Today I am once again able to feature a very unique and special book. And to help me introduce it to you, I have the title character from the book with me. Benjamin McTish, let's start off with a few questions to get to know you better. 

We'll begin with an easy one. Tell me about yourself? What is your occupation? Why? What are your strengths & weaknesses?

Well, my name is Benjamin McTish and I’m fourteen...so no occupation as such in the traditional sense of the word.  I do lend a hand to my grandmother in her garden from time to time.  And, well, I really don’t like to talk about this, but I kinda have this ability to know things...I suppose people call is a sixth sense, or ESP or something, I call it weird...although I’m getting used to it.
What’s your family like and how does your upbringing affect you now?

My parents are both scientist.  My dad, Avery, is a Marine Biologist and my mum, Gwyneth is a Botanist.  They travel a lot...actually, for a while they made certain one of them remained home with me, but then their work just got bigger and more important, so I went to live with my grandparents.  My parents came home for visits as often as they could, until...well, until they stopped.  We’re not certain where either of them is right now, but I’m sure they’ll get in touch with me as soon as they can.

What is your earliest childhood memory?

That’s easy, it’s of my father coming home after he had been sailing off the coast of Australia, (although I didn’t know that at the time), anyway, he brought home a right perfect bit of coral.  He made a shelf for me out of a piece of driftwood that he sanded and polished and he put the coral on the shelf and told me only to look at it and not touch it until I got older, so I wouldn’t cut myself, or break it.  I have the shelf filled with all his treasures from all the years of him bringing me special bits.  Oh, and it didn’t matter my age, I still cut myself the first time I picked it up to look at it closer.

Well, speaking of special objects, if you could pick an item, any tangible object, to represent you, what would you pick and why?

I suppose it would have to be a piece of bark...a tiny switch I gathered from the Grandfather Tree.  That’s where my world was forever changed.

Interesting! Tell us what your first impression of your heroine was?

Well, again, I’m only fourteen so there really is no heroine in my life, well, actually that isn’t completely true, but in order to explain myself, too much of the story would be given away...let me just say this, she is a Warrior, and a crackin good lookin one too!
What do you like about the heroine?

 Since I can’t talk about the woman I’m referring to, then let me say this...Annabel and Mathilda Wickcliff would have to do as the real heroines of this story anyway.  They’re my best mates and the three of us took this journey together...I couldn’t have done half of what I did without them.  They came from America to live next door to my grandparents and they’re the most brilliant mates a guy could ask for, even if they are girls.

Yes, even if they're girls [narrows eyes]. Benjamin McTish, what is it that you want out of life? 

Himm..that’s a good one.  I suppose I would have to say justice and Truth.  For people to stand up for themselves and those they love and to understand just how much we all affect each other and our world.
[Blinks, surprised.] That's a good one. Has life handed you any major disappointments?

I really want to talk about that.

If you had an unexpected free day, what would you do with it?

Oh, well, after the adventure I’ve been on, everyday is free to me!

Aside from your secret heroine, tell me about your best friend.

Again, as I said, Annabel and Mathilda are both the best mates you could imagine. They’re quirky and smart...Mathilda can bloody well sing, she’s brilliant, truly, I can’t sing a note. And Annabel is brilliant for real!  She’s smarter than anyone I know, I’m really lucky to have her on my side.  And they both make me laugh, especially Mathilda.  She has this funny way with words, I mean, she uses other languages and mixes them all up, it’s clever good fun.  And when she comes up with some of her ideas, Annabel and I just look at each other and laugh...how in the world did she come up with that?  And in the end...she’s always bloody right!!  It’s amazing!

If you owned a CB radio what would your "handle" be? What would your heroine’s be?

I’m sorry, but I’m not quite certain what a CB radio is, and I certainly don’t know what a handle is..so you’ll have to forgive me this one.

Nevermind. It was just a silly question anyway. How about this one instead, what CD is in your CD player right now?

Oh, that would be The Blues Billies...I borrowed it from Mathilda..of course!

Speaking of Mathilda, she has just joined us with a friend. Please introduce yourself and tell us about yourself. Like, what is your occupation? Strengths, weaknesses?

Hi, I’m Mathilda Wickcliff and this is my sister Annabel.  I’m eleven and my sister Bellie is fourteen, so we don’t have no occupations.  But Bellie tells really good stories and sometimes I stand on the coffee table and pretend I’m Lady Gaga and sing and dance for her.
Yeah, Tildie is a really good singer, seriously you gotta hear her sometime.  But me, I like to do puzzles and read.  I love to read.  I like mysteries and things that make me think of other ways to do something.

Yeah, she’s always got her face buried in some book.  But she’s really smart, so maybe that’s a good thing.

What’s your family like, ladies, and how does your upbringing affect you now?

Well we moved here from Boston.  Our da grew up here in Grandlochcheshire so he really was excited to come back here to live.  Our mom is really cool and pretty and she’s crazy in love with da...they’re always smooching and stuff!

Don’t forget about Cubby Tildie.

Oh yeah, Cubby is our Golden Retriever and he’s crazy about mom too.

What is your earliest childhood memory?

I don’t think I have an early childhood memory?  Bellie do I have one?

Tildie, how would I know, that’s the whole point goof ball, it’s your first memory of your life.

Oh, well, I don’t know what I remember do you?

I remember when they brought Cubby home, I was three, and he was the cutest little ball of golden fur.  We were best friends from that moment.  That is until they brought you home, then you became my best friend.

Oh Bellie.

I asked Benjamin this one. If you could pick any tangible item to represent you, what would you pick? 

