Guest Author, Jax Cassidy

Jax [FA_Lite id=”566″]

When did you know you wanted to be a writer? I’ve always loved the art of storytelling since I was able to write. I filled dozens of art pads and notebooks up with my fairytales. I didn’t seriously attempt to write a novel until I was about twelve or thirteen.

Which author inspire(d) you? I actually have three authors that were pivotal in my decision to become an author. The first time I picked up a Harlequin category, it was Satan’s Master by Carole Mortimer, and it was like I’d discovered a portal into a magical world of romance. I think I made trips to the library every week to grab as many books as possible. That’s when I fell in love with Jude Deveraux’s Highland series, but it wasn’t until I was in my early 30s before I read Nora Roberts. That was a game changer for me. I was so impressed by her strong female heroines and storytelling that I knew writing romance was what I should be doing.

What has been the best piece of advice you ever received for your writing career? I was a journalism major at the time, and I had the honor of meeting Dr. Maya Angelou. She told me that any dream was obtainable with hard work and determination. All I needed to do was face my fears and dive straight in. The fearless ones, the resilient ones would rise to the top?and I can do all that without losing myself in the process. Those words were so eloquently said that I’ve always carried it in my heart.

Where did you get the idea for this story? I’ve worked briefly in the music industry and have always been fascinated with anything dealing with the arts. I’ve met many interesting people who have pursued music as a career and either have done amazingly well or fail dismally. In ALL OF ME, I wanted to write a love story that was set in the world of music because it’s something I’ve always wanted to do.

What’s your writing schedule like? I don’t have a set writing schedule because my life is so hectic. It’s easy for me to escape and write. I crank up the music and either I’m all in or I power down on days I can’t get the right flow. It’s useless to sit there staring at a blank screen so I do something else and that will inspire me to open my Word doc right back up.

Who would you cast to play your hero and heroine in an adaptation of your story? I don’t really imagine any specific actors in the roles when I create my stories. I get some inspiration from celebrity photos but I’m afraid it too difficult to narrow down who would fit the personality of characters in my head.

What’s one thing about you that would surprise readers? That’s a trick question, right? I guess it would be that I used to be a child actor. But that’s for another time.

What’s your favorite quotation?  “If you’re going through hell, keep going”Winston Churchill

What’s a fact most people couldn’t guess about you? I’ve worked in almost every industry you can imagine before I figured out my career path. Artist, actor, lyricists, personal assistant to millionaires, journalist, bartender to server in a sushi bar. Just to name a few. I’ve done it all.

Where can readers find you in the next six months?  In 2015, I’ll be attending Coastal Magic Convention in February and the RWA National Conference. There’s a possibility I’ll attend RT and maybe a few smaller conferences.

Links to Jax Cassidy’s Online World

Please enjoy this excerpt from:

AllOfMe_600Wesley Stark was all charm swathed in darkness…

He had everything and wanted for nothing.
I possessed nothing and desired everything.

We were two fractured souls thrown together by circumstance. Our attraction consumed us.
An insatiable addiction that lasted beyond our temporary arrangement.

He called me his muse…the air he needed to breathe.
And Wesley…he was the antidote that soothed the poison from my past.

Our worlds didn’t connect.
Our differences played on our insecurities.
Yet, when we touched…something transformed inside of us.
Slowly healing us.

Was this undeniable bond enough to keep us together, when others wanted us apart?

About Our Guest Author

Jax Cassidy followed her dreams to Paris, then Hollywood to pursue a film career but managed to fall in love with penning sexy romances and happy endings. She writes contemporary, paranormal, & young/new adult romances. She is Co-Founder of Romance Divas, an award winning writer’s website and discussion forum. Jax is also known as one-half of the retired writing team of Cassidy Kent. She is represented by Roberta Brown of the Brown Literary Agency.

Exciting News! Images Eternal Cover Revealed!

I am so excited to share this wonderful news from fellow author Toni DeckerImages Eternal is the first book in The Shoalman Chronicles, and it will be available for purchase September 15th.

How about a preview? Read on!

