Interview with Jules Brand from A Kiss for Luck

Hello! And thanks for joining me today. I have a real treat, an interview with the ever elusive conman, Jules Brand. He gets up to some trouble and dances with Lady Luck, so I was pleased to get him to join me here. You can read about some of his adventures in A Kiss for Luck. Let’s get started.

Welcome Jules, to my little hideout. Or would you prefer to go by a different name?

You, my beauty, can call me whatever you like.


Tell me a little about yourself. I know you keep busy with your “jobs” and your rules. What’s with the rules anyway?

When I was young and just starting out, a gorgeous woman named Delia London taught me the Rules of the Game. I’ve expanded them since then, to cover scenarios that Delia couldn’t foresee.


You work in a dangerous “profession,” so tell me why you’re more of a lover than a fighter.

Because blood stains silk, darling. And honey makes a much better trap than vinegar.


What did you really think of Stanzi when you first met her?

That she was the most beautiful woman I’d ever seen. Oh, you want the truth? Well, she is beautiful. When I first saw her, I was certain my Luck was about to change. And when we met, I knew I was going to have a lot of fun.


What was special about Stanzi compared to your other marks?

At first, nothing. When I learned she was Delia’s niece, that explained my attraction. It was the way she approached life, with equal parts innocence and ferocity, that made my world spin.


If you could, what’s one thing you would want everyone to know about you?

That I’m completely trustworthy, of course.


Since this is the scoop on you, what’s one secret you can share with me?

With you, darling, I would share the world.


What’s your biggest regret?

*checks Patek Philippe watch* Looks like we’re running short on time. Let’s move ahead, shall we?


I know Luck is everything to you. Can you explain Luck for us?

*fingers pendant* Ah, Lady Luck. As seductive as any lover, and more capricious than a spring day. To lay in the arms of Luck is worth any price she demands.


What’s your favorite drink?

Champagne, of course. Is there anything else?


What would an ideal evening be for you?

Whatever you desire. My only wish is to please you.


Leave us with your parting thoughts before you sneak away to your next job.

I never sneak. But Europe has grown tiresome. It’s time to catch up with some old friends in the States. I hear New York is nice this time of year.


Thanks for joining us. I know you’re used to fancier hide outs, so I’m honored you joined us here. Check out Jules Brand and his adventures in A Kiss for Luck by Isa McLaren. This lighthearted crime story is sure to delight you as Stanzi (more ordinarily called Connie) and Jules find themselves in the crosshairs of Jules’s last mark and it takes all their wits to escape with their lives. Here’s the blurb:

When Connie Munro gets a sudden inheritance, she takes her dream vacation to Italy. On a whim, she kisses a stranger on the famous Ponte Vecchio. When her toes uncurl, she finds herself in a whirlwind fling.

Jules Brand is down on his luck. A con job gone wrong lead to a murder, with him as the prime suspect. He returns to his good luck city, Florence, to turn things around.  When Connie asks him for a kiss, he knows his luck has changed.

But Luck is a capricious mistress and Hagen Geier is bent on revenge. When Brand’s past catches up to him, Connie is caught in the cross-fire. She must rely on the charming con artist to get her out of it. She wouldn’t trust him with her purse, but what about her life?

You can grab this thrilling tale at or in paperback at today!


Isa McLaren enjoys casing museums and luxury condos in her free time. She resides in hot, humid North Carolina with her two burglar cats, John Archibald Dortmunder and Bernie Rhodenbarr. When not trying to ditch a tail, she can be found crafting the perfect cocktail for any occasion. A Kiss for Luck is the first book in her Art of Lying series, starring the charming con artist, Jules Brand.

Here’s where you can find Isa McLaren online


Twitter: @IWMcLaren


Thanks again and happy conning!


Interview with A.F. Stewart

Today I am happy to talk with A.F. Stewart about her new trilogy that is finally all out. Check out what she had to say!

Hello and welcome. Tell us a little bit about yourself and what you write.

