Thursday, January 31, 2019


Today may be the last day for full registration! And do you know what that means? Tomorrow is the first day of February. And do you know what that means?

It means that it's only a few more weeks until a swarm of Readers, Bloggers, Book Reviewers, and Authors (lots of authors) convene on beautiful Daytona Beach, Florida for the seventh annual 
Coastal Magic Convention! 

This is an amazing event!  One that I look forward to every year!

The whole thing starts on February 28th and lasts until March 3rd. Registration is limited to only 300 total attendees. If you can't get a ticket for the whole event, come out on Saturday, March 2nd for the 'free to the public' book signing event.  Stroll around the numerous tables and chat with the authors. You can buy books and have the authors sign them, or just come check out what's available. And I must say that these authors are some of the most amazing people you could possibly meet!

This year's theme is MARDI GRAS! 

That is going to be so much fun!

Come and find me and I'll give you your very own Mardi Gras beads!  

But PLEASE do not flash me. I'm sure they are lovely, but I really, really, really do NOT want to see your.... um... you know what what I mean. 

If you ARE lucky enough to get a full registration ticket you can look forward to some awesome events!  

Aside from the Mardi Gras Welcome Mingle... 

You get to have lunch with one of your favorite Authors! 

Play games! 

Make some awesome swag! 

Have some laughs with Cinama Craptastique with our special emcee, Damon Suede! OMG... this guy is hilarious!

Mingle and get to know some fantastic people and check out some totally awesome books!

If you're a writer or would like to learn more about becoming a writer, there will be a Mini Boot Camp (separate charge for this) on Thursday, February 28th.

For more information and a list of all the fabulous authors attending, check out the Coastal Magic website at:

I hope to see you there!!

Wednesday, January 30, 2019

Book Review - LADIES OF INTRIGUE by Michelle Griep

Title:  Ladies of Intrigue
Author:  Michelle Griep
Genre:  Historical Fiction, Romance, Inspirational
Release Date:  January 15, 2019

About the Book:

Can truth and love prevail when no one is as they appear?

The Gentleman Smuggler’s Lady
Cornish Coast, 1815
When a prim and proper governess returns to England from abroad, she expects to comfort her dying father—not fall in love with a smuggler. Will Helen Fletcher keep Isaac Seaton’s unusual secret?

The Doctor’s Woman (A Carol Award Winner!)
Dakota Territory, 1862
Emmy Nelson, daughter of a missionary doctor, and Dr. James Clark, city doctor aspiring to teach, find themselves working side by side at Fort Snelling during the Dakota Uprising. That is when the real clash of ideals begins.

A House of Secrets
St. Paul, Minnesota, 1890
Ladies Aide Chairman, Amanda Carston resolves to clean up St. Paul’s ramshackle housing, starting with the worst of the worst: a “haunted” house that’s secretly owned by her beau—a home that’s his only means of helping brothel girls escape from the hands of the city’s most infamous madam.

Buy Links: Amazon 

My Review:

Ladies of Intrigue contains three short stories, each centered on a woman with spirit, determination, and a strong faith at different times in the 1800's.  

Although I truly enjoyed each one of these stories, I felt as if each one could have been turned into a full length novel. I didn't want them to end. I wanted them to be developed further and I didn't want to stop reading. Especially the first story, The Gentleman Smuggler's Lady. Wow!

If you are a fan of short stories about intriguing ladies with a splash of Christianity and strong men who do the right thing, this book is for you. As for me, as good as this book was, I think I preferred Michelle Griep's other full length novels. But that's just me. I never want a good book to end.

Disclosure:  A complimentary ARC was provided by NetGalley and the publisher in exchange for an honest review.  All thoughts, opinions and ratings are my own. 

My Rating:

About the Author:

I hear voices. Loud. Incessant. And very real. Which basically gives me two options: choke back massive amounts of Prozac or write fiction. I chose the latter. Way cheaper. I've been writing since I discovered blank wall space and Crayolas. I seek to glorify God in all that I write...except for that graffiti phase I went through as a teenager. Oops. Did I say that out loud?

Tuesday, January 29, 2019

Book Blitz & Giveaway - PIGGYBACKER (Vessel of Lost Souls, #1) by Mikki Noble

Mikki Noble
(Vessel of Lost Souls, #1)
Publication date: January 28th 2019
Genres: Thriller, Urban Fantasy, Young Adult
Everyone thinks Marley tried to take her own life, that is, except Marley. After her mother sends her to a youth center for troubled teens, she starts hearing the voice of a boy who claims he was murdered and begins questioning her own sanity. The voice is Gavin, a seventeen-year-old boy who promises Marley he can help her find the truth about what happened the day she supposedly tried to kill herself—if she completes a resurrection spell in the next four days.
Upon discovering Gavin’s death in the newspaper, Marley realizes she’s not hallucinating, and that she has a chance to save Gavin’s soul and clear her name. The task seems simple: complete the spell, then she and Gavin are free, right? But a powerful, unseen force is determined to stop her, and soon Marley finds herself following clues from the universe to find ingredients for the ritual to save herself and her newfound friend, and most of all, to find the truth about what really happened that day.
Piggybacker is the first in Mikki Noble’s spell-binding Vessel of Lost Souls trilogy, and promises a thrilling mystery with powerful enemies, broken relationships, captivating magic, and two souls both caught up in a plot beyond any they could ever imagine.
Are you a book reviewer?
Request a review copy here!
“I didn’t mean to shoot you,” Taylor says, pointing toward the arm he’s holding. That’s when I see the gun is still in her hand. “Besides, it’s only a graze. Don’t be such a baby.” Taylor demands, “Just let her go and we can forget this all happened.”
That’s when the second man jumps in the driver’s seat and the engine turns over. “It’s too late for that. You two are coming with us now.”
“What do I have to do?”
Follow the signs, he tells me. I see his lips move in the mirror, though I still hear his voice echo in my head.
Gavin’s reflection disappears and somehow, I know he’s gone. This magic thing is extremely annoying.
Abruptly, I plummet through the air. Panic sets in and my already racing heart begins pumping like a steam engine about to explode as I slash through heavy fog and closer to the ground. Dead people can’t die, I remind myself. The fall cannot kill me.
Knowing this, I still flinch as the ground closes in. I shudder to think about what’s going to happen and close my eyes tight.

Author Bio:
As far back as she can remember, Mikki was creating characters and stories in her head. It wasn't until fate brushed the tip of its wings over her eyes that she began to see that writing was what she was born to do. She loves animals, reading, everything supernatural related, and enjoys spending her free time on social media whenever she can.


Monday, January 28, 2019

Book Blitz & Giveaway - EVO by Diane May

Diane May
Publication date: July 23rd 2018
Genres: Adult, Thriller
A covert CIA operation that involves genetic engineering.
A serial killer nicknamed “The Hypnotist”.
And the most terrifying threat humanity has to face.

What if someone could take complete control over your mind?
And what if that someone was a serial killer?

Discover EVO, a gripping crime thriller that reviewers and readers describe as “spellbinding”, “high-energy” and “impossible to put down”.
Langley, Virginia, twenty years earlier:
John Blake, a CIA special agent, stumbles upon an illegal genetic experiment within the agency, conducted on unborn babies and officially presented as a fertility program designed to help couples get pregnant. When he realizes that his very own daughter is a product of this sinister plot and that she is in grave danger, he vows to do everything it takes to make sure Maya will be safe and the people behind the experiment will all pay. With their lives.
Verona, Italy, present time:
Livio Marchiori, a homicide detective with the highest rate of solved cases in Verona, is faced with The Hypnotist, a serial killer the likes of which he’s never seen before. He never touches his victims and he leaves no evidence behind, except for the detailed videos of his murders. And what Marchiori and his team see on those videos is more disturbing than all their other cases combined. Because this one is different. This one defies all rational thinking and borders the impossible.
Then The Hypnotist gets personal and threatens to kill Dr. Abby Jones, the chief medical examiner and the woman Marchiori is in love with. Caught in a cat-and-mouse game with the elusive killer, Marchiori knows he is quickly running out of time.
So when Captain Victor Miller from Interpol walks into town, Marchiori is more than happy to partner again with the man who two years ago helped him put an entire mafia clan behind bars. But Miller has his own agenda, and Marchiori soon discovers that there is more to these crimes than meets the eye, an entire thread of things way beyond his pay grade – illegal experiments, secret agencies, and the most terrifying threat humanity has to face.
A gripping serial killer thriller with a “hit-the-brakes-with-both-feet plot twist that may leave even the most jaded among us feeling good about humanity.”
“He stripped down, threw his clothes in the blue hamper behind the door, and got in the shower. He turned his body away from the faucet and placed his hands on the wall, letting the hot water beat down his back. Doing this usually relaxed him, but now it somehow amplified this weird restlessness, this foreboding feeling he couldn’t shake off. Annoyed at himself, he quickly washed his body, turned off the faucet and reached for the brown towel on the hook.
A heavy silence filled his apartment. A few drops of water from the shower head splashed onto the ceramic tiles below, the sound deafening to his ears. His heart started beating faster. All of a sudden he wanted to hear human voices, his neighbours yelling at each other, their baby crying, anything but this dead silence and the rhythmic tapping of the water drops.
An icy shiver rippled down his spine and his body started shaking. Unseen walls were sliding down around him, trapping him. Suffocating him.”
Present day
His eyelids stung as if they were held open by sharp needles. He felt tired, but it wasn’t just an every-now-and-then feeling. He felt perpetually tired, as though life and blood were slowly oozing out of him. Tired of being around the sick and the grieving, tired of his starched white coat, grey slacks and polished black shoes, tired of feeling lonely and having no-one at home waiting for him.
For a moment, he entertained the idea of crashing out in the on-call room at the hospital, but the bunk bed with its lumpy, cheap mattress held little appeal. The Borgo Trento hospital in Verona, one of the best in Italy, didn’t offer much in this regard. Then there was the constant smell of ammonia, laundry soap and bed sweat hovering in the air, impregnating the walls, the furniture, the clothes he was wearing. Sometimes it filled his nostrils and almost suffocated him and its acrid taste remained at the back of his throat for days.
He’d go home instead.
He took off his coat and carefully put it on the coat hanger in the closet by the door. He fished out a small hair comb he religiously kept inside the breast pocket of his shirt, looked in the mirror hung on the inside of the closet door and began tidying his unruly hair. He had always been obsessed with this. If he didn’t comb his hair every few hours, it started looking like a half-built bird’s nest.
He focused all of his attention on his hair and tried to ignore the sagging pale face in the mirror. He was forty-five, but his hectic life-style and the sterile light in the room added at least another decade to that. With a receding hairline and his black hair developing more than just a few grey friends, his dull-brown eyes slightly too close, and his waist puffing out like rising bread dough – although he tried to hide it under large sweaters and shirts – he knew he wasn’t exactly Brad Pitt.
In his opinion, men fell into four categories: the gorgeous scoundrels, who had half of the female population swooning at their feet; the handsome good guys, who also encountered no difficulties in finding a partner; the ugly, but charming, who still had their fair share of success with the opposite sex. And then came the invisible ones. The men who were neither good-looking, nor ugly. The ones you saw once and failed to remember the next day. They were the nice guys. And he was one of them.
He sighed and turned away from the mirror. He took the leather jacket from the coat hanger, grabbed his briefcase and stepped out of his office into the brightly lit corridor of the virology wing. It was Sunday evening, a little over eight o’clock, and he had just finished a thirty-six-hour shift.
“Good night, Doctor Pasetto,” the nurse at the reception desk said, her red-rimmed eyes peering at him from behind thick glasses. Then she resumed staring at the computer screen in front of her, pounding on the keyboard.
“Good night, Dorina,” he answered, always polite, always using first names.
Because he was the nice guy. This was how the few women he had been with – in his pathetic attempts to find the one – would describe him.
In his twenties and thirties, he had been too busy studying and making a name for himself to think about starting a family, although his mother had gradually become more vocal in expressing her desire to have grandchildren. But once he had established an excellent reputation for himself, his lonely existence started to weigh him down, and he found himself wishing for someone in his life, a person he could share everything with, who’d be at home when he arrived in the evenings, ask about his day and tell him in great detail about her own.
He stepped outside into the grey twilight gloom and ambled to his car. He thought about the date he had a few evenings ago. An intelligent and beautiful woman with a healthy sense of humour, a woman he certainly wished to see again. But that would never happen.
It’s not you, it’s me, she had told him, you’re such a nice man, Niccolò, you deserve someone with less emotional baggage.
He was tired of hearing what a nice guy he was.
He pointed the key fob at his black Mercedes; the doors unlocked with a low hum, the mirrors reverted to the normal position, and the interior light came on. He climbed behind the wheel.
The thought of sleeping at the hospital popped into his mind again, more persistent this time. But he pushed it aside. His own bed was much more comfortable.
He turned the key in the ignition, and with a soft purr, the car started. He drove out of the parking lot and joined the traffic. His apartment was ten minutes away from the hospital.
There were few cars on the streets now, the city’s inhabitants relaxing in front of the television, beer in one hand, remote control in the other. He loved the quiet of the dark, the sleepiness of Verona like a cat curled up on the warm mat in front of the fireplace dozing off into oblivion. At least until the next morning when the Veronese invaded the streets once again, driving to work, and day-dreaming about the next summer holiday.
He parked the car in his private underground garage, and dragged his feet to the door that connected the garage to his apartment building.
As his right foot hovered over the first step, a strange, unsettling feeling washed over him and made him freeze for a few seconds. He felt the muscles in his stomach tighten and a tremor rippled through his body. This had never happened to him before. He stood their motionless, feeling confused and ridiculous, a grown man behaving like a superstitious old fool.
He finally snapped out of it and went up the stairs, every step feeling heavier somehow.
His apartment was on the first floor, and he stopped in front of the door, patting down his pockets and trying to remember where the hell he had shoved his keys. After two full minutes and a lot of mental swearing, he finally found them in the front compartment of his briefcase.
I definitely need a holiday, he decided as he took them out and unlocked the door.
He went inside, closed the door behind him and turned on the lights. The uneasy feeling returned full force and he felt scared. He almost wanted to run out of his apartment.
Don’t be an idiot!
But as an extra-precaution he locked and bolted the door carefully. Then he dragged his feet into the bathroom, but not before he turned off the lights in the corridor. Wasting the planet’s already depleted resources wasn’t something he took lightly. He was that kind of man.
He stripped down, threw his clothes in the blue hamper behind the door, and got in the shower.
He turned his body away from the faucet and placed his hands on the wall, letting the hot water beat down his back. Doing this usually relaxed him, but now it somehow amplified this weird restlessness, this foreboding feeling he couldn’t shake off. Annoyed at himself, he quickly washed his body, turned off the faucet and reached for the brown towel on the hook.
A heavy silence filled his apartment. A few drops of water from the shower head splashed onto the ceramic tiles below, the sound deafening to his ears. His heart started beating faster. All of a sudden he wanted to hear human voices, his neighbours yelling at each other, their baby crying, anything but this dead silence and the rhythmic tapping of the water drops.
An icy shiver rippled down his spine and his body started shaking. Unseen walls were sliding down around him, trapping him. Suffocating him.
What the hell is wrong with me? Could this be a panic attack?
He had never had one in his life, but his mother suffered from them periodically. Maybe somewhere in the deep recesses of his mind the prospect of leading a lonely existence scared the hell out of him.
He took a few deep breaths and managed to bring his erratic heartbeat down a notch.
And then he heard a noise. It sounded like footsteps in the bedroom. He stopped breathing and his body went rigid. Cold water trickled from his hair down his face. And pure panic constricted his throat.
I’m naked. In the shower box.
And yet he wasn’t sure he wanted to get out. The air around him became menacing, as if something evil was lurking in the shadows of his apartment. He closed his eyes.
This is getting ridiculous! Nobody could have gotten in!
With jerky movements he dried his body, put on a pair of black boxers and an old grey t-shirt, and went to the sink. He opened the medicine cabinet to the right of the mirror and took out the bottle of Xanax he kept there for his mother. He put it on the sink and stared at it. He’d never thought he would actually come to need it himself.
He placed his palms on either side of the sink, holding himself up, his head lowered, his forehead and chin beaded with sweat.
His gaze fell on the pair of scissors he used the previous morning to cut off the plastic wrap holding two bottles of mouthwash he had bought for the price of one. Grey steel and black plastic against the immaculate white ceramic of the sink. Kind of like his own life. No colours, no joy in it.
He decided he needed the Xanax. He grabbed the bottle and was about to unscrew the cap.
“I’m afraid I can’t let you do that.”
He froze. His heart started hammering hard against his rib cage.
A man’s voice. Inside his house.
His breathing turned shallow and quick, and a cold clammy sweat covered his skin.
But I locked the door. I locked the door!
Then he understood. The intruder had already been inside. The bottle of Xanax slid from his hand and clattered to the floor, rolling under the sink.
“Now look what you’ve done!” the intruder said, his jeering voice mean and hollow like a dead man’s laugh.
It came from the darkness of the corridor.
You need to do something! Do something!
He wished he knew what to do. He had never attacked anyone in his life and had no idea how to go about it. What if the burglar was armed? Maybe he should just give him whatever the hell he wanted and be done with it.
He saw the scissors on the sink.
He felt a rush of adrenaline surge through his body as he realised the man couldn’t see the scissors. His whole body tensed, his blood ran faster and his muscles were ready for attack. In one swift movement he grabbed the scissors and lunged at the figure in the dark shadows.
But instead of driving the scissors deep inside a warm body, he stabbed… nothing. He lost his balance and fell on the cold, hard tiles in the small corridor connecting the two bedrooms to the bathroom and living-room.
He didn’t have the scissors anymore. He had dropped them trying to break the fall, and they were now lying somewhere out of his reach.
He heard a laugh behind him, cruel and evil like the depths of Dante’s inferno.
“Get up!”
He did as instructed, slowly. His legs were unsteady as he had injured his right knee when he fell, and he almost felt like checking to make sure the scissors weren’t stuck in his kneecap, so excruciating was the pain.
“Turn on the light.”
With a trembling hand he flipped the light switch up.
As the warm glow flooded the corridor, he understood he was going to die.
And at the exact same moment he realised how much he wanted to live. How rich and blessed his life really was, how he still had time to meet the right woman, start a family, buy a house in the suburbs and fill it with love and laughter, just like in those sappy movies played year after year on TV at Christmas.
A scornful smile stretched across the features of this soulless shell of a man all dressed in black. “I’m afraid that’s just not in the cards for you. You see, you made one fatal mistake six years ago.” He paused, his face hard and ruthless, then added in a voice as final as a judge giving the death sentence. “You worked for Doc.”
“Who…? I never—”
The words died on his lips. The heavily guarded medical lab, the creepy doctor in charge… it all came back to him.
“Exactly,” the killer nodded as if he could actually read his thoughts. “And now it’s time to pay the price. But if it’s any consolation, you won’t be the only one.”

Author Bio:
Diane May is a crime thriller writer and she lives in Verona, Italy, with her husband. When she's not in her office writing, she can usually be found curled up on the sofa with a good book in her lap and a cup of green tea next to her.
The only daughter of an army colonel, she grew up on military bases where she learnt about weapons, discipline and the sacrifices of military life. She also worked for many years as a translator and interpreter for the Court of Law on mostly criminal cases.
EVO is her debut novel and she is currently working on her second crime thriller, Till Death Do Us Part, scheduled to be released in 2019.


Sunday, January 27, 2019


Perhaps it's because I was raised in a house where fishing was my dad's favorite sport. Or perhaps it's because I live in the Florida Keys, the fishing capital of the world. Whatever the reason, I am officially a FISH SNOB. 

Do not try to give me supermarket fish that has been frozen and thawed and has been sitting in a glass case for a couple of days. And definitely don't try to feed me tuna out of a can. I want fresh fish. 

Here in the Florida Keys, we eat our fish... very, very fresh.  If it wasn't caught that day, we debate whether or not it is edible.

Caught more fish that day than you can possibly eat for dinner?  You share with your neighbors! And they will do the same for you when they've had a good day of fishing. Too much fish?  That's when we have it smoked and use it for dip to spread on crackers.

Just about any restaurant here in the Florida Keys will cook what you catch. Every day you see people walking into a restaurant with a cooler filled with fillet's of fish to hand to the chef.

So here's the thing. Even though I am a sworn fish snob. Very particular about what kind of fish I will eat. Yet I have found myself obsessed with BumbleBee Lemon Sesame & Ginger Seasoned Tuna. 

In a foil packet. 

On the grocery store shelf. 

That can sit on a grocery store shelf for over a year. 

A year... a whole year! 

In a package that's not even refrigerated. 

It even comes with a little spoon!

And the best part is... it's only 70 calories for the entire package! Ohmigosh! I love this stuff!

Key Lime Dolphin (Mahi-Mahi)

  • 8 oz. of 1/2″ Dolphin Fillets
  • 1 oz. Margarine
  • 2 oz. White Wine
  • 1/2 oz. Key Lime Juice
  • 1/2 cup Diced Tomatoes
  • 1 tbs. Butter (lightly Salted)
  • Salt & Pepper to taste
Heat margarine in a 10″ saute pan on medium heat. When pan is hot, add dolphin and cook for ten minutes and turn over. Add wine and lemon juice and cook until stock is reduced by half. Add tomatoes and cook for 30 seconds. Remove from fire. Add salt and pepper to taste. When pan cools (approximately two minutes) add butter. Then remove the fish from the pan and fold butter in the sauce. Pour the sauce over the fish and garnish with chopped parsley.

Sunday, January 20, 2019

RAMBLINGS & RECIPES - Men and Their Toys

While chatting with friends of mine I came to realize that most men are just like little boys, but with more expensive toys. I'm including my husband here. Any new gadget on the market, and he absolutely must have it! In my family, HE's the one with the shopping addiction.

Now, I'm not talking about clothes or shoes (which would be more of MY shopping addiction), I'm talking about anything with power and anything that makes a lot of noise.

He recently stopped by our local  repair shop to drop off our gas-powered leaf blower to be repaired. This is the more-powerful-leaf-blower than the battery operated one we previously had which worked perfectly well and now sits in our outdoor shed. While at the repair shop, he noticed a big, powerful, expensive, leaf-vacuum machine. This one sucks up the leaves and deposits them in a big bag that you carry over your shoulder. Of course he simply HAD to have this thing (so that now we will have TWO perfectly fine leaf blowers sitting in our shed, not being used).

When he brought it home to proudly show me his his latest "must-have" toy, I simply rolled my eyes and went upstairs. I watched from the upstairs window as he put this new leaf-vacuum together, gassed it up, threw the bag over his shoulder and cranked up the motor. He had this big, proud smile on his face as he walked down our patio steps, vacuuming up the leaves. 

I stood and watched.

I watched and smiled.

I smiled as I watched all the leaves he was vacuuming up blow right back out through the unzipped back of the bag he had slung over his shoulder.

Spicy Whole Roasted Cauliflower
1 tablespoon vegetable oil
1 head cauliflower
1½ cups plain Greek yogurt
1 lime, zested and juiced
2 tablespoons chili powder
1 tablespoon cumin
1 tablespoon garlic powder
1 teaspoon curry powder
2 teaspoons kosher salt
1 teaspoon black pepper
1. Preheat the oven to 400° and lightly grease a small baking sheet with vegetable oil. Set aside.
2. Trim the base of the cauliflower to remove any green leaves and the woody stem.
3. In a medium bowl, combine the yogurt with the lime zest and juice, chili powder, cumin, garlic powder, curry powder, salt and pepper.
4. Dunk the cauliflower into the bowl and use a brush or your hands to smear the marinade evenly over its surface. 
5. Place the cauliflower on the prepared baking sheet and roast until the surface is dry and lightly browned, 30 to 40 minutes. The marinade will make a crust on the surface of the cauliflower.
6. Let the cauliflower cool for 10 minutes before cutting it into wedges and serving alongside a big green salad.

Thursday, January 17, 2019

The Novel Lady Interviews Author S.E. Smith

Janna and I are so excited to be here with Author S.E. Smith!  I may have to restrain Janna from going all fan-girl here. She is such a huge fan of this author! (But then again, so am I!)  S.E. Smith is a New York Times, USA TODAY, International and Award-winning Bestselling author of Science Fiction, Urban Fantasy, Western Time Travel, and Paranormal Romance. Her addictive story lines bring action, adventure, and suspense-filled tales mixed with humor and romance to readers around the world. She has also written emotionally charged, action-packed stories for Young Adults and children that will take them on a journey they will never forget. 

Scherry:  Welcome Susan! Thanks for joining us here at The Novel Lady.  Tell us a little about yourself and your background?
S.E. Smith:  I love meeting up with you and Janna, Scherry. Thank you so much for taking the time out of your super busy schedule! A brief history of me... LOL. Okay, let’s see if I can do a sixty-second overview. I was born in the wilds of Montana—or at least in a place known as the Home of the Adventurous. I have degrees in Electronics (the geek in me), Elementary Education, and a Master’s in Integrating Technology in the Curriculum. Steve and I have been married almost 33 years and have four wonderful children, three grandchildren, and an assortment of furry-grandkids. I published my first four books in 2012 and now have over 70 books in a wide range of genres that feed my soul. Whew! 

Scherry:  Wow! That's a lot of books! What do you do when you’re not writing? Do you have any hobbies or guilty pleasures? 
S.E. Smith:  My hubby is always on me about finding balance and I’m working on that. I love to play Solitaire and watching CGIMeetup on Youtube, but my guilty pleasure is going to the movies and camping. I love movies that take me away, usually fantasy, scifi, animations, etc. They all have to have an HEA. 

Scherry:  Where do you do most of your writing?  Sitting on the couch with your feet propped up?  Steadfast at a writing desk?  Lounging on the beach with a recording device in your hand?
S.E. Smith:  I write just about any and everywhere. Sitting in a chair in front of the windows when I’m in North Carolina, or at my desk or on the couch in Florida most of the time, but honestly, I write everywhere.

Scherry:  When and why did you begin writing?
S.E. Smith:  I began writing around 2010 after the big economy crash in 2008. I was going through a period I like to call ‘My Rebellion’. I had been let go and rehired by the School Board I was working for, but the knowledge that someone/company could have so much control over my life hit me hard. I’d always given extra and worked as hard as I could and yet it was as if none of that mattered. I understand I was taking things personal when it wasn’t, but it was an eye-opener to the power other people/things had over my life. I escaped into the world of books, but over time I became frustrated trying to find the kind of books I wanted to read, with characters that I could relate to—strong women who were not perfect but still feminine; strong men who weren’t afraid to grow and appreciate that to be a couple, it meant balance. No one can be strong all the time and we all have our strengths. My hubby and I are two halves that make a whole. When Steve suggested I get a hobby, I thought, okay—and began writing. That was the beginning of where I am now and I continue to move forward.

Janna:  I’m a HUGE fan! I’ve read your Dragon Lords of Valdier series and the Sarafin Warriors series. I LOVE Cara from Capturing Cara. She’s such a kickass, feisty heroine – and omg, I want to be friends with her. Most authors have a special place in their heart for a few particular characters or books. Which of your books or characters is your favorite and why?
S.E. Smith:  LOL. Thank you. Cara is dear to my heart. I think if I were to pick three characters it would be Gracie (Gracie’s Touch: Zion Warriors Book 1), Hannah (Hannah’s Warrior: Cosmos’ Gateway Book 2), and Trisha (Tracking Trisha: Dragon Lords of Valdier Book 3). Each character has a quiet determination not to give up. They keep fighting for what they believe in, but you can feel their struggle. Gracie’s enduring hope and humor, Hannah’s quiet reflection and compassion, and Trisha’s need for solitude and her search for peace mixed with grit all deeply resonate with me. 

Janna:  I have to admit that I read your Dragon Lords of Valdier series twice because I was fascinated with how they shared the same timeline. You’re one of the first authors I’ve read in this genre who did this (and did it well). Did you have a hard time keeping everything straight? How did you keep it organized?
S.E. Smith:  I’m a pantser, so everything is written without me knowing what is going to happen. My stories run like real life movies in my head, so I simply pause them and when I go back to them, they start up where I left off. Sometimes I’ll write something and not understand until four or five books later. I loved writing the same scenes from different points of view as we all bring something different to the events that happen to us. Our past experiences play a huge part in how we each handle some situations. For me, my stories are like real life—not everything happens in series; it often happens in parallel where our path crosses before we part again and go about our day. If you think about your life, you’ll see what I mean. We’ve each been going about our day, with things happening, then our lives cross and we interact together, until we part and continue. My worlds do this, making them emulate what is happening in a real world thus making them appear realistic. 

Scherry:  You have so many books out! Really, really great books!  Seems like there is something for everyone! I absolutely loved ‘Indiana Wild’. Great western romance with a twist… Time Travel! Your writing talent encompasses so many different genres!  When writing, do you have a preference?  
S.E. Smith:  I love writing a wide variety genres. In a traditionally published world, this would have been impossible to do because they want to box you into one genre. I know it can be frustrating to readers, which I hope they will understand. I decided early on to brand me as a writer, not my writing based on a specific genre. I promised myself that I would only do this as long as it was fun. When it wasn’t fun any longer, I would walk away with no regrets. In order to do that, I need to feed my soul. I always think what if I never wrote the story that a character is begging me to write? What if it is lost in a void, alone in the dark space, floating unloved, untold and that is the one story that makes the difference to one other person besides myself? How can you tell it that it isn’t important when it may be the most important one of all? I see a young story, sitting in an empty void of black space, her head bowed as she has her legs drawn up to her chest, huddled and softly crying at being forgotten. 

Scherry:  Can you tell us a bit about your most recent release?

S.E. Smith:  My newest releases are Core’s Attack: Cosmos’ Gateway Book 6 and a free Dragonlings’ story called Jabir’s Very Special Christmas Gift: A Dragonlings of Valdier short. Core’s Attack is part of my original series starting with Tink’s Neverland. I knew when I wrote Avery’s character that I needed to write her story. I love that she is strong, yet so vulnerable. I also love that Core never tries to change who she is, but accept her. That is the biggest thing in my stories—love is not about changing a person, but accepting who they are—strengths, weaknesses, faults, and finding that those are what makes you fall in love with them. They both understand and appreciate who they are inside and accept that.

Jabir’s Very Special Christmas Gift came as a surprise write. These are often my favorite as they always touch my heart. Jabir is the smallest of the original dragonlings. He also has a HUGE heart. This heartwarming tale follows Jabir as he desperately tries to give the misfit animals that live on his mountain a special Christmas and the love he finds when his friends and family come together to help him. P.S.—You’ll need a box of tissue when you read this, but I guarantee the story will leave you with a smile.

Janna:  How much research did you do for your latest novel?
S.E. Smith:  I actually do a lot of research for my stories. From the types of weapons they use, to the places the characters go. I love Google Earth and Streetview as I can walk the streets of just about any place in the world. 

Janna:  What’s the strangest thing you’ve ever researched for one of your books?
S.E. Smith:  LOL. I’m waiting for Homeland Security to come knocking at my door. I think the interior of the Pentagon for Command Decision: Project Gliese Book 1 is one of my most challenging. I talked to people who had been inside the building, looked at diagrams, etc. so that I could get a realistic feel for the story. I also spent a lot of time talking to individuals who had been in the military to get the dialogue right.

Scherry:  How long does it normally take you to write a book?
S.E. Smith:  My writing fluctuates, but typically 45 days to write a full novel (anywhere from 62K-94K). You have to remember that I have four kids, a husband, grandchildren, and as a business owner a lot of other responsibilities than just writing. This is one reason why I write anywhere and everywhere. 

Scherry:  What is next for you?  Do you have any scheduled upcoming releases or works in progress?
S.E. Smith:  I am currently finishing Saving Runt: Cosmos’ Gateway Book 7 and then finishing Ruth and the King of the Giants and The Magic Shell which are part of my Seven Kingdoms (Contemporary Fantasy series). All three are already in progress. 

Scherry:  How can fans contact you/learn more about you?
SES Events (Meets & Greet): 
Blog RSS Feed:  
Facebook Readers Group by SES:
Facebook Readers Group by Nikki Mann:
Facebook Messenger Bot: 

Scherry:  Susan, thank you so much for joining us here at The Novel Lady!
I’m looking forward to seeing you at Coastal Magic next month!

Readers, if you would like to meet S.E. Smith in person, stop by the Coastal Magic Convention in Daytona Beach in February 2019. Susan is one of our favorite Featured Authors. 

For more information about #CM2019, check out the web page at

If you haven’t experienced the writing of Author S.E. Smith yet, check out the books listed below!

Abducting Abby: Dragon Lords of Valdier Book 1 (free read)

Abby Tanner’s peaceful existence is shattered when she finds an alien spaceship on her mountain. Zoran Reykill’s desperate escape from his captors sends him to an unknown world. He discovers what his dragon and symbiot already recognized—his true mate—a rare and precious gift. Zoran will do anything to protect Abby—even if it means abducting her.

The beginning of an epic saga! Discover new worlds, clashes of cultures, schemes of power, revenge, rescues, and above all, hope….

Abby Tanner was content to live on her mountain creating works of art and enjoying the peace and quiet until a golden space ship crash lands with the King of the Valdier inside, desperately hurt. 

Zoran Reykill knew he had to find a safe place to heal after he escapes from a Curizan military post. When his symbiosis Mothership takes him to an unknown planet he finds more than he expects – he finds his true mate. The only problems are Abby doesn’t understand a thing he says and the local sheriff wants her, too. 

Hunter’s Claim: The Alliance Book 1

Hunter is an elite Trivator warrior sent to seek out new worlds. Shocked when a strange human female risks her life for him, Hunter finds in her a reward beyond comprehension to a Trivator warrior, a family. Can he convince Jesse he can give her and her younger sisters a better life on his world?

The Trivators came to bring Earth into the Alliance of Star Systems, but now they have to take control of Earth to prevent the humans from destroying it in the panicked chaos. The Trivators aren’t prepared for how humans will affect their own lives, though, starting with a family of three sisters….

Alone in a world gone mad with just her younger sisters, Jesse Sampson has learned to use the darkness and the remains of Seattle to keep what is left of her family alive. She has seen the savage side of human nature and found they are not much different from the aliens who conquered the Earth.

Hunter belongs to a unit of Trivators who specialize in quelling violent uprisings. His ability to track and capture is renowned, but he finds the tables turned when he is the one captured by a group of ruthless humans. 

Hunter is shocked when a strange human female risks her life to help him escape, only to disappear into the ruins of the city. He now has a new mission: finding the female who saved his life. 

Tink’s Neverland: Cosmos’ Gateway Book 1

When a friend’s experiment creates a portal to another world, Tink finds herself swept into a faraway galaxy she thought only existed in the movies.

She touched his hand, and everything changed....

Jasmine “Tinker” Bell has always had a love for life, looking forward to any new adventure that happens to come along, but when a friend’s experiment creates a portal to another world, she finds herself immersed in far more adventure than she ever dreamed.

J’kar ’Tag Krell Manok had given up hope of ever finding his bond mate. Then a pint-size female unlike anything he has ever seen suddenly appears on his spaceship to save the life of his brother, and disappears just as suddenly. He will do anything, follow her anywhere, to get her back - and he just might be able to do that, because she left a very important piece of technology behind...

Discover new worlds, new species, and the hilarity that can ensue when Tink, an eternally optimistic, quirky, small town mechanic meets J’kar, a serious Prime warrior from a far-off galaxy who is used to being in control!

Internationally acclaimed S.E. Smith presents a new action-packed story full of adventure and romance. Brimming with her signature humor, vivid scenes, and beloved characters, this book is sure to be another fan favorite!


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