My apologies in advance to anyone who adores Bakersfield, California, but I just… don’t.

Usually, Bakersfield’s a place I zoom through on the way to somewhere else. But I swear it’s cursed. Once, our car blew a tire on I-5 there, and my entire family ended up stranded at the Bakersfield Sears for over 3 hours while the Worst Tire People in the Universe replaced it.

Sometimes I stop in Bakersfield to grab something caffeinated and use a bathroom. On one of these stops, I bought a venti iced coffee at Starbucks. But the lid was put on improperly. While I was pulling away, I went to take a sip and the cup geysered, drenching me in cold coffee. I had to drive 200 miles home like that.

This week, I was in Bakersfield in meetings when my husband texted to inform me he was in the hospital. Having apparently decided our lives weren’t interesting enough, he had a heart attack. He’s doing okay now–with less bacon and potato chips in his future, I suspect–but it hasn’t been a fun experience. I blame Bakersfield.

So now perhaps you’ll understand why, in one of my upcoming novels, Bakersfield is the gateway to Hell.

Interview Roulette: E E Montgomery

Today’s Interview Roulette player is E E Montgomery!

  1. If you could spend a week in one historical place, where and when would you choose? I’d go to Tintagel castle at the time that King Arthur is born (assuming King Arthur is more than a myth). I want to stand on the ramparts in the wind and the rain and listen to private conversations.
  2. What is the oddest thing on your music playlist? The oddest thing would probably be a Nana Mouskouri album. I bought it just after my mother died because I used to listen to it with her when I was little.
  3. Write a story—no more than 100 words–based on this prompt: When the levee failed…. When the levee failed, so did his hope. John dragged his dog up onto the mezzanine in the barn and closed his eyes. He buried his face in Benson’s ruff and tried not to listen to the cattle as the water rose. They were on the highest ground; there was nothing more he could do for them except hope the water didn’t go that high. Thunder rolled overhead and the radio crackled through the news. He might have slept for a while, his dreams an extension of the horror. The wet dawn brought the sound of helicopters cutting through the rain, and more tears to John’s eyes.
  4. A genie pops up and offers to grant you one talent. What do you choose and why? Healing. Too many people suffer, sometimes because they can’t access help, sometimes because there’s no way known to help them.
  5. What were your favorite childhood books? I didn’t read many children’s books as a child. The first complete book I read was Alistair MacLean’s Ice Station. I was four. Shortly after that, I read Asimov’s Oceans of Venus. I had a lot of trouble when I found out the science behind that book was flawed because of lack of data.
  6. Which (living) celebrity would you most want to have dinner with? Either Hugh Jackman or Whoopi Goldberg. They both sound like they’re interesting people with a wealth of experiences and insights to share.
  7. What’s one piece of advice you would give to an aspiring author? Never stop learning, never give up. I know that’s two pieces, but they link together. Sometimes I write what I consider absolute drivel so I have to go back to the basics and work out what went wrong. That wouldn’t happen if I gave up.

Book blurb:

When the two moons of Thalazar cross orbits, the Warrior Pledge must be completed or the cat-shifting Mafdeti nation will face annihilation. There are four who can save the people and their land: the Silver Shining from Rock, the Great Heart Farseeing, the Changeling, and the Pure. They must find each other before time runs out.

Silver-eyed Checa is Captain of the Guard for the Mafdeti. Thanks to the friendship and loyalty of Heath, son of the Mafdeti Matriarch, Checa has survived and thrived after a childhood of horrific abuse. He knows Heath is his Bond-Mate but refuses to bond with the younger man because he feels he isn’t worthy. Nor does Heath’s mother approve of her son bonding with a lowborn warrior.

Together they face deadly wing-strikes from carnivorous birds, earthquake, betrayal, ambush, and an enemy invasion, only to be confronted with the possibility that the Warrior Pledge will bond Checa and Heath to others. If Checa is to complete the Warrior Pledge, he must overcome the belief that he doesn’t deserve Heath’s love, and fight for the one man who can make him whole.


Book buy links:

Dreamspinner Press



Author bio:

E E Montgomery wants the world to be a better place, with equality and acceptance for all. Her philosophy is: We can’t change the world but we can change our small part of it and, in that way, influence the whole. Writing stories that show people finding their own ‘better place’ is part of E E Montgomery’s own small contribution.

Thankfully, there’s never a shortage of inspiration for stories that show people growing in their acceptance and love of themselves and others. A dedicated people-watcher, E E finds stories everywhere. In a cafe, a cemetery, a book on space exploration or on the news, there’ll be a story of personal growth, love, and unconditional acceptance there somewhere.


