"When it comes to authors,we may hide ourselves from others but within our pages, our true souls emerge." - Nicole Hill
"I want a Vampite of my very own. Until I find him, I'll just keep writing him into existence." -Nicole Hill
" I write like people talk. It may not be perfect but it's damn entertaining." - Nicole Hill

Sunday, April 28, 2013

#IndieAuthor Spotlight of Johnny Lavish Author of George and Melissa: The Adventure into the Unknown

The Author
Johnny Lavish
The Title of his work: 
George and Melissa: The Adventure into the Unknown

Where Johnny creates:

I am from the United Kingdom

The genre that gets to claim him:

Currently I am writing erotica. However, I am working on a long-term project that may result in me publishing a non-fiction account of an event that has occurred. I have just put a snippet on my website for comments.

In his own words, the book is about:

George and Melissa, is not a typical erotic fiction story because on a deeper level it is about an evolution of a relationship, the struggles a couple goes through, and decisions that have to be made. At its core it is about fear and facing a loss in a relationship. 

What is his writing style? Does he follow all guides and rules? Synopsis, outline etc. or does he just sit down at the computer and type to see what happens. 

My style is eclectic. I will think about the story and think about how it will evolve. Then I will start writing it and refine it. Sometimes I will outline it or plan it out, especially if it will be a large piece of work or if I am struggling with a section of the story. 

Has Johnny ever written anything and thought; " The world has got to see this!" ?

Some of my earlier writing 

Does he have an editor and Cover Designer or does Johnny do this himself?

I did it myself. 

Who cam we thank for awaking Johnny's' imagination?

Favorite author would have to be Dreiser, EE Cummings, or Shakespeare. 

Is there anything he finds particularly challenging in his writing? 

Trying to describe a scene and knowing how much detail to add.

Does he write his characters or do they write themselves through him? 
They tend to write themselves through me. I have tried to write, plan a character, and I found to be quite disappointed in them.

Does Johnny ever write himself into the characters? 

I do tend to find one character tends to take on personality traits of me.

Is writing his full time job or is he "Keeping his day job"? So to speak. 
I am keeping my full-time job.

If he could go back in time and meet one famous person or legend in history, who would it be? 

Sigmund Freud, my reason may be the typical reason. 

There are millions of new books released every year. What in his mind makes George and Melissa: The Adventure into the Unknown stand out from all those millions in it's genre? 
The one thing, I believe, makes my book unique is the psychological insight it provides into George. 

In the world of Indie, marketing is very difficult, especially if you don't have the funds to pay for it. Has Johnny found a great free way to market his work that he think other Indies will benefit from? 

The free-ways I have found, so far, tend to work on a very short-term basis and nothing that produces consistent results. I would advise anybody trying to self-market take any opportunity that comes up and try different routes because you do not know until you try what works. 

Character Interview:


Where were you born?

I was born 23 April 1963 in Chicago, Illinois

What is your earliest memory?

My earliest memory is my pet cockatiel, Mr. Potatohead.

Who were you closer to you, your mother or father?

I would say I was equally close to the both of them but if I have to choose, I would say my mother.


I think she was home more and she inspired my interests in math. She would take me to the museums and show me her work. 

What were your favorite subject(s) in school?

Chemistry and English

Did you like school?

Like any kid I always looked forward for snow days and teacher strikes. If you were to ask me was I the nerdy type that wanted to be at then I would say no. It was not until I went to university that I really began enjoying school. Once at university I found I had a love for math and I majored in math with a minor in chemistry.

How would you describe yourself while in school?
I would say I was a bit shy and had a few close friends. 

What was your very first job?

It was a fast-food burger job during the summer between my freshman and sophomore year in high school. I remember I would wrap the burgers any way I saw fit and you would be amazed at how many people would complement the manager on how good the burger was. 

Is there a secret you would like to share?

I have always wanted to do a FMF with Melissa.

You were sexually adventurous at university, can you elaborate?

Well, I do not know if adventurous is the right word. I had a few girlfriends. However, when you go to university, live in the dorms, and have curfew, it is very difficult to have to get too adventurous. Probably the wildest thing I would say, sleeping with two different girls at different times on the same day. 

