nominated for a Dragon Award three times since the awards were started 3 years ago. Two nominations were for books in his “Love at First Bite” series — namely Honor at Stake and Live and Let Bite (books 1 and 2 respectively) — from Silver Empire books. The books were Urban Fantasy novels that used communion wafers as suicide pills for vampires, Thomistic philosophy for supernatural monsters, as well as throwing Stars of David.

Finn can be found ranting at his blog (declanfinn.com), or occasionally on his “Catholic geek” podcast on BlogTalkRadio.”

Quotation from his GoodReads Author Page:

Question: What made you decide to become an author?
Declan Finn: I once wrote down a story that I just wanted to get out of my head.
…. 2000 pages later, I was addicted. 

This month—yes folks, it’s October already—Declan Finn launches his latest novel, Hellspawn 

Officer Thomas Nolan is a saint. He can smell evil. He’s forgiving to the lesser criminals who are merely desperate, and even the criminals he put away tend to like him. But when a serial killer wages war on the city, he’s going to face the darkness on more levels than he can imagine. Because this killer leaves a stench Nolan can follow a mile away. But proving it is going to be a problem. How do you do forensics on a killer possessed by a demon?

What makes Hellspawn different?

Hell Spawn was a nice change because I was forced by the character to make him a good guy.

If I have one running theme in my books, it’s that “People sleep peacefully in their beds at night only because rough men stand ready to do violence on their behalf.” Probably the most true thing Orwell ever wrote.
Sean A.P. Ryan in Pius? Dark. Marco Catalano in Love at First Bite? Darker. Then there’s Tommy Nolan, a saint.
But then, just because I made him a good guy, a saint, didn’t mean that I made him an angel.
Over the course of the novel, I was surprised at some of the darker choices he made, but he made them all for practical, prudent reason. And prudence is also a gift of the Holy Spirit.
But no, some of the decisions surprised me. For example, there’s a shoot out in front of the police station, an attack on the precinct house by MS-13. Now, I have been not-a-fan of MS-13 for nearly years.
Around the time I learned that they were a “street gang” with RPGs, automatic weapons, and trafficked women and children for sex. We won’t even go into their drug trade. Even Vince Flynn (RIP) made them a villain well over a decade ago. They are not nice people, and they need to be put into the ground whenever possible.

Other books by Declan Finn

Vicki’s Final Comments

It looks as if Declan is in the fast lane with his long list of publications and frequent releases. This new novel promises to be just as popular as the earlier ones.

One of the things I find attractive about his books is the gorgeous professional cover art in a unified style—his brand.

On a more personal note…

The disaster with my website continued and now the domain appears to have vanished altogether. My substitute for a web page can be reached by hitting “Author’s Page” on the menu bar at the top of this page.


Author Profile – Kat Parish

About Kat

 Kat Parrish is a former reporter who prefers making things up. She lived in France and Germany as a child, has traveled to five of the seven continents (Africa and Antarctica remain on her wish list) and would dearly love to celebrate her 100th birthday on the space station. She lives in the Pacific Northwest near a haunted cemetery. For updates and announcements (and prizes and giveaways), sign up for Kat’s newsletter.

Kat  recently expanded what had been a novella (MAGIC IN THE BLOOD) and republished it as a novel this weekend: 

Magic in the Blood: La Bruja Roja #1

Magic in the Blood: La Bruja Roja #1 by [Parrish, Kat]

Aixa Riley lives in two worlds. The daughter of an American father and a Mexican mother, she is heir to a tradition of magic older than the nations that claim her as a citizen and is the latest member of her mother’s family to be known as la bruja roja, the red witch.

Aixa’s hometown, Sangre de Cristo, is located on the border between the US and Mexico but also straddles the invisible divide between the land of the living and the realm of the dead. Aixa is a resident of both those worlds as well and can see trouble coming in all directions.

