Interview with Tamara Veitch and Rene DeFazio

Interview with Tamara Veitch and Rene DeFazio, authors of The Emissary

Interview with Tamara Veitch and Rene DeFazio, authors of The Emissary

Interview with Tamara Veitch and Rene DeFazio, authors of The Emissary
Tell us about your latest book.
When the world collapses from a Golden Age into one of chaos and strife, mankind’s salvation lies in the hands of eternal Emissaries — guardians chosen to protect the secrets of a sacred, ancient civilization and to guide humanity back to enlightenment even as its darkest hour approaches. Marcus and Theron are two lovers bound by an eternal and unshakable bond. As a series of catastrophic events nearly destroys their world, the two -- along with a chosen few -- become Emissaries destined -- over the course of 13,000 years and through many reincarnations -- to lead humanity into an era of peace and prosperity as foretold by the Elders of their race. But the forces of evil have taken possession of one man, Helghul, who relentlessly pursues Marcus and Theron through time, determined to destroy them and ruin all hope for salvation.
The Emissary, Book I in The One Great Year Series, tracks Marcus’s epic adventure across centuries of human civilization to present day, where envoys of darkness gather around them, threatening to bury the life-giving secrets of Atitala forever. Good and evil come to blows and the future of mankind hangs in the balance.  
What formats is the book available in?
The Emissary is available in paperback, E-Book and Audiobook. We are excited to release our first audiobook. We narrated the book together and Rene’s extensive acting and voiceover background made a huge difference! It was wonderful to read the words and especially the dialogue the way we heard it when we wrote it.

What advice do you have for other writers?
Read and write as much as you can and if there is an author, or a single line that you think is really well written and resonates with you, dissect it and figure out why. Every writer is influenced by others, but find your own voice by taking the best of what you learn from others. In writing The Emissary, and our entire series, we have been influenced by classic writers like Dickens and Austen and modern writers like Rowling and King.

What's the best thing about being a writer?
Our favourite thing about being writers is the constant creativity. Even beyond the actual planning, researching and writing of the novels, the creativity continues. We try to give our readers a very personal and entertaining look inside our writing, so with our video blog, social media posts, meme’s audiobook narration, guest blogs and working on storyboards for the book trailers, we have  no shortage of opportunities to create!

Where can people find out more about you and your writing?
To find out more about us and our writing please visit, We have begun doing an informal Video Blog for readers and writers and we hope to have weekly updates of our vlog affectionately called The Emissary’s Journey to Becoming a Bestseller.

Who is you favourite character in your book and why?
We are two authors, so there are two answers: Tamara’s favourite character is Sartaña. She is a high priestess in a conquered village who faces incredible tragedy and suffering, yet finds it within herself to return to hope and to make a difference in her small corner of the world. Like Tamara, she is a mother, and exploring that powerful love connection was especially meaningful for her.
Rene’s favourite character is Quinn. Quinn is Marcus, reincarnated 13,000 years after the fall of the Golden Age in Atitala. He’s been reincarnated an exhausting number of times, but somehow his passion for Theron and for helping humanity continues. It all starts with present day Quinn and Rene likes that even after all his lifetimes and with all of his knowledge, Quinn still struggles with the same life dilemmas we all do: finding love, keeping it, and not losing hope in an increasingly chaotic world.

Where can a reader purchase your book?
The Emissary is available absolutely everywhere in the USA and Canada: Amazon, Barnes and Noble, Indigo/Chapters, and independent bookstores. We have excellent distribution through Two Rivers Ingram so if it is not in stock, it is an easy book to order.
Interview with Tamara Veitch and Rene DeFazio, authors of The Emissary
How do you research your books?
We have been researching and writing the Emissary and the series for nine years now. We have consulted encyclopedias, books on philosophy, history, theoretical physics, alternative history, spirituality, metaphysics, geography, the internet, and personal interviews. We have traveled the world visiting ancient sites, museums and locations. In the Emissary one of the lifetimes takes place in 800 BCE at Stone-at-center. Currently, this location is known as Tiahuanaco, Bolivia and is home to impressive ruins that both confound and inspired the imagination. We believe that by visiting the locations we can truly bring the essence and feeling of the landscape to life for the reader.

What is your work in progress? Tell us about it.
Our work in progress is threefold. Book II, The Emerald Tablet is set for release February 12, 2019 so soon we will have signed off on all of the final edits and have begun recording for the audiobook.  We will be doing all of the narration and character voices for the second book as we have for The Emissary. It turned out amazingly well, thanks in no small part to Rene’s excellent training as an actor. At the same time, we are well underway writing Book III in the Series. Book III picks up where The Emissary and The Emerald Tablet end, but takes the series in a very unexpected and exciting direction, still in keeping with the original characters but exploring new possibilities.

