Wednesday, August 30, 2017

Short Story Round Up!

I read a LOT of shorter fiction, and sometimes if I've read multiple shorter pieces I'll combine them into a single blog post rather than spread them out over individual posts. So ... here I go.

The Weeds within the Rulership

Emily Martha Sorensen

Raneh's really worried that she has magic and it's forbidden.

But she gets a slight distraction when the boy next door gives her a bouquet of weeds.

My Review:

First off this story (as of last time I checked) is free, and as I said in my heading to this post, I'm not a stranger to short stories, and I do not rate stories down simply for being short. That said, I didn't really feel this was a story. It felt like a sample chapter of a larger work, lacking a real arc, more of a set up than a self-satisfying tale.

However, the writing is fine, the character (while she seemed a little older than the twelve years she supposedly has) was fine, the world and premise seemed intriguing.

It would be a good thing to check out to see if the style of the author is something for you, so this isn't a "don't bother" review so much as a "sure, try it, because it is free and you can read it in under ten minutes." If you like it, you might want to move on to the full length books in the series.

Hearts Ablaze

Janeen Ippolito

He’s hot. He’s an alien. He didn’t tell her.
He’s in big trouble…

Anthony Salamandras is the perfect boyfriend: attractive, wealthy, caring, and fine with hanging out in the library while Kelley Vanders-Froggett studies for her senior year of college. Sure, she’s never seen his family or visited his home, but details like that can be sorted out after graduation.

Then he pops the question –and sweeps Kelley off to another planet. Now she’s dealing with alien future in-laws, creepy lizards, and a fiery transformation. Not to mention a fiancé who has no clue that this is not how Earth girls celebrate engagement.

Kelley’s in over her head. But one thing’s for sure: Anthony’s gonna find out just what this daughter of a vacuum cleaner repairman is made of.

A short romantic satire with a sweet core and a fiery happily-ever-after.

My Review:

My husband couldn't believe I was reading this when he saw the cover. He thought it looked exactly like it was what it is making fun of, but that's kind of the point to it. There are a lot of ridiculous paranormal romances out there that are in need of a good send up.

That said, I'm not sure I'd call this a full on satire because it is actually very good-hearted and rather than make fun of some aspects of the genre, it kind of fixes them

For instance, we all know the "hunky (fill in the blank with your paranormal being of choice. Vampire, Werebear, Alien, Cockatrice) alpha kidnaps his choice of mate and then wins her over through his fiery passion cliche that is like somewhere between idealized Stockholm Syndrome and full on Rape-Fetish? Well, Anthony isn't a boorish alpha convinced he will tame the defiant beauty he has taken against her will.


He's just really, really clueless in kind of a wide-eyed fluffy sort of way (seriously, I know he's supposed to be an alien fire-elemental with horns and scales, but I kept imagining fluffy bunny).

And the humor is pretty great, too. A lot of fire/heat related puns, yes, but just generally it makes you smile.

Kelley was sufficient. She didn't interest me quite as much as Anthony (mainly because she's kind of the "straight man" in the comedy sense), but I liked her pragmatic family and a lot of her lines were really great.

My only real complaint was that I wanted more of his family, the snobby fire elementals who don't think she's good enough for their son and kind of want her dead. I actually could see that going in a lot of fun directions, but we leave that section of the story behind very quickly (maybe a sequel where they end up back on his planet with that half of the family drama will be available at some point? I don't usually clamor for sequels but that one I feel we need).

According to my kindle, I read this in a little under 45 minutes. Quick read, but worth while.

The Moon Master's Ball

by Clara Diane Thompson

A Magical Retelling of a Beloved Fairy Tale!

After her terrifying experience there several years ago, the one place young housemaid Tilly longs to avoid is Bromley's Circus. But when kindly Lord Hollingberry begs her to deliver a message to the mysterious Moon Master hidden away among the circus dwellers, Tilly can't refuse . . . and finds herself ensnared in a web of enchantment cast by the loathsome Mrs. Carlisle and her beautiful goddaughter.

My Review

Starting with the positive:

Well written in that the writing didn't stand in the way of the story and I never felt it "tripped me" up.