When dangerous sorceress Rosamara Quintana allies with an ambitious drug lord nicknamed “El Tiburon” (the shark) and their plans threaten to destroy Sangre De Cristo, Aixa summons her own potent powers to save her life, her love, and her very soul, aided by the local padre, the ghost of her grandmother—herself a red witch—and her sexy undercover boyfriend.
Magic in the Blood is a stand-alone urban fantasy novella that introduces red witch Aixa Riley and the colorful cast of characters—both living and dead—who inhabit the border town of Sangre de Cristo.

Note: This book originally appeared as a trilogy of shorter works (Aixa & the Scorpion, Aixa & the Shark, and Aixa & the Spider). It has been re-edited and new content added. Also note, this urban fantasy contains some elements that may be disturbing to readers, including violence, profanity, and sexual content. It is not suitable for readers under 18.

Coming Soon

Pre-order Rite to Reign and get 15 FREE eBooks and a custom spell book!

24 Paranormal Romance & Urban Fantasy novels for only 99c US.

More Kat Parish books

                       Misbegotten: An L.A. Nocturne novella by [Parrish, Kat] Tears of Idrissa: A Story of the Realm by [Parrish, Kat] The Summer Garden: A Retelling of Beauty and the Beast by [Parrish, Kat]

Utter disaster by Vicki Wootton

What happens when you try to do too many things at once?
Disaster strikes, that’s what!

Last week I published a paperback version of my latest novel, Aisling’s Revelation, and had a very difficult time uploading an acceptable cover. It took me three days of trial and error to finally realize that I wasn’t attacking the problem properly. I had overlooked the usefulness of their Cover Creator app, mainly because the cover images were so unappealing. When I realized I could replace the stock images with my own, everything worked out fine.

My apologies to KDP for my negative rating. It was indeed a case of a bad worker blaming the tools.

Now that problem has been resolved, I have another one to contend with.
I lost my website in the course of trying to upload some new files.

I decided to move the domain to WordPress, which was a nightmare on it’s own, and cost me money into the bargain. But I trust WordPress and their wonderful Happiness Engineers will find out what went wrong and why I can’t find my site.

Happy Autumn, everyone! 

autumnbridge-Joshua Howe.jpg
(c) Joshua Howe


Author Profile – Emerald Dodge

About Emerald

I’m Emerald Dodge, the author of the Battlecry series. I write primarily urban fantasy, but I have plans to branch out into other genres. I’m a Navy wife and the mother of two charming little boys. We’re all stationed in Maryland right now, but next year we will move to San Diego.
It’s little surprise that I ended up as a writer; my mother, and several of my aunts and cousins, have also published books. I grew up surrounded by books and the love of reading, and inhaled novels of every kind as I grew up. My fondest childhood memories are at the Rust Library in Leesburg, VA. I plan to put that same library in future books to honor it.
I just wrapped up the Battlecry series, which is about superheroes escaping from the cult in which they were raised. Both subjects–superheroes and cults–are longtime interests of mine. My next series will focus on another, completely different, subject: ghost ships! I’m not usually on for a ghost story, but ghost ship lore has always held a certain romance for me. I am going to write about a ghost aircraft carrier that “serves” in the US Navy.



For one superhero, the good guys can be deadlier than the bad guys.

Battlecry by [Dodge, Emerald]Jillian Johnson, known as the mighty Battlecry, was born into a superhero cult. She craves a life of freedom, far away from her violent and abusive team leader, Patrick. With no education, no money, and no future to speak of, she’s stuck in the dangerous life…until she meets the mysterious and compelling Benjamin, a civilian with superpowers. When Patrick confronts her, she fights back–and then runs for her life. One by one, her ex-teammates join her until a new team has formed.

But Patrick will not let his upstart teammates get away so easily. Humiliated and hellbent on vengeance, he waits for his chance to strike back and kill the new team, and he is happy to murder superheroes and civilians alike. On top of that, Benjamin has joined Jillian and her comrades, angering his own lethal family. Jillian’s enemies begin to close in from all sides.

Desperate and in hiding, Jillian must shed everything she thinks she knows about what it means to lead. Can she rise up to the challenge of defeating Patrick? Can she save Benjamin from his family? Or will she die like every other superhero who’s dared to challenge the cult?

