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A Learning Experience

Dr. Qooz Author Interview

Dr. Qooz Author Interview

From Tree to Twelve is a counting book that follows a boy and his animal friend as they count from one to twelve on a fun road trip adventure. What decisions went into the scenes for each number?

Each scene was constructed to be a learning experience partially from the knowledge the child has at reading with the intent to get the child to associate the image with the number.

My favorite scene is the bed time scene of the bedroom because of the cute toys. Do you have a favorite scene from the book?

My favorite scene is making mud pies with fingers, toes and the hose as this was a fun time of my youth.

This is book one in your Nick and Millie series. What plans do you have for this series in the future?

The next Dr. Qooz book will be a companion book to this Counting book. The book will be an ABC’s book with underlying references to preservation of the world’s ecology, with Nick and Millie and will be complete this Fall.

Author Links: GoodReads | Twitter | Facebook | Website

Dr. Qooz introduces Nick and Millie the monkey, that shares a new approach to counting for the new schoolers. A Trip to Twelve is an inter-reactive counting book with symbols that are immediately understood and remembered. From noses to toes-es are combined with items commonly identified by the new schoolers.

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Challenging Conventional Views

Yin Dolmah Author Interview

Yin Dolmah Author Interview

Book of Chaos follows Emmar who begins to see a strange man in his dreams who shares astute words of wisdom with him. What was your inspiration for this novel?

My inspiration was based on observing humanity as well as business from so many different angles over many years. I have lived in 3 continents of the world and I have immersed myself in so many different cultures over the course of 4 decades. Over the years, I have witnessed many people tell themselves stories regarding the state of their existence based on a particular perspective, and accepting that perspective as the absolute truth even if it does not serve the long term interest of those who espouse it. I also spent 2 decades in corporate america where i witnessed the evolution of a company from a caring, employee-centered organization, to one that only cared about staying away from legal trouble. My unique and varied experience of humanity as well as business, ultimately led me to write this book with the hope of challenging conventional views and encourage people to be more comfortable exploring alternative angles concerning our common human situation.

Emmarssom is an interesting character that I enjoyed reading about. What were some driving ideals behind his character development?

The character development was based on real life experiences.

Through the story many observations of society and people are shared. What were some themes you wanted to explore in this book?

The main themes I wanted to explore in the book were: Business strategy, strength, love, equality, truth, addiction, trust, safety and order, motivation, the beginning of the universe.

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

My next book is expected to be ready within the next 12 months. I am still deciding on the title.

Author Links: Facebook | Website

DOLMAH - BOOK OF CHAOS FROM 22 BACK TO 21 -1 BOOK OF CHAOS FROM 22 BACK TO 21 BY YIN DOLMAH YIN DOLMAH 2020

An Imperfect Hero

Holly S Ruddock Author Interview

Holly S Ruddock Author Interview

The Warrior Arises follows a young fairy who must survive a world suddenly turned on its head and face world-changing challenges. What was the inspiration for the setup to this thrilling story?

My story is allegorical. I was inspired by C.S. Lewis and John Bunyan for a genre. But I was also inspired by my four military children and our life as a family who serves our country. I wanted to create parable-like circumstances that the reader could relate to—showing real-life situations in a fairytale setting—raising awareness of our world problems, such as bullying, fear, drug addiction, or human trafficking. I intended to introduce the gospel subtly to those who may not know a loving father. Beathra represents Jesus, and the fire seed our connection to him. The Whisper is the Holy Spirit, and the Great Ghost warrior in the Sky is Father God.

I wanted to create a character similar to that of David and Esther, where others may have been overlooked and viewed as insignificant. Still, God hid great gifts in a very common or dismissed individuals.

Ruby is a unique and intriguing character. What were some driving ideals behind her character development?

