Posted in Author Spotlight, New Releases, Solstice Publishing

Author Spotlight of KateMarie Collins, Author of Guarding Williams, book 3 of the Waystation Guardians Series

I’m pleased to have author KateMarie Collins, a suburban Seattle resident, here to speak about her writing and new release, Guarding William. KateMarie also happens to be the Chief Operating Officer of Solstice Publishing.

Hi, KateMarie. Please tell us how long you’ve been published and what titles and/or series you write.

I just released my 21st title, ‘Guarding William’ – book 3 in The Waystation Guardians series. All of my titles are through Solstice Publishing.

Guarding William:

Amber has a roommate. William’s curious, kind, and intelligent. He’s also gorgeous

Wanting to do something to help him connect his past life with now, she takes him back to Toulouse, France. Where he was born over 900 years ago.

What starts as an impulsive vacation becomes something far more sinister.

The full moon is coming again. Amber must be back to do her job as Guardian. Will she make it in time?

And what if that means leaving behind the man she’s starting to love?

Congratulations, KateMarie! Your new book sounds incredible. As you know, I also publish with Solstice Publishing. They’re wonderful! Can you please tell us how long you’ve been working as Chief Operating Officer and how you came to be in that position?

I’ve been with the company for 5 1/2 years, started about a year after my first book came out. Melissa Miller, the CEO, emailed me a job offer out of the blue. I asked her once why she offered me the job. She said it was because I was “real” online and knew I wouldn’t tell her what she wanted to hear, but what she needed to hear.

What a great story. Tell us a little bit about your books — what genre you write, if you write a series, any upcoming releases or your current work-in-progress. If you have an upcoming release, please specify the release date.

I write fantasy! Everything from high/dark/epic to urban. I love exploring the different subgenres. I have a few series out. Most recently, I’ve been concentrating on The Waystation Guardians. I didn’t expect the first book, ‘Guarding Charon’, to morph into a series but it has. The second book, ‘Guarding Amber’, was released in January of 2018. ‘Guarding William’ came out in August of 2018. And I’m plotting out the 4th book now.

Excellent. I also like writing in different subgenres and different genres, as well. My mystery series features cozy books, but I also have a standalone thriller, Reason to Die. In addition, my latest Solstice book, Cloudy Rainbow, is a paranormal romance.

Describe your goals as a writer. What do you hope to achieve in the next few years? What are you planning to do to reach these goals?

My goal is to not just entertain readers, but to grow as an author. I always want the next book to be better than the last. I believe that books should challenge readers to think about what’s possible. For both the characters and themselves.

Nice goals. I feel the same.

What type of reader are you hoping to attract?  Who do you believe would be most interested in reading your books?

I’m always hoping to get a reader who is wanting to ask why characters do what they do. Most of mine have motivations that I know but don’t always get conveyed on the page. I put them through some interesting situations, but there’s always a reason why.

I like to read books that make me think and question and try to write those, too.

What advice would you give other authors or those still trying to get published?

Be ready to do the work! Being published isn’t a get rich quick scheme. It takes a lot of time and effort, especially if you’re new to the job. Don’t play at being a diva, be willing to take criticism, and do the work.

I never realized until I was published how much work for little monetary reward was involved in writing, but it pays off if you persist and build a following. Like you, I’m working on that.

What particular challenges and struggles did you face before first becoming published?

I was raised in an environment where creativity wasn’t encouraged. I was told by everyone from teachers to my parents that I’d never be good enough…someone else would get the shot….so it wasn’t even worth trying. By the time I started high school, I thought my talent was nothing more than an ability to b.s. my way through an essay on a test. The biggest struggle for me was getting the courage to share that first story, and then submit it to publishers. What drove me was not wanting my children to grow up with the same mindset I’d had. The best way to teach them that the risk was worth taking was for them to watch me do it.

Interesting. I’m lucky that my parents and teachers all supported my interest and talent in writing. I’m glad you were able to overcome those initial challenges.

Have you taken any writing or publishing classes? If so, please provide information about them and if you feel they helped you further your professional skills.

