Category Archives: Fiction

Cover Reveal—End of Day by Mae Clair

Book cover for End of Day, mystery/suspense novel by Mae Clair shows old dilapidated church with bell tower and a cemetery in the background overgrown with weeds

Release Date: January 15, 2019
Genre: Mystery/Suspense/Supernatural Thriller
Publisher: Kensington Publishing • Lyrical Underground Imprint

The past is never truly buried…

Generations of Jillian Cley’s family have been tasked with a strange duty—tending the burial plot of Gabriel Vane, whose body was the first to be interred in the Hode’s Hill cemetery. Jillian faithfully continues the long-standing tradition—until one October night, Vane’s body is stolen from its resting place. Is it a Halloween prank? Or something more sinister?

As the descendants of those buried in the church yard begin to experience bizarre “accidents,” Jillian tries to uncover the cause. Deeply empathic, she does not make friends easily, or lightly. But to fend off the terror taking over her town, she must join forces with artist Dante DeLuca, whose sensitivity to the spirit world has been both a blessing and a curse. The two soon realize Jillian’s murky family history is entwined in a tragic legacy tracing back to the founding of Hode’s Hill. In order to set matters right, an ancient wrong must be avenged…or Jillian, Dante, and everyone in town will forever be at the mercy of a vengeful spirit.

End of Day can be read as a stand alone novel or as a follow-up to book one of the Hode’s Hill series, Cusp of Night.

End of Day is available for pre-order through this link
and available to add to your Goodreads to-be-read list here.

Connect with Mae Clair at BOOKBUB and the following haunts:

Amazon | BookBub | Newsletter Sign-Up
Website & Blog | Twitter | Goodreads | All Social Media 


New Release by Staci Troilo — Tortured Soul

Staci, thanks for stopping by.  I am so excited that you have released your final book in the Medici Protectorate Series.  I can’t wait to see how it ends.  I pre-ordered my copy and have started reading it.

Hi, Michele. Thanks for having me here today.

I’m excited to share your final book in the series.  I know I couldn’t wait to see how the series ended, and I have several friends that are waiting as well.  But I also have some questions for you regarding the series and one of a personal nature.

I know that the finale of any series can be difficult.
What will you miss most about the Norato family and Brothers of the Protectorate?

This series began when I thought about my grandfather’s heritage. His father was the illegitimate son of nobility. Hours (days? weeks?) of brainstorming later, and the Medici Protectorate was born. The hardest part of ending this series is ending my connection with my grandfather (who I miss every single day). I know working in this world didn’t really bring me closer to him, but it felt like it somehow, which makes the ending harder for me.

It doesn’t hurt that I’ve got a spinoff series (the Nightforce Security series under the pen name Keira Beck) where the Brothers often pop up.

Which sister do you think you identify most with?

That’s hard, since I put different aspects of myself in each of them. For example, all four of them chose career paths that interest me. Toni complains about exercising as much as I do. I feel the same sense of responsibility that Franki does. Jo hates invasion of privacy as much as me, maybe more. Maybe I’ll choose Donni because she loves to cook and bake. Really, it’s hard to choose.

Will the sisters and the brotherhood be making any appearances in any of your upcoming novels?

Like I mentioned above, I have a spinoff series called the Nightforce Security series. It features Danny Caruso, a secondary character in the Medici Protectorate series. Every now and then, the Brothers make a cameo. Even the sisters have. Book one, Hideaway by Keira Beck, is already released, and book two, Gamble, will be out soon. Three is already done, four is halfway finished, and five through eight are outlined. So we haven’t seen the last of the Medici gang.

What sort of research did you do to write this book series?

I did extensive research on alchemy, mythical properties/powers of stones and colors, the Medici family, and the Renaissance. Most of my research revolved around things in the distant past, but the series is actually set in the present. I also poured over maps of Italy and descriptions of certain cities/regions. Too bad I couldn’t go there in person and see the sights first-hand!

What was the most difficult part about writing this book and this series?

I think the hardest part was the learning curve. While Bleeding Heart wasn’t the first book I had published, it was the first I’d written. There was a lot I didn’t know then. When I reread the books in order, I can see my craft improving. Book four, Tortured Soul, is my strongest work. My editor actually said it was the cleanest manuscript he’d ever worked on. He also said the ending had him misty-eyed. I take his comments as a sign that I have learned a lot and am releasing a really good book.

What’s the worst job you had before becoming a full-time writer?

My worst jobs were my part-time jobs while I was in college. Tedious, but necessary. (At one—a hostess at Bob Evans—I only lasted six days before quitting. Those horror stories are for another time, though.)

