Posts Tagged ‘J.E. Taylor’

Waking the Siren

What?! Two blog posts in two days! What gives?

Believe it or not, I planned to follow up on yesterdays with another anyhow. However, I realized I’d forgotten to do something (namely this), so that comes in first. Who knows, maybe I’ll hit 3 posts in three days. Ahem, now then, on to the heart of the matter…

First off, this is not my book. It is, however, a good book. A really good book, in fact, and the second one in a series of great reads from J.E. Taylor, a personal friend of mine. I’m sharing it with you because I want more people to read her work and get hooked on her. And why not, my next release, The Goblin Queen, is probably a good month away still given more writing, editing, and cover art. You need something to do until then – why not try Jane out?

Kylee is at it again in the second installment of The Paradox Files. This time her nemesis is a bicorn who feeds on virtue and devotion, however Kylee isn’t sure which is more dangerous, the Nevada desert or the beast.

Pre-Order Waking the Siren now and this kick-ass urban fantasy novel will be delivered to your device on May 15th!

J.E. Taylor is also hosting a Facebook release party on May 15th from 5pm EST to 10pm EST and she is having some cool giveaways.
The giveaway is already up on the event page:
So swing in, enter the giveaway for $25 Amazon gift card and other cool things and say hello. You never know who might swing in to say hi.

If you’re looking for the first book in The Paradox Files series, currently it can only be found in the Legends of the Damned collection which you can read for free if you’re in Kindle Unlimited. If not, $2.99 is a steal for a collection of 20 books!
You can buy or borrow it here:

And last, but not least, J.E. Taylor has her shifter romance novel, Blood Moon, in an upcoming summer collection with 22 other authors. This limited edition collection of 23 paranormal romance and urban fantasy novels – Venom & Vampires – is on sale for $0.99 through the preorder period. Grab it now on any of these sites:
Amazon (US):

Barnes & Noble:



Google Play:


When Books Write Themselves…

October 17, 2014 1 comment

This is a guest blog written by a friend of mine, J.E. Taylor. Hell of a writer and a decent person. And no, she didn’t pay me to say that. She’s not even the kind of friend I’ve made over Twitter either, she’s a real world friend. Really, I promise!

All that aside, she’s here to talk about a new book she’s got coming out. I’m here to introduce her and recommend checking her stuff out, it’s creepy, sometimes gory, often sexy, and always a good time. Virtually every book of Jane’s that I’ve read has left me saying, at least once, “Holy crap!”


When books write themselves…

by J.E. Taylor


Today, The Ryan Chronicles Trilogy is being released and even as I write this, the story is continuing in my head. The last effortless experience I had writing was when I wrote the books in The Games Trilogy, which was back in 2007 when I first sat down to write.

I’m pretty sure the timing is about the same as well. Three books in six months.

I love it when it flows like that, as a writer, it’s the most satisfying experience and typing The End can be bittersweet, especially since the characters become like your own children. I hope the passion that consumed me while scribing this story has done the pages justice.


The Ryan Chronicles – Book One: Saving Grace

When CJ Ryan’s girlfriend decides life is less complicated without him, CJ travels a destructive path into despair, walking the line between what’s right and what feels good. But what feels good is a dangerous slope to travel, especially when Lucifer wages war for his soul.

One wrong step and CJ could fall into the devil’s trap, becoming no better than the demons he battles.


The Ryan Chronicles – Book Two: Raven Heart

CJ Ryan still can’t remember a thing about his past, but he is determined to have a future with Valerie. Despite his lack of memory, he finds himself ensnared in the cutthroat world of entertainment whether he wants it or not. The push into the spotlight shines a harsh glare on his family and brings with it a plague of horrors that drag him to the edge.

With the darkness of the past threatening, CJ turns to his brother looking for answers, but when an enemy with a psychotic history re-enters their lives, it will take more than just his memory to save them.


