Indie Author Spotlights


 I’ve been fascinated by the topic of artificial intelligence, as well as the meteoric rise in technology, over the past few decades. Apparently unrelated, are my concerns about how worldwide terrorism has given birth to, seemingly, broad-based mistrust of our neighbors and our leadership. Add to the soup, the global migration of financial assets to the upper one or two percent of society. Stir briskly, while seasoning with greed and arrogance, and you have all the fixings for my most recent novel, “In The Robes of God” (I’m in the process of writing the second book in the series.)

Twitter @richard_cezar

I live in a suburb of Manchester, UK, with my wife and two young children. Despite wanting to pen a novel since reading English Literature at the University of Salford, I didn’t start writing until 2014. But now, I’m hooked!
I published the third and final book of the dystopian SUBNORMAL series in May this year, and I will start writing a new standalone novel over the summer.
I prefer to write in public places, tapping away whilst commuting to and from work, and I invent my stories whilst out walking the dog. I’ve always enjoyed reading disturbing tales which explore the darkness at the heart of the human condition, and my characters are devised with this in mind.

In 2013 I read Winter of the World by Ken Follett. Set during World War 2, one of its chapters tells the story of a disabled German child who is removed from his family by the Nazis as part of Aktion T4 – a programme which ordered compulsory euthanasia for all Third Reich citizens with a debilitating or terminal illness. I have a severely-autistic son. If we’d have lived in Germany seventy-five years, he would’ve been earmarked for extermination. This concept staggered me and was the main reason for my choice of subject matter.
Since the global recession austerity measures have been introduced in the UK. The current Conservative government has been overly-zealous with its cuts, slashing benefits for the disabled in particular whilst protecting the rich and powerful. They’re targeting societies most vulnerable because they can’t fight back. My story is an extreme version of these circumstances. All too often, when the high and mighty flex their muscles, it is the little people who feel the effects.

Subnormal –

Twitter – @StuartKenyon81

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Paul Zunckel was born in 1957 in Zimbabwe, then known as Rhodesia. His family moved to South Africa in 1966, where he completed his schooling at Kingsway Senior High School in Amanzimtoti.

He did his two years National service in the South African Defense Force as an Ops Medic, wanting to follow his heart and study medicine, but life got in the way.

Paul was employed in Air Traffic Control for twenty years, and has been involved in Management positions for over twenty-five years. He has a Human Resource Management Diploma, and is an accredited Facilitator.

He started to write full time in August 2014, about something that is close to his heart… Africa. The mysteries, the superstitions, and all the beauty and treachery of the land. He holds his wife responsible for the road he is now traveling, as she was the driving force behind him in his Debut novel, Blood Moon over Africa. Since then, the stories line up to be told.

Paul loves to write as it takes him into another world, and he enjoys the reaction that he receives from readers.

Apart from writing novels, he also plays the guitar and writes his own material, although he is unable to read music. Music forms a big part of his life, and he can lay claim to having cut one CD, although he does say, “I’m too old to be an idol.”

He has two children from a previous marriage, and has been married to Lucie the love of his life for the last fourteen years. Paul and his family live in the Eastern Cape, South Africa along with man’s best friend, a cross Alsatian/Lab  who answers to the name “Pooch”  and is at his feet every time he sits down to write and will not move until “his human” is finished and types The End.

 When I write it is almost as if a tap is turned on in my head and the words just flow. It has been like that for every novel that I have written so far…my characters control the story, they talk to me and I just follow their lead. Mask of Deceit is a love story; it is about a lost love. It is also a story of revenge.

   “I’ve read Paul Zunckel’s Blood Moon Trilogy, and The Devil in Eden. Mask of Deceit is different from those but just as satisfying. His descriptive phrasing drew me right into the scenes all while enjoying the edge of my seat, escalating heartbeat kind of story he has written here!

Frank Herndon

“Mr. Zunckel has taken a great leap in his writing this time around. Instead of writing mostly from a male point of view he has delved into the inner workings of the female mind as she has encountered great loss and tragedy.

This is a very dark and powerful story. It is not easy for some to write about personal feelings, and for a gentlemen to capture how a traumatized woman would feel, is truly an amazing feat. Mr. Zunckel has done just that with this story.

All around I would give this a 5 star review. Well done Paul capturing the inner workings of the female mind.”

Review by Angel C Ernst.

My website/Blog is found at

Paul’s Facebook Page

Links to the books can be found at www.vhpbooktours .com

My Authors page is


I was born in Redlands, California and grew up on the works of Steven R. Donaldson, Stephen King and Frank Herbert. I live with my husband and three children in Southern California. By day I work as a biology teacher; by night I sweat over a beaten-up keyboard. I self-published my debut novel Darkmage in 2011, which won the IndieReader Discovery Award for Fantasy.

