Dare to Be the Change, written by Annella Metoyer, tells the story of Annella’s life and how she overcame adversities to be the change she wished to see in the world. Annella faces a world of segregation and judgement based on the color of her skin, but is determined to push through the racism and have people see her for who she truly is. This begins a world of firsts for Annella, from being the first colored cheerleader to the first woman of color to work in her local bank. Her life journey will inspire, and enlighten you as you learn what it takes to make a difference in the world.
Growing up in a small town of Louisiana, Annella lives in a time where racism was prevalent in the community. With society segregating everyone into two groups of “colored” and “white”, Annella struggles with her identity. This segregation continues throughout all of her schooling years; however, it was several teachers and adults in her life that showed her that she didn’t need to accept the injustice and inequality that society expected her to endure.
I admired the relationship Annella had with her parents and in particular the strength and support her father showed her throughout her life. Rather than allowing racism to control their lives, he would take a stance and voice his concerns about the unfairness of how children were treated due to the colour of their skin. He was also the instigator of her career as the first woman of color at a bank, forming the pathways of her strength and persistence for change.
Dare to Be the Change enlightens the reader with racial situations or expectations that show an unfair and unjust part of our history. Conditions such as separate school buses or being unable to enter a cafe through the front door if you were colored seem like a preposterous idea, but sadly they were the real-life situations that people had to endure every day.
Throughout the story, you can tell the author Annella Metoyer radiates a certain positivity and gratitude that I believe led her to achieve so many significant changes. There are times where she could have relished in the negativity, but instead, she talks about the positive people in her life that helped her grow and become more confident as a woman. Annella’s endurance and strength to stand up for what is right is a trait to be admired and one that we don’t often see in the world. Annella’s hard work ethic and ability to prove herself in her career is just one way she initiates change as she begins to show others that there is more to a person than the color of their skin.
I would recommend this to anyone looking for an inspirational story that will motivate you to be the change you wish to see in the world.
Pages: 91 | ASIN: B079QM5MNC
Tags: alibris, anella metoyer, author, author life, authors, biography, book, book club, book geek, book lover, bookaholic, bookbaby, bookblogger, bookbub, bookhaul, bookhub, bookish, bookreads, books of instagram, booksbooksbooks, bookshelf, bookstagram, bookstagramer, bookwitty, bookworks, bookworm, change, courage, culture, Dare to Be the Change, ebook, goodreads, heritage, ilovebooks, indiebooks, kindle, kobo, literature, memoir, nook, novel, persistence, publishing, race, racism, read, reader, reading, relationships, segregation, shelfari, smashwords, social science, sociology, story, teen, writer, writer community, writing, young adult
Proper project management is essential in a business. The many moving parts need to be well oiled for a smooth ride. One therefore needs to be able to adapt to unpredictable changes in business. The traditional methodology of project management is sequential and focuses on predicting issues and having set ways to deal with them. The other project methodology is agile, which is a flexible, collaborative, and incremental process.
This book is about an agile framework called scrum. The idea is to focus on making the team adaptive to change. The framework appreciates requirement volatility. This is the prevalence of customer wants and preferences to change. Scrum instills an understanding that changes cannot be fully understood or foreseen. Rather than try to predict and understand the changes, this framework prepares the team to appropriately deal with such changes.
Agile scrum is more widely used in Software development but the author does a good job of generalizing it. Making it the go to framework for every project manager regardless of industry. The book highlights the versatility of scrum beautifully.
The subject matter is a bit complex. However, Scott M. Graffius breaks it down into little chewable bits before delving deep into each, taking it apart grain by grain. This method is greatly useful as it makes a daunting ideology easy to take in and implement. With this book, one can expertly introduce scrum into their business environment and confidently tackle any hurdle. It outlines all the basics in simple language and prose. The book is also greatly useful for people who are already using scrum. It makes for an excellent reference material for those that are already scrum certified or are preparing to be.
Using visual aids in addition to text greatly enhances the material. It makes for a more interactive and engaging experience. It makes the process of understanding the subject matter smoother for everyone whether beginner or veteran. Agile Scrum: Your Quick Start Guide with Step by Step Instructions offers a myriad of supplemental resources. Materials that one can use in addition to the book to better understand and use the scrum framework. It walks one through every step from vision to team formation to creating the product narrative up to release.
