AOTW- Gus Pelagatti

Gus Pelagatti

About the Author:

I’m a practicing trial lawyer with over 47 years of experience trying civil and criminal cases, including homicide.

I’m a member of the Million Dollar Advocates Forum, limited to attorneys who have been recognized as achieving a standard of excellence as a trial expert.
I’ve spent years researching the true story of the 1938 insurance scam murders, interviewing judges, lawyers, police and neighbors involved in the trials.

I was born and raised within blocks of the main conspirator’s tailor shop and the homes of many of the wives convicted of murdering their husbands.

You can find Gus at: His Website | Blog | Goodreads | Twitter |

Interview with Gus Pelagatti

Gus Pelagatti is author of The Wicked Wives.

Holly: Hello, Gus! Would you mind telling us a little about yourself?

Gus Pelagatti: I’m a practicing trial lawyer with over 47 years of experience trying civil and criminal cases, including homicide.

I’m a member of the Million Dollar Advocates Forum, limited to attorneys who have been recognized as achieving a standard of excellence as a trial expert.
I’ve spent years researching the true story of the 1938 insurance scam murders, interviewing judges, lawyers, police and neighbors involved in the trials.

I was born and raised within blocks of the main conspirator’s tailor shop and the homes of many of the wives convicted of murdering their husbands.

Holly: When did you first realize you wanted to be an author?

Gus Pelagatti: I was born in 1938 at a time when Philadelphia citizens learned of the local poison murder scandals. Giorgio DiSipio, the book’s mastermind conspirator, had a tailor shop and apartment located two blocks from my family’s home in South Philadelphia.

As I grew up, I would often eavesdrop on adult conversation concerning the evil and unfaithful wicked wives. When I was old enough my mother explained the scandals to me.

I’ve always wanted to write a novel about these infamous wives and lovers.

Holly: Your first novel, The Wicked Wives is a crime and mystery novel. Can you tell us a little about this novel and its characters?

Gus Pelagatti: "Wicked Wives" is based on the true story of the 1938 Philadelphia murder scandals in which seventeen wives were arrested for murdering their husbands.

Mastermind conspirator Giorgio DiSipio, a stunning lothario and local tailor who preys upon disenchanted and unfaithful wives, convinces twelve of them to kill their spouses for insurance money.

The murder conspiracy is very successful until one lone assistant D.A., Tom Rossi, uncovers the plot and brings the perpetrators to justice.

"Wicked Wives" is a story made for Hollywood, combining murder, corruption, treachery, love, lust and phenomenal detail as it vividly captures Depression-era Philadelphia.

Holly: From what I understand this novel is based on a true story?

Gus Pelagatti: Yes. This novel is based upon the true story of Philadelphia’s notorious poison murder scandals of 1938.

Holly: Where can we purchase it at?

Gus Pelagatti: & Borders

Holly: Do you have any plans for another novel, maybe in 2012?

Gus Pelagatti: Yes. It’s a sequel to “The Wicked Wives” and is also a novel based on a true story. Entitled “Benito’s Gold,” the book takes place during World War II (1941-1945).

Italian Prime Minister Benito Mussolini had millions in gold, cash and jewels when he attempted to flee to Switzerland in 1945. Before he was executed, someone or group stole his entire treasure and murdered those who knew the thieves.

The book features two main characters from “The Wicked Wives” — Tom Rossi (who is now a U.S. Army major) and Hope Daniels.

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

Gus Pelagatti: The wives were not tea totlers The novel is rated R..

Holly: Can you tell us a bit about your publishing experience?

Gus Pelagatti: This is my first novel.

Random Quickies!

Holly: Peppermint or Butterscotch?

Gus Pelagatti: Scotch whiskey

Holly: Do you use a bookmark, a stray piece of paper, or do you dog ear the page of your books?

Gus Pelagatti: Stray piece of paper

Holly: All time favorite book?

Gus Pelagatti: The Godfather

Holly: Do you know a movie or show that could compare to it?

