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It’s Such Great Escapism

Valerie Anne Hudson Author Interview

Maids of Maddington: Welcome To The Madhouse follows two women from the servant class, one on trial for loving a noble, the other her friend and defender. What was the inspiration for the setup to your story?

As a reader, I always like to be transported to another time and place. It’s such great escapism. I deliberated on many different eras in history before finally deciding on Victorian times. And choosing to write about women of the servant class provides so many possible scenarios!

Eliza shows a lot of character and dedication to those she deems her friends. What were some driving ideals behind your character’s development?

Along with many people of her class in the Victorian era, Eliza had a tough life. As the eldest child in her family, she was forced to take on a lot of responsibility, but never once questioned this. She had an innate sense of duty and felt obliged to help others—a common trait amongst women, no matter what century they were born in!

What were some themes that were important for you to explore in this book?

I did a lot of research on the Victorian era, and was horrified to discover how working-class people in the big cities lived. Many of them didn’t even know where their next meal was coming from. So, poverty and the living conditions of the poor were a big focus for me, along with the abysmal working conditions of servants at that time.

What can readers expect in book two of the Maids of Maddington, and when will it be available?

In Book 2, the reader will be thrust forward seven years to 1905. Many of the same characters will appear, with some interesting new additions. Some of the themes will include the Suffragette movement and the London underworld.

It should be available in August, 2022.

Author Links: GoodReads | Website

The only thing her friend is guilty of is falling in love with the wrong man.

When young Eliza first joins Maddington House, known locally as ‘The Madhouse,’ as an under housemaid in 1895, she finds herself alone in the world of the rich and privileged.

A world where everyone takes what they want and no one takes responsibility…

Enter Annie.

Kind, pretty, vivacious Annie. The housemaid everyone loves to be around. Eliza’s new friend and close confidante.

Annie’s beautiful aura and charming spirit are hard to resist, so it doesn’t come as a surprise when Edward Montague takes notice.

Edward, the only son of the house, is handsome, charismatic, and manipulative, but Annie doesn’t seem to see him for who he really is. Charmed by his relentless pursuit and bold promises, she falls in love with him hard…

Only to crash even harder.

Eliza knew right from the start that their secret meetings and love confessions would not end well, but she never expected her friend to end up on trial because of that man.

As hidden secrets, back-door deals, and scandalous love affairs unfold before the shocked circle of high society and her friend is accused of a horrible crime, Eliza must do what she knows is right: stand by Annie even if no one else is willing to.

After all, her friend is innocent.

It’s someone else that should be put on trial.

The Journey Into The Unknown

Bruce D. Price Author Interview

Frankie follows an AI woman that is shockingly lifelike who may be behind the strange murders that are showing up around town. What was the inspiration for the setup to your story?

Several years ago I dreamed about seeing a woman on the other side of a highway, wearing a raincoat, drifting along. Was she being chased? Wait, could she be a robot?? I liked the mystery, the many possibilities. Some people see this book as something you can solve in a minute but it’s not possible. We don’t know how the people die. We don’t know anything about motives. In my dream, the woman seemed to be running from something, and I carried that feeling into the book. Frankie, by the way, is not a villain. I doubt there is a sentence in the whole book suggesting any malevolence in Frankie.

Did you create an outline for the characters in the story before you started writing or did the characters personalities grow organically as you were writing?

Mainly, Simon falls in love with Frankie, whom he thinks is pursued by her husband (!); because one of the themes here is that things can go wrong, this being the name of Chapter 1. So Simon focuses on laying low and hiding her, exactly as other major characters want desperately to find her. Probability, whether high or low, is actually a theme throughout the book. A major character and his historical hero are big-time gamblers.

What were some themes that were important for you to explore in this book?

The most important thing is the journey into the unknown, as that is a good description of AI. Every character in this book is drawn into a sort of quest. What’s going on, that’s what everyone says again and again. And I think readers will say the same thing if they don’t settle for easy guesses. I call this book “a unique mystery.” I believe I could present it to a theater full of Hollywood people, and almost nobody would understand what’s happening.

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

I do have another complex intellectual thriller in mind. Meanwhile I am preparing a book of poems for children.

Author Links: GoodReads | Twitter | Facebook | Website

A Unique Mystery.
 
Experts baffled as many people die in university town. Cause of death: unknown.
 
Frankie is a look into the future of AI. The smarter the robots, the more likely that strange, unanticipated things will happen.
 
Raymond Mason, AI genius, rarely brings his work home. Then late one afternoon he brings his latest, most humanlike creation. Raymond knows his wife will be charmed. No way! Julia Mason feels competitive and threatened. For one thing, Raymond touches Frankie in a romantic way.
 
Julia is hostile and drinks too much. She passes out as Professor Mason runs upstairs to find a gun. An hour later Julia wakes to find her husband dead and Frankie gone. Julia, semi-hysterical, races into the night to find the missing masterpiece.
 
Simon, a grad-school drug dealer, falls in love with Frankie. He realizes he can build a cult around this spiritually evolved woman. First, he has to hide her.
 
For different reasons, many people search frantically for Frankie. Meanwhile, more unexplained deaths are reported. Panic sweeps the state of New Jersey. Some experts think that humanity is dealing with an alien invasion.
 
Dr. Jamison, the pathologist, notes that he has never seen so many beautiful corpses.

A Hero With A Different Origin

Dimitar Gyopsaliev Author Interview

Longsword: Edward and the Assassin follows an orphan who after saving a prince becomes a trusted member of the Prince’s men and heads on a journey to find a powerful healer. What was the inspiration for the setup to your story?

My son, actually.

I’ve found that 7-year-old boys, besides playing with knight figures, really like a game that is backed up with a good story. Especially if it’s based on a real one.

Thanks to my history and literature teachers, I’ve kept my interest in the subject. I had just read an article about the most famous assassination attempts in history, and I shared Edward’s story with my son and he started > What happened next?

It became a good bedtime story.

Being a historical fiction novel, how much research did you undertake for this book and how much time did it take to put it all together?

It took me a year to complete the book and a year to research and gather material.

For me, I found that I actually enjoyed the research process a lot and sometimes you can get pretty bogged down and lost in the subject you’re looking for. All I needed sometimes was a book, warm socks and the sound of the rain on the windows makes you forget about everything else.

What were some themes that were important for you to explore in this book?

The different classes, their roles and motivations.

One day my son asked me what the word orphan meant, which he had heard from somewhere.

It’s hard to explain to a child what an orphan is, and how a child can grow up without parents. For this reason, my son and I decided the main character was an orphan.

And last but not least, one of the most important themes is that even a hero with a different origin can be brave and decide other men’s fates.

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

I am currently working on the next book about the adventures of Peter and his friends.

I hope to have it ready for publication by the end of the year.

Author Links: GoodReads | Facebook | Website

The #1 Best Historical Fiction Featuring Real People in the Goodreads List

“The War must be for the sake of Peace” —Aristotle

City of Acre, Holy Land, Friday, 17th of June, in the year 1272 of the incarnation of Christ, on the eve of Edward’s birthday. The Crusaders and Mamluks have recently signed a peace treaty when Peter Longsword, an orphan raised in a monastery, is caught in the storm of an assassination attempt on the royal Crusader. When he saves the life of the crown prince of England on his first day as a guard in the royal household, Peter is drawn irreversibly into a deep plot to discover who ordered the assassination and why. Peter encounters knights, mercenaries, infidels, and nobility and he learns about treachery, love, and loyalty in his journey toward the truth of his own origins as well as the truth of the murder attempt. With the help of his new friends, Peter will ride to the edge of the realm to prove the strength of his bloodline. Enemies will unite and new alliances will be forged in the struggle for power and peace. Longsword shows you the world of sword brothers’ bravery and the power of friendship.

The Crimes My Wife Suffered

Author Interview
Stuart Nagero Author Interview

Truth is Indestructible is an emotional memoir of the abuse your wife sustained at the hands of family, and your journey to help others in situations like hers with social reform. Why was this an important book for you to write?

I was stimulated to write the book because of two main challenges. First, the crimes my wife suffered were so horrible, indeed so evil, that I found it hard to express them in words. I have found that music, as a non-verbal language, can express what usually lies beyond articulation. But I sought nonetheless to search for language suitable to convey the evil of the events. The second challenge was the ongoing cover-up of the crimes: I was horrified that my wife’s extended family chose to brush the crimes under the rug, and I felt compelled to bring the truth out into the light of day.