How did you meet Melissa?

I went out to eat with a few colleague to a local Chinese restaurant and had a few drinks. Since it was a Wednesday and I had to work the next day, it was no more than two glasses of red wine. Anyhow, I get home and I start feeling really sick. All that can I think of is having food poisoning. So, I go to the hospital and Melissa is the nurse that took care of me. I guess the rest is history.

The book is about Melissa’s and your threesome adventure, how did you feel with your first threesome?

In my mind I wanted to do it but emotionally I was a wreck. There were many times when I was close to saying ‘no’ to the idea but I thought I would see it through before making a decision. I am glad that I did since I look back to it with a lot of fondness and I wonder what would my life be like if I did not chose to go through with it.

Do you have any regrets about having threesomes with Melissa?

I would have to say there are no regrets. However, I do not believe the apprehensive and anxiety that goes along having a threesome completely goes away. 

Did you find you were able to get equally along with each of Melissa’s lovers?
Each one is different and I believe I got along with them differently. I think Marc was the hardest one since Melissa was beginning to develop feelings for him.

There is one chapter where you allow Melissa to play alone, how did you feel? Would you do it again?
We did it as an exercise to explore our boundaries and I am not sure if we will do it again. I did find it quite arousing and anxiety provoking at the same time. 

Where do you see your threesome going?

I do not believe an open relationship is an option for us and I believe at some point we will put this behind us.


Where were you born?

I was born July 15, 1968 in Sheffield, South Yorkshire

What is your earliest memory?

Is going to school in Canada

Who were you closer to you, your mother or father?
I would say I was closer to my father and quite distant from my mother.


I believe my father was always there and took the time to understand me. Whereas my mother tried to control every facet of my life from choosing boyfriends to trying to tell me who I should marry.

What were your favorite subject(s) in school?

English and writing

Did you like school?

I enjoyed it.

How would you describe yourself while in school?

Making friends was difficult due to the move. Since we were away from a lot of our family I felt a bit distant.

You are from England, what do you find difficult about living in another country?

My parents moved me from England to Canada when I was very little and I do not remember England. After finishing my education in Canada, I decided I wanted a change and wanted to work in the United States. So, I applied for a few jobs and was offered a nursing job for a major hospital. The biggest differences I find: America differs from Canada in regards to health care and sex. Even though the US and Canada share a common border and language, I would say the biggest difference is the cultural difference. 

What was your very first job?

My first job was during university, working as a health care assistant. 

Is there a secret you would like to share?
We have done a lot of MFM threesomes but I have always wondered what it would be like to be with a woman.

You were sexually adventurous at university, can you elaborate?

No I was not, George was my first love. 

The book is about George’s and your threesome adventure, how did you feel with your first threesome?

I was a wreck. However Marc took the time to make me feel comfortable and be okay with who I am. George also helped by allowing me to push my boundaries while feeling secure. 

Do you have any regrets about having threesomes with George?
I cannot change the past and if I was not confident in the decision then I would not have decided to go through with it. 

Did you find you were able to get equally along with each of your lovers?

I would not necessarily describe them as lovers. Instead I would see them as an encounter / experience. 

How did you get comfortable being with someone other than your husband?

I do not believe you can get 100% comfortable with it and without a supportive husband I do not believe I could do it. Instead, I look at it as sex. Whereby I take the time to know them but I get myself from knowing a lot of personal details about them and I only learn just enough to allow me to make a decision. 

There is one chapter where play alone, how did you feel? Would you do it again?
I really enjoyed it and I hope George allows me to play alone again. However, I know he was reluctant but I am glad he did.

There are two point in the story where George is with another man, how did you feel about that?
Threesomes are about exploration and I cannot be the only one who gets any enjoyment from them. Seeing George with another man was quite a turn-on for me and I was glad he was able to explore that side. 

Where do you see your threesome going?

I am not sure. This is something I enjoy but I do not see this indefinitely continuing. 

George and Melissa together as a couple:

From George we have heard how you met, is there anything else either of you would like to add?
Melissa: The moment I met George I knew we would be together. Granted we have had our problems but I would not change a moment of my time with him. 

