• Virtual Book Tour

    No Innocent Affair by Edward F. Mrkvicka Jr.

  • Science Fiction

    Renegades by Sara Mason

  • Inner City Strength by Dwight Slaughter

    Sometimes the game is all you have to save your life.

Wednesday, December 24, 2014

What Casts The Shadows? by Seth Mullins Interview & Giveaway #vbtcafetours

Title: What Casts the Shadow (The Edge of the Known, Volume I)
Author Name: Seth Mullins

Welcome to BK Walker Books Etc. I'm so happy you could join me today at The Virtual Cafe.

BK: Looking out the nearest window, describe the scene you see.

A mess! We had a snow storm last night – seriously the biggest flakes I’d ever seen, like the size of figs – which then turned to rain in the night; and of course, in true Vermont fashion, the temperature will now drop and turn it all into a skate rink.

BK: Tell us about your office. Is it a mess like mine, or is everything in its place?

I write in motion – that’s the way ideas percolate best for me – so my ‘office’ is the kitchen table one moment, then my bed, then a picnic table outside, etc. But I am fairly organized and clean. My mind swirling within an ordered environment: that’s my preferred way to work.

BK: What is a must-have, such as coffee or a favorite pen, that you need to write?

Well, I must have coffee in my day, but not necessarily to write. ;) I used to be more superstitious about the creative process and would have lucky pens, notebooks, writing spots, etc. But now I seem able to do it under virtually any sort of condition so long as I don’t sit still for too long. I might write for four hours in a day, but it’ll be broken up by dishes, hikes, music, errands, stepping out for lunch…

BK: Do you like to write in silence, or do you need music or background noise?

I almost always write to music. I’ll anticipate a certain scene sometimes and then compile a playlist that fits its distinctive mood so that I can just roll along in that emotional space until I’m through. And of course I’ve been writing about the adventures and misadventures of a struggling band anyway, so this approach is fitting.

BK: Tell us a bit about your hero/heroine, and their development.

Brandon Chane begins his quest as a young musician both brilliant and self-destructive. He belongs to that pantheon of artists who live deeply but also feel life more intensely than they know how to deal with. I wanted to explore the question of whether or not he could ‘make peace’ in such a way that he could achieve a balanced and happy life and yet still retain his vision. ‘Live fast, die young’ has been a credo and cliché of rock'n'roll since the ‘60s.

Luckily, Brandon finds possible salvation in the form of Saul Mason, a middle-aged man who works as a counselor to people in crisis. Saul is a mystic thinker, an intuitive healer, an ancient medicine man in therapist guise. And he tries to demonstrate to Brandon how his life is his own creation. He has the power to choose a new path.

BK: As a writer myself, I'm always curious how other writers get through stumble blocks. When you find a story not flowing, or a character trying to fight you, how do you correct it?

It usually resolves itself if I’m able to recognize, in the moment, that things are in a stuck place and then just let it go and do something else. Any time I sweat my way through a scene it ends up reading like that in the end: It sounds forced. I’ve learned to trust that my stories have their own inner logic and emotional force, and so it then becomes more a matter of letting things unfold, of stepping out of the way, rather than wrestling with the prose.

BK: Using the letters of your first name as an acronym, describe your book...

Shamanic Energies To Heal

BK: How did your writing journey begin?

The earliest catalyst that I can remember was my discovery of epic fantasies like The Lord of the Rings and The Chronicles of Thomas Covenant when I was in grade school. These worlds felt ‘real’ to me, and I wanted to explore what that meant. Later on, the Beat writers convinced me that one could use metaphor just as effectively in what most people would consider more ‘real life’ scenarios. And Surrealism was a bridge between those two worlds. Basically, I just got really excited about the idea of evoking inner realities through story, of crafting something that could have a healing effect upon readers.

BK: Using the letters from the word, Summer, how would friends and family describe you?

Somewhere under moonlight, musing everything relentlessly.

BK: What is the craziest thing you've ever written about, whether it got published or not?

This series, actually. It contains a lot of subject matter that I’d been afraid to approach before now. I worried that I might go so far in evoking Brandon’s self-destructive tendencies that people just wouldn’t care about him. I also worried that readers might assume he was me.

BK: Tell us one thing you've done in life, that readers would be most surprised to know.

