About Me

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I'm a published author of short fiction for kids and adults. I have an MFA in Creative Writing from Spalding University. I'm a former content writer for Spirit and Truth publishing on their Living the Word series. I've also worked as a paid book reviewer and as a student editor for The Louisville Review literary magazine. I'm a wife and mom to two great kids, three dogs, and a cat. I love books, movies, gardening, kids, and animals.

Tuesday, October 29, 2013

Great Historical Fiction for Middle Graders

Photo provided by author

I have to share the news! One of my critique group partners recently published her debut novel, Swing Low, Sweet Harriet.

I re-read it over the weekend and it is fantastic! It is told from a unique perspective in middle grade fiction, a thirteen-year-old slave boy named Ben. It is set during the middle of the conflict of the American Civil War near the coast of South Carolina. Ben stumbles across Rebel soldiers and overhears their plans to stop the progress of the Union army, when he is out fishing along the Combahee River. When a stranger appears during Sunday meeting and asks him and the other slaves if they've seen any Rebels lately, Ben is conflicted over what to do. Should he share what he overheard with this strange woman named Moses, or should he keep it to himself? Is it worth the risk and can this Moses woman be trusted?

This is a well researched and riveting narrative. I would recommend it to anyone who enjoys fiction on this period in American history. Though I will caution you, that since it is told from the point of view of a young slave boy there is some violence in the story. However, this is a true depiction of slavery and nothing was added in that detracts from the narrative of the character. It would be a great teaching tool to use in classrooms or for home schooling. You can purchase this book online at Barnes and Noble or on Amazon.

Happy All Hallow's Eve

Here are some of my favorite things about Fall and the month of October in particular in pictures...

Sunsets are more colorful

Searching in the pumpkin patch...

for that perfect pumpkin

Giant slides at...

farms with corn mazes

Yummy if a bit spooky dinners

Beautiful colors everywhere

Putting together a unique costume to

trick or treat at the zoo and later throughout town Halloween night

Beautiful young voices at All Festival Choir



and giving them 

fun new forms...like Death Stars

Crisp Saturday mornings watching my kids run Cross Country

What about you? What are some of your favorite things about fall? Any shivery tales you'd like to share about this spookiest of holiday seasons?

Tuesday, October 22, 2013

Gothically Captivating Reading

Reading when you are young is like being taken on a journey down an unknown path. It is magical and mysterious and you are lost in a world that only you know about, while all around you people are doing other mundane things.

As a writer I feel this way when I start a new story. I have a seed of an idea that makes my fingers itch to get it down on paper. But as a writer who reads, this captivation sometimes alludes me. On a blog post I've started following another writer mentioned this in the comments. That reading to learn craft has taken away some of the initial wonder that follows starting a new book. I've heard this before. At a book signing for an author whose books I enjoy, at conferences from agents and editors, and on writing websites and blogs. I didn't have a name for what this was. But it saddened me a little. Did growing in my craft as a writer mean I was losing the joy of reading?

That would be a horrible sacrifice. And what would I do with all these books that I still haven't read? Good heavens, would my book fetish just be that... A frenzied need to collect stories I'd never be able to read or if I did start, never be able to finish!

Then I read a wonderful article in the Huffington Post that helped it all make sense. It helped me give a name to what I've learned to do as a writer who reads (clears throat) A LOT.

Photo courtesy of freedigitalphotos.net
The post was entitled 11 Lessons That 'Jane Eyre' Can Teach Every 21st Century Woman About How to Live Well by Zoe Triska. This article helped me make sense of what I was doing when I was reading. I was being an active reader. I was absorbing craft, learning to think critically about what I was reading, and consciously, but often subconsciously using this for my own writing. As I read through Ms. Triska's article defending one of her favorite books I realized my joy of reading hadn't lessened. Instead it had become MORE. I needed good writing that was invisible to me, the reader, to become swept away in a story. Something that I did instinctively as a child. If a story didn't captivate me I didn't worry about putting it down and moving on to something that did. As an adult I started conditioning myself not to do this. Either because I didn't want to give up on a book I'd paid good money for, or because the story was by a writer I'd always enjoyed before, but wasn't impressed by this time, the list could go on. I'd like to say this has made me more discerning in my book purchasing. I'm not sure if this is truly the case or not. I do hesitate to buy books more than in the past. So now I'm going to try not to feel guilty if I can't finish a book that doesn't hold my interest as much as it should. Maybe that will give me more time to re-read some of my perennial favorites, like JANE EYRE, which celebrated its anniversary last week.

