Rurals and Townies – L.J. Launer


Rurals and Townies (Blanchette High Series)Kindle Edition

Nick Russell just released a new book in his series, Big Lake.


Big Lake Brewpub Kindle Edition

Sci-Fi Author of The Week – Michele Callahan


Interview with Michele Callahan

  1. Tell us a little bit about yourself.

I love books. I’ve always loved books. I remember begging my mother to read to me when I was very, very young. Luckily, she did. I’ve had a variety of different jobs, from retail, fast food, teaching, and owning my own business. Through all the ups and downs, jobs, life, kids and craziness, the one thing I could never give up was writing.  It’s a sickness, really, an obsession that just won’t let me go. I’m convinced they’ll come up with a diagnosis and a pill one of these days. Until then, I guess I’m stuck.

  1. Who are your favorite authors?

 I have too many to list. But my absolute favorites are Anne McCaffrey, RA Salvatore, David Eddings, Laurell K Hamilton, Robert Heinlein, Nalini Singh, Kresley Cole, JR Ward, Joshua Dalzelle, Orson Scott Card, Stephen King and Angeline Anderson.

  1. Tell us a bit about your books.

My Timewalker novels take place in a contemporary setting, here on Earth. But…we aren’t here alone. In fact, two alien races have been in a covert war for control of Earth, and each other, for thousands of years. The human descendants of these two races don’t necessarily know what they are, until they get drafted into the war.

In the first book, ALLIANCE, you meet two descendants of these aliens. One of them, Luke Lawson, is a scientist who has been pulled into a biological weapons development program by the US government. Bad news there…his research escapes the lab and wipes out the human race. So, another descendant is sent back through time to find him and stop the outbreak. The Timewalker, Alexa, has three days to track him down and prevent the virus from escaping the lab. When she arrives she believes that the pandemic was an accident. But as she and Luke work together to save us all, they discover that it wasn’t an accident at all, but an attack designed to wipe out all of the alien descendants on Earth. The alien war is escalating, and the human descendants are going to have to choose sides. In ALLIANCE we meet most of the major players, and route for Luke and Alexa as they try to survive alien assassins, government plots, and other time travelers. It’s fast paced, intense, and a whole lot of fun.

  1. If you could travel back in time to any place and period in the past where and when would you go?

This is an impossible question, and I’ve spent hours thinking about it. We romanticize the past, when in reality, it was brutal, dirty, and dangerous. Our ancestors were bad-ass-mother-effers. No doubt. They survived war, famine, disease, and each other. So, honestly, if I could go back to the past, I’m not sure I would choose to. I’m pretty sure I would just pick up a book and stay home. Now, the future? Beam me up, Scottie. When are we leaving?

  1. What attracts you to writing in your genre?

Time travel has always fascinated me. Years of my youth were lost watching Dr. Who. When the Terminator franchise began, there was no hope for me. Game over. Which is crazy, because writing time travel and keeping track of all the loops and ripple effects makes my brain hurt. J  That’s why humans invented wine, for people like me who write time travel stories.

  1. I see you like to delve into many different genres.

I love to read, and I’ll read anything. When I was a kid, I would wait for the Sunday paper to come and then sit for hours reading it cover to cover. (Dating myself a bit, but we didn’t have computers or the internet. – Not sure how we survived writing research papers for school without Google.)

We also lived out of town and my parents refused to pay for cable television. (Yes, I was a sad, tormented child.) I spent weekends and summers reading. Literary fiction. Science Fiction. Fantasy. Romance. Mysteries. Horror. I loved the choose-your-ending books because I could read them multiple times and change the story. Books are books, and when I write I can’t force myself to trap a good story into just one (genre) lane. My brain doesn’t work like that. I write sci-fi/paranormal/thriller/time-travel/action-adventure with romantic elements.  I also write contemporary romance, sci-fi horror, and modern fantasy. (Most of them are buried in deep, dark drawers that serve as my “bad book graveyard”, but I wrote them because they were interesting to me.) Being stuck in a box is boring for both the author and the reader. And books should never, ever be boring, no matter what their genre.

  1. Are you planning to participate in any anthologies? Any hints about your story?

Anthologies? None planned. But hints? Yes. You (yes you, reading this right now) should go get your DNA checked.  You might not be plain old human. (Just saying….)

