Interview with Emma Eden Ramos, author of “Still, At Your Door”


Still at your door banner

Please join me in  welcoming Emma Eden Ramos, whose book “Still, At Your Door”, is being promoted on a blog tour that runs most of the rest of this month.

Tell us a bit about your new book, “Still, At Your Door”.  What influenced you to write it?  I like the blurb that I read on Amazon.

Thank you! I wanted to explore the mother-daughter relationship. I am interested in the bond mothers share with their daughters, but I wanted to write about a scenario in which the roles were reversed. Sabrina must care for her sisters, Missy and Grace, and Sheila, their mother.

That sounds very plausible.  It’s probably a story line that a lot of women can relate to.

I saw another book on your page, “Realm of the Lost”.  What was your influence there?

I wrote The Realm of the Lost after reading Dante in an Italian course. I was intrigued by Dante’s nine circles of Hell, and his theories on life after death. I read a few articles on near death experiences, compiled the information, then took it from there.

Fascinating!  I always love to hear how a book got its start.  Every story is different.

What else have you written?

I wrote a poetry chapbook titled Three Women: A Poetic Triptych which was shortlisted for the Independent Literary Award. I’ve also written a number of short stories that have been either published in journals or anthologized.

I don’t think I have the verbal “brakes” needed to write anything short–LOL!

On a different subject–you had a book launch March 17 at WordUp Books in NYC—how did that go?

My most recent reading was on April 3rd at a store here in NYC called Book Culture. It was wonderful. I was blessed to have Dr. Hilary Hallett, film historian and author, present me.

Wow–that is great!  Readings are a very good way to promote your book.

I could see from your blogsite that you have written in several different genres.  Is YA your favorite?

Definitely! YA is definitely my favorite genre.

It’s definitely one of mine, too.

Would love to have you post an excerpt from your newest book!

still at your door blog tour banner

sure! Here is the prologue and first chapter:

I loved it!  First line–got me hooked immediately:  I hold tight to my memories of the solid years. Each one is a crystal vase filled to the brim with brightly colored petals.  The rest of the excerpt was terrific too.  Nice descriptives.

Off to another topic:  How do you like living in NYC?  Have you lived anywhere else? 

I am a New York girl. I lived in Salt Lake City for a year. I don’t ever see myself leaving NYC for more than a year at a time, though.

I’ll have to visit it one of these days.

You are taking psychology classes.  Which ones are your favorite?  Besides writing, what type of career do you see yourself doing in a few years?

I was a psychology student (that bio has since been updated) and enjoyed most of the courses I took. My favorite, though, was probably child development. I volunteer at a local bird shelter. I am also in the process of getting certified to work with developmentally challenged children. I love being around kids.

Nice!  Birds and kids.  Very different interests, one from the other.

Anything you want to share about your home life?

I am in the process of getting a bird. If anyone has any suggestions, please let me know!

I’ve had canaries and I’ve had parakeets; however, I think the easiest and most entertaining birds are finches.  You’d have to get at least two, though–they are social animals.

I know that reading, writing, and studying take up a lot of your time.  Is there anything else you like to spend time doing?

I love bird watching! I could do that for hours on end.

So could I–for sure!

Thanks for allowing me to interview you, and I hope the rest of your blog tour goes well.


Thank you for hosting me!

Happy to do so!

Emma Eden Ramos

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Review of “Blood Day”, by Sarah Butland

Blood Day

People–everyone, from teachers to her foster families–always labeled Veronica as “either a challenge, a handful, difficult, or trouble” because she refused to be “typical”.  This attitude of hers was not deliberate, but lessons learned from all of this rejection just made her more resolute to be herself as she grew up.

But who is she, herself?  Even Veronica doesn’t really know.

Until that magical, frightening day when she cuts herself–and bleeds.  For the first time in her life.   Suddenly, answers are finally hers,; such as why, no matter how many coins she gives away, there are always more.  Why she remembered–though did not understand completely–everything said to her in her first few months of life.  Why her parents left her alone in the world.

And now, with the appearance of another like her, what she is supposed to be.


This is a very short story, only about seventeen pages long.  Ms. Butland has put a lot of beauty and effort into this offering, with enough character development and detail that the reader can get caught up in the story very quickly.

I’d like to see this as a full-length book.  There is definitely a lot of opportunity for stretching out the storyline into a winner of a book.  But perhaps that is what the author plans.  I certainly hope so!

Oh, and by the way–the last line in the story speaks to everyone, not just Veronica:  “Be who you are, be proud, and share your existence with the world.”  I couldn’t agree more.

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Blog Tour – “The Impaler Legacy Omnibus”, by Ioana Visan


(Wish I had an Impaler for the computer that croaked on me when I was supposed to have posted this.)  HEY!  THERE ARE COOKIES AT THE END OF THIS BLOG!

