"A Candle Loses Nothing By Lighting Another Candle" - Father James Keller

Saturday, July 24, 2010


My new novella, The Sorcerer's Songs, which I wrote using my husband's songs, is now available!  I can't explain how excited I am about its release.  It is also one of my first, "sweet" paranormal romances.  I am the featured author all weekend at Authors Promoting Authors. Comments on the blog enter you in a contest to win an autographed copy of both the paperback version of The Sorcerer's Songs and my husband's CD, Weathervanes.  To learn more about them both, and to post those comments/contest entries, go to the following links...

Saturday's Feature is an Interview, and the interviewer, Tina-Sue, brought me to tears with her kind words. My husband is quoted there as well about the book.  The book trailer video is at the bottom, very simple, but just to showcase the music used in the story. http://authorspromotingauthors.blogspot.com/2010/07/author-interview-kiki-howell.html

Sunday is going to be a very personal guest blog, the story about my life to published author, along with two songs my husband wrote about me.  A bit nervous about this one, so be kind :) LOL

Thanks In Advance!
Kiki Howell
~where love is a mystical thing~

Tuesday, July 20, 2010

My Interview With Mile Dolan

Today I have on Mike Dolan.  I had the pleasure of reading Mike's book a few weeks ago.  Being a person who reads a lot in the self-help genre, I must say that Mike is right on track with his insights and advice in this book.  He at first shares with the reader the stark realities of his life in a voice that feels like you are right there having a conversation with a friend.  He then goes onto list the ways in which he feels anyone can overcome their own life's challenges to obtain the life they desire.  His reasons are sound and in keeping with many of the great self-help teachers of today.  And, I think anyone who reads this book will profit from the exercises he includes as well.  Read on as I interview Mike, and find all the information about this book, A Pecunious Life, below.
Kiki: What is your favorite genre to read in, and what is it about that genre that attracts you to it? If you like a specific mix of genres, please state that particular combination.

The self-help genre is my favorite, because it allows me to tap into something more than myself and through that instigate change in those around me.

Kiki: What is the best book you read last month, and would you recommend it to a friend?

I've always been an avid reader, but I've always preferred reading to learn something as opposed to just reading for entertainment. In this pursuit I started to read about Leonardo DaVinci, Nikola Tesla, Steven Hawking, and others. I was reading Napoleon Hill, Norman Vincent Peale, Wayne Dryer, Deepak Copra.  Right now I am reading: David Hawkins Power Vs. Force.
Kiki: What are your reading habits like? For example, how many books do you read on average in a week, what format do you prefer to read in, what time of day do you read, and what setting is ideal for you to get lost in that book?

I do not have the time to read as much as I would like.  I travel a great deal for my work, and when I travel  I like to write.

Kiki: If pressed, could you chose a favorite from the books you have written? Why is it your favorite?

I have only written one book, A Pecunious  Life.  It is my favorite because it covers my life and the lessons I have learned on this journey.  Hopefully,  others will benefit from the lessons I learned.

Kiki: How do you become inspired to write?

For me writing early in the morning in a sun drenched window is the best place to be. The house is quiet and most of the time my mind is still empty of “other “distracting thoughts which allows me to let the writing flow. I get my pot of coffee going, gather my pad of paper and half dozen different colored pens and I just start with what comes to mind and go from there.

Kiki: What part of the story do you think is your strength to write?

My book is inspirational and teaches people how to have a wealthy life.  I think my strength is in the organization of the steps it takes to have a spiritually rich life. 

Kiki: Please share with ABA readers something I did not think to ask you about.

My website, http://www.mike-dolan.com has a blog.  I update my blog a couple of times a week and share any news at that time.  Also I have put my Virtual Book Tour Schedule on the site with links to the host sites so people can follow me on the tour.  I twitter almost every day so people can follow me on Twitter and on Facebook.

