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I Wanted To Honour My Experiences

Kevin O’Sullivan Author Interview

A Good Boy tells your story about being involved in the Legionaries of Christ and your journey of self-discovery and acceptance of who you are and your own sexuality. Why was this an important book for you to write?

This was important for number of reasons. The first is that if I don’t tell my story, it dies with me or, which is sometimes worse, someone else tells it, and those who might want to know about me – my daughter or my nieces and nephews, friends, colleagues – end up with someone else’s version of my life. If I tell my story, by definition, I’m the author; I’m the authority about my own experiences. I can describe them the way that I experienced them, not how someone else, however well-meaning, imagines that I experienced them.

For years, people have asked me questions about my life and, while I appreciated their curiosity and tried to answer, I found that I couldn’t do justice to the events, let alone to my motivation, in a casual conversation over dinner or in a bar. I always came away feeling that I hadn’t given an adequate account of myself or of the others who are part of my story either. I wanted to honour my experiences in a more suitable way than a brief chat could accommodate.

All my life I have been conscious of not knowing much about my family’s story, only bits and pieces remain. I so much wish that I had asked more questions, made more connections. Part of writing for me is to leave behind as full a picture as I can so that those who come after me know as much as I can tell them about the part I might have played in their own history.

The next reason should perhaps be the first and principal one: I want to find out who I am by discovering the storylines that often will only emerge in therapy or memoir. Only by finding a place for everything I have done and everything I have chosen does the significance of events and choices become evident. This is the only way I know, there may be others, to shine a light on the path I have taken and understand why this particular path, through this particular route, through these particular choices. I think each of us has a sense of “I’m the kind of person who…” and “I’m not the kind of person who…”. The memoir fills out these ellipses and shows me who I am.

What is one piece of advice someone gave you that changed your life?

It may well be the simple advice of my physics teacher and sometime mentor in music appreciation. In the book I recount how as an earnest teenager I was keen to “understand” the classical music I was just discovering. His advice was simple: “Listen to it, and if you like it, listen to it again”. The message must really have struck home, because it was a one-off talk that he gave to our debating group when I was about fifteen years old. I didn’t learn much in the way of physics, but he did teach me not to worry that I was “supposed” to be hearing this or that, or responding in this or that way. He told me my taste would develop: just enjoy it!

I appreciated the candid nature with which you told your story. What was the hardest thing for you to write about?

Without a doubt, the hardest chapter to write was the one about my father. It’s one thing for me to come to terms with what he did, it’s quite another to expose his grandchildren and great grandchildren to these facts. I’ve talked to my remaining brother and sisters about this and I think we agree it is better to tell the truth. Apart from anything else, it honours and makes sense of the life and travails of my oldest sister, Bid. No one was there to help her at the time: at least now it becomes clear what a monumental struggle she had to wage with life: and she won.

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

Hope and a sense of optimism, because this is the benefit that I get from the many memoirs and biographies that fill my bookshelf. Things can go wrong, you can screw things up, make poor choices, let yourself down: things can still work out and you can be fine. It’s not over till it’s over.

Author Links: Website

Kevin O’Sullivan spent seven years inside the most secretive Catholic organisation in living memory – The Legionaries of Christ. He thought he was going to spread love and compassion: he ended up among disinformation and lies. He fled to save his sanity.

This is the story of how he found, and then lost, his religion, and how he lost, and then found, his sexuality. On the way, the young teenager clings to what his mother has taught him: to be a good boy. The journey brings him face to face with difficult truths, and ultimately to a far deeper knowledge of himself, as he finds out who he doesn’t want to be.

It’s a story full of hope about discovering what matters to each of us, even if we don’t like some of what we find.

A Good Boy

A Good Boy, by Kevin O’Sullivan, is a memoir of the author’s experience in the secretive Catholic organization known as the Legionaries of Christ. The author begins his book with memories of the father he lost when he was only two years old. Readers are introduced to Kevin’s mother and how she influenced his decision to join the Legionaries of Christ. O’Sullivan shares his experiences from his school years as he struggled to understand his sexuality. The author also shares the unfortunate experiences he faced in his years in the Catholic organization.

Kevin O’Sullivan’s memoir takes readers on an emotional rollercoaster as they follow him through his younger years leading to adulthood. I found myself glued to the pages, and I was horrified by some of the experiences the author shared with us. O’Sullivan is candid in his book, and he doesn’t sugarcoat the truth or protect anyone; he tells his truth. My thoughts were racing as I was reading because readers see both the author trying to understand his sexuality and the way in which his faith affected who and how he loved.

