Quill’s Edge Author Spotlight

E. Raye Turonek

Writer, Numerologist and Speaker

Welcome to another edition of Quill’s Edge!

Today, dear readers, we have fellow Thriller author, E Raye Turonek is in our midst!

Since releasing her debut literary work, Compelled to Murder, in 2016 the author hasn’t skipped a beat. She’s gone on to release two additional full length novels, Compelled to Murder – Full Length and Compelled to Murder II – Steven’s Lineage, under her company Mental Chatter Musings. Her newest novel, Deadliest Intuition, under Kensington Publishing was released July 2021.

Among her many talents, E. Raye also publishes a monthly newsletter highlighting all things literary. Her newsletter not only updates you on upcoming news regarding E. Raye herself, but it supplies other authors, current or aspiring, key writing tips and resources.

Each month, her Mental Chatter Musings newsletter highlights other notable authors and artists in the literary community.

In addition to that, E. Raye is a gifted Numerologist! Her newsletter provides readers with monthly astrology reports, crafted by none other than E. Raye herself.  Her videos upload every month on her YouTube channel, Enchantress Press Astrology.

This multifaceted author is looking to fulfill the reader’s need for a sensational experience that won’t be forgotten!

Stephanie: Welcome to Quill’s Edge, E Raye!

E. Raye: Thanks for having me!

Stephanie: So, tell us about your new release.

E. Raye: Well, my newest release is a Psychological Thriller entitled, Deadliest Intuition.

Stephanie: When was it released?

E. Raye: The book was launched in July 2021.

Stephanie: Can you tell us about it?

  E. Raye: I would be happy to. He has one gray eye, the other as dark as the deepest parts of any ocean. The often misunderstood Ronald Doolally lives his life as a single man with few attachments. After the death of his father, he hasn’t a person left in the world. Until he meets Gertrude Liberal, who immediately shows interest in the odd stranger. The outspoken, natural beauty sees his distant demeanor as endearing. 

Eventually wearing down his defenses, Gertrude finds a place in his heart against what Ronald would call his better judgment. He once thought of himself as being steered through life by a keen intuition, but that now manifests into something much more sinister.
As Gertrude unearths the Doolally family’s secrets, she begins to question the man she’s found herself entangled with. Who is Ronald, and how does he always seem to read people’s minds? Will Gertrude’s curiosity be her demise, or will Ronald be able to control his innermost thoughts once his secrets are unearthed?

Deadliest Intuition is available everywhere books are sold, on audible, paperback and eBook. 

Stephanie: What inspires you to write?

E. Raye: I was always a fan of the classics such as The Crucible, Lord of the Flies, The Great Gatsby and other novels. Adding to my fondness of literary arts, I was on the drama team at school, performing in school plays often. I started off writing screenplays which transitioned into novels at the request of a publishing house. 

Stephanie: How do you handle writer’s block? 

E. Raye: Whenever my creativity seems stifled, I like to get near a body of water. A lake, the sea or even a pool seems to regenerate me. 

Stephanie: Which do you prefer? Paper and pen or a computer? 

E. Raye: I prefer a computer. It’s much easier, due to my handwriting looking like chicken scratch. 

Stephanie: What computer software do you use to write your masterpieces? 

E. Raye: I use Microsoft Word for novels and Final Draft for screenplays. 

Stephanie: What books and authors most influenced your writing? 

E. Raye: I love the classics! Arthur Miller’s The Crucible, William Golding’s Lord of the Flies, Twelve Angry Men by Reginald Rose, A Street Car Named Desire by Tennessee Williams, also The Great Gatsby by F. Scott Fitzgerald. 

Stephanie: Which author do you admire? 

E. Raye: Stephen King, of course! I also love stories by Jeff Gunhus. His Night Chill series is very entertaining. 

Stephanie: As a fellow writer, we all have out pet peeves. A huge one for me is plagiarism. How do you handle plagiarism? 

E. Raye: This is a subject I do not play about. For all of my creations I obtain a copyright or patent. Us creators work hard on our works. To steal or copy them is quite frankly disgusting. I would not hesitate to sue someone for this offense. 

Stephanie: What is your definition of show versus tell? 

E. Raye: In the realm of writing, I love to show as I tell, which requires descriptions that allow the reader to see my works play out in front of them. If you are reading my work it’s as if you are watching a movie. It’s imperative that you use the appropriate adjectives and verbs for your descriptions. It is my intention for you to smell, taste, and feel what it is I am conveying.  

Stephanie: During each edition of Quill’s Edge we ask a series of rapid fire questions so that the readers can get to know you a little better. Are you game?

E. Raye: Absolutely! Fire away!

Stephanie: What would you prefer, a room full of snakes or a room full of spiders?

E. Raye: I love both spiders and snakes. However, I would prefer a room full of snakes. One year, at camp, I jumped in the lake catching a snake for my little brother for his birthday. 

Stephanie: Would you rather have an endless summer or an endless winter? 

E. Raye: An endless summer would be great. More time for water sports and relaxing by the lake is right up my alley.  

Stephanie: Thank you so much for joining us today. Where can readers find you?

E. Raye: Well, I am all over social media, but for those that would like to drop me a line, you can always reach me at the following address.

E. Raye Turonek/Mental Chatter Musings 

P.O. Box 1671 

Clarkston, MI 48347


Please don’t hesitate to check out Enchantress Press Astrology on YouTube for your weekly astrological horoscopes. 


Stephanie: Thank you so much for joining us on Quill’s Edge, E. Raye!

E. Raye: Thank you for allowing me to be featured on your blog! Blessings to you! 

Author E. Raye Turonek

Author @ Mental Chatter Musings 

Astrologer @ Enchantress Press Astrology



Stephanie: Alright readers, you heard it here first! Be sure to pick up your copy of Deadliest Intuition wherever books are sold!


Author Website – https://erayebooks.com/


Interested in being featured on Quill’s Edge? Drop Stephanie a line!



Compelled To Murder, in 2016

Compelled To Murder II – Steven’s Lineage, 2019

Deadliest Intuition, 2021

Paris Wynters

Romantic Suspense Author

Interview Date 7/13/2020

Quill’s Edge Author Spotlight Paris Wynters- Interview

Welcome to another edition of Quill’s Edge! Adult Romance Author, Paris Wynters has a double whammy. She has not one but two books to talk about!

Paris Wynters is an adult romance author represented by Tricia Skinner at Fuse Literary. She lives on Long Island (in New York) with her family, which includes two psychotic working dogs. Paris is a graduate of Loyola University Chicago. Both she and her son are nationally certified Search and Rescue personnel (she is a canine handler). When not writing, Paris enjoys playing XBOX (she is a huge HALO fanatic and enjoys FORTNITE), watching hockey (Go Islanders), and trying new things like flying planes and taking trapeze classes. She is the author of Hearts Unleashed (2017), Issued (2020), Matched (2020), and Love on the Winter Steppes (2021).

Stephanie: Welcome to Quill’s Edge Paris!

Paris: Thanks for having me

Stephanie: Let’s jump right! Issued is your latest book and let me just saw it was an awesome read!

Paris: Thanks Stephanie!

Stephanie: So, tell us more about Issued.

Paris: Taya Maverick has just volunteered to marry a random Navy SEAL as part of the military’s new spouse-matching program. What other choice does she have? Her former best friend killed her father and torched her house. Taya’s determined to start over, but to be safe she has to disappear. The program is the perfect opportunity, complete with refuge and a built-in bodyguard. Her Navy SEAL husband can keep her safe, right?

After one spectacularly disastrous marriage, Jim Stephens nixes round two. But his commanding officer never accepts no for an order. While an injury may have sidelined him temporarily, Jim still needs to salvage his career after a mistake in combat puts him in leadership’s cross-hairs. Being the first in the pilot program guarantees him his rank and eventual active duty clearance…as long as he can last the trial year.

The I dos are barely uttered before Jim and Taya realize they’ve each miscalculated. Their sizzling chemistry might lead to bed, but neither is prepared to open their heart. And then Taya’s past comes knocking.

Stephanie: I have to tell you I couldn’t put this book down! From start to finish it was a nonstop pulse racing story. When did this book hit stores?

Paris: Issued was came out on 6/25/2020

Blurb and Excerpt: https://tulepublishing.com/books/issued/
Buy Links: https://tulepublishing.com/books/issued/#order

Stephanie: What do you want your readers take away from this book?

Pairs: Keeping secrets never works out. And that its okay to ask for help, that it doesn’t make us “less than” when we can’t do something on our own that we are expected to because of society’s standards. Also, I want readers to take away that sometimes there is more behind the façade people put up and that they respond in different ways, that not everybody reacts the same. But for people to help us and care for us, we have to take that scary leap and open up, to let people in and tell them why we may act the way we do.

Stephanie: I hear you have another book coming out in the Fall, can you tell us about that one?

Paris: Sure! The name of the book is Matched. It is the second installment in my Navy SEALS of Little Creek series!

Stephanie What is the book about? (No spoilers)

Paris: After a dangerous mission, Navy SEAL Anthony Martinez lets adrenaline and loneliness cloud his judgment when he signs up for the military’s spouse matching program without his Commanding Officer’s approval. Of course, nothing has ever come easy for Tony. He’s matched to a woman he’s already hit on and struck out with. Then his CO threatens his dreams of attending Officer Candidate School leaving Tony with only one option—make the marriage work.

Inara Ramirez has always wanted love and a family, but her luck with romance is as bad as her serial divorcée mother’s. Determined to find the one, she signs up with the military’s science-based spouse matching program. She’s thrilled to be matched until she realizes her new husband is the cockiest, flirtiest and hottest Navy SEAL she’s ever met.

Inara is determined to make the marriage work but Tony’s only planning on a year tops. Is it possible that science and fate have created the perfect match?

Tony is definitely a character, but Inara gives it right back. There is a pet in this one, and lots of food. I actually got hungry often while writing this book.

Stephanie: When will this book launch?

Paris: Launch Date: 9/1/2020

Blurb and Excerpt: https://tulepublishing.com/books/matched/
Pre-Order Link: https://tulepublishing.com/books/matched/#order

Stephanie: What do you want your readers take away from this book?

Paris: I think the biggest take away from this book is about forgiveness, and that parents make mistakes. They aren’t perfect and sometimes, until we have children and make mistakes, it’s easy to forget and blame them. And we forget they have feelings (especially when we are teenagers and growing up). It’s also about how that can affect our future relationships and how to move past it, and how to communicate about the things that hurt us.

Stephanie: What inspired you to start writing?

Paris: I have a creative side to my science/analytic side but I was never good at most of the arts. Until I found writing. It became fun to create worlds and characters, but then it became my escape as a teenager in a household where you couldn’t “talk back” and trying to find that balance between what I felt and respect led me to write.

Stephanie: How do you handle writer’s block?

Paris: Oh, this is tough. It depends why the block is occurring. So I guess the first step is to reflect on what is going on. Is it something in my personal life? If so, I take a break and do something else. Is it because of the story itself? I’ve talked to my writing group, read, watched movies, and any other thing that helps. But when it comes to the story itself usually talking it through with the RIGHT people I find is key for me. Right people= those who listen and try not to make the story theirs, but actually help guide YOU.

Stephanie: Describe your writing space.

Paris: Haha, I don’t have a defined writing space. I write wherever. In my car (when my son is at hockey practice), in the backyard, at Barnes and Noble, in the living room, or at my mom’s house if I need somewhere quiet and I know she is at work. Thank you, universe, for the creation of laptops.

Stephanie: What puts you in the mood to write?

Paris: Music or an idea or scene that pops into my head that I want to get on paper. Having an outline makes it easier too because I have some direction and it helps me focus.

Stephanie: What computer software do you use to write your book?

Paris: Microsoft Word, but also Google Docs

Stephanie: Do you have a writer library? What is in it?

Paris: The Emotional Thesaurus (actually all those Thesaurus Books), Rivet Your Readers with Deep POV, The Emotional Craft of Fiction, Verbalize, Writing Active Setting just to name a few.

Stephanie: Which do you prefer? Paper and pen or a computer?

Paris: Computer, but I use paper and pen as well (when I am in meetings for work but have ideas…shhh).

Stephanie: Which do you prefer? Writing in a café or bookstore or a home in the quiet?

Paris: Quiet!! I am the person who can’t even read if someone is making noise. I will even sit in my car on the two-hour drive home from work in complete silence.

Your Favorites: About other Authors, Books and Reading

Stephanie: Who is your favorite author and why?

Paris: Nina Crespo for sooo many reasons including how supportive she is of other authors. She is the epitome of doing this together instead of looking at everyone as competition. Plus, her books are amazing. The same can also be said about Tricia Lynne.

Stephanie: What books or authors have most influenced your own writing?

Paris: Rebecca Yarros, Alexis Daria, Helen Huang in romance. But my very first writing influences, the people who made me fall in love with writing- Robin Cook, Michael Crichton, and Stephen King. Yes, I loved thrillers and horror. I still do.

Just for fun Questions:

Stephanie: Would you rather be in a room full of snakes or a room full of spiders?

Paris: Snakes. I don’t mind them, but spiders are terrifying.

Stephanie: Would you rather have an endless summer or an endless winter?

Paris: Summer.

Stephanie: Coffee or Tea?

Paris: Coffee.

Stephanie: Who would be on the soundtrack for your book?

Paris: Tommee Profitt, Joel Porter, Halsey, Aero Chord, and Daft Punk

Colleen Williams

Author and Motivational Speaker

Interview Date: 6/30/2020

Welcome to another edition of Quill’s Edge! We are switching gears this week to the profoundly serious topic of Domestic Violence and Sexual Abuse. In our Author Spotlight this week we have, author and Domestic Violence Advocate and gifted speaker Colleen Williams!

Colleen Williams was born and raised on the beautiful twin islands of Trinidad and Tobago. Colleen now lives in Boston Massachusetts. Her new release, Stop: Stories & Poems about Domestic Violence and Sexual Abuse was written out of the painful experiences she endured in her life.

Author Photo/ Contact Info/ Events:

Stay in touch on Instagram
@facebook empresscolleen Williams

Stephanie: It is an honor to have you here with us on Quill’s Edge Colleen, welcome!

Colleen: Thanks for having me Stephanie.

Stephanie: Domestic Violence and Sexual Abuse are two issues that are finally gaining some traction as far as awareness and advocacy. Whenever I read articles or view programs that tackle those very dark topics, I am always blown away by the resilience of the survivors. Your book, Stop: Stories & Poems about Domestic Violence and Sexual Abuse at times is a very dark story and yet, there is so much light and hope and timely advice for those in similar situations.

Colleen: Thanks Stephanie. Yes, Domestic Violence and Sexual Abuse are topics that are uncomfortable to talk about, but even in this day and age they are relevant issues that must be talked about. On average, a person is abused in the United States every 9 seconds; (Bureau of Justice Statistics)

On average, 3 women are killed by a current or former intimate partner each day in the United States: (Bureau of Justice, Bureau of Justice Statistics). In my book, Stop: Stories & Poems about Domestic Violence and Sexual Abuse

 I tell my story, my truth in how I endured years of physical and sexual abuse. Some may think my story a bit too graphic, but I know there are men women and children out there suffering right now that need to hear someone say, “I know you are hurting. I’ve been there and you deserve better.”

Book Image and Link

Book link https://www.barnesandnoble.com/w/stop-colleen-williams/1136830173?ean=9781734803006

Stephanie: Colleen, I read your book in one sitting. When I finished, I sat in the quiet of my den for a long time with tears streaming down my face. Your raw emotion and pain resonated from the first page; but the wisdom, the hope made some of the darkest passages resonate with hope and inspiration.

Colleen: Thank you Stephanie. You are right. My story is dark in some places, but I wanted the reader to see that circumstances may seem bleak, but there is help available. There is hope. You don’t have to stay in a relationship that hurts. Love doesn’t hurt. Trust your gut. At the first sign of trouble get out.

Stephanie: Colleen your practical no nonsense approach is steeped in such love and compassion. There was a place in your book when you spoke of the abuse men suffer at the hands of their significant others. Even there, your approach was one of empathy and practical wisdom.

Colleen: My goal is to inspire men and women everywhere. Pain is pain and no one: man, woman or child should suffer at the hands of someone that supposedly loves them. I want my readers to know that no matter what they go through in life just have faith and believe in yourself. There is a life worth living beyond the pain. You deserve better!

Colleen: Well, I always loved writing poetry. I found that journaling and writing poetry helped me to express myself in a positive way

Stephanie: Agreed poetry, journaling and just writing in general helps me to put things into perspective. What inspires you most about writing?

Colleen: My inspiration for writing is to help heal men and women who feels like they are too broken to be fixed. I want victims to know they are not the problem and they can reach out for help.

Stephanie: We all have a favorite writing space; coffee shops or libraries. Where is your favorite writing space?

Colleen: My writing place is laying on the floor on my carpet with my favorite pen and my notepad.

Stephanie: What are your favorite tools of the trade in writing?

Colleen: Libraries have a lot of inspirational books that help me not only with writing techniques, but there are so many authors that if find there that inspire and encourage me as a person but also as a writer.

Stephanie: Can you give us a couple of your favorites?

Colleen: At the top of my list would be Joyce Myers, T. D. Jakes Cindy Trimm and Joel Osteen.

Stephanie: I love the pastors you listed and their ministries! So, who is your favorite author?

Colleen: My favorite author is Raquel Williams I met her a few years back on Facebook. She is such a great person. She helped me out and gave me the drive to keep going. She is a great supporter.

Stephanie: Are there any authors out there that helped shaped your stance on Domestic Violence and how to assist those in that situation?

Colleen:  There are so many books and authors that helped me to shape my experiences into a ministry that could serve as a lasting resource for positive change. I deeply appreciate Frederick L. Beaty for opening up his mind and heart. It isn’t often that you read about domestic violence from the male survivor’s perspective.

Stephanie: Are there any books in particular that you would recommend?

Colleen: Emiliya Ahmadova’s Broken Chains, M. Scott Peck’s The Road Less Travelled, and finally, and Domestic Violence: Love Was A Battlefield…. Stories of Survivors by a collection of authors Samantha Swain, Frederick L. Beaty, Kai Kaaron, Faith Waters and Rose Walters.

Stephanie: What is one piece of advice you’d like to give aspiring authors that want to use their personal experiences in a Memoir format to tell their story to help others?

Colleen: Never give up, keep writing you never know whose life you can be changing.

Stephanie: Thank you for joining us on Quill’s Edge Colleen. Your book Stop: Stories & Poems about Domestic Violence and Sexual Abuse is an inspiration and I know it will help many people who find themselves in impossible situations to get the help they so richly deserve.

Colleen: Thanks Stephanie.

Stephanie: Alright Quill’s Edge Readers and Writers! Be sure to pick up your copy of Stop: Stories & Poems about Domestic Violence and Sexual Abuse.

Book Image and Purchasing Info:

Book link https://www.barnesandnoble.com/w/stop-colleen-williams/1136830173?ean=9781734803006

And if you or someone you know is in a Domestic Violence or a Sexually Abusive situation there is help. Contact the following places:

National Domestic Abuse Hotline:

1−800−799−SAFE (7233) or TTY 1−800−787−3224 or (206) 518-9361

National Sexual Assault Hotline

800-656-HOPE (4467)

Above all else tell someone. Get out. Get someplace safe. Get help. Know that you deserve a safe, loving, and nurturing environment


Writer, Independent Publisher and Podcaster

Interview Date: 6/3/2020

Welcome to another issue of Quill’s Edge’s Author Spotlight!

This week, we are excited to have multi-talented, woman on a mission, Author Meko! Be sure to check out the stand-alone article in Creative Nation Services! This new section will feature various Book Publishing Companies and Services!

Author Picture:

Meko, Author


Join Meko & Sam every Thursday on YouTube for segments of Sidebar with Meko & Sam! A new video is posted every Thursday!


Like and subscribe to their YouTube channel of Sidebar with Meko & Sam to become a preferred listener and reader!

You can also follow Meko on social media





Stephanie: Thanks for Joining us Meko! Tell us about yourself.

Meko: Thanks for having me Stephanie. Well, I live in Texas where I am a divorced mom with two amazing teens, and our dog- who acts like a human child.

I am a community mentor that has no qualms in rolling up my sleeves and working alongside anyone willing to put in the sweat equity to pursue/achieve a dream.

 My position in women’s leadership and cultural growth is a powerful reminder of how you can do whatever you set your mind and heart to do. I am also the founder of Eagle Life Publications, a publishing service with a platform elevating new and published authors.  I also co-host a YouTube Channel called Sidebar with Meko & Sam every Thursday where we discuss Conversations about the complex issues women face and give encouragement to keep pushing!  Subscribe to our YouTube Channel and give us a like! We really do enjoy communicating with our audience!

Stephanie: Like I said Quill’s Edge Readers Multi Talented! Meko is also a published author with Seven books under her belt!

Meko: Yes! My debut novel, Chasing Chase is part of a series I am working on with a 3rd installment coming out soon.

Stephanie: I understand that you also write self-help books.

 Meko: Yes, I’ve written two. Brain Food:  and Human Life.

Book Image:


Stephanie: I read Brain Food: Poetic Wisdom for Life. Well, actually, I keep rereading the book with a pen in hand because it is just that good! Why don’t you tell the Quill’s Edge readers about it?

Meko: Well thank you Stephanie that means a lot to me.  Brain Food is intended to motivate and encourage you to write down a few things about yourself. Sometimes writing things down has a funny way of helping us to see ourselves in a real sense of, “How am I really?”

Stephanie: Agreed.  Brain food by definition is believed to be beneficial to the brain, especially in increasing intellectual power. Your book fleshes that concept out in a wonderful way.

Meko:  You are absolutely right Stephanie. Our brains are extremely active, very hungry organs, but they can be picky eaters!  Prayer edifies and nourishes us. But we cannot use it (prayer) to replace laziness. We must do the work! 

Stephanie: I admire writers that inspire people to marvel at their own lives by sharing thoughts in the form of poetry.

Meko: Yes, my book, Brain Food is broken up into sections where my poetry serves as a sort of a catalyst or “food” to enlighten and inspire followed by pages to capture your own thoughts and ideas.

Stephanie:  I loved all of the poems in your book, Illusion Lips, Evolve, My Muse Autism and Being Unique (My favorite) covered so many topics and spoke on so many levels.  What inspired you to start writing?

Meko: In 2009, my home was invaded, and I got shot. When I healed from my injuries, I took writing seriously and I have not stopped.

Stephanie: What a powerful testimony! Your published works and your inspiring work in the community are a powerful reminder of how a person can rise above adversity to do whatever they set their mind and heart to do.   

Meko: Thanks Stephanie.

Stephanie: You’re very welcome.

Stephanie: Okay here at Quill’s Edge we like to ask a question or two to give readers a peek at an author behind the scenes.

Meko: Ask away!

Stephanie: Which do you prefer? Writing in a café or bookstore, or at home?

Meko: I enjoy all three, depending on how I am feeling and what I am writing that day. But if I had to choose, I would choose at home in the quiet.

Stephanie: Who is your favorite author?

Meko: My favorite author is Sistah Souljah because she inspires me in so many ways. She is one of the reasons why I began to write and believe in myself enough to think that I could actually write a book for real.

Stephanie: Coffee or Tea? Wine or Beer?

Meko I love them both equally! Wine of course!

Stephanie: As our interview ends, we always ask out Authors for a bit of wisdom for our aspiring authors out there.

Meko: One bit of advice that I would like to share with aspiring authors would be for them to never stop no matter how hard things get for them. People say that all the time, but you and I both know that stuff happens. We get discouraged or distracted by life. Sometimes staying focused on your writing or other goals is hard to do sometimes. But it is true, you must stick to your plans and not give up on yourself. There are times when things will get difficult, When the tears come, give in to the tears but not too much. Pray, give it to God and keep working.

Your time will come.

Stephanie: And on that powerfully uplifting note, we will end this edition of Quill’s Edge Author Spotlight. Thank you Meko for joining us!

Meko: It was a pleasure Stephanie.

Stephanie: Don’t forget to pick up your copy of Brain Food: Poetic Wisdom for Life.


Eagle Life Publications Link:

Chasing Chase (The Chase Series):


Join Meko & Sam every Thursday on YouTube for segments of Sidebar with Meko & Sam! A new video is posted every Thursday!


Like and subscribe to their YouTube channel, Sidebar with Meko & Sam! Become a preferred listener and reader!

You can also follow her on social media

Like us on Facebook! Sidebar with Meko & Sam!



Verna Cyril

Historical Romance Writer

Interview Date: 5/18/2020

Welcome to another issue of Quill’s Edge!

This week in our Author Spotlight, from the beautiful island of Saint Lucia in the Caribbean, we have, (Historical) Romance Author, Verna Cyril!

Stephanie: Welcome to Quill’s Edge Verna. Tell us about yourself.

Verna: Thanks for having me. Let’s see, I was born on the beautiful island of Saint Lucia, in the Caribbean. From an early age, I was fascinated by the written word. I devoured anything in print that I could lay my hands on. As I progressed, my knowledge of the world and the intricacies of human behavior increased and fired my imagination. Life fueled my desire to express myself through the written word.  Over the years, I sharpened my skills by conjuring stories that were graphic and spellbinding much to the delight of family members and a growing circle of friends and admirers.

Stephanie: So, tell us about your book, Heart of a Slave.

Verna: Heart of a Slave is about, a young woman name Siwhetta who was taken into captivity from her homeland, Africa.  Siwhetta was sold into slavery and subsequently arrived in the West Indies via the Atlantic slave trade.

Stephanie: I read your book and I must say, your attention to detail was amazing. From the Door of No Return to crossing the Middle Passage, you were able to bring those vivid images to life.

Verna: Thanks, Stephanie I wanted the first chapter to give a vivid description of her (Siwhetta’s) voyage across the Atlantic.

Stephanie: Siwhetta was an amazing heroine. Can you tell us more about her?

Verna: Sure! Siwhetta is the daughter of a tribal chieftain and warrior so she is not a shrinking violet by any means. Siwhetta is headstrong, independent and a natural born leader and fighter.

Stephanie: We have all read about life on a plantation and the horrors that slaves endured. You captured it so brilliantly in your story.

Verna: I wanted the reader to imagine what it had to be like for her (Siwhetta) to adjust to this new environment.

Stephanie: And Dimitri, the male lead in the book, what can you tell us about him?

Verna: Dimitri on the other hand has an eye for beautiful women and so he finds Siwhetta intriguing. Also, He is a strong male character with a zest for life and detest slavery.

Stephanie: As an admirer of historical romances, I’m always intrigued at how during some of the darkest times in history, love still managed to find a way. In your book the same thing holds true. That spark… that connection between the characters, not just Dimitri and Siwhetta, but every character really resonated with me.

Verna: Thank you. Whenever I write, I strive to create multi-faceted characters that people can either love or hate. I wanted to tell an exciting story that about people that could have existed.  Siwhetta and Dimitri’s love spirals into a passionate and steamy love affair.

Stephanie: As I read Heart of a Slave, Verna, I found myself thinking of their Siwhetta and Dimitri’s love like a diamond. The facets of their love shined most brilliantly in adversity… in the darkness if you will.

Verna: Wow, thanks Stephanie. The plot really does weave through exciting conflicts as this forbidden love story unfolds.

 Stephanie: What would you like your readers to take away from this book?

Verna: For me, Siwhetta and Dimitri and their forbidden love is a story for the ages. The story shows you that two people from vastly different backgrounds can fall in love. 

Stephanie: What inspired you to start writing?

Verna: I began writing teenage fiction at the age of thirteen. I have always had a wild imagination from an early age. My family and friends always marvelled and encouraged me to write. Becoming a Mom gifted me with a new journey filled with even more adventures, so I stopped writing for a while. At the age of thirty, I picked up my writing mantle once more and I have been writing ever since!

Stephanie: Writing has always been a catharsis/healing instrument for Creatives. During my deepest bouts of depression, I found that writing helped me to get to know myself a little better and to heal. Does writing have that kind of restorative effect on you?

 Verna: I whole heartedly agree. I went through a bout of depression and writing returned me to my full self again.

Stephanie: Any new work on the horizon?

Verna: I have just completed a (fantasy )novella which is supposed to be part of a series and I am working on another historical romance novel.

Stephanie: Outstanding. If it is anything like Heart of a Slave, it is bound to be sensational!

Verna: Thanks, Stephanie.

Stephanie: What puts you in the mood to write?

Verna: Relaxing music and a good romance novel.

Stephanie: Which do you prefer? Writing in a café or bookstore or a home in the quiet?

Verna: I prefer to write at home over 80’s music.

Stephanie: Nice! I’m an 80s music fan myself!

Stephanie: Who is your favorite author and why?

Verna: I love Julie Garwood romance novels. She no longer writes historical romance but my favourite historical romance novel written by her is The Wedding and its because I love history and I love happily ever after! I am also crazy about strong alpha male heroes.

Stephanie: What books or authors have most influenced your own writing?

Verna: Julie Garwood and Johanna Lindsay. I read The Wedding at the age of fifteen, I devoured the entire book in two days and have loved historical romances ever since.

Stephanie: Okay. Here at Quill’s Edge we always ask a couple of fun questions to give fans a feel for their favorite writer’s personality. So here goes:

Stephanie: Would you rather be in a room full of snakes or a room full of spiders?

Verna: I would prefer to be in a room full of spiders instead of snakes. They can both be poisonous, but I would take my chances on spiders

Stephanie: Coffee or Tea/Wine or Beer

Verna: I would take tea over wine or coffee, I don’t drink coffee and I seldom drink wine, unless I am entertaining.

Stephanie: As we draw out interview to a close, I always ask writers for Parting shots, some pearl of wisdom for the aspiring Authors out there. So, what is one bit of advice you would like to share with aspiring authors?

Verna: Only one? There is so much I’ve learned throughout my journey to publication it’s hard to narrow it down to only one, but here are some highlights:

  • I would like to encourage aspiring authors to take time on their craft, spend time polishing your manuscript to the best of your ability.
  • Do your research. researching what you write about makes your stories come alive. It is all in the details!
  • Do not be afraid to ask for help. It is the only way we learn.
  •  And lastly, write what you are passionate about, not what is popular. If you are

not passionate bout it, why should your readers be? Popularity fades. The real classics do not follow the trend. They blaze the trail!

Stephanie: How can people purchase Heart of a Slave?

Verna: Currently Heart of a Slave is available through the following book distributors:

Stephanie: Thanks for joining us today, Verna.

Verna: You’re welcome, Thanks for having me.

Stephanie: Alright Quill’s Edge Tribe, you heard it here first. If you are a Book Dragon/Book Worm who is into Historical Romance, you need to check our Verna Cyril’s Heart of a Slave!

Until next time, this is Stephanie Freeman for Quill’s Edge Author Spotlight!

If you are an author that wishes to be featured in Quill’s Edge, contact Stephanie at the following:


Allie West

Writer, Motivational Speaker

Interview Date : 5/06/2020

Welcome to another edition of Quill’s Edge. We are thrilled to have Breakout International Author and Motivational Speaker Allie West M.Ed. joining us today.

QA Thanks for joining Allie. Tell us about yourself.

AW: Thanks for having me. I am, originally from Tulsa, Oklahoma. My career in Early Education took me to Atlanta. After twenty wonderful years of service I left the field to pursue my writing career. I am the proud owner of Allie West Productions where I cultivate my Messologist brand. Now, I live in Germany with my wonderful husband where I enjoy reading, traveling and decorating.  

QA: ‘Messologist’? Hmm. Sounds intriguing. Tell us all about it.

AW: My Messologist Brand is a simple and yet powerful concept. Through my written work and speaking engagements, I teach others how to turn their mess into their masterpiece.

My first book, Dressed Up Mess came out in November 2019 covers my Messologist concept in depth.

QE: So, tell us about this book. What is the message you want people to take away from the book?

Anyone can find their life in a mess.

I had it all: successful life and career in Atlanta. I walked away from all of that for love. I moved across the country to Arizona for what I thought was my ‘Happily Ever After’ only to find myself in the middle of a nightmare.  I was forced to move back to my hometown and back to my parents’ house with two kids in tow. I was in rough shape spiritually and emotionally. But that set back became the start of my comeback!

The enduring message of my book, Dressed Up Mess is this: It is okay to be a mess. It is not ok to stay a mess. 

QA:  What a powerful testimony! Is there is a follow up to your first book?

AW: There is!  Still a Mess is the follow up to Dressed Up Mess. Still a Mess will be available in July 2020.

QE:  How exciting! We look forward to the release. 

QE: So, what inspired you to start writing?

 Dr. Julia Hare is the author of the Black Think Tank is from my hometown of Tulsa, Oklahoma. She visited the University of Oklahoma when I was a student there. She was the first author I had ever seen in person that looked like me. She was intelligent, poised and beautiful. I didn’t start writing until years later, but that experience planted a seed that blossomed into my interest in writing.

My book A Dressed-Up Mess was inspired by my bout with severe depression.  Journaling helped me sort out the chaos in my head and ultimately lead me into telling my story of my discovery that I was a ‘Dressed Up Mess.’

QE:  And now for some fun questions! Describe your writing space.

I live in Kusel, Germany and my office is on the third floor of our home.  I live on a mountain overlooking the town of Kusel, Germany.  My office window has a picturesque view of the town’s core which consists of a medieval street layout; that still exists to this day.

 My office reflects my personality, its light, air, positive and the energy easily flows. My accessories are an interesting hodgepodge of things that I love and find peace and comfort in. Crystals, Candles, Elephant figurines, a lava lamp, and statues of beautiful fancy dressed women adorn my shelves.

Gold and White mohair storage boxes filled with books. Tables, various lamps, African Heads, Signs with the words Dream, Love, Smile, Happy, Peace, Relax, A bamboo plant and an array of other trinkets…

My office is very peaceful and serene. It is my comfortable space. 

QE: Who is your favorite author?

Maya Angelou – She was an amazing storyteller. She lived her truth and was not afraid to write about her life: the good, bad and ugly. She faced the world full stride and was not ashamed of her walk. She lived her life unapologetically and I admire that. 

QE: What books or authors have most influenced your own writing?

  • In the Meantime, by Iyanla Vanzant
  • I know Why the Cage Bird Sings by Maya Angelou

I also enjoy reading fiction and personal development books. Personal memoirs or autobiographies are my favorite. I like to know people’s real journeys and what made them who they are.

QE: Would you rather have an endless summer or an endless winter?

AW: Endless Summer. I love the warm weather and all things live and thrive in the summer. It is ideal for travel and exploration and I love to travel. Last year including the USA I visited 11 countries.  Summer is light, long days, steamy nights, beautiful sunsets and a whole world to explore. 

QE: Beer or wine?

AW: Wine

QE Parting Shots:

What is one bit of advice you would like to share with aspiring authors?

AW: I’ve learned so much along the way. Here are a few highlights: Learn as much as you can. Do your research. It will save you in the long run. Hone your craft- take a class. Read everything! Invest in professional services i.e. we designer, photographer, editor, illustrator, graphic artist etc. Your work is a representation of you! Do it with class, style and professionalism.

QE: Thank you so much for joining us at Quill’s Edge.

AW: Thanks for having me!

QE: Thank you for joining us for another edition of Quill’s Edge. Be sure to check out Allie West’s Book, A Dressed Up Mess!

Interested in being featured on Quill’s Edge? Email Stephanie at:


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