Q & A with Douglas J. McLeod

As the Holidays draw near yet another wonderful Canadian author is joining us today! Please give a warm welcome to an awesome author and a friend of mine Doug McLeod!


D. J. M.What would your bio say?

Douglas J. McLeod is an aspiring writer who lives in Ontario, Canada. His first two novels, Scarlet Siege and Barbadian Backlash, are part of a series based on a fictional aging Toronto detective, Gary Celdom’s case journals. He is an avid sports fan, and a confessed addict to a certain Canadian-chain of coffee and bake shops.


 When did you start writing and why?

I’ve always had an interest in writing. The proverbial seed was planted back in elementary school when I was giving creative writing assignments. Back then, the mystery/detective genre always appealed to me. I even remember attempting to write a novel in my graduation year of high school; which was the first time I wrote about Detective Gary Celdom. I was inspired by reading a novel from Robert B. Parker’s ‘Spenser’ series. However, as my life changed, my main character went into hibernation until 2009 when participating in National Novel Writing Month gave me the opportunity to resurrect him, but with some modernized tweaks to his backstory.


If you are a parent how does being a parent affect your writing and writing habits? Or does it?

Unfortunately, I’m a childless, single man. So, the parental query doesn’t really apply to me.


Who is your favorite author and why?

Currently, my favourite author is Jeff Lindsay, the author of the ‘Dexter’ series. It appeals to my original love for detective/investigative novels, but his main character is a vigilante with a homicidal streak. For some reason, I feel like I can identify with him because I’m the type of person who, at times, feels like he wants to avenge his friends for when they’ve been hurt or upset. I just don’t resort to actual violence like Dexter does.


What do you hope to accomplish with your writing?Barbadian_Backlash_Cover_for_Kindle

I want to be able to provide entertaining stories that are both fictional, but with some hints to current events. One of Gary’s sore points is anything that has to do with the current local political landscape. Whether it might be budget cutbacks, or municipal councilors engaging in backroom dealings, I want to have my stories set in the here and now. That way it gives a bit of realism, but still retains a fictional quality.


Traditional or Self publishing? Why?

I’ve gone the self-publishing route for both of my novels. I felt it was easier in the long run because I have heard how difficult it is to be accepted by a publishing house. As a way to make sure my novels get out to the public, I prefer to utilize the self-publishing avenue. That way, I could be able to tell my stories to anyone who might be interested in reading them.


Talk about your journey into the wide world of publishing

I have to admit, self-publishing has been quite an adventure. When you decide to “go at it alone”, per se, that’s what you basically are doing. You’re the one who responsible for getting the word out there that you have a story that’s waiting to be read. Fortunately, there are some good self-publishing houses out there that help walk you through the process from submitting your title, all the way to hitting the virtual store shelves. For myself, I opted for Createspace because of their sponsorship of National Novel Writing Month. However, there are others out there that are available. It’s best to look around and see which one is the right fit for you.


Tell us about your book (s)

As previously mentioned, my novels are about an aging Toronto detective, Gary Celdom, with 27 years of service. He’s had his share of ups and downs over his long career, and experiences some emotional and psychological drama because of that. The main focal point behind his personal issues stem from the assassination of his fiancée, Karen Prairie, on their wedding day two decades ago by a group of terrorists the two of them took down 25 years ago. Karen makes appearances in the modern day as a spiritual guise for not only the troubled detective, but for his current colleague/girlfriend, Detective Jessica Amerson. The series tackles not only modern-day crimes, as well as, flashbacks to previous cases Gary has worked on, but analyzes the relationship dynamics between his current and previous loves. The series has been described as Chandler blended with Chekhov.


What inspired you to write these books (or in this genre)?

The detective/mystery genre has appealed to me since grade school. As I stated before, it didn’t really get into full swing until I read a Robert B. Parker ‘Spenser’ novel in my Grade-12 English class. That started to get the ball rolling for me to attempt my first ever novel featuring Gary and Karen. Admittedly, it was rather cheesy, but as I grew older, and started reading more books in the genre, I was able to develop a better sense of the style, and adapt it to suit my main character’s storytelling technique.Scarlet Siege Cover 1


Tell us why we should love or hate your main character?

