Friday, August 9, 2013


My guest is debut author, Cherie Colyer, and she's written an intriguing thriller about a young woman faced with too many changes. Does she embrace those changes or run away?  

As a writer, thoughts of What if? are always popping into my head.

What if a girl could embrace magical powers? 
What if she could conjure up a little help around the house? 
What if wishes could be granted? 
What if that wish came with a price?

That type of thinking led to this post. I’d like to thank Sia for having me here today.

We’re all faced with difficult decisions. When we are in school we have to decide how much of our free time to give up for our studies. Those of us with jobs have to decide just what we are willing to sacrifice to get ahead in our career. Parents sacrifice their time and often some of their interests for their children. Siblings protect each other from outside ridicule. But just how much would you give for the people and things that are important to you?

I think about this a lot when I’m writing. Madison Riley, my sixteen-year-old protagonist in the Embrace Series, finds herself faced with difficult decisions all the time. And since the job of a writer is to make things difficult for their characters, she isn't given time to weigh the pros and cons of her choices. Instead, she’s thrown into a situation and forced to react.

I had to get their attention. I had to make them hear me.
“Stop it!” I screamed as I ran between them, my arms out to my side, one hand on each of their chests.
When a life-threatening situation presents itself we often react first and think about what we've done later.  Madison’s quick reaction to a fight between her friends almost costs her life. Luckily for us, she survives or there wouldn't be a book two.

I admire Madison’s courage not only in that scene, but also throughout the books. She risks her life to save the people she loves without hesitation. I’d like to think I’d be just as brave, and yet I’m thankful that I've never been put in a position where I’d have to find out.

Hard choices, putting characters into situations that make them have to give up something big, is one way to up tension, but it also mimics real life. Every day we are faced with choices.  As I wrote Hold Tight I started to wonder just how much would a person give up for something they wanted.

Would you give up your dream job for love?

  • Happiness for money?
  • Your life for another’s?
Just how far would you go to save the people you love?

Some of the answers to the questions above are easy for me. If I loved someone, then I think I would give up my dream job for him. Fortunately my honey wouldn't ask that of me, and I can write just about anywhere I can plug in my laptop. No, I wouldn't give up happiness for money, because what good is all the money in the world if you’re miserable? The hard one is how far I’d go to save the people I love. I do know I’d give just about anything to save my family.

  • How about you? How would you answer the questions above?


How far would you go to save the people you love?

Madison is familiar enough with change, and she hates everything about it. Change took her long-term boyfriend away from her. It caused one of her friends to suddenly hate her. It’s responsible for the death of a local along with a host of other mysterious happenings. But when Madison meets a hot new guy, she thinks her luck is about to improve.

Madison is instantly drawn to the handsome and intriguing Isaac Addington. She quickly realizes he’s a guy harboring a secret, but she’s willing to risk the unknown to be with him.

Her world really spins out of control, however, when her best friend becomes delusional, seeing things that aren’t there and desperately trying to escape their evil. When the doctors can’t find the answers, Madison seeks her own.

Nothing can prepare her for what she is about to discover.
Dangerous, intoxicating, and darkly romantic, Embrace is a thriller that will leave you spellbound.


Cherie Colyer is the author of  YA paranormal thriller/romance, EMBRACE (available now), and HOLD TIGHT (August 2013), from Omnific Publishing. Check out her website and blog for news on her books and bonus material. Follow Cherie on Twitter and/or Facebook for updates on writing, book and special offers. 

You can read the synopsis here

Wednesday, August 7, 2013


My guest is Holly Jacobs who has written a fun story in new series she has decided to self-publish. Holly tells some heartwarming stories and usually employing a good sense of humor. I haven’t read one of her stories I haven’t enjoyed. This one, though, with a reoccurring central character who finds all sorts of trouble and mysteries to solve, well, I’m really going to enjoy reading this series.

I have written for a lot of publisher and a lot of lines, but all my books have had one commonality...they were romances. Some were comedies, some just humorous, and some very serious. But they all centered on two characters meeting, falling in love and overcoming obstacles in order to be together.

For me, things changed when I met Quincy Mac.  She is a divorced, thirty-eight year old mother of three teens.  She moved from Erie, PA (come on, if you've read my books, you knew I had to tie Erie into it) to LA, hoping to become the next big star.  Instead…she became a maid.

It might not be what she expected, but Quincy's built a wonderful life.    Until... (come on, you know there had to be an until!) the day she accidentally cleans a murder scene and a particularly hunky cop questions her.  Now, most people, even if they accidentally cleaned not only the murder scene, but also the murder weapon, would sit back and let the cops figure out who the real murderer is.  But not Quincy Mac. You see, she has an uncle who was wrongly accused of a crime and spent two years in jail before the cops figured out he was innocent.  Quincy can't go to jail.  She has three boys to raise. She's going to be maid-of-honor in her best friend's wedding. And she's absolutely sure she's not someone who's meant to have a tattoo.    So, she sets out to find the real killer.  As she does, she finds a potential romance with the cop who’s trying to send her to death row…talk about obstacles that need to be overcome!

Right now, Quincy’s story only available for Kindle.  (I hope to have it on other platforms sometime in the future.  And there are two more Maid in LA Mysteries…Dusted, which should be out this fall.  (This time Quincy’s not solving a mystery to keep herself out of jail, but to save her business’s reputation!) and Spruced Up (a Christmas novella—Quincy heads home to Erie, PA for Christmas and finds another mystery to solve!). 