The world was beautiful and intriguing and left me wanting more but not confused about how anything in particular worked. Right amount of explanation, description, atmosphere, well integrated.

The story had some unexpected twists. At first some of the clues seemed to be leading to something werewolfish going on (and the title might've been nudging my brain in that direction), but without spoiling, it took a turn that was unexpected but not unsatisfying, which is hard.

Now the rough stuff:

Tilly is not an interesting character to me.

There's a point in the story where another character tells her she is special, and my immediate response was, "But why?" I mean, sure, everyone is special, but Tilly is not particularly so, and she doesn't do anything special. In fact, until way past the half-way point she doesn't do much at all except what she's told (not in a subservient way. I mean, she's a maid, and doing what your employers say is called a "job" and there's nothing wrong with doing a job, but doing a job does not make you special ... and the job itself is not particular difficult and definitely not interesting). Her repeated refrain of "just wanting to lead a normal life" didn't resonate with me.

She's one of those "safe" characters who is nice enough and who shows enough spirit but doesn't really stand out as someone I want to spend time with.

Also, it was well past the half-way point that the character took any sort of action and even then, again, it was going where she was sent to do something that it didn't feel like she was particularly interested in doing.

There are some spoilers past this point because I can't break down why she didn't work for me without getting somewhat into her choices. If that bothers you or if what I've said so far is enough that you are intrigued in spite of me not liking the character, the story is available as a part of this anthology 0f Cinderella re-tellings. You can pick it up and judge for yourself.

There's a point where she is told that she's needed to help someone ... and her immediate response is to not want to do it.

Then chapter break, and now she wants to do it because it is the right thing to do ... but we don't see her go through this mental journey.

The reasons she doesn't want to do this arguably "just a good human thing to do" are, again, throwing us back to that "normal life" she wants to live.

Then the whole thing with Rodger ... why was he even in this story? At first I was wondering whether that was going to be a cool twist. If "Cinderella" would reject "Prince Charming" because she prefers her long time friend ... no, he makes his desire apparent to her, and she turns him down, which is great, that's her right (though she had a way of doing it that was almost trying to make him feel ashamed "our friendship ended when you decided you wanted more ..." like "oh, dang, you ruined a good thing..." turn him down, girl, but come on, don't make the poor guy feel bad for falling in love with you unless he decides to be a creeper about it ... and second spoiler point with Rodger, after this point, I assumed that this was headed in a "Rodger is going to do something out of jealousy that turns him into an antagonist," because why else would you set this guy up to obviously like her then get rejected if it wasn't going to be plot important ... ? No, he's just sort of awkwardly hanging around for the rest of the book with her being "sad" about it ...

Only for her to sort of maybe be with Jasper at the end.

Her accomplishments in the book are all fairly mundane. She delivers messages, feels sorry for the right person, delivers another message, is captured, then goes to the "ball," to "save" Jasper (it's not made clear how she's supposed to do this. Even Tilly complains about her instructions being vague) ... then her shoes glow magically allowing her to dispatch the bad guy with one kick.

I never got a real sense of her being in any danger or taking any real risks. I never got a sense she was doing something that any other human being couldn't have done under the same circumstances.

So yeah, Tilly being the lead took the whole story down several notches for me, but it was a short story and I did appreciate the writing and setting. If you are a voracious reader and you're okay with relatively "normal" rather than "interesting" characters, it could be everything you want it to be. I'm just really addicted to my characters having a little bit of "quirk" or something to keep me entertained.

Saturday, August 26, 2017

Random Interview Saturday! A. L. Kaplan

The H. L. Burke Random Interview is not like other interviews. The questions are all over the place. They have no purpose. Their purpose is their lack of purpose.
There are nine questions because cats, but these nine questions are subject to change without notice, so the questions one person answers may not be the questions answered by the next author.
It is a dark night when the moon creeps over the horizon and our next author emerges to howl!
She is A. L. Kaplan!

