Book Promo ~ Empty Quiver

Rival Operatives Unite to Dodge Nuclear Disaster

Empty Quiver Kindle Edition
~by Tom Davis

The U.S. Pershing II and Soviet SS-20 missiles on display at the Smithsonian Air and Space Museum in Washington, D.C., were once at the center of the Cold War chess match that underpins Tom Davis’ suspenseful new book, Empty QuiverSet against a backdrop of historical figures and actual events, Empty Quiver brings history to life with a riveting tale that reimagines what might have happened behind the scenes as Cold War tensions escalated.

Davis brings back NSC staffer Carter Cardwell and CIA Analyst Katherine O’Connor, whom readers will remember from his previous book, ConclaveEmpty Quiver begins in 1983, as the Soviet Union deploys its new SS-20 missile, and the U.S. counters by developing and stationing its new Pershing II missile in West Germany. But many Germans are opposed to having the new weapons on their soil, a resistance the Soviet KGB decides to exploit, no matter who they must team with to halt the U.S. deployment.

In Washington, Carter is sent to find out what forces are at work and what the KGB is up to. He brings with him Katherine, an expert on the Soviet Union with whom he has a personal relationship. Meanwhile, the KGB decides upon a risky and complicated approach to broaden German opposition against the arrival of the new Pershings. The KGB chief responsible for Western Europe, Dimitry Zhukov, takes personal charge of the Soviet effort.

Carter, Katherine and Dimitry have confronted each other before, but now find they must work together before a nuclear confrontation spins out of control. Both sides must confront dark forces from the past in order to create the conditions for a more peaceful future. Will they succeed? Or will nuclear terrorists upset the nuclear balance?

Davis himself once guarded nuclear storage sites in Europe during the Cold War, and he draws upon his experiences to inform his narrative. “The incident with the ‘rabbit hunter’ described in Chapter 5 actually occurred — to me — while the officer of the guard at one such site,” he said. “Fortunately, it was an innocent event that ended with none of the sinister implications described in the book.”

Author Tom Davis is a retired Army officer and senior corporate executive. He holds an undergraduate degree from West Point and a graduate degree from Harvard. He spent 25 years in the Army and then another 16 years in the corporate world. He has written numerous articles on politics and international relations, and a nonfiction assessment of the 1982 Israeli incursion into Lebanon titled 40 Kilometers Into Lebanon. His first novel, Conclave, was a historical novel about the election to the papacy of John Paul II. 

“I’m an old Cold Warrior who spent many years in Germany guarding the Fulda Gap and was there when the wall came down and Germany re-united in 1991,” Davis added.  “Back then, the U.S. and Soviet Union under General Secretary Gorbachev learned the benefits of cooperation. Those days are unfortunately behind us. We are now entering a new Cold War, and I am seriously concerned about the dangerous directions it might travel.”

For more information, please visit, or follow the author on Facebook at

Empty Quiver

Publisher: Punaro Press
ISBN-13: ‎979-8789110546
Available from

Heroes 2020: 307th Medical Squadron

307th Medical Squadron Returns From
Combating COVID-19 in New York

U.S. Air Force 1st Lt. Paula Bomar, 307th Medical Squadron nurse, was the first person from the unit to deploy to New York during the COVID-19 pandemic.

Nine members of the unit deployed to New York in early April, in response to calls for help from hospital staffs overwhelmed by the coronavirus. According to the city government’s website, New York endured more than 200,000 confirmed cases from February until the end of May.

Air Force Staff Sgt. Trevor Talbert, a technician with the 307th Medical Squadron, said the situation was dire when the airmen arrived.

”The civilian staff at my hospital was burned out and depleted,” he said. ”There were at least 40 patients on my floor, and the numbers didn’t start to go down until last week.” He explained those numbers included a broad age demographic, with patients ranging in age from 20-somethings to octogenarians. ”COVID-19 does not discriminate,” he said. ”They all struggled.”