  1. What do you like to do to relax?

#1) Sit on my porch and drink coffee…alone. (I have three kids, so this is a rare.)
#2) I watch sci-fi movies. Good movies. Bad movies. Don’t really care. I’m also a sucker for a good romantic comedy or adventure movie. I won’t finish bad books, but I WILL watch a terrible movie to the bitter end.

  1. What are you currently working on?

Right now I’m writing the second book, DEFIANCE, which comes out at the end of the year. In the second book, a mysterious time traveler appears, but won’t tell anyone who he is or why he’s around, and the second race of aliens takes a very active interest in Luke and Alexa, and their new allies. The stakes get higher for us Earthlings, so keep your fingers crossed. Humans are collateral in this war, but in DEFIANCE, the aliens on both sides will discover that the human descendants won’t go down without a fight. (Which is good for the rest of us, because they’re the only ones on our side!)

  1. How can readers connect with you?

I love to chat with readers and other authors!
Thank you! This had been a fun interview.

ML Callahan

This Weeks Sci-fi/Fantasy Author of The Week – Mitchell Stokely

Mitchell Stokley

Mitchell Stokley

Interview with Mitchell Stokely
  1. Tell us a little bit about yourself.

First of all, Cleve thank you again for the interview.  I’m a new author and this is my first opportunity. You are very generous to give me this interview. So its very much appreciated!  I am a new author so you have no idea how much this means to me. Thanks again.

My name is Mitchell Stokely, and I am a new author. My book is called “Phantammeron Book One”, which was just released October 31st, 2015. I was excited this year as I got to post a book on Halloween and take my son trick-or-treating. I am from Dallas, Texas; born and raised there. I have ancestors that were here in the 1830’s when it was part of Mexico, so Im one of the “original” Texans.  But we love everyone here in Texas. My background is in art, with a BFA from SMU in the 1990’s. In 1998, I went into web development and software engineering. I took a break a few years ago from tech to try my hand at writing. And here I am with my first novel! I am also a single father of a 10 year old, my son, who lives with me. He is autistic and ADHD. So I am a proud parent of a very special and loving child whom I love and who is the one thing I live for now. He is an artist like his daddy and likes to dream up stories.

That’s about it!

  1. Who are your favorite authors?

I have read a lot of different things. But my tastes are weird. As far as newer authors I’m a big Neil Gaiman fan. I also like Stephen King and Kazuo Ishiguro’s work. Writing in fantasy, I’m of course obsessed with J.R.R. Tolkien. But Im less a fan of Lord of the Rings. His book The Silmarillion is my all-time favorite novel. It’s really a mythopoeia and so a very special book to me. I’ve read lots of other people I like….Lovecraft, Howard, Moorcock, George MacDonald, etc. I have read more mythology and history than anything else, however, which ranges from the Mabinogian, to the Prose Eddas, Kalevalas, Rig Veda, European Fairy Tales, etc etc. Most of my reading is in ancient mythology Western or European mythology. I do love the Native America, Mayan, and Hindu mythology as well.

  1. Tell us a bit about your books.

I started the Phantammeron back in 1989. I was only 24 years old and obsessed with ancient mythology, for some strange reason. I was reading a lot of ancient manuscripts of mythology at the libraries, plus the mythological studies of Joseph Campbell and Robert Graves, both of which got me thinking of writing in a mythological fictional style, incorporating facets of poetic prose with pagan symbology related to my personal psychological symbols. But it was Christopher Tolkien’s The Silmarillion that set me off on the idea of abandoning fantasy fiction for a time, and just delving into dreams and writing about much older Celtic mythology. That’s when I discovered the Lebor Gabála Erenn, Welsh Mabinogion, the Norse Eddas, and some ancient druidic/bardic poetry that would become the inspiration for the Phantammeron series. I ended up with about 12 books worth of stories by the time I turned 26 in 1991. That’s when I stopped writing and abandoned the project (I was broke). That all sat in a dirty storage unit until 2012, when I finally had the time and funds to write the book. Im an old man now at 50! It took me 2 years copy digitize all the notes, and a year to write the first book. So this book is a combo of the young and old me. This first book barely taps into the creation story behind the larger mythology. So I have many more stories and books to go.

  1. If you could travel back in time to any place and period in the past where and when would you go?

That’s an interesting question Cleve. I would love to be a mountain man in the American West in say 1820. America was beautiful, rugged, wild, and raw back then. Jefferson had just funded the Lewis and Clarke exploration team to travel up the Missouri in 1804. So it was an amazing to be an American and be free.

  1. What attracts you to writing in your genre?

Many people are embracing fantasy fiction now as a genre. It’s a long time coming. My work is fantasy but with a twist, as R.L. Steine says. Im more about mythopoeia and creating myths tied to some form of character development. So I guess Im fantasy but maybe something different. If you are a person that is looking for a fantasy book like the Simarillion with a rich and tragic story of Gods and myths and creatures and tragedy, then my books might interest you. My books have character development too, but not on the level most have today. I’m more into the larger operatic, I guess Wagnerian, and mythical tragedy of story-telling. The individual characters in my books fit into the larger drama and play of the world like Tolkien’s work, rather than the modern theme of the protagonist that saves the world, wins the crown, or saves the princess. I am more into story-telling that is closer to the darkness of European fairy tales, and trying to build on the older medium of tragedy and pathos from the Greeks, I guess. Im not sure I’ve been able to pull that off quite yet as a new writer, but all that is supposed to be in this first Phantammeron book.

  1. I see you like to delve into many different genres.

Yea, as above, I’m much more interested in developing my own “personal myth” from ancient myths and those symbols which still resonate in our brains….though we don’t know it. Karl Jung has talked about some of this in his writing on archetypes. And I think the genre that’s missed in some fiction is the exploration of those mythical archetypes; the pieces of story that don’t always end well or benefit anyone; that transcend kings, medieval battlefields, princesses, dragons, etc. Im very much in the “epic fantasy genre”. But I’m very focused on using my books to trigger readers into feeling their own ancient Celtic nature symbols……like ancient trees, magic pools, storms, the earth, shadows, mist, etc. and then showing those natural forms as parts of our unconscious self that symbolize something else. That might not make sense. But I think if you read ancient pagan mythology you see how our ancestors used story to connect our brains to nature, the Gods, the stories, and those symbols. It was all tied to the cycle of the sun and the seasons for Indo-Europeans. That’s where mythology crosses over and goes beyond protagonists and modern fantasy. That’s the genre and audience I’m hoping to find and connect with; the people who are craving that deeper story and deeper fairy tale that still dwells in the shadows of our subconcious. That’s why my books do better in Fantasy-Mythology as a category on Amazon, as opposed to swords and sorcery, kings, etc. for example.

  1. Are you planning to participate in any anthologies? Any hints about your story?

I don’t have any plans. If other writers invite me I would be excited to join. But I’m a newbie and haven’t earned my stripes yet. In terms of the Phantammeron, I have lots of poetry, backstory, hidden myths and even lighter stories like a children’s book Ive been illustrating for the last world of the Phantammeron. Some of the illustrations Ive done might be part of a collection someday. I’m very interested in illustration, too. So in terms of a collection of my own stuff, that may develop years from now.

  1. What do you like to do to relax?

I spend my time with my son. We do various things like draw together, play games, camping, etc. But we mostly do schoolwork, which never ends! I enjoy reading, listening to music. I have a rare illness that has sort of hobbled me, as I experience vertigo and autophony in my head and ears. Ive had surgeries on my brain to fix it but most have failed. I don’t enjoy loud places anymore, or crowds, music, etc. Until I get another surgery, Ill very content at home. Im much happier quietly reading or writing these days. We don’t watch much tv, either.

  1. What are you currently working on?

I will be working on the second Phantammeron book next. It will be released next year, maybe summer 2016. It will have many more characters, including the children of the characters in the first book. The next books will have all sorts of wild creatures and Gods and beings…the books and their mythology just get richer and expand from here, expanding on the central theme of the enchanted pool in the Phantammeron.

  1. How can readers connect with you?

You can visit my Facebook page on the Phantammeron or my website:

I will do my best to answer all questions or interests in the book.

Interview with Rick Haynes


Interview with Rick Haynes

  1. Tell us a little bit about yourself.

Firstly, may I extend my sincere thanks for the invitation.

I was born in southern England when food rationing was still the norm. Coming from a working class family times were tough, but my I really enjoyed my childhood. That has to be down to my parents and I can’t thank them enough. My dad told me a story every night, all from his amazing imagination. I remember the tale of the dragon, he even made me a sword, but mum was none too pleased when I hacked down her giant sun-flower.

I wrote a few poems at school and over the years a few more, probably from boredom, to be honest. I enjoyed reading but it was spasmodic until I read The Lord Of The Rings. All my birthdays had arrived in one day and hooked I was.

Over the following decades I began to write one or two lines, made a few notes, going nowhere, you know what I mean. But after several operations in a short space of time, the walls closed in and stir crazy I became. I asked my best friend what I could do, but when she, my wonderful wife, suggested the ironing or washing up, I groaned. Luckily she followed up with the magical words. “Why don’t you write a story?”

The rest is as they say, history, and I do love writing. Medieval fantasy is my passion but I write short stories and Drabbles in any genre.

I abhor man’s inhumanity to man and loathe any cruelty to children. Last year I was asked to contribute a story to highlight the plight of missing children in the USA. I was delighted to offer a poem come Drabble, called My Little Runaway, which I believe was published.


And have fun.

  1. Who are your favorite authors?

Without any doubt, J.R.R. Tolkien is my idol. His work changed my life. The genius of the man will live forever. He created not only a massive story, but races of believable people, fantastic plot lines, a world and a language. Wow!

The late David Gemmell has also inspired me. His mastery of heroic fantasy has kept me awake well into the early hours on many an occasion.

  1. Tell us a bit about your books.

My first offering was entitled Bolt Out Of The Blue, a contemporary family novella with a little bit of magic. As soon as I had written a few lines I knew what I wanted, and also what I didn’t. I was fed up with tales of violence, sex, bad language, and characters with no courtesy or compassion for those around them. It seemed that good manners were passé.

I wanted a family story, a story that brings them together in adversity, a story of love without histrionics. And most of all I wanted a tale that children and grandmas could read, maybe together.

As one reviewer posted.

It was also nice to read a short novel totally lacking in cynicism. In this day and age that is a rare thing indeed.

That made my day, as I had achieved what I wanted to do.

Set in Dorset, a secret is uncovered along with an old American tale.

Since then I have written two collections. Drabbles ‘N’ Shorts and Shorts ‘N’ Drabbles include stories in many genres with fantasy and humour prominent.

Having completed my apprenticeship I decided, in August 2015, to release my first novel. The ideas for Evil Never Dies had lain dormant for many a year and it took nearly eighteen months to finish once I started writing. It is a classic tale of good and evil, but I have tried to show the strengths and weaknesses of the characters for none of us are perfect; all of us are flawed. I have a professional cover and was delighted with the work of my editor. The book also has a YouTube video, courtesy of my son.

I am very proud of my book.

  1. If you could travel back in time to any place and period in the past where and when would you go?

My interest in the Second World War has never waned since childhood. So many died, I believe it was close to 50m worldwide, to give us the freedom that we take for granted today. If my father had been unlucky then I wouldn’t be here today and I guess that applies to many others.

So, to answer your question, I would love to be a ghostly spirit hovering over the events as they happened. Although they couldn’t hear me I can imagine me screaming “Don’t push on to Arnhem. It’s a bridge to far.” Or, “Send more troops to the Ardennes, the Germans are going to counterattack.”

Reliving the events would give me a unique insight into the war years.

I would be able to write a totally true story and maybe it would become a best seller.

The title of, ‘Small Fly on Big Wall’ comes to mind.

  1. What attracts you to writing in your genre?

Without a doubt, I believe it is the creativity and expansion of the mind that first attracted me. I wrote a Drabble called Welcome to the World of my Imagination which I use as a marketing tool, and that’s me.

I have always had a vivid imagination and fantasy allows my mind to be unconstrained by, almost all limits.

With my background I wouldn’t want to write novels in any other genre. Drawing a map, creating characters and the world they live in – I love it.

 My passion is … my spice of life.


  1. I see you like to delve into many different genres.

Yes indeed. Those wonderful little self contained 100 word stories, called Drabbles give an author the opportunity to experiment. If I see something of interest, say a picture, I’ll normally write in the appropriate genre but sometimes I turn it around to a fantasy tale.

