Journey Through Morowak by Kari Peterson — author interview

Fantasy / Adventure
Date Published: 4/25/15

It is medieval times in the land of Morowak.  Kings and Queens maintain sovereignty, and wielders of magic and fire breathing dragons are real.  Nobleman’s daughter, Arabella Wallington, is about to embark on a journey across the kingdom to meet her betrothed.  Stengar McKinnon is a titled soldier in the King’s army and she is assured a life of wealth and bliss. Arabella is herself a gifted war maiden, yet she follows her father’s orders and employs someone to protect her along the perilous crossing.  She chooses a man named Briol, whose magical abilities are tested throughout their adventure, and an enigmatic bond forms between them. Briol realizes there is something unique about Arabella, and it is brought to light.  A new unforeseen path now lies ahead.  This journey challenges everything Arabella has ever known.


Hi Avenue Books!  Thank you very much for featuring my book on your blog!  I am very excited for your stop on the tour!

Tell us about this story.  Journey Through Morowak was born from a location.  The area within the story is the same landscape that surrounds my family lake house.  We frequent this vacation home during the summer and it hold so many wonderful memories.  I have hiked across the difficult terrain and driven along the dirt backroads and my mind ran with ideas.  Arabella’s character developed first as her journey was what formed the story, but Briol’s character developed quickly as his abilities were exciting!  Everything from there came easily and naturally.  This is a story of honor and testing your worth, but also having to choose whether or not to follow your heart.

What living person do you most admire? I honestly don’t know.  All my life I have admired my grandfather, and he continues to be the person I admire most even after he passed away in 2005.

What is your most prized possession?  My kids.  It may be an obvious, boring answer, but it’s true.  If I couldn’t say my minions, then I would say my coffee pot.  [Symbol]

Which talent would you most like to have?  Teleportation.  I would love to be able to snap my fingers and get immediate inspiration from a beautiful place or take my family on an instant vacation.

Who is your favorite fictional character of all time?  I really enjoyed meeting Harry Potter.  He had so much to overcome, and through it all he maintained his integrity and personality.  I really dig that.

Who’s the favorite character that you created?  I would have to say Zorinthallis.  He may only have a short moment in this book, but believe me, there is much more of him to come!

What’s your idea of perfect happiness?  I’d say I am pretty darn close to it.  I have a wonderful family and have been blessed with health and a vast imagination.  I would only change the location where I live.  I live in a dust bowl.  I would love living on 600 acres with part of that pine tree covered mountains and lots of horses. <3<3<3

If you could change one thing about yourself, what would it be?  Easy.  I would NOT have Hypothyroidism.  It has plagued me since third grade, and it has been a very tough obstacle to overcome.  I am still climbing!

Thank you!

morowak Author Pic I am not your average gal.  I didn’t grow up playing with Barbies or dressing in my mother’s clothes, jewelry or makeup.  I drove my matchbox cars over obstacle courses, climbed trees, built forts, dreamt of owning my own horse, and pretended to be an elven princess.  I continued to live my life on my terms, while staying true to my old fashioned values and respect.  After completing high school, I took on a full-time job and put myself through college.  In just under three years, I earned a degree in computers.  I try to use that knowledge as often as I can.

In 2006, before I had even discovered my passion for writing, I married a wonderful man named Mark.  Our love story is blissfully unique.  We now live in Washington State with our three rambunctious boys, a beautiful chocolate lab, a bouncy min pin, and a tubby tailless kitty.  I am as passionate about my books as I am of my family.  This is exactly where I’m supposed to be right now.


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Larry Saves the Prairie by Matt Bergles

Larry Saves the Prairie Cover

Children’s Book 
Date Published: September 1, 2015

Through the voices of Annabelle and Angus, discover what almost happened to wildlife on the Kansas prairie. When Larry receives a letter that says he must destroy the prairie dogs on his land, he and some of his neighbors join together to make certain that all wildlife remain unharmed. Not only were black-tailed prairie dogs at risk of destruction but the already-endangered black-footed ferrets were at risk of becoming extinct. 


In Larry Saves the Prairie, with the help of Annabelle and Angus, you’ll discover what it means to be a true hero, and most especially, what it took to save prairie wildlife in Kansas.


