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Human Beings in a Different Light

Tamel Wino
Tamel Wino Author Interview

Ekleipsis is a collection of short stories that follow ordinary people that pursue dark desires. What were some sources that informed the development of these stories?

I get my inspiration from my every day life. Places where I worked, interesting people I met, shows/movies that intrigued me, books that blew me away, and so on.

My favorite story from the collection is ‘Has Been’. Do you have a favorite, or stand out, story from the collection?

It’d be very hard for me to pick a favorite. They are all my creation that I crafted painstakingly. Each portrays the uniqueness and the complexity of human minds in a different light.

Did you write these stories for this collection or did you write them over time?

I have written numerous short stories ever since I was very young. I feel that these 5 stories that I picked, share similar and familiar nuance and theme. 

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

I am currently working on Ekleipsis II. Which I hope to complete and publish some time this year.

Author Links: GoodReads | Instagram | Facebook | Website

The sun has finally set on humanity…

What happens when we give in to the darkness?

Ékleipsis is a debut short story collection written by Canadian author Tamel Wino, with hints of Chuck Palahniuk’s and Cormac McCarthy’s stripped, vivid writing styles. This gripping book explores the havoc wreaked when ordinary people abandon their humanity to pursue their darkest desires, and questions just how far people will go to follow their baser instincts.

Each story takes a version of a person we’ve known in our own lives and transforms them into something completely unnerving—yet all too familiar.
These dark, complex characters and twisted tales of the once ordinary will change your perception of humanity forever.

The Joy of I.T.: Infinite Transcendence

The Joy of I.T. is a sublime collection of sublime poetry that inspires thought and reflection on consciousness and spirituality. This anthology contains forty different poems, along with mantras and affirmations that all serve to enlighten readers and arouse your senses. Interspersed throughout the book are various pieces of strikingly beautiful art. Each one is fit to be framed and hung up as they each evoke so many different emotions.

This is a fantastic collection of literature that can be enjoyed all in one sitting if you wanted to, but I think the true joy of this book comes in the ease with which you can pick it up and read one or two poems for a quick boost of spiritual enlightenment before going about your day.

Lali A. Love uses graceful and simple verse to convey uplifting messages on spiritual truth, purpose, love, and so much more in her poetry. What I enjoyed the most about this book was that it was so much more than a collection of poems. Readers are also treated to essays that explore diverse divine topics and metaphysical subjects. We’re also provided with some truly exceptional art from different artists. These, along with quotes, all serve to provide a cornucopia of literary food for the soul.

I recommend The Joy of I.T.: Infinite Transcendence to readers looking for a collection of inspiring poetry or someone looking to give the gift of light to a loved one this holiday season.

Pages: 174 | ISBN: 1647042127

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Thankfully In Love

Thankfully in Love: A Thanksgiving Anthology by [Anna J. Stewart, Kayla Perrin, Melinda Curtis, Cari Lynn Webb]

Parker is running again. She thought she was done, but her past has found her once again. It only took one short note in an envelope to bring the life she had worked so hard to establish to a screeching halt. Miranda has been ghosted. She can’t imagine what she’s done to deserve it, yet here she is right before the holidays with no one to bring home. When her friends suggest someone from her past, Miranda is less than enthusiastic. Claire’s close-call wedding is a year behind her, and she is struggling to balance her four-year-old, her job, and her emotions. When she meets up with Drew, she begins to connect the dots she thought were long behind her. Kelsey, dealing with the prospect of impending blindness, is beginning to give up on happiness in all respects.

Thankfully in Love, a holiday anthology compiled and edited by Lezli Robyn, follows the plights of four young women all carrying emotional weights almost too heavy to bear. All four of these main characters offer readers relatable story lines and hope for happy endings. Robyn has managed to pull together four fantastic examples of short stories centered around family dynamics, the hectic hubbub of the holiday season, and of course, the chance to find true love.