What books or authors have most influenced your life?
What if human civilization is far older than we have been taught and human existence cycles? The alternative view of world history laid out in Graham Hancock’s non-fiction book Fingerprints of the Gods was the initial inspiration for the novel The Emissary. Rene was backpacking the ancient sites in Egypt, England, Indonesia and others when he read the book and it inspired him to place characters in that world. Further research into the Great Year or Yuga Cycle in The Holy Science by Sri Yukteswar added to our story. By incorporating Yukteswar and Hancock’s notions, and  having our characters reincarnated over 26,000 years, it opens The Emissary and The One Great Year Series to endless, entertaining possibilities.

Read More

Book Showcase: Steps to Knowing God by Correna R. Barzey

Book Showcase: Steps to Knowing God by Correna R. Barzey

Title: Steps to Knowing God 
Author: Correna R. Barzey

Category: Adult Non-Fiction, 118 pages
Genre: Christian Living
Publisher: Westbow Press
Book Showcase: Steps to Knowing God by Correna R. Barzey
Release date: February 28, 2018
Content Rating: G

About the Book:

For an action-packed revelation on how to live a satisfied life with Christ, every page of this book highlights the truth of God and His desires for us. It is filled with spiritual nutrients and helpful tools that will transform and change lives for the glory of God, thus giving us the ammunition needed to withstand the evil one Gaining a better understanding of God and developing spiritual qualities that will deepen your devotion to Him and will steadily transform you into His likeness.

About the Author:

Book Showcase: Steps to Knowing God by Correna R. Barzey

Correna R. Barzey is a mother of four, born on the tiny island of Montserrat in the Caribbean. She was brought up in the church from a young age by her grandmother and is a devoted christian who delights in God and His Word. Correna knew she had a passion for writing as she began to write inspirational poems for friends and loved ones, however, looking at this world desperately in need of Christ, she decided to write this book to give others a clearer understanding of Christ.

Connect with the author: Twitter ~ Facebook ~ Instagram

Ends Dec 8, 2018

Read More

5 Strategies for Setting (and Keeping) Writing Goals

5 Strategies for Setting (and Keeping) Writing Goals, Guest Post by Dana Chamblee Carpenter

5 Strategies for Setting (and Keeping) Writing Goals, Guest Post by Dana Chamblee Carpenter

Writing a novel is like climbing a mountain. The trick is to break the journey down into manageable steps. Here are some strategies for shaping those steps and making sure you take them.

1. Write by your own schedule.
Many famous, prolific writers offer “best practices” advice about building a disciplined writing schedule: write at the same time each day, block off 4-6 hours, write Every. Single. Day. “Best practices?” Certainly. But most of us work other jobs and juggle other obligations. If we wait for best practices, we won’t ever write.

5 Strategies for Setting (and Keeping) Writing Goals, Guest Post by Dana Chamblee Carpenter
Instead, you need to deal with your schedule in all it’s crazy reality. Imagine your week is an empty jar. You have big “marbles”—work, classes, family (the things that matter most to you)—and you have little “marbles”—appointments, meetups, vacuuming, obligations. We tend to fill our jars with the little marbles first, and then there’s no room for the big ones. If you put the big marbles in first, you can get most of the little ones in, too, because they roll around the big ones and find their own space.

Make writing a BIG marble. Block off time—doesn’t have to be the same time each day, doesn’t even have to be every day. At least two-hour chunks serve the writing brain best, but if you’ve only got an hour here or there, grab it. The important thing is to make your writing time a priority.

2. Write even when you’re away from the computer.
Once you have your schedule, you can plan to make the most of the time when you can’t be writing. How much brain space do you really need to sit in the school pick-up line, wait in the doctor’s office, drive in rush hour traffic? Okay, so maybe the last one takes some gray matter, but think about how often in a day you’re “marking time” or waiting.

If you anticipate those times, you can prep your head to be in your writer’s space. Play with a difficult scene in your head—let it roll like a movie. Zoom in on details or pause to catch a bit of dialogue. You can also make a book or character playlist. These songs should follow the tone of a work. The playlist should reflect the character—something they would put together. Listen to the music while you’re driving/waiting/cooking, and see what it calls up in your head.

Make sure you have a notebook handy to jot down when something juicy comes to you. Or have your phone set up to take notes by voice command.