I took a creative writing course through our city’s parks and recreation department for about a year. And I also participated in an online writing group. Both taught me how to look objectively at my work and accept criticism with an eye of how to improve things.

I believe writing courses are helpful. I took several online Gale publishing courses and attend a writing workshop at my library. I also just became involved in an online critique group with Sisters-in-Crime.

What are your hobbies and interests besides writing?

I’m a member of the Society for Creative Anachronism, and spend weekends recreating the middle ages. I’m also a huge movie buff. Star Wars is my fandom of choice.

My daughter loves to attend Renaissance Fairs, and I find them fun, too.

What do you like most and least about being an author? What is your toughest challenge?

Most has to be the feeling of accomplishment I get with each new release. It’s a constant reminder that I am so much more than what people around me gave me credit for as a child. Toughest is the constant promotion. It’s hard to get on Twitter and stay positive when sales are down. But I do it, because that’s part of the job.

I think social media marketing and in person promotion are the hardest challenges for authors.

Please list your social media links, website, blog, etc. so readers can connect with you.

Amazon Author page: https://www.amazon.com/KateMarie-Collins/e/B008I67BBE

Twitter:  @DaughterHauk

FaceBook:  http://www.facebook.com/pages/KateMarie-Collins/217255151699492

My blog:  http://www.katemariecollins.wordpress.com

Thanks so much for the interview, KateMarie, and best of luck on your new release and series.

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Posted in New Releases, Romances, Solstice Publishing

Announcing My New Paranormal Romance: “Cloudy Rainbow”

NEW RELEASE

Paranormal Romance

eBook & Kindle Unlimited: mybook.to/CR2
Paperback: mybook.to/CRpaper

This revised edition celebrates the 10th anniversary of my first published novel. Dedicated to my mom who recently passed away, Cloudy Rainbow is a story of love, loss, and love regained through the power of hope and the mysteries of faith.

When you lose a loved one, whether it’s a relative, friend, or precious pet, you wonder where that special soul has gone and if you will ever see him or her again. For Dulcie Mills, Long Island computer programmer, the answer may lie between a virtual world and the real one, between the past and the present, between dreams and reality.

Unable to get over her fiancée’s death and facing the impending loss of her 15-year-old cat, Dulcie escapes to a virtual world. When Dulcie’s best friend accepts a job from a clairvoyant who offers predictions regarding Dulcie’s dead fiancée and Dulcie becomes attracted to an online stranger, history begins to repeat itself in ways that are both promising and terrifying. What Dulcie discovers through a virtual séance may mean the only chance she has left for love or death itself.

Addressing topics of reincarnation and soul transfer in similar ways as Greg Iles’ Sleep No More and Nora Roberts’ Midnight Bayou, Cloudy Rainbow features an interesting mix of technology and the paranormal and will also appeal to cat lovers.

Excerpt:

Dulcie took a seat in the tapestry covered armchair, while Valerie sat on the couch next to a white lump of fur that had to be Coronet, the nine-hundred-lives kitty. The lump rolled over when she sat, but Valerie just patted it a few times and nestled next to it.

“Well, then.” Mrs. Hanover took the matching chair on the other side of the room. “I know you, but you don’t know me yet. I’m Marjorie Hanover, but you can call me Marge. You, too, Val. I’ve been meaning to tell you to stop being so formal. I’ve always loved art and had an opportunity to collect nice pieces when my husband was alive, and we traveled the world. Since he passed, and I’m not sure when he’ll be back, I’ve bided my time here, but it has been a bit lonely.”

Now it was Dulcie’s turn to roll her eyes at Valerie. How could she have gotten her involved in this insanity?

“I realize you gals have a lot to do, so I’ll make this short,” Marge continued. “I’m a clairvoyant, but I don’t tell too many people about my power. I was surprised to learn I had this gift when I was ten years old and my dog Rudolph died. I had a dream the night before that he was hit by a car. I tried to tell my parents, but it was too late. Luckily, he came back as my cat Priscilla several years later. I knew there was no way we would be separated forever…but getting back to my point.”

Dulcie was on the edge of her chair with her fingers on the cell phone in her pants pocket.