   The inspiration behind The Rhenwars Saga was to create a story not focused so much on good versus evil, but rather on the subtle differences between deontological and consequentialist moral ethics.  Most people probably aren’t too familiar with these terms, but are usually very aware of the concepts: “The End Justifies the Means” is Machiavelli’s infamous summary of consequentialism.  Deontology, on the other hand, argues that the morality of a person’s actions is what is important, rather than the consequences that result from those actions.

   So, that’s what The Rhenwars Saga is all about: a clash between two conflicting ideologies of magic and the moral imperatives that drive them. The differences between them can be subtle, and they are often separated by an extremely slippery slope.

This theme provides a fertile moral testing ground for my characters, allowing me to explore different facets of their personalities as they are faced with an ever-worsening spiral of moral dilemmas.




Born and raised in Zimbabwe, I first came to England in 2003 and worked as a Live-in-carer. My husband later joined me in 2004. I have two adult daughters and four beautiful grandchildren, all living in England.

   Poetry is my first love and passion and I’ve been writing poems since the age of ten. My family and friends kept encouraging me to write my first book and when I discovered Wattpad, I ventured into the thrill of writing short stories in all genres.

   It has been a fascinating learning curve with constructive criticism and feedback for each chapter posted online. It’s truly exciting to see how many people are actually reading and following my online stories and it’s given me the inspiration and encouragement to continue writing.

   I’ve all but given up watching that square box in the corner of the room, in exchange for my laptop where I lose myself in a world of creative imagination as words fly up on my screen. When in the throes of writing a passionate sequence I will work through the night with as little as three hours sleep a day. I have so many stories in my head all begging to make an appearance and take centre stage on my laptop, it would really help if I had two pairs of hands and two sets of eyes to keep up with volume of words rushing through my head like a tsunami. But until then they are scattered thoughts written roughly in my notebook of stories yet to be written and shared with the world.

   I started writing SECOND CHANCES years ago but children, family and work quickly confiscated my time and my story was shelved till after my children got married. After my grandchildren were born I finally decided to dust off the cobwebs and start again. Whilst writing my debut novel, I lost track of time and often discovered the sun was rising before I decided to go to bed. There were the odd nights that I would fall asleep while typing and wake up with garbled rubbish on my screen for hundreds of pages and have to spend ages deleting it all. On a couple of occasions, I’d wake up when my computer slipped off my lap, only to discover that I’d inadvertently deleted pages which I now had to try and recover. The joys of typing through the night.

   It was at these times that I felt sleeping was such a waste of time and desperately sought a remedy for the disabling condition of shut eyes – vast amounts of coffee shots did do the trick most nights – only to discover that lack of sleep made you do the silliest of things, like looking for your glasses when they’re actually on your face or searching for your car keys when you’re holding them in your hand!

Would I do it all over again – in a heartbeat. Writing is an addiction and one I am thoroughly enjoying and already hard at work on my next romantic story.

SECOND CHANCES was set against the back drop of Zimbabwe, the country where I was born, educated, married and had my daughters.

All the places mentioned in this story I have personally visited and enjoyed amazing family holidays and with friends too.

   On New Year’s Eve of 2000, I was in Kariba in the swimming pool at Caribbea Bay Hotel. Writing this story brought back so many happy memories for me.

I hope everyone who reads this story will be able to imagine the country I use to call home.


“It’s been quite a while since I last read a proper romance novel, but the author soon set me on the right path, reminding me with her very first fairytale-like chapters what this genre represents and what its fans expect. This novel ticks all the boxes in that respect. The heroine’s initial chapters were so reminiscent to me of how I would feel when I was that age (17-18), still dreaming of Prince Charming and the excitement of growing up into a woman I wanted to be. The author’s style is light, reading flows easily, and it would make an excellent summer’s read, especially considering its gorgeous African setting. I know romance fans who would just relish at this story.  I loved the author’s descriptions of people and setting – never too long, but vivid and easy to imagine, the final runway scenes especially spectacular (fantastic cover to match). The main characters, especially Louisa, are so young and romantic, the author makes you wish nothing bad happened to them, although you know it will. The physical, intimate details of their relationship are described in rather traditional way, with a balance of emotion and sex, just enough to make an eager romance reader feel and see some ‘spice’, but never vulgar or over the top.