The book is about your threesome adventures, how has having a threesome changed you?

Melissa: After having our threesomes, I found that I was missing having sex with another male. George and I have talked about this, it is not that I do not love him. Instead, it is about … um … how do I say … having a different experience. When we have our threesome the sex with the other male is more physical and it lacks the emotional connection that George and I share. For me, what has changed is my understanding about my needs.

George: For me what has changed is appreciate Melissa more and appreciate our time together. Doing this has shown me how special she is. 

Do either of you find that you get jealous?

George: I find that I struggle with jealousy at times. However if it becomes an issue Melissa and I talk about it.

Melissa: There were times with Marc that I felt jealous because George was not paying attention to me. However, the jealousy I felt was momentary and it passed.

How do you keep from developing feelings for the person you invite?

George: We manage this by using three boundaries. First boundary is we do not spend a lot of time getting to know the third person and once we have enough information, we will make a decision. Second boundary, for most encounters it will be a one-time things. In Marc’s situation we met him twice and problems began developing. After that experience we agreed we would adhere to the one-time rule. The last way, I would not necessary call it a boundary, we agreed that would be a fun thing that we would do on occasion and we would not let dominate our lives.

How do you keep things interesting between the two of you?

Melissa: Like George said, we do not let this dominate our lives and we do this by making time for each other. Every year we try to take a holiday, as you Americans say, a vacation. Plus we try to do something together each week like watching a movie, going out to eat, or finding time for the two of us be together. 

LINKS to find and follow Johnny's work.

Twitter: @JohnnyLavish1 -

Tuesday, April 23, 2013

Indie Spotlight of Henry, Josh & Harrison Herz (dad & two young sons) Authors of Nimpentoad (high fantasy early chapter book)

The Artists
Henry, Josh & Harrison Herz (dad & two young sons) <-----(Love This!)

The work of art:
Nimpentoad (high fantasy early chapter book)

Where this talented family creates:

San Diego, CA

What genre now gets to claim them?

Children's fantasy and science fiction. It's never to soon to get geeklings excited about fantastic worlds.

In their own words, what is the book about? 

Niblings are short skinny creatures that lived in the mythical Grunwald Forest a long time ago. Because they are small and weak, Niblings are always being picked on by Goblins, Orcs, and other mean creatures. One courageous and resourceful little Nibling named Nimpentoad convinces his tribe to cross the perilous forest to team up with a Giant who can protect them. Along the way, the Niblings run into strange creatures and, with Nimpentoad's leadership, overcome all the obstacles they encounter. 

Do the Herzs follow all the literary rules?

I develop the initial draft, and then my sons are involved in the reviewing and editing. I typically start with an idea of the message(s) of the book, and an outline, but then let the story take me on a journey. 

Have you ever written anything and thought;" The world has got to see this!"? 

Doesn't every writer think that of every thing they write? We do feel that way about our first book, Nimpentoad. Since it has earned over 80 Amazon 5-star ratings, we think others agree!

Do they have an editor and Cover Designer or do they do this their selves? 

We edit ourselves, but we hire illustrators to do our artwork.

Who is your favorite author?

The writing bug has bitten me later in life, but Maurice Sendak's “Where the Wild Things Are” launched me down the fantasy path, and later J.R.R. Tolkien's “Lord of the Rings” sealed the deal.

Is there anything you find particularly challenging in your writing?

When the critique group gives you a whole new direction in which to go. Or when you get conflicting advice from people you respect.

Do you write your characters or do they write themselves through you? 

I suspect every author's own experiences and personality color their characters to a greater or lesser extent. Certainly, we have our protagonists demonstrate positive traits that we value.

Do you ever write yourself into the characters? 

We haven't, and probably will not.

Is writing your full time job or are you "Keeping your day job"? 
I am definitely keeping my day job. While I love writing, I cannot earn a living at it yet.

If you could go back in time and meet one famous person or legend in history, who would it be? 
That is a great question, but choosing only one would be so difficult. Assuming I had a translator, for fiction, I'd like to meet Gandalf, and for non-fiction, Leonardo da Vinci. 

There are millions of new books released every year. What in their mind makes Nimpentoad stand out from all those millions in the genre? 

Jeez, it's pretty intimidating when put that way. Two main differentiators of our book come to mind. First, my sons helped co-write it, so our book has a wonderful meta-story surrounding it. Second, our focus is on getting young readers interested in fantasy and science fiction at an earlier age than is usual. And as our audience is young readers, our stories feature heroes who demonstrate qualities that should be emulated.

In the world of Indie, marketing is very difficult, especially if you don't have the funds to pay for it. Have The Hertz found a great free way to market their work that they think other Indies will benefit from? 

We attend book readings and signings at elementary schools, libraries, book stores, farmer's markets, and book fairs. We blog, leverage social networking, especially Twitter, and maintain a nice website. We have a book trailer. And we sometimes leverage KDP Select and Goodreads giveaways.

Ways to connect and follow Henry, Josh & Harrison Herz


Twitter: @Nimpentoad

Book Trailer:

Friday, April 19, 2013

Charmeine The First Novel in The Light-Bearer Series ‘FREE’ TODAY ONLY

APRIL 19, 2013

The First Novel in 
The Light-Bearer Series

Smashwords coupon: HB94P

Synopsis of “Charmeine”

Can romance develop between a Heavenly Light-Bearer and a Hellish Vampire Blood-Hunter? 

"Charmeine" the First Novel in "The Light-Bearer Series," was released January 2012. Tabbruis is a Blood-Hunter and drinks blood to survive. Over millennia Tabbruis has wandered the Earth alone aimlessly living through many historical events. Charmeine just came to the Earth in 1997, unable to remember anything. 

When Tabbruis meets Charmeine the attraction is immediate and passionate. They are polar opposites and clash together in a strongly romantic and dramatic way. When she meets Tabbruis, Charmeine’s powers as a Light-Bearer, one who throws lightning, is triggered and grows exponentially.

Will Charmeine and Tabbruis fulfill their destinies? Will they realize their importance in both the Blood-Hunter and Light-Bearer world?
RAVE REVIEWS for “Charmeine” by Author Emily Guido
“Romance between a Vampire and a light bearer is something so new, I had to read this book to find out what the buzz and feel is all about … 
All I can say is that book didn't disappoint at all! A must read!”
Fathima Amiruddin
“This is a great read, and a terrific debut novel!”
Susan Ashcraft
“The author's story got me hooked. I think the readers will feel the same.”
Carol Fitzpatrick
“This story is a fantastically tender, romantic one of timeless love. 
This story is well worth a read!”
Melanie Adkins
“The scenes were beautifully described and the plot is creative and intriguing. 
The Light-Bearer Series is sure to be the next fabulous Angel series on your 
“To-Read” shelf!”
“Well done Emily, this is a great debut novel!”
Samantha Adams

About the Author

Emily Guido is a new Paranormal Romance Author. She was inspired to start writing "Charmeine" because one day she got an idea of two characters that needed to have their story told. Not ever dreaming a week later she would have over a 100,000 words written. When Emily writes, it is similar to you or I watching a movie. She pictures the characters in her head going through vivid descriptions of each scene. There are so many nuances going through her mind that she cannot type fast enough. The novels “Mactus,” “Accendo,” “Seditious,” and “Ransom,” are the continuation of the wonderful adventures of the inhabitants of The Castle Charmeine!

Emily is currently writing
“Conundrum” the Sixth Novel in “The Light-Bearer Series” She works at a College full time, and pursuing her Master of Business Administration.
YA, PNR, Paranormal Romance, Vampire, Angels, Action and Adventure, Historical

Where to find/follow Emily:

Wednesday, April 17, 2013

#Indie Spotlight of Sascha Zaman @SaschaZamani Author of Magic's Shadow

The Artist

Sascha Zamani

Magic’s Shadow, the first book in a fantasy trilogy, is the current project that I’m releasing. I have a Kickstarter campaign (, which is running till May 1 in order to raise funds for the Magic’s Shadow book launch. The funds raised will go towards editing, cover art, character artwork, formatting for print and e-book versions, ISBN fees, and book launch promotion. The first three chapters of Magic’s Shadow can be downloaded for free at:

Where Sascha Creates

Tustine, CA (AKA the border of Irvine and Tustin). I’ve moved around a lot on the West Coast. I actually completed a loop: Starting in Pasadena, I moved to Hawaii when I was 2 months old – where I grew up. My family then moved to Oregon, in the suburbs of Portland, when I was entering Junior High. After I finished High School, I completed the circle by heading back to Pasadena to attend Caltech where I got my undergraduate degree in Mechanical Engineering. After college, I migrated a bit south to Orange County, and I have been here since.

The genre that now gets to claim her

Fiction – in particular Fantasy and Sci-Fi. Magic’s Shadow is purely in the Fantasy category as the setting is high-magic, so technology hasn’t really had a chance to develop as anything that it could do, magic can do better. Afterall, why build a bullet train when you can pay someone to teleport you there?

That being said, I do really love both genres and don’t find them entirely separate. Whether you are writing Fantasy, Sci-Fi, or more challenging a combination of both, it requires the author to develop a complex set of rules for how things work in their world – sort of the “physics engine” of the setting so to speak.

I would say that Star Trek (one of my favorite TV shows as a child), especially the original series, is a Sci-Fi/Fantasy fusion as often times the Enterprise was faced with adversaries that appeared to have mystical powers (drawing heavily on Greek Mythology). It was always explained as the race having more advanced technology. But, for that matter, I think technology is often viewed as magic until people are able to understand how it works.

Some of the other projects I’m working on at the moment include a steampunk post-apocalypse world that is a Sci-Fi/Fantasy blend as well as a series of time travel shorts that lean much more to the Sci-Fi side of the spectrum.

In her own words, her book is about? 

Magic’s Shadow is a book about a group of individuals that end up becoming adventurers through strange twists of fate and then have to attempt to “save the world” while often being on the run from “the good guys”. Most of the heroes and the villains are shades of grey characters that are fairly approachable and very human – despite some of them being what most stories would cast as monsters. It’s a book that would appeal to anyone who has ever played a role-playing game (as it has a lot of gamer humor and the heroes don’t always make the best decisions, which leads to a comedy of errors/”misunderstandings” that most table top gamers are very familiar with) as well as people who enjoy high-magic fantasy worlds with complexly integrated plotlines.

Does Sascha follow the rules? 

I have a bit of a strange writing style. I typically have to write from the beginning to the end and don’t skip around on scenes. I typically have a fairly complex storyline in my head before I start a story but don’t do your standard outlining. I think possibly because I tend to write very entangled plotlines that develop fairly organically during the writing process. Once I’ve developed characters, I find that they tend to write themselves as I throw them into the different scenes and scenarios. For instance, I found on my current novel, Magic’s Shadow, that I had a particular character, Zephyr, which I always wrote late at night as she tended to lend herself to a more ethereal sense as well as dream sequences given that she is a powerful sorceress that is struggling to control her powers and often has visions, through images or her other senses, that she doesn’t totally understand. Other portions of the book were written mainly while I was flying on airplanes (I had a job that kept sending me cross-country at the time.), which was kind of strange. I guess it kept me focused on writing and definitely kept me from going crazy due to being cooped up on a plane for extended hours.

Has she ever written anything and thought; ” The world has got to see this!” ?

Given my pending book launch, I’d be rather remise if I didn’t say Magic’s Shadow, but in all seriousness, it is true. For me, I really need to feel that way in order to complete a novel. This is actually the second book that I’ve started, but the first one that I finished. Fifty pages of my “first book” live on my hard drive, which I will probably revisit at some point after I finish the Magic’s Shadow trilogy. The reason that I stopped working on my prior book was that there were some plot issues that bugged me and while it was turning out to be an interesting story, I was not able to figure out how to integrate everything (I tend to be my worst critic). It was a fantasy/sci-fi story, which looking back with 20/20 hindsight had about enough of a story arc to make a good short story and was too ambitious of a fusion world for a first novel attempt. It did serve a very good purpose as it did teach me a lot about world building and integrating a magic system into my stories, so I do think that Magic’s Shadow benefited from the process. I think from the experience of writing Magic’s Shadow as well as the majority of the first draft of the second book in the trilogy, Darkside’s Light, I have figured out what to do with my “first book” and it will probably see the light of day as a short story once I have some more time to go back and do some heavy editing.

Does she have an editor and Cover Designer or does Sascha do it herself?

I’m definitely hoping to. As long as my Kickstarter is successful, I’m planning on hiring a professional editor and cover designer. While I do some graphic art and consider myself fairly good at grammar, I don’t create book covers for a living so there are many people who are far better at it than I am, and I think that it is always best to get as many sets of eyes on my writing as possible before publishing. While I want to go the Indie route to preserve intellectual control of my works, I want to offer a book that is as professional as any offered by a big name publisher.

Who can we thank for making Sascha hear her calling?

Neil Gaiman – I went through a time period during college where I didn’t read a lot, largely because I was focused on school work and spent most of my reading time on textbooks. I hadn’t read anything by him before, but I picked up Good Omens because I stumbled upon a web review that intrigued me. I really enjoyed its quirky humor, which led me to pick up more of his books as well as start working on Magic’s Shadow.

Does she write her characters or do they write themselves through her, and does Sascha ever write herself into the characters?

I find that my characters typically write themselves through me. Once I’ve developed their backgrounds, what their character motivations are, and how they respond to certain situations, I just put them into the scenes along the plotline, and they decide what they are going to do. I’ve had certain scenes where I started writing them thinking that they were going to go one way, but the characters refused to go along with my plans and steered me down entirely different paths that tied into the overarching plot as well as their character development a lot better than the way I had initially planned the scene to go.

In terms of the whole writing oneself into my characters, for me, it’s typically more the other way around – I use some of my characters’ names as screen names for video game characters (I think I have the entire Magic’s Shadow cast as characters in Diablo III). That being said, I think it is impossible to be completely separate from your characters as they are your creations, but I try to keep them as distinct as possible because the last thing anyone wants to do is read a story with a bunch of little Sascha Zamani’s running around in it. I sometimes loosely base my characters on people who I know in order to have a more fleshed out personality and background, but even so it tends to be certain aspects of individuals combined to form a unique character in its own right. As a writing excercise, I’ve often gone through Myers-Briggs personality tests for my characters in order to get a better feel for the psychology behind their actions. Of the Magic’s Shadow main characters, one shares 3 out of 4 personality traits with me, two only have 1 common personality, and the other two have half of the same personality traits – I’ll leave you to guess which are which. This was particularly interesting as the character that scored the closest to my personality type actually didn’t answer any of the questions the same as me, so I was a bit surprised to find a similarity of base character traits. Given the insight it provided, I now sometimes use this as an exercise to get past writer’s block.

Is writing her full-time job or is she “Keeping her day job”? So to speak.

Currently, going back for my MBA and writing is my full-time job. I’m hoping that it will continue to be as I’m a big fan of ramen. Well, actually I’ve developed a bit of aversion to too much ramen, but storytelling is what I love, and I hope to be able to make a full-time career of it. Regardless of whether it becomes my full-time job, it is my passion, and I will continue to create stories as long as I have a story to tell.

In the world of Indie, marketing is very difficult, especially if you don’t have the funds to pay for it. Has Sascha found a great free way to market her work that she thinks other Indies will benefit from?

Sadly, I don’t have a perfect solution to the indie marketing issue that we all face, but I believe that it comes down to creating a good network of people who you support as well as asking for support when you need it. I’m currently trying my luck with crowdfunding through Kickstarter ( ), so we will see how that goes. currently, it is looking fairly promising as the project has reached 14% of its goal.

Since Indie authors don’t have the agents and publishers backing us, we need to stick together. However, the indie community is a lot larger than traditional publishing, so I honestly think that it is the wave of the future.

Links to find and follow Sascha's work: 

Feel free to contact me at any of the following places you will find me on the web. I’d love to hear your feedback on the first three chapters I have up on the blog as well as any of the other excerpts, so please don’t be shy with the comments.

Twitter: @SaschaZamani
Kickstarter for Magic’s Shadow:

Read Free Chapters Here! 

Magic’s Shadow Preview Chapters: