Sunday, December 28, 2008

Witch Hunts on the Internet by Yvonne Walus

Who causes friction is the story?
The villain in "Witch Hunts on the Internet" (Echelon Press, 2008) is a 40-year old man posing as a 16-year old in teenage chat rooms. He is chiefly after their photos (for his own nefarious purposes), but he wouldn't refuse a face-to-face meeting, either.

Do you prefer bad guys or bad gals?
Generally, I find bad guys are a lot more fun (e.g., Sawyer in LOST), but the one in "Witch Hunts on the Internet" is bad through and through. He's an example of a villain you truly despise.

How do you use your bad guys?
Bad guys are like spices: too little makes a bland mix, too much is unpalatable. I try to aim for an interesting mix with enough conflict and pace... and, of course, a moral at the end of the story.

Do you enjoy writing the bad guys or do you find it difficult?
It's easier than writing good guys. Good guys are boring.
Whether you enjoy writing them or hate writing them, we'd like to know why you feel that way?
No matter whether your villain is a thief, a murderer or an abuser, the reason behind his personality makeup always fascinates me. What made him the way he is today? Why can't he change? Does he want to change? What are his secret dreams and hopes?

Who is your favorite bad guy in any of your books? Which bad guy and which book are they in?
I have a lot of sympathy for the Boss Out Of Hell in "Murder @ Work". It's honestly not his fault his temper is quicker than the speed of email transmission. And he is dead for most of the book, too!

Who is your favorite fictional bad guy -- that's not in your books?
Sawyer from LOST... ok, I'm repeating myself here, but I do find him hot. That whole bad-boy-makes-good aura makes my toes curl! Of course, it could simply be that he looks like Josh Holloway...

Is there anything else about your bad guys that we need to know? Feel free to share.
Sometimes the good guy (or gal) have to do things they are not too proud of in order to stop the villain. That's certainly the case in "Witch Hunts on the Internet", where the protagonist has to ask herself the following poignant question: "How far are you willing to go and what rules are you willing to break in order to protect your child?"

Please provide your website link.

What is the link to buy your book?

Meet Marilyn Meredith's Heroine from Kindred Spirits

Tell us about your heroine --- the female lead in your book.

What's her name?

Tempe Crabtree

Why did you pick that name?

Tempe Crabtree was my great-grandmother's name, unlike my great-grandchildren, I never had the privilege to meet her, though I did write about her in a book and heard many stories about her from my father. It seemed like the perfect name for my heroine.

Give us a brief description of how she looks.

Tempe is Native American, part of the Yanduchi branch of the Yokut Indians. (Yokut is a real tribe--Yanduchi is a made-up name though close to another tribal name.) She has long dark hair she wears in a single braid that she pins to the back of her head when working as a deputy. She's tall, 5' 8", smart and intuitive.

Is there anything unusual about her appearance?

Though she has dark skin and hair, she has blue eyes.

Who does she love? Why?

Tempe is very much in love with her husband, Hutch Hutchinson who is the pastor of the local church. Tempe was a widow raising a teenaged son when she met Hutch. He filled a huge gap in both hers and her son's life.

Of course she also loves her son, Blair, who she raised as a single mom from the time her CHP husband was killed when Blair was only 3.

Does this person love her?

Hutch was a widower and also lonely when he met Tempe. He loves her very much and is a true helpmate. He worries about the dangers of her job. And he often has a difficult time when she uses Native American mysticism as a means to find out the truth about someone or when she does something like calling back the dead.

Tell us about her family.

Her parents are no longer alive. But her Indian grandmother had a great influence on her life when she was a child. Now her family life revolves around Hutch and Blair, though Blair is away at college.

Where is she from? She was born and raised in Bear Creek, a mountain community in the Southern Sierra. (Sierra means mountain.) When her husband was killed, she returned to her home town, went to the police academy and became a deputy--eventually becoming the resident deputy of Bear Creek and its surroundings.

Does her hometown affect her behavior, thoughts and attitude?

Bear Creek is a small community and she knows most of the people who live there although more and more folks are moving up from Southern California--in some cases bringing big city crime along with them. As a teenager, she faced prejudice because of her Native American background. This prejudice she learned in an earlier book had been the reason she hadn't embraced her heritage.

What does she want out of life?

To be the best deputy she can be, to keep the citizens of Bear Creek safe, and to help the detectives find the person who committed the crime.

What's her biggest secret?