I also belong to two writing groups. Their input and support has been invaluable. As an example, the ladies decided one week that romance would be on the agenda. Me? Write romance? Naturally I succumbed to the ladies desires; I do anything for a quiet life. But, when I wrote my book I used some of the knowledge that I had gained and it seemed to work. My fantastic wife agreed, so I learnt an invaluable lesson.

Another time we were given a picture. I was the only one who turned it upside down. Well I had to; otherwise the fantasy tale in my head would have remained hidden.

I also love humour, and I firmly believe that laughter is the best medicine in the world.

Other genres give me the opportunity to have FUN. The old saying, ‘A change is as good as a rest,’ comes to mind, and that’s what it’s all about.

  1. Are you planning to participate in any anthologies? Any hints about your story?

Last year four of us joined up to write Happy Halloween which we published on Amazon for charity. Each of us created a character, using firstly 100 words, which grew in the latter stages to 200. Chaos and mayhem (I think I was chaos) ensued in a large mansion. Fantastic fun it was, but alas there will be no repeat this year as we are all involved in other projects. I have so many short stories written that I’m sure something will arrive over the next year.

Maybe it will be a fantasy collection.

  1. What do you like to do to relax?

If I have writer’s block, then I’ll do anything else than write. Working in the garden, or any activity outside is good. I do ask my granddaughter to come out and play and as she is only aged one, she hasn’t said no so far … thank goodness. Otherwise I love football, and if the truth be told, most sports if England is competing.

Apart from that, my family means the world to me and time spent with them is worth more than all the money in the world.



  1. What are you currently working on?

My follow up novel is entitled Heroes Never Fade. Many of the characters from my first book will grace the pages, and like the first it will be a standalone tale. I’m struggling with a major plot line at present so progress is non-existent.

C’est la vie!

I recently won the FantasyCon International Drabble award, with a tale called Spectral Morning, which made my day. Their big event starts at the beginning of November and I have an author booth on Wednesday 4th of November, which is Epic Wednesday.

The first international Drabble Festival is also running in November so I think I may be a bit busy.


  1. How can readers connect with you?

I would love to speak with readers on any subject or answer questions. They can use the following to contact me or see my work.

Thank you very much for your interest.

Stay happy folks – you know it makes sense.



Interview with Vikki Kestell


Interview with Vikki Kestell

Thanks for inviting me to this interview, Cleve! I appreciate the opportunity to connect with new sci-fi/fantasy readers.

  1. Tell us a little bit about yourself.

Well, I actually wrote my first book during one of the darkest periods of my life. It was 1988. I had a pen and a notebook and wrote in that notebook everywhere I went. In three months I had a complete story—and was amazed.

Someone offered to let me use their computer—a Commodore 64! (Woah!) If you don’t know what a Commodore 64 is, let me say that a) it didn’t even have a hard drive, b) each time you used it you had to reinstall the software into (wait for it!) a whopping 64k of RAM, and c) you had to save your writing to five-and-one-half-inch floppy disks! In any event, I learned to use it and have been a technophile ever since.

When I wrote my first book it proved to me that I could start and complete something difficult, and it gave me the courage to go back to school at age 39. I worked and went to school for the next 14 years! I earned my bachelor’s degree in English/professional writing, took a semester off and went back to earn a master’s degree in communication, took two years off and went back to earn a Ph.D. in organizational learning and instructional technologies.

But after working and earning three degrees, guess what? I figured I could write more books! LOL! That is exactly what I am doing now.

  1. Who are your favorite authors?

So many to choose from! Let’s see. I can mention Tom Clancy, Dick Francis, Vince Flynn, Michael Crichton, Brad Thor, James Patterson, and many more. You can see that my reading appetite is varied but tends toward action/adventure and thrillers.

  1. Tell us a bit about your books.

Most of my books are historical fiction. Nanostealth is a new series and a new genre for me, but not a new interest. I love good sci-fi and “hard-science” sci-fi best of all. That’s prolly why Stealthy Steps is an example of contemporary hard-science sci-fi. Not only is the science cutting edge, the setting is real.

I worked for the Department of Defense’s Nuclear Weapons School on Kirtland Air Force Base here in Albuquerque. Among other things, the school taught military personnel how to respond to nuclear or dirty bomb attacks. Part of the school’s instruction was conducted in the old Manzano Weapons Storage Facility where much of the nation’s nuclear stockpile was once stored.

