Author Spotlight · Interview with an Author

Interview with an Author featuring Rob Samborn

The Literary Vixen presents…

Joining us today is Rob Samborn! His debut novel, The Prisoner of Paradise: A Dual-Timeline Thriller Set in Venice (Painted Souls Book 1) released on November 30th 2021.

How long have you been writing?

Like many authors, I’ve been writing stories since I was a kid, but professionally (or with professional aspirations), for about twenty years. My professional writing training and education is in screenwriting. I’ve written nine feature scripts, as well as some TV pilots, shorts and work-for-hire projects. I’m also a script doctor. Though I still work on screenplays, I transitioned to novels about seven years ago.

Describe a typical writing day.

This has changed considerably since the release of my first book, The Prisoner of Paradise, in Nov. 2021. My second book, Painter of the Damned, releases on Oct. 25, 2022. Nowadays, beyond my day job, about 80% of my writing day is filled up with book marketing and promotion activities, as well as editing and/or prep for my next release. I often don’t start on actual writing until 9:00 at night!

Where do you get your inspiration for your books?

For all my book and script ideas, I get inspiration from everywhere. It could be a real event or person, something I see, a theme, or ideas that pop into my head for characters or plot. I have a list of over 100 different story ideas.

For my current books, which are a series, they’re all inspired by the same idea. I’ve always been fascinated with the concept of soul mates—the connection between two people that goes beyond physical attraction or shared interests, etc. And this doesn’t need to be between people who are romantically involved. It can definitely be felt between friends. Oftentimes, it’s an immediate, unexplainable connection. I’ve always wanted to explore that theme in a story.

On a trip to Venice, I was captivated with paintings by a Renaissance master named Jacopo Tintoretto. Many of his paintings are massive in scale, and includes dozens, and sometimes, hundreds of people. The paintings of these people are portraits in their own right and the people run the gamut in terms of race, gender, age, social class, etc. I started wondering where he got his inspiration from. Of course, artists use models, but he would’ve had a line of people out his door.

All of these people have truly been immortalized. They’re still there, plain as day, hanging on a museum wall.

From there, I married this concept of immortalization through art with my fascination with soul mates. I thought, maybe it’s their souls that are captured in the paintings. And a story was born…

What do you hope your readers take away from this book?

I want readers to be captivated with the characters and go on what is often a heart-wrenching journey. I want them to have a thrilling escape while they’re reading, but there’s also a decent amount of history and art, so if people learn something, I’d love that, as well. And as a take away, I hope they want to read the next book!

What is the significance of the title?

The Prisoner of Paradise actually has different meanings and people will need to read the book to find out. However, the obvious significance is that it revolves around Tintoretto’s Paradise, the world’s largest oil painting. This real-life painting has hundreds of people in it. In my book, one of these people is a woman whose soul has been imprisoned in the two-dimensional canvas as a purgatory of sorts.

How much ‘world building’ takes place before you start writing?

A huge amount. Though my book takes place in the real world in real places, not everybody is familiar with Venice, Italy. So, it was very important for me to not only establish that world but continue building it as the story goes. It also takes place in the present and 16th century, so I need to build the 16th century world.

What was the highlight of writing this book?

There are obvious career highlights – getting an agent, signing with the publisher, release of the book. Post release, whenever someone says they love my book, that’s a highlight that never gets old. And during the writing process, I love writing a scene and then when I reread it, I know it’s something special.

Are you working on anything at the present you would like to share with me?

I’m currently working on the third book in the series, which will be released in 2023.

What advice would you give to other authors?

For aspiring authors who haven’t been published yet, my advice is to never stop learning your craft, never stop reading, and never stop learning about the industry. Writers need to realize and accept this is a business. You’re creating a product to sell in a marketplace.

What is the one thing you want people to know about you and your books?

That my books are escapist thrill rides set in the real world. If you love thrillers or historical mysteries and want to go on a journey unlike any you’ve read or seen, I think you’ll love my books.


Thank you Rob Samborn for chatting with me! I will include his information down below. Check out The Prisoner of Paradise today!


A disembodied whisper.
A soul mate murdered in 1589.
An ancient order that will kill to silence the truth.


Nick and Julia O’Connor’s dream trip to Venice collapses when a haunting voice reaches out to Nick from Tintoretto’s Paradise, the world’s largest oil painting.

Though Julia worries her husband suffers from a delusion, Nick is adamant the voice belongs to a woman from the 16th century—his soul mate from a previous life. He discovers a religious order that has developed a method of extracting people’s souls, which they imprison in Paradise. Over the centuries, they’ve judged thousands of souls and sentenced them to eternal purgatory.

As infatuation with the past clouds his commitment to a present-day wife, Nick must right an age-old wrong—destroy the painting and liberate his soul mate. But freeing her would allow all the souls to be reborn.

The order will never let that happen.

A riveting thriller ignites with a time-spanning love story. Perfect for fans of Dan Brown, Diana Gabaldon, Neil Gaiman or David Mitchell.

In addition to being a novelist, Rob Samborn is a screenwriter, entrepreneur and avid traveler. He’s been to forty countries, lived in five of them  and studied nine languages. As a restless spirit who can’t remember the last time he was bored, Rob is on a quest to explore the intricacies of our world and try his hand at a multitude of crafts; he’s also an accomplished artist and musician, as well as a budding furniture maker. A native New Yorker who lived in Los Angeles for twenty years, he now makes his home in Denver with his wife, daughter and dog.


Facebook Author Page: 







Feature · New Release

Cleopatra’s Dagger by Carole Lawrence – New Release


Cleopatra’s Dagger by Carole Lawrence is now available!


A journalist in nineteenth-century New York matches wits with a serial killer in a gripping thriller by the prizewinning author of the Ian Hamilton Mysteries.

New York, 1880. Elizabeth van den Broek is the only female reporter at the Herald, the city’s most popular newspaper. Then she and her bohemian friend Carlotta Ackerman find a woman’s body wrapped like a mummy in a freshly dug hole in Central Park—the intended site of an obelisk called Cleopatra’s Needle. The macabre discovery takes Elizabeth away from the society pages to follow an investigation into New York City’s darkest shadows.

When more bodies turn up, each tied to Egyptian lore, Elizabeth is onto a headline-making scoop more sinister than she could have imagined. Her reporting has readers spellbound, and each new clue implicates New York’s richest and most powerful citizens. And a serial killer is watching every headline.

Now a madman with an indecipherable motive is coming after Elizabeth and everyone she loves. She wants a good story? She may have to die to get it.

Author Spotlight · Coming Soon · Interview with an Author · Pre-Order

Interview with an Author Featuring Ally Vance

The Literary Vixen presents…

Joining us today is Ally Vance! Her upcoming release, Wicked Dreams (The Reveries Duet Book 1) will release on October 27th 2020.

When did you realize you wanted to be a writer?

When I was about 8 I got hooked on reading and wrote my very first story, but I was about 13 when I knew for sure that’s what I wanted to be.

What about the horror genre interests you?

The freedom of it and the lack of limitations when it comes to writing and reading it. I expect to be scared or horrified and I love how it pushes all of the boundaries.

What was the first horror/story you remember reading?

I think it was Cirque du Freak by Darren Shan

Do you ever come up with anything so wild that you scare yourself, that leaves you wondering where that came from?

There have been a few moments for sure when writing when I’ve felt that way.

Do you have a favorite character that you have written? If so who? And what makes them so special.

I love most of my characters but one of my current favourites is Maia from Mutatus (Carnaval Des Ténèbres #3). There is a lot that makes her special, but I think her strength and love for those around her stands out, as well as the fact that had Yolanda Olson not asked me to join the collaborative series she wouldn’t exist.

Do you ever research real events, legends, or myths to get ideas?

Occasionally I’ve done research to help with character development and get details on real events/legends.

Do you look to your own phobias to find subject matter? Are your stories the products of nightmares, childhood experiences, fantasies?

I have occasionally used my own experiences to write with, but not all. I have never written about one of my phobias, but that doesn’t mean I won’t someday.

What is one stereotype about horror authors is absolutely wrong? What one stereotype is dead on?

It’s wrong that we are all as scary as our writing, but it’s true that we are all serial killers; no fictional character is safe from us!

Do you have any fun Halloween experiences you can share with us?

I went to a Halloween party one year as a vampire with my boyfriend (now husband) and he went as a vampire too while his brother was a devil. I jokingly offered to mix glitter in with the white face paint so he could go as Edward Cullen, he found this less funny than me and his brother did.

What advice would you give to other authors?

Keep writing and don’t stop, and don’t let others control your creativity whether it’s other authors or readers, as you’re writing for you not them.

What is the one thing you want people to know about you and your books?

I’m not afraid to rip your hearts out and no character is safe when I’m at the keyboard.

Thank you Ally Vance for chatting with me! I will include her information down below. Pre-order her newest release, Wicked Dreams today!


Even the most vile of nightmares are born from the sweetest of dreams.

Miles tempts me in a way no other has before; he’s no idea of the truth that lurks behind the handsome face of his dream lover. I’ll bide my time until I’m ready to reveal myself. Only when Miles is weak, compliant, and willing to sign his soul over to me, will I show him exactly who and what he’s given himself to.

I’m not often tempted to cross the boundaries and physically enter this world. When I do I feast until I’ve had my fill, extracting every delicious morsel of my lover’s pleasure and pain as I bend them to my will. I know what will happen if I manifest in their reality, what they’ll see…

Nightmares are just the blurred lines between dreams and reality. Sooner or later your demons are going to get you.

Warning: Contains graphic scenes of sexual violence and sexual situations not suitable for readers under the age of 18. Contains scenes featuring M/M & M/F couples. Cliffhanger ending no HEA.

Ally is an International Bestselling Author who writes in the Dark Romance & Horror genres. Ally has been writing since she was a teenager, and it had been a long time dream of hers to finally become a published author. Ally also co-writes with her close friend Michelle under the pen name Ally Michelle. Ally lives in Kent, in the United Kingdom with her husband, stepson and two cats.

FB Page: 

Horror Reader Group: 

Dark Romance Reader Group: 






New Release · Review

The Girl in the Mirror: An Novel by Rose Carlyle – My Review


Title: The Girl in the Mirror: An Novel

Author: Rose Carlyle

Release Date: October 15th 2020

Genre: Thriller, Psychological

Written with the chilling, twisty suspense of The Wife Between Us and Something in the Water, a seductive debut thriller about greed, lust, secrets, and deadly lies involving identical twin sisters.

Twin sisters Iris and Summer are startlingly alike, but beyond what the eye can see lies a darkness that sets them apart. Cynical and insecure, Iris has long been envious of Summer’s seemingly never-ending good fortune, including her perfect husband Adam.

Called to Thailand to help her sister sail the family yacht to the Seychelles, Iris nurtures her own secret hopes for what might happen on the journey. But when she unexpectedly finds herself alone in the middle of the Indian Ocean, everything changes. When she makes it to land, Iris allows herself to be swept up by Adam, who assumes that she is Summer.

Iris recklessly goes along with his mistake. Not only does she finally have the golden life she’s always envied, with her sister gone, she’s one step closer to the hundred-million-dollar inheritance left by her manipulative father. All Iris has to do is be the first of his seven children to produce an heir.

Iris’s “new” life lurches between glamorous dream and paranoid nightmare. On the edge of being exposed, how far will she go to ensure no one discovers the truth?

And just what did happen to Summer on the yacht?

Only Iris knows . . .

Twin sisters. Identical but not the same.

The Girl in the Mirror is a suspenseful and twisted read! Lies and betrayal? YES! I love a good thriller and this book delivered. The pacing of the story was slow in some places but I was invested in the story so it didn’t bother me too much. These characters were insane! Some of the choices and actions they made, had my head spinning. It made for a great read though! Twists and turns that I didn’t see coming. I reached the ending and I closed the book and just sat there saying to myself, wooooow.

A wonderful debut! I enjoyed her writing style. Her storytelling style kept me engaged. I look forward to what she comes out with next. Miss Carlyle has a new fan! I give this 4 stars.

*I received a copy of this book in exchange for my honest opinion*


Heart of Stone (Alice Worth Book 4) by Lisa Edmonds – My Review

Title: Heart of Stone (Alice Worth Book 4)

Author: Lisa Edmonds

Release Date: June 18th 2019

Genre: Urban Fantasy

Hire Alice. Private Investigator of the Supernatural.

Alice Isn’t Running Anymore.

Five years ago, mage private investigator Alice Worth escaped her grandfather Moses Murphy’s organized crime syndicate. Now, her grandfather’s war with local boss Darius Bell has drawn her out of hiding and put her in the crosshairs of two merciless crime lords. Her decision to intervene in their war has endangered everyone Alice cares about and threatens to destroy the life she’s built for herself, including her relationship with alpha werewolf Sean Maclin.

Meanwhile, Alice’s new case is the most dangerous of her career. Hired to find a missing child with a rare magical ability, she and her ghost sidekick Malcolm quickly become targets for the boy’s ruthless kidnappers. To stay alive and free from both Bell and Moses, she must rely not only on her growing powers but also her alliances with Sean’s pack and the Vampire Court.

When Alice’s conflicts with pack members turn violent and the Court betrays her, the truth becomes clear: freeing the kidnapped boy and finding her place in the pack will cost Alice her secrets, her safety, and—if she isn’t careful—her life.

I don’t even know where to begin. This book left me with a book hangover. SO much happens! My girl Alice is faced with some more touch choices. She’s a fierce protector and while she’s not perfect, she tries to do the right thing any time she can. Even at the cost of her life. We learn more about her past and see some more growth from her. Love the action! I love a good fight with magic and Miss Edmonds delivers each time. We all know how danger tends to follow Alice and she’s always up for the challenge. This book was also an emotional rollercoaster! It had me deep in my feelings and had me tearing up more than once. This was an action and fast paced read with some emotional scenes that will tug at your heart strings. I can’t wait to dive into the next. I need to know what’s next! I give this 5 stars. 

*I received a copy of this book in exchange for my honest opinion*


Heart of Fire (Alice Worth Book 2) by Lisa Edmonds – My Review

Title: Heart of Fire (Alice Worth Book 2)

Author: Lisa Edmonds

Release Date: May 29th 2018

Genre: Vampire, Shifter, Thrillers

Join Alice. Private Investigator of the Supernatural.

It has been a rough month for mage private investigator Alice Worth.

Alice hasn’t had a decent night’s sleep in weeks, her relationship with werewolf Sean Maclin is on the rocks, a federal agent hounds her every step, and a powerful vampire whose ulterior motives have ulterior motives watches her every move. It’s enough to drive any woman to drink.

Just when Alice’s ghost sidekick Malcolm is about to stage an intervention, her former employer, Mark Dunlap, enlists her help to find out who’s been kidnapping women off the streets. As the list of the missing grows, the city’s anger turns against the vampires, and the Vampire Court hires Mark and Alice to find those responsible. After the case reunites her with Sean, Alice is forced to confront painful demons from her past, as well as the very real demon who wants her dead and the vampire determined to control her power.

When tragedy strikes close to home and a friend’s life hangs in the balance, Alice goes up against the most powerful adversary she’s ever faced in an explosive showdown that will leave Alice and her city forever changed.

Alice Worth is fast becoming my fave! We find my girl dealing with everything that has happened. A LOT has happened but a new case with an old friend might be what she needs to get her groove back. Wherever Alice is, danger is sure to follow!

I love the world the author has created! Did I mention Alice is my fave? There’s always a twist and something new with every book. Love it! The action and suspense always has me hooked and I am rapidly page turning because I need to know how it will end. Then once it’s over, I sit there knowing book hangover is coming. There are also moments in the book that give you such feels and then the tears come. Thank you Miss Edmonds.

The story was highly enjoyable! I am a huge fan of the author’s writing style. I can’t wait to read the next book! If you like fantasy and strong female leads, this series is for YOU! I give this 5 stars.

*I received a copy of this book in exchange for my honest opinion*

Coming Soon · Review

You Are Not Alone: A Novel by Greer Hendricks & Sarah Pekkanen – My Review

Title: You Are Not Alone: A Novel

Author: Greer Hendricks & Sarah Pekkanen

Release Date: March 3rd 2020

Genre: Thrillers

The electrifying #1 New York Times bestselling authors of THE WIFE BETWEEN US and AN ANONYMOUS GIRL return with a brand new novel of psychological suspense.

Shay Miller wants to find love, but it eludes her. She wants to be fulfilled, but her job is a dead end. She wants to belong, but her life is increasingly lonely.

Until Shay meets the Moore sisters. Cassandra and Jane live a life of glamorous perfection, and always get what they desire. When they invite Shay into their circle, everything seems to get better.

Shay would die for them to like her.
She may have to.

Wow…I really don’t have any words that can properly articulate how much I enjoyed this book. I am left with a serious book hangover.

The story itself is a twisted and dark one. Full of deception and secrets. I devoured this book in one sitting. It has a nice pace and leaves you wanting more. I loved what the authors did with the characters! Although some of the things that a certain characters did, made me cringe because they only made their situation worse. Kind of like second hand embarrassment for a fictional character. We’ve all been there. 

This is a thrilling wild ride of a read! It will keep you engaged from beginning to end. It will haunt you long after you’ve finished. This is the first book by these authors and it won’t be the last! Instant fangirl! I give this 5 stars.

*I received a copy of this book in exchange for my honest opinion*


The Return by Rachel Harrison – My Review

Title: The Return

Author: Rachel Harrison

Release Date: March 24th 2020

Genre: Thriller

A group of friends reunite after one of them has returned from a mysterious two-year disappearance in this edgy and haunting debut.

Julie is missing, and no one believes she will ever return—except Elise. Elise knows Julie better than anyone, and feels it in her bones that her best friend is out there and that one day Julie will come back. She’s right. Two years to the day that Julie went missing, she reappears with no memory of where she’s been or what happened to her.

Along with Molly and Mae, their two close friends from college, the women decide to reunite at a remote inn. But the second Elise sees Julie, she knows something is wrong—she’s emaciated, with sallow skin and odd appetites. And as the weekend unfurls, it becomes impossible to deny that the Julie who vanished two years ago is not the same Julie who came back. But then who—or what—is she?

Julie disappears without a trace and her loved ones were left to mourn. Julie comes back with no memory of where she’s been or what’s happened to her. She’s changed. What happened?

This book is different than what I’ve been reading lately. There’s a certain creepy vibe to it but it only enhanced the story for me. I was curious to find out what had happened to Julie. You’re introduced to Elise and the other best friends. Their personalities are different and why they’re so close. I both liked and disliked them all. Especially Elise. I think that’s a big part of why the story worked for me. Yeah I’m weird. Strange things start to happen and you feel like maybe you’ve been transported to parts of The Shining. Then the story takes an unexpected turn and it kind of blows your mind. I didn’t see that ending coming. Nice job Miss Harrison. The story will haunt you long after you’re done. I’m still thinking about it. This is a wonderful debut for the author. I look forward to reading more. I give this 4 stars.

*I received a copy of this book in exchange for my honest opinion*


Saint X by Alexis Schaitkin – My Review

Title: Saint X

Author: Alexis Schaitkin

Release Date: February 18th 2020

Genre: Thriller

Hailed as a “marvel of a book” and “brilliant and unflinching,” Alexis Schaitkin’s stunning debut, Saint X, is a haunting portrait of grief, obsession, and the bond between two sisters never truly given the chance to know one another.

Claire is only seven years old when her college-age sister, Alison, disappears on the last night of their family vacation at a resort on the Caribbean island of Saint X. Several days later, Alison’s body is found in a remote spot on a nearby cay, and two local menemployees at the resortare arrested. But the evidence is slim, the timeline against it, and the men are soon released. The story turns into national tabloid news, a lurid mystery that will go unsolved. For Claire and her parents, there is only the return home to broken lives.

Years later, Claire is living and working in New York City when a brief but fateful encounter brings her together with Clive Richardson, one of the men originally suspected of murdering her sister. It is a moment that sets Claire on an obsessive pursuit of the truthnot only to find out what happened the night of Alison’s death but also to answer the elusive question: Who exactly was her sister? At seven, Claire had been barely old enough to know her: a beautiful, changeable, provocative girl of eighteen at a turbulent moment of identity formation.

As Claire doggedly shadows Clive, hoping to gain his trust, waiting for the slip that will reveal the truth, an unlikely attachment develops between them, two people whose lives were forever marked by the same tragedy.

Saint X is a thrilling read with a dark touch to it.

Something bad happens while Claire and her family are on vacation. Claire wants the truth and searching for the truth is consuming her. What she uncovers is eye opening. How much do you really know a loved one?

The beginning threw me off just a bit. We had multiple points of views right off the bat. Along with flashbacks. I struggled with that but then the story found it’s footing. The authors story telling is different than what I’m used to. Once I got used to the format of the book, I was engrossed into the story. I HAD to know how it would end. The story itself is suspenseful. You get an intimate look at how these characters handled grief and how that one moment affected the lives of everyone. There are some twists that I didn’t see coming. LOVE when that happens! These characters were well written. I don’t know if I had a favorite but they each contributed to making the story work. All in all this is a pretty good read. I give this 4 stars.

*I received a copy of this book in exchange for my honest opinion*

Free Download Friday · Freebie

✮☆ Free Download Friday ☆✮

✮☆ Free for a limited time ☆✮

Volpe: Book One

By Katy Rose


What if you could make a list of all the bad people in your life, and then take them out one by bloody one?

When someone hurts your family you hurt them. It is a pretty easy concept right? He hurt my sister, my twin. I killed him. But, oh our story doesn’t end there. It couldn’t be that simple. Together Kora and I go through the list checking off names, permanently. I’m Kaleb Volpe, and in my world only one thing matters.

Volpe matter. Volpe above all else.