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Welcome to the Wednesday Coffee Chat! Our guest this week is CJ Matthew, author of the Dolphin Shore Shifters series, paranormal romance with elements of suspense.

Nice to meet you, CJ. How do you take your coffee?

In the morning I drink instant coffee with Equal and sugar-free Vanilla creamer.

Ally: Um, I'm not sure I can convince my magic pot to mimic instant coffee, but we'll sure put your chosen sweetener and creamer into a tasty blend. :) Meanwhile, please introduce yourself to readers.

About the Author:

CJ Matthew grew up in an Air Force family traveling and living all over the US and around the world. It proved to be the perfect experience for gathering ideas and material for future books. And for meeting real life heroes and heroines in uniforms and flight-suits. She spent her high school and university years in California, which inspired her love of marine life, and the Pacific Ocean.

Her debut series titled Dolphin Shore Shifters is in the paranormal romance genre. The series features a pod of dolphins living in the Santa Barbara channel off the coast of California, capable of shifting to human form. While posing as real humans, the dolphins work through their oceanic conservation corporation, Save Blue Water, to protect their oceans at any cost.

CJ’s next series, The Paladin Group, launched with Deadly Reboot. The books are romantic suspense, set in a small southern town, and they star wounded air force veterans, men and women warriors turned civilian lawyers and investigators determined to continue their rescue work.

A member of Romance Writers of America (RWA), Georgia Romance Writers (GRW), and Kiss of Death, CJ lives and writes near a lake in the woods northeast of Atlanta. When she isn't writing or reading romances, CJ spends time with her two grown children, their spouses, a brilliant grandson and a feisty cat named Max.

Schedule permitting, CJ loves to travel, to discover new favorite places as well as meeting new friends in both the US and around the world. Max flatly refuses to travel.

Connect with CJ:

Amazon author page:
Goodreads author page:


Ally: I'm intrigued to hear about your dolphin shifters. I assume they take human form when they arrive on shore. Are they naked? Or do they shift fully clothed? The clothes issue has always been the hardest part of writing shifters for me.  :)

CJ:  The Shore Shifters are a large pod of bottlenose dolphins living in the Santa Barbara channel. Based on an ancient Native American Chumash origin legend, they were given the ability to transform into humans.

The shift to human usually takes place on a dark night, in the shallow water right at the shore line. It’s dangerous as they crawl ashore weak and naked. An escort is always assigned to help them out of the surf, and to bring clothing and transportation. 

(I’m always interested to see how other writers handle the clothing issue as well.)

Ally: Describe the setting for your book. Is it a contemporary or totally fictional?

CJ:  The beautiful city of Santa Barbara is basically accurate except I’ve added the dolphin’s fictional corporate headquarters, Save Blue Water, and the condo buildings owned by the pod. I made SBW world famous and respected for their ocean conservation work and massive lobbying efforts. The secret field ops team, however, is armed and aggressive. They respond to whistleblowers by traveling to investigate reports of illegal dumping, oil leaks, etc.

In Risky Tide, book 2, I introduce the Exchange Team. Until SBW and the Shore Shifters can convince humans to close down Marine Amusement Parks and free all the dolphin captives, the team travels the US trading out the imprisoned dolphins with volunteers for three years. Extremely dangerous work, but very gratifying for the dolphin returning to their homes in the ocean, and for the team that facilitates the exchanges.

Ally:  What's the best writing advice you've been given? The worst?

CJ:  The best advice is to keep writing. Never stop learning, and keep writing.

The worst was not so much the advice as the delivery: Early on, I was beaten down by a couple of contest judges. I wanted their opinion and advice. But I didn’t need to be buried in an avalanche of harsh criticism. Tough on a new writer (any writer) and completely unnecessary.

Ally:  What are you working on next? Release date?

CJ:  On April 2, 2016, I released Dolphin Shore Shifters Book 4, Lethal Tide. I’m currently writing Toxic Tide, Book 5. I hope to release it in July of this year.