Marge turned to face her directly. “This trip you are shortly going on will be the most important one of your life, my dear. I had to tell you that, so I asked Val to bring you over.”

“I see.” Dulcie’s voice was a bit too high, but Marge didn’t seem to notice. She was using all the phony fortunetelling tricks of false mediums, telling people they were going on a trip, guessing their names, etc., although there had to be explanations for all of it. Dulcie would play along. “What about romance?”

“Oh, that’s part of it, if you want it to be.” Now she was reaching. “Are you sure you girls wouldn’t like anything to drink or eat?”

Valerie saved her from making another excuse. “We really can’t stay long, Mrs. H., I mean Marge, but thank you.”

“I get the hint.”

Marge stood up from her seat and turned her back. Dulcie feared she’d go to the kitchen for that sharp butcher knife, but the woman was smiling when she turned back with those unnaturally bright teeth that had to be false. “I’ll see you tomorrow night then, Valerie. I have this Renoir you must see. Nice meeting you, Dulcie, dear.”

They had almost escaped and were inches from the front door when Marge, coming up behind them, added, “So sorry about your cat, Dulcie. I know how special he is to you.”

Author Bio

Debbie De Louise is an award-winning author and a reference librarian at a public library on Long Island. She is a member of International Thriller Writers, Sisters-in-Crime, the Long Island Authors Group, and the Cat Writer’s Association. She has a BA in English and an MLS in Library Science from Long Island University. Her novels include the three books of the Cobble Cove cozy mystery series published by Solstice Publishing: A Stone’s Throw, Between a Rock and a Hard Place, and Written in Stone. Debbie has also published a romantic comedy novella featuring a jewel heist caper, When Jack Trumps Ace, a standalone mystery, Reason to Die, and has written articles and short stories for several anthologies of various genres. She lives on Long Island with her husband Anthony; daughter Holly; and Cat Stripey.

Social Media Links

Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/debbie.delouise.author/

Twitter: https://twitter.com/Deblibrarian

Goodreads: https://www.goodreads.com/author/show/2750133.Debbie_De_Louise

Amazon Author Page: Author.to/DebbieDeLouise

Website/Blog/Newsletter Sign-Up: https://debbiedelouise.wordpress.com

Sneaky the Library Cat’s blog: https://sneakylibrarycat.wordpress.com

Cobble Cove Character Chat Facebook Group: https://www.facebook.com/groups/748912598599469/

Posted in Solstice Publishing, Twitter

April #TwitterTales: The Muir Woods Murderer (Flash Fiction Story)

 

My publisher recently came up with an idea for promoting our writing in a non-sales pitchy way through an exercise of flash fiction. Each Thursday and Friday, a group of Solstice Publishing authors write a short tweet on Twitter based on the photo of the month. In April, that photo was of a forest. Below are my tweets for each week for those of you who haven’t seen them on Twitter or who haven’t caught them in order.

When Josh suggested a romantic stroll through Muir woods, Allison wasn’t too keen on the idea. That past summer, three girls had been found knifed to death, their blood spilled into the forest’s dirt carpet. The killer had never been caught.

What made Allison change her mind was Josh’s promise to protect her. They’d been dating a year and enjoyed long walks together. The fall forest was dark but strangely enticing. She clung to Josh. Nothing could happen in the safety of his arms.

“Where are we headed?” Allison asked. They’d taken so many turns that she was becoming disoriented, but Josh kept leading her deeper & deeper into the dark woods where 3 of her friends had died. A shiver ran up her spine as she awaited his answer.

“Are you scared about what happened here to Holly, Jean, & Laura even though you’re with me, Allison?”
“No,” she lied. “but maybe we should go back, Josh. I’m getting tired,” The full moon illuminated his face. The expression he wore chilled her.

“Why are you scared, Allison?” As he approached, the full moon waned. The forest darkened. “I asked to leave, Josh.” She backed away. “So did they.” His eyes glinted in the half light as he took a knife from his jacket. She screamed and ran.

Allison’s chest heaved. Her breath came in shallow gasps as she ran through the woods trying to avoid falling over the twigs that carpeted the forest floor. Josh was closing in, his knife slashing a path behind her.

