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Wednesday, October 7, 2009

Wednesday Spotlight with Mickey Flagg

Hello and welcome to Wednesday Spotlight! In keeping with the spirit of ghosts and goblins and the full moon, the Halloween party sizzles all month long. Today’s featured guest is Mickey Flagg. Mickey is here to chat with us about her Halloween-inspired book
Here’s a blurb and excerpt. But first, a little about Mickey.

Mickey Flagg brings the joy of music to hundreds of students every week. Named a Distinguished Music Educator at the 2009 Yale Music Symposium, she also writes paranormal romance. Retribution! her debut novel, was released in March 2009, and Book 2, Consequences, has also been contracted with The Wild Rose Press. Living in northern NJ, her quiet home sits on the edge of a forest.Retribution! Short blurb:

Dreams often reflect deepest desires…even if they’re nightmares. While cruelly captured, a vampire creates a languid fantasy with the help of a powerful soul. Eternal devotion to two important people forces this creature to see himself with honest eyes. Imagination runs wild, yet Michael Malone still desires death. Why should he survive? Two very good reasons… One is revenge. The other is love.

The habit was hundreds of years old… An absentminded glance in an empty mirror as the vampire ran firm bristles back and forth over even, white teeth. But this time, he stared in disbelief. A cloudy image peered back—one that hadn’t been seen in centuries. High cheekbones, straight nose, square chin and strong brow were unmistakably his. Leaning into the mirror, Michael couldn’t see his eyes clearly, but it was his reflection, something lost the night he’d been turned. The one thing that sets me apart from humanity, he thought, one thing that should be lost forever. The image fascinated, but also frightened. One more secret I must keep from Alana—for now.

~ Retribution! The Champion Chronicles: Book One

Sharon: Let’s have a warm welcome for Mickey Flagg. Mickey, welcome to the Haunted Mansion!

From the thicket of the deep dark woods, Mickey soars out on her witch’s broom. The bell in the bell tower gongs out the witching hour. The haunted mansion, with spiked fencing around the courtyard, forbodes an eerie presence. Bats screech as they flap their wings in flight. Using the lion faced door knocker, Mickey announces her arrival.

The door creaks open on rusty hinges. Oliver, costumed in his vampire outfit, smiles a wolfish grin. Good evening, Ms. Flagg. Welcome to Retribution. Do come in.

Oliver extends his hairy arm and escorts Mickey down the long dark corridor to the parlor. Spider webs drape the walls like veils of thick Spanish moss. Background music plays in honor of our special guest:
Johann Sebastian Bach's Toccata and Fugue in D minor

Sharon, dressed in flowing black dress and hat, is busy stirring a steamy concoction. It billows upward. Standing candelabras shed dim light on the raven clock, organ and cracked walls. Sharon smiles. Welcome to Retribution, Mickey. Come have a seat and Oliver will bring us some refreshments.

Mickey: (slithers over with a sassy sway, totally at home in the atmosphere of the dark mansion) Oooh, Sharon, so pleased to meet you. (Eyes glued to Oliver) What a lovely home, so full of ‘spirit’. (She grins) And a woman after my own heart – uh, I’m referring to your excellent taste in d├ęcor, of corpse – oh, silly me, of course!

Oliver appears, carting a carafe of bold coffee and chocolate dragons and vampires. With a sweeping bow, he presents them, displaying his razor-sharp fangs. After pouring a cup and handing it to Mickey, he asks, Might I have your autograph, Ms. Flagg? In blood, if you please.

Just then the raven clock screeches and the organ begins to grind out the funeral dirge. Manic laughter rattles the walls.

Sharon: Oh, don’t be afraid, Mickey. It’s just the ghosts of Halloweens past. Now let’s begin our interview, shall we? Tell us about Retribution, the setting, the characters and what made you write this book.