When the plot twists come, and they do come down heavy, they change the fairytale into a tragedy. I admire the author not reaching for an easy way out by introducing scandal or a third person. Life just happens to the very young married couple, and somehow, along the way, they lose their direction. Love is grand when it’s all for the better, but when it comes to the worst, everything is put to the test. A long distance marriage, troubled by successful careers, illness of close friends, being parents too soon and lovers before friends… it all comes to an ugly painful climax, and happiness is shattered. But like any proper romance author, Phoenix Rainez is an incorrigible romantic who proves that redemption is possible where real love is concerned, that time does heal where there is a will, and that open and honest communication above all else, is the key to a mature loving relationship.  I am sure romance fans will love this story and look forward to more from Phoenix Rainez.”

YouTube Book Trailer for SECOND CHANCES

Nancy Kreml lives in South Carolina, where she has been a community college English teacher. Now she travels, writes, kayaks, wastes time on the internet, plays with cats, and leads meditation and literature groups in state prisons. She has an MA in English and a PhD in Linguistics. A winner of the SC Arts Commission Fiction Project, she has published poetry, short stories, and a composition textbook.  The Dying Tide is her first published novel.

Murder isn’t what you look for when you move to a quiet spot to restart your life, but murder finds Gen and Cammie when they move into their old family house at LaFayette Beach on the coast of South Carolina.  They need to protect the beautiful marsh and the traditional communities that make their world—and they need to find the threat before it finds them.


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Jennifer grew up in the bay area of California. Where her dream was to work at Walt Disney as a cartoonist. A wife and a mother of six children, they packed up their crew and moved to the beautiful state of Maine for a quiet place to raise the kids.
Jen has always enjoyed a good book of any genre, but loves the paranormal, Si-fi, romance, and erotica. Her new obsession is Steampunk.
An artist by nature, her life has always been filled with color, paints, pencils, and photography. Her new medium, words.

An arrogant vampire comes up with a way to make a new immortal species to help the dark underworld fight the destruction that the human race has caused; destruction that could soon lead to their imminent extinction. Soon to be thirty-nine year old Molly Barons was just your typical average wife and mother, nothing out of the ordinary. Her life was messy with children, a husband, house work, and everything related with being a normal Mom. But, her life is about to change in ways she never thought possible when a man shows up at her door one summer evening and kidnaps her from her home.

  Molly’s hauled off to England to be part of an experiment for a group of five powerful men who run the dark world known as the Creatures. The three vampires, a werewolf King, and an Elvin king all have their hopes set on her to solve all their problems. She is to become a blood slave to the vampires and an incubator for the other two. But, the mindless obedient woman they thought they were going to make through the experiment, wasn’t what they got. What they got however, is much more than they bargained for.

   As Molly’s body begins to transform into a new breed of Creature, a Mixer, her new found abilities weave their way into the depths of her being to change more than just her body, but her character as well. The world of darkness thought that by playing God they could bring forth their salvation, little did they know that one small woman could bring them all to their knees.





Twitter: @BareTreePress

Laurie Vincent is my pen name.  I have worked as a project manager for a large financial services firm for the past 10 years and have found writing fiction a comfort after spending countless hours on detailed project plans and business requirements.  I worked on my book CRAZY LADIES for several years with the hope of getting it professionally published, but the demands of my job forced me to continually put it on the back burner.  The rise in popularity of the independent author space inspired me to try my hand at being self-published, but instead of finishing CRAZY LADIES at that time, I wrote the erotic suspense book, SINFULLY GOOD.  Afterward, I did wrap up CRAZY LADIES, but given that it was a longer, more involved story, I released it in two parts.  All three books are exclusively available on Amazon.  In the future, I will be focusing on the erotic suspense market, as I am intrigued with that genre.

SINFULLY GOOD is about two very different people – a frisky, redheaded barista in her early 30s who is faced with hard times, has to live with her OCD sister and wants a night to break free from all that frustration, running into an older, handsome, conservative consultant who is similarly disgusted with his current situation and ends up with what appears to be a casual hook-u

p.  Neither of them are prepared for the explosion of passion that results.  She begins, however, to discover things about this “perfect” man that causes her to wonder if he has some secrets to hide.  All of it leads to an eye-opening conclusion.  Sex and suspense – what a great combination!