After I graduated, I was a full-time writer, although it was corporate work instead of creative. Then I became a freelance writer, a college professor, and an editor. Each of these had specific challenges, but none of them made me hate the jobs.


Protection is safety. Until it stifles.

After months of clandestine battles, the Brothers of the Medici Protectorate finally know who is responsible for the assassination attempts on the Notaro family, the secret descendants of the Medici line. And they’ve never faced such a formidable foe.

Roberto Cozza–Coz–faces this new reality with surprising pragmatism. His powers may make the difference in winning their covert war–if only he can master them in time. It would just be so much easier if he could get his emotions under control, but neither his Brothers nor their charges are making things easy on him.

Toni Notaro appreciates the security provided by the Brothers, but she knows she has her own role to play–and it terrifies her. She is the missing link in Coz mastering his emerging abilities, yet she struggles to bridge the gap between what he needs and what she can offer.

As the Brotherhood hurtles inexorably toward the climactic final showdown, Coz and Toni must find the strength within themselves and each other to master the secrets of his powers, or risk death and defeat for all they hold dear.

Bio and Links:

Staci Troilo writes because she has hundreds of stories in her head. She publishes because people told her she should share them. She’s a multi-genre author whose love for writing is only surpassed by her love for family and friends, and that relationship-centric focus is featured in her work.

Web | Blog | Tortured Soul Info | Medici Protectorate Info | Amazon Page | BookBub | Goodreads | TwitterOther Social Media Links

I’m Visiting C.S. Boyack Today

Today I’m visiting C.S. Boyack to discuss the services that all authors need to get their works for ideas to publication.

So stop over and check out my post.

Stop over and visit me by clicking on this link and learn all about it.

Blurb and Release of Gamble by Staci Troilo

Hi everyone. I’m happy to say Gamble, by Staci Troilo is available for download and she is here to share it with us.

Welcome, Staci.

Hi, everybody. I’m really happy to be here with you. Thanks for visiting with me.

I’m here to share a short excerpt from my new novella, Gamble, the second installment of my Nightforce Security Series. In the following passage, we join our hero when he’s putting himself in harm’s way to protect everybody else. I chose this one because it’s indicative of Noah’s personality and abilities.

Jack snickered. “You’re pretty funny, frogman. Too bad I don’t believe you about your crew. And I told you what I do to people who lie to me.”

Daphne gasped.

“You really want to risk making all that noise?” Noah asked. “I don’t know how you’ve diverted security so far, but a gunshot will bring everyone running. Including my guys.”

“Thought your guys were with your client?”

“I’m missing, and I’m not answering my phone. Someone’s looking for me.”

Jack stared at him through narrowed eyes.

The door burst open, and Ace and Joker strode in. They were dressed in casino security uniforms—charcoal pants, white shirt, blue blazer, burgundy tie—and they each had little gold name tags like the real guards.

“I see you’ve revealed yourself, Jack,” Ace said.

“Didn’t have a choice. This one,” he pointed his gun at Noah, “rushed Deuce. Almost took him out with a chokehold.”

Ace sighed. “What are we going to do with you, Mr. Crawford?”

“He’s a former SEAL, Ace. Works private security now. Says he has a crew in the building.”

“Is that so?”

“I don’t believe him, but…” Jack shrugged.

“Let’s find out, shall we?” Ace pulled his phone from his pocket then took Noah’s picture. Then he sent a text. “Trey can look through surveillance feeds and see who he came in with.”

“We really have time for that?”

“I’ll make the time. I want to know what I’m dealing with.”

Joker held a bundle of clothes in his hand, and he handed some to Deuce and the rest to Jack. “You’re lucky we prepared for you blowing your cover. Go change.”

Jack jumped off the edge of the table. “Don’t get your panties in a bunch. We always knew it was a possibility.”

“Just go.”

Jack and Deuce disappeared, presumably going somewhere previously scouted and safe for them to change. Ace’s phone rang, and he walked deeper into the poker tables to talk uninterrupted.

Noah only had a few seconds before Ace found out he really did have backup in the building. The hostages were as safe as possible on the floor. It was his only play. He turned to Daphne. “Stay down.”


But he was on his feet again, charging Joker. They fell to the floor, rolling, wrestling—each trying for the upper hand.

Blurb for Gamble:

Sometimes stakes are too high to gamble. Other times they’re too high not to.

Noah Crawford is a consummate bachelor—until a one-night stand piques his interest in something more. The only problem is, she wouldn’t give him her name, and he has no way to find her.

A week later, resigned to forgetting her, he accompanies his friends to a casino. Floor traffic promises to be light while everyone clusters at the sportsbook for the college basketball championship game. But Noah isn’t in the mood for frivolity and sets off on his own. No one is more surprised than he is when he bumps into his mystery woman.