O’Sullivan’s story is compelling in every way. I found myself frustrated as I read about the excuses the members of the Legionaries of Christ made to justify abuse. I also felt sympathy for O’Sullivan because he had such strong beliefs in his Catholic faith before realizing how inherently wrong the abuse truly was. Many readers will empathize with him as he is forced to question the Catholic religion.

Overall, I enjoyed reading A Good Boy, by Kevin O’Sullivan, and I commend him for sharing his story with readers. His writing makes readers feel like they are having a conversation with a friend. I am hoping the author writes a second part to this book as I would love to see the next phase of his life. I highly recommend this story to those who are curious about the Legionaries of Christ but also to those who have gone through the same experiences as O’Sullivan. Readers will know that they are not alone and feel that they, too, have a voice.

Pages: 293 | ASIN: ‎ B0B173MV33

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Angels Are Real

Author Interview
Win Tuck-Gleason Author Interview

Angels, of Course tells the story of being visited by angels and how they have impacted your life. Why was this an important book for you to write?

I felt strongly compelled to share these experiences with people, and could not relax until I had it published.

I appreciated the candid nature with which you told your story. What was the hardest thing for you to write about?

The hardest thing to write about was making the angels believable. That is why I went into such details. I had to take art lessons to paint the illustrations.

What is a common misconception you feel people have about angels?

I believe people think angles only came to earth during biblical times.

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

If angels are real then so is heaven. So is God. And so is Jesus Christ.

Author Links: GoodReads | Website

When Win Tuck-Gleason was growing up, she thought everyone could see angels. People just didn’t talk about them; they still don’t. She just accepted the angels’ presence, and she kept silent. It was as if she wasn’t given permission to talk about them. Now she has permission.
In Angels, Of Course, she offers a collection of stories and paintings that share her varied experiences with heavenly angels. It chronicles twenty visits by angels beginning with her childhood and continuing to the present day. Tuck-Gleason isn’t sure why she’s been blessed with angelic encounters, but she communicates that their presence is comforting to her, they give her confidence, and they deliver a positive atmosphere when they’re around.
Angels, Of Course describes the different shapes and sizes of angels and the circumstances in which they visited. Tuck-Gleason tells how they fill her life with love, guidance, and protection, just when she needs it.

Angels, of Course

Angels, of Course, is an inspirational book where author Win Tuck-Gleason provides a compelling account of several moments in her life, ranging from her early childhood to adulthood in the 1990s. First, she had encounters with ethereal creatures she recognized to be angels. Her first such experience was when she was surprised by mysterious music while her toddler self lays in her cradle. Then, there was an episode when an angel observed her playing the piano through a window in her house. Finally, she talks about the long road trip during which the angels kept her safe. This encounter is retold over several chapters and includes illustrative paintings made by Tuck-Gleason herself.

The author is a compelling storyteller, making the reading fluid and effortless. The chapters are short and not dependent on each other. This makes it perfect for the reader who wishes to pick up a book and read a chapter at a time. Readers looking for a religious outlook when dealing with hardship can receive some comfort from someone who has been in dark places but has always found help in her angel visitors.

Another aspect that deserves attention is the personal touch given by the author as she describes different classes of angels that she has witnessed and the fun names and situations related to them. The author has really opened herself up in this book, allowing readers into her personal thoughts and seeing the world as she does.

This thought-provoking book addresses the concept of angels from a Catholic doctrine. However, readers of other faiths can still take away the feeling of hope, comfort, and being watched over. These stories are entertaining and encourage self-reflection in the readers.

Angels, of Course, is Win Tuck-Gleason’s memoir, detailing her encounters with angels. This compelling collection of encounters gives readers a lot to think about and may open their minds to things that they can not see.

Pages: 74 | ASIN : B08BRCD872

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To Make a Religious War

D. Grant Fitter
D. Grant Fitter Author Interview

The Vatican Must Go is a fictionalized account that explores what might have brought all out war against a government attempt to stamp out Catholic Church control over the soul of Mexico. What inspired you to write this novel?

First, let me tell you that from the first time I set foot in Mexico, I found it an absolutely fascinating place. It is a country full of contradictions. It is an unlikely mixture of instruments that somehow plays a harmonious tune. So, being a person who wants to know how a clock works as much as wanting to know what time it is, found it challenging, not so much to adapt to, as to understand how it ticks.

So, in that pursuit, there is a trove of interesting stories to be told, and City of Promises my first novel challenge, covered eight years in the 1940s, a decade acknowledged as “Mexico’s Golden Age”. Many of the cultural accomplishments of the Golden Age are now cultural traditions held tightly by all Mexicans. That work also led to traces of mysterious talk of a hidden piece of history referred to as the “Cristiada” and sometimes called the “Cristero War”.

