Audiobook—Naked Alliances is Live! #RRBC

And it’s here! Susan Nicholls’ newest novel, Naked Alliances, is now available at Audible! Yes, you can get there through Amazon, but here is a direct link to Audible:
If you’re an audiophile like me, you’ll look forward to listening Naked Alliances. The narrator sounds spot-on!

S.K. Nicholls

I’m pleased to inform you that the audiobook for Naked Alliances is live at Amazon!


I don’t set the price for the audiobook, but it’s $17.46 if you have an audible account. That’s not a bad price. The paperback is $14.50 and the digital book goes on sale tomorrow for 99 cents.

If you’ve never listened to an audiobook, I encourage you to give them a try. Here’s the sweet part:

Free with Audible trial


Try Audible Free

  • Includes two free audiobooks
  • Choose from 180,000+ titles
  • After 30 days, Audible is $14.95/mo.
  • Cancel anytime

Plus, if someone signs onto Audible as a new member and buys their third book, I get a fifty dollar bonus. You can buy me dinner! Sweet!

AND, you can CANCEL any time, so you’re not stuck in some year–long contract.

I also woke up to a very nice review that I would like to…

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WIP Blog Tour!

Many thanks to Luanne Castle at Writer Site for tagging me to participate in this special blog tour.  It comes at a good time for me because I’ve been wrestling working on my WIP, Clemency, A Novel.  Before you read my post (or after if you prefer), please do read Luanne’s post on her WIP: Luanne is working on a memoir, “excavating” her memory to “create a new story”:

My book is the story of an old family secret that infects the present and creates a dysfunctional father-daughter relationship–and the quest for answers that allows the father and daughter to learn and forgive.

Now, doesn’t whet your appetite for more from Luanne?  Indeed, it does mine.

But before I lose sight of my own purpose in participating, let me proceed with the rules and my contribution to the tour.

The work-in-progress blog tour rules (which we all know are made to be bent or broken):

  1.  Link back to the post of the person who nominated you.
  2.  Write a little about and give the first sentence of the first three chapters of your current work-in-progress.
  3.  Nominate some other writers to do the same.

Brief description of my novel:

Clemency is a story about Misty Daniels, a young girl (~18) in prison for allegedly killing her live-in boyfriend after he beat her up, causing her to miscarry.  Enter Sarah Mansfield, a newly minted attorney who believes in Misty’s innocence and wants to secure her freedom.  But not everyone believes that Misty is innocent.  Not even Misty.  And there are some people in Misty’s poor small town that want to see her stay in prison.  And they will do anything to make sure that happens.  Even if means someone has to die.

Only in her mid-twenties and alone in an unfamiliar southern city, Sarah finds her life on the line and with few people she can trust.  Her boss and mentor, Lucas Danforth, seems to know more than he lets on and brushes off Sarah’s concern for her and Misty’s safety.  Michael Daniels, Misty’s half-brother and a former Marine, is more interested in hindering Sarah’s investigations than helping her.  And the people of Oyster Point, led by Sheriff Cooley, harbor more than a general mistrust of strangers.  They are all hiding something, and Sarah suspects that what they are hiding is the key to Misty’s freedom. 

Status of my novel:

Still in that primordial stage that is particularly gross and sticky.

Excerpts from the first three chapers:


Misty Daniels cradled her small round belly as she collapsed onto the sticky linoleum floor. She huddled against the kitchen wall, her damp brown hair covering her tear-streaked face. Her mouth was frozen in a silent scream of pain, her eyes shut tight against the blood that dripped down from the cut on her forehead.

Chapter 1

This wasn’t quite what she had expected. The room was dusty with boxes of documents lining the short space of walls against the sloped ceiling. The desk reminded her of the big clunker her father had for the thirty years that he taught English. At the thought of her father, Sarah pulled a framed photo out of her gray Timbuktu messenger bag. She stroked the simple wood frame that bordered the last picture taken of her parents and her, at her graduation from the small private college where her father had taught.

