Author Spotlight: Marie Lavender, Directions of the Heart



Bestselling multi-genre author of UPON YOUR RETURN, Marie Lavender has published over twenty books and is a Top Ten Author on Two of her books (Second Chance Heart &Little Magick) placed in the Top Ten on the 2015 P&E Readers’ Poll.

This week I had the privilege to talk with Marie Lavender about her upcoming book, Directions of the Heart, and ask her a few questions regarding her book and what it’s like being a writer. I especially loved what Lavender said when I asked her about her books message. 

When did you first discover you wanted to be a writer and why writing?
I think I was nine when I began writing stories. I had ideas in my head well before that, but at least that age was when I knew to get them down on paper in order to make room for the rest. Writing makes me feel a certain freedom that nothing else can; with my stories, I can encounter new worlds and fall in love with my characters just like my readers do.

Tell us about your book and why you wrote it?
With Directions of the Heart, I wanted to cover aspects of PTSD that people don’t usually talk about, the darkness that we sometimes go through in our minds after experiencing various traumas. I also wanted each character to take an emotional journey, one that was unique yet easy to relate to.

What message or lasting thought do you hope your readers will take away from your book?
I think one message is that we don’t have to be silent about our pain. I think a lot of people stay silent about their traumas, and it’s a personal choice, sure, but I think it only makes their shame or agony grow. I want survivors of trauma to know it’s okay to ask for help, and to find someone they can trust to talk about it with. Bad things happen sometimes in life, but we don’t have to go it alone.

What author and/or what book has had the greatest impact on your life?
I can’t name a specific book (I have so many favorites), but I do admire Nora Roberts for not holding back about anything in her writing. That fearless approach has inspired me to do the same in my own projects.

Can you offer any advice for beginning writers or those trying to get published?
Be patient with however long the journey takes, but don’t be afraid to try new things, to put yourself out there in order to meet your writing goals.

Beside your book, are there any other books you would recommend reading this summer?
If you like vampires and magic, and you’ve never even heard of these books before, I’d recommend P.C. Cast’s House of Night Series, a YA paranormal saga. Think high school drama meets the supernatural. I have a pile of other books waiting on me; I just haven’t gotten to them yet.




Published: July 25, 2017

Pages: 346

Add to GoodReads

Where to Buy:


Synopsis: Embark on a remarkable journey of drama, romance, and passion… In all of these amazing stories, there’s one burning question…is love worth the risk?

Without You
Reece and Jenna are two childhood friends separated by time and distance. Can they find a way to heal their bond, or perhaps forge a new one?

Strange Heat
Spurred by her friend’s close call, Victoria decides to take a risk and prove the lifestyle she led was her downfall. But as Tory sinks deeper into the tumultuous abyss of desire with the mysterious Rick, can she climb back out before it’s too late? Or does she even want to?

Struggling to run her family’s farm on her own, Sadie takes on a hired hand, Matt. As they grow closer, so does the danger. Someone wants her legacy. Can they combat this new threat, as well as the demons of the past, before Sadie loses everything, including her life?

A Touch of Dawn
Caitlyn thought she’d be in the dark forever. But with the light came Jack, the police consultant who found her. Can they take a journey of healing together, or will Caitlyn retreat into the darkness of her mind, where she lived for so long?

(CONTENT WARNING: With an abuse awareness theme in this collection, there may be triggers here for past trauma sufferers. However, HEAs are guaranteed.)

Book Trailer




8Marie Lavender lives in the Midwest with her family and three cats. She has been writing for a little over twenty-five years. She has more works in progress than she can count on two hands. Since 2010, Marie has published 22 books in the genres of historical romance, contemporary romance, romantic suspense, paranormal romance, fantasy, science fiction, mystery/thriller, dramatic fiction, literary fiction and poetry. She has also contributed to several multi-author anthologies. Her current series are The Heiresses in Love Series, The Magick Series, The Blood at First Sight Series and The Code of Endhivar Series.

Marie Lawender           Blog- WordPress           BlogSpot            Facebook            Twitter




I hope you are able to check this book out. If you do, let me know what you think! Have a Great day 🙂

Author Spotlight- Terrance Wolf, Featuring: A Gleam of Light



I had the privilege to talk with T.J. & M.L. Wolf about their upcoming book, A Gleam of Light, and ask them a few questions regarding their book and being a writer.

When did you know first discover you wanted to be a writer and why writing?
BOTH: We first discovered common ground with The X-Files. But it was really Fire In The Sky that changed everything and began to open our eyes. As lifetime lovers of movies and books, creating our own novel trilogy seemed like the best way to tell a story inspired by life-changing encounters.