The whole Edge of the Known trilogy was written over a period of fourteen months. I don’t often advertise this fact because I tend to worry that people might think, “Oh, it must not be very good if it came through that fast.” But it was just a feverishly inspired time, such as I’d never experienced before – and for reasons which I don’t fully understand.

BK: What can we expect from you in the future?

I’m actually not sure at the moment. I’m in the midst of a sort of ‘grieving process’ (dramatic description, I know) over these characters who I’ve been writing about and living with so intensely, now that the trilogy is completed. It’s almost like having to decide whether to remain alone or get back on the horse in the wake of a romantic breakup. I need to take time. 

This or That...

Coke or Pepsi? You mean to clean floors with?

Night Owl or Early Bird? Both, actually. I stay up late, rise fairly early and then nap in the afternoon, typically.

Fantasy or Mystery? Fantasy.

Pen/Paper or Computer? I usually begin with a handwritten draft, “Humanity’s Way Forward” being an exception.

Pizza or Burger? Love both, can’t choose.

Rock or Country? Rock.

Chocolate or Vanilla? Love both. Would depend on my mood of the moment.

Beach or Mountains? I’ve had the privilege of living close to both in my life. There’s no way I could choose. Too long around one and I’d miss the other. I realize I’m doing a lot of cheating here ;)

Thank you so much for having us as one of your stops today. It has been great getting to know more about you and your book, and wish you the best of success!

BK Walker

Author Bio: Seth Mullins writes visionary fiction, stories that seek for a marriage between the invisible inner landscape from whence our dreams and deepest inspirations come and the waking world, the world that we call ‘the real’, which sorely needs those life-giving forces. The result is fiction that seethes with surface drama and conflict while at the same time revealing aspects of the deeper mysteries of reality and of our own souls. The Edge of the Known series, his most recent project, is also inspired by years spent as a songwriter and performing musician. Seth has spent part of his life in Connecticut, New Mexico and Oregon, and currently lives in Vermont.

Author Links - 

Website (Humanity’s Way Forward) http://www.humanityswayforward.com

| Blog (The Edge of the Known) http://frontiersofconsciousness.blogspot.com

| Twitter @SethMullins1


Book Genre: Visionary Fiction
Publisher: CreateSpace
Release Date: January 4, 2014

Buy Link(s): What Casts the Shadow? (The Edge of the Known, Volume I) http://amzn.to/1rkhffS

Trust in the Unseen (The Edge of the Known, Volume II) http://amzn.to/UBw3bw

Book Description: When an altercation outside of a performance venue nearly proves fatal, Brandon Chane begins to realize how far his life is spinning out of control. His efforts to channel his pain, frustration and thwarted loves into his music may not suffice to save him. Then he meets Saul, a crisis counselor with the soul of an ancient medicine-man, and a far-reaching journey of healing - one that may teach him how to steer away from the very edge of the Abyss - begins.


1. The Edge of the Precipice

I suppose you could compare it to driving on a high mountain road. You don’t realize how close you are to free-fall, or how sheer and far is the plunge, until you go around a bend where one side is exposed to open air and then there it is: The Abyss.
There’s this edge that you can come to – I imagine it’s a different place for each of us – and you just know that once you get swept over it you won’t be coming back. By the time you’re close enough to see it it may already be too late. You could find yourself teetering, suddenly hearing the warnings that life had been giving you all along, knowing that it’s become impossible to step back; because by that time, those other forces – the ones pounding like the rapids at your back, always trying to push you towards that edge and then over it – have grown too strong.
Tommy and I first talked about forming a band together before either of us had learned to play an instrument. We both perceived music – particularly, its heavy, extreme underside - as the ideal vehicle for our personal salvation. The first guitar that I purchased, a Fender Telecaster that I immediately spray painted black to my father’s horror, became my refuge. It was my best friend and confidante. It gave me a convenient excuse to avoid social situations that, more often than not, would only remind me of how far off the beaten path I really was – and, oftentimes, land me in one merciless scrap or another. Instead, I could just sit in my basement room for hours, listening to my various hardcore underground cassettes while trying to trace the riffs I was hearing along the frets of my charcoal-colored axe.
That’s how I learned to play so well within just a handful of years. I gave up on the romanticized notion of a normal social life and focused on practicing and creating. Tommy, meanwhile, had picked up the bass. Somewhere along the line we discovered that we each had halfway-decent singing voices as well, at least for the kind of abrasive music we were writing.