I appreciated the candid nature with which you told your story. What was the hardest thing for you to write about?

I wanted to narrate the story without giving too many details of the crimes. I hint in the narrative at the nature of the attacks on my wife, but I decided against providing the awful details. Instead, I looked at the significance of the crimes and how they relate to concepts of justice, retribution and truth.

What advice would you give to others that are in a situation like your wife was in?

I would suggest focusing principally on the victim’s healing. The search for justice is very important, but protecting the victim from further trauma is – in my view – perhaps more important.

What do you hope is one thing readers take away from your story?

I hope the reader will take from the narrative the importance of protecting children, as prevention is certainly better than after-the-fact detection. Also, even in the bleakest of situations, one can always salvage something positive, if only bringing out hidden truths.

Author Links: Amazon | Website

A documentation of the author’s reactions to the disclosure by his wife, Vidhi, that she suffered a childhood in India of almost incessant abuse, and that her family covered up the crimes to save “social face”. Interwoven with chronological accounts of Vidhi’s experiences and her later recovery, the narrative tracks the search by Vidhi and the author for justice and accountability, the hostility they encountered, and the support they received from unexpected sources. The text also contains meditations on the nature of evil, the challenges of social reform, in India and around the world, and the consoling power of music when words fail to articulate the depths of depravity. Vidhi’s story is not hers alone. It is a story central to the human condition: countless silenced victims around the world inhabit a shadowy realm of lies and hidden crimes. Truth Is Indestructible suggests that a society can be secure only if it protects its children and demonstrates unequivocally that this protection is inseparable from the rule of law. And it offers reflections on the re-enchantment of a polluted world. http://www.ahusbandreacts.com

Stuart Nagero was born in the United Kingdom. He earned a doctorate from a British university and has worked in the United Nations system for more than two decades.

Unleash the Vampire Tribes

Rob Bartlett Author Interview

The Wandering Tribes follows an itinerant starship captain as he enacts an intricate plan to manipulate the Mercantile Empire. What was the thing that most excited you about writing this book?

The most exciting thing to me was being in position to unleash the Vampire Tribes.

The first two books in the series laid the background. Wandering Tribes started introducing some of the active plot lines acting within the background. We meet a variety of characters who are unleashed on the Mercantile Empire to implement their schemes. Some are faster and more successful, some take longer to develop, some will fail. Some will have unexpected consequences in the future.

What were some questions that you kept asking yourself as you were developing Milo Sapphire’s character?

Milo always goes through three phases:

  1. I see what needs to be done. I’m the best man (vampire) for the job. Let’s get after it. Who knows, could be fun.
  2. Ohmigod! You want me to do what? This wasn’t what I thought it was. This is way freaking harder than I thought it was!
  3. I don’t like the alternative! You wanna try and force me or manipulate me into doing it? Fine! If I’m gonna do it, then get the hell out of my way! Oh yeah, how can I cheat the system?

The other thing that’s always in the back of Milo’s mind is his insecurity about the absurd levels of personal power he can wield. Without giving too much away, Milo’s past has made him very (overly) sensitive to manipulation of others. If it’s part of the plan, he’ll bull forward. If the other person is overtly challenging him for supremacy, sucks to be them.

In his personal life, he’s always second guessing the responses of the people closest to him, especially in romantic relationships. Are they there because he didn’t give them a choice and they’re just making the best of a coercive situation? Are they there because they really, really want to be?

Part of the growth of his character is learning to actually trust the members of his (growing) inner circle; realizing that he has intrinsic value beyond his capabilities as the First.

It’s also a lot of fun to skewer the current harem fad; Milo thinks he has a harem. Whether every member of the group agrees with his definition remains to be seen.

This seemed like a fun book to write. What scene in the book did you have the most fun writing?

It was a blast! The first scene that came to me was the Emperor’s Ball scene. It’s my favorite scene because it encapsulates everything about Milo’s highly convoluted and overly complex plans. It drops Milo right into the middle of the snake pit and he barely gets out. The ramifications of that scene will extend well into the future.

This is book three in The War Against Infinity series. What can readers expect in book four?

Books 1 and 2 went really fast (okay, normal speed for Milo). Book 3 had to slow the pace a touch simply because a lot of the elements that came into play just took a lot of time. Even Milo can’t cheat the laws of physics (most of the time).

Book 4 resumes the pace. The excrement has made contact with the oscillating air acceleration and distribution device, on a cosmic scale. The schemes introduced in Wandering Tribes impact reality. Milo has to react accordingly, in his own inimitable, convoluted, overly complex style.

Gotta keep things interesting.

You never know who might be watching. Heh.

Author Links: Amazon | GoodReads

Hi, my name is Milo Sapphire.
I’m the CEO of Interstellar Products. We make stuff for Sentient Ships.
I’m also the Chosen of the Deity. I’m supposed to save the fricking Universe.
So I need a little help.

I used to be the leader of all the Vampire Families back on Old Earth.
So I’m gonna invite them to join the party, so to speak.

But vampires need lairs.
And this is space, so lair hunting is a little challenging.
And there’s a lot of’em, so I gonna need a lot of space (see what I did there?).

But it’s kinda boring building a lair from scratch. Lotta planning, lotta zoning meetings, you get the idea.
So how am I gonna keep a lot of extremely competitive, obsessively compulsive, highly energetic, easily bored, apex predators occupied? Hyperactive kindergartners strung out on meth. With flamethrowers?
Well, I’m also taking on the Mercantile Empire.
They’re never gonna know what hit’em.
Heh.

Peering Into The Dark

Author Interview
Keller Yeats Author Interview

Shacklady follows a group of friends as they investigate an abandoned mine that holds a mysterious train buried within and uncover dangerous secrets that could cost them their lives. What was the inspiration for the setup to your story?

The inspiration for ‘Shacklady,’ was based on a trip I took as a child with my parents, to explore the Blue John Mine in Derbyshire. For some reason the caverns scared me, more than a little. I constantly found myself peering into the dark, looking for ‘something’ that was never there. I felt that the darkness was watching me and even though it happened many years ago, that fear never left me. So much so that I still occasionally have a repeating nightmare based around the events of that day and when the nightmare occurs, I usually wake up pouring sweat and disorientated. To this day, caves still fill me full of unnatural dread and I try to avoid them if at all possible.

What was your favorite character to write for and why? Was there a scene you felt captured the characters essence?

Nick, is nearly always my favourite character to write because of his self doubt, which often hinders his case work.

What were some goals you set for yourself as a writer in this book?

I am constantly looking for that elusive, ‘I can’t stop turning the pages but am afraid of what I might find there when I do,’ moment.

I’ve always thought that a fear unknown yet anticipated, is the ultimate heart stopper and that the greatest fear factory resides inside ones own mind.

A major challenge in this story was to write from within semi darkness as it renders most of sight redundant. The characters have to employ all their other senses to paint the landscape within.

Will there be a fourth Nick Swann book, if so when will it be available?

Yes, I’m working on it now and it’s working title is, ‘Krownyn Point.’ I anticipate publishing it by next Summer.

Author Links: Amazon | GoodReads

At the end of the 19th century, Silas Shacklady was obsessed with his mine in the Snowdonia mountains. Digging ever deeper in search of a Motherload, Silas disturbs dark secrets and powers hidden for centuries within that subterranean world. In 1897 the mine was sealed after a cave-in buried Silas and over two hundred men, caught forever within its black maw.
The mystery of how this happened and the strange presence of The Lady Emily, an ancient steam engine, draws Nick, Wendy and Alan into a dangerous underground adventure. One which finds them trapped in a battle between malevolent forces, risking all their lives and creating profound consequences for many.

If Nothing Changes, Nothing Changes.

Brurce Barcomb Author Interview

The Change Agent – Paradigm Shift in Consciousness teaches readers how to live a life through personal values by evaluating their life experiences, genetic makeup, and social programming. Why was this an important book for you to write?

I watched in horror at the Jan. 6th, 2021, US Capital Insurrection wondering how as a Nation we could have gone astray. What messaging had these individuals internalized so that they would attack our beloved Republic. For if Nothing Changes, Nothing Changes.

What is one piece of advice someone gave you that changed your life?

What you see you learn, what you learn you practice, and what you practice you become. And if, Nothing Changes, Nothing Changes.

What do you hope is one thing readers take away from your book?

That we have the ability to Change, create paradigm shifts in prior thinking or behaviors that we may have once believed, espoused, supported, or lived. These paradigm shifts are the difference between repeating patterns blindly, or conversely inspiring us to future growth.

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

I have no current ideas, but I do take notes when something inspires me, mental book notes, so that when the right moment of inspiration is there the next natural logical write will transpire. Inspiration, not perspiration – – – always.

Author Links: GoodReads | Twitter | Facebook | Website

Trust. Hope. Forgiveness. Love.

Suzanne Smith Author Interview

The Brute and I follows a woman who dares to hope for finding true love again after a prior bad relationship that left her scarred. What was the inspiration for the setup to your story?

As dark as Alex’s story was, I intended for it to end on an optimistic note. I wanted Alex to heal from her past mistakes, and to find true love again. Before that was a possibility, she had to see herself as she really was. She had imagined herself a stoic robot, able to erect a numbing emotional wall and bury her pain and humiliation at will. But, the truth was that Alex was a troubled and insecure young woman who was missing vital pieces of herself due to years of neglect by someone she cared for deeply. When she fell in love with Marco, the dismal feelings of the past had dissipated, and the warm, tender feeling of love had blossomed. For a time, she’d felt whole and happy. But, that happiness was temporary, and soon her debilitating sense of insecurity returned. She became withdrawn, and the passion and intimacy that her and Marco had shared became strained, creating a breeding ground for jealousy and distrust. Violence and infidelity seeped into their imperfect relationship. Ironically, it was Marco’s single act of brutality toward Alex that had introduced a positive element of spirituality into the story and led them both on a path of self-discovery and enlightenment. Alex and Marco reopened the lines of communication between them, learned to verbalize their feelings, and came to trust and understand each other more than they ever did before. Reinventing herself and rebuilding her relationship with Marco was an uphill battle for Alex, but, in the end, I wanted to give the reader a sense that true love really did conquer all.

Alex wants to love again, but she has to overcome her past. What were some driving ideals behind your character’s development?

Denying her feelings and swallowing her pain had always been a big factor in Alex’s stunted emotionality. For years, she’d deceived herself into believing that she’d left her bleak past behind, and what had happened to her then hadn’t affected her present behavior in any way. When the man of her dreams, Marco, entered her life and pointed out that her inability to come to grips with her past was destroying their relationship, she started to question the efficacy of her bizarre method of coping with her many disappointments. Desperate to find out if Marco was right and to save what was left of their love, she enlisted the help of a professional therapist. Once she had immersed herself in the non-judgmental and welcoming group therapy setting, she dissected her past, and allowed the bitterness and resentment that she’d felt for as long as she could remember to come to the surface. The recall of these negative feelings had been so powerful that she conceded that perhaps there was some connection between the past and the present after all. She eventually came face to face with the dark void inside of her and discovered the true source and origin of her crippling pain. That discovery gave her a sense of empowerment and control over her life. She tore down her emotional walls and abandoned her ill founded illusion of invincibility. She’d come to accept the idea that the pain of the past would always be a part of her, but she was strong enough not to let it sabotage her happiness.

What were some themes that were important for you to explore in this book?

Trust. Hope. Forgiveness. Love.

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

I just finished a full length novel titled Lilah’s Limit. It takes place in New Orleans circa 1870. It’s a story about a scarred man who falls in love with a mysterious prostitute. It’s pretty much ready to be published now, so with any luck, that will happen soon.

Author Links: GoodReads | Twitter | Facebook

When Marco struts into Gigi’s grill, Alex wonders if she has found the one. When he takes the seat next to her and strikes up a conversation, She is immediately aroused by the heat of his animal magnetism. There is something she sees in his vulnerable, piercing green eyes that touches her heart. She realizes that she wants this handsome man to be more than just her bedmate. She wants him to be her soulmate.

Marco was instantly smitten the moment he fixed his eyes on Alex. There was something about her warm, sympathetic gaze that filled him with hope. Maybe he had a chance to overcome the bitterness and despair that had blighted his life. Perhaps finally some measure of happiness is within his grasp.

The love between them quickly blossoms, but there is a dark cloud on the horizon. For no reason Marco can see, Alex suddenly becomes sullen and withdrawn. He worries that she is slipping away from him. The idea of losing her affection and being forced to retreat back into the cold, black, pit of despair, is more than he can stand. He only knows one way to deal with the pain he is feeling.

Can their love survive the turmoil and grow into something good once more?
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