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Author & Character Interviews & Fan Art.

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Author & Character Interviews:


Jack from Holly Stone's MESSED UP and MAGIC:

Name – Jack Harlow

Age – 18 going on 30!

Appearance – 6 foot, very dark brown hair and eyes. People always tell me my eyebrows look sad because they slant downwards at the edges. My hair’s a bit of a mess at the moment but I guess you could call it a floppy Mohawk.

Favourite Song – There’s no way that I can pick just one. I love music, all different kinds. There are a couple of tunes that I can say are near the top of the list though. R U Mine? by the Arctic Monkeys. It’s got a mad guitar riff that I want to learn to play. Oh, and Tyrant by Catfish and the Bottlemen.

What item of clothing best represents you? My favourite black t-shirt. It’s kind of a faded grey now from over-washing but it’s really comfortable, and it goes with everything. It’s practical and understated. It’s not flashy and it doesn’t go in or out of fashion.

What’s your biggest fear? Turning out like my parents. And being alone in the world. People need good people to be happy.

What’s on your bedside table/nightstand? My phone, my guitar plectrum, headphones so I can blast my music without pissing anyone off. Oh, and ear plugs because I’m a light sleeper.

What was your favourite food when you were a kid? Jaffa Cakes. They’ve got a thin cake base with a layer of orange jelly stuff covered in chocolate. I used to nibble off the chocolate and peel the orange jelly away from the cake to eat it separately. My granny bought them for me and whenever I eat them, they remind me of her.

Best sexual experience? Any time with Amy, but if I had to pick, it would in the hotel room after I met my brother. I knew I was falling for Amy then, but it was bitter sweet because I knew I wasn’t in a position to offer her anything more than sex and friendship.

If you could visit any country in the world where would it be? Cambodia. There’s this mad ruined city called Angkor that has temples that are hundreds of years old. I haven’t travelled abroad yet, so I’d go to a place that was really different to the UK. And I like Asian food!

You have one day left to live. What would you do? Go to the beach and hang out with my friends and with Amy. Hopefully my last day would be sunny (although in England that’s doubtful!) and we could have a BBQ and a few drinks, listen to music and talk about old times. I’d want to watch the sun set on the horizon and say goodbye to the people that have been most important to me in my life. And maybe, if it’s possible, I wouldn’t mind doing a bungee jump. I’d want to know what it feels like to step of a platform and surrender to the free fall.

Fish and chips or steak and chips? Fish and chips, obviously! (Can I have both?)


Check out the super awesome exclusive Interview with Cassie and Evan after the end of Stolen Dreams (Cassie Scot #4)


SPOILERS AHEAD!!!!!!


This interview is a special treat for Cassie Scot fans; if you have not read the series yet, don't read this interview. :)

Hi Evan and Cassie (or is it Cassandra now?).

Cassie: Cassie is still fine; I admit, I'm still getting used to Cassandra.

Thanks for joining me at Zili in the Sky today. I’m guessing with the secretive world you live in you don’t often do interviews, so thanks!

Cassie - It seems like most people in your life want something from you; how do you deal with this?

Cassie: I don't mind as much as you might think. I love feeling needed more than just about anything else in the world. Things got out of hand after Alexander announced to the world that I'm a drained woman. People started wanting me for things I wasn't willing to give, but I feel like I stood my ground.

Evan – You’ve done your fair share of manipulating Cassie in the past, how do you feel about others trying to use or profit from her? How do you justify your actions involving Cassie?

Evan: I've been in love with Cassie since the day I met her in first grade. Everything I've done for her, I've done to protect her. I won't stand by and let anyone take advantage of her.

Cassie – You and Evan were friends for years, how was seeing him dating other girls?

Cassie: It was tough. I can't say I've been in love with Evan since the first grade, but definitely for a long time. I wanted to smack every girl I ever saw him with. But I couldn't say anything or it would have ruined our friendship.

Evan – Just how jealous were you of Cassie and other guys? Also a chastity spell, really?

Evan: I was desperate. You have to understand that I always pictured a future with Cassie. Always. I dated a bit in high school (not as much as she remembers)...

Cassie: I may not have my mom's eidetic memory, but I remember every name.

Evan: Almost every one was a single date.

Cassie: But you made sure I never got a chance to date other men.

Evan: I let you date Braden.

Cassie: You LET me?

Evan: Bad choice of words.

Cassie: I'm pretty sure it's the perfect choice of words. It was okay for you to date dozens of girls, but I didn't get a turn until you left for your apprenticeship.

Evan: None of mine were serious. I came back to find out you were “serious” about Braden! How was I supposed to feel about that?

Cassie: We didn't have an understanding.

Evan: I know. Believe me, I know. So there I was, terrified that I'd acted too late, that I should have said something sooner even if it meant your father would have killed me. Or maybe I shouldn't have gone off on my apprenticeship, where I learned more about myself and my magic than I can possibly say. Jealous? Yes, I was insanely jealous! But I never hurt Braden.

Cassie: You turned him into a frog!

Evan: That was an accident. He's better now.

Evan, Cassie – I didn't mean to start a fight! But I really do want to understand how you justify that chastity spell.

Evan: Like I said, I was desperate. I knew Matthew was using mind magic against her. Since I'm not a mind mage, there wasn't much I could do; Cassie had to find the strength to fight him on her own. I've only felt so helpless one other time.

Anyway, I poured over books of magic. By the time I ran across the chastity spell I was desperate for anything, even if it would just buy me some time. Buy her some time. And it worked. So maybe I'm saying the ends justified the means, but I never claimed I was perfect.

Cassie – How do you deal with having a hubby with a magic kiss?

Cassie: I enjoy it!

Cassie – Is it strange when one of your besties starts dating your younger brother?

Cassie: It was almost creepy. I know Madison got really hurt by it, I have to say I'm glad they split up. I just hope she finds someone who deserves her. She's got a sweet spirit, but she's so shy.

Cassie – It must have been strange growing up without magic in your family (I remember reading you squib Harry Potter quote in book one). How do you feel about this now and it you could have a particular power what would it be?

Cassie: I'm at peace with it. Honestly. Actually, now that I'm pregnant I'm channeling the baby's magic and it feels unnatural. The dreaming gift I recently uncovered feels like the right fit for me – a way I can solve mysteries and protect people better. I have to admit, learning to use it is coming along slowly, but I'm very glad of it.

Evan – If you love Cassie as much as you say you do and always have done and being her friend meant you knew how she felt about not having any, why didn’t you offer to give Cassie her magic back straight away?

Evan: What's your great talent? The thing you do better than almost anything else? The thing that defines you? Are you a great dancer or painter or writer or singer? Now imagine that one day, someone said you weren't supposed to be as good a singer as you are. That thanks to you, your best friend is utterly tone deaf. Would you just give it away?

I am a sorcerer. It is as much a part of who I am as loving Cassie is.

Cassie: It's okay; I understand. That's why I said no. Besides, I was wrong to define myself by what I'm not, instead of by what I am.

Evan: Cassie really is stronger than I am. I suspected it a long time ago, but I knew it for sure when she turned down my offer. And maybe I should have made it sooner, but it was the hardest thing I ever had to do in my life.

Cassie: I could have made things easier for him. When he offered, I realized that I needed the offer more than I needed the magic.

Evan – You’ve done some pretty shady things over the years, how do you justify them?

Evan: I have a worse reputation than I deserve, although I brought it on myself. I wanted to be feared, to make it easier to protect the people I love. And everything I do is done to protect the people I love.

Cassie – What has happened to your detective agency?

Cassie: I've come full circle. My business cards now read “Paranormal Detective”. I do a lot of consulting work with the sheriff's department, but I've also been helping The White Guard with some of their magical cases.

Cassie – What happens next for you and Evan?

Cassie: The baby is due in December. I think that's going to keep us busy for a while. And we both want more children. I'm not sure how I'm going to balance work and motherhood, but I guess I'm not the first woman to wonder that!

Evan – You’re very protective of Cassie, how do you think you’ll cope being a father?

Evan: I've wanted a big family my entire life; I never liked being an only child. So I think I'll do great.

Cassie: Until our daughter starts dating.

Evan: I still have the chastity spell.

Cassie: No, you don't.

Evan: Excuse me?

Cassie: We'll talk about it later.

Evan: We'll talk about it now! What do you mean I don't have the spell?

Cassie: Nothing. I just tore out the page and burned it.

Cassie, Evan - Maybe you two really should talk about this later. Moving on … Is it strange having Christine telling your story? Are there any sneaky/fun facts Christine left out that you can share with us?

Evan: Apparently, she left out the scene where Cassie somehow snuck past the wards on my lab, stole a book, tore out a page, and burned it.

Cassie: It was pretty easy. We did, er, baptize every room in the house after we got married, including your lab. You fell asleep. I took advantage.

Both – Do you really think both of your families can live harmoniously and move on from the past?

Cassie: I don't think things will be perfect. They never are. Happily ever after takes a lot of work and has to be reinforced daily.

Evan: You still haven't forgiven me for the chastity spell, have you?

Cassie: Evan …

Evan: What?

Cassie: I don't know. It's not like I regret what happened, but it was really over the line, you know? And I don't think you get that. If you did, you wouldn't have joked about using the spell on our daughter.

Evan: I'm sorry. I thought we'd put all that behind us.

Cassie: We have. That's why I burned the spell.

Evan: You haven't put it behind you. You said I didn't get it. What don't I get?

Cassie: It's really not something we should talk about here.

Evan: Why not? She knows all our other secrets. What's bothering you? Do you wish you'd slept with Matthew?

Cassie: No! Of course not. I would have seriously regretted sleeping with him, but that was my choice and … and I guess what I want to know is if you would have loved me less if I had?

Evan: Oh Cassie, of course not! Is that what you thought?

Cassie: Yeah, a little bit.

Evan: You're right, Cassie. Happily ever after is something you have to work at every day. We'll finish talking about this later, okay?

Cassie: Okay.

Cassie – How is your mum doing after everything that happened?

Cassie: Well, honestly, she's not so good. I think she's still suffering from a major depressive episode. She has good days and bad days.

Evan – Your Gran was one wise lady, how helpful was she to you when Cassie wouldn’t see you?

Evan: She probably would have been more helpful if I'd listened to half her advice!

Evan – In a badass wizard battle, could you defeat Harry Potter?

Evan: Harry Potter is useless without a wand. All I have to do is rip it out of his hand, and since I'm telekinetic, I'm thinking that would be pretty easy.

Cassie – Will you be doing the numbers thing with your children? (you have a LOT of siblings).

Cassie: No! I'm not sure how many I'll end up having, but I don't need to have any particular number.

Both – If you could change one thing which has happened over the past few years what would it be and why?

Evan: I would have told Cassie the truth right away. I don't think I could have offered the magic back right away, but I should have told her the truth.

Cassie: Nothing.

Evan: Really?

Cassie: I like how it turned out too much to mess with it.

Evan: I don't deserve her.

Cassie: That's true.

Evan: Hey!

Both – What is your favourite thing about each other & what annoys you the most?

Evan: Are you sure you want to ask that question now?

Cassie: What does annoy you the most about me?

Evan: You're stubborn. And you don't stay where I put you. What annoys you about me?

Cassie: That you think I should stay where you put me.

Evan: I do love that spirit, though. And your courage and compassion.

Cassie: I love your compassion, too. And I even love your overprotectiveness.

Evan: Really?

Cassie: Yeah. Most of the time.

Both – I’m a Brit, so I gotta ask, have either of you ever visited or do you have any plans to visit England any time soon? We have a lot of magical places…!

Cassie: Our fathers visited in their youth, back when they were friends. Their story made me curious about London and The Order of the Golden Dawn, although just at the moment we're pretty busy starting a family and helping organize a magical movement. Maybe one day

Thank you both for taking the time to talk to me and hanging out at Zili in the Sky, in particular a big thanks to Evan for not killing me (dude may be hot, but he’s kinda scary).

Cassie: Thanks for having us here. Apparently, we had a few things we still needed to air out.

Evan: Did you hear that? She thinks I'm hot.

Cassie: She thinks you're scary.

Evan: Good. I'd hate for anyone to think I'm a nice guy.


Cassie: He actually is a nice guy, even if he's made some mistakes. But don't tell him I said so.


A huge thanks to Christine for allowing me to do this interview, I hope you enjoyed it as much as I did!?


Christine Amsden (Author of the Cassie Scot series).



Hi Christine, thanks for hanging out aZili in the Sky and taking the time to answer my questions.



1. At the end of book one Cassie finds herself separated from her family. How does Cassie pick herself up from her parents betrayal?

Secrets and Lies is all about that! The book actually starts days after the end of the first book, and in chapter one Cassie is trying to find a job. She goes to the sheriff, but he's kind of mad at her so he doesn't hire her right away and she ends up trying waitressing. That doesn't last long!

There's a lot of movement in book two. I don't believe in spinning the wheels of the plot. Cassie is going to learn about some of the darker parts of the magical world, she's going to have to deal with Evan, and she's going to have to deal with the parents who betrayed her.


2. Cassie wants to avoid the supernatural/paranormal is this even possible when we consider her situation?

Not really, no. :)

Cassie needs to find a way to make peace with the supernatural, but at the end of book one she's been hurt so much that she's not really thinking rationally. She just wants out. 


3. How well does Cassie really know Evan?

Pretty well, actually. The biggest question marks are about his magical past and what, exactly, his powers are (and how strong he is) – things you just don't ask a sorcerer. And there is something... well, her father is right that she doesn't know everything about him.Keep reading and you'll see. :)

But Evan and Cassie have been friends (to varying degrees) for fifteen years. The awkwardness between them now is largely a product of how things changed between them in high school. They were both attracted to one another, but with their fathers' mutual enmity, Evan didn't feel free to act and Cassie just felt confused. Some of this comes out in Secrets and Lies


4. How would you describe Cassie in three words?

Compassionate. Courageous. Conflicted.



5. Where did you get the inspiration for the importance of numbers in terms of magic and protection?

Good question! I don't entirely recall, but I know that 3 and 7 are often touted in fantasy as having some kind of special power for one reason or another. In Charmed, it was the power of three. This is one of those details that I'm afraid is slipping my mind four years later.


6. If you met Kaitlin in real life what would you say to her?

Oh, that's a tough one! The trouble is, I know things about Kaitlin that you don't... and neither does Cassie. Actually, both Madison and Kaitlin are getting their own spin-offs because I couldn't quite wrap up their subplots.

Kaitlin is hurting inside. She wants so badly to be loved, but doesn't know how and doesn't think she's worthy of it. I think she needs a hug.


7. I love how witty Cassie is, did you base her on anybody you know?

She's who I wish I could be. Her witty remarks are the ones I myself would use in regular conversation if it didn't actually take me until an hour after the conversation was finished to come up with them. I'm always thinking, “Oh, if only I'd thought to say that!” 


8. What’s next in terms of you and your writing?

I'm working on Madison's Song right now. I've got a sort of a rough draft going and am hoping to finish in early 2014. Kaitlin's up next. And after that... I don't want to speculate too much. I'd rather just let my mood guide me. 


9. Evan’s a man on a mission, how does anybody go about controlling him?

Ha! You don't. Although Evan is about to realize that there is one thing he can't just use his consider power to get.


10. In terms of Cassie’s parents do you consider their actions as 'Tough love' or selfish fear?

Oh, it's fear. And mostly selfish. I will say in their defence (and God knows they need one!) that they really do love Cassie. But they don't know what to do with her, or how to handle who she is or what she represents. And there's some background Cassie still needs to learn... some secrets and lies. :)

Thanks so much for having me here, and for asking such great questions! It's always so nice to chat with someone who has read the book. :)


Mini Interview with Jennifer L. Armentrout about Pure (via Stuck in Books for the Sentinel release tour).


For JLA – Pure has been called Seth’s book.  Did fans reaction to Seth surprise you?  
I wasn’t really surprised by the reaction to Pure because I knew that the book focused more on Seth than Aiden.

For Alex -  Knowing what you know about Leon, do you think there was more to him being the one to find you in labyrinth?  
Oh, I’m sure there was more to it.

For Aiden -  By far, the zoo was the best scene in Pure.  What did you enjoy most about being at the zoo with Alex?  
I loved knowing that I was doing something for her that made her happy. 

For Seth – That whole sleeping issue that you and Alex have in Pure, did you realize what was up or were you just going with it?  
I would’ve just gone with it.  But, truth?  I knew what was up.



Quinn Loftis (Author of Call Me Crazy & the Grey Wolves series).


Zili: Hi Quinn, thank you for taking the time to answer my questions. First Up I have to say how much I enjoyed Call Me Crazy and reading Tally and Trey’s story (I cried a LOT). 



Quinn: Thank you so much! I really appreciate you taking time to read it!


Z: I’m sure you get asked this a lot, but everybody always wants to know, do you have a favorite character from Call Me Crazy (mine was Candy)?

Q: Candy is definitely my favorite, she was a refreshing break from all the seriousness, even though she did have her tough times. She was so much fun to write.

Z: From your dedication at the end of the book it seems the subject of mental health is very close to your heart. Was the inspiration a personal journey and where did you get the idea behind the story and for Tally?

Q: I was diagnosed with Bipolar disorder (BPD) at the age of 21. It was scary and dark and at times I honestly thought my life was over. I wanted people to get to see inside the mind of someone living with a mental health illness. I wanted people to have some small understanding of what it is to live with this day in and day out and to maybe learn something that could help them in dealing with someone they love who has mental illness.

Z: I really loved seeing Tally’s strength and spirit even when faced with the horrific school bullies. Do you think enough is done to help teenagers with bipolar disorder and to educate kids on the perils of bullying?

Q: I think that bullying is definitely beginning to be brought to light and I think that is awesome, but the root of bullying is the fear of the unknown or the unfamiliar. People often relate to things they don’t understand in a couple of ways, aggression or indifference. Unfortunately because teens are supper charged with hormones it seems they often go the route of aggression. I think that it is more common for a teen with mental health problems to be the object of bully’s because they are often withdrawn, or act in a very inappropriate way (meaning extremely emotional, or flamboyant) and so they become easy targets. I’m hoping that mental health problems in teens will be something that will be brought to light in a positive way to show people that yes it’s real, but it’s not the end of the world.

Z: Trey has the patience of a saint and is really compassionate. Is he based on anybody you know? If so where can we find a guy like him?

Q: Well, I have my own Trey, my husband (no his name isn’t Trey). I was hoping to give Trey some flaws (i.e. a little bit of a temper) because I want girls to realize there is no perfect guy out there―and that’s okay because we aren’t perfect. However, that said, there are guys out there who are willing to work for their relationship to work, they’re willing to CHOOSE love, not rely on the feeling of love and that is what gets you through dark times. And if mental illness is a factor in the relationship there will be some very dark times. Where can you find one, prayer. I prayed for my husband before I ever knew his name. Prayed that God would bring the person into my life who would value marriage and commitment above all else and God brought me Bo. He’s my best friend. He has stood beside me when he should have run for the hills and I can never thank God enough for giving me such a man. Is he perfect, far from it, but he chooses to put God first and me second and that is an order that will make a marriage last. He chooses to love me, BPD and all, and there is no greater gift than for someone to choose to love you when you don’t deserve it. It is true, Love does cover a multitude of sin.

Z: I loved Candy is she based on anybody in particular? Also where do you get the inspiration for character names (Candy Bush is a hoot)?

Q: Well, Candy is very close to home and loosely based off a person I met during my own dark time in a psychiatric facility. She brought me a smile when I needed it most. The names, well Candy (short for Candace is sort of a tribute to a dear friend of mine, she knows who she is) and you all know my pension for innuendos, so the bush was added because it cracked me up. I wanted Tally to have a cute name and something distinct.

Z: After reading Call Me Crazy what would you hope your readers can learn or take away with them?

Q: I hope that they see mental illness as something real, and not something that people can just turn off. I hope that they realize there is hope and that they can have full happy life.

Z: I often see authors saying a particular character wasn’t originally meant to be as important as he or she ended up being. Did any of the characters in Call Me Crazy go through any dramatic changes?

Q: No, all the characters were exactly what I had planned for them to be and I really am happy how they turned out.

Z: What are you working on next?



Q: I’m in the middle of Book 7, Sacrifice of Love for the Grey Wolves Series.
Thank you so much!



A big thanks to Quinn for her honest and open answers. I hope you all enjoy reading Call Me Crazy as much as I did (have your tissues at the ready)!



Cathy Perkins (Author of the Crime/Mystery Romance book For Love or Money).


CP: Good morning Zili. Thanks for inviting me to visit with you today.


Z: Hi Cathy, when did you decide you wanted to be a writer?

CP: I’ve had a life-long love affair with reading, but I didn’t start writing until about five years ago. This probably isn’t how most people start, but I had a lengthy consulting job in a city about 90 miles away. I’d listen to music and daydream during the commute. Pretty soon the day dream had dialogue and I thought, hmm, this is turning into a good story. That particular book lives in a box under the bed, but I was hooked on writing, creating worlds and characters.


Z: Is there anyone in particular who influenced your decision to become a writer?


CP: Every author of every book I’ve read (and that’s in the thousands) probably isn’t a good answer. Three people who’ve had a direct impact on my writing career are:


Renee Rearden–fantastic urban fantasy author and the world’s best critique partner

Steve Vassey–South Carolina Writer’s Workshop local chapter head and the guy who encouraged me when I first inched out and showed someone my first story.


Jenny Crusie–Fabulous author and teacher at my first Lowcountry Masterclass. I learned so much, I think my head nearly exploded that week!



Z: Where did you get the idea behind For Love or Money?


CP: My stories grow out of day dreams, the snippet of an idea, a what-if. My husband and I were hiking along the Snake River in a game management area called Big Flats (which happens to feature in For Love or Money) and had to push through some tangled foliage at the shoreline. Being a mystery writer whose mind can go all kinds of strange places, I glanced over my shoulder and said,“Wouldn't this be a great place to find a body?”


That germ of an idea kept growing. Why would the heroine be out at Big Flats to stumble over the body? How did the body end up beside the river in the first place?


Z: Do you have a favourite character from For Love or Money?
CP: Oh, isn't that like asking who's your favorite child? I spent the most time with Holly, so I feel “closest” to her. Holly is smart and ambitious, but like many women, she’s struggling to find not just balance in her life, but also to define her definition of success.


Over the course of the story, she has a few “No sh*t, Sherlock; you're just figuring that out?” moments (Hmm, are we allowed to say things like that…) as she learns what really matters to her. Of course, she has these fraud and murder investigations to resolve before the killer puts a bullet into her, but that’s a different issue.



Z: Who, if anybody is Holly based on?


CP: I know a number of talented, hard-working women Holly's age and a few with her off-beat sense of humor, but she's just a character who evolved as the story came together. Once I had the (requisitely hideous) first draft on the page, I knew she'd be curious and tenacious, as well as want to do the right thing for her friend.


Z: Is JC based on anybody you know?


CP: JC is also a fictional mashup of guys I've met over the years. While he would be good at his job (and the sexual chemistry between Holly and JC was so fun to write), I wanted him to be very human, with his own baggage to carry. Clearly they still have obstacles to overcome which will show up in “Book 2” of the series.


Z: Is Alex’s mother based on anybody you know?


CP: Now that I think about it, the minor characters are more likely to be based on someone I've met. Dickerman, aka The Shrimp, is based on a patrol officer I had to deal with in a volunteer position– and his name is drawn from a person who annoyed me for years. Word of warning– authors do stuff like that :)


Alex's mother is an exaggeration of the headache known as a friend's mother-in-law.


Z: Does the ‘pigging’ really happen in real life?


CP: Yes, it did.


Visitors today will have to read the book to figure out what we're referring to!


A big thank you to Cathy for taking the time to answer my questions - I think I'd run the other way from Alex's mother... shudder! ICYMI you can see my review of For Love or Money here!




Fan Art:


I freely admit I suck at drawing, but I thought I give a huge shout out to the talented people out there who can!

All pics & fab art on here were either sent to me or I have listed the source URL and given full credit. I have no intention of stealing your hard work, I just want to celebrate it!

I love this beautiful drawing of the Elf Legolas Greenleaf by Idolwild on deviantART! He's exactly as Tolkien originally described him and I like the back to nature vibe he has going on in this pic!



An awesome drawing of the bad ass warriors from The Black Dagger Brotherhood by J.R. Ward. Drawing by MayManiac on deviant art!



 Rehv from the BDB. Created by PeridotLeo812 on deviant art!




Kate & Curran from the Kate Daniels series by Ilona Andrews. 
Drawing by Hep-Hap on deviantart! So cute!




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