Chasing the Blue Sky follows the life of a shelter dog from one home to the next. Why was this an important book for you to write?
There are so many animals in our shelter and adoption system that it is often improbable for people to actually place an individual face or story with many of them. They are often relegated to statistics or ambiguous shadows behind kennel fencing. I wanted to write a story to help capture for people the vibrant life that exists in every one of those statistics or shadows. Having spent a great deal of time around shelters and dogs that have otherwise been abandoned on chains or in backyard kennels, I have seen so many dogs with great possibilities for life who were restricted based on their circumstances. The intent of the book was to try and show people that every one one of those dogs is rich, hopeful, and brimming with the chance to bestow the amazing gifts that all dogs give to us. I wanted to bring people behind the kennel walls using Toby’s story as a vehicle to share the voice of so many forgotten animals.
The story is told from the eyes of a dog, and delivers innocent but intuitive views of the world. What were some inspirations for Toby’s character?
Toby was particularly inspired by my first dog, Mack. Mack was a black and white pit bull mix who was adopted as a puppy from a city shelter. He was such an amazing dog – loving, kind, smart, and patient. He was everything anyone could ask for in a dog. But before I adopted him, he was a dog in a kennel. He may have been overlooked a hundred times and depending on the circumstances he found himself in, he may never have had the deserved chance to show everything he was capable of showing. He inspired me to let the world know that there are countless dogs just like Mack that, if given the chance, will be the greatest gift you may ever know.
The story is heartfelt and beautifully told. What were some of your driving ideals throughout the story?
As mentioned above, I wanted to bring people closer to so many dogs that are so often forgotten. My driving ideal was to be true to the reality of the world. It would have been very easy to write a book that was upbeat, and happy, and full of feel-good moments, but that would have been disingenuous. The book tells stories that I have personally seen over and over again over the past 15 years. This is real life. Often it is gritty and tough to see. Sometimes the situations in the book are tough to read but to address the problems facing thousands of dogs in our country, we must first face the truth. I also wanted to portray some of the unique challenges facing pit bull type dogs. These situations are also based on real stories and scenarios I have come across or personally dealt with. The world is harder if you’re a pit bull type dog and it is important for people to understand the obstacles arrayed against these dogs.
What is the next book that you are working on and when will it be available?
My focus is on books that promote the integrity, rights, and interests of animals. I am currently working on a second book which takes a very different theme. This book is a post-apocalyptic, dystopian novel set in the aftermath of a pandemic. The story follows the owner of a neglected roadside zoo, his personal journey to survive, and the evolution of his view of animals in light of the savagery of man that has suddenly engulfed his world. I expect it to be released early Summer 2019.
When life with his loving family takes a sudden turn, Toby finds himself fighting to survive in the unforgiving world of the county animal shelter. But he’s not alone – a motley cast of homeless dogs and a devoted pair of shelter workers will give anything to make sure he finds his forever home.
Chasing the Blue Sky is the compelling, emotional story of one dog’s journey to find his place in the great big world. Readers have described it as “Beautiful,” “Brilliant,” “Poignant,” “Powerful,” and “Gripping.”
If you’ve ever adopted, rescued, or fostered a dog – this book is for you.
Posted in Interviews
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Can a human baby possibly be a mushroom?
When King Polipoli, the ruler of Lamellia, finds a human baby in his mushroom kingdom, he adopts it immediately to satisfy his wife’s desire to be a mother.
But when the baby mysteriously grows weaker and weaker under the queens care, suspicions start to arise.
What is the queen doing to the baby? How did the baby get there? Will it survive and fulfill its purpose before its too late?
Get your copy now to find out the answers and reveal to your children the importance of showing kindness, following the rules, and understanding consequences.
Posted in book trailer
Tags: adoption, alibris, amazon, author, author life, authors, barnes and noble, book, book club, book geek, book lover, book trailer, bookaholic, bookbaby, bookblogger, bookbub, bookhaul, bookhub, bookish, bookreads, books of instagram, booksbooksbooks, bookshelf, bookstagram, bookstagramer, bookwitty, bookworks, bookworm, children, ebook, education, fantasy, fiction, gloria gonsalves, goodreads, ilovebooks, indiebooks, kids, kids book, kindle, kobo, lamellia the wicked queen, literature, mystery, nook, novel, parent, picture book, publishing, read, reader, reading, school, shelfari, smashwords, story, teacher, trailer, write, writer, writer community, writing
This is a powerful book that kept me enraptured from the start. This poignant tale gives us a dogs-eye-view of a journey through a sometimes happy and often difficult life. From the sadness of leaving his mom as a young puppy, traveling through various homes, finding a loving home and losing it. The reader must experience great sadness and pain against animals who are defenseless and abandoned. If you are an animal lover this story will pull at your heartstrings. This is such a brilliant perspective encourages advocacy for animals. If you don’t shed a few tears while reading this, you must be asleep!
The writing is easy to read but not juvenile, as you might imagine with the perspective of a dog. The innocence of it is heart-wrenching at times, as if from the eyes of a child. I love all the descriptions and explanations for the dogs’ responses along with the actual dialogue between the animals. This was so endearing. The author masterfully created Toby’s world through his innocent observations that were without all the hyper analysis often accompanying descriptions of human emotions. Although the animals display innocence, they certainly are not dumb, on the contrary, there is so much intuition there that anyone who is bonded with a pet can understand. I love the relationships and bonds formed between animals as well.
This story paints a sad picture of shelter life. This is a great book if one is looking to inspire shelter adoptions, which may have been the authors intent. The picture painted in this novel is not pretty and It certainly created a great sense of compassion in me and interest in adopting an animal from a shelter in the future. This book is deeply penetrating and thoughtful. The writing is beautiful, full of innocence but also depth. This is a quick and impactful read that should be kept on hand for anyone wanting to promote shelter adoptions!
Pages: 191 | ASIN: B07K5MM6WJ
Tags: adoption, alibris, animal, animal care, author, author life, authors, barnes and noble, book, book club, book geek, book lover, bookaholic, bookbaby, bookblogger, bookbub, bookhaul, bookhub, bookish, bookreads, books of instagram, booksbooksbooks, bookshelf, bookstagram, bookstagramer, bookwitty, bookworks, bookworm, canine, Chasing the Blue Sky, dog, doggy, ebook, fantasy, fiction, goodreads, ilovebooks, indiebooks, kindle, kobo, literature, love, nook, novel, passion, pet, publishing, puppy, read, reader, reading, relationship, shelfari, shelter, smashwords, story, William Lowrey, writer, writer community, writing
A massive tsunami destroys the island home of a little girl. Left without a family, she is rescued by missionaries who name her ‘Patchula’ or ‘Patches’ and take her to Darwin, Australia. What follows is a story of misfortune and tragedy; adoption, death, abuse, forced prostitution, but also of hope as Patches finds joy and meaning, especially in her talent for photography and singing, in spite of the pain. Spanning Australia, America and Japan The Three Lives of One by Lesley J. Mooney is a sweeping tale which carries us across time and continents in search of love and fulfillment.
The book is written in beautiful yet un-flowery prose which is at times poetic. Mooney conjures up place incredibly well, and I found the movement between different continents particularly fascinating –the depiction of the sights, sounds and geography of these places gave me total wanderlust! The description of the tsunami and the wreckage and devastation that follows is extremely affecting and pulled me into the narrative immediately. Mooney is also skilled at portraying her time periods, which begin in the 1920s and move to the 1980s, and the changing biases and turbulent politics of the times.
There are many themes running through the narrative including womanhood, nature and environment, religion, the importance of family, and the value of keeping faith and resilience in times when despair seems never-ending. Although many terrible events occur in Patchula’s life, the book is ultimately about hope in the face of the unknown and what we can achieve if we have the strength to carry on.
Mooney has written a large and diverse cast of characters, and the world she has developed seems utterly real. Patches in particular leaps off the page as a fully-formed individual. Some of the mistreatment she endures is quite harrowing and difficult to read, but it feels very honest. Her hardships elicit great empathy in the reader; I was constantly rooting for her to overcome all of the tragedy in her life and felt completely invested in her development. The more peripheral characters are also well-drawn and prove to be quite emotive, some invoking feelings of intense anger!
One aspect of the book that bothered me slightly was the pacing. We are introduced to Patchula’s predicament, and the narrative subsequently moves very swiftly through the first part of her life and I would have liked this introduction to the story to be slightly more drawn out. Despite this, the rest of the book has a really good tempo, and because there are so many unexpected twists and turns I was always eager to find out what would happen next in Patches’ story.
This book moved me to tears, but it also gave me a great sense of hope. I finished it feeling as though I had been on a long journey–and an extremely rewarding one at that.
Pages: 361 | ASIN: B074M3LW12
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Sublime Adoption delivers the adoption story from three points of view; from the mother, adoptive parents, and child. From what point of view did you find the easiest to write and which was the hardest?
Adoptions can be for the most part sublime when the endeavor by all parties is a noble one, following legalities and heart dictates. All parties have something to give and some have a lot to lose. For a long time, I had been troubled by certain perceived notions of the good or bad roles each character played in real life’s adoptions. Thus, I tried to impart the right balance in my story by humanizing the process, recognizing the individual pains, and giving credit to those who deserved it – all the while equating the status of being adopted with that of feeling wanted; hence, it was an equally sensible act for me to passionately engage in each subplot – from one character to the next – despite their angst.
It seemed like you took your time in building the characters and the story to great emotional effect. How did you manage the pacing of the story while keeping readers engaged?
I did not plan the whole story at the outset, though I knew how far I wanted to go with it. On those premises, I let the story evolve as I wrote – something I always do. Although the adoption theme was to be the crux of the story, a passionate and illicit love intervened throughout the first chapters, giving way to lies and deception. Each wrong move by two of the characters brought about a new unforeseen scenario, resulting in a story within a story – adding complicacy and interest.
There was a constant theme of poetry being used to express emotions throughout the story. How do you think poetry bridges the emotional gap between fictional characters and the reader?
When I interject poetry within a story, I am trying to add emphasis to a prior segment. Either the narrative voice or the characters at play can surprise the reader in verse form with their condensed experiences, feelings or thoughts.
Do you have a poem you could share with us?
I am glad to share a love poem, extracted from my recently published book which includes love, motivational, inspirational, abstract and miscellaneous poems.
NIGHT OF NIGHTS
© Mirta Oliva
Night of nights…
As the moon gleefully shines above,
Falling stars spray silvery rays
And a derelict wind blows across my face.
I then feel the warm embrace
Of this radiant night
While I wait for my love to arrive.
Night of nights…
Could that be him coming from afar?
I feel his presence ever so near…
But why is the wind swirling around me,
The shimmering stars disappearing,
And the moon beginning to hide,
As I long for my love to be here?
I prefer to ponder in vain
Than to hear the truth once again
That my love may never return…
But my doubts have now disappeared…
A guiding star brings his vessel so near
With flashing lights beaming in my eyes
Sending me a message of love so dear…
Nigh of nights, my love has arrived!
As the title implies, this is a tale of love and mendacity, recurring acts that surround the unique sublime adoption theme. The story does not lead to a merciless condemnation of certain characters for mistakes or actions in their past; instead, it focuses on the cumulative ill effects of lies and deception as the only way to deal with difficult situations. In the end, repentance and forgiveness prevailed, providing a new insight into the complex spectrum of adoptions.
Sublime Adoption: A Tale of Love and Mendacity by M. Oliva is a heartwarming tale of adoption. While there are moments of warm, tingling feelings, it also delves into the complexities and emotional responses to adoption. Different characters in the story deal with certain situations in their own way including lies and other forms of deception. While this is a fictional story, there are elements that have truth to them as the characters are confronted with everything that comes from this journey of love. Sublime Adoption is a tale that brings together adoptees, adopters and those who made the ultimate sacrifice of allowing their young to find a better life filled with love.
The author has an astounding voice; she draws the reader into the story from the very first sentence. Every sentence is riddled with emotion and pulls the reader in more. The story doesn’t tell one story but three, that of those who are adopting a child, and that of a woman who gives her daughter up for adoption as well as the young woman who was adopted. The story is filled with deception and lies from the birth mother which in turns causes stress and fear on the adoptive parents. The characters are realistic and complex.
The author takes her time telling the story in a progressive way. She does not leave anything out. She creates a compelling tale that invokes strong personal emotions. There are moments in the story when the reader thinks they can predict what will happen, but then the character would do something completely shocking and surprising. Just when the reader thinks the twists and turns have ended, Olivia throws a wrench into the story and throws her readers for yet another loop. This is a book that draws the reader in and sticks with them, it was definitely difficult to put the novel down. In a few short pages M. Olivia won my heart and admiration.
There were moments that felt as if this story could have possible truth behind them, that maybe some of the things discussed could have been things the author experienced herself. A common thing throughout the book was the use of poetry to express emotions and inner thoughts. Each poem was a beautiful addition to a beautiful story. They each told the reader how the poet was feeling at the time without the use of inner thought or dialogue. It was a fantastic touch and reference to the beginning of the story which was a group of girls hanging on the words of their literature teacher.
I would recommend this book to anyone who enjoys a heartfelt story of families coming together under the revealing of long kept secrets. It is a great story for those who have been adopted, or planning to adopt. There were small moments of grammatical errors and long winded sentences, but despite these minor downfalls the book was a wonderful read.
Pages: 193 | ASIN: B019CI5V18