The Order of Curse-Bound Knights is up for best cover in the Creme-de-la-Cover Contest.

Tuesday, June 30, 2015

InD'Tale Magazine runs a weekly "Crème de la Cover Contest" and The Order of Curse-Bound Knights is one of the choices this week.

I'd really appreciate it if you voted for my cover. If you think it is the best out of the  ones there, that is... ;) Don't delay, you only have one week to vote. xoxo


Magic of Solstice Fantasy Writer Tour ~RJ Mirabal Featured!

Saturday, May 30, 2015

FB Banner

RJ Mirabal loves the Middle Rio Grande Valley having lived there for most of his life. Los Lunas High School 2006 Teacher of the Year, author RJ Mirabal, went on to win the Excellence in Education Award for NEA-New Mexico in 2007, having taught English, speech, drama and computer literacy. Now happily retired, he purses writing and music while volunteering with a motorcycle club and teachers’ organizations. RJ enjoys exploring New Mexico’s wilderness areas on his four-wheeler and traveling with his wife, Cheryl. The Tower of Il Serrohe is his debut novel.
An interview with author RJ Mirabal
What genre do you like to read?
I have always loved science fiction, fantasy, mystery, suspense, adventure, and non-fiction about cars, motorcycles, history, and religion. I would love to write in all those genres, but I feel most comfortable and “qualified” to write fantasy and magical realism.
Do you ever find yourself feeling the tension or emotions you’re writing?
Yes, especially when I’ve written something I consider funny and/or ironic. The tension of a stressful situation, not so much because I know how it’s going to turn out. The romantic scenes can be very emotional as well as those periods of death and destruction in my stories.
What do you like to do when you’re not writing?
I have always loved music, though I’m not particularly talented as a musician. Still, I have enjoyed learning to play the hammered dulcimer in recent years. It’s an unusual instrument unknown to a lot of people though it has a wonderful sound, both sweet and very percussive at the same time. I spend a lot of time volunteering with my motorcycle club, the New Mexico Dulcimer Festival, and other interests. I derive great pleasure riding my Polaris RZR 4Wheeler up and down wilderness trails. Getting away from civilization, tasks, and the everyday concerns is very relaxing. I become focused on the here and now and forget the rest. My wife and I enjoy everyday activities, traveling, and just hanging out. It’s wonderful to have such a compatible companion in life. Since I retired from teaching, life has been good, and very interesting as I’ve taken on new challenges.
What is one of your pet peeves?
People who whine about every little thing get on my nerves. I have to stop myself when I get on a whining jag. I also don’t have much patience with those who can’t seem to take care of themselves while they’re waiting for the world to solve their problems. Being politically correct is very annoying and becoming more so by the day.

Social Media:
Buy Links:
Black Rose Writing:
Barnes & Noble:
Signed copy from the author or other questions, email:

a Rafflecopter giveaway

An interview with Tristan Hunt, the narrator of Fateful.

Friday, April 17, 2015

An interview with Tristan Hunt, the narrator of Fateful. 

Portrait of Tristan was taken by Leslie Hassler.

If you're interested in enjoying his production of The Fateful Series, get a great deal on Fateful when you download the Kindle copy for FREE, and then get the audiobook to go with it for only 2.99!

(Update! That price has dropped to 1.99 for the audiobook!!!)

Note: If you've already downloaded Fateful, check for the available update under Manage Your Content and Devices on Amazon.
(Click on the picture below to get Fateful now.)

And now on to the interview... 
How do you decide what voice to do for each character?
The accent is usually obvious based on where the character is from but I really let the writing dictate how the voice develops... I let the writing inform me. Sometimes the characters' voice will come to me right away... other times I'll spend a few minutes feeling my way until I hit upon a certain timbre that feels right.
Do you ever find yourself feeling the emotion you're portraying? So if you’re reading an emotional part do you end up crying? Sometimes? Almost? Never? Too manly for that? Be honest. :) 

Absolutely! I love those moments and I try to leave them in the final edit if possible. Often, when I get emotional there are slurps or pops which prevent me from using it but I'll continue saying the line until I get a clean take.

How do you prepare for emotional or tense scenes?

Again, I let the writing inform me. Simply taking the journey along with the characters is enough to put you in the emotional state they find themselves in at any given moment... emotional or otherwise.

How do you manage to swap between different voices and keep them all straight?

Once I land upon who each character is and where their voice lies in me, it’s not too difficult to shift back and forth... especially when you have multiple personality syndrome, like me... myself... and I. :) Also, keep in mind that I have the luxury of editing. When Ethan has a line right after Danielle and then Max interjects, I can take a beat and breath to turn the switch in the mind and then go back and edit out the pauses.

How on earth did you get into narrating audiobooks?

I wanted to do something creative that I was in control of. I love storytelling and performing but the entertainment business, acting and auditioning etc, is mostly based on circumstances outside of an actor’s control. Yes, you can make sure your body and your instrument are it top shape at any given moment by consistently working out and taking classes and honing your skills... but as far as actually getting a job its completely out of your control beyond showing up to smile for the camera and do your bit. Producing audiobooks allows me complete autonomy and a creative outlet.

What is your favorite food?

I love a great meal but it's hard to beat Mother Nature's simplest, sweetest treats... like watermelon. For me, it doesn't get much better than a perfectly ripe and slightly chilled slice of watermelon.

What do you do when you’re not producing audiobooks?

I audition for film, TV and commercials... and sometimes book them... I work in production when a good job comes along... I'm a dad, which is a job I take seriously... I'm a husband, which is a job I should probably take more seriously... and I'm currently in a Pinter play, The Homecoming, at an Equity theater in Los Angeles.

How would you describe your narration style and voice?

My approach is akin to a movie in which I play all the parts... as well as narrate. :)

What is one thing most people don’t know about you? (That you’re willing to share.)

Besides my affinity for watermelon... one of my guilty pleasures is watching episodes of GLEE. Shhhh.

Is there anything specific you do before you start recording? A process? Or a routine? A good luck dance? Stretch? Crack you knuckles? Eat a cupcake?

My morning routine is the same everyday... up at 6:15 and head to the gym, take the kids to school at 7:30, cook two eggs and make some green tea by about 8 and then warm up my voice and start recording by 9.

Have you thought about starting a YouTube channel so we can watch you do the chubby bunny challenge? Or what about doing a daily vlog?

I can honestly say that the thought has never crossed my mind. In fact, I had to look up what a chubby bunny challenge was and it was quite funny... but not very enticing to me. :) A daily vlog is an interesting idea, but would people reeeeeaaaally be interested? Self-promotion has never been my strong suit but I know it’s becoming more and more necessary. I suppose I'd better get with the program!

What is the best way to contact you so we can tell you how awesome you are? (Facebook, website, blog, Twitter?)

Most kind. :) Yes, you can visit Tristan Hunt on Facebook! (I just opened the account... late to the game, I suppose.)

What types of characters have you done so far? Was there one that was particularly fun for you to perform?

I played a character in a book called the Gorgon... all about knights and ladies... who had a stutter and I quite enjoyed it for some reason. I enjoy most of the characters I play... especially if they're saucy or evil.

Do you have children? Do you have pets?

Yes, two... a boy and girl... and a fish named Turquoise.

What is your favorite genre to narrate and why?

Romance is what I'm hired to do the most... and what I'm well suited for. And I especially like period pieces.

Do you have a favorite accent to perform?

A snotty elderly British woman.

Is there an accent you can’t do?

Many. Although 'can't' is not the word I would choose... I would say that there are many I simply haven't had the time to study and perfect as of yet.

What is the funniest thing that happened while recording?

Usually when my son sneaks in and starts listening and then wants to record something as well... he's quite a character himself so we get a kick out of listening back to what he's done.

Do you have a favorite narrator? Who inspires you?

Mm, there are so many great ones. I'm a Harry Potter fan and Jim Dale did an amazing job with those books. Simon Vance is also one of the best out there. Sissy Spacek did a version of To Kill A Mockingbird which is SO beautiful. And my daughter is listening to Kate Winslet doing Matilda which is absolutely stellar.

Thank you, Tristan, for taking the time to answer these questions and let us get to know a bit more about you!

Visit Audible for more samples of Tristan’s work. (US or UK)

Which character – as performed by Tristan Hunt – was your favourite? Danielle's uncle Nick, there was a part where he was telling a story and Tristan spoke in such a perfect tone that even I felt shivers. If you could sum up Fateful in three words, what would they be? Emotional, beautiful and soulful. If you prefer audio books then get the first book right now, narrated perfectly by Tristan Hunt. Definitely a 5 star rating from me. ~Beks

What does Tristan Hunt bring to the story that you wouldn't experience if you had only read the book? I loved the way Tristan brought Max's character to life in exactly the way I imagined it. Tristan told the story in a wonderful hybrid of watching a movie and listening to a friend that was easy and comfortable with the perfect amount of expression and performance... So beautifully written and performed that I shed a tear or two. ~Leanne

Impatient? Listen right now:

New Cover for Fateful Giveaway

Monday, February 23, 2015

Hello my darlings!

I need your help! I've been working on new covers for my books, but I can't decide on the one for Fateful. I love them both for different reasons. Please take a look and then comment to let me know which one you like best and why.

Here are the choices: (Click on the image to see it bigger.)

Soft Sepia (A)
Soft Pastels (B)

To sweeten the deal, lets have a giveaway! Post a comment for your choice and then enter on the Rafflecopter form below.

Prize Choices: (Winner will be able to choose one.)
~Danielle's Fairy Necklace as described in Forever and is. This necklace is handmade from antique brass findings and chain from VintaJ. The aqua crystals are real Swarovski faceted beads. The center drop is a pale aqua, 8mm, Amazonite bead. The beautiful antique brass bead in the back is so pretty you can wear it backwards for two different looks. This Victorian design is unique and will be a piece that people will ask where you got it from. Valued at $29.99. (Note: The three-way connector in the center will be slightly different, seems I can't purchase that one any longer, but the replacement is equally as nice, if not better!)
~An audiobook copy of either Fateful or Fractured as produced by Tristan Hunt (AKA Jason Downs) from Audible, valued at $19.95-$24.95.
(Listen to the samples right now. ;) This prize is available to USA and UK customers.)

Hurry!!! This giveaway only goes until Thursday!
And remember that your choices are Soft Sepia (A) or Soft Pastels (B)
a Rafflecopter giveaway

Hampton Court Castle and Gardens in Herefordshire

Saturday, December 20, 2014

I write fiction/fantasy, in case you hadn't noticed. And I'll be the first to tell you that vampires and fairies are not real. Disappointing, I know...I mean hugely disappointing! Seriously!!! Why can't fairies be real? Why?

Anyway, those "fictional" stories in my head are inspired by real places. That's surprising too, I know, but there you have it...

In Chapter 4 of Fateful I describe one of the these "real" places called Van Kampen Gardens  at Hampton Court Castle. (NOT TO BE CONFUSED with Hampton Court Palace, though!) There are two Hampton Courts, but there is a big difference between the two. The one mentioned in Fateful is in Herefordshire and is easily far enough away from Chertsey to give Ethan plenty of time to talk to Danielle without exposing her to his magical vampire gaze too much. Such a romantic gentleman he is! Sorry, he isn't real either, just in case you were hoping. I know that's rather disappointing too. Oh well...

For my 20th Anniversary, my husband took me to England and to Van Kampen Gardens. Twice. Yes, I loved it so much I had to go see it twice.

These are just some of the pictures we took while there. Unfortunately for us, spring had not yet sprung so while the garden was beautiful, it had not fully bloomed.

Just as there is in the book, there is a huge wisteria arch. However, as you can see below, there were no blooms or leaves on it yet. :(

And of course there was a maze. This is the archway and door that led to the start of the maze.

And of course there is a tower in the middle of the maze.

The area of the gardens is very flat. And from the tower you can see the entire garden and of course the entire maze.

The tower has a secret exit that runs under the maze and deposits you into a garden that is hidden and secluded.

We wished we could have seen the garden at it's peak. I'm sure we'll try to get back here someday...

We took over 400 pictures.

Here's the strange coincidence about this garden: I didn't know I had so many ancestors who lived near here when I chose the location for my book. My ancestors on both sides of my family, my mother's and my father's, are from Herefordshire. So close to this garden in fact, that they probably visited it. I only discovered the connection after I wrote the book. Weird, huh?

My Great Grandfather was born near here in 1824. For over 180 years prior to that, my ancestors called the surrounding area just west of this garden home. In fact, my 2nd Great Grandfather is buried only about 4 miles from this garden.

And the release date for The Order of Curse-Bound Knights is nearing!!! Check back soon to see a preview of the first three chapters! Here is a preview of the cover.

Midwinter’s Eve Giveaway Hop December 21st to 31st

Midwinter’s Eve Giveaway Hop Hosted by I Am A Reader, Not A Writer & Bookhounds
December 21st to 31st
A special Holiday message from Cheri to you...
This may seem unconventional, but this time of year can be emotionally difficult for so many, especially if you’ve suffered any sort of tragedy in your life. I’ll admit I’m one who struggles with finding peace this time of year... Sometimes we all just need a mental escape from the things that drag down our spirits. So just for a short time, take a break from reality with me. Let me take you to a world of fantasy so you can forget your cares momentarily. And then when you get back to the realities of life, I hope you might feel like your broken heart has had a chance to heal even partially, or even in some small way. At least that is my heartfelt wish.
Winner will be able to choose any one of these prizes:

~A Kindle eBook copy of The Fateful Series box set, valued at 8.99, which will include: Fateful, Fractured, Forever, Sophia's  Cookbook for Mortals, and The Order of Curse-Bound Knights (Soon to be released! If this prize is chosen, it will be awarded on the release date. USA only.)

~Danielle's Fairy Necklace as described in Forever. It will magically keep wicked pixies away...and werewolves...perhaps. Valued at $34.99. (This is handmade and will be shipped after it is made. USA only.)

~An audiobook copy of either Fateful or Fractured as produced by Tristan Hunt from Audible, valued at $19.95-$24.95. (Listen to the samples right now. ;) This prize is available to USA and UK customers.)

 And check back later when I'll be posting a preview of
The Order of Curse-Bound Knights.
Use the Rafflecopter form below to enter. Only one option is required to enter.

a Rafflecopter giveaway 

Holiday Giveaways

Monday, December 8, 2014

Even more Free stuff for my mailing list subscribers during the Holidays...

Even win an eBook copy of The Order of Curse-Bound Knights newest novel, soon to be released!

I'm choosing two winners a week!
New on audio. Fractured book 2 in the Fateful Series.

Actor Tristan Hunt (AKA Jason Downs) is currently producing all of Cheri's books into audio.
Fateful is the first title to be released in this format, and Fractured is available NOW!

Audio of Cheri's books are available from Amazon, Audible, or iTunes.

And if you're new to Audible, you can get it for FREE! Then if you become an AudibleListener® member on Audible, you can get all of the other books for a discount. Once you've listened to how Tristan portrays these characters, I think you'll be hooked, and then you'll want to listen to everything else he does... (At least that is what everyone is telling me so far. I've actually had readers come up to me in a panic checking to make he really is doing the other books after they've listened to Fateful.)

Praise for Tristan's performance:
First, I am usually wary about listening to the audible version of books especially because I love to leave the character’s personalities to my own imagination. Schmidt (author) and Tristan (narrator) definitely changed my opinion for this book as I both read and listened to the story. I can’t express enough my unexpected surprise at how well the audio version portrayed the story SO closely to what I envisioned. ~The BookStalker Reviewed
Tristan Hunt is, in my opinion, THE Jim Dale of Fantasy Romance. ~Cassandra
The writing was thrilling and engaging all the way through! The narrator did an outstanding job with presenting to emotions and mood of each character. Oh la la for sure! ~A. C.
It's so romantic, and the narrator does a great job! Tristan brings emotion to the story. I love reading the book, but having a real person narrate the story really brings it to life. It makes it a lot more exciting. ~Heather
The narrator was great! I love when he switched to his “American Girly” voice! Great plot, Great characters, Great Narrator. What else can I say but GREAT! ~KSWilde
*fans self* If Tristan Hunt decides to read the phone book, I'm in! Fabulous reader. Loved his accents--he did American really well. Loved the way he handled the various scenes and gave a slight though fun twist to the voices of some of the more common characters. I hate when male readers take the female voices too high and make them almost a mockery. Tristan does the females voices very well. ~D. R. Weaver
Which character – as performed by Tristan Hunt – was your favourite? Danielle's uncle Nick, there was a part were he was telling a story and Tristan spoke in such a perfect tone that even I felt shivers. If you could sum up Fateful in three words, what would they be? Emotional, beautiful and soulful. If you prefer audio books then get the first book right now, narrated perfectly by Tristan Hunt. Definitely a 5 star rating from me. ~Beks in the UK

And if you'd like to read my interview over on The Book Stalker, go here.

Thanks for dropping by!
And while you're here:
Follow my blog with Bloglovin