A Pecunious Life - How to Have a Life Abounding in True Wealth

Genre: Self-Help
Publisher: Infinity Publishing

Mike was born in the mile-high city of Denver, Colorado 43 years ago. He has lived all around this beautiful world of ours, from Europe to Alaska, to his current home in the Middle East. His education is that of the experiences life gives and school is far from being out for him. He is a lover of life, a life adventurist. He loves to travel, meet new people, and experience new cultures. He has been given a great opportunity to see life in a different light and wishes to share this with you.
Click Here To Purchase A Pecunious Life

"When I read the introduction to Michael's book, I was all I could do to keep from sobbing.  No one should have to endure the kind of tragedy that followed Mike throughout his young life.  Instead of coming out of this history flawed and broken, he turned the tables on his misery and formulated a philosophy on using his experiences to live to the fullest. What he has learned, he is willing to share with us in hopes of showing us how a positive outlook can make us wealthy in the way we live. Read it and have your eyes opened."

Janis Friesler 
English Teacher

“The book A Pecunious Life written by Author Mike Dolan has great advice for improving ones life, not only does the author write details of how to become more wealthy, but he incorporates his own experiences which are woven into lessons of life quality. Learning from the past, learning from mistakes, learning from beliefs or mis-beliefs, life-altering events, and exercises where the author asks you to sit in a quiet place and reflect on the lessons given.

The book is not really about becoming wealthy in the money sense, but wealthy in the spiritual and happiness sense. Could we be happy with less? Happiness is a state of mind-

I found this educational and easy to read and recommend it to adults in need of self-help, spiritual guides, and for people who need more about of life than they have right now.”

Reviewed by Ami Blackwelder 

Friday, July 16, 2010

Friday Favorites with Susanna Carr

Favorite Genre: sexy contemporary romance

List 5 Favorite Books in that Genre:
A Very Stylish Affair by Emma Darcy
Full Bloom by Jayne Ann Krentz
Live a Little by Nancy Warren
Rule Breaker by Barbara Boswell
The Sicilian's Virgin Bride by Sarah Morgan

Favorite Author in that Genre, and Favorite Book by that Author:
My favorite author in sexy contemporary romance is Lori Foster. She really emphasizes the intimacy in her ultra-sensual love stories and her greatest strength is creating lovable characters who places family above all else. The sexual tension and love scenes are so hot because the reader cares deeply about the hero and heroine.

My favorite book by Lori Foster is Too Much Temptation. This is a wonderfully sensual story, but what really got me was the loyalty and unconditional love between Noah and Grace. The way they protected and backed up each other, you knew they found the love of their lives in their best friend.

Favorite Book of All Time:
Right of Possession by Jayne Castle (aka Jayne Ann Krentz). It's a battle of the sexes kind of story with a very independent woman and the most alpha male hero I've read.

Favorite Book Read Last Month:
Because I can't wait for Sarah Morgan's upcoming book, I'm re-reading my favorites of hers. Last month I read Powerful Greek, Unworldly Wife. It's a wonderful love story!

Favorite Book You Wrote:
It's probably the story I wrote for Wicked Wonderland, which comes out November 2010. I usually write about good girls gone bad, but in my novella "Hot for the Holidays" Rachel is a reformed bad girl trying so hard not to give into temptation and go wild with Justin. It was very different for me and it turned out to be a lot of fun to write.

Favorite Romantic movie:
French Kiss starring Meg Ryan and Kevin Kline

Susanna Carr
The Year of Living Shamelessly
Every year, Katie Kramer makes the same New Year's resolution: have a wild affair with her brother's best friend, Ryder Scott. Every year, it's the same disappointment. It doesn't help that her good-girl reputation can't stand up to the hot competition, or that Ryder's always seen Katie as just his friend's innocent sister.

Ryder adores the Kramers. And it's always been a pleasure to keep an eye out for the sweet and uncomplicated Katie. Of course he'd never let on that he's always had a thing for her—to actually act on it would be impossible. Because Ryder's got a dirty side only a few girls really appreciate.

He never expected that Katie would make the first move—much less match him, kink for kink. But this year, Katie knows what she wants. With less than a week to show off her X-rated side, she sheds all her inhibitions. When it comes to satisfying a few fantasies, a woman has to be shameless.