Ally: Try out these short answer questions:
  • a. manicure or pedicure: Manicure. The bottoms of my feet are ticklish.
  • b. favorite after 5 drink: Cherry Coke.
  • c.  favorite TV show: My cabin in the woods has Netflix so I binge on last year’s TV, like Miss Fisher’s Murder Mysteries, Person of Interest.
  • d. favorite social media site: Facebook
  • e. an item on your bucket list: Top 2: Visit Ireland. Swim with dolphins in the wild.
Ally:  Thanks so much for having coffee with us, CJ. Before you take off for that dolphin swim, tell us more about your book, Risky Tide.

Risky Tide (Dolphin Shore Shifters Book Two):

Genre: Paranormal Romance/Suspense
Romance rating: Hot but not erotic (Those under 18 may want to let their mothers read it first!)

The Santa Barbara Channel holds a closely guarded secret…

They sent her in unprepared…

Katherine expected more than a welcome handshake and a name badge after surviving a shark attack before she arrived at SBW headquarters. But due to the recent violence she is sent along to join the Exchange Team without training to handle the midnight break-ins at an Orlando marine mammal park. Things turn bad when the memory of almost dying in the mouth of a Great White triggers a panic attack, forcing the team leader to suspend the exchange schedule.

He didn’t need an untrained team…

Peal is a SBW Team Leader with more problems than answers. A polluted lagoon, dead dolphins, and two new team members….one, a trigger-happy transfer he doesn’t trust, one, a dark-haired beauty he can’t stop thinking about. And as if that wasn’t enough, the mob doesn’t like Peal staking-out the lagoon they’ve been dumping medical waste in and sends in their hitman to stop the SBW Team.

Time is running out…

If Peal can manage to keep them alive, he still has to convince Katherine they can have more than just one passionate night together. But SBW might have something to say about that as any minute Katherine could be transferred, pulled out of Peal’s life forever.


Amazon Kindle or trade paperback:
B&N Nook:

             The Bell Witch ghost of Adams, Tennessee

If you've read Ghost Walking (A Maggie York Paranormal Mystery), you'll know Maggie's mystical relatives warned her about The Bell Witch and "nasty" ghosts like her. That warning was based on my book research of this southern legend...or perhaps real events in the early 1800s. It depends on who you ask.

In 1817 the John Bell family of Adams, Tennessee, experienced four years of strange happenings in and around their home and county. Unexplainable noises, moved objects, and even physical attacks on family members, particularly young Betsy.

The perpetrator of this mayhem proclaimed herself to be a local witch, Kate Batts, with whom John had quarreled. The basis for the disagreement may have been a land or slave dispute, or John may have shot at Kate when she appeared on his property in a hybrid-creature form. In any case, Kate was unrelenting for more than four years, tormenting family, friends, and neighbors with cruel and painful pranks, screeching condemnation, and hideous laughter. Her attacks culminated in John's mysterious illness and death in 1820. Local legend reports Kate's ghostly presence appeared at his funeral, laughing and mocking the mourners.

Kate eventually broke off her attacks on the remaining family and disappeared into a cave on the property. Many believe it held an opening to the Beyond. Seven years later Kate appeared again, renewed her attacks, then vanished just as suddenly.

According to area residents, mysterious events are still occurring near the cave two hundred years later, supporting the belief that Kate remains nearby.

If you'd like to read more about The Bell Witch, her torment of this family, and possible reasons for it, check out the following sites: 

Welcome to the Wednesday Coffee Chat!

Bring your favorite beverage and pull up a chair for our weekly book talk. This week's guest is Mary Marvella, a writer
of romantic suspense, woman's fiction, some paranormal romance, and sweet romantic comedy. She describes most of her books as hot, but today we're discussing Cheerleader Dad, which has a PG rating.

Nice to meet you, Mary. What may I get you to drink?

MARY:  I drink herbal teas cold. Sometimes I add lemons or orange slices

Ally: Cold tea coming right up with a slice of orange. While I fix our drinks, please introduce yourself to readers.


Mary has been a storyteller for as long as she can remember.  She made up stories for the other children and created the details for their “play like” or “let’s pretend” games. Sometimes the details were so real they scared Mary. Mary was born in Augusta, Georgia to two eighteen-year olds.  She taught language arts for fifteen years. Now she tutors, teaches writers, and edits. Her inner English teacher loves the editing part. Mary helped her husband photograph hundreds of weddings. Her daughter is her cover artist now.