The Manzano facility is composed of a labyrinth of tunnels carved into a small mountain located on the base. The facility inside the mountain was built during the Cold War and includes some very secret “devolution” caverns. Those devolution sites were intended as safe locations for the president to direct the government in the event of a nuclear attack. They were later abandoned without ever being used. They sit empty today.

The first time I set foot in the tunnels I thought, “This is the setting of my next book.”

  1. If you could travel back in time to any place and period in the past where and when would you go?

Hard to say, because I don’t like to think backward. I prefer to think forward. That said, I often think, “Gee, I wish I could have been a fly on the wall when . . .” usually followed by an unsolved crime or a secret meeting between world leaders. Actually, the invisibility that Kari struggles with in Stealthy Steps came out of just such thoughts. Can you imagine what you could see and overhear if you were invisible?

  1. What attracts you to writing in your genre?

A genre to me is more the setting than the objective. My characters are real to me. I could put them in any genre and they would thrive, but the genre and setting allow my characters “license” that they could not get in another setting. Most of my readers tell me that, in addition to loving my unpredictable plotlines, they become emotionally invested in my characters almost immediately.

  1. Are you planning to participate in any anthologies? Any hints about your story?

I don’t have plans to contribute to an anthology now, but Nanostealth is definitely going to be a three-book series:

Stealthy Steps, Nanostealth | Book 1

Stealth Power, Nanostealth | Book 2, fall 2016

Stealth Beyond Borders, Nanostealth | Book 3, 2017

  1. What do you like to do to relax?

My husband and I have taken up zip lining! We did eight lines in Hawaii over the rain forests on the Big Island and just came back from the Sacramento Mountains in southern New Mexico where we rode the Wind Rider at Ski Apache.

  1. What are you currently working on?

My next release is Tabitha, a story of the Great War. It releases November 2, but is on preorder now at

  1. How can readers connect with you?

I’m always on Facebook, but I’m frequently on Twitter, too. My readers can connect with me on my website (, on Facebook (, or follow me on Twitter @faithfilledfic.


Sci-Fi/Fantasy Author of the week….An Interview With Jaq C. Reed


Interview with Jaq C Reed

  1. Tell us a little bit about yourself.


I love to travel, hopefully I will be able to do a bit more of it in the future.  I am endlessly fascinated by the night sky- my kids love that part of me- because I feel no ways about shaking them awake to witness a meteor shower.  I really believe that we should never lose our childlike sense of wonder at the world.  I like to reimagine different ways of doing things, sometimes this works, sometimes it doesn’t.   I am a terrible cook and a coffee addict.  I also love Pinterest, but my attempts at being a crafty person usually end up on those joke sites about “How it looks on Pinterest vs. How mine turned out.” So now I just look.  


  1. Who are your favorite authors?


Margaret Atwood, Tanith Lee, Daphne Du Maurier


  1. Tell us a bit about your book.


The Ungoverned is a tale of the human spirit.  It’s a story of politics and repression and the length that people will go to in order to be free, even if freedom means losing the “security” that the current system provides.  It’s also an environmental story.  It considers what the after effects of industrialization, climate change, and what may happen as we use genetic modifications more freely and widespread.


  1. If you could travel back in time to any place and period in the past where and when would you go?


Probably to my early twenties to tell my younger self some secrets and give some sage advice. 


  1. What attracts you to writing in your genre?


The possibilities.   The future is an open field.  What we plant today will grow into tomorrow. We can see the seeds that are planted now but the actual outcome is hazy and unformed.  I like to play with those possibilities.


  1. Do you delve into any different genres?


I will eventually, I have a book burning in me that is outside of this niche and in the Romance category.  It will come out in time.


  1. Are you planning to participate in any anthologies?


Not at this moment in time, but I wouldn’t turn down the opportunity.


  1. What do you like to do to relax?

Give me a book of course!  No background noise and some quiet space.

  1. What are you currently working on?

The sequal to “The Ungoverned” and another Cli-Fi that will be a standalone.

  1. How can readers connect with you?


Visit me at, you can sign up for my newsletter and stay on top of everything, or find me on facebook.