I especially enjoyed “No Place Like Home,” by Anna J. Stewart. While somewhat more of a thriller than the other three stories, it offers readers who enjoy mysteries and an element of drama a little something to sink their teeth into from the first chapter. A close second is “Dog-Gone Holiday,” by Melinda Curtis. Curtis’s main character, Claire, is fighting to get over a marriage she never achieved. Her son is her world, and she isn’t sure what her future holds romantically. Claire is a highly relatable character with whom readers will sympathize.

“Second Chances,” by Kayla Perrin features Miranda, a young woman who rediscovers a love she never knew she felt after being ghosted by her current love interest. Miranda’s story is intriguing in that she is quite reluctant to rekindle a friendship she thought she lost after high school. Her story will make readers feel nostalgic for their own former friendships and almost-relationships. “Love Guides the Way,” by Cari Lynn Webb, is perhaps the most specific of the four stories. Kelsey, facing blindness, is dealing with finding love and the prospect of how her future partner may feel about her disability.

The four very different short stories within Thankfully in Love give readers quick but substantial stories, relatable main characters, and a sense of satisfaction. A great read for the holidays. I highly recommend Robyn’s anthology to anyone looking for a sampling of fantastic love stories.

Pages: 300 | ASIN: B08D3TBSTJ

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And the Last Trump Shall Sound

And the Last Trump Shall Sound by [Harry Turtledove, James Morrow, Cat Rambo]

In the not-too-distant future, Mike Pence has ascended the ladder to the presidency, but the foundation that was laid during Donald Trump’s time in office still stands strong. The United States has become little more than a caricature of its former self as its people grow more and more extreme about almost literally every issue imaginable. Finally reaching a breaking point, the west coast declares its independence and comes Pacifica, prompting the northeast to consider following suit. As both nations adjust to the change, the stories that emerge range from terrifyingly feasible to laugh out loud absurd, with just a little of the bizarre thrown in for color.

And the Last Trump Shall Sound is a trilogy of novellas that explore a different aspect of the future of Trump’s America in the wake of Pacifica’s succession. Each entry is penned by a different author and as such, projects a drastically different voice. Although each story is connected and follows a linear timeline, using different authors helps to keep it fresh. 

“The Breaking of Nations” by Harry Turtledove illustrates the first days of Pacifica and the struggles faced by its leaders. Of the three, this one is easily the most frightening for its plausibility and passages that read more like non-fiction at times. Turtledove paints the picture of a future devoid of any semblance of morality or democracy and the people who want desperately to salvage what they can.

In contrast, “The Purloined Republic”, by James Morrow takes a more absurd approach to solidifying Pacifica’s status as an independent nation, a couple of years down the road. Taking a page out of classic spy and espionage novels, Morrow’s tone is much more tongue in cheek as our heroine Polly agrees to go undercover in the hopes of undermining Pence’s legitimacy, even among the most devoted Americans. What follows is a series of events that can only be described as both ridiculous and wildly entertaining. 

The final entry is “Because it is Bitter” by Cat Rambo, and this one gets weird. Set six years after the formation of Pacifica, it veers firmly into science fiction territory, and stops just short of portraying life in America as dystopian. It combines the implications of Trump’s future with a complete lack of privacy that raises plenty of questions about freedom and manipulation. It provides a fitting end to the trilogy as it leaves the door open for both hope and uncertainty.

For me, the opening story was the weakest of the three and made getting into the book a little slow, but it was nonetheless well written and a necessary read for the other two to make sense. I thoroughly enjoyed the differences in style and tone, and would love to read more from these writers in the future.

Pages: 257 | ASIN: B086Q1M8VQ

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Her World: A Compilation of Women’s Works From Around The World

Women in literature shape both poetry and prose in unique ways. The experiences they bring with them and the depth to which they feel and are able to express are unmatched. Within the pages of Her World: A Compilation of Women’s Works From Around The World, you will find a vast array of literature, compiled in one anthology and ready for consumption by eager readers the world over. If it is inspiration you seek, Her World delivers. If you are looking for someone who shares your story, there is no doubt the authors within have a shoulder for you.

Her World: A Compilation of Women’s Works From Around The World, an anthology of various types of reading complete with artwork and photography, packs a powerful punch. From the first pages of Her World, readers are taken on journeys of self-discovery and introduced to reflections on trauma and how those events have shaped the writers’ lives. In addition, readers find themselves immersed in a world of strength and advocacy where the very voices of the writers carry weight.

I was most impressed by the variety of text within the anthology; it captures readers’ interest from the beginning and never wavers throughout. Each and every voice, no matter the length or type of writing, stands out as bold and resilient. From stories of traumatic childhood events to cancer diagnoses and seizure disorders, each and every author and poet stands tall in the end as an individual with a story and voice worthy of being heard.

Much can be learned from the journeys of each of these women. While not every poem and story is necessarily autobiographical, there is an intense feeling of life experience that emanates from each. Relating to the authors’ works will be unavoidable. They are all of us.

There is a sense of empowerment that rises from each and every selection. While some can be triggering for readers, the authors’ intent is clear, and the cathartic effects are strong. I recommend Her World: A Compilation of Women’s Works From Around The World to anyone looking for a different take on empowering women. Looking at the journey of women via their own life experiences, their prose and poetry, and their artwork is as enlightening as it is powerful. This is a collection of artists that should not be missed.

Pages: 186 | ISBN-10: 173457044X

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Ghost Hunts

S. J. Lomas Author Interview

S. J. Lomas Author Interview

Winter Chills is a collection of seasonal ghost stories that entertain and spark the imagination. How did the stories in this collection come together?

This collection was a collaboration between 4 writers who met through the #WritingCommunity on Twitter. I (S.J.) was in the process of starting up 8N Publishing, and a conversation with D.B. Carter led to the idea for this book. Derek R. King and Natalie Reeves-Billings were invited to contribute because I’d seen some of their work and was very impressed with it. I thought our individual styles would mesh well to create a cohesive overall book.

Winter Chills was born.

The Holiday Party was my favorite story from the collection. What was your favorite story from the book?

Thank you so much! It took me a lot of false starts before I was able to write The Holiday Party, so it really makes me happy to know you enjoyed it so much.

It’s hard to pick a favorite. Each story is special to me for different reasons. I think they all work well together, as a whole, even though we wrote them separately without knowing what everyone else was writing.

I’m very proud of how it all turned out.

What was the inspiration for your story, ‘The Holiday Party’?

I have a friend who’s a paranormal investigator. I’ve gone on a couple of public ghost hunts with him and it was a fascinating and peaceful experience. It really made me wonder ‘what if?’

I took that feeling and tried to apply it to the progression of the story.

Do you enjoy writing short stories, or do you prefer to work on longer novels?

It had been years since I’d written a short story, so trying that out again was a bit of a challenge for me. Every word and action has to count in a short story. You don’t have the luxury of tens of thousands of words to build up to the climax. You only have a few thousand. If you don’t start in the right place, or relay the right events, it won’t work. It was a challenge, but I really enjoyed it.

I’m working on a new series of novels now, but also starting a short story for a future collection. It’s good to keep the writing skills sharp by trying different things from time to time.

Author Links: GoodReads | TwitterFacebook | Website

In the spirit of seasonal ghost stories, this wintry collection will send a tingle down your spine, but may also warm your heart.Six short stories range from waiting for a mysterious midnight train, attending a party with an unexpected guest, a life-changing reunion for a miserable family, receiving a holiday greeting unlike any other, a visit from an unusual group of carolers, and a journey through a blizzard with a twist. Grab a blanket, your favorite hot drink, and settle in for some Winter Chills.

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Annual Scurfpea Publishing Poetry Anthology

Jennifer LeBlanc Author Interview

Jennifer LeBlanc Author Interview

Without Fear of Infamy is an anthology of poetry published by Scurfpea Publishing. What was the collaboration process like on this anthology?

It’s a very competitive submission process and I am very thankful that a few of my poems were chosen for this new anthology. Collaboration has been a great learning experience for me as a writer and I can’t wait to see what comes next.

My favorite poem was Be Every Color of the Sun. What inspired this piece?

IT came from a rare feeling of positive self-esteem I was experiencing at the time. I think this makes it stand out because a lot of us struggle daily to find those moments in our lives.

Besides your own, what is your favorite poem from the collection?

One of my favorites is Tempering Grief by Brit Graham. I really love her vivid descriptors and her overall style of writing. This one stood out to me as one I could personally relate to having experienced heartbreak in the same manner before in my own life.

Author Links: GoodReads | Twitter | Facebook | Website

Each year since 2010, Scurfpea Publishing has produced an anthology of poems. It’s a juried competition with a different editor each year and no entry fee; consequently, each anthology has a distinct flavor all its own. This anthology includes poems by: Charles Luden, Katie Alexander, Steve Boint, Lin Brummels, Raymond Byrnes, Jennifer Carr, Craig Challender, Susan Spaeth Cherry, Kevin Cole, Jason Freeman, Jerome Freeman, Brit Graham, Monica Gulbrandson, Roberta Haar, Carol Hamilton, Constance Hoffman, Brenda K. Johnson, Leone Kayl, Ivanna Kusijanovic, Jennifer LeBlanc, Charles Luden, Mary Ann Marko, Elissa Mittman, Marsha Mittman, Rosemary Dunn Moeller, Marcella Prokop, Larry Person, Marcella Remund, Lisa Rinaldo, Bruce Roseland, Barbara Schmitz, Dan Snethen, Gloria Sofia, Brad Soule, Jennifer Soule, Linda Duede Starbuck, Douglas Starr, G.M.H. Thompson, Norma C. Wilson, June Tuff Witte, and Susan Zueger.

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The Red Grouse Tales

The Red Grouse Tales: The Little Dog and other stories. by [Garland, Leslie W P]

The Red Grouse Tales by Leslie W. P. Garland is a book comprised of four short stories. Each story starts off with a quote followed by someone telling that particular tale. Each story revolves around the theme of religion. However, the theme is not heavy or overtaking the tale. Each short story starts off slow complete with building suspense and a twist ending. Each story has its own unique lesson one can learn and think about, making them slightly philosophical. While each telling is different, the main theme is good and evil, which gives the reader a lot to ponder.

I enjoyed this collection of stories and would recommend them. One of my favorite parts of these short stories were the fable-like feeling. They each told a story with a surprising lesson attached to each. I also greatly enjoyed the way the stories were written. Each had a way of telling a story through another person, which made the reading interesting and fun for me. I think it was a nice, added detail that gave it a more authentic feeling of sitting around and hearing a tale as well as making it seem more like a fable.

This book consists of four short stories. The Little Dog is the first one, which I felt, was a great story to start off with. It hooked me in the book itself to see what the rest of them have to offer. I think this short story in particular really set up the rest of the book as it was suspenseful and thought-provoking. It contained one of the more interesting ideas I have come across in a book: What is evil? According to this tale, evil does not have a conscious. I had to pause and think about this for a bit afterward because it was such an interesting concept to propose.

The second was The Crow, which I also greatly enjoyed. The contrast between the teenager and the older man in the story was stark, and I liked to see those differences between the two of them. I think this one was my favorite out of the four as it showed you how unique perspectives can be.

I also found The Golden Tup to be particularly interesting. I think it was my second favorite out of the collection. It was told in a suspenseful and fun way. The White Hart was not of any particular interest to me, personally, when compared to the others, but it fits in with the other tales and tied them together nicely.

All together, I found this collection to be immensely entertaining.

Pages: 347 | ASIN:  B018VWOVIU

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