Gus Pelagatti: No, but I’ve written a screen play of The Wicked Wives.

Books by Gus Pelagatti
The Wicked Wives

AOTW- Crystal Connor

Crystal Connor

About the Author:

So...a little about me.

I grew up telling spooky little campfire style stories at slumber parties. We’d make a tent in the bedroom, and the only source of light would be from a flashlight that was about to die. I’d tell my tale of doom and then while everyone was jumping at the tree branch scraping against the window and I’d be sound asleep!

Living on a steady literary diet of Stephen King, Robin Cook, Dean R. Koontz and healthy doses of cinema masterpieces such as The Birds, Friday the 13th, Hellraiser, The Outer Limits and The Twilight Zone; along with writing short stories specializing in the Science Fiction & Horror genres since before Jr. high School, it surprised no one that I ended up...
read more.

Find Crystal at: Her Blog | Facebook | Goodreads

Crystal Connor is author of The Darkness and Artificial Light, the first two novels in her Spectrum Trilogy, Yuletide Tales of Horror and short story The Ruins which was a runner-up selection of Crypticon Seattle’s 2010 writing contest.

Holly: Hi Crystal! Can you tell us a little bit about yourself?

Crystal Connor: Hi, thank you so much for your time today! I’m a Washington State native and I love anything to do with monsters, bad guys, rogue scientific experiments, jewelry, sky-high high heel shoes & unreasonably priced hang bags. I’m also considering changing my professional title to ‘dramatization specialist’ because it’s so much more theatrical than being just a mere drama queen.

Holly: When did you first realize you wanted to be an author?

Crystal Connor: Not til later, like way later. I didn’t want to grow up and be a writer but because I was always entertaining my family and friends with creepy little stories it almost seems as if I naturally became a writer.

Holly: Your first novel in your Spectrum Trilogy, The Darkness, came out in 2011. Can you tell us a little about this novel?

Crystal Connor: Actually The Darkness was released in 2010, it’s the 2nd printing that was released last year. The Darkness tells a tale about a little boy who was created in a science lab and the whole story revolves around this kid and the consequences of his existence. To make things worse there are two women who literary go to war over this little boy.

Holly: Where did the idea for The Darkness stem from?

Crystal Connor: It started as a short story, and at that time I wasn’t thinking about being published. I just happened to be in the right place at the right time and was ‘discovered,’ by an award-winning author who basically told me that I had better start taking my writing seriously. So I did and now here we are =D

Holly: You went on to publish the second of the trilogy this year, Artificial Light. Does this second novel follow the same characters as The Darkness?

Crystal Connor: Yes, plus we’re introduced to some more characters as well.

Holly: If you could meet Stephen King, Robin Cook or Dean R. Koontz, which would you choose and why?

Crystal Connor: Oh my gosh you sure don’t make it easy do you, lol. I would want to meet all three. Stephen King because for one its Stephen King and even though he doesn’t know me, I feel like he is my writing instructor. When I want to try something new or unsure of my pacing or whatever it is I might be struggling with I always open up a book of his to see how he did it, then I do the same thing.

Dean R. Koontz for the same reasons, I’ve read more books by King than Koontz but I am compared to Koontz more than I am to King, I think that’s because the pacing is the same. When I read books by Koontz it feels like I’m in a car with someone who is spending recklessly down the freeway while weaving in and out of traffic.

I always get emails from people who’ve read The Darkness for the 2nd time and they are so amazing at the little stuff they missed the 1st time they read the book. The reason people miss so much during the 1st reading is because they’re in a speeding car just hanging on for dear life…and that’s exactly what I want.

What I love about Robin Cook is that the monsters in his books are science and medicine and I can never get enough of that.

Holly: If you could live in one book by either author would it be a book by that author or a different one. Also which would book would you chose and why?

Crystal Connor: Pretty sneaky sis…Heck no! All those books are scary; I wouldn’t want to live in any of them. 

Holly: What attracts you to the horror/science fiction genre?

