The Judgment Game follows a boy who tries to escape a sadistic father while also struggling to escape his own demons. What was the inspiration for the setup to your story?
Originally, I wrote this novel and it ended with a happy ending, everything with Jay was neatly tied into a happy bow of his character accepting Jesus as his savior.
A friend of mine suggested that becoming “saved” was rarely such a quick and instant fix. Often the one involved, especially one such as Jay’s character, regresses and battles with their acceptance of faith. She also suggested to make it into a saga or series because its thriller genre would probably grow my reader base.
I went back to the editing and rewriting phases and really connected deeper with the characters. I found the darkness of Jay’s world intriguing and wondered just how many lives were in the shadows of most us who never recognized their existence. I wanted to entertain but also cause the reader to become drawn in to subject matter such as drugs, homelessness, mental illness, faith, and dysfunction along with the way some might deal or react to these situations—from both sides of the coin. Viola. This story grew and has become much deeper and defined in the continuing saga of the Cader family.
Billy Jay Cader was an interesting character that I enjoyed watching slowly evolve. What were some driving ideals behind the character’s development?
This is partially explained in the above answer, but honestly, Jay was a character that began evolving on his own. My original thoughts of giving him more or less an instant cure was now dashed, so I needed to give him more depth and mystery to draw the reader into his psyche wanting to know more. I liked giving him some areas in the story that might push the reader into some form of compassion or understanding of him because of where he’d come from. I also wanted to twist that feeling back and forth where the reader was truly involved in the battle of which side would “win him over.” Good or evil. It’s really a battle each of us experience in different ways, hopefully not to the extent of Jay’s internal war.
What were some themes that were important for you to explore in this book?
Life in general and how people choose to deal with it. People come from every corner of wealth, poverty, love, and abuse, and I wanted to take different characters from those standards of living, and twist them into situations thrown together along with the possible outcomes from making their decisions, good or bad. Again, we all make choices and most of us surround ourselves with like-people and similar upbringings. What happens when one such as Ben, who was given everything in life, but still makes harsh choices and fails, yet still has the compassion for someone else enough to put his life on risk to help. The human conditions. That is what my focus was. To not only entertain, but maybe educate in some small way of a life that most of us never see, but could be going on even next door to us.
What is the next book that you are working on and when will it be available?
I actually have the second offering to this story completed and just recently sent to my narrator Paul J McSorely, who is the voice of Jay and all the other characters from my world. He’s been incredible to work with and I can’t picture anyone else making these characters come alive like Paul does. The Spark of Wrath, which is book 2, will be out middle of this April, 2021. I have book 3 written and it is in my wonderful editor’s hands currently. My hope is to have it published by November of this year. I am writing the fourth and fifth future offerings, simultaneously. I’ve come up with a neat idea to make this series just a little different than others. I can’t give that away, so readers will need to stay tuned in and read or listen to each book on Audible as I release them to find out. I am enjoying these characters and have no plans to retire this series any time soon. As long as this story stays fresh, I plan to continue on with new characters possibly branching out into sister series down the road.
I do have some other plans mixed in the pot of keeping creative change in my writing. Possibly a book of shorts in the future. My first novel was published in 2019 and was more of a Christian fiction with less language and adult situations within. It was written under my birth name Steven G Bassett. The title is The Waning Crescent, and is available on Amazon. I chose to write my darker themes, such as The Mason Jar Series, under my pen name Eli Pope so readers who read my first book wouldn’t purchase book one of this series expecting the same kind of content. I do share my faith throughout The Mason Jar Series, but it isn’t the intent to be preachy. This series is definitely on the dark side mixing mystery, murder, romance, erotica, dysfunction, and twisted thrills. Faith is merely is another facet in life and mixes well within the story of one man’s struggle dealing with his demons.
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This book explores the journey of a successful Black woman who is trying to balance family, love, and her career.
I used to believe in fairy tales. I knew that one day a Prince Charming would come and sweep me off of my feet, but those fairy tales I once believed in turned into nightmares. I once thought that love didn’t cost a thing, but I was wrong. The wrong love could cost you everything.
This is an emotional memoir that outlines a series of emotional abuse relationships plagued by cheating, jealousy and depression. The main character was able to push through and become motivation for other women who have been emotionally scared.
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The Judgement Game by Eli Pope can be described in one word, captivating. In the first installment of this enthralling series, we meet young Billy Jay Cader (Jay). All he has ever known is abuse and torment. His dad is a vile man who uses a mason jar with wood tiles that list evil punishments. Jay’s father shakes the mason jar like a magic eight ball, and whichever tile falls into his hands will determine the punishment Jay or his sibling receives. We watch as Jay breaks free from his dad, but can he break free from this vicious cycle?
There is a lot to unpack with this novel. It covers meaningful topics such as abuse and generational trauma. Some may even refer to the generational trauma as a generational curse.
Pope has a talent for making his readers feel every emotion possible, but particularly the sadder ones. His detailed descriptions of essential plot points are absolutely incredible. They are well thought out, and he does not skip over even the smallest of details. Pope ensures that readers leave major plot points with all the answers they need.
Pope also did an amazing job handling sensitive topics. I felt that despite the vivid detail he did his best to show respect to those who have endured these awful circumstances. With that being said, a trigger warning is needed for this novel. The abuse scenes arouse some of the deepest and most upsetting thoughts and emotions.
In addition to Pope’s attention to detail, I appreciated his authentic characters and intriguing set of supporting characters. It can be easy for authors to skip over side characters and only view them as background fillers. You can see that Pope understood the crucial role these characters played to help produce an incredible story.
Overall, The Judgement Games is a riveting psychological thriller that is a gripping start to The Mason Jar series. If you are looking for an emotionally-charged novel that is thought-provoking as well as entertaining then you have plenty to sink into with The Judgement Games.
Pages: 243 | ASIN: B08J8J916M
Tags: abuse, american psycho, author, book, book recommendations, book review, book reviews, book shelf, bookblogger, books, books to read, crime fiction, ebook, Eli Pope, fantasy, fiction, goodreads, kindle, kobo, literature, mystery, nook, novel, psychological, psychological thriller, read, reader, reading, story, suspense, The Judgment Game, thriller, writer, writing
Ian D. Niall’s autobiography titled Trust vs Lust tells quite a sad tale indeed. Without revealing the identity of the author or his family members, it takes you through a lifetime of unfortunate events. Interestingly, throughout the traumas of his life, the author still considers himself a lucky person and maintains a positive upbeat outlook.
If you’re looking for a book that will give you insight into the consequences of sexual abuse and the trauma war inflicts on the psyche, and consequently the quality of life of an individual, then this is the right book for you. This emotional biography goes into great details about the author’s sexual abuse experiences and how they have affected his adult life, especially his romantic relationships.
Don’t be fooled though; this story is not all pain and suffering; there are some happy moments as well, giving it sort of a silver lining. For instance, the author talks of the strong bond he shares with his siblings and even discusses the joy his mother felt upon leaving an abusive relationship.
Amid all the darkness that has engulfed his life, it is clear that the author’s family has been a rock upon which he could always rely; particularly his mother. Ultimately, this story is raw and real, making it quite relatable to anyone with similar experiences.
It is also worth noting that the author’s writing style is quite unique. He includes portions where he digresses from the narrative, going on unaccepted tangents that give you greater insight into what he was thinking about when writing the scene. The only downside to this is that these tangents sometimes include information that is yet to be revealed, leaving you at a loss.
However, it must be said that the author has gone to great lengths to strip himself bare so to speak. He has been thoroughly honest and open about very heavy life experiences that most would be unwilling to talk about. The fact that he has even gone ahead and taken responsibility for his most painful mistakes is something that any reader would appreciate.
Author Ian D. Niall has employed a writing style that is both intimate and easy to read, effectively reaching the hearts and minds of all those who read this book. Trust vs Lust is a candid and impassioned biography that will leave readers reflecting on life and the choices we make.
Tags: abuse, author, biography, book, book recommendations, book review, book reviews, book shelf, bookblogger, books, books to read, ebook, goodreads, Ian D. Niall, kindle, kobo, literature, memoir, nonfiction, nook, novel, read, reader, reading, story, Trust Vs. Lust, writer, writing
Victim 2 Victor shares your true story of your struggle with abuse and trauma and finding your way towards a life of empowerment. Why was this an important book for you to write?
As a woman once stuck in the vicious cycle of abuse myself, I know what it means to survive. Suffering through such difficulty takes a real, harmful, heavy toll on you, and many times it’s hard to figure out how to just be, after you’ve made it out. I want to fix that.
By making my story public, and offering a guide through pain, abuse, and healing, I am hoping that I can be a light to others who are experiencing the same. Through the benefits of self-help methods, determination and mindful healing, women and children everywhere will be able to overcome the hurt and devastation they have experienced so that they too can write their own stories of victory.
What is one thing you hope readers take away from you book?
My hope is to reach out to those who are stuck and looking for a way out and to understand that healing is available.
What is one piece of advice you wish someone had given you when you were younger?
I wished that I had been guided to speak out and to not suffer alone. By not speaking about my problems had made me suppressed and not able to communicate effectively as I was growing up. By not being able to express my feelings led to depression in my later life. My life began to unfold and change for the better when I started seeing my therapist as I was then able to communicate about everything that had happened to me.
Do you have plans to write other books?
I do indeed. I want to explore further about the importance of self-worth and self-love. I also want to write further on the development of relationships for a person who has experienced abuse and trauma and the effects these experiences have on them.
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The Hidden Gifts Within the Trauma of Sexual Abuse by Keira Poulsen is a non-fiction book intended to help victims of sexual abuse find a path to cope with their pain and provide healing through faith for the trauma they have suffered. Written by a survivor of sexual abuse, this book is a combination of self-help book and journal, with the author speaking directly to the reader and asking them to answer questions about their own personal experiences and feelings. The author shares her own story of abuse and the ongoing effects it has had on her through the rest of her childhood and into adulthood.
This book has an inspiring message of hope that can aid survivors of sexual abuse. Although readers may find many parts of it difficult to read, this book shines a much needed light on this pervasive issue in our society. It is aimed at helping those who have suffered through this specific trauma, but the principles outlined in the book can be beneficial for anyone who has suffered pain and trauma of any kind. I liked the author’s encouraging words and support of others. This book will resonate especially strongly with readers of faith due to the author’s inclusion of verses of scripture that were helpful through her own personal journey of healing.
There are several journal questions at the end of each chapter that can provide insight and guidance to gain strength and hope, if readers truly look inside themselves to answer honestly. I liked that the book provides lined blank pages to write on, rather than just a list of questions to consider, which are often merely skimmed over by readers. There were a few minor editing issues in the book. And I didn’t agree with the author’s assertion that there can be no joy without pain, however, suffering through pain often can make people appreciate more the good things in their lives.
I found The Hidden Gifts Within the Trauma of Sexual Abuse to be inspirational, uplifting and empowering. More inspiration can be found in the author’s next book, Warriors of Light: Stories of Hope and Healing from Survivors of Sexual Abuse, and I liked that a short excerpt was provided at the end of this book.
Pages: 123 | ASIN: B07G3LZFM1
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After all… by Maria Trautman is the author’s story of the abuse she endured and her path to forgiveness. Maria was born to a mother who simply didn’t love her. To her mother, Maria represented a time in her life she couldn’t get past. Maria was a source of pain for her mother and her mother let that pain bleed into every moment of her child’s life. Maria’s grandmother was the only one who showed her true love in her childhood. After her grandmother passed away Maria went back to live with her mother. Throughout her stay with her mother, Maria long suffered abuse and manipulation from the hands of people that she should have been protected from in the first place, starting with her mother. Through desperation and conscientious acts, Maria moved to Canada to live with her aunt.
Despite knowing this is a memoir, nothing could have prepared me for the harsh reality that the author faced. The story of Maria is a heart wrenching story that will make you feel helpless, anger, and empathy with every word. Trautman’s writing is powerful, raw, and inspiring. I commend her for being able to share her traumatic story with the world and still find peace through faith. Her story gives hope to readers and shows us that no matter what we face we can still be a better person. The first half of the book is difficult to read and I had to put the book down a few times to compose myself. Don’t let this stop you from reading the book as this shows just how shocking Trautman’s story is and just how effective her words are.
This book hits close to home for many readers but there is hope and Maria is proof of this. Through faith and forgiveness Maria is able to rebuild herself as a person and start a life. You get a feeling of redemption and happiness when you finish reading the book.
Prepare yourself for the harsh reality of this book. The raw anguish, the struggles, and strife. After all.. It just might be worth every heartbreaking moment.
Pages: 221 | ASIN: B08KBSH81R
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Bullying: What Are We Really Scared Of challenges our current response to bullying and explores successful ways of dealing with bullies. Why was this an important book for you to write?
I was able to get inside the head of a bully, learn all the secrets as to how they bully and why. Stemming from this, I was able to devise an action plan to stop bullies from hurting me. After many years of implementing this plan, learning that it worked every time, seeing the world was in such a state with bullying problems, saddened, I felt it was imperative I shared the secrets to defeating the bullies to help victims with this worldwide problem.
What were some ideas that were important for you to focus on in this book?
Divulging the truth about bullying, that it is not just the schoolyard bully or domestic violator, but that bullying is in every aspect of our lives. Exposing their secrets and sharing how easy it is for bullies to be retrained during counselling from being a physical violator to a psychological abuser because that is when they are most dangerous. Demonstrating, with examples, how easy it is to fall victim to bullies and what to look out for to be safe from the manipulations of bullies. Explaining to victims that the Justice system is more often than not, a lame duck when it comes to seeking help from them so they don’t fall into the abyss of depression when it fails to help them. Most importantly, I wanted to empower victims to be self reliant, to help themselves to stop the bullies in their lives.
What is a common misconception you feel people have about bullying?
That bullying is scary, that once they fall victim to a bully it will never stop, that they cannot defeat it and no one would believe them.
Do you have plans to write other books on this topic?
Yes, I am in the midst of writing a book for younger children (ages 3-8) to help them understand bullying and what they can do to stop it.
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