Author contacts:

Web, blog and free short stories:







Dreamspinner Press:

Escape Publishing:

Celebrate my birthday with me!

Today is my birthday, and I have 3 ways for you to celebrate!

You can download Joy R Us for free:…/…/B00JO1FXEE/

You can also download The Festivus Miracle for Free:…/…/

And if you have a few dollars to spare, you can donate to th International Rescue Committee:

Interview Roulette: Skylar M. Cates

Today’s player is Skylar M. Cates!

  1. What is your favorite insect? A ladybug
  2. What is your most dreaded household chore? Your favorite? Dreaded would be dirty dishes. We let them pile sky high in our house. It never ends and is always gross.Do I have a favorite? *scratches head*Vacuuming the carpet is not terrible (with my headphones blasting some good music). I’m so not a cleaner.
  3. Describe your dream house. Any house that comes with a daily maid, cook, and handyman!Beyond that criteria, my dream home has an amazing fireplace, privacy in my yard, a stocked bar, hot tub, and giant, finished basement—none of which I have living in Florida.
  4. Name two of your pet peeves. People who have perfect, immaculate homes and say “it’s a mess.” Rude, dangerous drivers on the highway.


It’s never easy to find redemption.

Carrying scars and regrets, River Darcourt avoids too much intimate contact. Among his friends, he is known as a quiet loner. Forget about love—it’s not something he will consider—until sweet, young, and tempting Morgan Hayes becomes his housemate. River closed his heart long ago, but the attraction is impossible to deny.

Morgan Hayes needs a change. He is moving out of his critical father’s home and in with his friends, including his secret/not-so-secret crush, River. Having feelings for River is a terrible idea. But what is a guy to do when the annoyingly sexy mechanic is just across the hall?

While Morgan has overcome ugliness and is ready for love, he’s just not sure River ever will be. They have both experienced pain in their lives. So Morgan dares River to take a chance, and love will either break their fractured hearts in more pieces or, just possibly, make them whole again.

Book buy links:





Author bio:

Skylar M. Cates loves a good romance. She is quite happy to drink coffee, curl up with a good book, and not move all day. Her best-selling novels feature strong and passionate men. Skylar loves to craft stories where realistic men are challenged with emotional situations. Although lately the laundry room is the farthest place she has visited, Skylar still loves to chat with people from all around the globe.


Author contacts:




*Brand New * Newsletter!  Freebies! DSP Coupons! Bonus Scenes! :

Lessons learned from travel

As you may know, I love to travel. Whether it’s a day trip to the Sierra foothills or a semester in Europe, I’m willing. It’s fun. I get a lot of inspiration for my writing. And I Learn Stuff.

Here are some lessons I’ve learned while traveling outside the US.

