Category Archives: Author Friends

Interview with Autumn Dawn

Author Spotlight – Autumn Dawn

Autumn Dawn

I have been a long time Autumn Dawn fan (okay, major fan-girl moment) so I am thrilled that Autumn said yes to being in my newsletter. Thank you so much, Autumn!

Autumn Dawn writes futuristic,. With over twenty books and six series, she continues to thrill fans with her werewolves, dragons, elementals, gargoyles and trolls with a thing for Poe.

She spent most of her life in Alaska, including several winters in a cabin in the woods, where she became intimately acquainted with outhouses, generators and woodstoves. Her years of snow machines, boating and mosquitos convinced her to move her family to Washington, where she basks in the “tropical” winters.

  1. Tell us a little about yourself. How long have you been writing? What genre do you write?I’ve been making up stories since I was a kid. My first novel was written on lined notepaper when I was a teen. I got pubbed with a small press at 27, was picked up by Dorchester in NY in my thirties and now I self-pub. I’m happy to say that I make a living at it, but that’s not common.
  2. What inspired you to write your first book?5th grade creative writing class; I was a natural. I love books, enjoy writing, and I have all these stories in my head. I love sharing my stories, letting readers peek into amazing worlds.
  3. Where do you get your inspiration from?A better question is, how do I turn it off? It’s hardwired. The only time the stories stop is when I’m extremely sick or stressed. Otherwise, driving is a hazard, because I have to concentrate to see the road. Stories are playing before my eyes, distracting me.
  4. Where/When do you do the most of your writing?At home, at my desk. Plotting happens anywhere, but often during my midday nap or as I’m falling asleep. It gives my busy brain something to do before my body shuts down for the day.
  5. What do you think has been your biggest accomplishment?Honesty, being a wife and mother. I have the best kids, and that’s thanks to hard work (diligent parenting) and my awesome husband. Whatever I achieve in the book business is merely business, even if I win the highest accolades and loudest applause. A family legacy is forever, and I’ll see it in my kids and grandkids.My eldest son is 18 and high functioning autistic. There were times he shut down in school and I had to home school. It cost me money and momentum in my career, but I don’t regret it. Now my daughter, 17, is home schooled b/c public school finally overwhelmed her (super ADHD). She’d getting great grades and loving WA’s online school.I have a younger son, 15. He’s very smart and VERY strong willed and wants nothing to do with home school (thank you, Jesus!), but if he needed it, I’d make it happen. He just bought and fixed up his first car with his dad and is excited to get a job. That’s what he needed.
  6. What series/book did you write that has the biggest following.The Dark Lands. Ugh! I still get lots of requests for more in that series, but I’m a strict 3-4 books in a series and move on kind of girl. I love that people love it, but I can’t tie myself to doing the same thing all the time. There are so many books, so many worlds. If I wrote for the rest of my life, I’d never get them all down.That said, Bramble Burn is getting a lot of attention. I’m working on book 2, Breaker’s Ruin, right now.Bramble Burn
  7. Who has influenced your writing the most?I read a lot. I think it would be easier to say the romance genre, followed by fantasy and sci-fi. I enjoy a good urban fantasy with humour when I can find one.Example of things I might read in a day include Fox news, Popular Science, Popular Mechanics, cookbooks (read them like novels), random science articles, the Bible, romance novels, some graphic novels, books on herbal medicine or health (fascinated by the human biome), computer how-to, how to books in general, gardening, political stuff, art and the rare biography.I’m not a fan of horror (too vivid of an imagination/soft hearted), tear jerkers or books were everybody dies. I won’t watch the Titanic ever again, and I don’t like dramas (too sad). Although I’ve read many of the classics, high school reading lists suck the joy out of life. I did enjoy Mark Twain, however. At least he had a sense of humour.
  8. Do you have a favourite author?It’s like Doritos; no one can have just one. A few favs include Illona Andrews, Christopher Paolini, Stephanie Meyer, Larry Correia (Monster Hunters International), Pat Briggs, Iron Druid…
  9. Is there anything that you find particularly challenging in your writing?Interruptions. Getting sick, having teens or husbands randomly walk into the room and ask me questions, long visits from loving relatives… Formatting a cookbook sucked. Amazing what a time sink technical stuff can be.
  10. Are the experiences of your characters based on any of your own or people that you know?While there are elements of personal experiences, I don’t know anyone who has encountered a shapeshifting troll or tree mage lately. The glory of writing is that I can take someone to a completely alien world to take their mind off their sick dog, broken leg, visiting in-laws, etc.It helps that I can take my frustrations out by killing a few Jabberwockies while I’m at it. Fictional violence is completely legal and very refreshing.
  11. Do you have any advice for other authors?Nobody says, “I’m going to put my pants on and walk to the mailbox today.” They just get up and do it. Don’t say you’re going to write a book someday. Just do it!
  12. Is there a particular niche or direction you would like to expand your writing portfolio into?Nope. I’m where I want to be.
  13. Describe your latest WIPIt had been thirty years since the Convergence, when the dimensions aligned and combined Earth and the world of Gwyllon, known in human mythology as “Underhill”. Elven castles and ancient ruins sprouted in vacant lots, on major highways, sometimes merging with existing buildings, twisting into completely new structures. Roads and rail systems reformed, and after the rioting, starvation and death, agriculture finally sorted itself and food began to flow. A new government formed of elves and men had arisen, a society of human tech and elven magic. Cell phones and frost giants, race cars and elven steeds, dungeons and dragons…And everywhere, monsters.Dixie Jones has monster mojo. For three days, monsters love her and then they try to kill her. Dragon shifter Shozan won’t leave Dixie alone, but is it love at first sight, or is he the monster that will finally be her doom?