What about you? Do you find yourself being an active reader? What are some of your all time favorite books that have swept you away and why?

Tuesday, October 15, 2013

A Public Institution that Still Fulfills its Purpose

About a month ago, an author I met at the conference I attended posted about a small side journey he made on his way to the conference. His post talked about something I'd had floating around in my head off and on for some time. It concerns public libraries. I've included the link here for his blog post, Electric Libraryland by Chris Everheart.

In a time where our federal government seems determined to squabble instead of serve these institutions known as libraries continue to muddle along in spite of funding cuts, competition from other sources of entertainment (for those of us who read for entertainment purposes), and other miscellaneous challenges that I don't even begin to understand or know about.

Yet, they serve as a crucial part of a community. They are open to all members of a community and offer services that are free of charge. According to Wikipedia, they are often considered essential to having a literate and educated population. I know some things you read on Wikipedia can be suspect, but on this I agree.

I live in a small community with limited resources. I've seen over the last several years programs cut from public schools because they were nonessential such as elementary art and music. This has been happening everywhere across the country. But my kids, can still learn how to make crafts and express themselves artistically by attending craft night on Mondays at our public library.

Q-tips and parchment paper skeletons

Public libraries still continue to fulfill the purpose for which they were created, they educate and serve their public. They offer books for lend, some even have book mobiles for people who can't drive into they local library.

Storytime for young children and toddlers is offered by most public libraries and promotes literacy in children. Book clubs for teens and adults are often offered, Lego clubs for older kids, as well as classes and workshops for a wide range of things from knitting to crafting jewelry to making even old books you don't intend to ever read again useful as a planter.

How awesome to combine books and gardening!
So check out your local libraries. You might be surprised by how much they have to offer.

Who knew cheesecloth could be spooky? My librarian did ;).

Wednesday, October 9, 2013

Author Melissa Foster Talks About Her New Series Love in Bloom

Photo provided courtesy of Melissa Foster

Today on my blog I’m joined by award-winning, International bestselling author Melissa Foster. Melissa’s books have been recommended by USA Today’s book blog, Hagerstown Magazine, The Patriot and several other print venues. Melissa is here with me today to discuss her new Love in Bloom series featuring the Snow sisters and the Bradens. Contemporary romances that deal with issues of family relationships, career challenges, and finding the courage to open yourself up to someone for a chance at lasting love. I was fortunate to receive advanced reader copies of the first book in the series, Sisters in Love, and the second, Sisters in Bloom, in exchange for honest reviews.

Ann: Hi Melissa! Thank you for joining me today. The Love in Bloom series is a little bit of a departure from some of your earlier novels. What inspired you to write this series and delve exclusively into the romance genre?

Banner provided by author Melissa Foster

Melissa: Hi Ann! I’m excited to chat with you. The Love in Bloom series is different than my normal more serious work. I wanted to write something upbeat and fun, but more weighty than a simple romance, and the Snow sisters was the perfect branch to lead with. The Love in Bloom series is actually a nine-book series featuring the Snow sisters and the Bradens, and they are very family centric. While the books take a turn for the steamy side with the Bradens, the heart of the stories are about family, love, commitment, and overcoming our pasts and secret fears.

I have fallen in love with the romance genre and after this series is complete I have a few others that will follow: The Remingtons, who readers will meet in Bursting with Love, Book 8 of the Love in Bloom series. I’m also considering a spin-off series to follow Michelle, Chase, and Rusty as they enter college.

Ann: I’ve followed you as a Facebook fan for a couple of years now. You’ve always talked about how much you love your writing career. But with this series you seem to be really enjoying yourself and sound almost ebullient about writing them. Has it been stressful at all coming out with two novels almost back-to-back? How do you find the time to write with all the marketing you’ve been doing for your latest two books?

Melissa: I’m so glad you follow me. Thank you! It is silly how much in love with writing I am, but it is true and real. I adore writing, always have, but writing romance has given me an entirely new focus, and the characters in the Love in Bloom series have become “friends” in my mind. I think about them often and plan where they’ll go next. I am adding another two books to the Snow Sisters early next year: Sisters at Heart and Sisters in Summer. I have a feeling that we might follow the sisters for years to come.

