Author Spotlight…Dale Ibitz


  Let’s meet this week’s spotlighted author… Dale Ibitz

Dale Ibitz was born in Oxford, Connecticut, grew up in the state of Washington, and then re-located back to Connecticut as an adult. Always a lover of books, she spent much of her childhood reading, visiting the library (her best friend’s mother was a librarian…how convenient), and writing. She majored in English at Central Connecticut State University, and while Dale holds a full-time day job where she’s immersed in the dry life of writing contracts, she’s been writing young adult fantasy and mid-grade contemporary for seventeen years (on the side, of course).



If you were stranded on a desert island, what three things would you want with you?

  1. Chocolate, and lots of it. Maybe like a magical chocolate fountain that never runs out. A girl’s got to eat.
  2. The entire Lords of the Underworld series (because a girl’s got to keep warm at night 🙂
  3. A match, for just about everything else.


Give us a glimpse into a typical day in your day starting when you wake up till you lie down again.

 Ugh. Okay.

5:00 a.m. Up and at ‘em!.

Get ready for work, get the kids ready for school. Sneak in a bit of chocolate, because really, who wants to start their day without it?

6:30 a.m. Rush out the door to catch the bus to work.

On the bus I write on my netbook. Or, if the battery is dead, read on my Nook. Or, if my Nook is dead, stare out the window and hate myself for not charging my batteries.

7:45 a.m. Arrive at work.

Work, work, work all the live-long day. Sneak in bits of chocolate to keep me going throughout the day, because really, who can survive without it?

5:00 – or 5:30 p.m. (timing depends on how miserable my day is) Catch the bus home. See comment for 6:30 a.m. on how I spend the bus ride.

6:00 – 7:00 p.m. Arrive home.

Cook, chauffeur, clean, read.

10:00 p.m. Asleep before my head hits the pillow.


If you could have any superpower, what would you choose?

To be invisible. I always thought it would be kind of glamorous to be a spy; I would totally rock at being a spy if I could vanish on a whim.


One food you would never eat?

Snails. Ew and ick and everything in between.


Please tell us in one sentence only, why we should read your book.

Haley is a girl that most teens can relate to (a little lost, a little confused, and a little shy), not to mention the little bit of evil, little bit of romance, little bit of mystery, and little bit of action in the entire Last Moon Rising Series.


Strong Blood (Last Moon Rising # 2)Strong Blood - Cover

The war between nature’s gods continues to rage on Eyidora and Haley, descendant of the Air Eyid, struggles with her own battles. She’s mired in a battle with Ian, the Fire Eyid descendant, over the lost Eyid stones. She needs the stones to stop the war, and he needs the stones to destroy Eyidora. She knows where the Land Eyid stone is hidden, and she races to Tamoor to find it before Ian does.

Haley still doesn’t trust Tuggin, the stone-faced Eyidoran assigned to protect her. As a Menta witch, he’s adept at lying, mind-control, and killing. Even though Haley is starting to believe that Tuggin may be serving more than one master, she continues to battle her feelings for him, never sure which duty he feels most inclined to serve.

But Haley’s biggest battle of all comes when she meets Luke and Telsa, twins with undeniable strength. Haley invites them to join her on her mission to find the Land Eyid stone. Has she put her trust in someone who may be just as dark and dangerous as Ian, the descendant of Fire himself?


Want to know more? Check out the links!




Author Spotlight…Robert Downs

  Let’s meet this week’s spotlighted author Robert Downs…This is the first of a weekend of features we’re running with Robert – come back tomorrow and Monday to learn more about MANfiction in his guest posts! 

Robert aspired to be a writer before he realized how difficult the writing process was. Fortunately, he’d already fallen in love with the craft, otherwise Casey might never have seen print. Originally from West Virginia, he has lived in Virginia, Massachusetts, and now resides in New Mexico.

Despite his literary side, numbers are very much a part of his world, to the point that he has a business administration degree from West Virginia University as well as an MBA from Columbia College.

Falling Immortality is his first novel.

Falling Immortality

Falling Immortality


Falling Immortality

Casey Holden, former cop, current PI in Virginia Beach, VA, screens his clients the way he screens his women, based on whichever drop-dead gorgeous woman happens to waltz through his door first and manages to hold his attention. So when Felicity Farren, widow-at-large, struts into his office asking him to solve the two-year-old murder of her husband Artis, she intrigues him. When Casey starts digging, he learns the murder isn’t what it seems to be and he doesn’t have a big enough shovel to unearth the truth. And to top it all off, his former rival at the police department, Greg Gilman, is determined to disrupt his investigation. Casey’s challenge is to learn what really happened to Artis, and why Gilman can’t seem to remove his head from his butt. And he’ll need all of his wits to complete the task.





Want to know more? Check out the links!


Author Spotlight…Double Trouble!


 This week we have a twist on our author spotlight feature – as we have two authors with us! Christy Hall and Amanda Gerry wrote Phoenix Angel together…Let’s find out if two heads are better than one 😉 

Christy Hall has been addicted to the many realms of fantasy and science fiction all her life. She joined her first peer writers’ group in the sixth grade, joyfully sharing world building at a young age. A graduate of Southern Utah University, she now teaches at a local charter school. When she isn’t busy designing activities for her Mythology class or going on field trips with the Star Wars Club, she is spending time with her sister, A Gerry. C. Hall’s favorite authors include J.R.R Tolkien, J.K. Rowling, and Tracy Hickman.

Amanda Gerry developed an interest in fantasy at a young age. In middle school, she fell in love with writing short stories and was thrilled when her sister proposed creating a series of novels together. Her fondness of writing comes from many sources, but the most prominent is her avid devotion to video games.  Some of her favorites include Mass Effect, The Elder Scrolls series, and anything that lets her shoot zombies. She received a Bachelor’s Degree from Southern Utah University and teaches at a local charter school.

Christy’s Interview

You have won one million dollars what is the first thing that you would buy? If I won one million dollars the first thing I would buy would be a Bumblebee Camaro that really transformed. Then when I parked it at Wal-Mart, I would have it turn in to a giant robot while I went to buy laundry detergent.

If you could jump in to a book, and live in that world, which would it be? If I could jump into any fictional world, I would definitely want to be an elf in Middle Earth. What’s not to love about living forever, wearing pretty dresses, and frolicking around Mirkwood with Legolas?

Any other books in the works? Goals for future projects? Right now we are working on the Shardwell magic series, book four. When complete it will be six novels. Book 2, Guardian of Time, is scheduled to be released in August of this year. After that, my sister and I have this amazing idea for a new series with dragons and prophecy.

If you could have any superpower what would you choose? Teleportation. Hands down. I hate driving!

What’s one piece of advice you would give aspiring authors? Never give up. There is a story inside you that you want to share. No matter how hard it gets, perseverance is the way to succeed as a writer.

Amanda’s Interview

What is one book everyone should read? Ender’s Game by Orson Scott Card.

What inspired you to want to become a writer? I have always loved books and creative writing. But most of all, I wanted to work on a set of books that I would want to read.  Our books contain all the elements of both story and characters that intrigue us.

Who are your favorite authors of all time? Jane Austen, R. A. Salvatore, Tracy Hickman, and Margaret Weis

What’s one piece of advice you would give aspiring authors? Be patient and stick to what you believe. Remember that you are writing the book. Don’t change anything unless it makes sense for your characters.

How do you react to a bad review?  Not everyone likes the same type of book.  I think about what the bad review has to say but I don’t let it affect me or my writing.

What do you do in your free time? Play video games.


Phoenix Angel

Phoenix Angel


What is happening to us?  I’ve asked this question a thousand times, but there is no answer.

I was a normal teenager, trudging my way through senior year with my best friend. Then a boy named Kyle Spencer came to Idaho Falls, and since then everything has fallen apart. Something mysterious has passed among the three of us. We’ve developed terrifying abilities—strange powers that separate us from normal people.

Even worse, someone—or something—has taken a deadly interest in us. We never know when they are going to strike, or how to protect ourselves. We don’t even know who they are.

All we know is that they want one of us alive, and we don’t know who. The others they want dead. Which will I be?

Want to know more? Check out their website!

Author Spotlight…Leslie Deaton

Let’s meet this week’s spotlighted author: Leslie Deaton… 
I’m a full time thinker, doer, consultant, planner, part time baker, and overtime dreamer. Always a buckeye at heart, I was born and raised in Dayton, Ohio where I lived in a creepy old farm house with nothing better to do than read tons of books. After high school, I moved to Columbus where I studied English at the Ohio State University. I loved my time there. It opened a whole new world of opportunity to me. I spent my free time reading great books and writing in my journal. Grad school at George Mason University brought more of the same, until finally I dreamed up Lyla Mercer and created The Mercer Legacy series. Now I live outside of Washington DC, work as a consultant by day and author by night. My biggest fans are my husband, my three dachshunds and my family.


Lyla Mercer is back, and this time she not only has to face the consequences of her actions the night of the battle, but she must learn to do it alone. A History Renewed (the sequel to A Marked Past) is now available. After Lyla discovers the truth about her family’s dark past, she knows her life will never be the same. Her move to Salem revealed a history plagued with secrets and a future full of danger. Lyla is a witch, and the Mercers aren’t the only witches living in the small town.

There are others, some allies, some enemies; and one unfathomably evil man who is hunting them all. Fearing their own extinction, the witches unite, ready to defend themselves, but when Lyla breaks the coven rules, she finds herself forced to face her hunter alone.

A History Renewed reveals the next journey in Lyla’s fight for survival; one in which she must master new powers, search for new allies, and find the courage to continue her fight to stay alive.


What is your favourite way to spend a rainy day?

I love to spend rainy days curled up in a chair by the window with my laptop, a cup of hot tea, and nothing better to do than create a new chapter, dream up a new adventure, or even craft a new world. Rainy days are my most creative days.

What’s one piece of advice you would give aspiring authors?

Find the courage to write. Make some time write at least 3 days a week. Don’t set unrealistic goals, writing one well-crafted paragraph is better than 10 mediocre pages that you’ll have to rewrite later. Don’t make excuses for why you can’t write, just do it!

How do you react to a bad review?

I won’t lie it can be hard to take when a reviewer criticizes the work that you have slaved over for more than a year. But, I try to read every review with an eye for improvement. I have found that reading even the most offensive review can sometimes provide some advice to me on making improvements for the next book. So, I grit my teeth, take a deep breath, and try to learn from it.

Author Spotlight…R B Harkess

Let’s meet this week’s spotlighted author…R B Harkess

An exiled Bristolian currently living just outside London, Robert got back into writing three years ago. Since then he has had his first YA novel (Aphrodite’s Dawn) published by Proxima, and has had a half dozen short stories published in various e-zines and anthologies.

He blogs at



Garret’s world is six floors tall by five hundred people wide, and he despairs of ever being happy. When a voice in his head offers the 14-year old an escape from his boring life, he has no idea how apparently being offered everything he could want or need might change him. With his best friend Pitr in tow Garret seizes the opportunity, and their universe is thrown into confusion when they are told they are on an asteroid-sized sleeper-ship. The asteroid’s computer has been damaged, and cannot control the engines to deliver them to their new home. Garret is asked to take a message to the other end of the world. He has to travel through an ancient subway system and is captured by forest dwellers in a giant park. He finds a new friend, Alyssa, running from an arranged marriage and leads them across the parklands.



What is your favorite way to spend a rainy day?

Somewhere like a summerhouse or a conservatory; somewhere I can open a window and listen. Even better if there’s thunder. Then sit in a nice comfy chair and dive into a really tempestuous fantasy with dramatic scenery and extravagant conflict. Something like ‘Before they Were Hung’ by Joe Abercrombie

 How did you celebrate the sale of your first book?

I bounced up and down in my chair until I heard it make an alarming clunk, trying not to explode because there was nobody in the house for me to tell. I ended up phoning my Mum, then went out for a luscious meal with me wife in the evening

 What are you working on at the moment – do you have any other books in the works?

I have one novel wandering the ether looking for a home (might even have found one) and I’m deep into editing a third novel. Both Young Adult urban fantasy/steampunk mashups.

 If you could jump in to a book, and live in that world.. which would it be?

That’s actually a difficult one, because unless you are part of the story, the world of most books is probably pretty much ass humdrum as our own. There are usually far more underdogs than there are heroes or privileged classes. Easy to pick if you can also get to decide who you are. So I think it would probably have to be Narnia, but in a good time not a bad one. Or maybe living somewhere in the The Culture, from the brain of Ian. M. Banks

If a movie was made about your life, who would you want to play the lead role and why?

Joe Abercrombie: He’s younger than me, better looking than me, sells more books than me. And he can dance. In fact, skip the movie, can I just BE Joe Abercrombie? Please?


Want to know more? Check out the links!

Author Spotlight…L S Murphy


  Let’s meet this week’s spotlighted author… 
L.S. Murphy lives in the Greater St. Louis area where she watches Cardinals baseball, reads every book she can find, and weaves tales for teens and adults. When not doing all of the above, she tends to The Bean (aka her daughter), her husband and a menagerie of pets. Reaper is her debut young adult novel.She is a co-rep for the Southern Illinois region of Society of Children’s Book Writers and Illustrators (SCBWI) and a member of the St. Louis Writer’s Guild. Repped by Julia A. Weber of  J. A. Weber Literaturagentur.



There’s no way sixteen year old Quincy Amarante will become the fifth grim reaper. None. Not over her shiny blue Mustang. Her Jimmy Choos. Or her dead body.
She’s supposed to enjoy her sophomore year, not learn about some freaky future Destiny says she has no choice but to fulfill.

It doesn’t take long for Quincy to realize the only way out of the game is to play along especially since Death can find her anyway, anywhere, anytime. And does. Like when she’s reassuring her friends she wants nothing to do with former best friend Ben Moorland, who’s returned from god-knows-where, and fails. Miserably.

Instead of maintaining her coveted popularity status, Quincy’s goes down like the Titanic. Maybe … just maybe … that’s okay. It seems, perhaps, becoming a grim reaper isn’t just about the dead but more about a much needed shift in Quincy’s priorities—from who she thinks she wants to be to who she really is.


Want to know more? Check out the links!





Author Spotlight…Christopher C. Starr

This week’s spotlighted author is Christopher C. Starr…

About the Author: Christopher C. Starr is the author of The Road to Hell: The Book of Lucifer, the first novel in the Heaven Falls series. These stories examine the God’s relationship with Heaven and Earth, told through the eyes of the angels. The next book in the series, Come Hell or Highwater, is scheduled for late 2012/early 2013.

Chris makes it a point to look at the dark side of his characters, both heroes and villains, and his work explores the “grey”—that place where good and evil come together in all of us.

When he’s not being chased out of churches, Chris enjoys comic books and movies, staying away from cemeteries, and poorly participating in P90X. He lives in Seattle with his wife, two kids (The Boy and the Honey Badger), and his huskies, Rocky the Wonder Dog and his colorful sidekick, Leylah Redd. You can check out his blog at


You already know my name and, yes, I am that Lucifer.  Fall from Heaven, Garden of Eden, ruler of Hell, Satan, the Devil, the Adversary, blah blah blah.  I am the one you condemned without, what do you call it? A fair trial.  Forget what you think you know:  I want to tell my side of the story.  The Road to Hell is all about how a pathetic group of short-sighted angels kicked me out of Heaven.

Humans are naturally curious and I suspect you’re asking ‘why now?’  Well, He has a book and it’s been pretty successful, so I figured what the hell?  Found a ghostwriter and gave it a go.  After all, the story is fantastic!  It has everything you clods of dirt crave:  a love story, a little sex, intrigue.  Murder.  War.  Lots of blood.  And a cast of characters you already know and love—Michael, Gabriel, Raphael—along with a host of others.  Even has a special guest appearance by the Father and that damned boy.

So, let’s get down to business or brass tacks or whatever colloquialism works for you.  I have plenty to say and plenty of time:  The Road to Hell is just the first in a series of novels about my experience with Him, with my brothers and sisters, with you.  If you’re interested in featuring me, reach out to the pile of dust below; if not, well, I’ll see you soon.


Excerpt from The Road to Hell 

Lucifer heard me: as soon as my feet touched the glass surface of his platform, he laughed aloud and doused all the light in Heaven.

“I know why you’re here, Raphael,” Lucifer said in the darkness. “You’re afraid.”

I was afraid but I wasn’t willing to admit it. Instead I said, “Why should I be afraid? The Father is with me.”

“You sure about that?” And I could see Lucifer’s teeth glinting in the light wafting from my body. He was smiling. “You think he’ll still back you up now that you’re failing him?”

His face was the color of fire, deep and red, and a haze made him seem like a mirage. Even in the darkness, in the heat of his rage, Lucifer was still beautiful. His thin face, the angular cheekbones, his wide, open eyes, his halo of shimmering hair—all presented a portrait of absolute perfection. Even in this dark hour, I envied the crude formation of my own round face, my pudgy nose, the softness of my jawline.

I tried to sound as sure of myself, as certain as he was but my voice cracked, “I’m not failing—”

He pounced on me, laid long, thin fingers on my shoulders, pushed that gleaming grin into my face. “Sure you are! Why else would you be here, Peace Keeper? Angels are dead, Raphael. It’s slipping through your fingers. Sounds like failure to me.”

“This is your doing!” I pressed him back.

“Raphael, you insult me; finger pointing seems so…beneath you. Besides, I’m bound, remember?” He fondled the chains streaming from his wrists and ankles, smiled at me again. “You chained me up so I couldn’t cause any problems for the others. Weren’t those your words?”

He was right. And I hated him for it. “Yes,” was all I said.

“So you failed them or you failed him. Either way, you’re a failure, kiddo.”

“I want to talk about what we do next.”

He was walking around me now. I could hear the chains scraping the surface of the glass.

“And I want to talk about your fears,” he said and his voice sounded like velvet in my ears.

“This doesn’t help us, Lucifer. It doesn’t help us end this nonsense. ”

“Maybe I don’t want to end it. Maybe this is exactly what we need.”  He got louder, bolder. Closer. “Does that scare you, Raphael, that you won’t be able to keep it together? Is that why you tremble in the darkness? Because when it’s just you and the Father and all the light and noise is gone, you know you’re going to have to tell him you failed?”

He had me. I understood in that moment how Lucifer could enflame the deepest of emotions. His words touched the very root of me; spoke directly to the futility flexing in my palms. It was out of my hands—I knew that much. Lucifer knew it too. By virtue of the fact that I was there, standing before him while he taunted me, it was out of my hands.

I tried to turn it back on him, “What about your fears? What about what you’re afraid of?”

“I’m scared,” he whispered, “that the Father won’t want me back once I’m finished.” The smile was gone.


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