Interview with Jane Doe, Hero of “Mercy’s Sunset” by Lindsay Luterman

Mercy's SunsetWhat do you want?

I want to make the right decision. I know I have to pick a life, but it’s hard. I have been three very different people. Now, I have to decide which life has been the most important to me.

What do you need?

I feel like I need more time, or someone to tell me that I am making the right decision.

What do you want to be?

I want to be done with this whole process. I want to continue on into the afterlife and be sure that I made the right choice. I don’t know what comes next, but I want to be a soul that has found peace.

What do you believe?

I believe in love… that’s for sure. I fell head over heals in each one of my lives. I understand that life is too short to take love for granted. I believe in the love of two lovers, and I believe in the love of every other person who is important in your life.

What are you afraid of?

I am afraid of choosing one life. How will I know if it is the right one?

What do you regret?

I regret a lot of the crap I pulled in my three lives. Watching them again, I understand how human I really was.

What, if anything, haunts you?

Love haunts me, as it haunts us all. But truthfully, I think I haunt myself.

Where can we learn more about you?

From Second Wind Publishing:!lindsey-luterman/cwpl

Interview with Valerie Campbell, hero of “Valerie’s Vow” by Ashley M. Carmichael

Who are you?

My name is Valerie Hope Campbell. I am a high school English teacher and part time Sunday School teacher at my church where I also serve on the Education committee.

Are you the hero of your own story?

I never considered myself a hero of anything. I was forced to become the protagonist when I lost my best friend, Beth. However, Beth Sizemore will always be the hero of my story. If it wasn’t for her I wouldn’t have made the vow, and there wouldn’t be a story at all. I never would have met Cooper, that’s for sure. I probably wouldn’t have met up with Evan again, and if I had, I certainly wouldn’t have had the guts to pursue anything.

What is your problem in the story?

I guess the real question here is what isn’t a problem in my story? Somehow I had to figure out how to keep my vow while maintaining my sanity, and my job. And yet, with the luck I have, problem after problem after problem…And without Beth, I just don’t know what to do. Fortunately, there is Cooper. And Evan. And Dakota. But I guess all that is a problem in itself. So really, I guess the problem is: What do I want to live for and how do I live for it?

Do you have a goal?

I have a lot of goals and dreams. I want to travel and see the world. I did a little of this when I was younger, but not as much as I want. I want to see China, India, Japan, Australia, Egypt, and—the Holy land. Sometimes I wonder about God and His role in our lives and I wonder if seeing the world would help solidify and answer these constant questions that plague me.

What are you afraid of?

I am afraid of failure. Of being alone. Of everything falling apart. My world shattered when I lost Beth, and I didn’t know if I could ever rebuild it. These fears are intensified some days. Other days the lesson. It’s a constant roller coaster of emotion.

Do you have any hobbies?

I’ve been restoring old furniture lately and that has been eye opening, and fun. It is a new skill I never thought I’d acquire, but has been very enlightening.

What is your favorite scent? Why?

My favorite scent is honeysuckle. It reminds me of home.

What is your favorite color? Why?

My favorite color is blue. It is calming and nurturing, it envelops you.

What is your favorite food? Why?

I love spaghetti—well anything Italian. Spaghetti is easy to make and is filling. And, well, brings back some pretty great memories!

What is your favorite music? Why?

I love a good salsa mix. It has a great mix, and now that I kind of know how to dance to it. Well, kind of I guess is a bit generous. Hopefully, he and I will have a chance to do a little more dancing in the future, but that’s a bit more than I want to divulge in a simple question like this.

Name five items in your purse, briefcase, or pockets.

A movie stub from The American Sniper, a lip gloss “blushing bride”, a few loose Euros, Pacific Cool Breeze hand sanitizer, and Stress-fix body lotion

What are the last three books you read?

The Professor and the Madman, The Atonement Child, and No Longer a Slumdog,

If you were stranded on a desert island, who would you rather be stranded with, a man or a woman?

A man. Many women tend to be catty and competitive with each other. Men will help take care of you…usually. Plus, well, now there’s only one person I want to be stranded with and if you’ve read my story, you certainly know who and why!

