Salomé: Daughter or Demon (Publication Review)

Salomé: Daughter or Demon

By William Freeman Publication Review

Salomé: Daughter or Demon is a lively vampire romp about a teenage girl destined to become a daughter of the night. Salome is a headstrong and stubborn typical teenager who doesn’t change much after she is turned into a blood-sucker. The story shows her early days of adjustment and learning how to survive as a vampire. She is mentored by two very old immortals, Master Kajika and Leslie, who have extreme patience with her teenager mouth and impulses.
“To take a life is no easy undertaking. The conflict between your old life and your present one lingers until you make this kill. Salomé, remember we’re hunters, not killers,” Kajika said, in a distant voice.
“My pleasure.” I had enough of people consoling me. I’m no child. No misunderstandings exist of what I must do tonight.
She gets to exact revenge on some bad guys early on and then she gets involved in a Vatican cover up and mysterious cult that could be the end to her new life. She’s a quick learner and masters the rough protocols required for fighting and killing.
Salome maintains a friendship with her high school friend Theodore, who has gone into the priesthood and can offer insight into much of the disruption with the church and vampires. She also has new friends of a supernatural nature she didn’t know existed. This includes discovering who her biological father really is as well as lifetime friends.
The book is written from Salome’s viewpoint. Her dialogue is written in a short, abbreviated style that is typical for the young, cell phone generation. She’s sarcastic and sometimes naïve. Although not always likeable, she sometimes is and can grow on you. It’s clear she mainly has good intentions and is fiercely loyal to those she considers deserve it. She still enjoys food, reading, writing, and exercising. Like everyone, she’s doing the best with the cards dealt to her.
Imagine a vampire who misses their workout. Stiff joints creak. They could end up in an old horror movie, as a sound effect for creaky floorboards.

I enjoyed this book and can recommend it for vampire/fantasy fans. It’s a fun story that has humor and action, plus it’s left open for a sequel!

Blood & Whiskey (Author Interview)

Blood & Whiskey looks like a great gangster thriller.  Any plans to make it into a series?

Yes! Currently, I am writing book two in the series. Mia Scalisi’s story will span three books, and there will be two more that follow, each about a different Scalisi family woman, one set during WWII and one set in contemporary times.

What do you think makes a great crime fiction book?

Focusing on the psychology of the characters rather than just focusing on the plot elements or the violence. In Blood & Whiskey, I wanted to examine a character who had to terrible things out of a sense of family loyalty, because it was expected according to the rules of the underworld at the time, and not because she wanted to. I wanted to show her struggle with some of those choices, and bring to light the darkness that comes about after events such as those.

What inspired you when writing Blood & Whiskey?

I’m huge fan of mafia films, and also a huge history geek. The Twenties were an incredibly fascinating time for America. I also love immigration stories (being the daughter of an immigrant myself). Also, there’s something so enticing and darkly glitzy about the Roaring Twenties. Boardwalk Empire is one of my favorite shows of all time, so visually and historically (though, admittedly, liberties with historical accuracy were taken!) it was a huge inspiration as I was writing Mia’s story.

What are your ambitions for your writing career?  Full time?  Part time?

I definitely aspire to be a full-time writer. Currently, I have a day job I enjoy, but writing is my foremost passion. There are so many stories I want to tell, and sometimes, a day job gets in the way of that! Also, I’d love for one of my books (maybe Blood & Whiskey?) to get optioned for film with an incredible director attached one day.

When did you decide to become a writer?

I have been writing stories and poetry since childhood, and as an adult I wrote as a hobby, stories for myself and some friends. I never actually believed I could be a writer professionally, but I didn’t really know anything about the writing business at that time and that self-publishing was becoming a common form of publishing. I went to graduate school to get an MFA in Creative Writing and I joined some local writing groups, and I learned a lot more about the business (and am still learning—that will never stop!) and I started self-publishing a couple of years ago. I publish subgenres of romance as Wynter S.K., and I’m going to launch a third pen name this year or next to publish the Sci-Fi/Fantasy fiction I love.

