Tag Archives: historical fiction

Sanctuary by Kris Kramer


Review: One of the first things I noticed about Sanctuary, as compared to a lot of indie books in addition to ones traditionally published, was the length. Sanctuary is well-constructed and balanced, and approximately 260 pages, which especially for its genre, I’ve found to be rather rare.  Some readers want longer books in order to get their supposed “money’s worth”, but if there is too much information, which hinders the story the itself, I’ll take a shorter work that flows well over a longer book that too long lags in places, any day of the week. This one, for the most part, had a flowing pattern though in the way of descriptive passages, showing instead of simply telling and smoother connectives would have improved that for me.

I have a distinct clause in my review request guidelines these days, which was updated not because I do not privately read works that may have religious or spiritual themes of some kind, but for review purposes, authors whose works I have read in those genres and may disagree with some of those aspects have ironically and solely been those abusive in their response to the review. Life’s too short for that nonsense. So, this work was on the edge of the religious themed fiction, as the main character is a priest which influences much of the storyline and dialogue. For the time period, however, even if I found it tiresome at times, this was understandable and in character for Daniel. The location itself, ancient Wales, was of particular interest as due to personal curiosity and a familial attachment, I began studying about Cymru over two decades ago.

Daniel, the protagonist is believable and distinct, but for my personal tastes the Christian overtones and theme as a whole, would limited my return to this world and life. Santuary is a solid read, which lovers of ancient history may very well enjoy, and is descriptive, gripping, and filled with action and emotionally engaging characters and situations. Sanctuary is just one of the publications of The 4th Realm, a collective group of writers specializing in indie fiction and non-fiction.

Description: In 9th century Britain, chaos rules as kingdoms splinter, Vikings invade from all corners, and lives and fortunes are lost to those with the biggest sword and the smallest shreds of morality. When a young priest, Daniel, witnesses a lone warrior save his village from savage raiders, he believes he’s seen a miracle, and he follows the reclusive warrior on his mysterious trek across the island, hoping to find his own path in this brutal and unforgiving world.

Daniel’s journey takes him to places he’d long since left, forcing him to face his past, along with dour dwarves, canny druids, and an army of Viking warriors. When he meets a captive woman with strange abilities amongst the ruins of humanity’s savage and unforgiving past, Daniel will face his true enemy, a powerful demon, who waits for his dominion over man to be complete.

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Interview: Kristen Kindoll, Author of “Queen’s Autumn Gambit”


Kristen Kindoll is a freelance writer and home-schooling parent.  The love of education and learning has provided many topics for her work.  She writes a weekly column for the Tennessean about home-schooling and local family events.  She was a writing guide for The Lesson Planet website.  Pockets magazine has published her fiction stories.

A Time to Live, A Time to Die placed third in the Kentucky Center for the Arts Young Playwrights Contest.  It was produced at the Kentucky Center (Louisville, KY) on Stage One.  The Couple In-Between placed 4th in the Tall Tale Tell Off.  She told her story at the storytelling festival in Nashville, IN.

She has created several writing and journalism workshops in conjunction with her teaching.  She has a Bachelor of Arts from Spring Hill College in Mobile, AL.  She participated in the Washington Journalism Semester at American University, Washington, D.C.


Personal Website:  http://www.kristenkindoll.com  and blog.

Goodreads:  http://www.goodreads.com/author/show/6984951.Kristen_Kindoll

Book available at Amazon and Lulu.com, video trailer on Youtube.

2Description: “Carolyn Ainsworth is drawn into a twisted game of English chess, which places her in a delicate situation. Does finding out the truth about her family merit destroying all that she has known? The Queen’s Gambit is a precise chess maneuver that calculates key positions upon the board. In order to play, Carolyn must accept the terms of the inheritance. The other beneficiary, Luca Caldwell is maneuvered to participate in this archaic game of alliances. Their forced partnership begins on opposite sides.

As they progress, they discover mounting secrets about both of their families. What starts out in conflict, they unite with one common purpose to discover who has been manipulating them. As the autumn leaves fall from the trees, Carolyn and Luca find themselves embroiled in the mounting lies. They begin to question, if they are the players or merely pieces in a greater scheme. Will the white side control the board, or will black rule the game?”