Where can we learn more about Valerie’s Vow?

From Second Wind Publishing:!product/prd15/2506087281/valerie’s-vow and Amazon

Carolina Brown, Hero of “The Opposite of Living” by Genevieve Mckay

The Opposite of LivingWho are you?

It’s a good thing you’re asking me this question now instead of last year because back then I probably would have bitten you for prying into my business. Honestly, I wasn’t very nice back then. But you can’t be too hard on me; I was stuck at the Institution, I had no idea who I was or where I’d come from and I was all alone. I didn’t belong to anyone at all and I was always afraid.

Now, I know I’m Carolina Brown and I belong to Aunt Sandra and Uncle Pete and Louisa. I have a whole house full of people (sort of) and animals who love me. Best of all I’m going to be a real chef when I grow up, just like my idol Gordon Ramsay. That is, I will be if I can get over my fear of going outside, and strangers, and speaking and …. Okay, I guess I have a long way to go.

How do your enemies see you?

That stupid boy from next door, the one who was spying on us, called me a freak. I guess he’s the closest thing I have to an enemy right now. The workers back at the Institution thought I was a spoiled brat. Some of them, mostly the ones I’d bitten, even said I was dangerous and needed to be locked up forever. And way before that, when I was young, my worst enemy the Horse Trader saw me only as his victim. Boy, was he was wrong about that.

What is your most closely guarded secret?

Well, it’s not just my secret; it belongs to my whole family. We have to work together to keep Henry, Petra and others like them safe. Not everyone appreciates them as much as we do and without protection they might be attacked or kidnapped and experimented on. We have to shelter them until my Uncle can find a cure.

Do you get along with your parents?

My parents are dead and I don’t want to talk about them. I get along really well with my Aunt and Uncle though. They are the nicest, kindest, smartest people I know.

Do you have any heroes?

Gordon Ramsay is my number one, absolute favourite hero. He is an amazing chef and I want nothing more than to be just like him when I grow up! Did I mention that he is amazing?

Do you have any special strengths?

Well, I’m a really great chef. I’m smart and brave and I have excellent self-defence skills and I’m not afraid of the dark. I used to be very good at biting and attacking but I don’t really need to guard myself so much anymore. Oh, and I am also excellent at solving mysteries.

Have you ever failed anyone?

Hmmm, that’s a hard question. Sometimes I feel like I failed my dad by not protecting him from himself, and from all the people who were trying to hurt him. The Head Interrogator says that I shouldn’t think like that. He says kids are not responsible for their parents’ actions and that there was nothing I could have done. I know he’s right but part of me still feels guilty that I lived when my dad didn’t.

What are the last three books you read?

That’s easy. Mrs. Smith and Henry have been shoving all sorts of reading material at me ever since they took over my education so I’m always up to my eyeballs in weird books. Right now I’m reading the biography of Emily Dickenson (She was this weird poet that Mrs. Smith is obsessed with). Henry has me reading Watership Down which is a book about talking rabbits (I know it sounds silly but it’s really very good). I’m also reading a book called Nibs, which is on the history of the cocoa bean. I find it fascinating.

Do you keep your promises?

Always. I don’t make promises now unless I’m sure I can keep them. I like honest, straight forward people who say exactly what they mean. I don’t understand when humans lie to be polite. This past year I’ve been learning how to be truthful without hurting other people’s feelings. It’s not as easy as it looks!

What do you want to be?

I’m going to be a world class chef. Guaranteed.

What is your favourite scent?

Definitely sweet spices like cinnamon, cloves, ginger, and cardamom. They make me feel warm and protected and loved. When I’m cooking with those spices it’s like there’s a sort of nice, invisible grandma in the room, looking over my shoulder and smiling down at me.

How do you envision your future?

I didn’t used to see myself as growing up at all. I was sure I would die before I even turned fourteen and my dream of being a chef was just that, a dream. But now that I have a family to call to my own I actually feel like I’m going to live a long, long time. I’m going to stay at the house and finish my schooling and then I’m going to go to chef school and become a famous chef. After that? Who knows!

Where can we read more about you and your adventures?

