Category Archives: Reviews/Promos

Meet John Kaniecki, author of More Than The Madness

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This book gives readers a glimpse into the life of someone living with bipolar disorder. It’s not a clinical book filled with facts and figures, but a book of humanity.
Spanning childhood to early adult, through stories of abuse, being bullied, experimentation with drugs and alcohol, inpatient stays on psych wards, a night in jail, his college days in the fraternity, hitchhiking across America, and his time in a third world country, John gives the reader a personal and up-close look into his life as a manic depressive. The stories are sad, shocking, and at times funny as he shares his antics while at his most manic and delusional.
Throughout his journey, John also struggles with his faith in God. More than the Madness is a testament of one man’s journey to grow closer to God while gaining a better understanding of himself.
John wrote his story to help educate others on mental illness and remove some of the stigma associated with it. It is his hope that readers will get to know the person behind the diagnosis; take away the labels and meet someone’s son, friend, and husband. See that there is More Than the Madness.

Where you can find More Than The Madness:

https://www.amazon.com/More-than-Madness-John-Kaniecki/dp/1539430138/ref=sr_1_1?ie=UTF8&qid=1478478919&sr=8-1&keywords=more+than+the+madness+john+kaniecki

Interview with John:

1.  What made you decide to write your story?
This book was started about ten years ago. Every since I was a teenager I wanted to write but never aggressively pursued it. One day I felt inclined to write so I attempted to write a couple of science fiction stories. I got frustrated. Then I decided, why not write stories from my life?  I had a very interesting life. Besides it would be easier to write when you had the entire story already in your head instead of making things up. So I began to write what became “More Than The Madness”. At that time the manuscript consisted of short stories. Each chapter stood as individual works.  I shared these with my friends. When I started accumulating a lot of material I realized that one day it could be made into a book.
2.  What is the most important point you’d like readers to take away from your story?
This book is my memoirs. It deals with my successful struggle with bipolar disorder. The most important point I’d like to make is that I am, despite my mental illness, a human being just like everybody else. That there is “More Than The Madness”. My ailment is just one aspect of a complex creature. As such I would like to dispel the stigmata that are associated with mental illness.
3.  Have you written anything before?  If so, please tell me about it.
 
I have written a host of poetry. I have had my poems published on over seventy outlets. I have four books of poetry. “Murmurings Of A Mad Man” was my first book. This is a book of poetry dealing with a very low time of my life. I was committed to a state psychiatric hospital called Greystone. The book is written with strict meter and rhyme. My second book of poetry is called “Poet To The Poor, Poems Of Hope For The Bottom One Percent”. This book has some of my best writings in it including my award winning “Tea With Joe Hill”. As the title suggests this book is written for the oppressed peoples. Some of the subjects are historical figures and people from my life. “Sunset Sonnets” is a book of sonnets dealing with the subject of death and dying in a very positive and spiritual way. My last poetry book, which I self published, is entitled “A Day’s Weather”. I wrote this book at age twenty two and it serves as a marker to my thoughts at the time. The manuscript deals with a day’s weather, with a poem corresponding to a weather condition.
As far as prose I have a book of science fiction stories called “Words Of The Future”. These are unique quirky stories of which I take pride in their originality. Also I have two horror books out published by Jaded Books Publishing. The first is called “Scarecrow, Scarecrow” and the second is called “Satan’s Siren”. These follow the adventures of an Anne McFry. There are more books planned for the series. Also under contract is a book called “In The Mind Of Maggoo.” This book deals with a man in a nursing home who can only move the pupils of his mind. His mind is inflicted with marvelous dreams and thoughts of his past.
4.  What do you hope to accomplish as a writer?
I enjoy writing tremendously so that is a primary motivation. I hope to make a living from it as my wife is ill and I cannot work a traditional job as I need to take care of her. In my poetry I often try to contribute to some greater, nobler cause. To change the world for the better if you will. In my fiction writing I hope to entertain people. In both cases I hope to make people think.
5.  If you could give your readers one piece of advice, what would it be?
I would advise writers to never give up. When I started out I got rejected an enormous amount of times both in poetry and prose. A good part of successful writing is finding a friendly market for your work. That is if you write political poems don’t bother to send them to a romance magazine. Also I tried to get my science fiction stories published by the big names in the industry. While this was certainly worth the try I discovered there are a host of other, lesser prominent markets. I believe exposure is key to success. Remember that many famous writers got severe rejections before they had any form of success.
6.  What was your greatest challenge to overcome as a writer?
Enter the giveaway for one free ebook:
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The Rise Of Nazil by Aaron Michael Hall

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It was the 75th year of Alberoth when the AsZar summoned the Guardians. There was an imbalance in the lands of Faélondul. The Zaxson, Draizeyn Vereux covered the lands in a pall of darkness. There was a plan to exterminate the infestation in Nazil and beyond, a plan to eradicate the humans.

