Category Archives: Reviews/Promos

~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

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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!

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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

Escape From Palmar by Joseph J. Miccolis!

 

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Kodus has lived a boring life in Stronghaven, sheltered from the world and isolated from any social interaction. This is until he meets a girl who leads him to adventure into Estonia. His life in Stronghaven was forced by his parents only for protection. His mother and father were the king and queen of Dagmarth, a beautiful planet considered the center of all galaxies, until a savage enemy led a surprise attack that nearly obliterated it. Some Dagmarthians found safety on the planet Palmar, where his parents hid for years before coming back to our own world.

It was a new prophecy told on Palmar that encouraged one last hope for winning the ongoing war and restoring Dagmarth to freedom and peace. But, every promising future comes with a cost. Dagmarth must convince one extraordinary boy to become its bright-shining hero. His name will be Kodus Solaris Hemsley.

All of Dagmarth will realize the hard part is not protecting Kodus, but convincing the boy to fight for them and all planets on its side. He will discover magical powers and skills that outmatch any warrior. It will be his destiny to be the hero for all – the hero of a new generation of freedom and peace. A quest that begins with an escape from Palmar and depends on Kodus accepting the truth and his destiny.

Reviews:

Format: Kindle Edition Verified Purchase

This book was a mix of prophecy and a strangely entertaining style of storytelling which reminded me in concept of Enders Game at times. I thought it was both original in come it and execution – I enjoyed what felt like an almost religious feel to the prophecy
as I personally haven’t seen that before – this was a fast and entertaining read! I’m sure this author will be one to watch. Check it out!

Awesome book. The story pulls you in and you won’t be able to put the book down. It’s a great sci-fi story and I eagerly await the sequel.Published 2 months ago by Paul

Where you can find Dagmarth:  Escape From Palmar:

https://www.amazon.com/Dagmarth-Escape-Joseph-J-Miccolis-ebook/dp/B01GWON93C/ref=sr_1_1?s=books&ie=UTF8&qid=1472885816&sr=1-1&keywords=escape+from+palmar+joseph+miccolis

Interview with Joseph:

Where you can find Joseph:
https://www.facebook.com/josephjmiccolis
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Zimrah, Dream Singer by Susan Valles!

Zimrah Dream Singer by Susan Valles

In the land of ancient Israel, in the days just before the miracles of Jesus the Christ began, there lived an orphan girl named Zimrah. A foreigner and slave with no knowledge of who she is or where she is from, Zimrah has many demons to overcome.

Living among people that fear and reject her because of her foreign features and uncommon grey eyes, she finds shelter in the last Jewish house in a City of Refuge only to find her master suffers demons of his own. She soon discovers that the dark spirits who have tormented her all her life, can not only be battled, but defeated when she begins to heed the gentle Voice speaking to her in her dreams…the Voice that teaches her to sing.

Who is this Voice? Will she dare to hope in the Light it offers? Can the promises hidden in the songs with words she remembers from the ancient texts of her childhood, really be speaking of a future different from the past she has always known?

Reviews:

Gripping! Wonderful story! Great teaching tool for anyone yearning to embrace God’s truth. Only put it down to sleep!

Format: Kindle Edition Verified Purchase

Zimrah, Dream Singer blessed me immensely, and continues to bless me. I did not want it to end. The story beautifully weaves scripture throughout. Through the experiences of Zimrah, I was able to gain a deeper level of understanding about the spiritual war that is waged against us and how God protects and prepares us, and He sees us through. While the story is powerful, I think applying it to my own life and experiences has helped me to rest in HIS goodness and His love, and to even experience His presence in a deeper way. It has helped me to see the power in not only hearing but listening & obeying His voice. It has challenged me in my walk with the Lord, and given me even more courage in my faith. My favorite quote from Zimrah, “Eventually I climbed out of the small place, the prison of my fear, and He taught me to soar high with Him where the air is clear and the songs are full of life and freedom. I still have so much to learn but He is teaching me.” I can’t wait to read book 2!
Where you can find Zimrah, Dream Singer:
https://www.amazon.com/dp/B017ZEYD0G/ref=cm_sw_su_dp
Interview with Susan:
1.  Tell me about your book and why you decided to write it.
Writing this book was not a conscious decision. I didn’t wake up one day and say, “I’m going to write a book.” It was more like a desire that I had, for as long as I can remember, but didn’t think I could ever actually do it. Being a believer in Jesus, I knew the verses that say that He wants to give us our desires, fulfill our dreams, but I had given up on my desire to write a book. It was buried deep, surrounded by the fear that I could not write well enough, and did not have what it takes to finish a novel. But God does not forget any of our dreams. I literally woke up one morning in September of 2014 with the first lines of the book in my mind. I am a songwriter and am used to keeping my laptop beside my bed, so I got up and wrote down what I was hearing. Then I heard some more and wrote some more. Nine months later it was finished. The fictional character of Zimrah and her story emerged out of my life experiences, how God taught me that He was real and that He loved me…through song. Like Zimrah, His love freed me from my fears.
2.  Is there a certain genre you prefer to write?  Why?
This is a story set in a specific time in history, but it came more out of my love for the stories and people of the Bible than trying to write a genre. It is also filled with what some may call fantasy, the idea of a spiritual dimension that exists alongside this one, where darkness and light battle for human souls. This is both fascinating and exciting to me! So you could say I prefer to write Historical Fantasy because those are the two things that I am the most passionate about.
3.  Do you have any works in progress?  What are they?
 
I am currently working on the second book in the Zimrah Series (called “Zimrah, Dream Walker”), and on recording the songs that are in Dream Singer. Some of my readers have asked to hear the songs that are so much a part of Zimrah’s journey, and I am thrilled to let them!
4.  What would you like your readers to know about you?
I am a mother of four (from teens to toddlers) and was homeschooling two of them, as well as running a music ministry while I wrote this book. That was when God saw fit to give me the passion to write this story, not when my life was slow or when all my kids were out of the house! 
5.  What do you hope to accomplish as an author?
If I can help people to understand God differently, I would be a happy woman! He is not at all what I grew up believing. He’s not angry or vengeful. He is just the opposite. There is so much more going on around us than we can see with our eyes. If my books help people to shift their thinking even just a little, I would call that success.
6.  If you could give me one piece of advice about life, what would it be?
In the Bible, God spoke most often to people when they were sleeping, through dreams. So…pay attention to what you’re dreaming. The answers to your prayers may be hiding there.
Where you can find Susan:

Review: Paintings: A Collection Of Lyrical Tales by Kelley Lee McDonald

 

Paintings cover by Kelley McDonald

Paintings is a collection of poems and images I put together to portray a particular period of time. In my early thirties I became focused on two questions, “Who am I, and how do I want to proceed through life.”

This project reflects that early contemplation. Compiling this work was liberating yet also confusing because revelations and knowledge, mistakes and ignorance converged all at once. At times, it was difficult to discern which direction I was moving in, but I’ve come to know there is great treasure everywhere, from the terrible to the terrific.

It has taken me 55 years to fully understand I will never reach a quiet precipice while on this planet. I have learned through my own experiences how important it is to know myself so I can nurture and continue to shape that truth from within. I’m so grateful a train of thought was ushered in to provide a place for me to return to in order to remain faithful and fruitful during hard times, but by no means, has this information permitted me to rest.

Everyday, I must decide all over again to be kind, thoughtful, and tolerant of others while forgiving myself as I repeatedly fail at this very exercise.

In short, these writings are about my desire to be better and to reach higher for the balance between body, mind, and spirit.

Paintings consists of 38 poems with 38 accompanying images. Each writing has a reflection of its own. Some relate to moments of great joy, yet others reveal a forlorn sadness while searching for the right path ahead. A few of the poems simply express the beauty of nature that surrounds us.

These are some of my life’s paintings, I hope you enjoy them.

My Rating:  4 Stars!

This is a heartfelt book of poetry written about the meaning of life and insights it presents to us in the concept of life lessons.  The author did a wonderful job speaking of the things she has pondered upon during her journey here thus far.

If you are looking for a book that will inspire and uplift, this is a great one to invest in!  It would make an excellent gift for a friend or loved one.  A perfect addition to a morning cup of coffee or tea!

It paints a beautiful picture in words and art just as the title suggests!

Where you can find Paintings:  A Collection Of Lyrical Tales:

https://www.amazon.com/Paintings-Collection-Kelley-Lee-McDonald/dp/0985951222/ref=sr_1_1?ie=UTF8&qid=1471939344&sr=8-1&keywords=paintings+by+kelley+mcdonald

Also available at Apple iBooks

Interview with Kelley:

1. Please tell me about your book and why you decided to write it.
“Paintings” is a collection of poems I wrote many years ago. In 2012 I decided to put images alongside these short tales in order to produce a book. The poems cover a wide range of experiences that include success, failure, wonder and despair.
In my 30s I began to experience for the first time, prolonged moments of genuine happiness. It was through that first glimmer of light a profound sense of joy began to make a permanent home within me. So I would have to say, because of my own experience with inspiration, I was compelled to write about my life lessons.
I have come to respect how very different we all are, and it’s because of our unique backgrounds, experiences and individual decisions that we journey through life beside each other, yet separately. However, it’s through our emotions that we connect deeply with one another to diminish the space between us. It’s within that shared place I want to contribute something.
2. What do you hope to accomplish as an author?
I’d like to be helpful through my words.
3. What would you like your readers to know about you?
I used to think I wanted to be identified as a good writer and receive a pat on the back for my skill in bringing an idea forward.
Yet because I’ve chosen to write about emotional subjects, I now know the real value comes from allowing others to privately recognize something universal about themselves which leaves me, the writer behind.
It is here I would say the struggle, has at times, been strongest because it’s taken much contemplation to understand a feeling of pride won’t sustain me. Within the process of creating and sharing, I continue to be shown if I successfully leave my ego out of the work then I’m fed with joy, and a sense of connection fills my spirit.
4. Do you have any works in progress? What are they?
Yes. I have many files of writings that I intend to format into future collections. These more recent “papers” as I like to call them, have taken a departure from the poetry genre to assume a more direct voice.
As with the poems in Paintings, these works are central to an experience, decision, or train of thought connected to my emotional base.
I’m also working on my autobiography. I have been lucky enough to live an unusually diversified life, and I believe there is good treasure to be shared by way of the many peaks and valleys I’ve come through.
5. If you could have one wish granted, what would it be?
I want to fulfill my purpose in life. I believe that my writing figures into this concept very strongly, but it’s not enough to simply write about subjects that range from sadness and pain to forgiveness, kindness and tolerance. I have to blend with a higher standard through my daily practices.
If I can tip my inner proclivities in favor of words of light and minimize the hold that anger, fear and confusion have over me, then I’ve done well.
6. Do you have any other creative outlets? If so, what are they?
Yes, I have many! I enjoy rendering digital art, photography, home design and making jewelry boxes.
I particularly enjoy the simple aspects of taking care of the home I share with my partner, Ben. I find much pleasure in adding a special touch to our private world, whether it’s by applying a faux finish to the living room walls or simply cleaning the kitchen. I try to be mindful with every task I take on because that’s where the joy is.
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