I’m from Nova Scotia, Canada, and I lead an average boring life. I’m a homebody, a geek, and my great weekly adventure is usually navigating the grocery store. I write fantasy, horror and poetry, watch TV, read, and occasionally go out to the movies. I’ve published a few books that include my epic fantasy trilogy, a few fantasy and horror novellas, collections of short stories, and six volumes of poetry.


When did you start writing and what inspired you to write?

I’ve been writing since I was a child, scribbling stories, poems, even an ill-conceived attempt at songwriting. My imagination doesn’t shut off, and ideas have always bounced around in my head.  


Now I know you like to write horror and dark fiction, what draws you to these darker sides?

The psychological aspects of the darker side of human beings fascinate me. What makes people go to extremes, their motivations for violence, etc. Also, I like exploring the more primal mythologies, the things we fear, the things that go bump in the night.  


You also write poetry, tell us how that affects your prose writing.

I suppose it influences the descriptive passages of my writing, making them a bit more fanciful and flowery. For me, though, they are mostly separate things.


What are some of your favorite themes to write about? What draws you to them?

I like using the theme of consequences in my writing and ideas like obsession and secrecy. Following the thread of one act creating a ripple effect or exploring how one person’s actions can damage the people around them is dissecting the human condition. Most everything we do interacts with or effects someone else, even if it is in small non-consequential ways. I just make those interactions a bit more dramatic than normal.


Who is your favorite character you’ve ever written and why? Tell us a bit about them.

I’ve written several fun characters, but Balthazar (from my Killers and Demons series) is special; writing his character, I can go all out with the evil. He’s an immortal demon who loves his job (he hunts down escaped souls from Hell) and has no morals at all. He doesn’t believe in mercy, hates humans, is vain about his appearance, and loves fine wine. He does, however, have an aversion to cats, cat videos, and cat memes and generally avoids all things feline.


Who is your favorite author and how have they influenced your writing?

I have a tie for my favourite author between Neil Gaiman and Guy Gavriel Kay. They are both marvellous writers and I think their lyrical styles influenced me, as well as Neil Gaiman’s dark themes and Guy Gavriel Kay’s tragic characters. However, the one writer who had the most influence on my writing was Ray Bradbury; his poetic macabre style is brilliant.


What is your all-time favorite book? And why?

It’s hard to pick, but my all-time favourite book would most likely be Sailing to Sarantium by Guy Gavriel Kay. It’s alternate history combined with fantasy wrapped up in this beautiful poetic tragedy and it is brilliant.


Now, you have the third book of your newest trilogy coming out, why don’t you tell us a little bit about the series and about the newest third book.

The series is called Saga of the Outer Islands and takes place in the fictional fantasy world of the Seven Kingdoms and the Outer Islands. The novels follow the adventures of Captain Rafe Morrow (also known as the God of Souls) and the crew of the sailing ship, Celestial Jewel, as they fight sea monsters, dysfunctional gods and a sinister Nightmare Crow. Ghosts, pirates, the navy, witches, and an Oracle also show up in the books.

Book one is Ghosts of the Sea Moon and focuses on gods and ghosts, while book two, Souls of the Dark Sea, has an evil sea monster demi-god, witches, and walking skeletons rising from their watery graves. Book three, Renegades of the Lost Sea, brings the series antagonist, the Nightmare Crow, to the forefront along with some bloodthirsty resurrected-from-the-dead pirates. Also, Rafe’s parents make appearances in book three, particularly his mother, who is Death (and has a backstory with the Nightmare Crow).


What did writing this trilogy in particular teach you?

Most of what I wrote before were standalone books or story collections, so it was a good lesson in plotting out a series.


Where will you go next?

I have several projects in the works, and next up is finishing my new poetry book, Places of Poetry. Then I’ll be working on the first installment of my Obsidian Blade series, a paranormal story of an assassin working in Renaissance Venice. I’ll also be plotting out the rest of my Camelot Immortals series, and working on finishing The Prophecy of Seven, the first book in my fantasy series, Realm of the Fallen. And some time soon, the Hell’s Empire anthology will be released, with my story Infernal Patrol.


Now, where can we stalk you?