"One of the most fun books I've read this year!" – The Book Lush

“Fun, sweet and sinfully sexy" – TwoLips Reviews

Monday, July 12, 2010

ABA has been awarded the Versatile Blogger Award! 
It was my Christmas in July interview wasn't it?  LOL Well thanks goes to BK Walker's Muse for bestowing upon me this honor :)

According to the rules, I'm required to:

1. Thank the person who loved me enough to bestow this gift.
2. Share seven things about myself.
3. Bestow this honor onto 10 newly discovered or followed bloggers–in no particular order–who are fantastic in some way.
4. Drop by and let my ten new friends know I admire them.

So here are the seven things about me.
1. The obvious, I am an author, mostly writing in the genres of paranormal, erotic romance although I have expanded my wings some lately.
2. I am married to a fantastic singer/songwriter.
3. I am a certified Feng Shui practitioner.  Naming a blog early for more explanation http://ritbs.blogspot.com/2010/01/art-of-feng-shui-by-kiki-howell.html
4. I am obsessed with books and have my own Amazon credit card set up for one-click ordering - dangerous, am constantly at my library, and love to hang out at borders, etc.
5. My favorite season is winter, NOT summer! Groan all you want! 
6. I have two boys, two dogs, and one constantly messy house *hand head*
7. One dog is a retired greyhound, Fork In The Road, although he has been renamed to Drake. He is  from Florida, but also loves the snow BTW!

Here is my list of 10 Bloggers that I think are pretty special and fantastic,  in no specific order.  Please click on their name to visit their blog to see all the happenings they have going on. 
1. http://christmastvcompanion.blogspot.com/ Where of course I am a guest today:)
2. http://janeejones.blogspot.com/ Her book Sanctuary is Amazing!
4. http://excessica.com/blog/ A great bunch of authors!
5. http://emmahillmanbooks.blogspot.com/?zx=31865c0e5048118a Lots of good, hot & sexy books on the sidebar to check out!
6. http://coffeefuelederotica.blogspot.com/ Yes, I am partial to this one as I won my first ever 1st place for my writing there *jumping up and down again*
7. http://authorspromotingauthors.blogspot.com/ Wonderful people to work with, and I will be there on July 23rd.
8. http://ritbs.blogspot.com/ This is Romance In The Backseat's blog.  Always something cool going on there!
9.http://davidhburton.com/ This is the Random Musings Blog by the author of the amazing book, Second Coming.
10. This one is for all of those blogs that I do not have room to list.  Check out some of the great interviews and guest blogs here to visit some of them.  You have not been forgotten :)

Friday, July 9, 2010

My Interview with Lorrie Unites-Struiff

Lorrie: Hi Kiki,

It’s so nice to be here today. Thank you for inviting me.

Kiki: What is your favorite genre to read in, and what is it about that genre that attracts you to it? If you like a specific mix of genres, please state that particular combination.  
Lorrie : I’m a many genre reader. I like sci-fi for its world building and adventurous characters. I love thrillers for the fast paced action. Paranormal for the creepy feelings they stir. Horror is usually a good read, not the gory sort, but the fear factor that makes me shudder. And I like humor. Any of these genres, especially when mixed only adds more flavor to the read. 
Kiki: I feel the same!

Kiki: What is your favorite author to read in that genre, and why? Also, please tell me a little about the best book by that author you have read.
Lorrie : I really don’t know how to answer this one, Kiki. I have too many favorites, so it’s an unfair question.
Kiki: *giggles* You are not the first one to say that.

Kiki: Do you have a Favorite Book of All Time? Of course, please tell us what about that book makes it your favorite.
Lorrie : I also have many favorite books. But I will choose one of them that I have found especially memorable for this interview.
I loved Plum Island by Nelson DeMille and his main character John Corey, and I continued to follow his John Corey novels, plus all of DeMille’s other releases.

Why Plum Island in particular?