  1. Even a very limited command of language is useful–sometimes unexpectedly. Although English is spoken so widely that I’ve almost never had problems, I do try to learn at least a couple of words in the local language. It just seems polite to attempt hello and thank you, at least. People seem to appreciate it. If you can manage a bit more, even better. When I was in Lisbon, I wanted a taxi driver to take us to a particular cemetery. I know about 4 words of Portuguese but can manage a bit more in Spanish. But this guy attempted French with me, and voila!–thanks to 3 years of high school French, taken long, long ago, we made it happily to the cemetery. And once, for reasons that escape me, I had a conversation in pidgin Spanish with an airport security lady in Frankfurt.
  2. Go grocery shopping. This is one of my favorite things to do abroad. Grocery stores can tell you a lot about a culture, plus give you a chance to interact with locals. And you get to try all sorts of interesting foods! You can also try to make local recipes (check this link) and enjoy their local food.
  3. Don’t try to see everything. I know it’s tempting to try to catch everything, but if you’re visiting a place with a lot to see, you’ll just exhaust yourself. And you won’t give yourself time to appreciate the sights. I make a list of Must Sees and catch them, and I also build in plenty of time to sit at cafés and just wander. For example, a couple of years ago I had 4 days in Paris, which isn’t nearly enough. But I feel as if I truly had time to enjoy the things I saw.
  4. Be prepared to look stupid. Often. Those things you do every day and barely think about? They may be confusingly different abroad. Buying stamps. Using public transport. Buying produce. Crossing the street! You will look and feel like an idiot. Good. It will give you more patience when you’re back home.
  5. Plan, but don’t freak out if plans go awry. Some things are just out of your hands. On my last trip to Europe, a plane broke, resulting in a 24 hour delay out of San Francisco, and then Lufthansa went on strike, stranding me in Lisbon an extra day when I needed to get to Zagreb. Annoying but unavoidable. I spent the unplanned nights in nice hotels on the airline’s dime (both Marriotts, coincidentally), relaxing a bit. It wasn’t torture.
  6. Walk. I think the best way to see most places is on foot. Yes, you may need to use other transport at times (which can be an adventure too; personally, I love funiculars). But still, walk when and where you can. Wander. Explore.
  7. Don’t believe stereotypes about places. They’re often way off. For example, a lot of people seem to think the former Yugoslavia is dangerous. But the war ended over 20 years ago. I’ve lived in Zagreb twice, and visited there several times, plus I’ve been to Bosnia and Slovenia. I’ve seen the crime stats. I’ve talked to security experts with the US State Dept. Those places are safer than almost anywhere in the US (unless you wander the countryside into a minefield–but they’re well-marked).
  8. But sometimes stereotypes are fun. On a rainy afternoon in Paris, I sat under the awning of a sidewalk café, sipping espresso. An honest-to-God mime came in under the awning too, where he stood with one of the waiters, both of them smoking. It was wonderful.
  9. Small joys often outshine the big thrills. Yes, of course I went to the Eiffel Tower when I was in Paris. But you know what was more fun? Going with a friend to a crowded restaurant in Le Marais, where I was the only woman except the two ladies who run the place, and conversing in my terrible French with the friendly couple sitting next to us. The museums in Vienna were great, but so was sitting on a bench, watching the Mozarts take cigarette breaks (usually they hand out concert fliers). In Edinburgh, when the sun gloriously broke through for a few hours, we enjoyed strolling through the park as the locals sprawled blissfully across the lawns.
  10. Hire local tour guides. You’ll learn so much from them. I spent an amazing day with a journalist and guide in Sarajevo. Another time, my daughter and I spent most of the day tooling around with a guide on an antique motorcycle–with a sidecar!–in Barcelona. And another time, a lovely young man spent the day showing my family around Plitvice Lakes in Croatia. He even had my younger daughter, who was 8, eating tree leaves and walking miles without complaining.
  11. Get to know locals. Don’t just stick to other tourists. Shop at greenmarkets and flower stalls. Wander neighborhoods where people live, not just where the famous sights are. Chat with waiters, salespeople, the people sitting near you on the bus. Oh, and taxi drivers! I love talking with them. When I was in New Orleans last year, I had a lovely conversation with a driver from Uzbekistan, plus the fun experience of talking to a driver from Sarajevo.
  12. Don’t over-pack. This one’s hard for me. I just remind myself I’m not going to Mars, and if I absolutely need something, I can probably buy it there. Then it can become a souvenir, or at least part of the travel experience. For instance, there’s a flavor of toothpaste I can’t get here, so I always buy it when I’m in Europe.
  13. Choose souvenirs well. Obviously, you might want to think twice before buying anything heavy, bulky, or breakable. But I also like to think about what I’ll most enjoy back home. For instance, I have several little drawings, paintings, plaques, and photos from my travels (plus a very cool copper wall hanging from Bosnia). I’ve bought some of these from street vendors. They’re easy to pack and now they hang on my walls at home, reminding me of my travels.
  14. Sometimes, do really touristy stuff. A lot of it isn’t worthwhile. But I had great fun on double-decker bus tours of London and Cambridge, and even more fun on a gondola in Venice.

Do you have travel tips? If so, please comment with them!


Interview Roulette: Posy Roberts

Today’s interview roulette player is Posy Roberts!