I’m over on Twitter:

On BookBub:

I have my own Facebook group:

And I post a bit over on Instagram:

I also have a Patreon page (where I’ll be giving sneak peeks of the Obsidian Blade series):


And lastly, my website:


Scath Oran Interview with Stacy Overby

The Wee Folk. The Fae. Fairies.

Whatever you may call them, they have whispered secrets in this collection of poetry plucked from the halls of Tír na nÓg. But, be forewarned, not all is as it seems on a journey through the shining realm. Come, take a step into the fairy ring as songs of the Fae drift on the damp night air.


Today we are here to talk about a special project, Scath Oran by Stacy Overby. This is a speculative poetry chapbook based on mythology that explores several different forms. It’s an ambitious project, but one that I really enjoyed exploring. So without further ado, here is my interview with the mastermind behind this collection.


How long have you been writing poetry?

I’ve been writing poetry on and off for about 25 years. Yes, I still have those angst filled notebooks of poems from high school. And, no, I’m not going to share them, at least not at this point.l


What draws you to poetry?

I grew up loving music. I also grew up in a family where history was important. Understanding where we came from and who we are. In the course of these two things, I discovered we, as human beings, have a rich history of oral storytelling. This was some of the first poems I discovered and fell in love. This is what keeps bringing me back to poetry, that lyrical, rhythmic way of building layer upon layer of meaning in such a short and memorable time frame.


What do you find different writing speculative poetry than other topics?

I think speculative poetry can be a bit more challenging in that you not only have to sell the poem itself, but the notion that this completely fictional scenario is real. Even if the poem is beautifully written, not convincing the reader the banshees are really out there howling in the storms will still lead to a poem that falls flat. It’s that added challenge of building a connection with readers.


Where did the idea for Scath Oran come from?

Oh boy, let me see if I can put it into words that make sense. There were a couple things that came together and influenced the birth of Scath Oran. First, a writing group I am in had the challenge to create a personal project within a certain time frame–I don’t honestly remember how long anymore. At that same time I had been working some with an amazing poet, Dusty Grein, on classical forms and, particularly, meter. Then throw in a liberal dash of my love for all things speculative, and some of the early poems for Scath Oran were born. From there I decided to try to make a collection out of it.


Take us through your process of writing poetry.

Process? There’s a process? Oh, wait. I’m not supposed to say that am I? Honestly, a number of these poems started off pretty off the cuff. Watching clouds drift by creating crazy shadows on the ground or the way thunder rolled through a valley one day when I was out camping. Then it’s dash the words down on paper. This collection was also about exploring a number of classical forms as well, so I tried to pick forms I hadn’t used too much in the collection. The meter part came with the form, at least as much as I could at first. Then it’s the refining and editing parts. Is the meter correct? Should I break the meter or form in a particular spot? Do the images stand up? I had lots of help with these last bits. Each revision was about honing the piece to capture the essence of the poem, that image, as quickly as possible.


What did you learn from writing Scath?

It’s hard! Well, not hard, but man, the work that goes into a poetry collection is crazy. Are each of the poems lending something to the whole? Should one–or more–be taken out? Should something get added in? In what order should the poems be in the book? What is the overall message and theme of the book?  How should they be laid out? What fonts? Should titles be fancy with the body of the poem cleaner? The list goes on and on. Way more than what I feel like there are for a novel. But, I also learned through all these questions, that this is what brings a classy book to the table. The art of poetry is as much in the presentation of the final poem as it is the words of the poem itself.


You used a lot of form poetry in this chapbook. Do you prefer form to freeverse? And why?

That’s a tough call. Some of the underlying intention in this collection was to focus on forms. Free verse seems so much bigger, I liked the idea of veering away from it. I also find I love the challenge of fitting my poem into the mold of a particular form and meter–which are additional layers to build emotion upon in a poem. However, with free verse, even though there are no real rules for this, there is the added challenge of creating a stunning poem without anything to guide you. In the end, I’d have to say each has its place and I like both directions for different reasons.


What’s your favorite form? Why?

