Saturday, September 26, 2015

Saturday Author Spotlight: Meredith Russell #Interview #Giveaway

Meredith Russell, author of The Lone Wolves Trilogy, Stories from Sapphire Cay Series, and one of the authors in the Flight HA1710 series, is my Author Saturday Spotlight today. And it's a great honor. She's written amazing work, co-authored with other talented writers, and accomplished so much in this genre. Today we'll look at some of her work, do an interview, and then Meredith has a wonderful giveaway for one lucky person. Let's get started.

The first in a series of books filled with romance and drama on Sapphire Cay in the Bahamas.

Lucas Madison is in the Bahamas for his sister's wedding on the beautiful and idyllic island of Sapphire Cay.

He has the weight of the world on his shoulders. With the stress of his job, the loss of his friend, and faced with his own medical crisis, Lucas arrives on the white sands of Sapphire Cay gray and exhausted. His only thought is to see his sister married and happy.

Dylan Gray is a free-spirited traveller who literally follows the sun. Never settling in one place for long, he earns his way from state to state and continent to continent. But there's something about Sapphire Cay that draws him back over and over. A feeling of home.

When these two men meet, both have decisions to make and directions to choose. And maybe together, they can make the right ones and follow not only the sun, but also their hearts.

This is the story of Lucas and Dylan, set against the stunning landscape of Sapphire Cay.

Devin never thought he could find hope or love among the ruins of a broken world. Not until he found Noah.

When Devin Reid returned home from his final tour in Afghanistan he thought he’d seen the worst of what people could do to other people. It turned out he was wrong.

The life Devin knew is gone. A deadly virus has infected the world’s population, leaving in its wake two types of people—survivors and monsters. Devin is a survivor, a man almost as broken as the world he struggles to survive in. Devin is part of a group who have found refuge in a high security penitentiary in Kansas State. Resources for the group are limited, but outside the safety of the prison walls, the newly-made undead monsters are hungry and hunting. It's down to a handful of people like Devin to risk their lives scavenging the cities and highways to meet the demands on food and supplies.

On one fateful venture, Devin finds someone with the potential to change a dark future, destined for blood and heartbreak, into one of hope and second chances. He finds Noah Weber.

Together, Devin and Noah work to keep the monsters at bay, but do they have the strength to overcome the hurt and loss they’ve both suffered in the fight for survival? And find love in this harsh, unloving world?

Daniel Rawlings is happy with his nine-to-five life in Chicago. He has an office job, a mortgage and he's about to turn thirty. He's happy...or so he thought. During the last night of a sun-filled vacation in Miami, he meets wild haired, free-spirited Ty. With the help of some summery cocktails, Daniel and Ty embark on a passionate one night stand, though the day after neither man really wants it to be just one night.

With a thousand miles between cities, it may be harder than either man could have imagined. In the end, Daniel and Ty have to decide, is what they have when they're together worth the heartache of saying goodbye over and over again.

Can missing a fatal flight be the wake up call Harrison needs?
When Harrison Kelley is banned from getting on Flight HA1710, it seems to be the perfect ending to a crappy couple of days. Not only did he wreck a wedding, but he’s drunk way too much and been on the receiving end of the groom’s brother’s fists. Being escorted out of the airport by security was just the icing on the wedding cake.

Elijah Pettifer has lusted after Harrison from afar for years but Harrison never sees him as anything more than a friend. If he ever saw him at all. While attempting to defend what little honor Harrison has left, Elijah gets caught up in the wave of chaos surrounding his teenage crush. But missing his flight home because of Harrison’s mess might just be the luckiest thing to ever happen to him.

With a 24-hour ban imposed by the airport, and having only each other for company, the two men grow closer. But will the fate of the airplane they should have been on be the push Harrison needs to walk away from the toxic relationship of his past? And can Elijah make Harrison see exactly what he’s been missing out on because of it?


Thank you, Meredith, for being here and allowing me to pick your brain a bit. I have a few questions to maybe help get to know you a little better.

You’re one of the ensemble of authors attached to the Flight HA1710 series. It’s a very good series BTW. How did it ever come to be, and how did you all make it work with so many authors?

Thank you, I’m glad you enjoyed the series. The initial spark of inspiration came from RJ Scott. She has written within series with multiple authors a couple of times and she was struck by the idea of a set of books all revolving around one particular event, in this case a plane crash. It wasn’t about the crash itself as such, but more the reactions and impact it had on people’s lives, the aftermath. From there she reached out to certain authors to see if they were available and inspired to write. When it came to planning and discussion, we set up a couple of places to talk - a Facebook group to post questions and share updates of how we were doing as we went, and a Google document where we figured out the main details for the crash and also key points/timelines of our books and possible scenes and characters that could overlap stories.

I’d never written in a series like that before so it was something new and I really enjoyed getting to talk things through and form a plan.

Where did HA1710 come from? Was that just a number you all came up with, or is it significant?

I can’t remember who settled on the HA part of the flight number, but Amber Kell’s husband was kind of in the background advising on certain aspects and names for airlines and manufacturers. The 1710, however, came about after a discussion with Erika Orrick about her birthday and how the date should be written. She’s American and as Brits, RJ and I may have disagreed with her and so somehow it became part of the series name.

You have 6 Stories of Sapphire Cay books out there. Is that series complete or are there more in its future?

When RJ and I started the series we had several ideas of pairings and stories that could take place on the island. I feel six is a good number, though there could have been more, but that would have mainly been about bringing in new pairings. We could have had couples getting married, people hiring the island out, maybe mention more staff, but it kind of felt like those stories could be set anywhere, they didn’t have to be on Sapphire Cay. They might have been enjoyable reads and fun with our main island characters popping up in the background, but we felt the series lay with that main body of characters and wanted to keep them as the focus. But beyond that, I think the only story we considered, if it was something we felt comfortable writing, might be the story of Alfie and Peter, a pairing through the 1930s to 60s. But definitely for me, I would be apprehensive because of the historical content that would have to be researched to do it justice.

We always said we’d end the series with our very first pairing, Dylan and Lucas, getting married, and we stuck to that. It gave the series a kind of ‘coming full circle’ feel as it started with them and ended with them. So I would say the series is complete, certainly in terms of published books, though I wouldn’t be against a return visit in short extras on our blogs maybe, that could be a possibility. Never say never as they say.

How do you, as a writer, keep the ideas fresh? How do you constantly come up with more stories? Is there an inspiration or do you actively go looking for them?

For me it’s inspiration. I have a notebook I jot ideas down in as they come, because they can sure pop up at the most inappropriate of moments, usually when I’m trying to get to sleep. But yeah, my ideas come from all sorts, adverts, shows on TV, song lyrics, places I’ve visited, people I’ve met. Sometimes I come up with a character, just a title, or a single scene and they develop from there. I’ve never yet, touch wood, sat feeling like I’m all out of ideas and had to go looking for something.

You were at the UKMeet this year. Can you tell us what your favorite part of the Meet was and what the entire experience was like for you?

I was. It was the second UKMeet I’ve been to. I was a bit more relaxed this time and probably enjoyed it that little bit more. Because I am quite shy, it was kind of scary the first time having only really personally met a handful of authors previously, so it felt like this big thing stepping out from behind the computer and actually interacting with people face-to-face, meeting with names I knew and some new ones. So this time it was great to recognize people and be recognized. It was easier for me to be a part of things this time round because last year had been so great I felt comfortable going into it.

The Meet as a whole was good. There were a variety of panels you could attend, a couple of keynote speakers, opportunities for downtime to chat, an evening dinner and entertainment, a book fair. There were a couple of things that I enjoyed the most – one was the chance to just sit and talk, to share ideas, to plot, to laugh and I guess feel connected to people beyond a like or a comment on Facebook. I loved meeting people and feeling part of something. The second thing I enjoyed is more a personal favourite and was at the book fair. I’m a cover artist as well and I can’t help but feel grateful and excited every time I see one of my covers there as a print book, as something I can hold.

What is one of your guilty pleasures, as a writer? One thing you indulge in?

Oh, I guess if we’re talking tropes as in guilty pleasures, I do love to write a bit of hurt/comfort with a good side of angst. Funnily enough I attended the tropes panel at the UKMeet, discussing which ones we enjoy, which we might avoid, how we can try and use them but with a twist. But yeah, my favourite to read and write is hurt/comfort. I like a vulnerable edge to characters no matter how strong or badass they might appear.

Can you tell us what you are currently working on?

I can. At the moment I have three WIPs. The first is a sequel to my zombie story Dead Things, it follows the same group of characters a few weeks after the first book and of course I’ve thrown more troubles their way. I’ve also started on a second book in my Knowles Brook series, which is all about the angsty drama. And then I have a YA book I’ve been working on as a kind of break from darker tales, so it’s something sweet and gentler.

I know reading is limited, since you write so much, but if we were to open your ereader what book would we see that you are currently reading?

Is it bad I don’t own an ereader? I feel like I should now. I guess when I’ve been sat at my computer all day for writing or art, I kind of prefer a break from looking at a screen so I mostly opt for a paperback. So if I went to my bedside there are currently two books on the go. The book I’ve just started is Gone by Michael Grant, it’s a YA book, everyone over 15 has disappeared and strange things are going on. Also I’ve been rereading some of my favourites I’ve had since I was a teenager, I guess my comfort books, and characters I fell in love with, so currently that would be a Frances Fyfield book called Shadows On The Mirror. I love crime books and I still aspire to write one of my own one day.

I do read on my computer sometimes and have a book lined up to read, which, considering your first question is quite fitting, it’s actually the last book in the HA1710 series, Amber Kell’s, Fracture. Nobody spoil me :)

With Halloween coming, do you have any spooooooooooky plans?

As Halloween is around my husband’s birthday I made the mistake several years ago now to have a Halloween themed party for him with family, because it seems to have now become a thing that’s expected. So I will be having a party, one that’s now in daylight as my siblings started popping out offspring but it’s nice to get the family together and see the kids and adults dress up. I am quite a big kid if I’m honest so I love it really.

If you were to challenge yourself, outside your comfort zone, what would that be? (With your writing)

I think I would have to say as I mentioned above, historical, and I don’t necessarily mean way back in the past, even just a few decades I would consider a challenge. I have nothing but respect for the people who commit themselves to so much research and learning and could tell me what a Viking would have had for his lunch or the material used in the 18th Century for a guy’s shirt if he was well off and lived in Spain. I’d be uncomfortable about getting things wrong and frustrated if Google didn’t hand over the answer after a click or two on suggested pages. So yeah, unless I write an alien world where I can have the scenery and feel of something old but not worry if my characters used 21st Century vocabulary, then historical is something I will continue to avoid for the time being.

How can your fans/readers follow your career and books? Twitter, Facebook, website?

Readers can follow me at in few places. My website and blog where you can find mostly authorly goings on and info on my books is I also have Facebook, Twitter and Instagram for a mix of updates on my life and my work. You can find me at,, and

Thank you, Meredith, for answering my questions. I look forward to many more books from you.

And thank you, Meredith, for having me. It’s been a pleasure.

Meredith will gift one person a $10.00 Gift Card to either All Romance Ebooks or Amazon.
Simply enter the rafflecopter below. Contest will run until  October 2nd. Winner will be contacted via email so be sure to check your spam.

Thank you, Meredith, for being here today and good luck to you all and happy reading.

a Rafflecopter giveaway


  1. this a new author for me so her first book would be a start

  2. Wow another new to me author! They all sound so good. I would also start at the beginning so Follow The Sun would be a great start for me.


    1. Thank you for taking the time to read and comment :)

  3. I enjoyed the post I know Meredith through R J Scott and I have all the "Sapphire Cay" books which I really enjoyed. I have been wondering if you were going to write a sequel to "Dead Things" I'm glad to see you are.

    1. Thank you. I've been wanting to for quite a bit. It's taken me a while to settle on which of my ideas I wanted to follow for the sequel, so I hope I've picked the right one :)

  4. New author to me. Thanks for the interview. If I had to chose a book Fallout loks good

    1. Thank you for talking the time to read and comment :)

  5. She's a new to me author, but I liked the interview. I don't think I've read too many books set on an island, so the Sapphire Cay series sounds interesting.

  6. I haven't read one of Meredith's books yet, but I've been wanting to read Follow the Sun and the rest of the Sapphire Cay books for a while. I didn't know about a couple of these other books and have added them to my wishlist as well.

  7. This is new author for me...I'd start with Follow The Sun.

  8. I love the Sapphire Cay books I've read and I definitely want to read the whole Flight HA1710 series soon. I'm putting Sex & Cocktails on my tbr list also!

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