Something unique or unusual not in your bio: "I actually love to edit. Nothing interesting. Well, maybe that I hiked into the Grand Canyon."

Mary's links:

Facebook: Author/121044561311561
Publishing Website:
Follow Mary Marvella on Twitter @mmarvellab
Amazon Author Page:

Ally:  What was the inspiration behind Cheerleader Dad?

Actually, I heard a news piece about a woman who hired someone to  kill a cheerleader because that would open a spot on the squad that had rejected her daughter.  This was a middle school squad.  I love The Parent Trap. Soooo.

Ally:  What traits make the perfect book boyfriend?

MARY:  Thoughtful, protective to a fault, funny without meaning to be and wonderful muscles. I like men who are cut!

Ally:  What made you decide to publish? How did you go about it?

MARY:  After I retired from teaching I started writing the stories my grandmama told us about her teen years. Then I started reading romances. Then I dreamed the beginning of Protective Instincts, but I called it Teacher, Teacher. After many rejections I decided to self-publish. The fabulous Deborah Smith suggested I do that for The Gift.

Ally:  What's your next project? Will it be released in 2016?

MARY:  I am working on a stripper book, The Stripper's revenge, and The Cost of Deception,  a romantic suspense.

Ally: Try your hand at these quick answer questions:
  • a. an item on your bucket list: I don't have one.  I do want to see Gilded Dragonfly Books become big!
  • b. a book you've read more than once: Gone with the Wind. I don't have time to read my to-be-read stacks.  
  • c.  last place you went shopping: Walmart
  • d. favorite clothing accessory: jewelry, necklaces and bracelets and earrings
  • e. an all-time favorite movie:  I watch anything with Reese Witherspoon. Sweet Home Alabama and Legally Blonde.  I loved Highlander the series.
Ally: Thanks for visiting, Mary. Before you go, can you tell us a little more about Cheerleader Dad?

A sweet contemporary romance reminiscent of Parent Trap movies. Single parents raising eleven year old daughters must try to resist the ploys their children use to push them together as well as the growing attraction that sparks between them.
Buy Link:

Annabeth is a hopeless romantic who believes in soul mates. In fact, she’s been writing to hers each year on her birthday since she was 16.

Now, at 34, she’s still holding out hope of finding Mr. Right even though he’d be fighting an uphill battle to gain her trust, thanks to a traumatic experience years before that’s left her unable to commit.

When Annabeth meets a handsome literature professor named Alex on her 34th birthday, she thinks her quest may finally be at an end. Things don’t quite go as planned, so Annabeth resolves to do everything she can over the next year to find the unknown recipient of her letters.  But blind dates, Meetup events and online singles sites have nothing on what fate has in store for her when a co-worker unexpectedly quits and Annabeth finds herself working in close quarters with both Alex and her long ago ex, Nick. Fighting her attraction to one and loathing for the other, Annabeth is forced to face all of her old insecurities while keeping an eye on a scheming frienemy who may derail her hopes and dreams.

Written in the tradition of Bridget Jones' Diary, Kim Gruenfelder’s A Total Waste of Makeup, and Melissa Pimental’s Love By The Book, this romantic comedy shows that love on the sweet side can exist for the modern girl, if only she’s willing to trust herself and search hard enough.

Been Searching for You was the winner of the 2015 Romance Writers of America Great Expectations and Golden Rose contests.

Buy Links:




To Whom It May Concern,

I think I wronged the love goddess in a previous life. How else do you explain that I’ve written you so many letters yet we’ve still not met? Everyone I know is either married or in a committed relationship, and here I am, pen in hand, writing to someone I can’t even prove exists.

There’s an old Chinese folktale that says soul mates are connected from birth by an invisible red thread and that they can feel one another’s emotions, no matter the distance. It is this connection that eventually enables them to find one another. I believe it too.

As I write, I find myself trying to imagine your face, grasping at flashes of memory from dreams, wondering what name to voice in my prayers that you will soon be by my side. The irony is that by the time you read this, the color of your eyes will be second nature to me and your name will roll off my tongue as easily as my sister’s.