Tell us about your book and why you wrote it?
BOTH: A GLEAM OF LIGHT begins with a fictional account of a real event: Flight 564 from Dallas to Las Vegas in 1995. This otherworldly encounter changes the lives of everyone on board, including Una Waters, our central character. Twenty-one years later, a plea for help from the Hopi reservation where she grew up brings Una back, to help solve a mystery that threatens their traditional way of life.

We wrote this book to explore the concept of Earthly visitation through the eyes of ancient people who have also witnessed the rapid evolution of modern culture. For us, their beliefs ring true on many levels. Hopi prophecy speaks to the destiny of man…in a universe where we are not alone.

What message or lasting thought do you hope your readers will take away from your book?
BOTH: A new way of looking at our place in the world and maybe even the universe, anticipating humanity’s future through the eyes of other cultures–especially those that long preceded the existence of America as we know it.

What author and/or what book has had the greatest impact on your life?
T.J.: For me, it would have to be Michael Crichton. His incredible attention to detail and painstaking research made me a believer in so many ideas that it broadened my conception of what is possible.

M.L.: J.K Rowling. The Harry Potter books opened my eyes to creative storytelling like no others.

Can you offer any advice for beginning writers or those trying to get published?
BOTH: Believe in yourself and your vision. Never give up. Never surrender.

Beside your book, are there any other books you would recommend reading this summer?
UNACKNOWLEDGED by Steven M Greer, M.D. Filled with amazing testimonies and eyewitness accounts from people with firsthand knowledge regarding UFOs, including secret military operations, crash site recoveries and reverse engineering of Alien technology.

Published: December 9, 2016
Pages: 256

Add to GoodReads

Where to Buy:

Synopsis: In 1995, at the age of eight, Una Waters survived a terrifying encounter at 30,000 feet aboard Flight 564 from Dallas to Las Vegas. It changed her forever. After 21 years, and a decade away from the Hopi Reservation where she grew up as a child, a surprise plea for help brings Una back, to solve a mystery that threatens their traditional way of life. The U.S. Army’s sudden interest regarding a cave discovery in the Sacred Peaks has triggered alarm, leading to violence. With the help of friends, new and old, Una must confront her painful past, seek proof to qualify the ancient site for protection under law, and stand up to a stiff-necked general, whose agenda is more concerned with retrieving a mysterious power source.

Short Excerpt:
The petroglyph seemed alive, its symbols burning with fire, lifting her up, right out out of her body. No wonder Moki was never the same. Would she be? Would the epiphany of this moment change her perception of reality?

Time seemed irrelevant.

She could kneel here, communing with the gods for eternity, raptured in the glory of this feeling, because it would never end.

“Una!!!” they cried out to her, all at once.

A wave of emotion surged through her, memories of her parents, of Kasa’s letter, the moment she first set foot in Oraibi after so many years, and the spirit-guides who greeted her as a pair of wolves.

And incredibly, she thought of Ashcroft, not the general, but the boy, in his outfit, on the plane so many years ago. The light in his eyes, a light which seemed akin to hers, as if the two were one and the same.

The spark between them was no coincidence. More like destiny.

Her hand pulled away.

And in that moment, the incredible Gleam of Light–with all its wonder and promise of new life and hope for the future of humanity, all its power to transform one’s consciousness and open the door to another dimension, where the Sky People were real, waiting for us to join them–went dark.


We joined forces to explore mutual interest in the work of UFO researchers like Budd Hopkins and movie directors like Steven Spielberg. The History Channel’s “Ancient Aliens” became a focal point of our quest to uncover the truth regarding humanity’s purpose and how it pertains to our future. Married twenty years, we write Speculative Fiction and live in Boardman, Ohio.

Authors Website

I hope you are able to check this book out. If you do, let me know what you think! Have a great day 🙂

Author Spotlight- Cathy Johns- A Beautiful Kind of Hope


New Release!!!
A Beautiful Kind of Hope by Cathy Johns
“Everyday I’ll find a way to remind you and assure you why it had to be you and no one else.”


Author: Cathy Johns
Published: August 1, 2017
Pages: 366

Add to GoodReads

Where to Buy:

I have lived my life without distraction, building a name and an empire in this competitive world, becoming a billionaire as I stayed true to my late mother’s wishes. But all that changed the moment I laid my eyes on her…

That’s what they called her. The woman I couldn’t tear my eyes from as she captivated the crowd, swaying her curvy hips, her nude lingerie leaving nothing to the imagination. The one woman who made me want to break a few wrists when they tried to touch her beautiful mocha skin. I didn’t know her, and all it took was one taste of her intoxicating scent and I knew I’d never get enough of her.