I like to think Detective Gary Celdom is a likable character with his own share of flaws. Not only is he battling Father Time and his psychological issues, he struggles trying to adhere to proper procedures and protocol. Gary has a history of getting wounded from time-to-time on the occasional investigation, which earns him trips to the hospital to recuperate. However, there are times where he doesn’t go through the proper channels to apprehend the criminals he’s trying to arrest. Because of that, he has also been reprimanded and suspended on at least a couple of occasions; something he has been admonished for by his partner, his superior officer, and the ghostly spirit of his former fiancée. Yet, at the end of the day, he still gets the lowlifes causing havoc in the city behind bars. For that, he is commendable.


Do(es) your book(s) have a soundtrack?

If there is a soundtrack for my novels, they are aligned to the musical trends of the era they’re set in, so basically, modern day Top 40 music. Although, Gary confesses that one of his favourite musicians is a certain Canadian songstress that “is originally from Halifax, Nova Scotia, but currently calls Vancouver, British Columbia home.”


Thanks a mill Doug for joining us and taking the time to share your expeiences with us!

You can keep up with Mr. Doug on his blog. His books can be found on Amazon.com and the eBook versions on Amazon.com, kobobooks.com, and Smashwords!

WIP Mondays ~ Dragon Twins

Hi All! This is going to be the last snipped from Dragon Twins… if you want to know how it ends you will have to wait for its release in April of 2013.

Back we go to Jade …and Ling?



She had asked for a tea to be brought to her in the library and was surprised when Ling himself brought it in to her.


“I trust you are well.”


“I’m fine. Or at least I will be when you let me out of here.”


“I am afraid I can’t do that just yet. However, I hope that you have at least enjoy some part of your day here. My associates have told me that you have spent a great deal of the day in here. I thought you might. That is why I took the liberty of having the latest books by your favorite authors brought in for you to read. Not to mention, that the kitchen has a complete list of everything you enjoy eating. Furthermore, we have the ingredients to make anything you could want, as I hear you have found out.”




“Is that your question for the conversation? Is that the one you want me to answer?”


Jade thought about it for a moment. The answer to that question could clear up a whole bunch of her other questions. That is so long as he answered it properly.


“Yes. I want to know why me and why you are treating me so nicely?”


“Ahh, my dear. That is a double question. Pick one.”


“Why me?”


“Why you? Because you are from a very important family.”


“My father is a business man. He owns a chain of supermarkets. I wouldn’t call that too important.  I hardly think that -“


“Oh but dear I wasn’t exactly talking about THAT family.”


“What do you mean THAT family?”


“Oh dear. That is another question. I can’t answer that right now. See this is what I meant about the answers. I give you more questions. I had half hoped we would not get to that point for a while yet, but like I said you are a very bright girl.”


“You bastard! You are doing this on purpose. You are enjoying it!” she spat at him rising up from her chair to go to the other side of the small room, as far away from him as she possibly could.


“I can assure you that I do not like having to keep you here like this but under the circumstances, this is the way things need to be for now. And in the meantime you can either enjoy some of the finer-“


Just then the door burst open and one of the other men who had been guarding her came in. He bowed sharply at Ling and the proceeded to speak rapidly in Chinese with him.


They were talking so fast that she could barely make out what they were saying. Whatever it was it was not making Ling happy at all. That in itself was enough to make her happy .


She sat there trying hard to listen without seeming like she was paying attention while she browsed the book shelves. It was difficult to what they were saying and try to translate it at the same time. They only words she could get clearly out of it were other and boy.


They soon finished and the man left the room.  Ling motioned for her to sit back down, that their conversation was going to resume at this point.


“I am terribly sorry that you had to see that. It would seem though that we have a problem.”


“No you have a problem Ling, my only problem is you. If it is a problem that is going to affect you in an adverse way then it is no problem to me.”


“I am sorry that you see things in such a bad light. But I can assure you that the problem of which I speak does in fact concern you as well.”


“I really don’t see how. Unless the police are coming to rescue me and you are not finished your ‘conversations’ with me yet. Then I can see how that would present a problem to me, as I surely don’t want to get caught in the cross fire when they bring you down. But aside from that, there is nothing that could concern me otherwise.”


“Well I can also tell you that the police are no closer to coming to rescue you than man is to finding the fountain of youth at the moment.”


“And I suppose if I ask you what it is that is going to count as another question of mine. I will have to wait my turn on that one as well huh?” Jade stood up and turned her back to him. She did not want to see his smug looking smile anymore.


“Oh come now we aren’t going to be a sore looser are we now? I thought we had a deal.”


“Yeah well the deal is off. I am not answering anymore of your questions.”


“Oh too bad.” Ling said as he rose up and headed towards the doorway.


Halfway out the door he stopped and turned back to her.