    1. What is your favorite footwear? Barefoot. If I can avoid shoes, I do. When I’m forced to wear shoes, all I wear anymore are Danskos.
    2. If you had to spend a week snowed in at a mountain cabin with one of your characters, who would you choose and why? Just one character? Wow! You ask hard questions. Let’s see. For conversation and knowledge gathering, I think I’d liked to be snowed in with Leo from my Naked Organics series. He’s crazy smart and a founder of a commune he built from the ground up. With what he knows about gardening, sustainable energy, and cooking alone, I could easily talk to him for a week, not to mention his day job as a sex therapist. I might need more than a week, to be honest.
    3. Which of your characters would send you screaming out into the blizzard before the week was up? I’m going to choose a kid for this one. Finn, the son of Kevin and stepson of Hugo in my North Star trilogy. He’s a hyper kid, and I’m not sure I could handle that much energy in a small space for a week. He’s curious and wide-eyed and adorable, but I’d need a break, and more than what a night’s sleep or a nap could provide.
    4. Describe a traumatic weather-related experience you’ve had. I’ve had several. Blizzards, tornados, wicked thunderstorms, floods. I’m fascinated by weather, so I’m usually the one standing by windows watching when I should be seeking shelter. I was most scared when I was driving in a blizzard and there was nowhere to turn off. It was too dangerous to pull over on the side of the road because of whiteout conditions: a snowplow would destroy your car before it saw you. And every time a car passes you, you are driving blind. When driving in such rural areas where towns are miles and miles apart, you just have to keep driving despite barely seeing the road. Add glare ice to the mix, and it’s even scarier. While driving home from college on I-29, which in North Dakota is about the flattest road you can get, most traffic was going at a safe speed. Some jackoff flew passed me on a slight curve in the road, and I just shook my head because I knew how icy it was. Sure enough, the guy couldn’t turn on the ice and his car kept going straight, which meant driving right off the road. That was 25 minutes into my 5-hour drive. Thankfully it got better once I changed highways.
    5. Describe a memorable dream—or nightmare! I rarely recall dreams anymore, but as a child I had a recurring one. It started not long after my dad died, so I was about six. I dreamed the house was on fire and I was the only one who got out alive. Everyone else died and I was left alone. Not surprising since I’d lost my father and my grandmother the year prior, but the dreams continued for years. I occasionally have dreams that are similar, but now instead of house fires, I lose everyone in car crashes or from some travel accident.
    6. What is your worst phobia? As you can likely guess, fire. In fact, I rearranged part of my kitchen this weekend because I was afraid of flammable objects being too close to my cooktop. I will never live in a house with a gas stove. Yet I’m okay with fires in fire pits and fireplaces. So explain that.
    7. What is the oddest thing on your music playlist? It’s not on a playlist of mine, but it’s the oddest thing I’ve listened to in the last few weeks (EVER!), and I blame my daughter, one hundred percent! There’s this thing call ASMR, which stands for Autonomous Sensory Meridian Response. It’s that feeling of tingles/static that starts at the top of you head and slides down your back and goes all the way to your fingertips, bringing about a state of low-grade euphoria. Well, there are audio and video recordings made to induce this response, and my teen found them on YouTube, felt I needed to experience this, and set me up! Yes, she set me up! Haha. Her two faves are Sand in the Ear and Playdough. Wear headphones/earbuds if you want the real experiences. You can feel free to blame my kid if you have an eargasm. Apparently Bob Ross (you know the be-permed painter of PBS fame?) induced ASMR with his “happy little tree” commentary. So yeah, odd, to say the least.

Book blurb:

 Farm Fresh – Naked Organics #1

You’re home. Put down roots.

Jude Garrity visits the farmers market every Saturday. As an environmental engineering student, he’s curious about living off the grid and sustainable agriculture.

And one particular farmer.

Hudson Oliva has worked hard to support his commune, where queer people live without fear of harm or retribution. When Jude asks pointed questions about living there, Hudson realizes he needs to be honest about his home. Few people know what the farm is actually about, but Jude is insistent.

Jude moves to Kaleidoscope Gardens, however his sexual hang-ups make it hard to adjust. He’s an uptight virgin living among people who have sex freely and with multiple partners. When Jude finally loosens up, Hudson is flooded with emotions. Falling for Jude wasn’t part of Hudson’s life plan. But when vindictive rumors about the commune begin to spread, love might be all he has left.


Book buy links:

Universal Amazon Link:

Barnes & Noble:


Smash words:




Author bio:

Posy Roberts writes about the realistic struggles of men looking for love. Whether her characters are family men, drag queens, or lonely men searching for connections, they all find a home in her stories. Her stories are character driven and plotty, combined with various proportions of sweetness, kink, or angst, and far from predictable.

Posy is a Jill of all trades and master of the drill and paintbrush. She’s married to a partner who makes sure she doesn’t forget to eat or sleep during her writing frenzies. Her daughter, a budding author and cinematographer, helps her come up with character names. For fun, Posy enjoys crafting, hiking, and singing spontaneously about the mundane, just to make regular life more interesting.

Author contacts:

  • Website:
  • Facebook:
  • Twitter: @posyroberts
  • BookBub:
  • Email:
  • Newsletter:


Back from Orlando

Every year, Dreamspinner Press hosts a workshop for DSP authors. In addition to authors, a lot of the DSP staff attends, and the past couple of years so have a few of the talented audiobook narrators. It’s always a wonderful way to learn and be inspired, to catch up with old friends and meet new ones. And since the workshop’s in Orlando, I decided to bring my older daughter along this year as her high school grad present. Before the workshop, we spent 4 days at Disney parks, and after we did a day at Universal.

We met characters. That’s the lovely lyric next to me. She let us drag her everywhere. 

We rode rides. Somehow none of us had ever been on the People Mover before.  