Why do you write the stories that you write?

I write, because I’m intrigued by the varied answers to a problem.  What would happen if… And if that happened, how would a character respond?  I like proposing situations and moving around the imaginary players within the little worlds of my creation.

When did you first realize you wanted to be a writer? 

The earliest I can remember for desiring to write is at the age of two.  I had scribbled a picture of a boat, captained by my father.  I regaled a nautical tale about my papa, navigating the dangerous seas.  My mother wrote one sentence above the picture.  I was amazed that my long tale could be contained within one line.  When I was older, I found my “story” in my baby book.  At last, I could read the sentence my mother had transcribed.  Needless to say, the story was not the Charles Dickens’ length I had dictated to her.  I was mad and demanded to know why my mom lied.  She said, “Honey, you just told me too many stories.  I got tired of always writing everything down.”

What was your inspiration for writing? 

I went on my first writer’s retreat.  This was my first time being utterly alone with no distractions.  After my initial panic attack subsided, I knew I needed to produce something to justify my expense of time and money for attending the retreat.  I fell back upon the age-old writing advice:  write what you like.  So, I began a book that I would have wanted to read, a forced marriage with a twist.  What started out as a lark, ended up being my first novel.

What do you like to do when you’re not writing?
I home-school my older two children, 9 & 13.  I also write a column for the Tennessean.  Most of my life vacillates between mom and teacher mode.

Where do you hang out online?
My on-line habits are pure fluff:  people.com, tvguide.com, ew.com, movieyahoo.com, yahoo scroll bar, and check my professional Facebook page.  I go to the same sites.  I’m a movie trailer addict.  I would love for my day job to be making movie trailers.  The trailer for Queen’s Autumn Gambit was a fantasy come true.

What books are currently on your nightstand?
I have a stack of magazines:  Smithsonian, Southern Living, Cooking Light, Everyday Food, and miscellaneous picture books that my four year old brings to me to read out loud.

Do you remember the first novel you read?

Down a Dark Hall by Lois Duncan was the first book I ever truly read by myself.  I was sucked into it and transformed.  Reading had always been difficult for me.  I had a lot of trouble in school with most subjects.  I loved picture books and couldn’t understand why anyone would want to read a book with a lot of words.  For library class, I had to choose a book for a book report.  I was drawn to pick up Down a Dark Hall by the cover.  Once I started reading, I couldn’t put it down.  When I met Lois Duncan, I was all googly-eyed and gushed all over her.  I couldn’t help myself.  She was very gracious and sweet, though.

What would you like readers to know about you the individual?

I love to laugh and always try to find the humor in life.  I collect typewriters, because I like the sounds they make and the way they look.

Who are your favorite authors and why?
Some of my favorite authors:  Lois Duncan for opening the windows and doors to reading, Barbara Kingsolver for multiple characters with well rounded development, Robin McKinley for detailed descriptions, Kurt Vonnegut for his unique settings and plots, and Winston Groom for his Southern humor.

Name one thing that your readers would be surprised to know about you. 

I had my own radio show in college, called the Roomie Show.  My roommate and I strictly played Beatles songs.  I also wrote a radio drama for the show.

Where are you from originally?  Family?
I’m originally from Louisville, Kentucky.  I’m the oldest of three (sister and brother).

Is there anything unique about your upbringing that you’d like to share with readers?
Every summer, my family would travel up to Lake Mille Lacs, Minnesota.  My Grandparents had a lake house there on the water.  Some of my happiest memories happened at the lake, it was a magical place.


Your Writing Process

Why do you write?
I write, because I have all of these stories which circle like tired buzzards in my head.  I need to clear out some space up in the old brain.

What excites you about writing? 

I get energized by finding the right combination of words, which expresses an idea.  I’m very interested in painting with words.  It is probably why I always liked poetry.  The idea of beauty on the surface, but beneath the words lie more complex thoughts/stories.

What is your work schedule like when you’re writing? 

