Friday, January 4, 2013


Today I want to welcome a very special guest, Clarissa Johal, who will be chatting a bit about her not-so-secret love for Skyrim. Us writers who are also gamers gotta stick together, right? Slaying dragons FTW! I might be guilty of alt-tabbing in World of Warcraft while posting this, even. Ssh.


by Clarissa Johal

Thank you for hosting me in your blog, Laura!

I’ve decided to disclose a little secret here because I knew you’d understand…I’m addicted to Skyrim.

Yep. The game was given to my younger daughter as a Christmas present last year. Up until then, I had never picked up an Xbox controller, or played anything remotely resembling a video game. Even when games like PacMan were popular in the ‘80s, I never had the inclination to play them because I was too busy partying (yeah, yeah, we won’t go there).

But when my daughter begged me to try her game, I did so willingly because I’m a mom and we do things like that. The moment I picked up the controllers, I knew my trepidation wasn’t unfounded.

I was able to design my character, not a problem, and kind of had fun doing that. But when it came to game play? My Dragonborn was looking at the sky, at her feet, walking into castle walls—basically making a ridiculous fool of herself. Several minutes of that and I was ready to throw my controller across the room. A bit frustrating.

I gave up and watched my 10-year-old play for the next few weeks, but I could tell that I had failed “cool mom” status. Big time.

One day while she was at school, I decided to give Skyrim another go. It took me awhile, but I finally got the controls down and…omg.
When my character found her first awesome sword—I was hooked. Frost trolls in Skyrim? Not a problem—I killed them. As disturbing as that was. A treasure chest full of gold, armor and potions? I stole it all. When Faendal the archer elf offered to be my follower, I snapped him up too.

My girls never completed the game and have moved onto other games since. But, I admit—I’m still hooked. I’ve completed it twice with two different characters, scramble like a little kid to buy the latest DLC, and custom made myself a Skyrim coffee cup that says “Faendal is my Hero.”
My girls won’t be seen with me when I use it.

But I don’t care. I’m the Dragonborn. And Faendal and I will save the world.

My paranormal novel, BETWEEN, was released through Musa Publishing on December 14, 2012. No dragons, but plenty of other paranormal happenings. I hope you’ll check it out.

by Clarissa Johal


How far would you go to redeem yourself?


As a young girl, Lucinda was able to see spirits, a gift that didn't come without its problems. Now, a dedicated young veterinarian, she is committed to the idea that every life can be saved.
After a devastating accident, Lucinda tries to escape her past by moving to a small town. There, she meets a newcomer and feels an immediate connection with him. But there is another mysterious stranger to the small town, one that stirs within her a mixture of unease and desire.
As Lucinda is drawn into a bitter tug-a-war from the forces around her, she is likewise pulled into a dangerous twist of past and present events. Forced to make difficult choices, she finds that the two men are locked in not only a battle for her life...but a battle for their salvation.


A young woman stood beside the bed, anguish on her face. She looked vaguely familiar, though Lucinda couldn’t place her. The forgotten colors of her blousy dress had faded into indistinct shades of grey. The woman grasped Lucinda’s hand and pressed a key into it. Lucinda felt the jagged, metal edges pricking her skin. Somewhere in the distance, a car engine roared to life. The woman’s lips moved but the growling engine drowned out all other sound. The sound became louder.
Growling. Darwin was growling.
Darwin?” Lucinda woke with a start.
The shepherd growled again and hopped off the bed, padding into the living room.
A quiet knock sounded from the front door. Lucinda rolled out of bed to answer it.
Pushing Darwin aside to open the door, she peered sleepily into the moonlit night. A breeze blew across the clearing, stirring the grass. Confused, she shut the door before the breeze could make its way inside.
“Come on back to bed, Darwin. Nobody there.”
As she pulled the blanket up to her chin, the knocking started again.
Lucinda slipped out of bed and walked back into the living room. The sound clearly came from the other side of the door, faint but unmistakable. She slid her hand quietly over the knob. At once, the knocking stopped. Turning the knob slowly, she pulled the door open a crack, heart pounding in her chest.
“Hello?” An icy breeze slipped by her thigh as the scent of ozone assailed her senses. Her heart beat erratically. “Darwin, no!” The dog tried to push past her, growling once more. Rattled, Lucinda closed the door with a bang and locked it.
Lucinda lay in bed and shivered, unable to get warm. A chill slipped under her covers, stealing up her spine. The smell of roses clung to her blanket, the warmth from their scent seemed to be at war with the cold. An hour passed and she finally dropped off to sleep.
For the remainder of the night, the two unseen presences in her room remained at an impasse.


Clarissa Johal has worked as a veterinary assistant, zoo-keeper aide and vegetarian chef. Writing has always been her passion. When she’s not listening to the ghosts in her head, she’s dancing or taking photographs of gargoyles.
Clarissa shares her life with her husband, two daughters and every stray animal that darkens the doorstep. One day, she expects that a wayward troll will wander into her yard, but that hasn’t happened yet.

Author website:

Amazon Author Page:


  1. Replies
    1. No problem at all! I just picked up Between last night, enjoying it a ton so far!

  2. Skyrim seems beyond my capabilities, Clarissa, but BETWEEN is a book I can really get into. Congrats on the new release!

  3. Enjoyed the blog and 'Between' sounds brilliant. PUT that Skyrim down and get on with next book Clarissa. I use to like the Aladdin game my daughter played on Sega mega drive - now I feel old.

  4. Thanks, Sloane. No Dragonborn for you, then, lol. Thanks, Rita!! Glad you're enjoying it. :) That makes me happy. Oh, I'm working on my next paranormal, trust me! Should be done by March. Skyrim is for after a long day of brain-draining. Thanks, Marci!

  5. I would have never pegged you as a gamer, Clarissa! A brilliant author, yes, but not a gamer! Cheers on your new release and wishing you lots of success!

  6. I know--it's my secret addiction, lol. Avid fencer, you know. Can't go wrong with swords. Thanks for stopping by, Sharon!

  7. Many years ago, I couldn't stop playing Crash Bandicoot. While I do like games with stories, I do like ones where you play and that's it. Good old Space Invaders was always a favourite. :) I even found an app for it though I don't play it often. It's not the same as the arcade controls.

    Dragonborn sounds cool though. :)