Author Biography
A. L. Kaplan’s love of books started as a child and sparked a creative imagination. Born on a cold winter morning in scenic northern New Jersey, her stories and poems have been included in several anthologies and magazines. Her novel, Star-touched, is due out this fall. She served on the Maryland Writers’ Association’s Howard County Chapter board for several years and holds an MFA in sculpture from the Maryland Institute College of Art. When not writing or indulging in her fascination with wolves, A. L. is the props manager for a local theatre. This proud mother of two lives in Maryland with her husband and dog.

What weather is your writing? A dark and stormy night? A sunshiny day?
Starting a story with “It was a dark and stormy night.” brings up images of my friend Snoopy. I wish I could say my writing was filled with sunshine and rainbows, but my parents always told me to tell the truth. Besides, too much sugar is bad for your health and very boring. Struggle, danger, and turbulence run through most of what I create. When people ask what I write, my stock answer is usually science fiction, fantasy, and depressing poetry, although I have been known to make small spots of sunshine on occasion.

When cats take over the world, how do you plan to win their good graces?
Oh dear. I’m afraid I’ll be joining the dogs in the underground resistance. My heart runs with people’s best friend and their wild cousins, not the overlords. When no one is looking I howl at the moon.

If you were the captain of a space ship, what would its mission be? Exploration? Colonization? Partying?
My ongoing mission is to boldly go where no woman has gone before. Somewhere out there is a planet of wolves and dragons. Once I find it I’ll consider retiring there.

What’s the most important lesson you ever learned from a cartoon?
Even the smallest of creatures can win the battle against overwhelming odds. They can also have a magic bag. I still remember watching Felix the Cat and Kimba the White Lion before starting preschool. Then there was Gumby. I was popping in and out of books and creating fantasy adventures long before I learned to write. Whoever said young children don’t remember things was very wrong.

Do you consider yourself a cat person, or a dog person?
Dog. Wolf. Dog. Wolf….See previous question about the cat takeover. My family got a dog when I was little. He was never trained, stole food from the table, and barked endlessly. He also stood guard over me once during a scolding. At least that’s how my young mind perceived it. I was dog bonded on the spot. When I grew up and got my first dog, I was determined she would be a cross between Lassie and Rin Tin Tin. Things didn’t work out how I expected, but she was wonderful. The year she earned her companion dog obedience degree she was also the highest scoring Alaskan malamute. My second dog never competed, but remained my shadow for sixteen years. Now I have a wonderful little lunatic named Laila who loves agility. She’s also my smallest baby at 46 pounds.

Who is your fictional best friend and what activities do you choose to do together?
I have way too many fictional friends to pick a best. Each of them visits me just when I need them most, lending an ear when I need to talk, telling me when I need to make a change, or simply inspiring me to write their stories.

If you woke up tomorrow and realized you were now a dragon, what would you do first?
That sounds like a lot of fun. First I’d fly around the world and do some aerial acrobatics. Then I’d teleport to another world. One of my works in progress has a dragon or two. Okay, a bunch of dragons.

If you had to build a house without conventional materials, what unconventional materials would you use? (Gingerbread is inadvisable because it attracts snacking children)
I would love to have a house build from dragon scales and insulated with wolf hair. It would be heat resistant in the summer and cozy warm in the winter. Wet dog smell doesn’t bother me.

If this question were any question in the world, what question would you want it to be and how would you answer it?
What is the strangest thing you served to your children?
I love experimenting with new edibles and funky food night happens often. Of all of the oddities served, my kids still think the dandelion fritters were the strangest.

Connect with the Author

Wednesday, August 23, 2017

Best H. L. Burke Romantic Lead!

I was bored recently so I decided to self-indulgently poll my social media to see which of my leading men resonated the most with my readership. So I didn't have to list EVERY male character, I limited it down to male characters who have been part of a central romance.

The results were interesting to me. I have a major preference for certain characters ... and three of my guys did have a strong lead over the others ... so just for fun, here's a break down.

Several characters (Jericho Carver from Spellsmith and Carver, Prince Calen from Coiled, Karvir from Lands of Ash, and Brode from Call of the Waters) received a single vote.
I was honestly a little surprised Calen didn't get more votes (as one comment on the poll said, "Auric is the most dreamy but I think my heart would be best treasured by Calen."), but his story has only been out a couple of months, so maybe he just isn't as well known as some of my other guys.

Auric Spellsmith from Spellsmith and Carver did eek out two votes.  One of his fans said, "I loved how Auric was both vulnerable and independent. Also he is very loyal to his family dispite the problems with his father."

So here we get into the top three.

Coming in third with four votes is Ewan from the Dragon and the Scholar Saga. This is my first real romantic hero, and I do have a soft spot for him in all his sarcastic, moody glory. Plus ... dragons!
Very hard choice between Ewan and Ellis. I read Ewan's books before Ellis's, though, so he gets my vote. ;)
No Martin?! :O I love him! But Ewan is still the best.
He and Ellis are pretty much tied because they're both awesome. I love Jericho and the others as well, but Gnaw's still my favorite. 

The race for number one was really close between the top two, saved from a tie by a last minute vote, but after some struggle, a leader emerged, leaving Brick from Beggar Magic in second place. Brick is adorable. I kind of see him as a sweet little brother/best friend type, so his popularity over some of the guys who are more "my type" did surprise me a little, but at six votes, he was the firm second place winner.
Brick is so open and sweet, in the end I had to vote for him.
Brick wins ever so slightly over Ellis. <3 i="">

So have you guessed who number one was?
Honestly, he's kind of my guy, too. I love this guy ...
Ellis Dalhart from the Nyssa Glass series!
Ellis 💖 he would do anything for her
Ellis is the perfect combination of protective gentleman and allowing Nyssa to be her own person. And he's witty. I like witty guys.
I wanted to pick Jericho AND Ellis! D: Ahem. I went for Ellis though.
Ewan was my second choice, but Ellis is just so adorable.

So readers have spoken and the top guy in the H. L. Burke library is Ellis Dalhart. I can't really blame them. Ellis is awesome ... though Calen ... and Jericho ... dang it, Brick and Ewan, too ... dang, I like writing awesome guys.

I might do a favorite female lead at some point.
So what do you think? Have you read these guys' stories? Did you have a favorite? 

Saturday, August 19, 2017

Random Interview Saturday! D. H. Barbara

The H. L. Burke Random Interview is not like other interviews. The questions are all over the place. They have no purpose. Their purpose is their lack of purpose.
There are nine questions because cats, but these nine questions are subject to change without notice, so the questions one person answers may not be the questions answered by the next author.
A butler steps in, sticks his nose in the air, and announces our next author: D. H. Barbara!
D. H. Barbara

author biography

   Child of the King, Wife, Mom, Grandma, NASCAR fan, Author. Any further info can be found at this link:

Sum up your life in five words and two punctuation marks.
   Tremendously blessed; need a dragon!

Pirates, Ninjas, or Vikings? Choose carefully.
   Vikings; my hubby always says he's a Viking! ;-)

Paper or plastic?

Your life is being made into a movie. Who plays you? Who plays your love interest? (or who plays your arch-enemy?)
    Me: Angie Harmon (she's so sassy!) Arch enemy: Susan Sarandon

Did you bring me anything?
   A handful of fun!

Vs movies seem to be all the rage. If you had to put one together, what on screen match up would you like to see?
   Feeling incredibly vulnerable; what is a VS movie?

If you had to write only in one crayon color for the rest of your life, what would you choose?

What film era do you feel best represents your day to day life?

If this question were any question in the world, what question would you want it to be and how would you answer it?
   Do you think that being raised in New Jersey has had any effect on you?

   Is this a trick question?

Connect with the Author 
   Twitter: @dhbarbara1

The Lakeville Series, first 2 of 5

Angels Unaware, inspirational fantasy: Books2Read:

Wednesday, August 16, 2017

Fellowship of Fantasy Fan Art Contest!!!

I'm especially motivated to tell you about this in hopes that some of you have created artwork related to my own books, of course, but this is a fun opportunity for any reader who has been inspired by an indie author. It's really easy to find artwork inspired by best sellers or books that have gotten movie/tv deals, but the less known authors often have awesome worlds that look great in a visual medium.

