Ardent Grandeur follows an aspiring music artist through triumph and tragedy on his way to the top. What was the inspiration for the setup to your riveting story?
The inspiration for the book, Ardent Grandeur came from my first self-help book, “Cheaters Never Win: How to Stop Cheating in Any Relationship or Never Start,” which emphasizes the importance of figuring out your “why?” in effort to change behavior. With the fiction novel, Ardent Grandeur, I wanted to “paint the picture” of how our decisions impact those around us, and how we can cope and overcome life challenges in a better way. I want people to see how their decisions can impact others. Sometimes, the offender doesn’t always get to see how their behaviors and decisions impact others, so I give a voice to those characters in the book that allows them to tell their stories by having deep, thought-provokng conversations with their offenders. Just like the book states, “Every life decision, matters more than we think.”
Bryce is an intriguing and well developed character. What were some driving ideals behind your character’s development?
The driving ideals behind Bryce’s character development was to show different stages of his life and show people that despite your upbringing or what you have done in your past, people can change, if he/she wants to change and works toward making the necessary changes in their life. Even trash is recyclable. No matter how many times people travel down the wrong path in life, they can still change their direction (route recalculate like a GPS) to put themselves on the right path in life.
What were some themes that were important for you to explore in this book?
Some of the important themes that were important for me to explore in the book are: unconditional love, self-worth, self-efficacy, effective communication, self-love, critical thinking, behaviors, and decision making. Our behaviors can be a result from our life experiences (good or bad) and the decisions that we make in life are so important because they can impact us, as well as those around us, in a negative or positive way. Yet, even when we make poor decisions, we don’t have to be held captive to those decisions. We can get to the root cause of our behaviors, acknowledge them, and put in the work to do and be better.
What is the next book that you are working on and when will it be available?
I am currently working on the sequel to Ardent Grandeur to continue the story and will hopefully release it by the end of 2021.
Author Website: loveexquisite.com
Ardent Grandeur is a fiction, novel about an aspiring music artist who is passionate about living a life of “Grandeur” and will stop at no end to reach the top, despite who he hurts along the way. Through triumph and tragedy, the decisions we make can lead to negative or positive outcomes. In the end, everyone in the book learns the valuable lesson that life decisions matter more than you think. The book causes us to think critically about our own life decisions and how they can impact those around us.
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Trigger Point follows Luc as he must stop a terrorist plot while navigating a political and religious web of corruption as a deadly team is hunting him. What were some sources that informed this novel’s development?
I was intrigued by “The Islamist: Why I joined Radical Islam in Britain, What I Saw Inside and Why I Left” by Ed Hussain, “Radical Islam: Past, Present, and Future: What Moderate Muslims Will Not Tell you” by Anita & Vann Boseman, “God’s Wolf: The Life of the Most Notorious of All Crusaders: Reynald de Chatillon” by Jeffrey Lee, “A Common Word Between Us and You” by Prince Ghazi bin Muhammad bin Talal, Kingdom of Jordan. There was also “The Entity: Five Centuries of Secret Vatican Espionage” by Eric Frattini. At the time of writing, the book was prohibitively priced to the extent I asked myself, ‘Who does not want us to read this?’. All-in-all, I wanted to challenge the stereotype of a terrorist and show that everybody has a propensity for violence if not checked.
Luc Fortesque is a consistently entertaining character. What were some character motivations that you felt were important to developing him throughout the novel?
In the first book of the series, The Apocalypse Trigger, Luc is the bad guy. Readers will hate him. By the time I wrote The Immortality Trigger, he seemed like the guy I wanted to return. So I set him on this path of redemption. He’d done some pretty nasty stuff and has always attributed his life-choices to external stimuli. But at the end of the day, our decisions define us, and who we become. That became the theme and we see it resolve in Trigger Point. The bad guy finds his soul, his righteousness. Also melds with my belief that everybody is doing what they can to survive in this world.
Was there anything taken from real life and put into the story?
Plenty. All the locations, vehicles are factual. Raynald de Chattilon and Nur ad Din were sworn enemies during the crusades. The syncretism of Catholic and Maya beliefs is real as is the ritual and the construct of the typical Maya village. Zombie Deer Disease is real, as is the (questionable) research that I caught onto and used to great effect. The Swiss vaults described in the book exist and nobody knows the true extent of the wealth or secrets stored there. The Japanese Unit 731 existed and its research was co-opted by the US after WWII. The Chinese AI entity is based on fact – Western companies are indirectly providing the expertise much to the concern of their home nations. I’ve done my best to be non-offensive yet informative in my exposition of Catholism, Islam and religious trends.
This is the third book in your Luc Fortesque Adventure series. What can readers expect in book four?
Visitors to my website will observe I’m happy doing trilogies before moving on to something fresh. For now, there won’t be another Luc Fortesque book. I’ve got another hero coming up and yet another that I’m concluding in another series. Then I’m contemplating a wild prehistoric adventure. Who doesn’t ?
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Decanted is the story of bored millennial wine enthusiast and super palate Samantha Goodyear. When Samantha gets the opportunity of a lifetime to visit and work on one of the finest vineyards in France, she drops everything to go. Samantha returns to the United States and begins to build her own wine empire from a special gift left to her family by an older relative from World War II. But disaster strikes and the possibility of love once again enters the picture. Will she take the opportunity and will her business survive?
This emotionally charged book that radiates the aura of leisure and gives the reader a beautiful picture of sunny California, historic France and miles of vineyards. Author Linda Sheehan gives readers a light romance that is humorous at times and not too bogged down with heavy drama, although there is plenty of it it’s always refreshing. The flashbacks to the past and Aunt Vivian’s story are wonderful too and provide extra insight into the culture and art of winemaking that shapes Samantha’s life. The one thing that makes this novel stand out from other contemporary romance novels is the wine culture that is used as a fascinating backdrop to some stimulating scenes and alluring characters. The characters are all distinct and have their varying degrees of interest and class in the world of winemaking. There are the snobs, the hard workers, the casual enjoyers, and all are represented effortless yet realistic way. Samantha in particular is a compelling protagonist. She is a relatable millennial who is stuck in the rat race and trying to make a living, figure out life, and manage issues between her parents. But the truly amazing and likable things about Samantha is how she pursues her passions with abandon, all the while staying true to her herself. It is so refreshing and unique to read a protagonist so ready to think, act, and pursue her true self and her desires.
Decanted is a wonderfully realistic and intelligent new adult romance novel revealing a well-researched wine culture that’s effortlessly entertaining. I enjoyed the rich and detailed explanations of the natural views and taste or smells of the food and drink in the book. This book is a paradise for the gastronomically inclined. I highly recommend this as a light and refreshing read to any who dreams of the French campagne, soleil, et bon vin.
Pages: 265 | ISBN: 978-1-68433-703-3
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Stephanie Xavier hasn’t wanted for anything her entire life. She is privileged, spoiled, and has everything at her disposal. Her family’s wealth is well-known, and she has never had to hold a job or support herself. As perfect as her life seems, Stephanie is in need of much more. She has spent the better part of teens and young adulthood moving through meaningless short-lived relationships and has never known true love. The friendships she has made can hardly be called true. In fact, the only two women who still manage to spend time with her are as emotionally bankrupt as she is. When she makes up her mind to change her life, will the ones she wants to take with her be ready and willing?
Changing the Rules, the second book in the Sterling Wood series, by Charlene Johnson, chronicles the tempestuous life of Stephanie Xavier and her quest for a meaningful and loving relationship. After spending years bouncing from one man to the next in an effort to compete in a game based on sexual conquests, Stephanie realizes she wants love and not physical attention. Her problem is the man she wants, Craig, has been burned and is sure he can never love again–especially someone like Stephanie. He has heard the stories about her sex club and he knows she is the last person to commit. Their relationship seems doomed from the beginning. I couldn’t help but feel sorry for Stephanie–as privileged as she is, she is a truly sad character.
Romance fans will revel in Johnson’s work. From cover to cover, the main characters are embroiled in one gratuitous sex scene after another. Buried within the explicit scenes is a storyline that doesn’t seem to get enough attention. The prologue set me up with some high expectations for the plot, but this was less a thriller and more of a romance. This is a plot-driven romantic suspense novel, with intense sex scenes, but I really wanted to see much more develop between Stephanie and several of the other characters.
I highly recommend Changing the Rules to any romance fan. With an element of mystery to the plot, I can see romance fans being intrigued with Stephanie’s storyline, her turbulent life, and the constant conflict she faces with Craig–she is a memorable character and definitely leaves her mark on readers.
Pages: 296 | ASIN: B08R81BYRT
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Little Dragon and the Rainbow Poo uses a unique idea to teach children about colors in a fun way. What was the inspiration for the setup to your story?
When my son was born, he was quite loud and his poo was always different colours. One exhausted night Little Dragon came to be.
The art in the book is very cute. What was the art collaboration process like with illustrator Ms. Amelia Gleeson?
It was quite fun, I’m not too artistic, so Amelia had quite a lot of freedom with the style. Once she’d come up with a character style we both like, we then started coming up with the scenes for each activity.
My favorite scene from the book was the one where the dragon was scared while watching a movie. Do you have a favorite scene from the book?
I like when little dragon is listening to jazz, but the final scene always gets a great reaction from my kids which puts a smile on my face.
What is the next book that you are working on and when will it be available?
I’m currently working on Missy M and the quest for oo. Not sure when this will be available, hopefully it doesn’t take too long for me to finish it (got writer’s block)
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Some people are impulsive, and some are very calculating and measure every move before they make it. Others wait for someone to tell them what to do and when to do it. Then there is Jaime. When Jaime decides to begin life anew, he does it based on a movie. Not everyone can say they look to settle in the town in which a movie was set, but Jaime can. He’s a man with a plan to have no plan and looks forward to seeing what his future may hold in Fort Davis, Texas. With absolutely no idea how he will make a living and no long term plans, Jaime sets out on his own to make his way in the world.
Tumbleweed and Dreams: Book I From the Trilogy – The Life and Stories of Jaime Cruz by T.P. Graf, chronicles the experiences of Jaime Cruz as he starts a new life in a sleepy Texas town. He has left behind a life in California that was less than successful and has begun to haunt him. Jaime is looking for a fresh start in every aspect of his life, and holds out hope that he will not only find his way to a rewarding career but also to a meaningful relationship. As Jaime begins to shape his life in Texas, he meets and becomes close to one character after another, each with his or her own unique story to share.
This is a book as much about relationships as it is the main character’s plight. Graf has given readers a beautifully crafted tale. From the intricate descriptions of the diverse cultures found in Texas to Jaime’s thoughtful exploration of religion, the author shows readers a depth not often found in most works of fiction. Jaime is an especially introspective character, and readers find themselves growing closer to him throughout the course of his story.
Graf manages to keep readers enthralled with Jaime’s day-to-day experiences chapter after chapter. While this first in a series is not a thriller or especially dramatic in its own right, it is captivating due to the author’s ability to present a well-developed main character who reaches out and grabs readers by the hand and carries them along on the journey that is beginning to shape his new life.
I recommend Tumbleweed and Dreams: Book I From the Trilogy – The Life and Stories of Jaime Cruz to any reader looking for a beautifully penned tale of self-discovery and a strong main character who stands out in a crowd. Jaime Cruz, a memorable and relatable figure, will linger in readers’ minds far beyond the final page.
Pages: 210 | ASIN: B08P27HYBD
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Ahna has all the powers needed to do great damage or be a great asset. As a dark elf, it is not likely she will be welcome in this battle as a rebel. She has spent many years secluded and trying to push aside all memories of the battle that was lost by her people. Her time has been spent trying to separate herself from those days. Despite all her efforts, things have come full circle, and she is being coerced into escaping seclusion and heading into battle once more. Will Kairen’s pleas be enough to bring Ahna to the forefront of the war?
Tempest of Bravoure: Kingdom Ascent, by Valena D’Angelis, is a beautifully vivid fantasy novel focused on the life of Ahna, who is dokkalfar. Her personality, her appearance, and her unique set of skills all combine to make a memorable character and a force with which to be reckoned. Ahna is one of those female leads readers will love from the moment she graces the pages. Her energy is pure, and her determination is strong.
Fantasies, when well done, have a certain beauty all their own. D’Angelis has mastered exactly that in a story filled with adventure, peril, and self-discovery. The descriptions of the landscape are particularly breathtaking and truly make the story all the more riveting. In addition, the author has created a fascinating cast of characters and beings; their world is one that draws readers directly into the story. D’Angelis’s work is not short on action. Page after page, Ahna and her comrades find themselves in the throes of a battle that never seems to end. The magical energy and abilities Ahna possesses make each and every one of their clashes that much more intriguing. As splendid a setting and as full of adventure and action as it is, I would love to have seen more of a focus on the backstories of the main characters.
I was especially touched by the dynamic between Kairen and Ahna. The rescue that brought the two together sets the stage for a close and loving relationship. Ahna, a mentor and sister figure to Kairen, spends a great deal of her time modeling appropriate behavior and teaching Kairen to prepare for the rebellion in which she would one day participate. She is as much a mother as she is a trainer.
Tempest of Bravoure: Kingdom Ascent is an emotionally charged adventure that sword and sorcery fans will devour. Author Valena D’Angelis is adept at creating a mystical world that seems like we’re only scratching the surface of some deeper lore.
Pages: 283 | ASIN: B08R2SDW5V
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1989: What Happens When A Killer Returns For Revenge is a haunting crime thriller that follows a woman who is determined to find the man that murdered her husband. What was the inspiration for the setup to your story?
I wanted to create this vision of accomplishment and happiness, while also providing some background for Nicole, to get the reader to feel the joy and happiness that she felt at the beginning of the book, so when she finds her husband dead, the reader can feel her pain and understand why she went on this journey.
I also, wanted show how his death not only affected her, but how it impacted his partner as well. I wanted to show that not only was Sgt Allen close to Marcus, but how he was equally, if not even closer to Nicole. The goal was to show the internal struggle as he dealt with not only the death of his friend, but also the re-emergence of the Penny Murderer, and a new partner who doesn’t trust him.
Nicole is an intriguing and well developed character. What were some driving ideals behind her character’s development?
She is a combination of both fictional characters and people I know. I wanted her to be both strong and vulnerable. I wanted to showcase her strength and determination, while also showing that she is a “real” person, hopefully creating someone that readers could relate to. I wanted her to be a “normal” person, someone readers would leave saying, I know someone like her or could see how she could be real. This was the same model I applied to all my characters.
I enjoyed the mystery at the heart of this story. Was the mystery planned or did it develop organically while writing?
It was a combination of the two. I started with a general outline, it was pretty basic, because I didn’t want to write myself in a corner. I wanted to give myself the ability to adapt the story as I went along. The story ended up playing out in real life. Every event that occurred, did so from the characters perspective. I tried to immerse myself in them and take on their behaviors and tell their story not how I thought it should, but how I thought they would react and act.
What is the next book that you are working on and when will it be available?
I am working on the follow-up to 1989: What Happens When A Killer Returns For Revenge. This was just the beginning, there is still so much more left of the story to be told. It will potentially be available towards the end of the year.
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