The Calla’cara Gambit follows Milo who finds himself being blackmailed into helping the Sentient Ships emancipate from the Empire. What were some sources that informed this novels development?
Milo’s story is about everyone who’s ever had to navigate the thicket of laws and regulations in a “civilized” society. Especially when something is legally allowed but the people in power don’t want it to actually occur (like the Sentient Ship Emancipation). Once he’s blackmailed by the Sentient Ships and the Khan he has no choice; either he succeeds or his closest companion, Isaac, will end up confiscated by the Empire.
The structure of the Mercantile Empire is loosely based on the Hudson Bay Company and the East India Trading Company. They were commercial entities incorporated for political purposes by England. They existed to generate a profit for their shareholders but also had to provide governmental services. It allowed me to explore the concepts of a true “government by the customer”. And how someone might use the “system” against the people in power for their own goals.
Milo continues to be an engaging character throughout this book. What were some new ideas you wanted to introduce with his character in this book?
Does absolute power actually corrupt absolutely? How pragmatic is Milo willing to become in the furtherance of his goals? Can Milo develop relationships with the people he sends into harm’s way instead of just seeing them as pawns? And what is the impact on him when very negative things happen to them? Can he experience personal growth as a vampire? Can he learn to be an empathetic leader who’s still willing to make the very hard choices and what does that cost him?
What were some challenges you set for yourself as a writer with this book?
I wanted to tell a very complicated story with intricate plotting and multiple characters that captured the labyrinth of navigating the halls of power at the highest levels. I wanted to tell enough of their individual stories that the reader becomes emotionally invested but not so much that it slowed the story down. I wanted to tell it from all the individual viewpoints while maintaining Milo’s first person POV. My goal was twofold; what is the minimum amount of exposition necessary to advance the story in an engaging fashion and could I engage the secondary characters enough to make them meaningful to the reader? If a reader tells me one of the secondary characters is their favorite over Milo, I will feel I have succeeded.
What can readers expect in book three of the The War Against Infinity series?
A storm is coming…
1,000 years ago the Vampire Tribes left Earth, following Milo to the stars to escape the governments and technology of Earth that were getting close enough to positively confirm their existence. 500 years ago, Milo left the Wandering Tribes (as they named themselves) to their own devices, effectively abdicating his position. But since the First of the Vampires can only change hands following the death of the previous First, he’s still their titular head. Now he’s discovered he needs them to effect his plan to manage the various civilizations that make up the Mercantile Empire and the surrounds because he’s still the Chosen of the Most High and he still has to prevent the Adversary from winning the Bet with the Serene Supreme Deity and cause the Universe to get reset.
So he has to re-assume control of the Families that make up the Wandering Tribes. Then he has to persuade them to abandon their traditional secrecy and integrate into the various societies of the most powerful, influential Members of the Mercantile Empire and assume control; without actually taking over. It’s an interstellar mafia with Milo as the Godfather against the Mercantile Empire.
Because when the storm hits… all Hell is gonna break loose!
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Tags: adventure, author, author interview, book, book review, bookblogger, ebook, fantasy, fiction, goodreads, kindle, kobo, literature, nook, novel, read, reader, reading, rob bartlett, science fiction, scifi, space adventure, space opera, story, The Calla'cara Gambit, writer, writing
Subterfuge finds Maggie and her team hunting a Russian crime boss who took a contract out on her two years ago. What were some sources that informed this novels development?
Maggie is given the unique opportunity to assassinate the very person who ordered her death two years ago. Valdev Belevich, the Russian crime boss, has never seen Maggie, which gives her an advantage. Still, because of the nature of casinos, the criminal element they attract, and facial recognition software, she must change her physical appearance as much as possible. The team is acutely aware the longer this mission takes, the longer Maggie is in danger of being recognized. Shep’s government contact told him the mission is not an option, it is a demand and they don’t want to know details. For Maggie, this is a personal job. Not only was she Belevich’s target two years ago, a hit he believes was successful, but he is the last link to the murder of a loved one. She is seeking revenge. It isn’t long upon the team’s arrival that Maggie finds the mission is more intricate than originally thought. It turns into a life changing event for her and Shep.
Maggie continues to be an intriguing character. What were some new angles you wanted to explore about her character in this book?
At 26, Maggie is now an adult and the mother of two children. Prior to this mission, she had re-enrolled at a university to finish her music degree. Her life is going in a positive direction until the assassination orders come down from Shep’s government contact and she must rejoin the team to go undercover. I wanted readers to see more of Maggie’s fragile side in this book. She has been through tremendous trauma in the previous books which were never fully resolved. As a black ops assassin, Maggie could always get through a mission with emotions in check. Because of the personal nature of this assignment and her driving need for revenge, it takes a toll on her emotionally. I wanted readers to see what happens when Maggie’s two worlds collide and how she copes with it.
The team go undercover at a casino resort in Northern Spain. Why did you choose this location for your novel?
By locating the casino near Oviedo, in Northern Spain, it adds an extra level of stress and melancholy for Maggie. Her mother’s birthplace, Malaga, in Southern Spain, is where Maggie found her extended family and where she lived for over a year and a half. Because she and her team brought down the Brotherhood, she had to cut all contact with her mother’s family. It also creates another level of danger for her being back in Spain, a country that is no longer welcoming to her. From a logistic standpoint, it made sense geographically for Belevich’s drug route to pass through the Oviedo area on its way to the Bay of Biscay. This ties him to the largest criminal family in Spain, the head of which resides in Oviedo.
What can readers expect in book five in the Magdalena series?
Without giving away the ending to Subterfuge, Maggie encounters a man more evil and more dangerous than any previous foe. He is relentless and it will not be easy for her or Shep to escape him. Book five will find Maggie pitted against him. What he wants from her and what she discovers will be at the center of the plot.
Because You Care for Beany Bear is a fun and colorful interactive children’s picture book that follows Beany Bear on several different adventures. Beany Bear starts the story on his own in this rhyming adventure book and slowly collects a band of new friends along the way. Each animal friend is different and comes with a new lesson to teach young readers.
Christine Logan has written a charming children’s adventure story that seeks to educate children with simple rhymes and fun friends. New readers will easily pickup new words throughout the story, but I think this book is best read with an adult. The book is interactive and speaks directly to the reader, getting them to interact with the story and help Beany Bear in many of the varied situations that he finds himself in. There are several things throughout the book that the reader is supposed to find on the page, but these are often pointed out to the reader with arrows. I felt like this removed the opportunity for readers, with parent guidance, to search the page on their own.
The illustrations throughout this wonderful book are all exceptionally well drawn, vibrant, and welcoming. Each page is fully colored and has plenty of imagery for readers to indulge in. Because You Care for Beany Bear is really a collection of short stories that take Beany Bear on many different adventures with each one leading into the next one. The song at the end was the icing on the cake. I can imagine singing this song with my child every time we read this book as a fun way to end the story.
Pages: 52 | ASIN: B08KJSRZ8L
Tags: adventure, author, Because You Care for Beany Bear, book, book review, bookblogger, children, childrens book, Christine J Logan, ebook, fantasy, fiction, goodreads, kids, kids book, kindle, kobo, literature, nook, picture book, read, reader, reading, story, writer, writing
The modern-day history of America is filled with police brutality and racial injustice towards black, brown and indigenous people. The unjust murders of people of color by the hand of police officers continue. But we cannot tie the racism only with these murders. Racism is a deep-rooted social evil that exists in every bit of this country. People express their racial mindset rather proudly. It is often presented as a national pride. Every raising voice against this is branded as anti-national. But the more they oppress, the higher will be the voice. This anthology propels that voice beyond limits. Every line, every word is filed with the personal experiences. Every poem reflects the anger, pain and injustice.
White Folks be trippin’ is not a typical collection of prose and poems. While reading this striking collection of poetry, you will feel the intensity of the underlying emotions. They speak volumes. You will experience a sudden urge to express your emotions too. This is our inner voice and our expression against oppression. Suddenly, we will find a space to pen down our raising thoughts. J Mase III speaks to his readers through his passionate and emotive language. Because he knows every black, brown, indigenous, and queer person has gone through the same experiences at least once in their lifetime. If you can relate to the poetry you’ll find truth within the pages, if you cannot relate you’ll still be able to feel the authenticity in the words.
The feeling of sarcasm permeates some of the poetry. The author uncovers the contradictory nature of people and their weak efforts to create a liberal, empathetic, compassionate face for themselves. Although the author presents this true face with a touch of humor, these words can still pierce your heart. White Folks be trippin’ is an engaging and poignant collection of thought-provoking poetry.
Pages: 92 | ISBN: 1716758637
Brian’s Journey is an emotional memoir about your son and the grief you felt when you lost him. What inspired you to write this book?
I truly believe it was/is to help other families that have gone through the horrific loss of losing a child, they are not alone. Also, I felt so strongly whilst writing that Brian wanted his story told. Mental illness can happen to anybody at anytime. It came on so fast with Brian, and although we will never know if it was the steriods, pot or the hit on the head that caused his paranoia.
I appreciated the candid nature with which you told this story. What were some ideas that were important for you to focus on in this book?
I tried to focus on the positive. Not to allow the darkness to take over my life. It was not easy. With all the signs I kept receiving while writing, I knew there was a higher power at play. I learned that my son was /is still around in spirit and that his energy just changed form. I forced myself to look at all the beauty around me and not the negative. Brian did that, and helped me heal and look forward to completing my journey, however long that may be.
What do you hope is one thing readers take away from Brian’s Journey?
The hardest thing about coping with loss, in my opinion, was the shear suddenness of my son passing away. It was a shock and happened so fast. When I knew my brother was sick or my mom, you knew the inevitable of their passing would eventually happen. I had no idea that morning my son would be gone from this earth. All my hopes & dreams were shattered beyond words.
What do you feel is the hardest thing about coping with loss? And what is one piece of advice you would give to someone?
My advice to any parent losing a child or loved one…. it really is not the end. Spiritually, it’s only the beginning for our loved one. Our turn will come when our journey is complete. We are all spiritual beings having a human experience, know & believe we will be with them again. Each and everyday we are one day closer to that Heavenly Reunion. Talk to them and listen to your heart that they hear you. They are never far to comfort you in your time of need. Remember, love never dies and we take it with us when we pass from this life to the next.
Posted in Interviews
Tags: author, author interview, biography, book, book review, bookblogger, brians journey, ebook, goodreads, grief, inspirational, janet dubrasky, kindle, kobo, literature, memoir, mental illness, nonfiction, nook, read, reader, reading, self help, story, suicide, writer, writing
The Thriving Hive provides readers with guidance on creating a work culture that is both satisfied and motivated. Why was this an important book for you to write?
All too often we hear about employee disengagement and high turnover rates. Both of these issues cost employers millions of dollars a year. When employees have an experience at work where they feel connected to the purpose of the organization and feel they are cared for, they are more likely to both be engaged and stay with the organization. In writing this book, I hoped to show leaders and managers that they can create a workplace where both the employees and the business thrive.
What do you find is a common misconception leaders have about employees roles in companies?
In many organizations, employees are treated as assets that are there to be used up and discarded. Without your employees, you can’t achieve your business objectives. Employees are an asset, but need to be viewed as the most important asset of an organization.
You are a workplace well-being strategist and CEO of Advancing Wellness. How has your experience helped you write this book?
I’ve spent my entire career in business, with experiences in organizations from some of the largest, most notable companies in the world to very small businesses. I’ve seen the good, the bad and, yes, even the ugly.
What do you hope is one thing readers take away from your book?
The one thing I hope readers take away is that they can influence their own organization to create a workplace where well-being is a core value and that caring for their people is a key priority.
Posted in Interviews
Tags: author, author interview, book, book review, bookblogger, business, ebook, entrepreneur, goodreads, How People-Centric Workplaces Ignite Engagement and Fuel Results, kindle, kobo, leadership, literature, Mari Ryan, nonfiction, nook, psychology, read, reader, reading, story, The Thriving Hive, writer, writing
Hidden Unknown Truth is a guide to consciousness, spiritual awakening, and helps readers discover the joy of living. Why was this an important book for you to write?
For most of my childhood and young adult life I struggled with fear. This fear caused anxiety which was at times quite overwhelming. It stopped me from living as my true self. I did whatever I could to fit in and gain approval and acceptance from others. I would compromise my integrity just to feel accepted. It stopped me from taking healthy risks and from many opportunities. This fear eventually brought me to a place of despair by the time I was 30. With a child on the way I decided that I needed to find a solution. I began seeking. I found that seeking a solution to my ever chatting and fearful mind was actually the solution itself. When I focused my attention on hope that there was a solution to my fear, I had already begun to set in motion the manifestation of the solution. The road that I found myself on was practicing Cognitive Behavioural Therapy to challenge my thoughts and help me with seeing the truth about any irrational fear.. This eventually brought me to meditation which has enabled me to contact something within me that is void of fear. A neutral state of being that brings relief and fresh perspective. From here I had questions, a lot of questions which lead me to seeking spiritual guidance. I experimented with contemplative and selfless prayer, gratitude journaling, and giving of myself to help other people. I found that when I focused on meeting the needs of other people, I was not focused on my own fear or unquenchable thirst to feel content. This was the turning point. This is when I realized that I only have a problem when I think I have a problem. To the degree that I try to contribute to life, are my own struggles taken care of, seemingly without my intervention.
The reason it was important for me to write this book is due to a decision I had made, that if I ever found out how to have peace of mind, that I would share it with anybody who was seeking it.
What do you feel is a common misconception people have about spiritual enlightenment?
It seems to me that society has the idea that spiritual enlightenment is reserved for the mystics. That we can only achieve enlightenment after we have solved our outer worldly problems or after years of intense spiritual teaching and practice. I believe wholeheartedly that spiritual awakening or enlightenment is available to us all now, if we seek it.
What were some ideas that were important for you to focus on in this book?
I hoped to produce a complete spiritual guide laid out in a step-by-step fashion using everyday language, so that anybody can make contact with their own conception of a higher power, that will solve any difficulty they face and give them purpose and direction.
Another important idea is that when we focus on a solution, it becomes bigger. When we focus on a problem, it becomes bigger. When we do what we think is good, we attract good. When we do what we think is bad, we attract bad. If we have any problem, the key is to stop thinking about it and focus on what you believe is good. Whenever the problem arises is your thinking, again, stop thinking about it and focus your attention on what is good, such as your higher power. Eventually, your problem will be taken care of if you are persistent with this powerful technique.
Our mind is the creator of our daily struggles. We create our own problems. When we live in fear, we react in fear and this sets us on a path of unconsciously creating our own self-fulfilling prophecy. When we live in faith, we respond in faith, and unconsciously create peace and emanate love.
What is one thing that you hope readers take away from your book?
The most important idea that I wanted to impart was to watch our thoughts. As soon as we become aware that we are thinking about something, we are no longer controlled by that thought pattern. We have a choice let it go or not. Our thoughts lose all power when we bring them into the light of awareness. They are just thoughts. This one practice will change how we think, feel, and act. We do not have to act on any thought that enters our mind, ever, provided we are aware of the thought.
Posted in Interviews
Tags: author, author interview, book, book review, bookblogger, ebook, edward scott, goodreads, Hidden Unknown Truth: A Guide to Consciousness, jewish, kindle, kobo, literature, meditation, nonfiction, nook, novel, prayer, read, reader, reading, spiritual, story, writer, writing
If you had told me that a former professional wrestler would have any words of value for me as a writer of children’s books, I’d have laughed you right out the door. To think that two so different professions could possibly have any bearing on each other was unthinkable to me–until I read Dale L. Roberts’s book, Amazon Keywords for Books: How to Use Keywords for Better Discovery on Amazon. Having self-published two children’s books of my own through Amazon, I assumed I had dotted every i and crossed every t. After reading Roberts’s advice on how to restructure my thinking on keywords, I see I have a lot to learn and even more to gain by following his tips.
In this first of three books guiding users through the process of self-publishing specifically via Amazon’s services, Roberts lays out a clear path to identifying your readers, understanding the important difference between people and algorithms as they relate to your product, and carefully customizing the keywords you choose for your book. I would never have thought to revisit my selection of keywords and certainly never realized how important keywords are in achieving ranks and increasing circulation. Roberts makes clear the need to switch keywords regularly every 90 days–something I wouldn’t have thought to do. Judging from my sales, I am long overdue for it, too. Roberts’s advice is easy to understand and simple to follow and helped me get back on track to increasing my sales.
I am giving Dale L. Roberts’s book, Amazon Keywords for Books: How to Use Keywords for Better Discovery on Amazon, a resounding 5 out of 5 stars. The author has packed a virtual gold mine of information into a tiny 90-page book of sage advice. I look forward to applying his tips to my own self-published works and seeing an improvement in sales and circulation.
Pages: 89 | ASIN: B08HMCNKVT