She doesn't have a single big secret. Often she keeps things from her husband in order to keep peace in her marriage--which often backfires.

Did you write more than one story about her?

Kindred Spirits in number eight.

How would she describe you? As a sweet little old lady who is a good listener. I've done ride-alongs with female police officers who have bared their soul to me and some of their problems have become Tempe's problems.

Is there anything else about your heroine that we need to know? Feel free to share.

The detectives she often has to work with think that because she's an Indian, she can find out anything from other Indians. In Kindred Spirits they send her to Crescent City to interview relatives and friends of a murder victim she was a Tolowa even though Tempe has never heard of the Tolowa people. This drives her crazy, but is also the reason she gets involved in so many cases.

Please provide your website link.

What is the link to buy your book?

It was wonderful to meet her. Thank you for bringing her to meet us.

Thank you, Nikki, for having us. Marilyn

NEW! Visit my blog at
and the Stiletto Gang:

Sunday, December 14, 2008

A Female Point of View for Green Stone of Healing Series

1. What is the name of the book where we would meet you? What genre is it?

You meet me in the first books of the Green Stone of Healing(R) epic fantasy
series. These novels include The Vision, Fallout, and The Scorpions Strike.
My story extends to several future books as well.

2. Who wrote the series?

C.L. Talmadge, who believes that she lived a past life as me.

3. What do you think of the author? You can tell us the truth.

She lets me be myself in the book, and I appreciate it. She's a bit of a
puzzle to me because she doesn't care nearly as much as I do about what
other people think of her. I find that strange.

4. Tell us a little about yourself. How would you describe your appearance?
That's more than just really cute or drop dead gorgeous. Give us enough
detail to get a clear idea of how you look.

I am more than six feet tall with large, steel blue eyes, a voluptuous
figure, and long, wavy coal-black hair that is fine yet very full. My skin
color is a cross between the two races in my society: not as deep red as the
dominant Toltecs, yet not as pale as the subordinate Turanians. I look very
much like the half-breed I am.

5. What character are you in the book? Are you the hero, the best friend,
the side kick, the hero and heroine's child or someone else?

I am Helen Elizabeth Andros, the first-generation heroine.

6. Is there a specific reason why you're in the story? Don't give us any
story spoilers, but you can share some teasers if you want.

The entire plot revolves around the fact that I exist and the political
consequences of the discovery of my unknown father's identity. That is why I
am in the story.

7. What time period do you live in?

I live in what you might consider an alternate distant past in a society you
might consider just a myth.

8. Where are you from?

I was born in a desert country called Khemyt.

9. Do you live in the same place now?

No. I live in the island nation where my parents were born. It is called

10. Tell us about your hometown and your current home.

Memphys, the town of my birth, is a huge metropolis at the center of world
trade. It is a multicultural city with people of all races and nationalities
making a living from commerce and agriculture along the banks of the Great
that flows north to the sea. It is the nexus that connects East and
West in my world.

11. Tell us how your hometown or your current home affects you, the things
you do and how you feel about life?

Because I am a half-breed, I am an outcast in Azgard, my home since age 11.
After living in a place where no one gave much thought to my mixed-race
heritage, I was shocked and wounded to find that in Azgard, that's pretty
much all people see in me. Although my aunt (my mother's younger sister) and
her husband love me, I cannot feel it. I cannot feel any love for myself or
pride in who I am or what I do because there is so much prejudice and
bigotry in my world.

12. What special skills or abilities do you have?

I studied very hard and earned a full scholarship to the one institution of
higher learning in all of Azgard. I attended college there and then earned a
medical degree. But science-based medicine has never fully satisfied my
curiosity about healing, and I spend a lot of my time researching
alternative approaches to healing in an obscure book called the Arkana.

13. How do those affect your part in the story?

My medical training and abilities play a critical role throughout my story.
My skills at healing are what recommended me for a dangerous assignment that
launches all the action.

14. Are you happy with the story?

I am satisfied that the author is telling it like it was. But that was a
harsh life and I wouldn't relive it again for all the money in the
universe-unless I could know what I know now and retain the ability to act
on my hard-earned wisdom.

15. Do you have some ideas that the author should consider about the story?
You can share them with us. We're all friends here.

I want her to continue as she has started-telling the true tale of the life
I once lived.

16. Tell us about your past. Can you share one really good experience
and/or one really bad experience? I know that bad experience can be tough,
but it would tell us more about what you've been through.