The airmen’s efforts helped save lives, but they had to learn to deal with losing patients as well. Talbert spoke about leaving the bedsides of patients at the end of a shift and returning the next day to find out they had died. ”It makes you appreciate the important things in life,” Talbert said. ”It never became normal, and I’m glad because I didn’t want to become lax about treating them.”

Air Force Capt. Aaron Biggio, a nurse with the 307th Medical Squadron, said hospital staff, patients and even the public showed deep appreciation for their efforts. He said people in the neighborhood would lean out of apartment windows, cheering for them during shift changes. ”I’d get thanked in the streets by total strangers, often with tears in their eyes,” he said. ”There is no one in New York who doesn’t know someone else affected by the disease.”

Talbert said the airmen did their best to serve the patients beyond standard medical care. He recalled using his cellphone to set up video chats between patients and loved  ones. ”We were the only family they had while they were under our care,” he explained.

Most airmen deployed to the region with a focus on direct patient care, but a handful also took part in research efforts designed to learn how to mitigate the effects of COVID-19 on hospital workers.

Air Force Tech. Sgt. Cynitra Roberson, the squadron’s immunization noncommissioned officer in charge, took part in patient care, but also served as part of a research team trying to determine if the safety protocols put in place were effective. She and other team members tested almost 500 medical workers. Though the research results remain to be determined, Roberson said, she gained personal insight from the experience.

”It was really neat and something different,” Roberson explained. ”I worked with really good people, and it was a great experience.”

Throughout the deployment, the airmen worked 12-hour shifts and, in some hospitals, faced patient loads well beyond normal capacity. Biggio said he would do it all again, regardless of the hardships involved.

”I’d get back on the plane right now if they would let me,” he said. ”There’s just something beautiful about the humanity of people coming together to fight through something so gruesome.”

Returning airmen are scheduled to be in quarantine for two weeks before being allowed to return to their military and civilian duties.



Celebrate Veterans Day By Remembering

Shadow Commander: Celebrate Veterans Day By Remembering The Covert Commander Responsible For The Largest POW Rescue Mission In History

In Shadow Commander: The Epic Story of Donald D. Blackburn (Casemate Publishers), author Mike Guardia presents his readers with a memorable story of an underdog whose career was a testament to dogged determination and the will to stay alive.

The true story of the US Army legend who organized “Blackburn’s Headhunters” against Japan in WWII and went on to initiate Special Forces operations in Vietnam.

On the evening of April 9, 1942, the fires on Bataan burned with a primitive fury, illuminating white flags of surrender against the dark sky. Outnumbered and outgunned, remnants of the American-Philippine army surrendered to the forces of the Rising Sun. Yet US Army Captain Donald D. Blackburn refused to lay down his arms. With future Special Forces legend Russell Volckmann, Blackburn escaped to the jungles of North Luzon, raising a private army of 22,000 men against the Japanese. His organization of native tribes into guerrilla fighters would lead to the destruction of the enemy’s naval base at Aparri.

But Blackburn’s remarkable accomplishments didn’t end with the victory in the Pacific. He played a key role in initiating Army Special Forces operations in Southeast Asia, became commander of the 77th Special Forces Group and later took command of the highly classified Studies and Observations Group (SOG), charged with performing secret missions. Blackburn also revitalized the Special Operations campaign in South Vietnam, conducting full-scale operations against the NVA and Viet Cong in Laos and Cambodia. Following his return to the US, Blackburn was the architect of the infamous Son Tay Prison Raid, the largest prisoner-of-war rescue mission—and, indeed, the largest Army Special Forces operation—of the Vietnam War.

During a period when US troops in Southeast Asia faced guerrilla armies on every side, America had a superb covert commander of its own. This book follows Blackburn through both his youthful days of desperate combat and his time as a commander, imparting his lessons to the new ranks of Army Special Forces.

An internationally-recognized author and military historian, Mike Guardia is also a veteran of the United States Army. He served six years on active duty as an Armor Officer. He is the author of the widely-acclaimed Hal Moore: A Soldier Once…and Always, the first-ever biography chronicling the life of Lieutenant General Harold G. Moore, whose leadership was popularized in the film We Were Soldiers starring Mel Gibson.  As a lecturer, Mike Guardia has given presentations at the US Special Operations Command and the George Bush (41) Presidential Library.  He holds a BA and MA in American History from the University of Houston and currently resides in Texas.

For more information, please visit:

Shadow Commander: The Epic Story of Donald D. Blackburn
Casemate Publishers
Available online at Amazon and at all fine book sellers
ISBN-13: 978-1612000657


World War II Magazine: “A follow-up to a fine bio of Russell Volckmann, this tale of guerrilla warfare spans from Bataan to Vietnam.”

Book News: “Donald D. Blackburn’s involvement in guerilla warfare against the Japanese in WWII qualified him to become one of the first commanders of the Special Forces. For this career biography, the author conducted personal interviews with Blackburn and his family in 2008, with access to all of Blackburn’s personal papers, documents, photos, and his war diary from 1941-1944.”

Miniature Wargames UK: “…very well researched and readable account of one man’s fascinating military career, which was rarely spent far from where the action was.”

Military Writer’s Society Of America: “An excellent biography of one of the Army’s lesser known but very important leaders. Blackburn’s activities in World War II alone would make him a hero, but the author goes on to cite in some detail Blackburn’s other contributions in Viet Nam as well as to the evolution of Army Special Forces. The author’s detailed accounts of Blackburn’s activities make this book a must read for anyone interested in military history, World War II, and particularly for anyone studying or who simply enjoys reading about guerilla warfare or Army Special Forces.”

Book Promo: Trapped On Talonque: (A Sectors SF romance)

Will an alien sleeping beauty awaken to save him, or destroy everyone around her?

When a Sectors Special Forces soldier and his team crash land on an alien planet, they’re taken captive and given a challenge–win at the violent ball game of sapiche and live. Lose, and they die, sending a mysterious, alien beauty to an even uglier fate. To survive, these soldiers must win the game and find a way to free the dangerous prisoner from her locked chamber.

Nate Reilly and his team are in deep trouble. Prisoners on a backward alien planet, they’re brought before an alien ‘goddess’, sleeping in her high tech seclusion. Nate is astonished when she awakes and establishes a psychic link with him. But her news is not good–he and his men must win a brutal challenge set by their captors, or they will die. She’ll give her aid, but in the end their courage and strength must win the contest.

Bithia sleeps in her chamber, as she has for thousands of years, since her own people unaccountably left her there. Viewed as a goddess by her captors, she must hide her ancient secrets to survive. But only the bravest of men may free her. Can she use her psychic powers to keep Nate and his men alive long enough to help her escape, or will her only hope of freedom die with them?

About the Author

  Best Selling Science Fiction & Paranormal Romance author and “SciFi Encounters” columnist for the USA Today Happily Ever After blog, Veronica Scott grew up in a house with a library as its heart. Dad loved science fiction, Mom loved ancient history and Veronica thought there needed to be more romance in everything. When she ran out of books to read, she started writing her own stories.

Veronica’s life has taken many twists and turns, but she always makes time to keep reading and writing. Everything is good source material for the next novel or the one after that anyway, right? She’s been through earthquakes, tornadoes and near death experiences, although nothing is as stressful as meeting a book deadline. Always more stories to tell, new adventures to experience–Veronica’s personal motto is, “Never boring.”

Enterprise “Crew Member” in the Official Audiobook of Harlan Ellison’s “The City On The Edge of Forever” Star Trek script

NASA Medal of Excellence

Romancing The Novel Hearts Through History Winner
National Excellence in Romance Fiction Award Winner
Golden Quill Award Finalist
Three Time SFR Galaxy Award recipient
Laurel Wreath Finalist

Past Treasurer for the Fantasy, Futuristic & Paranormal Chapter of the Romance Writers of America.

Buy Links

Book Promo: All I Need Is You by Wendy Marcus


All I Need is You by Wendy Marcus

Find out why All I Need Is You has been called
“…a delightfully witty, funny, and sexy romance that melts your heart
and makes you believe in happily ever after again.”

As a dancer who creates mesmerizing visions onstage, Neve James is looking for the same kind of stability in her love life. Her pen pal, Rory McRoy, is on leave from deployment in Afghanistan, so she heads to Boston to surprise him. After corresponding for months as part of a “Support Our Troops” initiative—and exchanging dozens of “Read When You’re Alone” letters—Neve knows what Rory likes, and she intends to fulfill his every fantasy. But all they get are a few blissful moments together before they’re interrupted by a woman claiming to be Rory’s fiancée.

Rory has fallen hard for Neve’s letters. When he finally meets her in person, he has to have her, right then and there—until Neve takes off in a fit of anger. Forced to return to Afghanistan before he can fix things between them, Rory waits four agonizing months to prove that he’s not the man Neve thinks he is. But by the time he arrives in New York, she’s already made up her mind. Luckily, Rory never backs down from a challenge, and he’s prepared to put everything on the line for love.

About the Author:

Wendy S. Marcus is an award-winning author of contemporary romance. A nurse by trade, Wendy holds a Master of Science in Health Care Administration, a degree that does her absolutely no good as she now spends her days, nights, and weekends mucking around in her characters’ lives creating conflict, emotion, and of course, a happily ever after. Wendy lives in the beautiful Hudson Valley region of New York. When she’s not writing, she enjoys spending time with her family, which includes her dog Buddy, and blogging/e-mailing/tweeting/facebooking with her online friends. To learn more about Wendy and her books visit her website:

Amazon U.S.: 
Amazon UK: 
Amazon Aus: 
Amazon CA:

Book Review: Battling the Storm Within by Sgt. Stephanie Shannon

Battling the Storm Within

by Sgt. Stephanie Shannon

Living for 20 years with undiagnosed post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD) caused by military sexual trauma (MST) and Gulf War Illness (GWI) has not made life an easy path for Sergeant Stephanie J. Shannon. In this, first book, Battling the Storm Within, Stephanie shares how her time of military service, and the resulting trauma she experienced, continues to affect her daily life, even 20 plus years later–a common story among military veterans.

A brave and deeply personal memoir that details Stephanie’s military experiences, and especially her struggles when transitioning back to civilian life, this book is a bold step on the path for recovery for all veterans. This book serves not only as a lesson of how to reclaim your life after PTSD, GWI, and MST, but also a call for change in legislation, government policies, the VA system, and military practices and procedures that impact the veteran population and their families.

Stephanie’s story is a story of struggle, survival, and healing; that empowers others to address their own personal traumas and overcome them, bring awareness to the public the many issues the veteran population face, and provide resources and solutions to veterans and others in need.

Her mission is to empower others to face their own personal traumas, be healed, be restored and live again.


an Amazon Review

5.0 out of 5 stars Battling The Storm Within  reviewed by Karen Showell
This book is a MUST READ for anyone who is thinking about joining the Armed Forces, who has been in the Armed Forces or who are currently in the Armed forces. U.S Army Sergeant Stephanie Shannon paints a vivid picture, describing her TRUE STORY about what some of our military veterans have gone through, or are going through to protect our country. This book describes many of the situations that she has gone through. Each day, our veterans put their lives on the line to make sure that we are safe.
For this reason alone, I am so very proud of them.
Before I read her book I had no idea what she, as well as some of the other soldiers, go through on a daily basis. Stephanie’s book will cause you to take a deeper look into the insane circumstances that our Veteran women and men have endured to protect the lives of our U.S. citizens.

Getting heard comes at a huge price.
A woman is always reminded (using subtle or not so subtle jabs,) that no matter how strong she is, or how smart she is, she will never be as good as a man; no matter the job, or the circumstances. Some women are made to feel that a woman only has one purpose for a man and when no one is within earshot, he will be only too happy to tell her. And worse, if no one is around at the time, he or she may even show her, forcefully.

Sometimes the armed forces can be an environment ripe for rape. And it is not just women being raped. Men are suffering the same brutal treatment and there is just as little being reported about this phenomenon. The sad thing is, it is not being talked about or reported. Any woman, at any time, if she is unfortunate enough, can be on a base where an accused, alleged, rapist has already been pardoned by a base commander as a “misunderstanding” or having a “lack of evidence.” That “rapist” can be reassigned, as a means of keeping the them in the military because they are a “good soldier.”

The law is especially unjust and unfair, as well as unconstitutional, considering the unsettling history and incidences of sexual assault in all branches of our military, which tends to affect the potential soldiers who will likely suffer that same fate as Stephanie, if something is not done right away. It is long past time to right this wrong. Our bravest women should not feel compelled to seek dangerous alternatives after rape, because of the injustices that they may suffer.

I know that there is an unwritten code with our armed forces among our servicemen. A bond that should not be broken, however, I feel that there is an unwritten bond, as well as a written bond, that has been written by the very hand of God, that should never be broken. I am one million percent sure that Stephanie would rather break her unwritten bond with man any day, than to let her God down. Stephanie’s bond with her God is REAL, and for her not to tell the absolute truth about what really went on, would go against her bond with God.

I know that it is her faith in God that has given her the courage to write this book and I respect her and I support her one million percent. I give a standing ovation, as she tells her story and her truths. I know that by reading her book, it will give others the courage to come forth and tell their stories as well. No one should have to suffer the indignities that Stephanie has had to face, let alone from her own comrades. It is one thing to be attacked by the enemy that you are fighting against, but to be attacked from within is senseless and sad. This book shows only a portion of the battle scars she has suffered. It is my prayer that God will show you, through the Holy Spirit, like He has showed me what really goes on behind the scenes, as I read her story.

I feel that since Sergeant Stephanie put her life on the line, the least that our government could have done was to have her back. I also feel that during her time of service, no one had her back except Jesus Christ. She is not saying that all men and women of the armed forces are bad people. There were some people who were there for her in her time of need, such as her good friend and comrade Pam.

I feel that all she was asking for was to to be respected as an equal , and for the peace that God talks about in His word; the peace that passes all understanding (Philippians 4:7.) I do not feel that this was too much to ask for. I feel great changes need to be made on the part of the Legislation and government to help our veterans who come home with MST and PTSD.

This book is highly informative and will leave you speechless. Her book draws you in so much that it feels like you are in the story with her. This is her TRUE STORY of the injustices, sexual harassment’s, indignities, and disrespect, that Stephanie, as well as others have suffered while serving her country for us. As I read her book, I could feel her pain. After reading her book I have a new respect for her. Even as I write this review tears are falling from my eyes. I don’t even know how she functions on a day to day basis. I believe every word of her story is the truth. I also believe that many others have been going through or have gone through these same types of experiences, but are too afraid to speak out.

It is my Prayer that Stephanie will become THE VOICE for those who have suffered, and may still be suffering. My prayer is that those who are in leadership will begin to make immediate changes, before many others suffer the same fate as Sergeant Stephanie. I am so proud of where God has brought her from, and how she is fighting to make things right for others. I know that she gives all of the Glory to Jesus Christ for what He is continually bringing her through.

No doubt there will be those who will be upset or may disagree with her story, and that is their right, just as she has her right to tell her story. I salute her with pride and all of the love and support that I have in my heart. She makes me proud to be a United States citizen. Our service women and men deserve nothing less than our full support and commitment as they continue to give theirs to our nation.

My question to you is: Will you join her in her fight against the enemy within? I know that I will!

Book Promo: Farewell, Hello by Charmaine Gordon


Farewell, Hello

by Charmaine Gordon


That first kiss… that first incredible, agonizing, bellyache-making first kiss. Soon, Joy and Danny are inseparable, planning a future — a life, together.

A kiss goodbye couldn’t prepare the high school sweethearts for all that lay ahead. A family crisis, a tornado, and the Korean War brought their plans to a screeching halt, and changed their futures…but maybe not their forever.







 FH CVR clip

Farewell, Hello Sneak Peek Video




Concept CVR FH 1

Free 4 Chapter Preview Farewell, Hello



About Charmaine Gordon:

Years of experience as an actor on daytime drama. Stage, spokesperson and commercials plus writing sketches for Air Force shows helped prepare me for the wonders of a writing career. Of course, I didn’t realize it at the time when immersed in the written words of others, that I was like a sponge, soaking up how to construct a scene, write dialogue, and paint the setting.

My writing effort came later when I wrote a two page story, sent it to son, Paul who commented, “Cool. Can you write ten pages?” Seemed impossible but the story poured from my fingers and seventy thousand words later, I typed The End.

I kissed my acting career goodbye, leaving on a high note with the lead in an Off Broadway play, “The Fourth Commandment” author Rich Knipe. It was great fun and time to move on. Movies like “Working Girl”, “Road to Wellsville” and having the pleasure of Anthony Hopkins company at lunch, working with Mike Nichols in “Regarding Henry” and singing outside with Harrison Ford, crying with Gene Wilder over loss on another set, When “Harry Met Sally” with the whole gang singing It Had to Be You. Lots of fond memories. My first job as stand-in leg model for Geraldine Ferraro in a Diet Pepsi commercial with Secret Service men guarding her and her daughters. A sweet time.

One last memory and a funny one at that. A casting call went out for an actor with a Betty White voice. Talent in the tri-state area scouted and I was the only one who fit the bill. A voice-over accomplished for a nutritious drink for seniors; another credit added to my resume. I smile every time I see and hear Ms White on television and recall yet another sweet time.



Meet VHP Author Marilyn Celeste Morris

Good morning everyone. Today I am thrilled to introduce the very talented and multi-published Marilyn Celeste Morris.

Marilyn, thanks so much for joining us today in the Potpourri Parlor…

Can you tell us a little about your next book to come out – After Camelot: Esther’s Quest? Is this a sequel to The Unexplored Heart? Do you have any more works planned based on these characters?

Marilyn: Yes, on all three questions. I also have sequels planned for my other novels: The Women of Camp Sobingo will focus on Trudy Cavanaugh and her fame and fortune as the Chairman of her father-in-law’s publishing empire. It will be named: That Cavanaugh Woman. The third book in the Sabbath Trilogy will be Sabbath’s Village, and will tell how the small town encounters witchcraft in their midst. So far, that’s the only sequels planned, but my other novels might cry out for a sequel.

I’m curious about your book The Cards We’re Dealt, Life with Lupus Erythematosus – what inspired you to write this book? I know that Lupus is a very personal issue for you, how has having Lupus affected you as a writer?

Marilyn: I kept a journal for many years, detailing my day-to-day search for answers to the strange symptoms I was experiencing, and the frustration of going to five doctors/medical centers in three years. When I was finally diagnosed, I wondered if others had experienced the same feelings and thoughts. I joined an online lupus support group and gained even more knowledge and insight about this baffling condition. I asked permission from the moderators asking if I could contact many of the participants and using their experiences, frustrations and how they shared their diagnoses with friends and families. They said they thought that was a great idea, so when a particular story or “rant” struck me as being part of my own feelings, I sent each one a permission document to sign and return to me. I borrowed liberally from my journals to use as an intro before I inserted their wisdom, experiences both positive and negative, and feelings of despair, anger, self-pity and moment of hilarity; one participant quoted a 12 Step prayer as: Lord give me the serenity to accept the things I cannot change, courage to change the things I can, and the wisdom to hide the bodies of those physicians who told me it was all in my head.

Do you work on more than one novel at a time?

Marilyn: Yes. First time anyone has asked me that question. Doesn’t everybody? By “work” I mean a few random scenes are written into the body of the novel, in no certain order, and saved with a notation of where those scenes could be planted. I carry 5 x7 note cards in my purse where random ideas can be written down before the experience is forgotten.

What historical time period is your favorite?

Marilyn: I don’t think I have a favorite time period right now. My two historical novels are reflections of the WWII era and 1860s Victorian years. I can’t tell you my reaction to discovering that WWII years are in the “historical” class, but I remained slack-jawed for days after learning that. I guess it’s because I am old enough to remember some of those years, even if I was just a child. As for Victorian England, it’s near enough to hold our fascination with the young monarch’s reign in comparison to the present Queen. But I’m open to other time periods; I love to research the distant past, too.


Marilyn: I attribute my fondness for history as a 4th grader in a Department of Defense Dependents School in Seoul, Korea, when we were distributed a small, red, leather-bound book titled “Ancient History.” When I read that my hero, Alexander the Great cried because he had no more worlds to conquer, I cried, too.

Do you have a vision board or other `trick’ to help motivate you?

Marilyn:  No. At the beginning of a novel, I keep my story line close at hand, so I can remember where I should change a character or insert a different scene. It’s fairly random until I near the end of the novel, where I review my so-called “outline” and revise if necessary.

Do you schedule time to write or is writing all consuming to the exclusion of everything else and you schedule time to do other things? Like eat.

Marilyn: I have a rather haphazard writing schedule. I like to joke that I do my best writing while I’m in the shower. Must be the cleansing of the soapy water. By that time, I have done the morning “pick up” routine, like unloading the dishwasher, etc. so I can feel free to write until I’m ready to do something else. My son has installed a graphic that comes on the screen reminding me that I need to take a break, which I cheerfully ignore. I write until I find a stopping point; then I go load the washer, unload the dryer, etc. until I’m ready to get back to the work in progress.

How do you “connect” with your readers?

Marilyn: I don’t know how or why I connect with some readers. I’ve had some rather nice comments on each one of my novels, and with my non-fiction works.

Can you tell us about any memorable author-reader interactions?

Marilyn:  Oh, I have a beautiful story about a reader’s reaction to my non-fiction book, Once a Brat, Always a Brat. My son and I were going to a friend’s funeral when the phone rang. Woody answered it, then handed it to me. “It’s about your book,” he whispered. I thought, “Which book?” and then, “Am I in trouble?” ‘But the voice on the other end of the line said, “I have to tell you how much I enjoyed your book, Once a Brat, Always a Brat. You see, I’m a brat, too, and I believe I was in Linz, Austria at the same time you were. In fact,” she went on while I tried to process what she had said, “you were probably in my younger brother’s class. His name is Joe Grotenrath.”

I almost screamed in recognition. “Joe Grotenrath! He was my boyfriend!” If 6th graders can have boyfriends, then he was mine. I remember standing with him on a balcony in the summer moonlight, where I got my first kiss. So long ago, and so far away, yet here was his sister. She was a senior in high school at the time, and they weren’t there as long as I was, but she managed to get her photo in our yearbook. She said she no longer had any of her memorabilia from Austria, so I offered to scan that yearbook’s photos and send it to her. We have kept in touch via email since that day.

 When you are not writing, what do you do to unwind?

Marilyn: I watch a lot of television. Good, bad or indifferent, I’m a big fan of television. Most of the History and National Geographic programs take me away to different times and places from my current project. Yet, I’m always taking mental notes, if not actual notes on my note cards, for other projects. I actually found a plot line for my current work in progress, where Esther discovers an amazing artifact I had not even considered, yet it fits perfectly in this novel.

Aside from yourself, of course, who are your favorite authors? Was there any particular author who inspired you to write?

Marilyn: I can’t say I have favorite authors; I’m an eclectic reader. But I do love Stephen King and Dean Koontz. (Many people express surprise that this “little old lady” loves the macabre, but I love it.) I don’t tend to run out and buy the current hit novel. Besides, I find it difficult to read anybody’s work while I’m writing my own novel. You could say, I get a “guilty feeling” that I should be writing instead of reading. And I don’t have any idea of who inspired me to become a writer, myself. I just know I was meant to be a writer from the first day in kindergarten when Teacher told us that the alphabet made words, words made sentences, and sentences made stories. I was drunk with power after that.

Morning Person? Or Night Person? How do you know?

Marilyn: I’m definitely a morning person. I sometimes work through the “normal” lunchtime, until my blood glucose level is so low I have to stop and get something to eat. I take a nap when I need one, and sometimes I return to my laptop after dinner to finish a chapter or at least a thought left in limbo.

 Is there any one particular character in your novels that you feel is most like Marilyn Celeste Morris? How?

Marilyn: I have to admit I am becoming more and more like Esther Wooster, the wife of the famed archaeologist featured inThe Unexplored Heart. I have told the story about when I typed the words, “The End” to that novel, I was startled to see Esther Wooster storming into my office and settling beside my desk. “You just think this is the end,” she snorted. “I want my own book. I may have been a minor character in this novel, but I want to be the featured player in your next book. And it must have my name in the title.” Thus, After Camelot: Esther’s Quest became my latest work in progress. Normally I’m a pretty quiet, unassuming woman, due to my sheltered, compliant childhood as an army officer’s daughter, then the obedient, quiet wife of two corporate businessmen, but I found a whole other personality in my writings. So you might say, Esther has been begging to come out for many years. As has Trudy Cavanaugh, from The Women of Camp Sobingo, who inherits her father-in-law’s powerful position of Chairman of the Board of his publishing empire.

I won’t write about women who are weak and submissive. Can’t do it.

Can you describe your favorite place to write? Do you listen to music or watch TV while you write?

Marilyn: Although I have a laptop and could theoretically write almost anywhere, I prefer the desk in my bedroom corner for my writing. I pull the laptop close to me on a large lap desk, balancing the things on my armchair for comfort. I have the television going in the background, volume on low, but I’ve learned I can’t have music in the background: I want to get up and dance! Chair dancing is also non-productive, so I stick with television cable news channels.

What do you prefer to read, a print (paper)) book, an ebook, or an audiobook? Does it make a difference what you are reading as to what format you prefer?

Marilyn: In this technical age, I should be Amish. I haven’t tried too many e-book readers, no matter what the genre, but I love the feel and the ‘”heft” of a good print novel in my hands.

Please tell us a little about your home life- family, pets, community?

Marilyn: I have three grown children: Two girls and a boy. One of my girls is actually a step-daughter, but we cheerfully ignore that she was born to another woman who went off to Los Angeles with Lauri, at the age of 12 months, until her father, my second husband, discovered she was being mistreated so he flew out to LA from TX and literally kidnapped her, returning to TX with a bottle and one change of diapers. He and I had worked in the same company; I thought my kids, son Woody, and daughter Terri, 12 and 10 years old, and I were going to starve to death after I divorced their father. So, it seemed logical and practical for us to marry and raise our children. That lasted 12 years when we finally gave our marriage a mercy killing. Terri moved to CA where she is in the mortgage business; Lauri has my grandchildren, living on an acreage west of Fort Worth where she raises horses and gives riding lessons, both Western and Dressage. The kids are Joseph, 18, getting ready to go off to college,  Julia, 13, and Jayna, 7.

My son recently came home to live with me due to the economy in OR, where he was an insurance salesman, and while it’s been quite an adjustment, all in all we have learned to live together quite nicely. Especially since I have medical issues from time to time, and he does all the grocery shopping and the cooking.

At what point in your life did you first feel comfortable calling yourself an author/writer?

Marilyn: Just a few years ago, I began telling others “I’m a writer.” It felt awkward at first, but I finally got used to it. But now, I’m calling myself a novelist, since that’s the bulk of my work: “Novelist: Telling lies for fun and profit.”

Can you tell us where to find more information on you? Website? Blog?

My website is:



Free reads: First four chapters of all my books:

Is there a place where readers can reach you?

Marilyn: Email me at marilyncmorris(at)

Do you have anything you want to say to your readers?

Marilyn: I’d like to thank them for reading my books, and especially those who gave reviews, unasked, but received gratefully. I’d like to think of my readers as women who have immense curiosity in many different areas.

Marilyn Celeste Morris, Author, Editor, Speaker

And now, free reads: First four chapters of all Marilyn’s books: