Interview with Yvonne Perry, Author of “Shifting into Purer Consciousness”

I am participating in the virtual book tour for Yvonne Perry’s latest book, Shifting into Purer Consciousness ~ Integrating Spiritual Transformation with the Human Experience. You may learn more about Yvonne and her book at

Today, I am sharing an interview that I conducted with Yvonne.

Pat Bertram: What is your book about?

Yvonne Perry: It’s about the ascension process or great shift we are currently in that is causing spiritual transformation on Earth. Whenever we have a spiritually-transforming, out-of-body, or near-death experience, we are left to wonder what to do next. We may feel like a different person — and perhaps we are! Our souls are expanding as we the accelerated frequencies that came with that significant event. Shifting into Purer Consciousness can help you make sense of what happened and give you tools such as exercises, affirmations, and visualizations to help anchor your light body and Christ oversoul as you raise the vibration of your physical body. The book is intended to help people personal move forward in their soul’s evolution while helping others and the planet ascend into purer consciousness.

Pat: How long had the idea of your book been developing before you began to write the story?

Yvonne: When I awoke on September 21, 2010, I was receiving inspiration and decided to write it down. I thought this would be an article for my blog, but then I began thinking about my spiritually-transforming experience that occurred in 1999. I originally started writing that story in 2005, but put it aside, sensing that there was more that I would add to it someday. As I added new thoughts that September morning, the document grew and so did my desire to do more research. Soon, I realized I was writing a book. However, I was in the process of writing Whose Stuff Is This? ~ Finding Freedom from the Thoughts, Feelings, and Energy of Those around You, which I published in February 2011; so, I put Shifting into Purer Consciousness on the back burner until summer of 2011.

Pat: Did you do any research for the book? If so, how did you do it? (searching Internet, magazines, other books, etc.)

Yvonne: To support my findings, I read more than twenty books on the topic of spiritual development and the coming age of enlightenment—that’s in addition to all the online research I conducted and online seminars I attended and videos I watched.

Pat: Is there a message in your writing you want readers to grasp?

Yvonne: Ascension comes after the resurrection. There can be no resurrection until something (the ego, beliefs in separateness) dies. This is why we encounter opportunities for great spiritual growth during the dark night of the soul and other heartbreaking events. The reason why the purification path has been so difficult is because we have resisted the process that brings an end to suffering and dethrones the ego. Whenever we are moving to the next stage of spiritual evolution, we may reach a “ceiling” or encounter resistance.

The dismantling of this energetic barrier is a deceptive process because the more we resist it, the more it distracts us and pull our attention away from our goal of oneness. The temptation to fight the ego is strong, and ironically it is in this “struggle” not to engage that we gain the strength to push through the elusive ceiling of separatism.

Because whatever we place emphasis on will increase, the victory over the ego is more quickly accomplished by refusing to engage in the battle it offers. The answer then is to focus on the Divine essence within the Sacred Heart, which raises our vibration. I encourage readers to enjoy their spiritual practice and maintain their own energy rather than setting up fortresses to protect against external forces. I address this in the chapter on ascension symptoms under the subheading “Mental Thoughts.”

Pat: What challenges did you face as you wrote this book?

Yvonne: It seems like everything I wrote about had to be experienced in order for me to own the truth of what I’m sharing. Fear cannot abide where there is love and this book is about coming to a place where only love is experienced in the mind, emotions, and body. I went through some physical challenges that urged me to purify my body, I encountered dark energy and learned how to compassionately release it, I underwent a cathartic release of karma so intense that there were days I really didn’t know if I’d be able to finish the book. I’m glad I persevered because in doing so, I intimately connected to ascended masters, who are now my beloved partners on this journey. I am experiencing the peace that passes understanding and realizing how powerful my thoughts and feelings really are.

Pat: Do you think writing this book changed your life? How so?

Yvonne: The writing of this book has changed me in many ways, but the most evident is that I can no longer tolerate an omnivorous diet. Animals have feelings—nerve receptors capable of feeling physical pain as well as personality and emotions. They bond with one another and form families and communities; they express sorrow whenever they encounter a loss. I began to ask myself, “Why is it justifiable to eat a farm animal but we would never eat our domesticated pet?” Based upon the Garden of Eden story, no animals died until after humans started to believe they were separate from God. In our return to the sacred within, we let go of all behaviors that perpetuate separation.

