Author Spotlight – Rachael Ritchey


Author Spotlight

This week’s second author spotlight shines on someone I hold near and dear to my heart. Young Adult author and book designer, Rachael Ritchey.

rachaelRachael is a writer and book designer for indie authors. She mainly writes YA fantasy fiction, but you can find her dabbling in scifi and contemporary genres too. She has a passion for beautiful books, so book cover and interior designing are high on her list of enjoyable hobbies. When she’s not writing, working on design, spending time with her four kids and husband, homeschooling her youngest, reading a book, or watching movies, Rachael can be found enjoying one of the many beautiful lakes of the Inland Northwest or hiking in the woods of Eastern Washington and Northern Idaho.

Chronicles of the Twelve Realms

beautyThe Beauty Thief

Magic is long dead in the Twelve Realms. At least this is what most believed until an innocent young woman becomes the obsession of a man who defies time by stealing the only thing that sustains his life: true beauty.

Princess Caityn is more than a pretty face. Her beauty runs soul deep, and because of this, her life is priceless to the thief. On the eve of her wedding to the high prince, Caityn is attacked. The thief’s powerful dark magic leaves her a wretched hag with an unrecognizable, shriveled soul.

Stories of old. A quest. Willing sacrifice. These are all that can save her, but doubt is a powerful weapon, and the thief knows it well. He will stop at nothing to keep the prince from undoing the curse.

And this is only the beginning!
She turned the Beauty Thief into a story book.  Isn’t it beautiful?
Look for it on Amazon

Other books in Chronicles of the Twelve Realms

Captive Hope

The Treasonous

She has an In-Progress PREQUEL called Ismene & Othniel available on WattPad:
IOIsmene & Othniel ​

Ismene has given up her freedom to become wife to the future king of Taisce, all for the sake of her family. She never expected to find love within the castle walls.  But when the corruption of esteemed leaders at court erupts into a full-blown coup, Ismene is forced to choose between forfeiting her duty at the expense of the prince’s life or die with him.

rachaels books
Get your copy of the Chronicles of the Twelve Realms at Barnes and Noble, Amazon, Smashwords, Kobo, iBooks, or Auntie’s Bookstore

Rachael also designs book covers, and let me tell you, her work is AMAZING!  Check out her Book Design Services

book design

You can connect with Rachael through her Website/blog, Facebook, Twitter, Pinterest, Google+, or Goodreads.

Author Spotlight – Melanie Nowak


Author Spotlight

Welcome back to another Author Spotlight. This week, I will feature two authors. The first is Melanie Nowak.

melanieMelanie Nowak is author of the venomous vampire series ALMOST HUMAN, and a happily married mom of two boys. She holds a Bachelor’s degree in Education and a Master’s Degree in Library and Information Science. Originally a Long Islander, she now lives with her family on a peaceful mountaintop in the forest of upstate New York. She has always had a vivid imagination and a fascination for the paranormal. Acting and singing are loves of hers as well. However, upon conceiving the idea for her ALMOST HUMAN series in 2003, she discovered a previously unknown passion for writing! Now she puts her over-active imagination to good use, creating characters she loves, and she gets to play all of the parts!

A word from the author:

“Hi – I’m Melanie Nowak, author of the venomous vampire series ALMOST HUMAN. The story may be read either as two trilogies of epic novels (available digitally and in print worldwide) OR as a series of 21 episodic novellas (available in print and on KU). Both are the same story – feast on novels or snack on bite-sized novellas, pick your poison!

I am a completely independent author, doing everything for the series myself, from writing, to editing, cover design and marketing – I am a one woman show! It is hard work, but although I have received offers from publishing houses for the series, none have yet been tempting enough for me to relinquish my complete control – a labor of love for these characters I adore!

I currently have 2 completed series in my venomous vampire saga. While both follow the same characters chronologically, you can begin the Second series without having read the First (although you wouldn’t want to miss out on the juicy back-story!).

Don’t hesitate to send a friend request – I love meeting new readers!”

On that note, let’s take a look at her series.


