Q&A with Mystery Author Gayle Carline

Welcome back to Reading, Reading, Reading and Happy Valentines Day!

If you have been following my blog for a while, you will know that my absolute favourite genre is Mystery/Thriller. While I cannot find time to read every single mystery/thriller book ever published, I still have fun finding them and checking in to see what they are about. Gayle Carline is the author of Murder Bytes, a mystery series featuring a female P.I. (Peri Minneopa), and her adventures set in and around Orange County and Southern California. Throughout the following questions, Gayle chats about her new book and other mysteries she plans to write in the future! Enjoy!

Q: Murder Bytes is your fifth Peri Minneopa mystery. What can you tell us about Peri, and how does this book continue the traditions established by the other novels in the series?

A: In the last book, A More Deadly Union, Peri was left traumatized after solving the case. In the latest story, she just wants to stop investigating crime, settle down, and marry her longtime boyfriend. Unfortunately, that’s not the way her life works. Her brother needs her help, to prove he did not commit murder. She is reluctant to help him, both because she is still feeling the trauma of the last case and because her brother does not want any kind of relationship with her—he is only using her to get out of trouble. To me, it is a classic question of the thickness of blood and water, and how much you are willing to go to bat for ‘that relative.

Q: In Murder Bytes, Peri re-opens her practice to help her estranged brother. What keeps Peri from simply referring him to another qualified detective?

A: At the end of the day, Dev is her big brother. She wants to believe that he considers her his little sister, that someday, somehow, he will realize his familial love for her. There’s a piece of advice, to ‘raise the child you have and not the one you want.’ In Peri’s case, she wants the brother who wants to be close to her, and has a hard time accepting the brother that he is.

Q: Peri’s boyfriend, Detective Skip Carlton, is now her official fiancé. They have bought a home together, and are selling their houses. Because Peri’s house sold and Skip’s is still on the market, she is living in the new place while it’s being remodeled. How is this affecting their relationship?

A: The continual stream of workers and noise in their house has Peri’s stress dialed up to 11, on top of her PTSD. It creates conflict for them, in that he wants to defer remodeling decisions to her, so that she will be happy, and she would like him more involved, to take the pressure off. In addition, he wants to help her with her brother’s problem, but would like her to just sit on the sidelines and watch—something she’s never been good at.

Q: There are a number of familiar characters in Murder Bytes that readers will recognize from the earlier novels in the series. Who are your personal favorites, and what happens to them in this particular story?

A: I like them all, for individual reasons. Blanche is always Peri’s rock as her BFF, and I appreciate her good advice. I admire Police Chief Fletcher—he is the right man for the job. Of course, Benny Needles will always be my favorite. In this book, he gets his own chapters, and even has a ‘special friend.’ He and Peri have a lot of warm, connecting moments, and I’m very pleased with his growth.

Q: Murder Bytes takes place in Southern California, in the Orange County area. How integral is this setting to the Peri Minneopa mysteries, and why did you place the series in this environment?

A: When I started this series, I wanted a small town feel, but not so small that I wouldn’t kill off all the residents! They say to write what you know, and I know Southern California. My hometown of Placentia has a very small-town feel, even though it is locked into the vast Orange County. That made it perfect—nonresidents are constantly coming in and out of town, giving my stories lots of victims. Plus, I’m very proud to live in Placentia (we sometimes call it P-Town). I might as well do my part to put it on the map.

Q: Are you working on another Peri Minneopa mystery? If so, what can you tell us about it?

A: I am advertising this as the fifth and final installment of Peri Minneopa Mysteries. I think I’ve taken her to a place where the next book would be such a completely different flavor, it will have to be a new series of mysteries. Don’t worry—I’ll start writing them! In the meantime, I have a sequel to my romantic suspense, Murder on the Hoof, to write.

Be sure to pick up your own copy of Murder Bytes, as it hits shelves today!

Good Night Book Owls!

February Flurries: Jordan Locke Interview!

Hi everyone!

Today, I’m going to be doing ANOTHER Author Interview! Yesterday, I reviewed his book, and today I’m interviewing him!

Click here to see my book review for “The Only Boy” by Jordan Locke:

About Jordan Locke:

I live in Connecticut with my spouse, two lively daughters and a well-behaved whippet. A graphic designer by trade, my creativity has spilled over into the writing world. After five novels in as many years, I managed to snag an agent. And not just any agent—the fabulous Miriam Kriss of the Irene Goodman Literary Agency.