Going back to when I first arrived in Mexico, I knew of it as a staunchly Catholic country but was puzzled by the absence of priests and nuns in public. I later learned that by law, the Catholic religious habit was only allowed to be worn in the privacy of church property. This, in the late 1960s, of all things, but it was a thought filed away somewhere in my mind.

There are all kinds of interesting subjects an historical fiction author can uncover in Mexico, where inspiration abounds. However. for me, the tricky part is envisioning a sound approach angle to take in building those subjects into a story.

Over time, accumulations of scarcely spoken religious persecution stories led me to research information on the matter. Because the Mexican government and the official history curriculum does not recognize the conflict took place, there is not much in the way of readily available material. Eventually, while searching Vatican papers, I landed on one French born, Vatican scholar who had recently written and filed a paper on the Mexican Catholic rebellion, in which he speculated upon US based Masonic Order complicity.

I had found the story building morsel I needed to make a religious war in Mexico palatable to a broader audience.

Add to the morsel that during my college days in southern Colorado I had come to appreciate the derelict Ludlow massacre monument site, the abandoned mining camps, and knew people who lived through the coal field strike breaking terror referenced in the early going of the book. Gathering the ideal characters from Colorado to form the mercenary force was easy. You never know when listening to old timer conversations might come in handy.

So, directly to your question, when it comes to writing a tale of Mexico, inspiration comes built in.

I enjoyed the ease with which you blended political, religious and historical elements. What were some themes that were important for you to focus on in this book?

I’m pleased to hear that and thankful you are asking this question, because it gives cause for me to reflect on the result of my work in order to come up with an adequate response. Hmm. Perhaps, I am near sighted and if so, it may have been best if you had included social class in your list of elements. That is because class distinctions are an underlying element of almost everything running through my mind in every analysis and interpretation of those things which influence Mexican life. If I am right about that, it holds up to reason that social class is the thread running through the three elements you mention, to seamlessly stitch them together.

I think of my themes of greed and humility. Politics is an economic social class. Its members even have a name; the politicos and they are governed by greed.

It could also be argued that the Catholic church is also guilty of that nasty theme of greed, because it turns out it was the beneficiary of the spoils of war. Come to think of it, they would have also been the beneficiary of continued peace. So, there we have another important theme. Power.

The poor Mexican campesino is the most-humble social class represented in this story. I wanted for them to display their dignity and dedication, so that is another important theme. At the close of the story, it is the campesino who carried on the war against government religious persecution. They wanted nothing more than to fight for the right to choose religious freedom. The church only supported them spiritually but never financially. The campesino did it alone.

Right and wrong are another set of themes. I wanted to show that a person does not necessarily have to favor a political side or a religious side in order to commit to a just cause that is right for humanity.

Abe is probably the least likely candidate, but in the end, he is the one who committed most completely to a life changing event.

Rosa’s character was intriguing and well developed. What were some driving ideals behind her character development?

This is a wonderful question falling as it does on the heels of your previous query. I wanted Rosa to be representative of an unfairly treated segment of the Mexican social strata. For myriad reasons these are women who have little choice but to parlay their assets into a source of income, hustling drinks as a cocktail waitress. Personally, I feel for the many women like Rosa who are summarily written off by so many in the mainstream society. Rosa finds herself with little choice of accomplishing her personal goal of improving the lives of polio children unless she can bring in adequate income to afford her contribution to society. She is an amiable character. Given the opportunity in The Vatican Must Go, she easily proved herself a genuine benevolent heart.

Rosa had to be a good judge of character. She had dealt with aggressive men every day and mastered how to tactfully deal with them. When she did fall for Matt, she knew in an instant her instincts were right, and she never doubted herself. She gave her everything to the relationship. The same goes for Rosa’s all-in involvement in her Catholic friends’ movement. I wanted there to be no mistake about Rosa’s rock-solid character.

In my previous novel it was Ana, a dancehall fichera or paid dance partner who rose to the great heights of a strong female character with enviable principles.

I try hard to always bring the ideals required to develop a strong female character and I thank you for recognizing that in your line of questioning.

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

Next up is a novella tentatively titled Silvia’s Story. It is the story of a young lady who appeared in my first novel, “City of Promises” and did not get the full character development she deserved. She was much too interesting and flawed to not let her have her own prequel explaining how it is she was motivated to migrate to Mexico City and rose so fast to her own brief brush with fame.

With fingers crossed, I can tell you Silvia’s Story is tentatively scheduled for 2020 year end release.

