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We’re Hesitant To Be Authentic

Kimberly Greer Author Interview

Masked Intent tells a romantic story that explores our relationship with the truth and how it motivates us. What was the inspiration for the setup to your story?

As I was working on the novel and authenticity became an issue between the main characters, I saw a larger opportunity than what the traditional romance genre affords, a bigger story than boy meets, falls for, and gets the girl. I began to wonder what Truth – if personified – might think about alternative facts, their genesis, and their role in human interaction. Social media, reality TV, the world’s obsession with celebrity, and other artifacts of current society have fostered unrealistic standards of what beauty, success and happiness look like. They’ve obfuscated the truth. So, I imagined that my character and narrator Truth isn’t happy about that and wants to teach us a lesson of what happens when we stop listening to the still-small voice inside.

That’s when the “morality play” idea sprang to life. The Catholic church of the Middle Ages used morality plays to teach its Faithfull, most of whom were illiterate, about virtues. Similarly, Masked Intent uses the love story between the main characters as a convention–an allegory—to explore how, even in our most intimate moments, we’re hesitant to be authentic for fear of not measuring up.

Your characters are intriguing and well developed. What were some driving ideals behind your character’s development?

Oscar Wilde said, “Man is least himself when he talks in his own person. Give him a mask, and he will tell you the truth.”

My male lead, Mateo, is quick to pick up on this truth in his dealings with his love interest, Alexa, yet both are slow to admit to such tendencies within themselves. It will take time for them to admit and resolve these flaws, which is an ironic dance they do around each other. As a professional communicator, Alexa is quick to spot and call out disingenuity in others but slow to admit her own such transgressions. Similarly, Mateo, a psychologist and, therefore, student of human nature, willfully refuses to admit that he has yet to come to terms with a heartbreak from years past, a past he can shed only after he deals with it.

It’s also important to note that these aren’t young, inexperienced people. Alexa is 43; Mateo is 36. Although this fact is mentioned early on, their age difference isn’t discussed in great detail. We have a name for women who date younger men…but aside from her age, Alexa doesn’t fit that stereotype. This is intentional as was my decision about their ages. We tend to think that life ends after 40, that we know all we’re supposed to know or that we are no longer creative or vibrant enough to serve a useful purpose. My characters disprove those assumptions.

Each of my characters is named with deliberation, and there are important clues to each of their personalities therein. The name Alexa means “defender of mankind.” She tends to believe that she is. But, as the saying goes, you can’t set yourself on fire to keep others warm, which is exactly what she does—ad nauseum—to her own detriment. Samson Stone, for whom Alexa works, is self-centered and ill-intended. The alliteration in his name suggests a slithering snake, which is fitting for this character.

What were some themes that were important for you to explore in this book?

I wanted my characters to be likable and relatable, which means they must be inherently flawed. Each character in Masked Intent carries the scars of disappointment, struggle, and, in some cases, abuse. I wanted to play up their shortcomings as they follow their individual paths towards self-discovery.

With that in mind, I hope my readers will consider the cornerstones of this novel:

  • The biggest lies we tend to believe are the ones we tell ourselves.
  • Self-deception is an epidemic as many of us choose to focus on what our lives look like to others as opposed to whether they’re a reflection of all that is good within us.

More subtly, but no less important, a key takeaway from the novel should be that the ageist ideas society can tend espouse are based on the myth that requires us to accept as fact that success, happiness, love, and discovery are the stuff of our youth. To the contrary, learning and growing never stop, so we never stop being solid contributors to the world around us.

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

I currently am completing a “prequel” to Masked Intent called Intermezzo. Though it is very much intended to be the intermission between my first novel (hence its title) and the story’s conclusion in Intents + Purposes, I call it a prequel because it provides some context around when and how the main characters met. It also gives readers the origin stories for two of the supporting characters in Masked Intent: Becket Oliver and Phaedra Sheppard. I plan standalone novels for each of these characters once I’ve completed The Morality Plays Series.

Intermezzo will be available in July 2022. Look for Intents + Purposes in the late fall of this year.