DeMille wrote in first person, from Corey’s point of view. The voice is spectacular. He “downs” himself a lot and comes out with such great “zingers” that I wish I could think of for my stories.

The adventure Corey falls into while recuperating from a gunshot wound is such fun. Here is an author, while his character is with a hot babe, speeding in a small boat across a wild churning channel in the most terrible storm of the century while mercenaries are chasing him in a larger boat, shooting at them, and DeMille has me rolling on the floor laughing. I’m sure many authors are capable of this effect, but DeMille impressed the hell out of me. Those are my kind of authors.

Then there is David Baldacci with his popular Camel Club series.

Peter David is one of the most humorous authors I have ever read, also. The novels he wrote for the Star Trek series are filled with his special talent for making readers laugh.

Nora Roberts is a great romance writer. In Northern Lights, her characters are all so sharp, clear and yes, flawed. Her research is phenomenal.
I could go on to write a novel on favorite books.

Kiki: What is the best book you read last month, and would you recommend it to a friend?
Lorrie : I read Dark Deceptions by Dee Davis. It’s another in her A-Tac series of the men and women in the CIA who are assigned the riskiest jobs.  And yes, I would recommend it to a friend. She is another author that always pleases her target audience.

Kiki: What are your reading habits like? For example, how many books do you read on average in a week, what format do you prefer to read in, what time of day do you read, and what setting is ideal for you to get lost in that book?
Lorrie : Kiki, before I began writing, I averaged, and I’m not kidding, nearly a book a day--depending on the number of pages. I remember once reading Exodus by Leon Uris and staying awake until five in the morning to finish it.

Now, my writing takes a big chunk of my time and I don’t read as much as before. Being on the computer makes my eyes burn after a long length of time, but—in the evening, some nights I get off the computer early and just curl up in my tilt back comfy chair with a book, I prefer a paperback, and sink into the prose. This is especially wonderful in the winter with the freezing temps outside, and a hot cup of tea by my side. Heaven.

Kiki: If pressed, could you chose a favorite from the books you have written? Why is it your favorite?
Lorrie : Gypsy Crystal is my first long piece of work. Previously I have written short stories and I do have a favorite character. Soon, I hope to put a collection of “Winnie” stories together into a novel length format.

I like Winnie because she is an older woman who lands into the most absurd situations  by her own doing.

Winnie was struck by lightning while standing under her cherry tree in the backyard. She had a near-death experience and now has the gift of seeing and speaking to the newly departed in the funeral home, but only until the casket is closed and the spirit moves on. Fat Phil drafted her into the COD (Call on the Dead) club, and their mission is to grant the dead one last reasonable request.
Oh my, poor Winnie. All I can say is her rap sheet is growing longer with each story.

Kiki: How do you become inspired to write?
Lorrie : Odd characters float through my head. I like to take these characters, toss them together, stir well, then see what sort of trouble they can get into.
Kiki: Love this analogy!

Kiki: What part of the story do you think is your strength to write?
Lorrie : I feel I still have much to learn, but I think my strength is coming up with twists for the reader. My characters never take the expected course. In Gypsy Crystal, Rita, my homicide detective has a serial killer to catch. She is with the task force and a FBI agent. May I say a yummy one? Does the task force pin the killer? We take an unexpected turn here. I don’t want to put out any spoiler alerts, so I’ll leave it at that.

Kiki: Please share with ABA readers something I did not think to ask you about.
Lorrie : I’m so elated to have a longer piece published. I feel like I’ve accomplished a goal. I hope to reach that goal post many more times.

The publishing world has changed drastically and I don’t know if that’s a good thing or bad. What is your opinion readers? Good? Bad? 

