Thursday, July 31, 2008

Interview with author & Internet radio blog host Yolanda Renee and also Thursday Thirteen: edition 15 - Back to School

Please join me today for 1. a very special interview with author and Internet radio talk show host, Yolanda Renee, and 2. for my Thursday Thirteen: edition 15 (below Renee's interview). Enjoy!

1. Is Murder, Madness & Love your first book? If not, what other books have you written? Are they published?

Murder, Madness & Love is my first published novel. I am currently working on novel 2 in the series, Murder, Madness & Memories – A Sacrifice for Lilith and novel 3 is in very rough draft form but is titled Murder, Madness & Obsession – Rapunzel. The first chapter for each novel can be read at

2. Why do you like to write romantic suspense?

I wanted to write a novel similar to the books I enjoy reading. A good romance is just as satisfying as a good murder mystery so I combined the two.

3. What did you do when you worked in the field camp in Alaska? What was it like? Would you like to return and if so, why?

I miss Alaska; it is the one place I truly felt at home. My title was Assistant Field Engineer, but in truth I was no more than a glorified secretary. I organized, filed and pretty much ran the show, just as any secretary does. Working in the Brooks Range gave me an opportunity to explore the wilderness of Alaska like no other; I hiked the mountains, saw wildlife – grizzlies, wolf, and fox, numerous birds and caribou up close and personal. I was privileged to be allowed to take helicopter rides into mining camps and meet with real pioneers and gold miners. It was a truly awesome opportunity, and I have the photos to prove it. I would go back tomorrow if it was at all possible.

4. What made you decide to host an internet radio show?

Looking for a way to market my own novel, I discovered Blog Talk Radio and thought it was a great idea –I thought other authors like me needed such an opportunity. Regular radio loves the non-fiction writer because they are considered the expert in the field they write about but who can claim to be an expert in writing mysteries unless you are Mary Higgins Clark or another big name writer. It gives the fiction author the poet or the indie film producer an opportunity that regular radio doesn’t. I credit AngelLesa as my mentor – her show was the first one I listened too and she is an inspiration for me and others like me who have just begun to explore the opportunities of BTR.

5. What is it like to host an internet radio show? Is it what you thought it would be? If not, how is it different?

I’m not sure what I expected. I just know that I’ve taken it very seriously. I read the novels of the author, listen to the music, or preview the films of the guests. I post book reviews, and blogs on several sites and use twitter and LinkedIn connections to help advertise the guest prior to the show. It is a marketing tool and if we both use it as such I think it’s beneficial – I hope it helps – if nothing else it is a great way to learn the interview process and explore other avenues of marketing. I have learned a lot, and enjoy meeting new people. This is not something I ever saw myself doing and have found I prefer being the interviewer rather than the interviewee.

6. Please tell us who some of your upcoming guests will be for your show and how you book them.

This week, Thursday, July 31, 2008 @ 10:00 PM EDT -- I have Mike Lombardo – the writer, producer and director of Reel Splatter Films an Independent Film Company from Central Pennsylvania. I met him through a fellow author, and booked him immediately.

In August, I have 4 Authors scheduled and my shows will now be on at 9:00 PM EDT.

August 7, 2008 – Mark B. Pickering Author of Story of the Sand – Literary Fiction

August 14, 2008 – Judith Woolcock Colombo Author of Night Crimes -- Mystery

August 21, 2008 – G. Lloyd Helm Author of Design – Science Fiction

August 28, 2008 – Aaron Paul Lazar Author of Tremolo: cry of the loon -- Mystery

The authors either contact me directly via my e-mail address or their publicist does. When I first started, I sent out an e-mail to the Pennwriters Group and immediately had responses – The internet is quickly becoming an important part of all artists marketing goals, and I’m happy to be part of it.

7. How do you promote your books besides hosting your radio show? What type of promotion do you feel works best?

I have done everything that all authors have done, and I don’t have a good answer. Although one of the most unique things I was involved with was to be invited to a house party where other vendors were invited, I sold my books and they sold jewelry, purses, scarf’s, and snacks. It was a great time and a great idea – I’m still trying to figure out how to become part of the home party industry. For me the most fun is to get that e-mail after they’ve read the book and read how much they enjoyed it, there is no payoff as good as that.

