Book Features, Giveaways

Sneak Peek of King Arthur Sister in Washington’s Court by Kim Iverson Headlee


(from Chapter II: King Henry’s Court)

“Ah, Connecticut. Nay, fair Queen Morgan, that land lies many leagues to the north.” After nodding northward, King Henry spread his arms wide. “I bid thee well come to Crownsville, and I further bid thee and thy comely companion”—King Henry smiled at Lady Jane—“to join us at the feast anon.”

Queen Anne cast her liege husband a disconcerted glance but glided forward, smiling and extending both her hands toward me, which I did grasp warmly; and she said: “Aye, Queen Morgan, thou art ever well come to feast with us on this most glorious of Saturdays, the twenty-third day of September in the year of Our Lord fifteen thirty-four.”

If I could lay head to heel the bodies of every loser of every tournament in every realm since the birth of Our Lord, even should such a line compass the entire kingdom, ’twould not come nigh unto compassing my anguish upon hearing that my enchantment had missed its mark by more than three full centuries.

I concealed my dismay as I accepted the royal invitation.


King Arthur’s Sister in Washington’s Court
by Kim Iverson Headlee
Genre: SciFi Time Travel Fantasy

How sick are you of US politics? How doomed is the world because of who has claimed the Oval Office throne—er, chair?

Refresh your spirit by laughing along with what Mark Twain might have written about today’s political falderal.

“Solidly entertaining.” —Publishers Weekly

WINNER 2016 IBPA Benjamin Franklin Gold Medal for Science Fiction & Fantasy.

Morgan le Fay, sixth-century Queen of Gore and the only major character not killed off by Mark Twain in A Connecticut Yankee in King Arthur’s Court, vows revenge upon the Yankee Hank Morgan. She casts a spell to take her to 1879 Connecticut so she may waylay Sir Boss before he can travel back in time to destroy her world. But the spell misses by 300 miles and 200 years, landing her in the Washington, D.C., of 2079, replete with flying limousines, hovering office buildings, virtual-reality television, and sundry other technological marvels.

Whatever is a time-displaced queen of magic and minions to do? Why, rebuild her kingdom, of course—two kingdoms, in fact: as Campaign Boss for the reelection of American President Malory Beckham Hinton, and as owner of the London Knights world-champion baseball franchise.

Written as though by the old master himself, King Arthur’s Sister in Washington’s Court by Mark Twain as channeled by Kim Iverson Headlee offers laughs, love, and a candid look at American society, popular culture, politics, baseball… and the human heart.

Mark Twain began work on A Connecticut Yankee in King Arthur’s Court in 1879—the same year the Yankee Hank Morgan departed for his sojourn in sixth-century Britain. The first edition was published in 1889 and features more than 200 illustrations by the man who later would become founder of the Boy Scouts of America, Daniel Carter Beard. These illustrations are now in the public domain, and a handful have been incorporated into King Arthur’s Sister in Washington’s Court as an artistic homage to this classic edition of the first time travel story in all literature.


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Kim Headlee lives on a farm in southwestern Virginia with her family, cats, goats, Great Pyrenees goat guards, and assorted wildlife. People and creatures come and go, but the cave and the 250-year-old house ruins–the latter having been occupied as recently as the mid-twentieth century–seem to be sticking around for a while yet.

Kim has been a published novelist since 1999 with the first edition of Dawnflight (Sonnet Books, Simon & Schuster) and has been studying the Arthurian legends for nigh on half a century.

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Meet The Author

Meet The Author: Interview C. G. Sturges

Cassandra George Sturges is the author of “A Woman’s Soul on Paper,” “Success & Beauty is an Attitude,” “The Illusion of Beauty: Why Women Hate Themselves & Envy Other Women,” and “Why Racism is a Mental Illness.” For many years, she was an advice columnist for Today’s Black Woman Magazine and is currently a full-time psychology and sociology professor at a college in the mid-west. She is a high school dropout who graduated with her General Education Diploma and eventually earned five college degrees including two masters and a doctorate degree. In her late forties, she began making life-size fabric sculpture, cloth dolls that turned out to be the main characters in her Jungle Beauty Goddesses coming of age, modern creation Nubian Mythology fantasy fiction, sensuous, romantic series. She is the mother of two adult children, a grandmother, and for over 20-years has shared her life with her twin flame.


