Lily Rae Foster, Hero of “Lily of the Springs” by Carole Foley Bellacera

The 50’s…Drive-in Movies, Doo-wop Music…and Love in the Back Seat of a ’51 Plymouth

In 1952 Kentucky, 18-year-old Lily Foster, the daughter of strict Southern Baptist parents, becomes pregnant by the town “bad boy”—and just like that, she finds herself married to a man who doesn’t want to be a husband. Jake has no intention of letting the inconvenience of marriage stop him from what he believes is his due. In actuality, Lily is the one who is trapped. She loves Jake—always has, since they were children playing in the woods on adjoining properties–and she’s convinced she can eventually make him love her. All it will take is desire and patience. Once the baby arrives, they will be the perfect little family.

From Lily’s home on Opal Springs Ridge to a four-year stint at an army base in New Boston, Texas, and finally, to life on their own in Bowling Green, Kentucky, Lily struggles to maintain a rocky marriage with a moody, immature husband while raising two daughters. Set during the “American Dream” period of the ‘50s and into the turbulent ‘60’s, LILY OF THE SPRINGS is a story of a woman’s indomitable spirit and her fight for independence and identity in an “Ozzie & Harriet” society.

What is your story?

My name is Lily Rae Foster, and when my story, LILY OF THE SPRINGS, opens, I’m living in a holler near Russell Springs, Kentucky in 1952. It’s the day before my high school graduation, and something is going to happen tomorrow night that will change my life forever.

What is your problem in the story?

Well, in the large scheme of things, it might not sound all that horrible to you, but I’m 19 years old, and I end up getting pregnant by the town hood. In 1952, this is not a good thing. You ever heard of a shotgun wedding?

How do you see yourself?

I see myself as a slightly rebellious girl who is head over heels in love with Jake Tatlow. I thought he loved me, too. Sadly, I was wrong about that.

How do your friends see you?

I reckon they see me as a popular, happy-go-lucky girl who loves life.

What do you want to be?

I dream of being a big-time romance writer. But Jake tells me that’s impossible. That things like that don’t happen for little country girls like me. When he found my first manuscript, he laughed so hard, I thought he was going to choke. Made me feel so bad that I ended up burning it in the stove.

What do you believe?

I believe I’m a doggone good writer. Maybe I’m a little ignorant about grammar and such, but I know how to weave a good story.

What makes you happy?

I’m happy when Jake is in a good mood, and acts lovin’ to me.

What are you afraid of?

Like any momma, I’m afraid of something bad happenin’ to my two girls. I just love them to pieces, my Debbie Ann and Kathy Kay.

What makes you angry?

Mean people. I just about died that time Jake interrupted my Tupperware party and said something really nasty to my guest, Barbara. She was the first Negro woman I ever invited into my house, and I knew Jake wouldn’t like it, but I didn’t think he’d say something to her face like that. I felt so embarrassed and ashamed. Barbara never spoke to me again, even though I apologized to her the next day. Can’t say I blame her, though. She probably thinks I’m just like Jake.

What do you regret?

I often regret that Chad and I broke up before I got together with Jake. (Well…our break up was the reason I got together with Jake.) I know Chad would’ve been a good husband. He was a good man. Why did I have to go for the ornery one?

Has anyone ever failed you?

Don’t make me laugh! Jake Tatlow failed me. Yes, he did. Every day for 20 years, he failed me. And I just took it because I was afraid to leave. Afraid of being a divorced woman and having to make it on my own with two children. But it wasn’t only the fear that kept me with him. I loved the man. How can you explain love? I loved him from the time we played in the woods as children. How could I know he’d never love me in the same way?

What was your childhood like?

Pretty ordinary, I reckon. We lived out in the country, and there was always hard work to be done. My mama and daddy were real religious—Southern Baptists. We went to church every Sunday and every Wednesday evening. And in the summers, we had revivals. I had an older brother, a younger brother and a younger sister. In the summers, we played out in the woods all the time when our chores were done. I loved summers. That’s when me and Jake first got together, when we were just younguns. That is, until Daddy found out, and peppered my behind. He said Jake Tatlow was trash, and I needed to stay away from him. Funny…twelve years later, he and my brothers, with shotgun in hand, went and collected Jake, and before I knew it, we was married.

How do you envision your future?

A new beginning where I’m my own person, and I’m no longer a slave to love. I want to be independent and sure of myself, a good mother to my girls. And I want a man who loves and respects me and wants to grow old with me. That’s not askin’ too much, is it?

Where can we learn more about you?

