Marie Lavender, Author


Marie Lavender, author of the recently-released “Blood Instincts”, welcome to the New Writing Hangout! Tell us all about yourself and what you get up to when you aren’t writing.

I read books, watch movies and TV in my free time, and hang out with my family and my fiancé. I am a creative soul, so I like to tackle fun projects at home sometimes. Right now I’m in the midst of redoing my bedroom into a writing inspiration room with airy colors and cool motivating and literary quotes on the walls.

What else? I tend to have a more sarcastic sense of humor. I love buying gel pens and pretty journals to help further my writing. I collect great landscapes and pretty flower pictures that feed my romantic side.

How much of your personality and life experiences are in your writing?

Definitely, I’m in there. At least the people I’m closest to can see me in a lot of my work. It’s true that some of my experiences have bled through my characters. Even though I changed names and certain details, the emotions I felt at the time somehow permeated the story. And yes, my sense of humor inevitably colors a bit of the text.

I was in a bad relationship several years ago – the guy was abusive – and some of those dark emotions I felt, not to mention the marks I wore then and on my soul now – came out in Directions of the Heart, a romantic drama collection about PTSD awareness which was released last year.

Tell us about where you live.

I live in the Midwestern U.S. with my family and two cats.

If you could travel anywhere in or out of this world, where would it be?

First of all, I’d like to visit Ireland, get in touch with my roots. My great-grandfather was Irish. But there are a lot of places I’d like to travel.

Beyond that, if I could see a planet like Endhivar – the one described in my sci-fi romance, Blue Vision– that would be awesome!

Where did you come up with the idea for your story?

Blood Instincts was born of the premise ‘what if you found out you were different than you thought’? The story was built on the idea that we often learn facts about ourselves we never knew before. Maybe your parents never told you about significant parts of your heritage, like me. I only learned about the Irish thing a couple years ago.

In this paranormal romance/urban fantasy, which is book two of the Blood at First Sight Series, Myah learns she may not be only human. No, she’s a hybrid. And that’s just the tip of the iceberg…

I’m in! What can we expect from you in the future?

First of all, I’m working on book one of a six-part romantic comedy series. It’s called Chasing Ginger. Next up is a romantic mystery collection titled First Target. After that? I’m not sure where the muse will direct me. Perhaps toward Awakening, a paranormal romantic thriller collection. Or Dark Secrets, a romantic suspense collection. Or…I could wrap up the Magick Series with Magick Sunrise, a romantic fantasy. On the other hand, I’ve been yearning to get back to my historical romance roots. Maybe a Victorian romance, or another time period entirely. The truth is I have so many works in progress – 125, to be exact – and I have to trust that fate will point me toward the tale I’m ready to tell then.

Blood Instincts - eBook Cover - Marie Lavender

Blood Instincts

Paranormal Romance/Urban Fantasy (with a Slight Futuristic Angle)

Enter the Other World at your own risk…

What if you found out that you weren’t exactly…human?

Myah Sullivan is suddenly living that nightmare. There are Others in the world, dangerous, supernatural creatures that make her mind spin and cause her to question the reality she’s always known.

Oliver King is her savior, a vampire who tries to show her the way. Through her journey she learns far more than she ever thought she would about herself, and about the past. Soon, she discovers that there is so much more to meeting Oliver than mere happenstance.

Can Myah accept her new reality, or will she retreat into that normal, safe world she once thought was her own?

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“You must stay drunk on writing so reality cannot destroy you.”
-Ray Bradbury

Cassondra Windwalker, Author

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Cassondra Windwalker, author of “Parable of Pronouns” and “Bury the Lead”, welcome to the New Writing Hangout! Tell us all about yourself and what you do when you aren’t writing.

Anytime I’m not writing, I’m listening to stories. The world is full of mysteries and wonders if we have the eyes to see them. I live on the southern coast of Alaska, so I spend a fair bit of time walking the beaches here and doing my best to learn from what I find around me: eagles and otters, bears and moose, fungi and ferns. And people-watching yields all kinds of tales.