I am in no way judging anyone who eats meat, but I am asking my readers to consider what needs to be done if we truly want a non-violent and peaceful planet. The answer seems obvious: we must end the death and suffering on our own dinner plate. I now truly enjoy a conscious and mindful plant-based manner of nourishing my body. Besides showing compassion for all God’s creatures and being good stewards of the Earth, it’s also for our own health that we return to eating the vegetation supplied by Mother Earth. If we eat what comes out of the Earth, we might be more conscious of how polluting the Earth detrimentally affects us.

Pat: What words would you like to leave the world when you are gone?

Yvonne: I’m not gone! I’ve shifted into my light body and still helping others learn to love our creator with all their heart and soul and mind.

Pat: Have you written any other books?

Yvonne: Yes, my latest book, Whose Stuff Is This? Finding Freedom from the Thoughts, Feelings, and Energy of Those Around You, is a resource for sensitive people who have been unknowingly carrying energetic burdens that belong to someone else.

More Than Meets the Eye: True Stories about Death, Dying and Afterlife addresses suicide, near-death experience, end of life decisions, euthanasia, and spirit visits from the “deceased.” (

The Sid Series ~ A Collection of Holistic Stories for Children provides a role model for parents while entertaining children with stories that teach life lessons (

I have also written several books and e-books, mostly on spiritual topics.

Pat: Who do you imagine is your ideal reader?

Yvonne: While this book can benefit any spiritual seeker, it is intended to help those living in the US, who are fearful of the future due to having been indoctrinated by fear-based religions that teach a dreadful end of time. So many of these dear ones are having experiences that do not align with their religion dogma and they are searching for answers. My book attempts to provide courage and support for those who want to take their spiritual walk up an octave.

Pat: Who designed your cover?

Yvonne: Vickie B. Majors painted the exquisite art of the ascending human for the cover. Rick Chappell is the graphic designer who put the layout together.

Pat: Where can people learn more about your books?

Yvonne: See for a list of all the books I’ve written. Shifting into Purer Consciousness is featured at

Pat: What else would you like to share?

Yvonne: Coinciding with the release of my book, will present a telesummit for integrating spiritual transformation with the human experience. Featured panelists include Dr. Caron Goode, Harriette Knight, Sondra Ray, Susan Allison, Kristen Ann, and other experts who share how to develop our souls and planet to a new level of consciousness. The topics to be addressed in this telesummit include ascension, oneness, spiritually-transforming experiences, walk ins/soul exchanges, working with angels and ascended masters, immortality, DNA restructuring, the light body/merkabah, and much more about integrating purer frequencies and flowing with grace throughout the ascension process.


Yesterday, the tour stopped at Journey Into Consciousness blog. Tomorrow Yvonne will be on the Journey Into Consciousness Radio Show and I invite you to visit that site to learn more about the spiritual transition we are currently in. See the full tour schedule at .

Chanson de l’Ange by Paisley Swan Stewart

My guest blogger today is Paisley Swan Stewart, who talks about her life and why she retold the story of The Phantom of the Opera.

Chanson de l’Ange by Paisley Swan Stewart is a two volume epic retelling of the classic novel, the Phantom of the Opera, by Gaston Leroux. Inspired by the legend of The Opera Ghost in all its incarnations, the author weaves her own captivating tale while remaining faithful to key story elements.  Chanson de l’Ange creates bookends to the compelling saga of the Opera Ghost through an imaginative account of Christine Daae’s childhood companionship with the Angel of Music; while the final gripping chapters unveil her years beyond the opera house.

Book One: The Bleeding Rose opens with the tragic death of ten year old Christine Daae’s father; ushering in dramatic changes when she is left in the care of Madame Louise Giry, ballet mistress at the Paris Opera House.  Christine makes her new home in the opera’s conservatory, where she encounters a bohemian world of singers and dancers, and where she is visited by the unseen Angel of Music.  A bond of obsession and music is forged as Christine’s dark Angel methodically makes himself known. Through the illusory mirror of her dreams and desires, Christine will discover that not all angels have wings and not all devils are what they seem.

Scheduled for release in late 2011, Book Two~The Angel’s Song continues the Chanson de l’Ange retelling of Phantom of the Opera.

Book Two continues the Phantom’s  haunting odyssey into the very  essence of love, madness and  redemption.  As Christine takes center  stage in the Joan of Arc opera,  events swirl out of control  with dire consequences.  The Angel of Music   steps out from the shadows,  and mirrors become the portal into both  heaven and hell.  Now a young  woman, Christine is forced to make  choices that will dramatically alter the lives of those she loves.  She   must brave a future where all are thrust into an emotional and  operatic crescendo that will leave readers  breathless.

Chanson de l’Ange spans a fifty year journey fraught with music, high romance and madness.