You can read all about me in my first novel, The Opposite of Living. Then stay tuned for the next two books in the series. Coming soon!

You can read about me here on Amazon:

Or visit my Author, Genevieve, here:

“Surviving the Fog — Kathy’s Recollections” by Stan Morris

KathyWhat is your story?

Surviving the Fog-Kathy’s Recollections. These crazy people started a camp that was supposed to preach sexual abstinence, but at the same time teach us about methods of birth control. Who would send their kid to a camp like that? Answer; my parents. Of course, by doing this, they saved my life.

Who are you?

My name is Kathy. I’m fourteen. And a half. I was born in Clayton Valley, California, and until I was sent to this camp, I was living in Morgan Hill, California, which is a bedroom community south of San Jose.

Are you the hero of your own story?

I’m not really sure there are heroes in this story. I am the narrator. Mike might be the hero. If we stay alive, it will probably be due to him and his gang; the Spears.

What is your problem in the story?

My main problem is that I’m trapped in the Sierra Nevada Mountains, with forty eight other teenagers, by a mysterious brown fog that seems to be covering the earth below us. We don’t have enough food, and we don’t have any place to live when winter arrives. And if that’s not bad enough, our camp was attacked by some bad men. I know one boy is dead, and two girls have been kidnapped.

Do you embrace conflict?

No way! The biggest conflict I want is my Mom telling me to put down my ereader and go to bed. If my Mom and Dad were still alive, I would do anything they told me to do.

Do you run from conflict?

Yes. When we were told to run across the bridge to safety, I ran as far as I could.

How do you see yourself?

I’m blond, blued eyed, and about sixty two inches. Sorry, I don’t know what that is in centimeters. I’m not really that good at math. I shy, and I don’t really like to be around boys that much. They’re too loud, and sometimes they look at you weird.

How do your enemies see you?

Well, Dumb Douglas calls me Scardy-Cat, and now a lot of the other boys are calling me that, too. I didn’t cry that much, and I’ve made a promise to myself that I’m not going to cry anymore.

Do you have a goal?

Staying alive would be nice.

What are your achievements?

Achievements? Well, I one day I got sick of how the kitchen was so filthy. No one was doing the dishes, and there were Styrofoam plates and bowls left on the counter along with utensils. I started cleaning, and some other girls and boys came in, and they saw me cleaning, so they started helping too. It was totally clean when we finished, and I think that boosted everyone’s morale. The Chief gave me the responsibility of creating a cleaning roster, so now it’s always clean.

There was a big knot on one of the wood slats that surround the girls’ shower, and someone, probably, Dumb Douglas, made a little hole next to it with an ice pick. That loosened the knot, and when some stupid boy put his thumb on it one day, it popped out. Desi and Erin were really pis… angry, because they were in the shower at the time. Desi told the Chief that he had better fix it, or else, and when he and John couldn’t figure out how to do so, I showed them how. My Dad taught me that. It wasn’t really that hard. They just had to attach the knot to a piece of wood and screw the wood to the surrounding slats.

What do you want?

I want to be back home, listening to my brother and sister fight over what cartoon to watch. I want to hear my mother scolding my father for caressing her in the kitchen instead of waiting until they were in their bedroom. That used to make me uncomfortable, but it wouldn’t now.

What do you need?

Everything. More food would be nice. Some adults that were kind to us instead of killing us would be great. At the moment, I would really like to know where the Chief is, and if he and the Spears have rescued Jackie and Maria.

What do you want to be?


What makes you happy?

I don’t know if I’ll ever be happy again.

What makes you angry?

Well… I know this is weird, and I know it’s stupid, but I’m angry at my parents for dying. I’m angry at everything.

What, if anything, haunts you?

Okay, this is embarrassing, but sometimes I wake up from a dream where my parents DIDN’T send me to this camp, and I know I’m going to die when the Fog comes. I feel so ashamed when that happens.

Are you lucky?

I’m still alive. I suppose that counts.

Have you ever had an adventure?

Oh, I’ve had an adventure, all right. I just wish it would stop.

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The Morrigan, Goddess of Battle from Jack Darkness’ Story “The Morrigan”

What is your story?

I am a part of Jack Darkness’ Story The Morrigan, as this story is named after me it really should be my story.

Who are you?

I am The Morrigan, Goddess of Battle, also known as one of the Tuatha Dé Danann .

Where do you live?

I live in the Realm of the Fey with all the Tuatha Dé Danann , but I’ve been known to come to the mortal realm for some pleasures of he flesh and some personal agendas of my own.

Are you the hero of your own story?

Not this particular story, But another in the future. In this Story I am more seen as a monstrous villain.

What is your problem in the story?

The Problem is the fact that that idiot Christopher O’Riley, he didn’t even notice that I wasn’t his beloved Brighid, his ancestors would have known immediately.

Do you have a problem that wasn’t mentioned in the story?

I have a major issue with the fact that I was displayed as such a monstrous being when in reality I care greatly for all my Human children. The problem is the Insipid poison that humanity has left on this world, my forests are cleared and my rivers are polluted.

Do you embrace conflict?

I am the Goddess of War, what would you expect to be my opinion on conflict? I enjoy it

Do you run from conflict?

Never in my Long life.

How do you see yourself?

I see myself as needing to be the necessary evil of this world, I am wicked according to humans so they remember to respect my Fey and the Natural world in which they do not understand.

How do your friends see you?

I don’t have friends, I have allies, and as all alliances they are only temporary.

Hudson Catalina, Hero of “Hudson Catalina” by Linda Merlino

Who are you?

My name is Hudson Catalina — no, not the river but the car, a Hudson Jet, 1955 and not the car but the island, Catalina off the coast of California. The book titled HUDSON CATALINA, written by fiction author, Linda Merlino, is about me, my story and where I live, Ten Nettles Cove in Gloucester Massachusetts, that’s where we live, me, my family and our dog.

What is your story?

I am thirty-eight, a mother of four children, the wife of a loving husband and I have breast cancer. My story takes place in twenty-four hours during the worst blizzard that Cape Ann has experienced in many decades. This morning I lost all hope of surviving my disease. Depressed and cynical I went to my chemotherapy session while my family got snowbound at my mother-in-laws. I took the old pick up out into the storm after I was dropped off at home from the hospital by my best friend Kathy. I didn’t tell her I was going to buy all-occasion decorations for my daughter’s fifth birthday party tomorrow. I figured I’d be dead from cancer before Annalise turned six. Now I’m afraid that I’m dead before she turns five.

Are you the hero of your own story?

Readers will have to decide about the heroes in my story. What I can tell you is that the grocery cart collector that I met at Whales Market –he’s my idea of a hero. Some people might disagree. They might argue that Willy Wu, that’s his name, isn’t capable of being a hero in the true sense of heroism. Which to me, means giving up your life for another-pure and simple. See, Willy is autistic and no one really knows how much he processes, but Ruby Desmond, the market’s owner, she said that Willy was special. I believe that. Willy saved my life, I think, I’m still not sure.

What do you regret?

I regret that I gave my family such a hard time this morning. Most of all I regret not telling my husband, Jack Emerald, that I love him and not kissing him before I left for the hospital. Now I’m not sure whether I’m alive or dead and the thought of not being able to whisper…Jack like the beanstalk-Emerald like your eyes-Jack Emerald I love you, breaks my heart.

Who was your first love?

Jack Emerald is my first love, my only love and my one true love. He is my best friend’s brother. I had a crush on him when we were teenagers and he played high school basketball. Kathy and I would go to the games and root for Beanstalk Emerald. I never knew he loved me too. Not until later, after college, after his father died out on the ocean like so many fishermen who work on the sea.

What, if anything, haunts you?

I am haunted by my demon…death. He wears a hood and stalks the periphery. Since I was fourteen he’s been dogging my heels.

Have you ever failed at anything or failed anyone?

Today I feel like a failure. I could line up my whole family starting with my mother, Anna O’Malley and say yes I failed you all by giving up hope.

Do you have any distinguishing marks?

I am bald, except for a few stubborn patches of hair on my scalp and the front of me is like the back of me and you can’t tell which end of me is up or down.

Do you like remembering your childhood?