“Too bad because I had so much to tell you about your brother. He was supposed to come here you know, but as it would seem he couldn’t make it.”




What in the hell is he talking about? I don’t have brother. Do I?


Q & A with Melanie Torres

Yet another wonderful Canadian lady graces us with her presense in the proverbial hot seat for another Q & A session! Please welcome Melanie Torres! 🙂

melWhat would your bio say?

I am a devoted wife and mother. I happily live with my family in Vancouver BC. The coast of this beautiful province runs deep within my veins and its inspiration flows freely in my blood. I moved from big sky country when I was a child. The freedom and open air of the prairies has taught me to walk amongst the stars and Aurora Borealis. Living by my motto of projecting positive energy into the universe, Light and Love XoX

When did you start writing and why?

I wrote my first novel when I was eight years old. I dreamed of Africa. So I set about in placing my dream into a notebook. Sadly when my family moved to the coast, my notebook was lost. I guess it is safe to say I have always written. I am now, and always will write. As to whether or not it will be published is another question. As for my children’s book. It was something I use to tell my oldest son during bath time, or bed time. I wanted to publish it so he would have something solid to hold onto that was proof of how much I love him.

If you are a parent how does being a parent affect your writing and writing habits? Or does it?

I am a mother to three boys under the age of four! Being a parent heavily affects my writing. I do not have a set schedule for writing. If I just plunk myself down and expect to write either I have writers block, or extreme chaos breaks out around me. I am fortunate enough that when something does come to me, be it for a novel I am working on, or one of the children’s books it literally just flows out of me.

Who is your favorite author and why?

I have many favorite authors. I was brought up in a household where reading was encouraged. Diana Gabaldon, Jean M. Auel, Brice Courtenay, Gregory David Roberts, Yann Martel, Anne Rice. I am sure there are hundreds I have forgotten. I love any author that can have you go through a whole range of emotions while being transported into their world they have created.

What do you hope to accomplish with your writing?

I hope to share some of the world I can disappear to at a moment’s notice.

Traditional or Self publishing? Why?

I maybe a little naïve with this topic. I have only self-published, because I find the traditional sense to be more than a little intimidating.

Talk about your journey into the wide world of publishing.

I found an amazing guy who owns a company. I needed an illustrator for my children’s book, he had an illustration plus publishing package, and I took it.

Tell us about your book (s) mel2

Alexander’s Great Adventure is a world that is created out of a preschooler’s imagination, and the adventure he embarks on in the process.

What inspired you to write these books (or in this genre)?

My family and my love of writing.

Tell us why we should love or hate your main character?

You should absolutely love the main character. He is a preschooler, what’s not to love.

Do(es) your book(s) have a soundtrack?

Only one in my sons head.



Thank you so much Melanie for joining us today!

Please feel free to follow Melanie and her writing on her website!

You can pick up your copy of her wonderful childrens book at CreateSpace or Amazon!

OFFICIAL RELEASE! Breaking the Nexus

Its that time folks! Today is the day that Breaking the Nexus is available for sale! 🙂 Congrats once again Lindsay!


Throughout history, myths and legends of extraordinary creatures have been told and retold. Fantastic tales of demons and banshees, gryphons and dragons, and of course, magic. Stories that every child grows to learn are nothing more than fantasy…or are they?


Beyond the world you see lies a hidden realm, the Mythrian Realm, inhabited by all of the creatures you’ve been told are mere fiction. Only one thing lies between humans and the truth: the Nexus. A magical barrier erected millennia ago to separate the two realms, it has stood the test of time. Until now.

For Mythrian Sha Phoenix, magic is nothing new. But when she stumbles upon a portal on the verge of collapse, her fate will forever change. Pulled through the portal into the Human Realm, she lands in the middle of Detective Connor Flynn’s brutal murder scene. Soon it is obvious someone is using blood magic to try to bring down the Nexus. Together, Connor and Sha must work to unravel the secrets before the barrier falls and the realms collide.


The Nexus is breaking and all hell is about to unleash…literally.

A Little bit about Ms. Avalon:

I am a wife, a mother to an adorable mini schnauzer, a programmer, and now an author. I love reading romance because no matter what may be happening in my life, I can always count on my books to end happily ever after. The day I met my husband was the day I truly began believing in happily ever after. After hearing me complain a few too many times that I had “nothing” to read despite the hundreds of paperbacks scattered around the house, my husband began suggesting I write my own stories. When I finally took his advice I discovered that although I enjoy my day job as a software engineer, my true calling is to be an author.