Because of my life, I get up about 5 AM and write until my kids get up, around 7 AM.  I might work in the evenings, but I usually mark that as family time.

Do you have any advice for aspiring writers? 

DEADLINES are my best advice.  I’m a lazy writer.  It is work to write.  There is pleasure in creating and developing, but it can be laborious at times.  I knew I needed something, an arbitrary due date to get my fingers typing.  I have never been possessed by the need to write, what consumes me are characters, situations, and storylines.  I don’t keep journals.  I have tried, but it seemed boring to write about my day-to-day existence.  It is why I like fiction and journalism.  I prefer writing about other people’s lives.

What would you consider is your favorite part of a book to write?The beginning, the middle or the ending?
My favorite part of the book would be the middle.  There is potential for change, and you have established the characters.

Is there any other genre you have considered writing in?
I’m honestly not genre specific.  That was the hardest part for me to identify a genre for Queen’s Autumn Gambit.  I’m attracted to good stories.  I like developed characters and complex plots or a twist on a predictable outcome.  Those are the kinds of things I like to read, too.

Do you listen to music or have another form of inspiration when you are writing? 

I listen to Classical radio.  It provides the right mood and blocks out external noises, so I can slip into my worlds.  I have to say the most creative spaces for me are when I’m driving and at church.  I can’t tell you how many times I’ve driven on automatic pilot and said to my kids, “Wait!  Where are we going?”  Sad but true.

Most people envision an author’s life as being really glamorous. What’s the most unglamorous thing that you’ve done in the past week? 

I write in my PJ’s mostly.  I would say my characters lead a more fascinating existence than me.  I’m more mini van than jet set.

How long does it take you to finish a book from start to submission? 

This is my first finished book.  It took me a year to finish.  I would have finished it sooner, but I had to plot out the other three books in the series to make sure the whole story would align.

Do you prefer writing series books over non series or does it matter? 

This happens to be a series, but I prefer to write what the story dictates.  My idea for Queen’s Autumn Gambit was so multi-layered the story couldn’t be written in just one book.  As it was, I had trouble containing the length within the first season, autumn.

What is the best and worst writing advice you have ever received? 

My English college professor had us write a short story.  When I got my paper back, I had a D.  I had never gotten anything less than A minus on any creative writing story I had ever written.  I was shocked and went to her office, trying to figure out what I did wrong.  She told me that my story made her cry and feel things that she didn’t want to think about (I wrote about the Vietnam War).  She told me that since I hadn’t lived during that time period I had no business writing about it.  I tried pointing out fantasy and other authors who wrote about things they hadn’t lived through.  She was adamant with her stance.  I went back and rewrote the short story with a different topic and received an A plus.  It taught me, there are opinions to listen to, and there are opinions to ignore.

Do you have a system for writing? 

I write and then go back and reread/edit.  It helps trigger my idea and thought process.  I like discovering along the way about the characters.  I could probably write faster if I did an outline; but when I have done that, I’m bored writing the story.  It’s like I solved the puzzle.

Do you track work count or write a certain number of hours per day? 

No, I know writers who track word count, but I don’t.  When I’ve attempted it, I felt defeated by not meeting the goal.  I found that by writing everyday is enough of a triumph.

What was the most uplifting moment you’ve experienced during your writing career? 

Every time I meet a reader, seriously every time someone comes up to me and says they read my column is a thrill for me.  When you write, you are in a void.  I have no idea who has bought or picked up anything that I have written.  The only time I have verification is when I have written plays.  Even then, I can’t make every performance.  I like when readers question me and want to get into a discussion about the characters.  The whole reason I write is understand the reason why things happen.  It is what intrigues me about life.

Your Books

Your book is about to be sent into the reader world, what is one word that describes how you feel? 

My book feels like a child.  I always heard that comparison, but this labor was way more intense than actually birthing my three kids.  There are all those questions and fears you have.  You are exposed and vulnerable.  Usually when I have written anything in the past, I was so removed from it.  Queen’s Autumn Gambit has intensely inhabited my every moment, especially during the final edits and production phase.

When a new book comes out, are you nervous about how readers will react to it? 