Not really-my brother and I had an okay childhood until my mother got sick and my dad brought us to live with our grandparents on Cape Ann. My brother thought nothing of it, but I was a resentful fourteen year old.

Did you get along with your parents?

As a little girl I thought my parents were the best-they were so in love and they passed that on to my brother and me. When my mother got sick from breast cancer and our world turned inside out, I blamed my father for everything. Teenagers do that-they are selfish-I was the queen of selfish.

What in your past when you like to forget?

I’d like to forget my mother’s wake. The way the funeral home smelled of gladiola’s and old people’s stale perfume.

What in your past had the most profound effect on you?

My mother dying of breast cancer turned into a familial legacy. Later I found out that her mother died of breast cancer as well, and since I was Anna O’Malley’s only daughter I was sure the same fate awaited me and now I fear the same destiny for my daughter, Annalise.

Was there a major turning point in your life?

Yes, coming here to Whales Market changed everything. Willy Wu, Ruby Desmond and I are hostages of a killer named Buddy Baker. Nothing will ever be the same again.

Ian Connors, Hero of “Seer of Mars” and “Visionary of Peace” by Cindy Borgne

somWho are you?

I’m Ian Connors, and I’ll soon graduate from the Marscorp secondary school. I want to be a ship mechanic. Dr. Clare, a psychiatrist, raised me, or at least she did part-time. My real parents were soldiers that died in combat. I wish I knew more about them. Also, I’m a psychic, but please keep that to yourself.

Where do you live?

I live at the Marscorp base, which is located in Aonia Terra region on Mars. This base is made up of several buildings, factories, and domed biospheres. There are other organizations on Mars. However, Marscorp is the largest and most powerful. The goal of Marscorp is to return our people to Earth someday. We have to grow strong enough to make that possible, because they banned immigration to Earth a long time ago.

What is it like to be psychic?

It’s frustrating. Not only can I inconsistently see the future, but I can also sense emotions. The worst part is that I have a hard time blocking out all those emotions too. If a bunch of people are mad at me, I will get a terrible headache. If I’m around people who are panicking, it can make me want to panic as well.

Seeing the future causes me a lot of stress because I often see bad things happening. Then I don’t know exactly how to prevent the disaster. I’ve seen people being seriously wounded and even dying. Some I have saved, but I feel like it takes years off my own life.

My mind is very busy, especially when I’m trying to have visions. I continue to work in my dreams, so usually I wake up feeling like I’ve been up most of the night.

What is your problem in the story?

I eventually realize I’m being used for my psychic ability. This happens when I have a vision of a valuable mine. I report this mine to Admiral Beacon and he plots to steal the mine from a small foreign organization known as Gentech. I end up mixed up in the combat, and I’m forced to see others dying thanks to my vision. I never want that to happen again, so I spend a lot of time trying to escape from Marscorp. This isn’t easy because Beacon doesn’t want to give up his prize. In other words, me!

What are you afraid of?

When I find out I can’t trust Admiral Beacon or Dr. Clare, I find it hard to trust anyone about knowing I’m a psychic. I fear they will only want to use me for their own greed.

How do your enemies see you?

Admiral Beacon sees me as a pawn to use and wants to control me. I’m an investment to him.

What do you regret?

I regret telling Beacon about the mine and not realizing sooner the seriousness of war. I was kept sheltered and protected my entire life until I went into combat to see for myself. Combat always seemed like a game as I often practiced in simulators. I found out how immature I was, and I want my talent to be used to help people, not kill them.

What makes you happy?

Kayla does. She’s a young woman I keep seeing in my visions. The most difficult thing is that she is with Gentech, the organization that owns the mine.

Do you have a hero?

I definitely think of Nate as a hero, even though he makes me look bad. He aces all his classes and is the better psychic. Eventually, I meet Sonny Nelson who becomes my best friend in the first book. I think of him as a father. He lost his daughter in the wars, and also one leg below the knee. He’s a medic and has saved a lot of lives.

Do you ever wish you didn’t have psychic ability?

I used to, but I’ve come to accept that I was meant to because I’m able to manage it all without falling apart – at least not completely. The truth is, I wouldn’t give it up. It would make me feel too helpless when it comes to protecting my friends. My world – Mars – is simply too dangerous not to have an edge.