Buy the book here: https://www.createspace.com/3802163

Book Trailer: http://animoto.com/play/5oDSGDGlrZCdBgGX5hkuxg

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Costa Calabrese from “Demon Hunter: Saga” by Cynthia Vespia

An Interview with Costa Calabrese from Demon Hunter: Saga by Cynthia Vespia
Available from Amazon.com and BarnesandNoble.com

Who are you?

My name is Costa Calabrese. I am the killer of killers, the hunter of hunters. I am the chosen one. I am the demon hunter.

What is your story?

Once I lived as a lowly farmhand longing for adventures away from my mundane life. Be careful what you wish for. I’ve come to find out that my entire existence has been a lie. My true reality is that I am the son of a famed and fearless hunter of demons. Now, it has become my lot in life to follow in my father’s footsteps to eradicate the scourge of evil that has been released as a plague upon the earth…whether I want to or not.

Do you have any skills?

I am my father’s son. I’ve been endowed with strength, speed, agility handed down through generations of demon hunter before me and forged from years of training. My special gift is insight, visions. I can glimpses of the future…mild premonitions. They are both a gift and a curse.

What do you want to be?

When I was younger I wanted to be a hero. Now some call me a hero, some call me a killer. Above all I just want to be a good man, take care of those close to me, and perhaps leave the world a little better than how I found it.

What are you afraid of?

I’m afraid of becoming like my father. Even though I hold the moniker of demon hunter in his stead I do not want that life to consume me. My father became bitter, loveless, angry. He started to identify with the demons he fought until the sweet release of death was his only refuge.

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

When I was just a boy my father left my mother. We lived a hard life but I knew I was loved by her. Then one day my world turned upside down. They burned my village, killed my mother, and I was left with nothing.

Have you ever had an adventure?

My life is an adventure. I travel the world with my companions Paralay and Talisa and together we seek and destroy the minions of evil.

How do you envision your future?

I long for peace. That part of me that hated the simplistic life of a farmhand now longs to live those days again. Simple, safe, and routine with the love of a good woman and an armful of happy, healthy children that never need to walk the path of a demon hunter.

Click here for an Excerpt From “Demon Hunter: Saga” by Cynthia Vespia

Click here for an interview with: Cynthia Vespia, author of “Demon Hunter: Saga”

Lee Nelson, a Character in “Just One Kiss” by Rita Hestand

What is your story?

My name is Lee Nelson, I fought for the Union Army in Texas against the Indians. I fought for the south in the civil war. I’m from Alabama originally and although I’ve lost an arm, I fully intend to go home and work my land, maybe see Hattie and Sam again, and hope I don’t have to still fight the Jeffries as they want the water on my land.

Are you the hero of your own story?

Hattie thinks I’m a hero, although, I never looked at it that way.

What is your problem in the story?

My problems are, I love a black woman in a state that refuses to accept such a thing, and I own land that everyone around me wants the water on it.

Do you run from conflict?

No, I never ran from conflict, that’s been my problem I face it head on. Guess that’s why I lost my arm…but I’d do it all over again, if I had to.

How do you see yourself?

I’m a well seasoned man, after eight years fighting Indians and the North, I’ve learned a lot, lost a lot, and want to find a peace in the world.

Do you have a goal?

I want my land, to work and live on, and above all, I want to claim Hattie Tanner as my own. I want to make a family with her, but I can’t do it in Alabama, and even I know that.

Do you have any special strengths?

I’ve learned to cope with having only one arm.

What do you believe?

That the color of skin has no place in love. It’s just a color. That it’s the person inside that counts. And that some are destined to be together no matter what.

What makes you happy?

Hattie, the kids, Sam, even Ole Joe, and knowin’ I have a piece of land that’s mine.

What are you afraid of?

Something happening to Hattie, the Jeffries want to shame her, ruin her, kill her. I want her love that’s all. She’s been mine since that first kiss, I knew that. I knew there would be trouble too, but some things you just got to fight for, she’s one of them. She’s damned sure worth fighting for.

What makes you angry?

Bigots, men and women too that think they are better, people who are greedy, can’t share.

Do you have any handicaps?

Sure, I lost an arm in the war, but I learned to cope so maybe I don’t have a handicap as you call it. I feel I’ve overcome. Some people have a handicap and don’t know it, because you can’t see it.

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

Meeting Hattie was unexpected, falling in love with just one kiss was not planned. It just happened, and I couldn’t shuck the feelings I had for her in all the wars nor the eight years I thought about her.

Was there a major turning point in your life?

Even though the kisses we shared were unforgettable, when I saw her again, eight years later, I knew I wanted her for my own. I knew there would be trouble, a lot of trouble. But I knew she was the only one for me, and I think she felt the same.