ALMOST HUMAN – The First Series, set around a small upstate college town, is a paranormal romantic fantasy of drama, angst and action. An elder vampire struggles with his faith, his crusade to mentor others, and his attraction to a young college woman, who is trying to navigate the hurdles of dealing with her peers, her job, vampires, zombies, and…college.


ALMOST HUMAN – The Second Series has more of a paranormal urban fantasy feel, still filled with drama, action and romance, the viewpoints broaden to include more of an ensemble cast of vampires and humans who have traveled beyond college to navigate adulthood, and discover paranormal abilities previously unknown. They must learn to master the difficult nuances of balancing thirst, power and…marriage. Oh, and they may just have to save the world.


ALMOST HUMAN ~ The First Series


Part 1: Captivating Vampires

Part 2: Tempting Transgressions

Part 3: Venomous Revelations


Part 1: Persistent Persuasion

Part 2: Telling Tales

Part 3: Battles and Bliss


Part 1: Ecstasy Unleashed

Part 2: Stakes and Sunshine

Part 3: Evolution of Love

ALMOST HUMAN ~ The Second Series


Part 1: Vampiress Rising

Part 2: Exceeding Expectations

Part 3: Coping with Chaos

Part 4: Vampire Vertigo


Part 1: Determining Desires

Part 2: Undying Devotion

Part 3: Emotional Maelstrom

Part 4: Crossing the Line


Part 1: Home of the Bloodthirsty

Part 2: Enemies and Allies

Part 3: Vicious Survival

Part 4: Divining Destiny

ALMOST HUMAN ~ The Third Series


Part 1: Uniting Vampires

There are two different ways to read ALMOST HUMAN. There are 6 full novels (2 trilogies), which are quite long, and they were later broken up to also be published as 21 novellas. You can read the story in a feast of novels or as bite-sized novellas – pick your poison! The first trilogy of novels is available in an Omnibus Edition as well.

I recently released another novella: UNITING VAMPIRES – part 1 of my next upcoming novel, VAMPIRESS REIGNING. There will be two more novellas coming out this year. Then all three of those novellas will be combined for the release of the full novel.

This year also marks the 10 year anniversary of the publication of the first trilogy! To celebrate, all of the novels are being re-released in newly edited and formatted editions with beautiful new covers!

Re-release date is set for July 27th!


Excerpt from FATAL INFATUATION – book 1 of ALMOST HUMAN – The First Trilogy by Melanie Nowak

 Felicity studied the vampire for a moment as he read the inside jacket cover of the book. He looked like an ordinary guy. Okay well, maybe not ordinary. He looked like an extremely attractive guy. Early twenties probably, broad shoulders, very nice build. How could she be expected to fear someone so achingly gorgeous? His hair fell down into his eyes as he looked at the book and he absently swiped it aside, although it fell back again almost immediately. He was a little pale, but he certainly didn’t look supernatural. He looked up from the book to find her staring at him. She quickly searched for something to say. “I suppose you’ll be taking it over to the café?”

“Mr. predictable, that’s me,” Cain answered with a chuckle.

Why should tonight be any different from the last few…just because she now knew what he was? “Right.” She had an odd thought as she swept the change from the counter. “Do you actually drink coffee, or is that just for show?”

He seemed to find her inquiry amusing. She supposed such a direct question might be considered rude, but she couldn’t help wondering. “I can drink what I like.”

She came out from behind the register and began walking him over to the café. She noticed Ben staring, but ignored him. The presence of the man beside her commanded her full attention. “So what do you do besides drink coffee and read?”

He looked a little sobered by the question. “Fight.”

“Other vampires?” she asked quietly.

His gaze travelled over her seductively. “Temptation mostly.”

She wasn’t sure whether to melt or shudder.


ALMOST HUMAN is available through Amazon.


For more information or to connect with Melanie, visiter her website, Amazon author page, Facebook, Twitter, or Goodreads






Author Spotlight – Galya Varna


Author Spotlight

Welcome to another week of Author Spotlight. This week’s spotlight is on Galya Varna. Galya is a poet, book reviewer, and visual artist.

gaylaBorn in Varna, the summer capital of Bulgaria, on the Black Sea Coast, Galya Varna now lives in Greece, on the coast of the Aegean Sea.

Galya Varna holds an MA in English literature, and linguistics and language acquisition is another passion of hers. She has been writing poetry, short stories, and plays for many years. Dreams You Thought Were Lost is her first published poetry book.

Galya Varna is the driving force behind the new creative project WeArtFriends and the bimonthly online magazine Doorway to Art.

Her debut poetry collection, Dreams You Thought Were Lost, weaves unexpected stories belonging to the realms of aether and the present day. The poems, organized into 8 sections, tell tales of love and endless wonders, voice fears and hopes, take the reader on happy and sad journeys, paint visions of special times and stormy days, share beauty, sadness and moments of joy, hoping for better tides.

If you ever had dreams you thought were lost, this voyage is for you!


Let’s take a peek at some of her poems.

True Shape

May the night



you thought

were lost.


lets all things


their true shape.

The Wind

Every evening

the wind comes home.


he sits down

to rest

under the rose bushes,

listening to the song of the crickets.

The birds

leave their twigs

to greet him

with a flutter of wings.

Perched on the fence

they wait to hear

the stories

he has brought home.

The wind takes off

his weary coat,

welcomes a warm summer shower

to refresh his body

and begins to narrate.

The stories,

let free,

become wind

and start their trip

around the world.

You take my hand

in your hand

and off we go

on our journey

into the night.

Fear of the Dark


and fear of the dark

pull me back

to a childhood memory

with the feeling

of helplessness.

The warmth

of your laughter

brings me back to the present.

Oh, I know

you  too

have your own fear,

your own sadness,

your own dark.

Standing on the Edge

Standing on the edge

of the rock

I look at the glittering face

of the river

and see

fear of alienation.


like paper boats,



Gestures and looks


like thrown pebbles.

From the water

emerges our own

hazy illusion of happiness.




deep into the frozen earth,

dream of

a fresh start

above the ground.


the field sighs

with the wind gust

and recalls the red warmth

poppies used to give it

last spring.


What other poets say about Dreams You Thought Were Lost:

“Galya has crafted a bold and honest collection of poems; the imagery of her verse will truly capture you.” –Nicholas Trandahl

“Galya’s debut book is absolutely beautiful! I did short breaks during my reading to absorb all the serene feelings, the sweetness and the optimistic vibes sent to my soul. Dreamy and tranquil is the poet’s style and this a book to treasure.” –Eden Sleepwalker

“Galya Varna understands what it is to be human. In her poetry, nature and personal reflection interweaves, asking questions and revealing truths.” –Isabelle Kenyon

“When I read this book of magical poems, I was greeted with a gentle voice and ethereal perspective that I’ll not soon forget. This is a collection that will dwell on my bedside table, because it transported me to a world of wonder, impressed me with fresh imagery that I’ve not encountered previously, and left me in no doubt that I’ll want to read it again and again.” –Bianca Bowers

“Astonishing, riveting, a soul bearing experience. A hurricane of emotions as you look through the eye of the storm when reading this poetry.” –Frankie Writez

Dreams You Thought Were Lost is available as a Free download on KindleUnlimited.  Grab your copy through Amazon US or Amazon UK


You can contact Galya Varna on:

Twitter @GalyaVarna

Her blog



or through her Website


5 Simple Writing Tips


(image from

As writers, we’re always looking for tips to improve our craft. Here are 5 simple tips that can give your writing that extra punch.

  1. Know your character’s unique view. How does he or she interact with the world around them? Write through that lens.
  2. You don’t need as many dialogue tags you think.
  3. Don’t forget visceral reactions. Readers want to feel your character’s emotions.
  4. Use figurative language.
  5. Read.  The more you read, the better writer you become.


Author Spotlight – Kara Liane


Author Spotlight

KaraIt’s time for another episode of Author Spotlight. This week, I’d like to introduce you to Kara Liane. Kara is a lover of all things romance. She holds several degrees, including a Master’s in Management from Wayland Baptist University. Her husband of 16 years proudly serves in the military, and together with their twin elementary-age sons and two adult dogs, reside in New Jersey. Kara is an environmental scientist by day working full-time as a Lab Tech in the wastewater field. In her spare time, she loves to read, write various things including poetry, stories about her sons, and her latest novels. She also loves to give back to the community and serves as a Key Spouse to two squadrons on her local military installation. As a family, they enjoy going camping. If you don’t find Kara chasing after her sons, then you’ll find her glued to her computer, or enraptured by something she’s reading.

Kara books

Let’s take a look at her latest book, Nursing Myself Back

nursingThis steamy, contemporary romance novel is the final book in A Tryst of Fate Series. This standalone story picks up right where A Force of Nature – Book 2 (Kindle Scout Winner 2017) left off within the circle of friends. Find out if Caleb can help Liz heal, and see if Liz can be the perfect woman Caleb has been searching for.


I can get back to myself, I just know it. After my heartless husband’s death, I can find a way to move on. I want to learn to let someone in again and be with a man who truly wants me. I believe I can heal my tattered heart and bruised soul…somehow. I need a friend first, but above all, I need love.


My hunger for cougars is something that’s always been a part of me. When I met Liz, though, she ignited a passion in me that lent way to a whole new level of hunger–this one burns bright and deep. I can be her friend and her lover. I can be anything and everything to her. I don’t think my appetite will ever be satiated where she’s concerned. I’m the sweet one of our friends. I’m the nice guy of our group. But in bed, well, that’s where I come alive, and the beast will not be tamed. This cougar is about to meet the hunter.

Nursing Myself Back is currently up for pre-order on Amazon and Kindle Unlimited. It is set for release July 17. The paperback is live!

Kara 2

Buy links: 

 For more information or to connect with Kara, visit her Facebook Author Page, Twitter, Goodreads, her Amazon Author PageInstagram, or her website.

You can also email Kara at and sign up for her newsletter.

Author Spotlight – TL Clark


Author Spotlight

This week’s Author Spotlight is on TL Clark. TL Clark  is a British author who stumbles TLthrough life as if it were a gauntlet of catastrophes. Rather than playing the victim, she uses these unfortunate events to fuel her passion for writing, for reaching out to help others. She writes about different kinds of love in the hope that she‘ll uncover its mysteries.

Her loving husband (and very spoiled cat) have proven to her that true love really does exist. Writing has shown her that coffee may well be the source of life.

Her latest book release is a paranormal romance, the Darkness & Light Duology.

Love BitesThe two book series starts with Love Bites:

Shakira had never felt at home growing up in Surrey, but as soon as she entered the quaint Welsh village she knew she belonged. Maybe it was because of the welcoming villagers. Or perhaps it was the presence of the others whom she sensed nearby; the ones she saw in her dreams, with their strange glowing eyes.

Fate is not always kind. It gives with one hand and takes with the other. There is a reason she didn’t grow up with her own kind.

A rich tale of witchcraft, fae, sorcery, elinefae and dragons; this is a story for all who dare to believe.

Get your copy of Love Bites on Amazon

From fun in the sun in Ibiza to a trip down memory lane, check out her whole range of books on social media:

Goodreads,  FacebookAmazonInstagram, and Twitter.

Read her blog or sign up for her newsletter at

love bites 2

Weathered Hearts

I don’t mean to bring you misery,
I don’t want to cause you pain,
I want to give you sunshine,
Instead I bring in floods of rain.
Flowers bloom around you,
They smile, laugh, and cheer.
But when the moon of me surrounds
Their sunny laughter disappears.
I love you more than I can tell you,
More than words can ever express,
Though I try to give you sunshine,
Fogs of denseness make a mess.
I want to understand you,
Want to see your point of view,
But the minute I unlock the door,
It bolts back up like glue.
My head just doesn’t get it,
My heart is aching too,
It seems the more I try to help,
The less you want me to.
I want so much to be the one
Who always makes you smile,
I try to lift you up inside,
Yet you walk the lonely mile.
I am always by your side,
Though you may not think it’s true,
I just wish my sun could lift the rain
So you can see it too.
I want to be your sunny day,
I don’t mean to be your rain,
But if a storm comes crashing down
Like a locomotive train,
I’ll umbrella you with love
And try my best to understand,
In the end, when thunder frightens you,
I’ll be there to hold your hand.
Let me take away your misery,
Let me take away your pain,
Let me bring to you my sunshine,
And we’ll dry up all the rain.