Author Archives: Literary Titan

The Bookbinder: A Personal Journey with the Tsaddik Rabbi Yitzhak Kaduri

In an age where science attempts to explain everything, it can feel like the world has run out of mysteries. In reality, we still struggle to rationalize many aspects of life. Batya M. Goldman’s memoir, The Bookbinder: A Personal Journey with the Tsaddik Rabbi Yitzhak Kaduri sheds light on one such mystery. The book follows Goldman’s family as they move to Israel, try to raise a family, battle illness, and start their own business. All of these endeavors keep connecting to the famous (although highly secretive) Rabbi Kaduri: a physical as well as spiritual bookbinder.

Much of the memoir focuses on Goldman’s family life in Israel. But she clearly shares these stories in an attempt to fill a void left by a humble man who did his work without concern for his lasting legacy. This old soul helped guide Israel and its people through many decades. And the insight into his methods, perhaps being written down for the first time, is fascinating.

Still, there is no doubt that Goldman wrote this book for an audience familiar with Orthodox Judaism. That’s not to say that there’s nothing here for readers from different backgrounds. The stories are layered with journeys and returns between Israel and the United States. It’s also a moving portrayal of a young mother in a new land with a traveling husband dealing with chronic health problems. In these sections, Goldman praises the community she discovered in Israel. Relative strangers, linked by connections to Rabbi Kaduri, take care of one another. Accounts of miracles and visions from deceased loved ones also pepper the account. These always seem to be presented in a straightforward, matter of fact way. In doing so, the memoir has an honesty to it that those who don’t prescribe to the Jewish faith should appreciate, but will probably be confused by.

Ultimately, Goldman delivers a sincere account of a life both vastly different and surprisingly similar to that of the average reader. The specifics of her memoir will likely appeal to those already familiar with, or interested in learning, Orthodox Judaism or Israeli culture.

Pages: 105 | ASIN: 151941868X

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Crimes of Rumba – Trailer

Crimes of Rumba is the hottest, epic combination of business, politics, music, and of course, crimes behind the predatory conduct culture that has glamorized the worst corporate malpractice in US cultural history. As a matter of law, order, and economy, the state administrations intolerance and crackdown on musicians dissent and opposition to the colonial music cash crops production is authoritarianism at best and without precedent in the worlds history of colonization and music. This legal truth and material facts-checkings operation is the blunt, exclusive disclosure of the sources and methods used for the cultivation and autocratic harvest of music cash crops in the Belgian Congo, which were economically engineered from and back to America for its consumption through misinformation, disinformation, deceit, and fraud. Not only is this the tale of the utmost scam that has been very fully funded to defraud the worlds collective memory of rumba, it is the hefty price that our humanity has dearly paid for without consent for Foniors crimes of rumba for decades. Silence has been complicity at worst from the people with knowledge of the case against rumba. Not only are the material facts and consumers rights violated and suppressed, along with musicians copyrights for decades, the morally repulsive glamorization of the fraud has brought creative freedom in the worlds music into disrepute. A lot of readers will discover Thierry Antha with the publication of Crimes of Rumba, Volume I of Congo Music. But this international journalist carried decades of excellence in covering the Congo and Haitis politics, business, and entertainment. His professional and personal ties with all the most famous Congolese musicians in advocacy, promotion, and production of their musical works have crowned him the best authority with respect to the Congo musics history. Contrary to all the spinning, posturing, and work of fiction for rumba, Thierry Anthas expertise and dedication to exposing the truth behind material facts and laws related to Congo music from the Belgian Congo to the Congo is second to none. Embark in this riveting literary journey to discover how Socit Gnrales authoritarian harvest of music cash crops has shattered and destroyed lives and careers for its economic gain in the Americas. Without censorship, Crimes of Rumba, Volume I of Congo Music exposes Foniors victims long overdue rebuttal, which is long way apart from the reality of its predatory conduct culture and its propaganda of rumbas fake-outs.

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The Dragon of Hidden Treasures

The Dragon of Hidden Treasures: Book 1 by [Troi, Juliann]

Kathryn is faced with giving up her dream of being an independent professional woman and putting to use her education in her father’s company, and Ty is a man trapped in a job for the Chinese warlord, Cheng Jiong, wanting nothing more than to be with Kathryn. The ties that bind him, however, may be stronger than he thinks. When Kathryn is kidnapped and Ty finds himself part of the plot to use Kathryn’s position as leverage, Ty and Kathryn strike up an unusual alliance which leaves both of them in danger and both with more to lose than they could ever realize.