Bad experience: During my first days at the Sacred Academy of Kronos, where
I completed all of my higher education, I made the mistake of entering the
chapel for weekly services. The enraged priests beat me because, as a
half-breed, I was not allowed on ground consecrated to Kronos. No one told
me about it.

Good experience: Cracking jokes and taking long walks with my best friend
from my medical school days, Lord Matthew Shinar. We bonded like siblings
and remained close throughout my life.

17. Who is the most important person in your life? Tell us about them.

The most important person in my life turns out to be the one I did not meet
until I was an adult-my father. He holds a very high and powerful political
office and is extremely wealthy. As a person he is intense, immensely loyal,
and not given to suffering fools lightly. Even without meeting him, I have a
lot of his mannerisms-so much so that those who know him and meet me often
wondered whether there might be a relationship between the two of us. He
works long hours to hide the anguish and loss he felt when my mother refused
to marry him and disappeared from his life.

18. Is that person in the story we're talking about?

Very much so, and plays a key role in the first four books of the series.

19. How does that person impact you and your life?

Learning his identity and meeting him turns my world completely inside out.

20. Do you have any children?

Not yet.

21. If you do, tell us about them. If you don't have any children, you can
tell us why not - but, only if you want to tell us.

Eventually I become pregnant by three different men, although not all of
those pregnancies end in childbirth.

22. What do you see in your future?

A few triumphs and a lot of heart-break. There's an old Chinese curse that
says, "May you live in interesting times." Well, I had an "interesting"

23. Do you think your author is going to write another story about you? Or,
are you part of a series?

A stated, I am part of a series.

24. Do you like being a character in a book?

I like being remembered. It helps me feel as though all the hell I
experienced has some meaning because it is forgotten no longer.

25. If someone ever decides to make a movie based on your story, who should
play you in the movie and why?

Gabrielle Reese has my height and physical strength/agility, but I am not
certain she has the acting skills to play me. I suspect the film producers
would have to find an unknown actress to pull off the role of playing me.

It's been great to talk with you. If you want to tell us anything else, feel
free. Also, tell us about a website where we can learn more about you and
where we can buy the book. If you have a picture of yourself, feel free to
send it.

More about my story:

Browse for free through the entire first three books at:

Book buying links:



The Scorpions Strike-Green Stone of Healing(R) Series, Book Three

Fallout-Green Stone of Healing(R) Series, Book Two

The Vision-Green Stone of Healing(R) Series, Book One

Friction in the Green Stone of Healing Series

We want to hear about the bad guys, bad gals and villains in your book. Even
if you don't have a murderer, thief or other "bad guy" there should be some
negative force.

Who causes friction in the story?

There are multiple causes of friction in my epic fantasy, Green Stone of
Healing(R) series.

In the initial books, one source of discord between the heroine, Helen
Andros, and her newfound father is the distrust and hurt between the two.
They cannot tell each other that they love each other because both of them
have been so wounded by the seemingly inexplicable, secretive behavior of
Helen's mother.

A second source of conflict is various political factions vying for power in
the vacuum created by the monarch's incapacity. Helen's father is a leader
of one of these factions, and those who oppose him jump all over the
revelation that he has an illegitimate, half-breed daughter in the hope of
tearing him down.

Conflict that develops as the series progresses includes war between Azgard
and other nations, as well as civil war within Azgard between varying
political factions.

There is also a lot of personal conflict between wives and husbands, parents
and children, siblings and cousins, even lovers. Think of the characters as
members of one very large, extended dysfunctional family whose business
happens to be running the most powerful, wealthiest nation in their world.

Do you prefer bad guys or bad gals?

I don't prefer either group. Each plays a role in the kind of genre fiction
I write.

How do you use your bad guys?

Without the villains, it's much tougher to perceive or appreciate the good.
I use the contrast in motives and actions to delineate the differences
between the characters' character, bad and good.

The bad guys/gals also make a storyline much more interesting. Multiple
villains throughout the series are convinced that they should rule the
island nation where the story is set, and some want to impose the law of
Azgard on the entire world. The villains are always plotting some way to
steal power/influence and/or money in my series. Never a dull moment.

Do you enjoy writing the bad guys or do you find it difficult?

It is not difficult at all to write about the bad guys/gals. Sometimes it
gets disgusting when they pull of their dastardly deeds or cause havoc and
pain in their attempts. But the bad guys and gals are an integral part of
the story and cannot be airbrushed out just because they are often

Whether you enjoy writing them or hate writing them, we'd like to know why
you feel that way.