I don’t know if I have a favorite form. The sonnets were fun because they are so recognizable as a form for most people. Triolets are a challenge due to the repetition used in this form. The most interesting form I used was the paradelle. This form was originally created by Billy Collins as a joke. Here’s a link to the form itself and you’ll understand why it is such an interesting form to try to use effectively:


What does writing mean to you?

Writing is my sanity, sometimes literally. I am the director of a dual diagnosis adolescent treatment program. We do TONS of trauma work with the teenagers in the program. There’s no way a provider can work doing the things we do and not run the risk of secondary trauma from listening to all the horror stories these teenagers have lived through. Writing is one of my major outlets and coping mechanisms for staring into that abyss as much as I do and plan to continue doing.


What other genres do you write?

I also write speculative fiction.Anything in the fantasy, science-fiction, or even along the fringes of horror is fair game for me. Keeping it speculative allows me to write some of the things I deal with at work in a way that protects anyone who may have influenced the writing. Plus, this is what I was raised on. My dad loves this stuff and passed that love of “what if…” on.


Tell us about your future projects.

I am working on the edits for my first novel, Tattoos: A Black Ops Novel. It’s a space opera exploring devotion to duty versus personal values and what happens when views of what the perfect world looks like collide. A couple short stories from this world have been published in Rhetoric Askew’s Askew Anthologies series.


Where can we find you to learn more? 

I can be found at for my blog. For social media, I’m at,,, and Come chat with me! I love the company!

Pick up your copy at to explore with the tricksy fae today!

Interview with Rebekah Jonesy

So we are back this week with another interview. I was lucky enough to edit Moss and Clay by Rebekah Jonesy and I fell in love with this story. Moss and Clay is the first book in the Mab’s Doll series and was just released by OWS Ink, LLC. It’s got great characters, action, and comedy all rolled into one awesome story. You’ll love the characters of Gillian and Pitch, the protagonist and her mischievous kelpie sidekick. Gillian kicks ass while Pitch says a lot without saying a word. Get this book on preorder today. On paperback here.


Here’s the blurb:
A doll, crafted and given a mission by Danu. Given life by human and Fae blood.  First daughter of Mab, Queen of the Fae, Gillian must track down the rogue fae in the Americas and bring them back under Fae Law with only a volunteer kelpie to travel with her.

And no one knows what they’re in for. Not even the gods that sent them.

Get the FREE prequel story here:

Without delay, here’s the interview!



Tell us a little bit about yourself.

I’m a dabbler. And a poker. And an instigator. I like to experiment with lots of things. My brain is always saying “What if?” or “Why?” or “How?” And then I do my best to figure out the answer. I’ve worn a lot of hats over the years and love them all. I haven’t really retired any of them and I use everything I have ever learned to ask and answer the next set of questions. People fascinate me.


Why do you write? How did you get started?

I write so I can see the answers to my questions. Stories are my sounding board. I bounce ideas off of them, through them, and see what I come up with.  I have almost no music appreciation, but I understand why musicians make music. Because the music is playing in their head and they have to work with it to make it whole. That’s what I do. I release the melody locked deep inside of me, and it becomes a story.

That’s not a fun story.  Actually I started in first grade I guess it was. In school we made this book from our workbooks. Rip out the pages, fold them a certain way, cut along the lines, and there was a book with a story and drawings about a little alligator.  The last few folded pages were blank, so I filled them up with his continuing story. Then I cut out more pages, folded them the same way, and kept going. My older siblings, and mom, thought they were stupid and wasteful and kept throwing them away. But as long as I could find paper and pencil I kept writing and drawing.

Basically that continued and evolved until I was living on my own and they didn’t have access to my stuff to destroy. I still kept all of my writings hidden though. Unpacking after another move a few years ago I was looking for a spot to hide my stash when it clicked in my head. I didn’t have to hide it. Any of it.  I was in my 30s and at that point I had two moving boxes full of notebooks. And a few disks of things too. So I sat down and read them. And yeah, most were crap. But some of them were really good. I looked online, found videos and how tos by indie authors, two of whom I am friends with today thanks so much Josh and Joe! And with their recorded advice I started publishing.  But I didn’t tell anyone. Not a soul. It was just me. And, amazingly, I got good reviews.