My sister drilled into me an appreciation for fantasy and mythology, something I try to bring to my books. My debut novel, Breaking the Nexus started as a book written for NaNoWriMo and has grown to so much more. It was the conduit that introduced me to a fantastic group of independent authors who have changed my life in unimaginable ways.

When I’m not writing, I’ve found a passion for blogging and interviewing fellow authors. I also love reading (of course!), baking, crochet, sewing sock monkeys, playing video games, and all sorts of random crafts. I have an incurable love of rubber duckies and stuffed animals, and I believe nobody should have to grow up if they don’t want.


What are you waiting for folks! Go get your copy today! I already have!


The next installment in The Station series by Amazon Bestselling Author, Trish Marie Dawson, takes readers on another lively journey through the after-life adventures of eighteen year old Piper Willow.


Piper has new challenges to overcome, new names to learn and is faced with a new Station occupation. Did she make the right choice – choosing to stay at the Station and become a Volunteer? Does she really want answers to the questions that never leave her mind? How did the Station come to be? What lies beyond? Who is Andurush and what, exactly, does he want with Piper?

She must ask herself once again if she has what it takes…but this time it isn’t about saving lives, it’s about discovering what lies beyond death. Would you want to know?

 Sneak Peek at whats in store for Piper!

If I thought the exceedingly happy mood that has me perched atop my favorite velvet throne would last very long I’m mistaken after I enter the Ones building. Niles is standing near the counter talking to Laney. I know the moment I see him that he is there to give me news about my volunteering status. Poof goes my throne.

“Hey, Piper. You really are a popular girl today,” says Laney with a tight smile.

“I guess so,” I try and laugh but it sounds more like a vocal seizure.

“Piper, I came to collect you,” Niles says, all business.

“Collect me?” I try and laugh again, but the sound is simply unpleasant so I snap my mouth shut to avoid any more verbal diarrhea, and nod a goodbye at Laney while moving back outside with Niles.

I allow my eyes a few seconds to readjust to the brightness around us. He places an arm loosely around my shoulders as we begin walking and says in a comforting tone, “Before I tell you where we are going and who we will be speaking with, I need you to understand you aren’t in trouble. You’ve done nothing wrong, okay dear?”

I don’t trust my voice so I only nod.

“I’m taking you to see the Mentors and…” he pauses to glance around us, and only when he seems satisfied that no one is close enough to hear, he continues, “…and the Keeper.”

I don’t know what this means. The look on my face must further establish my confusion but Niles only nods and continues to usher me around the fountain, which is currently teeming with teens of all ages, until we reach the Staff building.

Finally, just as Niles opens the door in front of us, I find my voice, “What’s the Keeper?”

“I can’t tell you, but you will see, don’t worry, dear. Remember, you aren’t in trouble, okay?”

We walk down the empty hallway and go through a door into a room that looks nothing like the one where Mallory and I met for the first time in person. This staff room is shaped more like an oval, with no corners on the walls and there are no tables or chairs. The center of the floor dips down a good two feet, creating a sort of recessed bench that matches the curved shape of the room. This is where the Mentor’s sit in a circle. I get over my intimidation of them instantly as my eyes widen at the sight of the other person sitting with them. A man at least a good foot taller than anyone else stands and nods at me. His clothes appear to be all white but it’s hard to tell at first, because the man is glowing.


A little about Ms. Dawson:

Trish was born and mostly raised in San Diego, California where she lives now with her family and pets. She’s been writing short stories and poetry since high school after an obsession with Stephen King’s ‘The Stand’. After over fifteen years of crazy dreams and an overactive imagination, Trish began her first book ‘I Hope You Find Me’ in December of 2011. When Trish isn’t writing, she’s homeschooling her amazing daughter and mildly autistic son, reading whatever she can get her hands on, or enjoying the Southern California sun. As a strict Vegetarian, Trish holds a special place in her heart for animal rights and dashes into the backyard weekly to rescue lizards and mice from her mini-lab/cocker spaniel mixed dog, Zoey…who is always getting into some sort of trouble.

Trish’s Author page on Facebook: http://www.facebook.com/WriterTrishMarieDawson

Trish’s Author page on Amazon: http://www.amazon.com/-/e/B008CQGASU

Trish’s Twitter: https://twitter.com/Trish_Dawson

Trish’s Blog: http://writertrishmdawson.wordpress.com/


Get your copy today! Right here! What are you waiting for? I already have!