Wednesday, September 19, 2018

Q&A with best-selling author Riley Sager

Posted by: Angela Campbell
I love reading different genres, but I have to admit, thrillers are amongst my favorite. Last year, everyone was buzzing about the book "Final Girls" by Riley Sager, so I finally read it and LOVED it. I recently finished Mr. Sager's second book, "The Last Time I Lied," and I think I have a new favorite author. I fangirled and reached out to Riley and asked if he'd participate in a Q&A here at Here Be Magic, and he graciously agreed. If you haven't read either "Final Girls" or "The Last Time I Lied," do yourself a favor and go buy them now, especially if you love psychological thrillers. — Angela

Synopsis for "The Last Time I Lied":
In the latest thriller from the bestselling author of Final Girls, a young woman returns to her childhood summer camp to uncover the truth about a tragedy that happened there fifteen years ago. 
Two Truths and a Lie. The girls played it all the time in their cabin at Camp Nightingale. Vivian, Natalie, Allison, and first-time camper Emma Davis, the youngest of the group. But the games ended the night Emma sleepily watched the others sneak out of the cabin into the darkness. The last she—or anyone—saw of them was Vivian closing the cabin door behind her, hushing Emma with a finger pressed to her lips.
Now a rising star in the New York art scene, Emma turns her past into paintings—massive canvases filled with dark leaves and gnarled branches that cover ghostly shapes in white dresses. When the paintings catch the attention of Francesca Harris-White, the wealthy owner of Camp Nightingale, she implores Emma to return to the newly reopened camp as a painting instructor. Seeing an opportunity to find out what really happened to her friends all those years ago, Emma agrees. 
Familiar faces, unchanged cabins, and the same dark lake haunt Nightingale, even though the camp is opening its doors for the first time since the disappearances. Emma is even assigned to the same cabin she slept in as a teenager, but soon discovers a security camera—the only one on the property--pointed directly at its door. Then cryptic clues that Vivian left behind about the camp's twisted origins begin surfacing. As she digs deeper, Emma finds herself sorting through lies from the past while facing mysterious threats in the present. And the closer she gets to the truth about Camp Nightingale and what really happened to those girls, the more she realizes that closure could come at a deadly price.

Q&A with Riley Sager

Q: Thank you so much for agreeing to be our guest today. I read your book “Final Girls” last year and loved it, but I was blown away by “The Last Time I Lied.” Those twists! Where do you get the ideas for your stories?

Because I'm a huge movie lover, I get a lot if inspiration from classic films. The idea for FINAL GIRLS, for example, came to me while watching "Halloween." And THE LAST TIME I LIED was my updated take on "Picnic at Hanging Rock." I like taking something that might be familiar to readers and then putting my own spin on it.

Q: As a writer, are you a plotter or a pantser?

I'm both, which isn't as strange as it sounds. I spend a lot of time thinking, plotting and outlining, just to get a grasp on the book before I start the actual writing process. What invariably happens, though, is that I get to the halfway point of the book and realize the outline isn't working the way I envisioned it. That's when writing by the seat of my pants takes over. Not the best way to write, I admit, but so far it works for me.

Q: You received a great endorsement from Stephen King for “Final Girls.” As a fan, how did that make you feel? What’s your favorite Stephen King story?

I'm not ashamed to say that when I first saw what he wrote about FINAL GIRLS, I had to go off and be alone for a few minutes to have a good cry. It was so overwhelming to have his stamp of approval. He's just the most talented, generous, diabolically imaginative writer working today. As for picking a favorite, I might have to go with MISERY or THE GREEN MILE.

Q: You mentioned on Goodreads that “Final Girls” has been optioned by Universal to become a movie, and “The Last Time I Lied” has been optioned to become a limited TV series by Amazon Studios. It takes a lot for a book to actually make it from book to screen. As a novelist, do you have any worries about what Hollywood might do to your original ideas? Any updates on either project?