Lorrie Unites-Struiff
Can gypsy magic help catch a serial killer?
In my novella,” Gypsy Crystal,” Rita Muldova, my homicide detective has pure Roma blood. She wears a mystical crystal amulet that gives her the power to see in a dead victim’s eyes the last image he/she saw. What a career boost.
 Now, with the task force, she is hunting for the “Ripper,” a serial killer loose in her town that is targeting prostitutes. But, oh, oh, for this murderer, the crystal has stopped working.
A yummy FBI agent, Matt Boulet, has been on the Ripper’s tail since the killings started in New Orleans. He has a yen for Rita and they have a weird connection. Plus, Rita would like to jump his bones.
Rita’s mother, Anna, is a great seer whom Rita turns to in time of troubles, but Anna can’t offer  an explanation of why the crystal has stopped working. Anna does tell Rita the lore of their clan. Rita is both shocked and horrified of the tale.
Filled with gypsy customs and lore, the novella takes you on a wild ride into the mystical world of the paranormal with thrills and chills to keep you turning pages.

For more details, excerpts and reviews, visit my website at http://struiff.wordpress.com/
Gypsy Crystal is available in print and e-book formats at Amazon.

Wednesday, July 7, 2010

Ami Blackwelder’s Review of “Portal” By Imogen Rose

I must admit I am a Twilight fan and I thought it would be hard to find anything that could come close to what I felt for Stephanie Meyer’s novels, but Portal by Imogen Rose is a close call. No, not vampires. No, not werewolves.

Her science fiction romantic journey takes the reader on a completely different kind of experience -a time bending, dimension leaping swirl of page turning anticipation, heartfelt passions, and familial relationships.  With well developed and complicated characters and a twisting plot, this novel was hard to put down and I am intrigued to find out how the sequel will deal with the issues.

Imogen Rose sets up a fantastical world within the realm of possibility, by structuring a story that revolves around a physicist named Olivia (Arizona’s mother), who is unhappily married and is told by a musician named Rupert, to meet her two years ago. The story unfolds, but this time Arizona is not living the life she knew, but is also affected by the choices her mother, Olivia has made, and her world becomes a series of memories she never had.

To complicate matters, Arizona finds herself dating the handsome Kellan, the love of her (new) life, for eight years and while she is finding this new dimension full of surprises, this is one surprise she may not want to let go of...

This was a definite Sci-Fi-Romance, that fans of that genre are not going to want to miss!

Five stars out of five!

Portal, 'A Science Fiction Twilight'  By Imogen Rose

Reviewed By: Ami Blackwelder 

Tuesday, July 6, 2010

Wendy VanHatten Reviews “Last Writes” by Sheila Lowe

 “Last Writes” by Sheila Lowe
Publisher: New American Library/ Obsidian Mysteries

The frantic search for a three-year-old, an estranged half-sister, a fanatical religious cult—Claudia's friend Kelly learns that she's an aunt when her estranged sister Erin shows up at her home in desperate need of help. Erin and her husband have been living quiet lives as members of The Temple of Brighter Light in an isolated compound. But now her husband and young child have disappeared, leaving behind a cryptic note with a terrifying message. Seizing an opportunity to use her special skills as a forensic handwriting expert, Claudia becomes one of the few outsiders ever to be invited inside the compound. She must uncover the truth about Kelly's missing niece before the prophecy of a secret ancient parchment can be fulfilled and a child's life is written off for good...

Book Review:
Sheila Lowe does it again. Just when you think you have things figured out in “Last Writes”…here comes another twist.
By now you know you should expect the unexpected, but Lowe grabs you and you’re off on a suspense filled tangent. You just know there’s trouble ahead. You’re afraid there’s trouble ahead. And then you wonder just how bad that trouble can possibly be…and will they come out unscathed.
With a good mix of suspense and wit, Lowe’s believable characters come to life in this fast paced novel. Try to keep up with her heroine as she moves in and out of trouble faster than you can turn the pages. And once again…the end will keep you guessing as you sit on the edge of your seat. Always a good thing for a suspense novel.

Wendy VanHatten
Freelance Editor and Author

Friday, July 2, 2010

Christmas In July - My Interview with Author Joanna Wilson

KIKI: In celebration of Christmas in July, I have invited author Joanna Wilson to ABA. I had the pleasure of spending a day selling books beside Joanna this past December. And, as I love everything Christmas I was fascinated by her book , The Christmas TV Companion--the survey of cult TV, rare and weird Christmas programs.This book was derived from her complete guide to Christmas-themed episodes, specials and made-for-TV movies coming out this November. It seems and thrilling and ambitious undertaking to me. So, first I want to give Joanna the floor to explain to us what got her started on this journey.

