Nicole Storey is an award-winning author of MG fantasy and YA paranormal books. She resides in Georgia with her husband and their two children.

How did you choose the genre you write in? Or did it choose you?

I write in the genres of MG fantasy/paranormal and YA paranormal. The genres definitely chose me. I’ve always been intrigued by things that can’t be explained, Cryptozoology, magic, the “boogeyman”… LOL! I was the child who never wanted to take the Halloween decorations down.

Grimsley Hollow-The Chosen One-web

I know that autism awareness is very important to you. Can you talk a bit about this and how you have included autism in your books?

My son was diagnosed with autism at the age of two. His middle school years brought social problems, the realization that he was “different,” and bullies. I wanted to create a series where kids could learn about autism in a creative way. I hope, after reading the books, they understand that special needs kids want the same things they do: to have friends and be accepted. I also wanted to show autism in a realistic light and give special-needs kids his or her own hero to cheer for. After all, not all heroes wear capes.

Having our work out there to be judged by strangers is often daunting for writers. Do you have any tips on handling a negative review?

I was relieved when I received my first negative review. It authenticated my work and justified my place as a “real” author. If you put your work out for the public to read, bad reviews are inevitable. You simply can’t please everyone. My advice is to ignore them and move on. Everyone is entitled to his or her opinion.

We all know the old saying; you can’t judge a book by its cover. This is true. However, how much importance do you place on your book cover design?

For me, cover design is just as important as the story. The cover is the first thing readers see. It should mesmerize them, grab them by the throat and insist they take a closer look. I’m actually obsessed with beautiful covers. I love to browse online and in book stores.

Blind Sight web page

How would you define your style of writing?

I’m a fly-by-the-seat-of-my-pants type of writer. I don’t use outlines; I refuse to color between the lines, and I’m not afraid to poke sleeping bears.

Do you know anyone who has ever received any auto DM on Twitter (with a link) who was happy about it?

Ha ha! No, and I hate those myself. If I want to like your Facebook page, download your book, or meet your sweet adorable dog, I’ll do so. I don’t need a message with instructions.

What do you know now that you wish you’d known five years ago?

That being signed with a traditional publisher does not equal bags of money and a house on Easy Street. That many small press “publishers” have no idea what publishing is. That blurbs were invented by Satan, right after he finished creating edits. J

What is your latest book?

I recently republished a MG fantasy series, Grimsley Hollow, but my latest book is the first in my YA paranormal series, the Celadon Circle. The book is titled, Blind Sight, and the series is loosely based on the popular television show, Supernatural.
It has done well, winning several awards and also hitting the Amazon paid bestseller list in two categories a while back. The second book is due for release this year.

If you were to advertise your book on a bumper sticker, what would it say?

Dive in, Shut up, and Hold on!

What do you think some of the greatest misconceptions about indie authors are?

I think the greatest misconception is that we can’t write.
Self-publishing platforms are wonderful in that they allow writers to bypass traditional avenues and get their work into the public eye. The problem lies with those who refuse to have their books professionally edited. They give the rest of us a bad name. Just because your best friend, who is an avid reader when she isn’t passing out shoes at the local bowling alley, read your story and pronounced it “as good as Stephen King’s book, Koojoe” (yes, I saw this in an actual synopsis) doesn’t make it so.

Some authors, like me, always write scenes in order. But I know some people write scenes out of order. How about you?

I’m OCD when it comes to writing. I have to write scenes in order and can’t work on more than one book at a time.

Can you tell us about your road to publication?

When I finished my first book, I made the mistake of signing with a small press publisher who didn’t know the definition of the word. After two years of heartache, poorly edited books, and zero support (I could go on and on), I decided not to re-sign and went out on my own. Four stolen book covers, a boatload of tears and money, and 14 months later, all of my books were republished by me. It was a hard lesson to learn, and I don’t know that I could ever trust a small press publisher again, but it made me a stronger person and writer.

Have you received reactions/feedback to your work that has surprised you? In what way?

One reader gave me a bad review because my book was not like the Twilight series. I’m still puzzling over that one. Another stated I clearly knew nothing about autism. LOL!
I try to focus on the positives and let the negatives roll off my back.

Some writers edit excessively as they write; others wait until a novel is finished to do the bulk of the editing. How about you?

I’m still trying to find what works best for me. Usually, I get the first draft written before I begin edits.

Do you have any advice to a new author if they asked you whether to pursue the traditional route to publishing or to start out as an independent writer?

I think every writer has to do what’s best for him or her. My only advice would be to research a company thoroughly before making a commitment. Talk to authors who are signed with the publisher and ask for their honest opinions. Use Google to see if anything negative pops up. Ask questions!

For every legitimate publishing company, there’s at least two that are not. Be cautious, do your homework, and remember that an honest publisher will never request money from your pocket.

If you could have one skill that you don’t currently have, what would it be?

I would love to be able to paint or draw and crochet. My husband is the artist in the family and my daughter takes after him. I can’t even manage a decent stick figure. LOL!

If you are a TV watcher, would you share the names of your favorite shows with us?

I don’t have a lot of time for T.V. but I make sure to record are Supernatural, Longmire, and The Walking Dead. At night, I usually have Forensic Files on in the background while I work.

If you could add a room onto your current home, what would you put in it?

I would love to have my own workspace/office. I would decorate it in fall colors and have an antique refectory table for my desk. There would be a sitting area with a television, bookshelves galore, a bathroom, small refrigerator, my coffee maker, and a locking door.

If you ever see my face on a milk carton, just know my family reported me missing and I got my office. 🙂

What’s your favorite film of all times? Favorite book?

Don’t laugh, but my favorite movie is Jaws. “You’re gonna need a bigger boat!
I have two favorite books: C.S. Lewis’ The Lion, the Witch, and the Wardrobe and Harper Lee’s To Kill a Mockingbird.

What simple pleasure makes you smile?

Drinking coffee, planting flowers and vegetables on a sunny day, autumn and Halloween, football and chili, a harvest moon, and my children’s laughter.





Amazon Author Page

DESERT STAR, book 2 in The Desert Series, is here!


DESERT STAR: A Story of Restoration

I’m pleased to introduce Desert Star (Book 2, The Desert Series), which is a novel about the restoration of souls juxtaposed with the restoration of an abandoned theater. How’s that for an easy description?

Desert Star is the second book in my YA paranormal trilogy, and like the first book of this series, Mystical High, it is written as a standalone novel. My lifelong fascination with unexplained phenomena and the complexities that exist within relationships compelled me to combine these two elements for The Desert Series.


As a writer, it’s important to me that readers get a sense of my characters as real people, flawed in some ways yet always striving to understand and better their lives. One of the main characters in Desert Star, Larsen Davis, is gay and is bullied for being gay. Yet this book is about so much more. It is about several bullies, past and present, who, for no other reason than their own tortured souls, wrestle with their inner demons by attempting to destroy those around them. The story is also about how those who struggle as victims encounter help from others in unexpected ways.

As in the first book, Mystical High, readers will find a story with mystery, tragedy, jealousy, and prejudice. More so, however, in Desert Star, readers can expect to encounter character-changing moments that come about due to simple acts of kindness from others.

Although there are many side stories in this novel, for the purpose of writing the synopsis, I focused on Larsen’s story:

Larsen Davis isn’t afraid to stand up to those who bully him, but in a two-against-one situation at Mystekal High, it’s never easy. When classmate River Dalworth witnesses the abuse and intervenes, the two seniors become good friends. Larsen explains that he’s fighting another battle at home: his own mother, Raylene, bullies him for being gay.

When Larsen meets River’s mother, Arielle, and learns she is overseeing the renovation of the Desert Theater, he shares his dream for a career on stage. Soon, Arielle offers Larsen a job as her assistant, but Raylene is dead set against the idea of her son doing what she considers “gay work.” After Raylene gets a new boyfriend, Reggie, the bad situation at home worsens and Larsen has no choice but to leave.

Now working at the Desert Theater, Larsen feels the unearthly presence of someone in the long-abandoned theater. Meanwhile, as the theater nears completion, a talent show is scheduled for opening night. As it becomes more evident that the theater may have a ghost, it also comes to light that someone may be sabotaging the renovation and the show. Is the ghost real or just the handiwork of someone with a grudge?

Opening night at the Desert Theater sets the stage for a crime, never-imagined reunions, long-awaited explanations, and otherworldly miracles.


Desert Star is a novel for both teens and adults. Writing it was somewhat challenging in that I don’t use all of the vocabulary that I would typically use when writing specifically for adult readers. In order to bridge this gap, the story does contain mild sexual content and non-gratuitous profanity.

I think readers will find that this story is even more intricate, more character-driven than the first book, Mystical High. There are many characters whose issues add complications to the main plot. It is the intimacy of their interactions with each other, however, that foster their individual transformations.



Below are the links for both Desert Star and book 1, Mystical High (.99 cents) on Amazon (both U.S. & U.K. stores)

In the near future, Desert Star will be available in paperback and on other ebook sites.

Desert Star (Amazon U.S.) – Book 2, The Desert Series

Desert Star (Amazon U.K.) – Book 2, The Desert Series

Mystical High (Amazon U.S.) – Book 1, The Desert Series

Mystical High (Amazon U.K.) – Book 1, The Desert Series



Jaidis Shaw Author

Jaidis Shaw currently resides in South Carolina with her husband and two beautiful daughters. With a passion for reading, Jaidis can always be found surrounded by books and dreaming of new stories. She enjoys challenging herself by writing in different genres and currently has several projects in the works.

Jaidis also owns and operates Juniper Grove Book Solutions, voted Top Five for Best Promotional Firm, Site, or Resource in the 2014 Preditors & Editors Readers’ Poll. In her spare time, Jaidis maintains her blog, Juniper Grove, and can found frolicking on various social media platforms. One of her main goals in life is to encourage her daughters to let their imaginations run wild.

Time to chat with Jaidis!

I hear you have some very exciting news! Can you share it with us?

I do! My first self-published book, a YA paranormal romance titled Destiny Awaits, was recently picked up by Crushing Hearts and Black Butterfly Publishing and was just re-released on July 19th! I’m so excited and nervous at the same time. The book originally came out in 2012 so it has been around awhile, but it feels like I’m starting the whole process over again.


Is your recent book part of a series?

Yes, Destiny Awaits is part of a series, but it’s standalone. The series is titled Juniper Grove Chronicles and will feature a few volumes. The main characters from Destiny Awaits, Alayna and Jayden, will only make a brief appearance in volume two, whereas a minor character named Violet will be the focus of that one. All volumes take place in the same town, Juniper Grove.

What are the special challenges in writing a series?

This is a great question as it deals with my response above. I chose to go the route of a standalone series because I find it extremely hard to write a series where each book is a continuation of the story. I am currently working on a paranormal thriller that is a continuing series and I’m terrified to see if I am able to finish it.

What else have you written?

I started my writing career when I had a short story picked up by a small indie publisher. It was a retelling of Rapunzel that I titled The Tower. It appeared in the Twisted Fairy Tales Volume II by Wicked East Press.

My next adventure was being selected to take part in an anthology by the same publisher that is mentioned above. All authors that were selected to take part were given certain elements of a story to build around. I was given a topic that included my character either being deaf or blind, the climax of the story had to occur during a thunderstorm, and it had to be a suspense story. That’s all I had to go on and at first I was terrified, but after I worked out how I wanted the story to go, I was excited. I enjoyed the main character, Molly, and now that I have the rights to that story back, I have plans to expand on her story. The original story is titled Blind Justice and can be found in Wicked Bag of Suspense Tales.

I also wrote a western-themed short story to appear on the Railroad! blog while the storyline was on an intermission. My story, Pure Harvest, was written back in 2012 and the first time I dabbled in the western genre. I enjoyed writing it! You can check it out here if you’re interested.

How often do your characters surprise you by doing or saying something totally unexpected?

Do you know how authors are always talking about how their muses changed the story, how they’re surprised at where the characters decided to go, or how their characters are talking to them? I’m so jealous of those authors! My characters don’t talk to me. All of my books start with an idea, usually occurring in a dream, and I outline from there. I know every major scene in my story, when it will take place, approximately what chapter it should appear, and so forth. If I stray from that path, I become lost and panic until I’m back on course.

Some authors, like me, always write scenes in order. But I know some people write scenes out of order. How about you?

With Destiny Awaits, yes I wrote it in order. I always start with an outline of the entire story so I know exactly where I should be heading and what should go into each chapter to keep the story moving. However, that changed with the book I’m currently working on because there was a particular scene that I found difficult to finish. I had worked myself into a corner and strayed from my outline and so I was lost. I skipped ahead and wrote the upcoming scene so I knew how it would play out and then was able to go back and fill in the gaps. Only time will tell if I’m able to skip ahead again or if I prefer to stick to outlines.

Some writers edit excessively as they write; others wait until a novel is finished to do the bulk of the editing. How about you?

I have to do a little editing as I write because I’m always going back and reading over what I’ve done so far, especially if I’ve taken a break from the story for awhile. As I’m reading over it, I always find a few things to edit so I’ll fix them before I forget. After the whole story is complete, then I go back and do a deep edit.

Have you ever written characters that you truly despise?

There has only been one character that I didn’t particularly enjoy writing, and that’s Steve from my short story Blind Justice. You know those people who just make your skin crawl, even if you don’t know why? Or those that if you were to see walking toward you on a sidewalk, you’d cross the street just to create more space between you? That’s Steve.

How much research was involved in writing your book? How did you go about it?

For Destiny Awaits I didn’t have to do any research for the actual storyline. The only research I did do, was that which was needed to actually publish the book. Even then it really wasn’t much as I contacted a friend of mine, who is also an author, and she talked me through the publishing process via the phone so that I did it right.

The paranormal thriller that I’m currently working on, The Stager, is different however. There are certain elements in it that I felt needed to be realistic and so I’ve had to seek out a couple of weapons experts so that the main character, Amelia, knows her stuff.

Do you allow others to read your work in progress, or do you keep it a secret until you’ve finished your first draft? Can you elaborate?

I used to allow a select few to read my work as I was working on it because I was in need of opinions. As time has went on, and I saw the number of authors having their ideas ripped off grow, I decided that it may be better to wait until it is complete and published before allowing anyone to read it.

Having our work out there to be judged by strangers is often daunting for writers. Do you have any tips on handling a negative review?

Negative reviews are a part of every author’s life. If you publish a book, you will get a negative review. Period. You need to go into the process knowing that negative reviews are inevitable and also that there is nothing you can do about them. Don’t respond to the reviewer. Don’t post to your Facebook or Twitter about the terrible review you received and ask people to go dislike or down vote it. Definitely don’t call the reviewer out by name and trash talk them because you weren’t happy with their review. Everyone is allowed their opinion, good or bad. In almost all cases, responding negatively to a negative review will always be worse than the review itself. You want attention on your book for the story, not because of the temper tantrum you threw. If you get a review that gets under your skin, just be an adult and walk away. Let it go. If you’re proud of your work, that’s all that matters.

Do you have any special projects you’d like to share with us?

Yes! I’ve recently launched an exciting book review program. The JGBS Review Library strives to offer an ever-growing list of books that are seeking honest reviews. Readers simply browse the virtual library, request the book that interests them, and I send them an author-approved ebook — for FREE. After reviews (positive or negative) are posted to Amazon within six weeks, readers are eligible to download new books to review.

Where do you live now? If you had to move to another city/state/country, where might that be?

I’m currently living in South Carolina. I was originally born in Anaheim, CA but we moved around a lot so I’ve also lived in Illinois, Indiana, and Michigan (twice). Having to move around a lot of a child really took its toll and so I’m here in SC and I plan to stay here. No more moving for me.

Trains, planes, automobiles, or boats?

Boats for sure! I love the water and being on the water.

What’s your favorite comfort food? Least favorite food?

I am currently pregnant so asking me this question is unfair. You should be ashamed, Lisette! However if you must know, and I’m totally blaming my unborn daughter for this, my favorite comfort food at the moment is chips and salsa. I’ve went through seven jars of salsa so far in this pregnancy.

As for my least favorite, that’s easy. I refuse to eat anything that swims so all things fishy are absolutely out of the question. Blecch!

If you could be invisible for a day, what would you do?

Abso-freaking-lutely! Who in their right mind would pass that offer up? I’d totally use it to be a fly on the wall so that I could get some juicy details. It would also be great to just tease people and move things around a bit, make them a little crazy.

If you had a million dollars to give to charity, how would you allot the funds?

I’d split it three ways. I’d give part to the Epilepsy Foundation to help further their research on finding a cure for epilepsy. I have epilepsy so it’s a cause near and dear to my heart.

I’d give part to the Save the Manatee Club. Humans are quickly making these adorable mammals, which happen to be my favorite animal, disappear and we need to do what we can to bring them back from the brink of extinction and help to preserve their natural habitat.

The other part would be put into a fund that would be used to help various reading programs and libraries. It breaks my heart every time I hear kids, and even some adults, say that they don’t read and have no desire to do so. We don’t do enough to encourage our youths to read the written word and it only results in those youths growing into adults who are illiterate. I know people personally that don’t know how to read, or can’t read above an 8th grade level. That is absolutely unacceptable.

What simple pleasure makes you smile?

Just seeing my daughters happy and smiling is enough for me. Even when I’m having the worst day, all they have to do is start singing or dancing, talking to their imaginary friends, or reading a book, and it brightens my day immediately.


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