Blog Archives

If The Secret Is Ever Discovered

Steve Zimcosky
Steve Zimcosky Author Interview

The Good Book follows the Polish Dragon on a hunt for a missing bible that holds a devastating secret for the Russian Orthodox Church. What was the inspiration for the setup to your story?

There have been many books and news stories about the Roman Catholic Church and all of its mysteries and accusations of wrongdoing but I had never really seen anything about the Eastern or Russian Orthodox Church. Perhaps the reason is because there is a much smaller following than the Roman Catholic Church. So I thought, why not do a mystery which includes them and a mysterious bible that could bring embarrassment to the church if the secret is ever discovered. I tried to include the similarities and the difference of both churches so the reader could get an idea of how similar they are yet very different.

Do you follow a formula for your mystery novels or do you try to make them all different?

I try to follow the plan that something happens that the police or law enforcement can’t really deal with or the statute of limitations has run out and the only recourse is to hire the Polish Dragon P. I. to help solve the case. Although on occasion it is necessary for law enforcement to be involved and the Polish Dragon must learn to sidestep those investigations so as not to interfere and at the same time use some former contacts to aid his investigation. And as I am sure that my books are read by many age groups I try to limit the profanity and the sexual overtones.

What are is the biggest challenge you’ve faced as a writer and how have you overcome it?

One of the biggest challenges I face is how to make my stories longer and get them to a full novel. I have taken several courses and spoken with several well-known authors on how I can do that. Hopefully my books will begin to get longer and I can finally get to the point of publishing a full novel rather than novellas. The other challenge is marketing, as I am a self-published author, all of that falls on my shoulders. So I am taking classes and workshops on how to maneuver that aspect of publishing my books.

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

I’m working on another Polish Dragon mystery that deals with the Native American so called Voluntary Relocation Program by the Bureau of Indian Affair back in the 1950s. It will involve a missing person and conspiracy to defraud the government and Native Americans.

Author Links: GoodReads | Facebook | Twitter | Amazon

A bible mysteriously disappears from a Russian businessman’s home and it is said to have a secret hidden inside that would cause embarrassment to the Russian Orthodox Church. The Polish Dragon P. I. is called in, along with his new partner, to help find the bible. The problem is the bible is not supposed to exist and there is a secret organization, sworn to protect the church, also looking for the bible. They will stop at nothing to locate it and destroy it.

From A Different Perspective

Calvin James
Calvin James Author Interview

The Colored Water Fountain follows two kids on a quest to find the meaning behind a sign, but the shocking truth changes their worldview. What was the inspiration for the setup to your story?

Unfortunately, racism may always be a part of our society. I wanted to create a story looking at race from a different perspective to demonstrate to children that we should not judge people in this way.

I loved the bright and beautiful art throughout the book. What was the art collaboration process like to bring this story to life?

I was fortunate to find an illustrator, Jordan Pizzuti, who is excellent at her craft. From years of writing music and collaborating with musicians, I learned to give other’s their creative space because they may come up with something better than I would have. So allowed Jordan the freedom to create the world with as little input as possible. I feel she did a wonderful job.

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

Truth, kindness, friendship, love, and hope. These themes run throughout all my stories. I feel they are important because I want my stories to show children the world as it could be and strive for that vision.

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

The next book, LONG, LONG TIME, will be released in May of 2023. In the interim, there will be several music projects that will be released.

Author Links: Twitter | Facebook | Website

In a world that has been remade by a great flood, humans wake to find they are immortal children with no memory of the past. Animals are caretakers of the world; growing old and wise with no knowledge of times before. And yet, some things from the world that was… remain. When Asher and Adeline discover a sign that reads, ‘Colored’ Water Fountain, they set out on a quest to uncover the meaning.

Walking Away From Everything

Aimee Meheden-Friesen
Aimee Meheden-Friesen Author Interview

Whelm follows a young woman who is struggling to overcome mental health issues and escape expectations to be her authentic self. What was the inspiration for the setup to your story?