I needed her in my life to be that ray of sunshine.

To be my beautiful kind of hope.


About the Author:
I’m a Kenyan based Author who grew up in small village in Africa, one of the most beautiful places in the world. My family means the world to me, my greatest role in life is that of Daughter, Sister and Aunt and I wouldn’t be who I am today without their continued support and love. I had a remarkable childhood not completely without struggle but I consider myself lucky enough to still have good people around me who are still by my side.

My writing started as a healing process, reading and getting lost in the world of words and people’s stories has always been my greatest form of escape. I believe in happily ever after’s and expect to read about intense connections and stories that will leave you hopeful and longing for true love.

Facebook     Twitter: @AuthorCjohns     Instagram: authorcathyjohns     Author Page



Author Spotlight & Giveaway – Maggie Hasbrouck: Muriel Avenue Sluts




I had the privilege to talk with Maggie Hasbrouck about her newest release, Muriel Avenue Sluts, and asked her a few questions about her book and being a writer. Don’t forget to check out the GIVEAWAY at the end of this post. Hashbrouck’s book isn’t one to miss!! 

When did you know first discover you wanted to be a writer and why writing?
I’m 56 years old, and for my entire working life I’ve been a visual artist. I create large scale paintings that are sold in galleries. It’s a great job and I still do it. But about six years ago, when I was driving home from a late night meeting, a very strong and clear message came to me—write a novel.

I started the next day. I wrote every evening until I completed my first manuscript. It took me three months to finish and another three to edit and revise. Muriel Avenue Sluts is my third novel, and by far the one I am most proud of. These days, I write in the morning and make art in the afternoons.

Tell us about your book and why you wrote it.
The idea for Muriel Avenue Sluts came to me one evening while I was cooking dinner.  The title came first, and by the time dinner was ready, I had the bones of the story. I was captivated by the idea of a girl growing up in a brothel, surrounded her whole life by prostitution. How would her views on love, sex, and relationships be different than other teens? Would her peers accept her or would she be bullied? What would her home life be like? How would she approached her first romantic relationship? How would she imagine her future?

I didn’t set out to write an “issue” book, but I quickly realized that women, their bodies, sex, and prostitution are highly charged issues. I couldn’t write this book without taking some sort of a stand. So, here it is; I believe that prostitutes deserve the same respect as everyone else, no more, no less. To that end, I tried very hard to populate Muriel Avenue with likable, relatable characters—normal people who happen to work in the sex trade. I also tried to imagine a place where I would actually want to work, which is why Muriel Avenue is owned and run by the women who work there. They support each other, make good money, have flexible schedules, beautiful working conditions, childcare, generous paid vacations, health insurance, and excellent retirement benefits. The idea that prostitution could be a good job makes some people uncomfortable, and I think it’s something worth thinking about. Why shouldn’t all jobs be decent?

What message or lasting thought do you hope your readers will take away from your book?
People are people (see above)

Also, this book also touches on rape. The reality is that sexual abuse is unacceptably common—one in nine high school girls are sexually abused. My main character doesn’t deal with this issue very well (to put it mildly). This gets her in a lot of trouble. If you are being abused, or know someone who is, tell someone, ask for help, and keep asking until it stops.  I have a list of resources at the end of the book.

What author and/or what book has had the greatest impact on your life?
There are many, but the first one was To Kill a Mockingbird, by Harper Lee. I had to read it for my sophomore English class, and it was the first book that both touched my heart challenged my worldview.

Can you offer any advice for beginning writers or those trying to get published? Hold yourself to high standards, and act, every day, as if you intend to exceed them.

Beside your book, are there any other books you would recommend reading this summer?
I like to surround myself with excellent writing. To that end, I recommend A Prayer for Owen Meany by John Irving, Sula by Toni Morrison, and of course, Harry Potter.

Published: April 2017
Pages: 296

Add to GoodReads

Where to Buy:

Synopsis: Complete with duct tape, wasp spray, and a healthy dose of sexual tension, MURIEL AVENUE SLUTS is a decidedly feminist coming-of-age story about a seventeen-year-old girl whose mother is a prostitute. #stopslutshaming

 Julia Turnbow’s mother gets paid to have sex; that’s just how it is. When Jules turns eighteen she‘ll follow in her mother’s footsteps and begin training to join the exclusive world of Philadelphia’s infamous Muriel Avenue Sluts. Anyway, that’s the plan. But when Jules’s best friend Anna reveals that she’s being abused by one of Muriel Avenue’s gentleman clients, Jules’s world is knocked off its bearings. After a routine haircut and shave, Anna’s abuser falls to his death from a second-story balcony—and Jules is just one of two people who knows exactly what happened.  