Just from reading the blurb, I am already hooked!

 The Impaler Legacy Omnibus by Ioana Visan

In a world crawling with vampires, Romania is the safest place left on earth. Thanks to the Little Council, there hasn’t been a vampire on Romanian ground in over five centuries, until one day when Liana Cantacuzino is ordered to bring one in, covertly.

Enter Maximilien Hess, a thousand-year-old vampire determined to ruin the existing order of things. When all is revealed, Hess’s secret changes everything, and a reluctant alliance is formed because the alternative is much worse.

The Impaler Legacy Omnibus, a vampire saga like no other, includes:

The Impaler’s Revenge (novella)

Sweet Surrender (short story)

A Victory that Counts (novella)

Casualties of War (short story)

Order Restored (novella)

The Third Wheel (short story)

That makes for some terrific reading, I’m thinking.  Now – how to get hold of this treasure?

Buy Links


Barnes & Noble:



Great!  Now–

About the Author

Ioana Visan

Award-winning writer Ioana Visan has always dreamed about reaching the stars, but since she can’t, she writes about it. After fighting the apocalypse aftermath in “Human Instincts”, she played with shapeshifters in “Blue Moon Café Series: Where Shifters Meet for Drinks”, and then she dealt with vampires in “The Impaler Legacy” series, before tackling longer works like a fantasy trilogy and a science fiction series. Aside from publishing short stories in various Romanian magazines and anthologies, she published a short story collection “Efectul de nautil” and the Romanian edition of “Human Instincts”. She was awarded the Encouragement Award by The European Science Fiction Society at Eurocon 2013.

I am impressed!  

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Oops–no cookies.  (…burp…).  Hey, I got hungry.  However, there IS a…

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Enter to win!  You know you want to….

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Review of “Meet the Jaguar”, by David Atkins

Meet the Jaguar

Do you know how to distinguish a leopard from a jaguar?

What does a jaguar’s roar sound like?

What is the jaguar’s relationship to the ancient Aztec and Mayan people?

We learn the answers to these questions, and so many more, in this book.  Designed for the young, it contains a lot of interesting facts about this big cat–which makes it an entertaining and informative read for the adult as well.  The pictures are absolutely gorgeous, and the writing is so very friendly.  I especially loved Mr. Atkins’ suggestion to “put your pretend-eyes on”.  What a cute way to pull a child into the story!

He uses words in his beautiful book that are possibly a little more complex than would be in the vocabulary of a very small child, but this is so important in educating the young.  Giving them words that they have to have defined for them is a challenge that every child should have.

The author has another book out, “Meet the Lion”, and I’m sure that it is just as entertaining and fun to read as this one was.  He certainly has a gift for relating to children.

Nice job, Mr. Atkins.

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Interview with author Stephanie O’Hanlon


It’s great to be interviewing again–and with such a nice lady as Stephanie O’Hanlon.  She has two books out, the most recent one being, “Affaire de Coeur”–Affair of the Heart.  Please give her a warm welcome.

You are a writer for two publishing houses. Is this because of the genre difference between your books?

Yes, Eternal Press does many genres, but their sister publisher, Damnation Books, specializes in horror. I was toying with which project I was going to send out for queries next, which one I wanted published, and Damnation Books put out a call for horror. So, that sealed the deal!

Certainly would for me, too.  Perfect timing.

You graduated from the International Academy of Design and Technology in Toronto. How did you like that school? What were your favorite subjects?

It was a great experience. I had originally wanted to go into film, but found out there (as we often do in post-secondary activities) that I wasn’t very good at it. I met a lot of amazing people, had a lot of laughs, which made it worth it in the end. I’d say my favourite classes were our lab time, script writing, and our breaks! Again, lots of laughter, lots of opportunities to be creative with the time we had.

So you’ve done script writing…hmmm…I’ll keep you in mind if Tim Burton ever comes around looking to option my book–ha!

You lived on a farm for awhile. Do you remember much of that time? I realize you were only five when you left…

I do, but it’s somewhat sporadic, since there was a lot of traumatic stuff that happened in that time, like my brother’s epilepsy. I ended up blocking some stuff out, but remember some things from when I was only 8 months old, mainly things I did with my mum and Nana.

Wow!  Those are some early memories!

You mention the Elvis Festival in Collingwood—ever gone to it?

Yes, when I lived there. It started an unhealthy obsession with Elvis Presley that lasted until I was 11.

Awww…your first crush.  Hey, mine was Donny Osmond, so…

You were in the film school, then moved rapidly to writing. How did that figure in your future plans? Will you still pursue some of the film biz—such as screenplays? Do you see your own books eventually being rewritten into screenplays?

It went in a bit of a transition, going from actively pursuing directing films into writing novels. I was coming to realize that I didn’t quite have the knack for directing like I wished, so I was slowly getting into writing scripts, and then one day I decided to try my hand at writing a real story, which turned into my first novel.

