AOTW- Artie Van Why

Artie Van Why

About the Author:

Originally from Maryland, Artie Van Why moved to New York City in November of 1977 to pursue an acting career; albeit a slightly successful one.

Artie left show business in 1988 to enter the corporate world; as a word processor. He worked for the same law firm in midtown Manhattan for thirteen years. In June of 2001, his firm moved to other quarters downtown, across from the World Trade Center. Artie was at work the morning of September 11th, and witnessed the horror of that day from the streets.

He quit his job after three weeks of being back at his office's building near what was now called Ground Zero. He began writing about his experience of that day and the days and weeks following, giving a vivid accounting of what it was like to be in New York City on that day in September, and afterwards. He sent some of his writings to friends and family via emails, and they, in turn, forwarded them to their friends and family. In a short period of time people across the country were reading Artie's emails. He began receiving emails from people expressing their gratitude in being given a glimpse of what it was like to be in New York City during that time. He was encouraged to keep writing, and he did. Led by a personal conviction to tell his story of 9/11, Artie returned to his theatrical beginnings and began adapting his writings into a script. Laboring over draft after draft, Artie wanted to create a work he could share with people across the country.

*For more about this author you can read the full bio at Goodreads.

Interview with Artie Van Why

Artie Van Why is author of the book, That Day In September. A novel about his account of the attack on the World Trade Center and the time following afterwards.

HP: Hello, Artie! Would you care to tell us a little bit about yourself?

Artie Van Why: I am 58; living now in Lancaster PA since September of 2003.  I moved here to be closer to my folks (who had retired here).  That move was directly a result of having lived through 9/11.  Before that, I lived in NYC for 26 years; having moved there originally to be an actor.  I ultimately stopped chasing that dream and joined the professional world as a word processor for a law firm.  Had I not made that move I probably wouldn’t have been downtown the morning of 9/11.

HP: I have to ask, before your novel That Day In September, have you ever had interest in writing or having a novel published?

Artie Van Why: Though I’d always liked to write my first serious writing assignment was to adapt a well-known children’s book/record/TV special, of the 80’s.  I spent a year on the project only to have it canned after a very successful backer’s audition; from which we had gotten a company interested in financing it.  I was young… still somewhat naïve… and terribly discouraged from that experience.  I didn’t really write seriously after that.

HP: Can you tell us a little about, That Day In September?

Artie Van Why: It started out as an email that I wrote to family and friends the morning of 9/12/2001.  I had received so many phone messages and emails from people there was no way I could contact everyone individually.  So I sat down to write just a brief “I’m okay” email to send and ended up describing in detail what I had witnessed the day before.

I continued writing about that day and the weeks following.  In January of 2002 I took all I had written and adapted it into a one man theater piece (also titled That Day In September) which I performed in LA and Off Broadway in NYC.

HP: Why did you feel the need to publish this novel?

Artie Van Why: I was hoping to be able to continue doing the play across the country for at least 5 years, but after the New York run in August of 2003 all the doors, that might have opened to that possibility, closed.  That’s when I moved to Lancaster.

I still felt it was important for me to continue to tell my story and I was able to through various speaking opportunities.  When those offers stopped coming I still wanted my story out there.  That’s when I thought of adapting the play into the book That Day In September.

HP: What was it like writing this novel, reliving your experiences of that day and the ones that followed?

Artie Van Why: Well the writing of the book was very easy.  The book is basically the script of the play; with some added material.  Now when I was initially writing, the months after 9/11, it was actually very cathartic; a very helpful way of dealing with PTSD.

HP: What do you hope the readers glean from reading your account of the events on and following September 11th 2001?

Artie Van Why: The book, for me, is my tribute to those who died that day.  I always regard it as my small contribution to assure that we never forget.  I hope the book might give its readers an idea of what it was like to be in NY during that time.  I hope it might also help those who are old enough to remember to reflect on their own experience of that day.  The one thing I have come to realize after the past years is that we all have a story of 9/11; no matter where we were.  We were all affected.

HP: How is your life today and how do you think the events of September 11th affected your future?

Artie Van Why: The person I was on Monday, September 10, 2001, no longer is.  My life changed forever that day.  The way I look at life, the decisions I’ve made, my relationships; everything about me was affected because of that day in September.  I left the city I loved to be with the parents I love.  It has only been since the beginning of this year that I have become to move past the isolation of grief and mourning; into once again living life.  But that is for another book…….