The blood of a Guardian, the heart of an artist, no one can hide the truth from Amanda Hayworth. Focusing her visions through her camera lens, she reveals secrets no one plans to expose, even her own. To protect herself, Mandy hides her ability in plain sight, photographing local bands and showcasing the dramatic images on her website. Most bands beg for a feature article. But the new lead singer of one particular up and coming band isn’t like anyone she’s ever met. Lucien entangles her with his mystery and makes Mandy want things she’s never wanted before—strings.
Lucien Solvak has to impress an influential music blogger whose promotion could skyrocket his new band to stardom or flush them straight into the gutters. But the moment Mandy aims her camera his direction, he fears the images will expose his ties to the immortal he’s sworn to protect and destroy his one chance to live out his musical dream. Hiding from her camera is tough enough. Denying his growing feelings becomes an impossible feat, forcing Lucien to choose between oaths as a Guardian, his rock-star dreams, and the girl he wants.
Secrets define them. Lucien’s bind him to silence; Mandy’s bring her nothing but pain and disappointment. Only when they focus on what’s behind the images can they embrace their secrets for what they are—truth

And now, a look at that beautiful cover:

Images Eternal CoverWasn’t that wonderful? I can’t wait for more…so I’m marking my calendar for September 15th, and I bet you will too. AND you can look for Shoalman Immortal, book two in The Shoalman Chronicles in January 2015.

Also, for a special treat, check out the blog post by amazing Cover Designer, Sharon Carpenter, on the behind the scenes look at the cover design.

Author Bios:
Who is Toni Decker?
Two authors telling one sizzling story after another about twenty-somethings getting along in their own crazy, fantastical worlds. Both women are wives and mothers, sharing brain cells and characters as if they only exist with the other.
Toni, one half of the Toni Decker brain, is an avid reader of all things Young and New Adult while Kira, the Decker half of Toni Decker brain, devours fantasy for midnight snacks.
Co-writing together, we leave it up to the readers to guess who writes which character *grin*

Contact Info:
You can chat with both Toni and Kira on a variety of social media. They love talking books, writing and life in general.
Twitter: @ToniPicker & @KiraDecker and stay tuned to @ToniDeckerBooks for more updates and teasers for the upcoming release.
FaceBook: Toni Decker & Kira Decker
Tumbler: Toni Decker Books


Interview with author David Bishop

I recently had the pleasure of meeting and  interviewing published author, David Bishop. If you’ve read my post about stepping outside your genre box, he is the author I was referring to. His brillantly written characters and intense plots captured my attention and reminded me how much I loved reading mysteries. Here’s my interview with this talented author. Enjoy!!


You can find more about David Bishop at his website

For you, what is the most rewarding part of being of novelist? Two responses quickly come to mind. First, the opportunity to use my imagination to entertain through writing fiction provides a longer reach than simply being the quip at a dinner party. Second, being able to work whenever I want and do so wearing whatever I wish. Like you, I’ve seen the advertisements for the new phones which allow people to see rather than just hear the person they called. Let me issue a public service message: no one who calls me when I’m writing should be allowed to use one of those phones.
For us all, at the end of a hard day, or after a difficult night, or for company while sitting in the sun or in an airplane, a book makes things more pleasant. To contribute to that for others is very rewarding. On a more immediate level, I love inventing people, giving them personalities and then putting those new people in jeopardy. I find that when I do, after having invented them, they often tell me how they will behave in each scene.

To what extent do your friends and relatives find their way into your stories? Maybe some upon whom you do not look favorably?
Ah. Yes. Nothing beats writing someone you hate into a novel and then making them a victim. However, I’m careful to do this in a manner that will not allow anyone to detect their own identity, but I know, so it’s an inside joke at which only I get to laugh. Now, please, all of you who know me don’t read my stories and try to figure out if you are the victim who was dismembered. Then again, don’t get on my bad side either.

Will you tell me a little about yourself?
I was born in Washington, D.C., the son of a Navy man. From there, my life likely mirrored that of a lot of my readers. We moved around. I got some education, played some sports, and got more education. As an adult, I’ve owned and operated my own businesses for about forty-five years: title insurance, chemicals, liquor, brokerage, minor league professional sports franchise, business valuation consultant, and now a novelist. I enjoy the challenge that comes with accepting the downside and benefitting from the upside. I handle my writing the same way. I author my stories, and hire editors and publishers while controlling all the rights over my work.

When did you start writing your first book?
Technically my first book was a business book started in 2000 and published in 2001 on how to value businesses for mergers and acquisitions. In 2002, I started writing my first novel. I decided I would be in no hurry getting published. Instead, I wanted to practice the craft and study the publishing and book businesses. It is an exciting time to be involved in the industry. The publishing and retailing of books is in the midst of a magical revolution or evolution, both actually. Anyway, I have continued to write fiction since 2002, working at it full time.

How did you choose mystery as your genre to write?
Mysteries are such fun, peeling away the layers of the unknown. We all pigeonhole novels into genres: mystery, romance, western, sci-fi, and so on. In truth, novels are nearly always amalgams. My mysteries and thrillers always include a romance interest. And romance stories commonly include some mystery or suspense. So in the end, these genres are mostly about grouping books into separate stacks and are not totally descriptive of what the reader will find inside.