So please, my unknown love, hold tight to your red cord and follow it like a lifeline into the safe harbor of my arms.

            “Are you ready yet, birthday girl?” Mia’s impatient voice broke through my romantic reverie, scattering my lovelorn thoughts.

            “Almost,” I yelled back as I scanned what I had written. I wanted to say so much more, but Mia wouldn’t wait. But there was one more thought I couldn’t let go unsaid.

I just want you to know that I haven’t given up on you. I don’t trust easily, but I trust in you. I’m still waiting, though not so patiently anymore.

All my love,


               The note was short compared to other years’ letters, but it would be after midnight when we returned home, so this would have to be enough. My one rule in this long-standing tradition—I’d been writing these letters since I was sixteen—was that the letter to my soul mate had to be written on my actual birthday. I folded the paper, slipped it inside the matching envelope, and licked the flap, then I pressed down to seal it.

             Mia stuck her head in the door just as I drew the big numeral on the front. It matched my age—thirty-four. She shook her head, making her flaming tresses bounce. “You and your letters. If you two don’t meet soon, he’s going to have to buy an extra plane ticket on your honeymoon just for that box.” She nodded toward the big square hatbox that functioned as a hope chest for my letters to my future husband.

             I slipped the newest letter in front, envelope awaiting further decoration. “Yes, but it’s romantic, don’t you think?”

             “For a young girl, maybe, but you’re well past that, hon.” Her tone softened when I made a face. “You’ve got plenty of declarations of love. Maybe this should be the last one. You know, new year, new traditions?” She held up a shot glass filled with golden liquid. “Come on. We need to get this party started.”

             Still scowling, I took the glass and downed the tequila with a small shiver. “If you say so.”

             As I locked up, I cast one last glance at the box on my desk. She had a point about growing up, but I had no intention of giving up my beloved letters. It was only one each year, and it meant something to me. Those weren’t just letters; together, they were my gift to my future husband. Old-fashioned? Maybe, but it was me. Anyone who wanted to marry me would appreciate that. I smiled with a sudden thought. It was good I didn’t want to marry Mia.

                                                                                                         * * * * *

About the Author:

Nicole Evelina is an award-winning historical fiction and romantic comedy writer. Her upcoming novel, Been Searching for You (May 10), a romantic comedy, won the 2015 Romance Writers of America (RWA) Great Expectations and Golden Rose contests.
She also writes historical fiction. Her debut novel, Daughter of Destiny, the first book of an Arthurian legend trilogy that tells Guinevere’s life story from her point of view, was named Book of the Year by Chanticleer Reviews, took the Grand Prize in the 2015 Chatelaine Awards for Women’s Fiction/Romance, won a Gold Medal in the fantasy category in the Next Generation Indie Book Awards and was short-listed for the Chaucer Award for Historical Fiction. Later this year, she will release Madame Presidentess (July 25), a historical novel about Victoria Woodhull, America's first female Presidential candidate, which was the first place winner in the Women’s US History category of the 2015 Chaucer Awards for Historical Fiction.

Nicole is one of only six authors who completed a week-long writing intensive taught by #1 New York Times bestselling author Deborah Harkness. Nicole has traveled to England twice to research the Guinevere’s Tale trilogy, where she consulted with internationally acclaimed author and historian Geoffrey Ashe, as well as Arthurian/Glastonbury expert Jaime George, the man who helped Marion Zimmer Bradley research The Mists of Avalon.

Nicole is a member of and book reviewer for The Historical Novel Society, and Sirens (a group supporting female fantasy authors), as well as a member of the Historical Writers of America, Women’s Fiction Writers Association, Romance Writers of America, the St. Louis Writer’s Guild, Women Writing the West, Broad Universe (promoting women in fantasy, science fiction and horror), Alliance of Independent Authors and the Independent Book Publishers Association.

Her website is She can be reached online at:

Welcome to the Wednesday book chat!

It's time again to meet another fantastic author. This week's guest is Cheri Vause, who writes in the dark and mysterious side of fiction.

Good morning, Cheri! How do you take your coffee?