HP: Where can we purchase That Day In September?

Artie Van Why: It’s available on, Barnes and Noble’s website and

HP: Do you have anything to say to readers?

Artie Van Why: Only to please never forget.

HP: Is there anything you wish you could change or add to, That Day In September, if you could today?

Artie Van Why: Nothing I would change or add to it.  But I do believe there’s another book to be written about the years since 9/11.

HP: Thank you so much for being here with us today, Artie and talking about your novel.

Books by Artie Van Why
That Day In September

Commercial on YouTube

Also find Artie at:

Artie Van Why has offered to giveaway a copy of, That Day In September in either paperback or eBook (mobi, ePub, PDF, Word) to one (1) winner.

Book Description:

"We all have our stories to tell of where we were the morning of September 11, 2001. This is one of them. In "That Day In September" Artie Van Why gives an eyewitness account of that fateful morning. From the moment he heard "a loud boom" in his office across from the World Trade Center, to stepping out onto the street, Artie vividly transports the reader back to the day that changed our lives and our country forever. "That Day In September" takes you beyond the events of that morning. By sharing his thoughts, fears and hopes, Artie expresses what it was like to be in New York City in the weeks and months following. The reader comes away from "That Day In September" with not only a more intimate understanding of the events of that day but also with a personal glimpse of how one person's life was dramatically changed forever."

Giveaway Details:
  • Giveaway is open to US & Canada
  • Giveaway will run from August 29th 2011 - September 11th 2011
  • The winner will be chosen randomly on September 12th 2011
  • The winner will have 48 hours to contact back before another winner will be chosen.
  • One entry per-person please!
  • If you enter, you are acknowledging that you read and accept the giveaway/contest policy.
  • Giveaway is provided by the author. 

To Enter:

AOTW- Nora Weston

Nora Weston

About the Author:
Nora Weston’s fiction and poetry slips in-between and all around science fiction, fantasy, and horror. No one has ever accused her of being sane. The most terrifying things Nora has encountered are teenagers...with driving permits, and she’s taught five of these frightening creatures to drive. Her publishing credits include anthologies, magazines, and e-zines. She's had the pleasure of discussing her books and Internet safety on radio stations across the US. Melange Books released her science fiction adventure, Guardian 2632 in January 2011. Melange Books released Nora’s supernatural thriller, The Twelfth Paladin in June 2011. Bete Noire has just accepted her work. Download Nora's episodes on Blog Talk Radio’s show Not Picture Perfect and/or listen to her interview with B. K. Walker at Blog Talk Radio.

Interview with Nora Weston

Nora Weston is the author of GUARDIAN 2632 and The Twelfth Paladin.

HP: Nora before we get started talking about your novels can you tell us a little bit about yourself?

Nora Weston: I’m from the wild and wonderful hills of Wheeling, West Virginia. The hills are breathtaking, but so wild once the sun out. My childhood home was set against the darkest of woods that held within them mysterious creatures of the night, some of which howled until dawn. Oh, imagination ran wild back then probably because The Twilight Zone, Dark Shadows, and Star Trek were my favorite shows. I’ve been an elementary school teacher, and a freelance artist, plus I’ve taught five of my six children to drive. Nothing on earth is as frightening as a teenager with a driving permit! 

HP: How did you start writing?

Nora Weston: Well, let’s just say I was physically present in geometry class, mind was elsewhere. Any type of literature fascinated me, especially history, so researching about the past was fun for me. My kids crack up when I tell strange tales of having to go to this “thing” called a library where I had to use these drawers and little white cards to explore my topic. After reading work from Edgar Allan Poe, Wilfred Owen, Stephen King, Alexandre Dumas, and Arthur C. Clarke, I knew writing would always be a part of me.

HP: Besides fiction you also write poetry. Can you tell us a little about that?

Nora Weston: Absolutely...poetry is something I adore! One of my favorite poems is “Strange Meeting” by Wilfred Owen, who was a poet during World War I. His work is haunting, complex, and quite memorable. Edgar Allan Poe’s “Lenore” is also a poem I’ve read many times and still enjoy. I strive to write poetry with vivid imagery, a struggle between life and death...or good against evil and poetry that provokes readers to think long and hard about what’s really important to them. I have a poem called “Still Earthbound” coming out in Bete Noire (2012) that is one of the most bizarre poems I’ve written, but so’s my favorite. The imagery in “Still Earthbound” goes way beyond surreal. I have no idea what prompted me to write it!