I do feel like the girl by the punch bowl, desperately wanting a boy to ask her to dance.  I hope my novel will do well, and people will enjoy the story.

What can we look forward to in the upcoming months?

  I’m working on another book; it is a Southern Humor book.  I needed a departure from the intensity of Queen’s Autumn Gambit.  After I finish that, I will begin to write Winter Queen Vs. Pawns.

What kind of research do you do for your books? Do you enjoy the research process?

  This book required an intense amount of research.  I had to learn military history, describe military uniforms.  It is set in England.  I had to verify that certain paintings were in the museums at the time I mentioned the artwork.  I would say that was fascinating and very gratifying for me to know the amount of work behind the scenes.

If your book is available in print, how does it feel to hold a book that has your name on the cover? 

Holding your book in print and reading it feels surreal, I still get excited by it.

Your Characters

Do you tend to base your characters on real people or are they totally from your imagination? 

I don’t base characters on real people, because that can be tricky for many reasons.  Some of my characters share attributes that I have within my own life.  I’m a mother, sister, raised Catholic, married, etc.  I traveled in England, but never lived there.  I think you need to draw on your experiences, but not write your life.  It is probably the journalist in me that holds that belief.  The characters are very real to me.  It helps that I based it in England, so I imagine them living their lives right now over there in merry-old England.

Is it hard coming up with names for your characters? 

Coming up with characters’ names varies in difficulty.  The first names usually pop into my mind, but I find my best tool is the baby name books.  Last names are the hardest, that’s where I would do internet searches for “English surnames”.  I try to balance out letters, too.  I tend to gravitate toward certain constants.  I don’t know why, but I do.

Have any of your characters ever haunted your dreams or woken you up during the night demanding attention? 

My characters are very chatty.  Often times, I wish, they would shut up.  When I let them talk it out, they end up solving a particular plot problem.  I find that by giving them their time, they will let you have yours.

What in your opinion makes good chemistry between your leading characters? 

For me, the flirting and the witty repartee are the key to building up chemistry.  It’s what works in real life, too.
Is there a character from one of your books that resonates deeply with you?  Stacey is the character that I adore.  Her gaiety and love of life.  She makes me laugh, too.  There is something special about her.

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Filed under Historical Fiction, Interviews, Writers and Writing

Interview: Richard Coady, Author of The Maya Papyrus

authorGlobal Ebook Award Winner 2013 Best Historical Novel (Set Before 500 A.D.)


Richard Coady was born and raised in Warrington, England, where he now lives with his wife, Miriam, and his son, Adam. After gaining a degree in history, he was a journalist for just long enough for him to realise what journalism actually involves before starting a career in computers. The Maya Papyrus is his first novel.
* * * *
Description: “In the Valley of the Kings, a team of archaeologists has unearthed a secret Front cover for Kindlethat has lain buried for over 3000 years. Hidden in Nefertiti’s tomb is a bundle of papyrus sheaves. Although badly decayed, the documents have survived well enough to tell an epic tale of war, murder and treachery…
Thuya is a woman who craves greatness. Her son, Aye, is a man who will stop at nothing to attain it. Together they will concoct a scheme so monumental in its scope that it will mould the reigns of Egypt’s kings and rewrite the future of the known world.The Maya Papyrus is populated with some of the most extraordinary characters in history:
Tutankhamun, the boy king; his father, Akhenaten, the deformed tyrant; Akhenaten’s queen, Nefertiti, whose beauty remains legendary three millennia later.Who among them can stand against a man willing to risk everything to achieve immortality?”


About the Author


What genre(s) do you write? Why do you write the stories that you write?

The Maya Papyrus is a historical novel. It’s my first book, set in ancient Egypt around the time of Tutankhamun. I wrote it because I thought the story was amazing, and I thought other people might think so too. Unfortunately I can’t claim the credit for that, though. It’s based on what some Egyptologists believe may actually have happened.

When did you first realize you wanted to be a writer?