CHERI:  Coffee, coffee, coffee, coffee, espresso, cappuccino, latte, java, joe, with cow, without, breve (half n' half), Arabic, Irish, Italian, French, Spanish, Hawaiian, African, Dark Roast, Medium Roast... Just not from a Cat's butt, thank you, very much. Did I mention freshly ground and put through a cafetière? Or an Irish coffee, or...

Ally: LOL. I guess I can't miss. While I pour, why don't you introduce yourself to readers?


Chéri Vausé spent more than twenty years teaching theology and volunteering. She decided late in life to change careers and begin writing novels. With all her children grown, she turned her dining room table into a desk and research center, and now she serves up murder on an icy platter rather than meals.

Chéri lives on a small ranch in Central Texas with her husband and two dogs; Scully and Mulder. Scully is a Coydog (half-beagle and half coyote). Mulder is a Great Pyrenees. And two ducks; Doggett and Reyes.

Something unique/unusual that isn't in your regular bio: "I'm the mother of two sets of identical twins born on the same day fourteen years apart. The news went out over the (AP) Associated Press and hit all the newspapers around the world, including Stars and Stripes (the military newspaper). I received postcards from Australia telling me there was woman with the same name who gave birth to twins the month before. I just found that absolutely fabulous, and kind of freaky."

Book Site:

Ally: Let's start the interview by listing the genres you write, and the heat rating of romantic scenes:

CHERI:  Noir Mystery Thrillers, Gothic Horror, and I'm working on a science fiction. I like to think of myself as a female Michael Crichton. I'd say the heat ratings are hot to me. I like to keep my actual sex off-screen. Imagination, the brain is the greatest sexual arousal organ, and I like to make great use of it. My characters kiss, but the sex is always in the reader's mind and not on the page. I'm more interested in telling a story than the erotic nature of humans.

Ally:  Which is your favorite genre, and what makes you prefer it?

 CHERI:  My favorite genre is Mystery, although I've written in several other genres, like horror, science fiction, and literary. My mysteries have a tendency to be truly dark, or what I believe is very noir. I don't mean Hannibal Lector kind of villains, but chilling ones, and the darkness surrounding them is palpable, that things go very wrong when confronting the evil. Although, I do have an ending where things are resolved, my heroes must learn the worst kind of lessons. (I do have a cliff-hanger planned for the third book in my series, Girl in the Shadows.) I feel that a noir thriller is the perfect place for a life's lesson, a spiritual one, to make someone think about their decisions in life and the consequences. I want people to know that all their decisions should come from a core of goodness, to be selfless, rather than grasping and solipsistic. Extremes are the perfect vehicle for relaying an important theme. The Trial has become a part of our vernacular. Think of when we speak of a Kafkaesque bureaucracy or law or pattern we're facing. Kafka gave us an extreme situation, and it was a warning. It's a lesson we keep forgetting, as we make law after law and infringe on our freedoms. For that reason, I prefer noir.

Ally:   Which of your characters is the most satisfying to write and which is the most fun?

CHERI:  Esther Charlemagne is the most satisfying. I've written her with many of the same events I've experienced, or those close to me. She is the most cathartic for me, but Aiden “Mac” McManus (Esther's husband) is much more fun. He's the man I love with all his foibles; his excessive love for Esther, his willingness to protect his family, his bore-sightedness, and his strength. He's also a man of secrets, which people won't find out until the third in the series, although it's hinted at. He leads with his fists, even if he tempers it as much as possible for Esther's sake; an alpha male, a warrior of the best sort. Although, I love all my male leads, I'm completely in love with Mac. He's patterned after the only man I've ever loved, adding a few of my own inventive characteristics. I even put a touch of my father in him. He was a Golden Gloves boxer in the Navy, and he walked like a boxer; up on his toes, his arms bowed slightly against his body. I made Mac a Golden Gloves boxer, and that's the way he walks. 
My father was also the alpha male, the warrior type. He served in the Navy during WWII in the Pacific Theater, and did what Lt. Cable does in South Pacific. I wrote Mac as serving in the European Theater as a UDT man, the precursor to the Navy Seals, but he also works with the Résistance to gather intelligence for his team.

Ally:  As a reader, what do you look for in a book? Do you consciously think about those criteria when you do your own writing?

CHERI:  I look for writing that sparks my imagination, beautiful and intelligent phrases, and characters I can love. I hate anti-heroes, and a cast of people I wouldn't want to know in my personal life. The villain should also have something unique and interesting about him, not be cartoonish or one dimensional, or too similar to villains already written. I want to root for the hero, not hate him. I read a book a few years ago that everyone was talking about, and the so-called lists had that book on every one. The writer is considered a literary master, but I hated the hero so much, I had to force myself to finish it, even though the writing was beautiful and very engaging. Even the plot was a bit over reaching, and the characters so immature and ego-maniacal. The protagonist was vile, and without any integrity, and that made me feel that there was something wrong with me in spending any time with him. In the end, he learned nothing. That forced me to be very selective about the books I read, because my time is valuable. I don't judge a book I might want to read by bestseller lists, or even if it's won any awards. I trust my instincts in selecting what I read.

Yes, I do think about that criteria when I'm drafting a plot for a new book. And more importantly, I try to write with an idea behind my stories. It's not fully fleshed out without that idea. The Night Shadow is about what makes a true marriage. I contrast the marriage of the heroes to their clients in order to show how a true marriage withstands the worst that can happen, that I believe some people are meant to be together. The Touch of a Shadow is a continuation of that theme, but discusses the origins of their relationship. The next book, Girl in the Shadows, (I'm still working on it) discusses how little we know about the person we love, that each human being is a secret world to us, but we should marvel at the idea that there is something always to be discovered about the person we love.

When I read, I want to learn something about myself, about humanity, to touch goodness, and feel something that touches my heart, that even slaps me in the face or gives me that “Aha” moment. It's the same when I write. I cannot help but write with a Catholic view of the world, much like Graham Greene, or Flannery O'Connor, or G. K. Chesterton, or J. R. R. Tolkien. It's a part of who I am, and I write from that core, using the language I love, which is the language of faith. I find myself bringing a touch of mysticism to every story. A character may sense something, or even have a dream, or that evil lives even beyond the death of a villain. It can be a shadow following a character. My background in theology informs my writing in many more ways than I'm aware. Sometimes I discover the phraseology I've used when I'm editing and I'm surprised by it. I like to be surprised by an author's writing, to find the unexpected.

Beautiful writing is not enough. Tell me a great story, with characters who pop out from the book, and who I want to invite into my home for the length of the story, and if it's a series, will I love them continually for the run. They must be real or I'm turned off. Even villains should be realistic, have something likable about them, or they become very one dimensional.

Ally:   If you could change one thing in this world, what would it be and why?

CHERI:  If everyone would go to elocution school my ears would be happy. There's nothing that grates on my nerves more than people speaking through their nose when they don't have to, or they have a strident tone. I didn't like my own voice when I heard a recording, and trained it to be more melodic. Think Singing in the Rain. I find my mind wandering off when I'm forced to listen to the grating voices of some on television, or short clipped phrases that seem to be popular with some actors and newscasters, especially women. My mind wanders because it wants to hide from the annoyance. When I hear Professor Higgens singing, “Why Can't the English Learn to Speak”, I cheer. I adore the line where he says, “the Americans haven't spoken it in years”, and, unfortunately, he's too right. The other is using there for their or they're. Pulleeze, get a dictionary. It makes me wonder what all those high school teachers are teaching people these days.

Ally:  What's your current work in progress?

CHERIThe Portrait of Lilith is a Gothic Horror story, set on the Cornish coast in 1865. The book is scheduled to be released on August 22. The story concerns a young lord whose father has died under mysterious circumstances. One morning the young man finds that he can see into the spiritual world, and it terrifies him, until he realizes he must follow these prescient feelings accompanying his visions to discover the reasons why his father died in order to end the haunting of his family.

Ally: Get ready for some quick answer questions:
  • a. high heels or sneakers:  Sandals, and sometimes, sneakers. Never high heels. My feet would scream at me. I leave the heels for the young.
  • b. favorite kind of dessert: Coffee with dessert. Puddings: crème brûlée, or a dark chocolate soufflé, or crème anglaise. YUM!!
  • c. favorite meal: This is way too difficult to answer. I'm the Will Rogers of food: I never met a food I didn't like. Maybe Roast Lamb dripping in butter and rosemary, with roasted New Potatoes, Asparagus, & Spring Salad with Balsamic Vinaigrette or Sliced Tomatoes with crumbled blue cheese, followed by a Crème Anglaise over Blackberries and Raspberries, and a cappuccino, of course. Isn't coffee a dessert?
  • d. a person you would love to meet (living or dead, real or fiction): G. K. Chesterton and Daphne du Maurier equally. Maybe Einstein and Sir Isaac Newton.
  • e. favorite drink: Toss up between a Cappuccino or a Brunello (a thick, red, and scrumptious wine from Italy)
Ally: Thanks so much for chatting with us, Cheri. Stop by again. Coffee pot is always on! Before you go, tell us more about The Shadow series...

The Night Shadow
(Book One)

The first four years of the 1960's had been filled with violence and heartbreak for Esther Charlemagne: Divorce from her alcoholic husband, the death of her thirteen year-old son by a drunk driver, the assassination of President Kennedy, and fighting breast cancer. She and her former partner on the New York City Police elite Homicide Squad, Aiden "Mac" McManus, left the Big Apple to open a private investigation firm in Los Angeles to begin a new life. After a slew of peep jobs for distraught husbands and wives suspecting their spouses of cheating, Esther decides to investigate the circumstantial death by fire of a young ballet dancer, against the advice of her partner Mac. Little does she suspect that it would engage all their skills learned while detectives on the NYPD, and that it would force them to face their feelings for each other as they follow the suspected killer to New York City.

International Amazon Buy Link:

E-book & Hardcopy Amazon US Buy Link:éri-Vausé-ebook/dp/B00O3L6Z92

Book Trailer:  

The Touch of a Shadow
(Book Two)

Esther Charlemagne and Aiden “Mac” McManus have settled into their brownstone in Manhattan, enjoying their newlywed bliss, when a knock at the door sends them back to a grisly murder case they worked five years earlier, in 1959, while serving as detectives on the elite homicide squad of the NYPD. The FBI secures a very pregnant Esther, along with others involved in the case, in a safe house in Virginia, while Mac returns to NYC, employing a cousin and a couple of rookie cops he's grown to trust to help him find the killer who has threatened to murder his beloved Esther.

International Amazon Buy Link:

E-book & Hardcopy Amazon US Buy Link:éri-Vausé/dp/1910603023

Book Trailer:


Happy Mother's Day



Hello, booklovers!

It's Wednesday and time for a session of book talk. Joining us this week is Kayelle Allen, a romance and scifi author (and founder of Marketing for Romance Writers). She brought her new scifi release, Bringer of Chaos, fresh off the press as of May 1.

Welcome, Kayelle. What may I get you to drink?

I have a gold card from Starbucks, and my favorite is a salted caramel frappucino, but for every day coffee I take decaf with some room left for hot water (I prefer weak vs strong) and lots of cream. I sweeten it with Stevia.

Ally: Since Wednesdays are special days around here, and my magic pot can produce anything, I'll have that
salted caramel frappucino ready for you in a moment. In the meantime, please introduce yourself to readers.


Kayelle Allen is a best selling American author. Her unstoppable heroes and heroines include contemporary every day folk, role-playing immortal gamers, futuristic covert agents, and warriors who purr. She writes Science Fiction, Science Fiction Romance, Mainstream Fantasy, Contemporary Romance, Gay Romance, and non-fiction. She likes to attend Science Fiction conventions, and has been a speaker at DragonCon, and Gaylaxicon. She holds an honorary lifetime membership to OutlantaCon, an Atlanta Scifi convention. Kayelle is the founder of the 2,000+ member author-mentoring group Marketing for Romance Writers, and manages the successful Romance Lives Forever blog. Kayelle is married, has three grown children, and five grandchildren. She is a US Navy Veteran.

Something unique not in your bio: "My father was an itinerant worker, so it wasn't uncommon to move several times a year. I attended school in many different states, and even lived in Central America for a time."