Like many writers, I have a day job. But most nights, after the dog is fed and the kids are in bed, you will find me tapping away at the keyboard.

Now for… the interview!

Give us a quick synopsis of your book “The Only Boy”.

The story takes place many years after a global epidemic wipes out all the men. Women live in small groups, scavenging for food. Little known to the leader, the Matriarch, a boy lives in one of the settlements. When his compound is destroyed, he’s relocated to Section One, where he needs to hide his identity or he may be banished… or even executed. Mary, one of the teenagers, starts having feelings for him, even though she doesn’t realize he’s a boy. The story unfolds as a dual narrative, back and forth between Mary and the boy, Taylor.

How did you come up with the concept for your novel?

I was thinking about the movie Children of Men, where children have stopped being born, and wondered what might happen if only women were alive. How would they reproduce? What might the society be like.

Are any of the characters inspired by people you know in your daily life?

I didn’t base any character on anyone I know, but here is surely some of myself in the main characters, especially Taylor. I was also quiet and reserved growing up.

How are there still children, when there are no men AND the woman are not allowed touching others?

Women combine genes from two women to produce female children. Apparently, it’s already been done with mice.

Which POV did you enjoy writing from more?

I can’t say I enjoyed one more than the other. Taylor was the easier of the two, because, as I mentioned, we are more alike. Mary is rebellious, which is a stretch for me, but it was fun trying to get inside her head. What I enjoyed most, though, was the interaction between the two.

Why did you decide to make your book in two different POVs?

This was the first book I wrote as a dual narrative. I’d recently read a book with alternating points of view and liked being able to see two sides of the story and the misunderstandings that arise.

Do you like the cover of your book, or do you have any plans to change it?

I’m happy with the way it turned out. Not sure if you know this, but I created the cover myself. I have no plans to change it, although it might be fun to create an alternative cover with Mary instead of Taylor.

When did you start writing?

Seven years ago. One day, a scene pooped into my head. I wrote a few pages and stuck it in a drawer. Four years later, I was listening to the radio, and the hosts were reading the openings of their favorite books. I thought about how mine would start, and the Ideas kept coming. I HAD to write them down. Now, I’ve written seven novels, although some of them will probably never see the light of day.

Did you share your novel with friends or family before publishing it?

A few family members read it, and a couple of friends (one critiqued it and another proofread it for me).

Can you provide any tips for newer writers on writing a novel?

Persistence is key. Keep reading, keep writing and keep learning the craft. The writers who get published are the ones who don’t give up.

I hope you guys enjoyed the second author interview I have done on my blog!

I would like to give a HUGE thanks to Jordan Locke, for letting me read, review and interview him and his books! It was so awesome corresponding with you, Jordan!

Jordan’s Links:

Blog: http://www.jordanlocke.com/
Twitter: https://twitter.com/Jordan1Locke

That’s it for today’s post! See you guys tomorrow!

Good Night Book Lions!

February Flurries: Shannon A. Thompson Author Interview!

Hi everyone!

Who remembers when I put up my posts list for my February series, and I said that I would be doing a special author interview? Well, I am so excited to announce that the author is Shannon A. Thompson, writer of “The Timely Death Trilogy”!


Hello! I’m Shannon A. Thompson. I’m very passionate about writing, reading, and drinking too much coffee. After ten publications, I am currently seeking new representation so I can continue this writing journey! Photo by Colt Coan Photography.

I was so fortunate enough to have been corresponding with her for the last few weeks, and let me tell you, she is a wonderful lady!
Now for the part you have all been waiting for… the interview!

At what age did you start writing, or felt like you wanted to write a book?

I’ve been writing as long as I can remember. Cliché, I know, but my mother taught me to write as a coping mechanism. As a child, I suffered from night terrors, and it was difficult for me to separate my dreams from reality, so she told me to turn them into stories. Since then, I’ve always wanted to be an author, but I started pursuing the dream when I was 11 years old after my mom died.

Give us a quick synopsis of the first book in “The Timely Death” trilogy, Minutes Before Sunset.

 Told in alternating points of view, Minutes Before Sunset revolves around an ancient war between the Light and the Dark, and the Dark is destined to win. While Eric deals with both his human identity and his shade life, Jessica confronts the reality waiting for her in the hometown her parents died in. The two will come together for different purposes, but in the end, destiny is threatening death, and everyone’s lives depend on the secrets of three young people as they face impending doom.  