Chapter 2

Sarah sat at the concrete beach table, watching Lucas through tortoise-shell Wayfarer sunglasses that she had found while hiking around Juniper Springs. Lucas read the note again, his lips curled in a slight smile. Someone had typed on the small piece of paper: “Let Misty rot in prison. Or you will go to hell.” Sarah had immediately called Lucas after opening the envelope, and he had gallantly rushed over to Tully House.

Now, time to announce the other participants in this tour.  I am so relieved happy that these wonderful writers have agreed to participate.

orl40223S.K. NICHOLSS’s debut, Red Clay and Roses, chronicles the trials and tribulations of a group of characters grappling with inequality in the Jim Crow South. It is set in 1950s-60s Georgia, and explores civil rights, interracial relations, and women’s issues. An avid regional crime fiction reader, Nicholls’ next project is a series of crime novels with colorful characters who take you on a fast-paced adventures through Florida.  You can find Nicholls on her blog where she also posts awesome photos of Florida, discusses writing and books, and shares updates on her many writing projects.


helena-h-bThe enigmatic HELENA HANN-BASQUIAT dabbles in whatever she can get her hands into just to say that she has.
She’s written cookbooks, ten volumes of horrible poetry that she then bound herself in leather she tanned poorly from cows she raised herself and then slaughtered because she was bored with farming.
She has an entire portfolio of macaroni art that she’s never shown anyone, because she doesn’t think that the general populace or, “the great unwashed masses” as she calls them, would understand the statement she was trying to make with them.
Some people attribute the invention of the Ampersand to her, but she has never made that claim herself.
Earlier this year, she published Memoirs of a Dilettante Volume One, and is about to release Volume Two, along with a Shakespearean style tragi-comedy, entitled Penelope, Countess of Arcadia.
Helena writes strange, dark fiction under the name Jessica B. Bell – VISCERA, a collection of strange tales, will be published by Sirens Call Publications later this year. Find more of her writing at or and

Connect with her via Twitter @HHBasquiat

BECOME A FAN at PUBSLUSH and pre-order Memoirs of a Dilettante Volume Two and Penelope, Countess of Arcadia!


Katie 33 0935 rs1KATIE SULLIVANWriter, mom, real-food foodie, reckless gardener and wannabe spy, Katie Sullivan is descended of pirates and revolutionaries, and a lover of all things Irish. Born in the States, she is a dual US/Irish citizen, and studied history and politics at University College, Dublin – although, at the time, she seriously considered switching to law, if only so she could attend lectures at the castle on campus. Today, she lives in the American Midwest with her son, two cats and a pesky character in her head named D (but you can call him Dubh). 

Katie’s first book, Changelings: Into the Mist, a young adult historical fantasy, is available in print and digital from AmazonShe can also be found writing with said character weekly at her blog, The D/A Dialogues.

Changelings: Into the Mist is now available! This historical fantasy, filled with pirates, magic and kings, is not to be missed. “It’s a love letter to Ireland.” ~ Helena Hann-Basquiat, Memoirs of a Dilettante.

“Those who can laugh without cause have either found the true meaning of happiness or have gone stark raving mad” ~ Norm Papernick


J. S. COLLYER is a Science Fiction writer from Lancaster, England. Her first novel Zero was releJ S Collyerased by Dagda Publishing Aug 2014 and was listed in Northern Soul’s Magazine Best Reads of 2014. The sequel, Haven, is due out Oct 2015.

Zero is available in paperback or for Kindle through Amazon:

Find out more about her and her other titles and upcoming booksignings through any of her websites:

Wednesday Feature: An Interview with S.K. Nicholls

Welcome to an interview with S.K. Nicholls, author of Red Clay and Roses.  Susan also has a blog at and is an editor and contributor at The Community Storyboard.


M:  Susan, thank you so much for agreeing to be interviewed.  I’m excited to be able to talk with you about your current book, Red Clay and Roses, as well as the novel you are currently working on.

SK:  I am delighted to be here.  What a lovely home, and your new kitchen is fantastic.  What a great job!