We ate traditional foods.

We Harry Pottered.

We walked. A lot.

At the workshop, my daughter went on water slides and did some homework under painful, horrible conditions. You can’t see it in the photo, but Venona Keyes is atop that water slide too.  

We hung out with beautiful people, sometimes in the Orange Room. That guy I’m sitting with? That’s the amazingly talented Joel Leslie! He’s just finished recording Flux, which should be available soon on audio. 

And finally, on our way home, we apparently went south of the border. Or so said my daughter’s phone.

Now it’s back to real life. My birthday is in 2 weeks and I have a couple little treats in store for you!


Interview Roulette: Elizabeth Noble

Today’s Interview Roulette player is Elizabeth Noble!

If you could create a phone app, what would it be?

I don’t think it’s a secret among my friends that I use my phone for everything. I’ve actually thought about learning to create an app, but I never could decide what it would do. What I’d really like is an app to clean my house, feed my pets and mow the lawn while I write. Is there an app for that?

Cats or dogs? Discuss.

I have both a cat, Murphy and a dog, Rosie. I’m also a veterinary nurse so work with both species on a daily basis. That being said, I have to admit I’m really a dog person. Don’t get me wrong, I like cats a lot. However, I love dogs! I simply feel more in tune with canines and they provide a higher degree of companionship for me. I understand dogs far better than I do cats, and even though I work with cats daily they often scare me.

The fun part is my cat is a dog person too. He doesn’t get along with other cats at all, but he loves my dog and gets along with dogs who come to our house as guests. Rosie and Murphy are the first dog and cat I’ve ever had who play and hang out together. When they were younger and Rosie still needed to be in a crate while I was gone I’d come home and find Murphy sleeping on the top of the crate. I had a bed up there for him until she didn’t need to be crated when I wasn’t home.

If you could be any other living person for a single day, who would you be?

Oh, I don’t know. Someone on a star ship.

Someone is writing your biography. What’s the title? And who plays you in the movie?

Oh, I don’t know….lol I’m sure the title would have to include writing and dogs and astronomy.  somehow. Who’d play me? Geena Davis.

Black licorice—yay or nay?

Real black licorice is a yay. The stuff you buy in the grocery store, not so much.

Describe the perfect pair of socks.

Pretty colors and patterns that don’t pinch.

What food would you only consider eating if you were stranded on a desert isle with nothing else to consume?

If I had to I could choke down bugs.

Book blurb:

Where legend and myth meet science and technology.

The members of the Vampire Guard—Jonas Forge, spy and soldier turned cop; computer hacker extraordinaire Blair Turner; Declan, thief, con man, and ex-pirate; and medical examiner and werewolf Dr. Lucas Coate—face a dangerous and elusive enemy.

And this time, it’s personal.

Over the course of three hundred years, a man has touched each of their lives in ways they are only just realizing. When a hunt for a psychotic killer in the present resurrects memories and clues from the past, they discover how they have been affected and are bound by the existence of a ruthless vampire criminal. Now, while preventing a heist at a high-tech art show and thwarting several large-scale explosions, the team must employ their unique blend of science and supernatural abilities to put an end to the machinations of the man toying with their lives.

This time, he won’t slip through their fingers.

This time, it’s more than a case. It’s a hunt, and Forge, Blair, Declan, and Lucas won’t stop until they’ve captured their quarry.


Book buy links:

DSP Publications:

Barnes & Noble:



Google Play:


Author bio:

Elizabeth Noble lives by the adage “I can’t not write”. She can’t remember a time when she didn’t make up stories and eventually she learned how to write them down. A part of every day is spent living in worlds she created that are filled with intrigue and espionage. Using a real love of scifi and urban fantasy highlighted by twisty plots she crafts stories taking place in a slightly altered version of our world.

When she’s not chronicling the adventures of her many characters Elizabeth is a veterinary nurse living in her native Cleveland, Ohio. She shares her little brick house with an adorable canine princess and her tabby cat side-kick. Elizabeth is a fan of baseball, basketball (go Cavs and Indians!) and gardening. She can often be found working in her ‘outside office’ listening to classic rock and plotting her next novel waiting for it to be dark enough to gaze at the stars.

Elizabeth received several amateur writing awards. Since being published, several of her novels have received honorable mentions in the Rainbow Awards. Her novel Jewel Cave was a runner-up in the 2015 Rainbow Awards in the Gay Mystery/Thriller category. Ringed Love was a winner in the Gay Fantasy Romance category of the 2016 Rainbow Awards.


Author contacts:

Website The Vampire Guard: Main website: Emotion in Motion:



Twitter @elizabethnoble1