 To complicate matters, Jules dives head first into a friendship with the daughter of the dead man. Greta’s a train wreck: she’s charming, unpredictable, and has one too many questions about Muriel Avenue. Then, Jules puts all of Muriel Avenue at risk with an ill-timed slip of the tongue and she finds herself wanted by the FBI. Running from everything she’s ever cared about, all Jules wants is to get back to the people she loves. 

Short Excerpt:
At its heart, Muriel Avenue is a love story. It’s a story about first love and how sex fits into that picture. It’s also a story about love for family and home. This excerpt is from the third chapter, it’s the very beginning my main character’s first-ever romantic relationship.

Anna and I had it all figured out. We were going to share a flat in one of Muriel Avenue’s sturdy, brick row houses—a corner unit with lots of windows. The plan was to work together, splitting shifts when we had children. We’d join a private pool, get a dog, and vacation together, too, at Niagara Falls. Nothing had changed, not really, but lately I’d been thinking about boyfriends. Nobody on Muriel Avenue had a real boyfriend, but in a selfish kind of way, I wanted one. In seven months, I’d be old enough to be a working Slut. Gentlemen would compete for my attention and spend hundreds of dollars for a trip to The Schoolhouse with me. But before that happened, before I got paid to have sex, I wanted to do it with someone who actually loved me. Monday at school, I was thinking about boyfriends and sex and love and how strange it all seemed when I heard a familiar hiss: “Slut girl.” It was Tyler Williams. I was on my way to chemistry class with this guy Charlie, who had been going on about a test or quiz or something. “Slut girl,” Tyler said for the second time.

I bristled but didn’t let myself turn around. I wasn’t going to give him the satisfaction. “Slut girl.” Tyler kept at it.

“What did you say?” Charlie stepped in front of Tyler, causing a little traffic jam in the middle of the hall. Tyler smiled his stupid, I’m-so-clever smile and gave Charlie a little push. Then Charlie hauled off and punched him in the face.

“Shit.” Tyler raised his hands in surrender. “What’s your problem?”

“You and your stupid bullshit, that’s what,” Charlie said.

I just stood there with my mouth half open. Like half the kids in my class, I had known Charlie since kindergarten. He was just a regular guy; I’d never given him a second thought. “That was satisfying.” Charlie put his hand on the small of my back and steered me away from the gathering crowd. “You didn’t need to do that.” I pushed my glasses up my nose. “I mean, I can take care of myself.” We stopped outside of chemistry. “I know,” he said, “but I was just so over his stupid shit.” Charlie was a little taller than me, his eyes more gray than blue, and his nose was almost too big for his face. He smiled at me with half his mouth, and my stomach did a little flip-flop. “It did make me happy to see that little trickle of blood coming from his nose.” I smiled back at Charlie and felt the blood rush to my ears. He had a tiny scar on his right cheek and a smattering of little freckles that looked like they were floating just under his skin.

“Yeah, it was,” Charlie said, and then he cocked his head. “You um, have a little gap between your two front teeth.” “I know.” My tongue went right to it.

“It’s kind of cute,” Charlie said.

“Oh.” I couldn’t think of anything else to say; my brain went completely blank.

“Well, right, see you around.” Charlie smiled at me with his whole face. I looked at the ground and tried to walk casually into chemistry class. And then, without missing a beat, I started thinking about sex.

Maggie Hasbrouck is a professional artist who also writes books. She lives in Atlanta GA with her dog, six chickens, too many cats, and a couple of humans. Her favorite books are ones that ask tough questions, and her favorite paintings are ones that make her cry. Her dream vacation involves riding all the worlds greatest Ferris Wheels..


Facebook       Twitter       Instagram      Blog      My Art

Title: WIN a paperback copy of MURIEL AVENUE SLUTS
Entry Message: Follow me on Amazon for a chance to win!
Duration: Jul 27, 2017 4:40 PM PDT – Aug 3, 2017 11:59 PM PDT
Prize: Muriel Avenue Sluts
Number of Prizes: 2 instant winners!

I hope you are able to check this book out and good luck with winning a copy of Muriel Avenue Sluts. If you do end up reading this book, let me know what you think! Have a great day 🙂