As I have noted, villains provide character contrast and propel the plot
with their antics. They also provide what I'll call depth and texture for
lack of a better descriptor. A story without a villain-or at least without a
good guy/gal who makes mistakes-is monotone at best.

Who is your favorite bad guy in any of your books? Which bad guy and which
book are they in?

There are so many bad guys in just the first three books of my epic fantasy
series that I hardly know where to begin. But two of the slimy devils come
to mind right away. The first is the heroine's second cousin on her father's
side of the family. His name is Griffin Mordecai. He would be far more
effectively evil if he had the brain power to realize his intellectual
limitations. Translation: Griffin is dumb as a stump but he has friends in
high places
who keep promoting him way beyond his capacity. The second
villain is a member of the Brotherhood of Kronos named Lucan Silenas. The
extent of this priest's evil will not become known until much later in the
series. For now he seems to have the goods on every one of his fellow
priests and is plotting to do away with his boss so he can become Supreme
Lord of the Temple of Kronos. From there, his ambition will know no bounds
or scruple. He is totally amoral in his quest for ultimate power.

Who is your favorite fictional bad guy -- that's not in your books?

Baron Vladimir Harkonnen in the Dune franchise. He's over the top as a bad
and wonderfully fun to read about. I'm not quite sure whether Frank
took him seriously or meant him as satire (maybe a bit of both), but
the baron is a most engaging villain who is unabashedly pleased with his
evil ways and means. It's always good to enjoy one's avocation, however
nasty it might be.

Is there anything else about your bad guys that we need to know? Feel free
to share.

One of my bad guys is truly a vile piece of work. He becomes the
first-generation heroine's father-in-law and proves to be her worst enemy.
He almost destroys her soul. Others are the way they are due to their own
emotional and spiritual wounds and limitations. I try to set their villainy
in context and provide some explanations, even if it takes a few books to do

Please provide your website link.

What are the links to buy your books?



The Scorpions Strike-Green Stone of Healing(R) Series, Book Three

Fallout-Green Stone of Healing(R) Series, Book Two

The Vision-Green Stone of Healing(R) Series, Book One

CL Talmadge - Heroine from the Healing Stone Novels

Tell us about your heroine --- the female lead in your book.

What's her name?
Helen Elizabeth Andros

Why did you pick that name?
She told me her name. All of my characters tell me about themselves. Some
are more willing to communicate than others, but eventually even the
reluctant ones let me know them and their inner/outer lives. In some cases
they end up telling me far more than I want to know about them. (There are
some really nasty characters in my fiction.)

Give us a brief description of how she looks.
Helen is more than 6 feet tall. Skinny from an eating disorder. Blue-black
hair that is fine and full, with ice-blue eyes.

Is there anything unusual about her appearance?
Helen is obviously a cross between the two races who populate her society.
That makes her an outcast.

Who does she love? Why?
She loves her commanding officer, Col. Jackson Orlando. Because she finds
him to be as kind and decent as he is physically attractive--the tall, dark,
silent handsome type.

Does this person love her?
Yes indeedy. He adores her from the first time he meets her. But he does not
think he has the right to pursue her, for a number of reasons.

Tell us about her family.
Helen's mother was falsely accused of a crime and chose exile rather than
being forced to reveal the name of her baby's father. She does not know most
of her mother's family and her father's is hidden.

Where is she from?
Helen was born in a desert land called Khemet, but returns to the nation of
her parents at age 11. This country is called Azgard.

Does her hometown affect her behavior, thoughts and attitude?
Helen is a rootless wanderer, and never really feels she has a home

What does she want out of life?
What she cannot have. She does not even dare hope for what she actually
could have, provided she did some healing and growing herself.

What's her biggest secret? (Only share if it isn't a spoiler in the story.)
The real identity of her father. It's a secret even to her until the first
book in the series.

Did you write more than one story about her?
I am writing a multigenerational fantasy saga with Helen as the
first-generation heroine.

How would she describe you?
Puzzling. I don't seem to care as much about other people's opinions of me
as she does their opinions of her.

Is there anything else about your heroine that we need to know? Feel free to
She's got a ribald sense of humor and a passion for justice that gets her
into trouble because she also can't seem to keep her mouth shut when it
would be prudent to do so.

Please provide your website link.

What is the link to buy your book?
Paperback versions of the series' first three books are available at any
online bookstore plus in ebook form at