How much of your personality and life experiences are in your writing?

I use everything, every experience, every emotion, that I encounter, whether my own or someone else’s. It would be difficult even for someone who knows me well to decipher them from my work, though – I ruthlessly dissect, disembowel, and reassemble the flesh and bones to make new monsters.

Tell us about where you live.

I live on the Kenai Peninsula of Alaska, in the salmon and halibut capitals of the world. Life here is much nearer to its origin. Few safety nets exist, and it’s the norm rather than the exception for people to risk life and limb for survival on a daily basis. While the community bands together in an instant whenever help is needed, individuality is prized, oddballs are welcomed, and the arts are a vibrant, pulsing energy. It’s a land of paradoxes and breathtaking beauty.

If you could travel anywhere in or out of this world, where would it be?
Ireland – for both in and out of this world. Can’t discount the Fae…

True. Where did you come up with the idea for your story?
Hmmm…which one? Parable of Pronouns was inspired peripherally by a series of dreams I had as a young child and informed by world mythologies. Bury The Lead came straight out of the headlines, and The Almost-Children was born out of a series of losses.

What can we expect from you in the future?
The Almost-Children, a full-length poetry collection, will be available as the inaugural book in the Portage Poetry Series from Cornerstone Press in May 2019. I just finished Preacher Sam, the first in a series of murder mysteries, and I’m beginning work on another piece of magical realism, this one narrated by the devil.

Tell us about your books.

Parable of Pronouns

Two women is a lot for any man to handle, but when one of them is a child-devouring demon and the other is Eve, Mother Of All Living, Harry Adams really has his hands full. An erotic contemporary fairytale that follows the reincarnations of Adam and Eve and, of course, the ever-hungry Lilith, throughout time, Parable of Pronouns finds the first dysfunctional family in what may be their final time. Harry Adams and Riann Haava don’t remember who they are, but that doesn’t deter destiny from catching up with them as they struggle to overcome their own demons and save Harry’s son from a fate worse than death.


Bury The Lead
Weekly newspaper editor Jeff Paine’s mind is filled with the detritus of newspaper clippings, presidential tweets, crossword puzzles, and horoscopes. When his artist girlfriend Ada Grigori announces her intention to leave him, he becomes obsessed with finding—or manufacturing—connections between otherwise unrelated events. Driven by professional curiosity and unrelenting cynicism, Paine uses his newspaper to manipulate the people of his hometown of Brisby, Colorado into revealing the ugliness lurking beneath their placid exteriors. A series of dog mutilations and two barely-noticed disappearances set the town on edge, till Paine is able to frame himself for Ada’s murder—even though her body has never been found, and there is no evidence of foul play.
Bury The Lead draws readers into the mind of a brilliant but highly unreliable narrator, forcing them to question their own perceptions of objective truth and the existence of a free press in a world where an unsubstantiated tweet can carry more power than an investigative report.



Cassondra’s links

Debbie De Louise, Author



Debbie De Louise, author of the Cobble Cove Cozy Mystery Series, welcome to the New Writing Hangout! Tell us all about yourself and what makes you tick when you aren’t writing.

I’m a librarian. I really enjoy getting into my characters’ heads and seeing where they lead me. I do minimal plotting. Most of it develops as I write.

How much of your personality and life experiences are in your writing?

There’s a good deal of my personality in my main character, Alicia, who is also a librarian and author. In all my books I weave my past experiences, but I fictionalize them to make them more dramatic and exciting.

Tell us about where you live!

I live on Long Island which is also home to quite a few famous authors. I’m not far from New York City, the publishing capitol of the world, although today you can write anywhere.

What can we expect from you in the future?

I have some great ideas for the 5th book of the series, but I like to alternate my series with a standalone novel. I have another mystery nearly completed that has some paranormal elements, and I hope to finish that in a few months. I also have two unpublished novels that I’m currently querying to agents. One is the start ot a new cozy series, and the other is a psychological thriller.