M:  Thank you!  Let’s sit out on my porch.  Our backyard is kind of like a green jungle with the palms and water oaks and hydrangeas.  I thought it might remind you a bit of Georgia.  Would you like something to drink?

SK: I love it out here, such a nice habitat.  I live on my back porch. Yes, please, a glass of sweet iced tea would be great.  The ceiling fans keep a nice breeze, but it is Florida and it is hot.

M:  Indeed it is!  As I tell everyone who visits, don’t mind the cats.  Actually it looks like they are all sacked out.

SK: Oh! You reminded me that I brought presents.  I have kitty toys with catnip.  The stuffed hamburger is Wendy’s.  Nurses always have the best drugs.

M:  You are so kind to think of the kitties!  They love catnip.  Since you mention nursing, before we talk about your writing, would you mind describing your career as an RN?  I’ve always been in awe of nurses, having worked with them and also been taken care of by them. Would you say that nursing led to you to writing, either directly or indirectly?

SK:  Don’t get me wrong.  I love Nurses and have the greatest respect and admiration for most, but I think the level of professionalism seen today has declined.  I had to get out of that profession due to stress and the lack of professionalism among certain coworkers.  I started out in Med-Surg, ER, and CCU, and always had two jobs in GA working Psychiatry/Forensics simultaneously.  When I came to FL, I dialed it down a bit and went into geriatrics and pediatric extended care.  It appalls me the changes over the years.  I started out with 4 patients at most, and when I retired I had 44 patients.  It is no wonder the degree of professionalism has declined.  There is so much burn out, overwork, and stress in the field.

SK:  As to my writing, it is sort of a given that Nursing influenced Red Clay and Roses.  The protagonist is a nurse.  When I found the ledger, I was both a Nurse and a student, and the people interviewed were actual patients/people I met in my Nursing career, being a fictionalized true story.  I am hoping that having worked so many years in psychiatry, and particularly in forensics with the criminally insane, will lend some insight to my future writing.

M:  I’ve read Red Clay and Roses and really enjoyed it.  You’ve written on your blog about the difficulty in categorizing it.  Much of the book is nonfiction, but some events are fictionalized.  When you set out to write it, did you already have a structure in mind?  Or did it come to you as you wrote?

SK: I am a linear writer who uses deductive reasoning.  I see the big picture and then break it down into parts.  I did not have a genre template or lean to any formulaic style of writing with Red Clay and Roses.  The novel was sort of an accident.  I have always kept journals, and have been attracted to journalism.  It was where I wanted to go after high school, but life didn’t work out that way.  The novel came about when I was going through old journal notes and decided to compile them.  Then, I had the good fortune to reunite with my cousin and receive her related diaries.  That it doesn’t fit into an easily recognizable genre results from it not being written to fit into one.

M:  One of the many things that impressed me and many others about Red Clay and Roses is how you bring that era of pre-Civil Rights to life and how you also illuminate the political powerlessness of women during that time as well.  Did you plan to have that kind of broad impact when you were writing your book?  Or were you focused only on telling the stories of Althea and Moses, Sybil and Nathan?

SK:  Most writers try to avoid politics and religion when writing.  I wrote Red Clay and Roses as personal story documentation, so I didn’t really give its public image much thought.  I have strong convictions concerning the value of intercultural acceptance and the 14th Amendment, whether speaking of race or religion, and have always been actively involved with Civil Rights, Planned Parenthood and NOW.  Women’s history, reproductive rights and responsibilities, and how they have changed over the past century interest me greatly.  Friends, and other Nurses I know through these channels encouraged me to publish the work.

M:  You recently released a revised version of Red Clay and Roses.   What prompted you to do this?  Do you see this as one of the benefits of self-publishing, to be able to revise and republish?