Travis J. Thompson (Author Interview)

As an author of a wide collection of science fiction and horror books, what do you think makes a great story?

Character, not only of the people in the book, but the creator of the content. When you're reading something, whether it's fantasy, horror or science fiction, no matter how bizarre, you're getting a piece of its creator with it. The sudden and dreadful twist, the narrative between your protagonist and their closest ally, the death of a major character, the comedic supports entrance, these are all being transmitted from the writers finger tips onto a page.

What inspires you when writing?

A lot of what I've done is horribly skewed religious content, and warped it into an entrancing story line. I've mixed this flavored content with traumatic, often exaggerated, events from my life. Bam! I created a horror graphic novel. Life, everything from what I've seen, to what I enjoy studying, inspires me to create something out of nothing, which essentially speaking, is writing.

What are your ambitions for your writing career?  Full time?  Part time?

I'd be one that thinks, any author or illustrator that only wishes to do part time work, is wasting time. I love my craft, I'll do it for the rest of my life.

Song of Mornius (Author Interview)

Song Of Mornius looks like an awesome fantasy book.  When is book two set for release?   I am currently working on the outline for the sequel.  I am hoping to have the book ready by 2021.

What do you think makes a great fantasy series?
Fast moving plot, great characters you come to care about, and strong and consistent world-building.

What inspired you when writing Song Of Mornius?
I find inspiration in a lot of things. I often see entire scenes just by looking out my window while driving my car.

What are your ambitions for your writing career?  Full time?  Part time?
Talenkai is a very large planet. I would like to create a trilogy or possibly a series to further describe the magical creatures on this world. 

When did you decide to become a writer?
In my teens.

When writing Song Of Mornius did anything stand out as particularly challenging?
Researching the things I had to write that I had no personal experience with. (Beheading—I’ve never actually done that.)

How did you come up with the story in Song Of Mornius?
Mornius developed over the course of several years. I started out just imagining scenes in my head.  I wrote about ten different short stories based on the scenes I imagined, and then from there I just linked those scenes together. 

What do you like to do when not writing?
I like adventure.  My life is an adventure, or at least that’s how I try to see it.  It is an adventure to knit hats, walk my dog or go to work. Chasing down elusive dust bunnies with my vacuum cleaner can sometimes be a huge adventure.  So can atrying to create the perfect chocolate chip cookies. 

How can readers discover more about you and your work?
They can find me on Facebook if they search for my name, Diane Steinbach.  I also have an author’s page on Amazon.

So Absurd It Must Be True (Author Interview)

So Absurd It Must Be True looks like a great and interesting collection of short tales.  When is part two planned for release?

I’m planning to release book 2 in February 2020. It may happen earlier, also. But I have quite a tough schedule: my #YA fantasy book, Dulcinea Lovinescu – The Code Girl is coming out 1 April 2019, my humorous non-fiction book NINE OF CUPS is scheduled for 3 June 2019 and my children’s book (based on Korean myths) – autumn 2019. I’m also going to publish my creative, “odd, but funny” 40 book reviews as an eBook on Amazon.

What do you think makes a short?

Idea – what do you want to say, to show, to teach, to learn.
Hero – you can forget the plot, but you will NEVER forget a hero (if you loved or hated him/her).
Emotions – the reader (as well as the writer) should be able to relate to the heroes of the story.

What inspired you when writing So Absurd It Must Be True?

Walk. Nature. Words. An empty mind. I keep my mind blank most of the time. So, when an idea arrives - I’m catching it. Usually, I’m writing it down, on the go. And I’m always inspired by followers of my blog “Raynotbradbury” on Wordpress.

What are your ambitions for your writing career?  Full time?  Part time? I’m quitting my job this summer and I’m going to write full time.

When did you decide to become a writer?