3. Figure out how you best “count your steps.”
You can think about this as crafting your own writer FitBit. Some people measure successful exercise in steps, others by miles, some by minutes, and there are even folks who literally assess success by measurements of waist or weight. Writers have the same flexibility, and you should figure out what works for you. Many writers keep a daily word count tally. The idea of tracking word count as a gauge for my daily goals sets off so many panic buttons for me that I’d be lucky to get a single word written. I clock hours or weigh progress on a scene or chapter. Sometimes I measure those by the day, sometimes by the week. Try different approaches until you find the method that works best for you.

4. Build in some accountability (and rewards).
Writing is a solitary job, but that doesn’t mean you have to do it alone. Having a community of fellow writers and/or readers to help hold you accountable can make the difference between finishing a book or leaving it in the perpetual WIP loop.

You can use this community to hold you to immediate goals, long before you’re ready to hand them something to read. Share your goals with someone you trust to check in on you but won’t make you feel like a loser if you don’t succeed. When we’re just trying to get words on a page, we need cheerleaders not coaches.

Setting up small rewards for yourself can also serve as a motivator. You get to watch the new episode of Doctor Who or eat that piece of chocolate cake, but only after you’ve finished this chapter.

5. Chuck the guilt.
Guilt over not meeting a self-imposed goal is wasted energy. It does absolutely nothing to inspire you to get back on the horse and do better next week. It weighs you down and makes taking that next first step even harder. You didn’t make your goal this week? Okay. Figure out where things went awry and anticipate the bumps in the road this week. Cut the guilt loose.

5 Strategies for Setting (and Keeping) Writing Goals, Guest Post by Dana Chamblee Carpenter Dana Chamblee Carpenter is the author of Book of the Just, the third novel in The Bohemian Trilogy. The first book in the series, Bohemian Gospel, won the 2014 Killer Nashville Claymore Award. Publishers Weekly called it “a deliciously creepy debut.” Her second book, The Devil’s Bible, also received rave reviews. Booklist said: “Carpenter’s follow-up to her debut novel, Bohemian Gospel, is as richly woven as her first. A terrific follow-up.” Book of the Just is due out in October 2018. She teaches at a university in Nashville, TN where she lives with her husband and two children, who are desperately trying to turn the house into a model of Luna Lovegood’s eccentric home with glass beads and bells and little figures nestled into every nook and cranny. Hopefully there aren’t any exploding dragon horns.

Read More

Interview with Charles Kowalski

Interview with Charles Kowalski, author of The Devil's Son

Interview with Charles Kowalski, author of The Devil's Son

What genre do you write and why?
I write international thrillers, mainly because that’s the kind of book I like to read. I like stories that pitch me out of ordinary life into a world of high-stakes high adventure. Also, I’ve spent most of my adult life abroad, so I’m a bit out of touch with life in Anytown, USA – but when my characters step onto the global stage, that’s where I feel I can write with some authority.
Interview with Charles Kowalski, author of The Devil's Son
Amazon - Goodreads
Tell us about your latest book.
A major-party candidate for U.S. President is suspected of being the son of a notorious Nazi fugitive. A Secret Service agent sworn to protect him meets a beautiful Mossad spy determined to stop him.
What advice do you have for other writers?
Tell the story that’s burning to be told through you, and everything else will eventually fall into place. The only person who can stop you is you.
What's your favourite quote about writing/for writers?
“A writer is a world trapped in a person.” – Victor Hugo
Who is your favorite character in your book and why?
Rachel Horowitz is the closest I’ve ever come to falling in love with one of my own characters. As befits her profession, she’s intelligent, resourceful, and tough, but there’s also a compassionate and vulnerable side to her.

How long did it take you to write your book?
Just under a year, from concept to finished product. This was partly from necessity: Since I spend most of the year overseas, I needed to have it ready for my narrow window of opportunity to be present for the book launch in the States.

Did you learn anything from writing your book that was unexpected?
I learned quite a bit about the inner workings of two of the world’s most secretive organizations, the Mossad and the U.S. Secret Service. I also had to spend more time than I would have liked in the darker corners of the Internet, observing the changing face of white nationalism. You might have an image of arcane symbols, hooded robes, and initiations in graveyards – and while there are undoubtedly some groups like that, others have professional-quality websites with wholesome images and innocuous words to try to make their message palatable to the mainstream. It’s a scary time.

Interview with Charles Kowalski, author of The Devil's Son
Where can a reader purchase your book?
Amazon is your best bet.
Who or what inspired you to become a writer? 
I’ve been writing for as long as I can remember. I grew up surrounded by books, and it always seemed natural that one day, there would be one with my name on the cover. It was a few decades before that finally came to pass, and sometimes I’d like to go back and ask my younger self, “What took you so long?”