Author Links: GoodReads | Twitter | Facebook | Website

There may be more than one mask.
From being denied by her birth parents to marrying the wrong man, Alexa Winston has learned to cope with disappointment and heartache by masking her true self from the world. Divorced and finally living on her own terms, she shrouds herself in half-truths and bravado, content to live her quiet, predictable life – until she finds the job and the man of her dreams. As she falls deeper into both, and into a world ruled by powerful players jockeying for influence and dominance at all costs, she’s forced to weigh her truths against reality. Trouble is, though she’s a master at detecting self-deception in others, she’s slow to recognize it in herself.

Masked Intent takes a taut, complex look at how we hide behind inauthenticity to guide us through interpersonal relationships. Through a series of detailed, interconnected storylines, the novel takes a timely look at our relationship with the truth and how it drives our actions and motivations. Where do you draw lines in a world where authenticity takes back seat to the power and seduction of influence?

Masked Intent is the first installment in The Morality Plays Series and ends in a cliffhanger. The story concludes in Intents + Purposes, which publishes in 2022.

The Story Took Off From There

Jeff O’Handley Author Interview

Powerless follows a man that must adapt to a post-apocalyptic world and keep his family alive and safe as resources become scarce. What was the inspiration for the setup to your story?

The first glimmer of an idea for Powerless struck when I was driving through a hurricane to pick up my daughter at her friend’s house. The road crossed a small stream, and as I saw the water boiling through the culvert beneath the road, an image flashed in my head of the road flooded and impassable. I thought, “What if I couldn’t pick up my daughter?” This thought was followed by two in rapid succession that will be familiar to anyone who writes. The first was, “Oh, that would be horrible!” The second was, “Oh, that would make a great story!”

So, for a while, the broad idea was ‘Man moves heaven and earth to get his daughter back amidst a great natural disaster.’ That interested me, but it didn’t thrill me–it just looked like some sort of generic action movie in my head. One day I was mulling it over yet again, and I was thinking about this family that was one kid short in a crisis and picturing husband and wife at the dinner table with an empty chair where their daughter would be. And I sort of idly wondered, “What’s it like in the other house? The one with the extra kid?” That was my “Ah, ha!” moment, and the story took off from there.

Kevin must learn to adapt to a new way of life that he was unprepared for. What were some driving ideals behind your character’s development?

Kevin is a nice guy, and while he certainly hasn’t finished last in life, he definitely gets walked on and over a bit. I was interested in exploring what would push him to finally say “no”, what situation and circumstance would help him find the power within to stand up for himself, and to stand up for what is right.

He’s also someone who is rather optimistic by nature, as well as resourceful and forward-thinking.
As the situation in Powerless unfolds he proves to be surprisingly good at doing things that he’s never done before. But his optimism and basic faith in others leads to some blind spots where he is unable to see some of the threats to his family lie.

What were some themes that were important for you to explore in this book?

The biggest theme in Powerless is family, and how we define it. While the antagonist in the story is Eli Sobchuck, the real conflict is ultimately between Kevin and his wife, Monica, and it’s over how to define family. Kevin wants to draw the family circle as wide as possible to include not only his daughter’s friend, who has been stranded at their home during this event, but also neighbors and the people of the town. He sees the wider community as part of his responsibility. Monica, meanwhile, is trying to keep that circle as tight as possible, is trying to protect herself and the people closest to her. This resulting conflict is not only with her husband, but with herself.

The book also looks at the dynamics between people with power and those without, and the use of power for personal gain versus community good.

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

I have a completed manuscript of what I think of as ‘economic fiction’ about a woman who finds herself trying to work off debt in a compulsory, government sponsored volunteer program. It’s pretty much good to go but it doesn’t yet have a home. I’m hoping to rectify that. I’m also in the early stages of a project that is too new to really talk about right now. It has some characters and some situations that are interesting, but I haven’t quite found the story just yet and I’m sort of trying to write my way into it.

Author Links: Twitter | Facebook | Website | GoodReads

Sunspots, Al-Qaeda, North Korea—no one knows why the power goes out in sleepy little Harpursville, how much of the world is affected, or how long it will last. In one instant virtually every modern convenience stops working, leaving the townspeople scrambling.