I have spent the last eight months preparing for this series to launch with one book every thirty days, and actually, I’m way ahead of schedule and will probably have the first 7 books of the series out by Christmas. It hasn’t been stressful. It’s been very exciting and a great learning experience, but it has been time consuming. I have spent far too many 13 hour days at my computer, but my commitment is to my readers. I know when I’m reading a series I don’t want to wait six months for the next installment. I want to read it while the characters are still fresh in my mind, and I wanted to give that gift to my readers. Once January hits I might slow down **bites lip…knows this might not happen** but for now, I want to bring the Bradens to my fans.

As for time to write—I’m very covetous of my writing time. I don’t take phone calls from 8-4 and I only leave my desk under duress. . I do my editing in the evenings and on weekends. Each book goes through six weeks of editing with three editors (and many revisions). There’s really nothing I’d rather do than write. I also have the world’s most supportive husband and family, and they make it easy for me to do what I love.

Ann: I agree having a support system like that makes all the difference!
The two sisters we’ve met so far in the series, Danica and Kaylie are completely different in their personalities and outlooks on life. While I enjoyed both of them, I found myself drawn more to Danica’s story than to Kaylie’s. Maybe it’s because I’m an oldest child. Of the two do you have a particular favorite? Is it hard to change perspectives when you are writing these novels to reflect the differences in each woman?

Melissa: I really don’t have a favorite sister. They both are my favorites at different times. I adore Kaylie’s wild side and her snarky comments. She has a big heart and she just needed to get past that wild stage, which I think many of us have experienced. Danica is the epitome of an older sister, and watching her evolution from conservative to a bit more relaxed, and her personal growth has been equally as fun as writing Kaylie. It’s not difficult to switch roles when I’m writing because they are so different and I feel both of them so strongly. The difficult part is really keeping them from going too far over the edge one way or the other so they become unbelievable, but I don’t think we’re going to see that happen.

Ann: Of the two male love interests for the sisters which one is your biggest crush?

Cover art provided courtesy Melissa Foster
Melissa: Even now, months after writing Blake Carter, I am still crushing on him! I crush on all of my heroes. My poor husband has to listen to me talk about them like they’re real. I asked him to woo me like they do. He laughs, thank goodness, but yeah…Blake is a swoon worthy man!

Ann: He is indeed. =) How many books are there going to be in this series? What is the expected release date for the next book or books in the series and who will those books be about?

Melissa: Right now Love in Bloom is a 9-book series as I mentioned earlier. It will feature the Snow sisters and the Bradens. While the books take a turn for the steamy side with the Bradens, the heart of the stories are about family, love, commitment, and overcoming our pasts and secret fears. However, I have plans for two more Snow sisters novels and the spin off series, The Remingtons, will probably fall under the Love in Bloom umbrella as well, because the characters from the sisters and Bradens cross over.

The launch dates were supposed to be one book every thirty days, however, I’m ahead of schedule and will probably have the first eight books published by Christmas. (I HOPE)

Watch for the full 9-book LOVE IN BLOOM series:

Cover art provided by Melissa Foster
  1. Sisters in Love
  2. Sisters in Bloom                                                 
  3. Sisters in White

  1. Lovers at Heart
  2. Destined to Love
  3. Friendship on Fire
  4. Sea of Love
  5. Bursting with Love
  6. Hearts at Play

Ann: In addition to being a bestselling author, you are the founder of The Women’s Nest, and The World Literary Café. Can you tell us a little about each group and how and why you started them?

Melissa: Sure! The Women’s Nest is a social and support site for women, where we chat about our lives and help each other through transitions. It’s a gathering place for women who want to talk privately, as opposed to on social networks such as Facebook. I started the Nest years ago as a way to communicate with other women when working from home.

The World Literary Café is an online community that bridges the gap between readers and authors, with the mission of paying-it-forward in the literary field, promoting great literature and bringing together the literary community. The WLC offers helpful promotions to authors, reviewers, bloggers, and editors by creating avenues to bring them together under one umbrella in an easily navigable venue. I started the World Literary Café as a way to give back to readers and authors. I wanted to help authors reach readers and offer a community of support. 

I also run Fostering Success, which is an educational venue for authors, where they can learn about self-publishing, marketing, and developing the online presence and platform.

Ann: Thank you so much for taking the time to speak with me today Melissa. It was really great having you as a guest on my blog!

Melissa: I’ve had so much fun answering these questions. Thank you for sharing your blog with me!

If you would like to know more about Melissa Foster and her wonderful books check out her website at www.melissafoster.com. Both Sisters in Love, or Sisters in Bloom can be purchased on the author's page on Amazon. Melissa’s books can also be purchased at B&N, Kobo and iBooks. Other books in the series should be available for pre-order via B&N, Kobo and Apple within the next few weeks. Melissa Foster is also a Goodreads author. If you have a Goodreads account click on her page and sign up to be a fan for updates on all her upcoming releases.

All photos, banners, and book cover photos in this post were provided courtesy of author Melissa Foster.

Tuesday, October 8, 2013

Fun Reads and Movies for October

One of the best things about fall, besides the cooler temperatures and leaf piles for the kids to play in, are the books and movies I set aside to read or watch in anticipation of Halloween.

Last year I started Gail Carriger's Parasol Protectorate series. I only got through the first three books before the Christmas season hit. So I have really been looking forward to finishing the series with Heartless and Timeless. If you like fantasy steampunk set during the Victorian era then you will love these stories about an indomitable character, Alexia Tarraboti, as she navigates adventure and politics within paranormal society. Werewolves, vampires, and ghosts abound in these fun stories along with actresses and other (gasp) suffragettes.

photo courtesy of Joseph-Beth booksellers
Another series I put on hold catching up with are the Iron Druid chronicles by Kevin Hearne. I started these this summer, but then had to give them a short break in favor of other reads. I am currently reading book six, Trapped, and hope to get completely caught up with the series by reading Hunted next. As the name suggests are also fantasies, urban ones. There is lots of adventure in these books along with humor and a loveable Irish wolf hound for those dog lovers out there. The series revolves around Atticus O' Sullivan the last living druid on earth, who looks 21 but is really more like 2100. Again, there are the usual fan favorites of this type of fanstasy, vampires. But there are also Norse gods, Celtic gods and goddesses, as well as, Navajo trickster gods and other mythological characters from several realms. You never know what is going to happen next with Atticus and his faithful companion and sidekick Oberon, his wolf hound, who he can communicate with telepathically. I'm not ashamed to admit that Oberon is my favorite character. Who couldn't love a character who believes bacon to be "the way and the truth."

Of course you can't anticipate Halloween without some stories about either ghosts or witches, not to mention a boy who finds out he's from a family of beastologists. In Annette Blair's Vintage Magic mystery series ghosts and fashion collide. Maddie Cutler a vintage clothing shop owner and former fashion designer has a rare gift. She can see images from the past when she touches a vintage piece of clothing. With the help from her resident shop ghost, and her sexy FBI agent boyfriend, Maddie is able to solve the mysteries from past crimes her vintage clothes pull her into.

If you love stories about witches you will enjoy Jessica Spotswood's Cahill Witch Chronicles geared for YA readers. I've been highly anticipating the second book in this series Star Cursed, to see what happens next with Cate Cahill. Cate gave up everything, her family, her fiancee, Finn to protect her younger sisters at the end of the first book Born Wicked. I can't wait to find out what happens next and how Cate will get along as a member of the Sisterhood.

Lastly, but certainly not least, I'm trying out the first book in a series for middle grade readers called Flight of the Phoenix by R.L. LaFevers, about Nathaniel Fludd Beastologist. Nathaniel Fludd according to the jacket flap is a boy who does not enjoy adventure. But he gets pulled into one by his Aunt Phil after his parents are lost at sea. Aunt Phil it turns out is the world last remaining beastologist and she expects Nate to help her carry on this long running family business. It sounds really good and what better time of year to read about a beastologist.

As for movies, some of my favorites for Halloween are, I Married a Witch, an old movie starring Veronica Lake. There is also the romantic saga of unrequited love, the classic film, The Ghost and Mrs. Muir. Other old films my kids and I enjoy watching for the season are Abbott and Costello movies such as, Abbott and Costello Meet Frankenstein, or Abbott and Costello Meet the Mummy, or one of my faves which is a bit different from their other movies, Time of Their Lives. Another older film we enjoy that is actually in color is Disney's Blackbeard's Ghost. A hilarious ghost movie for younger kids. For those who enjoy movies that are a little more modern and maybe a little creepier The Mummy movies with Brendan Fraser are perennial favorites my daughter insists on watching every year. For those who enjoy witches without too much of a scare factor, there is always Hocus Pocus. Spookier movies with a ghost I enjoy are Dragonfly with Kevin Costner, and of course who can forget The Sixth Sense. If you have older kids who can handle it, why not watch it and enjoy their reaction to the surprise ending.

To top it all off, if you have children or are just a kid at heart you can't let Halloween go by without watching It's the Great Pumpkin Charlie Brown.

Tuesday, October 1, 2013

A Discussion with author Joanne Lewis about The Lantern: A Renaissance Mystery

Photo provided by author Joanne Lewis

Author Joanne Lewis makes her living as an attorney, but is also an award winning writer. Her books include Wicked Good which she co-wrote with her sister, Amy Lewis Faircloth, Make Your Own Luck, a Remy Summer Woods Mystery, Forbidden Room, and The Lantern: A Renaissance Mystery which we’ll be discussing today.

Photo provided courtesy of Joanne Lewis

Before we begin let me tell you a little about The Lantern: A Renaissance Mystery. This wonderful historical novel revolves around two main characters both of whom battle against parallel struggles of abuse, prejudice, fear, and disease to in order to pursue their artistic dreams. In modern day Miami, Filippa, is on a search to discover who the girl was who had the audacity to enter the competition to build the lantern a top Brunelleschi’s dome in 15th century Florence, Italy. As Filippa digs for clues, we are swept up in Dolce’s narrative about her struggles to be an architect in Florence during the height of the Italian Renaissance. Along the way, the lives of the two women intersect with famous historical figures such as the Medici, Filippo Brunelleschi, Donatello, and Michelangelo.

Ann: Hi Joanne! Welcome to my blog. Your novel, The Lantern revolves around two main themes, redemption and the necessity for artistic expression. What made you decide to have your contemporary character Filippa’s story be one that focused on redemption as she tries to solve the mystery of the ‘renaissance girl’?

Joanne: Hi, Ann. Thank you so much for inviting me to your blog. What a great first question. Whether I am writing murder mysteries or historical novels, I like to have themes running through my books. I decided to have Filippa’s story, which takes place in the modern day, be the focus since I thought the readers might best relate to her. Dolce’s life in The Lantern spans from when she is a little girl until she is an old woman. Since Filippa is a modern day heroine, complete with major chinks in her armor, I felt the reader would best feel compassion and hope for Dolce if they saw her through Filippa’s eyes. Redemption and freedom of artistic expression are the themes of The Lantern, for sure.

Ann: They are lovely themes to explore and you do a terrific job of it. As you just mentioned, your other character, Dolce’s story takes place in the past, during the Italian Renaissance. What drew you to want to write about this particular time period? And how did you decide to focus your mystery around the girl who entered the competition to build the lantern a top Brunelleschi’s dome when there are so many mysteries during this period in history you could have written about?

Joanne: I have to admit that I am obsessed with the Italian Renaissance. I have no idea why I am transfixed by this time period. I must have over 100 books on the topic about artists who lived during the Renaissance, to their artwork, to the invention of the printing press, the Medici, Savonarola and on and on and on. Before beginning The Lantern, I knew I wanted the book to involve that time period.

I was looking around for what story I would write while I was reading Ross King’s Brunelleschi’s Dome. When I read the line: “even a girl from the Gaddi family dared to enter the competition to build the lantern on top of the dome”, I knew I had found my story. I spent the next several months trying to find out who this girl was. I traveled to different locations to research, reached out to experts at universities and read everything I could to find out who she was. I finally found the answer that satisfied me at a local library. The Gaddi girl never existed. This knowledge gave me the freedom to create Dolce.

Ann: Very intriguing. From what you just said it sounds like there is room for some speculation on that particular mystery. I love your fictional resolution of it in the book, but I won’t say anymore or give away too much for those who haven’t read the book.

Many people seem to only focus on the positive aspects of the Italian Renaissance. But you chose not to do this. Were you surprised to discover that this time was rampant with brutality, prejudice, superstition, and disease at the same time so many remarkable achievements were taking place in art, architecture, and even science? Do you feel things have improved in modern times?

Joanne: I read so much about the time period of the Italian Renaissance that I am no longer surprised by the brutality, prejudice and disease. But each time I learn about a piece of art, a discovery made during that time, or a building erected from stone, I am continually amazed. It was such a difficult time to live in yet so many wonderful discoveries were made, many of which hold up today including Brunelleschi’s discovery of perspective and many of Da Vinci’s discoveries. If you look at Michelangelo’s David or the Sistine Chapel, not many works of art surpass them and he did those over five hundred years ago while suffering from gout, having to work with the constant pressure of the Pope and the general atrocities of the time. It makes every discovery from that time period even more remarkable.

I would like to say that things have improved in modern times. We have modern medicine, air conditioning and heat, and the benefit of modern technology. But at the same time, this modern day has its own versions of the plague, its own prejudices and certainly its share of brutality. 

Ann: Sad, but very true. I guess those are problems that each generation of humanity must struggle against in its own unique way. Remarkable creatures that we are we never let it completely dampen our achievements or accomplishments. 

In addition to being an award winning author, you’re also an attorney who specializes in child advocacy. Did you draw on your own experiences as an attorney to help you create Filippa’s narrative?

Joanne: I did. As a former prosecutor as well as a child advocate, I have dealt with many people who suffer from drug and alcohol addiction. While Filippa found a purpose and changed her life, unfortunately a lot of the people that I run across as an attorney are not as fortunate.

Ann: Why did you want to draw such parallels between the two characters and the struggles they face, when so many historical novels seem to portray our contemporary times as being so much better than the past?

Joanne: I felt it was important for the past and the present to meld into one. In my mind (although this is not reflected in the book), Filippa and Dolce are related. I never did the math to see how; maybe Dolce is Filippa’s great great great (multiply that by 20?) grandmother or aunt. I wanted them to have similar struggles and to overcome adversity as if one was gaining strength from the other across time and space.

Ann: What a fascinating perspective, thanks for sharing it with me. I never even considered Filippa and Dolce as distant relatives.

You’ve chosen to self-publish your novels. What made you choose this route to publication and what advice would you offer to authors who are considering self-publication?

Joanne: I was traditionally published and having a bad experience so I began to research self publishing. I was disappointed since I had worked so hard and so long to be traditionally published and I ended up with an independent press that failed to live up to its promises with me. I got the rights back to this book (Wicked Good) and figured I have been a self employed attorney for over 15 years, why can’t I be a self employed published author? I thought a lot about that and really dug deep to figure out what was stopping me on an emotional level. I realized it was like being back in the schoolyard and wanting to be accepted by the other kids. I knew being accepted by the publishing industry and other authors wasn’t what was important to me if they were going to judge me. I just wanted to be accepted by my readers. When I self published, I learned a very valuable lesson. Readers do not care how an author is published, just that a book is worthy of their time.

As I said, I have been a self employed attorney for fifteen years and have four self published books, and another one coming out soon. I am very pleased with this decision. The good part is that I own all the rights to my books and I control everything about them including where I sell them, how much I charge, the discount I offer to bookstores, my editor, the artwork, and so forth. The negative part is that it is still hard for self published authors to get their books into brick and mortar bookstores. I am always surprised when I find out one of my books is in a local Barnes & Noble. I am never sure how they got there but I am always thrilled.

For someone who is considering self-publishing, I would say go for it but only after you have written the best book that you can and after you have had it professionally edited. I have a lot more advice to give but it would take up all of this blog post and many more! If anyone wants to ask me any questions about self-publishing, I'd be happy to answer them. Just send me an e-mail at jtawnylewis@gmail.com.

Ann: Did you have a target audience in mind to market to before self-publishing your books?

Joanne: I write murder mysteries and historical novels with no specific target audience in mind. However, since my books generally feature strong female protagonists I imagine women are mostly attracted to read my books. I think this is going to change with the next books I will be publishing. They are a five part series of novellas featuring Michelangelo from when he was seventeen years old (Michelangelo & the Morgue, book 1 of the series) to the present day (Michelangelo & Me, book 5 of the series). I call this genre historical fantasy. The target audience is everyone. I think it will appeal to men and women, adults and mature young adults.

Ann: Thank you so much for being a guest on my blog, today, Joanne. What new books do you anticipate coming out soon?

Joanne: As I mentioned, I will soon be publishing book one of the Michelangelo & Me series, called Michelangelo & the Morgue.

Photo provided courtesy of Joanne Lewis

Michelangelo & the Morgue features a seventeen-year-old Michelangelo who finds himself in the position of being a reluctant detective when artists are being murdered in Florence in the fifteenth century. I expect to have book two, called Sleeping Cupid, out in the beginning of 2014, as well as the follow up to Forbidden Room (tentatively titled Shattered Room) in the fall of 2014. My goal is to publish one historical novel and one murder mystery each year. I will not sacrifice quality so I am unsure if I can achieve this goal. Either way, I will have fun trying.

Thank you, Ann. You asked some great, tough and thoughtful questions. I appreciate that very much.

If you would like to find out more about Joanne and her books please check out her website at http://www.joannelewiswrites.com. To purchase The Lantern: A Renaissance Mystery or any of Joanne’s other novels click on these links for Amazon and Barnes and Noble.