Interview with Reader’s Favorite Book Award-Winner, Deanie Humphrys-Dunne

Today’s guest author is Reader’s Favorite Book Award-Winner, Deanie Humphrys-Dunne. Deanie is a winner in 2016, 50 Great Writers You Should Be Reading Presented by The Author’s She has received several other awards and nominations.

I met Deanie online a few years ago, and we have been author buddies ever since. I hope you have fun learning a little bit more about Deanie through the conversation we had below.  Her book My Life at Sweetbrier is being spotlighted in this interview as it is a true story that I loved.

My Life at Sweetbrier by Deanie Humphrys-Dunne is a beautiful, touching true story about a little girl that was diagnosed with a condition Cerebral Palsy and was told by her doctor that she would never be able to walk. Her father would not accept that diagnosis and instills faith in his little girl, and he set out to teach her to ride horses and felt if she could do that, she would be okay. Her parents opened a riding school (Sweetbrier) so that her dad could keep his promise to her. Despite her diagnosis, the family sets out on quite a journey in life…I recommend this book for older aged children for a couple of reasons, because it is a touching story of determination and it teaches a lesson never to give up, and that dreams can come true.

Big Bear Hugs,


How long have you been writing?

I studied and graduated from 2 courses at the Institute of Children’s Literature before writing my first book, Tails of Sweetbrier. It was published in 2009 but republished in 2017 with a new title, My Life at Sweetbrier, a new cover, and five additional chapters.

Do you like silence or music when you are writing?

I prefer silence because I think it’s easier to concentrate on my writing without distractions.

Is there any one thing that helps the creative juices flow?

No, I’d like to discover one, though.  If I have trouble discovering an idea, I try taking a break from writing. It sometimes helps me gather ideas.

What is your next work in progress?

My sister, Holly Humphrys-Bajaj, is working on the illustrations for our next book. We’re excited about creating our first picture book, about a little tractor named Wilbur. We don’t have a timeframe for the release yet, but I’ll be sure to keep you updated on it.

What would you like readers to remember most about My Life at Sweetbrier?

I think every child deserves to be inspired to follow their dreams because all things are possible if you persevere. You can realize your dreams against the odds like I did.

Thank you so much for interviewing me today, Virginia. We had fun together, as always. -Deanie

You are welcome, Deanie. It was fun…you truly are an inspiration. Xo -Virginia

Amazon page:



Memories of Sweetbrier:

Children’s Author Deanie Humphrys-Dunne:


Interview by: Author and Illustrator, Virginia Wright 
Books by Virginia Wright can be found at and other online retail stores
Latest release: Who the Hell Are you? Alzheimer’s the Wrong Diagnosis

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Author Interview With Marion L. Cornett, Historical Fiction Writer

Marion L. Cornett

Marion L. Cornett

Prohibition Historical Fiction – Juniper and Anise By Marion L. Cornett

 Marion, could you please tell us what draws you to the historical fiction genre?

I did a great deal of research putting together two local history books—The Fowlerville Chronicles (a chronology of the village from 1836 to 2011) and also Through the Eyes of a Country Editor (a biography of the editor of The Fowlerville Review from 1874-1929)—and found I was quite entranced with the era shortly after World War I and through the second war. 

The Volstead Act, which created what is known as the Prohibition Era, was such an exciting period of time, both good and bad.  Women were fighting for the right to vote and finally getting their voice heard, but it was also a time for those on the edge of the law to find ways to make large amounts of money in the selling of illegal alcohol.  Throw into the mix, the stock market crash and the Great Depression, and this era soon turned into one of the bloodiest and most violent times for some and a test of survival for many others in the United States’ history.

My attention was drawn to those stories of survival. 

I self-published both local history books and they are available through my Path Publishing website at and also on Amazon.  My historical novel, Juniper and Anise, was published through Whiskey Creek Press.   

This is one of my favorite questions to ask author’s, as I like to hear the answers…so here goes, how long have you been writing?

Since 2009, I have concentrated a great deal more time and energy in crafting my writing but I have always been interested in journaling, reporting, and coming up with stories.  Like many, I have kept a diary or journal since my youth but it wasn’t until I took various writing and journalism classes at a local community college that I started to believe I could do this.     

 Please give us a brief description of your book Juniper and Anise.

Hulda Pearl Rosenkowski escapes to America after World War I, after her mother, father, and brother were killed by scavengers at the end of that war.  She was able to grab a few coins and even less of the family precious jewels and, as she sees her resources dwindling, she has to find a way to survive.  By happenstance, she ends up in an old, broken-down farmhouse located just north of a small town in mid-Michigan, as the guest of an elderly widow.  When the widow dies, Hulda becomes a squatter in the house and soon finds herself in need.  It isn’t long that she figures out the market for hooch, giggle juice, jag juice, whatever they called illegal alcohol, and quickly, she becomes a woman bootlegger during Prohibition.  As the story progresses, her desires to visit speakeasies and be a part of the “flapper” sensation far outweighs everything else and she soon has brushes with the Detroit Purple Gang. 

The story of Hulda is told through the eyes of a small-town sheriff and the reader gets to know numerous characters that revolve around this woman bootlegger.      

Your book sounds really interesting… If you could become a character in your latest book Juniper and Anise, briefly tell us which character you would like to be and why?

Like so many authors I have read about or spoken with, it is quite often a secondary character that remains when all others fade away.  For me, I fell in love with Izzy Bouchard.  She was a young gal that landed at the back stoop of Hulda’s farmhouse, beaten and alone.  She was taken in by Hulda and they soon forged an unlikely friendship that helped to heal both of them.  In many ways, Izzy had an inner strength far larger than anyone in that village and her opinions, while always spot on, sometimes offered up some comic relief in this story.  She basically spoke her mind, something we would all love to do!

Keeping with the flavor of my blog, and because I am a foodie… what would have been a favorite dessert from the era that surrounds Juniper and Anise?

Izzy, the character I grew to love so much, was a baker.  Her “specialty” was the Lady Baltimore cake, a sweet confection popular in the early 1900s.  The white layer cake was put together with a meringue frosting filled with raisins, nuts, and other dried fruit.  In my research, I also found Campbell’s Soups had created a cake using a can of tomato soup as one of the ingredients.

I didn’t try making the Lady Baltimore cake but I did put together the Campbell’s Soup Spicy Tomato Cake to test my research.  The tomato cake was pretty tasty, especially topped with a cream cheese frosting.  Both recipes are easily accessible by searching on the internet.

Please tell us a little bit about yourself, Marion.

My husband, Doug, and I recently celebrated our 17th anniversary.  We were high school sweethearts that “broke up” after graduation and then found each other 26 years later.  Between us, we have five children and six grandchildren and a lot of fun! 

Over the years, I have found various forms of creativity.  Someone once asked how long it took me to write Juniper and Anise.  I answered about nine months, and then I started thinking about that answer.  In reality, it took me 40 years to get to this point.  Creativity is fluid—in my early years, I worked on handicrafts, having over 350 designs published in national magazines.  These designs included knitted, crocheted, and needlepoint projects that I created and then the patterns and finished product would be published.  The majority of those designs were published under the name Marion Kelley.

In later years, I moved onto writing newspaper and internet articles for motorcycle racing, something my husband and I are involved in. 

When I was asked by a local newspaperman to start a blog about our small town, I became interested in local history.  I soon realized so much history was being lost or disappearing, so I compiled and edited two books that I self-published (and learned a great deal in that whole process).  I have since written history books for my paternal and maternal sides of the family. 

Then, after 40 years of creativity, I was finally ready to write a novel.

Do you have a BIP (Book in Progress), and if so, please share a little bit about it.

I do have a work in progress that is completed and is now in the editing process.  It is entitled Tilly Loves Johnny.  I refer to it as a companion novel to Juniper and Anise.  The story takes place in the same time period and same village but with completely new characters and a murder mystery to solve.  I have made vague references to some of the characters in my first novel so if a reader knows the first book, they will be “in the know” when they come across those references.

Since Tilly Loves Johnny is in its final stages, I have begun the third (and last) book for that era (at this point).  I realized early on I wanted to create a trilogy, of sorts, but not in the traditional way of following the same characters.  I will be cagey at this point on the third book’s title and story since I am still in the early developmental stages.

Where can we find you, Marion? Blog, Facebook, Twitter, Amazon page, etc.

My author website (always a work in progress) can be found at and I’d love to have everyone “like” my facebook fanpage at where I post fun facts, motivational thoughts, information on my book and upcoming publications, and generally offer up whatever strikes my fancy!  My twitter handle is @marionatpath, and I have a blog for Fowlerville (Cedartown in the novel) which can be found at www.fowlerville.blogspot.comThe Fowlerville Observer, as I call my blog, has over 2,500 articles and around 2,000 photographs.  It has become quite a useful research tool for local families or anyone interested in small-town living.    

Marion, I ask all the authors I interview to partake in a paperback giveaway—and you so graciously agreed to participate. Please let the folks know joining us today what they must do for a chance to win a copy of Juniper and Anise.

Let’s try something a little different. 2014 juniper and anise cover

Since I would like to drive internet traffic to my Path Publishing site, how about I post a blog article on The Fowlerville Observer at and ask the reader to click on the link to, do a little browsing and come back to The Fowlerville Observer and comment on which blank book they would also like.  At the end of a week’s time, I will draw a winner and that person will then receive both a copy of Juniper and Anise as well as one of the six choices of blank books available (gardening, recipes, kidisms, advice, happiness, or passwords and user names).

Where can your book be purchased (Link)?

Juniper and Anise is available on my publisher’s site at as well as and  Following is the link to Amazon for both the ebook and paperback formats: I also have paperbacks available for purchase on both and

Thank you, Marion, for letting us get to know you better. I wish you all the best on your next book in progress!

-Virginia Wright, Author, Illustrator & Foodie
You can find me and buy my books here:



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Fiona Mcvie – Poet, and Author Interviewer–Interviews Virginia Wright USA Author

Fiona Mcvie loves writing poems, reading, baking and cooking–but she also enjoys connecting authors and readers through her Author Interview blog, “Authors Interviews.” She has done many interviews with various genre authors–back before Christmas, she asked if I would be interested in her doing an interview with me; of course I said yes! She did a lovely job with her questions–I hope you all go take a peek.

I am going to be giving away (1) book “TODAY ONLY” March 14, 2014, to a commenter of her blog. What are you waiting for???? Click to view the interview Good Luck with a possible win! Make me smile when you comment! The one who makes me smile the most wins!

-Virginia Wright  :-)

Fiona Mcvie Author Interview With Virginia Wright Author

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Author Interview with Virginia Wright by Jodi Desautels

Hi Everyone! This is my first post in 2014–And I am extremely excited as I have a couple of writing projects planned for this year. One of them is a “My First Book” series, and the first book in the series is titled: Wild Animal Sounds. This will be age appropriate for toddlers 0-4.  This is a book I wrote and illustrated many years ago, and like many of my writings pulled it out and gave it another look and had renewed energy with it. The illustrations I am doing for the book are coming along lovely. I’m very excited to start sharing some of them as I go along, and the cover is almost complete.  And there will be more details given as I have them throughout the year about all my writing endeavors.

Today I am honored to have been interviewed by a fellow author/illustrator and educator, BookCoverImageJodi Desautels. Next week I will be giving away my educational, non-fiction book Buzzzzzzzz What Honeybees Do, to one of the commenters on her blog post.

Please visit  Jodi’s blog to read the interview she did with me. Don’t forget to comment for your chance of winning my book, Buzzzzzzzz What Honeybees Do.

See you there…


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Ashley Howland Guest Author, Post by Virginia Wright

Welcome! I climbed out of the bear den long enough to do a long awaited author interview with Ashley Howland. Please raise your paws and give me a hand in welcoming Ashley.

***For all of you who don’t know why I am talking in code, I’m on a sabbatical and told everyone I was climbing into the cave for a few months. Don’t you know, a bear has to come out of the bear den and find a little fodder to eat and stretch once in awhile…right?



On with my guest author, Ashley Howland:

Ashley Howland lives in Adelaide, South Australia. She lives with her husband Ross, two daughters, Mr addy Aijay and her two spoilt Labradors Obi and Stitch. Her girls inspire her everyday to write children’s books and the dogs often provide the material. Ashley also works as the curriculum manager for Labs ‘n Life. This requires random extra Labradors to appear in their lives and of course in Ashley’s stories. You can find more information about Ashley and her books here:

The Homework Goblin

Jason has finally finished his homework on time. He leaves it on his desk, ignoring the advice from his big sister, only to discover The Homework Goblin has stolen it! Jason

chases the goblin on an amazing adventure. Will he get his homework back?

Have you ever lost your homework? Maybe The Homework Goblin stole it?





Ashley please give us a brief introduction of yourself as an author, i.e., where you are from, how long you have been writing, etc,

I have been writing stories as long as I can remember. I just love coming up with crazy ideas and getting them down on the computer. I also love writing with my girls, they certainly provide me with lots of material! My first book was published in 2009 and that was an amazing feeling, it’s actually got better each time and is something I really look forward to!

Writing is my hobby, it’s my release. Sometimes I wish I had more time, but I also think my stories are better because I have so much else going on in my life.

I wish I had more time to write too!! What I am learning though, as author’s we have to steal the time!

What are the names of your books?

My three children’s novels are:

Ghostnapped – a mystery about a young girl who wants to be a world famous explorer. On a camping trip her younger brother is Ghostnapped and she must solve a mystery of the past to rescue him. Along the way she discovers a truly unique monster.

Obi the Super Puppy and the Mystery of the Red Mist – this is Obi (my yellow Labrador) reliving his first adventure. He tells Maddy and Aijay how he became a super puppy and began his journey fighting evil. He must stop an evil red mist from destroying all Labradors.

The Homework Goblin – Jason finishes his homework only to discover the Homework Goblin has stolen it. Will he get it back on time?

My flash fiction fairy tales also appear in a Chapter Book Challenge anthology that is due to be released soon!

Your books sound wonderful! I LOVE your cover of The Homework Goblin!  Wishing you all the best on your new release to!

What inspires you to write?

My girls (aged 6 and 4), they are so creative and love telling everyone that Mummy writes books. They also love to read and hear my stories. Recently they have started to put in orders for books, so they certainly keep me busy. My dogs also inspire me. I work with Obi and Stitch and a host of other Labradors. They are amazing animals, so patient, but they are also clowns. A lot of my ideas come from them. This year I have also participated in blog challenges and the Chapter Book Challenge, these have given me new ideas too. It’s nice to interact with other authors and to share ideas. I also enjoy challenging myself.

Lucky girls!

Do you prefer to write in silence or listening to music?

I just like having the time to write. Although I tend to write in silence, it doesn’t actually bother me. If I am on a roll nothing will distract me. I even have to set an alarm if I have something else that needs to be done! I just love getting the time to write, so anywhere, anytime, through any noise!

I’m a silence person and a music person…it depends on what I am writing!

What time of the day do you find yourself writing the most?

Mainly at night, only because there is always other things to do during the day. Even on the days I don’t work it’s hard to find the time to actually write. So I try to get everything else done. Then when the house is quiet I can sit and write without thinking about other things that need to be done!

I’m a night writer too!

Tell us a little bit about your next WIP?

I have a few at the moment. I am editing the sequel to Obi the Super Puppy and the Mystery of the Red Mist. It’s lots of fun and introduces some of my other favourite dogs. I have called it Obi the Super Puppy and the Quest for the Last Laugh. I am hoping to have it ready for assessment and editing very soon!

I am also working on some flash fiction – a female super hero piece. Which I got my girls to help me with. They had so much fun and have given me so much material I can probably make a whole series of chapter books. For now the flash fiction piece will have to do!

The other one is a challenge about finding a charm. I have the dolphin charm, so will see how my girls go with that. They are a great help.

Other projects include a series of chapter books about the girl’s adventures. Once again they have given me too much material.

I am also editing a longer novel for teens. This is going to take some time, but I am hopeful  that it will be ready for publishing next year.

Nothing like being busy!

I agree Ashley, isn’t it grand! Wishing you the best with all your WIP’s!







Where can people contact you?


Web page:

Face book:

Ghostnapped Face book:

Obi Face book:

Purchase Ghostnapped:

Purchase Obi the Super Puppy and the Mystery of the Red Mist:

Purchase The Homework Goblin:



Amazon link:

Thank you for stopping by Ashley!

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