Unlike other books on the market, this one offers an informal look at scrum without losing its practicality. The tone is conversational thus does not feel like a textbook, and provides numerous examples and insight into real world implementation of scrum. I would recommended this to anyone looking to change their project management framework or work out knots in their current system. Scott M. Graffius delivers an in depth understanding of the subject matter and instills the same in the reader.
Pages: 156 | ASIN: B01FZ0JIIY
Tags: agile, Agile Scrum: Your Quick Start Guide with Step-by-Step Instructions, alibris, author, author life, authors, book, book club, book geek, book lover, bookaholic, bookbaby, bookblogger, bookbub, bookhaul, bookhub, bookish, bookreads, books of instagram, booksbooksbooks, bookshelf, bookstagram, bookstagramer, bookwitty, bookworks, bookworm, business, developer, development, ebook, education, goodreads, ilovebooks, indiebooks, kindle, kobo, leadership, learning, literature, management, methodology, nook, novel, programming, project management, publishing, read, reader, reading, Scott M. Graffius, scrum, self help, shelfari, smashwords, software, story, technology, writer, writer community, writing
Have you ever wondered what Chakras are and how they can impact your well-being? Teresa McCallum has written a book that is the culmination of years of research, personal experiences, and learning from experts. McCallum is a registered nurse that has spent many years working in the mental health field and has the educational background to back up her findings using these non-traditional methods. In Finding Balance and Forgiveness Through Chakras and Art you will discover what the seven Chakras are, where they are located, how to determine if it is blocked, deficient or in excess of energy and how to correct it so you can bring your body into balance. In addition to providing readers with information on the Chakras and how to balance them, she gives readers real life examples and stories. Many from her own life as a nurse, and her own personal experiences.
Walk through any book store or brows online and you will find thousands of self-help books.
One of the different aspects of this book over others on Chakras is the incorporation of art in all stages. Teresa McCallum offers up methods to incorporate specific forms of art for each Chakras to help you find balance. From working with clay to dance and performing arts, there are an abundance of suggestions on how to use art forms to focus your mind and body to heal your Chakras. There are examples of art, and there are diagrams and instructions for the recommended yoga poses. It is all organized with plenty of quick reference charts to refer back to. I particularly love the silhouettes drawings of the yoga poses, they are simple and uncomplicated and make it easy for me to see how the pose is done. For more complicated one there are instructions as well as recommended breathing techniques to go with them. I found most of the stories helpful in understanding the purpose of each of the Chakras, though a few felt drawn out longer than needed. You can tell the author has a great passion for helping others and the people she chooses to include in this book mean a great deal to her. Sharing of her personal struggles, especially her cardiac arrest, make her relatable because she shows how her life took such a drastic downfall and what she needed to do to heal.
Finding Balance and Forgiveness Through Chakras and Art is a great reference for those new or old to the study of Chakras and self-healing. It is inspiring to learn to detect all the symptoms in your body and trace them back to an origin. What I appreciate the most in this book, is that Teresa McCallum doesn’t promote ignoring traditional medicine and the advice of doctors. She encourages the use of Chakra balancing in addition to getting medical treatment when needed. It is refreshing to see that the two worlds can be combined. I recommend this book for anyone curious about Chakras and how this can improve their day to day life.
Pages: 160 | ASIN: B079P9B6Y6
Tags: alibris, amazon, art, author, author life, authors, book, book club, book geek, book lover, bookaholic, bookbaby, bookblogger, bookbub, bookhaul, bookhub, bookish, bookreads, books of instagram, booksbooksbooks, bookshelf, bookstagram, bookstagramer, bookwitty, bookworks, bookworm, Cardiovascular, chakra, doctor, ebook, education, energy, exercise, Finding Balance and Forgiveness Through Chakras and Art, goodreads, ilovebooks, indiebooks, kindle, kobo, literature, love, medical, medicine, mental health, nook, novel, nurse, publishing, read, reader, reading, reference, self healing, self help, shelfari, smashwords, social science, sociology, story, Teresa McCallum, writer, writer community, writing, yoga
Set in Jamaica in the 17th century, this is the story of Arose Du Mouchelle, a young woman who is the heir to a sugar plantation. When she receives an heirloom from an old gypsy, her life suddenly changes. The Gem of the Red Spirit has powers that others wish to possess, including the Voodoo Priestess, Morel. Chased down by Morel’s henchman, Arose must now protect the world from the dark creatures that Morel is threatening to unleash from the Astral Plane. Will Arose succeed by using her wits and courage along with the help of the dashing Captain St. James?