Do you consider “The Timely Death” trilogy to be more of a Dystopian, Fantasy or Paranormal genre?

 To me, The Timely Death Trilogy is more paranormal than anything. I love anything and everything paranormal, but I feel like literature generally focuses on the same types of creatures – vampires, werewolves, etc. – and that made me sad. Why stick to the same type when there are endless legends out there? Why not create your own legend? So, The Timely Death Trilogy was born.  

How did you come up with the concept of the Lights and the Darks?

 The Timely Death Trilogy is based off of a dream – like most of my books. During a dark time in my life, I started having dreams of a boy coming to visit and talk to me, but he wasn’t exactly human. It was rather strange – almost like he was human during the dream, but as soon as I woke up, I knew he wasn’t – and I wanted to incorporate that, which is why they all have different identities that still seem human-like. I actually shared a real excerpt from my diary when I wrote a reaction to one of the dreams: http://shannonathompson.com/2013/11/15/my-dream-goodreads-extras/  

Was there a specific POV that you enjoyed writing for? Why?

 As a woman myself, this might seem strange, but I generally enjoy writing as a male character more. I honestly think it stems from the fact that I was raised by guys, so I’m more comfortable with male voices. I’m rather a tomboy myself, so to speak, but Eric was definitely a riot to work with. That being said, my novel – Take Me Tomorrow – was only written from a female lead’s POV, and I enjoyed her a lot! I enjoy all of them.  

Did you ever want to write from the POV of a light, instead of a dark?

 Sure did! And – in fact – you will learn a lot about the Light in the last book of the trilogy, Death Before Daylight. You’ll even get to speak to Darthon himself.  

Who is your character “crush/OTP” from your book?

 Pierce/Jonathon was my favorite character. I think I fell for him because he always brought a relieving laughter to the table, but he was always so supportive and sure of himself, too. In both of his identities, he has a complication that touched me, and he is involved in both Jessica and Eric’s life, so – since I was Eric and Jessica – it was hard to not become best friends with him.  

Do you ever want to write a different trilogy, but in the same world as “The Timely Death” trilogy is in?

I have a prequel of Eric’s parents partially written I would love to finish one day, but for now, the three books will be the only three books in that world.  

Are any of your characters influenced by anyone? Or, do they have the same personality as you, or somebody you know?

I don’t purposely base any of my characters off of people I know, but I have been told by a friend or two that certain people reflect characters. I mainly add things that I wish I had in my life. For instance, I have always admired painters, but I’m awful at it in the same way many people can’t sing. Just awful. So Jonathon and Jessica both pick up painting in the trilogy. It was fun exploring their independence as well as their friendship over something I admire.  

When you first started writing this trilogy, did you know from the start that you wanted to make it a trilogy? 

I definitely didn’t. I only knew Seconds Before Sunrise, book 2, and then, I wrote book 1. After that, I was struggling with it, because it didn’t feel right, and one of my best friends – who was reading it – had a dream and told me about it. Everything clicked. Book 3 was born, and it is dedicated to that friend of mine.  

Are you happy with how the covers of your books look, or do you plan to change them?

Although I’m very grateful for Viola Estrella and Autumn Fog Photography for the original covers, The Timely Death Trilogy is getting brand new covers for their re-release through Clean Teen Publishing later this year. I’m very excited to share them!  

Did you share the novel with your family/friends before publishing it?

Sure did! The Timely Death Trilogy was written between 2005 and 2009, and I gave the original copies to fans of my first novel, November Snow. That being said, the original copies are very different from the final product. In fact, I had an original reader call me and ask if I even gave them the same book.  

What advice to you give to aspiring authors?

I always tell aspiring writers to create your own mantra. It helps you through the bad days, and it energizes the good ones. Mine is “write with passion; succeed with self-discipline”, because it reminds me why I write, but it also tells me what I have to do to keep writing.  

How long did it take you to write the first book?

 Well, technically, the second book – Seconds Before Sunrise – was written first. You actually see a dream sequence in there that I had in real life. I basically wrote the trilogy as a way of coping with the dreams because they were equally disturbing as they were comforting. But after I wrote the Seconds Before Sunrise, I realized it wouldn’t make sense without a “first” book, so I wrote Minutes Before Sunset. They both took about four months to write but much longer to finalize everything.  

How do you like to write (listen to music, sit in a quiet place, etc.)?

I am all over the place with my writing. I go through phases, but I currently do most of my writing in a local hookah house.  

Do you ever want to write a different trilogy, but in the same world as “The Timely Death” trilogy is in?

 I have a prequel of Eric’s parents partially written I would love to finish one day, but for now, the three books will be the only three books in that world.  

What is your all time favourite book, and who are your all time favourite authors?

 I can’t have all-time favorites. They are all too amazing! But I love Meg Cabot, Billy Collins, Cassandra Clare, Lauren Oliver, and more. I enjoy reading everything, but memoirs, paranormal, and poetry are my favorite genres.  

I hope you guys enjoyed my very first interview on my blog! Also, if you didn’t catch the surprise, Shannon A. Thompson is re-releasing the book with a new publishing house called “Clean Teen Publishing”, and is coming out with new covers for them! I’m so happy that I am the first blog that has released this news!

I would like to give a HUGE thanks to Shannon, for letting me read, review, and interview her and her books! It has been a blast! Make sure you come back to see my review for the next book in the trilogy “Seconds Before Sunrise”!

Check out the book review for the first book “Minutes Before Sunrise” here:

Good Night Book Lions!

Alyssa’s Reviews – February Flurries: Minutes Before Sunset by Shannon A. Thompson!

Hi everyone!

Today, I’m going to be doing a book review for an AWESOME book!

DISCLAIMER: I was given this book for review from the author, Shannon A. Thompson. I am not being payed to review this book. All opinions and thoughts are my own, and are not being persuaded by anyone else.

Don’t know what this book is about? I’ve got your back!

Synopsis (taken off from the authors website):

“Her kiss could kill us, and my consent signed our death certificates.”Eric Welborn isn’t completely human, but he isn’t the only shade in the small Midwest town of Hayworth. With one year left before his eighteenth birthday, Eric is destined to win a long-raging war for his kind. But then she happens. In the middle of the night, Eric meets a nameless shade, and she’s powerful—too powerful—and his beliefs are altered. The Dark has lied to him, and he’s determined to figure out exactly what lies were told, even if the secrets protect his survival.Jessica Taylor moves to Hayworth, and her only goal is to find more information on her deceased biological family. Her adoptive parents agree to help on one condition: perfect grades. And Jessica is distraught when she’s assigned as Eric’s class partner. He won’t help, let alone talk to her, but she’s determined to change him—even if it means revealing everything he’s strived to hide.

Authors Website: http://shannonathompson.com/


THIS BOOK. WAS AMAZING. Probably one of the best books I’ve read this year, or even in a LONG time.

To be completely honest, I contacted the author not EXACTLY knowing what the book is about. And, when I really found ALL of it out, I was a bit skeptical. BUT, BOY WAS I WRONG.

This book was an amazing paranormal story.

I fell in love with almost ALL of the characters, except for Eric’s dad. I don’t know, I just was not feeling him.

Jessica, is probably one of my new favourite female protagonists of ALL TIME. I loved hearing about her background, and how she was adopted and doesn’t know ANYTHING about  her life. That is not a spoiler, just a little hint for the middle of the book. Hehe sneaky me!

Eric was adorable. He was really cute, but serious when he had to be. Whether Jessica didn’t see it or not, Eric fell for her from the beginning and it was adorable.

I also LOVED the writing style, and although it was similar to other YA books, I thought that it had it’s own aspects to it. One thing that was cool was that the book is in 2 POVs. I found that Eric’s perspective was at night and Jessica’s was during the day. I really liked that aspect because I thought that it was cool how we were seeing a FULL 24 hours in the day, that way we didn’t miss anything.

I thought that the concept was VERY interesting, and before I started reading it was quite intriguing. This book was unlike any other book I’ve read before. Now a days, you find books that are practically the same as another book, but with different characters.

The only part that I didn’t really like was how the concept was kind of confusing at first, but once you read further along, it’s very easy to understand. You just have to get used to it, that’s all!

Overall, I LOVED this book and gave it 5/5 stars! I read this book at the end of January, into the first day of February, and writing this review I didn’t have to look ONCE into the book, it just stuck with me! That’s how you know it was an excellent book!

I’d like to give a HUGE thanks for Shannon A. Thompson for letting me read and review her book! It was such a blast!

If you liked this review, PLEASE come back tomorrow for  a SPECIAL AUTHOR INTERVIEW. *hint hint, nudge, nudge*

Thank you guys so much for reading today’s post.

And until next time…

Good Night Book Lions!