What’s tangable?

Tildie, it means something you can touch or hold on too.  Like mine would probably be a book.

Oh, I guess mine would be my green high top Converse with the sparkly purple laces, huh Bellie?

Yeah, that would be a good one Tildie.

Or should it be my pink tutu, which do you think?

I think they’re both good Tildie.

Okay, I’ll just say my sneakers!

I'm pretty sure this is the first time a guest has said green high top Converses with the sparkly purple laces are a symbol for them. [Aside: "Freud would have a field day with that." Clears throat.] I'm almost afraid to ask this next one...describe your hero. What was your first impression of him and did it change over time?
Our Hear-oh!  Wow!  Bellie...

I’m sure that would have to be Benjamin of course!  There’s no one like him on the whole planet.

Oh, yeah, Benjamin...good one Bellie!  Oh remember, we thought he was a pervy or something staring out of his spy glasses down at Mrs. Longpotts?  That’s when we first saw him, out my bedroom window watching Mrs. Longpotts through his glasses.  That was pretty funny.

Yeah, it took all of about a minute before Mathilda was pulling me out the door to go meet him.  We became friends instantly.

I see. Is there anything about Benjamin that you would consider a flaw?
What does that mean Bellie, like something wrong with Benjamin?

Not really wrong, just not perfect.

Oh, well that’s easy, he’s the worst singer ever!

Yeah, she’s got a point there, he’s pretty tone deaf.

Mathilde, Annabel, what is it that each of you wants out of life?

I want to be a famous singer and dancer!

I think they want to know more about your insides Bellie, not what you actually want to be. 

My insides?  Himm...the only thing I can think of is just being with my family always.  You know, like never having fights or being far away from each other.  I want to grow up and live next door to Bellie.

Has life handed you any major disappointments?


Well, now. That's a refreshing answer! Just two more ladies. If you had an unexpected free day, what would you do with it?

Aren’t all days free Bellie?

I guess it depends on what you do with it.

How true! Last one! What CD is in your CD player right now?

Oh that’s easy, it’s the Blue’s Billies.

No, you loaned that one to Benjamin Tildie, remember?

Oh yeah.  Well then I guess it’s empty right now.

Well, ladies, thank you very much! That was a very unique and interesting interview!

About Benjamin McTish and the Door Through the Grandfather Tree

 It’s Harry Potter meets the Celestine Prophecy in this magical and thrilling ride! The McTish Series is an explosive adventure through a dimensional Gateway into another world, a world of beauty and magic, Coranim…a land of insight, thought and possibilities, that sits beneath the enchanted Gilley Forest.

There is local legend in the small town of Grandlochcheshire that has been passed down for a 100 years about the mysterious disappearance of the Chickering family, that trails on the coat tails of the equally shocking abduction of the Skeffington Union Rails heirs, Connor and Shelbe. The circumstances that follow this notorious tale enter into the modern world of Benjamin and his two best mates.

One day Benjamin watches from behind the Rhododendron as a mysterious little woman steps out of a taxi in front of the cream colored house with the forest green trim next door and in one synchronistic moment their eyes lock and a series of visual snippets of unfamiliar events unfold in his mind’s vision. His razor sharp sixth sense allows him the freedom to explore the extrasensory messages coming at him in a frenzied speed, like a derailed freight train.
And when Benjamin finds a peculiar old relic of a key in his grandmother’s garden shed, he could never know his world was about to change forever.

Annabel and Mathilda, two sisters who have moved to Grandlochcheshire from America, have become more than mere friends to Benjamin, they have all become the three Muskydeers (Mathilda’s mispronounced version of Musketeers, which was a huge laugh and of course it stuck), as they are plunged head first into this curious journey.

In the Gilley Forest they discover that the path they have chosen is inundated with many obstacles as well as intrigue. Alliances are made with the Forest clan of Gnomes known as the Set, and with the aid of the Vila sisters, Sethina and Morel, as well as some surprising and unexpected allegiances, the three friends take on the test that is the Grandfather Tree. They must stay on the pre ordained Path of prophecy, portended by the ancient seer Pajah Set, whose ancestry comes from the home of the oldest living beings on the planet, the Elves of the Darmon However, this is no easy task for the Muskydeers as they have the foulest of sorcery hunting their every move, the powerful dark beauty known to all as Tar Vigorn.

This ruthless Queen is not without humor however, and loves a good game of cat and mouse, as long as she’s the cat. With her biting sense of sarcasm and calculated taunting, she knows just how to unnerve the young Benjamin. Her phantom army known as the Blunt are searching for a way into the Grand Tree and will stop at nothing to infiltrate the pristine world beneath his giant roots.

Once in Coranim the children make the acquaintance of the greatest Medicine Elder alive, Esmerelda Fet. A most powerful Light Sorceress with a brazen in your face attitude and a thick Irish brogue, who guides the trio on their Path of destiny. “All tings be possible ya wee chil’ren, if’en ya put yer mind to it! Thar be nothin ya can’t accomplish. Ya just need ta be placin all yer carage inta tha middle of yer core whar yer Spirit shines…an ya can do anythin! Ha!”

Filled with many wonders, and home to the Fet clan of Gnomes, Coranim is a magical world of art, sound, thought, invention and discovery….and home to the World Library of Identity, with none other than Dunston Tibbitts at the helm.
Every being on the planet has a book dedicated to the entirety of their lives. Dunston reports to Benjamin, “according to what I see here now, this very minute, whatever it is that you are seeking will show itself today and change your Path immediately. It will put you into a whole new dynamic as they say.”

What could alter the overpowering trajectory Benjamin has followed to Coranim? How will it change his life?
Find out as our three heroes delve into the mystic, as well as their own inner character, as you watch from the edge of your seat.

Book Two, Benjamin Mctish and the Wizards of Coranim, coming 2013

The Excerpt

Well, that’s very odd, thought Benjamin. He had never noticed the peculiar looking key, hanging from a very worn and tattered green ribbon, on the rusted nail in the garden shed before. The garden shed was not a traditional shed in the least. Even though the walls were constructed from very old worn out wood, the interesting element was the solid glass roof. It was a very unusual version of a greenhouse, and the permanent home of the most rare and beautiful of begonias, grown by his grandmother Emmagene. It also doubled as Benjamin’s secret hideaway.

The design was one of a kind, built by his grandfather, Owen McTish, way back before Benjamin was even born. The wood came from an old abandoned farm on the outskirts of town. The remnants from the farm had sat in the big fields on the edge of the Gilley Forest for close to a hundred years or more now. The property was part of a long forgotten estate that had iron clad deeds and legalities making it impossible to tear down. Save for some wood that was sold off at auction, (which was now the main body of structure to the McTish garden shed), along with some rusted antique barnyard equipment, nothing had been touched in all these long years. The passed down rumors of the mysteries surrounding the Chickering farm was still local legend with all the residents, but especially with the children, in the small town of Grandlochcheshire.
And here he was now, sitting in the garden shed built of the same wood that had housed the infamous Chickerings all those long years ago, staring at a mysterious key.

Benjamin sat upright from his perch on top of the pile of burlap bags that covered the mound of hay his grandmother stored in the shed for new seedling cover and stared up in utter disbelief at the mysterious key.
His grandmother enjoyed the smell of fresh hay, as it reminded her of her youth on her family’s horse ranch. This resulted in her always keeping much more hay than she truly needed under the burlap, making this a particularly cozy little spot for Benjamin to lounge about. As an added attraction, it also happened to be in direct sight of the door and most of the surroundings, and proved to be the perfect lookout for any uninvited guests.

Benjamin whipped his head around quickly and scanned the shed for any movement. Nothing out of the ordinary, no one else around, no sounds of any kind, he thought. He sat still and stared into the air before him, going into his deeper mind to hunt down an answer. After a moment he continued his search around the room.

The light coming in from the glass ceiling was soft and dark grey as it was about to rain. This added a touch of anxiety to the moment, as Benjamin’s all too familiar feeling of questioning arose. Everything appeared to look the same as it did every other day that he could remember...except for that confounding and peculiar key! The hairs on Benjamin’s arms stood straight up and a flush washed over his entire body and he knew something big was about to happen.

Benjamin had the ability to know things that other people never realized. He knew secrets about people, their inner workings, even before they knew about it themselves. It wasn’t like he could see dead people, or tell you what you had hidden in your pocket, or anything like this. It was more about sensing things. He had gut feelings, but in a bigger more expanded way. He was rather good at telling you when your Aunt Gertie was going to show up at your door, or where to look for the lost cat. However, he was really good at knowing if something was significant or not, if something needed a further or deeper exploration.

It had always been this way for Benjamin. When something was about to occur he always had a warning it was coming. The hair on his arms stood up and an extremely powerful tingling from the bottom of his toes would rush up over his body. His heart would pound and a little sweat would instantly gather on his face and neck. His breathing would speed up and his eyes would widen in anxious search of the source of his alertness. Many times these sensations came with lightning rapid visions and sounds. And always attached to these pictures was a deeply felt emotion clinging along for the ride.

Benjamin hesitantly turned back around slowly, like he was moving through thick syrup and stared at the hanging piece of tarnished metal. He had a very uneasy feeling about this key. In all his years of living with his grandparents he had never seen the key dangling in the shed. Nor, in fact, had he seen its equal or anything remotely close to this anywhere in the whole of the household.

He estimated the key was somewhere around nine inches in length and looked as old as the hills...Or the Gilley Forest, came the distant thought to Benjamin for an unexplained instant. It was intricately designed with marks that Benjamin couldn’t make out from where he was sitting.

An impending alarm flooded Benjamin’s mind as he began his slow concise descent off the mound of burlap covered hay. He inched his way toward the foreign old relic of a key. The key with a worn out tattered green ribbon to match, that hung from an equally rusted old nail pounded soundly into the beam of the garden shed, that was home to Benjamin McTish and all that he knew.

As Benjamin approached the key he couldn’t take his eyes off of it. It was like a magnetic beam was pulling him closer and closer to his target. Benjamin reached up on his toes and removed the key from its mysterious home on the old nail. The weight of the key surprised Benjamin, he hadn’t expected it to be as heavy as it was. He turned it around and around in his hands, studying every line of the design. When suddenly, by accident, he noticed that at a certain angle when he looked at it almost sideways there appeared to be...words!

Words and symbols in some kind of extraordinary language that Benjamin had never seen before. Benjamin’s heart started racing and his breathing grew louder. His eyes widened and he quickly took the key over to the potting bench in the middle of the shed. The bench stood immediately under the huge expanse of window ceiling and in between two other tables that were filled with pots and dirt. He laid the key on the top near the corner, in the strong growing light of the imminent storm.

The eerie cast that the light makes when it is so bright, yet dark at the same time, gave illumination to the key on the table’s edge. The table was a perfect height for Benjamin to scrunch on down with his hands on his knees at eye level with the key. He marched back and forth, squatting and repositioning himself for every possible discoverable view of this curious relic without actually touching it. This small, yet significant, distance gave solace to Benjamin as he went deep into dissecting thought.

Just as he was about to pick up the key to examine it closer for details, the door of the shed flew open. A burst of exuberant and animated voices came at him so fiercely that he jumped from the sudden fright, scratching his shoulder on the edge of the table behind him.

“Blast it!” he groaned.

Quickly recognizing the voices of his two best mates, Annabel and Mathilda, he grabbed the key with stealth speed and put it in his back pocket. He pulled his jumper over the protruding end of the key to hide it and turned around to see what the commotion was about.

There was Annabel in her familiar flower-printed rubber cowboy boots and her younger sister Mathilda in her ever more familiar lavender tutu, with today’s addition of a yellow, red and green plaid rain slicker and hat. All her wild orange curls were peeking out everywhere around her face and she held something tightly in her closed up fist. The girls were in the middle of a heavy debate.

“....and it always does,” Mathilda was saying in mid sentence.

“That’s not true,” Annabel defended vehemently, “Where do you get these ideas from anyway, you’re just too weird for words Tildie. I mean it. You really are starting to bug me. I just wish you would find some friends your own age already, as if anyone would be friends with you, and leave me alone!” shouted Annabel with force as she kept walking towards Benjamin.

With this, Mathilda stopped dead in her tracks and looked up as her sister walked away from her. Her eyes began to instantly fill with huge blinding hot tears. Benjamin could see Mathilda beginning to lose it completely and he could also see the rage in Annabel’s trudge towards him. He made a small gesture with his eyes for Annabel to turn around. However, before Annabel could understand what Benjamin’s coded expression meant, Mathilda’s sweet little round face was rapidly contorting. With this her little shoulders were bouncing up and down from the weight of her silent wailing.

This was the kind of crying that one makes when the hurt is so sudden that your brain can’t react as fast as your body. Instantly your eyes fill up and closed all at once.

Unprompted, Mathilda’s clenched fist opened and the three gum balls that had been held prisoner, loosened their stickiness in slow motion and fell to the ground, leaving dots of candy flavored red, green and white imprints on her sweaty palm. She held her stiff sticky little rainbow colored hand open like it was something defective and unattached to her. Her rain hat was falling down over her forehead from the jiggling of her bouncing shoulders. And then with all the force of her tiny little person...it came. A huge pile of hurt rushing out of her mouth and filling the room, instantly covering Annabel in shame.

When Annabel finally turned around and saw the incredible anguish of her words, her heart practically popped out of her body. She ran with urgency back to her sister and fell to her knees.

Wrapping her arms around Mathilda she urged, “Oh Tildie, I’m so sorry, I didn’t mean it...really, I didn’t mean it. Please Tildie, you know I love you. Please stop crying.”

Benjamin stood behind Annabel and attempted to help the situation by reassuring Mathilda that she was indeed his best mate, equal only to her sister Annabel, and he couldn’t imagine one without the other.
“Blimey Tildie, we’re the THREE Muskydeers ein’t we?” offered Benjamin.

Finally the gentle coaxing of love from her sister began to slow Mathilda’s seemingly relentless sobbing. Now she had hiccups mixed in with gentle sobs and loads of snot. Annabel took her own sweater sleeve, spit on it a little, picked up Mathilda’s sticky hand and wiped it. Mathilda whimpered through a very runny nose and all the wetness of tears and snot caused a big slobber bubble when she spoke, making the word gum balls come out gum bowls instead.

“I di.dent know...B.Bellie...I just...oh no! I dr..dropped the gum bowls...I’m s..sorry Bellie...”

Attempting not to giggle, Annabel assured her baby sister with a small smile, “Ssshh Tildie, it’s okay, we can just wipe them off, it will be fine.”
Benjamin nodded in reassurance from his end.

Annabel wiped her sister’s tears and her profoundly running nose with the back of her sweater sleeve and propped her rain hat back up on her head. Then the sisters leaned in, resting their foreheads against each other, they looked deeply into one another’s eyes for a very long moment. Slowly a small smile started to grow between them. With this Mathilda threw her arms around Annabel’s neck and Benjamin exhaled a deep breath of relief.

The Wickcliff girls were the most truest and best mates that Benjamin ever had, without exception. It had been almost a year since he sat in his bedroom window and watched in curious amusement as the moving van unloaded the entirety of the Wickcliff belongings into the two story cream house with the forest green trim, next door to his grandparents.

Author Bio

About June M. Pace

June lives with her soon to be husband and best friend Ray, his youngest son and their two dogs, seven chickens and two ducks, in Santa Cruz Ca. Ray’s two older kids live respectively in LA and San Francisco.
June spends her days writing and sometimes painting her well known series of Rock n Roll icons.This series of work, the McTish characters, are a part of June in every sense of the word. “This work brings a deep sense of joy and passion for me in a very profound way, like nothing else that I do.”
You can find June Pace at:

June’s Website | Twitter | Facebook | Goodreads


  • Benjamin McTish and the Door Through the Grandfather Tree on Amazon

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About Expected

Red Alert.

Sam Sweet is terrified of giving birth.

Only, she doesn’t dare tell anyone. Especially her grandchild-obsessed mother, or her fiancé, Simon – top surgeon by day, mind-game expert by night.

Repressed by the expectations of others, Sam feels trapped. All she ever wanted was a career and a crack at independence, but as a catastrophically failed psychiatric nurse who now injects fillers into the crinkled faces of unhappy women, a career is proving tricky. There’s something wrong with the product and now clients are suing.

Nasty work colleagues stir up scandalous gossip, and soon Sam hits rock bottom, consoling herself with button-popping chocolate binges and terrifying spending sprees.

Sam is going to have to find her voice if she ever wants to be herself, fall in love, and follow her dreams.

Alas, the wedding date is set…

The Excerpt ~

I have a needle stuck in Mrs. Devine’s face.

“Is it working, Sam?” she asks.

“Oh, um, definitely. Yes.”

Truthfully? Nothing is coming out of the syringe, and the harder I press the plunger the more my hand shakes and the needle bends. This is what is going to happen next—the needle snaps off before speeding along the venous highway like a tiny dart toward Mrs. Devine’s heart. Either that, or the whole thing suddenly gives way, and I rip a hole through her head. Sweat surfaces all over my body. I must have the flu or a nasty virus. Might even faint while still holding a syringe with a client attached to it.

Damn. Cellafiller is supposed to be the best thing since Collagen, but really, it’s nearly impossible to squeeze this stuff out, let alone artfully sculpt it beneath tissue-thin skin. I don’t remember it being so difficult during training, but now I’m on my own, well . . . let’s just say it isn’t a happy situation being in a back-street beauty salon with a bunch of women expecting great things.

Mrs. Devine, my model, and something big in local amateur dramatics, is lying on the clinic couch in full make-up, coral lips stretched into her performance smile as I try in vain to fill the ravine between her eyebrows. She doesn’t have a frown line through her glabella muscle so much as a grand canyon.

The small crowd of potential customers straining for a glimpse of this miraculous demonstration is visibly shrinking back. You can almost hear the hissing recoil. I don’t need to glance up to see the sharp downturn of glossed lips and the widening of black-rimmed eyes. Mrs. Devine’s grand canyon is oozing fresh blood. I’ve got the needle fully inserted now, retracting the syringe oh-so-slowly the way I’ve been taught, while my furiously vibrating thumb tries in vain to inject treacle-thick product. Should have taken minutes, and then ta-da! But the harder the plunger is depressed, the more blood oozes out, lying darkly now in a swelling puddle of glistening, ruby red.

Hot nausea tides over me. I feel terrible, by the way, just in case you’re wondering; this poor woman had a long, squiggly frown line, and now she’s got what looks like a botched lobotomy. All eyes focus on my trembling hands as I withdraw the syringe, mop up the debris, and declare the job done. I’ve seen less blood-soaked gauze following open-heart surgery.

“There we are,” I trill, as lightly as if I just served up a plate of lasagna. “And in a couple of days, the line will be gone.”

Ignoring the horrified faces, particularly mine in the mirror opposite—so white against my red hair I look like Elizabeth the First after a nasty shock—I snap off my latex gloves, and return to its box the still full syringe with its severely weakened, bent needle. I cannot look at Mrs. Devine as she hops off the couch with blood pouring from her head. To be honest, I could cry. Mrs. Devine owns the clinic and had it gone well, there would have been a list of new clients for our new product. Instead, it’s a major screw-up. Another one. In time, she will have a scar, and that will no doubt take her mind off the ravine. But long before that, there will be that call—the one about having spoken to her lawyer.


My name is Sam Sweet, and I’m in total control; just because every decision I have never made was made by someone else does not mean I am not in control of my life now. Of course I am. Oh, God. Look, I’m doing my best. What else could I have done back there? Oh, God.

About Sarah EnglAND

Sarah originally trained as a nurse in Sheffield (UK) and then went on to work as a medical representative for nearly 20 years, specialising in mental health.

She had always wanted to write fiction, but did not begin until around 8 years ago, prompted by a house move and relocation to the South coast. Since then she has had around 140 short stories published, mostly in national magazines and various anthologies; and most recently a 3 part detective serial in Woman’s Weekly.

3 am and Wide Awake was released in May 2013 by Alife Dog Fiction – a collection of 25 thrillers, many supernatural or medically based – two of her predominant themes.

Expected is Sarah’s first novel – a comedy launched by Crooked Cat Publishing on 28th June, 2013. She lives in Dorset with her husband, Don, and spaniel, Harry.

Find Sarah at:

Sarah’s Website | Blog | Twitter | Facebook | Goodreads




It is my pleasure to introduce to you today T.F. Walsh, author of the hot, new paranormal romance CLOAKED IN FUR!

M J, thank you for having me on your blog today.

Oh, my pleasure, Tania! So, what is the best thing you’ve learned about writing and/or the publishing business?

How important it is to build a strong band of friends who share your passion for writing. I’m talking about writing and critique friends who stick by you and prep you up when needed. Many of my friends who don’t write find it so difficult to understand the pressures of writing and publishing, so it’s always great to have people who are in the same situation to have on your side.

I agree 100% How do you balance the demands of your everyday life and your writing life?

To be honest, I haven’t quite mastered that one yet. I tend to squeeze my everyday life into my writing one, but at the moment that could have to something to do with the book launch.

I hear that, too. I hate it when real life interferes with my writing! Do you have a job outside of writing? What is it and how does it mesh with your writing?

Sure do. I work in marketing and social media during the day. So even when I’m not writing, I’m online. When I go on holidays, I try really hard to leave the Internet behind.

Well that has to be handy! Now, for a few fun questions. What was one of the best Christmas presents you ever received?

It would have to be a BMX bike. When I was young, I was a bit of tomboy and I desperately wanted a BMX. That was a Christmas to remember.

Cool. What CD is in your CD player right now?

Pink’s album, I’m Not Dead.

Love Pink! Name your favorite children's story.

Little Mermaid. I’ve always loved this tale, and who secretly doesn’t want to be a princess mermaid. Come on, fess up.

Not sure what you're talking about. Ahem. What was your nickname growing up or now?

Taniuska. We’ll leave it at that.

Okay. It's better than Termite, which was one of my nicknames. Who was your hero when you were a child, and what did you do to be like them?

During high school, I was obsessed with Madonna. Now I remember back then I was dating this guy who had some issues with me wanting to go to University, and things were not going to work out, but I didn’t know how to break it off. One day, Madonna’s song, Express Yourself played on TV, and I recall how determined it made me to stand up for myself and to finally break it off, which I did that very afternoon. Poor guy, he kind of didn’t see it coming. Best decision ever!

What is your concept of a fruitful day?

Writing over 2000 words and then editing a whole chapter.

What one thing (modern convenience) could you not live without?


No. Since it's part of your job you couldn't do without if for sure. What are your three favorite smells?

The three Cs. Cinnamon. Coffee. Chocolate.

Good answers! Now, let's find out a little bit more about T.F.'s new release, CLOAKED IN FUR!

About Cloaked in Fur~

As a moonwulf, Daciana never expected to fall in

love with a human. Hell, she never imagined that she’d abandon her pack, endanger everyone around her, and break the worst rule possible. But she did.

A rogue werewolf is killing Daciana’s friends, and she sets on capturing the creature. She’ll do whatever it takes to stop the beast. The police and her boyfriend, Inspector Connell Lonescu, are starting to question her involvement in the murders, which is endangering the pack’s secret existence. But when the pack alpha kidnaps Connell, revealing the awful truth about the creature and its connection to the pack, Daciana must choose between saving the man she loves and saving her pack family from certain death.

Sensuality Level: Sensual

Buy cloaked in fur here:

Amazon: http://www.amazon.com/Cloaked-in-Fur-ebook/dp/B00DV0XJ4A/ref=sr_1_1?s=books&ie=UTF8&qid=1374564291&sr=1-1

Amazon UK: http://www.amazon.co.uk/Cloaked-in-Fur-ebook/dp/B00DV0XJ4A/ref=sr_1_1?s=books&ie=UTF8&qid=1374635978&sr=1-1

Barnes and Noble: http://www.barnesandnoble.com/w/cloaked-in-fur-tf-walsh/1116059078?ean=9781440571619

iTunes: https://itunes.apple.com/us/book/cloaked-in-fur/id672328984?mt=11

All Romance: https://www.allromanceebooks.com/product-cloakedinfur-1248970-237.html#.Ufo7z08TtDA.twitter

Kobo Books: http://www.kobobooks.com/ebook/Cloaked-in-Fur/book-qSnc5CgEaEKVUl5mP62cwg/page1.html?s=AaHZQ8xwNUy3VP0NKrdqDw&r=1

Crimson Romance Books: http://www.crimsonromance.com/upcoming-releases-romance-ebook/cloaked-in-fur/

Publisher: Crimson Romance www.crimsonromance.com

About The Author~

T.F. Walsh emigrated from Romania to Australia at the age of eight and now lives in a regional city south of Sydney with her husband. Growing up hearing dark fairytales, she's always had a passion for reading and writing horror, paranormal romance, urban fantasy and young adult stories. She balances all the dark with light fluffy stuff like baking and traveling.


Please welcome today our special guest blogger author Melissa Bourbon Ramirez! Take it, Melissa!

It wasnʼt until about two years ago, when I was writing the first book in a new cozy mystery series, that I began to think of my muse, or muses as the case may be, as something really tangible that I could summon at will, or that would betray me by being absent when I needed her/them most. In fact, I canʼt say that I thought about my muses --because as Iʼm writing this, Iʼve had an epiphany and do believe that I have more than one-- much at all.
But theyʼve shown their true colors. Iʼd begun to think of them as fickle girls, but Iʼve changed my tune. Iʼll never look at them in quite the same way or take for granted the beauty of having them on the job, fully engaged in my creative process, or the power of their insight.
I have new respect for my muses and what they offer through song, practice, and memory.
It often takes a big shake up and the absence of something to really appreciate what you have. Thatʼs how it happened for me. You know what they say about absence making the heart grow fonder and all that? It worked. They left, I was melancholy, and they returned with a new light for me to follow.
How very poetic, I know.
Iʼm not a metaphysical girl. My feet are firmly planted on the ground. Let me be clear, I donʼt, like, sit around thinking about cliches and how they apply to my life. But cliches are cliches because there is truth in them and sometimes that truth is more palatable when taken in a pithy dose. The absence of my muses is what helped me recognize them in the first place. It also helped me appreciate the creative energy they bring into the my writing equation.
They deserted me several times while I was writing Pleating for Mercy, but it was through that desertion that I came to appreciate what they are to me and what they do.
I can pinpoint exactly when they left, almost down to the very minute. My creativity had dried up. I had writerʼs block. I was panicking, thinking Iʼd never finish this book, and if I did, it would suck.
But I can also look back and see when them returning--after Iʼd taken much needed time away from my project, had recharged, and had allowed my mind to open up, let fresh idea in, and see things in a new way.
When I was writing Curse of Passion, my muses were right there by my side, giving me clues about where to go next, or how to resolve a scene. The climax, for example, came to me as I happened upon a picture of several pairs of shoes lined up against a wall.  Voila!  The climax of the book (at a cabin at the river) began to take form, and those shoes… the shoes of the dead women, played an integral part. 
Muses at work!
What I realized was that when I’m stuck, those clever girls don’t abandon me.  I temporarily shut them out. If I’m on overlaod and completely unable to feel their creative energy flow into me, that’s that.  When this happens, they go away and I stay stuck. But if I let them, they step aside and lead me away from my writing and back into reality where I can and do regain perspective on my characters and plot by doing the opposite of what I always think I should do. I always think I should keep going, push through the writing pain, persevere and give myself permission to write crap and revise later (which I do whether I give myself permission or not). I never think that stopping and taking precious time away from my writing is the answer.
But it is! Iʼve completely changed my thought process on this idea and itʼs been so freeing. If only Iʼd listened to the girls in my head sooner I might have staved off some gray hairs and wrinkles and the divot in my forehead from banging it against the wall.
Better late than never, right?
So my muses, yet to be named (though Lola, Harlow, Delaney and Johanna come to mind), are alive and well, ever-present, and an important part of my creativity. Thank God I realized it!
How about you? Do you have muses?  How do they help you in whatever your creative endeavors are?