Led by the priestly cast called the Cha, the Xenophobic Nazilians dominating Faélondul justified their brutalities against the humans. But when the First Chosen of the elite guard of Nazil discovers Brahanu Ravenot lost near the gates of the city, not only his life but also his entire system of beliefs is forever changed. With darkness covering the lands, can love—forbidden, yet eternal—save both humans and Nazilians?

The Rise of Nazil is an adult fantasy novel that takes your breath away. Intricate plotting, intense passion, exciting battles, and complex, challenging characters pull the reader into the mythical world of Faélondul, where powerful ethereal beings wrestle for domination against the brutal Nazilian rulers.

Honor above all! The elite Chosen Guard of Nazil live and die by that maxim. A xenophobic race dominating the lands of Faélondul, the Nazilian’s fallacious sense of honor and preeminence enables them to justify their brutal treatment of humans.

Reviews for The Rise Of Nazil:

By Jocelyn on March 6, 2016
Epic fantasy novel! That’s the first thought that comes to mind when I think of this book. It’s a fast-paced story that will hook you into the storyline from the first page. It is a long book, but it wasn’t hard to read or dull at all! It was an overall fun and enjoyable book to read and I would recommend it to others, especially if you love adult fantasy novels.

I don’t want to go into so many details about the book, since I don’t want to ruin it for anyone, but I will say that if you’re looking for a good book to read next, you should give this book a try.

 

By J. Thomas Munson on February 15, 2016

The Rise of Nazil by Aaron-Michael Hall depicts both evil and good in a classic sci-fi fantasy thriller. Illustrating a true world easily envisioned for all readers, while sketching perfectly the human traits that make all so vividly fascinating. A page turning “epic” novel with pulsating fantasy and an ever-gripping creativity wrapped in a forbidden yet eternal love. With fantastic creatures, ruthless political beings and a love story to which Shakespeare would be proud of. Can this love story reconcile a feuding fantasy world, or will the same tragic ending cripple the masses? It is with all honesty, a high recommendation for The Rise of Nazil and a salivating anticipation for the sequel to the Rise, with The Seed of Scorn!

Where you can find The Rise Of Nazil:

https://www.amazon.com/The-Rise-Nazil-Secret-Seven-ebook/dp/B014FPTWVS

http://www.barnesandnoble.com/w/the-rise-of-nazil-aaron-michael-hall/1122654528?ean=2940152347166

https://store.kobobooks.com/en-us/ebook/the-rise-of-nazil

https://itunes.apple.com/us/book/rise-nazil-epic-adult-fantasy/id1039982174?mt=11

Where you can find Aaron:

https://www.facebook.com/pages/The-Rise-of-Nazil/897437180316047

http://www.theriseofnazil.com/

Not Alone by Gaelyn Whitley Keith

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The details of Joe’s life coming apart are covered in great depth. As a reader, it can be heartbreaking to see everything taken away from a man who is unaware of any reason why he should be so punished. Readers familiar with C. S. Lewis’s The Screwtape Letters will find the behind-the-scenes interplay between the angels and demons familiar yet still fresh and interesting.

Perhaps one of the greatest and most fascinating surprises of this book was the amount of action contained within. Despite its zoomed-in focus on Joe and Grace, the movements and deployments of the demons and the observatory defenses of the angels are covered in a fashion one would expect of a military history story. Additionally, nearly every demon is accompanied by a harrowing description of grotesque features and actions designed to complement their respective nefarious specialties. Once the battles begin between the angels and the demons, the action can be quite fast and frenetic as each side seeks to seize the souls of Joe and Grace at all costs.

Where you can find Not Alone:

http://www.barnesandnoble.com/w/not-alone-gaelyn-whitley-keith/1122407426?ean=9781680284331

https://www.amazon.com/Not-Alone-Gaelyn-Whitley-Keith/dp/1680284339/ref=sr_1_1?s=books&ie=UTF8&qid=1474603907&sr=1-1&keywords=not+alone+keith

Where you can find Gaelyn:

http://www.goodreads.com/book/show/26489271-not-alone?from_search=true

www.TheFatherofHollywood.com

Gaelyn’s Bio:

Gaelyn Whitley Keith was raised in Manhattan Beach, California, a stone's throw

from Hollywood. Gaelyn went to college at Cal Poly, San Luis Obispo in the early

1970’s and spent the years after college travelling around the world, writing short

stories and working for South Bay Magazine. She has been awarded top honours in

national writing competitions.