Was there ever a defining moment of your life?

Joining the service made me a man, meeting Chase Rivers taught me how to live, meeting Hattie and Sam taught me to love.

How do you envision your future?

Hattie and Sam, and Joe and I and the kids are all going to live at the Indian Village in Texas. It’s the only place we can go and be accepted and live a normal life that I know of. And we will live happily, and learn much, and grow as a family, I want many children too. I want her to be my wife, as the Lord made her the day I kissed her.

Ruby, Hero of “For the Birds” by Aaron Paul Lazar

What is your story?

The name of the book with my beautiful picture on it is FOR THE BIRDS, by author Aaron Paul Lazar. It’s about these really nasty guys who were chasing my owners all over the Adirondacks. There were secrets, soooo many secrets. Money. Family. Lies. And more.

Who are you?

My name is Ruby. I’m a ring-necked parrot. I own two humans named Quinn and Marcella. They listen pretty well, for people.

Where do you live?

My cage is in the living room of my humans’ house on Honeoye Lake in the Finger Lakes region of New York. Sometimes I get to go outside and imagine soaring over the big lake. Love that!

Are you the hero of your own story?

Er, of course! That’s why my picture is on the book cover! Come see it here: http://www.lazarbooks.com.

What is your problem in the story?

Well, except for my owner’s mother falling into a swimming pool, dragging me after her, and getting electrocuted so that we were both in each others’ minds… not much! Honestly, though, you should have heard the things coming out of my mouth after that. I felt like I was inside Thelma’s head, which was a little creepy.

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

My mother, Sarafina, died last year. I’ve been pretty depressed about it. Hardly playing with my toys at all.

What are your achievements?

Last summer I helped find Marcella’s mother. She was tied to a tree on Blackbird Island and I found her.

Do you have any special strengths?

Yes, I can eat more seeds in a minute than any bird I know. Of course, I don’t know any birds, except that cute Blue Boy who was at the bird show. But I beat him out, he only got second place! ;o)

What makes you happy?

Cookies! Okay I think that is enough talk about food. I’m making myself hungry. Where is Quinn? Come on, Quinn. Pretty boy! You da man! Feed Ruby!

What are you afraid of?

Big dogs.

What makes you sad?

My mom dying.

What, if anything, haunts you?

I’m not too fond of that guy, Tiramisu, who tormented us last year. All he wanted was money from the big bank heist that nobody solved in 50 years. He was a real creep.

Have you ever had an adventure?

Last year’s adventure at Tall Pines was enough for a lifetime. Whoa. Almost drowning and trying to help Thelma after she was kidnapped — that’s enough for me.

Was there ever a defining moment of your life?

When Marcella finally really listened and heard me saying “Blackbird Island!”

What is your most closely guarded secret?

I hide seeds under my bed.

What is your favorite scent?

I like the smell of the Essential Oils. It means Quinn will be happy and play with me. He loves those oils and it helps his obsession with germs.

What is your favorite color?

Blue. ‘Cause my heartthrob is blue.

What is your favorite food?

Cookies! Need you ask?

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

All the other birds in the world could have unclipped wings and fly. Me? I’m happy with Quinn and Marcella. I don’t want to get eaten by a big hawk.

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

Quinn’s like my dad. I would want him there to climb trees and get me seeds and nuts.

Click here for an: Excerpt From “For the Birds” by Aaron Paul Lazar

Captain Danny Maine, Hero of Now and Forever 2, the Book of Danny” by Jean C. Joachim

Who are you?

I’m Captain Danny Maine…well, I’m not a Captain anymore. I retired from the Army. I’m now Professor Danny Maine. I teach freshman English at Kensington State University. I’m in love with the dean, but don’t tell anyone. No, no, not Mac Caldwell, Eliza Baines!

Where do you live?

I live in Willow Falls, the sweetest little town of 5,000 people in upstate New York.

Are you the hero of your own story?

Hell yes! My name’s in the title. Now and Forever 2, the Book of Danny by Jean C. Joachim. Mac Caldwell is jealous because he was the hero of the other book but didn’t get his name in the title. I asked him if he was sleeping with the author, Jean, but he wouldn’t say. *snickers*, I’m not saying either. You can put the pieces together.

What is your problem in the story?

I have a few obstacles in my way. Okay, I admit it maybe more than a few. I suffer from PTSD. I have nightmares, I get jumpy, but I can lick it. I know I can. I didn’t know my old man would get sprung from jail and ask me for a hand-out. Didn’t know he’d picked up some scumwad friend in prison, either. Wish they would leave me the hell alone so I could focus on Eliza and teaching. Geez, facing a classroom full of freshmen scares the crap out of me more than facing a sniper in Iraq!

