Author Spotlight – Phebe Phillips


Author Spotlight

Welcome back to another episode of Author Spotlight, starring Texas Indie-Author, Poet, Illustrator, Blogger, Podcaster, Certified Raw Vegan Cuisine Chef, Felt Maker, and Cat Lover, Phebe Phillips.


Phebe lives in the top of a high rise in Dallas, Texas with her husband, and their tabby striped cat named Harold-of-God—you may see him on Instagram at #HaroldofGod. Her husband, Mac Hargrove, grew up on cattle ranches in South Texas. Today, he is a CFP and works in finance with the investment bank, Alex. Brown. They have both eaten a plant-based diet for almost seven years, and have a daily 20-minute meditation practice.

She graduated from Southern Methodist University with a BFA in Film & Journalism, and began a toy company under the brand name, Phebe Phillips when she was in college. In 2010, a government regulation changed her toy business. She also changed by picking herself up and going back to school for science, which lead to culinary.

She is certified as a Raw Vegan Chef from the Matthew Kenney Academy. Phebe has worked in one of the most famous raw vegan kitchens in the world, The Tree of Life Rejuvenation Center in Patagonia, Arizona under the direction of Dr. Gabriel Cousen’s. While there, she served in the kitchen and in the Sprout House becoming a master at growing micro-greens and sprouts. Through eCornell and the work of Dr. T. Colin Campbell, author of The China Study, she learned about plant-based nutrition. She attends seminars and studies closely with both Dr(s). Campbell and Caldwell Esselstyn, the Cleveland Clinic Cardiologist and author of Reversing Heart Disease and the Engine 2 Diet.

When she returned to school for Science, she fell in love with Biology, MicroBiology, Chemistry and Genetics. After learning how special the human body is, and precious that we are alive, endowed with gifts and inspiration to offer the world, she realized the best way for her to inspire was to apply her newfound science knowledge to food for creating the best fuel for becoming the best-self she could be!

She found that what she put in, and on, her body greatly affected the quality of her life, and her daily meditation practice. The result of all this was the brand new life path mentioned in the above paragraphs. Almost daily, she gets asked questions. She hopes to speak to those questions through her blog. Her favorite saying is, “Simplicity of Life Allows Freedom”..

Her first book, Why Me? Positive Verse for Loss and Sadness brings her characters to life using poetic verse and art illustrations.

Why Me? Positive Verse for Loss and Sadness eloquently guides both young and old readers through life’s sometimes catastrophic events. Using poetic free verse, Phebe Phillips leads her readers into awareness that each of us is special and that indeed, each of us is loved. Why Me? is designed to bring words of comfort to those affected by life-changing events such as a death, the heartbreaking loss of a pet, a change in family structure, or one of life’s many challenges and disappointments. Beautifully illustrated in chalk pastels, Phebe frees each reader to use their own imagination as she weaves her story to include diverse portrayals of ethnicity and gender while using animals in human form. Many illustrations hold a deeper meaning than what may be seen upon first glance, such as in the illustration for “Sometimes things leave…” which represents the ladder to the sky as a DNA double helix marked with hydrogen bonds.

This story was originally created at the suggestion of the Dallas Chapter of the American Red Cross to address positively the hard subjects of loss and sadness. Since its beginning, 4000 copies have been placed in the ARC’s Emergency Response Vehicles for distribution to those in need of comforting words.

Here’s the Amazon Link

Phebe also writes a lot of serious poetry. One poem, Pilot’s Story, was published November 2017 by the U.K. Publisher Lost Tower Publications. Beyond the Hill is their thirteenth book. It’s topic is Stunning War Poetry by Select International Poets.

She has more details on her personal website: Connect with Phebe on Facebook, Google+, Instagram, Twitter, or Pinterest, or email her at

Author Spotlight – Jeri Lynn Stone


Author Spotlight

It’s time for another edition of Author Spotlight! This week I’d like to introduce you to author Jeri Lynn Stone.


Award-winning author Jeri Lynn Stone lives in a small Arkansas town with her husband. They love to camp and they live between four beautiful lakes and each are within twenty-five miles from their home.
She’s been writing for about twelve years and is currently working on her fourth novel in the Detective Crime Mystery ‘Tara’ series. Taunting Tara, Teaching Tara and Tangle with Tara is available on Kindle and paperback. Texas Authors Association recently honored Tangle With Tara with a First Place award.