I remember when I was about 7 years old hammering out stories on an old manual typewriter onto pages ripped out of a reporter’s notebook. I don’t remember much about them. One was about vampires and the other was about astronauts. My grandmother wasn’t happy because one of the astronauts said ‘blimey!’ and she thought that was a bit strong. We lived in a different world in those days.

Who or what was your inspiration for writing?

The initial spark was a documentary by an Egyptologist called Bob Brier. I didn’t have any prior interest in ancient Egypt and I stumbled across the programme while I was channel hopping one night. I was immediately hooked. I turned to my wife as the credits were rolling and said: “That would make a great book!” Of course, I didn’t know at the time that those words were the start of a 13 year undertaking…


What do you like to do when you’re not writing?    

As little as humanly possible. But don’t tell my wife I said that. I still haven’t put that shelf up.


Where do you hang out online? Website URL, author groups, MySpace, Facebook, Twitter, blog, etc?

You can follow me on Twitter and find my website at www.richardcoady.com. I find that Goodreads.com is an excellent way of spending any time that I should be using more constructively, so feel free to look me up there as well.

What books are currently on your nightstand?

Slaughterhouse-Five by Kurt Vonnegut

The Sekhmet Bed by Lavender Ironside

1,227 QI Facts To Blow Your Socks Off by John Lloyd and John Mitchinson (Did you know that kangaroos have three vaginas?)

Do you remember the first novel you read?

Shoot on Sight by Michael Hardcastle. I think. There was another one around the same time about an Eskimo (who wasn’t Nanook).

Who are your favorite authors and why?

This is the sort of question that’s going to bother me for days. Robert Graves, Joseph Heller, Louis de Bernieres, Andrew Crumey. Oh, and Thomas Hardy. Nobody could write like Thomas Hardy. Recently I’ve been reading a lot of David Mitchell. For me he’s the best writer in Britain at the moment.

Your Writing Process

Why do you write?

Because everybody should do something each day that they love.

Do you have any advice for aspiring writers?

Finish that the thing that you’re writing. And then worry about every word in every sentence.

Is there any other genre you have considered writing in?

Although The Maya Papyrus is a historical novel set in ancient Egypt, I don’t consider myself an ‘Egyptian’ writer. It’s looking likely that my next book will be set in World War II Poland. If a great science fiction story occurred to me, I’d write that.


Do you listen to music or have another form of inspiration when you are writing? 

I tend to write in silence. If I put music on I find myself staring into space and listening to the music instead of actually getting anything done.

How long does it take you to finish a book from start to submission?

The Maya Papyrus took 13 years.


13 years? Why so long?

I know, I know. I have no excuse. For the first two years I didn’t write a word. I just spent the time researching the story and the era as deeply as I could and planning the story. And then, for the next 11 years I wrote when I could whilst holding down a job and being a father and husband. In my defence, it’s a big book (nearly 700 pages) and the first draft was another 400 pages on top of that. I spent a lot of time editing. My next book is going to be a pamphlet.


Do you prefer writing series books over non series or does it matter?

I can’t ever imagine myself writing a series. I have nothing against them – I’ll read them – but I think I’d get bored writing one. Once I’ve done something I like to move on to something completely different.

Do you have a system for writing?

I’m not a writer who can make it up as I go along. I have to have every aspect of the story planned from beginning to end, often chapter by chapter. Of course, a lot of the time something will occur to me as I’m writing and the story will take a sharp turn in a direction I wasn’t expecting, but that’s all part of the fun.

Do you track word count or write a certain number of hours per day?

I’m strangely obsessive about word counts. I keep all the details in a little spreadsheet, with subtotals tracking my progress. I really need to get out a bit more.


What was the most uplifting moment you’ve experienced during your writing career?

Probably reading the reviews on Amazon. Even though I thought I’d written a good book there was always a nagging voice in the back of my mind telling me that I was no judge and that I only thought it was good because I was biased and that nobody was ever going to buy it or enjoy it. And then I look on Amazon and see that a complete stranger has written that she ranks me alongside the ‘truly great’ authors of the genre and that my book was a ‘masterwork’ that left her ‘breathless’… well, it can’t get any more uplifting than that.

Your Books

Your book is now in the reader world, what is one word that describes how you feel?