Mickey: (staring deeply into gorgeous eyes of the bare-chested butler, finds it a bit hard to think) Yes, Retribution… (Clears throat with a sigh) This is a paranormal romance that takes place in a vampire’s mind. He takes on unimaginable evil and almost triumphs. Michael Malone is his name – a mystically enhanced vampire who has become a lethal weapon against evil in this world. (Mesmerized by Oliver, she continues) In a poisoned state, Michael will dream about being in Alana’s arms. She is the mortal whom he loves, a Guardian of Souls with her own mystical mission. Also of concern to the lusty vamp is his human son. That’s a long story, Sharon. But there is a reason Lukas exists – just can’t give away the why. (Mickey fans her face, and as Oliver steps back, she continues) What made me write this novel? (She asks herself, slowly meeting Sharon’s eyes and snapping out of her swoon) Well, Sharon, I had just completed a rigorous second masters in Educational Leadership in two years – while teaching full time – while going through a divorce – while helping my children get on their feet. Sounds a bit overwhelming, right? My loving son told me to write. I decided to redeem a demon. I think it saved my sanity.

Sharon: And this is Book 1 of the Champion Chronicles. Congratulations. Tell us when we might expect the next in the series and a bit about it.

Mickey: Consequences follows Michael’s journey. He will find salvation in Alana’s arms, but not as he dreamed. The cast of characters are mostly the same, but their relationships to him and his mortal son take on a deeper meaning. Michael will have to do some serious soul searching before he can truly love Alana as he should. Consequences should be released by The Wild Rose Press sometime in 2010. (Sips her coffee and wishes Oliver would return)

Sharon: Now lets’ talk about Halloween. Is there a particular holiday that stands out to you as being monumental? And if so, why and how did it inspire you to write paranormals?

Mickey: (places her cup on the table and smiles at Sharon) I just blogged about this – how interesting that you should ask! (Narrows her eyes, tilts her head as if Sharon is psychic??)
I find Halloween to be a holiday that celebrates the imagination. Of course, I have a very active one! (Slight smirk) There are times in our lives when fantasy helps us face reality. At the time I wrote Retribution, I needed to escape just a wee bit. I’ve always been intrigued by vampires – in a good sense of the word, so I thought I’d try my hand at authoring my own version of happily ever after with a couple of paranormal twists and hurdles.

Sharon: I generally associate Halloween with superstitions. Just then, Sharon’s black cat leaps in front of Oliver just as he glides out with dessert. Fred cat hisses and snarls and leaps on top of the organ.

Hysterical laughter explodes from inside the walls. A woman screams, her wails echoing through the mansion.

Sharon: The spirits are restless tonight. Thank you, Oliver. And doesn’t that chocolate forest cake in the shape of a hearse look decadent. Oliver cuts a huge slice for Mickey and feeds her the first bite.

Mickey: (her eyes close, savoring the delicious confection as well as the nearness of this gorgeous hunk of a man) Kudos to the baker, Sharon. How very rich! (Mickey takes the fork from Oliver, holding his hand a few seconds too long before focusing on Sharon again. There is a very wide grin on Mickey’s face.)

Sharon: Now as I was saying before we were so rudely interrupted. I adore superstitions. How about you, Mickey. Do share one or two with us pertaining to Halloween.

Mickey: Rudely interrupted? Nonsense! (Oliver pulls up a chair beside Mickey, who looks about to faint! She, however, snaps out of it to put her teacher hat on) I’ve read that Halloween was brought to America’s shores by Irish immigrants after the great potato famine of 1846. It is both a pagan feast and the eve of All Saints Day. Various cultures have similar superstitions about the dead walking the earth the night before All Saints Day. In some cultures, people dress as demons to ward off the souls, allowing them to once again, rest in peace. Today, it’s mainly about tricks or treats for the kiddies. I mean, ghosts, goblins, vampires… not reality (a loud screech makes Mickey jump. It takes a minute for her to regain composure – of course, Oliver helps her)

Sharon: And what’s next for Mickey Flagg. Are you hard at work on your next paranormal or black rose?

Mickey: Doing my best to put the finishing touches on Inheritance, Book 3 in The Champion Chronicles, Sharon. It will take Michael, Alana, and Lukas on a new paranormal adventure.

Sharon: And what might the wee trick or treaters expect at the Flagg house?

Mickey: Why gobs of chocolate goodies, scary music – the classical kind, and house decorations that have been the same since my children were babies. I’m big on tradition. (Winks at Oliver)

Sharon: You’re a music teacher. That must be so rewarding. Tell us about these lessons.

Mickey: I teach in an urban setting, roughly 650 children a week. My career has gone beyond rewarding. It’s my pleasure to teach a child about music from Kindergarten through Grade 8. I get to watch them grow over nine years. It’s a special relationship, Sharon. Many come back to visit, and I have the additional pleasure of teaching their children. I have a select chorus of 100 students who are the pride of the school. What gives me the greatest thrill is that through music, my children have higher self-esteem, better test scores, and more sensitivity to the diversity around us. It’s an awesome experience! I’m truly blessed to teach what I so deeply love.

Sharon: And sadly, that brings us to the end of our interview. Mickey, it’s been a pleasure. I wish you much success with Retribution. Can you tell readers where they can buy this book and get in touch with you?

Mickey: Retribution! can be purchased at or www. as well as various other sites. You can get in touch with me through or email at

Oliver grabs Mickey and twirls her around while singing his favorite song, “I was working in the lab late one night. When my eyes beheld an eerie sight…they did the mash…the monster mash…” – the musician in Mickey takes over, and she sings along.


Sharon Donovan said...

A warm welcome to Mickey Flagg! Hi Mickey! Grab a seat and here comes Oliver with plenty of rich bold coffee and an assortment of chocolates to share with our guests while we chat about Retribution. And Mickey has just informed me she will be treating one lucky visitor to a $10 TWRP gift certificate. But in order to be entered in the drawing, you must leave a comment for Mickey. Thank you, Mickey. That's most gracious of you to offer such an enchanting treat. So we'll just make ourselves comfy on these nail-back chairs and let the ghoulish times roll....

Margaret Tanner said...

Great interview Sharon and Mickey,
We don't really celebrate Halloween here in Australia.Retribution, now that is a word that conjures up many interesting,dangerous and intriguing scenarios.
I wish you mega sales Mickey.

Hywela Lyn said...

Hi Sharon and Mickey (not forgetting Oliver of course, who could forget Oliver?)

Great interview, ladies, and a great excerpt, Mickey. Retribution sounds like a really interesting book.

Sharon Donovan said...

Welcome to the party, Margaret and Lyn. Mickey will be along a bit later, but in the mean time, dust off the cobwebs and make yourselves at home. And here comes Oliver with Earl Gray tea and fudge brownies. Dig in.

M.Flagg said...

It's a very stormy morning here, and I thought I'd just swoop down on my broomstick before leaving for school. Thanks for having me Sharon, and a big wave hello to Margaret and Hywela. I'd love to stay for those brownies, but gotta fly! Mwahahah...

Be back later as fast as the broom flies :)

Sharon Donovan said...

Well you heard her folks. Mickey has to fly off to teach for a bit but she'll be back. In the meantime, Oliver is here to serve you drinks and goodies all day long. Make yourselves comfy and get those questions ready for Mickey!

Judi Fennell said...

Hi Mickey! What a great blurb and excerpt! I love the idea of his reflection returning! Wishing you much success!

Kathleen said...

What a terrific and haunting excerpt! Great job Mickey and thanks to Sharon for helping us celebrate Halloween in a big way.

Caridad Pineiro said...

Thanks for sharing the background and story with us, Mickey! And Oliver (sweating a little here). Good luck with this one and all the rest. Hope you'll be our Spotlight Author soon at Liberty States!

P.L. Parker said...

Good morning ladies:

Love the Halloween stuff. I read a lot of vampire books so right down my alley.

Good luck with sales

Celia Yeary said...

MICKEY--hi! Celia Yeary here.Remember I won your book Retribution? I have to write a blog titled Things That go Bump in the Night, whihc seems tame compared to your exciting, tense novel!! The title of my blog will be: NATURAL-BORN SCAREDY-CAT. See? I don't usually read anything that scares me! Good luck-Celia

Skhye said...

Oh, the autograph in blood is poifecto for October!!! Love that blurb, Mickey. And I'm off to find yellow, orange, and white nail polish to paint my daughter's nails like candy corn. Hopefully, I won't find any! LOL The thought is wearing me out--too early in the day!

Can you believe my word verification is "poled"? Like that will be handy for new world terminology. :(

Anne Carrole said...

What a fun interview! and great excerpt. And Oliver--whoa!:) Now there's a treat!

Gwynlyn MacKenzie said...

Very cute, Mickey. I hope you and Oliver danced the night away! ;-)

Author Ernie Johnson said...

This was a terrific interview. Well done. I got to learn a little about Ms Flagg. Mickey, I wish you wll on your book series.


Cate Masters said...

Wonderful interview, Sharon and Mickey! Congrats on Retribution's release, Mickey - wishing you all the best. I write to save my sanity too!

Sharon Donovan said...

The beaming Oliver strolls in with refreshments, taking orders from all the guests anxiously awaiting for Mickey to fly in on her broomstick. He keeps all happy with coffee, tea, chocolates, peanut brittle, popcorn, fruit and veggie trays. With a wink, he announces the bar is open for any who want something stronger than the punch he sets down next to the cookies.

Beth Caudill said...

Great interview. Congrats on the sequel being contracted.

Have a scary day. ;)

Joelle said...

Thanks so much, Sharon and Mickey, for inviting one of our lovely Goddesses of the Dark Side over to your stately manor for such an engaging interview. And, as always, dear Mickey, you do us proud. Take a bow!

Joelle Walker
Editor, Black Rose Line
The Wild Rose Press

PS: Sharon, would it be presumptuous of me to ask if we might...say, borrow Oliver for our big Halloween bash?

Autumn Shelley said...

Yay Mickey!!
Now who doesn't LOVE Oliver????
(No sneaking off you two!) BTW-love your music selection, I spent a few years developing an appreciation for classical music, I find it's a lot like coffee and wine, you have to try some of it our to find what you really like!
Autumn Shelley
"Blood Moon" in
'Taming of the Wolf'
from The Wild Rose Press

M.Flagg said...

I'm back...mainly due to the fierce winds that have kicked up!Hi Sharon. Thanks for keeping the party going. And Oliver, yummm, I mean hmmmm. So nice to see you again. Did someone spike that punch or is it the apple martinis that Oliver's now serving? Some great visitors here keeping Margaret and Hywela company.

Hi Judi. Thanks for the compliments. I know your book is still soaring in its second printing already! Congratulations!

Thanks for dropping by, Kathleen. Your cover art is positively beautiful!

Now isn't that sweet? Oliver just handed me a cup of coffee just the way I like it!

Sharon Donovan said...

Hi Mickey. You're back and look at all these fans! That ought to warm your blood on such a stormy day! Have some of Oliver's coffee and goodies while you socialize. And if you want one of his apple martinis, he'll stir one up for you, shaken or stirred!

M.Flagg said...

Charity!! I'm thrilled to see you here. Your novels really keep me turning those pages. Thanks for the good wishes and the invite as well. For you? Any time! Maybe Sharon will loan me Oliver (sigh) Thanks for stopping by.

Hi, P.L. Vamps are up my alley too! And it doesn't have to be Halloween, either :)

M.Flagg said...

Hi, Sharon. Wow! What a great party. Oliver can shake or stir. As long as he does it beside me. Don't worry, Autumn, we won't sneak too far away. Although that dark corner looks...

Oh, Hi Celia! Things that go bump in the night have great potential for some fun moments. Thanks for your lovely compliments. You're such a wonderful story-teller on your blog, I'll bet it will be perfect. Let me know when you post it. I'll read anything you write.

Mary Ricksen said...

Sharon your blogs are always so much fun! Mary blows a kiss Sharon's way.
Oliver is really a pretty good butler, considering what we all put him through. But yes, he can be fresh.
Interesting to learn about you and your great story. I can't wait to read it!!! Hugs to you Mickey.

Sharon Donovan said...

Ladies ladies! So sorry, but Oliver is copyrighted by me. He's my creation, after all and I keep him quite busy on my blog and his moonlighting job at the Author Roast and Toast where I am one of the hostesses. I designed him after a waiter in my real life that is full of charisma and gusto. And FYI ladies. Oliver's memoirs are being written by me so stay tuned for coming attractions. He is my leading character in my current wip. And if I lent him out to as many requests as I get, he'd never be around to entertain my guests. Cocktails anyone?

M.Flagg said...

You can tell my chldren are grown, Skye, because the candy corn nails just blew me away LOL! She sounds as imaginative as her talented author mother! My witch hat is off to you, and I bow deeply. But ever since you commented on word verifications over at Dayana's, I'm obsessed with them :) However, Oliver serving me a second apple martini is making them a bit blurry. You can tell I don't drink much.
Thanks very much for stopping by!

Sharon Donovan said...

Wasn't that wild, Mickey? Skhye painting her daughter's fingernails like candy corn! Wow, can you imagine doing that after a few of Oliver's apple martinis? Aw, thanks, Mary. You are a sweetie to say so! Mickey, why is Oliver grinning that way? Just what did he put in your martini! His fangs are a glowing!

M.Flagg said...

Uh oh, Sharon. Oliver has impressed Anne quite a bit! Her cowboy hero is to die for as well! Great to see you here Anne.
And Gwynlyn, I'll tell you all about dancing with Oliver at the conference... Well, most of it :)

A big hello to Ernie too! Glad you could stop by!

Sharon, did you say Oliver's memoirs? Oh my. I'll definitely stay tuned. He's smiling at me again.

M.Flagg said...

Ummm. Oliver... Yes... Fangs glowing... I'm sorry. I think I'd like another dance with him, Sharon.

Sharon Donovan said...

A big shout out to Ernie! Yes, Anne is quite taken by Oliver! Have a seat, dearie, and cool off with a chilled martini. Hey Patsy, Kathleen and Cate! Glad you're still around and oh, you've found the chocolates! How was school today, Mickey? Do you have anything planned for the wee ones as far as a music concerto for Halloween?

Sharon Donovan said...

The music plays on the organ and Oliver sweeps Mickey into his hairy arms, his eyes all aglaze, fangs glowing.......

Sharon Donovan said...

Big wave to Autumn! Glad you're getting acquainted with your surroundings for the 31st!!

M.Flagg said...

Woo...had to take a break for a minute. I think I better switch back to coffee. Maybe iced coffee after that tango. He looks good with a rose in his mouth, Sharon.

And Cate, we should talk about writing for our sanity. That blog could get to be very scary!!

Now how do you think Beth knew I'd have a scary day? Is she another psychic, Sharon?

Speaking of the day, Sharon, it went pretty well. I'll share a little tidbit. I rarely make Kindergarteners cry - it's the truth! But one little guy has cried every single time he's entered the music room. I can't tell you where my heart ends up - those old-fashioned hugs aren't allowed anymore. So today, he came in. Sat in the front row and sang along. We're working very hard on "Five Little Pumpkins." It's a biggie because they have to get that vocal tone color going as well as counting. Guess what? No tears today! I was afraid to acknowledge his brave, beaming face. As school let out, he came back into my room and announced how much he loves music class. I gave him a special sticker...and a hug :)

Don't get me started on teaching. I tend to ramble. And of course, Sharon, every class will have spooky songs to sing. We rate them. One ghost, two ghosts... even the eighth graders love it - but the selections are a bit more intriguing.

I use A LOT of classical music, and I'm thrilled that Autumn enjoyed my Bach selection as well! Berlioz, Beethoven, Liszt...and of course, my favorite, Chopin. His funeral dirge is a classic Halloween treat.

See how quickly Oliver's fabulous cup of coffee worked :) Oh. Wait. Do I see chocolate martinis approaching?

M.Flagg said...

Hi Joelle. Thanks for your lovely compliments and thanks for taking the time out of your busy schedule to stop by. I'm blushing and it's not the booze.

I'm so happy to be a Black Rose. Such great editors and authors in that part of the garden. And the vamps, weres, and ghosts are just plain fabulous! Not to mention a tad spicy and sexy. Like Oliver :)

And Mary, a great big cyber hug right back!! Oliver hasn't been fresh with me yet, Mary. He looks great as a vamp, don't you agree?

Dayana said...

Sharon! Hello! I absolutely love your blog. I am also a Halloween phanatic. Maybe someday we can interview each other for our respective blogs. I do an author spotlight on Thursdays and would love to have you some time.

Mickey! Great interview:) I would so loved to have been at the mansion with the three of you and my does Oliver sound like quite a treat.

Thank you for inviting me over. Loved being here and sharing this with the both of you.

Please check out my Halloween events. Got a contest going as we speak. Halloween goodies at stake. Drop by my blog or website so you don't miss a trick or treat.

Dayana Knight

M.Flagg said...

Waving hello,Dayana! Great to see you here! Sharon and Oliver were such gracious hosts and the mansion, well, just the perfect ambiance for this stormy night.

Thank you so very much, Sharon, for having me here today. I had a wonderful time. You are certainly the perfect paranormal hostess. The goodies, the coffee, those martinis - I better check my alarm clock before I hit the pillow!

And Oliver...what can I say? You are quite the charming butler! I haven't danced so much in years!

Please, party on if you so choose. The kiddies need me in good voice (and awake) tomorrow morning. I'll be announcing the gift certificate winner late tomorrow.

Once again, Sharon, this was a terrific time. Thanks again and Happy Halloween :)

Night, everyone. Sweet dreams...

Sharon Donovan said...

Oh, so sad for such a paranormal party to end! Oliver and I had a marvelous time entertaining Mickey and all her guests. To all the Black Roses that popped over for a toast, your presence added the perfect ambiance! A warm thank you to Lyn, Margaret, Judi, Caridad, Kathleen, Patsy, Skhye, Celia, Anne, Gwynlyn, Ernie, Mary, Beth, Autumn, Joelle and Dayana!
Ernie, it's a brave man to venture forth with so many women! Witch's cap off. And Dayana, I would love to spotlight you on my blog and be spotlighted on yours as well. Thank you for the invite. I accept!

Sharon Donovan said...

Well Mickey, what can I say? You had a fantastic show of fans that obviously adore you! And why not. You are so charming and your bubbly personality jumped off the page. You rocked it, girl! Thank you so much for being such a delightful guest. I hope you didn't over indulge in the apple and chocolate martinis. What's that? Oooooh, it was that last tango with Oliver that did you in. Understandably so. Well here he comes now with some extra bold coffee and a bag of fudge dragon brownies for the kiddies. He really has a big heart! And three cheers to you for being such a great music teacher. It sounds like a very rewarding job and one that would be easy to get addicted to. Too bad about those hugs, huh. We all need a big ol' hug now and again. Aw, here comes Oliver to draw us both in for a big bear...ah...I mean vampire hug! Dang, Oliver, watch those fangs!!!

M.Flagg said...

Morning all. Got a little bogged down last night and forgot to post the winner! I think those apple martinis got to me (grinning a bit too loopy).

I put all visitor names in my witch hat and the winner of a $10.00 TWRP gift certificate is...... Autumn!!

Congratulations, Autumn!

A great big cyber hug to all my friends and fellow authors - and to that delicious Oliver too - who stopped by on Wednesday. It is much appreciated.

Happy Halloween, Sharon and everyone.

Hugging you back ~ Mickey