I’ve had people close to me deal with a variety of mental health struggles, and from time to time I’ve dealt with depression myself. The book is overly dramatized for the purpose of storytelling, but I wanted to push the message that the perfect life of material excess that most people idealise isn’t necessarily perfect for everyone and that sometimes it takes walking away from everything to gain a new perspective. I also hoped to help normalize these types of mental health struggles to help take the stigma out of them.

Audra is an intriguing and well developed character. What were some driving ideals behind your character’s development?

I think at some point in our lives, most of us struggle with expectations. Audra’s development came from learning that less was more, and learning to trust herself to know what she wanted in life and make her own decisions. She didn’t need the glitz and glamour, and in the end she learned that happiness comes from love and friendship not materialism.

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

Expectations may hold you back out of fear of judgment or failure but if you find the inner strength to do what’s right for you, the people you want in your life will be the ones still there for you in the end.

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

I’m currently about 20,000 words into my second book, entitled Conation, which is defined as an inclination to act purposefully. The story is a little darker than Whelm, with thematic elements focused on overcoming abuse and building community to find one’s place in a world where people are becoming increasingly isolated by technology. At this rate, I would hope it should be ready for publication by 2023.

Author Links: GoodReads | Instagram | Website

Walking away from her unfaithful ex, wealthy and beautiful Audra Filigree realises she’s not losing much except for five years of her life and that, while there’s nothing wrong with her life, there’s nothing right with it either.
Now that she’s left her privileged little world behind, there’s no going back. With no plan or sense of self-preservation, random encounters guide her attempts to reclaim her life as she tries to stand up to her tyrant of a father and fight the anxiety of the unknown in her internal battle against the unrealised depression that has been consuming her for so long.
Whelm is a contemporary romantic tale addressing the challenges faced by those struggling to overcome mental health issues and escape expectations to be their authentic self.

The Two Revolvers Saga

Dave Matthes
Dave Matthes Author Interview

Legend of the Horizon Vengeance follows the apocalyptic life of Rancid Mahoney and the man who took him under his wing. What inspired the direction of this novel and the journey Rancid goes on?

The themes I wrote about in the first book, Leave My Ashes on Blackheart Mountain, while important to the character of Mahoney, were still somewhat rudimentary, in that they were mostly about love and how to love someone in a world as brutal and unforgiving as the one these characters all live in. And I think the decision Mahoney made at the end of Blackheart Mountain summed up pretty well what that all means. In Book 2, Mahoney deals with the fallout of that decision, while taking on the brunt force of a plethora of even more complicated discoveries which will lead to even harder decisions. When I first wrote Mercy, a novella which would become the chronological Book 3 of The Two Revolvers Saga, Mahoney is already of a fairly advanced age. He’s grizzled with time, he’s pretty much an expert with the weapons that he has, both the physical and the emotional weapons. But in Books 1 and 2, the story takes place two decades before that, so he’s still pretty young and having to learn all of these incredibly harsh lessons on how to survive in an already ruthless world. So I think the core of these first two books, particularly Horizon Vengeance, is learning those lessons, but as the reader will find out, there is never any one single way with which to deal with the hard choices life throws at us, and just because a morally-good character makes one choice, it doesn’t always mean that choice was the right one.

What were some ideas that were important for you to personify in your characters?

Legend of the Horizon Vengeance is a massive story encompassing many different character arcs, while some that began in Blackheart Mountain are completed, others are expanded upon and left to grow through the remaining books in the series. In regards to Mahoney’s arc, I wanted to focus on his own growth from the point at which Blackheart Mountain ended, and lead into a sort of re-identifying himself. His journey throughout Horizon Vengeance begins at a point of having experienced much of the world, but that experience is still clouded with ignorance and a steep desire for purpose. When the book opens, he literally has no place of belonging, no sense of direction except for the vague words of Frank Delmont, his old mentor. And Frank is on a journey of his own, trying to rectify his own past mistakes. Their two journeys and lusts for clarity clash here and there, but ultimately, and Mahoney learns this quite violently, their collective journey is about acceptance.

What is one pivotal moment in the story that you think best defines Rancid Mahoney?

There is a moment about halfway through the book that happens between Mahoney and Frank that is perhaps the most eventful “pivot point” for Mahoney, but I can’t talk about that without spoiling the story, in fact there are many pivotal moments within the story that could be considered spoilers so I can’t really speak much on them. However, there is a moment between Mahoney and Wyatt Delmont, who is Mahoney’s step brother, that takes place just before a massive battle. Wyatt and Mahoney, while connected by half-blood, are both around the same age but grew up in different parts of the world learning different ways to survive, a reality that serves as a fissure dividing them in a way, both emotionally and morally. Mahoney’s two revolvers are sacred to him, as they have their own history. But just before the battle is to begin, Mahoney offers Wyatt one of his revolvers, and I think that a huge stepping stone for Mahoney in terms of learning to trust other people, made even more significant that it is Wyatt whom he is giving the revolver to.

What can readers expect in book three of the The Two Revolvers Saga?

Book 3 was actually the first book in the series I wrote, titled Mercy, it was originally intended as a simple standalone novella. It’s been out for a few years and the reception I received from readers is part of why I decided to expand on the world and lore of Rancid Mahoney. I’m currently working on Book IV, titled The Dead and the Dying, which will take place from the point of view of several characters, mostly set during the same time as Mercy, leading up to where that book ended, and going beyond.

Author Links: GoodReads | Website

A year following The Battle of New Canterton, Rancid Mahoney, now wandering in exile and in search of purpose, answers the call of an old mentor and surrogate father figure, Frank Delmont, who has embarked on his own quest for redemption since his retirement from Gunther Ostrander’s vicious shadow.
With the war to the north incinerating the lands behind them, the two take to the sea aboard The Moonlady in search of the only other known two remaining members of the Delmont Family: Plath and Wyatt, Frank’s brother and son respectively. But all is not well in the Woodstar Triangle, the maritime trade routes that used to be known as The Caribbean Sea. A different sort of conflict has been brewing in the southern waters. Val Remo, Empress of Woodstar City, and Mahoney’s biological mother, has been confronted with her most challenging tribulation yet. Plaguing the Empress’ rule are the bloodthirsty, relentless Mantle of Fire, a fleet of pirates priding themselves with decades of unchallenged bloodshed, and Chief Zao of the Black Boar Tribe, emerging from the northern war to hunt down Tuskatawa deserters and their sympathizers alike.
As “guests” of the Empress at Morro Castle, a fortress carved out of the ruins of Old Havana, Mahoney and Frank are presented with a double-edged sword. Remo demands that Wyatt Delmont be brought back to her so that he may answer for his crimes of rebellion, insurrection, and most of all, stealing the Horizon Vengeance : Val Remo’s prized war vessel that has a story of its own beginning before Mahoney was born. To ensure her demands do not go unanswered, Remo sends along with Delmont and Mahoney the captain of the Igneous Reef, Sebastian “The Anvil” Longbar, a man feared for his brutal habit of feeding unruly crew members and prisoners to his pet, Celeste, a monstrous bear living in a cage deep in the bowls of his ship.
An expedition to reunite a family divided will clash with a conquest to overthrow an empire, and Rancid Mahoney will be forced to decide between family over principle, and self over fate.
Legend of the Horizon Vengeance is BOOK II in THE TWO REVOLVERS SAGA.

It Would Be The Perfect Murder

Barna William Donovan
Barna William Donovan Author Interview

Fatal Pose follows an ex-bodybuilder and current P.I. who’s investigation of a bodybuilders death stirs up dark secrets. What was the inspiration for the setup to your story?

As a child of the 70s and 80s I grew up on a good, nutritious diet of Sylvester Stallone, Arnold Schwarzenegger, and Jean Claude Van Damme action films, that whole era of muscle and body-oriented action heroes. When I started working out and lifting weights very seriously in college to what would become a well-worn tape of the “Rocky IV” soundtrack and reading magazines like “Muscle and Fitness” and “Flex” I became more and more intrigued by the entire culture of the true hard-core, professional bodybuilders. Having read several memoirs by athletes in the sport, I also became fascinated by the darker and more dangerous underbelly of the sport, the glimpses into the sport not discussed by the glossy magazines. Then having read about the deaths of several bodybuilders as a result of very dangerous dieting and dehydration routines before contests, my writer’s imagination started going to work. Having been a big mystery fan for a long time, I began thinking of how someone could use the severely weakened and unhealthy condition of a pre-contest bodybuilder as a cover for murder. What if someone used a poison that mimicked a heart attack on an athlete who had strained and starved and dehydrated himself and was already teetering on the edge of a serious physical breakdown? It would be the perfect murder.

