Monday, June 30, 2014

Dr. Vigil Simon-medium of mediums

Today Wild Women Authors is pleased to welcome author Christy Effinger and Dr. Simon from Say Nothing of What You See, an upcoming paranormal release from the Wild Rose Press.
First up is Dr. Simon. Tell us a bit about yourself, sir. Greetings. My name is Dr. Virgil Simon and I’m originally from Chicago, Illinois. I now live in the Upper Peninsula of Michigan where I run a small spiritualist retreat. I train my followers to become mediums.
Tell us about Say Nothing of What You See. It’s about a girl named Mira whose mother abandons her at my commune. Things were going well enough until we received an uninvited guest who wreaked havoc on Mira’s heart and on my well-ordered life.
What did you think the first time you saw Mira, the heroine? I saw a great deal of potential in her. I perceived that she was a strong but sensitive girl, quite attuned to the spirit world.
And your second thought? She was attractive—or would be, once I dressed her in some decent clothes.
Did you think it was love at first sight? I was never in love with Mira. She amused me; she was like a pet bird I kept for my enjoyment. She had her uses. Everyone has their uses.
What do you like most about Mira? I like that she will do whatever it takes to survive. I admire that in a person.
How would you describe her? An old soul—someone wise beyond her years. And yet there was an air of innocence about her . . . at least, until our uninvited guest arrived.
How would she describe you? Mira would probably say that I am cool and aloof. She might even say that I am cruel, but that’s not really true. I simply enjoy punishing people who deserve it.
What made you choose being a medium as a profession? I didn’t choose to be a medium; the spirits chose me to be a guide between their world and ours. I opened my home to students so that I could share my knowledge with others.
What is your biggest fear? I don’t have any. Fear is weakness. Do I look like a weak person to you?
How do you relax? I play the piano. I was something of a musical prodigy as a child and trained classically on the piano in Europe.
Who is your favorite fictional character and why? Mordred from the Arthurian legends. Most people would call him a villain, but we all have our roles to play. What good is a hero without a villain to challenge him . . . or her?
What is the best piece of advice you ever received? People who discourage revenge have never tasted its sweetness.
Dr. Simon's enigmatic responses intrigued us so much we decided to slip the book's blurb in here. We think you'll agree this is a different type of story—and one to consider picking up.
When her aunt steps off a grain elevator into the emptiness of a prairie evening, Mira Piper loses her one protector. Chloe, her flighty mother, impulsively drags her daughter to Bramblewood, an isolated spiritualist retreat in northern Michigan, run by the enigmatic Dr. Virgil Simon.
Chloe plans to train as a medium but it's Mira who discovers she can communicate with the dead. When her mother abandons her, Mira discovers a darker aspect to Bramblewood: the seemingly kind doctor has a sinister side and a strange control over his students.
Then one winter's day Troy Farrington arrives, to fulfill his mother's dying wish and deliver her letter to the doctor. But calamity strikes and he finds himself a captive, tended by a sympathetic Mira. Haunted by her dead aunt and desperate to escape Bramblewood, Mira makes a dev'sil's deal with Dr. Simon. But fulfillment comes with a steep cost...betrayal.

It's now Christy's turn at bat. What movies or books have had an impact on your writing? I read a wide range of books. I enjoy writing that is lush and lyrical, such as the poetry of Darcy Cummings. I also admire writers like Ian McEwan, who wind sympathetic characters in a tight web of emotional tension.
Tell us a bit about your publisher. How did you hear about them? What influenced your decision to submit to them? A friend from graduate school had a novel published by the Wild Rose Press. I knew she was a good writer and I admired her work, so I added TWRP to my list of small presses to query.
Tell us a bit about the submission process. How long did it take from query to release? I submitted my initial query to TWRP at the end of July in 2013. I received a request for a partial, and then a full, and had an offer to publish in early October. My editor requested some revisions to the manuscript, and then we worked on edits. She submitted the final galley in May 2014 and my release date was set for August 29, 2014. By my release date, the time from initial query to publication will be 13 months.
Kat and I thank Christy and Dr. Simon for taking the time to visit us this week. We wish Christy much luck with sales on this book and future stories.
To learn more about Christy Effinger and the stories she creates go to:
Say Nothing of What You See will be available for purchase beginning August 29, 2014.