Tell us about this story.

This is a story of bravery. A story of one man who stood up for what he felt was right and prevailed. He did it all legally, ethically and morally too. It is also a story of our nation’s natural heritage – wildlife – and what we as a society need to do to change our attitudes about it and treasure it for the precious gift it is.
What living person do you most admire?

The living person I most admire is Pope Francis. I admire him not just because he is arguably the most well-known person on the planet, but because he uses his notoriety to bring attention to the poor, the downtrodden, the abused and the marginalized. This includes the earth itself and all of the non-human creatures that dwell thereon.

What is your most prized possession?

My most prized possession is my health. Although I am getting older and am beginning to feel the aches and pains of the aging process, after surviving cancer for three and a half years, I am very aware of my fragile human mortality and I recognize that I am truly living on borrowed time. Therefore, I am in a constant state of gratitude, prayer, positive thinking and expectation for assistance to lead a good life, however much longer that may be.
Which talent would you most like to have?

Musical ability. I would most like to be able to sing and play the guitar and piano masterfully. I am an average drummer, but I do not read music and am pretty much tone deaf.
Who is your favorite fictional character of all time?

Dirty Harry Callahan.
Who’s the favorite character that you created?

Actually, there are two, Angus and Annabelle, the black-tailed prairie dogs who tell the story of Larry Haverfield and the prairie ecosystem in the book.
What’s your idea of perfect happiness?

Being content with who you are, where you are and what you are doing.
If you could change one thing about yourself, what would it be?

I would be more outwardly joyful, positive and gregarious. 


Matt Bergles is a Colorado native who grew up in Pueblo, Colorado. He earned a bachelor’s degree in social science from larry -bergles Author photoCSU-Pueblo, his master’s degree in U.S. history, and a Ph.D. in public affairs at CU Denver, as well as a certificate in alternative dispute resolution.
Matt currently teaches at a K-8 private school in Denver, where he has witnessed firsthand young, inner-city kids’ curiosity and love of animals and nature, observing that every time they are asked what community service project or charitable cause they’d like to be involved with, most K-3 students pick something related to domestic animals or wildlife. This natural love and curiosity led Matt to write Larry Saves the Prairie for young children.
Matt is an independent researcher and advocate for wildlife conservation, especially conservation of prairie habitat. Matt lives in Denver with his wife, Kate, two children, Luke and Mary, and dog Samuel. He is a volunteer coach, a private pilot, and has helped teach his teenage son to fly.

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Star Rider: On the Razor’s Edge by Heidi Skarie — book excerpt

star rider cover

Science Fiction / Visionary Fiction
Date Published: December 2014

Undercover operative Toemeka Ganti, code-named Star Rider, lives on the edge.

Her latest mission is to overthrow the despot of Jaipar, General Bhandar. His protection comes from sorcerer Samrat Condor, an interplanetary conqueror whose space fleet destroyed Toemeka’s home planet and killed her family years ago. And Condor isn’t about to lose his stranglehold on Jaipar.

Making matters worse, Toemeka must preserve her cover while secretly developing an oscillator, a shield-destroying device wanted by both sides. All this must be accomplished under the watchful eye of her boss, Commander Rochambeau, who is pressuring Toemeka to become his mistress.

Accompanied by her Coalition team and trusted partner Erling Fenian, Toemeka bands with the local underground resistance and Michio Kimes, a handsome spiritual warrior trained to fight sorcery. Together they must battle to free the people of Jaipar and restore its rightful heir to power.  


Something touched Toemeka’s leg.  Her eyes snapped open and she saw a vine curling itself around her ankle.  It twisted up her thigh.  Amazed that a vine could move, she touched one of its blue iridescent leaves.  “What an unusual plant, you are.”  Another stem twirled around her arm. She tugged at the vine, trying to pull it off.  It tightened its grip.

She heard Michio calling her name.  “I’m over here.  By the river,” she yelled.  She tugged harder at the vine on her arm as it climbed to her shoulder.  It wound its way around her neck and tightened against her windpipe.  Frantically, she grabbed the thick stem with both hands and screamed for help

Toemeka couldn’t breathe as the vine tightened around her neck.  Her lungs burned. Fear pumped through her veins and black spots flashed before her eyes.  The world spun.  A branch cracked, then Michio appeared and began slashing at the base of the stalk with his knife.  The plant let out an ear-piercing scream and squirted a stinging, putrid orange fluid on Toemeka’s arm.

