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Interview with Casey Wolfe, author of One Bullet
When did you write your first story and what was the inspiration for it?
I don’t quite remember the inspiration, but it was the fifth or sixth grade. I wrote a short horror story about my friends and I being trapped in the mall with a serial killer. Funny enough, as a project for a creative writing class in high school, my friend and I did a rewrite of the original concept. I still have a copy, and it’s actually not half bad. I don’t even like the horror genre. Go figure.
Another one I remember writing back then was a short story about my friends and I going to NASA, ending up on a shuttle that was on it’s way to the space station, and we had to thwart some bad guy from trying to destroy the station. I believe that one was likely inspired in part by the old Disney movie “Zenon: Girl of the 21st Century.”
I’m showing my age a bit, but I know there’s got to be copies on a floppy disk somewhere.
Do you have a writing schedule or do you just write when you can find the time?
I write whenever I get a free minute. Although, I tend to do the bulk of my writing late at night, into the early morning hours.
Briefly describe the writing process. Do you create an outline first? Do you seek out inspirational pictures, videos or music? Do you just let the words flow and then go back and try and make some sense out it?
I outline whatever I have for plot, and I create character bios for both reference and exploring the characters. Both of which I add to as things go along. I use pictures and music as inspiration as well. Because I outline, it allows me to skip around and work on what I want at any given time, rather than writing from start to finish.
Where did the desire to write LGBTQIA+ stories come from?
How much research do you do when writing a story and what are the best sources you’ve found for giving an authentic voice to your characters?
It depends on what I’m writing. Sometimes they’ll be a lot of prep – like working on a historical – but mostly there’s just small things to look up as I go along. As far as creating an authentic voice and characterization, people watching is really helpful. Also, making up character bios before even starting to write helps me get the basics down of who these people are. Like with any relationship, we get to know each other as things go on, and characters grow and change into their own people, all on their own.
What’s harder, naming your characters, creating the title for your book or the cover design process?
Titles are horrible! I either get a title right away with the initial idea, or it’s a last minute revelation. “One Bullet” falls into the latter category.
How do you answer the question “Oh, you’re an author…what do you write?”
This is the part where you insert the gif of Rick Grimes (The Walking Dead) saying “Stuff… things.”
What does your family think of your writing?
My family’s always been very supportive with my writing. My mom, especially, has always pushed me to do what I love and to give it my all. She was even a beta reader for “One Bullet.”
Tell us about your current work in process and what you’ve got planned for the future.
Currently, I’m working on an urban fantasy trilogy – all books at the same time, because I’m apparently insane. It follows the same group of friends on a modern version of the epic quest, while each book focuses on a different couple.
Also, waiting in the wings is a magical realism novel set during WW2, which really plays into my history nerd. Right now I’m just working on plot, characters, and research. Lots and lots of research.
Do you have any advice for all the aspiring writers out there?
Write. Simple as that. You’ll never improve if you don’t work at it. You don’t have to show anyone what you’re working on. Just stretch those fingers and write.
Meet the Author
Beauty of the Beast
🎬 Book Trailer 🎬
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🥀 Excerpt 🥀
~ The East Tower ~
Arms sprang out from the darkness. They spun her full circle and slammed her body against the king’s portrait. Isabelle gasped, more in shock than from pain, as she stared into Adam’s deformed face. The lantern flickered behind his massive form, casting his cloaked body in silhouette. But she saw enough to know he was far from pleased. Rage and frustration radiated from his body like a palpable force.
“I warned you to stay out of here,” he said, his voice dangerously cold and deep. Those rugged vocals vibrated against her body and seeped into her marrow. “What part of forbidden didn’t you comprehend?” His voice lashed out from the darkness like a hurtled knife, and the word “forbidden” seemed to whisper another meaning altogether. Isabelle tried to answer but failed to find her voice. Indeed, her vocal cords had turned to solid ice, as numb and cold as the blood rushing through her veins. She couldn’t breathe; she felt like she was suffocating.
“My mother gave me that musical box on my fourth birthday,” he said, the sensual lull of his voice causing the fine hairs on her nape to stand erect. “And now your recklessness has destroyed it. Have you nothing to say?”
“I—I’m sorry.” He offered no reply; only the ragged sound of his breathing and the hammering blizzard broke the silence. “Please—I didn’t mean any harm.”
She struggled under the weight of Adam’s colossal body and battled to free herself. He merely gave a low chuckle and pressed her firmly against the portrait. He looked otherworldly at that moment, like an angel of death seeking vengeance. Both beautiful and monstrous, his cool, sapphire eyes overflowed with warring emotions. In spite of his harsh and ruthless exterior, she detected a quaver in his voice and saw that his large, cloaked shoulders trembled. The darkness in his soul cast a shadow that embraced her; as she peered up at him, she knew he was drowning in the turbulent waters of a past time.
“What a disappointment,” he went on, his voice growing deeper still, mocking her words from so many days ago, “You’re like any other woman.”
“I—I’m sorry. Please, Adam. I—” Her gaze shot past his body and over the wreckage of a past life. She thought of her private chamber again—of the stale perfumes and outdated garments.
Her flight or fight instinct seized hold of her. She attempted to scramble free, but he merely grabbed her shoulder and whirled her back against the portrait. Gloves wrapped his hands; his long, silk-clad fingers grasped her shoulder and kept her firmly in place.
Hands like two steel bands held her wrists in place. Hot breaths, which faintly smelled of wine, seared her cheeks and assaulted her senses. Her breasts flattened against the pressure of his strong chest, and she felt that same chest swell and deflate in perfect sync with her own. One large hand slipped down her elbow and glided across her extended arm. The lush material of his gloves drew a shudder from her heaving chest. His breathing grew more ragged, shallower, and the erratic beat of his heart banged against her own.
Anger and desire warred on his face, twisting his features into a mess of both monster and man. “Find anything of interest, aside from my musical box? Come, come. You went through such great trouble to get here,” he asked, his voice now threaded with both anger and something else.
Yes, Isabelle recognized that something else. It was the same note that had entered Raphael’s voice that night…
She attempted to duck under his arm, but he moved swiftly, capturing her in the crook of his elbow. Reeling her toward him, he emitted a low, haunting chuckle that swelled the eastern tower to its rafters. She was back where she’d started—pinned against the portrait, Adam’s body serving as a flesh-and-blood blockade.
Hunger radiated from him, enfolding her in a current of sizzling power. His silk-clad hand grazed the curve of her breast as it moved down her body in a painfully slow caress. Even more alarming was her reaction to him. Her treacherous body responded with a crush of hot and cold pulsating waves. Then he whispered a taunt in her ear, and his liquid baritone slid down her backbone like honey; it swirled inside her, finding its home in her most intimate area.
He leaned closer still. His face’s uneven skin brushed against her neck, the black waves of his hair tickled her chin… His thick arousal expanded against her, reminding her of what he was capable of—and of her sheer vulnerability.
🥀 Excerpt 🥀
~ Adam and Isabelle’s ballroom dance ~
Isabelle entered the ballroom at precisely eight o’clock. Moonlight, bone white and lustrous, threaded through the grand windows like prying fingers. The illumination set the medallion flooring aglow. Columns lined the oval-shaped room and graced a domed ceiling. A handsome grandfather clock towered in the corner, ticking off the seconds with a pulsating drone. Candelabras reached around the edge of the circular room and lurked like quiet sentries. Their wavering candles mated with the moonbeams and threw golden patches across the intricate marble floor.
Incredible silence surrounded Isabelle, pressed into her very being, as she slipped into the heart of the ballroom. She could almost hear the gay whispers of ladies and the delicate swishing of their lace fans. She smelled the sweet scents of their exotic perfumes and could hear the distant, ghostly echo of a pianoforte. And she knew that, despite the castle’s neglected state, it had once been a place of unrivaled beauty and glamour.
Isabelle spun around full circle, her mind transporting to a past era that brimmed with elegance and luxury. She felt the darkly romantic pull of the castle and its numberless mysteries… felt herself falling in love with its shadows and secrets. Dust motes danced in the shafts of moonbeams and wavering candles. Faintly she hummed beneath her breath, testing the acoustics in the spacious room. Her voice carried, swirling around her in an echoing cyclone.
Then she came to a standstill as a soft touch grazed her bare shoulder. Large, silk-clad hands rotated her body with a startling gentleness. A breath escaped her lips as she drank in Adam’s proud, towering form. Her mind slipped back to the previous day and night—to their sensual kiss in the stables.
A navy, double-breasted coat hugged the muscular curves of his body, offset by shimmering golden buttons. They looked like small glowing suns floating against a sky of rustic blue.
He resembled a flesh-and-blood prince. Proud. Formidable. In full command of everything and everyone in the room. Even a hint arrogant. Her heart hammered, threatening to burst. Suddenly she felt like she’d been thrust into a world of magic and romantic hushed secrets. The scars look out of place on his smirking features, she mused with a pang of sadness. And dressed in a cascade of cornflower damask and lace, the sparkling tiara half-buried in her curls, she felt like a princess.
Adam took a deft step backward, sank into a shallow bow, and outstretched his gloved hand. Isabelle grasped her flowing skirts and dipped into a curtsy, her heart madly pitter-pattering. Feeling like a young girl during her first ball, she accepted the invitation and abandoned her silk-encased palm in his own. Strength surged through his fingers, sending chords of awareness thrumming through her body.
A muscled arm snaked around her torso and tugged her intimately close. Everything seemed to fade away while the heat of their bodies mingled as one. Her heart banged against her ribs as she sought the depths of his eyes. At this range, flicks of gold contrasted against his sky-blue irises. Much of the sadness seemed to have vanished, leaving an almost boyish delight in its wake. The right side of his face was devastatingly handsome, his hair so black it drank the twinkling candles.
Keeping her body pressed to his own, he swung her into the scandalous waltz dance. Her small fingers curled around his bicep as he lifted the other hand in midair. He swept her across the smooth marble floor, twirling her body, his large hand securely on the center of her back, his footwork extravagant and exact. Cords of muscle bunched and slid beneath her fingers, and light from the candelabras flashed over the mismatched sides of his face.
Isabelle felt clumsy—as if she had sprouted two left feet. She’d spent her youth traveling the countryside and coastline with Papa—not blushing behind a lace fan or dancing in lavish ballrooms. Adam, however, danced with a haunting grace; his movements executed with a fine, cultured polish. He clearly hadn’t been raised in the back of a wagon, she mused. Prince-like and regal, he’d danced this dance many times before; maybe it had been in another place and another life, but his confident, masterful steps gave the truth away.
Isabelle struggled to keep up with his graceful strides, though she knew she was making a fool of herself. She stumbled as Adam swept her into an unexpected twirl again; he reeled her back to his side, so they stood intimately close, then chuckled in her ear with the audacity of a pirate. The decadent sound rippled through her veins and mingled with the wine. His lips pressed against the shell of her ear, and the whisper of his warm breaths sent chills thrumming down her backbone.
“You’re a dreadful dancer,” he murmured against her ear. Paired with the husky baritone of his voice, the insult sounded rather like an endearment.
Regardless, she returned the blight with a swift and playful vengeance. “Perhaps my partner is to blame.” She cocked her head back and captured his bright gaze. He offered no retort aside from the arch in his thick brow.
Her face reached the height of his shoulder and not a centimeter more. She curled her head against the security of his chest and inhaled his essence with a reverent breath. A tangle of emotions welled in her gut, blurring everything but the moment… everything but the exquisite feel of Adam holding her. As he swept her across the smooth marble floor, the world whirled by in a beautiful, dreamlike mosaic.
Adam shifted back and forth in a tantalizing rocking motion, slow dancing to a melody only he could hear. As she melted into his embrace, the candelabras crackled and seductively flashed, accompanying each of their steps. Then he bowed his chin and hummed a beautiful tune against her forehead. It sounded achingly sweet, like a tender lullaby from the depths of a dream world. The force of his vocals resonated deep inside her, massaging Isabelle’s body with delicious caresses. Her heart resembled a drum—and she trembled in time with its beat. That immaculate baritone stoked her imagination, igniting an inferno deep within her soul.
Closing her eyes, she rubbed her cheek against his coat’s rugged material and sparkling buttons, abandoning herself to his rhythmic sways and husky baritone. Drawing her into its sultry, comforting depths, his voice surrounded her like liquid velvet. With increasing pressure, his palm swept up the length of her back, down and up, tickling her spine with each soothing movement. Heated breaths wafted against her hairline, stirring the curls about her shoulders. His every gesture felt numbingly gentle, executed with a startling grace. Isabelle had to remind herself to breathe, lest she faints from the pleasure of it all.
Emotion claimed the best of her. Isabelle exhaled a shaky breath as tears singed the corners of her eyes.
They danced like that for close to an hour, moving in perfect unison to the calming melody of Adam’s voice, the slick medallion floor sliding beneath their feet like some magical carpet. The marble ground reflected their waltzing images with the ease of a looking glass.
🥀 Meet the Author 🥀
🥀Enter the Giveaway🥀
Rachel L. Demeter is giving away an Ebook copy of Finding Gabriel directly to your Kindle
by Reily Garrett
Keyboard prodigy, Lexi Donovan has risen from teenage orphan of the streets to complete independence with little help along the way. When a friend is threatened, Lexi’s anonymous message sends police into a firefight, leading to a wounded cop.
“A Strange Companion hooks the reader with its very first line and never lets go. The voice is unassuming and introspective, the prose elegant, and the descriptions sensuous.” ~Society of Children’s Book Writers and Illustrators
“Manterfield presents a story – part romance, part mystery – about love and loss, and learning to live again. Reminiscent of The Art of Racing in the Rain, we can’t help but embrace the dream that the ones we have loved and lost may one day return.” ~Julie Mayerson Brown, author of The Long Dance Home
“This beautiful blend of heartbreak, finding one’s self, grief, forgiveness, loss, and second chances, is a perfect rainy day read. I cannot say enough good things about this book! Read it with a box of tissues, as you will cry your eyes out.” ~The Reading Wolf
I ran my hand along the log, waiting for my fingers to find the small indentations I knew would be there. They didn’t. The initials and the heart that Gabe had carved into the bark of the log now lay beneath a smooth carpet of moss, as if our love was something lost to the past. I pressed my finger into the moss but not a single tear would come. I simply sat there on the log and remembered.Grief, apparently, had a mind of its own. It had snuck up on me in unexpected places, but now that I needed it, it would not do my bidding. I pushed up off the log, wiping at my dry eyes. I would be home for three full weeks, plenty of time to go looking for grief. My hometown was filled with memories of Gabe and I’d keep looking until I found them all.
The tiny dot of light I’d seen grew bigger. As it wrapped around me, my eyes were drawn towards it. I felt suddenly light and my mind seemed to float somehow in my head. I wanted to get up, to pull myself from the ground and go, to step into the warmth of the light and allow it take me away from here.A man’s voice filtered into my ears in a hazy blur. It was a kind voice, calling for me. Gabe. He’d found me. He’d come to deliver the rest of his message. I lifted my head to listen, determined not to miss a word this time.“Miss?” said the voice. “Are you all right?”I was close to the light now. If I kept on going, I was sure I wouldn’t come back. I wondered if Gabe would be there, arms open, waiting for me. I wanted to go. I had to get him. I pushed myself off the ground and moved towards the light.“Stay where you are!” yelled another voice, a woman’s this time. A surge of pain shot through me. I opened my eyes and stared into the brightness. My head spun and the light seemed to flash all around me. I struggled to find my balance as a wave of nausea passed through me. Two dark figures moved in, their welcoming hands reaching for me. As my knees buckled I glimpsed the glint of a rectangular badge as the pool of light flashed across the word “Police.”
Mai dropped to her knees and wrapped her arms around Frida’s enormous head. She rested her cheek against Frida’s bristly fur and the two of them lay there as if they’d been best pals forever. Luke reached down and ran his hand along Frida’s back. As he moved back to stroke again, his hand paused on Mai’s arm, curled around Frida’s neck.Luke froze. I felt the air around us go still—all except for one crackle of energy that danced between Mai and Luke. I felt it, Luke felt it, Frida felt it . . . and so did Mai.Luke cast his eyes down at the little girl at his feet, who stared, unblinking, back at him. His brow wrinkled, as his mind struggled to understand what I knew his heart felt. Then, something passed between them that I had once seen pass between Luke and his brother. It was more than love, more than understanding, more, even, than blood. It was a deep connection, a spark between two people, two souls, who were inextricably intertwined. Luke looked at me. “Did you feel that?”I nodded.“What was it?”I hesitated. I knew exactly what it was, but how could I tell Luke? It was one thing to tell Maggie about my suspicions, but Luke was Gabe’s brother. Was it fair of me to risk opening up the hurt I knew he’d spent the past two years trying to heal? But perhaps I wasn’t the only one Gabe needed to visit. I felt a prickle of excitement at the possibility that someone else might finally understand.Glancing back to make sure Luke and I were out of earshot, I leaned in and whispered. “I think it’s Gabe.”Luke narrowed his eyes at me. “He’s haunting her?”I shook my head. “Do you believe in reincarnation, Luke?”He shrugged, but the expression of curiosity on his face prompted me to take a chance.“I didn’t either until I met Mai.”