Here’s more about the “Tara” Detective Crime Mystery series.

Taunting Tara

tauntingWhen two prominent business men are murdered and mutilated within hours of each other, New York Detectives Tara Woods and Matt Dobbs race to find the killer. As they investigate the men’s pasts, they discover similar unsolved murders spread across the states linked to their current cases. And, then the deadly taunts begin. The killer lures Tara to an abandoned building where the ugly truth from Tara’s past and a burning rage erupts into violence and heartbreak.




Teaching Tara

teachingWhen a New York Senator’s parents are murdered, Detective Tara Woods and her partner begins an investigation that leads them from murder to missing runaway teens to white slavery.

Tara learns from a man who calls himself “Teach” the secrets that link the dangerous, gritty streets to the New York elite.




Tangle With Tara is the 3rd stand alone book in the Tara series

Honored as 2018 Best Detective Crime Mystery by the Texas Authors Association

Tangle with Tara paperback version2

Relentless New York Detective Tara Woods and her partner are about to face the worst nightmare of their careers. A horrifying murder of young, beautiful girls directs the detectives to a case of missing teens. Six teenage girls are kidnapped and held hostage in a bizarre circumstance. When a case of teenage girls being kidnapped and held captive hits too close to home, Detective Tara Woods and her partner investigates and links the victims of the murder and kidnapped cases together. One by one, innocent girls living within a five mile radius of Tara’s apartment come up missing. Then, the creep snatched her friend’s teenage daughter who lived next door. Game on. He tangled with the wrong person.

You can purchase Tangle with Tara as an Ebook or Paperback


Connect with Jeri through FacebookTwitter, or through her blog   

Author Spotlight – Ernie Lee


Author Spotlight

Welcome to another Author Spotlight, featuring The Bard of the Blanco, Ernie Lee.

SONY DSCErnie Lee is a Texas award-winning poet and novelist from Canyon Lake, Texas. Ernie writes a continuing column in the Hill Country Sun magazine. He is a songwriter (BMI), storyteller, author, and poet of long standing in the region. Ernie is married and lives in Canyon Lake, Texas with his lovely wife Donna.


Let’s Take a Look at His Work

Aquasaurus (2017 Suspense Novel of the Year for Texas Authors Association)

aquaA group of college students and their professor are trapped in a cave with a huge crocodile previously thought to be extinct. A fracker takes a shortcut and causes a massive earthquake that traps the cavers and destroys much of San Antonio. Rita Martin, a world-class rock climber is determined to save her boyfriend, Jesse Perine. The problem is Rita is afraid of the dark

Aquasaurus is available through www.Aim-Hi, and through INGRAM, Amazon, Barnes & Noble, and other outlets.

Where the Wild Rice Grows is a collectionrice of poems from Ernie’s world travels, and the interesting places and people he has known. The Bard of the Blanco – stories of the Texas Hill Country; The Mesquite Bean War – poems of the Tonkawa tribe who were pushed from the plains by the horse indians, and crushed between Mexico from the south and the encroaching whites from the east; Far Flung Tales – poems from travels around the world; Deep Water Runs Still – philosophy from a south Texas country boy; Life is Funny That Way – there is humor in almost everything; Love and Other Illusions – love stories, real and imagined; Special Forces – rhymes of a soldier boy; The True-badour – songs and ditties from all over; Heroes and Outlaws – sometimes in the same person; Let Me Count the Ways – tender thoughts from a tough old bird.

In 2018, Ernie will publish the sequel to his first novel entitled the Search for Aquasaurus.

All of his books are available on INGRAM, Amazon, and through his website.

You can hear Ernie’s music at He has published several technical and management books, along with shorter creative works in periodicals and local newspapers. Ernie has published technical professional books and academic guides related to public procurement for the University of Texas at Austin, and UT San Antonio.


Columnist, The Hill Country Sun, The Bard of the Blanco, 2014 – present

Columnist, Quest Magazine, Bard of the Blanco, 2002 – 2003

“Road Kill – Texas Horror by Texas Writers” (Anthology), Eakin Press (2017), “Minor Details (page 147) (short story).

“Intertwined – Poetry of Peace as a Shared Endeavor”, McCrady, ed., 2015 Art of Peace Tyler Poetry Anthology, “The Helmet at Duc Lap” (poem)

“Short Stories by Texas Authors, Vol 3” (2017), Texas Authors, Inc, “Heart Over Mind” page 155, (short story)


2017, Texas Authors Association, Best Fiction Suspense for 2017, (AQUASAURUS)

2014, Greater New Braunfels Arts Council Annual Poetry Contest, Lynne Eliot Award

2000, Greater New Braunfels Arts Council Annual Poetry Contest, Adult division

Contact Information

You can connect with Ernie through Facebook, Twitter, or via email at

Featured Book Review – Sand & Sutures

I am thrilled to announce that a review of Sand & Sutures, Texas Authors 2017 Medical Fiction book of the year, has been featured in the March/April edition of We Art Magazine. Excited to see this!

Author Spotlight – Roxanne Burkey & Charles Breakfield


Author Spotlight

This week’s author spotlight is on Roxanne Burkey & Charles Breakfield, authors of The Enigma Series.

Breakfield – A renowned technology solutions architect with 25+ years of experience in security, hybrid data/telecom environments, unified communications, enjoys leveraging his professional skills in contemporary TechnoThriller stories. He enjoys studying World War II history, travel, and cultural exchanges everywhere he can. Even Charles’ love of wine tastings, cooking, and Harley riding has found ways into The Enigma Series. He has commented that being a part of his father’s military career in various outposts, has positively contributed to his many characters and the various character perspectives he explores in the stories. He has accepted the challenge to try to teach Burkey humor and has added this to the stories in an unexpected manner.

Burkey – A renowned customer experience, business architect optimizes customer solutions on their technology foundation. She has been a featured speaker, subject matter expert, interviewer, instructor, and author of technology documents, as well as a part of The Enigma Series. It was revealed a few years ago that writing fiction is a lot more fun than white papers or documentation. As a child she helped to lead the other kids with exciting new adventures built on make believe characters. As a Girl Scout until high school she also contributed to the community in the Head Start program. Rox enjoys family, learning, listening to people, any kind of travel, outdoors, sewing, cooking, and imagining the possibilities.

Breakfield & Burkey – Combining their professional expertise, knowledge of the world from both business and personal travels, many characters whom have crossed their paths and are now a foundation for the characters in their series. They find it interesting to use the aspects of technology people are actually incorporating into their daily lives, which they claim is a perfect way to create good guy/bad guy stories with a series that allows each book to be enjoyed alone or in sequence.

You can invite them to talk about their stories in private or public book readings. Burkey also enjoys interviewing authors through the DEAR Texas programs with dates available on the events page of their website. Many followers can see them at Texas book fairs, Kroger stores, or other family oriented events.

The foundation of the series is on a family organization called the R-Group. Recently, they have spawned a subgroup in the series which contains some of the familiar and loved characters as the Cyber Assassins Technology Services (CATS) team. They have ideas for continuing the series in both of these series tracks. They use over 150 characters with a hidden avenue for the future The Enigma Chronicles tagged in some portions of the stories.

Fan reviews seem to frequently suggest that these would make good television or movie stories, so the possibilities appear endless, just like their ideas for new stories. Those comments have increased with the book trailers available on the Website, Facebook, and YouTube. Check out the evolving website for new interviews, answers to readers’ questions, book trailers, and fun acronyms they’ve used in the stories. Reach out directly at

Here’s an excerpt from The Enigma Dragon: A Cats Tale


Beaten as he was, he could barely stand. Trembling fear was the only reason he didn’t collapse in front of them. It was supposed to be a simple drop off, routine like the others, only this wasn’t like the others. It was a trap, and he had walked into it only thinking about where to get his adult male entertainment that evening. It was evening now, but entertainment wasn’t at top of his list at this point, only surviving.

His captor snarled, “You were supposed to bring the package straight here, unopened! Did you think we would not notice, western dog?” The brooding man stalked around the prisoner once then hollered, “Beat him again! I want to see him on his hands and knees whimpering, begging! His betrayal will earn everything we can deliver!”

Several heavy, flexible rubber hoses rained down on his shoulders, back, and arms which did indeed force him to his knees. The blows were designed to cause heavy bruising, swelling, and bleeding just under the skin, but not break any bones. The prisoner felt his strength dissolving under the pummeling.

Finally, through his sobs he cried, “I was phoned to pick up this package and deliver it here. Once delivered I would get a deposit into my account just like the other times. Someone must have gotten there ahead of me and tried to help themselves. I swear that’s the truth!”

The captor demanded, “You think we believe you? How could that be possible when no money was missing?”

The prisoner was bewildered and sobbed as he asked, “What do you mean? If no money is missing, then why…?”

A new confident male voice of authority, outside the circle of punishment, answered, “Because of the tracking device inside the package.

“You are all under arrest. Put down your guns and raise your hands over your heads. We are the…”

The man never finished his sentence as a short burst of an automatic weapon cut across his path. The bullets caught him just below his waist line, filling the area around his body with a blood rain. Gunfire then erupted from both sides. Men dropped to the ground and took cover behind the makeshift shield of those already dead. The body armor of the U.S. security troopers kept most of them from being killed outright, while the cruel captors weren’t so lucky.

The gunfire ceased, almost as quickly as it had begun. One of the U.S. security troopers, after checking on fallen team members, went to see what the captive’s status was. As he turned the captive over, it was obvious he’d been caught by a stray bullet in the fire fight and would never be able to answer any questions.

The trooper, in a fit of disgust, bitterly remarked, “Hell! After all that monitoring and tracking of this weasel, he had to go get himself killed before we could find out who hired him. Bastard! Running guns into my country to outfit a bunch of Muslim extremists! The only good news is that we won’t have to feed and clothe him while he waits for trial.”

A team member hollered, “Rogers, we are missing two insurgents! Looks like they slipped away during the firefight!”

Rogers quickly shouted, “Alright, men, let’s pursue and trap them between the secondary line and us. Watch where you fire, since we have our people on the other side. Move out!”

Rogers continued, “Carl, you and Lee maintain a perimeter here in case they double back. Come on, people! With even two of these guys loose, they get a foothold to rebuild.”

Carl finished dressing the wounds of a downed team member and stood up to check on the fallen suspects. Lee and Carl checked each body for some type of identity papers.

After checking the last body, Carl looked at Lee and spit before he said, “Here they are! Afghan troops who were brought to the U.S. for intensive counter-insurgence training by our Army Special forces. They came in, earned some trust, and then simply vanished. They had planned this all along. Suck up to the U.S. military in Afghanistan, plead for better training to protect themselves from the Muslim extremists and insurgents in their country, and all the while it was a ruse to get their military on our soil. Might have worked too, if we hadn’t intercepted their cell phone calls. They were clumsy, and we got a lucky break, digitally tracking them.”

Lee shook his head and asked, “What I don’t know is how they got all those weapons after leaving the Army compound. There were no weapons missing from the base, so someone must have smuggled them in anticipating this kind of scenario. It always seems like the bad guys have way more friends than we do.”

Carl nodded his head but offered no response.

Lee and Carl both turned their heads in the direction of distant gunfire. They both hoped it meant the end or capture of the missing insurgents, but they couldn’t be sure.


Contact Information:

Mailing Address: Enigma Series P.O. Box 380331, Duncanville, Texas 75138 214-244-6752
Website (also includes purchase information)
Connect on Social Media:
LinkedIn Breakfield:
LinkedIn Burkey:
Twitter: @EnigmaSeries and @1rburkey

Author Spotlight – Rita Wilcox


Author Spotlight

Author Spotlight returns with Rita Wilcox.

My first luau in my new island life!Rita Louise Wilcox was the oldest of five Irish Catholic children raised in East Texas. All were parochial school educated, which encouraged prolific writings from an early age. Summers were spent riding bikes through the woods, swimming in the Gulf of Mexico, and generally enjoying the outdoors, sans television. It was a simpler time, without digital devices, where books were the only method to take you to faraway places. Imagination was an essential part of entertainment, so it was a time that encouraged much story telling. This story was not imagined, however, as Rita’s grandmother (aka Mamou) knew the remaining Russian royalty well. She befriended this family, transplanted from such a foreign world, because she was one to seek out the few available foreigners in an effort to broaden her knowledge of the world. As this Russian family learned to trust Mamou and her granddaughter Rita, they shared their amazing tale of escape from a certain death to a warm, welcoming land of hope. You can find out more about the author at her blog, islandwidow, followed by an international audience. She now teaches part-time in the Galveston ISD. Having shared her story with many in the classroom, she found two things important to the desire to read this story. The students loved the romantic story line and the fact that it was based on a true story. While Rita is new to the world of published literature, she has written her entire adult life, from high school newspapers to sailing club newsletters. She enjoys sharing stories collected over a very active lifetime.