Read on to find out how you can enter your indie inspired fan art:

Do you like to draw, paint, or sculpt? Have you read a book by a Fellowship of Fantasy author and been inspired to create art? Here’s your chance to show it off to our page followers … and maybe win an awesome prize.
Announcing the 2017 Fellowship of Fantasy Fan Art Competition!

To enter email a scanned copy or photograph of your artwork as a PNG or JPEG file to
Name of the artist.
Title of the Piece (if applicable)
Name of the book the art represents.
Age of the artist (or what age category the art should be entered if if you would rather leave off your exact age. The three categories are 16+, 11 to 15, and 10 and under.).
Verification of your contact email address.

The winner of the 16+ age category will receive a Fellowship of Fantasy ebook library of 16 fantasy titles. (prize available internationally)
The winner of the 11-15 age category will receive a Fellowship of Fantasy mini-library consisting of 5 paperback and 8 ebook fantasy titles (ebooks will be substituted for a non-US winner due to shipping costs).
The winner of the 10 and Under age category will receive a mini-library of 5 paperback titles as well as a colored pencil set (digital prize such as an Amazon gift certificate may be substituted for non-US winners depending on shipping restrictions to the winner’s location).

While artists maintain the right to the artwork, the artist entering their work in the contest gives us license to post the work in our public feeds and use the image in promotional materials if desired.
Art must depict characters/scenes from an Indie fantasy author. Not from an IP controlled by a major publishing house or corporation.
Winner will be chosen via social media likes. There will be three winners selected, one for each age category (16+, 11 to 15, and 10 and under).
Commissioned artwork is disqualified from the contest. This does not disqualify artists who have sold other artwork, just they cannot have been paid specifically to create this artwork for the writer (so no cover art).
The art needs to be easily represented in a still image or by photographic means. Sorry no videos, performance art, or written word pieces at this time.
Inappropriate art or art deemed insensitive or inappropriate for our audience may be disqualified at the contest runner’s discretion.
Authors may not submit art directly related to their own work, though they may submit art related to the work of another author.
Children, spouses, friends, relatives of authors are free to enter even if the art is related to that author.
Art must be original work, submitted by the artist or the legal guardian of the artist if the artist is a minor.

Submissions and Deadlines:
The submission period runs from August 14th through September 16th.
All eligible submissions will be posted on our Facebook page ( for readers to admire and to vote using their “like” buttons.
Winner determined by social media response October 1st.

Saturday, August 12, 2017

Random Interview Saturday! Savannah Jazowski

The H. L. Burke Random Interview is not like other interviews. The questions are all over the place. They have no purpose. Their purpose is their lack of purpose.
There are nine questions because cats, but these nine questions are subject to change without notice, so the questions one person answers may not be the questions answered by the next author.
Our next author sails in on an airship ... I wonder what she named it. It's Savannah Jezowski!!!

Savannah Jezowski

Author Blurb
Savannah Jezowski lives in a drafty farmhouse in Amish country with her Knight in Shining Armor, her little warrior princess and a loyal brigade of dogs and kitties. She is the author of When Ravens Fall and is also a featured author in Five Enchanted Roses from Rooglewood Press. Her work has been published in Ray Gun Revival, Mindflights and in the student publication of Fountains at Pensacola Christian College. She likes books, faeries, writing hats and having tea with her imaginary friends.
Sum up your life in five words and two punctuation marks.
This one is easy: FAMILY!
Pirates, Ninjas, or Vikings? Choose carefully.
Vikings all the way. I would have chosen pirates once upon a time, but after writing my last novella (yes, it was about Vikings) I have to say I have a fondness for the rugged and ornery Northmen. Have you ever read Nordic poetry? Some of it is actually pretty cool, and they're legends are over-the-top-awesome. Did you know there is a gossiping squirrel called Ratatoskr who runs up and down the great tree causing mischief between the bird at the top and the serpent at the base? He inspired Tosk, the comedic and painfully chatty squirrel in my book When Ravens Fall. And that’s only one of many legends that wormed their way into my short novella. So many unique stories one can draw inspiration from. And their outfits are cool.
Are computers friends or foes?
Aren't they both? They really can be useful--my brain moves too quickly for me to write a novel longhand, but the relationship between Operator and Computer is pretty dicey. I mean, I'm not sure I would even classify it as a relationship. More like mortal combat. It's like grabbing a dragon by the tail and saying "Hi, there! We're friends, right? Yes? Maybe? Oh, you want to eat me now. Okay. I'm good with that. When you're all done with your snack, can we finish my novel?"
If you had the honor of naming something really big (a country, a spaceship, a planet) what would you want it to be and what would you name it?
I would totally name an airship. I've always wants to write a steampunk novel about an airship called the Persephone. It just sounds like an awesome name for an airship.
If you favorite historical era had an ice cream flavor made in its honor, what would it taste like?
You mean I have to pick one favorite era? because they're all pretty neat. For example, the civil war era they wore those awesome dresses, and the Victorian era were so refined and turn of the century. Then there's the Vikings, or the age of Chivalry...I guess if I had to choose, I would choose the era of Downton Abbey. I love the elegance and the love with tradition, but also the excitement of change and rising technology. What would it taste like? Orange and lemon sherbert--mixed. A traditional flavor that's been around a long time and another one that packs a nice punch.  
Did you bring me anything? daughter is blowing kisses? Does that count? Before you decide, you should know she’s six months old so her kisses are mostly, uh, spit.

Vs movies seem to be all the rage. If you had to put one together, what on screen match up would you like to see?
Wolverine vs. the Thundercats because the Thundercats are that amazing. You do know who the Thundercats are, right?
What film era do you feel best represents your day to day life?
My life is pretty quiet, all things considered. I'm not sure what film era would fit that best...but I love BBC movies based off classic novelists like Dickens, Gaskell and Austen. I watch films like Pride and Prejudice, Little Dorrit, Cranford…ooh, my all time favorite is North and South based off the book by British author Elizabeth Gaskell. It’s about the tensions between a girl from the idyllic southern portion of England and Mr. Thornton, the brooding factory owner of the cold, materialistic north. But what that has to do with my, uh, everyday life is anyone’s guess. My husband works in a factory. And I live in the country. So there. I guess it fits just fine.

If this question were any question in the world, what question would you want it to be and how would you answer it?
I’m rather introverted and get nervous when people ask me questions, especially personal questions that require me to bare my soul and share my most appalling secrets…so, I guess the safest question would be: What is your name? To which I would answer, “Savannah,” because even on my worst day I know the answer to that question.

Author Links
When Ravens Fall
Five Enchanted Roses

Wednesday, August 9, 2017

Review: The Beast of Talesend by Kyle Shultz

The Beast of Talesend (Beaumont and Beasley Book 1)

by Kyle Shultz

Private eye Nick Beasley lives in a world where fairy tales ended a long time ago – where zeppelins now soar the skies instead of dragons, and where the first automobiles have taken the place of flying carpets. He’s made a name for himself across the Afterlands by debunking fake magicians and exposing fraudulent monsters. This is the modern age, after all. Magic and monsters are long gone.

At least, that’s what Nick believes. Until he gets magically transformed into a monster, that is.

The only person who may be able to help Nick is Lady Cordelia Beaumont, one of the last enchantresses in the Afterlands. But in order for her to cure him, they’ll have to retrieve a powerful artifact from a ruthless crime lord – who is also Cordelia’s father.

The fate of the Afterlands lies in the hands of a runaway enchantress and a monstrous ex-detective. What could possibly go wrong?

Perfect for fans of Doctor Who, Once Upon A Time, or The Dresden Files, the Beaumont and Beasley series features high adventure in a world where fairy tales are history.

My Review

This book is so much fun!
I've read a lot of fairy tale detective attempts that got things wrong, so it is refreshing to read one that gets it right, mainly with the world and characters. Yes, they are exaggerated and larger than life, but they remain relatable with believable flaws and strengths. While nothing comes too easily, they also avoid the "characters bumble around like idiots for easy laughs and to make the plot go longer" mistake.

One thing it does so very, very right is committing to the world and characters. They are written "real" with more than one layer rather than a veneer of "this is a type of character you've seen before so you will recognize them and I don't need to try any harder" that you often run into in this tongue and cheek type of fiction. The world is believable and grounded while still retaining a bit of self-referential snark.