She ran with Josh in pursuit, her breath coming in ragged gasps. Each time one of her friends was found dead, Josh was missing. He said he was home while his parents were out, but she now
knew he was the Muir Woods killer & she was his next victim.

She tripped and fell face down on the forest floor. Picking herself up, she turned to see Josh flash his knife. She deflected its blow, kicked him in the groin, and ran through the trees into the street where a police car stopped to aid her.

 

 

 

 

 

Posted in Books, Mysteries, New Releases, Short Story, Solstice Publishing

Update on My Mysteries

Since I have lots of news for my readers, I thought I’d share my updates on this blog. Most of you may have seen my announcement about the recent release of my standalone mystery thriller, Reason to Diebut you may not yet have viewed the book trailer.

I also have author appearances scheduled in April and May. I’ll be at the Port Washington Public Library’s Local Author Fair on Sunday, April 29, where I’ll be selling autographed copies of Reason to Die as well as all three books of my Cobble Cove cozy mystery series. On Saturday, May 12, I’ll be at the St. Stephens Church Local Author Fair in Hicksville, NY, where I’ll be speaking about my books and also autographing copies.

 

 

 

 

 

 

On May 4, two of my mystery short stories will be featured in Solstice Publishing’s Plots and Schemes, Vol. 2 anthology. “Murder at Lavender Lake Library” is a cozy mystery, and “Bullet in the Back,” a mystery thriller. I’ll let you all know when it’s officially released. I hope to see some of you at my upcoming appearances.

Reason to Die is also on a blog tour with a $15 Amazon gift card giveaway. Follow the tour at http://www.silverdaggertours.com/sdsxx-tours/reason-to-die-book-tour-and-giveaway

Al

Posted in Solstice Publishing, Twitter

March #TwitterTales: The Cowboy


 

My publisher recently came up with an idea for promoting our writing in a non-sales pitchy way. Each Thursday and Friday, a group of Solstice Publishing authors write a short tweet on Twitter based on the photo of the month. In March, that photo was of a cowboy, but it also included some other steampunky images. Here are the tweets I came up with for each week for those of you who haven’t seen them on Twitter or who haven’t caught them in order.

We were part of a top-secret government mission assigned to a time-travel trip to the Old West. My partner, Palmer Jackson, was a smart, techy guy with a nice back side but a blunt tongue. We’d had a brief fling when we first joined the unit.

Palmer was dressed for our mission with a Stetson hat and cowboy boots. It was his third trip to the past; my first.
“Emily,” he said. “There’s nothing to worry about. We’re only there for a day.” Didn’t he realize the dangers of the Wild West?

They’d warned us that the time-travel teleport was still in its beta stages. Our trip was safe, but the Old West we landed in was not the one I knew from history books and movies. A raven the size of a dinosaur greeted us on the barren landscape.

Palmer drew his gun, but I told him not to shoot. I faced the raven. The huge bird opened its beak and said, “Welcome to Planet Rodeo.”
“Planet?” Palmer gave me a curious look, his hand on his gun, “We were sent to the past, not to another world.”

The raven regarded us through its beady black eyes. “Obviously, your time-travel trip went askrew. From what planet do you folks hail?”

Palmer eyed the bird warily. “We’re scientists from Earth. I’m Palmer Jackson and this is Emily Grant.”

Emily couldn’t believe Palmer was speaking with a raven. The bird opened its beak again and said, “My name is Reo. I am but one species inhabiting this world. Some are deadly, so beware.” He flapped his wings and flew away. “What now?” Emily asked.

Palmer pointed toward a hill. “That way. We’re explorers. Let’s explore.”
“I don’t know if that’s a good idea. We prepared for the past, not another world. We should go back.”
“And how do you propose we do that? Our teleport link is broken.”

If she wasn’t so afraid, Emily would laugh at Palmer in his cowboy duds scaling the mountain. She’d asked him how the teleport link had broken and whether they could fix it. He said it had disintegrated. Their only hope lay beyond the mountain.