When I recently looked at the state of bodybuilding, I once again ran across a startling list of athletes who had just died over the last several years because of the extreme toll the sport had taken on their bodies. So, I thought it was time to revisit an idea about the use of a bodybuilding contest as a cover for a murder and “Fatal Pose” is the result. The high-risk lifestyle of an elite-level bodybuilder is still very much a reality.

Marino is an intriguing and well developed character. What were some driving ideals behind your character’s development?

I wanted to create a detective whose adversaries would underestimate him, but I wanted my main character underestimated for a reason we haven’t seen before. People would take a look Gunnar Marino’s exterior and immediately jump to conclusions. They take a look at the massive, ripped body, at the hypermasculine affectation, and they immediately think they are dealing with a mental lightweight. For a society that’s as disdainful of strong masculinity as we are right now, ever on the lookout for that “toxic masculinity,” the male bodybuilder must obviously be a big, dumb oaf. So, in the course of the story, when Laura Preston thinks she pulled off the perfect murder and is in the clear after the police write the incident off as a freakish accident, she certainly fears nothing from a musclebound ex-bodybuilder private-eye poking around the case. Even though Laura herself works within the fitness industry, it’s easy for her to assume that Marino must have the IQ of a ten-pound dumbbell just because of his appearance. She’s certain that she has nothing to worry about.

It was for this very reason that I wrote the story as an ‘inverted mystery.” It’s not a “whodunit” but a “how’s he gonna get her.” We read the story wondering how the detective will solve what appears to be a perfect crime with no apparent clues at all pointing to the killer. We know that Laura Preston is a murderer from the beginning of the story and the book becomes this dance between her and Marino, two adversaries circling each other, with Laura underestimating her opponent until it’s too late, until it becomes painfully clear that under the tough guy, over-pumped façade is a cunning, wily mind.

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

I wanted to examine the nature of bodybuilding as a sport that has self-creation, self-determination, re-invention at its core. I was also interested in theme of building a façade around ourselves, the surface images we create vs the reality that’s carefully buried underneath. Bodybuilding is a sport that is ultimately about display, and the display of a physique that is spectacularly beyond the norm. It’s a sport that tries to create flesh and blood renditions of physiques one can only see on otherworldly comic book superheroes. So, I definitely admire those athletes for their single-minded drive to reinvent themselves so totally as to look superhuman. I am a big fan of the sport.

It was also my interest in the concept of the radical reinvention that made me represent female bodybuilders thorough Erika Lindstad, the ex-girlfriend Marino rekindles a relationship with. The accomplishment for women in bodybuilding is even greater than for men because when they build massive muscles they need to find an even greater degree of inner strength since female standards of appearance are even narrower than those for men.

Yet as a storyteller I am also intrigued by what kinds of obsessions drive a person to such extremes. I wanted to examine if it was a trauma, a loss of some kind, inadequacy or a personal history of victimization that might drive athletes to become what they are in a sport like bodybuilding. So, in each of the major characters in the book, Marino, Laura, and Erika, we see this duality of the ideal-looking façade, the perfection attained through sheer willpower but driven from a darker place of loss and trauma.

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

I am working on a sequel to “Fatal Pose” and hoping to bring back Marino and Erika in another mystery within the next year.

Author Links: GoodReads | Twitter | Facebook | Website

Fatal Pose by [Barna William Donovan]


Venice, California: Where you’ll find the hottest beaches, hottest gyms, and hottest bodies. This is where ex-bodybuilder turned private investigator, Gunnar Marino, runs his business.

The World BodyBuilding Federation: The most successful health and fitness empire in the world. But WBBF President of Operations, Laura Preston, suddenly finds herself in the middle of a blackmail scheme, with bodybuilder Brad Holt threatening to expose a shattering secret from her past.