8. Besides writing and being published, do you have any other dreams? If so, what are they?

I want to finish my education and get a PHD. I have always wanted to be a college professor – in either literature or history. i also want to write a non-fiction novel -- several actually -- one about Alaska and my experiences.

9. What do you admire most in a person? Why?

I admire anyone who pursues their dreams. I think doing what you love is the greatest gift you can give to others and to yourself. Overcoming the negative’s that life seems to dump on us daily and to rise above it in the pursuit of those dreams is admirable and should be celebrated.

10. What do you enjoy doing besides writing?

I love walking – it’s my time for prayer and communing with the world around me – it’s very grounding, and inspirational. I love gardening, reading and my husband and I both love collecting antiques and going to flea markets and antique stores.

11. Where can we find your books? What are your websites? Please fill us in on any live or Internet appearances and contests you’ll be participating in during the next couple of months.

My books can be bought through any online book store – Amazon, Barnes & Nobel, etc. or you can get a signed copy by ordering it directly from me using your PayPal account on my website.

My other sites are or

My interview on with host Kent Gustavson PHD will air on August 1, 2008 at 1:30 PM and I will be on the AngelLesa show on Blog Talk Radio on September 26, 2008 at 11:00 AM @ . I will be doing a few personal appearances in the next few months but I’m still working out the details. And I will be teaching a course for a local adult education course called “Finding Your Muse.”

My e-mail address is for anyone interested in contacting me regarding an interview or my books.

Anyone interested in the next two novels can read the first chapter of each one on my website – The next two novels in the series are titled Murder, Madness & Memories – A Sacrifice for Lilith and Murder, Madness & Obsession – Rapunzel.

Here's the blurb and first chapter for Renee's book "Murder, Madness & Love". Enjoy!

(Remember, my Thursday Thirteen edition 15 is after Renee's excerpt.)

Murder, Madness & Love by Yolanda Renée

A killer plays cat and mouse with a young widow against the snowy backdrop of an Alaskan winter. Branded a black widow after the suspicious death of her millionaire husband, Sarah Phalmer flees Seattle for Anchorage. But the peace and quiet she hoped to enjoy in her hometown is soon shattered. The killer is murdering Sarah look-alikes on the 14th of each month, taunting Sarah with a valentine of evidence. After her experiences in Seattle, Sarah is slow to go to the police. When she finally does, she finds Detective Steven Quaid, who is called on to protect the beautiful widow from a stalker intent on her destruction. Steven is not entirely sure she is not behind the scheme herself, and before long Sarah has him wound up tighter than barbed wire. Is Sarah a victim or a very skilled manipulator?



Anchorage, Alaska November 14th Debra pulled up the collar of her stylish leather jacket, leaned into the wind, and ignoring her best friend’s advice to wait out the blizzard, she braved the season's first snowstorm. As she angrily trudged to the parking lot, the cold brittle air tore determinedly at her clothes. Sharp fingers of ice touched her cruelly in places familiar only to warmth. The storm was another disappointment in a long list of disappointments. Her summer arrival in Anchorage left her feeling cold even in 70-degree weather. Mosquitoes in the thousands ruined every camping and fishing trip, and the midnight sun left her sleepless, and disoriented. The darkness of winter closed in and the cold only got colder. She wanted to go home, to Ohio, back to civilization. Anger pushed her forward against the biting wind, and her own unhappiness. She left her work as a cocktail waitress for The Piano Bar early due to the weather, but it was because of her anger, that she finally had the courage to tell her husband how frustrated she was. Confident that Alaska's climate would not beat her this time; Debra was determined to tell her husband the truth, and that decision helped her to fight through the swirling snow and insidious cold. She was homesick and the only solution for that was a trip back east to see family and friends. Debra was determined to convince Mathew that Christmas would be the perfect time for such a trip. She was within sight of her car when suddenly someone grabbed her. Arms held her tightly around the shoulders and a gloved hand crossed her mouth. A muffled scream, the cold shiny steel of a knife and a sudden searing pain all registered in her mind as the blade sliced deep. Hideous stifled screams became gurgles as she choked on her own blood and realized her fate. The arms that held her disappeared. Her hands finally free from the fear that kept her immobile, grabbed for her throat. As life dripped from between her fingers, the final seconds moved in slow deliberate steps. She fell backwards and knew, as she hit the soft snow, that she was dying. Her last conscious act was to raise her leaden arms skyward, reaching for someone, anyone. Her hands clenched once in defiance, as if she were trying to hold tightly to the life violently stolen from her. Her strength quickly disappeared and her arms fell lifelessly to the ground. Debra stared up into the falling snow but failed to feel the sting of its coldness. The Arctic air quickly smothered the last embers of her life, as she silently bid farewell to her husband and children. Snowflakes as large as goose down hurried to cover her body with an icy blanket and crimson red fluid poured from the open wound as spirals of steam rose heavenward. As the warmth of her life's blood mixed with the frozen white flakes, death quietly disappeared under cover of the season’s first storm. More about Yolanda Renee:

Although a native Pennsylvanian, I chose to follow my adventurous spirit, which led me to Alaska, where I worked in a field camp in the Brooks Range. I had an opportunity to explore and hike the mountains before the appearance of grizzlies made that impossible. Still I was privileged to travel from Valdez to Prudhoe Bay the entire length of Alaska and live in Fairbanks and Anchorage.

The money I made working in Alaska allowed me to get my education. I have a BS in Business Administration from West Liberty State College and a MA in Organizational Leadership from Chapman University. Even though I have always wanted to return to Alaska, I met my husband during college, and we decided instead to settle in Washington State. We are currently in Pennsylvania and making plans to move out west once again.

I am currently working on the next two novels in the Detective Quaid series: #2 Murder, Madness, and Memories—A Sacrifice for Lilith, and #3 Murder, Madness, and Obsession--Rapunzel.

Host of Blog Talk Radio -- Renee's Book Talk

Join Renee Thursdays @ 10:00 PM EDT and 9:00 PM EDT starting in August for a discussion with authors and artists from all genres!

And now, for Ashley's Thursday Thirteen, edition 15.

Thirteen Must Have Back To School Items
1.... Hello Kitty Lunch Box 2.... Wheelie Gym Shoes 3.... Book Bag on wheels 4.... Writing Utensils 5.... Watch charm to hang on book bag 6.... Cell phone (of course) 7.... Pencil Sharpeners 8.... Glue 9.... Colored Pencils 10... Crayons 11... Binders 12... Paper 13... 5-subject notebooks * If you're like me, you've been out of school for awhile and you get a little nostalgic at this time of year. I especially love Meg Ryan's line in "You've Got Mail" - "Don't you love New York in the fall? It makes me wanna buy school supplies. I would send you a bouquet of newly sharpened pencils if I knew your name and address." I not only love that movie, but I love the season of back to school and fall. My dad used to think I was a career college student. I think I would love being a college professor and living on a college campus the rest of my life.
Get the Thursday Thirteen code here! The purpose of the meme is to get to know everyone who participates a little bit better every Thursday. Visiting fellow Thirteeners is encouraged! If you participate, leave the link to your Thirteen in others' comments. It’s easy, and fun! Trackbacks, pings, comment links accepted!
One last thing: Don't miss Total-e-Bound's birthday bash this Saturday August 2 all day. You could win lots of books and great prizes.


Sandra Cox said...

Great interview, ladies!
The book sounds like a winner.
Excellent blog, Ash.

Molly Daniels said...

Wnderful interview!

I also love school supplies! One year, hubby laughed at me for stocking up on notebooks, but they came in very handy whenever I started a new wip, or a family lost everything in a fire the week before school started. They were most appreciative of the donation of supplies for the 3 kids.

Paige Tyler said...

Great interview and great TT!


My TT is at

Regina Carlysle said...

Great interview and excerpt! The blog/talk radio thing sounds very interesting. Cool way to promote.

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