He’s playing a far different game than cards when armed criminals take over the poker room. Noah is separated from his friends, and somehow the room has been cut off from security. Help isn’t coming. It’s up to him to keep everyone safe while he tries to thwart the gunmen.

Noah quickly realizes he’s trying to prevent more than a simple heist. And he doesn’t know who he can trust. The stakes have never been higher, and he’s all in. But one of the thieves might have an ace up his sleeve, and that could cost Noah everything.

More Information | Universal Purchase Link

About Staci:

Staci Troilo writes because she has hundreds of stories in her head. She publishes because people told her she should share them. She’s a multi-genre author whose love for writing is only surpassed by her love for family and friends, and that relationship-centric focus is featured in her work.

Web | Blog | Newsletter | Facebook Group | Twitter | Facebook | Other Social Media Links

Password Author Interview with Staci Troilo

Today I’m interviewing fellow author, blogger, and my sister, Staci Troilo. I’m excited to have my sister as my guest today sharing her newest book, Password, the first novel in the Nightforce Series.

Please welcome Staci Troilo!



Thanks for inviting me here today, Michele. I appreciate having a chance to talk to your readers about my new novel.

“I can take whatever you dish out.”

His eyes darkened.

She knew that look. She freaking loved what followed that look.


Meet Braelyn Edwards. In this day and age, it’s hard to find an adult who doesn’t have a social media presence. If Braelyn had it her way, she wouldn’t have a digital footprint at all, other than her bank account. (Why go to the bank when she can hit a few keys on the keyboard?) She’s intensely private and avoids large social gatherings. Her family, and especially her best friend, are just the opposite. They are outgoing, friendly people who enjoy getting together for every occasion—or no occasion at all.

It’s because of her family and friends that Braelyn has social media accounts. She only posts something when Facebook threatens to cancel her account due to inactivity, and then it’s nothing personal—a picture of something she ate that day or an inspirational quote she found online. She wouldn’t bother keeping the accounts at all, but her loved ones tag her in everything. And it’s easier to appease them and keep the accounts than it is to fight them on it.

It’s not that she’s awkward or grumpy. Quite the opposite, in fact. She’s kind-hearted, and one-on-one, she’s engaged and attentive. It’s a safe bet that she knows her family and friends far better than they know her. She’d never hurt their feelings by telling them that, though.

When Braelyn meets Danny, she’s resistant to having him protect her. Of course she is—a security guard who’s going to watch her 24/7 is definitely going to challenge her need for privacy. And Danny definitely does that.

He does a lot more, though, too. As is evident by the teaser. But you’ll have to read the book to find out more.

Oh, and a bit of good news. Password is the first book in a new series (Nightforce Security Series). The second installment, a novella for Susan Stoker’s Special Forces Kindle World, will be released in March. So if you enjoy this story, you won’t have long to wait before you can visit this world again.

Some passwords protect more than just secrets.

Danny Caruso was glad to be back in the United States, back to his regular job. Back to his comfortable routine of all work and no play. But when his friend Mac asks a favor of him, he can’t refuse. He owes the guy everything. So he accepts the job, even though it means a twenty-four/seven protection detail guarding a particularly exacerbating—and beautiful—woman.

Braelyn Edwards is careful to stay out of the spotlight, preferring to hide in the background and skip the trappings of a vibrant social life. But her privacy is threatened when there’s an attempt on her life and a bodyguard is foisted on her. Compounding problems? He doesn’t just want to protect her. He wants to investigate every detail of her life, starting with her top-secret job.

Danny casts his sights on Charlie Park, her coworker, her partner… the one man who knows all Braelyn’s secrets. She’s frustrated by the distrust until she realizes jealousy fuels Danny’s suspicions as much as instinct and proof. One of them is right about Charlie—but by the time they figure it out, it may be too late to save their relationship. And Braelyn’s life.

You can purchase Password by clicking the universal purchase link below.

Universal Purchase Link

Staci Troilo writes because she has hundreds of stories in her head. She publishes because people told her she should share them. She’s a multi-genre author whose love for writing is only surpassed by her love for family and friends, and that relationship-centric focus is featured in her work.

Connect with Staci on Social Media:

Web | Blog | Newsletter | Facebook Group | Twitter | Facebook | Other Social Media Links

Guest Interview with Lisa Burton, Personal Assistant to Author C.S. Boyack, on Quantum Wanderlust

“Hi everyone. I’ve got radio personality and interviewer, Lisa Burton here with us today. Let’s give her a warm welcome.”