Monday, June 9, 2014

Meet Rock Star Josh Dunningham

Today Wild Women Authors is delighted to welcome author M.J. Schiller and rock star Josh Dunningham, protagonist from Rock Me Gently, a new romantic suspense release from Kissmet Publishing.
First, an excerpt from Rock Me Gently:
Josh steered Cassie toward an exit, hoping fresh air would help to sober her up. They ended up at the outdoor pool, a monstrosity complete with overhanging palm trees. Not a soul was in sight, unusual, even at this time of night.
Away from the casino hubbub, it was easier to talk. She eyed him. “Tell me about the band.”
“What do you want to know?”
“Well, as an advertising person, I’m interested in the gimmick, Money Back Guaranteed. Did you ever have to back up that promise?”
Josh took a couple of seconds to think about that. “Yeah. A few times. Once, when an elderly couple came with their granddaughter. They didn’t like the show at all.” Remembering their reaction, he grimaced. “And once, when a girl caught her fiancé in the hall with another girl. Hardly our fault, but, she didn’t enjoy the concert, and that’s our promise, so…” He shrugged.
“Interesting. Interesting.” She lifted a leg, grabbing his shoulder for balance, and tugged on the heel of her boot.
“Uhh…what are you doing?”
“My feet are killing me. You’re so lucky you are a guy and don’t have to wear heels.”
“Yes. I was just mentioning that to my friend, Ryan, the other day.”
She didn’t look up. Having successfully removed one boot, she switched legs to work on the other. “Really?”
He smiled. “No. Go on.”
Yanking the other boot off, she nearly toppled over, though still holding on to him. She squeezed his arm. “You’re built.”
He nearly laughed at her frank statement. “Thank you.”
Holding her boots in one hand, her brow furrowed as she concentrated on her next question. She began to balance on the edge of the pool, which was deserted, and scoop stepped, trailing one leg in the water, not seeming to mind at all that her jeans were getting wet.
“I don’t think that’s such a good idea,” he warned, taking her arm to steady her.
“I’m fine,” she assured him, breaking away for an instant to do a pirouette in the pool’s gutter to demonstrate.
“Okay, okay,” he muttered, grabbing her arm again. “No need to show off. So why are you in the advertising game?”
“I like the creative aspect of it. And, I can be very persuasive,” she said, smiling at him.
As if he somehow silently challenged her, she stopped with a jerk and turned toward him, lifting up on her toes to kiss him. The taste of her was just as intoxicating as the booze had been, and left him equally dizzy. The flavor of sweet lime and midnight rolled across his tongue and sank into him unbidden. Someone in the hotel rooms surrounding the pool above them slammed a door, startling Cassie, the sharp sound almost like gunfire.
She jumped away from him like she had been shot herself and started to lose her balance. He reached to save her, but too late, she fell into the pool, dragging him in after her.
What a way to start an interview! Josh, tell us a bit about yourself. Where are you from? The corn fields of Cedar Rapids, Iowa.
What is Rock Me Gently about? It starts with the day my life really began. I was doing a show in Vegas, and was unwinding at the bar after practice. I was drinking tequila and noticed this other shot being poured with mine and followed it to its receiver. Cassie looked so cute with that lime wedge for teeth and I thought she would just be another distraction for me. I didn’t realize she wasn’t an opening act, she was the headliner in my life.
That is so sweet! What did you think the first time you saw Cassie, who wears a lime wedge for teeth? Like I said, my first thought was easy conquest. But when I actually walked up to her and looked in her eyes, all coherent thinking stopped.
Nice one. Was it love at first sight, do you think? To be honest, I didn’t know what it was! I just knew that it was different. She was different.
Another zinger. What do you like most about Cassie? She makes me laugh. She moves me. Literally moves me to become a better person for her. She awoke something in me that I never even knew existed.