What story haven’t you written yet but would like to?  Is there anything holding you back from writing it?

I have about half a dozen books in my head. At the moment, the only thing stopping me making a start is deciding which one to do. It’s like half a dozen people all trying to get through a doorway at the same time. There’s lots of noise and bother but nobody’s actually going anywhere. Odds on favourite at the moment is the Polish one, though.


What kind of research do you do for your books? Do you enjoy the research process?

I loved researching The Maya Papyrus. I worked for a long time with an Egyptologist on getting the little details right – the sort of thing not readily available in books. I discovered a whole world I knew virtually nothing about.


What was your first published work and when was it published?

It was a short story in a horror magazine about 25 years ago. I forget the name of the magazine or the story. But it was awful.


Your Characters

Do you tend to base your characters on real people or are they totally from your imagination?

All but the most minor characters in The Maya Papyrus are real people. How close the book’s characters are to the historical people is another matter. I’ve taken what information there is and built the characters around it. For example, just like in the book, the real King Amenhotep really did write a letter asking for women to be sent to him to be his wives, and he really did add a postscript to the letter saying, “Send none with harsh voices.” And that made me think – there must have been a reason for him to add that. So from that little snippet of information I was able to picture a king slightly browbeaten by a wife who wasn’t afraid to tell him what she thought. I tried to populate the world of The Maya Papyrus with real people from scant information like this. Unfortunately, this far back into history, scant information is the best we’re going to get.


Is there a character from one of your books that resonates deeply with you?

I have to admit to being very fond of Maya. I think he’d rather have his teeth pulled than be in the middle of so many momentous events. But despite that I think he’s a hero (although he would deny that). I don’t think you can be a hero if you’re not scared first, and Maya spends a significant portion of the book overcoming his fear to do the right thing.

Random Question

Where do you get your daily dose of news?

You can’t go far wrong with the BBC. I don’t read newspapers much because, as an ex-journalist, I know that pretty much everything in them is made up.

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Filed under Historical Fiction, Interviews, Writers and Writing

Interview With Paulette Mahurin, Author of “The Persecution of Mildred Dunlap”

Paulette Mahurin, an award-winning author, is a Nurse Practitioner who lives in Ojai, California with her husband Terry and their two dogs–Max and Bella. She practices women’s health in a rural clinic and writes in her spare time. 

Paulette’s Interview:

First, let me say thank you for having me over to your great blog site for this interview. I’m very grateful for every opportunity to promote my book, especially since all profits are going to animal rescue (Santa Paula Animal Rescue Center, the first and only no-kill animal shelter in Ventura County, CA where I live: http://www.santapaulaarc.org/).

Tell us about yourself:

I’m a Nurse Practitioner, specializing in women’s health in a rural clinic in Ojai, CA, where I live with my husband Terry and our two rescue dogs, Max and Bella. Prior to doing women’s health, I spend years working in the second busiest emergency room in Los Angeles County, with the highest census of child abuse. You name it I saw it. My passions are writing, animal rescue, and advocating for tolerance.

Could you tell us a bit about your latest release?

The story takes place in 1895, just after the imprisonment of Oscar Wilde, and the impact that has on a lesbian couple living in a small Nevada ranching town. It’s a story about hatred, and how it shuts people’s hearts, how hatred is spread, and the devastating consequences that happen, usually to the innocents. It is also a love story, a metaphor on the power of friendship and the strength of the human spirit to rise above adversity and conflict to take the high road. It’s message is tolerance, have your differences but don’t make another human being a label because of them, we are after all, all just human, deserving of human rights. The genre is historical fiction.

Was the story and the lesbian theme sparked by personal experience?

Yes. I had a friend, who shall remain nameless, who was severely abused, molested, and tortured as a child and teenager. No counseling or other supportive help has worked thus far. It pains me deeply that my friend is in the closet, unable to live a life in the sun like flowers blooming, birds singing, dogs wagging tails, and others laughing and connecting from their authentic selves. . When I became ill with Lyme disease and was house bound, I had conversations with my friend and by the time I was better and started a writing class, in which a photo sparked the seed that was to become my book, the combination of the two women in a photo (an exercise from class was to take one of the photos brought in and write a ten minute mystery) and my friend’s saga screamed out to me, lesbian couple afraid of being found out. A lot of what I poured into the story was my angst over the heartache that my friend lives with.