JOANNA: Well, I've always been the biggest TV junkie and knowing this, several years ago, my boyfriend gave me a book as a gift--on the history of the Rankin/Bass produced animation. He knew I'd love to read about those classic stop-motion TV specials such as 'Rudolph, the Red-Nosed Reindeer' and 'The Year Without a Santa Claus.' I was so in love with that book that I began to use the table of contents as a checklist to go back and watch all those sentimental favorites that I grew up watching. As I was at the library and the video store renting these old titles, I began to find other Christmas programs I hadn't seen in years and was really enjoying watching those as well. This nostalgic personal project began to grow and grow as I paid more attention to the Christmas-themed episodes of my favorite TV series and started looking for Christmas-themed movies. Realizing that there wasn't much already written about all this programming inspired me to take my research and turn it into a useful guide for others.

KIKI: Wow, now can you tell us a little more specifically what these books are about, what information a reader can expect from them? Because I know from reading 
The Christmas TV Companion, that if you start now with a notebook and pen in hand, you may just by December have your TV viewing agenda completed. I am big on watching holiday TV, but I never imagined that there was this much!

JOANNA: The Christmas TV Companion is a useful guide for TV junkies to remember or learn about the more unusual Christmas programs. This includes chapters on horror, science fiction, animation, variety and dark-themed Christmas programs. Most people are quite surprised to discover how many programs veer from the traditional expectations of what Christmas on TV should be. My commentary includes discussions that range from ‘The Star Wars Holiday Special’ to 'South Park' and the more mature animated programs from Adult Swim that air on the Cartoon Network. I also created several marathon suggestions for viewers to construct their own holiday programming schedules to suit their own particular tastes, called Make your Own Marathons.

This book which came out last year was derived from the research that I’ve done for the complete encyclopedia of Christmas-themed TV episodes, specials and made-for-TV movies entitled Tis the Season TV which is due for release this coming November. Whereas The Christmas TV Companion contains my commentary on a selection of unusual Christmas TV programs, the encyclopedia Tis the Season TV is a reference book that covers all Christmas-themed materials from the history of television. Tis the Season TV has literally thousands of entries compiled from 8 years of research and viewing. 

Christmas on TV is the best and the worst that TV has to offer. TV’s highest quality productions have included the very first Hallmark Hall of Fame production--the first opera specifically written for television, “Amahl and the Night Visitors” as well as the highly acclaimed “Truman Capote’s A Christmas Memory.” However Christmas on TV also means the all too common superficial sitcom adaptation of Charles Dickens’ classic ‘A Christmas Carol.’ It can also be the worst, derivative conspicuous commercialism disguised as children’s entertainment. Yet we all watch our favorite holiday programs every year, it has become a common language for everyone and I’m endlessly fascinated by the diversity of what’s been created.

KIKI: Obvious next question is how did you find all this programming?

JOANNA: I spend a great deal of time combing through network schedules to catch Christmas programs as they broadcast and re-broadcast throughout the year. Our local libraries are also a wonderful resource that I have come to depend upon. I have also made extensive use of an online rental queue and online video databases. You may even find me at thrift stores buying old VHS copies of rare materials.

KIKI: Where can we find you on the web?

JOANNA: I write a blog all year long with nostalgic and timely references to Christmas moments from television’s past. You can find me at: http://ChristmasTVCompanion.blogspot.com 

KIKI: So, in all of these shows, do you actually have favorites? If you can, give us a few in each category like favorite movie, favorite TV series Christmas special, etc. Don’t forget to include your favorite children’s Christmas special, and my personal favorite from the book, Horror Christmas show? 