Get to Know the Author

A&RBC: Do you think the name “Jungle Beauty Goddesses” could be considered offensive to some Black people given the negative stereotypes of Blacks in Africa as being technologically inferior, subhuman, and maybe suggesting an “exotic” woman of color who is promiscuous?


C.S.: I submitted pictures of my Jungle Beauty Goddess Sinai doll to participate in a local Black doll show and the owner deleted the word “Jungle” from the title because she said that it was “offensive” to woke Black people. The Jungle Beauty Goddesses are all named after African deserts. In Pretty Blue Ball, Book 1, in the Jungle Beauty Goddesses series I explain what their names mean and how their father DeMatter (creator of the Universe) named the jungles in the planet after his daughters before bequeathing them planet Earth.


A&RBC: Pink Babies is the term you use—I am assuming in reference to White People, in Jungle Beauty Goddesses: Dirty Ball – Book 3. If so, do you think that some white people could find this term offensive and view the entire concept as reverse racism?

C.S.: If you take one person who has been given everything, he or she needs to succeed and another person who was given nothing—I think you will see two totality different personality types emerge. I am saying in my fictitious story that the people of color, black people were favored and spoiled by the blessings of the sun in a land rich with natural resources; the Pink Babies were given the left over land with few natural resources, and this made them aggressive and self-serving. If you take race out of the equation, you can see this behavioral pattern in various situations where some people have more or less resources than others.

One of the primary premises of the Jungle Beauty Goddesses series is that there should be one race of people.

“Where there is a perception of difference–, one trait will always be assumed to be inferior or superior to the other trait. If we give our beings a variety of skin colors, they will ultimately destroy themselves. They will not have evolved enough to express intelligence, wisdom, and compassion to contemplate these differences.”

A&RBC: The Protagonist, Jungle Beauty Goddess Afar, is obsessed with skin color. Her desire to be dark brown like her six sisters led her to do some atrocious acts against humanity. Where did you get the inspiration to create this character?

C.S.: When I was a little girl, I begged my father to paint me White. I was about seven-years-old at the time. My daddy cried and asked me, “Momma, why would you want to be white? Don’t you want to look like the people who love you the most in this world?” I said, “Daddy, everybody hate Black people including Black people. I ‘m tired of being teased by all the kids.” A few days prior, me, my cousin, and my 2 -3 ft. doll were in a beauty contest. My two brothers were the judges. I lost the beauty contest and was deemed the ugliest because I was slightly darker than my dark brown doll. Being a dark skinned African American woman has not been easy. You know, people telling me how pretty I would be if I wasn’t so dark or how cute I am despite of being so dark.  Learning how to love and accept myself as I am has been one of my biggest and most fulfilling challenges.

In Dirty Ball – Book 3 Jungle Beauty Goddess Afar is the lightest sister in the septuplet sib ship, says:

“Beauty is a funny thing Mada, it only feels real when it is reflected back to you from the existence of others and through the eyes of people you love, respect, and admire. I wanted to see beings who looked like me.”

A&RBC: The two primary strengths of your Jungle Beauty Goddess Series are the psychological, spiritual, and philosophical insights –and the sensuous, juicy, romantic love scenes and dialogue. These are opposing ideologies that may make it difficult to find a target audience. It reminds me of “Fifty Shades of Grey”, “Harry Potter”, and “Conversations with God” intermingled into one book. Have you thought about how difficult it may be to market a book of this nature? Who is your target reader?

C.S.: This is the question I am asked the most. I don’t have a strategy or a marketing plan with an ideal reader in mind. However, I will say this—I don’t believe this book would have been psychically downloaded and channeled to my consciousness if there was no available readership or receptive audience. Race relations, global warming, unrequited love, and destiny verses free-will are timeless stories about the human condition. A reviewer coined the Jungle Beauty Goddesses as Nubian Mythology a modern day creation story. I think this is a perfect description. I am confident that the collective human consciousness conjured the creation of the Jungle Beauty Goddesses.