Nights Arose by Andrea Roche is part historical romance, part fantasy, and packed to the brim with fascinating and unlikely characters and concepts. We are thrown full throttle into a world unlike our own, full of astral planes, pirates and dragons. It makes for a fast- paced, exciting read, and I loved escaping to this fantastical universe for a few hours.
Because the story moves at a quick tempo, I felt immediately drawn into the narrative. Unfortunately, this pace also caused me to get lost occasionally, and I would have preferred a slightly slower introduction to Arose’s predicament. Despite this, Roche keeps the reader constantly intrigued and melds the genres of fantasy and romance together seamlessly, keeping both threads running through the narrative.
Although the book has fantasy aspects, the dialogue is actually naturalistic and punchy. All of the characters have unique voices which add richness and emotion; the dialogue expertly moves the plot along and never feels redundant. The style of the prose is quite flowery, but I actually enjoy this style of writing and it suits the lavishness of the story. Roche writes place particularly well and the setting of the story is one of my favourite aspects of the book. Tropical Jamaica is vividly conjured. Although I have never visited, I could almost feel the warm breeze and see the sights and sounds of this exotic place with its sugar cane fields and blue water.
We all know there aren’t enough strong female characters in fiction, so I fell head over heels for Arose! She is rebellious and brave and pushes boundaries, which makes her seem like a thoroughly modern woman. I loved the fact that she didn’t need a man to be a fully formed character and that the romance fell second to the action. The other characters in the book, such as the evil voodoo priestess, are really imaginative creations and the rest of the motley crew are excellently drawn. The relationships between the characters, especially Arose’s interactions with Captain St. James, feel truthful and authentic.
If you are a fan of fantasy then you will certainly enjoy this book. It is an epic tale that transports you to a magical world and enables you to suspend your disbelief. It left me breathless for the next installment in Arose’s adventures.
Pages: 220 | ASIN: B01N1G9MPC
Tags: action, adventure, alibris, andrea roche, author, author life, authors, book, book club, book geek, book lover, bookaholic, bookbaby, bookblogger, bookbub, bookhaul, bookhub, bookish, bookreads, books of instagram, booksbooksbooks, bookshelf, bookstagram, bookstagramer, bookwitty, bookworks, bookworm, dragon, ebook, fantasy, fiction, goodreads, ilovebooks, indiebooks, Jamaica, kindle, kobo, literature, love story, magic, nights arose, nook, novel, paradise, pirate, publishing, read, reader, reading, rebellious, romance, shelfari, smashwords, story, tropical, voodoo, womens fantasy, womens fiction, writer, writer community, writing
Cradle Gift is the second book in the Faery Legacy series written by author, Patricia Bossano. In this sequel to Faery Sight, young Maité begins to discover the origins of her gift of foresight and the true meanings behind her ability to willfully move in and out of the dreams of others. Maité finds herself an orphan at the age of sixteen, and she is uprooted when the grandfather she never knew existed calls for her to move to Spain and begin a new life with him. Further complicating matters for Maité, his grandfather’s girlfriend, Eva, is hellbent on acquiring the estate that is, by all rights, Maité’s birthright.
Having read Faery Sight, I was anxious to find out how Bossano carries on the legend of Celeste and Etienne. I was not disappointed. Bringing their lineage right into the 21st century, the author has crafted another beautiful fantasy story filled with images of faeries, the same stunning wooded area, and new characters equally as rich as those in the series’s first book. Maité and her friend Emily have a close friendship rivaling sisterhood and provide plenty of lighthearted moments as they deal with some very serious issues plaguing Maité’s looming adulthood.
Bossano has created a unique character in Plinio. The newness of her situation in Spain and the daunting appearance of the mansion in which she must now live makes for a skittish Maité. Plinio’s awkwardness, his demeanor, and his rather disturbing appearance stir fear in her heart. With the addition Plinio’s character, the author has added another layer of mystery to an already suspenseful tale.
I am one of those readers who tries far too hard in making predictions as I read and must admit I guessed everything but the correct answer regarding the mystifying whispers Maité hears as she makes her way to Spain and inhabits the home of her grandfather. Once the answer was revealed, I have to say I was pleasantly surprised and then saddened. I won’t give away too much; I will only say that the story behind the character responsible for the ominous communications is a tragic one. The fact that his feelings span centuries is heartbreaking. Bossano successfully weaves book one into this installment with the inclusion of this character.
I recommend Cradle Gift to any reader who enjoys the fantasy genre but requires a little romance woven into the plot. Both Book One and Book Two are exceptional choices for teen fans of the fantasy genre. It is worth noting that Cradle Gift feels more geared toward teen readers than Faery Sight and the two need to be read in order to fully understand and appreciate the connections between the two.
Bossano, again, keeps readers invested and draws them from one chapter quickly into the next with her rich characters, striking descriptions of the faery realm, and the conflicts between the human and faery elements. Maité and the new additions in Book Two are equally as memorable as those introduced in Bossano’s first book in the series.
Pages: 291 | ASIN: B0767K2JK2
Tags: alibris, author, author life, authors, book, book club, book geek, book lover, bookaholic, bookbaby, bookblogger, bookbub, bookhaul, bookhub, bookish, bookreads, books of instagram, booksbooksbooks, bookshelf, bookstagram, bookstagramer, bookwitty, bookworks, bookworm, cradle gift, ebook, faery, fairy, fantasy, fiction, goodreads, ilovebooks, indiebooks, kindle, kobo, literature, love story, magic, nook, novel, patricia bossano, publishing, read, reader, reading, shelfari, smashwords, spain, story, teen fantasy, teen fiction, writer, writer community, writing, YA, young adult
Life Sliding follows Gavin, the popular kid in school, as he is sent to camp Lift Me Up to help special needs children. What served as your inspiration while you were writing this book?
Like myself, lots of teenagers experience alienation in their high school life, which is a challenging time of self discovery while navigating one’s way to adulthood. My inspiration is those in the trenches now and those who survived those years. Within the walls of education, there is so much more learning going on than just algebra. At times, high school life is a tornado. I believe most adults have forgotten what was at times, a nightmare. Trying to understand my experience as an outsider, I explored the story from the popular kid’s prospective, peeling back the layers to discover who he is underneath his vamped up exterior. Much later after my school years, I became friends with someone who was in the “in crowd” at my school. I discovered this person was not who I had imagined they were. As we find with Gavin, one never really knows what’s going on inside someone, the real person. How do people end up where they are positioned on the social ladder? Jacob expresses his thoughts on the matter to Gavin in a deep conversation at camp; Jacob understands.
What I found most interesting about Gavin was the slow emotional change he undergoes throughout the novel. What were some morals you wanted to capture while writing his character?
We live in a society that is highly judgmental and most are quick to come to a conclusion about someone without ever getting to know them. You can’t judge a book by its cover and you will certainly fall short trying to make a summation of someone by their looks, they way they dress or zip code they come from. If anything, we need more understanding.
Was there anything from your own life, in high school, that you put into this novel?
I was an outsider who experienced some of the issues mentioned in the story and simply observed others going through their own trials. Between algebra and biology, it’s all there – self-harm, bullying, relationships, sexuality, eating disorders, angst and so on, but mostly life happening.
What is the next book that you are working on and when will it be available?
My ya novel Always Here was just released in September 2017. I have an adult fiction novel tentatively titled Kudzu, which is in editing with no set release date and I am writing a New Adult novel titled Somebody Else.
As Gavin’s junior year comes to a close, he faces an inner conflict with his status as the most popular kid in high school. It’s not lost on his father, who sensed for some time that his overly indulged son needs redirection. Making matters worse for Gavin, his dad sends him away for the summer to assist at a camp for children with special needs.
Arriving at camp Life Me Up, Gavin is suddenly forced to dabble in a world less familiar. After his first uncomfortable encounter with a strange girl with multi-colored fingernails, who refuses to waiver his arrogant behavior, Gavin comes face to face with a person from the past, which leaves him uneasy.
Inevitably, three people clash and collide, but when tragedy strikes, they come to an understanding regarding their differences. Becoming a young adult, Gavin faces a summer of harsh lessons in reality. Once he crosses the bridge from a self-inflicted prison to the road to freedom, Gavin and his new friends implement a strategy to stir up the social order when they return to school in the fall.
Because of one jaded person jumping to conclusions, the plan backfires. Will they be able to survive the fallout of what they’ve put into motion?
Posted in Interviews
Tags: alibris, author, author life, authors, book, book club, book geek, book lover, bookaholic, bookbaby, bookblogger, bookbub, bookhaul, bookhub, bookish, bookreads, books of instagram, booksbooksbooks, bookshelf, bookstagram, bookstagramer, bookwitty, bookworks, bookworm, contemporary, ebook, facebook, fantasy, fiction, goodreads, high school, ilovebooks, indiebooks, interview, kindle, kobo, life sliding, literature, nook, novel, popular, publishing, read, reader, reading, shelfari, sl mauldin, smashwords, special needs, story, teen, teen fantasy, teen fiction, twitter, urban fantasy, writer, writer community, writing, YA, young adult
Turning Blue: A Life Beneath the Shield is the story of your life, from childhood to retirement, told with an honesty that lays bare some remarkable and sometimes scary moments in your life. What was the inspiration that made you want to write a memoir?
I lived only 25 miles from where I worked and grew up in a middle class neighbor that was so different from where I now went to work. It was definitely cultural shock for me. This was early 80’s and crack was on the scene and people were dying by the thousands. Life, in a sense, was cheap. As a young cop I often wondered why people hated me when I was on patrol. I got to see the anger in their eyes just walking down the street. I later realized they hated the uniform and what it represented. I wanted people to know that there was a person in that uniform. So I used what God gave me and used my life experiences to show that as people we are not that different, we all have struggles and lose, and that there was “A Life Beneath The Shield” and so came part of the title to my memoir.
Each chapter tells a story from your life. What was the hardest thing for you to write about?
I found it to be a very cathartic experience writing about my life. There were many difficult areas to write about. Certainly one that was hard was the passing of my mother and coming to terms with our relationship. But the most difficult was the chapter regarding 9/11. This event changed the world and the way we live. A lot of innocent people lost their life that day. But what hurts the most is that first responders are continuing dying every day and a lot more are suffering from the after effects of that day. Many are in treatment for cancer and other health issues related to 9/11. I have written a stage play based on this chapter of my book. A working title for the play is: “9/11…Never Forget…I can’t”.
You retired from the New York Police Department after 20 years. What is one common misconception you find people have about police officers and detectives?
I believe most people base their opinions of cops either on a one-time, first-hand bad experience or form their opinion from a news story, or a second or third-hand story. Cops are human beings. We make mistakes. we hurt, we bleed, we cry… more than you will ever know. There are good and bad in every profession. Priests-teachers-CEOs…you name it. Police officers are faced with life and death situations every day and only have a split second to decide a course of action. We have families and friends who we love, and who love us. It is our duty to make sure we come home safe. Believe me, no cop ever wants to fire his gun in the line of duty. The responsibility and consequences are enormous. We are truly here to serve and protect.
Are you working on another book? If so, what is it about and when will it be available?
I have written an unpublished novel titled: “Core Four”. I have written a screenplay with Erik Wolter which is currently being reviewed by some interested production companies. It is a coming of age story about four 11 year old boys. Danny’s struggles with the loss of his father (cop) to 9/11 related disease and his expectations. Danny and his 3 closest friends go on an adventure that brings them face to face with a gang of thugs and find a hero in the most unlikely person.
As a kid growing up on Long Island, I struggled with an unknown psychological need to wear a uniform and a strong desire to be a part of an organization. My search would take me through Little League, Cub Scouts, and various fraternal organizations. This desire would only be fulfilled after joining the NYPD in February of 1984.
Somewhere during my twenty-year career, I was transformed from that kid into a veteran New York City police detective. This is my evolution from a middle-class suburban kid with simple values who naively thought the “projects” were a homework assignment into a veteran detective working in some of the most unforgiving neighborhoods of New York City. With this transformation comes the ability to separate the daily exposure to the dark side of human nature from your own life-sustaining core beliefs. Many will fail to acquire this ability and fall victim to drugs, alcohol, divorce, crime, and even suicide. This is a process which I have come to call Turning Blue.
This is my story of how I dealt with life-changing experiences at home while my gun belt and uniform hung safely in my locker. In my twenty years of experience as a police officer, I can honestly say that I have been scared and feared for my life. Could you go back to work after crying yourself to sleep, reliving your partner’s screams as he lay bleeding to death in the backseat of your unmarked car, and the only thing keeping your heart in your chest was your department-issued bulletproof vest?
Posted in Interviews
Tags: 1980, 9/11, a life beneath the shield, alibris, author, author life, authors, biography, book, book club, book geek, book lover, bookaholic, bookbaby, bookblogger, bookbub, bookhaul, bookhub, bookish, bookreads, books of instagram, booksbooksbooks, bookshelf, bookstagram, bookstagramer, bookwitty, bookworks, bookworm, cop, crack, crime, detective, drug, ebook, facebook, first responder, goodreads, ilovebooks, indiebooks, kindle, kobo, lawrence hoffman, literature, memoir, new york, nonfiction, nook, novel, nypd, police, publishing, read, reader, reading, shelfari, smashwords, story, Turning Blue, twitter, writer, writer community, writing
Faery Sight (Faery Legacy Book 1), by Patricia Bossano, chronicles the life of Celeste and the tragedy surrounding her birth. Celeste is a young woman raised among the faeries believing one story about her birth and life when another entirely different story exists as the truth. When Celeste’s mother, Paloma, becomes ill and dies in the faery realm, her eyes are opened for the first time to the possibility of a life away from her faery family. Celeste’s kinship with Nahia and her discovery of her love for Etienne, a human destined to marry another woman, permeate this story rich in details and laden with beauty.
Patricia Bossano has created a stunningly gorgeous fantasy in Faery Sight. From the language Bossano chooses to use to the exquisite descriptions she fashions, this book is pure joy for any lover of fantasy stories. The intermingling of the human and faery world is truly fascinating. Bossano takes readers on a magical journey like no other as she describes moon dancers, the solstice celebration, and the lighting of Moon Dancer Lake with twinkling and magical lights. It is easy to become quickly absorbed in the fascinating faery realm shaped by Bossano.
The most memorable aspect of Faery Sight is the relationship between Nahia and Celeste. Headstrong and stubborn, one faery and one human, the two behave as lifelong best friends and sisters. Between the two lie jealousies, joys, and jarring realities. From Nahia and Celeste’s first incident of misbehavior, readers become caught up in the girls’ adventures.
Etienne, an admirable character from his first appearance, is the perfect match for Celeste. Theirs is a love at first sight. Bossano does a wonderful job of describing Etienne’s shock and awe at his first encounter with the legendary faery realm. He, like the reader, believes himself to be dreaming. His immediate obsession with Celeste is loving and enviable.
Without giving any of the plot twist away, I will say this about Celeste’s mother, Paloma. The story of Celeste’s birth–the true story–is engrossing and, in many ways, bewitching. Paloma is one of those classic characters known for her sacrifice and her sweet and engaging nature. She is loved by all who know her, including the faeries. Though her passing is tragic, her spirit is apparent throughout the book and the events that ensue with Etienne’s upcoming nuptials.
Readers who seek action in their fantasies will not be disappointed. The closer the wedding of Etienne and Berezi draws, the more fervent the action in the Realm of the Faery. The plans to thwart the marriage of Etienne and Berezi, the woman he has no intentions of marrying, are elaborate and involve both the faeries and their human cohorts. As their plans become reality, the action reaches a peak at the wedding having far reaching consequences for all involved.
I didn’t expect to become immersed in Celeste’s life among the faeries, but I certainly did. Bossano’s writing is captivating and full of faery “glamour.”
Pages: 339 | ASIN: B0767F9NDZ
Tags: alibris, author, author life, authors, book, book club, book geek, book lover, bookaholic, bookbaby, bookblogger, bookbub, bookhaul, bookhub, bookish, bookreads, books of instagram, booksbooksbooks, bookshelf, bookstagram, bookstagramer, bookwitty, bookworks, bookworm, coming of age, ebook, faery, faery sight, fairy, fantasy, fiction, goodreads, ilovebooks, indiebooks, kindle, kobo, literature, magic, nook, novel, patricia bossano, publishing, read, reader, reading, shelfari, smashwords, story, teen fantasy, teen fiction, wedding, writer, writer community, writing, young adult
Voice of a Crimson Angel is an intimate and thrilling story that leads up to your debut military science fiction book. What was the inspiration that made you want to explore a prequel?
Creating VOCA was something that was on my mind for many years, but it seemed too monumental a task to handle. It wasn’t until I was in the midst of writing Ballad of Demise that I began to see a grand tale in the making. I took that single scene of Julissa Marconi from Reverence and then imagined what her life had been like up to that point and after. That was the only push for the new trilogy. Many reviewers asked questions about how the characters got to where they are, so I figured it was an opportunity to give them answers. It turned out to be a fun experience.
Your currently studying history at the University of Riverside. How has your major helped you write your story and develop your characters?
A TON. The sad but fascinating aspect of history is that the story of the oppressed vs. an oppressor is a familiar one. From ancient Rome to the Spanish Empire, to the British and French empires, superpowers have always had their reign unimpeded for decades before eventual collapse. I wanted to build up the history of the United Nation Republic before it too faces its ultimate crisis. Whether it is still standing when the dust settles is to be determined in future installments.
I also drew influence from the revolutionaries of old, people such as Che Guevara and George Washington. Once the VOCA trilogy is completed, I believe people will see the connections in a new light. History was also a valuable tool in discovering how a revolution starts. First come the words, then the fight to crush those words, and then bullets. The term ‘regime change’ is one perhaps not widely known by the average person, but it is an unquestionable factor in global history. The U.S. has often played a pivotal role in such operations, among them Guatemala, Vietnam, and Iran. The more I read, the more The Expansion seemed very possible.
When writing, do you look at current events, and use them as a springboard for ideas or try to incorporate them into your story?
Current events play a big role most definitely. In VOCA Part I, we see a world where warfare is basically common place. The majority of the people either ignore or don’t care about the conflicts abroad. Once again, I looked to the U.S. The U.S. has been involved in some sort of war for almost its entire history, from the Civil War, Spanish-American, the World Wars, Korea, Vietnam, Desert Storm, and now the war on terror. Vietnam was the first U.S. war to not split the American conscious on a massive scale. Since 9/11, the U.S. hasn’t slowed down its war game, now in Niger, Syria, Iraq, Afghanistan, and other countries. Despite this, there are no longer large protests confronting this reality. As we listen to music and watch the latest films, the war machine goes on expanding.
These issues, primarily our war driven economy, were the focal points for me in writing the VOCA trilogy.
Any chance you’ll write a prequel that shows the rise of Chancellor Venloran? Kind of like how Star Wars episodes 1-3 showed the rise of Darth Vader? In either case, what do you think that would be like?
I actually have played around with this idea, and the framework is definitely there. I can imagine a young Venloran who sees his country struggling and decides to act. In a way, he’d be comparable to Joseph Halsey, which would be a great foil. It would take time to plan out, especially since I have much planned for the Reverence series. The idea is very tantalizing, though. As of now, I’ve only hinted at the rise of the UNR. For this envisioned ‘prequel-prequel’, I would go in depth to the formation of the UNR Party itself.
The evilest of deeds start with the best of intentions.
Julissa Marconi’s life has never been quite the same since her husband slipped into a coma. Her relationship with her daughter is hanging by a thread, she’s lost all her friends, and she’s retreated to the bottle amidst her sorrows. Truth is, Julissa is struggling to find a reason to wake up in the morning. That all changes when the mysterious Dr. Neeson offers her a chance to discover the truth, and reclaim her life. With the help of the scheming Captain Halsey, Julissa finally has a reason to fight again. She’ll have to act fast, however. Her nation, the United Nation Republic, is hungry for aggressive expansion and the ravenous Chancellor Venloran will stop at nothing to achieve his own twisted goals. Return to the world of the Reverence series with Voice of a Crimson Angel Part I: Persecution, the long-awaited story that sets the stage for the entire saga.
Posted in Interviews
Tags: alibris, author, author life, authors, book, book club, book geek, book lover, bookaholic, bookbaby, bookblogger, bookbub, bookhaul, bookhub, bookish, bookreads, books of instagram, booksbooksbooks, bookshelf, bookstagram, bookstagramer, bookwitty, bookworks, bookworm, british, desert storm, dystopia, ebook, facebook, fantasy, fiction, french, goodreads, guatemala, history, ilovebooks, indiebooks, iraq, joshua landeros, kindle, kobo, korea, literature, military, niger, nook, novel, post-apocalyptic, publishing, read, reader, reading, science fiction, shelfari, smashwords, story, super soldier, syria, united nation, vietnam, Voice of a Crimson Angel, war, war on terror, writer, writer community, writing
The Decline of Democratic Society in the New Age explores the current state of politics, economics, and society. Why was this an important book for you to write?
The idea to write this book came to me in September of 2016. Throughout that month I grew more and more amazed with what I was seeing on television every time I turned it on. Angry people protesting the candidacy of Donald Trump everywhere, even in Toronto where I was living. The intensity of the emotions displayed made an impact on me. I never imagined this many people cared this much about politics. Although I had been working on other things at the time it seemed to me that my first book should be about the politics of this era, so I dropped everything and started writing this book that very month.
The book delves deep into the failures of the US government since 2007 and the international effects of these failures. Why did you choose this year as the starting point?
The year 2007 was not the year the policy failures began, but it was the year the markets began to fail in alarming fashion, day after day. Economics are the lynchpin for all the political and historical insight that pours forth in this book. The book is not academic in nature and contains no jargon. It is for the general reader, but a relevant discussion of economic conduct on the part of government is essential when discussing the state of democratic society today. Democracy itself is still in tact, but societies (people) living under democratic systems are very much in peril due to what is going on economically.
What is one common misconception you find people have about today’s politics?
The main misconception people have about politics today is that it is driven by political concerns. It is not. I try to make it clear in the book that a lot of what goes on is about preserving power and wealth in the U.S. It is not about country or race or society anymore. Everything is motivated by the need to protect enormous wealth and the power it confers. Nothing else matters.
What do you hope readers take away from your book? Is there action that a single citizen can take to rectify our situation?
What I hope people take away from this book is what I state in the very first paragraph of the book. We are living in crucial, transitional times. The western world is not what it once was. Manouvres are being made to preserve economic, class-based power and democracy is very much in danger. What you can do right now is not very much. The source of massive stimulus into the NYSE is now the European Central Bank. They need to move it around every few years to prevent political consequences that might bring an end to it. With so much money coming from Europe, of course, the Europeans now have tremendous influence over the American economy. Since ECB stimulus began, in 2016, the American dollar has fallen in value relative to the Euro by 20%. It was equal to the Euro at the start of 2016. Now one USD is worth .8 Euros. What can somebody do? When the stimulus comes around to the U.S. again, and it will, you must demand, if the American economy is still in tact by then, that there be no taxpayer money injected into the pockets of rich investors and institutions. If they put you off, then I am afraid you will have to become more insistent.
Do you plan on writing other books?
I have about another five books in me which I do plan to write if the marketplace allows me.
A deeply intellectual history of the present,The Decline of Democratic Society in the New Age outlines the historical events that have led the world into its current state of political, economic, psychological, societal, and biological demise. By identifying and discussing tyranny in its modern forms, solutions are made evident or provided throughout the text. Abounding with original ideas in every one of its thirty chapters, the book is a model of revolutionary thought and philosophical totality. It constitutes no less than a modern-day version of Plato’s Republic for the new century. Beyond this, the discourse possesses an unceasing intensity of tone found only in the purest of political tracts. Without doubt an intellectual, political, and historical necessity in this confused and disturbing period.
Posted in Interviews
Tags: alibris, author, author interview, author life, authors, book, book club, book geek, book lover, bookaholic, bookbaby, bookblogger, bookbub, bookhaul, bookhub, bookish, bookreads, books of instagram, booksbooksbooks, bookshelf, bookstagram, bookstagramer, bookwitty, bookworks, bookworm, democratic, donald trump, ebook, giovanni soriano, goodreads, ilovebooks, indiebooks, kindle, kobo, literature, nonfiction, nook, novel, politics, publishing, read, reader, reading, shelfari, smashwords, story, the decline of a democratic society, toronto, us, writer, writer community, writing