I do not know exactly what I expected as I began to read of Kathryn’s education and her father’s plan to marry her off to a man she did not know, but I know this much: Juliann Troi’s writing in The Dragon of Hidden Treasures Book 1 is simply beautiful. When an author writes so fluently in the language of imagery that it makes you forget where you are and who is around you, you know you have met the best of the best.

Kathryn is a force with which to be reckoned. She is beyond her time and is as cunning a character as I have seen in a while. Right out of the gate, Troi had me rooting for Kathryn to overpower her father with her obvious common sense and business savvy. She is a true testament to the fact that women have, for decades, been a force in business whether they were allowed to have their names attached to their work or not. She exemplifies every strong woman striving to be heard and seen in a man’s world.

The budding relationship between Kathryn and Ty is enviable. His love for her is clear from the first words he speaks of her. Though the “stalker-esque” behavior at the outset is a little unsettling, it plays well into the plot and is less of an issue when the reader sees their destiny play out. Again, Troi is an artful writer–plain and simple–making the most basic of actions flow beautifully across the page.

Revelations are an important part of Troi’s writing. As Kathryn and Ty’s story progresses, Kathryn is stunned by Ty’s admissions about his family. Without giving anything away, I can say that I was just as surprised as the key character. Ty has been down quite a harrowing road, and that experience lends itself well to Troi’s plot and is a vital part of the character development. Troi does not lay all her cards on the table and is a master at throwing the reader for the proverbial loop.

Juliann Troi’s historical fiction is an all too accurate portrayal of the struggle women have faced to be heard and to take part in the biggest decisions in business dealings throughout history. Interspersed throughout the romantic tones of the book are tidbits of China’s history peppered with glances into the horrors of war. I look forward to Book 2!

Pages: 584 | ASIN: B079XX8BZM

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On Loving – Trailer

In 1972, Dr. Rose Hemmings has just finished her general surgery residency when a haunted stranger is shot in front of her in a New York City bar, and their lives become forever intertwined. And when, having been given the blessing of her adoptive father on his deathbed, Rose travels to prerevolutionary Iran to discover the past her American family kept secret from her, she finds a true Pandora’s box. It is a world both foreign and familiar, in which her primary place is as the heiress to a great tribe. In Iran, Rose will find family she never dreamed of, her own people, and a man who loves her as passionately as he does the rare black roses of his garden. She will return to the United States carrying a new secret and torn between two men: the one she loves helplessly, and the one who loves her unconditionally.

Woven throughout with Persian poetry ancient and modern, On Loving is the story of one woman’s lifetime of love and loss, of societal change in a nomadic people, and of overcoming personal challenges, including mental and physical health, to find true contentment. Above all, it is a story of love: its physiology, psychology and philosophy; the many forms it takes; its myths and truths; its challenges, its joys and its gifts.

 

It’s Not All About Me

Chris Tatevosian Author Interview

Chris Tatevosian Author Interview

Life Interrupted: It’s Not All About Me is a memoir about your life and the challenges dealing with Multiple Sclerosis. Why was this an important book for you to write?

It was important to write for several reasons none of which was more important than the next. When I started out writing Life Interrupted, It’s Not All About Me, it was my intention to help one person, myself. You see, when I was divorcing my ex-wife to be’s lawyer had embellished much of the petty jousting that often goes on between individuals in the process of divorcing, but he really made me out to be a calculating monster, which I was not.

I wanted to share the truth with family members, in-laws and friends , but I believe God intervened and said, Chris, you can help one person, yourself, or you can help thousands of chronically ill and disabled individuals in the middle of their own desperate, downward spiral into the abyss of depression by helping them to avoid making the same relationship destroying mistakes that I once made.

In summary the two main reasons for writing my memoir were one, to save face and two, to help others with chronic illness avoid falling into the self – sabotaging, dismal, depressing downward spiral of the relationship destroying poor me attitude.

I enjoyed how you shared both the good and bad times and it felt like you held nothing back. What was the hardest thing for you to write about?

The hardest thing for me to have shared was my insidious anger and the fact that it was misdirected anger made it that much worse. I was out of control and in the midst of the worst I found God and accepted Jesus Christ as my Lord and Savior.

What is one piece of advice you wish someone gave you when you were diagnosed with Multiple Sclerosis?

The best piece of advice anyone could have given to me when I was first diagnosed with MS would have been, never stop living your best life. If I had given into my initial thought that life was over, I would have missed one of the most fabulous lifetimes full of unimaginable things, loves, wonders and experiences. I have lived and continued to live the most exciting joyous life with not a single regret.

The book is very emotional but also inspirational. What do you hope readers take away from your book?

My hope is that readers will look at what I have gone through and recognize that through hardship and misery comes purpose and direction. In my life it was God who saved me, when I thought I was not worth saving. Take a couple of moments to invite God into your life, asking Him to reveal Himself to you.

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Life Interrupted: It’s Not all about Me, is a candid and humble memoir about one young man’s diagnosis of Multiple Sclerosis and how his ‘poor-me’ attitude cost him his marriage. Chris hopes others might learn from his mistakes to communicate more effectively and not allow disability and low self-worth to destroy relationships. Chris also writes about his faith in God, and his new wife, Jane, who he married in April of 2007.

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Sexuality is our Birthright

Barbara Williamson Author Interview

Barbara Williamson Author Interview

Free Love and the Sexual Revolution is a memoir about your life, marriage, and founding of a free love nudist community in California. Why was this an important book for you to write?

It was important for me to commemorate Sandstone Retreat. To document some facts. Barbara and John created such a special place {never done before} and preserve it for history. As a reminder that “SEXUALITY IS OUR BIRTH RIGHT and must be reclaimed for us to be free individuals.” Now 50 years has past, and I can show virtual documentation to those born afterward, of this all important revolution that brought much needed change in America.

Writing a memoir causes one to reflect on their life in a different light. Is there anything you see differently now that you wrote this book?

I am so grateful for all the awakenings and lessons learned through the sexual revolution era and beyond We are all “hardwired to connect” and globally connected.

I appreciated the honesty and sincerity with which you told your story. What was the most important thing for you to convey to readers?

Seek TRUTH and LIFE to pave your road too PERSONAL FREEDOM and HAPPINESS. I am living proof that truth sets us free.

What is the next book that you are working on and when will it be available?

No Title at this time. Working on next Memoir of my own spiritual exploration and transformations. A personal memoir where I am getting truly naked. Book will be available in 2019.

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Free Love and The Sexual Revolution: Finding Yourself by Removing Sexual Boundaries by [Williamson, Barbara]

Barbara Williamson, “the most liberated woman in America,” shares her life story for the first time in her amazing memoir – Free Love and Sexual Revolution. As cofounder with her husband John, “the messiah of sex,” of the highly successful and controversial Sandstone Retreat in Malibu, California, in the late 1960s and early ’70s, the couple started what became known as the hub of the sexual revolution.

The clothing-optional, alternate-lifestyle Sandstone Retreat was outrageously popular, with a membership reaching 500 and nearly 8,000 visitors. Long before today’s reality television inundated the airwaves with its media “personalities,” Barbara and John Williamson were the darlings of the media, with newspapers, magazines, books,movies, and television shows clamoring for interviews.

SANDSTONE Retreat quickly became outrageously popular with membership reaching five hundred, and numerous newspapers, magazines, books, movies, and television shows clamoring for interviews.

It became known as the hub of the sexual revolution. John was branded as “The Messiah of Sex” and I as the most liberated woman in America. Based on mutual trust and friendship, the bond between John and me grew so strong that we were inseparable for forty-seven years until his death.

University professors nationwide rushed to visit this new kind of unstructured free love community to view and study members joyously living an alternate lifestyle. The dress code was optional but most everyone preferred nudity.

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Their Unique Destinies

Mallory O'Connor Author Interview

Mallory O’Connor Author Interview

American River: Confluence follows three families as they find a way to come together to celebrate life, art, and diversity. What direction did you take in this book that was different from the first two books?

I’ve always thought of a trilogy as being similar to the Sonata form in music—a musical structure consisting of three sections: the exposition (in which the main ideas are introduced), the development (in which those ideas are examined and explored) and the recapitulation (or resolution in which the main themes culminate in a conclusion). In this musical form, there might also be an introduction (or prologue) and a coda (or epilogue).

Because music is one of the main components of my writing, I had in mind the Sonata form as I developed the American River story.

Book One, American River: Tributaries, introduces the story of the three immigrant families and involves the reader in their struggles to overcome prejudice and to follow their dreams and ambitions. But it ends with a tragedy that further separates the characters from each other.

Book Two, American River: Currents, further explores the issue of discrimination and the struggle to overcome both external prejudice and internal delusions. Swept away by their passions, the characters find themselves flailing and unable to navigate the deep waters that threaten to destroy their dreams.

I knew that Book Three, American River: Confuence, would be about a resolution of some of the issues that my characters face, but they would also discover that in order to realize their unique destinies they would have to find a way to work together toward a common goal.

You are able to bring to light many perspectives on social issues without inserting your own opinion on the reader. What was the balance for you in discussing these topics?

A recent review posted by Literary Titan states: “O’Connor’s work involves a host of social issues—sexuality, politics, race relations—all disguised in what [first] seems to be a book about artists pursuing their passions.” Each of my characters has a particular role to play that reveals the social issues that affect them. They don’t all have the same views which allows them to interact with each other and voice their opinions. I wanted to help the reader understand that there are always at least two sides to an argument, so my characters represent different points of view as they attempt to navigate the rocky shoals of confrontation with each other. A discerning reader will likely be able to figure out where my sympathies lie, but I wanted an opposition to play off of. The characters end up debating the issues and the readers can decide who gives the most persuasive argument.

There are many characters and plots that run through the trilogy of books. Were you able to accomplish everything you set out to?

I doubt that most writers are able to accomplish everything that they’d like to include in a story. I had to make some pretty painful cuts during the many revisions, but I wanted to be sure that the story moved along and that the flow was not needlessly interrupted. In the end, I think I was able to address many of the problems that I hoped to cover—racism, sexual identity, mental health, political conflicts, women’s liberation, cultural differences—and to give the reader a lot to think about.

Do you plan on continuing the story of these families in another series or are you moving on to a new story in your next book?

I actually have an outline for three more books in the American River series subtitled Whitewater, Reflections, and Water Music. I thought it would be exciting to follow the thread of the character’s lives through another decade and see what they encountered. Maybe someday I’ll get to that.

But meanwhile, I’ve started another series of what I’m calling “psychic cli-fi.” I’ve been in touch with Dan Bloom, a climate activist and blogger who actually coined the term “cli-fi” for a new genre of “climate-fiction.”

For the past thirty years, I’ve researched psychic phenomena and I have a number of contacts in that area of interest. I’m also very disturbed about the rapid rate of climate disruption as warming temperatures upset the balance of nature. And I’m also concerned about what global warming will mean for our cultural treasures—works of art and architecture and their preservation in the face of social and meteorological upheavals.

So, with that in mind I’m working on a series of psychic novels that will address the issues of fracking, water resources, the spread of infectious diseases, climate-induced migration and other similar problems. My main character is a psychic medium who in the first book is called upon to work with a very skeptical PI who is an ex-FBI art crimes investigator. Again, the deep line that separates the world view of the two main characters will allow me to explore each of their views on a variety of topics that I believe are important—the nature of time, the impact of climate disruption, and the significance of our cultural heritage.

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American River: Confluence: Book Three of the American River Trilogy by [O'Connor, Mallory M.]

Book three of the American River Trilogy begins with the three families—the McPhalans, the Morales, and the Ashidas—in turmoil. Following Owen McPhalan’s death, his daughter Kate has inherited Mockingbird Valley Ranch only to discover that the once profitable family business is no longer sustainable. Desperate to find a way to save Mockingbird, she struggles to formulate a plan. But she hasn’t counted on the wrath of Dan Papadakis, Owen’s former campaign manager, who is working behind the scenes to undermine her efforts.

American River: Confluence is the culmination of a compelling historical drama about the lives, loves, triumphs and sacrifices of the descendants of three immigrant families who settled along California’s American River, and who are called upon to put aside a decade full of grievances and betrayals to try to save the history and legacy of their ancestral home.

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Try to Think the Opposite

Nikki Mays Author Interview

Nikki Mays Author Interview

Addicted to You follows Michelle and Damon as they succumb to their attraction for one another, but realize there is another person that wants Michelle. What was the direction that you wanted to take this book that was different from book one?

I wanted more focus on Michelle and Damon and less on the other stalker. I feel like Damon waited so long to have Michelle, that their relationship deserved to be the main focus.

I enjoyed the shift in perspective between the two characters which gave me a deep inside view. What is your process like for capturing the thoughts of your characters?

I wouldn’t say that there is a certain process. I do try to think opposite for how a woman would think, when it comes to male characters. Men and women have such different ways of thinking. I try to get it as accurate as possible.

I enjoyed the humor that crops up throughout the book, it’s unexpected and welcome. Is this intentional or did these moments of levity arise organically while writing?

I try to make it a bit humorous but most of it comes organically. I don’t feel like everything always has to be so serious.

This is book two in the SAPD SWAT series. Where will book three pick the story up and when will it be available?

Book three will pick up with Marc’s story. His actually might be my favorite so far. I’m hoping that his book Cuffed by You will be available end of Jan or the beginning of Feb.

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Addicted to You: Book 2 (SAPD SWAT Series) by [Mays, Nikki]Michelle is my addiction. She’s sweetness and light wrapped up in a delicious package. Almost as delicious as the confections she makes. Until now, I’ve kept my distance to make sure my darkness doesn’t taint her. She’s better than a killer who sits behind a scope.

I watch her from afar. Getting dragged under her spell a little further with every sweet smile and mischievous grin. I know I’ll cave one day, give into the craving to be near her. Being in her presence is a feeling like no other, one I can’t seem to resist.

Unfortunately, I’m not the only one living under her influence. While I was watching her, someone else was watching too. But she belongs with me, no matter what anyone else wants.

Now I need to make sure she gives me my next fix of her, even if she’s too stubborn to admit she wants to. She’s my addiction, cure and redemption all rolled into one. Her soul calls out to my own. I’ll make sure she’s as addicted to me as I am to her. She’ll crave me – if it’s the last thing I do.

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Beloved Mother

Beloved Mother

Beloved Mother by Laura Hunter is a saga that follows the lives of several members of the Parsons, a poor coal-mining family. The story begins in Covington, Virginia in 1923 when thirteen-year-old Mona Parsons is taken away to Carolina by Jackson Slocomb. He abuses her, and she’s rescued by a Native American man named Walks in Tall Corn. He takes her in and raises her son, Briar, as his own. Ten years later, Tall Corn is injured in a farming accident and his wound becomes infected. He dies and Mona (River of Two Tears) returns to Covington, but her father doesn’t welcome her. She and her son end up in a coal mining town, Breakline Mining Camp. Mona’s younger sister, Anna, runs away with Clint, and they end up in in the coal mining town, too. But although Two Tears and Anna interact and live in close proximity to each other for many years, they never realized that the other is their sister. Told from a number of different points of view, this book spans generations and decades, even going back in time to earlier generations.

I enjoyed the author’s writing style, and her vivid descriptions drew me into the story. I liked the bits of history that the author added throughout the book. The story touched on a number of different time periods, from the great depression and World War II to the mid 1800’s.

I enjoyed the Native American aspect of the book–the Great Spirit, Sister Sun and Brother Moon, and the Cherokee medicine woman (called a Beloved Mother). It added an interesting element to the story that I would have loved to read more of. The characters lives were hard, as they struggled to scrape by, but I felt that most were selfish, thinking of their own wants and needs, in desires to get ahead. There is a lot of colorful, and questionable relationships, from adulterous affairs to a twenty-six-year-old man married to a thirteen-year-old girl, and an older man with romantic feelings for his young half-sister–though he was unaware of their connection. This made it hard for me to relate to, although I certainly appreciated, the characters.

Overall, this is an emotional story that pulls at your heart. I would have enjoyed a more uplifting theme, if not a few moments. There were a number of deaths, and very few characters were still alive by the end of the story, but I suppose… such is life.

ISBN: 9781949711097

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Freedom Justice are Both

Freedom Justice Are Both by [Jones, Hendrick]

Readers who are looking for an intimate view into the life of a man who has been through rough times will find that in Freedom Justice are Both by Hendrick Jones. This is a memoir of sorts: Jones is giving readers a glimpse into his life story. He outlines what he has struggled with and how it has shaped his life. This God-fearing man wanted nothing more than to provide for his family, yet what he has been given is a season pass to pain and suffering. This is not a book to be taken lightly, as this is the very soul of Jones, stripped down and laid bare for all to see.

It is undoubtable that Jones feels he has been wronged. He outlines his life very carefully for readers and shows how he feels he has been given the short end of the stick. He reiterates over and over that he doesn’t understand why these turns of events happened to him and he laments the loss of loved ones whose loyalty he heavily questions. Jones bitterly lays out his interpretation of the events that lead him along the path towards medical retirement from seventeen years of police service. It is clear that he is profoundly affected by what has happened; with good reason. This is the story of his life, after all.

Pages: 148 | ASIN: B07C9D1NJ5

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