What have you learned about writing and publishing since you first started?

Writing is the easy part. Publishing and marketing, that’s not for the weak of heart. Takes an enormous amount of time to get the word out, whether published or indie. There are a lot of good people out there, networking, willing to help, like you, Annette, and that takes the sting out, big time.

Is there anything you would do differently?

I really can’t think of anything right now. I’ve been lucky with the editors I’ve worked with, lucky with the support I’ve gotten, and lucky with all the friends I’m making who are helping me promote. I don’t know what else I could have done differently. I put in the time writing, had a professional editor (three of them), multiple readers, and sent it out to tons of reviewers. I think the rest is luck, does that one special someone read and endorse it? I guess that’s every author’s dream. I’m still hoping for it, not so much for me, but because all the profits are going to animal rescue and when I think of getting their sorrowful faces out of cages and into their forever homes, with wagging tails, it makes my heart feel good.

Who, or what, if anything has influenced your writing?

My experience with people who have been abused and persecuted. Then there was the research that strengthened my emotional conviction to bring as much truth to the page as I can. Oscar Wildes’ imprisonment, a gross miscarriage of a legal system, did that. It motivated me, brought me to places, that poured out onto the page, and I didn’t hold back. My best teacher has been life, experiences I’ve or others have lived that I’ve encountered. What could possibly be more powerful?

Anything you would say to those just starting out in the craft?

A writer writes. Just sit your butt down in the chair and do it. Doesn’t matter if it’s ten minutes or ten hours. It’s really that simple. Like the Nike commercial slogan, Just do it. And, tell the inside of your head, all the excuses and put downs to shut up!

All profits from the sale of the book are going to animal rescue, to be specific, the first and only no-kill shelter in Ventura County, CA. Can you say something about that? And, where is Ventura County?

It’s in California, the next county south of Santa Barbara County, which you’re probably more familiar with. It’s a large county, over 800,000 and just a few months ago had it’s first and only no-kill animal shelter open in one of the smaller towns, Santa Paula. My husband & I are animal advocates, been rescuing dogs for 28 years. The story of why I am donating all the profits to this rescue group was just written up in the VC Star (the largest circulating press in the county) and I’ll quote from them to answer this very important to my heart question.

“Paulette Mahurin’s eyes light up when she talks about the dogs. An animal advocate, the Ojai resident and her husband, Terry, have been rescuing Rottweilers for nearly three decades.

When her beloved rottie, Tazzie, died last year at age 15, she was heartbroken. In addition to losing her best friend, the dog had been her constant companion throughout Mahurin’s life-altering bout with Lyme disease.” The story then talks about my illness with Lyme disease getting into my heart valves, paralysis, arthritis & meningitis, and goes on to talk about how I attended class when I was well enough, and finally ends with this quote; “In honor of the 15 years spent with her beloved companion Tazzie, as well as her desire to support no-kill animal shelters, proceeds from the sales of “The Persecution of Mildred Dunlap” benefit the Santa Paula Animal Rescue Center.”
Read more: http://www.vcstar.com/news/2012/sep/08/ojai-authors-historical-novel-teaches-tolerance/#ixzz27bNu2fps
– vcstar.com

Tazzie was the most amazing dog. I had her portrait done while she was dying. It hangs in my bedroom where she used to sleep, and I wake every morning and say hello. We’ve had three more dogs since her death, but none can ever match up to my relationship with her or take her place, and some say she may have even saved my life by her constant attention and sensitivity during the worse. She’s now my angel. I hope to give back; it’s my prayer that the profits from my book can get some animals out of death row and wagging in their forever homes.