TREPIDATION: Darkness and Light Can't Coexist

What separates Heaven and Hell? Is it the goodness that lies in the deepest parts of humanity, some mystic gatekeeper ... or simply the power of an Almighty God, which many don't believe in? Once a child of light, Tyler is seduced into a world of evil and dark figures as the beauty of one girl blinds and dulls his Godly intuition.

Unleashed from the loud cracklings of Hell, Legion, an elite dark angel, ascends to the earth. Commissioned by his Dark Lord Lucifer to claim the souls of infidels, Legion finds it tempting to claim the soul of Tyler; a one-time young Christian prodigy who's now fallen by the wayside.

If Legion wants to ascend and be promoted to the highest amongst his dark ranks, he must consume a child of light. With untapped supernatural abilities of his own, will Tyler be able to fend off Legion and his horde of internal-dwelling demons, or will he be easily consumed like many before him, and perish with no solace?

GRIEF: 5 Lives | 5 Stories | 1 Need....Acceptance (Author Interview)

GRIEF looks like a great book with lesson on the impact of grief.  Any plans to make it into a series or publish similar themed books?
I tried to leave a cliffhanger at the end of each chapter specifically for that reason.  I think, if people respond positively to the characters in each chapter or in any of them, I could expand the universe of each story to break them out into individual projects around that characters life.  Being a nurse practitioner and a critical care nurse for the last 18 years has provided me with a wealth of material and knowledge to have similarly themed books but I will also explore other areas of writing as well.

What type of reader did you have in mind when writing this book?  
Well, if you can read and you understand emotions on a basic level, this book (GRIEF) is for you.  When I write, as much as possible, I want to entertain and educate across the entire lifespan.  I guess that’s the Registered Nurse in me.  That’s why I am also writing a children’s book series and why I don’t feel beholden to just one genre.

What inspired you when writing GRIEF?
I have so many stories floating around in my head and I've started and stopped over a dozen.  I just never had the desire to just completely finish one until I saw my husband doing the same thing but finishing.  He starts and stops stories all the time but he does it when he gets a block and he just moves to where his creativity takes him.  That method works for me as well so now it's like an assembly line.  Expect to see a lot of productivity from me in writing now.  A lot of my inspiration comes from everyday life.  Television shows I watch and some sports play a big part.  For some of the more technical aspects of sports I consult with my husband.

What are your ambitions for your writing career?  Full time?  Part time?
Well, I’ve been a critical care Registered Nurse for 18 years and I’m a new graduate Family Nurse practitioner.  So, that’s my full time wage earning work.  However, it’s hard to call writing part time.  I put my all into it and devote full time to it when I’m doing it.

When did you decide to become a writer?
I didn’t just decide to become a writer.  It’s always been there.  Just like stories in my head have always been there.  I just decide to tap into that and reduce it to pen and paper and out comes a book.  Hopefully it’s material that entertains and educates at the same time just like GRIEF.

Creation I (Author Interview)

Creation I looks like a great fantasy book. How many books do you plan for the series?
Creation I is an anthology of novellas I released for free to newsletters subscribers, and to fans paying attention to my blog on  By releasing them for free prior to publishing each, I’m able to generate buzz, grow my fan base, and give special treatment to those who are really into it. This one follows the good gods. I plan to do the same with Chaos and Warp, and just keep going as I have time. It’s a lot easier to write shorter stories around the bigger works. It’s like a vacation for my brain. Many times, while writing the bigger books and especially in editing, I find tangents that make great fodder for these novellas.

What do you think makes a great dark fantasy book? 
Let’s be real: it’s the anti-hero and the nature of the corruption. In our world, power corrupts and somehow our heroes in spite of their flaws, we know they’re going to triumph. Dark fantasy heroes triumph – maybe – not in spite of but because of their corruption. I personally think the best ones are where the character is not aware of or is caught off guard by their own corruption. In such a setting, villians drive the tone and they really get to shine. So much of fantasy is dominated by bright and shiny magic where rainbows, sunshine, and unicorns save the day. I have a four year old daughter. I’d never want to take that away from her. But, for me, I want my fantasy to reflect the deeper themes of what a world with magic would be like. I don’t think it would rainbows and sunshine. The temptation to use it for personal gain would drive many many of us towards megalomania. Heroes would be rare, not the norm. That’s what makes it dark: when a villain is forced to be a hero.

