Mandy Eve-Barnett's Blog for Readers & Writers

My Book News & Advocate for the Writing Community ©

Writing Prompt Contest – Ghost Village…

May 21, 2016

abandoned village in Scotland

The village is abandoned, your footsteps echo in the stillness. Where have the villagers gone? What do you discover?

Have fun with this prompt and leave your response in the comments. 1000 words maximum for a short story. Poems can be any length.


CORVIDAE BLOG TOUR – Rhonda Parrish…

July 23, 2015

As part of a blog tour, I am interviewing the authors and the editor/anthologist involved in the project anthology, Corvidae. Published through World Weaver Press. This will post as I am on vacation….Today I launch with the Pulbisher: Rhonda Parrish.


A flock of shiny stories!

Associated with life and death, disease and luck, corvids have long captured mankind’s attention, showing up in mythology as the companions or manifestations of deities, and starring in stories from Aesop to Poe and beyond.

In Corvidae birds are born of blood and pain, trickster ravens live up to their names, magpies take human form, blue jays battle evil forces, and choughs become prisoners of war. These stories will take you to the Great War, research facilities, frozen mountaintops, steam-powered worlds, remote forest homes, and deep into fairy tales. One thing is for certain, after reading this anthology, you’ll never look the same way at the corvid outside your window.


See additional document in the PRESS KIT folder.


Edited by Rhonda Parrish

“Introduction” by Rhonda Parrish

“A Murder of Crows” by Jane Yolen

“Whistles and Trills” by Kat Otis

“The Valravn” by Megan Fennell

“A Mischief of Seven” by Leslie Van Zwol

“Visiting Hours” by Michael S. Pack

“The Rookery of Sainte-Mère-Église” by Tim Deal

“The Cruelest Team Will Win” by Mike Allen

“What Is Owed” by C.S.E. Cooney

“Raven No More” by Adria Laycraft

“The Tell-Tale Heart of Existence” by Michael M. Rader

“Sanctuary” by Laura VanArendonk Baugh

“Knife Collection, Blood Museum, Birds (Scarecrow Remix)” by Sara Puls

“Flying the Coop” by M.L.D. Curelas

“Postcards from the Abyss” by Jane Yolen

“Bazyli Conjures a Blackbird” by Mark Rapacz

“Seven for a Secret” by Megan Engelhardt

“Flight” by Angela Slatter



Rhonda Parrish’s Magical Menageries


Trade Paperback:

ISBN-13: 978-0692430217

ISBN-10: 0692430210

Official page:


Rhonda parrish

Rhonda Parrish is driven by a desire to do All The Things. She has been the publisher and editor-in-chief of Niteblade Magazine for nearly eight years now (which is like forever in internet time) and is the editor of several anthologies including Fae and B is for Broken. In addition, Rhonda is a writer whose work has been in dozens of publications like Tesseracts 17: Speculating Canada from Coast to Coast, Imaginarium: The Best Canadian Speculative Writing (2012) and Mythic Delirium. Her website, updated weekly, is at

What do you enjoy most about writing?

Sharing stories. I really like creating characters and scenarios and worlds and then sharing them with other people. It’s even better when the people I’m sharing with enjoy the story as much as I did and tell me so–I am not without an ego LOL

What do you enjoy most about editing?

I love coming up with a theme and then seeing all the amazing ways writers explore that theme. They always, always, always come up with things I never would have ever dreamed of. I also really enjoy working with writers to help make their amazing stories even stronger. It’s incredibly fulfilling to have someone trust you with their work and walk away feeling as though you not only justified that trust, but helped them make the story better. I will never get tired of that.

Is there one subject you would never write about as an author? What is it?

Um. No. I don’t think so.

What book are you reading now?

I just finished At the Water’s Edge: A Novel by Sara Gruen which was well-written and kept me up late turning the pages, and began reading The Toyminator by Robert Rankin. The Toyminator is the sequel to The Hollow Chocolate Bunnies of the Apocalypse which I really liked so I have high expectations for it J

Do you see writing as a career? 

Absolutely. Writing and editing both, actually. Happily for me they work very well together and each feeds the other. What I mean is being an editor has definitely improved my writing, and being a writer has helped me as an editor. Win/win. If only I could turn off my inner editor while I’m writing first drafts…

Do you nibble as you write? If so what’s your favorite snack food?

Mostly I drink, and not what you’re thinking either LOL While I’m happy to indulge in an alcoholic drink or three sometimes in the evening I never drink alcohol when I’m writing. I don’t have a moral objection to it or anything, mostly the timelines don’t line up. Alcohol is an ‘in the evening’ thing and writing is a ‘during the day’ thing. However, when I’m writing there’s usually a Diet Dr. Pepper within reach or, if my focus has been especially lacking, sometimes a Red Bull.

Where do you see yourself in ten years?

Probably right here… though hopefully with a few more titles on my ego shelf LOL I don’t know if I’ll still be editing Rhonda Parrish’s Magical Menageries anthology series ten years from now (though you never know LOL) but I’d definitely still like to be both writing and editing. Bonus marks for myself if I’ve got a couple/few novels out as well J

Is there anything you find particularly challenging in your writing? 

The first draft. Seriously. Oftentimes I get so twisted up in my own head that I become paralyzed and don’t write anything. It’s a serious problem. I’ve found tools for working around it and my strategy is basically ‘Do whatever you need to to get the words on the page’ but still… first drafts kick my butt every time.

What is your favorite book?

My favourite books (this week) are The Last Unicorn by Peter S. Beagle and The Ocean at the End of the Lane by Neil Gaiman but there are so many beautifully-written books and stories out there.

Why an anthology about corvids?

I’ve always loved corvids, their intelligence, beauty, playfulness… Once upon a time I wanted to write a single author collection of corvid stories but as time went on and I realised how many other people shared my love of all things corvidae I thought it would be even cooler to make an anthology.

Why scarecrows?

Scarecrows go with corvids like butter goes with popcorn. How could I not have a companion anthology to go with the corvidae? Besides, I’ve got a great deal of love for scarecrows–they hit exactly the right spot on the uncanny spectrum for me.

What genre is your next project? What is it about?

My next title in this anthology series is going to be Sirens (opening to submissions August 15th). Like the other anthologies in this series it will be speculative fiction, probably leaning closer to fantasy than science fiction given the subject matter, but you never know…

CORVIDAE, praise

“Smart and dark like the corvids themselves, this excellent collection of stories and poems will bring you a murder of chills, a tiding of intrigue, a band of the fantastic, and—most of all—an unkindness of sleepy mornings after you’ve stayed up too late reading it!”

— Karen Dudley, author of Kraken Bake

“Magic and corvids collide in this certain to intrigue anthology.”

— Joshua Klein, hacker and inventor of the crow vending machine

“A creepy, crazy kaleidoscope of corvids, Corvidae is what happens when you bring together ingenious writers and sagacious subjects. It’s nothing short of a thrill ride when this anthology takes flight.”

— Susan G. Friedman, Ph. D., Utah State University;

“As sparkling and varied as a corvid’s hoard of treasures, Corvidae is by turns playful and somber, menacing and mischievous. From fairy tale to steampunk adventure, from field of war to scene of crime, these magical birds will take you to places beyond your wildest imaginings.”

— Jennifer Crow, poet and corvid-by-marriage

Corvidae evokes the majesty and mischief of corvid mythologies worldwide—and beyond our world—in a collection that is fresh and thoroughly enjoyable.”

— Beth Cato, author of The Clockwork Dagger


“Delightfully refreshing! I should have known that editor Parrish (who also edits the cutting edge horror zine, Niteblade) would want to offer something quite unique. I found it difficult to stop reading as one story ended and another began – all fantastic work by gifted writers. Not for the faint of heart, by any means.”

— Marge Simon, multiple Bram Stoker® winner

“Stories of magical beings and the humans they encounter will enthrall and enlighten the reader about both the mundane and the otherworldly. I devoured it.”

— Kate Wolford, editor of Beyond the Glass Slipper, editor and publisher of Enchanted Conversation: A Fairy Tale Magazine

“Seventeen tales… range in feel from horror to upbeat tales about homes where things go right, and are set everywhere from the modern day to mythical fantasy pasts. The best of these stories evoke things from real life – loves and values – and show characters making hard choices that reveal who they are and what they’re made of.”

