Dark and Twisted Author Spotlight with Melissa Groeling…#Thriller…#Excerpt


Just to keep your heart pounding…

Earlier this morning, we got your heart pumping and your blood flowing with a little sexiness. Now, we’re going to make your heart jump again as Melissa Groeling stops by to tell us about her smash thriller: Lights Out.

About the Book

Lights Out coverEven when the lights are out, he can still see you…

Paul Holten’s profession doesn’t leave much room for doubt or conscience but he’s reaching his breaking point. The nightmares are getting worse, the jobs are getting harder to finish and the volatile relationship with his boss, Aaron, is falling apart. Now faced with the possibility of an impending death sentence, Paul makes the fatal decision to run. Drawn into one hellish situation after another, he’s forced to confront his dark past—and wonder if perhaps dying isn’t the better option.

Find Lights Out:

On Amazon

On Barnes and Nobel

On Smashwords

On ARe

On Goodreads

Read Melissa Groeling’s guest blog before scrolling down and reading an excerpt of Lights Out.


Hey there, A.C.! Thanks for having me on your blog today! I had to literally shovel my way here. The Northeast has been getting slammed with snow these past few weeks! I work for a pet food company and I’m always making jokes about how we should have a dog sled team available to bring us into work when the weather gets like this

So anyway! Enough about the weather! 

I have a new book out right now called, Lights Out. It’s a thriller novel, one that took me a looooooong time to finally submit to my publishing company, Black Opal Books. It’s been through so many revisions, so many re-writes and I can’t even tell you how many times I wanted to set it on fire. But something always stopped me, always drew me back to it. It ended up being like my go-to story when I was stuck with writer’s block on something else.

Lights Out is a dark, twisted story. I will be first to admit it. I grew up watching scary movies (Aliens, Hellraiser, The Exocist, you know all those classics) and reading scary books (Dean Koontz, Stephen King, Del James and Robert McCammon) so a part of me isn’t too surprised by the content of the book. Of course, there’s another part of me that truly wonders about my state of mind especially when, upon finishing Lights Out, my mom and my sister had a little pow-wow and asked each other,

“What’s wrong with her?”

Her being me.

I thought it was a compliment. I still think it is. The story wasn’t what they were expecting. That’s the reaction every writer wants, I think. But during the course of writing the story, I asked myself that question over and over again. And you know what?

I’m still not sure of the answer.

Lights Out Excerpt

They had to get out of there—and fast—but he couldn’t see a thing…

Jesus, it was dark.
It was disorienting in its completeness, in its total lack of light. In his lifetime, Paul had had his sight temporarily taken from him many times. Mostly by people who didn’t want to be looked at or identified if—God forbid—something went wrong. But there had always been some degree of light leaking through the blindfold or a shift in someone’s hand that was clamped tightly over his eyes, or the loose weaves in a rut-sack that was tied around his head. He’d always been able to see something.

This, however, was like the deepest part of the ocean. This was like having his eyes glued shut. This was what it meant to be blind.

The air grew colder and with that came the struggle to breathe. He didn’t know if it was claustrophobia but it came pretty damn close. His chest hurt and his throat felt like someone was cramming cotton into his mouth. He tried to breathe more slowly, to at least calm the thundering in his rib cage, but the darkness around him fed the panic that was skating through his bones. The stones beneath his fingers were wet in some places and icy in others and, under his feet, things crunched and squeaked like he was stepping through snow and ice.

He hoped it was snow and ice.

Echoes came from all sides of him. It was impossible to decipher one sound from the next. He wondered if people who heard voices were anything like this. Just one gigantic ball of murmuring sounds and words that didn’t make any sense.

There was a scraping sound behind him.

About the Author

Melissa Groeling graduated from Bloomsburg University with a degree in English. She lives, reads and writes in the Philadelphia region and wherever else life happens to send her. She is a hardcore New York Giants fan and loves chocolate. Lights Out is her second novel to date.

Come find me at Facebook!

Twitter: @stringbean10

Blog: http://melissagroeling.blogspot.com

Poetry and Spoken Word…Indie Spotlight Aray Brown


Aray Brown is a new independent author/poet.  Her first book “Expressions OF Me” was officially released on October 2013.

Ever since she was little she always wanted to be a writer.  She began writing at an early age, her short stories consisted of Araycartoon characters such as She-Ra and He-Man.  Later on she decided to delve into something more real and personal.  Despite the trials and tribulations she endured in her life, she wrote her first novel “Love Don’t Live Here Anymore”, a tell all book centered around the life and times she spent with her grandmother while her mother was in prison. It was never published.  She then went on writing more unpublished novels, honing her craft so to speak.  She didn’t dabble into poetry until later.  It all started with a pen and paper then escalated to her very own YouTube channel (1,551 views and counting). Then finally self publishing her first poetry book.  If it wasn’t for a certain r&b artist she wouldn’t have the courage to showcase her poetry.  She always wanted to do it but she hated her voice at that time.  After watching his videos off and on, she figured if he can do it then so can she.  After that, a star was born.  Writing has always been her passion and will continue to be, until her last breath.  She is currently working on her second book, her first novel,  entitled, Blood Is Thicker Than Water.

Your first book: Expressions of Me was released in October 2013. Tell us a little about it.

It’s a collection of poems that I have written throughout my life. It’s about love. About fear. About heartache and hope. Some of them speak to the people and deal with real issues that plague our society (like aids, education, domestic abuse, etc.)

ExpressionsOfMeWhy poetry?

For me it’s like why not poetry. It has become a vital part of my life. To put my thoughts and feelings down on paper, it allows me to express myself in such a way that I’m not able to verbally. At the end of the day it’s therapeutic. It’s a gift that I don’t take for granted.

I just spent some time watching your spoken word performances on youtube. It’s very inspirational. For those readers out there that might not be familiar with spoken word poetry, can you explain it a bit for us?

Spoken Word is poetry that is written but performed for an audience. It is more aggressive and “in your face” than traditional forms of poetry. Even though I have showcased my poems on youtube, I have yet to grace a stage. My time will come though. Just hope I don’t get stage fright.

What impact does your spoken word have on your written poetry?

Like every poet, when I recite my poems I try to pour my heart and soul into it. Especially if it pertains to me in anyway. So to answer to your question, a huge impact.

What I really like about your poetry is that it has ups and downs, just like real life. Do you draw your inspiration from your own life? If so, how?

Inspiration comes from everywhere. But my own life experiences have played a part. I haven’t had that much life experience(I’m a hermit) but the things I’ve dealt with firsthand are reflected in my poems. We’ve all experienced first love, unrequited love, heartache and getting over the loss of a loved one and being stuck with nowhere to go. The best thing about being a writer is that you can write through your pain. All of them have a powerful message and they reflect me in some way.

Poetry often comes from the poet’s own conflicts. What conflicts have you encountered in your life that lends itself to your poetry?

The stresses of everyday life. The trials of tribulations of not only what we women go through but what we people deal with as well.
This blog is about the struggles and triumphs of being an “Indie”. What motivated you to do Independent Publishing, rather than seeking a traditional publisher?

I just decided to do it. I had always planned on going the traditional route, but for some reason it didn’t work out as planned. And although I think there are more advantages to Traditional more than the Independent, I do like the full creative control aspect of it. I have say over the whole process and it’s a good feeling. I wanted to get my book out there and I wanted to make a name for myself. Independent Publishing was the best move for me.
I know that promotion has been the hardest thing for me, as an Indie Author. One thing that you do (that I’m not brave enough to do yet), is use YouTube as a platform. What tips do you have for someone who is shy or a little insecure but wants to make Youtube videos? How did you overcome these things and decide to put yourself out there on YouTube?

I was shy and insecure. I’m still shy. Before youtube, I would showcase my poems on my blog. And of course tweeted it and shared it with as many people as I could. But I wanted to do more. I knew there was a much broader audience out there and I wanted to reach it. But I had one setback. I hated my voice. At that time I was an admirer of this guy who had this amazing voice. Needless to say, after watching his videos, he gave me the courage to do it. He was my inspiration, in more ways than one. The only tip I would have would be to just do it. Find your inner strength. If God gave you a gift you have to share it with the world or else what good is it?

Your poem; Epiphany III ends with the lines: “You only get one shot to live this life. Live it to the fullest, give it all you got”. How do you do this in your own life?

I try to live my life by that mantra but I sometimes I fall short. I just try to do the best I can do. Spend my time doing what I love, spending it with the people I love and doing God’s will. Epiphany III has to be one of my favorites. It depicts apart of my life I wasn’t proud of that time.

Finally, what’s next? Do you plan on releasing more books of poetry or are you working on a different type of work?

I’m currently working on a mystery/suspense novel. It’s about a woman who tracks down her mother’s killer, killing off people one by one, while losing herself in the process. There certainly will be more poetry books in the future for sure. After all I’m poet. I can’t deny that part of me. But for now, I’m leading towards my first love. I have a lot of up and coming projects coming so stay tuned

Where can my readers connect with you? 

Twitter: www.twitter.com/Aray_Brown

Facebook: http:// on.fb.me/1fkDiJV

Goodreads: http://www.goodreads.com/arayb

YouTube: www.youtube.com/floacistms35

Aray: www.araybrown.blogspot.com

Amazon: http://amzn.to/17C1HZx

Barnes and Noble: http://bit.ly/1ckMyQc

Google Play: https://play.google.com/store/books/details/Aray_Brown_Expressions_Of_Me?id=peLHAQAAQBAJ

Kobo: http://store.kobobooks.com/en-US/ebook/expressions-of-me