Infernally Yours (Author Interview and Review)

Infernally Yours looks like a great historical fiction book.  Any plans to make it into a series? Oh, absolutely. Infernally Yours’ protagonist (Phage Rustcut) is a demon and demons are immortal, so he’s not going anywhere. The next book is set in Paris, with the French Revolution in full swing. It’s one of the bloodiest moments in Western history, so naturally, Rustcut & Co. will be in the thick of it.

What do you think makes a great historical fiction book? For me, there has to be a fresh take on the dusty old stories, you know? George Washington is already a fascinating figure, right? But the tale of a demon sent to kill George Washington is even more interesting. It casts an even wider net. It exposes people to the real adventures and misadventures of a real American hero, but in a way that’s scary and funny at the same time. But best of all, it’s based on real history. Good historical fiction gives readers actual, footnoted facts, so they’ll know what’s real and what’s fantasy. A near-mythical character like George Washington accomplished such unbelievable feats and defied certain death so many times that it sounds made up. As the author, I’ve got to prove that these things happened. And I do.

What inspired you when writing Infernally YoursThe Screwtape Letters was an obvious inspiration. C.S. Lewis did the heavy lifting of inventing the original “devil by letters” storytelling device. But with Screwtape, the demons’ target was a nobody, just an average guy. And it’s a monologue, really. You only hear the words of Screwtape as he advises his protégé. I used to be an actor, long ago, and I also ran a film company for ten years. So, while Lewis wrote Screwtape Letters as a diabolical Dear Abby of sorts, I wrote this book as if I were watching the drama play out on a stage or in a film. With Infernally Yours, the devils’ target isn’t just some rando; he’s one of the most important figures in human history. That’s a huge difference. And instead of only one demonic voice, Infernally Yours shows letters from many different devils as they interact with our main character, Rustcut. Between the fascinating and largely unknown exploits of Washington and the hilarious, dastardly schemes of Team Rustcut, I like to think that you get a richer, technicolor experience. I like the way a friend of mine described it when he said that Lewis opened the door to a haunted mansion, but Infernally Yours gives you the guided tour.

The Sponsored (Author Interview)

The Sponsored looks like a great adventure romance book.  What type of readers did you write the book for?
 I wrote The Sponsored for readers who enjoy action-packed superhero stories with lots of twists, turns, and surprises. As a reader, I enjoy a fast-paced book that's impossible to put down, and that was my goal with The Sponsored. Romance ends up in all of my books, but that's not the primary focus of The Sponsored, at least not from Grey's perspective. She's not quite sure what to make of Julian most of the time. You'll have to read and see how that plays out. Part of The Sponsored is set in the past, so readers get to see Grey's parents meet and fall in love. Theirs is a great love story. It was a pleasure to write. 

What do you think makes a great young adult book? 
 Great characters make any genre of book great, but I especially think it's important for young adult books. Readers want to love characters, they want to hate characters, they want to feel what the characters are feeling, and go through the story either with them, or as if they are them, and that is why it is so important to write great characters. Grey is a great character, one of my favorites. She's wonderfully flawed, but readers can't help but root for her. 

Did anyone in your life inspire the character Max?
 The short answer is no. I don't know anyone who's exactly like Max. But he would make my list of datable characters. Max is a good guy. I'm a fan of good guys, guys who aren't perfect, but know when to apologize. The shaved head and tattoos? That's just a bonus. =) 

What inspired you when writing The Sponsored?
 While writing, I listened to the album Baptized by Daughtry on repeat. Every morning, I'd take a walk and listen to Matt Nathanson's Come On Get Higher album. Music inspires me. It keeps the words flowing. I imagine the characters in the songs, being tossed around by their emotions, and it gives me insight into who they are.