I actually don't have any worries, because I understand that a book and a movie are two very different beasts. If changes have to be made in order to make a good film or TV series, then so be it. Other than being a fan, I have limited knowledge about what it takes to adapt something for the screen, so I'll gladly leave it to the experts. The only update I can give is that both are still in the development phase. Translation: It could be a while until they see the light of day.

Q: Any advice for aspiring writers?

There's so much advice out there now — some of it valuable, some of it nonsense — that I'm reluctant to add to it. However, I will say that aspiring authors should write a lot, read a lot, have a thick skin, be nice to everyone and never trash another author in public. Some of us have very good memories!

Q: Fun question time: Do you believe in ghosts?

Not really. Yet the idea of something being haunted terrifies me. So maybe I do? Let's go with this answer: I'll believe in ghosts if I see one, but I never, ever want to see one.

Q: If you could time travel, where would you go?

So many places, as long as I could safely return to present day. I'd love to see Hollywood in the fifties, Manhattan in the forties and Paris in the twenties.

Q: Finally and most important, when can readers expect your next book?

My next book, LOCK EVERY DOOR, is tentatively scheduled for July 2019. It's about a woman hired as an apartment sitter in a fancy Manhattan building that has more than a few skeletons in its closets, figuratively and possibly literally.

You can learn more about Riley Sager and his books at

Angela Campbell is the author of the psychic detectives series from Harper Impulse. Learn more about her and her books at

Tuesday, September 18, 2018

The Magic of Paper

Posted by: Dani Harper, AUTHOR

September brings many things to love. There’s the final harvest from our vegetable garden, the glorious arrival of Pumpkin Spice Coffee, and the opportunity to enjoy some quality time outdoors without frying to a crisp. 

Best of all, the month of September is perfectly placed between my two favorite seasons, Halloween and Back-to-School.

Back-to-School? Yup, it's officially classed as a season in my mind, and I look forward to it. Like the classic Staples ad used to sing, "It's the most wonderful time of the year..." 

Yet it’s not because I have kids heading off to class and I'm anticipating some peace and quiet. I have 2 dogs, 30+ chickens, 2 roosters and a neighborhood with many ATV enthusiasts, children, feral cats, and a drummer who lives next door. “Peace and quiet” is definitely not in my future.

Nope, the real magic of September is in all the wonderful office supplies that go on sale just as the delightful Halloween decorations appear!

And my favorite? 


Lined, unlined, reams, pads, loose-leaf, you name it... I’ve never met a piece of paper I didn’t like. It’s purest zen for me to wander the aisles of Staples or Office Depot, inhaling the heady combined scent of all that marvelously pristine stationery.

Don't even get me started on sticky notes.

At any given time, there are enough supplies socked away in my crowded office to outfit a small classroom. But the appeal of it has nothing to do with school (my apologies to teachers everywhere) and everything to do with 


Truth:  Ever since I was a kid, I’ve found an amazing bliss in simply contemplating the sheer potential of all that magnificently blank material. I find myself smiling, my brain kicks into high gear and my imagination begins whirling away at the very thought of ALL THE STORIES just waiting to be written. 

It’s a library that hasn’t happened yet, a bookstore on the verge of existence. 


And in that magic lies every writer's hope: that if I work really hard and keep my mind open, maybe, just maybe, some of the magic will leach out of the paper and into the words I write.


The fae are cunning, powerful and often cruel. The most beautiful among them are often the most deadly. Hidden far beneath the mortal world, the timeless faery realm plays by its own rules—and those rules can change on a whim. Now and again, the unpredictable residents of that mystical land cross the supernatural threshold…

In this enchanting romance series from Dani Harper, the ancient fae come face-to-face with modern-day humans and discover something far more potent than their strongest magic: love.

See ALL Dani's novels on her Amazon Author Page

Monday, September 17, 2018

Here Be News for September 17, 2018

Posted by: Dani Harper, AUTHOR
All the latest 
from the authors at 
Here Be Magic

In Case You Missed It:

Monday, September 10 - 

"HERE BE NEWS" - All the latest from the authors at Here Be Magic.

Tuesday, September 11 - 

"NEVER FORGET" - Author Ruth A. Casie honors those lost on September 11, 2001.

Wednesday, September 12 - 
"#5AUTHOR SECRETS" - Nicole Luiken reveals 5 of hers!

Friday, September 14 - 
"JELLY'S NOT A CREAM" - Musing about donuts leads author PG Forte to marvel at the magic of shared cultural experiences.

Saturday, September 15 - 

This week's Bring It Back(list) feature is "EVIL SPEAKS SOFTLY" by Maureen L Bonatch. See all the details in this blog.


New Release: Cursed
Coven of the Raven book 1

Oskar Quigley knows exactly when and how he’ll die. 

Living with a death curse isn’t easy, but after generations of research handed down to him he thinks he knows how to defeat the Thomas, his great uncle and a witch gone bad who caused the problem. There’s just one thing he never accounted for: another victim.

Mylla has been Thomas’s servant for as long as she can remember, but her memories can’t be trusted. The marks on her wall add up to decades, and her diary is a muddled collection of rambling. When Oskar arrives to tend the gardens she needs to warn him that bad things happen, difficult when she can only talk on Thomas’ command. But she doesn’t need to talk to steal a few moments for herself in Oskar’s bed as she tries to convince him that magic is real.

With time running out and Thomas’s suspicions growing, Oskar is forced to act. But if living with a death curse is hard, learning to live is even harder.
Cursed is available in print and as an ebook in Kindle Unlimited


New Release:
Miracle Beyond Measure

Book 2 
Paranormal/Supernatural/Contemporary Fantasy Romance
by Linda Mooney
Word Count: 43.1K
$3.99 e / $9.99 p

Life on the run is hard. Food is limited, and clothes are difficult to come by, but I’ll keep going. We’ll keep going. We have to. The world is depending on us.

My name is Casi Clarity, and there’s a prophecy that says I will be the one to save the world, along with my protector, Coheed. But we don’t know how, or when, or why. We just will.

Our travels have taken us to New Orleans, where the demons are getting stronger, smarter, and harder to evade. With new allies and enemies alike, who can I trust? Is my protector even who he says he is?

I’m in the fight of my life, with or without Coheed, but fighting without the help of my love is impossible to fathom. I’d rather die myself. But if I did, would I stay dead this time?

My name is Casi.

The undead call me Little Mouse.

Coheed calls me his Miracle.

Warning! Contains a special tea, a trailer in the swamp, deception, bitter cold, a lost testament, a new revelation, and the loss of a loved one that tears the heart apart.


Bring It Back(list) Feature:


by Maureen L. Bonatch

Fantasy, Romance, Suspense,
Ghosts, Spirits, Demons

They were never supposed to meet. 

Fame came easy for Liv by following in the footsteps of the female writers in her family. The cycle repeated for decades…until Liv changed the story. Her villain doesn’t like the revision—and he isn’t a fictional character. In his story, the bad guy always wins.

They were never supposed to find love. 

Liv never questioned her demanding nocturnal muse, or the strange incidents in her old, family home until she met Gage. His job was to watch her from afar, not reveal the truth about the curse and the stories of the dead. 

They’ve broken all the rules. 

Together they unravel secrets as they strive to stop the cycle. Liv’s ability to find love, and protect her loved ones, hangs on the fickle whims of the dead—and they’ve got nothing to lose.

Get in the spirit of the season with this limited time .99 cent sale for EVIL SPEAKS SOFTLY!


Saturday, September 15, 2018

Bring it Back(list): EVIL SPEAKS SOFTLY

Posted by: Maureen
Get in the spirit of the season with this limited time 
.99 cent sale for EVIL SPEAKS SOFTLY!
Fantasy, Romance, Suspense, Ghosts, Spirits, Demons

They were never supposed to meet. 

Fame came easy for Liv by following in the footsteps of the female writers in her family. The cycle repeated for decades…until Liv changed the story. Her villain doesn’t like the revision—and he isn’t a fictional character. In his story, the bad guy always wins.

They were never supposed to find love. 

Liv never questioned her demanding nocturnal muse, or the strange incidents in her old, family home until she met Gage. His job was to watch her from afar, not reveal the truth about the curse and the stories of the dead. 

They’ve broken all the rules. 

Together they unravel secrets as they strive to stop the cycle. Liv’s ability to find love, and protect her loved ones, hangs on the fickle whims of the dead—and they’ve got nothing to lose.

Purchase your copy of EVIL SPEAKS SOFTLY:  here.

Author Bio: Maureen Bonatch grew up in small town Pennsylvania and her love of the four seasons—hockey, biking, sweat pants and hibernation—keeps her there. While immersed in writing or reading paranormal romance and fantasy, she survives on caffeine, wine, music, and laughter. A feisty Shih Tzu keeps her in line. Find Maureen on her websiteFacebookTwitter

Be the first to know about Maureen’s book sales and new releases by following her on BookBubAmazon and/or signing up for her newsletter 

Friday, September 14, 2018

Jelly's Not a Cream

Posted by: PG Forte

Image courtesy of:

So, as you’ve probably guessed by now—thanks to the graphic at the top of the page—today is National Cream Filled Donut Day. Huzzah!

Don’t worry, I didn’t know about this either until I went looking in search of a topic for today’s post. And, to be honest, I wasn’t immediately convinced that it was a topic I could relate to. Cream-filled has never been my go-to donut. Too many times the “cream” is more like cake frosting—which I’m pretty picky about in the first place. And which, even when I do like it, I’d rather enjoy on top of a cake. Where it belongs. 

Inside a donut, on the other hand? Yeah, not so much. Although, obviously, that’s just my opinion. Your mileage may vary. My husband, for example loves chocolate cream filled donuts. And, just so we're clear, he loves chocolate donuts, filled with chocolate cream. With chocolate glaze on top. Of course.

Personally, I've always preferred jelly donuts. I even wrote a poem about them once — way back in my very, very emo teen days. They were a metaphor for something, obviously; I no longer remember what. Heartbreak, perhaps?  No matter. Whatever it was, I’m sure it was highly unoriginal, and as sickeningly sweet as…well, donuts filled with cake frosting. But I digress.

So, there I was, seated at my desk, pondering. Could I write a post about jelly donuts instead of cream-filled? I mean, why not, right? They’re both donuts, they’re both filled…

And that’s when it happened. A little voice spoke up inside my head and said (in a very distinct, partially disguised Aussie accent) “But Jimmy, jelly’s not a cream.”

Actually, that’s not entirely accurate. What the voice actually said (because none of the voices in my head are ever that concise) was:

“And he said to the kid, ‘give me a jelly donut—with cream.’ And the kid looked confused. So, I said: ‘but Jimmy, jelly’s not a cream.’ And I laughed, and the kid laughed. And then he punched me. He punched me real hard, the bastard.”

Which I’m paraphrasing because—shockingly—you can’t actually find that scene on YouTube. But, trust me, it was something very close to that.

The voice, of course, was Nicole Kidman’s and the quote is from Practical Magic—arguably one of the best paranormal romance movies of all time. Well, I would argue it, anyway. And a movie I’ve watched so often that huge portions of the dialogue are now indelibly imprinted on my brain.  All of which led me to the realization that I couldn’t possibly write a blog post about jelly donuts on National Cream Filled Donut Day, because jelly’s not a cream.

Which, of course, brought to mind another movie scene—Tom Hanks in You’ve Got Mail, explaining how the answer to every question can be found in The Godfather:

The Godfather is the I Ching. The Godfather is the sum of all wisdom. The Godfather is the answer to any question: 'What should I pack for my summer vacation?' Leave the gun, take the cannoli. 'What day of the week is it?' Monday, Tuesday, Thursday, Wednesday. ”

Oh and by the way, that scene can be found online, if you’re interested:

But enough about that. See, this post isn’t really about movies per se. And, unfortunately, as it turns out, it’s not about donuts, either. And, to all the donut aficionados out there who were hoping it was, you have my sincerest apologies. What I ended up marveling over, instead, was how creative works—books, movies, paintings, songs, etc—can worm their way into our consciousness and become part of our shared cultural experience; how they can change the way we think, the way we speak, the way we look at things, the decisions we make. How they can change us.  It’s pretty amazing, actually. Very powerful stuff.

Just this week, for instance, I got a review (for Edge Of Heaven) from a reader who said she had to stop reading several times because she was so moved by my main character’s plight that she couldn’t stop crying. I can’t think of a better compliment for a writer than to be told that something you've created has, miraculously, had that kind of impact on someone.  Stephen King has famously claimed that writing is a form of telepathy. Personally, I think it’s more than that. I think it’s magic.  

By the way, and apropos of absolutely nothing to do with either donuts or movies, I would like to mention that the first few episodes of my lightly-paranormal, haunted hotel/menage story, Truth Or Dare, are available on Radish Fiction. If you like your stories in bite-size pieces, you might want to check it out:

Wednesday, September 12, 2018

#5Author Secrets

Posted by: Nicole Luiken
I saw this hashtag on twitter and decided it looked like fun! Here goes:

  1. Despite outlining, I ALWAYS have to re-plot my entire novel during the second draft. Someday, I would love to write a really detailed outline and then revise the outline thus saving me months of labour (apparently this is how Ken Follett does it), but so far I haven't managed it.
  2. I suck at description. In my first drafts, characters wander around in white rooms. I've heard other authors talk about seeing a movie in their heads. Not me. I see a tight focus on the characters' faces and that's about all. I manually add in description to each scene during the third draft.
  3. When stuck typing, I switch to pen and paper until my flow is going again. This trick really works TRY IT.
  4. I switch projects after the first draft. Letting the project "rest" until I can see it with clear eyes is part of my editing process, but it comes with a few drawbacks. All too often in the past I've ended up chasing a "new shiny" idea and never come back to the old idea, or come back so much later that my voice has changed. However, it does have one benefit: only the ideas I'm really in love with survive. The poorer ones are quietly culled, which means I'm less likely to waste time on a project that won't sell. At least that's what I tell myself. :)
  5. I love How to Write books and am constantly modifying my process to incorporate new bits of craft.

Tuesday, September 11, 2018

Never Forget

Posted by: Ruth A Casie

My tradition encompasses all of life, day and night, light and dark, even the most difficult situations, the imminent, and then actual loss of a loved one. My beliefs are there to give me strength, to guide me, and to help me grow and see beyond the loss.

It is my hope that you use whatever words and ideas are helpful to you as we pay honor to all those lost on September 11 and to their survivors who need our support.

We Remember Them

In the rising of the sun and its going down,
We Remember Them.

In the blowing of the wind and in the chill of winter,
We Remember Them.

In the opening of the buds and in the rebirth of spring,
We Remember Them.

In the blueness of the skies and in the warmth of summer,
We Remember Them.

In the rustling of the leaves and in the beauty of autumn,
We Remember Them.

In the beginning of the year and when it ends,
We Remember Them.

When we are weary and in need of strength,
We Remember Them.

When we are lost and sick of heart,
We Remember Them.

When we have joys and special celebrations we yearn to share,
We Remember Them.

So long as we live, they too shall live, for they are part of us and
We Remember Them.

If you would like, please share your thoughts, feelings, where you were eighteen years ago. Sometimes the burden is just too heavy to shoulder alone.

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