Where two adversaries meet: After Holt dies at a contest from what appears to be a dangerously unhealthy dieting regime, Marino is hired to look into whether or not his demise might have been the perfect act of murder. But the deeper Marino digs into the case—pressed by a personal obligation to Holt’s sister—the more unsettled he is by Holt’s background, questioning the morality of seeking justice for a corrupt murder victim and pursuing a prime suspect who might have been a victim herself.

A showdown no one might walk away from: Finding himself in an escalating battle of wills and wits with Laura Preston, Marino is aided by a group of athletes he employs as an investigative staff, and Dr. Erika Lindstad, his former lover and ex-bodybuilder in her own right. But the more troubled Marino gets by the case, he realizes that he has no choice but to see the investigation to its conclusion…because suddenly he and everyone he cares for are targeted for death.

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Live The Life You Want

Meg Nocero
Meg Nocero Author Interview

Butterfly Awakens is an emotional memoir of your life and the grief you went through after losing your mother. Why was this an important book for you to write?

As an empath, someone who can absorb another individual’s mental or emotional state, I am sensitive to the energies in this world. My mother grounded me when the world became too much. She was my safe place. When she died, I felt like my connection to my guide was cut off. I was left alone to navigate the confusing grieving process. Additionally, I burnt out from traveling back and forth from Miami to Orlando to help with her care while managing my own hectic family life, a full-time job as a federal immigration attorney, and raising young children.

I have always had a journaling practice—using writing as a tool to work out so much. So I looked for a way to navigate the grieving process and started to write as a healing tool. I started simply. I would wake in the morning and read from a book that resonated with me. When a quote or a passage spoke to me, I grabbed my journal and channeled at least three pages of longhand about what I felt my mother would want to communicate to me about it. One day led to the next, and this routine led me to complete my guide that I would later call The Magical Guide to Bliss: Daily Keys to Unlock Your Dreams, Spirit & Inner Bliss. I intended to empower myself to figure out how to will myself back to life, step into the unknown, and wake up to life again. In addition to allowing me to feel connected to my mom, it helped me muster the courage to make a career change after 20 years as a federal prosecutor. The writing was the first step towards what helped me trust my transformation; it was my cocoon, a safe place to strengthen my budding wings so that I could imagine metamorphosis into a beautiful butterfly.

I remember thinking how easy it is to get stuck in life, far short of where I wanted to be, and I felt trapped by pain and despaired that the suffering was all that there is; that bliss is just a myth. I started to get intentional with my life. Paying attention to the people, places, and things that would show up every day, I became excited about my present and future again. When I was at an all-time low, I begged the universal divine for assistance. I promised that when I did emerge triumphantly, I would share the vulnerability of my story to inspire others not to lose hope and give up on their dreams if they find themselves in darkness. I wanted my story of transformation through grief to one day be the light for others—the greatest gift is for someone to look at you and say, because of you, I didn’t give up. That helped me fight my way out of my darkness.

And, some of the events that occurred as I learned to love myself unconditionally were truly extraordinary. When Oprah’s “Live the Life You Want 2014” came to Miami, it catapulted me to take the final step and truly live the life I wanted as a published author. One of my long-time dreams was to meet Oprah, one of my spiritual guides, and I was one of the lucky ones to get called up on stage with Oprah in Miami, and as they say, the rest is history; in this case, a trilogy—The Magical Guide to Bliss, Daily Keys to unlock Your Dreams, Spirit & Inner Bliss, Sparkle & Shine: 108 M.A.N.T.R.A.s to Brighten Your Day and Lighten Your Way and finally my memoir, Butterfly Awakens!

“I will never forget Oprah looking me in the eyes, saying to me, “this is your moment, Meg, don’t miss it; it is time to live the life you want!” And so, I have! And the most fantastic thing is that I have brought many others with me.