If you like the gritty, understated superheroes in Netflix’s Jessica Jones and the raw urban fantasy of Veronica Roth, you’ll get sucked into Emerald Dodge’s Battlecry!


When her team is betrayed by the people she trusts, Jillian turns her back on being a superhero.

Sentinel (Battlecry Series Book 2) by [Dodge, Emerald]Jillian’s supposed to be the hero, and yet, her elders have her on trial as if she’s a villain. If she’s found guilty, she and her team face harsh punishment and destroyed futures. But when the betrayal and treachery of her elders leads her to flee in search of her missing boyfriend, she uncovers terrible information that makes her wonder if he is really who she thought he was.

Her quest for the truth leads her to a handsome militia leader who makes her question whether she’s been fighting for the wrong side all along. Caught up in a secret war against the people who murdered her brother, Jillian will have to decide if she’s really cut out to be a superhero, or if her loyalties lie elsewhere after all.

As Jillian’s search for truth leads to a search for her inner self, she falls into a violent and tragic downward spiral that leaves many people dead. Jillian must face her elders head on and forge her own path in the history of superheroes, or find herself lost to the violence of the war. But denouncing superheroism as she knows it will mean taking on a century-old institution that will do anything–including commit murder–to stay in power.


Brother against brother. Superhero against superhero. His wife has been kidnapped, and now he must decide how far down the road of vengeance he can go.

Mercury (Battlecry Series Book 3) by [Dodge, Emerald]Benjamin, codename Mercury, is a member of an elite superhero team. Jillian, his wife, has been kidnapped by his soulless brother, Beau. With her life hanging in the balance, now it’s fight or die. Beau believes Jillian knows the whereabouts of JM-104, a compound that renders superpowers worthless, and to weaken his enemies he’s determined to make her talk by any means necessary. Benjamin must risk his life to save her, and then he must destroy what’s left of the JM-104.

But it won’t be so easy. When Benjamin’s team heads after the JM-104 with a ticking clock hanging over their heads, a team of superheroes who specialize in killing other superheroes will be right there waiting for them, just as brother goes against brother with Jillian caught in the middle. In the face of overwhelming odds, will they save Jillian and destroy the biggest threat to their existence? Or will the long arm of hate reach into Benjamin’s heart and destroy everything he holds dear?

Closing Words from Vicki

I enjoyed getting acquainted with Emerald. I think she has a great future ahead of her and wish her well.

My problems with KDP

I’ve just been through a very challenging week, struggling with Amazon’s new enterprise Kindle Direct (KDP) Paperback, which Amazon has adopted as a replacement for CreateSpace. So far I’m losing the battle.

I’m trying to publish Aisling’s Revelation in paperback. All went well until I uploaded my cover; that’s when the fun started. The first cover I uploaded was rejected because it didn’t fit their cropping requirements. I had been so confident that it would fit because I used the measurements they provided.

I had to revise it, which takes a lot of work, over and over again. I didn’t count the number of times it was rejected, but my guess is at least a dozen. Finally, I downloaded their template and fitted my cover into it, confident that nothing could go wrong. Guess what! The cover didn’t fit.

That’s when I gave up and resigned myself to not having a paperback version of Aisling’s Revelation. I decided to give it another shot this morning because I believed I’d discovered the problem, but after two more failures, I gave up once more. The furnace in my stomach was burning too fiercely and I couldn’t take any more.

The old adage, a bad worker blames his tools comes to mind, but I was using the tools Amazon provided, so who is to blame really?

I never had these problems with CreateSpace; if a cover didn’t fit, they would tweak it, but KDP only allows an upload in PDF format, which apparently they can’t change.

The new Amazon project gets two **out of***** from me.

Tell your writer friends

If any of your friends would like to have a profile published here, they/you only have to contact me at vickiwriteson@gmail.com. This is strictly for self-published authors. Personally, I prefer to publicize Fantasy and Speculative Fiction, although this is not a restriction.