HP: How did you start writing poetry; which did you start writing first?

Nora Weston: Oh, my goodness! I’m old enough now the years have blurred into a haze of recollections that seem to belong to someone else. Honestly, I cannot remember which I started writing first. Most likely, my first poems were homework assignments...that I wrote in an algebra or geometry class. Having six children, moving all over the place with my husband’s job to some amazing places, and listening to stories from my oldest daughter’s to Madagascar, certainly inspired me to write poetry.

HP: Your novel Guardian 2632 came out in January and has since gotten positive reviews. Can you tell us some about the novel? From the description it sounds quite intriguing.

Nora Weston: Ah, Zane Grayson. He’s a futuristic hottie...a genetic masterpiece who is in charge of monitoring time in Guardian 2632. Time surfing in illegal time zones is the rush Zane can’t live without. As addictive as the Martian dust called kilred, time surfing becomes Zane’s obsession. And knowing full well if caught by the Elite Guardians, he’ll suffer a brutal death by Time Mercs, Zane still dives deep into trouble. Due to time surfing, he discovers a mission, in 2035, left him trapped in Pittsburgh, PA, 1998...a timehole. While in Pittsburgh, Zane strolls into a coffee shop to see the bewitching Julia Emerson. From that point on, his life, in 2632, spirals out of control as he fights to protect what he loves most.

Guardian 2632 does embrace the possibility of time travel, but the essence of this novel is Zane Grayson’s unstoppable determination to repair the past so Julia will have a future.  It’s about doing what’s right no matter that great sacrifices will be made.

HP: What was your inspiration for Guardian 2632?

A series of relentless dreams about Zane Grayson, Julia Emerson, and Jack Emerson inspired Guardian 2632. At first, the dreams were only about Julia’s crumbling marriage to Jack. The fights, his reckless behavior, and his irresponsibility toward his family soon entangled him with a mobster, named Marshall Pickett. Julia’s life was put in harm’s way. It all played out, night after night, like a soap opera, which was really bizarre, because I’ve never watched any soaps! Before long, Zane Grayson...a mastermind from the future, entered to make sure I awoke every morning preoccupied with these ghosts from dreamland.

HP: You had a second novel, The Twelfth Paladin, come out in June. Can you tell us a little about it and what your idea behind the novel was?

Nora Weston: The Twelfth Paladin is a supernatural/thriller that explores how temptations can warp reality...make wrong seem right, and it sheds light on the powerful roles hope and faith can play when a person is in dire need of a spiritual transformation.

Here’s the synopsis: Good against evil battles as an angel, demons, and a temptress extraordinaire vie for the soul of Jake Cottrell. A seeker of mischief, Jake dares Hell to burn him. Hell agrees.

Scarred with angelfire by a rebellious angel, named Micah, Jake Cottrell is sanctioned to become the twelfth paladin in Micah’s supernatural unit of slayers. However, regret abounds as Micah is banished and ordered to protect what he now despises…a human he believes is unworthy of such an honor. Never fear, Jake is a seeker of mischief who soars on a blistering blacktop to escape the wrath of Hell while he transforms into the twelfth paladin.

The idea for The Twelfth Paladin came about because I received an invitation to play with evil by way of a frightening email...that dared me to enter a world I would not regret. Temptation hit me big time. Did I join the organization offering me the time of my life? way! However, Jake Cottrell came to life to experience everything I would not.

HP: These two books are quite different in genre, are they not? Do you think you will write other novels in other genres besides these two?

Nora Weston: That is a great question! You are correct, Guardian 2632 is a science fiction adventure, and The Twelfth Paladin is a supernatural/thriller, but they both address what it takes to dream better dreams so tomorrow is brighter. It’s quite possible I’ll venture into other genres, simply because I’m discovering how much I enjoy a little bit of everything.

HP: You have a anthology called Dark Pleasures. Can you tell us a bit about this anthology?

Nora Weston: Dark Pleasures, published by Melange Books, contains seven short stories, like Adevar, which I wrote. Secrets, lies, the truth, and the disappearance of Nathan Hawkins' father all force him into the unearthly realm of Adevar...where humans, angels, and demons get exactly what they deserve. All of the stories are a walk on the dark side and written by Lisa BassoRebecca Varnum,  Roxanne RhoadsMegan HusseyMila Ramos, and Cooper McKenzie. It’s an anthology for anyone desiring little tidbits of terror that are a perfect read right before it’s time to catch your z’s.