Paisley Swan Stewart talks about her life and why she retold the story of The Phantom of the Opera:

My chosen pen name is Paisley Swan Stewart, but I am known as Swansong or ‘Swannie’ on website communities.

Now a happily married middle aged dreamer with a passion for art and beauty, music and theater, I am a woman of faith who celebrates the beauty of the world, while giving the glory to God for its creation.

Growing up as a lonely and introspective child, I found escape in the fantasy world of books and movies. I’ve always been creative; inspired by other artists and dreamers to sing, write, to draw, to perform and to believe in life’s ‘Deeper Magic.’

I have many interests and have attempted a lot of wild and crazy creative projects throughout my life. I studied classical voice in my youth and took first place in my state’s vocal competition. I was heavily involved with theater through my 20’s, where I played leads and supporting roles.

From a tender age I recognized man’s cruelty to his fellow man.  I hurt profoundly when children were ridiculed and bullied by other children because of their physical appearance.

Skinny and physically awkward, I did not fit in at school.  I was unhealthy, my eyes were too big behind thick glasses, and my complexion was too pale.  I rarely played with other children and chose to remain indoors while the neighborhood kids played kick ball and hide-n-seek, and thus I was nicknamed, “the mole.”

Shy and afraid to speak unless spoken to…a result of my step father’s constant haranguing me to “shut the hell up,” I became a quiet, lonely and introspective child.  Adults encouraged me to smile but I saw little to smile about and escaped into a world of fairy tales and fantasy.

My preteen years remain shrouded in family secrets and my step father’s escalating alcoholism.  His negative influence poisoned the entire family and I sought further escape through books, movies and music.

I gravitated to musicals and movies from the 30’s 40’s and 50’s,  often staying up late into the night watching old black and white horror films like Dracula, Frankenstein and King Kong.  I was sympathetic to these monsters, perhaps relating personally to their outcast stories.

The first time I saw the Lon Chaney silent version of Phantom of the Opera, I was about eleven.  I was frightened but equally fascinated by the masked Phantom, the movie’s man/monster, whose name was Erik.  The film’s tragic conclusion left me in tears, wishing that Christine had saved him from his fate.

Later I came across the colorful film adaptation starring Claude Rains, and I developed my first crush on a movie character.  His voice floating through the mirror enthralled me, and the melancholy melody he played on the violin was unforgettable. I thought him so handsome in the mysterious mask and was captivated by his efforts to win the trust of the young opera singer.

Finally in my mid-teens I discovered that I could sing and my love of performing was a further identification with the Phantom story.  For 10 years I studied classical voice, playing leading roles in musicals throughout high school and my early 20’s, where I finally received the attention and acceptance I craved.

In the early 90’s, my husband and I attended an LA based performance of Andrew Lloyd Webber’s stage musical, starring Michael Crawford.  I shall never forget the first commanding chords played on the dark organ as the gold and crystal chandelier rose above the gasping audience.  When the Phantom first appeared in the mirror, I forgot everything else around me; the audience, the auditorium, they all receded into the mist when he beckoned Christine from behind the glass.

Dressed in elegant tails and black opera cloak, he gracefully prowled across the stage, with the half-mask erotic and spell binding.  As an adult woman I immediately recognized the sexual pull of this Phantom, and I sat breathless as the tragic story came to life through Webber’s soaring music.  The performance was hypnotic and deeply sensual, but for me the drama resonated beyond its Victorian romance and beautiful score.

The Phantom is a man of superior intellect and artistic intelligence who because of a hideous facial deformity, is denied acceptance and love.  He is forced to remain on the outside looking in and can never know the warmth of human touch.  His soul is twisted, his psyche damaged through his self imposed isolation in the opera house cellars; where he exists as a shadow, a ghost…a haunted creature to be feared and obeyed.

But the Phantom is no monster.  He is only a man who desires to walk unmasked in the daylight, who craves someone to share his music, his heart and his body.  Underneath the skin, Erik longs to be loved just like the rest of us.

In December of 2004, as I sat enthralled by Joel Schumacher’s film version starring Gerard Butler, I was once again awash in the flickering light of an old black and white television, where a lonely little girl wept real tears for the Phantom of the Opera.

My own story, however, will have a happy ending because despite my emotional and physical scars, I found true love and a deep abiding faith in God.  As I mature, my own need for masks and disguises diminishes and I am learning to love myself for who I am… as alas, poor Erik never could.

Paisley Swan Stewart’s website:

Beyond Diapers: How Not to Wallow in Your Own Poop by Carmen Allgood

My guest blogger today is Carmen Allgood the author of Beyond Diapers: How Not to Wallow in Your Own Poop. Based on a lifelong study of the energy of Love, this modern day exploration of our spiritual evolution delivers a timely twist of pop psychology for those who are starved for peace of mind and true happiness. The metaphorical focus and surefire solution to healing ourselves and the world is revealed in a cut-to-the-chase simplicity designed to make you  laugh your way from forgiveness to love.

Carmen writes:

You wouldn’t believe all the offers I get from companies that sell baby products – with a book title like BEYOND DIAPERS, who would guess! The other side of the coin is that these companies aren’t sure if I’m into baby diapers or have traversed to the other side and need ‘adult diapers!’ Lol.. If truth be told – I’m in a middle phase and don’t have to rely on either product – yet.

DIAPERS is really just a metaphor for an unhappy state of mind. It’s all relative and all of us have been there, done that.

There’s not a person in the world who wouldn’t love genuine peace of mind and lasting happiness, which are actually inherent in who and what we are. We don’t have to strive for peace or happiness. The underlying dilemma is that most of us struggle with feelings of unworthiness, and spend an inordinate amount of time trying to get something into our lives which is already there. Namely, love.

My little book is subtitled The Beginner’s Guide To Inner Peace. BEYOND DIAPERS reveals authentic, simple baby steps that anyone can take, or practice, to ‘deliver’ themselves from the temptation to believe love and peace are in a future state. If this was true – then peace would forever be impossible. Therefore, says reason, peace and happiness are not only possible, but they must be with you NOW.

So, take a little trip with me as we journey to the center of your mind and learn to go beyond diapers to the place where peace resides. Stay tuned! Love is the Answer.

Excerpt – CHAPTER 8 The changing face of diapers

Science and religion agree on one thing, that everything is one thing; that the truth about us is the same. And this is true simply because everything came from One Source. The big bang? Or, when God made Love? The sole difference between science/religion and Love is that science and religion are man-made, and Love is not. 


Carmen Allgood is a Loveologist and Radio Host and Producer. She has devoted her life to the study of love as energy, relationships, and what it takes to be happy and at peace. Carmen also works with various non-profit agencies as a fund-raiser and event coordinator.

Let’s Celebrate Blog Jog Day!

Welcome to Blog Jog, a one-day trot around the highways and byways of the blogosphere. Feel free to look around before you move on to the next blog in the jog. If you don’t know where to start exploring Dragon My Feet (which started out as a place to post things I did to procrastinate and evolved into a book blog), you can scroll down to see the latest posts, or you can check out one of my favorites: More Deaths Than One by Pat Bertram. If you are a writer and would like me to post information about your book, leave a comment, and I’ll get back to you.

Everyone who leaves a comment on this post will be entered in Second Wind’s best contest ever — a chance to win a copy of every title Second Wind will publish in 2011, including my own upcoming release, Light Bringer

Light Bringer tells the story of  Becka Johnson, who had been abandoned on the doorstep of a remote cabin in Chalcedony, Colorado when she was a baby. Now, thirty-seven years later, she has returned to Chalcedony to discover her identity, but she only finds more questions. Who has been looking for her all those years? Why are those same people interested in fellow newcomer Philip Hansen? Who is Philip, and why does her body sing in harmony with his? And what do either of them have to do with a shadow corporation that once operated a secret underground installation in the area?

So, be sure to leave a comment, then jog on over to visit Virtual Book Touring and Carol Denbow, author of How to Organize a Virtual Book Tour.

You can find the entire list of participants for Blog Jog Day at: Blog Jog Day.

Note: If you don’t wish to receive notices of future Second Wind book releases and contests, please mention that in your comment. You will still be eligible for this contest.

Wild Blue Under by Judi Fennell

Wild Blue Under
Judi Fennell
Sourcebooks, Inc.
November, 2009

Rod Tritone is all set to take over the Mer kingdom when his father retires, until the ruling council tells him he has to marry first. The council gives him legs for the duration of his mission, as well as his future queen’s address and phone number. 

She’s Valerie Dumere, the daughter of a Mer father and a human mother who raised her in landlocked Kansas. When devastatingly handsome Rod Tritone shows up and tries to tell her about the kingdom under the sea, not only does she think he’s crazy, she’s determined that’s the last place she’d ever want to go. 

Then a vicious squad of seagulls tries to stop the Mer Prince from inheriting his throne and Val finds out about her true nature. Now she has to make the choice of a lifetime—stay on land, or follow Rod to his underwater world…

The following is an excerpt from Wild Blue Under by Judi Fennell. Meet Maybelle and Adele, two busybody sparrows who give Neighborhood Watch a whole new meaning and who play an important role in the story without ever even meeting Rod and Valerie. 