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Link to Sinfully Good:

Find Me In Heaven is my first full-length romance novel, but it’s not your everyday, typical love story. It begins with soulmates, Violet and Xander, who live at opposite ends of the country and are brought together in an online setting by none other than their guardian angels, who are anxious for the pair to find one another! Their journey to love is filled with self-doubt (which I used my own insecurities and self-confidence issues to draw from), but their angels lead them both to experience an epiphany, which allow them to grow as individuals (again, the scene in which Violet has a major revelation is taken from my own moment of awakening). Once the lovers meet in person, however, tragedy occurs and both are killed in a terrible accident. But the story continues after their deaths. In the second half of FMIH, I used the opportunity to create a vision of the afterlife which I found intriguing, thrilling, and downright glorious. I had the best time imagining all the possibilities of what such a place could be. Once in Heaven, Xander is separated from Violet and it is up to him to find her throughout all the different cities, principalities, and levels there are. And even then, he has many, many lessons to learn… several of which come in the form of a snarky, sarcastic Angelus Equus, or “angel horse.” This book is not only a love story, it is a story of hope, of self-love, self-discovery, and of fighting for what you want until the very end.


Kris Johnston is a single mom from California who is also a coffee addict, an ice cream eater, a fangirl, a lover of hard rock music, and a believer and supporter in all things Indie. She began writing at the age of 8 and loves it even more than coffee flavored ice cream.

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Mankind has moved into space and taken many of his baser instincts along – hate, greed, conquest.  There’s also love and generosity.

The colony world of Wrantiban is secretly preparing for war, and the future of humanity is delicately balanced in the ebony sea of space.

Marc Meiner lives in Western Wisconsin where he produces a local talk show, LaCrosse Talk, on WIZM 1410-AM.  He holds a degree in philosophy in addition to a black belt in Tae Kwon Do and a pilot’s license.  He is also the inventor of the crochet stitch known as Siberian Stitch.  He has also been published in Shadows and Teeth, a horror anthology, under the name of Mark Meier.

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“Niagara Falls – a lovers’ destination if ever there was one, but keep in mind that the world in the award-winning, Cindy’s Crusades series is always a bit topsy-turvy. Given the odds, even the iconic romantic setting may fail to work its magic, as an alpha male who hasn’t bothered to date seriously and a talented young woman who believes she has already seen it all are thrown together in this warm-hearted, stand-alone story.

A pair of binoculars, a chance meeting, and an accommodating waiter all conspire to create a bit of Heaven on Earth as the beloved, From Women’s Pens author Susan Jean Ricci weaves her delightful tale, filled with the love and humor for which this wonderful series is noted.

So grab your raincoat and find a place on one of the fall’s many observation decks. You won’t want to miss this one!”

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When I was younger, I enjoyed stories that invoked physical responses. I liked Old Yeller and Where the Red Fern Grows because it touched my heart and I cried like a two-year old. If I revisit those stories in my mind, I’ll still cry like a two-year old. It puts that lump in your throat and tears in your hearts. You feel your heart in flames within your chest. I want to “feel” the story.

As I got older, I discovered horror, paranormal and psychological thriller books. I put Stephen King on a pedestal and he remains there to this day. When it was time to pick a major for college, I decided I wanted to be a Forensic Psychologist (at least until I learned what that entailed). I discovered criminal psychology through the numerous psychology classes I attended and found a love for the crime novels that are based on reality.

When I started writing, I started with the romantic mystery/crime drama books (Lock Creek: Time Capsule series). There were several other projects (two fundraising anthologies, as well as a horror novel). With a few stories under my belt, I decided to push myself and try my hand at a psychological thriller. I wanted a story that was “based on actual events.”

While What He’s Done is a work of fiction, the main character, Michael “Sully” Sullivan, is based on an actual person and the alleged confessions and experiences of people who have known him. This psychological thriller allows the reader to witness disturbing events and experience these situations from inside Sully’s head. I invite psychological thriller fans to decide which is worse – when you hear Sully’s psychotic thoughts, or when you don’t.

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Instagram: author.laney.smith

Born and raised in the lush green valleys of Pennsylvania, Ingrid Foster, Air Force Veteran. Computer Geek and lover of all things fiction, spent years searching the world, seeking her own magical home. She currently resides in the rustic, far reaches of the Sonoran Desert with her loving husband/muse and furry babies, Jimmy the dog and Felix the cat.

Read a sample on Ingrid’s Blog.

My Father’s Magic (dark fantasy suspense) (ebook) and Indie Published under my own “press” Lucky Nut Press – “He stole her life. Will she avenge his death?”

Look.  Me being visible?  A constant struggle.  Why expose myself when being alone is well, safe.  Letting anyone see me. That’s why my book, invisible-i-am, is written by my sixteen-year old narrator, Gregg Davis. And that’s why Gregg takes the lead on the invisible social media. Sort of like a multiple personality disorder?  Yeah.  Maybe.