There is a fun, old Hollywood feel to the story. Like I can see Nick cast as Jack Lemmon or Bob Hope in a Ghost Breakers style movie.

Nick is a pleasant mix of over-confidence and vulnerability. Cordelia is unpredictable but competent, more flexible than Nick, resilient but believably damaged by a backstory that is subtly hinted at.

This reads as a complete tale (though a few important story points are left unresolved for sequels as well as hints of future adventures) which I would highly recommend.

Purchase on Amazon

Saturday, August 5, 2017

Random Interview Saturday! RACHEL TRAUTMILLER

The H. L. Burke Random Interview is not like other interviews. The questions are all over the place. They have no purpose. Their purpose is their lack of purpose.
There are nine questions because cats, but these nine questions are subject to change without notice, so the questions one person answers may not be the questions answered by the next author.
Again, I apparently am bad about counting questions because this author is the second to accidentally receive 10 questions in spite of my carefully crafted intro ... but she answered them well, so I give you Rachel Trautmiller!!!
Rachel Trautmiller
​Author Bio:
Rachel writes novels filled with murder, mayhem, and romance that leave her readers wanting more incredible twists and turns. SIDE NOTE: A nightlight may be required. Some bleary-eyed mornings have been known to occur. When she’s not riveting readers with the chaotic and sizzling mess of her character’s lives, she can be found poolside with her husband and extremely cute toddler, a dog, and one fat cat. She enjoys football, reading, fingerpainting with her daughter and discussing the NFL draft with her husband. She loves anything to do with the FBI, law enforcement, and the military, spending time with friends and family. And interacting with her readers. 

If you had a store, what would you sell?
A little bit of everything. I LOVE garage sales. I love digging through junk and finding treasure. One time when I was nine, a friend and I found an old newspaper clipping (no actual recollection of what it said) and we were sure something sinister had happened and began an all-out search for more clues. I'm pretty sure this type of store isn't in high demand, but if money is no object, why not? RACHEL'S JUNK. YOU WANT IT, WE PROBABLY HAVE IT, UH, SOMEWHERE? IT'S IN THE JUNK!

Sum up your life in five words and two punctuation marks.
Married young. Waited for Children!

What is your ideal writing space?
Ideal? Really? After my store comment? I could write anywhere. Sometimes, I do. Standing at the kitchen island while my daughter eats lunch. Sitting in our overstuffed chair facing our salt-water fish tank, outside overlooking the pool. If I've got my laptop (or even pencil and paper) I'm good to go. And inspiration. That's a must. Just this evening I wrote with paper and pen while my daughter listened to Psalty The Singing Praisebook (hope that takes a few of you back!).

Give yourself a totally new look, as dramatic as you want. What is it?
Rainbow-colored hair comes to mind. My daughter is currently obsessed with it. Original, I know, but I'm pretty uncreative in this area. Until recently, I still owned clothes I wore in eighth grade! 

Tree House or Cave? And why?
Tree house! Have you heard what could be in CAVES? Spiders, bats, bears, snakes and murderers (why not?). Did I mention BATS????

Nic Cage: Mad man or misunderstood genius?
No idea, but he has a bit of lisp when he says certain words. And all I'm picturing is the tick he has in Matchstick Men. It's enough to make me crazy! 

If you could live inside a theme park ride, which would it be?
Peter Pan at Disneyland. 

What’s the most important lesson you ever learned from a cartoon?
If you pull on a cat's tail, his head will then move in an equal and reciprocal motion on the other side of his body without any kind of physical harm. Kidding... Or am I??

Do you consider yourself a cat person, or a dog person?
Both. I find both to be lovable and annoying at times. Our pit is almost always ready to snuggle with you, but at attention regarding any feline within fifty miles. Or stray leaves. The neighbor taking out his trash cans. And our cat, before he passed, was up for a good scratch on HIS terms and not a second before. If he didn't instigate, he got ornery fast. 

If this question were any question in the world, what question would you want it to be and how would you answer it?
Do I like this type of question? No. No, I do not. BUT I may have some better answers for it on my blog.

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