When I was moving through grief, I promised that I would keep going to share a better story for my life, healing myself and in service to others. The metamorphosis of the butterfly and the guidance of the lighthouse were symbols that stood foremost in my mind. Never giving up in this life, doing the hard things that surround transformation, and in the end embracing your inner beauty—not needing approval or permission from others to be here. I want other people to honestly know that there is always light, even in the darkness and that they are more than enough, just as they are. And, to offer hope to those who are where I was when my mother died, that is the driving force behind sharing my story—inspiring others to keep going and reach out for help when they need it. To ultimately remind others that “we got this” and do not have to go it alone!

I appreciated how candid you were. What was the hardest thing for you to write about?

The scariest thing for me was seeing my mother suffer and not being able to help her. And, writing about her final weeks was difficult because I essentially had to relive it again. I tend to be a hypochondriac; while going through it, I started to believe that something terrible would happen to me too. I became very anxious, I began to experience panic attacks where my heart would start racing, and I felt like I would die. Sharing this kind of vulnerability was hard for me, and I had to manage that while sharing what happened all over again.

And, to share with the world, my weakness was a very vulnerable position to be in. I have moments when fear took over, and my overrun nervous system gave way to a ringing in my ears, tinnitus, that was maddening. I tried to numb out on most days; when I returned home from a full day at work and took care of my children, I retreated to my walk-in closet where I felt safe and just cried and cried because I did not know where to begin to move on without her.

However, hiding is exhausting, and I thought sharing my story could help another person feel like they were not the only one going through challenges. On the verge of what felt like a nervous breakdown, I chose to ask for help. I wanted others to know that it was ok to do the same. When I was moving through grief, I promised that I would share the vulnerability of my story in service to others when I healed. I held tight to the metamorphosis of the butterfly and the lighthouse as inspiration on the way to bliss. Choosing to never give up on me, I looked for the positives along the way. Committed to face my fears, I did the hard things that surrounded transformation. In the end, I ended up embracing my inner beauty—not needing approval or permission from others to be here. Now, I want other people to know that there is always light, even in the darkness and that they are more than enough, just as they are. Shifting what happened to me as a catalyst for positive change, I learned to reframe my situation, asking what it was trying to teach me. By sharing my story, I intend to offer hope to another who is experiencing darkness.

What advice do you wish someone had given you when your mother was diagnosed?

Seek help- you do not have to go it alone. Don’t lose sight of your dreams-that was something that helped her too. Breathe deeply again and slow down the pace a little bit. Look for a community–those helpers who are your angels ready and willing to help. I sought groups where I could get intentional, taking in all that life has to offer one day at a time. I joined author cohorts, ran monthly mastermind groups, and volunteered to serve others. And, do not wait for tomorrow to do the things with those you love today. Have those conversations, do something you love, take many photos, record beautiful stories- don’t stop living, laughing, and loving. Ultimately, death is a part of life. We can never know when it is someone’s time, but truly living a life on purpose is essential, and not having regrets.

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

That we are all stronger than we think we are as long as we do not give up. While I still experience dark times, especially after the pandemic year, the evidence shows that I can push through. I am still working to overcome pain to varying degrees. I don’t think that pain in life ever ends; my father has said that is the price we pay to be human. However, the key, I believe, is not to unpack and stay there. The root of the word emotion is e-motere, to move through. With all feelings that arise from different circumstances, instead of pushing them down or ignoring them, it is imperative to feel what you feel and trust the process of life to learn thoroughly. On the other side of the coin, this is a welcome bit of advice when you feel joy or happiness, truly embrace that and feel every bit of the good stuff as you can as well. We are here to enjoy the process too!

Author Links: GoodReads | Twitter | Facebook | Website

Butterfly Awakens: A Memoir of Transformation Through Grief by [Meg Nocero, Habib Sadeghi, Sherry Sami]

Butterfly Awakens depicts the story of the extraordinary transformation of a forty-something Italian American attorney as she moves through unimaginable grief and sadness watching her beloved mother lose her battle to breast cancer. This tumultuous life experience shifts her world, causing her to question her life choices and opening her up to her soul’s calling. Nocero brings readers along on her journey through a dark night of the soul as she deals with the grieving process, a toxic work environment, and intense stress that results in depression, anxiety, and an acquired somatic nervous disorder called tinnitus. Through it all, she never gives up, instead looking for the help she needs to start to heal and find her light. In the end, like the metamorphosis from caterpillar to butterfly, this story is a beautiful love letter that honors Nocero’s mother’s legacy while detailing the awakening of her own.

There are many stories about breast cancer and grief, but none are quite like this one. Throughout her tale, Nocero pulls the reader deep into her story through the intensity of her emotions; and in the end, after resigning from her career as a federal prosecutor due to a toxic administration, she searches for the lighthouse she saw in a vision when her mother died. Embarking on a spiritual pilgrimage on El Camino de Santiago in Northern Spain to get to the lighthouse at Cap Finisterre, she sets out to wake up and live again; the butterfly connection and stark honesty of her writing offers readers important lessons learned from moving through grief so that each person can shine their light again.

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Sharing What I Discover

Karen Mc Dermott Author Interview

The Soulful Entrepreneur provides experienced advice, and personal stories, that will help readers start and manage their business successfully. What motivated you to write this book?

I am big on sharing what I discover on my journey. I write largely on reaching your potential in life through my Alchemy of Life Magic Series, but this book called loud and clear for me to share the success I have had on my entrepreneurial journey. I have done things my way and believe that when we are innovative in mature we need to share our findings with others so that they can apply to their journey if they resonate.

What is one piece of advice you wish someone had given you when you first started your business?

Just do it your way. Be inspired by others but ultimately your internal navigation system is your best resource because it works 100% for your highest potential. And remember, no one will be more connected to your journey than you!

What has the biggest challenge you faced when starting your business and how did you overcome it?

I always face challenges, but they are positives because they mean I am ever evolving. Nothing can stop you unless you let it!

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

I am writing The Alchemy of Life Magic which is an amalgamation (mother book) of my seven life principles series. I cover Mindfulness, Knowing, Intention, Gratitude, Love, Forgiveness and Belief in this collection.

I also have a lot of children’s books coming out this year under my Mamma Macs brand.

Author Links: Twitter | Facebook | Website

The Soulful Entrepreneur: A Biz Life Worth Living

Book Review

Even More Fun and Unique

Mark Dantzler
Mark Dantzler Author Interview

The Grate Adventure of Lester Zester follows a young kitchen tool that wants to understand his purpose and feel wanted. What was the inspiration for the setup to your story?

Lester Zester was created in an instant of playful family holiday baking. My wife and son were making some delicious scones, and I was acting as their sous-chef. Someone called out for a zester to grate some lemon peel. I retrieved it from a kitchen drawer and pronounced it “Lester Zester”! The rhyme stayed with me, and I began to consider how a kitchen tool might feel, waiting in the drawer with anticipation until required by the chef.

The art in the book is cute and eye-catching. What was the art collaboration process like with illustrator Julia Pelikhovich?

Julia Pelikhovich is a talented professional. She worked on the book from her art studio in Russia. Her creative style and colors brought Lester and his kitchen pals to life! It was amazing to watch the development of each character. You may have noticed that each illustration is a hand-painted, watercolor drawing which is placed onto a real photographic background (kitchen, Christmas tree). This mixed media technique makes the story even more fun and unique!

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

I wanted to create a likable character that young readers could easily identify. Lester Zester is hopeful, anxious, friendly and naïve. He wants to know that he is loved. His personality helps the story to address important themes of self-esteem, diversity and inclusion, and friendship. These elements are evident in the illustrations, as well.

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

Lester Zester and his friends from Chef’s kitchen are excited to be on a new adventure together next summer! In the second Lester Zester book, there is unexpected trouble, lots of new characters, and some great fun! Of course, Julia Pelikhovich will add her artistic gifts to the story.

Author Website:

The Grate Adventure of Lester Zester is the heart-warming story of a young kitchen tool that longs to understand his true purpose and know that he is wanted. Can Lester discover the secret to having a grate life and hope to live in the Everyday Drawer with the rest of Chef’s helpful things? This whimsical tale reminds children of all ages that they are loved and have a special place in this world. With a little help from some funny culinary friends, Lester shows us that life can be a grate adventure if we simply believe!

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