The Ryan Chronicles – Book Three: Trinity’s Wrath

CJ Ryan’s life seems to have fallen into place, and while the backdrop of his Hawaiian honeymoon provides the perfect healing elixir, the guilt of sentencing his father to an eternity of torture at Lucifer’s hands starts to intrude on his happily-ever-after.

When he and Valerie return from Hawaii, a note from the king of hell greets him, outlining in sickening detail his plans for CJ and those he holds dearest.

With everyone he loves on Lucifer’s hit list, CJ must start living up to the bargain he made in Heaven, but every one of Hell’s gates he closes is one less portal available for his father’s escape.


Available at Amazon




Excerpt from Saving Grace (book 1):

She smiled and I felt a need stir inside me, and it had nothing to do with my heart, or soul, for that matter.

“You really let a demon tie you up?” Dimples appeared in her cheeks and mine bloomed with heat.

I shifted, focusing back on the darkness beyond the glass, suddenly uncomfortable and unable to look at her. I swear my face must be the shade of a bright red kickball. “I wasn’t exactly myself,” I said without looking at her.

She chuckled.

The kind of chuckle that was meant as a turn on and I slid my gaze to her. “You like your men tied up?” I raised an eyebrow. It was her turn to blush and she grinned, shrugging and looking back outside. Before I could explore more of this conversation, she took a step back, dragging me with her.

There must have been a dozen pale creatures slinking across the back yard. I gave her hand that gripped my upper arm a gentle pat and she turned her frightened gaze to me.

“They won’t get through.” My voice held confidence, but deep inside, I was trembling just as much as she was. Damian, Steve, and I had wiped out more than this at the cove, but that was three of us and of course Paradise Cove probably had a lot to do with it.

We both focused on the approaching horde and without much thought, I slung my arm around Valerie’s shoulder and pulled her close. It was time to concentrate on the deadly quality of the wall I put up. I wasn’t sure of how much sizzle to put into it.

“I want to see them burn,” Valerie said, answering my silent contemplation and a chill ran up my spine.

She had every right to hate these creatures as much as demons and I concentrated, glaring at the approaching danger. Saliva ran from their lips and their teeth gleamed in the moonlight. My heart pounded in my chest, sending throbbing vibrations through my skin. The harder my heart beat, the hungrier the approaching vampires looked.

“Just a few more feet,” I muttered, focusing on the entire perimeter of the house because I wasn’t as much of an idiot as they thought. This wasn’t the only line of assault. Still, when they advanced, I took a cautious step backwards, pulling Valerie with me. The power inside me grew and I couldn’t tell whether it was the adrenaline or the power raking across my skin like a hundred finely manicured nails. The sensation grew, moving from the land of pleasure into the world of discomfort and I gritted my teeth.

“Come on, you motherfuckers,” I growled, loud enough for their acute hearing to pick up. I moved Valerie behind me and positioned myself in a fighting stance, waving them in with my leading hand. The results were memorable.

They all launched towards the glass slider and the moment they hit my invisible barrier each vampire burst into a ball of flame. The roar of fire drowned out their screams, but I heard them and the dark part of my soul reveled in it.

Valerie let out a high pitched laugh and I glanced back at her, smiling.

She met my gaze with a measure of awe. “The only one I ever saw do something that impressive was Michael.”

Being compared to an archangel was humbling and I glanced outside at the black dust spinning on the wind. “I’m not an angel.”

“Oh, I gathered that,” she said and stepped away.

I turned towards her. “What do you mean by that?”

“You’re more recent activities?”

I shoved my hands into my pockets and stared at the floor, shamed by the fact she was privy to my more decadent actions. Instead of apologizing, I lifted my gaze to hers, studying the memories of her past, especially the times after the more traumatic events. Naomi was right about one thing. The girl never freaked out. Ever.

And therein lay the challenge.

I let a grin slowly surface and narrowed my eyes, stepping closer. “So, you want to try out some of those ‘activities’ with me?”

She laughed. The kind of laugh that bruised a man’s ego and when she went into the gale realm, I crossed my arms, my good humor turning sourer by the second.