The ghost of la Llorona is said to haunt the riverbanks, always searching for her drowned child. She also haunts high school teacher Johanna Rios, whose own mother believed so deeply in the legend she tried to drown her daughters. And now the ghost has become real, a young woman murdered,

and the safe world Jo created is falling apart.

Since returning home from his last tour of duty to become a school principal, Ray Vargas has fought his attraction for his employee, the sensual woman who’d once been the girl next door. But the Llorona Killer will not stop until he claims his final victim—Johanna—and Ray will do anything to protect the woman he’s come to love.

With a serial killer out to prove the curse is real, will Ray and Johanna’s future be drowned in the ghostly waters of the past? Or will the power of their love give them the strength to stop a killer…and heal their wounded hearts.


Johanna paced and turned toward him, but still hadn’t noticed Ray in the doorway. He catalogued her features. She was thirty-two, with honey-colored skin, cheekbones that gave her an exotic look, long, dark hair…

As it often did, his gaze hitched at her full, red lips. He couldn’t remember the last time he’d kissed lips like that. Maybe never.

The sliver of skin showing between her sweater and her pants drew his eyes. She looked far hotter than any teacher had a right to—certainly hotter than any teacher he’d ever had. Thank God, or he’d never have graduated.

He felt his eyes pinch and blinked hard to break the drugged feeling that suddenly slid over him. He’d done his best to steer clear of her for years, and after this conversation, he’d go back to staying away.

“Who is this? What do you want?” Johanna’s voice held fear, tinged with anger.

That was not a tone Ray associated with Johanna. He froze in place. He’d been trained well by the

Army. Freeze first. Assess. Decide. Then move.

She spoke again, her voice rising in pitch. “Would you just stop calling?” she demanded, her voice shaking.

Distressed. Johanna was distressed. Time to act. Ray moved then, coming into the classroom, bumping a desk as he came toward her, startling her.

She whipped around, gasping as she saw him. Her face paled, and a second later she dropped her cell phone on her desk. She speared her hand through her hair, her fingers bending until they looked like claws digging into her scalp.

His heart pumped hard. What the hell? “Johanna,” he said, aware his voice was gruffer than he’d intended. “What was that about?”

She stared at him, her eyes wide, like a damn deer caught in the headlights. One second. Two seconds. Three seconds.

“Prank caller,” she finally said, snapping out of her trance.

Ray ran the pads of his fingers over his goatee. Prank caller, my ass. She’d been engaged in that conversation, had been responding to the person on the other end of the line. But her eyes stayed wary and he decided to let it go. He was here for a purpose. Marianne’s murder needed his attention, and he wanted to know Johanna’s secret.

“Sorry for barging in,” he said, “but I’d like to continue the conversation we started back in my office.”

She raised an eyebrow at him. “You mean about Marianne? Are the deputies coming back?”

He shook his head. “They’re gone.” She looked puzzled as he continued. “You brought up la Llorona.”

“Yes,” she said flatly.

Her voice had lost the shaky edge it had held a moment ago on the phone. Hell, now it almost sounded like it could freeze water. Her own form of self-preservation, he supposed. “You wrote your master’s thesis on her?”

Johanna slumped against her desk and ran one hand over her face, down her neck, let it settle on her chest. “Yes.”


She hesitated, and for a moment looked like she wasn’t going to respond. Then she spoke, her voice softer, more thoughtful. “My mother believed in her.”

Odd. Johanna had placed a strange emphasis on the word believed. Hadn’t her mother simply known about the story? Why would she believe in a ghost tale? “La Llorona is a legend,” he said.

“A legend based on a real woman who lived five hundred years ago.”

“It’s a kid’s story. Like the boogieman and the chupacabra.”

Johanna shook her head. “My mother believed la Llorona was real. Because of that, I’ve always been…curious…about the legend.”

She started when her cell phone rang. Her sudden jerk sent the tips of her fingers slipping under the vee of her sweater. His eyes followed the path as her hand settled on the swell of her breast. He swallowed, narrowing his eyes as he forced his gaze back to her face. Her phone, playing a traditional cumbia rather than a regular ring tone, continued for a full ten seconds while she stood frozen. She didn’t even look at where it sat on the desk.

He tried not to think about whatever might be going on in her personal life that warranted heated phone calls. A bad break-up, maybe? He hadn’t heard she was dating anyone, but she might be. Much as he hated to admit it to himself, he didn’t want her to have a personal life. It messed with his fantasy.

Enough. He had to get his head back in the game. Had to focus on why he was here —and that reason was not to stare at her breasts or get jealous over imaginary lovers or remind himself of the fantasies he’d had of her—fantasies featuring her naked. Her hot mouth on his. Her skin sliding sinuously under his.