What is your process like? From idea to finished piece?

The stories sit in my head. They stew, ferment, rot, evolve, grow, and sometimes die, all without ever typing a single word. Some are full stories, some are series, some are just characters. But if I try to outline or plot, they fade away. When I have enough time and peace, I sit down, close out the world, and brain dump. With my novellas I would usually write the whole thing in a day or two. Because once I start it’s almost impossible for me to stop. I’ll forget I have a body. And any time I stop or walk away I have to read back through everything and edit it again, even though I edit while I go.  Once I am done, I get up and walk away, usually for a day. Once I can read it with a clearer mind I started the real editing and rewrites. Then I walk away and do something else. Usually cooking. Maybe a different kind of craft. Then I will sit down with it again and go over it, paragraph by paragraph. After third pass it’s off to the editor. Once it’s sent, it moves to a different folder in my brain. And after my editor is done with it and sends it back I can look at it like a product to be honed instead of my baby that I had to protect and nurture. Then comes the struggle of the cover. Ughhhhhhh. Graphic art is not something I am good at. I much prefer giving a basic idea to someone and having them make something then I will just add or ask for tweaks. After the manuscript and cover is done, some marketing people work necromancy or something like that. Later I am given a link and and I can cheer and share it with my friends and followers.


Where do your ideas come from? What’s your favorite way to brainstorm?

Everywhere. Anything. I’ve written two books based on covers I saw. I’ve written around five from secondary characters in my other books. The idea for my first trilogy started out with an idea to go on a shooting camping trip with some friends. It ended up no place near that. My second one was from a comment a waiter said. The fifth one was from a comment a character said in my book. And on and on. The series I am working on now, the concept of the idea started because of a child character in my romance thriller book. That got the idea of Americanized Irish lore stuck in my head which came up later in a conversation with a fantasy author friend of mine. So anything can spark the idea.

My favorite way is easily by chatting it over with a friend. That leads fairly quickly to actually writing it and it’s cleaner when I start working on it.


Who’s your biggest influence?

Coffee. And friends. I am blessed to have amazing artist friends or all flavors. And their creativity sparks my own and makes me feel more comfortable expressing it.


What’s your one piece of go to advice for other writers?

Write. Write. Write. Just write. Don’t have an idea? Write. Don’t think you can? Write. Work isn’t “good enough”? Write. Keep getting stuck? Write. Doesn’t matter what you write. So long as you are writing. Just shut up and write.


Tell us about Moss and Clay. What inspired you to write this story?

In my thriller romance Dangerous Angles there’s a family. They are Irish American and the parents passed down the old oral stories. Researching that and writing out what they would do really intrigued me. Later, much later, I was chatting with an author friend of mine and I don’t remember what exactly sparked it, but together we came up with this concept of an automaton crafted from magic to hunt down bad guys by following American legends and lore. Like Ghost Hunters meets Puppetmaster.

That stewed in my brain and even rotted a bit. But I trimmed off the rotted pieces and pulled out something new. It had grown and developed on its own over the year and became a story about a doll crafted by Danu, blessed by the sky, and brought to life with human and fae blood who is given a mission to find her lost peoples stuck in the Americas where they are surrounded by metal that they cannot touch or cross.


What’s one thing writing Moss and Clay taught you?

The similarities in myths and how they relate to and are influenced by languages. One example is how many cultures have a story about a water horse. Depending on how the language says “horse” it is either male or female, benevolent or malevolent, and even relates from there how to protect yourself from it. And a lot of myths seem to have a lot to do with how women are viewed in the culture as well.


What’s next on the horizon for you?

I see reds, yellows, oranges- which I am going to say is a sunrise, not a sunset. Either way I am moving forward fast and hard. I have the next three books in my series planned out along with a short or two to go with it. I have a full romance I have finished and will be publishing soon. I have a Patreon idea I plan to go forward with in the near future. And I have my gleefully geeky podcast that is really taking off recently that I have so much fun on. And of course my wonderful new job with OWS Ink publishing.