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Interview with Cynthia Lucas

Author Spotlight – Cynthia Lucas

Cynthia Lucas

First off I’d like to give a huge thank you to S.E. Smith for having me….I feel so honored and blessed to have to have her friendship and inspiration. S.E., you are phenomenal, and you have my love and congratulations on reaching the NY Times and USA Today’s Best Sellers lists (again) and for winning Best Sci Fi Book 2014 in the Kindle Hub Awards. Here’s to the many great things to come!

Now on to me….
I released my first book in 2010 and it’s been quite the ride ever since. I write fantasy/paranormal and time travel romance, and very recently tried my hand at my first sci-fi romance, with my newest release HUNTER. My ‘other job’ is being lead singer and keyboardist (and songwriter) for the musical act NORTH 2 SOUTH and when I’m not writing books you’ll find me entertaining on stages large and small in and around the Tampa Bay area close to home.

I love writing fantasy and ‘fairy tale’ types of stories with an interesting twist that takes the reader completely away into another world….and I love my stories to include themes of spiritual and personal growth for my characters because of the relationships and the love they experience. Oh, yeah…and there’s always plenty of sizzle to steam up the windows a little. LOL! 😉

Blood From a Stone

In 2013 my book BLOOD FROM A STONE (a story of an ancient curse that turned a man into a gargoyle and his quest to recapture his humanity through love) was a quarter finalist in the Amazon Breakthrough Novel Awards and it was nominated for a RONE Award and was a finalist for Best Paranormal. Last year was also a really busy and fun year with the release of SMOKE & MIRRORZ which is a fairy tale romance about a Jinn (a genie) working as a carny here in the human world who saves a woman from a brutal abuser. I brought absolutely gorgeous model Grigoris Drakakis over from Greece to shoot the cover (you may recognize him from Best Selling Author Katie McAllister’s Much Ado About Vampires) and we also made a cinematic trailer for it. And in a bold move at age 50, I appeared with him on both the cover and in the trailer. Watch it:

Um…well, I guess that sort of makes me the world’s oldest romance cover model. LOL! But I figured perhaps it would help empower other women to realize that you too can have courage to believe in yourself and be whatever you’d like to be…no matter what your age…and MOST OF ALL: that you are ALL beautiful no matter your age, size, shape or ethnicity.

Anyway, thank you all so much for taking the time to get to know me a little and I hope to get to know some of you on my sites!! I LOVE interacting with new readers and making new friends….and I feel so blessed to have such a wonderful community of readers to share stories and fun with. I hope some of you will visit me, check out my books….and if you’ve read them, PLEASE leave reviews on my Amazon pages, as this is the greatest gift to us authors…it not only helps us know what stories you like the most, but also helps other readers find us. Wishing you all a beautiful and blessed year…and S.E., again, I thank you SO much. You are truly an inspiration.

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Interview with Viola Rivard

Author Spotlight – Viola Rivard

Viola Rivard

My name is Viola Rivard and I will have been published three years in February. While many authors say they’ve been writing since they could hold a pen, that wasn’t the case for me. I grew up in a rural and impoverished mountain region of western Virginia and was often lectured for “wasting paper” when I tried to write recreationally. So instead, I created elaborate fantasy worlds in my mind. My schoolteachers often reported to my confused mother that I was severely antisocial, but in reality I often had more fun imagining adventures on the playground than playing with the mere mortals of my first grade class.