Romance Lives Forever Reader Group

Ally: I know you as a romance writer. How did you get started writing science fiction?

KAYELLE:  I've always written Science Fiction but as a subgenre of romance. I have other books that are scifi but not romances (The Last Vhalgenn, Trailing Kaiwulf). I also have a non-fiction book (Tarthian Empire Companion).

Ally:  Tell us about the main character in this book. I was intrigued when you said you didn't like him when you first started the book. How did he win you over?

KAYELLE: I had written Pietas as the pseudo-villain lurking in the background. I say pseudo because he was not the ultimate enemy, but everyone was afraid of him. He is not the power "behind" the throne. He's the power "on it." He is king of the immortals in my Tarthian Empire series (At the Mercy of Her Pleasure, For Women Only, Wulf, Alitus, Jawk, Surrender Love, and Forbid My Heart). Since everyone else was afraid of angering Pietas, I became afraid of him too. I decided I needed to know what he was all about, because I found he was becoming more involved with every book I wrote. I could not continue until I understood him. I asked a friend (author Houston Havens) to help me do that by "interviewing" him. She asked questions, and I answered them as the character. It allowed me to free associate and get in the moment. I recorded it, and then listened to it a few times. It helped me see a completely different side of Pietas. Now that I know him, he is my favorite character. I am in love with this guy!

Ally: Sticking with the topic of characters…if you had to live the life of one of them (any book), who would it be? Which book, character name and role, and tell us why?

KAYELLE:  All of my characters lead difficult lives. I am not nice to them as a writer. A great story needs great conflict. I would not want to be any of them! Most of my heroes grew up without one parent (or either), they had loved ones die, they were slaves, or ended up being kidnapped or held against their wills for some reason. As I said, not nice! So to put myself in their shoes...? No, thank you. I'll stay me.

Ally:  If you could only give new writers one piece of advice, what would it be?

KAYELLE:  Organize your writing and stay on top of it. You will be able to find anything you need when you need it. That will save you more hassle than you can believe. I have always organized to the nth degree. Occasionally I lose something, but it's usually because I broke one of my own rules. When someone asks me for info or I need to do an interview, press release, advertise, post on a blog, etc., I have everything I need on hand. That also makes it easy when you're writing a series.

Ally:  Let's try your hand at a few quick answer questions:
  • a. A book you've read more than once: Teot's War by Heather Gladney
  • b. Star Wars or Star Trek: Both! I love them equally
  • c. Favorite spring flower: Crocus because it's the first
  • d. A guilty pleasure: Mint Patty covered in Dark Chocolate by Russell Stover (sugar free). They taste better than the full sugar type.

Ally:  Thanks for chatting with us, Kayelle. It's been fun! Before you rush off to the rest of your busy schedule, tell us more about Bringer of Chaos...

Bringer of Chaos (The Origin of Pietas)

Genre: YA (older young adult), action adventure, science fiction, space opera, military science fiction, space marine, genetic engineering
PG13: No romantic scenes.

Two enemy warriors: one human, one immortal. Different in belief, alike in spirit, marooned together on an alien world.

Imprisoned and in isolation over a year without food or water, the immortal Pietas survives. Though broken in body, his intellect and will are intact, thanks to Six, the special ops warrior who captured him, but kept him sane. The warrior had no hand in his deprivation and, like Pietas, was betrayed by his own kind. When Pietas is abandoned on an alien world with nothing but his honor--and Six--he must find and rejoin other immortal exiles. After centuries of war, Pietas detests humans and kills them on sight, but he is too damaged to continue on his own. Though he despises needing help, he allows Six to nurture and restore him to full strength, and then accompany him. As they cross the planet together on foot, the immortal begins to wonder if he has found his first human friend, or if Six is loyal only because Pietas could keep the others from tearing him to shreds. This human will either be his closest living friend, or the one whose betrayal will trigger all-out vengeance by the most powerful immortal ever born.

Order on Amazon
Read the first chapter
Read now in print on CreateSpace
Pietas Speaks Video
Voiceover: Markus Watson ( Music: The Complex by Kevin McLeod (Licensed under Creative Commons Attribution 3.0)