Tell us about the book.

I’m proud to announce the release of the 4th book of my Cobble Cove Mystery series, Love on the Rocks.


It’s February in the small town of Cobble Cove. Love is in the air . . . but so is murder!

When Alicia helps plan a Valentine’s Day Party at the Cobble Cove library that also includes a surprise for her newlywed friend, Gilly, things go wrong when a mysterious box of chocolates addressed to the director turns out laced with poison.

Clues Lead to A Dead Suspect

 Although Alicia promised John she’ll no longer meddle in crime investigations, she and Gilly set out to find the person threatening Sheila who murdered the courier of the deadly candy. The three people they suspect include the professor from California who’s been romancing Sheila while she assists him with research for his book; the obnoxious patron Rhonda Kleisman who threw coffee at the director after refusing to pay for a damaged book; and a visiting widow staying at Gilly’s inn who’s unnaturally curious about Sheila and earns the nickname of Madame DeFarge for her interest in knitting.

New Cat in Town

 While Alicia and Gilly are trying to solve this new Cobble Cove mystery, Sneaky is introduced to Gilly’s new kitten, Kittykai, a calico she brought home from her honeymoon in Hawaii. It’s not like at first sight, but the two cats eventually become friends. They also both play a part in foiling the killer’s murder attempts, but will Alicia and Sheila survive unscathed?


“Alicia, come with me to the Reference Desk. I left a few more decorations there and can use a hand putting them up.”

Alicia followed Sheila back to the desk admiring the paper hearts and flowers hanging from the library’s ceilings and the red streamers that lay across the stacks. Two huge red hearts graced a banner strung across the entranceway over the turnstiles. In the center of each, handwritten in glittery purple script were the names of her best friend and new husband – Gilly and Ron. She knew Gilly would be glad they used her nickname but wasn’t sure the sheriff would approve of the use of his first name. Most of the town resident’s knew him as Ramsay.

Sheila ran around the desk pulling out drawers. She reminded Alicia of a hen tending her chickens. “Gilly and Ramsay are going to be so surprised.”

Alicia agreed. The idea for a combination wedding and Valentine’s Day party was hatched up by Sheila, and it was a great thought. The rest of the staff was busy upstairs where the party would be held arranging more decorations there and putting out all the home-cooked dishes they’d prepared along with the red, pink, and white sheet cake that would be served for dessert.

“What’s this?” Sheila paused in her tossing of decorations atop the desk.

Alicia came over to see what had grabbed the director’s attention. A velvet shaped heart box sat by one of the computer stations. As Alicia came closer, she could see a post-it attached to it with the words, “To Sheila from your secret admirer.”

Sheila smiled. “That Ryan. He knows I have a sweet tooth and am particularly fond of chocolates.” She opened the lid. “My favorites. I know I should wait for the party, but these are just too appealing.”

Alicia watched as Sheila took a few pieces and bit into them. Only a few seconds after she swallowed, her smile faded. She began to choke and clutched her throat.

“Sheila, are you okay?” Alicia rushed over afraid she wouldn’t recall how to do the Heimlich maneuver, but Sheila had already passed out on the floor. “Help!” Alicia called racing to the stairs. The romantic music playing above her drowned out her voice. Just as she grabbed her cell phone to dial 911, Ryan Anderson walked through the door, a huge bouquet of roses in his arms. He stopped short seeing Sheila on the ground. “What happened. Oh, My God!”

“I’m dialing 911 right now,” Alicia said. “She ate some of your chocolates and then passed out. I’m not sure if she choked on a piece.”

“My chocolates? I didn’t get her any chocolates. I was bringing her these flowers.” He dropped them on the desk and then knelt down and started administering CPR to Sheila’s unmoving body.


Debbie De Louise biography.