Do you run from conflict?

I’ve never run from anything in my life and I’m not going to start now. No one pushes me around. Hell, my life can’t get any worse than it’s been.

How do your friends see you?

My friends know they can count on me. I protect those I love. Callie and Mac know that I will do everything I can to keep them safe from that piece of crap, Fred, and my lowlife father.

How do your enemies see you?

My enemies had better be afraid, very afraid. Because I can outthink anyone and out-maneuver them, too. And I will. I will arm myself, I will do whatever is necessary to prevail.

How does the author see you?

Don’t say anything, but I think she’s secretly in love with me. Heh heh. Not that I mind *wicked grin* Hey! Don’t tell Eliza I said that! Yeah, she listened to my story and we kind of…well…you know how close you can get when you’re working on a story. I swear that was before I started dating Eliza! *holds up hand*. Jean is a good listener and she took down everything I said. When she got off course, I shoved the story right back on. Even had her in tears a couple of times *shy smile*. Love the way my story came out and that she found a publisher, too, is awesome.

Do you think the author portrayed you accurately?

Hell, yes! I was right there in the room with her. Had to sweet talk her sometimes, make a few changes from time to time but it is truly my story.

Do you have a hero?

My brother Kyle was my hero. He was killed in Iraq.

Do you keep your achievements to yourself?

Yes. I feel lucky to have what I have. Where I came from, my life could have ended up so differently. I’m grateful for what has come my way. None of this would have happened if my brother didn’t watch over me, make sure I took the right path. I have him to thank for who I am today. It’s too bad he isn’t here to see what a great job he did.

What do you need?

Eliza and Dr. Weiss say I need therapy. So I’m going. Actually, I like Dr. Weiss. She’s kind and nice to me and doesn’t make me feel weird, you know? She’s the one who told me I was damaged on the inside. Since I’ve going to see her and writing in my journal I have fewer nightmares, so she must know what she’s doing.

What do you want to be?

Married to Eliza, a father and at peace.

What, if anything, haunts you?

Life with my abusive father haunts me. My buddies’ instant deaths in Iraq haunt me. But I’m working to overcome those fears, those memories…by facing them and building a new life. I’m part of the community in Willow Falls. I love my Kiwanis guys and coaching soccer. All I want is a quiet, normal life and the hottest lady in town in my bed.

Are you lucky?

You’re damn right I’m lucky! Hell, I came back with a back full of shrapnel scars but that’s all. Well, maybe a mind full of nightmares, too. Okay, okay I’m a bit injured on the inside. But I came back with all my limbs and a chance to find something better.

Do you have any distinguishing marks?

A shit-load of scars on my back. Hey, can I say that in here? And a few that only Eliza knows about *turns red*, oops, TMI.

What was your childhood like?

It was a worse nightmare than my days in Iraq. I don’t want to talk about it. I spend enough energy trying to forget.

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

The love and devotion of my brother.

Who is your true love?

Eliza Baines is my true love. She’s the hottest, classiest, smartest lady I’ve ever known and I hope to win her, make her mine forever *blushes*, hey, don’t quote me on that. It’s private, ya know? I fell for her the first time I met her. Never known a woman like her.

BUY LINKS FOR NOW AND FOREVER 2 THE BOOK OF DANNY

http://www.amazon.com/Now-Forever-Book-Danny-ebook/dp/B0067964RQ/

http://www.barnesandnoble.com/w/books/1107349184?ean=2940013595156&itm=1&usri=now%252band%252bforever%252b22c%252bthe%252bbook%252bof%252bdanny

http://www.allromanceebooks.com/product-nowandforever2thebookofdanny-641722-148.html

http://store.secretcravingspublishing.com/index.php?main_page=book_info&cPath=13&products_id=170

 

Harry Charters, Hero of “Harry Charters Chronicles” by Graham Smith

Welcome, Harry. What is your story?

My name is Harry Charters and I’m a private investigator working in the city of Mariscoper. I’ve fought in the second world war, been married and had a booming business. I hit hard times when a case went very wrong, so now I take just enough cases to keep me in bourbon.

Do you embrace conflict?

I sure don’t hide from it. I have my demons and now and then I have to release them. When I’m crossed or I see an injustice then I tend to deal with things my own way. Once upon a time I woulda called the cops, now I just dispense my own justice.

How do your enemies see you?