Let’s take a look at her book, The Chronicles of Captain Vadim Alevsky: Traitor or Savior?

Have you wondered what life in Russia was before the Bolshevic Revolution? Page Vadim Alevsky takes you to a time where the Tsar reigned supreme, and the military academy was the best path to power and status, in an otherwise impoverished nation. Captain Vadim becomes one of the most successful World War I pilots of the newly-formed Russian Air Corps. More than that, he becomes the only possible savior of the Russian royal family. While this is an epic tale of one of the most savage and heart-wrenching government annihilations, there is an underlying romance that survives the test of separation and time. Those passionate about “against all odds” survival, and all who love a true romance, will find this novel difficult to put down. After thriving in the difficult and competitive military school environment, young Vadim becomes completely enamored with Russia’s Royal Family as their Page, and forms a special bond with the Duchess Anastasia. His journey through the First World War, involves drama and romance that is addictive to all who begin to read it. The story is especially targeting readers interested in adventure, romance, and a story with a moral to be learned from human history. Vadim leads an extraordinarily exciting life of adventure in the battlefield, as well as in the world of political intrigue. While Vadim’s world is different in many ways from the world of today’s youth, he struggles with many of the problems that plague all adolescents throughout the ages. Suffering through the pangs of a first love, bullying by classmates at an early age, and the relentless competition to make the grade in school, all mold a strong and empathetic character in young Vadim. Captain Vadim becomes an inspiration to all who read of his adventures, as he develops into a strong moral character that you will be glad you met. This story is based on a true story told to me by my grandmother many years ago. She met the Russian family who witnessed this account, and they were kind enough to share the truth with her. Considering the potential harm the family would suffer at the hands of the KGB, if found out, they must have had a great deal of trust in my Mamou.


The Chronicles of Captain Vadim Alevsky: Traitor or Savior? can be purchased through Amazon.

She is currently working on a sequel book, The Chronicles of Captain Vadim Alevsky: Coming to America.  It should be published toward the end of 2018.

Connect with Rita through her blog at


Author’s Marketing

After a long drive dodging through Friday evening traffic, I made it to Houston for the Author’s Marketing Conference. I spent my day learning about various ways to market my books and myself as an author, including setting up mailing lists, gaining e-mail followers, perfecting Soundbites, and how to effectively use Twitter.

Through these seminars, I will become certified in Author Marketing.

To top off the event, this evening, all of the 2017 Award Winning authors, myself included, will be recognized during dinner.

The event continues tomorrow morning with more marketing seminars before I head home. I’ll later post what I learned from this conference, in hopes that the wealth of knowledge I gain might help some of my fellow writers.

To be continued…

Wimberley Book Festival

Wimberley flierThis weekend, I had the wonderful privilege of being a part of the Wimberley Book Festival.  These festivals are beneficial for many reasons. First and foremost, they give me the opportunity to mingle and network with other writers.  I meet interesting people, find out about writing opportunities, and sell a few books in the process.

I woke up at the crack of dawn and drove for an hour and half to the Wimberley Community Center. I was pleasantly surprised to walk in the door and find my book, Sand & Sutures, listed on a banner among other award winning authors. This was a positive boost to my day.

Once I unloaded everything from the car, I began to set up my table, which included my own banner, several promotional items and props, and of course several copies of my books.

Authors from all over the state of Texas who write in every genre under the sun had their booths set up throughout the room. Influxes of crowds came in at varying intervals and explored each table. They took business cards, discussed books, and filled their bags with giveaways.

Throughout the day, I had the opportunity to reconnect with authors I hadn’t seen in awhile. I also made a little video blurb about my books, spoke with quite a few potential readers who stopped by my table to say hello, gave away a mug full of syringe pens, and sold a few books. Overall, I’d say the day was successful, and I look forward to attending this event again next year.