About Melissa Bourbon Ramirez ~

Melissa Bourbon, who sometimes answers to her Latina-by-marriage name Misa Ramirez, gave up teaching middle and high school kids in Northern California to write full-time amidst horses and

Longhorns in North Texas. She fantasizes about spending summers writing in quaint, cozy locales, has a love/hate relationship with yoga and chocolate, is devoted to her family, and can’t believe she’s lucky enough to be living the life of her dreams.

She is the Marketing Director with Entangled Publishing, is the founder of Books on the House, the co-founder of The Naked Hero, and is the author of the Lola Cruz Mystery series with St. Martin’s Minotaur and Entangled Publishing, and A Magical Dressmaking Mystery series with NAL. She also has two romantic suspense novels, and is the co-author of The Tricked-out Toolbox, all to be released in 2012/2013.

Find Melissa here:



International Entries



Where it Comes Together – A virtual tour of Misty Dietz’s office

Hey gang, thanks for taking time out of your busy day to hang with me here at M.J. Schiller, Author!!! A big thanks also to M.J. for hosting me on my debut tour for COME HELL OR HIGH DESIRE!

Today I thought I’d do something a little different and peel back the curtain on where I spend most of my time writing. I love this space because it’s my private little domain. In fact, it’s probably my fav room in the whole house.

When I plot, I do so at our dining room table with big sheets of butcher block paper so I can lay the sequence of scenes out in a timeline format. Then I input this information into Scrivener in a rough outline, and I roll from there.

Yes, I’m a super organized person. But I pretty much blow at this video business. So, here goes: (if you want to skip any of it, may I suggest the beginning when I talk about the bookcase. Good God, I drone on there (stupid nerves), but I thought if I started over take two would suck worse.)



So that’s where all this shit goes down. You deserve a medal for sitting through all that! Now, I’d love to know, what’s YOUR favorite room? And/or…what do you think I should put on my blank wall?

At the end of my blog tour we’ll be drawing the name of two commenters from all of the blogs to gift not one, but two fantastic prize winners. See below for details, and thanks for being here! xo, misty ;)

About Come Hell or High Desire

Torn between dangerous desires…

Framed for a series of brutal murders, rebel-turned-CEO Zack Goldman must go to ground. When he discovers that sexy boutique owner Sloane Swift has a shocking gift—terrifying visions that connect her to his mentor’s missing daughter—he can’t believe her refusal to help him. Nor can he believe he’s actually falling for the frustrating woman.

Their chemistry will either find its perfect equation…

Helping an accused killer ranks low on Sloane’s to-do list, no matter how hot the attraction burns between them. But putting to rest her overwhelming guilt over the missing girl’s fate proves more difficult than she ever imagined…that is, until her heart and conscience begin to align.

…or detonate everything in its path.

As the real killer locks in on Sloane, Zack will stop at nothing to keep her safe. And as they earn each other’s trust—with danger in hot pursuit—they may just lose their hearts in the process…

The Excerpt

Her fingernails suddenly raked at her skull. “Lord! I almost forgot. We have to go back to Ann’s. She has a diary!”

He swerved into an empty parking lot and swiveled to face her, blood pounding in his ears. “What are you talking about?”

“Ann keeps a diary. We have to find it.”

“You’re just telling me this now? You should have goddamn said something right away!”

“Don’t you dare curse at me like that, you seismic jackass!”

He had to get out. He flung the truck door open and strode onto the cracked asphalt. Her door slammed shut moments later, and within seconds she was wagging a finger in his face. “And don’t you walk away from me, either!”

“Then don’t be such a damn shrew.”

Color flooded over her cheekbones seconds before she punched him in the gut. Hard. An ancient fire lit up his nerve circuits and adrenaline had him widening his stance. His heart gunned.

His groin tightened.

And she was still shrill.

“I’m not a shrew! How am I supposed to act in a situation like this? You think I’m enjoying this? I hate it! But unfortunately I have a conscience which would haunt me for the rest of my life if I don’t follow this through until we have some answers. You came to me and wanted to rule out the church first. Then with everything that happened, I forgot about the diary until right now. That clear enough for you, you—”

Clear enough, honey.

He vised her head between his palms and kissed her. He hadn’t meant to, but the moment her mouth opened to his, he was lost. Not breaking contact with her mouth, he wrapped one arm around her, his hand splaying across her ass, locking her hips against him. Her hands were in his hair, her hips grinding, driving him crazy. They feasted on each other’s mouth, tongues dueling, daring, seeking. He felt her fingers between their bodies, slipping underneath the waistband of his jeans, pulling at the hem of his shirt. Her fingernail scraped his abs and he groaned. She leaned away from his mouth, her eyes dead sexy. Liquid brown. He was gonna—

A car horn blew, jerking him back to life. Back to the parking lot. He looked over to see a man in a black minivan at a stoplight giving them the thumbs up. He honked twice more, waved, and drove on.

Sloane burst into a fit of laughter that quickly dissolved into tears.

And that clinched it. He’d woken up this morning in some creepy-assed Twilight Zone.


About Misty Dietz

Misty’s love affair with words started in middle school when she penned dark stories set in exotic locales she knew nothing about. In college, her boy-angst spilled over into disturbing reams of poetry. After grad school, real life hit, and the writing went into hibernation until she found her own happily-ever-after with an ultra linear man who is the long-suffering counter-balance to her zig-zagging tendencies. Now, she spends her days writing emotionally complex, adrenaline-fueled stories, teaching Zumba, and praying her children don’t come home with math homework.

You can find Misty at:



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