SK: I am most pleased with the control one has over their work with self-publishing, yes.  I changed my cover three times. The one my small press publisher wanted was horrible in my not-so-humble opinion.  The revision was no big deal actually.  I published on feedback from friends, not beta readers, and given some more feedback from readers, I decided that a chapter I had worked by condensing three into one needed a little more work to smooth out rough edges and help the flow as a good read. I did not take it down and republish, but submitted some text changes to include some corrections found necessary with the copyediting done. Again, self-publishing makes that easy to do.

M:  Let’s talk about the book you are working on now.  I hear that not only is it fiction, but it is genre fiction.  It’s a murder mystery or thriller?  What inspired you to do something so different from your first book?

SK: I have several WIPs, but you must be referring to my crime novel.  I have always loved John Grisham’s legal thrillers, and the works of the Kellermans and Patterson, but lately I have fallen in love with some Florida regional authors, Randy Wayne White, Carl Hiaasen, and Tim Dorsey.  I love the very real characters that you can relate to.  This is genre specific writing and much more formulaic and imaginatively creative, hence the need for much organization.  It is not without some serious research and I am grateful to have Jan C. Garavaglia, ME (Dr. G. from the Discovery channel) right here in town.  I am hoping, with your three widowed P. I. ladies, and my future work, we can blaze the trail for some regional female authors in the areas of crime and mystery.

M:  Oh, that would be great fun to blaze that trail!  Now, what is a typical writing day for you?  Do you set yourself goals like word or page counts?  What needs to happen for you to say that you’ve had a productive and satisfying writing day?

SK: I have three works that are about 30,000 words each.  I have just scrapped my entire crime WIP and am now using it as a reference for another one that is coming together but hasn’t quite gelled.  So I sort of feel like I am starting over.  It was necessary.  Getting onboard with Scrivener and taking that online course to get a practical working knowledge of the use of it has been a Godsend.  It is starting to come together now, but I don’t have strict writing frames.  I can easily spend a half day writing and might end up with the perfect paragraph or the perfect chapter.  Much of what I am doing now is new to me, as I am using Scrivener to outline a series and the first book, so my time is mostly spent in planning for now.  I have been working the very opposite way to the NaNoWriMo method in the past. But having Scrivener on hand now is really helping with getting me organized and my methods are changing. I also have a new timeline tool, Wendy’s Story Timeline, which is making this so much easier than it was with my last book, much less of a struggle.

M:  You know, publishing, whether it’s self-publishing or traditional publishing, is very competitive.  Writers who are coming out with their first novels or short stories may feel overwhelmed or intimidated by the marketplace.  Do you have any advice for writers who aspire to be published authors?

SK: I don’t see the competition as much as the camaraderie.  For example, as readers, we may read ten books a year or twenty, so the more we, as authors, can produce and promote together…the better off we will all be in the long run.  No serious reader is going to read just one book in their genre in a year, (and I know I can’t write but MAYBE one).

SK: I didn’t feel the intimidation with my first book because I had no online presence, but I certainly feel it now.  Marketing can be overwhelming. My best advice to aspiring authors is to read and take the ideas of other people’s opinions and glean from them what applies to you specifically…let the rest roll off like water on a duck, else you will go nuts. Also, write, write, and keep writing!

M:  That’s so true that there is wonderful camaraderie and that by helping each other, we help ourselves.  Susan, it’s truly been my pleasure to talk with you today.  Thank you again for taking the time for this interview.  I know I am one of many others who are look forward to reading more of your work.

SK: Thank you, Marie, for having me.  Dear me…I have rambled on all morning.  It is lunch time already.  Let me get out of your way so you can get on with your business.

M: No hurry.  I’ve enjoyed every minute, as I’m sure our readers have too!


Well, that’s it, folks!  My interview with author, SK Nicholls.  Be sure to follow her blog at and pick up a copy of Red Clay and Roses.  Please stay tuned for more interviews by Marie at 1WriteWay.

To get your own copy of Red Clay and Roses, visit any one of these links:


Smashwords at

Goodreads at

Amazon at

Barnes & Noble at

Papi Talk!… With S.K. Nicholls

Great interview with S.K. Nicholls on The Literary Syndicate!

Red Clay and Roses: Revised & Edited Eversion Live Now!!!

This is an important book! Get your copy of Red Clay and Roses now 🙂

S.K. Nicholls

Ebook Jpg (2)

The paperback print on demand is just around the corner, stay tuned!!!

Excited to share with you that “Red Clay and Roses” is live now, and ready to read/purchase on Amazon and smashwords.  Smashwords has epub, mobi and sony, so just about any reader is supported if you don’t have a kindle for Amazon.  They also have a pdf version for your computer if you don’t have a reader.

I was getting great reviews but I knew something was not quite right, especially with regards to the first chapter of the book.  So I had a copy editor take a look and we worked together for a couple of weeks and got the flow more smooth and the transitions between book sections better adjusted.  Line editing was also rechecked and minor corrections made.  There is nothing that changes dramatically, but I feel it is a better product now.

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A Different Kind of Book Review: Red Clay and Roses by S.K. Nicholls

Melissa set the tray of coffee mugs, sugar bowl and creamer on the table, and quickly began to pour the coffee. Her hands shook a bit and she missed Maggie’s cup by a hair. Maggie cocked an eyebrow in wonder. Mary was fixing plates of mini-scones and cookies for them to nibble on, oblivious to her cousin’s anxiety. This was their first book club meeting, although Melissa wondered if a book club could have as few as three people and still be a club. She told herself it didn’t matter. Now that she and Maggie were living in town, it would be a way for the three cousins to see each other regularly.

“Well, I can’t wait to talk about the book we read for tonight.” Mary put the plates of goodies on the table and sat down. Both Melissa and Maggie paused in mid-sip of their coffee. They didn’t think Mary was that much of a reader. She hadn’t even seemed that interested in reading the book Maggie had suggested: Red Clay and Roses by S.K. Nicholls.

“I loved this book,” Mary went on, while adding two teaspoons of sugar and some cream to her coffee. “I mean the story of Moses and Althea, Sybil and Nathan. It was all so sad, so tragic, and it all happened.”

Maggie had planned to start the meeting with a brief overview of the book, and she had even prepared questions in case her cousins failed for words. But Mary was charging ahead.

“And the detail in the book. I felt like I could go back to that time and know exactly how to find the old house, the beauty salon, the juke joint, the swamp.”

“Ah … ” Maggie wanted to interject. Mary had a tendency to rule over discussions, but the book club was her idea. “I agree. I was impressed by the detail of her journey in the Introduction, almost like she was recording the trip as she traveled.”

“I didn’t read the Introduction.” Mary took a bite out of a vanilla creme scone. “I didn’t read the Conclusion either.”

Maggie’s mouth fell open and then shut it when Melissa gave her a sideways glance.

“Well, I read the whole book,” Melissa said, placing emphasis on the word “whole” and narrowing her eyes at Mary. “The point of a book club is to read the book.”

Mary shrugged. “I started to read those parts, but they were kind of slow-going. I wanted to get to the meat of the book. I had read some reviews online so I knew there was a diamond in the rough there.”

Melissa sighed. “Well, how can we discuss the book if you haven’t read it all?”

Maggie squirmed. Maybe this wasn’t such a good idea. Five minutes into it and they’re already starting to argue. She cleared her throat and braced herself.

“Melissa’s right. I mean, the flow of the Introduction and the Conclusion bothered me too; there was so much detail and I got lost a couple of times.”

Melissa nodded. “It was the same way for me. I don’t even know if those parts of the book are necessary.”

“Oh, they are necessary to the book as a whole.” Maggie grabbed the vanilla creme scone from her plate. Mary had already stolen Melissa’s. “Even though she has a disclaimer at the beginning, making it clear that the book is based on facts, it’s still important to know how she comes upon these facts and then to bring it all into present day. After all that happened to Althea, Moses, Sybil, and Nathan, some resolution was necessary. She couldn’t just end it with … .”

“Sure,” Melissa interrupted. She picked up a shortbread cookie, seemingly unaware that the vanilla creme scones were all gone. “I understand what you are saying. It would have been different if I hadn’t read the Conclusion and found out what happened later.”

Mary’s head jerked up. “What happened later? You mean, it didn’t end with …”

Melissa swerved back to face Mary. “No, if you had read the whole book, Mary, you would know.”

Maggie jumped up and began refilling their coffee mugs. Tensions are rising, she thought to herself. Please God, don’t make me regret this.

“You don’t need to get testy, Melissa. I started to read the Conclusion, but it seemed to me that the author had finished telling the story of Sybil and Nathan, so I just put it down.” Mary’s voice was soft but earnest. She didn’t want to argue. She had actually loved much of Red Clay and Roses. “Does it really matter? I mean, I loved the core of the book. Once Moses started talking, relating the tragedy of his daughter Althea, and then the forbidden love between Sybil and Nathan. It’s an incredibly powerful story in and of itself. And that it was a true story made it so compelling.”

“Did it have to be a true story for you to like it?” Maggie felt intrigued by Mary’s view of the book.

“No, actually, the author’s writing would have swept me into that world of the pre-Civil Rights South if it had been fiction. It was really the level of detail, the sense of place, and the dialogue that made it all come together. Have either of you read An American Tragedy by Dresier?”

Maggie and Melissa put down their coffee and stared at Mary. Maggie wanted to call Randy and ask him if there was a pod with Mary’s body in it somewhere in her house.

“Well, Red Clay and Roses is similar in that both books are based on true events, but both are also fictionalized for the sake of the story. And both have this level of detail that makes the story play out in your mind as if you were really there, with the characters, traveling with them, eavesdropping on them. It doesn’t matter whether it’s fiction, fact, or some hybrid like faction.”

Melissa tried to stop herself but couldn’t help but snort coffee through her nose when Mary said “faction.” She realized that despite all the years they’ve known each other, she actually didn’t know Mary very well. At least, not this side of Mary.

“Ok, well, how you would rate the book?” Maggie pulled over a napkin and took a pen from the counter behind her.

“Five,” said Mary.

“How can you give her a five when you didn’t read the whole book?” Melissa sat back in her chair, arms crossed. “I give it a three because I think the author could have done better with the Introduction and Conclusion.”

“Christ.” Mary scowled and took a sip of coffee. She felt her cousins’ eyes on her. She liked surprising them from time to time. Everyone thought they knew her because she was outspoken and gregarious. But all those nights when Christopher was away. What the hell did they think she was doing? Playing with herself? Well, there was some of that, but for the most part she read. “What’s your rating, Maggie?”

Maggie paused. She was torn. There was much she liked, even loved, about the book. Sure, it had its flaws but so did some bestsellers she had read. “Four.”

Mary nodded. “Then four for me, too. That book is a diamond in the rough.”

Maggie looked over at Melissa and waited. Her cousin picked up another cookie and quietly said, “Four.” Maggie smiled. Maybe this book club would work after all.

You can purchase your own copy of Red Clay and Roses by S.K. Nicholls at any one of these locations:
Barnes and Noble

Book Giveaway: Red Clay and Roses

Red Clay and Roses Book Giveaway! Go to S.K. Nicholls’s website for details.

S.K. Nicholls

As a promotional, in preparation for my upcoming    Ebook Jpg (2)

paperback POD version, I am giving away up to

ten copies of Red Clay and Roses eversion for those who

are interested before July 14th.  You can email me at for the promo coupon code.

Thanks in advance for your support!

I would greatly appreciate any reblogs!

Set in the Deep South during a period of civil unrest, Red Clay and Roses is a fictional account of a true story.  The discovery of an old ledger opens a window into life in a time when women were supposed to keep quiet and serve, abortion was illegal, adoption difficult, and racism rampant.

Mystery, rape, murder, drama, and forbidden love meld as the origin of the ledger unfolds.  Sybil reveals that she was an unconventional, independent, high spirited young white woman in the 1950s-60s in a world that belonged to the…

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