Emily followed Palmer up the mountain. When they reached the top, they looked down upon the world the raven Reo had called Rodeo. The land below was a barren plain except for a huge door. “Wonder what’s behind that?” Palmer asked.

The door was tough to budge despite their combined efforts. After several yanks, it gave swooping them into a vacuum. Emily screamed as they plummeted down into the lab from where they started. Palmer said, “Rats! I didn’t even get a bull ride.”

Posted in A Stone's Throw, Cozy Mystery, Freebies and Special Offers, Solstice Publishing

Celebrate the Book Birthday of My First Cozy Mystery with a Free e-Copy

The first book of my Cobble Cove cozy mystery is free on Monday, March 5; Tuesday, March 6; and Wednesday March 7. You can get it here on those days: myBook.to/Stonesthrow2

If you’re a Kindle Unlimited subscriber, all my eBooks are free. check them out on my author page: Author.to/DebbieDeLouise

Widowed librarian Alicia Fairmont needs answers…

After her husband is killed in a hit and run accident, Alicia travels upstate to his hometown of Cobble Cove, New York. She hopes to locate his estranged family and shed light on his mysterious past. Anticipating staying only a weekend, her visit is extended when she accepts a job at the town’s library.

Secrets stretch decades into the past…

Assisted by handsome newspaper publisher and aspiring novelist, John McKinney, Alicia discovers a connection between her absent in-laws and a secret John’s father has kept for over sixty years. Her investigation is interrupted when she receives word her house has burned and arson is suspected, sending her rushing back to Long Island, accompanied by John.

Back in Cobble Cove, cryptic clues are uncovered…

When Alicia returns, she finds a strange diary, confiscated letters, and a digital audio device containing a recording made the day her husband was killed. Anonymous notes warn Alicia to leave town, but she can’t turn her back on the mystery—or her attraction to John. As the pieces fall into place, evidence points to John’s involvement in her husband’s accident. The past and present threaten to collide, and Alicia confronts her fears…

Has she fallen in love with her husband’s killer?

 

 

Posted in Solstice Publishing, Twitter

February #TwitterTales: The Fire

My publisher recently came up with an idea for promoting our writing in a non-sales pitchy way. Each Thursday and Friday, a group of Solstice Publishing authors write a short tweet on Twitter based on the photo of the month. In February, that photo was of a fire. I wrote my tweets as teasers for my upcoming mystery release, Reason to Die. Below are my tweets for each week for those of you who haven’t seen them on Twitter or who haven’t caught them in order.

Courtney couldn’t believe she’d escaped the fire set by the madman the press was calling the Handicapped Strangler. Her subconscious fashioned a dream from the memory with Bill, her handicapped partner, out of his wheelchair in the role of a fireman.

The dream continued. “Thank God you’re safe, Courtney,” Bill said. “I owe you my life.”

“You don’t owe me anything. The fire died out between us before I was shot. That’s why I let you go.”

She woke with a start. Was it true? Was her love in ashes?

After the fire, they still had to solve the crimes. As much as Courtney feared the truth would hurt him, she knew it would be as freeing for Bill as it had been for her. The guilt she’d suffered from that long-ago fire was now behind her.

“You could’ve died,” Mark said. “I don’t blame Bill. I’m thankful to him, but I can’t have you risking your life again. You mean too much to me.”

“I have no choice, Mark. I’m a detective. We now know who set the fire and who is behind the murders.”

Being paired again with Bill made things difficult for Courtney. There’d been too much between them and yet not enough. Despite his handicap, he was hunting the killer, the man who’d set fire to his home and nearly killed them both.

Escaping the fire had helped Courtney overcome her fear of flames, but thinking of Bill and Mark, she wondered which man would complete her healing and which one would burn her.

“You know why I have to do this,” Bill said. “I could care less that my house was burned to the ground, and it’s not for you, Courtney. There’s another man in your life now. I have to move on, but I need to catch the Handicapped Strangler first.”

She didn’t know it would end like this. A killer and a madman holding her hostage in a secluded mountain cabin. If only she’d put the pieces together sooner. None of this would’ve happened including the fire as well as the shot that crippled Bill.