December 7 - Introduction at VBT Café Blog
December 8 - Guest Blogging at Mythical Books
December 10 - Spotlight at BK Walker Books
December 10 - Spotlight at Indy Book Fairy
December 12 - Spotlight at IndieWriterReviews
December 15 - Author 2 Author Marketing at BookIt BK Walker
December 17 - Interviewed at Bikers With Books
December 19 - Spotlight at Black Lilac Kitty
December 22 - Interviewed at Ghost Rider Book Promotions
December 24 - Interviewed at BK Walker Books Etc.
December  26 - 5 Things I Know For Sure at CAT Magazine
December 29 - Spotlight at My Life, Loves and Passions
December 31 - Guest Blog at Lori's Reading Corner
January 1 - Reviewed at Tea and Book
January 1 - Spotlight at My Tangled Skeins Reviews
January 5 -Guest Blogging at Debbie Jean Blog
January 7 - Review & Guest Blogging at Platypire Reviews
January 9 -Spotlight at Black Lilac Kitty
January 13 - Reviewed at Paranormal Romance and Authors That Rock
January 13 - Spotlight at 4 Covert 2 Overt A Place In The Spotlight
January 13 - Spotlight at Books & Tales
January 19 - Reviewed at BK Walker Books

Friday, October 31, 2014

Chatting with the Amazing, Jim Reilly - Author Of Seaville (#vbtcafetours & #giveaway)

Happy Halloween!!!

Welcome to BK Walker Books Etc. I'm so happy you could join me today in West Sayville NY. I'm a NY veteran and it's nice to be back.

BK: Looking out the nearest window, describe the scene you see.

I see a quiet suburban neighborhood outside my bay window. The street is littered on each side with distinctly colored split-level homes while showing various degrees of manicured lawns and shrubbery. Though my wife would tell you, mine lacked “keeping up with the Joneses.” Also visible, a splash of autumn colors creeping into the tree line. As I continued to look out the window, a yellow school bus drops off a half-dozen elementary school children happy the day is over. But the thing that intrigues me the most was seeing my neighbor from a few doors down as she walked her dog. She seems to think the neighborhood is her personal dog park. So I knocked on the window and waved hello as a message to stay clear from my lawn.

BK: Tell us about your office. Is it a mess like mine, or is everything in its place?

I think it’s something in between. It seems like I am always cleaning by the end of the day. Most of the mess is from my day job as a salesman. However, once I start writing I’m constantly looking through my notes. It consists of random thoughts written on scraps of paper scattered on my desk. Part of my cleanup is organizing my notes so not to lose any great idea I might have had.

BK: What is a must-have, such as coffee or a favorite pen, that you need to write?

The only thing I can think of besides my computer is my wireless mouse. I’m constantly looking up information on the web or searching through my manuscript to make sure I am not changing the story incorrectly. It would drive me nuts if I couldn’t just click through multiple websites and manuscript pages with my mouse.

BK: Do you like to write in silence, or do you need music or background noise?

Silence is best for me because I’m easily distracted. My mind can go in a totally different direction if something catches my attention. So being in a quiet place keeps me focused.

BK: Tell us a bit about your hero/heroine, and their development.

The main character is Michael Wells, and the story is told through his eyes. He is well-meaning but he does have his flaws. His main flaw is that he is cheap, and this may come back to bite him in the ass (hint).
He is the one who discovers the secret that his new neighbors are hosting alien visitors. He’s then confronted by the neighbors / aliens who make him a deal that is appetizing to his fondness for money. However, during the ordeal he eventually becomes more sympathetic toward his new friends and helps them more than he would have imagined.

BK: As a writer myself, I'm always curious how other writers get through stumble blocks. When you find a story not flowing, or a character trying to fight you, how do you correct it?

Whenever I find myself with a blank imagination, I go do a running workout on the local high school track. I’m not sure what it is, but when I am out there running all alone it clears my mind, and I’m able to reset my train of thought. About an hour of it does the trick.

BK: Using the letters of your first name as an acronym, describe your book...


BK: How did your writing journey begin?

I’ve always had a wild imagination, and to tell you the truth, I had always thought it was a detriment. I always felt I was just a dreamer. However, after continuing my education later in life, some of the professors complimented me on my writing. After getting encouragement from my wife, I decided to put that imagination on paper. That combined with my love of science fiction; I set out to write about many of the stories I have bouncing around in my head.