— Tangent

“There’s no Disney-esque flutter and glitter to be found here — but there are chills and thrills aplenty.”

— Mike Allen, author of Unseaming and editor of Clockwork Phoenix

Authors to look out for are:

Laura VanArendonk, Angela Slatter, Mark Rapacz, Michael M. Rader, Sara Puls, Kat Otis, Adria Laycraft, L.D. Curelas, Megan Engelhardt, Tim Deal, C.S.E. Cooney, Mike Allen, Michael S. Pack, Jane Yolen, Megan Fennell, Leslie Van Zwol, Scott Burtness, Kristina Wojtaszek.

Interview – R.L. Morgan…

March 31, 2013

Welcome R.L. Morgan – today’s word describes Robin’s character Mary. She has to be quick witted to survive. Agile – definition: 1) able to move quickly and easily : nimble; 2) mentally quick

RLM image

Of the characters you have created or envisioned, which is your favorite & why?

Mary Elizabeth Williams is a young girl who’s just beginning to learn about boys. She’s rather plain looking, and resents to some extent the way the boys in her class treat her, using her brains to help them to better so they can stay on the various sport teams the school has. A new boy, Jonathan, joins her class and begins to treat her the way she has always wanted to be, for liking her for being the person that she is. The relationship is short-lived because her father gets a promotion which meant she has to move away at the end of the school year. Just before she does she decides to give him a kiss at the mall, away from all the prying eyes of their friends.

At her new school things return to the way they used to before she met Jonathan. This time, in addition, everyone at school tease her continuously about her house being haunted. The thing is, it is haunted by a ghost named George, who she can see and who treats her, the way Jonathan did.  George takes Mary on trips to the past and even does her homework.

The thing I like most about Mary is that, she’s never downtrodden by the way she’s gets treated by everyone at school.

Do you favor one type of genre or do you dabble in more than one?           

Right now I’m staying in the broad genre of romance.  For 11 years, from 1995 – 2006 I wrote almost weekly commentary type items for a community newspaper, which I loved doing; and along the way I started to slowly write a Contemporary romance manuscript. However I never sensed it would be good enough to bw published.  One day someone suggested I write something for a younger audience, which I did and wound up with my debut YA Paranormal/Time Travel/First Kiss romance novel in less than a year.

Right now I’ve returned to writing the romance manuscript which I’d started many years ago.

What do you enjoy most about writing?

Being retired, writing gives me as well as my creativity something to do, and I hope this will lead to an actual second career as being an author.

Have you got a favorite place to write?

Although we don’t have any children; we do have a second bedroom where I do all of my writing.  I also do my marketing/promoting of my book and social interaction there as well.

Do you plan your stories, or are you a seat of the pants style writer?

I love this question, as it allows the reader to get somewhat in the mind of the author being interviewed. As for myself, I’d probably say a little of both, part plotter/part pantser. As I said in, the above, I made a skeleton of an outside, writing down the basic plot points I’d like to hit as the story unfolded; and as a sculptor starting with a wire base of what they’d like to have, I added material then took some away, until I had the finished product I had in mind.

What inspires your stories?

Honestly, I would have to say it just pure imagination. As I wrote my novel I kept putting myself into the character of Mary. I wrote I what would do or say next had I been in her shoes.

What are you currently reading?

I seldom get a chance to read. I worked for 33 years with the same employer and had to commute about an hour each way. Now, being retired I’m busy with my writing and marketing/promoting my debut novel. When I have the time I like to read poignant memoirs, such as the last one I read, “And The Whippoorwill Sang” by Micki Peluso.

Do you have any odd habits or childhood stories?

Relatively speaking I would have to say no as odd habits are concerned. And as far as childhood stories are concerned, what child my age didn’t love reading those crazy rhyming stories by Dr. Seuss.

Do you have any pets?

We’ve got two cats as they don’t allow any dogs, except service dogs, where we live.

Do you belong to a writing group? If so which one?

Unfortunately I don’t. It would be wonderful to have someone critique what I’ve written as I write it.

What age did you start writing stories/poems?

I’ve only started writing in June 1995, when I was in my fourties. The items were commentaries as I’ve already stated for a community newspaper. But that was non-fiction, writing the novel I’ve recently published has been a new learning experiences; learning all the “rules” one needs to know to become good at it.

Do you have a book published? If so what is it called & where can readers purchase it?

I Kissed a Ghost0001

My debut YA Paranormal/Time Travel/First Kiss romance novel entitled, “I Kissed a Ghost” got released on December 20, 2012.

My book is available on Amazon at:   It is also available on

How did you come up with the title for your book? 

Selecting a title for a book had been a very challenging experience for me; but after racking my brain over it, I decided to merely summarize the premise for the entire story in as few words as possible until I had something which could be used as the title for my book. Hence, since the story is about a girl [Mary] and her kissing the ghost [George] she had living in her house; the story had to be called, “I Kissed a Ghost.”

If you could meet one favorite author who would it be and why?

I would have to say it would be J.K. Rowling, because I admired where she started from, and what she’s accomplished with her series of Harry Potter books. Oh, how wonderful it would be if each of us authors could be only 1% as successful.

If you could live anywhere in the world – where would it be?

It would definitely be Bermuda. I’ve cruised there three times and simply adore the people there as well as the climate.


What’s your favorite movie of all time?

That is a very difficult question to answer as they’re so many. However, I never seem to get tired watching any of the movies by Mel Brooks.

Where can readers find you and your blog?   or or   [this is also my website]

[Readers can find several UNEDITED SNIPPETS from “I Kissed a Ghost” in any of all above blog sites under the category of “GHOSTLY WHISPERS”

Where else can people find you?

I can also be found on:




Do you have plans or ideas for your next book?

I’ve returned to writing the still untitled adult Contemporary romance novel I’d started many years. The story also has a paranormal element running through the storyline.

Who is your best supporter/mentor/encourager?

As I’m relatively a private person when it comes to my writing I unfortunately have none.

What is your greatest ambition in writing? 

Being able to make the NY Times best sellers listing, once in my life.

Interview with G.G. Anderson…

February 4, 2013

May I introduce you to G.G. Anderson, a YA author. As you will find out today’s word describes her stories well…Trove – definition: 1) a discovery, find 2) a valuable collection : treasure : haul


a)      Of the characters you have created or envisioned, which is your favorite & why?

My favorite character is Elliot from The Guardians of Feral Mountain.  He is a deep and difficult to read ghost with lots of emotional hang ups.  He was truly fun to work with.

b)      Do you favor one type of genre or do you dabble in more than one? 

I prefer Young Adult/ New Adult, but am currently working on two chick lit pieces.  I guess that makes me a bit of a dabbler.

c)      What do you enjoy most about writing? 

For me, I love opening up what I call the Pandora’s Box and allowing the characters to come out and play.  I never really know where they are going to go, so it is an adventure for me as well!  Having a stranger like your works is always amazing, too.  It helps you know you are not alone!

d)     Have you got a favorite place to write? 

Not really.  I can write literally anywhere.  I can write in crowded places, even loud spaces.  When the characters start playing, they are hard to ignore.

e)      Do you plan your stories, or are you a seat of the pants style writer? 

Both.  Sometimes, I see the entire story line before I start; sometimes they lead me where I am to go.  I have never been a formal outline person that is for sure.

f)       What inspires your stories? 

Inspires?  The voices in my head isn’t the right answer is it?  (laughing)  No, really the thoughts and ideas just come to me.  I know I glean a few things from stories and books I read, movies I see and people I meet, but few of them are ever spot on.  Names on the other hand, those totally are stolen.  I have been to known to use descriptions of people I know in works too.

g)      What are you currently reading? 

I am reading a couple of different books at the same time.  I always am reading pieces for a critique group I am in.  Pleasure reading, I am reading Carrier of the Mark by Leigh Fallon and I just finished the Beautiful Creatures series.

h)      Do you have any odd habits or childhood stories? 

Not really.  I was such a boring kid.  I didn’t do sports, wasn’t talented in music.  Couldn’t do anything really spectacular.  My life was pretty normal.  Odd habits?  Hmmm, I think I will plead the fifth!

i)        Do you have any pets?

Well maybe this is my odd habit!  I have many pets.  I adore dogs.  My poor husband didn’t marry the crazy cat lady, he married the crazy dog lady.  We have 4 dogs, 2 cats and fish.  I love my animals.  They are part of our family.

j)        Do you belong to a writing group? If so which one?

I belong to the Idaho Writer’s Guild.  Plus I am involved in a local critique group and I partake in online critiques through Authonomy, a Harper Collins site.


k)      What age did you start writing stories/poems? 

I started writing poems- really, really bad poems in junior high.  It was very shortly after that I headed straight into actual novels.

l)        Do you have a book published? If so what is it called & where can readers purchase it? 

Feral Mountain

Oh a plug!  I love it.  I have one book available on Kindle only.  It is called The Guardians of Feral Mountain.  It’s a coming of age ghost story.  Feral, a 14 year old girl chooses to run into the woods to live on her own to escape her situation.  She moves into an abandoned cabin only to find out it is inhabited by ghosts.

m)    If you could meet one favorite author who would it be and why?

Oh this is so difficult.  There are a few. Sorry I can’t pick just one.  I would start with Charles Dickens simply because I think his story telling is amazing.  Edgar Allen Poe because he was crazy, which would definitely be an interesting evening lastly Robert Frost.  His poems still move me like very few ever have.

n)      If you could live anywhere in the world – where would it be? 

Honestly, right where I am.  I traveled quite a bit when I was young, stateside mostly, but I wouldn’t choose any place over Idaho.  I love it here.

o)      What’s your favorite movie of all time?

Of all time?  Gone With the Wind.


p)      Where can readers find you and your blog?  and they can read a piece of my next book The Reluctant Witch on Authonomy.

q)      Do you have plans or ideas for your next book?

I have a few Works in Progress.  Currently I am editing The Reluctant Witch, New Adult genre.  Plus I have two Chick Lit pieces that are simply fun works- who knows where they will go.  I have another one I am working on edits for called The Elemental Souls and the Crystal Prophecy.  So I guess the answer is yes, I have a LOT of plans!

r)       Who is your best supporter/mentor/encourager? 

I am fortunate to belong to a wolf pack of women!  They are tenacious and incredibly loyal.  They are a huge support.  My husband is always there for me, but honestly, my older sister is really the one who has kept me writing when I didn’t know if I could keep going.  She’s always a huge cheerleader for my work.

As you can see G.G. is full of ideas and inspiration, what a fun guest.

Interview… R. Ann Rousseau

February 1, 2013

Today’s author, R. Ann Rousseau weaves her love and knowledge of her home town into her love story, hence the link to today’s word and it’s second definition. Dextrous – definition 1) skillful or adroit in the use of the hands or body 2) having mental adroitness or skill; clever.


a) Of the characters you have created or envisioned, which is your favorite & why?
My favorite character in my novel Portsmouth A Love Story is Severine Champagne. She is a woman who never gives up hope and perseveres through times of difficulty. She has a sense of humor, steadiness, and a faith in her own talents, abilities and values. She believes in herself even when no one else does. She stays true to herself and her dreams.

b) Do you favor one type of genre or do you dabble in more than one?

I dabble in more than one genre in the novel. Portsmouth A Love Story is a traditional love story with a historical and metaphysical twist. I have incorporated all the things about love, including the place I love and hope the reader comes along for the ride. The ghost stories in the novel are real. I interviewed various people including the owners of the Three Chimneys Inn in Durham, NH and the staff at the Wentworth Hotel in New Castle. All the metaphysical elements are real.

c) What do you enjoy most about writing?

I love the power to create the ending I want to give myself as a reader. With entertainment and with life, we sometimes have to accept the ending we’re fed by others. As a writer, I have the freedom to write anything I want. I can make the characters as ugly or as good as I want. I can let my heroine experience hot sex, the depth of love and both. I can let them play out their lives in the places I love to go to myself. With fiction, you can design the life you want and actually see it fulfilled. You get the happy ending you deserve.

d) Have you got a favorite place to write?

I go in phases, depending on the season and amount of disruptions. I like to write at home in my home office then go to my favorite pizza shop for lunch and review what I wrote in the morning or afternoon. I will book a room at my local library when I feel distractions are overwhelming and I need to focus on getting a chapter completed. If I’m traveling a lot for business, I’ll write on a bus or in my hotel room. I don’t usually write for more than 3 or 4 hours at a time. I have a short attention span.

e) Do you plan your stories, or are you a seat of the pants style writer?

I plan my story in advance in outline form. I set up all my chapters, then, like a bird, I write a little here…a little there. I move chapters around. I cut them out. It’s a messy process at first. I move front to back then start at chapter one again then tweak and tweak and tweak. When my chapters are coherent, I send them one by one to an editor in Kansas who makes suggestions. Working with Ali has been invaluable…and great for some accountability. She’ll tell me if what I write isn’t believable for a particular character. A great writing partner is like Gold.

f) What inspires your stories?

The man I’m in love with. If he’s not giving me what I want, I write it so he does. : ) If he does give me what I want, I use it for the book. So, I guess you could say, love inspires a great love story.

g) What are you currently reading?

I read something new practically every week, mostly non-fiction. I review books for Hay House Publishing and some others I feel like reviewing. The books I keep by my nightstand are A Course in Miracles, A New Earth by Eckhart Tolle, The Divine Law of Compensation by Marianne Williams and The Untethered Soul by Michael Singer.

h) Do you have any odd habits or childhood stories?

I don’t have any odd habits. My childhood stories are in my novel.

i) Do you have any pets?

Yes. My cat Maxfield is named after the New Hampshire Cornish Art Colony artist Maxfield Parrish. He also makes an appearance in my novel Portsmouth A Love Story. Here’s a quote from the novel where I include Max:

The morning sun slipped through a cascade of cream colored curtains. Maxfield curled up in a giant feline furball, snuggled against the contours of Severine’s soft silhouette. Not realizing he was there, she rolled over, opening one eye to see his warm brown body nestled comfortably against her belly. Before she had time to open the second eye, she heard the gentle whisper of an invisible male voice announce, “It’s time to move.”

j) Do you belong to a writing group? If so which one?

I did belong to a writing group. They were very helpful in reviewing early drafts. I stepped out of the group when one member announced that she was writing a love story set in Portsmouth, New Hampshire. It didn’t sit well with me after I had spent 3 years writing MY love story set in Portsmouth, New Hampshire.

k) What age did you start writing stories/poems?

I started at age seven. I remember trying to write lyrics to songs. I would spend hours listening to Motown songs on WRKO – Boston on the transistor radio. I moved on to poetry and then journaling through high school.

l) Do you have a book published?

If so what is it called & where can readers purchase it? I do have a book published. It’s called Portsmouth A Love Story. It is available in ebook and print edition. It’s available online at Amazon and Barnes and Noble.

eBook_for B&N

m) If you could meet one favorite author who would it be and why?

Louisa May Alcott. She not only wrote children’s novels, she also wrote love stories that were pretty sexy. She did it under a different names. She was ambitious, never married and had an amazing imagination. I would love to have lunch with her and chat about life.

n) If you could live anywhere in the world – where would it be?

I’m living exactly where I want to live right now. Portsmouth, New Hampshire. I’ve been to Venice, Paris, South Africa and Geneva and there’s no place like home. I walk on the beach at sunset, as my character does in my novel and I wouldn’t want it any other way.

o) What’s your favorite movie of all time?

I love the old Fred Astaire and Ginger Rogers movies. I love My Big Fat Greek Wedding and You’ve Got Mail. Most of all, I never miss an Ann of Green Gables marathon when it’s on my local PBS station.

p) Where can readers find you and your blog?

They can find me and my fellow bloggers from around the world blogging at

q) Do you have plans or ideas for your next book?

Yes, I’m working on the sequel to Portsmouth A Love Story called Portsmouth The Pearl. Like a pearl, the irritations and challenges we deal with in life make us and our relationships more colorful and valuable as time goes on.

r) Who is your best supporter/mentor/encourager?

I’ve never had one. My own spirit guides me.

Blog at