Debbie De Louise is an award-winning author and a reference librarian at a public library on Long Island. She is a member of International Thriller Writers, Sisters-in-Crime, the Long Island Authors Group, and the Cat Writer’s Association. She has a BA in English and an MLS in Library Science from Long Island University. Her novels include the three books of the Cobble Cove cozy mystery series published by Solstice Publishing: A Stone’s Throw, Between a Rock and a Hard Place, and Written in Stone. Debbie has also published a romantic comedy novella featuring a jewel heist caper, When Jack Trumps Ace, a paranormal romance, Cloudy Rainbow, and has written articles and short stories for several anthologies of various genres. She lives on Long Island with her husband Anthony, daughter Holly, and Cat Stripey.


Social Media Links




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Henry Anderson interviewed by Lizzy Stevens

Interviewed by Amazon and Fictionwise best-selling author Lizzy Stevens.

Please tell us about your latest book.

“The Mouth” is a sci fi adventure story about a teenager whose town is burned down and family killed. His only chance of survival is to travel through a dangerous device called “The Mouth” that opens doors into other worlds.

What can we expect from you in the future?

I’m currently writing an urban fantasy about a police officer who uncovers some secrets in a strange town. I’m hoping it might turn into a series.

How do we find out about you and your books?
A good place to start would be my website at I’m on Twitter at and my Facebook is: My Amazon author page is:

Why did you decide to write Science Fiction?
I feel like science fiction/fantasy chose me – in the sense that it interests me. I think speculative fiction can make you look at familiar things differently.

How much of your personality and life experiences are in your writing?

Quite a lot. I try and smuggle experiences in so it’s not too obvious it’s autobiographical. Life events like recently surviving cancer change you as a person and consequently as a writer.

When did you first think about writing and what prompted you to submit your first ms?

They made a “Planet of the Apes” TV show when I was a kid and I was captivated by it. I wrote a story set in that world – I was about eight. I’ve written things on-and-off since then – I had some plays performed. A recent health scare spurred me into action. My first novel submission was to Solstice Publishing a few months ago.

Do you have a set schedule for writing or do you just go with the flow?

I go with the flow. I take my trusty laptop with me wherever I go. I spend an unhealthy amount of time in coffee shops. I have a very low minimum word count. Some days it comes easier than others.

What do you do to relax and recharge your batteries?

I took up archery a couple of years ago which makes a change from writing. I read a lot. Also I listen to audiobooks a lot.

What truly motivates you in general? In your writing?
Anger and fear. And love.

Where do your ideas come from?
I wish I knew. Somewhere in a primitive part of my brain.

Do you feel humour is important in science fiction and why?

Humour is definitely an important part of storytelling. I tend to write darkly humorous situations if not out-and-out comedy.

What kind of research do you do?

I have always enjoyed going into libraries, so I still do that a bit. The Internet is a massive resource. But, being honest, I do as little research as I can get away with.

Tell us about yourself
I’m an English graduate and former journalist. I live in a village in Kent. I like painting in oils and writing.

Do you have a favorite author? Favorite book?

The author I most enjoy reading is P.G. Wodehouse. His prose brightens up any day. Evelyn Waugh said: “The gardens of Blandings Castle are that original garden from which we are all exiled.”

My favourite book is probably “Kidnapped” by Robert Louis Stevenson. I like adventure stories and it’s a masterpiece.

How many books have you written, how many have been published?
I’ve written a few short stories and plays. This is the first novel. I’m very excited Solstice is publishing it.

After you’ve written your book and it’s been published, do you ever buy it or read it?
I think Leonardo da Vinci said : “”Art is never finished, only abandoned.” Eventually you have to abandon it somewhere and drive off. Kind of like literary fly-tipping.

Which comes first, the story, the characters or the setting?

I usually think of a setting first – to test the characters.

What is the most rewarding thing about being a writer?

The thought that someone might actually read your stuff is pretty amazing.

Are there any words of encouragement for unpublished writers?

On bad days any writer feels despair that what they are doing might be worthless. Ignore those feelings and keep writing. Write. Write as if your life depended on it!

While you’re here, why not check out my interview with author Penny Estelle: