Monday, March 26, 2018

Interview with Children’s Author Laurisa White Reyes

Laurisa is the former Editor-in-Chief of Middle Shelf Magazine and former editor for Maple Tree Press and Xchyler Publishing. She is currently the Senior Editor of Skyrocket Press. She teaches English composition at College of the Canyons in So. California. Prior to becoming an editor and novelist, she wrote for The Signal Newspaper, Antelope Valley Press, The Link Homeschool Newspaper, and Santa Clarita Valley Magazine.

Laurisa has been a presenter at the California Homeschool Network's Family Expo numerous times, as well as at dozens of schools and private organizations throughout California and Utah.

Welcome to my blog, Laurisa. Please tell us what Mickey Malloy, Wonder Boy! is about.

Mickey Malloy is just your average kid who loves comic books and superheroes. When a mysterious package arrives with his name on it, he finds a strange contraption inside. Urged on by his friend, Juanita, Mickey pushes the thing’s button and gets ZZZZZZAPPED! Suddenly, he isn’t a normal kid anymore, he’s Mickey Malloy, Wonder Boy! The human magnet! But what seems like an awesome superpower gets Mickey into more trouble than he could possibly imagine.

Where did you get your inspiration for this story?

Thanks for having me, Linda. The short answer is that Mickey Malloy was written to entertain my own kids. I’ve written twelve published novels so far, and before sending them out into the world for others to enjoy, each had to pass the Reyes Kid Test. Several of my kids (there are five of them) grew up reading Diary of a Wimpy Kid and Captain Underpants. They loved the illustrations and the silly humor. Mickey came into being with that in mind.

I love the "Reyes Kid Test" idea. What ages would be interested in this book?

Ages 6 – 9 is the ideal, though younger kids love having the book read out loud to them. And older kids can easily read this in a single sitting.

Tell me about the main character and what you love about him?

Mickey is like so many boys. He’d rather spend his weekends lying in bed reading a comic book or playing video games. He dreams of being a superhero. But then when his chance finally comes, everything goes wrong. (In hilarious ways, of course.) Despite all his mishaps, though, he has a good heart and finally gets to use his power to come to someone’s rescue, though even that doesn’t turn out quite like he would have planned.

Where is your website so my readers can check out your recent and past books that you have written?  I also send out a free monthly newsletter filled with book deals, cash giveaways, reviews and more. Your readers can subscribe here:

Thank you for this interview, Laurisa. I really appreciate it. I hope my readers will check out your books.

Thursday, March 15, 2018

Interview with Romance Author Michele Ashman Bell

Michele Ashman Bell grew up in St. George, Utah. In fourth grade her
teacher wrote on her report card that she had a tendency to daydream
and would probably do well with creative writing. Her love for books
and learning about people and places has helped her make her teacher's
prediction come true. Michele is the author of many books and Christmas stories. She is married and is the mother of four children, and a grandma of four with one on the way. Aside from supporting her children and grandchildren in all of their many activities, she loves to travel, do research for her books and eat chocolate. Michele is a Zumba instructor and loves shopping for shoes and purses and going to amusement parks. She would live in Disneyland if she could.

From one “St. Georgean” to another, welcome to my blog, Michele. Please tell us about your novel: Wish Me Love.

Charlotte Wells does not date. After surviving a broken engagement, she’s taken a leave of absence from the social scene. So when her best friend and coworker, Jack, challenges her to get back in the game, she’s not so sure she’s ready to play. But ultimately, curiosity gets the best of her, and Charlotte accepts the daunting challenge: she will attempt to have fifty first dates in her effort to find “the one.” Unfortunately, she quickly realizes that the dating pool mostly holds clown fish as she goes on one lousy outing after another. Without a good man in sight as summer ends, Charlotte cuts her losses and sets her sights on a fun-filled trip to her cousin’s destination, a wedding in Brazil.

Brazil is a land of beautiful sights and delicious offerings—including Max, the charming brother of her cousin’s new husband. Max has all the makings of a Prince Charming in soccer cleats, and Charlotte’s happily ever after seems to be within reach. But love is a funny thing, and soon Charlotte finds herself wondering: could it be that her true love has been right in front of her all along?

This sounds like a fun story, Michele. Where did you get your inspiration for this story?

There were three main sources of inspiration for this book:
1) Having three daughters I have heard my share of dating horror stories. I’ve always wanted to write a book about dating so I could use some of their stories. Once I decided to write this book I thought it would be fun to invite readers to send me their stories. I used some of them in the book. Truth be told, some of things people have experienced are worse than anything I could make up!

2) As a Zumba instructor I attended a workshop where we learned how to Samba, which is a dance style from Brazil. The instructor of the class is from Brazil and she brought “wish bracelets” for each of the class members. The bracelets are thin fabric ribbons that come from Salvador, Bahia, in Northeast Brazil. What happens with a wish bracelet is that you have someone tie the bracelet on your wrist with three knots. You make a wish with each knot and when the bracelet falls off your wishes come true. I did this and two of my wishes came true within a year and the third one has also come true. It took four years for the bracelet to fall off! I loved weaving these bracelets into the story.

3) I love Brazil! My son served an LDS mission to Southern Brazil and my husband and I picked him up and traveled through the country with him for two weeks. It was unforgettable! Also…my brother-in-law married a girl from Brazil on the beach in Natal, where my story is set. I wasn’t able to attend the wedding so I lived the experience through writing my book.

What kind of research did you do?

My favorite part of writing is research. I LOVE learning about places and people and occupations. Also, I tell people to be careful what they tell me because it will probably end up in one of my books!

For the dating stories I was able to use personal stories from my kids and other family members and stories from readers. I got such a kick out of reading about some of the crazy dating experiences people have had and had fun using them in the story.

Because part of the book takes place in Brazil I had to research the city of Natal and find out how one would arrange doing a wedding on the beach. Luckily I was able to ask my brother-in-law and sister-in-law since they actually had a wedding on the beach there.

Also, two of my characters play soccer (futbol) in Brazil, so I did research about that.

I love research, too. I understand how you feel. Tell me about one of the main characters and what you love about him or her?

I can’t say that my favorite character in all my books is the main character, I tend to like really quirky, unique characters so that usually ends up being a secondary character but in this book I loved the main character. She’s down-to-earth, her struggles are real, her situation is relatable and she’s someone the reader can cheer for and hope that good things will happen for her. She was burned by her fiancĂ© and swore off dating. To open herself up and start dating again took a lot of faith and letting her guard down. She’s not perfect, but in her imperfections, she unforgettable.

Where is your website so my readers can check out your recent and past books that you have written?

Thank you, Michele, for this informative interview. I hope my readers will check out your book.

Monday, March 5, 2018

Interview with Fantasy Author and Publisher Mark Miller

Mark currently resides in Florida with his wife and four children. He has achieved some success as a Kindle Best Seller and having one of his short stories selected as a winner in the Florida Writer’s Association Short Story Collection. Growing up in Kansas, Mark graduated from Sumner Academy of Arts and Sciences and received his Bachelor’s in Film from the University of Kansas.

Mark has written numerous novels, screenplays, short stories and digital series. Many of his stories are geared for the classroom. He has explored his spirituality, writing both with his father and daughter. Inspirational stories with positive messages are his goal with everything he writes and publishes under his imprint, MillerWords.

Welcome to my blog, Mark. Where did you get your inspiration for The Empyrical Tales?

My goodness, this has been an amazing experience. First, thank you for having me on the blog today. I have to be honest, this is not a new book. My writing adventure started 10 years ago, so asking me where my inspiration came from will take some cranking up of the WayBack Machine. Book 1 of the Empyrical Tales was my first traditionally published novel. There were lots of ups and downs, until, finally, I recovered my rights and am now able to publish it under my own imprint in a revised edition with a fresh new layout and a beautiful cover. So, that tells you some of the back story, but the inspiration was simple enough. I wanted a story that I could tell my children. I wanted it to incorporate the books and movies that I loved as a child (and now). The land of Empyrean is a place where myths, folklore and fairytales exist after their familiar stories have ended. It’s a place where we can escape from reality, like Oz or Narnia.

Please give us a description of book one: Journey of the Fourth Queen.

This is the start of a planned 8 book epic. At its heart, it’s the story of two sisters, Zandria and Olena. Personally, I like surprise and don’t like spoilers, so you won’t get me to give too much away. I will say this is the literal and metaphorical beginning of their Journey. Empyrean is ruled by four queens and one of them mysteriously disappears. Zandria and Olena go on their journey to find the Fourth Queen.

Tell us about book two: Search for the Lost Queen.

Book 2 starts the very next day after the end of book one. Can’t say too much without giving away the ending of the first one, but it is Zandria and Olena’s search for their mother. It expands the their world and introduces new characters like the tough, sarcastic elf Dew Lantisphere. She is forty-four years old, but because elves in Empyrean age slower than humans, she looks to be about the same age as 11 year old Zandria. Other main characters have their own subplots, but the whole thing comes together because the fate of Empyrean is always in the balance.

Did you have to do any research for this series?

Absolutely. Research, in my opinion, is essential to any writing. The old adage is “write what you know”, but if you don’t know it, research it. I wanted to bring a huge variety of myths and fairytales to life, so I had to dig deep. I’ve done so much research and incorporated it into the series, that I sometimes forget where it came from. Each book, however, has a different influence. Most of it is European and North American. However, Book 3: Mystery of the Secret Queen has a strong Egyptian background, while Book 5 will have an Asian influence.

You love to write Fantasy. What intrigues you most about this genre?

I write in most any genre from early reader adventure to adult non-fiction. An author friend of mine is fond of saying he goes where the story takes him. However, fantasy is in my heart. I was born in the 70’s, but I’m a child of the 80’s. I grew up in a fantasy world. Two words: Star Wars. Some might think it is sci-fi, but it’s actually an old-fashioned sword and sorcery adventure. That pop culture of books and movies shaped me and when I wrote a story for my daughters where the characters can magically live forever, that has preserved my own memories.

Where is your website so my readers can check out your recent and past books that you have written?

I have a landing page at, where I happen to be giving away the full novel of Journey of the Fourth Queen to anyone who signs up for the MillerWords quarterly newsletter. Most of my activity is done on our Facebook page –

Thank you again for hosting me! This has been a treat to switch out of my publisher hat and into my author disguise for a little bit. I hope you don’t mind me mentioning that MillerWords is accepting submissions at (guidelines are on both sites above).

Thank you, Mark, for this very interesting interview. I hope my readers check out your books.