Crystal Connor: Like I said earlier I love, love, love monsters, bad guys, and rogue scientific experiments but it has to be more than just that. I prefer my entertainment to be psychologically terrorizing. For example think movies like The Fallen with Denzel Washington and The Skeleton Key with Kate Hudson.  

Holly: Do you have the third novel in the Spectrum Trilogy in the works yet, and if so do you think it may be published this year?

Crystal Connor: Yes, book III is currently in production but its not going to be released this year.

Holly: Are you working on anything else at the moment?

Crystal Connor: I am! My anthology, which features eight short stories and two novelettes, has a release scheduled for August of this year. And there are two books in the works.

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

Crystal Connor: I actually get a lot of my fan mail that really means a lot so I take the time to read and respond to them. I would just like to thank everyone for their support, fan page likes, facebook friend request and emails.

Holly: In your book, what is the scariest TV/movie monster?

Crystal Connor: OoooOOooo, the scariest villain in my books have got to be the women =D

Holly: All time favorite horror move?

Crystal Connor: This is such a hard question it’s almost not fair! Lol, as of right now it’s a tie between The Collector (2009) and the 2007 French horror movie À l'intérieur (Inside)

Books by Crystal Connor
The Spectrum Trilogy
#1: The Darkness
#2: Artificial Light

Other Titles
Strange Tales of Horror
Yuletide Tales of Horror

* The Ruins, runner-up selection of Crypticon Seattle’s 2010 writing contest.
* The Darkness, her début novel was selected as a two time Award-Winning Finalist in the 2011 International Book Awards in the fiction categories of Cross Genre Fiction and Multicultural Fiction.

AOTW- W.J. May

W.J. May

About the Author:

Wanita May grew up in the fruit belt of Ontario - St.Catharines. Crazy-happy childhood, she always has had a vivid imagination and loads of energy.

The youngest of six -- four older brothers, and a sister -- taught her at a young age to be competitive in all aspects of life.

At sixteen, she began competing in athletics (track and field) and before she turned seventeen, she was representing Canada in high jump. She continued to compete, breaking Canada's JR High....Read More. 

Find W.J. May at: Her Site | Twitter: @wanitajump | Facebook | Book Trailer

Interview with W.J. May

W.J. May is author of Rae of Hope the first novel in her Chronicles of Kerrigan series.

Holly: Hello Wanita! Can you tell us a little bit about yourself?

W.J. May: I’m a writer, a wife, a worker, a whiner (not to be confused with wine-o), wacky, wonderful, a Wanita with a W, and a Mommy. 

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

W.J. May: In kindergarten when I held my first pencil and learned to spell my name :)  I also wanted to be an artist.  I’m just kidding!  I’ve always love reading and writing and using my imagination – shame I never wrote all the stories I made up on my paper route as a kid.  I did write then, but I “officially” started writing the Christmas after my dad passed away.  It was a bit of a healing process and also me wanting to do something I’d always wanted to do.

Holly: Can you tell us a little about your novel Rae of Hope?

W.J. May: Rae (the main character) wakes up on her 16th birthday with a tattoo on her back.  She finds out that the tattoo actually has a supernatural-like ability and that she’s not the only kid with a special tattoo.  She also finds out that her parents where inked and after shaking the family tree up a bit, she learns more about her past than she ever bargained for.

Holly: What was your inspiration for this novel?

W.J. May: My dad.  One of the last things he told me was to chase after the things I wanted to do and not wait till I’m older, as life goes by in the blink of an eye. So… Rae of Hope was born.

Holly: You have another novel in this series coming out August 15th, 2012, the third set to come out August 15th, 2013 and the fourth set to come out August 15th, 2014. All of the books follow along with the same main character in the first novel, or do we have different main characters in each novel?

W.J. May: Rae Kerrigan is the main character in all four.  There are a few key characters in all four books, with each having a few new ones as well.  Each book is different as well.  Where the first focusses on Rae at school, the next focusses more on her ability, the third on her… maybe I should shush and let the readers read to find out for themselves :)

Holly: Are four books all you plan for the The Chronicles of Kerrigan series?

W.J. May: Funny, I was asked this same question at a book signing today.  There could be more, I can’t say that I have full closure with Rae’s story yet, but then again it might also be complete and the readers have had enough :)  I guess we’ll see in the next year or two.

Holly: You have three other books in the works right now, two in the editing process and all YA-Fantasy. Do you think you may ever go into a different genre?

W.J. May: I can’t see myself moving away from YA, but I do enjoy Paranormal and Sci-fi so I maybe move around in all three (shoot, why not combine all three?!)  Shadow of Doubt, is more of an older YA but I am thinking of doing some edits and making the MC’s younger and also more evolved in different ways.  Its actually fun to come back to an MS that you haven’t worked on in a while and go through it again.

Holly: Do you have any idea when Shadow of Doubt, Radium Halos and The Seventh Mark might be published?

W.J. May: Seventh Mark is going through edits with my agent right now… so it should start being shopped around with publishers near the end of spring.  Hopefully that’ll be published next year then.
Shadow of Doubt is going to go through some more edits and then out.
Radium Halos is still a WIP, with Rae of Hope and the series, I just haven’t had as much time as I would like to get her finished :)  Hopefully soon as I love that story!!

Holly: Are the novels a series of their own are they stand alone titles?

W.J. May: They are all series – except Shadow of Doubt.  There is the possibility of having spin off characters tell their story.

Holly: Where can we purchase your work(s)?

W.J. May: Rae of Hope is on Amazon, Barnes & Noble, Chapters, and other online locations.  I even saw someone selling copies on Ebay!

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

W.J. May: Thanks for loving words so much you want to read books and fall in love with other peoples stories.  :)

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

W.J. May: Relax, play with my 3 kids (who are 6, 4 and 21mths), hang out with the hubby, have a good laugh, watch movies, read, play sport, walk the dog… wait a minute – that’s what I do everyday, along with work and house cleaning! 

Thanks so much for letting me stop by!  I really appreciate the cyber-visit and hanging out with you!!  Have a fantastic spring.

Books by W.J. May
The Chronicles of Kerrigan
#1: Rae of Hope

Coming Soon
Dark Nebula (The Chronicles of Kerrigan, #2)-- Expected Publication Date: August 15th 2012
House of Cards (The Chronicles of Kerrigan, #3)-- Expected Publication Date: August 15th 2013
Royal Tea  (The Chronicles of Kerrigan, #4)-- Expected Publication Date: August 15th 2014
Shadow of Doubt-- Expected Publication Date: N/A
Radium Halos-- Expected Publication Date: N/A
The Seventh Mark-- Expected Publication Date: N/A

Awards & Recognition

W.J. May has offered to giveaway two ebook copies of Rae of Hope!

"Fifteen year-old Rae Kerrigan is used to being invisible. Living in New York with her Aunt and Uncle after having been orphaned at a young age by a terrible fire, her life has been quiet, filled with excellent grades and not much else. Then came the letter from Guilder Boarding School, a mysterious place Rae had never heard of which will change her life. She crosses the ocean to enter a world she's never known existed, one where she's center stage and has a very important role to play.

Will the sins of a father choose her path? Or will she have the courage to change her fate? The decision will be made, by fate or teen, in the Rae of Hope.

The question is, as hero or villain? It seems most of Guilder is voting the later, and it's up to Rae to prove everyone wrong and bring hope to her world. But will she succeed, or will the shadows draw her in and swallow her whole?"

a Rafflecopter giveaway

AOTW- Michelle Gamble-Risley

Michelle Gamble-Risley

About the Author:

Michelle Gamble-Risley is an award-winning author with over 20 years in the publishing, public relations and marketing business.

She has enjoyed a prosperous career working for a variety of industries as an editor, writer, publisher and marketing expert. Michelle Gamble-Risley founded MGR Consulting in 2006. She is a seasoned veteran of the communication business, with over 20 years experience in public relations, marketing and custom publishing. She began her career in 1988 working respectively for the California departments of Justice and Water Resources. In 1991, she joined California Computer News and eventually took over the role as publisher, working on strategic communication programs to increase the publication’s market presence and overall success. She then joined two new start-up companies called The Center for Digital Government and The Center for Digital Education where she served as executive editor and director of custom publications and developed an array ...Read More.

Find Michelle at: | Facebook | LinkedIn

Interview with Michelle Gamble-Risley
Michelle Gamble-Risley is an award-winning author with over 20 years in the publishing, public relations, and marketing business.

Holly: How did you start writing?

Michelle Gamble-Risley: I started writing when I was a 10-year-old girl in the 5th grade. My teachers encouraged me to do it and praised me the whole way through. I continued to show an aptitude in English all throughout high school and was recommended for AP English when I was a sophomore. They used to recommend that class for seniors. So I shined early on in this area. Like my character Brea in California Girl Chronicles, I got straight A's in even in graduate school without always attending the classes. I just didn't paint my fingernails in class.

Holly: Over the years you have been an editor, writer, publisher, marketing expert and screenwriter. Did you set out to accomplish this or is it something that just happened by chance?

Michelle Gamble-Risley: I set out to become an editor and writer and went to college and got the proper credentials to do so. I never set out to specifically do anything except eventually write a book, which turned into several books. I always showed talent as a writer, and I was quickly hired as a magazine editor and it all went from there. I did not set out to become a screenwriter for sure. A friend approached me to work on my first script, and we sold our first two together -- one of which turned into the Showtime movie, Virtual Seduction. I took a break from screenwriting in 1998 to focus on family. I returned to screenwriting when I felt I could balance it between work and my private life. I have a screenplay titled Beauty School I am working on selling, and California Girl Chronicles has strong interest from some Hollywood producers to convert the book(s) into a TV series.

Holly: You launched 3L Publishing in summer of 2009. Now in 2012 can you tell us how you think it is coming along and is it what you hoped it would be?

Michelle Gamble-Risley: I never hoped it would be anything. It's another one of those opportunities that dropped into my lap. After my debut book, Second Bloom, won an award from the Indie Excellence Awards and was an honorable mention in several other award programs including Writer's Digest, I had authors just show up and ask me to publish them. I seized the opportunity to do something I feel passionate about. Now some 30 books later, I have the perfect team, and we're poised to do great things in 2012. I love my authors, and I am blessed and fortunate to get to do what I love. I know 3L Publishing ( is breaking traditional rules and setting new standards, and I'm thrilled to be its leader.

Holly: You published your first novel also in 2009 with Anne Marie Smith called Second Bloom and go on to publish another in that year written just by you called SMASH. Can you tell us a little bit about these novels and your first book publishing experience in the author seat?

Michelle Gamble-Risley: I think it has been a great journey of discovery. I've learned so much about the audience. I've learned so much about the industry. Second Bloom was a labor of love, and a book I wanted to share with the world. I left corporate in 2006, and I reinvented my life. I wanted to shout from the rooftops, "You can do it too." Second Bloom became my message to the world that said, "Here's how you can be anything you want to be." I never dreamed it would become an award-winning book. When the awards came in, I was genuinely pleased and touched to be recognized in this way. Above and beyond anything else, I was thrilled to have the opportunity to touch and hopefully transform lives.

Holly: The following year you came out with two more novels, both with co-writers, I have to ask is it different writing with other people? Easier, more difficult, complicated?

Michelle Gamble-Risley: I love collaboration! You do have to have the right authors to collaborate with. I've found that it can become lopsided either on the writing and/or marketing side. One author cannot sit back and allow the other one to do all of the writing or all of the sales and marketing. You should only do it with someone who will carry their fair share of the workload on both sides. When you do find the perfect balance, it's very rewarding to share the experience with someone else.

Holly: I think I am noticing a pattern here with the two books a year. *grin* Did you set out to write two a year?

Michelle Gamble-Risley: Like everything else, absolutely not. I can't help myself. I love to write. It's an addictive process for me. When inspiration strikes, I go with it and make time. I already wrote book two for California Girl Chronicles, which is titled Brea's Big Break. I will release it in the summer of 2012. Next up, Victoria Andrew and I will finish and release the sci-fi parody entitled, We're All Dead, which pokes fun at our cultural obsession with zombies and vampires. Victoria is a zombie expert, and I love True Blood and the Charlaine Harris' Sookie Stackhouse series. So, we're having a blast poking a stick at our own obsessions.

Holly: One of those books you published in 2011 was your newest--California Girl Chronicles: Brea & the City of Plastic. I admit the title alone intrigues me. Can you tell us a little bit about this novel?

Michelle Gamble-Risley: Brea is my favorite character of all my fictional work. She came to me while on vacation in Alaska last summer and just begged me to give her life. The title hit me first, which often happens to me, and then Brea sort of wiggled her way into my imagination. I have to tell you many early readers love her too, and a scant few don't like her and have more than said so. She can galvanize a reaction for sure. Brea is Carrie Bradshaw transplanted to Los Angeles. She's fun, direct, witty, outrageous, outspoken, misguided, wonderfully flawed, and just someone I would be friends with if she were real. She is also exceptionally smart, beautiful, and a magnet for sexual drama. I have her stories mapped out through at least five books. So you will hear more and more about her in the near future. Plus, Hollywood is "courting" her to make her a TV star.

Holly: What was your inspiration for the novel or the chronicles as a whole?

Michelle Gamble-Risley: I love Sookie Stackhouse. I wanted to write another female heroine with spunk, who is nobody's doormat. I wanted her problems, though, to be based in reality and not the supernatural. I felt that a real character faced with the challenges of real life would be far more relatable to other women. Brea has, in fact, been praised as very relatable to women of all ages -- so mission accomplished.

Holly: Can we expect two more books from you this year--maybe the second California Girl Chronicles?

Michelle Gamble-Risley: Yes, as I mentioned Brea's Big Break releases in summer 2012. Readers will have their answer about the big cliffhanger: does Brea reunited with Kale? Since she doesn't kiss and tell, I won't blab and ruin it. Brea also has many adventures to come. Her character arc won't be fully realized until at least five books. You will start to see her personal growth and maturity in book two, although she never loses her sense of humor. Three subplots run through book two; and yes, three equally as frustrating cliffhangers exist. Book two also delves deeper into the politics of Hollywood with plenty of sexual subterfuge to keep you hooked to the end.

Also, expect We're All Dead to release in summer 2012 as well. We'll be focused on selling it at science-fiction conventions. I will also be on a major market book tour.

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

Michelle Gamble-Risley: I hope you fall madly in love Brea. California Girl Chronicles was a labor of passion. I love Brea, and I hope you love her too. You all fall in love with her, and I'll keep writing her. She's so much fun to explore. And while the book is loaded with great sexy fun, pay close attention. It says a lot about what it's like to work in Hollywood and sexual politics. While a superficial read might be a great escape, Brea is by no means shallow. Pay attention to the undertones of the book. She has some very real messages about self-esteem, confidence and making dreams come true. I personally hope other women will find the good parts of her inspiring and the flawed parts interesting and fun.

Holly: What do you do in your free time?

Michelle Gamble-Risley: I prefer not to speak about my private life. Suffice it to say, I have a full and amazing life and I am grateful for all of it. And I'm grateful there are people out there who want to read my books.

Books by Michelle Gamble-Risley
California Girl Chronicles
#1: Brea And The City Of Plastic

Single Title

Vanity Circus: A Smart Girl's Guide to Avoid Publishing Crap
Second Bloom
18 Holes for Leadership: How a Round of Golf Can Make You a Better Leader!

Coming Soon
Brea's Big Break (California Girl Chronicles, #2)-- Expected Publication Date: Summer of 2012
We're All Dead-- Expected Publication Date: Summer of 2012


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