What books or authors have most influenced your life?
They say it’s the books we read as children that shape us most, and in that respect, C.S. Lewis and J.R.R. Tolkien have probably helped most in making me who I am. As an adult, I’ve been inspired by other writers of thrillers with a religious angle, like Dan Brown and Daniel Silva. I’ve also been encouraged by other Japan-based thriller writers whose scope has expanded worldwide, like Barry Eisler and Barry Lancet; I hope someday to do the same, even though my name isn’t Barry!


a Rafflecopter giveaway

Read More

Five Things To Think About Now You're Self-Publishing

Five Things To Think About Now You're Self-Publishing, Guest Post by Kathleen Jowitt

Five Things To Think About Now You're Self-Publishing, Guest Post by Kathleen Jowitt

When I first started writing, I assumed that somewhere along the line I'd pick up a publisher.

When I decided to self-publish, I found that there were a whole lot of things that had suddenly become my responsibility, things that I'd once assumed a publisher would sort out for me. Here are five of them:
1. Editing

Nobody writes exactly what they meant to. No first draft is perfect. However experienced you are as a writer, you'll miss something: a plot hole that didn't get filled, a word that doesn't mean what you thought it did, a detail that's just wrong.

A publisher would employ an editor – perhaps more than one – to help you polish your text, smooth out any rough bits, and ensure that it's as good as it possibly can be. When you're self-publishing, the editing becomes your responsibility, too.

I don't mean that you are the one who has to do it. Indeed, I would very strongly recommend getting someone else in on the act.

If you don't know anyone who can help, there are plenty of freelance editors around. Editing is the one thing that makes a reasonable book into a brilliant book. It's well worth the effort of finding someone to help you.

2. Typesetting

So you have a finished manuscript. If you're anything like me, your manuscript will be a large pile of laser-printed A4 sheets, with paragraphs indicated by double returns and section breaks indicated by triple returns.

You'll have noticed that not many printed books look like that.

Now you're self-publishing, it's your job to make that 'finished manuscript' into something, well, finished.

You'll probably want to take out those double returns and use first-line indent to show where new paragraphs begin. You'll almost certainly need to compensate for a change in page size. You might want to change the typeface.

Then there are e-books. I use Lulu, which gets very fussy about how your mark the chapter headings and won't recognise page breaks or section breaks. All systems have their own quirks. You're the one who needs to get your head around them.

3. Proofreading

Proofreading is a bit like editing, but on a much closer scale. It's the checking for spelling mistakes and for use of the wrong word, for inconsistent use of single and double inverted commas. It's the search for errors that can't be explained away as 'artistic licence'.

Even if you have a good eye for that kind of thing, it's worth getting a second opinion. Somebody else will pick up the things that you miss, and it's much better for that to happen before you've sent it to print.

4. Cover

There are some great book covers out there. And there are some terrible book covers out there. Most authors can blame their publishers for the bad ones. If you're self-publishing, it's all on you.

This, I suspect, is the item that gets outsourced more often than any other on this list, and that's a good way to go. Whoever ends up designing it, though, there are some things you need to think about.

The obvious, of course: title, author. Then your distributor may have some requirements: ISBN, bar code, price.

On the back cover, you have the blurb – which has also become your responsibility. It needs to fit into the space available. Like the rest of your cover, it needs to be legible, and to make people want to read your book. (And, perhaps more importantly, not to feel misled when they do.)

5. Distribution

Or, getting the finished product to somewhere the reader can buy it. The internet has made this much easier than it used to be. My parents got into self-publishing in the early nineties, and my childhood home was hemmed in by stacks of yet-to-be sold books, and awash with packaging materials. From time to time an order would come in, which would mean great rejoicing and a trip to the post office. These days you can sell a copy of your book without ever seeing it. The same goes for e-books. All the same, if you want your book to be in bookshops, you're the one who has to get it there.

And, finally, here's one that you were always going to have to do...


These days, more and more of the responsibility for book publicity is falling on the author. Even if you were conventionally published, you would be expected to do a lot of the legwork.

Book signings, tours physical or virtual, wheedling and begging for reviews... at least you can content yourself with the thought that your colleague with a book deal is having to work just as hard at this bit as you are.

Kathleen Jowitt writes contemporary fiction about characters who come to terms with who and what they are.

Speak Its Name (2016) explores Christianity and sexual identity in the context of student life and politics, and was the first self-published novel ever shortlisted for the prestigious Betty Trask Prize, which is awarded to the best debut by an author under the age of 35. 

Her latest book, A Spoke in the Wheel, was published in May 2018 and looks at drugs in sport, physical capacity, disability, acceptance, redemption, and integrity.

Follow Kathleen

Read More

Excerpt: Daisy’s Run by Scott Baron

Excerpt: Daisy’s Run by Scott Baron

Title: Daisy’s Run (The Clockwork Chimera , #1) 

Author: Scott Baron 

Publication date: November 14th 2018
Genres: Adult, Science Fiction

Excerpt:Daisy’s Run by Scott Baron
About the book:
Life in deep space could be a drag sometimes, but Daisy supposed things could have been worse. They were still alive, after all, which was always a plus in her book. Now if only she could figure out who, or what, was endangering her return home, things would be just peachy.
It had been one hell of a way to start the day––being rudely snapped from a deep cryo-sleep, and in the middle of a ship-wide crisis to boot––but Daisy was pleased to note that the ship had not decompressed, the crew hadn’t been blasted into space, and, most importantly, they hadn’t simply blown up. At least not yet. So, they had that going for them, but being stuck on a damaged ship in the inky depths of space as it limped toward Earth was not exactly the relaxing trip home she’d imagined.
With the powerful AI supercomputer guiding the craft beginning to show some disconcerting quirks of its own, and its unsettling cyborg assistant nosing into her affairs, Daisy’s unease was rapidly growing. Add to the mix a crew of mechanically-enhanced humans, any one of whom she suspected might not be what they seemed, and Daisy found herself with a sense of pending dread tickling the periphery of her mind.
Something was very much not right––she could feel it in her bones. The tricky part now was going to be figuring out what the threat was, before it could manifest from a mere sinking feeling in her gut into a potentially deadly reality.


“Captain, what happened? Mal woke up everyone.
“I know. Impact on the port side. Sensors are down, and there’s fire on board.”
“Are the engines all right? I can head down there—”
“Barry’s already on it. They seem to be untouched, but we’ve had a few artificial gravity fluctuations, so he’s going to examine the pulse feeds. Once he’s done there, I’m having him do an EVA outside to check the collection panels for damage.”
The Váli, unlike most ships, possessed an unusual secondary propulsion system, one that allowed for extremely long-range travel without draining power. While the standard fusion engines would provide basic propulsion and maneuverability, the collection panels would gather cosmic energy and solar radiation when deployed, gradually filling a series of reserve power stores, while also directly feeding a supplementary pulse drive.
Without the resistance of an atmosphere, this system allowed the ship to progressively ramp up its speed over time. It also allowed, should an emergency occur, for several short, but intense, bursts of speed. The only drawback being such an act would drain the entire system and require quite some time to recharge.
“Captain, what about the shuttle?” Reggie asked.
“Impact was up top, so it was protected by the body of the ship. Good thing it’s mounted upside-down to the bottom. Unfortunately, that means our comms and navigation array are what took a beating. How are the others coming?”
“I saw Vincent and Finn gearing up. Do we know where the fire is?”
“Negative. We have to do a full-ship check, starting with compartments in proximity of the damaged area. Where the hell is Gustavo? We’re flying blind here.”
“Here, Captain,” Gus called from the airlock door. The command center’s lights reflected off the exposed metal patch of his skull near his cybernetic eye. The metal, like Tamara’s arm, smoothly blended into his skin. Whatever had happened to him, they’d done extensive repairs, including not just his skull and eye, but part of his ear as well. The navigator slid into his seat.
“Plug in,” Captain Harkaway barked. “No wireless, it’s glitching. Go hard-line and tell me what you can see.”
Gustavo pulled a high-capacity data cable from his station and plugged it into the slot at the base of his skull.
“I see where Mal’s problem is, sir. Several relays near Starboard Seven have been damaged. Possible fire, though I can’t be sure.”
“Starboard as well? Get Swarthmore and Moore in there. Those two are going to have their work cut out for them.”
“Affirmative, sir,” he said, switching on his mic. “Daisy, Sarah, do you copy?” Gus asked over the wireless comms.
“Copy,” Daisy replied through her headset. “Sarah’s still suiting up, but she copies too.”
“Okay, listen up. Captain wants you to hit the Narrows. One of you in the exterior layer, port side near Pod Twelve, the other starboard near Pod Seven.”
“We’re on it,” she replied, clicking off the comms.
“The crawlspaces. Why does it have to be the crawlspaces?” Sarah lamented.


Excerpt:Daisy’s Run by Scott Baron
About the Author:
A native Californian, Scott Baron was born in Hollywood, which he claims may be the reason for his off-kilter sense of humor. Before taking up residence in Venice Beach, he spent a few years studying abroad before settling into the film and television industry, where he has worked off and on for some time. Scott not only writes, but is also involved in indie film and theater both in the U.S. and abroad.

Author Links:


Read More