Author Links: GoodReads | Twitter | Facebook | Website

It’s the 1920s and in firmly Protestant United States, there is deep concern about the growing spread of Catholicism and fear of the church /state roots of its history.
South of the border, Pancho Villa is gone and Mexico is just settling into a new, post revolution form of democratic government. Vatican influence over the psyche of the country remains the sole enemy of the revolution and so, power brokering generals have written a new constitution to include articles restricting the power of the church over the citizenry, reclamation of vast, rich Church land holdings, and to detach it from Vatican control.
Back in United States, Mexico’s turmoil is a welcome sight to certain groups of powerful people who believe evangelism is powerfully representative of the American Way. If only a Mercenary Force could be dispatched to represent those American interests and assure the menace of Catholicism throughout North America is kept in check.
Enter Coloradan, Charlie Coates, who stealthily mananaged the bloody John D. Rockefeller strikebreaking campaign during the infamous Colorado Coalmining Wars.
To this day, the government of Mexico chooses to ignore the atrocities and battles of the early 20th century Cristero War which claimed over 120,000 lives. It was a long and dirty war selectively forgotten by the official history curriculum.
The Vatican Must Go is one historical fiction account of what might have brought about all out warfare against government attempts to stamp out Catholic Church control over the soul of Mexico.
This historical fiction novel, The Vatican Must Go, by D. Grant Fitter is his second solid contribution to the Tales of Mexico sub genre series, written in the great tradition of Graham Greene, Gary Jennings and Clifford Irving.

A Saint and A Sinner

Saint and a Sinner: The Rise and Fall of a Beloved Catholic Priest, by Stephen Donnelly and Diane O’Bryan, is a memoir of Former Catholic Priest Fr. Stephen Donnelly. It tells the life story of Donnelly – from his childhood to his eventual exit from the ministry.

The book is a real-life story that tells a truth most of us are not willing to accept – no one is sinless or perfect, even religious leaders. Donnelly’s story also proves that what we go through during childhood has a great impact on our character and the choices we make as adults.

From the title, it’s obvious that Donnelly is not perfect. However, what eventually gets him booted from the priesthood, is a “lesser” evil compared to the thing he had done in the past. Unfortunately for him, he got caught at a time when the Catholic Church was trying to save face from the ever-increasing allegations against priests.

For me, the book was an immersive experience. It took me into the world of a Catholic priest; their way of life, virtues, and challenges. It was also a page-turner – the chapters flow naturally and chronologically, and the story is so captivating that you will have a hard time putting the book down.

What I liked most about this book is the vivid first-person narration of events. While other memoirs plainly recall events, Donnelly and O’Bryan chose to include even the conversations that happened. Ultimately, that made the story more real, engaging, and entertaining.

Saint and a Sinner is one of the most riveting memoirs I have read this year. The story was a candid look at one man who battles his inner demons. Whether you are religious or not, you will definitely find this a thought-provoking read.

Pages: 372

The Doom Murders

The Doom Murders (The Inspector Sheehan Mysteries Book 1) by [Brian O'Hare]

The Doom Murder’s book by Brian O’Hare is a novel that is engaging from the beginning to the end, with a lot of suspense. This book amazed me with all that was tightly packed in a murder mystery, police drama, a little love story, and ending with a redemption. In this book, Mr. O’Hare’s writing is engaging and on point, helping to keep the reader engaged in the story. O’ Hare puts a vivid picture in the readers’ minds about the detectives who are working on the cases to help the reader understand the senseless murders’ that have taken place.

The Doom Murder’s is an interesting novel about a serial killer, who had a religious motive. This story is based in Ireland and follows a series of gruesome murders’ involving the Catholic  church. The author does well to ensure the murders’ are sensational, even detailing the killer’s habit of numbering the bodies. These types of chilling details, coupled with religious undertones, gives the story a uniquely horrifying perspective.

The novel begins to unfold as the main character (DCI Jim Sheehan) discovers new clues and information from witnesses. The story for the most part is told from his point of view. This allows the reader to learn new things and uncover shocking truths right along side him. As the suspense continues, a Catholic Bishop was found beaten, naked, and even oddly posed in his Belfast study.

All of the victims are Catholic, hold different positions of leadership and all seem to have not followed the killers’ notion of what God wants in those entrusted to uphold the faith. Each victim is killed and posed in ways that reflect their sins. The exceptional story telling and and dark mystery remind me of the first season of the TV show True Detective. Another aspect that adds to the enjoyment of the book for me is the budding romance of the cathedral organist Margret Sands and Inspector Sheehan. This happy relationship, provides a needed counterpoint to the ugliness of the murders in this novel. The main characters are generally well written and realistic, though I did feel like there was an excessive amount of characters, especially when it came to Sheehan’s immediate team of detectives.

I enjoyed this book as a whole, from the Police procedural, Northern Ireland, the Murder, and the mystery at the heart of this story all came together to deliver and unique and gripping story. I found that the investigations, interviews, the characters, and the scenes all played a significant role in this book, and I found I was just as desperate to find the killer as the detectives were. I would recommend this book to anyone who likes detailed murder mysteries that are grounded but thrilling. Fast paced and intriguing, The Doom Murders is consistently entertaining.

Pages: 374 | ASIN: B0176IW9B6

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The Oaths and Vows They Made

Timony McKeever Author Interview

Timony McKeever Author Interview

The Monk follows Detective Laskey and ex- detective Billy as they attempt to solve a murder while trying to overcome their past. What was the driving motivation behind this book?

The relationship between long time Police partners is unique. Only that between soldiers in combat is comparable. Investigation is far more interviewing, looking at crime scenes and bodies than it is portrayed on television. If you got in a shooting every week like on television, I can guarantee you a lot of Departmental therapy.

You never hear about all the men and women who put on the badge and hit the streets every night, often putting themselves in harms way for people they don’t even know and fulfilling the Oaths and Vows they made. These Officers never get any press and the “Bad Cops” get more press than they deserve.

I hope “The Monk Mysteries” will give more press to the “Good Cops” and provide the reader some insight as to the emotional battles that come with the job while trying to live a normal life.

I could really feel the old camaraderie between Laskey and Billy in this book. What served as sources of inspiration for you while creating their relationship?

Personal experience with longtime Partners. In particular, a guy named Jack, who passed away several years ago and far too soon. We were tight at work and off-duty for years. We worked Patrol, Narcotics and K-9 for years. However, there came a time when a similar situation as depicted in the book, as to a job change caused some friction. We went our separate ways but were able to re-connect before Jack passed away.

What has been the most surprising feedback you’ve gotten from your readers about the book?

Most often is how strong and independent the female characters are. This wasn’t a conscious act on my part rather, it is the type of women that are required to deal with the males in the book. They are also like so many of the women I have known and admired in my life.

This is book one in the Monk Series. Where will book two pick up and when will it be available?

“THE MONK Vol 1 Revised ed” is a revised version of The Monk I wrote ten years ago. After writing ‘The Gumdrop House Affair” Vol 2, of the Monk Mysteries, which has been on Kindle Best seller list for two years, I realized that I had become more confident in my writing and needed to revise the first version of the Monk. Same characters and on Capitol Hill but better and hopefully more entertaining for the Reader.

Author Links: Twitter | Facebook | GoodReads | Website

The Monk (The Monk Series Book 1) by [McKeever, Timony]

A Catholic Priest talking about Evil is not unusual. However, a Catholic Priest looking directly into the eyes of “Evil” who the Monk calls “The Ugly” is unusual even for the Capitol Hill area of Denver and St. Benedict the Moor’s Church. This is just one of the “Spiritual Tests” the Monk faces as he attempts to solve the murder of Julia Lopez with his ex-Partner Det. Sgt. Jack Laskey.

With political pressure applied by the Governor, the Archbishop of Denver and the Franciscan Provincial, The Monk becomes a “Special Consultant” and helps Laskey solve the “Murder of the Decade” and save his position which was in jeopardy due to his inability to adjust to any Partner other than the Monk. During the course of the investigation the Monk faces the “Ugly” in many forms in the present and confrontations from the past. Those confrontations led the Monk to become a Priest and a “Spiritual Warrior” as well as a “Physical Warrior.” Leaving the and security of “Our Lady of the Rockies” Orphanage run by his Order, the Monk must return to the streets of Denver and find the killers with Laskey.

William Yeats Butler known as “The Monk” on Capitol Hill gave up a promising career in the NFL to become a Policeman. He had been an All-American at Notre Dame and was a local Hero and role model in Denver. Through 10 years with Laskey as his Partner, they worked Patrol, Narcotics and Homicide. They were the “Toughest Cops” on the streets of Denver. In their quest they are assisted by Irish/Japanese Officer Mai Li McDuff. Some would say she got the worst of both cultures; “Peaches” the transvestite hooker; “Popcan Charley” a resident of Cheeseman Park; “Mikey” the restaurant owner with Mob connections and “Frank” the only “Irish English Bulldog” in Colorado – all this under the watchful eyes of Father Ian Timony, Father Augustus O’Shea and Aunt Rhoda Williams.

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