 By Paulette Mahurin

Email: ptmahurin@sbcglobal.net

ISBN # 978-0-9771866-1-7   Price: $14.95

Published March 23, 2012

Kindle Version FREE on AMAZON October 19-22, 2012

Description: The year 1895 was filled with memorable historical events: the Dreyfus Affair divided France; Booker T. Washington gave his Atlanta address; Richard Olney, United States Secretary of State, expanded the effects of the Monroe Doctrine in settling a boundary dispute between the United Kingdom and Venezuela; and Oscar Wilde was tried and convicted for gross indecency under Britain’s recently passed law that made sex between males a criminal offense. When news of Wilde’s conviction went out over telegraphs worldwide, it threw a small Nevada town into chaos. This is the story of what happened when the lives of its citizens were impacted by the news of Oscar Wilde’s imprisonment. It is a chronicle of hatred and prejudice with all its unintended and devastating consequences, and how love and friendship bring strength and healing.

Editorial Reviews:

 “Paulette Mahurin’s first novel is surefooted and unflinching in its portrayal of a singular and unique character and her compelling struggles. Compassionate and confident, Mahurin allows Mildred’s story to burn through onto the page with all its inherent outrage and tenacious, abiding love. Here is a character we can champion—flawed, striving, surviving— and fully embrace in her awkward, beautiful navigation of a world that resists her in every way.”      Deb Norton, Playwrite/screenwriter of The Whole Banana

“If you need to question your values, read this book! The author captures the intolerance and hypocrisy of a 1895 Nevada town, and its transcendence in time through tolerance and understanding.  The angst and pain that two women feel daily, living the ‘lie’ of  their lesbian relationship, and the prejudice they must endure, is unconscionable.  I
was moved to tears by their struggle in the face of the conflicted values that continue to dominate our ‘modern’ society.”   —
William K. Fox, PhD, Professor of Zoology


PRESS ARTICLE: VC STAR Sept. 9, 2012 Sunday Life Section


Filed under Books, Fiction, Historical Fiction, Interviews, LBGT, Lesbian Fiction, Writers and Writing

De Mortuis Viventibus by Chad P. Brown

Review: “De Mortuis Viventibus” had a very authentic voice and cadence, which drew me into the theme and mood of this historical horror tale yet there were questions I would have liked answered that I didn’t find in the narrative. I wanted to know why the calvary suddenly abandoned the legion when it was attacked, and why Marcus also did so although he had been awarded the honor of carrying and defending its standard based on numerous acts of bravery. Yes, it was new terrain, but I just felt trained, seasoned warriors would have responded differently.

However, overall the story was quite believable even though mixing what is commonly known about Roman soldiers and events of those times with imagery of the supernatural and fantastic that were very well described. The author knowledgably blended history and fantasy together yet never lost an intruiging flair, and you truly were made to believe you were there in that world, that old forest in Germania.

For me, “De Mortuis Viventibus” was a true pleasure to read as it was set in one of the periods of European history I’ve found interesting and studied since I was young. That the author added a new twist to Roman history but he kept the protagonist Marcus completely in “character” for the time period was greatly appreciated. The author also definitely left me wondering what would happen next to the unfortunate soldier. Whether the author plans to make another installment or not, he created a vivid basis that made my imagination run wild with undead possibilities.

Description:”In 9 C.E., three Roman legions were destroyed in the Teutoburg Forest at the hands of the Germanic tribes, and the eagle standards of those three legions were captured, never to be recovered.

Marcus, the standard bearer of the 19th Legion, escapes the slaughter only to be threatened with the horrors hidden deep inside the Teutoburg Forest, the horrors born from the witchery which haunts the cursed land.”

  • Published: May 18, 2012
  • ISBN: 9781476447247
  • Availability: Smashwords
  • Genre: Horror, Historical Fiction
  • Source: Author

Author Profile:

Chad P. Brown was born in Huntington, West Virginia. He attended Marshall University, where he has earned a Master’s in Latin. His first horror novel, The Jack-in-the-box, was released in October 2011 and is available in paperback as well as various e-book formats. He is currently working on a horror novella, The Pumpkin House, as well as various short stories.

Website: http://www.chadpbrown.com

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Filed under Books, Dark Fiction, Fantasy, Historical Fiction, Horror, Reviews, Short Story