I did have plans for where I was going to go after I graduated, but I then decided to take a break after I graduated to see if I could finish the novel and then I got sick with gallstones, so I started to focus solely on writing.

I was always good at screenwriting, and I have a few scripts. I don’t know if I’ll ever get back into it, since I love writing novels so much. If anything, I want to get into some production aspects, developing TV shows, get into costume consulting. Just like any writer I hope that I can have screen adaptations done on my novels, and have a hand in the script…and costumes. And locations. And last say on the cast. Haha!

Oooh–cast choices.  There’s an interview subject for another day! 

I didn’t see much of a blurb for your first book, “Out of my Grave”. Care to give us a little more info on that—or even an excerpt? Make it PG-13 or milder, please.

It’s an historical paranormal (vampire) romance set in London, 1792. It is about Annalee, a young woman trapped in her social expectations of that time-frame. She then meets Vincent, who is more than he seems. Obviously, there is romance, one a little darker than usual

Excerpt: I turned and looked towards the fireplace, feeling the heat beating off of it, warm and comforting. I let my head fall back on the plush armchair, my eyes slowly beginning to close as the heat wrapped around me like a warm blanket. I wasn’t asleep. I was in that lovely in-between place; I was aware of everything around me, yet my mind was wandering. Of course, it wandered back to the same person, his beautiful eyes looking deep into mine. I could see my newcomer looking at me as Dale had never and would never look at me, lovingly, perhaps even…lustfully? I suddenly felt a cold chill enter the room. I opened my eyes slowly before looking about, specifically to the fire, worrying that it was going to die out, but it was strong as ever. It seemed the heat from it was strangled, stifled from the immense draft that wafted in. I then got the feeling of eyes on me, like someone was watching. I stood up slowly, putting my book on the table beside the armchair, looking around once more. The room empty, of course, not even Higgins was in the room, which was still quite cold. I turned and grabbed my shawl off the chair, wrapping it around myself tightly, hugging my shoulders. I walked out of the room and into the hall, making my way to the staircase. I stopped, the feeling of being watched continuing. I turned behind me and looked around. “Bess? Is that you? I think I am going to go off to bed now.” I looked down the hallway, seeing nothing and no one. My heart sped up, fear slithering up my spine. There is no one there. You are just being foolish. As I turned around, knocked into Bess and let out a scream. “My God, child! You scared me half to death!” She put her hand over her heart. “You? What about me, dear Lord.” I panted heavily, adrenaline running through me.

Oh boy…looks like another book I simply must have!


You say you have a love for the historical figure Marie Antoinette. What is it about her that intrigues/attracts you?

It started with the film Marie Antoinette by Sofia Coppola. I was intrigued by the tragedy of her story. She was a little girl when she was sent away from her home, thrust into the social circus of Versailles, married to a boy who was too shy to even look at her. She was celebrated then her fame slowly fell into distain. She was just a normal girl for her era, in a very unforgiving situation. Also, her affair with Count Axel von Fersen is my favourite “love story”. Very tragic as well.

I have to admit, that is far more info on her than I ever knew.  A much more sympathetic character than we are led to believe.

I read that you are looking for literary representation. What do you hope an agent can do for you? I honestly ask that, because I am torn about whether or not to look for one myself.

An agent can get you one of the “big name” publishers, that’s the benefit I see. I love Eternal Press and Damnation Books, especially what they have done for my career, releasing my books, but the promotional aspect of the business is strictly in your hands, not theirs. They can help, and they definitely do, but promoting your novels yourself is hard work. You can break your back doing blog hops, Read for Reviews, interviews and such and not see many sales from it. A “big name” publisher would open up more promotional possibilities and more sales. But, sadly, agents are very difficult to snag. I’ve sent out to hundreds with only half even bothering to answer with a rejection. Of course, there’s nothing like the high of an agent requesting the full manuscript! It builds you up, even though there is a possibility of being rejected. It never discourages me though! I’ll find one eventually, the right one. Until then, I am so grateful to have EP & DB!

I agree–the promo and marketing are the most difficult things of all to do in the life of a small-pub author.

Your second novel, “Affaire de Coeur”—tell us something about that.

It’s set in the summer of 1770, in Paris, France. It’s about a simple country girl, Madeleine, and her stay with her more elaborate friend Colette. The two main characters are based on myself and my friend, with some events and conversations based on real ones we have actually had. The character of Lucien is completely fictional though, added in because I needed the romance aspect. Affaire de Coeur was my first solid venture in strict historical romance. Until then I had only written paranormal historical romance. There are definitely more historical romances to come! Especially set in the 18th century.

Nice!  Happy writing!

You have two German Shepherds and two kitties. Please tell us about this fur-family of yours.

