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Soul Mates Exist

Author Interview
Maggie Durst Author Interview

Tranquility follows two architects working together on a new resort who, while on assignment, experience a paranormal event and find romance. What was the inspiration for the setup of your story?

The first time I heard the term “soul mate,” I was obsessed. What if there is only one person for each of us? How do you know when you have found “the one?” The world is packed with people. Certainly, there is some higher power at work to make all this happen across the globe. So that is how I got to creating some sort of divine intervention, some super bizarre events that cannot be explained.

I remember when I met my husband. It felt different from meeting other guys. It’s not that I simply thought, “He is good looking,” but I really did feel a spark. Twenty-something years later, still enjoying life together, so I think I got the message loud and clear.

What kind of research did you do for this novel to ensure you captured the essence of the story’s theme on green spaces?

My background is in conservation. I have helped create green initiatives in several zoo and aquarium settings, so I was familiar with some of the schematics I put in the book. This is my first delve into fiction writing. My other publications are all scientific articles. Working in conservation is a tragic ending more often than not, which is why I needed a romantic escape.

What scene in the book did you have the most fun writing?

I think I had the most fun writing the dialogue for when they realize that they are having the same dreams. It’s the mundane that turns into the extraordinary. The two main characters are in the break room, doing typical office coffee things, when one of them makes a joke about what happened in the dream the night before. Up till that point, they do not know that they are really meeting up in their subconscious. The wrestle of wanting to believe those things that can’t be explained is what I want the reader to feel.

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

My next book is another sci-fi romance, but this one is based in history as well. It’s about a couple who get in a big fight before the wife leaves for a long trip to mountain climb in southeast Asia. Her flight takes her on MA-370, the Malaysian airplane that disappeared. Just like Titanic, you know how it is going to end, but you go back to see how they met (and the sparks that flew) and their love story. The cliffhanger is to see if they get to apologize to one another before she, and the plane, vanishes.

What is the inspiration behind those vivid dreams each night?

Taylor has an ordinary life, an ordinary job, and an ordinary boyfriend. Her co-worker, Greg, has the high-end looks to go with his high-end lifestyle. Taylor’s big break comes when she is partnered with Greg to create an ultra-green, luxury resort off the Atlantic coast. As the project moves along, the two experience setbacks. Some small, some in their personal lives, some as large as getting stranded on an island during a hurricane. Their chemistry is palpable and literally electric despite being in long-term relationships. Those relationships might hinder them from being romantic during the day, but not while sleeping.

In Tranquility, by Maggie Durst, readers experience fantasy, comedy, and inspiration to make dreams into reality.

Gender-Focused Investing Is The Future

Ruth Shaber
Author Interview
Patience Marime-Ball Author Interview

The XX Edge: Unlocking Higher Returns and Lower Risk focus on the financial impact of gender-focused investing and why women need to have a greater role. Why was this an important book for you to write?

Our collective and extensive experiences in the financial sector, as well as in the field of women’s health, has shown us time and again that women have a transformative impact on the world when they are financial decision-makers.

As investors, we’ve seen firsthand the impact of integrating a gender analysis in financial decision-making. Patience has spearheaded the development of multi-billion-dollar financial platforms and the structuring of large global funds centered around women. On the other hand, Ruth’s experience as an Obstetrician and Gynecologist and founder of Tara Health Foundation gave her insights into the pressing need for innovative programs promoting the health and well-being of women and girls.

However, the mainstream financial sector, which could greatly benefit from more gender-focused investing, is largely not aware of the significant advantages it presents. This lack of awareness inspired us to share our insights in a more accessible and impactful way.

The XX Edge is our answer. We make a compelling data-driven case for investing with a gender and broader diversity focus. Specifically, across all asset classes, when women are central to financial decisions and apply their skills, the results are higher returns for investors leading to significant economic growth.

The book is an invitation to embrace a new paradigm of gender-focused investing where women are not just beneficiaries but also key decision-makers and agents of change. We emphasize this role of women in the economy, as it holds the potential for a more inclusive and profitable future. This isn’t just a theoretical concept but an achievable reality, one that benefits everyone.

Writing The XX Edge has given us a platform to amplify this reality and, we hope, to inspire more individuals and institutions to harness the transformative power of gender-focused investing.

How much research did you undertake for this book, and how much time did it take to put it all together?

The research process for The XX Edge: Unlocking Higher Returns and Lower Risk was both extensive and rewarding. Given the depth of the financial analysis we were presenting and the critical nature of the social issues we were addressing, we knew it was essential to be thorough and meticulous in our research.

We combined our decades of professional experiences with a wide range of external resources. We analyzed the latest financial data, explored studies on gender-focused investing, and took a deep dive into economic and social impact research. We also held numerous discussions with experts in the field to ensure that we had a comprehensive understanding of the current landscape and potential future developments.