Do you have a brother? Perhaps an older [much] uncle? Sorry for the digression. We want to know more about Cassie. How would you describe her? Man, that’s hard! She’s fun. She has this enormous capacity to love other people. She’s incredibly hot! Yet another way she moves me. She’s smart, creative, a little crazy, but that works because I’m a little crazy, too. How’s that?
Perfection. How would she describe you? I think she’d say I try. I’m kind of a fixer-upper, but I’ve come a long way since meeting Cassie. We have a lot of fun together, so I think she might say that I’m game for just about anything she comes up with.
What made you choose being a rock star for a career? I think most people in this business would tell you that you don’t choose it, it chooses you. My music is so much a part of me…it was the only thing that could make me feel before Cassie. But that probably makes no sense to you. It was like I was playing at life, or just letting it tick away while I played the role that people created for me. People like managers and label execs.
What is your biggest fear, Josh? Before it would have maybe been being alone with my thoughts. If I kept myself busy, playing my music, drinking…making physical connections with people without the real connection, then I wouldn’t realize just how empty my life really was. Now I guess my biggest fear would be going back to who I was before.
How do you relax? Oh, nothing special. The ways everyone else relaxes, I guess. Goofing around with friends…I like playing sports, tennis, basketball…not golf. I’m not really a golf guy. I used to play baseball when I was a kid. I might like to coach that someday. Like Little League coach. I recently discovered that I like working with kids.
Who is your favorite fictional character and why? Wow! I haven’t done a lot of reading. But fictional could mean movies, right? Uhh…now don’t laugh. That Valjean guy from Les Miz. He made mistakes, but he owned up to them and became a better person.
Very deep. What is the best piece of advice you ever received? I think that would be when my friend Ryan told me to write about confusion. It’s a long story, but it helped me to write a piece of music that some say is my best, and it helped me to understand what I needed to do. And he was right there telling me to go to Cassie and make things right. Or, oh! Wait! I also got some great advice once from Ryan’s dad. Well, probably more than once, but this one particular time it really helped me. He told me to look at the fruit of people’s actions to determine whether they are good or not. Whether you could trust them. Only he probably said it a lot better than that.
That was something. Now it's M.J.'s turn at bat. What movies or books have had an impact on your writing? Books, I’d have to say Stephen King’s On Writing. But I’ve also read a lot of writing books. And really, any book I read helps to make my writing better. Movies, probably all of your standard rom-coms, although I do like the classics, like Pride and Prejudice, which is actually mentioned in Rock Me Gently.
Tell us a bit about your publisher. How did you hear about them? What influenced your decision to submit to them? I first started out with a small publisher, then created my own company, Kissmet Publishing. I just didn’t see my publisher doing enough to earn their 70%. I was doing most of the marketing. And editing, cover art, and formatting were all things I could have done for me by freelancers. With my first book with the small publisher it took about five months from submission to release, just for e-book. Add another four months for paperback. I think I found out about them through my local RWA chapter. I sent a query letter for a different book, which they rejected. Then, in a na-na-na-na-na sort of move, I sent a second query out to them. To show them I wasn’t fazed by their rejection. They asked for the whole manuscript and offered me a contract. Now that I’m doing my own work it takes me about three months to go through the editing process and acquire cover art and formatting.
We thank M.J and Josh for stopping by at Wild Women Authors and wish you much luck with sales, with Rock Me Gently and future stories.
Kat and Veronica
To learn more about M.J. Schiller and the stories she creates go to: or find her on

To purchase Rock Me Gently, go to

Monday, June 2, 2014

Meet a New Frontier Sheriff

Today we are pleased to welcome Diane Burton who brings Laning Servary, from THE CHAMELEON a science fiction romance.
First, a bit about our author guest: Diane Burton combines her love of mystery, adventure, science fiction and romance into writing romantic fiction. Besides the science fiction romance Switched and Outer Rim series, she is the author of One Red Shoe, a romantic suspense. She is also a contributor to the anthology How I Met My Husband. Diane and her husband live in Michigan. They have two children and two grandchildren.
Now, let's hear from Laning: Where are you from? I’m originally from the planet Traish in the Coalition of Planets Central District. For the past eight years, I’ve been a Security Chief out on the Frontier of space, the Outer Rim—comparable to a sheriff in your old west.
Tell us a bit about “The Chameleon”. Socialite Jileena Winslott appears to be the spoiled, bubble-headed daughter of an industrial magnate. In reality, she’s her father's smart, savvy aide, who yearns to run the family business. When her father sends her on a covert mission to the Outer Rim, she has the chance to prove herself. But he insists she take along a fake fiancé—the man she’s secretly loved for years. That’s me, even though I never knew.
What did you think the first time you saw Jileena? Just what she wants everybody to see—Baby Winslott, a fluff-brain ditz, a royal pain in the butt. I didn’t realize I’d met her a long time ago when she was 12 and I was a Space Fleet Cadet. I thought she was charming.
And second thought? There’s a lot more to Jileena than meets the eye. She’s very talented and more sensitive to others than she lets on. Once she revealed her true nature, I was quite attracted.
Did you think it was love at first sight? Absolutely not. I had a mission—to protect her on what I thought was a damn fool sightseeing trip. If I returned her safely to her father, he promised to procure for my family the land they farmed on Traish. I’d do anything for my family—even pretend to be Baby Winslott’s fiancé.
What do you like most about Jileena? Her determination to prove that she’s worthy to take control of her family’s business. I couldn’t believe she earned 3 degrees and worked in various departments under an assumed name. That took a lot of guts.
How would you describe her? She has curly blond hair that brushes her shoulders. On shipboard, she ties or clips it back. Though she looks more serious that way, I like her hair all mussed after we’ve made love. Her green eyes reveal her intelligence (when she wants to). They can go from warm to flashing green fire when I put my foot in my mouth, which I do often. She’s tiny, her head barely reaches my shoulder. Yet when she stands up to me, she seems so much bigger.
How would she describe you? An arrogant, reluctant participant in her plan. She thinks the dimple in my left cheek is charming. She also thinks I have a cute butt.
What made you choose Space Fleet as a career? When I was young, I wanted to fly, to explore. I wanted no part of the back-breaking farm work that was slowly killing my father. My brothers, on the other hand, enjoy the challenge—if only they didn’t have to give away so much of the profit to the landowner. If Jileena’s father fulfills his promise to give my family the land, they will be set. Then I can pursue my dream to have my own charter service.
What is your biggest fear? At first it was that Jileena’s father would renege on his promise. But it took marauders capturing her to make me realize I never wanted to lose her again. Terror doesn’t come close to how I felt when they left me tied up and took her away. Idiot that I am, that’s when I realized I loved her.
How do you relax? A drink at a local tavern with my buddy. But he found his true love in “The Pilot” and they’re off the stars know where. I exercise, run, read all I can on owning my own business.
Who is your favorite fictional character and why? I don’t have a lot of time to read fiction, but I remember a fairy tale about a knight and a fairy queen who could make dreams come true. Jileena says I’m her knight. I know she’s my fairy queen.
What is the best piece of advice you ever received? My buddy Trevarr said when you want something bad enough, go for it. He certainly did and got more than he bargained for. I’m finding out that’s true for me, too.
Now it's Diane's turn at bat. What movies or books have had an impact on your writing? Star Wars and Star Trek opened my eyes, and imagination, to space adventures. Linnea Sinclair, Jayne Castle, and Ann Aguirre showed me the world of science fiction isn’t all dry facts and mind-numbing descriptions of how things work. That romance and space adventures were a lot more fun.
Tell us a bit about your publisher. That’s me. Almost four years ago, I learned about self-publishing. I was hesitant at first—scared to try something new until a friend mentioned that since I had the rights back to my first sci-fi romance, “Switched”, what did I have to lose. I’m so glad I did. That was in November 2011. Since then, I’ve self-pubbed 2 more books in the Switched series and “The Chameleon” is the second book in the Outer Rim series. I contract out the editing and cover design and control where my books are distributed. There are drawbacks to self-publishing, of course, but then there are drawbacks to being traditionally published. I’m glad I did it myself.

Let's get a preview of “The Chameleon”:
“Commander Servary, your assignment is to escort Baby Winslott on a sightseeing tour of the Outer Rim.”
Security Officer Laning Servary clenched his teeth so hard his jaw ached. By the Matriarch’s left tit, that was why he’d been recalled from the Rim to Coalition HQ? To be a glorified tour guide? A babysitter? He thanked the Exalted One that he was standing, his feet wide apart with his hands clasped behind his back. Otherwise, he might have wrapped them around Chief Vanutial’s neck and throttled him.
“Baby, sir?” Laning knew full well who Baby was. He’d met her Royal Pain-in-the-Ass at a social function last year.
“Chief Representative Winslott’s daughter wants to visit the Frontier. Her father insists you protect her.” The man’s eyes narrowed. “She has some damn fool notion about having an adventure. Apparently, those damn fool pioneers have been filling her head with damn fool ideas.”
“But, sir, I have an assignment—”
“Servary, your assignment is what I say it is,” Vanutial boomed, shattering the air in the spacious office much the same as his Volpian Cruiser did when shooting through the atmosphere.
Laning cleared his throat and snapped to attention. “Yes, sir.”
“At ease, Commander, at ease. By Lexol’s Fire, I need you out there patrolling Malcor Sector for smugglers and other miscreants. And keeping that gangster Hallart out of your sector. Not escorting some spoiled rich girl who wants a damn fool adventure.” Chief Vanutia’s voice rose.
Although he agreed, Laning knew enough to keep his mouth shut.
“Winslott insisted on you specifically. Although I don’t know why after that fiasco with President—ex-President—Filana’s son. I still can’t believe she was in Hallart’s pocket. The Divine One only knows how far his influence extends.” Chief Vanutial blew out a breath. “Never mind that. Screw this up, Servary, and your next assignment won’t be a cushy sightseeing tour. You’ll be swabbing decks on a garbage scow.”
Veronica and I thank Diane and Laning for visiting us this week. We wish you luck with The Chameleon and all future stories in this series.
Kat Henry Doran
To learn more about Diane Burton and the stories she creates go to:
For more info and excerpts from her books, visit Diane's website:
Connect with Diane Burton online at:
The Chameleon” is available at: