Meet Skylar Rankin, One of the Midnight Oil Anthology Authors!

Author:  Skyler Rankin

Photo: 

Teaser for Baked:  

You can’t run from who you are.  After losing her prestigious New York Times job as an investigative reporter, Trina Sharp retreats to the small Lake Erie town of Mariner’s Bluff, taking a local reporting job covering stories like town meetings and the odd missing pet.  

Newcomer Jacki Vickers opens a bakery, and to the dismay of local officials, she plans to sell gourmet Mary Jane muffins for medicinal purposes, of course.  She’s skirting the law, and locals worry this will taint the community’s image as a family-friendly vacation spot.

A young man is found shot dead in the middle of town, just a short distance from the bakery, and evidence of Jacki’s wares is found on the body, along with something else that threatens to put her away for a long, long time.  Like a hound on a blood trail, Trina’s passion for the mystery takes over as she hits the investigative trail. Clearly, Jacki is more than a business woman who landed in Mariner’s Bluff to open a bakery, but what? What is her connection to this young man, and what might she have done that may lock her away for life?  Is it Trina’s attraction to Jacki driving her need to solve the crime, her need to redeem herself, or a little of both? What if Jacki isn’t the innocent person Trina thinks she is? Would it matter?

Questions and Answers:

  1. Inquiring minds want to know what makes you tick. Tell us about your life.

    I have a day job working as an administrator with a university, and like most other independent writers, I spend my down time penning stories. There’s not a huge amount of down time, unfortunately. I’m also taking some online classes to finish a degree, so yes, I often bite off more than I can comfortably chew.  I’m an empty-nester, and I live with my husband and a small herd of domestic pets. We have two cats, a dog, and a plethora of woodland creatures who have declared themselves my wards by eating anything I attempt to grow. I’m a creative person who has a hard time focusing on one thing at a time, which means I have multiple projects going on at once.
  2. What was your life like before you became a writer, and how did you get your start as an author?

I began writing early in my pre-teen years, and I always knew I wanted to be an author. I had really practical parents though, who preached the importance of having a real job.  Even though it was a difficult reality to accept, writing is hard for multiple reasons. First, you craft your stories, which is far easier than it sounds, and then you work to publish. Back then, electronic publishing did not exist, and vanity publishing was frowned upon, not to mention expensive.  Getting published meant typing your work out on a manual type writer, sending it off and waiting, and waiting, and sometimes getting no response at all. For many years, I lived on my academic and non-fiction, and now that I’m nearing retirement, I hope to continue with my first love, fiction.

  1. Tell us about your writing process. Are you a pantser, a plotter, or something else?

This is a tough one. I really appreciate the power of an outline for keeping my work on track.  However, there are times that spontaneous writing just feels better and more natural. I’ve carved out my own style which usually begins with a rough outline, following it through to get the story down, and then going back over it to add the flavor that pantsing can provide.

  1. Do you have a favorite writing project or a book that still haunts your dreams that you would like to share?

I have so many projects haunting my dreams that it’s hard to pin down a favorite. Time would help. Between working my day job and taking care of my personal life, there’s little time for writing, especially when indies must also do most of their own promotion as well. And while it sounds like a complaint, the truth is, I’m happiest when writing, and nothing thrills me quite like knowing I’ve given someone a fantastic story.

  1. Tell us a little about your story in the Midnight Oil Anthology.

Baked is a novella, a mini-mystery centered on characters in the fictional town of Mariner’s Bluff on the banks of Lake Erie.  The main character, Trina Sharp, is a former investigative reporter disgraced by having lost her job with a major newspaper. Down on her luck, she retreated to Mariner’s Bluff and took a job at the local paper, a position well below the considerable talent she thinks she’s lost.  Newcomer Jacki Vickers opens a bakery. To the dismay of local officials, she plans to sell gourmet muffins with a special ingredient, marijuana, for medicinal purposes. She’s skirting the law, and locals are concerned the business could taint their image as a family-friendly vacation spot.  The timing is especially bad given the town’s first big fall festival featuring a huge bass fishing tournament that is garnering national attention. In spite of Jacki’s gutsy move, or perhaps because of it, Trina finds Jacki fascinating. Jacki rebuffs Trina’s interest, and keeps her at arm’s length.  

A young man is found shot dead in the middle of town, just a short distance from the bakery, and evidence of Jacki’s wares is found on the body, along with something else that threatens to put her away for a long, long time.  Like a hound on a blood trail, Trina’s passion for the mystery takes over as she hits the investigative trail. Jacki needs her help more than she wants to admit, but she still pushes Trina away. Clearly, Jacki is more than a business woman who landed in Mariner’s Bluff to open a bakery, but what?  What is her connection to this young man, and what might she have done that may lock her away for life? Is it Trina’s attraction to Jacki driving her need to solve the crime, her need to redeem herself, or a little of both?

  1. Do you have works in progress?

Yes, several.  I’m working on the sequel to Viral Dawn, which will be entitled Viral Storm.  The story picks up with heroine Casey Williams after she is infected by a zombie’s bite while trying to evade military detection in her effort to leave the country to expose the damning evidence she has against BioGenetics, the company that manufactured the deadly virus.  Kyle Carter, her new love interest and former soldier, refuses to leave her side even though she threatens to expose their location to the enemy if he doesn’t. Instead, he catches her off guard and gives her their first kiss, one that seals his fate to hers by infecting him as well.  The two are now off to procure a new vaccine in development that is rumored to stop the disease. Casey and Kyle, so smart and resourceful, are now racing against time where little is in their control. They’ve made a suicide pact should the virus affect them before they reach their only hope.  

Will they make it safely to the research facility before the military or BioGenetics’ contracted guerillas find them?  Will they succumb to the virus before they can get help? IF they make it, can they obtain the vaccine before the developers find out who they are?  What about the friends they left behind? Can they make it to Canada and expose BioGenetics in time to take the heat off Casey and Kyle?

  1. What are your plans for your next book?

After I finish Viral Storm, I may or may not do a sequel.  It depends on what Casey wants. Meanwhile, I have another suspense mystery mapped out that involves the whiskey industry in Kentucky. The tentative title is Barrel Proof.

  1. Do you have an especially interesting research experience to share?

I take lots of really odd pictures.  Whenever we go on vacation or even when I’m out and about doing daily work, if I see something that looks like an interesting story or that might make an interesting cover image, I snap a photo and keep it…apparently forever. Sometimes other people look at me funny when they see me taking pictures of something really strange like a dilapidated building or a section of a wall. They probably think I’m crazy, which is just a synonym for writer.

  1. How to you stay in touch with your muse?

Okay I have to say that sometimes my muse is bossy.  She used to be really elusive. I could sit for hours or months and get no good ideas.  Now that she’s older, she just comes on out and beats me into submission. In Baked, for example, I had every intention of making Trina’s story all about the mystery.  Period. My muse informed me, and Trina was backing her up on this, that Trina was gay, and this story would have a romantic interest between her and Jacki. I’ll be honest and say I wasn’t sure I could pull this off, but they wouldn’t back down.  In fact, when I tried to take the story in another direction, they just left and would not come back until I committed to the story. Eventually I gave up because I just work here. I have to admit. They were right. It’s a better story. As an FYI, they gave in to me when I reminded them this was a YA-to-adult book, so they cooperated in keeping the story tame in the romance department.

  1. What do you think has contributed the most to your writing style?

For so many years, I’ve focused on what other people tell me to write or what satisfied the need.  At times, I think I did this to the detriment of my own voice. At this point, I’m writing the way I think and feel is best.  I’m letting the words and phrases flow instead of analyzing everything in light of others’ advice. This isn’t to suggest that others can’t be helpful or that advice I’ve received in the past was necessarily bad, but in the end, it’s the writer’s story.  I’ve found I have to listen to that inner voice we call the muse. If I don’t, she and my characters will gang up on me.

  1. How can readers follow you online?

I’m on several websites, and I do occasionally do Twitter, but probably the best places to follow me are on my website at  www.skylerrankin.com  or my Facebook site at https://www.facebook.com/Skyler.Rankin.Author/  

 

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Midnight Oil Anthology Author Q&A Coming 8/1!

The team of authors, bringing you deception and lies will share a bit about themselves to wet your whistle as we countdown to release day! Here are some important links to check out before then:

Midnight Oil Anthology Pre-sale: http://a.co/eNorkav

Midnight Oil Daycause (Please support to help us announce our release): https://www.daycause.com/daroach12books/midnight-oil-anthology-release

Midnight Oil Anthology Release Party (8/8): https://www.facebook.com/events/428070987713401/

SEE YOU BACK HERE ON AUGUST 1st!

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Time to Vote!

The Inheritance, a short horror story in 13: Deja Vu Anthology is a finalist for the Reader’s Choice Awards! I’m grateful for the nomination and hope the story earns more votes. Voting is open 7/15/18-7/31/18. VOTE FOR THE INHERITANCE HERE: https://cravingchronicles17.polldaddy.com/s/limitless-publishing-llc-reader-s-choice-awards-ballot

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First News

Welcome to my website. Here you can learn the latest news in my author world, check out my books, and purchase signed paperbacks! Have a look around and join my monthly newsletter!

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Cross, a MUST READ YA Fantasy, NOW AVAILABLE!!!



#OnTour with @HEAPRMore @daroach12books | #HEAPR

#NewRelease CROSS by USA TODAY Bestseller #DARoach is #LIVE!

#OneClick this #YA #Fantasy!
Amazon US ➳ http://amzn.to/2C0mMmS
Amazon UK ➳ http://amzn.to/2nYGzKE
Amazon AU ➳ http://amzn.to/2EpepD7
Amazon CA ➳ http://amzn.to/2EpelDn
iTunes ➳ https://apple.co/2C73mww
Google Books ➳ http://bit.ly/2Bzbxkd

Ray Cross wasn’t a hero; he could die too easily. But some things are worth risking death…

Ray Cross was born with a genetic disorder, resulting in a fragile body; his organs and blood vessels will rupture with any hard impact, so standing up to his best friend’s controlling boyfriend could kill him.

Ray’s life in Midland, MI gets decimated when his parents reveal they are not his real parents and his real father, a king from a secret land hidden in the far north of Canada, is dying and wishes to meet his son.

With his doctor and newly-met twin, Ray travels to the forgotten village of Yardis, where magic, myth, and corruption are abundant. But the longer Ray stays in the village learning the truth of his past and reconnecting with his father, King Vintras, the more he discovers an evil force threatening the king and his village.

But there’s more than the king and a village tied to Yardis and Ray. He finds friendship and more from a band of brothers who are part witch, dragon, and healer. With new alliances and new abilities, Ray wars with himself on playing it safe or risking it all to save the ones he loves.

Can Ray rise above his fragile disorder to become the hero for once in his life?

Goodreads ➳ http://bit.ly/DARoachCrossTBR
Amazon US ➳ http://amzn.to/2C0mMmS
Amazon UK ➳ http://amzn.to/2nYGzKE
Amazon AU ➳ http://amzn.to/2EpepD7
Amazon CA ➳ http://amzn.to/2EpelDn
iTunes ➳ https://apple.co/2C73mww
Google Books ➳ http://bit.ly/2Bzbxkd

WHAT OTHERS ARE SAYING ABOUT CROSS:

★ ★ ★ ★ ★ ❝One of the best YA Books I have read in a long time. a fast read. Love all of the characters.I could see alot more coming from these Characters.I will recommend this book to all of my friends and book club. If you have never read anything by D.A. Roach. Give her a try. You will not be sorry.❞

★ ★ ★ ★ ★ ❝One of the best YA Books I have read in a long time.❞

★ ★ ★ ★ ★ ❝If you love fantasy or just want a change in your reading genre then this is a fantastic quick book to escape reality from.❞

#MeetTheAuthor ➳ D.A. Roach is a USA Today Bestselling author who has been telling stories since she was a young girl in the suburbs of Chicago. D.A. did not find a love for books until after college. Her parents were immigrants from Lithuania and found tv and radio easier ways to hear stories so they did not do much reading or encourage it. But once she finished college and D.A. had free time, she discovered how amazing it was to get lost in a story.

D.A. is a full time mom and wife. When she is not doing domestic things (laundry, bills, etc) she is writing, reading, creating mixed media art, advocating for a rare disorder, and gardening. Oh, and she is ALWAYS listening to music. Her favorite authors include Rebecca Donovan, Richelle Mead, Larissa Ione, Stephanie Meyer, E.L. James, and Nicole Williams. Reading great works from authors like these has motivated D.A. to write her own stories. She hopes to make positive changes in the world with her art and writing.

“Life isn’t about finding yourself. Life is about creating yourself.”
― George Bernard Shaw

FACEBOOK: https://www.facebook.com/DARoachDA/
TWITTER: https://twitter.com/daroach12books
WEBSITE: http://bit.ly/2GoJGlQ
AMAZON: http://amzn.to/2sDZhvW
INSTAGRAM: http://bit.ly/2Eyd8p8

HOSTED BY: @HEAPRMore
http://heapr.blogspot.com

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Cross Audiobook Q&A – a FB Live Event

This Wednesday, join us for a FB Live Q&A.

Here’s your chance to ask us bookish, audiobook, & Cross questions – we’ll do our best to answer them.

When: Wed. 2/14, 5PM EST

Who: Jeff Olyarnyk (narrator), D.A. Roach (author), Kimberly Vanderbloom (moderator), & any & all interested in joining us & asking a question.

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Cross Audiobook Releasing Soon – Q&A w/ Cross Vocal Actor & Cross Author 2/14!

I am over the moon with how the Cross audiobook has turned out and am excited that it will be releasing soon! In celebration, we’ll be doing a Q&A facebook live between me, D.A. Roach and the vocal actor for the audiobook, Jeff Olyarnyk on Valentine’s Day, 5pm EST! Look for more info to come and grab your copy of Cross (amazon kindle releasing 2/19, but some advance availability on other sites):

Paperback: http://a.co/gZxjZHJ
US kindle ebook (2/19) : http://a.co/eLv9UB7
UK ebook: http://amzn.eu/6bSZ2To
CA ebook: http://a.co/9Dsgtwr
ibooks: https://itunes.apple.com/book/id1336411974?at=11l9mv
Google books: https://books.google.com/books?id=jn1HDwAAQBAJ

Cross
By: D.A. Roach

The Epic New YA Fantasy, Full of Adventure, Magic, and Corruption

Imagine if you had a rare and life-threatening disorder that made your body so fragile that a collision in gym class could end your life. Consider how careful you’d have to live and the anxiety that would arise in different situations. Then one day, you were told to travel to a far away land that had been spelled away by a scornful witch – a land where magic, dragons, and corruption live… a land where magic might alter or perhaps even cure your disorder, even if just temporarily. Would you risk your own life to save others?

Welcome to Ray Cross’s world.

“To get the things you want in life, you need to step out of your comfort zone and take risks.”


Q&A Valentine’s Day FB Live with vocal actor, Jeff Olyarnyk and author, D.A. Roach 
5pm EST

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Cross, a MUST READ YA Fantasy Tale!

A New YA Fantasy Story that’s a MUST READ!

Pre-Order it Today!
Releases 2/19!

Link: http://a.co/eLv9UB7

Ray Cross wasn’t a hero; he could die too easily. But some things are worth risking death…

Ray Cross was born with a genetic disorder, resulting in a fragile body; his organs and blood vessels will rupture with any hard impact, so standing up to his best friend’s controlling boyfriend could kill him. Ray’s life in Midland, MI gets decimated when his parents reveal they are not his real parents and his real father, a king from a secret land hidden in the far north of Canada, is dying and wishes to meet his son.

With his doctor and newly-met twin, Ray travels to the forgotten village of Yardis, where magic, myth, and corruption are abundant. But the longer Ray stays in the village learning the truth of his past and reconnecting with his father, King Vintras, the more he discovers an evil force threatening the king and his village. But there’s more than the king and a village tied to Yardis and Ray. He finds friendship and more from a band of brothers who are part witch, dragon, and healer. With new alliances and new abilities, Ray wars with himself on playing it safe or risking it all to save the ones he loves.

Can Ray rise above his fragile disorder to become the hero for once in his life?

EARLY REVIEW!!!
5.0 out of 5 starsWhat a Fantastic story!!!!!
ByBridgett B.on January 9, 2018
Format: Paperback

What a great story! Ray Cross is born with a disorder, if he’s grabbed too hard or gets hit to hard his blood vessels will rupture. Ray finds out that his parents are in fact not his birth parents, and his real father is a king. But his real dad is dying and wants to meet him before he dies. Ray must travel to a secret land to meet his dying father. While there he see that magic exists and with his new friends, He might be able to beat the evil force that’s looming over the kingdom. Let me stop before I give spoilers! But grab this book, It’s one of the great ones!

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Pages of Fear Blog Hop Stop!

Welcome to the first ever Pages of Fear blog hop. It’s a pre-Halloween event celebrating authors who like to fright and delight with their writing. As you progress through the twenty-eight blogs/websites you’ll learn about authors you may already know and be introduced to some new ones.

Pages Of Fear Blog Hop

Everyone loves the opportunity to get something free. All of the authors have gathered together to give ONE lucky winner signed copies of their books (one per author). You may even find other types of giveaways on their sites so, keep your eyes open. While you’re looking you want to locate the secret word on each site. Make a list of the words in the proper order. When you reach the final destination (Authorsfbenson.com), you’ll find an email address. Send your list to it. The winner will be selected courtesy of random.org.

+++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++
To find you WORD, read this passage below from Stephen King’s It:

Everything down here floats,’ that chuckling, rotten voice whispered, and suddenly there was a ripping noise and a flaring sheet of agony, and George Denbrough knew no more.

Dave Gardener was the first to get there, and although he arrived only forty-five seconds after the first scream, George Denbrough was already dead. Gardener grabbed him by the back of the slicker, pulled him into the street…and began to scream himself as George’s body turned over in his hands. The left side of George’s slicker was now bright red. Blood flowed into the stormdrain from the tattered hole where his left arm had been. A knob of bone, horribly bright, peeked through the torn cloth.

Here’s the fill-in the blank story in case you need a refresher:
Once there was a very special _______ doll. She had been well-______ for ________. Kept on a _______ when there weren’t any young girls to play with her. And brought out and cherished when young ________ were in the __________.
Eventually, the toy was forgotten and relegated to a _______ in the attic. The house was eventually ________ and all of its belongings were either sold, given away, or ________ into a ________ at the curb.
But the doll… she __________.
Shortly before the ________ collectors arrived, a young couple comes upon the _________. Immediately, the doll’s _______ face and _________ clothes catches the woman’s _________.
“Rebecca, you can’t be serious. That’s a piece of ________,” the man points out.
She reaches into the jumbled ______ and pulls the ______ out. “This is an _______. I can _______ she’ll go for top dollar. She just needs a little love and care.”
The young ______ just shakes his head and continues walking down the _________. His wife was good for finding trash and turning it into a ___________.
Rebecca took the hem of her ________ and wiped some of the dirt off the doll’s face. “You have a _______ now.”
She _________ the _______ in the doll’s eye.
(Keep reading post for the link to the next hop stop)
+++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++
For an ebook of one of these bestselling horror and dark fiction anthologies, featuring 13 outstanding authors…including myself, visit me at http://www.facebook.com/DARoachDA and private message me with:
(1) 13, 13 Deja Vu, or 13 Night Terrors
(2) the word HOP
(3) your email address
****First 10 win!****

To continue the hop, head to Heather Hildenbrand’s page

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