Where do you get your ideas?
The plots can come from a current or historical event. In other cases they come from reading a novel or seeing a movie and thinking that the writer had taken the story in a different direction than I would have. I then totally redesign the plot and characters and take the story down the road I felt would be the more entertaining, but the original inspiration came from that other book or film. Then there are the screwy, scary, and unjust things that happen in our lives and the lives of those we know. The characters come from us, people we know, clerks or customers in a store. Watch people, notice their traits and mannerism, listen to their voices, what they say, how they walk, all of that and more. Take a little from one observation and put it with something from another observation and you have the start of an interesting character.

Can you tell me a little bit about your writing process?
I’m rather eclectic. I can write pretty much anytime: early, late, or in between, read the last paragraph or two and pick back up. Sometimes I write two hours, other times twelve hours. I never experience writer’s block. On a new project, I start with the crime. Then in a general way I picture the villain, choose a hero, and most often first write the ending. When a family goes on vacation they don’t load up the car, put the kids in the backseat and pull away from the curb without knowing their destination. That’s the end of the story where the hero and the villain come together and justice, in some form, is served. Then I go back and start the story. When the mystery is finished I have often wildly changed the beginning while only tweaking the ending.
One of the major challenges of building a mystery is deciding where the clues should be salted within the story. Real clues can be left in plain sight to appear innocuous, or obfuscated to encourage being overlooked. Clues can be as large as a log or as tiny as the bump thereon. There are also the distractions of false clues, called red herrings, which point to someone other than the real villain.

Who are your readers?
Simply put, my readers are folks who enjoy reading mysteries, and like a taste of romance within the stories they read. They prefer that, in some form, justice will prevail. That while murder or mayhem of some fashion will occur they prefer it not be needlessly graphic or gory. They enjoy the extra challenge that comes with reading mysteries, that being the competition between the hero and the reader to see who first reasons out the guilty party. This is apart from the challenge within the story between the hero and the villain.

What advice do you have for unpublished authors?
Write. Just write. There is no perfect time in life to do any of the things we someday want to do, so just start. Make time. At your point in life it may not be a lot of time, but you will find enough if your drive to do it is strong. Then while bathing, driving, or falling asleep you’ll think about your characters, your plot, the setting for the story. You’ll start trying to figure out when you can get back to the keyboard to make notes or integrate those thoughts into your story. Then, one day, you’ll say, oh, my God. I’ve got a first draft of my first novel. Celebrate. Have champagne. Holler at the moon. Buy a new pair of shoes. Make love someplace you never have before for you’ve just done something you’ve never done before. After that, go into rewrite. And when you’re done, rewrite it again. Each time you’ll make the story more exciting by trimming out the overly wordy parts.
Writing is like life with the boring parts cut out. Often we see a friend we haven’t seen for a good while and we ask, “Hey, what’ve you been up to?” The person’s initial answer is usually, “Oh, nothing, really.” Then after a few minutes they’ll say, “I almost forgot. Last summer we went to Paris and . . .” What they just did was process out the boring parts and then they were ready to tell their story. That’s what you do as a novelist. Cut out those boring parts. Avoid too-long descriptions of almost everything and tell your story.

Tell us a little about your current novels and any future releases.
All my novels are available in both eBook digital and print editions. My first released novel was The Beholder, a Maddie Richards Mystery. Maddie is a divorced homicide cop in Phoenix, Arizona. My next was a modern noir story, Who Murdered Garson Talmadge, a Matt Kile Mystery. Matt is a former homicide detective who writes mysteries and can’t seem to keep his nose out of real life whodunits. My third, The Woman, is the story of an ordinary woman living an ordinary life in a quiet Oregon coastal town. Then her best friend is murdered and what follows changes what she thinks, how she feels, and how she lives the rest of her life. My fourth release was The Third Coincidence, a political thriller.
In late March or early April of 2012 I will release The Blackmail Club, a Jack McCall Mystery. This is an interesting twist on the traditional blackmail story. The blackmailer, once paid, returns the damning evidence he held over his mark and never contacts him again. Instead, the master criminal sets up an assembly line producing marks to be blackmailed.
My website is On that site you will find a brief synopsis of each of my novels and their primary characters, together with lots of other interesting sub pages. There are also links to the major online book retailers and a place to order printed novels I have signed.

Why should readers trust your books will be good reads?
The last several years I have been writing well enough to say: My stores are good. Take a journey with me. Laugh. Hold your breath. Cheer. Boo. The characters are rich, the plots are grabbers. I promise most of you that you will be very glad you came along. I’d promise all of you, but nothing is liked by everyone. Some people don’t like chocolate, or apple pie, or golf. But I’ll bet you like some of that stuff and I’ll bet you’ll like my mysteries.