Gaelyn discovered her longing to be a writer when she was a child listening to her

mother’s imaginative true stories about Hollywood. She has an amazing heritage as

her great-grandfather, H J Whitley, is the Father of Hollywood.

In adolescence, encouraged by English teachers who described her as a “born

writer,” she began writing her own stories, as well as keeping prolific journals that

chronicled her experiences, both internal and external, a practice she has continued

throughout her life. Today Gaelyn lives beside a lake in El Dorado Hills, with her

husband Randy. She writes in a book-lined upstairs study where she can look out at

the lake and wildlife.

~The Virginia Kingdom Chronicles by L.L. Livesey~

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Set in a fascinating world that’s reemerging from a devastating famine caused by genetically modified seeds, The Virginia Kingdom Chronicles, Book 1: The Crown begins in 1992, when a Dutch accountant flees to the United States after stealing millions from a notorious drug cartel. Adopting a new identity, Espen Koning settles down on a remote Virginia farm.

Two hundred years later, nineteen-year-old Lady Elise Koning’s induction as heir to the prime governorship of Virginia is underway. However, her indolence causes her grandmother, the current ruler, to warn Elise that her succession is not set in stone. She could still name her youngest son, Carl, as the heir instead. But unwilling to give up on Elise just yet, she recruits the former adviser to Elise’s deceased father to groom the young woman for her leadership role.

The rules of the game are changing, as Virginia follows the lead of neighboring Carolina in transforming into a sovereign kingdom. Elise is changing as well—to the chagrin of her longtime companion, Decker Regan.

As Elise prepares herself for the rigors of being a strong ruler, will treachery undo her efforts to rise to the occasion?

Where you can find The Virginia Kingdom Chronicles:

https://www.amazon.com/Virginia-Kingdom-Chronicles-Book-Crown-ebook/dp/B010W96QLK/ref=sr_1_1?ie=UTF8&qid=1476579003&sr=8-1&keywords=the+virginia+kingdom+chronicles

Interview with L.L.:

1. What prompted you to write your book?

During elementary and high school, I always enjoyed writing short stories and completing the creative writing tasks assigned in my English classes. I even attempted to write a Sweet Valley High book that I’d totally planned on mailing to the publisher in the hopes they’d include my idea in the series, although truthfully I never neared completion. Many years later, while sitting with my good friend on his balcony one night, we were talking about books and he confessed to recently losing all interest in reading. A copy of Game of Thrones that I’d lent him had sat on his shelf untouched for months. I told him in jest that if I wrote a book myself then he’d have no choice but to read it. The very next day, I started typing up an idea, and from there the story grew and grew into the Virginia Kingdom Chronicles. Koning House is actually based on the National Ballet School of Canada which sits across the street from my pal’s balcony. And the idea for the Black Harvest stemmed from his constant failure to grow potted tomatoes and peppers to which I always joked we’d starve to death if we relied on him to provide us with dinner. As for the idea of the Kingdom of Virginia, we once had a full conversation debating that if the American Revolution had failed, would the colonies have followed the European royalty system, unfolding into their own separate kingdoms with time?

2. Who are some of your favorite authors and why?

George R.R. Martin- He didn’t just write a fantasy series, he created an entire other world that feels no less real than this one.
Maurice Druon of the Accursed Kings series- This French writer brings to life the personalities of the 14th century French royal family and aristocracy, cloaking his historical books as page-turning novels.
Nele Neuhaus- I love her thrillers covering the unique cases of German police detectives Oliver von Bodenstein and Pia Kirchoff. Once you start reading one, it is near impossible to put down. She is a master at plot-crafting which is why her novels top the German book lists.
Julian Fellowes- The creator of the Downtown Abbey television series has also penned a couple novels, Past Imperfect and Snobs. These stories offer insight into the world of the English upper-classes, presented in a soothing reading-style to reveal the social nuances that separate the haves from the have-nots.