       Tap, tap, tap.

       “Should we tell him, Maybelle?” The two sparrows shared their breakfast, huddled beneath Adele’s weathervane in hopes of both avoiding the nasty weather that was rolling in with the clouds and finding out why that herring gull was back, this time tapping the outside of Valerie’s window.

       “No. I don’t think so.”

       “But it’s her window.”

       “I know.”

       “But then she’ll find out we can talk.”

       Maybelle closed her eyes as a particularly blustery wind kicked up. “No—she’ll find out he can talk.”

       “I don’t understand you, Maybelle.”

       Tap, tap, tap.

       “Do you remember Foghorn, Adele? My third mate?”

       “The one with the big—”

       “Uh huh.” Maybelle’s shudder had nothing to do with the weather. “Don’t remind me. The day he lost that tail feather was the happiest day of my life.”

       “But what does that have to do with Valerie?”

       “Well, Foggy always thought he knew what was best. The best place for bread crumbs, the right park bench for Fiddle Faddle…” The sparrows paused a moment to remember the lovely, buttery taste of their favorite treat. “The fastest way to cross Grove Street, where to get the plumpest sunflower seeds… everything. That male was an authority on everything.”

       “I still don’t see—”

       “Pay attention, Adele! Foggy thought he knew what was best and would never consider anything else, least of all what a female had to say or what she ought to know.”

       Tap, tap, tap.

       “Those two males over there aren’t planning to tell her the truth.”

       Adele gasped. “That sunflowers don’t really grow in your stomach if you eat the seeds in their shells?”

       Maybelle rolled her eyes. “No. Not that. They’re not going to tell her she’s a Mer.”

       “How do you know? You can’t possibly hear anything. The air cooler is on, and they’ve shut all the windows.”

       “Oh… well… I might have overheard—”

       “Maybelle Merriweather!” Adele’s high-pitched chirp soared an octave. “You did not go over there and eavesdrop!”

       “No, actually, I eave-sat. And a good thing, too, or we’d be telling Mr. Flying High there that he’s beaking up the wrong window, and she won’t learn the truth.”

       “This wouldn’t have anything to do with that gull telling you to mind your own business when you followed him yesterday, would it?”

       Maybelle fluffed her feathers, then set to preening them. Honestly, it was so blustery today, what with the wind tossing up all sorts of particles. And she’d just groomed herself…

“Of course not, Adele. And he didn’t tell me to mind my own business. He said it wasn’t any of my business. Which, of course, is wrong since this is my street and we don’t want any riffraff moving in.”

       She glared at the big, hulking gull. “Males! They think they’re the gods’ gift to females. And now he’s got The Heir treating Valerie as if she were a featherhead…” Maybelle tsk’d. “No. We girls need to stick together, and she deserves to know what she’s getting into.”

What people are saying about Wild Blue Under: 

“Fennell returns with another underwater adventure, her second story about the Tritone brothers. She’s proving herself to be a solid storyteller, and this tale is an enjoyable and pleasant read.” –-Devon Paige, RT BookReviews 

“Wild Blue Under” is the second book of author, Judi Fennell’s Mer Trilogy, and the first of hers I have read and definitely won’t be the last! This book was such a fun, delightful read.” –-Jaime, Revenge of the Book Nerds

“Bubbly fun! Judi Fennell whips together talking birds, princely peril and a sexy Mer man in this sparkling ‘under the sea’ tale.” —Virginia Kantra, USA Today best-selling author 

About The Author:

Judi Fennell has had her nose in a book and her head in some celestial realm all her life, including those early years when her mom would exhort her to “get outside!” instead of watching Bewitched or I Dream of Jeannie on television. So she did–right into Dad’s hammock with her Nancy Drew books. 

These days she’s more likely to have her nose in her laptop and her head (and the rest of her body) at her favorite bookstore, but she’s still reading, whether it be her latest manuscript or friends’ books. 

A three-time finalist in online contests, Judi has enjoyed the reader feedback she’s received and would love to hear what you think about her Mer series. Check out her website at for excerpts, reviews and fun pictures from reader and writer conferences, and the chance to “dive in” to her stories.

What Do You Do When You Have Too Much Background Information?

Researching a novel can become addictive. Like with money, you feel as if you never have enough background information. You tell yourself you need one more piece before you can sit down and begin creating your opus, but as the days, weeks, months go by, the pieces pile up. Eventually, however, even the most exhaustive research ends, and you begin writing. Now what do you do with all that background information? You use, it of course. You earned it, right?

If you’re smart, or lucky, or have a good writing coach, you discover that all those facts sink the story, and you jettison most of them during the rewrites. You hoard those facts, though, and later add them to your blog.

Among my jetsam is this piece about Jacob Simon Herzig, (AKA George Graham Rice) one of the most successful bucket shop operators in history.

A bucket shop was an ostensibly legal brokerage firm. Some of the firms operated within the law, but most did not. They cheated their customers, stole from them, misused their money. In New York State, in one five-year period early in the twentieth century, bucket shops went into bankruptcy owing their customers more that two hundred twelve million dollars, the equivalent of several billion in today’s dollars.

Originally, bucket shops were markets where flour and grain were sold by the bucket to poor people. The wealthy, of course, did not patronize those places since they could afford to buy in larger amounts. The modern equivalent of a bucket shop began soon after the Civil War when railroad stocks were placed on the market and sold in small lots to investors who didn’t normally buy stocks. Financiers like Daniel Drew, Jay Gould, and Jim Fisk were all early bucketeers; in fact, they set the standard. They created artificial markets, issued false proclamations concerning the value of the stock, kept printing fresh stock as long as there was a demand. At the beginning of the twentieth century, when the early bucket shops had grown into rich, powerful brokerage houses, they attacked the bucketeers. It took three decades, but these so-called legitimate brokerage houses, the New York Stock Exchange, and the big bankers managed to put the bucketeers out of business, though there was a reincarnation of them in the penny-stocks of the l980s.

George Graham Rice sold a great deal of stock, milking each scheme as long as he could then moving on to a new venture. He began to print a financial newspaper called The Iconoclast. The Iconoclast lambasted the financial powers of the country, blaming Wall Street for all the ills that affected the people. It claimed that the multi-millionaires and insiders were using the Stock Exchange to cheat hundreds of thousands of innocent people out of millions of dollars, which they were. He promised his subscribers that he’d help even the score by disclosing his own private information. His daily circulation grew to over 300,000 subscribers nationwide, giving him the biggest sucker list in America. He sold parts of his list to other bucket shops, but only after he’d squeezed some money out of the people on that partial list. One of his scams was the Columbia Emerald Company. According to The Iconoclast, the mine was operating and producing emeralds valued in the millions, and he bilked people out of half a million dollars before anyone discovered there were no emeralds. As long as there was actually a mine in South America, however (which Rice had purchased for eight hundred dollars) Rice was not liable to prosecution.

Rice also owned almost a million and a half shares of Idaho Copper Mine, for which he paid ten thousand dollars total, almost eight cents a share. Though the mine had not been worked in twenty years, was in fact completely flooded, it had two big assets: it actually existed and it was listed on the Boston Curb Exchange. The Iconoclast touted the stock, and it went up to $6.25 a share as thousands of suckers rushed to get in on the ground floor. The whole thing eventually fell through, but Rice walked away with millions.

My con man Teach told this story — he was trying to explain to Mary why he needed a played-out gold mine — but you won’t find it in Daughter Am I. It was one of the bits I cut out to make room for the most  important aspect of the story — the characters.

Daughter Am I is Bertram’s third novel to be published by Second Wind Publishing, LLC. Also available are More Deaths Than One and A Spark of Heavenly Fire.

Shadows by Joan De La Haye (Guest Blogger Times Three)

Blurb for Shadows by Joan De La Haye:
Sarah is forced to the edge of sanity by the ghosts of her family’s past. Suffering from violent and bloody hallucinations, she seeks the help of psychiatrist and friend, Michael Brink.

After being sent to an institution in a catatonic state covered in > blood – from stabbing her unfaithful boyfriend – Sarah is forced to confront the truth about her father’s death and the demon, Jack, who caused her father’s suicide and who is now the reason for her horrific hallucinations. Unlike her father, Sarah refuses to kill herself. She bargains for her life and succeeds.

In Sarah’s struggle to regain her life and her sanity, she discovers there is more to the world than she could ever have imagined, and it leaves her seeking the answer to the nagging question, “Who is really mad?”

Visit Joan at Bertram’s Blog where she talks about writing SHADOWS.

Then let Pat Bertram Introduce you to Jack, the Torment Demon, from Shadows by Joan De La Haye

Finally, see how Joan solved the problem of rejections at Book Marketing Floozy

Interview with Pierre Dominique Roustan

As part of my weeklong book launch party, Pierre Dominique Roustan and I are interviewing each other. (You can find me at Pierre is the author of the soon-to-be-released novel The Cain Letters.

Bertram: How and when did you know you were a writer?


Pierre: That’s a difficult question to answer, because it was most definitely a process over time. I was always interested in writing but never knew I had a gift (desire) for it. It was when I hit my freshman year in college did I realize that there was something to this whole writing ‘thing’. I had a professor at the community college, one of my first classes there, English 101, I believe, tell me flat out that I “had a gift”. Now it wasn’t what he said that convinced me of that, though. It was what I wrote for him in class. Either he went easy on me, or he saw something in my writing that had been developing for so long ever since I was little. I would most definitely say that that final subtle pivotal point in the journey of discovery was at the age of 18 when I became so enamored with writing essays for my classes. I can safely say, at that point, I became a writer.

Bertram: What are some of your favorite authors to read?

Pierre: I had such a variety of authors I loved as a kid and as an adult, and I can safely say that it contributed to me being a writer: I liked all sorts of books growing up. I was into Isaac Asimov, J.R.R. Tolkien (of course!), even those classics by Henry David Thoreau, Nathaniel Hawthorne, Emily Dickinson, Walt Whitman, Edgar Allan Poe, Robert Frost, Ernest Hemingway. Leading to more contemporary ‘today’ authors, I’m a BIG fan of Terry Goodkind. I’ve read Terry Brooks as well. J.K. Rowling, of course! I was just getting into some other favorites of mine like Jordan Dane and Robert Liparulo. On a literary level, I was enthralled with such works by Sandra Cisneros, Tim O’Brien and Joseph Conrad. Those were some of the best in literary fiction I had ever read. Oh, and Toni Morrison! She was a remarkably intense writer.

Bertram: Which do you prefer: e-books or print?

Pierre: That’s quite the relevant question in today’s publishing market, now isn’t it? And you’re asking me that question at a very interesting time. Maybe two years ago, if you had asked me that, I would easily, hands down, say print. There’s nothing better than the smell of paper on a good book and being able to flip those pages really fast and hearing that buzzing sound when you do. Plus the cover art’s always cool.

HOWEVER…I’ve noticed quite easily how difficult it is to read on the computer. The reason I bring that up is that I do have a lot of friends/colleagues who write as well and always love to have me as a beta reader. They send me their work via e-mail and I read it right on my computer while my rump goes to sleep. It’s not fun. Not a day goes by that I don’t wish I had an eReader or a Kindle. It would make reading other people’s work so much easier. That, and the concept of buying any book on one of those electronic devices does have a certain appeal to me. For those authors I have a particular affection for, I’d definitely still always prefer print. But other authors that I would just like to read, just to expand my literary field, owning a Kindle or eReader seems priceless (even though it’ll always feel like I’m shelling out an arm and a leg for such a thing).

Bertram: What’s your favorite food?

Pierre: I love it when people ask me that question! It always feels like I’m on a date. I have the perfect answer. My favorite food is…. YES. Meaning, put in front of me monkey brains, and if it simply looks good, I’ll eat it. Simple as that. I’m a human trash can.

But I can go specific (I’ll limit it to a top ten, no particular order): pizza, shrimp scampi, chicken salad, chilli, soups, breakfast food, ice cream cake, Chinese food, sub sandwiches, Mexican food.

Bertram: If you could choose any wild animal, what would it be?

Pierre: That’s definitely an easy one. I love wild animals, and I’ve always had a thing for wolves. They’re so beautiful. Majestic. And I identify with them so well, in that they always seem shy, even timid when it comes to ‘man’. I’m much the same way to a certain degree; I can be guarded. But you see, the thing is-people, to me, particularly my friends and loved ones, are the other wolves in my pack. And I’m generally a nice wolf. So when I see other wolves from other packs, I don’t usually get defensive or violent or unusual. I’m generally very friendly. I’m an easy person to get to know.

Bertram: If you were going to die in the next three days and you could do the next ten things without worrying about cost, what would you do?

Pierre: I would go bungee jumping (never done it), get a tattoo (don’t have one), visit Europe (never been there), visit all the States except for Nevada, Indiana, Illinois, Missouri, Michigan, Florida and Rhode Island (been to all those States already), donate $1 million to one of those Children’s Funds, get married (again. Yes, I was married before. And let’s just say it didn’t ‘pan out’), anonymously donate money to an engaged couple looking to get married, buy a Playstation 3 and all the Final Fantasy’s and play all of them all night until I’ve beaten them all (except for Final Fantasy 7 and 8, already beat those), visit the grave of my grandfather in Nicaragua (his name was Pierre Dominique Roustan, too, so it holds a lot of meaning for me), SLEEP and do NOTHING for one whole day.

Bertram: What advice would you give other aspiring writers out there?

Pierre: It’s simple. Just enjoy your craft for yourself. Let it delight you. In the end, you’re the only audience. That’s how it originally starts. The bonus, the gift, comes around when others get to witness what you’ve created and how much you delight in it. There’s no better high than that, having someone else read your stuff and watch them be fascinated by the fact that you actually wrote something. Forget about the stress of whether or not you’ll land an agent or publishing contract or start that dream career as an author. What truly gives you joy should be that you wrote something that represents the deepest part of you and that you have a friend or family member you can share it with. It keeps you writing. It also keeps you believing in the goal itself. Because don’t get me wrong-goals are good. Having the goal of publication is good. But don’t let it consume you. Your writing comes first. Your desire comes first. Your love for words defines the spirit in you, and don’t ever forget that.

Also see: The Cain Letters
                Blog Exhange with Pierre Dominique Roustan

The Cain Letters by Pierre Dominique Roustan

As part of my week-long book launch party, Pierre Dominique Roustan and I are exchanging blogs. (You can find me at Pierre writes:

Those who’ve followed my blog might know a bit here and there about THE CAIN LETTERS and the characters, but let me paint a picture for you real quick:

Enter: Alexandra Glade.

An auburn-haired, gray-eyed beauty of a woman, black trench coat, turtleneck and tight pants, armed to the teeth with all kinds of weaponry. Think “The Matrix”, “Underworld”, “Blade” with a little bit of sex appeal, and there’s Alexandra for you. There are days I regret a little bit creating her in my head, because I worry that she might beat the living hell out of me. Because she can. She’s essentially a trained killer.

Only she kills vampires. For a living.

With her team, an organization known as the Berith Lochem, Hebrew for ‘Divine Covenant’, she hunted rogue vampires and other abominations for the sake of God alongside her comrade Kyan Tanaka, a Japanese man bred into the world of a mercenary until he found God. With remarkable resources, the Berith Lochem served the Vatican and other clients looking for a cleansing of some kind. They were like bounty hunters.

It was easy, you know? Hunting vampires. The life was so linear. And simple. Until a strange book surfaced that seemed to be of some interest to many of the damned-most notably two master vampires of cunning strength and power, two of the strongest in the world, actually-a Russian known as Nikolas Stahl and a savage Los Angeles native named Mason Richter. The book had ancient knowledge regarding something that had been locked away, secret, since the beginning of time-

The origin of the vampire. How it all began.

No longer was Alexandra’s life so linear. Her journey suddenly came upon forks of all kinds. And obstacles.

The book, dating way back to the times of the Exodus, revealed the origin. And it was a shocking one. One that would shake the pillars of the world, of faith-

The world’s first vampire was the world’s first murderer. Fitting. And terrifying.

Cain, brother of Abel, son to Adam and Eve, had struck a deal with Satan to cleanse himself of the guilt, the shame, the despair of a dying world and the mark of banishment on him. The cleansing took away his humanity, took away his soul even-and made him into what was commonly known as…vampire.

Driven by blood, as a reminder of Abel’s blood on his hands, Cain walked the earth. Immortal.

What Alexandra realized was that Nikolas and Mason planned on finding Cain. The secret book revealed his hidden location for so many centuries. What Alexandra feared was what they intended to do once they found him-

It didn’t take her long to realize that they were planning on killing him. These two master vampires, countless ages apart from a man of the book of Genesis, were going to silence the father of the damned.

Now on any other day, Alexandra Glade, Berith Lochem vampire hunter of vengeance, she wouldn’t have a problem with the idea of the father of the damned dying. But she knew Scripture. And what she knew terrified her even more than Cain….

She couldn’t allow Nikolas and Mason to kill Cain…. For the sake of the world hung on the balance that Cain had to live. All her training, all her scars, everything, anything that made her who she was, a hunter, she had to forsake and leave, protecting the very first vampire from death. All to save mankind.

Could she make such a decision? With her duty, her need to hunt and kill vampires, her fierce vengeance…. Could she reject all of that…. And save a fierce killer like Cain?

I’ll let that simmer in you a little bit. I can’t give all of it away, people. Come on! You’ll have to read the book when it debuts.

THE CAIN LETTERS is, indeed, a beginning of what is most definitely a series for me. Having landed a contract, you’ll see a few more continuations, following the adventures of Alexandra Glade and the Berith Lochem. But until then, face the fear that is THE CAIN LETTERS. And believe. Believe in evil.

See also: Interview with Pierre Dominique Roustan
                 Blog Exchange with Pierre Dominique Roustan