Through swollen eyes and on occasion behind a the big eye of my good friend Samuel Colt. Me and my enemies don’t negotiate truces, we declare war.

How does the author see you?

He sees me for what I am. He’s drank with me and I even took him on a cinch of a case once when I knew he wouldn’t be in any danger.

Do you think the author portrayed you accurately?

We’ve talked long and hard and he had to convince me that he was the right man to tell my stories. I also left him in no doubt about what would happen to him if he let me down. I do after all know where he lives. For those who don’t know my author is called Graham Smith and his book is called Harry Charters Chronicles. Basically it’s seven of my adventures polished up and told better than the way I told him.

Do you have any special weaknesses?

Bourbon and memories. After I’ve supped a couple I hear the voices of Nasty Drunk or Melancholy Drunk depending on my mood. Nasty Drunk has gotten me into a lot of trouble over the years but I always feel that Melancholy Drunk is more dangerous to me personally. The memories haunt me and the only way I can lose my ghosts is to surround Jack Daniels until he numbs me from within.

Do you have money troubles?

I get by. Since my life went south I have always had enough to survive. I will never be rich but as long as I can buy me some bourbon I won’t do any complainin’.

What makes you angry?

Injustice, bullies and little men trying to be big men. I have a very low tolerance for bullshitters and bullies. Leave me in their company for more than a few minutes and there will be blood spilt.

What makes you happy?

Bourbon makes me less miserable as does allowing my demons to exercise themselves when I beat up some wiseass who’s crossed me.

What are you afraid of?

Letting another kid down. The only human who scares me is the guy I see every morning in my shaving mirror.

Are you honorable?

I believe that I am an honourable person although my actions may not always be interpreted that way. Where’s the honour in killing?

Who was your first love?

Madeleine Pederson, a girl from the town where I grew up. Seen her a few weeks back for the first time in fifteen years.

Do you have any skills?

I’m a pretty handy boxer but I usually end up disqualified because I punch my opponents all the way to the canvas. When I put ‘em down, they stay down.

Are you healthy?

For a man of my years I’m in pretty good shape. Mornings can be rough until I’ve had my first drink.

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

Two bottles of bourbon, six bottles of beer, a loaf of bread and a hunk of ham.

Where can we find out more about you?

On Amazon: http://www.amazon.co.uk/Harry-Charters-Chronicles-ebook/dp/B006OG2IR2/ref=pd_rhf_gw_p_t_2

Sergeant Major Ben Williams, hero of “The First Bayonet: A Novella” by Steven Hildreth, Jr.

Who are you?

Sergeant Major Ben Williams (US Army, retired), CIA paramilitary officer

What is your problem in the story?

A friend of mine asked me to break his cousin out of an Egyptian prison, but the politicians won’t spring her because they’re afraid of offending the Egyptians. I’m going off the reservation.

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

I could write a novel about how many problems I have that aren’t mentioned in the third-person account of my misadventures in Cairo.

Do you embrace conflict?

Yes. It is what I was trained to do, what I was born to do. I learned that in El Salvador, back in ’83.

How do your friends see you?

I have very few friends. The ones I do have see me as a dependable person with no tolerance for BS.

How do your enemies see you?

From a few meters away, facing the business end of my rifle.

What are your achievements?

Some would cite my Medal of Honor from the Gulf is an achievement. Others would state that the private military firm I started is one. Personally? My best achievement is every deployment where I brought my men home in one piece.

Do you have any skills?

Ranger School, Special Forces Qualification Course, Operators Training Course, Muay Thai instructor’s certification, black belt in Gracie Brazilian Jiujitsu…at least, those are what I’d choose to put on a resume.

Do you have money troubles?

I used to…my second ex cleaned out the bank account when she left.

What are you afraid of?

Coming back from a deployment with less shooters than I went over with.

What makes you angry?

Politicians. Stupidity. Needless brutality. Closed-mindedness.

What do you regret?

I regret letting my second ex walk out with the kids. I wasn’t in a right state of mind back then. I wish she would have seen that, or that I could have found the words, or that I could have trusted her to try and understand if I explained it to her.

What, if anything, haunts you?

Losing my entire team in the Gulf.

Do you have any distinguishing marks?

Crossed muskets on my right shoulder. A skull with a knife through the head and the Regimental Scroll over it all. Samoan tribal tattoos on my left pectoral and shoulder. Too many scars to count.

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

Losing my men and having my second ex walk out on me.

http://www.facebook.com/stevenhildrethjr

http://www.lulu.com/product/ebook/the-first-bayonet-a-novella/18782645

Click here for an interview with: Steven Hildreth, Jr., Author of The First Bayonet”