3. What inspires you to write?

Once I began thinking about writing an actual novel for my friend, all these characters and places and ideas started swarming about in my head so there was an urge to start putting everything to paper (or laptop screen). Yet even as the story takes form, there are days when I find myself weather-proofing my boots in the middle of summer rather than wanting to plug away at the keyboard. Sometimes I am just stuck on what to do with a character or how a story line should progress. So I leave it be and pick up another book, immersing myself in a completely different story. If I what I am reading is entertaining, the book often instigates a spark into how I shall continue my own story, and even if the book isn’t up to par, I find myself thinking, “Hey—I can do better than this!” And then I find myself right back at the old laptop…

4. If you could meet one celebrity, who would it be and why?

I am a huge soccer fan which is why I rarely write on weekend mornings while the English Premier League is in session (five hour time difference between Toronto and England). I cheer for Manchester United, so if I could meet any one celebrity it would definitely be the legendary and recently retired team manager, Sir Alex Ferguson. I envision us drinking lager and sitting side-by-side in the stands of Old Trafford as Manchester plays on, trading quips and commentary, laughing as he regales me with locker room gossip. I believe Sir Alex would be a right hoot to spend a match with.

5. What would you like your readers to know about you?

I work in Canadian government, so I am very familiar with the inner-workings of the political system and how the lure of power and money can easily corrupt. There is a lot of background plotting in the Virginia Kingdom Chronicles which is based on my own observations from my career in politics.
I am actually in my late-thirties (although I don’t feel it,) and when I started a twitter account to help promote my book, I realized not a single one of my friends actually participates on Twitter. I guess Facebook is enough for my crowd.
I love to travel, and one of my next planned destinations is to the Netherlands. For although the country plays an important role in my series, I’ve never actually had the pleasure of visiting. I can’t wait to walk along the canal in Amsterdam.

6. If you could give me one piece of advice about life, what would it be?

Always be prepared with a Plan B. It helps take the sting out of disappointment and rejection. For example, with the release of the first book of the Virginia Kingdom Chronicles, there is always the uncertainty that readers will hate the concept, detest the writing, and flag it down with one-star reviews. How can I brace for that? I have another completely different novel in the works. Meaning, if need be, I can just start placing my concentration on that book, and having that back-up novel immediately gives me more confidence. Going for a promotion at work? Why not apply to outside jobs too? Knowing there are always other options will lessen the blow if that promotion doesn’t come to fruition.

Where you can find L.L.:

Service Goat by Piers Anthony!

If you love to read books written by Piers Anthony, you’ll be happy to know that he has just written a brand new book entitled Service Goat!

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Orphaned and blind seven-year-old Callie has a service animal – a goat with extraordinary powers.

Ben Hemoth is a down-on-his luck news reporter facing prison. Needing to save his job and his reputation, he teams up with Venus, a young seductress caught up with a teenage drug gang.

When a mysterious letter arrives detailing a top-secret investigative operation, Ben and Venus think they’ve found their chance for redemption. The mission? Investigate a goat.

In exchange for an extravagant paycheck, Ben and Venus must piece together the wild rumors swirling around Callie, her supernatural goat, and a possible UFO visit.

Piers Anthony’s Service Goat is an extraordinary tale rich with adventure, extraterrestrial visitors, secrecy, dangerous governmental operations, and the classic hints of mischief that readers have come to expect and love from the New York Times bestselling author of the Xanth series.

Where you can find Service Goat:

https://www.amazon.com/Service-Goat-Piers-Anthony-ebook/dp/B01MDJ0DDQ/ref=sr_1_4?s=books&ie=UTF8&qid=1476006800&sr=1-4&keywords=service+goat

Review: #Baby Love: My Social Life by Corine Dehghanpisheh

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“Click.” “Tap.” Tag and Post. An adored baby tells a modern tale about life in today’s digital world. #BabyLove: My Social Life highlights the social phenomena of sharing daily activities using technology and social networks.

My Rating: 3 Stars!

This is a cute little book about modern social media habits of parents and family.  Social media is now more prevalent than newspapers and other  “outdated” forms of notification in our current world.  This story speaks of the wonder-and sometimes inconvenience-of our technology.

If you are a parent or family relative that cares for little ones, this is a cute book to read to them about why their “crazy parents” always have a phone in hand!  (Or some other recording device!)

This book would make a cute baby shower gift or a fun gift for new parents!

Where you can find #BabyLove:

https://www.amazon.com/BabyLove-My-Social-Life-ebook/dp/B010VUR9FM/ref=sr_1_1?ie=UTF8&qid=1475396738&sr=8-1&keywords=baby+love+corine+dehghanpisheh

About the Author:

Corine Dehghanpisheh is a children’s book author and illustrator. Her inspirations for writing and illustrating come from everyday life.

She was a Mom’s Choice Awards® Silver Recipient and a Next Generation Indie Author Finalist for her debut children’s book Can We Play Again?, which was published in March 2012. Her inspiration for this book came from her work as a Licensed Creative Arts Therapist in NYC.

Corine published her second children’s book, Buddy’s Dream, in November 2013, and her third children’s book, #BabyLove: My Social Life, in July 2015.

When Corine is not busy being creative, she is most likely having fun taking pictures of her family. Corine lives in Manhattan, NY with her husband and new baby.

Where you can find Corine:

Facebook, Twitter, and Goodreads.

http://www.booksbycorined.com/

Genesis by Dr. Andreas Laurencius

An interesting perspective, though not one I completely share with the author.  I believe strongly in God and His goodness, however I also believe that we weren’t created to die.  So I’m intrigued by the presentation of the possibility that death can be thwarted…..that being said, I am willing to present different opinions on my blog.  That’s what gives life character!

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“There is no good or evil. We classify things into good and evil because we are currently unable to solve the two problems of the world: death and dearth. If there ever comes a time when we can solve these problems, we won’t be required to do this anymore.”

Where you can find Genesis:

https://www.amazon.com/Genesis-Dr-Andreas-Laurencius/dp/1515057615/ref=sr_1_1?ie=UTF8&qid=1474792637&sr=8-1&keywords=genesis+dr+laurencius

Interview with Dr. Laurencius:

1. Please tell me about your book and why you decided to write it.
I’m a medical doctor. I’ve seen many deaths. Some are young people, most are old people. I’m appalled at our believing the Gods depicted in the scriptures and here I’d like to open our eyes and make us see the fundamental error that these scriptures have, therefore they will come to a conclusion that these scriptures are merely notes written by people of the past, and not by God.
The world is evolving and knowledge is the only thing that can enable us to choose. Without knowledge, we can not exercise free will against diseases, pain, and ultimately, death.
It occurred to me that we are what we are because, and what we produced was the product of what we know — and sadly — of what we don’t know. Now that we know, we have to change.
Free will exists in the simplest form of choice, the choices that we can do only because we have evolved. Before 1906, a person who was diagnosed with tuberculosis was simply waiting for him/herself to die. But after Calmette and Guérin achieved the first success in immunization against tuberculosis in 1906, we were able to exercise free will against tuberculosis. Here we see, free will can be used for good, and free will toward goodness can only be achieved through knowledge.
Death will hurt us. If it hasn’t, it will.
The main purpose of this book is to let us realize that there is a way to defeat death! I am a medical doctor and know this: it can be done.
2. Do you have any works in progress? If so, what are they?
Currently, no.
3. What do you hope to accomplish by publishing your story?
I hope all people will read it and support a research in neuroscience to defeat death.
4. What would you like your readers to know about you?
I’m just a regular boy with a big heart.
5. Preferences: Night or day? Camping or a resort? Gourmet or fast food? Coffee or cocktails?
I must say day, resort, gourmet, and cocktails 😉
6. If you could give me one piece of advice about life, what would it be?
Innovate! Because you could be our last hope.

Where you can find Dr. Laurencius:

Website: www.andreaslaurencius.com (coming soon)
Facebook: www.facebook.com/andreas.laurencius
Facebook page: Genesis Readers
Twitter: @genesisthebook

Fractured Angel by Ken Williams

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How would you go about trying to help your daughter who, suffering her first psychotic break at fifteen, is chased by her wounded mind to the streets of Santa Barbara? That is the dilemma that Lynne Swanson faces. Out of her element, and definitely out of her comfort zone for this professional woman, she is forced to seek the help of Kerry Wilson, a social worker for the homeless. Unfortunately for her, Kerry is a rough-necked loner that has no inclination to hold the hand of a woman who he feels is out for a lark at the expense of his homeless clients. The harsh and deadly realities of the streets in one of the wealthiest cities in the world and an attempt to close a homeless shelter just as winter sets in produces a dramatic race against time with the life of Lynne’s daughter in the balance.
Praise for Fractured Angel:

Format: Kindle Edition

California is portrayed as some kind of paradise where everyone and everything is perfect, the reality is somewhat different to this Hollywood creation. Fractured Angels is all about the homeless in Santa Barbara, particularly a mother and daughter pair who are just trying to survive. Williams is a Santa Barbara author so this is a deeply personal writing and this really comes through in the book, you can really tell this is something he really, deeply cares about. After reading the book you will care about it too.

All too often the disparity between the haves and have not’s is swept under the carpet and hidden away. This disparity is oh so clear as people at the very bottom of the ladder are fighting for survival, not metaphorically, but literally, survival in what is one of America’s (and by extension, the world’s) most affluent areas. The characters are beautifully written; you really come to feel for them and want to actively help them out. I find it somewhat repulsive that there are people starving and living in the streets while not so far away there are folks with so much excess it is unbelievable.

The book is very well written and if you are interested in books about the homeless specifically or books about poverty in the western world, then you will love this. 5 stars and highly recommended from me.

Format: Kindle Edition

This book was AMAZING! [Ken Williams] tells the inside story of working with the homeless in the backyard of the rich and famous. In [Fractured Angel] he draws on his own experiences to create a fictionalized account of a social worker, a mother, and a fifteen year old runaway all trying to cope with their demons. [Williams] has a way with storytelling and the empathy he shows for all his characters shows through in his words.
Where you can find Fractured Angel:
http://www.amazon.com/Fractured-Angel-Ken-Williams/dp/0991180763/ref=sr_1_1?ie=UTF8&qid=1456162007&sr=8-1&keywords=fractured+angel+by+ken+williams
http://www.barnesandnoble.com/w/fractured-angel-ken-williams/1119916882?ean=9780991180769
http://sakura-publishing.com/product/fractured-angel/
Interview with Ken:
1.     Tell me about your book and why you decided to write it.
FRACTURED ANGEL is the story of Lynne Swanson, mother, professional, middle class who is forced to visit the world of the homeless in Santa Barbara CA when her fifteen year old daughter, suffering her first psychotic break runs there.  To access this alien world she is forced to seek the help of Kyle Wilson, a social worker for the homeless.  Their interaction: mistrustful at first and eventually romantic drives the story as does the shock of the often brutal world Lynne’s daughter now finds herself trapped in.  With the approach of the cold and wet winter, known as the “killing season” amongst those who serve the homeless the search takes a desperate and dramatic turn.
 
The seeds of this story was planted several years ago when a man from Silicon Valley was told by the police that if anyone in Santa Barbara could help him find his daughter, who had run there after suffering a psychotic break it was Ken Williams.  The clashing life styles of this man and myself stood in stark contrast that day we met.  He was refined and his clothes and mannerism spoke of wealth.  The two of us would never have interacted in our respective worlds—except his daughter, with a wounded mind was somewhere out there who needed help.  The sadness in his eyes, his being humbled with the need to seek that help from me was etched on his face.  But the love of his daughter trumped all.  He gave me a picture that day of his daughter.  It was torn in half to protect the identity of other family members.  I have that photo to this day.  And sadly I have met many other parents looking for their mentally ill sons and daughters living on Santa Barbara’s cold and unforgiving streets.
 
2.     What is your favorite genre to write and why?
I have written in literary fiction, urban fantasy and currently speculative fiction.  Each one has its owns challenges and pluses.  The novel I am working on currently is speculative fiction and I find that intellectually stimulating.
 
3.     What do you hope to accomplish as an author?
I look to the writings of John Steinbeck, Upton Sinclair and Harriet Beecher Stowe—Uncle Tom’s Cabin as leaders in how novels can change reality.  President Abraham Lincoln is rumored to have said to Harriet Beecher Stowe when he met her: “So you’re the little woman who wrote the book that made this great war!”  In my small way I hope to be part of a wave that will challenge how people view the poor, the mentally ill and especially the homeless and help end this national disgrace.
 
4.     What would you like your readers to know about you?
Even from darkness light can emanate.  My worldview and perhaps my sensitivity to injustice were born in conflict.  My time served in Vietnam during the war had a profound impact on me, including having a novel I read while recuperating on a hospital ship setting my life’s course of working with the mentally ill.  (I Never Promised You A Rose Garden). Then the streets, their brutality and the beauty of those who have nothing yet try to help someone in even worse dire straights taught me humility and well as humanity and how to keep things in perspective.  We are not able to avoid pain.  The only “free” choice we have is how we react to it.  We can fall victim to racism, sexism, blaming the “other,” or use our intellect and heart to make things better.
 
5.     Do you have any works in progress?  What are they?  
Since FRACTURED ANGEL I have completed two novels. HOMELESSNESS, A COMBAT VETERAN, MENTAL ILLNESNSS, A LOVE STORY is in fact a love story between a Marine combat veteran of Afghanistan and a mentally ill Vietnamese-American.  The backdrop is an abandoned warehouse taken over by the homeless.  GAIA’S REVOLT takes place twenty years in the future when global warming is having devastating consequences in California and throughout the world.  It is a story of how the fabric of our society is brutalized by those events.  Unending wars for natural resources, racial strafe, growing poverty of the middle class and rampant homelessness of the poor.  Sort of reads like today’s headlines doesn’t it?
 
6.     If you could have one wish granted, what would it be?
Interesting question… Perhaps that we quit fearing the “other.” That we simply see everyone as equal in our collective struggle to bring dignity and meaning to our lives.  Then again there is that brutal war in Syria.  Suffer the poor children. Why?
Author Bio:
For over thirty years Ken Williams worked for the homeless in one of the wealthiest cities in America: Santa Barbara. His clients included the mentally ill, alcoholic/drug addicts, war veterans, the infirmed, people with AIDS, the neglected, survivors of sexual violence and the aged. During that time he also battled the prejudices and fears directed against these new lepers. He was instrumental in establishing homeless shelters, soup kitchens, halfway houses and other client centered services. His most cherished project was Casa Rosa a recovery home and rescue for pregnant homeless women who were battling addiction or mental illness, and Maritza’s Cocina, a children’s soup kitchen. He won many awards for these efforts including being recognized as Public Citizen of the Year for California by the National Association of Social Workers. He also won the 2010 Civil Rights Award by the Santa Barbara Chapter of the A.C.L.U. He used these experiences to write novels, screenplays and columns for local media outlets.
Where you can find Ken:
http://kenwilliams-writer.com/
http://www.goodreads.com/book/show/22774590-fractured-angel?from_search=true&search_version=service
https://www.facebook.com/profile.php?id=1365099038

The Improbable Wonders of Moojie Littleman by Robin Gregory

moojie-littleman-cover

Moojie Littleman is not just another disabled orphan with extraterrestrial friends, he is not just a kid who falls into a series of magical, mystical adventures involving love and family and watermelons. He is, above all, the most unlikely and powerful hero ever known. Moral allegory, magical realism, and lyrical prose, “The Improbable Wonders of Moojie Littleman” tells the story of a disabled boy who is sent to St. Isidore’s Fainting Goat Dairy, where determination to “belong” stirs up trouble and leads to a surprising destiny–if only he can survive one last terrifying trial.

Awards for The Improbable Wonders Of Moojie Littleman:

Literary Classics Int’l Book of the Year 2016, Best First Middle Grade, Gold & Pre-teen Fantasy, Gold
Mom’s Choice, Best Books 2016, YA Fantasy, Gold
Library Journal, Self-e, Indie California Book Collection 2016, Curated Pick
IPPY, Book of the Year 2016, Cover Design ~ Fiction, Gold
International Book Awards, Book of the Year 2016, YA Fiction, Finalist
Rave Reviews Book Club, President’s Pick 2016
Foreword Reviews’ INDIEFAB Awards, Book of the Year 2015, YA, Finalist; Cover design, Gold
Gelett Burgess Children’s Book Award 2015, Fantasy, Gold
Kirkus Reviews, Best Indie Books of the Month, December 2015
Kirkus Reviews, Best Indie Books of the Year 2015, current long list

Where you can find The Improbable Wonders Of Moojie Littleman:

https://www.amazon.com/Improbable-Wonders-Moojie-Littleman/dp/1942545002/ref=sr_1_1?ie=UTF8&qid=1473322777&sr=8-1&keywords=the+adventures+of+moojie+littleman

Interview with Robin:

1. What prompted you to write this book?

For most of my life, I’ve been drawn to the unseen, primary forces of life and the universe, and in discovering my relationship to them. At first, I did this through art. It was only later that I discovered writing. Both mediums have been a way to put what I’ve learned from life experience, spiritual study, and practice into coherence.

2. Is there anything autobiographical in your story?

My son inspired MOOJIE LITTLEMAN. Actually, I’ve had a pretty interesting life, beginning with being one of eight children in a pretty messed up family. This led to a lot of heartache, loneliness, and feelings of “not belonging.” I spent many years searching for spiritual answers, but the healing of these wounds really began when my husband and I adopted a baby with special needs. In spite of his difficulties, our son is the most kindhearted, courageous, and bright boy I have ever known. He has been teaching me so much. Especially, he is teaching me not to judge people by appearances, and to forgive others for hurting me. I wanted to put some of his life lessons together with mine to make a story that would inspire anybody who is dealing with difficulties and challenges.

3. Do you have any works in progress?

Right now, I am working on the audio book of MOOJIE LITTLEMAN. After auditioning readers worldwide, I, and my beta group, chose an incredible reader, James Stephens of London. We are on Chapter 4. It will be released Spring of 2016 through ACX, an Amazon company. I’m excited to know that the audience for the book will include folks who have challenges that prevent them from reading.

4. What do you hope to accomplish as a writer?

What a great question! I want to do my part to provide solace, laughter, and inspiration to readers. To help others recognize a greater sense of their divine nature. What starts with the imagination can flower into recognition and manifestation. Each of us is destined to awaken from material beliefs, and actually experience heaven on earth. As Moojie’s story points out—as Jesus, Buddha, Muhammed, Rumi, Kierkegaard, de Chardin, Mother Theresa, Martin Luther King, Jr., Amma, our present pope, and many more great leaders have taught—true change begins with love and compassion.

5. If you could have one wish granted, what would it be?

When I look back at my life one day, I would like to feel that I learned to put my limited sense of “self” behind, and helped others do the same, that we rose together out of the tomb of fear and fulfilled our greatest potentials.

6. If you could give me one piece of advice about life, what would it be?

Learn to be quiet. Avoid busyness, for it delays awakening. Liberation from suffering begins with silencing old beliefs, patterns, reactions, and allowing the divine pattern to surface.

“You do not need to leave your room. Remain sitting at your table and listen. Do not even listen, simply wait, be quiet still and solitary. The world will freely offer itself to you to be unmasked, it has no choice, it will roll in ecstasy at your feet.”—Franz Kafka

Thank you, dear Bright Souls.

Where you can find Robin:

http://www.madmysticaljourney.com/

http://facebook.com/RobinGregoryAuthor

http://www.amazon.com/author/r.s.gregory

Twitter @ tweety_robin

Letting Go by Emily Medlock!

Feel Life 2

At twenty-three years old, Sophie Tyler had always lived, what some would call, a normal life. Growing up in a small Mississippi town, she was popular and beautiful. With plenty of friends and a loving family. Simply breezing through life with nothing to stand in her way. That is, until a tragic accident occurred, leaving her in a position she never thought she would be. Can she now repair her broken life and fill the seemingly bottomless pit in her ever-aching heart? Faced with racism, unwanted religion, new responsibilities, and grief, Sophie must learn to triumph over her hurdles and put her trust in the exact place she’s been hiding from.

Review:

Format: Paperback Verified Purchase

With a heartbreaking and riveting first chapter, I was hooked from the beginning. I immediately connected with Sophie and felt whatever she was feeling. I laughed and cried with her. The characters were all real and unforgettable and the twists and turns kept me on the edge of my seat, but the real gift from this story was learning what “letting go” really means and seeing what happened in my life when I did it.
Can’t wait for more books in this series!
Where you can find Letting Go:
Amazon:  http://www.amazon.com/Letting-Go-Springdale-Trilogy-Book/dp/152365712X/ref=sr_1_1?ie=UTF8&qid=1456674840&sr=8-1&keywords=letting+go+emily+medlock
Createspace:  https://www.createspace.com/6017004
Interview with Emily:
 

1.  Tell me about your book and why you decided to write it.

A lot of the subjects in this book I have always felt very strongly about. But, for me, I don’t sit and think of something to write about. In my mind and in my heart, my characters are real, I just record their stories, not create them.

2.  What is your favorite genre to read?  Who are some of your favorite authors?

I love reading in general, but I have to say that my favorite genre is Christian fiction (particularly romance).
My favorite author is easily Janette Oke. A few others include Beverly Lewis, Tracie Peterson, Chautona Havig, and Lynn Austin. I could go on for hours, because it’s hardly fair to compare or pick only a few.

3.  Do you have any works in progress?  What are they?

I do. I’m currently working on the second book in my trilogy, the first I already have published. I’m also writing a medieval fantasy and a historical fiction.

4.  What do you hope to accomplish as an author?

I just want to share what is in my heart and my mind with the world. Even if that involves a bit of controversy, if I touch just one life positively, then it will be 100% worth it.

5.  What would you like your readers to know about you?

I just love writing and I love reading. I’m me and I’m happy with everyone being themself.

6.  If you could give me one piece of advice about life, what would it be?

Be yourself (there’s only one you) and accept yourself as well as others, do what you know or feel is right, give and live life fully, and above all, love!
Where you can find Emily:
Facebook:  https://m.facebook.com/phoenix101593/
Amazon:  amazon.com/author/emilymedlock