Creating the universe ginned up pressure on me to find my voice.  No easy thing for those of us who endured significant trauma in our lives. When Gregg experiences a sexual assault at school, she must redefine her Self in order to be whole.  She sort off gets it together, then falls apart.  Then gets it together.  Then falls apart.  Then finds some sense of direction and release.  But, coming out of a violation experience never happens with ease.  Someone described it to me as a spiral.  Going up, going down.  Finding hope.  Trying to live into it.

Why read a book with this painful, difficult subject?  One in five American women will be raped in their lives.  In eight out of 10 cases, the victim knew the person who sexually assaulted them.

These people move around in our world, often invisible.  Sometimes they become visible in uncomfortable ways.  But, always.  Always.  It’s those who surround them with love who make it possible to heal.

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Harriet Showman holds undergraduate and graduate degrees in colonial South Carolina history and has spent much of her personal and professional life helping children and young adults succeed amidst challenging circumstances, including poverty and abuse. With a strong core of allies, Ms. Showman helped to establish a statewide Guardian ad Litem program to provide legal support for abused children; a Cities in Schools organization to serve underprivileged students; and a vehicle for the accumulation of monies to be distributed in grants through the Children’s Trust Fund. As a development officer for South Carolina’s flagship university, she attracted resources from major, national foundations to target South Carolina’s most urgent needs. She remains interested in the plight of children, teens, and adults who suffer abuse, oppression, and the paralyzing pain of invisibility.

National Sexual Violence Resource Center (

I wrote Broken from 7 March to 20 March. During that time, I relived thirty years of trauma, and Broken records it all: the triggers, the hyperarousal, the breakdowns, and the panic. I explain the rationale behind my behavior and the thoughts I used to justify my behavior in a philosophical discussion with an interviewer. I show you the four worlds in my head where I lived for more than twenty years, as well as the four fictional characters I created in place of the human relationships I lacked. I record the conversations I have with my fictional friends and lovers as they took place. 

Broken shows you what trauma is like for some survivors years later before they even realize they have a problem. Broken will show you what it looks and feels like to emerge from the mental cocoon I lived in for thirty years. It shows the road I took to awareness while going down that road. It shows how I began my recovery.


I grew up reading folktales and fairy tales, and I remember how wonderful it was to be both exited and scared to meet a menacing, supernatural creature out on the road in one of those stories. You had to wonder how you (and the hero or heroine!) were going to get out of the situation alive. I enjoy writing YA, and most particularly paranormal YA, because I feel like it takes me right back to that same place of wonder and excitement. And it also gives me great scope for exploration. The characters in YA are no longer children, but they haven’t yet become the adults they are going to be—nothing is settled, and they are full of potential. They have a lot to learn about themselves, about the world, about philosophy, spirituality, love—all the big, important questions in life. With YA, I feel like I can go anywhere.

Some of the inspiration from the Pure series comes from Russian folklore, particularly the tales about a young woman named Vasilisa, who is sometimes called Vasilisa the wise. The name ‘Vasilisa’ means queen, and she goes on a number of unusual, extraordinary adventures. I hope that readers of the books come away from them feeling like they can solve any of the problems that life throws at them—no matter how big or harrowing those problems are.

I write a lot of books, 34th coming out soon, I began this in October 2012, trying to hit 40 before my fourth year of publishing is up. I added young adult books to my list because I can remember as a teenager losing myself in the wonderful world of books. I hope my stories will encouraged young people to read. I am also touched and amazed when adult reviewers tell me they loved the stories or shared them aloud with their children and grandchildren. Whether you give one of my books to a child or someone else, I just hope all will encourage children to read. Nothing is more important than expanding a child’s’ mind, or our own for that matter. You can find all 33 of my books (34 coming soon!) in e-book or paperback.

The Young Adult books are 2 books that are like Aesop’s Fables or Tall Tales and called “Stretched Stories” books one and two, they are humorous explanations of every day things, like why does a cow say moo in book 1 and will the real Easter Bunny Stand Up in 2

The other 2 books are a series but also stand alone, they are called “Parallel Adventures” The first takes readers “Into The Caves” where twins Jenny and Jayden chase a puppy named Portal through special doorways into parallel worlds. 

Book 2, “Secrets Revealed” explains more about how they travel and why their mentor, Travelar,  is teaching them. I hope you will grab both books and hope that not only young adults, but adults enjoy the journey.

I call myself an equal opportunity writer because I have preschool, young adult, adult and even a couple of comic books about how hard growing old is and how to do it with humor.

I hope my books can take you on a journey if even for a short time and then I will know my job is done.

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