What’s your favorite food, favorite color, and favorite beverage?

Coffee, coffee, and coffee! Yay!


What’s three things most people don’t know about you yet?

  1. I am left handed.
  2. I am the youngest child of five.
  3. I had West Nile and nearly died from it.


And finally, where can we find you online?

  1. All over!
  9. Newsletter

Rebekah Jonesy knows stuff about things and isn’t afraid to talk and write about it. Outside of the literary world, she is a mad scientist cook, gardener, Jill of all trades, and military spouse. Inside the literary world she is a devourer of books, publisher, and mentor.

“Rebekah has the best kind of rabies”- JD Estrada


Check Rebekah out and grab your copy of Moss and Clay today!

Author Interview with A.L. Mabry

Hello! So I don’t usually do this, but my good friend and colleague just released a book of short stories called Darker Daze: The Storms Within. I had the privilege of being able to read this collection as a beta reader and I wanted to share this interview from the author with you all today. Here’s my review:

Darker Daze is a collection of dark short stories. Each story was well contained and the endings, though not happy, were very satisfying! So satisfying! I really enjoyed reading these twisted tales. My favorite was The Next Best Seller. It features a headstrong protagonist willing to do anything to achieve her goals, including black magic. At a close second, and tied, were Beneath Salem and Belladonna. The emotional arc in Beneath Salem was so good and Belladonna did not disappoint in giving the characters what they deserved. If you like short stories, check these out.

And, without further ado, here is my interview with A.L. Mabry.

  1. Tell us a little bit about yourself.


I am a wife and mother, first and foremost. My husband and I have five kids between us, ranging in age from 17 to almost 21. I went to college for early childhood education and taught preschool for 15 years before changing paths and focusing on my writing.

  1. What drew you to writing in the first place? How did you get your start?


I have always loved writing but I strayed and stumbled back to it. Throughout my teaching career I was using my writing without even thinking about it. I wrote stories, and songs, and even a whole curriculum. Then, when I was struggling with being a special needs parent I found the special needs blogging community. I grew from there discovering fiction writing groups and making the leap back to creative writing.

  1. What is your process like? From idea to finished piece?


I am a non-linear scene writer. I rarely write in order and I tend to do all my big scenes first before stitching it all together.

  1. Where do your ideas come from? What’s your favorite way to brainstorm?


I get inspired by EVERYTHING. People, places, quotes, art and so on. I generally just grab an idea and write a scene. Then I flash out a character and expand that scene and keep going.

  1. What genres do you dabble in and which is your favorite? Your least favorite?


I am primarily dark fiction/horror, fantasy and poetry. I love everything but I could probably live without Sci-Fi.

  1. Do you have a writing ritual to get you in the mood?


Not really but having a chunk of uninterrupted time available and shutting down all access to social media are imperative. I have the attention span of a fruit fly.

  1. Tell us about Darker Daze, both the inspiration for the book and what it’s about.


So, all of the stories in Darker Daze are fiction. However, most of them are inspired by real events in my life. Sometimes the inspiration was a mere second and then I fleshed out the worst case scenario. In one case, I took excerpts from an old journal and unleased my imagination on them.

  1. What’s one thing writing Darker Daze taught you?


I have learned that writing these stories is extremely therapeutic but, reading them is hard. Probably harder for me than you because there are so many little nuances that are only relevant to me.

  1. What’s next on the horizon for you?


I am working on the rewrites for Soul Purge which is slated for release this fall from OWS Ink, LLC.


  1. What’s your favorite food, favorite color, and favorite beverage?


I love potatoes in all its glorious forms. My favorite color is (and has always been) blue. And my favorite beverage is coffeewinetea.

  1. What’s three things most people don’t know about you yet?


-I am a Witch. Like, literally. I am not a big fan of labels but if I chose one it would be “Intuitive Eclectic Witch.”

-I am a survivor of domestic violence.

-I was a (very good!) teen mom.

  1. And finally, where can we find you online?

You can find me at from there you can find all my other links!


So there’s A.L. Mabry in a nutshell. Be sure to check out Darker Daze here.