I understand the sequel “Visionary of Peace” is out now. What is your problem this time?

One night, I have a disturbing vision of the entire Gentech post being destroyed. Then I see Sonny and Kayla dead, crashed in a ship. It’s up to me to find a way to stop a war with the Marcs.

Here are the links to both books in the Vallar series.

Candy, Heroine of “Zomprom: A High School Zombie Romance” by Chris Everheart

Interview with Candy, heroine of “ZomProm: a high school zombie romance”
Title: ZomProm: a high school zombie romance
Genre: YA; paranormal; romance
Format: e-book – Kindle and Nook
Length: 57 pages

What is your story?

I liked a boy so much I bit him – or I let our lab rat bite him. The rat had a virus that was about to turn every teenage boy in the world into a zombie – but I swear I didn’t know that!

Who are you?

My name is Candy. I’m in eleventh grade and I’ve had a huge crush on Ryan since long before he became a zomboy.

What is your problem in the story?

When the boys went undead, so did prom. Now I’m in a school full of girls with paid-for prom dresses and no dates. I saw Ryan outside the gate one morning and I’m sure he’s still somehow good. I need to convince him to help me save prom. Otherwise, I might as well be on the other side of wall with the rest of the walking dead.

Do you run from conflict?

I try to run, but trouble keeps shuffling after me!

How do your friends see you?

My friends are mad at me for getting Ryan infected with the zomboy virus that made him bite another boy and give him the virus and so on and so on.

What do you think of yourself?

I feel stupid for ever having believed that my plan to get Ryan’s attention would work.

Do you have a goal?

Make prom work and get everyone off my back – even if all the boys are undead.

Do you have money troubles?

I never have enough money, which is why I drive an old rusty hatchback. But Ryan never made fun of it. It’s one reason I know he’s special.

What do you want?

I want to be Ryan’s date to the prom. The fact that he’s a zomboy now doesn’t mean that he’s not relationship material.

What are you afraid of?

The Crud – a hoard of wild zomboys that attack the outskirts of town every night. I didn’t know about them until I snuck outside the Monster Wall and Ryan explained the war that goes on where the living can’t see.

What do you regret?

I wish I’d had the courage to just talk to Ryan instead of thinking up a scheme to get his undivided attention with a rat bite. The “Nurse Candy” plan sounded good in my head, but obviously it backfired!

Have you ever betrayed anyone?

Does telling my dad that I wouldn’t go into the U.Z. (the Undead Zone) alone at night then doing it anyway count as betrayal? He might think so – even if I explain how badly I needed to talk to Ryan – so I guess that’s a yes.

Are you healthy?

I’m fine! There’s no zom-girl virus that we know of so I’m as healthy as a Ukrainian gymnast. Wait … does love-sick for an undead boy count as an illness?

Who is your true love?

I think it’s Ryan. And I think he could feel the same – alive or undead.

Was there a major turning point in your life?

Seeing my friends so mad at me that they cried and stopped talking to me was the lowest point in my life. That’s the moment I decided to go into the U.Z. and confront the zomboys face-to-face to save prom.

Name five items in your purse, briefcase, or pockets.

In my pockets: a mini-flashlight which I won’t turn on because it will attract zomboys; a tube of lip gloss, strawberry-flavored – Ryan’s favorite, if he even cares anymore; my school ID so if I get eaten by a pack of hungry zomboys the Army will be able to identify my body; a pair of leather gloves for climbing up the rope to get back to the other side of the wall; that reminds me of the fifth item I’m supposed to have – I forgot the rope!

If you were at a store now, what would be in your shopping cart?

A tuxedo – very narrowly cut to fit over Ryan’s bony frame on prom night.

If you had the power to change one thing in the world that didn’t affect you personally, what would it be?

I would eliminate the virus and cure all the zomboys, bring them back to life.

What makes you think that change would be for the better?

Because now I can see that as much as the boys annoyed us when they were alive we really, really miss them.

If you were stranded on a desert island, who would you rather be stranded with, a man or a woman?

Ryan – alive or undead.