 PS. Here are a few unbiased reviews:
Hey, at least it’s not a romance. ~Holly’s son.  
“Dear God, not another cop character.  Any police procedural inaccuracies are all Holly’s.  They are not the fault of her personal police models.  Of course, the fact that she portrays cops as hunks is totally accurate.” ~Holly’s husband and two brothers (aka...the cops)
 *“Holly is a fantastic writing talent…not that I’m biased.”   ~Holly’s favorite daughter* 
 *“Holly Jacobs is an auto-buy for me.  Not that I buy her books…she gives them to me.”  ~Holly’s favorite daughter* 
 *“Holly makes me laugh…so do her books.”  ~Holly’s favorite daughter*  
 *DISCLAIMER: Holly has three daughters…she has no favorites.

STEAMED-A Maid in LA Mystery

Cleaning is Murder on the Manicure

Quincy Mac went to Hollywood with stars in her eyes.  Twenty years later, she's not a star, but she's built a good life.  She's got friends, three boys she loves and a thriving cleaning business. That's right, she's a co-owner of Mac'Cleaners, LA's premiere maid service.

Her ex and his newest wife take the boys on summer vacation and Quincy's imagining a quiet night with ice cream and a chick flick.  She just has one last cleaning job to finish first.  But there's a problem...a dead body in the bedroom.

Turns out, she's steamed and cleaned a murder scene.  Quincy's a suspect.  She sets out to find the real killer before she ends up in prison for a murder she didn't commit. Excerpt 


Monday, August 5, 2013


I’m not usually political and rarely get controversial and endless arguing of pros and cons of politics is an anathema to me. That doesn't mean I don’t have opinions, only that I don’t always choose to air them. 

I will say this whole debacle of balancing the budget ticks me off. The Joint Committee of the Office of Management and Budget seriously ticks me off, as does congress.

I am not a financial expert. Common sense says to balance any budge you have to first control and reduce the spending while still paying off debt and looking for ways to invest or increase income. It means taking a hard look at needs versus wants. It also means putting away your credit line sources and not touching them and certainly not using them to make up the difference lost income (aka robbing Peter to pay Paul).

When you take a hard look at income versus expenditures aren't you reducing your charitable donations and taking a firm look at finances before loaning money to anyone? It’s not that a matter of not caring about others but a matter of first priorities, which should be the immediate needs and health of your family (or on a governmental level the needs of your citizens). The bottom line is if I’m spending more than I’m earning I’m going to go bankrupt. And so is this government if it doesn't smarten up.

The last time the United States had a balanced budget and reported a surplus was in 2001. The country has been running in the red since and it’s jumped dramatically under this administration. From 1970-1997 this country’s budget ran red. A new president was elected and in 1998 came a balanced budget and a reported surplus and not just one year but 1999, 2000, and 2001. A democratic president and republican controlled congress and yet not only was the budget balanced, but there was a surplus

I’m not saying all of this was result of the Clinton Administration because it certainly wasn't. Much of this was set up and in place during the prior Administration. Clinton was just smart enough to go along with what had already been set in motion. Each president inherits the good and bad from the prior administration. And there was some good problem solving by people who actually used the principles learned in school and applied it to the financial mess of the government. It wasn't perfect but at least it was positive forward movement. There was some pretty fancy dancing around turning deficits to surpluses with substantial cutting of taxes (including capital gains) and discretionary spending of the government as well as revamping of the welfare system (and other government funded programs) and thus promoting an economic boom, which led to a surplus. But these people were smart and looked for ways to make the cuts in discretionary spending of government programs by setting other financial resources in place to help defray those cuts and minimize the hardships on the citizens impacted.

This administration has decided the answer is raising taxes, including capital gains (from 15% to 20%). Thus insuring those businesses and people with realized profits that could spend it here, at home, generating jobs will be spend or invest elsewhere.

When the Joint Committee of the Office of Management and Budget (OMB) couldn't agree and balance the National budget the Budget Control Act came into play and forced cuts impartially, without thought to the needs of citizens, across the board. According to Center on Budget and Policy Priorities, this is how it works: 
“The Budget Control Act spells out the steps that the Office of Management and Budget (OMB) must take because of the Joint Committee’s inability to agree…the law calls for $1.2 trillion in deficit reduction through 2021… Those cuts themselves are divided equally between the “national defense” budget function and all other budget functions: $54.7 billion per year in defense and $54.7 billion per year in non-defense programs.”  
And that, ladies and gentlemen, is what brought about the harebrained sequester cuts. There are over 2.1 million federal workers and more than half will be forced into a mandatory furlough one day a week with without pay and they cannot recoup that loss by using their earned vacation pay or sick leave. If you want to know how that impacts a family? Do the math. Take 20% off your weekly income and see what you’d be losing. The sequester cuts will also force lay-offs of more than 8,000 (that figure is just the Department of the Army and who knows what the total figures are from all 4 branches of the military) people who are contract or temporary workers for the government or military. Oh, and your unemployment benefits? You had better hope you can find another job within 6 months. 3.8 million people are unemployed and now more with sequester cuts, and they will see a reduction of benefits as much as 9.4% if jobless beyond 6 months.

The Budget Control Act cuts effect more than you think. It will impact on defense, Homeland Security, food safety, health care (such as Medicare reimbursement and Veteran services), transportation, National Parks, Nuclear Security, tax collection, low-income housing and education. Education is a biggie. To put it in perspective, 70,000 enrolled students in Head Start programs could be cut and 14,000 teachers. Special needs children will lose about 7,200 teachers and aides. Grants used to fund college tuition and work-study programs for students will also be affected.

I understand and agree with the need for cuts in government programs and discretionary spending but not like this.

What really burns my bacon? 

This Administration is cutting paychecks of United States citizens and laying off thousands of others, allegedly to save the government money, and yet this President is giving over $300 million in humanitarian aid to Syria and surrounding countries? 


How about spending some of those funds on the needs of American citizens, Mr. President?