For Kevin Barton, the problem is compounded by the presence of his sixteen-year-old daughter’s best friend, Dina, who’s been stranded at the house after yet another sleepover. When Kevin’s attempt to escort Dina home ends in robbery and humiliation, their “second daughter’s” overnight visit becomes a permanent stay. Kevin doesn’t really mind. Dina helps with everything from hauling water to digging a garden, and she does it with a smile. But with food scarce and hunger eating away at reason, her large appetite and constant presence sets the household on edge, causing a rift between Kevin and his wife, Monica.

Help is offered by the man who stops Harpursville from sliding into everyone-for-themselves chaos but then he gives Kevin an unthinkable ultimatum. With the peace of the town and Kevin’s own family hanging in the balance, he faces a two-front war. Can Kevin find the power in himself to protect everything he holds dear?

Masked Intent 

Masked Intent by Kimberly Greer, is the first book of the Morality Series and is a powerful novel that focuses on authenticity and relationships. We follow Alexa Winston who has finally found contentment after her divorce and leads a predictable life. All this changes when she not only lands the job of her dreams but also the man of her dreams. There is only one obstacle to fully accepting their love for one another and it is their past, will they come to terms with it, or will it keep them apart?

Author Kimberly Greer has created a very detailed story and I was immediately immersed in Alexa and Mateo’s world. The author seamlessly transitions from Alexa and Mateo’s point of view throughout the story without creating confusion. This was my favorite part of the book because this gives readers an inside look as to what each character is thinking and feeling, which is important because this an impassioned romance novel with emotions underlying much of the plot.

I enjoyed reading about the passion both Mateo and Alexa felt for one another because it felt authtentic and deep, yet they tried so hard to hide it. This passion and intensity builds slowly throughout the story and provides the story with intrigue and melodrama that is intoxicating because you just want the two to let go and just be together.

This riveting romance novel is long side but the playful and tense back and forth banter between Alexa and Mateo makes pages fly by. I enjoyed the author’s character development as each character has a unique personality and evolution throughout the story. I enjoyed that Mateo wasn’t afraid to say how he felt about Alexa. Alexa is also a character I enjoyed as she is confident and, based off past experiences, she knows what she wants for herself.

I highly recommend Masked Intent to those who are looking for an intense and thrilling contemporary love story involving the romantic chase between two captivating people.

Pages: 492 | ASIN : B09FMP4BYP

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We All Have Our Own Stories

Greta Harvey Author Interview

Waiting in Wattlevale follows a divorced mom as she starts a new job in an elderly home, and learns about friendship and relationships from the residents. What was the inspiration for the setup to your story?

A few years ago, I helped my mother through the life changes and decisions for her future care. Feeling her confusion and uncertainly was heartbreaking.

Peony starts off the novel as an unsure woman rebuilding her life and grows throughout the story. What were some driving ideals behind your character’s development?

The inner strength is in us all to change and grow.

Was there anything from your own life that you put into the characters in your novel?

Compassion, empathy and the observations of other’s lives. We all have our own stories.

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

My fourth book is Gidgee Harbour, which takes place in South Australia and about a dying little shopping centre. The business owners try everything possible to find a way to save it and their livelihood. A feel good tale with lots of humour in it. It’s at the publishers and out any day now. All my stories are set in Australia and with lovable true-blue characters and our quaint Aussie humour.

  • Repent at Leisure, in Queensland a suspense tale in a rural setting.
  • F n B’s House sitters is also in Queensland. It’s a story of two women setting up a house sitting business with all their odd situations and clients that they have to deal with.

Author Links: GoodReads | Facebook

Quirky characters abound in Wattlevale, home for the elderly in rural Australia, workplace for the caring and ambitious. While some residents are waiting for the end, others find lost love, laughter and larrikinism from some true-blue old bushies. In one year, there’s plenty of entertainment and humour. Visiting children find their way into the hearts of many, collecting pearls of wisdom along the way.
A feel-good tale, from joy to heartbreak, with enduring characters and inspiring life stories. Another gem of a story from Greta Harvey.

Longing for You

Arianne Whiteley is a wealthy New Yorker, she has all that life can offer, but the dangerous men of this world are what she wants most. We see this unfold as she visits the state of Montana to visit a friend after they were kidnapped by their evil brother. While there, Arianne meets Lucas Grayson, a member of the notorious Pit Vipers. Lucas starts a tumultuous affair in hopes of using Arianne to his advantage, to the dismay of her bodyguard, Mark. But as their desire grows, so does trouble. Even with all the challenges they face, they won’t let anyone or anything come between them.

Longing for You by author Alessa Kelly has everything a good romance novel should have, suspense, lust, and angst. She hits all the elements without going into too much detail. The steamy scenes between Lucas and Arianne have enough description to get a feel for the moment without being over the top. Readers will find this is more than just a romance novel, there is a strong storyline that the romance is built into, rather than a romance novel with a flat backstory.

Kelly’s writing is entertaining, and there is never a dull moment with the characters she has created. The character development is well done and each of the protagonists is multi-layered and dynamic. There is action and suspense throughout the novel. I wanted to race to the end of the book to see what happens to our characters, but I also didn’t want it to end. I enjoyed Arianne’s character as she is a strong female that knows what she wants.

This fast-paced novel has an action-filled plot that will keep readers engaged from the beginning. The action and the story blend well together, giving the novel a cohesive feel while keeping readers on their toes as characters race from one dramatic moment to the next.

Longing for You is a well-written and exciting contemporary novel. Readers that are attracted to the genre of western literature with action and romance mixed in will find this book a great book to sit back and relax with.

Pages: 315 | ASIN : B09VD6PYR6

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Could This Be Real?

D. W. Eamer Author Interview

The Satan Gene follows two people that are searching for the code that will rewrite human DNA before those that want to use it for evil get it first. What was the inspiration for the setup to your story?

Initially, my story outline was crafted to connect as many conspiracy theories together as I could, coupled with a foundational story behind the New World Order and their ultimate goal of controlling the world. Surprisingly (and scarily enough), I was able to connect many of the conspiracies together into what I would call a master New World Order conspiracy.

The heavy religious overtones came into play along the way as many of the conspiracy theories I studied touched on them directly or indirectly. From there came the idea of basing the story around the Book of Revelation, the Second Coming of Christ, and those who sought to bring it about in order to become supreme rulers.

What were some themes that were important for you to explore in this book?

The core essence of the book is founded on the mission of exposing the secret plans of those who seek to attain control over humanity whether by consent or conquest. It’s, of course, fiction, but it applies to real world events we are living today.

What research did you do for this novel to get it right?

The research portion of the creation of The SATAN Gene was incredibly exhaustive because I wanted to be as authentic as possible, forcing the reader to ask the question at the end: could this be real? It took a better part of three years to get it all together, and then approximately two years to tie everything up neatly into a linear and coherent story that flowed well. I love doing research, especially anything pertaining to religion, history, and archaeology, so the process was not really labour-intensive for me. In fact, it was probably the most enjoyable part of the process as I touched on countless historical subjects and modern technology. It was definitely a wonderful learning experience. In the end, it allowed me to write the type of novel that I love to read.

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

I have two more planned that will be Gareth Blackwell adventures! Seeing as the research is quite daunting for both, it may take some time before the next one hits the shelves. At the earliest, I suspect the second one will be published in two years, although I am not a big fan of rushing to produce a book. I firmly believe that each story needs to be high quality, and I don’t think that fast-tracking a story just to capitalize on popularity is the way to go. I want to deliver a polished product. What can the reader expect? More codes, secret societies, diabolical villains, church mysteries, double-crosses, and surprising twists!

Author Links: GoodReads | Twitter | Facebook | Website

The seals of the Scroll of Prophecy are about to be broken, unleashing Satan on Earth.

A modern-day deep state European group with mysterious historical roots dating back before the time of Jesus Christ is urgently bent on implementing a diabolical crime against humanity in order to fulfill a two thousand year old biblical prophecy giving them the power to become the divinely chosen monarchs, ruled by a supreme god-man king on earth.

Tracked by the group’s merciless killer who believes himself to be a direct descendent of the leader of an ancient group of assassins that existed two thousand years ago, quantum biology doctoral student Abriana Stratton and former priest Gareth Blackwell join forces in a perilous race against the clock to find and decipher a trail of codes left by a brutally murdered government scientist.

Within his cryptic texts are the clues to the secret hiding places of the components from a stolen military application that could stop the apocalyptic events of an ancient prophecy.

Or bring them about.

Epiphany’s Gift

Epiphany knew that she was not a typical child, even at a young age. She could feel things more vividly, talk to people who aren’t exactly alive, and she can foresee events before they would occur. She didn’t mind that she was unusual. The men in her life did. She was reprimanded whenever she talked about her intuitions, afraid that people might think that she was wrong in the head. Even after she married and had a family of her own, she spent the majority of her adult life denying the abilities she had.

Years later, when visiting her hometown, she was called on by an old friend to help with an art theft that the police couldn’t seem to solve. Only a couple of days after, she is faced with a series of mysterious events—an irregular number of earthquakes, visions depicting the imminent destruction of nature, and the sudden and suspicious death of her mentor. With the help of her visions and her friends (living and otherwise), will she finally have answers to all the questions, or will she open up doors that should have been kept shut?

Epiphany’s Gift is a riveting story that revolves around the main character and her clairvoyance gift. At the same time, it deals with the urgent topic of global warming and its negative consequences. The author, Mallory O’Connor, has masterfully woven the supernatural theme with environmental science and turned it into this brilliant story. The book is backed by a copious amount of research, and as a result both areas are seamlessly intertwined while feeling deep and intriguing.

The author’s ability to shift from Epiphany’s visions or dreams into what is perceived as her reality is worthy of mention since putting realism, and extrasensory perception into writing are two very different forms of expression. Also, O’Connor’s switches between timelines are almost flawless, which is an admirable feat on its own. All of these factors contributed to a more in-depth understanding of the main character’s insight, and because of this, the readers’ absorption of the story is reinforced.

Epiphany’s Gift is a thrilling novel filled with action and suspense. It has a commendable call to action for our environmental awareness backed by facts. This exhilarating novel will keep readers on edge with a supernatural mystery to solve while navigating corporate corruption and a killer on their trail.

Pages: 228 | ASIN : B07R8BQFTB

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Tombstone: The Superhero of the West

Tombstone: The Superhero of the West brings to life the adolescent journey of Morgan, a transgender person (born as a male who identifies as a female) finding her truth in the 1860-70s. Growing up with two sisters, a stereotypically masculine dad, and a loving mother, Morgan always felt something about her identity and sexuality didn’t feel right. Perpetually confused about why she feels the way she does and why she likes certain things. In this eye-opening, insightful read, author Missy M exquisitely explores the innocent musings and journey of an adolescent who just wants to live her truth without worrying about disappointing her family and crossing swords with society.

Initially, Morgan innocently questions gender stereotypes—why should having a particular body part make you enjoy a certain activity less?—and we get insight into her inner battles and conflicts. Since Morgan thrives on education, she turns to books for answers. Later in the story, through heroic adventures, we see how her knowledge comes in handy, which helps her family view her in a new light and thus become more accepting of who she truly is.

This beautifully written story has captured the inner voice of an adolescent coming to terms with her gender and sexuality. As a cisgender, I genuinely believe people who don’t respect gender identity and sexuality as struggles could really learn a thing or two from the author’s narrative of Morgan’s journey. However, I thought some musings and insights were repeated in the book, for example, her sadness about her father not accepting her and her confusion regarding why she liked the things Jenny did. Nonetheless, intrigue is born in the first chapter, which Waldron keeps ignited throughout the book. I’ll definitely be picking up the second book to get more insight into the life of the LGBTQ+ community in the 19th century. While this novel follows the journey of an LGBT young adult, this novel contains language that I think is better suited for an adult audience. Containing mature language and provocative scenes, I think this book is appropriate for mature readers.

Tombstone: The Superhero of the West is a captivating story combining stories of the old west with contemporary issues revolving around gender identity and gender stereotypes. This work of fiction will give readers a new look at a common story while opening their minds to non-traditional viewpoints.

Pages: 405 | ASIN : B09J8V76YS

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