“Hi, Lisa and welcome. I’m super excited to have you stop by today.”

“Hi, Michele, so glad to finally meet you. I’m here today to talk about Quantum Wanderlust. This is a collection of short stories by thirteen awesome authors, and all of them deal with time travel.”

“Tell me, Lisa, what made Egypt, Tutankhamun’ s tomb, the place you decided to time travel to? I mean, there are so many places and times that could have been chosen.”

“Oh, it wasn’t me, it was Craig’s character. He’s the author here. It involves a kind of secret society that invented the time machine on the down-low. They wanted to place satellites in orbit around the ancient world so they could watch things as they happened. We’re not just talking about the building of the pyramids either. They could observe extinction events, erosion of fertile areas, and a lot more.

“Now to accomplish this, they needed funding, and they wanted to keep it all quiet for now. They chose Tut’s tomb, because it’s spectacular. It would draw attention and maybe the wealthy folks would pony up when they get an idea of what could be possible. It’s not too sexy to talk about erosion of the Nile Delta, or what Haley’s Comet looked like a thousand years ago.”

“Did you have to do a lot of research for this project?”

“There was a ton of research. Dates, names, actual hotels, tomb contents, train schedules. And you’re right to ask it this way. As Craig’s major domo, I wound up doing the bulk of it.”

“So how did you guys come up with the premise for this one?”

“Without giving spoilers, Craig started with a twist ending he wanted to use. I don’t want to give anything away, but it’s a real world concern that might resonate with readers. Then he had to back it into the story in a way that also included time travel.

“Before I forget, we have posters made for all of Craig’s stories. We only made one for Quantum Wanderlust, because Swift Wings is the only story Craig has in the collection. I think it’s a fun one though, and here is your print.”

“Thanks, Lisa. You look stunning as usual. And this poster hints at Craig’s Story, Swift Wings. I understand that Craig gave permission for anyone to download and use this photo. So go feel free to use as a backdrop, screensaver, or however you like. Thanks, Craig.”

“So, Michele, I snuck ahead in the book and Fabric of Time is a cool concept. What brought you to use a baby blanket to symbolize this fabric?”

“Well, Lisa, both of my children were given homemade blankets from their granny and I thought it would be a great way to use something that anyone could relate to.

“The name Aisling is pretty unique. How did you find it and why did it appeal to you?”

“I always choose a nationality that I wish to feature in my work. I usually go Italian, because that’s what I’m most familiar with, but I wanted to highlight another of my nationalities, and chose Irish. I wanted a name that would go with that theme. But I wanted something unusual. I went to my favorite search engine and searched for Irish names. I came upon Aisling, which means dream or vision. I knew that was the name for my story.

“Rory appealed to me for another time traveler named Rory. He appeared on several years of Dr. Who. Did you base Rory on him somehow?”

“Actually, Lisa, I have never watched an episode of Dr. Who. Rory is the name I came up with while helping a friend choose a name for her cat.”

“I like the idea that this fabric needs to be constantly tended and mended to protect others from altering the timeline. It takes people of pretty stern construction to handle that kind of job. Those kind of characters make for great stories.”

“Thanks, Lisa. You know, Swift Wings had me intrigued from the start. Egyptian history is a favorite of mine, and many people are fascinated by it. I enjoyed going back in time with Dr. Preston and seeing King Tut’s tomb from his perspective.”

Don’t forget to pick up your free copy of Quantum Wanderlust at all the major sites. These thirteen authors will take you on some interesting time travel adventures. Oh, and if you don’t mind, please leave a review.

“Well, Lisa, I know you must run. So glad we finally connected. Tell Craig we said hi.”

If you’d like to connect with Craig (or Lisa) use the links below:

Blog | Published Works | Twitter | Goodreads | Facebook | Pinterest

When we talk about the passage of time, it’s usually in short bursts (seconds, minutes, hours) or slightly longer chunks (weeks, months, years).

What if it was limitless? What if you could go forward or back? Decades, centuries, eons? Would you go back and change your life? Go forward and see your future?

Quantum Wanderlust is a time travel short story anthology. Characters travel forward and back—how far they go and how they get there make fascinating tales. Do they observe or interact? Is the outcome better or worse than the original timeline?

The scope is virtually limitless, definitely timeless.

Download your free copy today from most major eBook retailers by clicking here.



Top Ten Critique Tips

Originally posted on AIW Press
Top Ten Critique Tips

Is your novel ready for publication?
You’ve written you story. You’ve read it, and reread it. You’ve edited it and re-edited it. Before you submit it, you need a good critique partner.
AIW Press shares the top ten tips for a good critique. Click here to read more.