Well, first there is Willow, she’s a twelve year old grey tabby cat, and then Nevermore, my five year-old black cat. Willow’s name came from the movie “The Court Jester”, and Nevermore’s from “The Raven” by Edgar Allan Poe (another obsession). (I love this poem) Then there’s Dante, he’s my first GSD, he’s eight this May, and the newest addition, Judas, who is only a year and a half. Dante’s name comes from Dante Alighieri. I named the pup “Judas” because I love the name. It’s so beautiful. I also happen to be a heavy metal fan, so Judas Priest was also an inspiration! Haha.

Love the names!  Especially “Nevermore”–my daughter would love it.  She wants a black cat–would name it “Binks”, after the cat in the Bette Midler movie, “Hocus Pocus”.

Oh, dear, they say all good things must come to an end.  I’m so glad you stopped by, Stephanie.  Please do visit again.

Kind readers, do visit Stephanie’s links and see what she has been up to.  Thanks for visiting as well.  We’d both love to hear from you.




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Review of “Gold Medal Threat”, by Michael Balkind

Gold Medal Threat_

Casey Clark and his best friend, Johnny Scott, are on their way to the Olympic Games in Australia.  Casey’s dad, Reid, is one of the participants, as are many of the boys’ friends from AllSport, “a unique, high-end sports training facility, … the heart of the Inner City Sports Foundation”.

After their first night there, suffering from jet lag and sleep-deprivation, the boys hit the hotel gym to work off their energy.  There, they overhear a conversation that will permanently alter their experiences–changing them from mere observers to a couple of boys whose actions and observations may be the only things that will save someone’s life.

With the help of Johnny’s dad, Jay (Reid’s bodyguard and ex-Navy SEAL), the local police, and two girls who stumble into the situation, the boys work hard on solving the mystery while at the same time keeping thousands of fans, media, athletes, and coaches from going into a headlong panic.


For anyone who cut their teeth on reading The Hardy Boys and Nancy Drew mysteries, here is a novel that will rival anything those kids did.  For this book is pretty much what would have happened if the authors of those two series ever got together.  These modern-day boys, though, have a lot more going for them–mainly the wonders of the Internet.  It doesn’t hurt matters that Jay has cooperative friends in low places who are willing to help him ferret out information.

The Nancy Drews of this book–Samantha and Chelsea–are as cheeky and adventurous as the gal I compare them with.  Daring and bold, without trepidation (mostly), they are quick to jump into the spying and follow-the-suspects game.

Red herrings, false turns, dead ends–everything you would expect from a terrific mystery–are all here.  This was a fantastic page-turner, all the more so because the adults don’t turn a blind eye to what the boys tell them.  These kids are known to be honest, and their observances are taken seriously by all.  What a great, refreshing change!

Young adults, and all mystery lovers, will love this story.  I’m going to find more of Mr. Balkind’s work to read–he is definitely an author extraordinaire.






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Book Tour, “Adventures of Sammy the Turtle”, by Pam Funke


Meet Sammy the turtle. Sammy is a baby turtle who is all alone. Where did he come from? His mother, Luna, was nowhere to be found. Where was she? Who created Sammy and his mother? Sammy goes on an adventure to not only find his mother, but to ultimately find out where he really came from.


Pam Funke is the granddaughter of a Pastor and was brought up in the church. Her love of reading led her to write for the enjoyment of others. She lives in Hinesville, Georgia  with her son and daughter.

(Might I also include that she is one of the nicest people I have met on these online pages.)







Each day God looked in on Luna’s children to make sure that they were safe. He had the sun shine on the nest for months to keep the eggs warm. He touched the nest with a gentle breeze every day to show how much He loved them.

One day one of the eggs started to crack. God watched as the first of Luna’s children wriggled and pushed his way out of the eggshell. He then started pushing his way out of the dirt into the world beyond. A few minutes later, another egg started to crack and then another one. God smiled as He watched each of Luna’s children press his or her way forth into the world.

“One. Two. Three. Four. Five. Six. Seven. Wait where’s the eighth one?” God said smiling.

He looked back at the nest and saw that the eighth egg had yet to crack. He blew a warm gentle breeze over the nest.

“Come on out Sammy. The world needs you,” God said coaxing the last of Luna’s children out of his shell.

Little Sammy stretched out his flippers and heard something crack. He pulled his flippers back and peeked out of his shell. It was dark inside of the eggshell. Sammy closed his eyes and pulled his head back inside of his shell. He was a little afraid until he heard the voice of God encouraging him to come out. Sammy poked his head out again. He used his beak to break the eggshell above his head. A few minutes later, his head poked out of the eggshell and into the warm, soft dirt beyond. Sammy smiled as the heat from the earth warmed his soul. He used his back flippers to push his body out of the eggshell and into the dirt.

Find out what happens next!  Check out Pam’s other books while you’re at it.  They are wonderful!



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