BK: Using the letters from the word, Summer, how would friends and family describe you?


BK: What is the craziest thing you've ever written about, whether it got published or not?

The wife of the main character without his knowledge hosts an alien who feeds off him. The name and description of the wife are the same as my wife. She was my inspiration for the character. It was, although, difficult to write about a love scene between her and the main character. Not to give too much away, it wasn’t quite a ‘love scene.’

BK: Tell us one thing you've done in life that readers would be most surprised to know.

I have been a runner who participates in Masters Track meets. In 2004, I took 4th place in my age group at the World Championships in San Juan, Puerto Rico.

BK: What can we expect from you in the future?

I love to mix the conflict between science and religion, two polar-opposites in philosophy within a story. My next project will show the consequences of an apocalyptic aftermath due to extremes of both science and religion while attempting to show the resilience of people’s resolve to survive and make sacrifices to make things right.

This or That...

Coke or Pepsi?


Night Owl or Early Bird?

Night Owl

Fantasy or Mystery?


Pen/Paper or Computer?


Pizza or Burger?


Rock or Country?


Chocolate or Vanilla?


Beach or Mountains?


Thank you so much for having us as one of your stops today. It has been great getting to know more about you and your book, and wish you the best of success!

BK Walker

Book Genre: Sci-Fi / Fantasy
Publisher: Sayville Books
Release Date: September 30th
Buy Links: TBA


When new neighbors, Mike and Ann Wells along with their children CJ and Patricia, move into the southern part of town along the Great South Bay of Long Island, they discover the true identity of their neighbors.

Each of their new neighbors hosts a being from an alien race hiding from the cruelty of enslavement. This mysterious race needs the Wells family to help them navigate the complicated human experience while being concealed from a nosy but well-meaning old priest. But most of all, they must help them from being captured by a corrupt individual looking to make a profit off a race hoping to peacefully secure fuel to stay one step ahead of their former masters.

As the town of Seaville erupts into chaos, Mike and Ann try to keep their new friends concealed and safe. However, time is running out as their former masters search the universe for their lost property and inch closer to Earth.

Author Bio:

Jim Reilly is a new science fiction / fantasy novelist. He is a married father of four, born and raised in Long Island. After going back to college and finishing with an MBA, some of his professors gave accolades to his writing prowess. With that and encouragement from his wife, he wrote his first novel, Evolution.

The success of Evolution has inspired Jim to continue his writing efforts and finish his next science fiction / fantasy novel, Seaville.

From an early age, Jim always had a fascination with science, science fiction, and fantasy to a point that it became a passion of his. Now he enjoys putting that passion to paper. He has already penned his next book and is working on another.

Author Links -


Scheduling Now (20 Stops)

September 30 - Release Day Party & Giveaway at VBT Café Blog
October 2 - Spotlight at 3 Partners In Shopping - Nana, Mommy & Sissy Too!
October 7 - Guest Blogging at Mythical Books
October 9 -
October 14 - Spotlight at Deal Sharing Aunt
October 16 - Spotlight at Urania's Distractions
October 18 -
October 21 -
October 23 -
October 27 -
October 29 -
October 31 -
November 3 - Review & Interview at My Life, Loves and Passions
November 5 -
November 7 -
November 10 - Reviewed at The Book Lover's Lounge
November 12 -
November 14 - Spotlight at A Cup of Tea & A Big Book
November 14 - Guest Blogging at Lori's Reading Corner
November 17 - Reviewed at Reading To Distraction
November 21 - Guest Blogging at Dalene's Book Reviews
November 21 - Reviewed at Paranormal Romance & Authors That Rock

Friday, September 19, 2014

Interview & Giveaway: Soul Searching by Jamie-Jo Brenner

BK: Looking out the nearest window, describe the scene you see.
Trees and the American flag blowing in the light breeze. It’s overcast but looks beautiful out there. Now I want to be outside!

BK: Tell us about your office. Is it a mess like mine, or is everything in its place?
I don’t have an office. But if I did, it’d definitely be messy.

BK: What is a must-have, such as coffee or a favorite pen, that you need to write?
A notebook. I take so many notes before, during and after the writing process. I couldn’t live without it! I can’t tell you how many notebooks I have scattered around that are filled with all my ideas for future or previous story ideas.

BK: Do you like to write in silence, or do you need music or background noise?
I prefer silence. Although, I listen to music when I need to be inspired.

BK: Tell us a bit about your hero/heroine, and their development.
Brent is a teen who is struggling between who he fears he is and who he so desperately wants to be. As his journey continues, he learns that perhaps those two people aren’t as different as he originally thought they were.

BK: What is your unique twist that you've brought to your storyline?
It’s a story that includes magic, although magic is far from the main focus of the story. It’s a coming of age story about family and friendship that just happens to include a little magic.

BK: As a writer myself, I'm always curious how other writers get through stumble blocks. When you find a story not flowing, or a character trying to fight you, how do you correct it?
When I struggle with a scene or character, I usually skip the scene and go on to one that’s easier to write. As for a character that is giving me trouble, I talk the issue out with friends or I revert to my notebook.

BK: Using the letters of your first name as an acronym, describe your book...
Juvenile Delinquent

BK: How did your writing journey begin?
I’ve been writing since I was in 3rd grade. I started with comics and poems and plays and progressed to novels. Guess I have more to say now.

BK: Using the letters from the word, Summer, how would friends and family describe you?
Unique, motivating and respectful

BK: What is the craziest thing you've ever written about, whether it got published or not?
Fanfiction about time traveling

BK: Tell us one thing you've done in life, that readers would be most surprised to know.
I hated to read until after my first year of college. I don’t think I ever completely finished a book all through school.

BK: What can we expect from you in the future?

 I’m not sure yet, you’ll have to wait and see.

I'm a 2nd Dan Black Belt in Tang Soo Do. I have been on mission trips, one to Haiti and the other to a Native American Reservation/Camp in Oklahoma. I loved both experiences.

I am in the Army Reserves. And I volunteer at Camp Sunshine each August. I also work in Security for Farmer's Insurance. And I was a victim's advocate for the YWCA.

My passion is writing and I love to read. I wrote a books, A Place for Me, and most recently, Soul Searching.

When I was 19, I made an independent film (wrote, directed and starred in it) called, Weight of the World. I wrote A Place for Me when I was 20. Published it at 21. When I was 22, my cousins and I made a indie movie out of it.

Now at 32, I wrote another book. Soul Searching.

Author Links - 

I also have a facebook page for me, Jamie-Jo Brenner as well as Soul Searching novel page.

Book Genre: Young Adult
Publisher: Self-Published through CreateSpace on Amazon
Release Date: July 16, 2014
Buy Link(s):

Book Description:

Brent Harper is the perfect guy. He's Max's hero--the boy she's had a crush on since the school year began. But when Brent goes missing, Max must face the truth that she really doesn't know him at all. In order to find him, she will first need to learn everything she can about him.

After Brent wakes up without any memories, his only choice is to trust the first person he sees. Alison, the girl who finds him, promises to help him remember. But what if he doesn't want to remember? When his memories start to return, Brent is confronted with the hardest decision of his life.

How do you choose between who you thought you were and who you want to be?



There is no easy way from the earth to the stars.

Images of the fight flooded my mind. I’d considered Lucas and Mark my friends, but I wasn’t so sure anymore. I stopped them from picking on my best friend, Max, and the next thing I knew I was shoved against a locker. The cold metal rattled loudly when my body slammed into it. My head throbbed in pain at the contact.
“Stay out of it for once,” Lucas growled.
“Maybe it’s time you learned your place,” Mark spat at me as his fist knocked the wind out of my lungs.
Lucas’s knee connected with my ribs, and I winced in pain. They alternated between knees to stomach, and punches to my face. I fell to a clump on the ground. I knew I should‘ve defended myself, but I made a promise to someone--a promise that I swore I’d keep. I took the beating without complaint, because I knew I deserved it. I always deserved it.
Between kicks, I heard Mark say, “Dude, fight back.”
It sounded like a plea. But I lost consciousness before I figured out the significance of it. It’d been hours since that fight, but even now my ribs hurt and my face ached. Even with all the blood washed away, I bore evidence of the fight, and had feared going home.
I wandered the streets and watched the sky darken around me as I prayed for answers that never came. If they had come, I wouldn’t have done something that I already regretted. I made my choice. And even if I didn’t remember this in the morning, the truth of it weighed heavily on my mind tonight. My demons always found a way to haunt me. Somehow, I knew they’d follow me this time as well. I just wished I hadn’t chosen to start this journey alone.
I reached my destination, and had I taken one last look at the sky. I found my favorite constellations, and recalled all the times I’d admired this same sky. I always felt at home among the stars--they were the only good thing about the darkness. Their presence harkened the depths of imagination. They were ageless as they gazed back at us. We were mere fragments in the lifetime of a star. I longed for that kind of immortality. Even now, I yearned to exist.
I collapsed onto the grass, and fought off sleep for as long as I could. I was terrified of tomorrow. Exhausted, I dispelled one last breath of hot air, and I resigned myself to my fate. Things were finally going to change, I’d seen to that. I couldn’t run forever. And with that thought in mind, I had closed my eyes, and allowed the spell to take me.


August 24 - October 13

August 24 - Introduction at VBT Café Blog

August 26 - Guest Blogging at Coffee, Books & Art

August 28 - Spotlight at Cherry Mischievous

September 2 - Reviewed at Give Me The Books

September 4 - 6 Besties at BK Walker Books

September 8 - Guest Blogging at Bikers With Books

September 10 - Spotlight at Mom With A Kindle

September 12 - 5 Things I Know For Sure & Favorite Recipe at CAT Magazine

September 15 - Reviewed at AG LANG Writes

September 17 - Interviewed at Ghost Rider Book Promotions

September 19 - Interviewed at BK Walker Books Etc.

September 22 - Guest Blogging at Black Coffee, Brown Cow

September 24 - Reviewed at Debbie Jeans

September 26 - Review & Interview at Deal Sharing Aunt

September 29 - Review & Guest Blog at

October 1 - Interviewed at The Avid Reader

October 3 - Guest Blogging at Lori's Reading Corner

October 6 - Author 2 Author Marketing at BookIt BK

October 8 - Interviewed at Yah Did Marketing Radio at 6:30pm EST

October 10 - Interviewed at Immortality & Beyond

October 13 - Reviewed at BK Walker Books

Thursday, August 28, 2014

6 Besties with Sharon Hollander - Medical Billing Horror Stories Tour & Giveaway

6 Besties with Sharon Hollander

Wardrobe: Most of my writing is done at my home office. I try to write most evenings and weekends. Living in California I spend most of my life in jeans and a comfy t-shirt. I prefer V-neck t shirts made of 100 percent cotton. Pink is my go- to color and I own hundreds of pink t-shirts. I usually wear flip flops and kick off my shoes as soon as I can.

I am an advisor on a few websites so when I am writing articles, I usually peruse the news via google to find what’s on peoples mind. Sometimes I read the news and headlines and it gives me an idea for my initial plot. Once I have the general crime the characters and plot start to formulate. I pick character names from a book on baby names, or sometimes I use a writing program that randomly provides names. Only once I had to change a character name after my novel was written and that was difficult. To me he was always going to be Bernie, but people will get to know him as Doug. The decision to change his name came, because it was too close to the name of my protagonist and I decided that it might be confusing to readers. I spend quite a bit of time picking the perfect name. I google pictures of people in the various professions and that helps me select the look of a character in my mind, which I can then later describe.

Best writing place is in my home office. I have a large desk and I keep a notebook beside my computer so I can keep track of a time line, or character names handy so I am not slowed down from writing once I am in the “groove.” I also have a second open document called “outtakes” if I don’t like the page or the paragraph I move it there in case I need it or like it better in another section of the novel. I always start with my morning coffee which sometimes I end up spilling on my notes. Most pages have some coffee stains, because I don’t look up from the keyboard, sometimes for hours at a time.

I don’t have a best pick me up book, just favorite authors. I try to take a break if I am writing a lot to read, so I can see how the pros are doing it. Unfortunately, now as I develop my craft, it is like being behind the scenes so to speak, and some books I notice the writing style and writing rules instead of getting lost in the story.

I don’t have a secret talent. I do however have a unique sense of humor and am often told “You are so funny.” So I try to find humor in situations and I write comical excerpts in all my writing.

The best ideas come to me in the random ways, or after someone says something to me that I can’t get out of my head.  

Author Bio: Sharon Hollander is an author, entrepreneur, and a healthcare consultant in the area of practice management
for over 30 years. She is a leading expert in the area of physician billing and reimbursement. Currently the President of STAT Medical Consulting, a comprehensive medical billing service in Encino, California providing billing services to physicians and surgeons in solo practice or small group practices.

Author Links - 

Linkedin Sharonhollander
Goodreads: Sharon Hollander Medical Billing Horror Stories
Amazon: Sharon Hollander

Book Genre: Non Fiction
Publisher: Abbott Press
Release Date: July 2013

Book Description:

Anecdotes and real case studies ripped from the headlines about what doctors did which got them into trouble either with Medicare, HIPPA, The Office of Inspector General or worse the FBI.

The case studies presented within these pages are true stories of medical professionals: Some are about providers just like you. Many doctors are just trying to navigate the maze of the medical billing process.

Many providers thought that if they only bill just 99213’s, they could stay under the radar. What they didn’t expect is that by doing this and not varying their coding appropriately, they were raising red flags about their billing practices which led to them being audited by Medicare.

With the changing rules and regulations and challenges facing healthcare, you cannot afford to miss this information.

If you submit even one claim for reimbursement this is a must read!


One winter morning a doctor, called Dr. Winters received a phone call from one of his patients.
Dr. Winter, I am really upset.”
And why is that Mr. Jones?” the doctor asked innocently.
I recently got hired by a new company, and well they are requesting a pre-employment physical.”
Well I have seen you recently, has anything changed for you? You were in good health when I saw you last.”
Well, here is the thing, doc, I am feeling fine, actually better than ever,” said Mr. Jones
Okay so what’s the problem?”
They denied my employment, and told me to contact my doctor.”
That’s unusual. Did they tell you why?”
No, just that I better call you as soon as possible.”
Okay why don’t you schedule an appointment with my office, and we can run some tests to see what if anything is going on.”
Okay thank you doctor.”
The patient had a battery of tests and a complete physical and all were normal. Dr. Winters released Mr. Jones back into the world, and told him if he develops any kind of symptoms to contact him. As one would expect three months went by and Dr. Winters never gave Mr. Jones and the mystery of why Mr. Jones was denied employment another thought.
About three months later, Dr. Winters received a note from Medicare requesting about twenty of his charts for a post-payment review, sort of a mini audit. He was upset. A doctor hears audit, and well it would be the same as if the IRS came a knocking. His staff pulled the twenty patient files and Dr. Winters reviewed the patient’s clinical notes he had well documented in the medical records.
The first patient had been congestive heart failure, and the patient was anxious about whether to undergo a CBBGE bypass surgery. The next patient had a rotator cuff injury and was also worried about his ability to play pro-baseball if he had his surgery. The third was a patient that had experienced symptoms of a heart attack, but it was deemed to be just anxiety.
After careful review, he copied the records and sent them off to Medicare. Another three months passed, and then he got a notice from Medicare to refund two thousand dollars, based on their audit findings.
Needless to say, Dr. Winters was pissed. Of course, Medicare requested this information on the day before he was to leave on a much deserved vacation. Well, he cut the check and sent the funds to Medicare. Most physicians may have left it at that, but Dr. Winters was peeved at Medicare, and personally resolved to get to the bottom of this outrage.
He had his staff call Medicare, but they were not able to determine the cause of the problem. Finally after his own frustration escalated he resolved to solve the case of the audit himself. Two hours and countless phone transfers he finally spoke to a live representative at Medicare who told him, in all of the twenty cases he billed for Leprosy.
Leprosy?” he yelled at the Medicare representative. “There is no leprosy outbreak in Canoga Park.”
I am looking at the copies of the screen on my computer, and the claims were all billed with a Leprosy diagnosis.”
Well obviously this is just a simple billing error” Dr. Winter’s proclaimed.
After hanging up the phone and finding his biller, Dr. Winter’s determined that his biller had transposed the ICD-9 code and instead of anxiety using the code 300.0 she had submitted the bills to Medicare with the code 030.0 for leprosy.
Mr. Jones was contacted and Dr. Winter’s office had to contact a few other non-Medicare patients to notify their commercial insurances of their office’s mistakes. Fortunately, for Mr. Jones he did seek new employment however his insurance company still shows a history of Leprosy in the patient’s database of coverage. When he changes insurances it rears its ugly head again.
The moral: It is the physician who is responsible to make sure his staff is accurate especially when submitting claims on his/her behalf. Dr. Winters was flagged at Medicare and from that day forward he had to often submit medical records every quarter to justify his level of billing and for diagnostic accuracy. Over the course of the next couple of years he got audited by Medicare three times.