Book link:

Bergin Halverson, hero of “Clara’s Wish” by S. M. Senden


Who are you?

I am just a farmer, a husband, father and grandfather. I’m a simple man how is content to work my land, care for and love my wife and children. In many ways I am just like everyone else, and in others I am completely unique.

Where do you live?

I live on my farmland in rural Pottawattamie County , outside of the city of Council Bluffs , which is across the Missouri river from Omaha , Nebraska .

Are you the hero of your own story?

Like Dickens wrote, as life unfolds we see if we are the hero or villain of our own lives. I believe, finally I did become the hero, though it took a long time to get there. In releasing the past, I was set free from it, and could finally consider myself a hero, even in some small way.

What is your problem in the story?

I have held a secret for many years about a body buried in an unused area on my land. The grave is in a stand of trees that stand guard over that piece of land. It was not something I could speak of for a long time, I could say nothing until I was sure certain people were dead. You see, they threatened my family. It was not a chance I was willing to take. So I held the secret until my grandchildren discovered the skeleton, quite by accident.

Do you embrace conflict?

I do not run to embrace conflict, but when it comes, I prefer to stand my ground and face it. If one runs away from conflict, it has a way of finding you and making you face the music at a most inconvenient time.

What, if anything, haunts you?

Events of my past, but you will need to read the book to understand them.

Has anyone ever failed you? Has anyone ever betrayed you? Have you ever failed anyone?

All three of these questions have the same answer, my older brother Erdman failed me, betrayed me and worst of all I believe I failed him in that I could not help him. To my shame, I made things worse when I supplied him the alcohol that helped destroy us all.

What was your childhood like?

I always lived in the shadow of my perfect, older brother, Erdman. He was the child my parents doted on. He could do no wrong. I was treated like a servant, a forgotten child, and even the whipping boy for my older brother. I never had any idea why my parents couldn’t love me, but to their dying day, they never did.

Who was your first love?

Ahhh, my first love. If I am honest, I would have to say Clara Lindgren was my first love. I was too young for her, but I spent time with her when my brother, who was dating her, would haul me along to keep her occupied while he lapped up the accolades of his followers. My brother knew how to milk a crowd of every ounce of love and praise. He so desperately needed their adulation. I came to love her in a way that has never left me, though I married and raised a family. One never really forgets a first love, do they?

What is your most closely guarded secret?

Who it is that’s buried on my land.

What is your favorite scent?

It is an elusive fragrance that comes to me in dreams now and then. Or even once in a while it is carried on the soft summer breeze like a memory. It is called Replique by Raphael. It is a perfume from Paris that was popular in the 1920’s. It was Clara’s favorite fragrance. It has an enticing sweetness to it, heady perfume that tickles my senses and makes me remember some things that are better forgotten.

What are the last three books you read?

I don’t really get as much time to read as I would like, the farm keeps me quite busy, but I do love to read. Recently, I read Charlotte ’s Web by E. B. White to the grandchildren. I am still chilled by a short story by Shirley Jackson titled “The Haunting of Hill House.” I was completely repulsed and fascinated by William Golding’s Lord of the Flies, and was fascinated by James Mitchener’s book Hawaii. I always wanted to go there, and the book was about as close as I will ever get. And a series by an English scholar, J. R. R. Tolkein’s books; the Lord of the Rings, the Fellowship of the Ring and even his Hobbit.

How do you envision your future?

Better now that I have finally been freed from the past that held me hostage as I guarded the secret I held for so long.

Click here to buy: Clara’s Wish

Donna Fletcher Crow, author of “A Tincture of Murder”

ATinctureOfMurderWhat is your book about?

A Tincture of Murder is a Victorian true-crime novel in my Lord Danvers series. This one is set in mid-Victorian York where Charles and Antonia, Lord and Lady Danvers are drawn into working in the Magdalen Asylum for Fallen Women, much to Lord Danvers’ disgust. But, you see, Frederick, his younger brother has taken Holy Orders and is running this refuge for the destitute and disreputable—and women are dying. If Charles and Antonia can’t find out why the refuge won’t survive. And neither will Freddie’s reputation. Family honour is at stake.