JOANNA: Like most people, my favorites are the ones I watched when I was a kid and continue to enjoy as an adult. My favorite specials are ‘A Charlie Brown Christmas,’ ‘Rudolph, the Red-Nosed Reindeer’ and ‘Pee-Wee’s Playhouse Christmas Special.’ My favorite episodes are ‘The Voice of Christmas’ from The Brady Bunch, ‘A Vision of Sugar Plums’ from Bewitched, and the Dick Van Dyke Show’s holiday episode ‘The Alan Brady Show Presents.’ My favorite movies are ‘The House Without a Christmas Tree,’ ‘The Homecoming: Walton’s Christmas,’ and ‘A Christmas Story.’ I also love some of the non-traditional more bizarre programs that I covered in The Christmas TV Companion such as ‘Hey, Hey It’s Knishmas’ from Chowder, ‘Rebel With a Claus’ from Squidbillies and the made-for-TV movie based on the Terry Pratchett sci-fi/fantasy book ‘Hogfather.’ Just for you, Kiki, my favorite horror episode is ‘And All through the House’ a Christmas-themed episode of the TV series ‘Tales from the Crypt.’ My favorite horror movie is the original 1974 ‘Black Christmas’ directed by Bob Clark, the same director that made ‘A Christmas Story.’
This is what I had to say about it in my book The Christmas TV Companion:

"Director Bob Clark did more to permanently associate his name with Christmas films than create the now-classic 'A Christmas Story.' He also blazed a trail with his brilliantly made 1974 cult slasher flick, 'Black Christmas.' The story takes place in a sorority house at Christmas time as female residents begin to disappear and obscene phone calls are received by the remaining house mates who are unaware that the deadly danger is lurking in the house with them. 

The thrill in watching 'Black Christmas' today is in the rarely imitated, open ended conclusion of the story. The film ends before the killer is caught! This terrifying lack of completion also means viewers are left to speculate just who is the serial killer and why he does what he does--making the imagined far more scary than the usual tying up of loose story ends with a complete explanation provided in most other horror films. There is speculation amongst this film's fans concerning its legacy and the extent of influence this film has had on the slasher genre. Many claim it as the inspiration for 1978's better remembered 'Halloween' and its tremendous success.

The influence of 'Black Christmas' was strong enough to inspire a 2006 remake. This updated and bloodier version of the story removes the mystery behind the supposed killer, the no longer unseen, Billy. Here, the character of the criminally insane Billy is expanded and explained, and he’s not working alone! There’s also an update on the story line with the obscene phone calls. In this remake, cell phones reveal the origin of the calls and ring tones sound off the location of the caller within the house. Whimsically, it recasts actress, Andrea Martin, also from the original film, now playing the more age-appropriate house mother instead of a sorority sister."

KIKI: A lot of special things have happened to you since The Christmas TV Companion came out. Can you give us a few highlights, like your favorite review you got for the book?

JOANNA: One exciting thing that has happened was that I participated in a TV special, talking about the history of Christmas on TV for the History Channel. This documentary about the culture of Christmas is scheduled to air this holiday season in 2010. I’m also very proud of receiving a glowing testimonial from Barry Williams, the actor who played Greg Brady on ‘The Brady Bunch’ TV series.

Information for Sales… 

My book The Christmas TV Companion can be purchased through the publisher’s website: http://1701Press.com as well as Amazon.com, Barnes & Noble online, and Oldies.com. The encyclopedia, Tis the Season TV, will be available for purchase from the same sources upon its release in November 2010.

Thursday, July 1, 2010


Kiki: What is your favorite genre to read in, and what is it about that genre that attracts you to it? If you like a specific mix of genres, please state that particular combination.
Cissy: My favorite genre to read in would have to be fiction and mostly Christian fiction. What attracts me to this specific genre is the fact that it is a fiction story, in other words it isn’t another living person’s story like nonfiction is, so for a moment I can claim it as my on. While I’m reading the book that is my story, that is me going through the adventure. Where with nonfiction you’re reading about another person’s adventure or story.

Kiki: What is your favorite author to read in that genre, and why? Also, please tell me a little about the best book by that author you have read.
Cissy: Oh, this is a hard one for me because I like so many different authors and their works. I really don’t have just one favorite author. I like Beverly Lewis because she writes about the Amish lifestyle. I like Lori Wick because she is one of the most versatile writers I have read. In one book you can be reading about the life of the pioneers, the next could be set in Victorian times, then the next one you read could be set in contemporary time. 

Kiki: Do you have a Favorite Book of All Time? Of course, please tell us what about that book makes it your favorite.
Cissy: Oh, yes, I have a Favorite Book of All Time. It is Gone With the Wind. I read it for the first time when I was in the 6th grade and have probably read it twenty times since then. I just love that book. What I love about it is the overcoming spirit of Scarlett and how she changed, grew up through out the book. This is the story of a “girl” who was use to being waited on hand and foot then because of war she was suddenly put in charge of taking care of everybody.

Kiki: What is the best book you read last month, and would you recommend it to a friend?
Cissy: To be honest with you I haven’t read anything since it is Summer. In the Summer my husband and I spend our time doing our favorite recreation which is night fishing. But the last book I read was the 3rd book in the series called A Place Called Home by Lori Wick. It is titled The Long Road Home. I would highly recommend the whole series to a friend.

Kiki: What are your reading habits like? For example, how many books do you read on average in a week, what format do you prefer to read in, what time of day do you read, and what setting is ideal for you to get lost in that book?
Cissy: My reading habits vary according to what season it is. If it is Summer I don’t get as much reading done because I’m usually with my husband out on the lake fishing. When it is to cool to be on the lake then that is when I snuggle down with my books. I prefer to hold a real book in my hands. I know the “hot new thing” is ebooks but I still like turning the pages of a real book. I like reading at night out on my deck or if winter curled up by the fireplace when all is quite and I can get totally lost in the book. I average reading 5-7 books a week.. It is according to how many pages the book has and how many interruptions.

Kiki: If pressed, could you chose a favorite from the books you have written? Why is it your favorite?
Cissy: I have written many poems but only one book. It is A rose Blooms Among the Thorns. It is a fiction story about a woman’s journey from domestic abuse through healing to forgiveness. The reason I like this book is because of the subject matter it covers, domestic violence. Domestic violence is the willful intimidation, physical assault, battery, sexual assault, and/or other abusive behavior perpetrated by an intimate partner against another. It is an epidemic affecting individuals in every community, regardless of age, economic status, race, religion, nationality or educational background. Violence against women is often accompanied by emotionally abusive and controlling behavior, and thus is part of a systematic pattern of dominance and control. Domestic violence results in physical injury, psychological trauma, and sometimes death. The consequences of domestic violence can cross generations and truly last a lifetime.  

Kiki: How do you become inspired to write?
Cissy: Sometimes I wake up late at night or will be setting out on my deck and words will start whirling and twirling in my head. This is why I keep a pen and paper close by at all times. My faith inspires me, nature inspires me, words inspire me, wrongs or injustice inspire me.

Kiki: What part of the story do you think is your strength to write?
Cissy: The part of the story that I think is my strength to write is the beginning and the ending. I know were I want the story to start and were I want it to end but getting it from point A to point B doesn’t always go the way I want it to. The story will take a different road entirely than what I had planned for it, so I have to work with the trip the story is taking me on..

Kiki: Please share with ABA readers something I did not think to ask you about.
Cissy: I have been an ordained minister since August of 2007. I am called to minister to hurting women who carry the emotional scars of domestic abuse.
For as long as I can remember I have always loved to write. When I couldn't express myself verbally, one only had to hand me a pen and paper and out would flow my words on to the paper.
I have written poetry most of my life and now my life-long dream has come true. I have written a book.

Cissy Hunt

In accordance with the new FTC Guidelines for blogging and endorsements, Kiki Howell of An Author's Musings, would like to advise that in addition to purchasing my own books to review, I also receive books, and/or promotional materials, free of charge in return for an honest review, as do any guest reviewers.