Mandy Eve-Barnett's Blog for Readers & Writers

My Book News & Advocate for the Writing Community ©

Welcome Author Natasha Deen…

March 16, 2015


What inspired you to write this book?

Great stories, I think, are all about putting a character in an untenable situation, then seeing what happens when you turn up the heat. With Guardian, the situation was simple: Maggie’s being bullied by Serge. Then Serge dies. Problem solved, right?

Well…Maggie can see the dead and now Serge is haunting her. She has a choice: admit she can see his ghost and help him cross over, or be haunted by him forever…problem is, helping him means dealing with him—and it also means dealing with the murderer, who certainly doesn’t want to be caught…oh, and did I mention there’s a third spirit, one that seems to have a vested interest in Maggie and Serge, and if Maggie doesn’t help, she may very well end up on the other side of the veil?



You can view the trailer here:

How did you come up with the title?

It’s a nod to some of the things that Maggie and Serge will discover about themselves, each other, and the people around them.

Is this your first book? How many books have you written (published or unpublished)?

Guardian is my sixth or seventh full-length novel. If we count published and unpublished books, then I think I’ve written at least a dozen novels.



Is there a message in your novel that you want readers to grasp?

Certainly, I had a message in my novel about forgiveness, social justice, and how to best turn your hair into a weapon…but the fun thing about any story is that it’s individual to the reader. I hope readers enjoy the literary ride, I hope they’re love the roller coaster of emotion, the suspense, and mystery, and I hope they walk away with the message that best suits them.

How much of the book is realistic?

A lot of the bullying scenes, the run-ins with teachers, and the relationship with Maggie and her dad have a basis in reality, and were inspired by things that happened to me or people I know.

Are your characters based on someone you know, or events in your own life?

Serge’s journey was inspired by my grandfather, a man who made mistakes and sought redemption in his grandchildren (the full story can be viewed here But the actual plot, action, and creepy goings-on of the story were the product of my very active imagination.

If you had to do it all over again, would you change anything in your latest book?

Ha! I suspect every writer would answer, “yes!” to that question. I can always think of ways to change my book—an altered word here, a different description there…but truly, I’m satisfied and very proud to have my name on Guardian.

Do you have anything specific that you want to say to your readers?

Thanks for reading!

What is your favorite part/chapter of your book/project?

Everything!! I love the excitement of the new idea, powering through the writing, getting the edits finished, and for sure, I love seeing my book in print!

What is your favourite theme/genre to write?

Really, anything that catches my imagination!


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

Gosh, that’s a great question…at this point, I haven’t come across an idea that I had to set down.

What book are you reading now?

I just finished Carrie Mac’s The Way Back and Caroline B. Cooney’s Night School. Both are great reads!

Do you see writing as a career?

Definitely! And I feel really lucky to be one of those fortunate people whose job and passion mesh.

Where do you see yourself in ten years?

Finally winning the good spot on the couch from the dogs & cats!

Is there anything you find particularly challenging in your writing?

Everything! The idea that doesn’t work, all the long nights/days trying to form the idea into a book, edits…writing is the most difficult thing I’ve ever done, but there’s nothing else I’d rather do.

Have you ever hated something you wrote?

Every book I’ve ever written, I can’t stand drafts 1-8. Only at the 9th draft do I actually start enjoying the story, and start seeing that the idea on my head is actually coming true on the page.

What book do you wish you had written?

Ha! Too many to mention!

What is your best marketing tip?

When it comes to promotion and marketing, be true to yourself.

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

My next release is Burned, a fast-paced, action-suspense about a girl who sees a corrupt cop slaughter her family, then teams up with a set of outlaw teens in order to get her retribution.

Can you tell us about your upcoming book?

Josie (Jo) Smith’s life went up in smoke. Literally. Everyone and everything she ever loved burned in a fire—one set by a crooked cop. To survive, Jo’s been living under the radar as a homeless kid.  For the last two years, she’s been trying to find a way to knock the cop off her hero’s pedestal and put her on the other side of the prison bars. But time’s running out. A gang member’s got his eye on Josie and if she doesn’t get off the streets soon, she’ll be the one brought down. Her salvation and the key to the cop’s undoing seems to lie in a girl urban climber and a privileged rich boy. Trust and teamwork isn’t come easily—in fact, it’s not coming at all—but if Jo can’t find a way to make the team work and find justice for her family, it won’t just burn her. It’ll scorch her.

For interviews, trailers, and juicy tidbits, head to:

How do we find your books, blog and bio?

I’m also on Facebook (,

Goodreads (

& Twitter (@natasha_deen)
Thanks for the interview, Mandy!



Author Reading Tonight in Edmonton, Alberta – Come and Join Us…

August 20, 2014

Lisa and Sharon Audrey's launch eviteAlso reading Karen Probert from your new book of short stories, Colouring Our Lives and Natasha Deen from her novel, Guardian.

Meet the authors, ask questions and heart their wonderful words.


Colouring Our LivesJust had to share photos from the reading last night – it was a marvelous evening. Lisa Audreys reading 1Mandy Audreys 20AugKaren Audreys 20AugNatasha reading Audreys 20AugSharon reading 20Aug

Another Successful Conference Completed (Exhausted but Happy)…

March 31, 2014

After months of planning and late evenings finding presenters, creating a schedule, leaflets, programs, and goodie bags etc. our writers conference was a great success on Saturday. Without our excellent volunteers the event would not have happened. We began at 7.00 am preparing for registration and breakfast. A steady stream of registrants arrived and were handed draw tickets, goodie bags, programs and a warm welcome.

Reg at Conference

Our presenters were well received and everyone went away with valuable information, new friends and prized silent auction items. With a diverse schedule of topics there was something for everyone to learn, no matter their preferred genre.

Barb conference 2014Barbie-Joe Smith – humor for adults.

Natasha Conference 2014Natasha Deen – humor for children.

Bill Conference 2014Bill Roberts – screenwriting.

Danielle Conference 2014Danielle Metcalfe-Chenail – writing for magazines/freelancing.

We were fortunate to have our local Mayor, Roxanne Carr, open the conference and the current Writer in Residence, Margaret Mcpherson, give a short presentation on what a WIR is.

 WP_20140329_005Roxanne Carr, Mayor of Strathcona County – welcome speech.

Margaret Conference 2014Margaret Mcpherson, Writer in Residence.

Ideas for next year’s conference are already spinning around in our minds as it will be our 10th Anniversary. Bigger & better and maybe a two day event!

To all our members and volunteers of The Writers Foundation of Strathcona County – thank you. 

WFSC banner



Register for a Writing Conference Here:

January 17, 2014

Registration is open – Early Bird prize option.

If you enjoy the written word and want to increase your skill set you should attend.

Post card frontWFSC Conference postcard back

Hard Work Pays Off…

April 28, 2013

Inkling – definition: a vague notion : hint.

Conference 2013 LOGO_0 Conference Review.

Yesterday was the culmination of six months of organization and hard work. From an inkling of an idea, we changed the format of our writers conference entirely this year. Holding a two hour session in the morning, followed by a Q&A panel and then two separate presentations in the afternoon.

With a change in venue, we were able to set up a classroom style presentation room, which was conducive not only to the attendees but the presenters as well.

We were once again fortunate in our presenters. Each one not only gave excellent orations but were insightful in the Q&A panel utilizing registrants work as the basis of discussion, after critiquing the submissions. Yes we work them hard! But we are extremely grateful.

IPPY award winning Toronto author, Lisa de Nikolits flew in especially for our conference – quite a coo wouldn’t you say? Lisa is an absolute delight and a good friend of mine. Her presentation was 8 Components of Story Writing and it was incredibly helpful to established and novice writers. With only a short coffee break at midway, Lisa managed to enthuse her audience for the whole two hours.

The session after lunch was held by Judy Schultz, who is a nationally renowned travel and food writer, the author of ten books, and the winner of numerous awards including the Robert Kroetsch Book Prize for her fiction novel, Freddy’s War. She is also a very charming, generous woman and has graced our conference before. Judy’s presentation was Non-Fiction – 8 Guidelines, which was not only helpful for non-fiction but also fiction writers. Techniques of writing are interchangeable through any genre or style.

Our third and last session was held by Natasha Deen, who is currently our Writer in Residence. Natasha is hilariously funny and had the room in fits of laughter while giving great information on 8 Steps to Utilize Your WIR. I know that many of the attendees will be submitting work to Natasha, me included.

The Q&A panel included the presenters above as well as Karen Probert, who is a founding member of the Writers Foundation of Strathcona County and the author of Fragments of Lives. Karen continues to be a vital member of the Foundation as the Past President and the Library Liaison. Her insight into the writing craft is splendid.

Registrants and volunteers also enjoyed a wonderful lunch, browsed trade tables and bid on Silent Auction items. There were also displays celebrating the Writers Foundation’s timeline and another highlighting the members past and present. These exhibits were part of the Strathcona County 120 year anniversary celebrations.

With another successful conference under our belts we can breath a sigh of relief…for a short while anyway!

Thank you to everyone that attended and made it such an inspiring and enjoyable day.

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