The research process took approximately 6 months. It was an exciting opportunity to consolidate the compelling data and insights that reinforced our message. The writing process went relatively well once we had a clear understanding of the data and could articulate the financial case for gender-focused investing.

We both cherished our partnership during this journey. We brought to the table our unique insights and experiences, and this collaboration enriched the book immeasurably.

What were some ideas that were important for you to share in this book?

First, there is an irrefutable financial case for gender-focused investing. Our research shows that when women are at the table for business decisions and investments, enterprises are stronger and financial returns are higher. This is an underutilized strategy that can benefit individual investors and the global economy at large.

Second, we highlight the importance of women as economic agents. Too often, conversations about gender and finance focus solely on how women can benefit from financial resources. But women are more than just recipients; they are innovators, decision-makers, and leaders. When women apply their skills and insights across capital markets, we’ve seen firsthand that they drive significant economic growth. This means recognizing the potential of women to effect change in all areas, including economic, environmental, and social spheres.

Lastly, we wanted to present a vision for a new paradigm in investing – one where gender-focused investing is not seen as a niche strategy but is mainstream and central to financial decision-making. We envision a future where financial institutions and individual investors alike understand and capitalize on the benefits of gender-focused investing.

These ideas have the potential to transform how people think about finance and investment, and we hope that The XX Edge will inspire readers to explore these possibilities further.

What is one thing that you hope readers take away from The XX Edge?

If there’s one takeaway we hope readers will glean from our book, it is the understanding that gender-focused investing isn’t just a social or ethical choice, but a sound financial strategy that brings differentiated analysis to decision-making leading to higher returns and lower risk.

Readers will come to appreciate the transformative potential that lies in elevating women as key decision-makers in finance. When women apply their skills and insights across capital markets, it leads to more than just equitable representation; it catalyzes greater economic growth and fosters a more sustainable and inclusive financial ecosystem.

We envision a future where gender-focused investing is mainstream, and we hope that our readers will become ambassadors of this change, understanding its potential and carrying this knowledge into their own lives and communities. Whether they are seasoned investors, financial advisors, or individuals hoping to increase the balance in their retirement accounts, we hope they recognize that investing with a gender and diversity lens is essential for our collective future.

In The XX Edge, Patience Marime-Ball and Ruth Shaber envision a new paradigm of gender-focused investing where more women are placed in decision-making roles and able to optimize their skills across all capital markets—leading to higher returns for individual investors and greater economic growth.

There’s a simple but often overlooked investment strategy to earning higher returns—include women as financial decision-makers within your organization or team. That’s The XX Edge. 

Seasoned executives and investors Patience Marime-Ball and Ruth Shaber demonstrate the new paradigm where women are at the center of investing as agents and actors—not just as beneficiaries.

If you manage investments—either your own or others’—you’ll want to understand the data and discover the financial power of The XX Edge:
Gender-inclusive teams are 21% more likely to see outperformance in profitability relative to peers 
Female CFOs deliver a 6% increase in profits and an 8% stock performance bump compared to overall performance under male predecessors
New companies with a female founder performed 63% better than those with all-male teams over an observed ten-year period 
Women-run hedge funds outperformed the average of larger hedge funds by a margin of 6% over a six-and-a-half-year period


You’ll discover the inherent gender differences between women and men and why these differences make women excellent financial decision makers and investment collaborators. Patience and Ruth unpack the evidence that proves this point across all asset classes.

The XX Edge shows that when women make financial decisions and apply their skills across all capital markets, it leads to higher returns for individual investors and greater economic growth—a true win-win for all.


The Question, by Greg Siofer, is a captivating and enigmatic story that follows the extraordinary journey of Nairb and his wife. One fateful day at work, Nairb uncovers his incredible abilities: the power to heal, manifest objects, and even manipulate supernatural occurrences. As they strive to maintain a semblance of normalcy, they soon realize that their newfound powers come with unforeseen risks. Together, Nairb and his wife must navigate these perilous events while guarding their secret from prying eyes. This mysterious narrative is a delightful choice for enthusiasts of suspenseful and action-packed novels.

The concept behind the story is exceptionally imaginative, drawing readers into a world where the extraordinary intersects with the mundane. The characters are skillfully depicted and offer a fascinating exploration of human nature. While some aspects of the characters’ reactions could have been more realistically portrayed, the progression of the narrative, starting from Nairb’s job and its subsequent upheaval due to his newfound powers, was engaging and well-executed. Notably, when his wife accidentally shot him, the absence of immediate panic before discovering his ability to heal himself contributed to the unique and unexpected nature of the narrative. The inclusion of supernatural elements in the storyline proved to be a captivating aspect, leaving readers intrigued and wanting more. Expanding upon the origins or causes behind these powers would undoubtedly deepen the narrative’s complexity and further engage the audience.

The Question exhibits a creative premise, along with well-developed characters and a suspenseful plot, ensuring that readers will be fully immersed in the story. With interesting character reactions and a unique plot this gripping book has the potential to become an absolute must-read for fans of mystery and action genres.

Pages: 168 | ASIN : B0C414CCGR

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The Forgotten Treasure

Isabel Ricardo’s The Forgotten Treasure is an enchanting fantasy novel inspired by captivating myths and folklore. Set within a treasure hunt, the story uncovers a wealth that transcends mere material worth and delves into the realm of profound knowledge. This pursuit spans multiple sects and kingdoms, traversing the vast tapestry of time itself. Presently, a group of enterprising young individuals, Mike, Kelly, Sarah, and Andy, find themselves entrusted with a clue that leads them through the hallowed halls of museums and monuments, beckoning them ever closer to the final treasure. Yet, even they remain blissfully unaware of the intricacies unfolding around them.

The author crafts a narrative that seamlessly integrates explanations for the events taking place by deftly weaving together historical facts, fiction, and mythical elements. The prose flows with elegance and clarity, captivating readers with its fluidity. I was entranced by the author’s skillful employment of evocative phrases on numerous occasions. The book’s relentless pace, replete with daring escapes and perilous predicaments, imbues the entire adventure with an exhilarating, spine-tingling quality. Notably, the interactions between the young protagonists and their unwavering dedication to their quest are truly commendable. Throughout the story, an ever-present allusion to “The Lusiads,” an epic poem by Portuguese poet Luis Vaz de Camoes, lends an additional layer of depth and richness. The manner in which the narrative unfolds, gradually unveiling the arduous and protracted journey in search of the forgotten treasure, greatly appealed to me. The unexpected twists and turns along the way ensured a consistently engrossing read. Nevertheless, it should be acknowledged that, on occasion, certain actions displayed a degree of predictability. Furthermore, while exploring the intricate tapestry of historical facts and references within the narrative, I discovered the need for supplementary research to fully grasp their profound significance.

I wholeheartedly recommend The Forgotten Treasure to avid readers who relish fictional works grounded in the realities of life. This book will undoubtedly captivate adventure seekers and mystery enthusiasts alike, piquing their curiosity with its tantalizing blend of excitement and enigma.

Pages: 316 | ISBN : 1949868923

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The Rage Room

In The Rage Room, S.I. Almanza introduces us to Matt, a character whose life is akin to a ticking time bomb, shaped by a deeply traumatic past. His narrative is one of resilience, struggling to reconcile his troubled upbringing with his present. He was born to a mother whose gentle soul was enslaved by addictive substances, an unfortunate situation that eventually claimed her life. His father, a figure of arrogance and abuse, was the source of further torment. The narrative is further punctuated by the mental health struggles of his younger sister, Jodie, whose battle with severe depression ultimately leads to her tragic suicide. This series of catastrophic events leaves Matt in solitude, grappling with the specters of his past.

Matt’s professional life as a housing officer shines as a beacon of success, a stark contrast to his haunted personal life. However, his encounter with an enigmatic elderly man on a routine train ride shatters this facade, revealing the turbulent undercurrents of his life. This pivotal event triggers a series of revelations about Matt’s latent violent tendencies and the sinister secrets that lie beneath his surface.

In my assessment, Matt’s downfall can be attributed to the unbearable loneliness and his reluctance to seek assistance. Despite being plagued by auditory hallucinations and nightmarish dreams, he found himself unable to confide in anyone. His emotional wounds remained untreated, further fueled by his isolation. Even though his colleague Hayley offered him affection, his pride and past experiences kept her at a distance.

While the narrative is primarily focused on Matt, it would have enhanced the depth of the story to have a richer exploration of the secondary characters. Initially, the suspense of the story was captivating, yet over time, the direction of the narrative became somewhat ambiguous. Matt’s character, however, maintains an air of mystery throughout, with each page unveiling a new facet of his complex personality.

The Rage Room is commendable for its innovative character development and plot structure. Almanza’s talent for crafting vivid descriptions brings the narrative to life, engaging readers in the unfolding drama. For avid readers and fans of psychological thrillers, The Rage Room is an engaging read, combining creative writing with suspenseful storytelling. Almanza’s work will keep you at the edge of your seat, eager to unravel the enigma that is Matt.

Pages: 155 | ASIN : B0C3BMNGV1

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In DELOS: The Moon’s Eye, the second installment by Blake Miller, the captivating saga of twins Cynthia and Kaden continues after their intriguing introduction in the previous book. The narrative embarks on a thrilling quest as Lil of Lurkur mysteriously disappears, prompting Cynthia, Kaden, and their companions Alec and an unexpected ally to embark on a mission to locate her. Their journey again leads them to the enchanting Lurkur Woods, unraveling the enigma surrounding Lil’s vanishing. However, they soon realize that saving her life necessitates undertaking the perilous Quest of Six Waters, an endeavor that no one has ever survived.

Immersing myself in this fantastical world was an enthralling experience. Gradually, the narrative draws you into its intricate tapestry, allowing a profound understanding of the well-crafted characters. Miller’s prowess in world-building is commendable; the universe created within these pages teems with vibrancy and authenticity. Amidst the unfolding plot, the opportunity to acquaint ourselves with an array of fascinating characters remains intact while simultaneously delving into Lil’s gripping narrative. The author deftly constructs suspense, leaving us pondering: Can they emerge unscathed from the perils that beset them? Is their mission even feasible?

This immersive book has extensive world-building giving readers all the details to feel that they are there with the characters. The reader is carried along on the journey through the author’s writing and experiences all the adventures.

DELOS: The Moon’s Eye is a remarkable work that will captivate fantasy enthusiasts and young adult readers alike. Brimming with enchantment, magical realms, and unparalleled originality, it diverges from the conventional tropes prevalent within the genre. If you relish lengthy tomes, this book will undoubtedly provide you with immense enjoyment. I wholeheartedly recommend it, as it promises a truly unforgettable literary adventure.

Pages: 443 | ASIN : B0C3338KSH

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My Brain is Magic: A Sensory-Seeking Celebration

Every child is different, and they all experience different moods as well as explore their senses in their own way. My Brain is Magic: A Sensory-Seeking Celebration by Prasha Sooful introduces different fun sensory exercises as animals such as a bee, a sloth, or even an owl. These are meant to help stimulate kids and keep them aware of their senses, and we see an example of this through our main character. As she is going through her own different moods and exploring her senses in her own ways!

This book is very unique, and just seeing the first page of “What animal are you?” was very exciting. I loved reading through each animal and learning new sensory exploring techniques. As I read through the story I felt like I was transported into a child’s world, seeing her imagination and how she functions through the day.

Seeing her go through moods of being a busy bee, a tired whale, and even a loud lion was nice as it showed the truth of how you may feel. Seeing how each of her moods explored her senses was also fun, as we got to see her being a touchy octopus with her hands or a slippery fish playing in the water.

The drawings throughout the book were definitely my favorite part, as it was full of color and life, and all the characters had so much emotion. It really makes the reader feel like they are transported into this child’s world!

My Brain is Magic: A Sensory-Seeking Celebration by Prasha Sooful is a wonderful picture book and a must-have for parents! I had so much fun reading it, and I know any kid would love to read it as well. Especially with the activities it comes with for your own child to explore their senses. This children’s book is full of bright illustrations and fun writing. It’s one of the best books I’ve read all month!

Pages: 32 | ASIN : B0BNT5YKGH

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They Were All Loyal

Book Review

Melissa Burrowes’ novel, They Were All Loyal, embarks on an intrepid journey that delves into the realm of fictional land Sarrilla’s diplomatic negotiations with Emperor Li of Longguo, focusing on critical environmental disputes. Cold wars escalating into heated conflicts, exhilarating manhunts, and scientific debacles all form part of this captivating narrative. At the forefront of the movement against animal cruelty and large-scale production stands Prime Minister James Tresser, whose leadership unfolds in a manner reminiscent of the Hunger Games series. The survival of physical challenges leaves characters and readers alike pondering over every decision made, the lives they saved, and those they didn’t, all in the name of their land’s future.

Within the pages of this enthralling novel, Melissa Burrowes guides readers on an enchanting journey through a meticulously crafted world adorned with oriental landscapes, mesmerizing creatures, and political upheavals. The author’s talent for worldbuilding shines brilliantly as she expertly constructs a vibrant, immersive setting that springs to life with vividness and depth. It is the kind of literary work that lingers in the mind long after the final page is turned, making it difficult to return to the ordinary routines of everyday life.

While the commendable worldbuilding stands out, I felt that Burrowes’ use of language occasionally falls short. The author’s choice of vernacular tends to lean towards simplicity, particularly in the context of a niche fictional wartime narrative. As a reader, I found myself yearning for more nuanced and evocative prose that would truly transport me into the depths of this intriguing realm. However, Burrowes’ storytelling prowess remains evident, effortlessly captivating readers with an engaging plot, distinct humor, and well-crafted characters. The narrative unfolds with a perfect blend of suspense and surprises as alliances are tested and loyalties are challenged, leaving readers invested in the outcome until the very last page.

Every page of this novel showcases Melissa Burrowes’ remarkable talent for storytelling. The story’s strength and the characters’ depth make this a must-read novel. This is a book that will fascinate and engross readers, leaving an indelible impression long after the final word is read.

Pages 321

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