How long had the idea of your book been developing before you began to write the story?

I have wanted to write about the work of the mid-Victorian slum priests for many years. Freddie’s work is based on that of the Reverend Charles Fuge Lowder who did such valiant work at St. Peter’s London Docks. These men from the best families and of the highest education chose to work and live among the poorest of the poor, sharing the Gospel in a truly hands-on way.

What inspired you to write this particular story?

When my publisher asked for another in the Lord Danvers series I began looking for the true crime I would want to work with. That’s how I put together all my books in this series: find the historical crime, then build a fictional story around this. When I found the case of William Dove, the Leeds’ Poisoner, whose trial explored legal principles still debated today, I knew this was what I wanted to do. And then, as a special bonus, I found a second true crime— this one more bizarre than anything you’ll read in Dickens.

How much of yourself is hidden in the characters in the book?

I think perhaps I’m more “present” in the setting and subject matter. My passion for the history of British Christianity and my desire to tell the stories of holy men and women of ages past comes through in all my books. Lord Danvers is probably my most biographical character (apart from those who are actually historical figures) in this series. I often say that all my heroes are based on my husband. Antonia is becoming more like me now that she’s a mother.

Who is your most unusual/most likeable character?

Charles’ Aunt Aelfrida, The Dowager Duchess of Aethelbert is my favorite character. She rules her family with an iron fist, an autocrat who is always certain that she is right (even when she’s wrong). Everyone is terrified of her, but yet they love her. She’s a lot like Maggie Smith in “Downton Abbey” but I created her years and years before the Dowager Countess of Grantham
Made her appearance.

How much of a story do you have in mind before you start writing it?

Since I try never to write about a place I haven’t visited and almost all of my books are set 7000 miles away in Great Britian, I usually have to have the plot mapped out before I take a research trip so I can be certain I visit all the places I need to. In this case, since it is almost all set in York, which is one of my favorite cities on Earth, the main mapping out needed to be of the trial of William Dove which reflects many clues to the puzzle Charles and Antonia are working on. I was fortunate to be able to get an 1856 published transcript of the trial to work from.

What is your goal for the book, ie: what do you want people to take with them after they finish reading the story?

First, I hope my readers go away feeling they’ve been entertained with a good read. I hope they’ve smiled from time to time at my characters’ foibles. I also hope they’ve learned something about the times and places I’m writing about. Most of all, I hope my readers will come to share my sense that “History is Now.” We are living today with the results, for good or for bad, of the acts of previous generations. We can be inspired by the holy and avoid the evil.

What’s your writing schedule like? Do you strive for a certain amount of words each day?

I like to go to my computer right after breakfast and stay there until my husband (whose office is also at home) and I stop fro afternoon tea at 3:00. This is the schedule we’ve carried over from having children coming home from school when everything would stop and we would sit down together around a pot of tea and healthy snacks. In that time I always hope to have written five pages.

Do you have any rituals that you follow before sitting down to write?

I start my day with morning prayers and a cup of tea. I have a sofa in my office where I sit to light a candle, read my Bible and pray. Then I have a routine of stretching exercises I do while my computer is booting. Then get to work.

What are you working on right now?

I have two other series besides the Lord Danvers Victorian True-Crime: The Monastery Murders (Book 3, AN UNHOLY COMMUNION will be out early next year), and the Elizabeth & Richard Romantic Suspense series. Since Elizabeth and Richard are both literature professors, each book in that series has a literary figure in the background: Dorothy L. Sayers in THE SHADOW OF REALITY, Shakespeare in A MIDSUMMER EVE’S NIGHTMARE. I’m currently writing book 3 A JANE AUSTEN ENCOUNTER. This summer I visited all the places Jane Austen lived in England. Elizabeth and Richard are now following that same path— but fortunately, I wasn’t dogged by a murderer.

Where can people learn more about your books?

donnaCrowBlackWhiteThe Lord Danvers series is available in all ebook formats:
I would love to have readers visit my website to see my book trailers, read about all my books, see photos from my research trips and visit my garden:
You can click the little orange B in the upper right corner of my homepage to go to my blog, or go directly to “Deeds of Darkness; Deeds of Light”
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