HP: Do you have any plans for future novels anytime soon? Maybe a work in progress?

Nora Weston: Currently, I’m working on the sequel to Guardian 2632. Lindsay Grayson will give her father, Zane Grayson, a hell of time as unauthorized time jumps, political cover-ups, and murder bring an impending global disaster to Red Level 1 status. Lindsay will become a guardian the likes of which the world has never seen.

HP: Where can we purchase your novels/poetry?

Nora Weston: My work is easy to find. I sure do appreciate everyone who has checked it out!

Amazon: (Guardian 2632/print/Kindle)

HP: Do you have anything you would like to say to your readers?

Nora Weston: First, I must say many thanks for their interest in my writing. Releasing these characters from my crazy dreams so I could share their adventures has been exciting. In addition, I encourage everyone to use their creativity energy in some way. I’ve found life goes by way too quickly, so why not explore the joy that comes from creating? If music is your passion...take lessons or teach yourself, try your hand at painting, or cooking delectable delights. If writing is your thing, then check out and for potential markets. They say everyone has a story to tell, and I believe that. I’m discovering new authors thanks to wonderful blogs like Full Moon Bites. Also, if anyone has a question about a writing market, my books, or how to stay sane while raising kids...feel free to email me.

HP: What do you do to unwind and relax?

Nora Weston: Okay, I had to consider if spending time in the laundry room counts as “relaxing.” I do take my hot tea with me, so maybe it does! Since I have a huge family, and two little dogs who manage to add daily chaos to our lives...I don’t relax very often, but my family members are all entertaining in their own ways. I do dream about relaxing, and those are fantastic dreams, especially if Jake Cottrell, or Zane Grayson, show up to make things interesting. On occasion, I do get in a good science fiction, horror, or fantasy movie.

Now, if you enjoy supernatural horror...enter the giveaway for The Twelfth Paladin. One winner will have his/her choice of either the e-book or print version.

Thank you, Holly, for hosting the interview/giveaway!

HP: Thank you, Nora for being here and providing the giveaway!

Books by Nora Weston
@ Hell
Seriously Dark and Disturbed
Mind Mutations
Guardian 2632
The Twelfth Paladin

Also find Nora at:


Nora Weston has offered to giveaway one (1) copy of her novel The Twelfth Paladin in the winners choice of either eBook or print! 

Book Description:

"Scarred with angelfire by a rebellious angel named Micah, Jake Cottrell is sanctioned to become the twelfth paladin in Micah's supernatural unit of slayers. However, regret abounds as Micah is banished from his command and ordered to protect what he now despises…a human he believes is unworthy of such an honor.

Jake slips far away from righteousness, outwardly proving Micah's judgment, by replying to a wicked email from Forever a seeker of mischief, Jake dares Hell to burn him. Hell agrees. Davis Travers thickens the plot by introducing Jake to Rachel Darnell. A temptress extraordinaire, she erupts from the fiery pits to steal Jake's soul. After a steamy seduction from the dark side, Jake is left spellbound.

With his soul dangling between Heaven and Hell, Jake soars on a blistering blacktop to escape the wrath of Hell as he fights for redemption while transforming into the twelfth paladin. Feel the heat as you grab your precious soul and go for a virtual roller coaster ride into Hell and back."

Giveaway Details:
  • Giveaway is open to US & Canada & International!
  • Giveaway will run from August 22th 2011 - September 4th 2011
  • The winner will be chosen randomly on September 5th 2011
  • The winner will have 48 hours to contact back before another winner will be chosen.
  • One entry per-person please!
  • If you enter, you are acknowledging that you read and accept the giveaway/contest policy.
  • Giveaway is provided by the author. 

To Enter:

AOTW- Mary Abshire

Mary Abshire

About the Author:
By day, I am a government employee. At night, I am a Paranormal Romance/Urban Fantasy Author. I love dark, mysterious, and dangerous creatures, especially vampires.

My interest of the paranormal started in my youth. I watched sci-fi and horror shows. During my teenage years, Anne Rice was my favorite author. In my early twenties, I dabbled with writing, but never pursued a writing career. Now that I am older, I can. A few years ago, I started writing novels and I haven't stopped.

I am a Pro Member of the RWA and Fantasy, Futuristic, and Paranormal Chapter. I'm also a member of Savvy, ESPAN, and the Paranormal Romance Guild. I enjoy reading, writing, and chatting with others with similar passions.


Interview with Mary Abshire

Mary Abshire is the author of The Soul Catcher Series.

HP: Mary, can you tell us a little about yourself?

Mary Abshire: Well, I spend my days trapped in an office. At night, I'm free. And I do so love my freedom.
Let's see… I'm a huge fan of just about anything from the 1980's. That was my generation. As I write the answer to these questions, my husband is watching Valley Girl. Like, totally awesome!

HP: You say your interest in writing started in your youth--can you tell us how it started?

Mary Abshire: I didn't write stories when I was young, but I did like to write book reports and essays. Nerdy, I know, but I always got good grades and comments. Later, when I was a teen, I was very active in the pen-pal world (back when computers weren't common in homes). I can't recall how many I wrote to, but I many friends/pen-pals. I loved writing to people. Met some of them too! I'd say that was the start of my "writing." In my early twenties, I wrote a short story but never did anything with it. Life happens, priorities change, etc., etc. A few years ago I decided to see if I could write a novel and get it published. My first was a YA that I shelved. The second was an erotic paranormal that I shelved. And then Claiming the Evil Dead. From nerdy essay writer to paranormal romance/urban fantasy author can't be too bad, right?

HP: Who or what influenced your writing once you began?

Mary Abshire: I've always had an interest in paranormal/vampires/out of the ordinary type stuff. I was born with double dose of curiosity. Naturally I wanted to write what I love. As for other influxes, I'd say many of today's best selling paranormal romance authors inspired me. Kelley Armstrong, Jeanine Frost, Kim Harrison, and Keri Arthur were a few influences.

HP: What inspired you to write your first book, Claiming the Evil Dead?

Mary Abshire: Nothing specific inspired me. I just knew I wanted to write something different and not solely about vampires. I wanted a protagonist who was unique, thought she was "bad", but she really was a good person (with some quirks and demon blood) and fought for good. I hadn't read any kind of books about capturing souls and sending them to hell. It seemed like a good idea to me.

HP: Can you tell us some of your latest news?

Mary Abshire: The 4th book in the series, Love Conquers All Evil, will be out in August. It's my favorite.
I have another series, more UF than PR. The Awakening is set to come out in January from Lyrical Press. It's a bit different with a lot of action and suspense. I recently finished the sequel. After I polish it and send it off, I hope to have it published next year.

HP: How did you come up with the names for your books Claiming the Evil Dead, Catching an Evil Tail and your newest novel in the series Fighting Evil?

Mary Abshire: Quite easy. Each title gives you a hint about the plot. The first one, she's out to claim the soul of an evil vampire. The second one, she's after the soul of a werewolf. In the third, she fights evil, well, evil vampires mostly. In the 4th, the love she has for a certain someone saves her from all kinds of evil. Since she's always after evil souls, I use "evil" in the title. I like simplicity.

HP: From my understanding the series focuses mostly on Half-demon, Jessie Garrett. Can you tell us a little about her and other main characters?

Mary Abshire: Jessie has a somewhat twisted childhood. At 13, she saw her mother commit suicide. A warlock friend took her in. She grew up as a normal person, but knew she wasn't. She could have become a bad demon, but chose not to. She wants others to treat her like normal and live a normal life, but it's just not possible.

My noble vampire is Drake. He's a cross between Bill and Eric from Trueblood. He's old, but never really been in love. After a century of being a vampire, he tired of killing and realized he could make a difference in the world. He joined an organization called Vampires for the Ethical Treatment of Other Vampires. Basically, they investigate bad vampires and try to convince them not to kill humans.

Jeremy is my bad boy demon. He's in your face and doesn't hold back. He wants Jessie, bad. So, he'll do whatever he can to get to her, which of course means he's always causing trouble. Demons can't be trusted. LOL.

There is an Alpha involved in two of the books. He'd love to have Jessie too. Her best friend, Dani, is in every book. She's like a sister to Jessie. They argue a lot, but that's typical friendship. I have a few other supernatural creatures, but they don't have big roles.

HP: Can you tell us some about the series as a whole?

Mary Abshire: Jessie's main goal is to catch some evil soul and send it where it belongs. Sounds simple, right? Of course it's not. The books would bore you if it were easy to send a soul to hell. So, she has plenty of conflict, internal and external. She wants the brave vampire to sweep her off her feet, but she's so damn tempted by the hockey-playing demon. And the hot Alpha. Decisions, decisions…

HP: Did you find one book in the series more difficult to write that the others? Which book did you have the most fun writing?

Mary Abshire: Difficult to write? None, but when it came down to a meeting with the VETOV, it took a little longer to create the additional characters and get them just right. Then I had to think of a way to beef up the conflict.
Most fun? Well, I enjoyed all of them, but Love Conquers All Evil is my favorite. Jessie learns a lot about herself and what she wants.

HP: How did you develop your plot and characters?

Mary Abshire: The plot was the easy part—go after an evil soul. Make each one different and more difficult from the last. The characters were already in my head, noble vampire, bad boy demon, hunky Alpha, quirky friends, guardian warlock.

HP: How many novels do you think you will have in this series?

Mary Abshire: I have ideas for more books in the series, but right now I'm going to try some other ideas that I'm itching to write.

HP: Do you think you may write other books not in this series/genre?

Mary Abshire: Probably not. I'm comfortable with the paranormal world.

HP: Where can we purchase you novels?

HP: What books or authors do you think have most influenced your life and writing?

Mary Abshire: Kelley Armstrong, Jeanine Frost, Kim Harrison, and Keri Arthur to name just a few

HP: Where do you see yourself at in five years--writing wise?

Mary Abshire: I'd like to have a couple of different series on the market. I have a couple in my head right now that I'm ready to work on. I'd love to be able to write full time. Dream job!

HP: Do you have anything you would like to say to your readers?

Mary Abshire: Yes. I want to thank everyone who has read my books, reviewed them, and commented. I truly appreciate your support for me and my books. If you ever want to drop me a line, please do. I'm on Twitter, Goodreads, and Facebook.

HP: When all is said and done, all the book work is done and it is out for people to buy--what do you feel? A sense of relief, accomplishment, what?

Mary Abshire: Both, definitely! I get a bit of anxiety too. But it's all worth it in the end. I enjoy writing or I wouldn't keep doing it.

HP: Thanks for being here with us Mary!


Books by Mary Abshire
The Soul Catcher Series
#1: Claiming the Evil Dead
#2: Catching an Evil Tail
#3: Fighting Evil
#4: Love Conquers All Evil

Coming Soon
The Awakening-- Expected Publication Date: January 2012 from Lyrical Press
The Quest

Blog Stops, Chats, and more. . .

*August 15, 2011
Release of Love Conquers All Evil, the 4th Soul Catcher novel

*August 15, 2011
Interview and Giveaway of Fighting Evil
Full Moon Bites

*August 17, 2011
Guest Blogger and Giveaway of Your choice from the series

*August 29
Really LIVE chat at Night Owl Paranormal, 8 pm EST
(link to come)

You can find out more about Mary and where she will be at her website:

You can also find Mary at:

Marry also has a blog dedicated to giveaways now! Check it out here!


Mary Abshire has offered a giveaway of the winners choice of the first three books in her Soul Catcher Series; a large t-shirt with the first three book covers and swag to one (1) winner!!

Giveaway Details:
  • Giveaway is open to US & Canada & International!
  • Giveaway will run from August 15th 2011 - August 29th 2011
  • The winner will be chosen randomly on August 30th 2011
  • The winner will have 48 hours to contact back before another winner will be chosen.
  • One entry per-person please!
  • If you enter, you are acknowledging that you read and accept the giveaway/contest policy.
  • Giveaway is provided by the author. 

To Enter:

AOTW- Ayla Ruse

Ayla Ruse

About the Author: Handed a historical romance at the age of twelve, Ayla Ruse fell in love with love and with happy endings. Having grown up living life tasting a little of this and a little of that has not changed this attitude, but it's expanded her views. Love isn't always happy and it isn't always the way a person "thinks it should be." Sometimes it's outside the box, and it's always a challenge.

The challenge of finding and holding onto this love is what drives Ayla in her fiction. She likes stories that strip love -– among other things -- down to the skin and tests the attachment and beliefs of the participants. Sometimes that test can come in the form of multiple partners, overcoming a desperate fear or even being sexually inventive.

Ayla is published with Changeling Press and with Total E-Bound. You can contact her through her blog


Interview with Ayla Ruse

Ayla Ruse is author of The Deciding Factor and Malathix Soul: Soulless.

HP: Ayla before we get started can you tell us a little bit about yourself?

Ayla Ruse: Let’s see… I’m a stay-at-home Mom (and teacher) to three amazing little boys. To say I stay busy is an understatement, but I wouldn’t have it any other way. My husband encourages my writing, for which I’m grateful, and when I’m not dealing with the multitude of people in my life, I love to read, listen to music, and cook. I also love being outdoors when the weather cooperates, especially during the fall. Summertime and I do not get along very well, so we tolerate one another until, like a dog barking at the mailman, the heat goes on its way and allows me to claim victory in its leaving.   

HP: When did you first realize you wanted to be a writer?

Ayla Ruse: I’ve always known. I can’t remember a time when I didn’t want to write. I take that back, for a period of time in college, I dreamed of being an actress, but even then, ideas for plays would slither into my mind. I credit my desire to be a writer to my grandfather. He was an author, and he always encouraged my creativity with the added push of “now get it published!” As a kid, I remember seeing his desk, bare of all except paper and pens. So simple, yet so powerful. Knowing that his job was all about telling stories, absolutely amazed me, and drew me in to want the same.

HP: What do your family/friends think of your writing?

Ayla Ruse: Although everyone who knows me, knows I want to be a published writer, very few family and friends actually know that I am a published writer. The ones who do know are very supportive and positive, from which I thrive. As for those who don’t know, it’s a toss-up as to their reactions, so for now, I keep mum.

HP: Can you tell us a little bit about your novel, The Deciding Factor?

Ayla Ruse: The Deciding Factor is very dear to me, as this was my first published novel. This is a contemporary erotic romance delving into the development of a ménage relationship. In this story you meet Aly, Sawyer and Luke. Sawyer and Luke, Aly’s ex-college lover and ex-high school boyfriend, respectfully, both want Aly, but she refuses to choose between them. On a frustrated whim, she throws out the idea of a threesome, and is shocked when they agree. Very quickly, they realize what they have is more than a one-night stand. Now they find themselves struggling with new boundaries, jealousies as well as uncertainties about each other and their future. Tough decisions of the heart, as well as the head, have to made before happiness can be found.   

HP: How did you come up with the idea for the novel?

Ayla Ruse: Forgive me, but I am laughing uproariously right now. The story idea I began with is worlds away from what The Deciding Factor is today. I am an extended writer – I guess that would be an apt term? I began with an idea – in this case, the school where Aly moonlights – and I have to work and rework and rework it again to get it right. My first attempt of TDF was more of a BDSM story, but the pieces didn’t quite fit together. For example, in the first version, Sawyer was a villain who treated Aly horribly. Luckily, I found the imposter, kicked him out on his rear, and allowed the real Sawyer to step in. Little by little, I continued to work on the kinks (pun intended if you want) until I was happy with “The End.” 

HP: Your novella Malathix Soul: Soulless just came out last month, can you tell us a little bit about it and what your inspiration/idea for the novella was?

Ayla Ruse: I’ll answer backward. My inspiration for Soulless came from my music. When I listen to music of any kind, I weave the song’s lyrics, melody, and rhythm into running stories in my head. Some are more vivid than others. There was one song that had a line that would not leave me. “I lost my soul when I fell to Earth,” from Monster Magnet’s Space Lord. I started thinking of this in literal terms and what it would take for this to happen. Thus began the story for Soulless. This story is a dark, futuristic erotic novella. Theradon, a Malathix alien, literally lost his soul when he and his crew crash-landed on Earth. Without a soul, a Malathix has little control over the destructive beast housed within him. The heroine, Laya, has seen what happens when the beasts are unleashed and wants nothing to do with any of them. She doesn’t understand why Theradon keeps following her, but she’s tired of trying to run away. In Soulless, she confronts him and discovers not only another side of herself, but also why she is so important to his survival.

HP: You have another novella set to come out in this series called Malathix Soul: Broken. Do you think you can tell us a little bit about it and/or when you think it will come out?

Ayla Ruse: As of this writing, Malathix Soul 2: Broken, is set to release with Changeling Press on August 12. This novella is set a few months after Soulless takes place and it involves Theradon’s brother, Thorn. In Broken, Thorn is on his way to Earth to retrieve his lost brother. Thorn has no idea what’s happened to Theradon or his crew, and to say Thorn is a little upset with this out-of-his-way pitstop is an understatement. All he wants to do is find his brother alive and return to Malathix, so he can turn his attention to more important matters like saving his dying species. Yvette, to her great shame, is a human-alien half breed. Pushed beyond measure at her job as an interplanetary liaison, she decides to escort the hot, towering, intense Malathix male to Earth. As they pass through the atmosphere, however, Thorn unexpectedly shifts into his beast, and Yvette is filled with an inner pain that nearly knocks her out. Their troubles are compounded when they have to fight not only their growing desire for each other, but the fact that they cannot physically be more than a short distance away from the other. Through the story, they discover they each have the capability to mend the other, inside and out, but will the challenge be more than either can bear?