You can visit J.E. Taylor at and sign up for her newsletter for early previews of her upcoming books, release announcements, and special opportunities for free swag!


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End of an Era

November 9, 2012 1 comment

I’ve got ANOTHER guest blog post this week. I know, what the heck? I almost never host guest blog posts. Well I’ll confess, these people are hosting blogs for me too. But there’s more than that, especially in this case. This post is written by J.E. Taylor, my friend and publishing partner. Taylor has also served as my editor in the past, but don’t worry, those wounds have healed.

Her post is about her Steve Williams novels, which I confess are worth checking out. I’ve read and enjoyed them. As I read through her guest post I found myself wanting to respond to it myself, but I had to refrain. Suffice to say it was easy for me to feel what she was saying and identify with it. I’ve felt it myself and struggled with many of the same problems. Read on, fellow writers and readers, and have a glimpse into one of the many peculiar problems that plagues writers.

I just released the last book in my Steve Williams series and now I find myself at a loss as to where to go next.   It’s not that I don’t have other story ideas, I do,  but these characters are still clamoring in my head, but I’m not sure if that’s because I love them dearly, or if there is a bona fide story line in there that I can craft.   I also am getting the “when is the next book coming” from a lot of faithful fans.

The serial killer ideas are endless, just look at the sustained power of Dexter and Criminal Minds.

However, I think my favorite G-man has run his course.

So where to now?

Does the clamor in my head along with the fandom requests dictate the continuation of the series?

This is the million dollar question.

When is it enough?

I would hate to continue it without the same level of passion for the characters that I have right now just to satisfy the fan base because the output would be crap.   Case and point – look at the show Revenge – the first season was stellar but now the second season is awful. The writers don’t have a vision anymore and its floundering.

I don’t want the Steve Williams series to flounder and that’s why I chose to end it on a strong note with Saving Face.

Continuing that particular story line wouldn’t do justice to any of the characters and like all good things; this too must come to an end.

With that said, the end of one era always brings forth a new generation.  A new series spun from the old.  So, while Steve Williams will be retired, I believe there still is the appetite to find out what becomes of CJ and Tom Ryan.

I don’t have a date for the next release, but you can bet The Ryan Chronicles will be just as kick ass as the Steve Williams series.

In the meantime, check out Saving Face:

The Windwalker Serial Killer stalks the inlets of southern Maine for the next beauty to advance his collection and Special Agent Steve Williams is frustrated with always being a breath behind the slippery psychopath.  Escalating the pressure, Steve’s adopted sons, CJ and Tom Ryan, take teenage rebellion to an entirely new level, leaving Steve in an explosive situation.

When the Windwalker slaughters Tom’s ex-girlfriend, taking her face as a macabre trinket, Tom is found on the scene covered in her blood, with her scalped body draped across his lap.  Damning evidence against him is unearthed, his father’s secret identity is about to be exposed, and he’s charged with Tanya’s traumatic murder.

To prove his innocence, their only hope is the worst-case scenario; for the Windwalker to harvest a new face.

Saving Face, a Steve Williams novel by J.E. Taylor

Buy Links:

Saving Face on Amazon:

Saving Face on Barnes & Noble:

Saving Face on Smashwords:

Saving Face on Kobo books:


Chapter 1

The trees swayed in the breeze, dry leaves rustled, and the stars disappeared behind a bank of clouds, drawing out the already dark shadows. Shadows he hid within, watching, waiting, frozen in place by his obsession, his bloodlust.

Testing the air with a sniff, he tried detecting a trace of her perfume but came away with only the distinct scent of fall. Crisp. Clean. Carnal.

His edgy hands begged for action and he clenched them, dropping his arms to his sides. Tilting his head, he caught a rhythmic pulse, like that of his heart, but accented with crunching leaves. She was coming and his hand shot to the worn handle of his hunting knife.