I was eleven and it was the year I got my first computer. Well, it was actually the family computer. It used dial-up and ran slow as molasses, but it got me on the internet and expanded my universe. It was then that I discovered and, craftily disguised as fan fiction of popular television shows, I began to tell my stories to the world.

Much like many of my current readers don’t realize I’m in my mid-twenties, none of my fans back then knew that I was a pre-teen girl. My romance fan fiction became wildly popular and it was then that I realized I had a knack for telling a good story.

Sadly, being that I was a pre-teen girl, I was at the mercy of greater forces in the universe. Over the course of the next year, my family endured an upheaval and by the time the dust settled, I’d forgotten all about fan fiction and my writing became limited to the notes I could scribble down in my composition books during school hours.

Not long after graduating high school, I was diagnosed with cancer and underwent nearly two years of chemotherapy. While I could never downplay how difficult cancer is, I’d have to say that the hardest part of my life was the year and a half that followed treatment. During my treatment I accumulated a lot of debt and couldn’t afford to go back to school. I was forced to take a series of entry-level jobs that I was overqualified for and any creativity I had left in me was horribly stifled.

Even so, I did my best to stay positive. I’d beaten cancer and I came out of it with a wonderful husband. Did I mention that Mr. Rivard (who was then my boyfriend of six months) proposed to me the night I was diagnosed with a cancer so rare we couldn’t even Google it? Yep, he’s my soul mate.

My breaking point came in January of 2014. Our car had stopped working five months prior and we couldn’t afford a new one, so I was walking about four miles a day in the snow to get to and from work. Do any New Englanders remember the winter of 2013-2014? In a word, it was atrocious. Not surprisingly, I caught the flu and was out of work for a few days. When I came back, my manager told me that my sick days, even a doctor’s note, counted as absences and I was at risk of being fired. To his credit, he was very nice about it.
So the very next week, I trudged to work in a snowstorm. Around the time that the fourth coworker of mine drove past me, splashing cold, dirty slush on me, I looked up at the sky and said “something’s gotta give.” Did I beat cancer just so that I could settle for a life in which I was unhappy? So, I turned around, called out of work (hah!), went home, and began writing my first book, Claimed by the Alphas: Part One.

Claimed by the Alphas: Part One

It was an idea I’d been bouncing around in my head for a while. I loved paranormal romance, but a lot of times the heroes seemed a little too perfect, almost like the author took two normal guys, excised all of their imperfections, and then stitched them together to make an unnervingly-flawless Franken-alpha. My idea was pretty simple. What if I took two sexy, but imperfect werewolves, and instead of creating a Twilight-esque love-triangle, make them share one lucky heroine in (almost) perfect harmony?

Apparently, I wasn’t the only one who thought this was a good idea, because my very first book became a bestseller, and so did every book after that! A week after publishing, I handed in my notice at work. Don’t tell my boss, but everyone who was lucky enough to get me as their phone rep those two weeks had ALL of their absurdly overpriced late fees waived.

So fast forward to now, a couple of  years later. My werewolf books are still selling like crazy and I have some pretty cool dragon books. I also hit New York Times and USA Today (with a bit of help from a lot of friends!) and I finally have a working car!

I hope my story is at least a little inspirational for anyone who’s waiting for their lucky break. Stop waiting and pursue your passion. People always say it’s never too late, I like to say it’s never too early. Oh, and check out my books, too. They’re pretty darn good, or so my fans tell me.


Interview with Laurie Roma

Author Spotlight – Laurie Roma

Laurie Roma

First, I want to thank the fabulous S.E. Smith for graciously inviting me to be a guest for her author spotlight!

I love all book genres, especially all types of romance, but there is something about sci-fi romance that captivates me and makes me want to write it. As an author—and also a screenwriter—imagining scenes in a sci-fi/futuristic story are fueled with endless possibilities. While science fiction settings can be daunting to create, I love the freedom that comes with world building from scratch, and conjuring ideas onto a page that only exist in our imaginations. The future is whatever we want it to be, and that is what made the 3013 series so fun to create!

3013: MATED (3013: The Series Book 1)

All of the books in this series are set in the future during the year 3013. The first four books are; 3013: MATED and 3013: CLAIMED, written by me, and 3013: RENEGADE and 3013: STOWAWAY, written by Susan Hayes. There are also future books coming from Kali Argent and Jenika Snow, the two other authors that are part of the series. For the authors of the 3013 series, we are able to invent new technology, create new species, and travel the universe—all while focusing on the indomitable force of true love. Each story uses the same world as a backdrop, even though each book has a different leading cast. I am so pleased to share the 3013 world with Susan, Kali and Jenika, and I hope that as the series grows, our readers will fall in love with our world as much as we enjoy writing the books.

3013: SALVATION is Skylar Aris, Arik V’Dir and Dominic Stryker’s story. Skylar was introduced in 3013: MATED, the first book of the series, although her part was very small. This story has been so much fun to work on, taking me to new planets and space stations. Their love story is not an easy one, but ultimately all the trials and tribulations they go through will make their love stronger.

3013: CLAIMED has a special place in my heart. I fell in love with the heroes, Commanders Jax Spartan and Sullivan Archer, while I wrote 3013: MATED. I knew I wanted them to have a woman who could hold her own against them, and Serra Lysander is strong enough to do just that. I love characters that are flawed, who bring their own issues into a relationship because it makes them real. With that said, I’d like to think everyone can relate to the characters in my story, despite the fantastical settings of the 3013 world. Whatever happened in the past or how many obstacles life throws in anyone’s path, everyone deserves love and a chance to find their own happily ever after. Just as I was able to give Jax, Archer and Serra their happy ending, I wish that for all of you. Happy reading, and thank you for joining me on a journey into the future…

As one of Earth’s greatest leaders, Commander Jax Spartan lives his life by a strict code. Dedicated and alpha to the core, he is the epitome of what every Elite solider aspires to be. Second-in-command Sullivan Archer rules by his best friend’s side, and together they form an unstoppable force that few are foolish enough to challenge. Jax and Archer have always known they’d share their chosen, but their hearts have already been claimed by the woman they’ve vowed will belong to them.

Alliance scientist Serra Lysander is a genius who has kept the planet safe with her inventions. She’s lived a sheltered life, separated from society by her brilliant mind and her overprotective mother. The only time Serra has truly ever felt accepted is with the two men that will cost her everything…

When danger leads Serra straight into the arms of Jax and Archer, they will do anything to keep her safe, even claiming her despite the fact she is off limits. With the future of the Alliance on the line, will their love and dedication be enough to save them, or will they be too late to stop the growing threat from destroying them all?

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A Little Bit About Laurie:
Laurie Roma lives in Chicago and mainly writes contemporary, romantic suspense, and sci-fi romance. She has always loved immersing herself in a good book and now enjoys the pleasure of creating her own. She can usually be found tapping away on her keyboard, creating worlds for her characters while she listens to music. Of course her playlist depends on her mood…but then again, so does her writing.

An avid reader of the romance genre, nothing bothers her more than annoying characters. Seriously, who wants a happy ending for someone that pisses you off? She loves tough alpha-male heroes and strong heroines that have brains as well as beauty. Her novels are filled with both passionate romance and down and dirty lust-driven interludes, as she believes both are essential to a good love story. She loves to hear from her readers and can be reached at




The 3013 Series Blog:


Interview with Anna Hackett

Author Spotlight – Anna Hackett

Anna Hacket

My name’s Anna Hackett and I’m passionate about action romance. I love stories that combine the thrill of falling in love with the excitement of action, danger and adventure. Stories like those in The Alliance books (by a certain sci-fi romance author we all know!), and Ruby Lionsdrake’s Mandrake Series, Nalini Singh’s Psy-Changeling series, and anything by Linnea Sinclair.

I’m a big reader. I was a reader long before I was a writer. It was my love of reading action-packed romance that inspired me to start writing it…and science fiction romance lets me find that perfect blend of action and romance, along with a cool world, hunky heroes and smart heroines.

I was inspired to write my first science fiction romance series because I wanted to write an Indiana Jones-in-space adventure. The idea took hold and wouldn’t let me go. The Phoenix Adventures was the result—adventures of some treasure-hunting brothers searching for relics from a now-destroyed Earth. And it went on to win a SFR Galaxy Award for Most Fun New Series!

It’s always a challenge to get the right balance of action and romance. No matter how many cool action scenes, fight sequences and awesome narrow escapes I dream up, my priority is to always give my readers a satisfying romance. For me, the best adventure is watching two strong characters fall in love.

Right now, I’m busy working on my newest series, Hell Squad. I’ve been having a blast writing these books. This is an alien invasion sci-fi romance series based on a tough team of commandos fighting for humanity’s survival. The heroes are sexy alphas and their smart heroines are also doing their bit to help save the world.

Now I have a giveaway for you! Over at my website, I’m giving away a FREE copy of the latest Phoenix Adventures novella, On a Cyborg Planet, for a limited time (yes, sexy cyborgs ahead).

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And I’m always on the lookout for more great action-packed romances. If you have any recommendations for me (authors, series or books) please let me know and shoot me an email at