Ruby is based on me and my childhood. Many of the stories are real, like the bullying, harassment, social anxiety, and even the cruel teacher and practical jokes. It took me years to understand my quirky personality and appreciate it as a gift. I wanted the reader to relate to Ruby’s struggles of academics and social settings. As Ruby faces challenges, she has learned to hear the voice of Beathra and The Whisper and follow their leading. This connection was to display that God is always trying to speak to us; we just need to learn to listen. As for Rubys development: I hoped to show her grow in confidence and self-acceptance. I wanted to show an imperfect hero who makes mistakes, struggles with anxiety or fear, and must grow into her identity and destiny. Many of us feel like a square peg or displaced. As Ruby grows in confidence and strength, hopefully, the readers are encouraged to do the same, and they are inspired to view themselves as rare, rather weird.

I enjoyed the world you’ve created in this book. What were some themes you wanted to capture while creating your world?

As with most allegorical tales, I have hidden meanings throughout the story. Hope is the theme, and the enemy of hope is fear and despair. I show how the enemy targets our minds to focus on our biggest fears or insecurities, creating doubt or distrust in our Heavenly Father. The wild gidgies who live in the mountains are those who have run away from their call or fellowship with other believers. They lost heart and now hide from conflict, protecting themselves from future pain. Skawlterrin, of course, is the devil’s playground, luring the rejected, hopeless or desperate soul and offering false hope, a place to belong, and lying about acceptance. The Darphea wilderness is the journey those take running away. Havengothy is a land created to flourish, and for giddies to serve, love, and be loved. But Neeradima is bent on corrupting a world that is full of hope and purpose. The overall theme is to show that sometimes, what tries to destroy us, just might be where we are called to bring change. Ruby losing Sebastian propels her into her purpose, and Lewis and Trixie being tricked by the enemy catapulted them into their destiny.

This is book one in your Light Of Beathra series. What can readers expect in book two?

I actually wrote book two first but felt I need to give a back story to the characters. Book Two is where it really picks up. I want the reader to grow up with the characters. I was careful to keep too much horror from a young reader, but in book two, we will see more of Skawlterrin and evil. We will see a lot more of the liath, Stain. Billick will be a significant presence in Ruby’s life. We will follow Jo and Kody’s recovery from war, and watch Rubys struggle to join the Skyforce. There are character developments with Mr. Ryster, and we will also be introduced to the water gidgies. Kody gets married, and Jo changes careers due to his injuries he sustained. Ruby lives on her own and unknowingly begins to develop into a weapon for the King. We also see more of C.J and Callie and the Hyperion Lions and other marvelous and magical creatures.

Author Links: GoodReads | Twitter | Facebook | Website

The Warrior Arises: a tale of an unlikely hero (The Light Of Beathra Book 1) by [Holly Sue Ruddock]

Heroes rise from the most unlikely places. For, what others might view as unusual or irrelevant, just might be the surprising weapons needed to defeat an enemy.

If Ruby existed in today’s world, she would possibly be labeled with learning disabilities and perhaps a slight case of social anxiety. She is unusual in many ways. With radiant pink wings and unruly hair, Ruby stands out. But never in the way she wanted to. It is the peculiarity that draws attention to her; from her vivid imagination to her misunderstood sense of humor; Ruby is a rare fairy indeed.

But even in a mysterious world where all is strange and unusual, different isn’t always celebrated.

The story begins at the end of Ruby’s senior year and takes you through an eighteen-month journey. Ruby attends Havengothy Gardening University with her best friends, Sebastian and Ellie. It is during her years of school that Ruby develops a stubbornness to overcome. She was bullied for her poor grades and her wild hair. And if that wasn’t enough, she was a bit of a klutz. But Ruby never let the bullies get the best of her. With the help of her best friends, Ruby was able to pull off some epic pranks of retaliation, usually ending with detention, but the crime was always worth the punishment.

After finding a book in one of her professor’s offices, her real adventures begin. The book documented magical charms that were once used by the caretaker of the garden, Neeradima. Neeradima was a forest spirit that lived in Havengothy long ago. But envy darkened her heart. Exiled for betraying her land, Neeradima had one goal; To destroy the two ruling spirits of her former home. But the only way to hurt them was to wound or distort their beloved creation.

Her servants cunningly lure the victims away from their safe garden. Targeting the lonely, unhappy, or unusual; manipulating them to question their king and his goodness. And then, the evil servants would offer a solution to end the misery of their victims; a new life. They only needed to sacrifice one thing.

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Growing Up is a Tough Job

Daniel Boyd Author Interview

Daniel Boyd Author Interview

The Devil & Streak Wilson follows a man who sells his reflection to to the devil but finds the price was too high. What was the inspiration for the setup to this thrilling supernatural western?

The Doppelganger or “Double-Walker” has been walking through folklore, literature, and movies since before the Bible, and it struck me as a natural for the Western. As I wrote it, the traditional Western characters — cowboys, lawmen, saloon gals, bounty hunters and even the town barber — seemed to respond to the notion in ways they don’t usually do, and I have to say it surprised me.

Steak Wilson is a fascinating and well developed character. What were some driving ideas behind his character development?

Growing up is a tough job, and not everybody gets it right. I remembered the confusion, hard lessons learned, and absurd fun of being just a little too young, and tried to put it into this guy. If I did it right, readers of all ages will relate to it.

The idea of selling one’s soul to the devil is captured in a unique way in your story. What were some themes you felt were important to explore in this book?

I haven’t had any use for God since I became a grown-up, but I’ve often wished there were a Devil; the character has given so much to literature and the arts, I thought it was time to take a whole new look at him. And I’ll say right now, if you know a young person in search of guidance, and you think Devil-Worship might be right for them… well, just let them read this and their parents, teachers, and clergy will never forget you for it.

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

A sequel, GONE TO GRAVEYARDS, is ready to go if this one sells well enough.

Author Links: Amazon | GoodReads

The Devil & Streak Wilson by [Daniel Boyd]

A BARGAIN MADE IN HELL

THE KID THEY CALLED STREAK WILSON had a way with a gun, and he was tired of being treated like a boy.

THE DEVIL DIDN’T SEEM LIKE A BAD SORT and he offered a deal for Streak to live his dreams without losing his soul.

WITH MORE MONEY THAN HE COULD SPEND INA LIFETIME

Streak Wilson found himself framed as a horse thief, chased by bounty hunters, hounded by the Devil… And headed for a showdown with the deadliest killer in the territory—

THE MAN THEY CALLED STREAK WILSON!

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Some Kind of Grotesque Thriller/Parody

Victoria Ray Author Interview

Victoria Ray Author Interview

Sophia von X follows Sabina, who goes on vacation when things quickly go awry, and she’s caught in the middle of an archaeological conspiracy. What was the inspiration for the setup of this thrilling story?

The icon of Christ Pantocrator inspired me. I remember, I bought a history journal, and there it was – an article about Hagia Sophia in Istanbul, describing in detail a famous mosaic of Christ Pantocrator. I thought it would be fun to write a story about this place. I have never been to Istanbul, but other members of my family have visited it, so it was beneficial. I sketched the plot in one day.

Also, I rarely work on big pieces of fiction, but decided to try it, and write a full-length novel, some kind of grotesque thriller/parody on different books and movies. I wanted it to be ‘fast’ like a John Wick movie, but also packed with a lot of female heroes like in Charlie’s Angels, and with a sprinkle of religious conspiracy like in Dan Brown’s books. A taste of everything in one story.

Sabina is an intriguing and well-developed character. What were some ideas that drove her character development?

At first, I tried to write a story about the robbery, but I changed my mind. I created a Sicilian woman who takes a paid leave from her job at university and goes on a vacation with the purpose of visiting a newly discovered tomb of Christianity. The idea was to make the reader wonder, all the time, who she really is. We should remember that life is a mystery, and absolutely anything can happen to us along the road, at any moment… Maybe now?

Of course, Sabina changes because of unusual circumstances, but she is also the one who makes decisions. She is (both) a good guy and a villain. She is broken and the one who breaks. She is the woman and the boss. She is the lover and the hater. She is strong and weak. She is a complex character, but I’m not focusing on her feelings or problems. This is not a psychological thriller; this book is about action and fun.

The word that describes my writing the best is the word random. I do not explain much; I prefer readers to make the necessary connections by themselves, and most important – to think and imagine. I believe this is the primary purpose of reading. If I tell you everything, then what is the point?

I enjoyed the mysteries embedded in the story. Did you plan these, or did they develop organically while writing?

I planned the birthmark story, the twelfth page, and Sabina’s stop at the dig. I needed Thomas von Essen as the ‘slide-character,’ who is involving her in the illegal criminal activity.

I changed the ending a week before publishing, by killing more people. I saved the protagonist’s life, though.

I planted a couple of hooks because I have a ‘hidden’ villain in the team of four. The identity of this person will be revealed at the end of the story.

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

I’m usually writing short stories; that’s why my next book is a collection of surreal humor, mystery, and satirical stories. It will be available in June 2020: as ebook and paperback.

At the end of this year, I’ll focus on Book 2 in my young adult absurdist fantasy series Child of Illusion.

My next big novel is a psychological thriller, Almost Faithful. Hopefully, it will be published in 2021. Here’s the blurb of the story:

  • Perth, Australia.
  • Two ordinary families.
  • Three different women.
  • One obsessive man.

Margo and Barry are living the perfect life. They’re happily married (or so it seems), working great jobs, and traveling the world. Ellen and David have it all – the looks, the big house by the beach, a successful business, a grown-up daughter, Marie. But underneath, each couple is in crisis, and there is only one cause. His name is Charlie…

Charlie is a widower with an autistic son. A man with exceptional acting skills, struggling to forget his painful past. A man who is not ready to let go, who is breaking two families and destroying their trust.
Out of options and with their backs against the wall, Margo, Ellen and Marie discover that murder isn’t a tool reserved only for criminals.

Author Links: GoodreadsTwitterFacebookWebsite

Sophia von X by [Victoria Ray, H. M. Belsve]

It was supposed to be a vacation, the trip to a newly discovered tomb of Jesus…

When Sabina Ferrara was driving to Bingerbruck, Germany, she was hoping to put a painful marriage behind her. Certain unforeseen events turned against her and during a visit to Christ’s tomb, she is meeting Thomas von Essen – a dangerous thief, who is hiding behind the name of a decent family, pretending that he is a famous archaeologist. Against her will, Sabina is dragged into the middle of the stealing of biblical artifacts, killings, and shootings. She ended up attracting the attention of an unknown enemy from Jerusalem, a wicked man called Papa Zen. A powerful mogul who knows too much about Sabina and her mysterious birthmark. She is the one he was looking for so long…

12 lost pages from the Bible
Car chasing, guns, and fights
Yakuza and Ndrangheta families
Palermo, Istanbul, Jerusalem
Deaths, tears, broken hearts

Sophia von X is a story of violence and obsession, secrets and tragedy, lies, hate, and love.

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Pushed Him to Suicide

Ayodeji Ayinde Author Interview

Ayodeji Ayinde Author Interview

Aberration: Arana’s Premonition follows a group of people combating a devastating virus. What was the inspiration for the setup to this exciting story?

The book was purely based on my imagination. The theme of the story just popped into my mind and i thought I could make a good book out of it.

The characters in this story are unique and well developed. What were some driving ideas behind their character development?

Allan’s character, for one, is inspired by the effects of lack of support, empathy, and sensitivity towards the failures of a person. As we can see, Allan’s failure to triumph at Duran’s Quest was met by spite and stigmatisation among his peers and tribe members which pushed him to suicide. Tensey is a character who also lost hope in life due the events that occurred in his life but he was able to pick himself up with the help of Evelyn and make himself a hero in this novel. Most of the characters are based on situations that could happen to anyone but in a different and more intriguing setting.

Much like in real life there is a virus devastating the world. How much of your story was informed by real life?

Its a coincidence I find surprising myself. I started writing this novel early last year and no one would have guessed that this is how 2020 would turn out. I couldn’t publish it earlier due to the rigours of my masters program and my career as a lawyer.

Author Links: Amazon | Twitter

Aberration: Arana's Premonition by [Ayodeji Ayinde]On a small continent, two tribes existed without the knowledge of one another in the eight century of their existence; the Acrians and the Dains. The Acrians were an intellectual tribe gifted with knowledge and excelled in peace. They lived west of the continent. The Dains were a religious group of people who worshiped their ancestors. They lived east of the continent on the mountains. Unknown to them, their religious practices were leading to the extinction of the Acrians through the manifestation of a virus created by their beliefs.

Tensey Damian, a famed hunter with a legendary status, lost everything to the virus. He teamed up with Evelyn Starling and her father, Gredon Starling, a seasoned scientist, to find a cure for the virus. Motivated by different ideals, love, duty, and, desires; they took on an impenetrable security to reach the root of their destruction to the despise of their people. They found a dying young man close to the mountain edge and discovered that he was the key to their salvation. The fear of an outbreak as a result of their actions turned the people they sought to save to their enemies. Alone in their quest for redemption, they battled several adversities to reach their goals. Tensey, Evelyn, and, Gredon discovered that the young man was from another tribe on the continent born from the inadequacies of their long-lost past.

Tensey, Evelyn, and Gredon soon realized that to achieve their goals they must become the villains their people think they are and there was a thin line between good and evil.

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Migel Jayasinghe

Migel Jayasinghe Author Interview

Migel Jayasinghe Author Interview

A Literary Smorgasbord is a collection of your literary works which reflect on many aspects of your life. What was the inspiration that made you want to publish your work?

The ‘inspiration’ for this book was merely a telephone call ‘out of the blue’ by a chap from Xlibris. He offered to publish any manuscript of mine at a relatively small cost. Although I did not have a completed MS like a novel, I knew I had enough short stories and poems, which I had entered into various competitions, but without much success, that would make up enough pages for a book. I also had autobiographical sketches which could be included as memoir.

I was pleasantly surprised when I sent these to get a very positive response. My work was very readable, and needed no editing. I then had to decide on the cover page, and my wife helped with a photograph of the front of our house. That was acceptable too.

However, the minus side of all this was the increasing cost at various stages of the publishing process. I was not consulted about the pricing of the book either. In the end, I had parted with a small fortune, but the end product was very professional. I hope now, with good reviews like the one from you, the book would become a ‘best seller’. In e-book form as well.

I enjoyed the poetry in this book. When do you write most of your poems?

I did not attempt writing poems seriously until after my move to southern Spain on retirement. Sitting on the terrace of my sun-drenched abode, I read quite a few books including poetry. If I remember right, all the poems in this book and others self-published as ‘One Year in Spain’ (2011) and ‘Solace in Verse’ (2013) were written between 2007 and 2014. Most of these poems were published in the local freebie weekly newspaper then under the title, ‘The Coast Rider’. Now ‘Costa Blanca People’.

Your short stories were entertaining and interesting. What was your favorite story from the collection?

‘The Reunion’ is my favorite story. It is based mostly on fact. The protagonist, ‘Colvin’ died of Covid – 19 in Luton last month aged just 76, eight years my junior. Couldn’t attend the funeral, but watched online.

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

I hope to write a dystopian futuristic novel on the lines of George Orwell’s 1984 and Ray Bradbury’s Fahrenheit 451.

Author Links: Amazon | GoodReads

A Literary Smorgasbord: Memoir, Fiction, and Poetry by [Migel Jayasinghe]

There was no question that this author looked up to the United Kingdom as his mother country, where he emigrated to, at the age of 26. Although Ceylon, his actual birthplace gained independence from the British Empire when he was just 12 years old (1948).

At secondary school he regularly won the class prize for English and contributed stories and essays not only to the college magazine, but also to the children’s pages of local daily newspapers.

Under the title ‘Rudderless Living’ the author paints a succinct autobiographical picture of the main events of his nomadic life. ‘Overland’ describes not only a trio’s trip by car to Mumbai, India, starting from Cambridge, UK, but also refers to important background events in the author’s life. Over the years he had been writing short stories merely as a hobby, and the reader can expect a wide variety of real life events, as well as futuristic fables, in this collection. His poems were mostly written after he retired to Spain, and reflects his daily life there. A few of his poems won recognition as ‘Honorable Mentions’ at various competitions.

‘A Literary Smorgasbord’ is the product of his literary heritage exhibiting an undoubted mastery of the English language. Although he did not succeed in attending the then one and only University of Ceylon, he later gained academic qualifications from the University of London, and worked as an occupational psychologist until retirement age.

As assessed by British Mensa he has an IQ falling within the top 3% of the population. There is no question that this is reflected in the essays, stories and poems so uniquely presented in this volume, ‘A Literary Smorgasbord’. A worthy read.

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Universal Human Elements

Miles Watson Author Interview

Miles Watson Author Interview

Sinner’s Cross is a gritty look at WWII and the toll it took on a group of soldiers. What was the inspiration for the setup to this thrilling story?

When I was much younger, I read a book by Charles Whiting called The Battle of the Huertgen Forest. It read just like a novel, and provided a horrifying, unrelenting look at this massive battle which killed 26,000 men, which somehow I had never heard of. I gradually began to understand that the reason the Huertgen Forest Campaign was unknown to the American public was because it neither began nor ended well, and saw many lives lost for very little return. It seemed tragic to me that only men who died in “glorious” battles are remembered or honored the way they ought to be. I wanted to tell their story, but in a way that concentrated on the universal human elements.

Each of your characters were well developed. Who was your favorite character to write for?

All of them had their pleasures and their pains. The emotional arcs of Breese and Zenger were rather tough for me to write because they were suffering so much — Breese from fear, Zenger from doubt. Halleck was fun because he is so tough, but also so taciturn that all of his emotions are beneath the surface. Sinner’s Cross is a WW2 story, but Halleck is a classic Old West cowboy at heart. Anyone who says writing cowboys ain’t fun is lying to you.

I enjoyed how historically accurate this book is. What kind of research did you undertake to ensure the books authenticity?

I’m a history buff, have a degree in history, and possess an immense library of books on WW2, including a collection of material printed during the war by both America and Germany. Whenever I needed information, that was where I started.

However, I am of the opinion that if you want to read a genuine account of a battle, that’s what history books are for. Novels are there to put you inside the experience, and the best way to make situations real is to nail the small details — what type of tobacco the Germans smoked, what type of music the Americans listened to, what happens when a hundred pounds of high explosives hits a tree at supersonic speed. I am very proud to say that I’ve had veterans of the Army and Marines both, guys who fought in wars from Vietnam to Iraq, congratulate me on getting the atmosphere right.

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

I like to write in every genre, and right now I’m trying to finish an epic horror novel I’ve been toiling on for 2 1/2 years. I have several months of work ahead of me just to finish the first draft, so it’s anyone’s guess when it will see the light of day. However, the sequel to Sinner’s Cross is in the final drafting process as I write this, and I intend to release it in October of this year.

Author Links: GoodReads | Twitter | Facebook | Website

Sinner's Cross: A Novel of the Second World War by [Miles Watson]In 1944, Sinner’s Cross was just a point on a map: a muddy track through shell-torn German woods. Worthless…except to the brass on both sides of the war, who are willing to sacrifice their best men to have it. Men like Halleck, a tough-as-nails Texan who traded driving cattle for driving soldiers; Breese, a phenomenal actor who can play any part but hero; and Zenger, the Nazi paratrooper who discovers Hitler’s Germany is a lousy place to grow a conscience. Their lives and deaths will intersect at the place called Sinner’s Cross.

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