His fingers stroked the soft wood like a lover and he stared at the jogger-beaten path. The bounce of her headlamp filtered through the thick brush and he blew a slow stream of air through his lips, calming his pounding heart.

Patience, he told himself again. He didn’t want to give her enough time to react, to bolt in the opposite direction. Instead, he counted her steps, watching as the light approached, bouncing with each of her long-legged strides.

It wasn’t her lithe frame he was after. It was her face, her scalp. She had passed by him at the store, catching his fancy and fueling his desire. A fine specimen. An excellent addition to his collection; with fragile features stretched into a scream—forever captured in his art.

He crept closer to the path, crouching and ready to pounce the moment she crossed. The light drew closer and now he could smell the mixture of Poison and sweat, a sweet concoction that aroused his hunger and almost uncoiled his predatory posture. He inhaled deeply, relishing the scent. Her footfalls brought her close enough to make out her dark form behind the bright light.

He waited, and when the twig he placed in the middle of the path snapped, he sprang. In one leap, he caught her, wrapping his arms around her as he tackled. The yelp of surprise brought a smile to his face and he unsheathed the knife, plunging it into her chest before she could regain enough oxygen to produce a blood curdling scream.

Her eyes widened, blinking at him in the light of her fallen headlamp.

The thrill of the hunt, of the capture, fueled his blood; pumping it frantically through his veins, throbbing in his temple, producing little spots of red in the edges of his eyesight. Ripping flesh accompanied each of his thrusts, along with muffled cries of pain that gave way to an airy wheeze.

He grabbed her hair, pulling her head forward and slicing the base of her hairline with surgical precision. Sliding his fingers under the gaping wound, he peeled the scalp from the back to the front, separating her skin from the bone.

She did scream then, a high gurgling wail that died moments later, when his knife separated the mass of skin and hair and lips that he peeled from her bones, severing her carotid artery in the process. With the prize pelt in his hands, he stood, sheathing the knife and taking off toward the river.

Chapter 2


Eight hours earlier…

“You are ruining my life!” C. J. Ryan bellowed.

Steve Williams crossed his arms and stood his ground. “I don’t care. You snuck out of the house after I said you couldn’t go to that party. You knew damn well I’d find out, and now both you and your brother are grounded until graduation.” His gaze traveled to CJ’s mute brother, Tom. “And you, what were you thinking, stealing that car?”

Tom thrust his hands in his pockets and stared at the ground.

Steve clenched his teeth together and glanced out the observation window at the Brooksfield police department pit.

“You can’t ground me. You’re not my father.”

His gaze snapped back to CJ and he tilted his head, narrowing his eyes. “I may not be your biological father, but don’t ever doubt my authority here.”

“It’s your fault my parents are dead.”

The mental shove made Steve stumble back a step and he caught himself. In two strides, he stood toe to toe with CJ, his gaze blazing into the azure blue of the seventeen-year-old’s equally furious eyes.

“You really want to play that game with me?” he asked, his voice low, almost a growl, but the kid struck a chord. His father had been caught in the cross fire of one of his FBI investigations and his mother, his mother was a completely different story. He had led her right into the belly of the beast.

CJ dropped his gaze, his eyes traveling to Tom’s before he gave a slight shake of his head.

“Why’d you let him steal a car?”

CJ sighed and shrugged, all the hellfire burned out of him for the moment.

“Why?” Steve asked and stepped back, addressing Tom.

I wanted to see my dad. Tom thought, meeting his questioning stare.

“Bullshit.” Steve shook his head. You see him all the time. You probably can see him pacing the room behind me. Can’t you?

Tom’s gaze moved from Steve’s to the angry angel pacing the room behind him. Wings fluttered and a wealth of curses dropped from his lips, his iridescent blue eyes glaring at the two boys. Tom nodded. I wanted to talk with him.

“You could have asked me to bring you here.” Steve softened. It had been a couple months since they visited Paradise Cove. The magical portal where their father could speak to them, to see them, and where Tom had a ghost tongue along with the miraculous recovery of speech. It was the only place on earth that he could articulate his thoughts since the psycho in Georgia had cut his tongue out.

But neither boy had the same mental bond Steve had with their father. Their father was now his guardian angel, a constant presence intruding on his every thought. Steve could hear Ty Ryan any time of day or night, even times when he’d rather not have the voice of reason on his shoulder. Sometimes he wished for the blessed silence he knew before he met the Ryan family. The absolute cluelessness to the thoughts around him, to the ghost haunting his every waking minute, and to the powers he inherited when Ty died. Reading minds came in handy as an FBI agent, but the constant din in his head was maddening.

“You’ve been too wrapped up in that case to take us,” CJ answered.

That case. He almost laughed at the venom in CJ’s voice. That case shrouded his life, leaving time for nothing else and he missed more football games and nights of homework and family time his wife set aside, because of that stinking case.

Another killer was loose. The Windwalker eluded the police, eluded the FBI, and eluded him like he was made of smoke. They had gotten to the last victim minutes after she died. With her body still warm, they scoured the woods for clues, but the tracks disappeared at the bank of the river, just like every other dead, skinned body they found. Stealth, like fog rolling from the snow during strawberry spring, in and out quickly before the victim really knew what happened, and it burned him. Becoming a mission. An obsession.

CJ knew how frustrated he was and to bring it up here was just his attempt to get a rise out of him, to skirt the real issue.

He ignored the dig. “So you sneak out of the house, crash that party, have a few beers and decide it would be a great idea to steal a car?” Exasperated, he traded glances with the boys. “You crossed state lines. Do you have any idea how serious this is?”

CJ started to speak then closed his mouth. He sank into the chair, fidgeting with his parent’s wedding bands, which he wore on the chain around his neck. Tom followed suit taking the seat next to his brother.

I’m sorry. It was my idea, not CJ’s.

“Grand theft auto is serious and you two are close enough to eighteen for the courts to look at this as an opportunity to teach a hard lesson.” He slid into the chair on the other side of the table and leaned forward. “I had to pull a lot of strings to make this disappear, but this is the last time I will bail you out. You hear me?” He pounded his index finger on the table, punctuating his words. “The last time!”

Sick in the Head, one Writer’s Fan Mail

June 1, 2012 3 comments

I have to admit, I’m a little bit envious of my friend J.E. Taylor. She writes some gripping and visceral stories. Mostly these days she’s been doing crime stories with a touch (or more) of paranormal mixed in. They can be downright creepy at times and on more than one occasion I’ve pulled my head out of one of her books and said, “Woah!” That’s as much of a spoiler as I give you, if you want to know more, you’ll have to check them out herself. My wife loves her books too, so it’s not just me.

So why am I jealous? It’s because she shared some fan mail with me that she received that upset her a little. At first glance, I could see why, but then I dug deeper and realized it was a compliment to her skill at writing and drawing the reader in. The fan, who will remain nameless, bad mouthed her and told her she was disgusted and appalled at the story she’d just finished. The reader was so upset she intended to never read anything by her again and to share with all of her reading friends her dismay so she could convince them to not read anything by her as well. It’s easy to see how upsetting that could be.

Now let’s take it apart and look at it again. This woman could have stopped reading the book at any time. No, she stuck with it to the end in spite of how much it disturbed her. My friends, readers and writers alike, is there a greater compliment out there than to know that you’ve bound somebody with the story you’re telling so completely that they must finish it, no matter the cost?

On a cheap and defensive level, the fan mail was written completely bereft of punctuation. It also had little regard to grammar, and more than a few typos. I find it hard to take a criticism seriously from someone who expects me to be attacked by their words, yet does not have the ability to use the language as a weapon. I suspect her threat of notifying “her reading friends” might have been paraphrased from, “my friends that know how to read’. But I’ll be fair and admit I’m being snarky in saying that.

I’m writing this because it upset me and amused me, at the same time. Yes, some of her stories have a well defined sense of the macabre at times. She’s been known to drop the F-bomb in them and even talk about such things as boobies and other not-mentioned-enough body parts. They are books for adults, but that does not make them adult books. Yeah, you know what I mean. If you find you don’t like something, then stop reading it. If you can’t bring yourself to stop, then acknowledge that it may have gone somewhere horribly wrong but you were swept up by it anyhow. Kind of like how I was when I sneaked a TV into a spare room when I was wayyyyy to young (4, 5, or 6 – I think) and watched the Amityville Horror one night through the gaps in my fingers. I’d never let my kids do it knowingly (and neither did my parents), but I have to admit that it was one hell of a story!

So go check J.E. Taylor out. Is it really that bad – or good? Or bad and good? You can even start with Vengeance, her free novel on Amazon. What have you got to lose, other than some sleep and maybe a little bit of your innocence.


To learn more about Jason Halstead, visit his website to learn about him, his books, sign up for his newsletter, or check out some free samples of his books at

The Talk – Every Parent’s Worst Fear?

April 14, 2012 5 comments

What follows is an official write-up on a very entertaining story my friend, fellow writer, and publishing partner J.E. Taylor shared with me recently. Officially this is a stop on her blog tour to promote her new book, Crystal Illusions (a Steve Williams novel). Unofficially, it’s highlights a downright amusing story about that awkward moment in every parent’s life when their son or daughter asks that question…

Earlier in the tour, I spoke about my son and his interest in scary movies.  Well, he’s surprised me again.  Remember as you read on that my boy is only twelve.  Well, we seem to have the damnedest conversations on our way to his Jukido class – for those that don’t know what Jukido is – it’s a form of martial arts that’s derived from Jujitsu.

Now, he knows that along with my thrillers, I also write things he is forbidden to read until he’s at least eighteen because they include some extremely explicit sex scenes.  Well maybe this is the reason he asks questions but I was not fully prepared for having THE TALK just yet. But as you well know, life doesn’t always wait until you’re prepared.

Anyhow, he said something akin to me being a virgin – and, um, no, I didn’t immaculately conceive my kids.  J  I couldn’t help but laugh at the comment and inform him that no, honey – I’m not a virgin. Then it occurred to me, perhaps he didn’t understand exactly what a Virgin was.  So I asked and he told me what he thought. His explanation was a hoot and a half and I really couldn’t help but laugh no matter how hard I tried.  When I got a hold of the giggles, I explained a virgin is someone who hasn’t had sex. Obviously I don’t fall into that category – after all, I got pregnant and had both he and his sister.

Then the question comes – you mean you can get pregnant from kissing?

Perhaps I should have said yes and left it there – then it would be a few years before the reality of what sex is would come to light  – but then again, he asked a logical question for a twelve year old and deserved a truthful answer of sorts.  However, trying to explain sex to a twelve year old was like dancing on hot coals – awkward and a little painful – but finally we arrived at the analogy of puzzle pieces and when those particular puzzle pieces are put together – that could end producing a baby. I then went on to say he wasn’t to put his puzzle piece anywhere that it didn’t belong until he was out of school and old enough to take responsibility for a child.

I’m sure the conversation was even more painful for him, but honestly, I’m glad this is something we can discuss – albeit on an awkward basis, but at least he’s not afraid to ask questions.

Still.  It really brings home the fact that my boy is growing up faster than I’m truly prepared for.

So, those of you with children – Is this anywhere near the realm of how your TALK went?  And for those not yet in the market for having kids, do you remember having THE TALK with your folks?

Thanks for swinging into this stop on my Blog Tour and I hope you’ll swing in to Bitten By Books on the 20th for a chance to win a $50.00 Amazon gift certificate and if you’d like to check out Crystal Illusions, you can purchase it here on Amazon.

Crystal Illusions

Assistant D.A. Carolyn Hastings has an uncanny knack for putting away criminals. With one of the best prosecution records in recent history, her future as Manhattan’s next District Attorney looks certain. But her sixth sense for winning cases threatens to work against her when she starts seeing a string of murders through the eyes of the killer.

With suspects piling up as fast as bodies, and the motives of those closest to her questionable, Carolyn doesn’t know who to trust. When the FBI assigns Special Agent Steve Williams to the case, Carolyn discloses her deepest fear – that the man she loves may be the one responsible for the city’s latest crime spree.

The only thing Steve knows for sure is Carolyn has an inexplicable psychic connection with the killer, and all the victims have one thing in common…a striking resemblance to Carolyn Hastings.

And he knows it’s only a matter of time before this psychopath knocks on her door.

Taylor has a strong thriller where every single character has reasonable doubt flashing like a neon sign hanging over them, and right from the beginning you are trying to guess who the killer really is. Gripping, rich and magnificent – crime whodunnits don’t get any better than this!Author Poppet / Gemma Rice – Author of Quislings, Blindsided, Djinn and Dusan

Amazon Link:

Until next time,



A Rare Quiet Moment With J.E. Taylor

November 11, 2011 4 comments

I cornered Jane recently and forced her to answer the questions. It wasn’t really under duress but then again, history is written by the conquerors… Of particular note I have personally read her book, Vengeance, and it was a very captivating read. I highly recommend it (and her others).

Tell us about your books – share some of your misery with other would-be writers to give them hope.

My publishing journey has been a bumpy rollercoaster ride to say the least.  I started writing in 2007 and by this, I mean every waking moment when I wasn’t at my day job or attempting to feed my kids and get them to their activities – I wrote.  For eighteen months, I plunged head down into this alternate world of fiction, fantasy, sex, violence and crime.

When I submerged from my writing stint, I had eight novels – eight full-length novels.  Of course, those first drafts sucked.  But I didn’t know that – I thought they were the next best selling phenomenon – the best thing since sliced bread, you know – I thought they rocked.  Wrong!  So very wrong!

I also didn’t know the first thing about querying agents.  So, by the time I had figured out the right way to approach the query-go-round, I had burned the bridges of my “most wanted agents” list and I just wanted to hide under the dining room table in embarrassment.

After a litany of rejections and some shrewd advice from a wonderful writing group I joined, I took some writing and editing courses and honed my craft, applying what I learned to my manuscripts.  Then I started searching for a home.

The first three books I wrote were not mainstream. Nope, they were edgy erotic thrillers. A serious blend of steamy scenes and violence along with a paranormal twist that no one expects.  The first book in the series – Survival Games – either people LOVE it or they can’t get through it.  There’s no middle ground on this one and I was floored when I got a publishing contract from a small erotic press and Survival Games went on to get great reviews and even a Grade A Select rating from Romance At Heart.

So my next hurdle focused on getting my FBI thriller series out the door.  The first in this series had the original title of Mirror Lake and I attempted the agent route again, getting a couple full manuscript requests that really didn’t lead anywhere outside of some decent feedback.  I took what those agents said to heart and dove in with new edits.  I also rebranded it under the title Dark Reckoning.  So with the re-tooling of both the book and the blurb, and re-branding under a more appropriate title that fit more readily with the other two in the series, I started getting more read requests from agents.  But by this time, my erotic publisher announced the opening of a sister company that would focus on mainstream fiction.  I veered from the agent search and jumped at the opportunity – and Dark Reckoning – the first in the Steve Williams series – found a home.

Why self-publishing?

Well, after going through the publication process for the Games Series as well as Dark Reckoning and Vengeance, and working for my publisher formatting and uploading to distribution sites as well as editing manuscripts for the better part of a year, I decided to step out on my own for Hunting Season.   About that same time, my publisher announced she was reverting to a co-op, which meant they’d still collect a cut off the top – but offer no other services.  The author’s were on their own for cover art, editing, formatting and uploading as well as requesting reviews.  I didn’t see an upside to this and I had enough experience under my belt, so I opted out and pulled my books with me.

About that same time, another author under the same publishing umbrella approached me about a venture – starting our own publishing house.  Novel Concept Publishing, LLC was born and you guessed it – my partner in crime is none other than Jason Halstead (Editors note: Jason Halstead is a great guy).

And my latest release through our publishing house is the fourth book in the Steve Williams series: Georgia Reign.

What advice can you give to other writers trying to be published?

Here’s a check list that may help you before you begin the submission process:

  1. Do you have too much back-story in the beginning?
    1. Back-story dumps can slow the pace and bore the reader, so make sure your back-story is limited to what the reader NEEDS to know.  You as the author should know far more about your character – but limit the information to a need to know basis.  If it does nothing to move the story forward, kill it.
  2. Do you have a consistent point of view?
    1. If you head hop – it will dilute the impact of the story and create an emotional abyss between your characters and your reader.  They won’t connect and will likely put the book down.  Think of Point of View this way – what can you see, hear, feel and think? – you’re not seeing things behind you – unless you’re an alien with eyes on both sides of your head – so your characters shouldn’t be able to see someone rolling their eyes or approaching them from behind.  Sounds of someone approaching – yes, but sight – no.  Unless your character is a mind reader – he can’t know for certain what anyone else is thinking – but he can deduce it from the other character’s body language, which means showing the reader the body language too.
  3. Do you show your readers your character’s physical reactions to stimulus?
    1. Visceral reactions – someone jumps from behind a tree and yells boo – do you tell the reader that your character is startled? Or do you show them the sudden jar to the heart, the gulp of breath – or yelp that escapes, the step back – or in some cases, stumbling fall back and then the startled expression or the shift in emotional state when they realize it’s someone they know just trying to scare them.   If you don’t show the reactions – go back and fix this – especially in the scenes that are pivotal in your story where emotional hits make or break the scene.
  4. Have you gone through every sentence, paragraph and scene and validated that it moves the story forward or gives the character more depth?
    1. If it does not add to the story, take the sentence, paragraph or scene out.  Objectivity is one of the hardest things to come by with your own work – but it is a necessary evil.  Do the right thing and trim the fat.
  5. Do you have a great hook/blurb/pitch?
    1. This is necessary to get an agent or publisher to look at your work – this is your foot in the door and without boiling your book down to a marketable slogan, you’ll continue to have a hard time selling your manuscript. This takes practice and some feedback, so find a writers group like the Backspace forum or a Yahoo group in your genre that offers feedback and put the blurb you have up for comment.

I think that’s enough of a start for those writers trying to publish.

Ebooks vs. print books, your preference for writing AND reading?

E-books lately, especially when I’m at the beach.

Kindle, Nook, or something else altogether?

Kindle – and loving it.

How do you find your readers and how do you interact / relate with them?

The main places where I’ve connected with readers are my networking sites: facebook, Twitter, Goodreads, Kindle Boards to name a few.  I also have a website and people are free to contact me on any of these platforms to let me know what they thought of my books or to say hi in general.

I know you’re a busy girl, what’s your near to mid future road map look like?

Publish.  Publish. Publish.  J  Not just my novels, but those of authors that we’ve taken under the Novel Concept Publishing wing.

Finally – share a little dirt. I know you figured out a way to balance family, day job, editing, and writing, so what’s your kryptonite?

5 Hour energy drink.  Not kidding.

Actually, I haven’t figured out a practical way to juggle all my obligations.  Something always has to give.  In the past, it has been the family.  Sure I’m sitting in the family room with the lap desk – in the middle of the action, but I’m not really here – and this year, the kids have given me a little grief about it.  Balance is key – and I’m still searching for the perfect balance of business and family life.

Where can anxious readers find you on the web?



Facebook Page:

Twitter Page:!/JETaylor75

Goodreads Page:

Kindleboards Page:

Amazon Author Central Page:

Smashwords Page:


To learn more about Jason Halstead, visit his website to learn about him, his books, sign up for his newsletter, or check out some free samples of his books at