A&RBC: It feels like a children’s story in the beginning. The feel of the story moves from a whimsical, lighthearted account of very young godettes with nary a care to those of creators and caretakers charged with serious moral, ethical, and overseer responsibilities. Should there have been a smoother and slower progression to adulthood for the reader (and the goddesses) to adjust to the drastic and harsh changes of deity-hood?

C.S.: My innocence was brutally snatched away from me in the seventh grade, walking home from school behind a church, down the streets from my parent’s home—by a young man in my class. Everything about me changed overnight. I was a silly, freehearted class clown, honor roll student who turned into a student who skipped classes and tried to smoke Eve Light 120 cigarettes and sipped Southern Comfort and ginger ale in a hunter green Tupperware tumbler on the way to school—each morning.

When I arrived home from school visibly disheveled and bruised, I told my parents that two high school girls tried to beat me up and take my gym shoes. This type of violence was very common in my working class neighborhood in the late 70s and early 80’s. My parents immediately believed me and I fabricated a story about why my back was scrapped and bleeding– and how I eventually fought them off me and kept my gym shoes.

The next day in school, the young man, bragged to the class about the soul-scarring incident behind the church where he place a jagged edged glass from a Sprite or 7 Up  bottle to my neck to snatch away from me—what had never be given to anyone. I told him that I was saving myself for marriage and he said, “You are black and ugly and no one is going to want it. And I hate that gap between your teeth.” This dialogue played on repeat for many years in my nightmares, and when I stared blankly off into space. People would ask, “You seem lost. What are you thinking about?” “Nothing.” I would say.

I told our seventh grade classmates that he was a vicious liar. I told myself the exact same thing—he tried—but he was unsuccessful.

My parents and neighbors noticed the dire shift in my personality and referred to me as being “fast.” The most drastic change was unnoticeable—I questioned my cultural and childhood belief about God, destiny, purpose, and forgiveness.

I didn’t tell anyone about the incident because I felt ashamed. I felt the whole thing was my fault, because I had had a crush on him, he asked me for kiss, and I followed him behind the church. It was my fault, I erroneously believed.

While away at college, I was writing a research paper about this “topic” and I remembered exactly what had happened—for the first time in years—the whole truth. I was taken from the library screaming, ”God didn’t you hear me calling you?”

The Jungle Beauty Goddesses book series in essence is a reflection of my spiritual growth and dialogue with God about my observation and experience of life here on planet Earth.

A&RBC: You say it took  a span of seven years for you to write the Jungle Beauty Goddesses Books, 1, 2, and 3. Why did you decide to begin marketing them now?

C.S.: Between August and September 2019, yellow jacket wasps bit me 4 times. The Yellow Jacket wasps built a massive nest in the wall of my bedroom. The exterminator tried to kill them on 3 occasions—each time promising me that they would never return again.  After the 3rdbite, I decided to look up the symbolism for yellow jacket wasps.

One of the primary messages, I read repeatedly about Yellow Jacket Symbolism is that you must work hard and consistently to make your supreme dream come true. And to apply your efforts to what you most want to accomplish in life. I am a hard worker and busy bee—but I have always put my childhood dreams on hold—because deep in my heart I felt unworthy… but most importantly, that if people rejected my real dreams I had nowhere else to hide.

Briefly, not following one’s “real” dream and not living up to one’s full potential, not taking action towards one’s life purpose, were the most important messages in yellow jacket symbolism.

I think God, the Universe; speak to us in the language we understand. The yellow jacket wasps never entered another room in my home. Initially, I was killing 15 to 20 wasps a day, and during the night I heard  what sounded like hundreds of them knocking about inside of my bedroom wall.

I finally said, okay, okay God, I will finish book 3, Dirty Ball, and set up a marketing plan for all 3 books—no more yellow jacket wasps, please!.

I tried to negotiate for more time, but the yellow jackets came back even more aggressively. If it had not been for the yellow jacket wasp nest in my bedroom wall—I  know without a single doubt I would have not finished book 3 or pursued marketing my Jungle Beauty Goddesses’ Books 1 and 2.

I think it is so important to take daily actions towards your “supreme dream” because it is the ultimate mission your soul signed up to accomplish in this life time. The spiritual contract of your supreme dream is connected to the supreme dream of other people on the planet who agreed to work with you. So let’s say you decided not to write your book. This will affect the editor who signed up to edit it; the publishing company that signed up to publish it;–the illustrator who signed up to illustrate it and so forth.

When we don’t follow our true dreams, I believe this leads to major illnesses, depression, and even an early departure from the planet.

A&RBC: Is Book 3, Dirty Ball, the final installment in your Jungle Beauty Goddess series?

C.S.: The entire idea for the Jungle Beauty Goddesses storyline came to me in a dream. I was told that there would be a total of 7 books in the series. I have already begun working on book 4, “Crystal Ball.” Before I settle into my writing schedule for book 4, I am going to focus my energy on marketing the first 3 books in the series. I have a feeling that book  4 is going to come rushing down like a thunderstorm. I am seeing the visions, hearing the voices. They are waiting for me to take scribe.

Preparing to write is a very spiritual journey for me. I have certain candles, incense, and rituals I follow so that I am able to receive the story that yearns to be told as opposed to the story—I want to tell. When I am connected to Source—I am so surprised about what happens next.

The most important lesson, I learned from writing, Book 1, Pretty Blue Ball is that when I try to control what happens in the plot, or the character’s dialogue, I get writer’s block. When I give in and listen—I can’t write fast enough.

I have created Tarot / oracle cards based on the personalities of the Jungle Beauty Goddesses—who each represent a chakra. There are approximately 175 oracle cards in the deck. I do Jungle Beauty Goddess readings on my Authentik Beauty YouTube channel.

The Jungle Beauty Goddesses seemed to have evolved into their own unique existence outside of their books.


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About The Books

Imagine an adult tale that blends goddesses and mermaids with a creation story that embraces the feel of a Greek myth, but with a distinctly Nubian flavor…one that posits female Goddesses in a philosophical and spiritual reflection of humanity’s evolution and influences.

Read the Excerpt Now.

Solution: We, the merbeings /mermaids/merfolks, are on the side of the Jungle Beauty Goddesses. We want to preserve the natural beauty of Earth and all of its life forms that are capable of adapting to Earth’s natural environment causing the least amount of damage to the cosmos.

We, the Mermaids, do not need to me be monitored like humans. We do not need the assistance of other worldly guides, angels, or higher order omnificent beings to exist and coexist peacefully with like-minded beings on planet Earth.

We will not use or create industrialized products or services, technology, or substances that will destroy the Earth’s natural resources. The Earth, as it is, without alterations, machines, or chemicals creates the prime and ultimate living conditions for our species.


We are the natural evolutionary heirs to planet earth bequeathed by the hands of destiny. Planet earth is rapidly becoming an aquatic planet designed for life forms which can adapt to a water-only environment. If you sign planet Earth over to us for safekeeping—you will never have to worry about this planet being selfishly exploited for its resources. You will never have to come here again and you are free to live your life as you please.

Amazon Book Links


Jungle Beauty Goddesses – Pretty Blue Ball – Book 1: Pretty Blue Ball


Jungle Beauty Goddesses – Aquatic Ball – Book 2: Aquatic Ball


Jungle Beauty Goddesses – Dirty Ball – Book 3: Dirty Ball



Meet The Author

Meet The Author: Interview with Michael DeCamp

Stopping by Authors & Readers Book Corner today is Author Michael DeCamp. As a young married man, Michael developed his passion for reading after finding Dean Koontz’s Twilight Eyes on a grocery store shelf. Over time he discovered that whatever his imagination could invision, his keyboard could create and he starting writing. Michael starting with short stories, which lead to his full novel, Abandon Hope. He shares his inspiration about the fictional town in the book, the fantasy within the book along with his podcast. Let’s jump into the interview.

A&RBC: Abandon Hope takes place in a fictional town called Cutters Notch, Indiana, where did you get the inspiration for the town and the book?

MD: For the last two decades, I’ve worked as a Territory Manager for an industrial manufacturer. In that job, I traveled through a lot of small, southern Indiana towns. So, the description of the town is really a mash up of all of the tiny towns I’ve seen over the years. The name of the town was inspired by a movie. A few years ago, I saw the movie “Breaking Away” at the Franklin Artcraft Theater in Franklin, Indiana. It is about the iconic Little 500 bicycle race held every year at IU in Bloomington. In the movie, the team that was made up of the local town boys was named the Cutters after the nickname for the men who worked in the local limestone mines. Those men would cut the slabs of limestone out of the walls of the mines. So, I envisioned a little town in that area where they had cut a notch out of one of the rolling hills, thus taking the name “Cutters Notch.”

A&RBC: The story has several trigger warnings, how important were these to the story?

MD: Interesting question. To be honest, I had to look up what a trigger warning was, so the ones that are there in my book weren’t put there on purpose as trigger warnings per se. I think they were just part of the elements of building a suspenseful story. In one of the definitions that I read, some professionals were saying that trigger warnings, which are intended to ease anxiety in folks who have experienced trauma, can have the reverse effect of actually building and enhancing anxiety in advance of reading the material. Isn’t that exactly what happens in a good suspense story?

There are some intense subjects such as domestic abuse, a kidnapped girl and cannibalistic villains, but in the development of a thriller story, you need scary, intense situations to be in play or the story doesn’t generate the page-turning effect that you need to make the story powerful. When writing this story, I had to decide what the motivation would be for the kidnappers to do what they did. I didn’t want to go down the sexual abuse road, so I chose something more unusual and I think that maybe made the story even more intense.

A&RBC: The book takes on a fantasy element when Gavin, Gronek and Smakal were introduced into the story, tell us about them and their role in the story.

MD: Gavin, Gronek, and Smakal are actually the core of what I built the story around. In the late 1980’s, my wife and I lived in a house on the near south side of Indianapolis. She had braces as a youth and she would periodically wear her retainer to keep her teeth in alignment. She kept it in a little blue hockey-puck-looking container. Well, one night, she went to look for it and it was gone. We searched everywhere. In every drawer. Behind and under every piece of furniture. In the freezer. Behind the toilet. It was no where to be found. Weeks went by. Maybe close to two months. No sign of it. It was just gone. Then, one evening, I walked into our bedroom and there it was on the corner of our dresser. I called out to my wife saying, “Hey! You found your retainer!” She rushed into room and replied, “No, I didn’t.” I pointed at it. “Well, there it is,” I said. “I guess the dimensional bandits were done with it.” I don’t know where I got that phrase, but it stuck in my head until I developed a whole story around it. Gavin, Gronek, and Smakal—the Dimensional Bandits.

In the story, they are key in creating the spiritual bridge between our known world and the spiritual world where the spectre operates. Plus, it was just fun to imagine the details of how things operate in their Arboreal Realm and how they pass back and forth into and out of our realm—borrowing things. Details like where they get their clothes and the use of the Slumber Dust were a blast to envision.

A&RBC: Reading the book made me think of several fairytales, were there any that contributed to the story?

MD: Another interesting question. I may have unintentionally channeled a little Hansel and Gretel, but I don’t think there is a direct correlation with any specific fairytale other than that. It’s not a fairytale, but I did find some inspiration from the Chronicles of Narnia by CS Lewis and the Lord of the Rings/The Hobbit by J.R.R. Tolkien. I also found some inspiration regarding the style of my writing from Dean Koontz. As for fairytales, though, nothing really intentional.

A&RBC: You have a podcast named after the town, tells us about the Cutter Notch Podcast.

MD: The Cutters Notch Podcast is focused on all things creative. I stretch the boundaries of that definition (what it means to be creative) and generally have fun with the concepts. It is fairly new and I am still building new episodes—I usually add two per month. Podcasting was suggested to me as a way to promote my book, Abandon Hope, but I wanted to broaden it out so that it would remain appealing over the long term. So far, I’ve interviewed some authors, had an episode where we discussed Halloween and I read one of my scary short stories, and I’ve interviewed a couple of technical people about using social media and podcasting. In the future, I’ll have more authors. Plus, I have a comedian, a painter, and some local musicians lined up.

I have a great deal of fun with this creative process. I love the banter and the laughter as we explore different topics. I hope others find it as fun as I do. They can find links to the episodes on my website or they can just search “Cutters Notch Podcast” on any of the standard podcast suppliers.

A&RBC: Will there be more books based in the town?

MD: Yes! Right now, Abandon Hope stands as Book 1 in a trilogy. I am over two thirds finished with creating the story in Book 2. I’m supposed to have the manuscript to my publisher by May 2020. Then, I have a deadline for Book 3 of March 2021. After that, who knows? I’m having fun with expanding characters and developing the intricacies of the little community, so maybe there will be more. I already have two short stories based in Cutters Notch. I’m thinking of sharing one of them in each of my next two books as a little something extra.

A&RBC: Hope and Maggie are hiding away from Hope`s father, Kenny. I`m dying to see if he finds them. Will he appear in future novels?

MD: The troubled soul of Kenny Burton does play an intricate role in Book 2. After that, I’ll just have to see how it plays out in my imagination. We’ll see. I haven’t really seen how he ends up in Book 2, yet—although I do have a pretty good idea.

A&RBC: Did you have a writing process while working on Abandon Hope?

MD: Some writers have everything outlined and planned out before they even start typing away at a keyboard. That’s not me. Basically, I let my imagination free flow. It’s like I’m watching a movie in my head and my job is then to describe it so that others can see the same movie. Maybe that’s why Abandon Hope has so many crazy twists.

One advantage of that is if I don’t like the ending, I can just change it.

In general, I free flow the story. Then, I go back and fix inconsistencies and add detail. I’ve been told that the imagery in my book is very vivid. That occurred because of my second, third, and fourth trips through the story to add in the sights, sounds, and smells—to add color and depth.

Frankly, I’m not sure if I could write from an outline. I’d probably find it two constrictive.

A&RBC: What is next for Michael DeCamp?

MD: I have a non-fiction manuscript that is trying to find a publishing home. I’ve titled it “Lovementalism-Applying Love First Concepts.” It is a Bible study class/devotional book that utilizes personal stories to apply bible passages to our lives with regards to how we should love one another. The concept of lovementalism is that it is the counter and replacement for being judgmental. The stories truly are very personal. Most are either examples of how people showed real love to me, or stories where I blew it and didn’t show the love I needed to show.

I’m in the middle of finishing Book 2 in the Cutters Notch series. I suspect it will be on the market by late next summer. Then, on to Book 3.

On the back burner is a family drama, completely unrelated to Cutters Notch, that is based on the life of my mother. I take real events from her life and fictionalize them. I was thinking about her life a few years ago and realized there was a real story to be told there. I’ve started it, but it is on hold for now. It may be my “Great American Novel.”

In the meantime, I’ll keep doing podcasts.

A&RBC: Where can readers find you? Where can they purchase your book?

MD: Abandon Hope: Cutters Notch Book 1 can be purchased on Amazon in both Ebook and in paperback. If your readers are in the Indianapolis area, signed copies can be found at Indy Reads, Irvington vinyl & Books, Porter Books & Bread, and Red Dog Books. You can also connect with me, find the Cutters Notch Podcast, and link to Amazon for my book by visiting my website:

You can find me on Facebook by searching: @abandonhopebook
Follow me on Twitter: @MikeDeCamp1
Follow me on Instagram: mdecamp1985

About The Book

Hope Spencer and her mother moved to the tiny community of Cutters Notch in forested southwestern Indiana to hide from Hope’s dangerous and abusive father.  Unaware whether he is still in prison or has been freed, they settle into a new life under new identities.  The athletic 13-year old becomes close friends with two boys in her quaint neighborhood, and when she mysteriously disappears one Saturday afternoon, they take on the task of finding her.  Racing against time, the boys join forces with their state trooper neighbor and three other very unusual allies to battle against the evil taking aim at their friend.

Will they find and rescue her or will they fall victim themselves?  Still, they are determined.  They will not Abandon Hope.

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Meet The Author

Meet The Author: Interview with Alexis Marie Chute

ALEXIS MARIE CHUTE is an award-winning author, artist, filmmaker, curator, and inspirational speaker. Her memoir,
Expecting Sunshine: A Journey of Grief, Healing, and Pregnancy After Loss, was a Kirkus Best Book of 2017 and
received many literary awards. Expecting Sunshine is also a highly acclaimed feature documentary film, produced and
directed by the author, that was screened around the world in 2018 and 2019. Chute is also the author of the epic fantasy adventure series called The 8th Island Trilogy, which features multigenerational and diverse characters.

She is a highly-regarded inspirational speaker and teacher. She has presented on business, art, photography, writing,
filmmaking, bereavement, and the healing capacities of creativity around the world. She stopped by to share a little about her writing and new book Below The Moon.

Q & A with Alexis

A&RBC: When did you first realize you wanted to be a writer? Or what first inspired you to write?

AMC: I have been writing since as far back as I can remember—and even before I could hold a pen. As a child, I was very creative and cerebral. I was always coming up with stories and adventures. Fortunately, I didn’t lose that trait as I grew up. I find writing inspiration everywhere, at all times. My brain is a sponge for my environment and stimuli. Sometimes this is overwhelming, but most often I use this hyper-awareness to my advantage.

A&RBC: How does a new story idea come to you? Is it an event that sparks the plot or a character speaking to you?

AMC: I get new ideas all the time. From everywhere. From everyone. A new lightbulb is constantly illuminated above my head. My struggle is not in finding ideas, but choosing which ideas are worth my attention and which ideas should be the focus for right now.

A&BC: What inspired your story?

AMC: My 8th Island Trilogy was inspired by the belief that we will go to extreme lengths to save those we love. The three unlikely characters learn that their past selves do not define their present bravery. They rally against unsurmountable odds and learn that they possess strength they never imagined. In many ways, the trilogy is a fictionalized look at the resiliency of the human spirit. That is a topic I am obsessed with and optimistic about!

A&RBC: Is there a message/theme in your novel that you want readers to grasp?

AMC: The resiliency of the human spirit is what percolates up in most of my work. It’s the dogged determinedness that I see in so many people,  No matter the hardships they face. They inspire me, and because of them, I want my work to inspire others.

A&RBC: What was your greatest challenge in writing this book?

AMC: My greatest challenge in writing any book is getting my bum in the chair, overcoming that procrastination. Once I’ve gotten over the initial hump, and am in the flow, I’m good to go in that department. Then the next struggle is when to stop editing. I am a relentless, picky, and perfectionist kind of editor. There comes a point, however, when I need to hold back and declare a book, “FINISHED!!”

A&RBC: When you are struggling to write/have writer’s block, what are some ways that help you find your creative muse again?

AMC: Free writing is the best tool I have found to break out of writer’s block. I sit down and simply start typing, no matter what it is. Getting my fingers moving and the mental juices flowing always opens the floodgate eventually.

A&RBC: Do you have any interesting writing habits or superstitions?

AMC: I am far too busy and productive to have useless superstitions about my writing. It has been valuable for me to be disciplined and approach my writing with bootcamp focus. I sit down and work. I love it, but if I only write when I feel like it, I will procrastinate till I’m dead.

A&RBC: What do you like to do when you are not writing?

AMC: Not in winter—I hate snow—but I typically love being outdoors! My favorite activities are paddle boarding, canoeing, hiking, trail running, and sitting in a hot tub outside and talking for hours with friends and family.

Also, aside from my writing, I am a visual artist, curator, filmmaker, and public speaker. So those things, plus family time, keep me super busy. I do, however, always make time for the important people in my life.

A&RBC: What is the one book no writer should be without?

AMC: A dictionary and thesaurus. Though I use these tools online now, I am constantly referring to them while writing my books.

A&RBC: Where can readers purchase your books? Where can they reach you?

AMC: My books can be purchase at and Barnes & Noble.

Readers can connect via my website:

Socially at

Facebook page

Twitter handle



About The Book

Below the Moon (Book Two in The 8th Island Trilogy)

Ella Wellsley is not your typical teenager. Cancer left her mute, but not powerless. Trapped in a parallel dimension, Ella
rallies her strength to join her family—her mother, Tessa, her grandpa Archie, and her magical boyfriend, Luggie—in locating
the cure to her illness. This cure is entangled in the fate of all worlds, and threatened by the presence of an evil Star
anchored in the sea. The Star has thrown life everywhere into chaos—and it is Ella who holds the key to unlocking its

Caught in a web of betrayal, mistaken identities, secrets, and love triangles, Ella, Tessa, and Archie must overcome their
troubled pasts to ensure a future for all worlds. On this journey—armed with unearthly abilities and unexpected allies—each
member of the Wellsley family will learn the power of love in the face of their greatest fears.



Barnes & Noble