HP: Do you think you will write more in the Malathix Soul? Also where did “Malathix Soul” as a name come from? Does it have any special or specific meaning?

Ayla Ruse: Yes. I am, in fact, working on a third (fingers crossed) Malathix story. Curious to know what happens to Camden? So am I. As for more stories after this, we’ll see. No one’s jumped out at me yet, but who knows? 

The series title came from an intense night of brainstorming, but it fits very well, I think. The base theme of all the stories is that should, if and when a Malathix alien comes through Earth’s atmosphere, his soul is painfully ripped from his body, leaving him with little to no control over his inner, real, beast. The heroines in these stories hold the key to the Malathix control and ultimately, the happiness of each other.

HP: Is there any particular reason you picked futuristic setting for your novella or did it just come to be?

Ayla Ruse: As the idea for these stories developed, a futuristic setting slid right in. I didn’t necessarily plan it this way, want it this way, or work it this way, but as the stories evolved, I knew the events had to happen in a future date. Just like thinking of snow and winter, a Malathix and the future always went together.

HP: Do you have any plans to write another series or maybe in another genre one day like YA?

Ayla Ruse: Oh, another series? (Biting my lip) I do have ideas, more in a contemporary setting, but we’ll see. No firm plans as of this date. My next few stories I’m working on are pretty much singles.

As for another genre, definitely! I don’t know about YA, but I’ve put down notes for a Fantasy, and I’d really love to write a killer horror story. This particular muse scares me sometimes, though, so horror may be awhile in the future.

HP: What would you say is your interesting writing quirk?  

Ayla Ruse: Not sure if you’d call it a quirk, but more an aggravation. My most successful writing comes after I’ve been sitting {in front of my computer} a good 30 minutes to an hour, uninterrupted and pretty much doing nothing. Being surrounded by people all day, my muse has learned that to come out full blast is murder to my creativity, so it tends to mull around until it knows no one is going to come ask me for a snack, if they can go next door, where a missing shoe is. It’s frustrating because when I do get “alone,” I want to start writing right away. I’ve learned to take this delay in stride, but it’s irritating nonetheless. 

HP: What was one of the most surprising things you learned in creating your books?

Ayla Ruse: This may sound weird, but the most surprising thing I’ve learned is how difficult, and how easy, it is to finish a story.

HP: Has any new author sparked your interest if so, who?  

Ayla Ruse: Whew. Let me think. Sadly, I’ve not been able to read too much lately. My TBR pile looks like the Leaning Tower of Pisa. Still, I’ve recently read Elle Jasper and Darynda Jones and loved – I mean Loved – their books. And although not “new,” I will say that authors like Cherise Sinclair, Nalini Singh and James Rollins are auto-buys for me.

HP: Where can we purchase you works?

Ayla Ruse: At this time, The Deciding Factor can be purchased directly through the publisher, Total E-Bound, as well as practically every e-bookseller out there like Amazon, ARE and Fictionwise.

Malathix Soul1: Soulless, and the upcoming release Malathix Soul 2: Broken, can be purchased through Changeling Press.

HP: Do you have anything you would like to say to readers?

Ayla Ruse: Thank you for reading! As a reader, I like to lose myself in stories an author creates. It’s my personal, private escape and enjoyment. My hope is that I can elicit the same for someone else.

HP: What do you like to do when you're not writing?  

Ayla Ruse: *Chuckle.* I do A LOT. Taking care of kids, parents, animals, the husband and home…I could write my own story of what I do, but to make it simple, how about what do I like to do when I’m not writing? I like to spend time with my family and friends, listen to music, try not to over-stress myself (so I read a lot), and mostly, I try to enjoy every moment of each day that I can.

HP: Thanks for being here Ayla!!


Books by Ayla Ruse
Malathix Soul Series

#1: Soulless

Single Titles
The Deciding Factor

Coming Soon
Malathix Soul: Broken-- Expected Publication Date: August 12th 2011 from Changeling Press

Also find Ayla at:

Her blog


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