Light-headed, she collapsed.  Michio pulled the vine from her throat, and she gasped as fresh air filled her lungs.  She distantly heard Michio ask if she was okay.  She opened her eyes to find him crouching next to her, looking worried.

A vine tentacle slithered around her waist.  She grabbed the stem and tried to rip it away.  “Get it off me!” she cried hoarsely.

Michio started to help her when he fell forward onto the ground. A vine had wrapped itself around his ankle and it dragged him toward waving reddish-orange tubes.  Michio hacked himself free, the plant screamed and sprayed more juice.  Scrambling back to Toemeka, Michio whacked at the vine that gripped her.  It shrieked as he chopped and slashed the knife into it.  Finally, it released her, climbed up a nearby tree and wound around its trunk.


star rider authorHeidi Skarie’s life as a writer began when she had a dramatic dream about a futuristic world at war. The vivid dream was like watching an action/adventure movie. Excited about the dream, she recorded it upon awakening. That night the dream continued where it left off. After six nights, Heidi had a hundred-page journal recording the series of dreams. This awakened her interest in writing, which continues to be one of her greatest passions today. Heidi is a visionary author who writes science fiction and historical fiction novels.  Her novels are a an exciting blend of action, adventure and romance, featuring strong, spiritually inquisitive heroines. Star Rider on the Razor’s Edge is her first science fiction novel. She previously published Red Willow’s Quest, a historical novel based on a past life, about a Native American girl training to become a medicine woman. 

The Secret King Lethao by Dawn Chapman

Lethao Cover Art AMAZON
Sci-Fi / Fantasy
Date Published: September 30, 2015

Kendro, King of the Aonise, can do nothing to prevent their sun from collapsing, consuming their home planet Letháo in a single fiery blast. Running out of time and options, he evacuates the entire population, setting off into the unknown galaxy in four crowded ships. Under constant danger from their ancient enemy, the Zefron, treasonous dissent seeps into his inner circle. Threatened inside and out, Kendro struggles with who to trust, until a mysterious vision finally brings hope to the distraught King. A new home awaits the Aonise, if Kendro can only unite them long enough to survive the journey.

EXCERPT From Ch 4: 

“I trust the four of you. I hope you trust me.”  Looking to each of them, Kendro spoke. “The Zefron will follow us—”

“The Zefron, still!” Madrall’s outburst reverberated through the others.

“Yes, and my last recon came back with nothing.” Octav said. “We still know nothing else about them. They’re bent on our annihilation, with no valid reasons.” He waited for their acknowledgment.  “Staying away from the Zefron won’t be an option I believe we will have to fight.”

With a hand slammed on the table, Kendro brought up a holosnap.  “Octav smuggled this off the Zefron home world.” A holographic image rotated over the centre of their table. “Like us, at first we thought they were fleeing the solar system.” Pointing to several areas as the ship rotated, Kendro added, “Initial scans from Octav’s team were conclusive. It’s a battle ship. I can presume they will be coming for us.”

“Puswer,” cursed Captain Hadi.  “We escape a dying planet, to be chased across the galaxy.”

Dawn Chapman has been creating sci fi and fantasy stories for thirty years. Until 2005 when her life and attention turned to scripts, and she started work on The Secret King, a 13 episode Sci Fi TV series, with great passion for this medium.

In 2010, Dawn returned to her first love of prose. She’s been working with coach EJ Runyon who’s encouraged her away from fast paced script writing, to revel in the world of TSK and Letháo as an epic prose space journey.


She’s had success with a web series, co-written with ‘Melvin Johnson’, produced by Nandar Entertainment, and a short film Irobe, also co-written. This year her experience of working with Producers/Directors from the US and AUS has expanded. From Drama, Sci Fi to Action, Dawn’s built a portfolio of writing, consulting and publishing.



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Guest Post: Children of the Lightning by Annie Wong

Children of Lightning by Annie K. Wong
Publication date: September 27th 2014
Genres: Adult, Fantasy

Secrets beget secrets. The curse that befell the Hollows clan has left them incapable of producing male offspring. To extend their bloodline, they have formed a covenant with the serpentine Ophidians, who give them children. In return, the Hollows must keep these monstrous creatures well fed, though the details of the procurement are so abominable that the truth is never revealed to the other clans. In their homeland of Matikki, they live like outcasts.

Through a series of chance discoveries, the secrets of the ancient curse unfold before a warrior named Writhren Hollow. Is her purely female clan the result of a lapse of divine providence, or are the Hollows themselves victims of an enslavement scheme?

If Writhren frees her clan from the covenant, she risks the wrath of the Ophidians and the future of her bloodline. If she keeps the truth of the curse to herself, she is a traitor to her own kind. Either way, she will suffer for what she must do.

This is not a story of redemption, but regret. This is Writhren’s story.

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An award-winning series from Dan Simmons, The Hyperion Cantos features one of the greatest villains ever written and a storyline spanning hundreds of years across distant galaxies. In this epic space opera, humans are threatened by their own creations, including biologically engineered post-humans, artificial intelligence supercomputers, and their constant internal wars.  Amidst the violence and chaos, the protagonists search for life’s meaning through religion, poetry, romance, not to mention strife and battle.

As of June 2015, Syfy Channel is developing the first book, Hyperion, into a TV series, with one of executive producers being Bradley Cooper.


Top 10 List of author’s favorite fictional characters

Doraemon (manga) by Fujiko F. FujioDoraemon was the manga comics I read as a child, and I love that robotic cat from the future, equipped with a small pocket on his belly containing gadgets he could use to help his human friend, a boy called Nobita.

Sabriel from Sabriel, by Garth Nix – a teenager who must save her father and fill in the role of the demon executioner (or Abhorsen) until he can be freed.  I’d love to get my hands on a set of her bells and bandolier.

Shoggoth from At the Mountain of Madness, by H. P. Lovecraft – An excerpt from the book describes it as “… a terrible, indescribable thing vaster than any subway train – a shapeless congeries of protoplasmic bubbles, faintly self-luminous, and with myriads of temporary eyes forming and unforming as pustules of greenish light all over the tunnel-filling front that bore down upon us, crushing the frantic penguins and slithering over the glistening floor that it and its kind had swept so evilly free of all litter.”

It’s a monster who is also a slave.  What more can anyone ask for?

Slake-moths from Perdido Street Station, by China Mieville – giant moths that paralyze you with their hypnotic wings then feed on your dreams leaving you not dead, but wasting away as an empty shell.  Yum!

Mogget from Sabriel, by Garth Nix – an ancient Free Magic creature, dangerous and evil, bound by the power of a tiny bell around his neck, he takes the shape of a cat.  He is knowledgeable, playful and sarcastic and it’s impossible to tell if he can be trusted.

Curdle from Un Lun Dun, by China Mieville – a smelly, dirty, animated milk carton that is also a faithful pet.

Wolf from Wolf Brother, by Michelle Paver – a wolf who is given a point of view in the story, addresses his human companion (not his master) as Tall Tailless.  He is the best friend any boy could have.

The One Ring from Lord of the Rings, by J. R. R. Tolkien – Before Doctor Who’s TARDIS, and more recently, the evil mirror in the movie, Oculus, there was The One Ring, the object that was a central character in a story.  I wonder what the story would be like if written from its point of view.

Doctor Who – He is one of the most brilliant creations in the sci-fi fantasy realm, a humanoid alien who, at the time of death, can regenerate and return as a different “person”.  I find this endlessly transformational quality in a character fascinating.

Donna Noble – While we are on the subject of The Doctor, I’d like to add that Donna Noble is by far the best companion for him.  She may be an office temp before he met the Doctor, but she proves to be smart, and so funny.


Annie K. Wong was born in Hong Kong and lives in Canada, in the west coast city of Vancouver, BC. She has a BA in AnnieBusiness Administration and Creative Writing from Houghton College as well as a Diploma in Film Studies from the University of British Columbia. Although she explored careers in advertising, television and office administration, the desire to write overtook her at the turn of the new millennium. In 2003 she earned a Post-Graduate Certificate in Creative Writing from Humber College and has been crafting stories ever since.

Her current project is a fantasy series, the prequel of which is Children of Lightning.

Connect with her and receive freebies and updates about her book and other upcoming projects.

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Crazy Dumplings by Amanda Roberts — Author Interview

crazy dumplings cover

Cookbook / Non-Fiction
Date Published: November 3, 2014

Dumplings. Wontons. Jiaozi. This remarkably simple food is found throughout Asia and in Chinese restaurants and kitchens around the world, but have you ever filled a dumpling wrapper with chicken? Lobster? North American Plains Bison? Hardly anyone has! The Crazy Dumplings Cookbook features over 100 recipes with some of the craziest and most delicious dumpling filling recipes you will ever see. From Chicken Taquito Dumplings to Timey-Wimey Dumplings to a dumpling for your dog, Crazy Dumplings will show you all the crazy things you can stuff into a dumpling wrapper for an easy meal or snack.

Tell us about this story.

Well, since this is a cookbook, there isn’t exactly a story. But in the introduction, I do talk about adapting to living in a new country when it comes to food, which wasn’t easy. 

In 2010, my husband and I moved from Orlando, Florida to the middle of nowhere Hunan, China. Even though we had spent 10 months preparing for the move and I spoke some Chinese, we probably experienced every kind of culture shock possible, and food was one of our biggest issues. 

“Crazy Dumplings” shows one of the fun ways we combined Western and Chinese food and bridge our home culture with our adopted one. 

What is your most prized possession?

A stuffed Little Foot that I have had since “The Land Before Time” premiered when I was 7 years old. He has always been with me and lives with me now in China. I still sleep with him every night. My husband doesn’t mind [Symbol]

Which talent would you most like to have?

I wish I could do art. It would be awesome to be able to write and draw. Some of my upcoming projects are very art-heavy (a graphic novel and a children’s book), so it would be much easier if I could do the art myself. However, I do enjoy the collaborative aspect of working with an art partner, so not being an artist also has its benefits. 

Who’s the favorite character that you created?

In a novel I have coming out next year – The Vampire’s Daughter – I wrote a fictionalized version of Dom Augustin Calmet, the first person who wrote a treatise on vampires. I reimagined him as a scarred, drunk vampire hunter. He’s hardened but is able to embrace life. He’s a great character. 

If you could change one thing about yourself, what would it be?

If I changed, then I wouldn’t be me. But I think I am always improving. 


crazy dumplings authorAmanda Roberts is an American writer, editor, and teacher who has lived in China since 2010. She has an MA in English and has published books, short stories, articles, poems, and essays in publications all over the world. She blogs about her life in China at and also heads the Women Writers of Shenzhen writers circle. She can be found all over the internet.

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At Water’s Edge by S. McPherson: Author Interview

At Water’s Edge by S. McPherson:

S. McPhersonPublisher: by S. McPherson Books (November 10,  2015)
Category: Romance/Fantasy
Tour Dates: October/November, 2015
ISBN: 978-0-993360503
Available in: Print & ebook,  347 Pages

‘At Water’s Edge’, tells the tale of two lovers trapped in two different worlds. One world is Earth, and the other is Coldivor; a dimension full of magic and danger. When Dezaray Storm is mistaken for th
e most powerful sorceress of this other realm her life changes forever. She finds love in the arms of Milo Thor, but this love can also lead to her death and the destruction of seven empires.

‘At Water’s Edge’ is book one in the ‘Water Rushes’ series.

Tell us about this story.

At Water’s Edge tells the tale of Dezaray, a seventeen-year-old girl in England who falls in love with an eighteen-year-old boy from another world. A case of mistaken identity, lost portals and battling empires leads to an adventure between worlds, centred around love, loss and magic.

Dezaray; under the questionable care of her brother finds herself having visions of a boy she has never met – Milo, a teenager from another world with the ability to teleport. One night, when on the run for her life, Dezaray comes across a portal and when mistaken for the most powerful sorceress of this other land, she is pulled through it and immersed in a world of magic and empires, meeting the man of her dreams…literally.

But Dezaray cannot stay in this realm and as this other world, Coldivor, descends into war, in desperate need of their true sorceress, Dezaray realises that her journey into Coldivor will end in one of two ways; with her return or with her demise. But what about Milo?

They say love can cross oceans but can it cross worlds?

What’s your idea of perfect happiness? I think happiness is when you are one hundred percent comfortable in your own skin. When you still strive for more, making every day an exciting adventure but knowing deep down that there is nothing missing from your life, even if on paper it looks like there is.

What do you regard as the lowest depth of misery? I think the lowest depth of misery is when you truly cannot see anything positive in yourself. When you actually manage to convince yourself that you are worthless. The brain is a powerful tool and we have to be careful with the ideas we let it build.

Why do you write? Because the places I long to see, the people I long to meet and the adventures I would love to embark on, for now only exist in my mind; unclear and disarrayed. Writing allows me to experience them. I delve in to every detail and just for a moment, I find magic at my fingertips.

What is your motto? If you always do what you have always done, you will always get what you have always got. Although now I’m also really trying to live by the words of J.D. Rockefeller. ‘Don’t be afraid to give up the good to go for the great.’

Who’s your favorite writer?

I will always bow down for the infamous Shakespeare with his wonderful way of turning a phrase and his delightful yet traumatic tales of love and woe however, (yes, however) J.K. Rowling definitely stole my heart with the brilliant Harry Potter series. I do love, love but it seems I love magic just as much…although perhaps they are one in the same. The desire to combine my two favourites; epic love with illustrious magic is actually what lead to ‘At Water’s Edge’, where the love story is just about the two characters and where the magic is so much more- stories unto their own mingled into one.

Praise for Chapters One-Three of ‘At Water’s Edge’ by S. McPherson:

“Loved the teaser! It pulled me in and made me want to read more. Your writing style is clean, uncluttered and brimming with tension. Well done!”

“You got a lovely and interesting story,  hope to read more from you.”

“I liked it a lot! While I was reading it, I was able to be drawn into the story easily by your words. A stormy night like you were describing sets the perfect scene for a suspenseful fantasy novel.”

“I really enjoyed reading your first chapter. It was gripping. The descriptions are well written.”

About S. McPherson:S. McPerson

S. McPherson is a young British expat living in Dubai and working as a Foundation Stage 1 (FS1) teacher. When she was younger S. McPherson travelled a lot with her family, though, no matter how often her surroundings changed, one thing never did. And this was her love of writing and dreaming up the impossible. After combining her two loves of teaching children and writing, S. McPherson self-published her first book; a rhyming verse children’s story titled ‘Shania Streep wanted to Sleep’. Thus fuelling her love of seeing her work in print and sharing her stories. This is S. McPherson’s first novel.



Follow the ‘At Water’s Edge’ by S. McPherson Tour:

Teddy Rose Book Reviews Oct 5 Tour Kick off & Giveaway

Through Eyes Of A Book Goddess Oct 6 Review, Excerpt & Giveaway

Sunshine Book Promotions Oct 7 Excerpt, Interview, & Giveaway

Cassandra M’s Place Oct 9 Review & Giveaway

Infinite House of Books Oct 12 Interview

Tome Tender Oct 13 Review & Giveaway

Binding Addiction Oct 15 Excerpt

Father, Writer, Logistical Wizard Oct 19 Review

Bookishly Me Oct 20 Review & Interview

Buffy’s Ramblings Oct 21 Review & Excerpt

Rockin’ Book Reviews Oct 22 Review & Excerpt

Pomegranate Radio Oct 23 Review

Books, Authors, Blogs Oct 26 Review

What U Talking Bout Willis? Oct 27 Guest post & Excerpt

Books, Books, & More Books Oct 29 Review

The Writing Desk Oct 30 Guest Post

Little Read Riding Hood Nov 2 Review, Excerpt  & Giveaway

Happy Tails and Tales Nov 4 Review & Giveaway

I Can Has Books? Nov 10 Review

Deal Sharing Aunt Nov 11 Review

Avenue Books Nov 12 Interview

Ashley’s Bookshelf Nov 18 Review

Alpha Book Club Nov 23 Spotlight

Teatime and Books Nov 24 Interview

A Room Without Books is Empty Nov 25 Review

Self-Taught Cook Nov 27 Excerpt

Universal Creativity Inc. Nov 30  Interview

S. McPherson