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The Magic Involved

GJ Scherzinger Author Interview

The Masque of Count Milado follows a man from Earth who sets off on a quest to retrieve the missing masque before it goes missing forever. What was the inspiration for the setup to your story?

I wanted to reprise characters introduced in “The House on Chambers Court”, though the challenge I set for myself was to write a traditional murder mystery. This book was an attempt to do that, and of course it’s a lot harder than it seems, the challenges of exposing the clues to both the characters and the reader in such a way as to move the story and keep everyone guessing.

Did you create an outline for the characters in the story before you started writing or did the characters personalities grow organically as you were writing?

Many of the characters in my book are based on people I know personally or in the public eye. Villains are easy to spot in the political and corporate spectrum. At least that is the root of their creation. It gives me a ‘face’ to work from, though once the book is under way, they really take on their own personalities.

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

Each book I write represents a particular challenge for me, in this case writing a murder mystery. I don’t want my books to be carbon copies of each other, though some themes run through each. A subtle part of the book is taking on animal perspectives and how they may be different from our own. Add to that, Xavier Gaines is faced with an additional perspective, the differences between men and women. Empathy is an important element of the magic involved.

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

“The Wizard of Grimmer’s Wharf” has just been released (another mystery) and I’m well into the next book, “The Rift of Brande”. I’ve a great deal of experience sailing and so I wanted to write a ‘sea story’ involving adventure and lost treasure. I’ve reprised characters introduced in “Grimmer’s Wharf” and “The Henna Witch”. It looks to be a bigger book, perhaps rivaling “The Deck of the Numinon” in size. Of course magic is involved, which is also a great way to introduce some metaphysics into the story. Speaking of “the Deck of the Numinon”, which is wonderfully illustrated, I’m working with the artist to create an entire deck, providing the guide book to supplement her work. Fundamental excerpts were included as an addendum in “the Deck of the Numinon”. With a little perseverance on my part, both will be ready by the end of ’23.

Author Links: GoodReads | Facebook | Website

A long lost Masque created by ancient majics comes to light, one capable of transforming the wearer into the identity of another. Xavier Gaines is employed by the Sybellines to steal it before harm can come from its use, though he never gets the chance. It’s owner, Count Milado, dies in mysterious circumstances and the Masque has disappeared once again.
While the surviving royals struggle for control of the Milado estates, a troop of mercenaries and a lone wizard find their way into the intrigue. As Xavier struggles to discover the whereabouts of the Masque, deeper plots are uncovered that prove the Masque hasn’t vanished at all, but central to a plot involving kingdoms.
Nothing and no one is as it seems.

The Terrifying Unraveling

David A. Neuman Author Interview

Kaleidoscopic Shades: Within Black Eternity follows a father who’s realized that he’s passed the horrors of his childhood onto his son and fights to put an end to the madness. What was the inspiration for the setup to your story?

If I am to be so bold, inspiration came from the prequel – Kaleidoscopic Shades – Where Eternity Begins – which has yet to be released. It follows Bob and Sue Triplow through an apocalyptic event which transformed the city of Adelaide, its suburbs and outer lying regions into something akin to a war zone, in which holding onto your sanity was just the beginning of the terrifying unraveling that was to ensue. It seemed fitting that the Triplows would want to put this behind them, move far away, start a family. And forget – or try to – that something extraordinary, unexplainable, and not of this world had settled in as the new family member within each and every household back in 2011 until the lights slowly stopped burning at night.

It also seemed fitting that a mere child of ten, entering the first stages of his teens, and who had begun to question his sexuality, had what it took to confront something of unimaginable formidability. And that the child was Bob’s and Sue’s first and only child.

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

We constantly hear the generation before commenting on the generation following – the age old palaver between the young and the not-so-young – and by bringing together father and son bridged that gap and displayed the differences between them with frank honesty. Both had determination, both had grit, as well as a sense of ethics and morality… enough to place their own lives in ultimate jeopardy. So, what were the differences? None. At all.

The Triplows epitomize what it is to be human, what most of us harbor, whether we outrightly know it or not. It’s the good in people that prevails, else we would have long destroyed ourselves in some cataclysmic debacle that might have left E.T. scratching its head and wondering what in the hell it was all about.

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

A genuine need to bring forward something unique, something that, hopefully, hasn’t been explored in this way before. After all, we are all prisoners of our own imagination and it’s the challenging of that imagination that can be confronting, but extremely rewarding if you kind of give it a twist and a shake, like whipping up a world-beating martini.

This very theme I am at pains to to bring forward in whatever journey I take the intrepid reader on.

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

The Penny Arcade is a sequel and final installment in the kaleidoscopic saga and focuses on an ancient underground maliciousness which rises to the surface in the rural settings of Kapunda, South Australia. A maliciousness that holds Sammy Debnar, the boy lost in Kaleidoscopic Shades, who continues to haunt the passageways of Joshua’s mind as much as he stalks the inner sanctums of his heart. Four years on, an impossible phone call in the dead of night brings it all to the surface and Joshua Triplow becomes instantly embroiled in a life and death struggle, not in another dimension, but right here on terra firma. It also draws the town’s constable, Benjamine McLevy, into a darkness in which her Smith a Wesson becomes nothing more than a water pistol squirting the last of its reserves.

I’m hoping that with the support of the reading public at large, this epic will hit the shelves in about 12 months.

Author Links: GoodReads | Website

Bob Triplow has found comfort in having escaped the horrors of childhood until he learns that he has merely passed them onto his ten year old son, Joshua.

Suddenly they are racing against an approaching storm like no other – for the horrors extend far beyond father and son, far beyond all that is imaginable.

They must abandon their suburban life within Corona, California, for a perilous journey into a dimension where unworldly chaos reigns amongst the depths of darkness.

Torn apart by horrific visions and memories, elements that should not be, that had no right to be, Bob will struggle for his sanity, while Joshua fights to seize the hands of time. To put an end to the madness that ripples across an endless vacuum, threatening to snuff out existence itself.

You Can Feel The Love

Naomi Dunsen-White Author Interview

Johari The Great follows a fifth-grade boy that discovers the power of his imagination and enters the school writing contest; he uses his story to inspire his classmates and friends. What was the inspiration for your story?

My grandson, whose name is actually Johari, was the initial inspiration for this story. He was always so smart and curious about learning. I wanted to write a story that clearly dealt with a boy whose gift was within him – he could feel it – and how he was able to bring it out with the support of the adults in his life.

The art in this book is fantastic. What was the art collaboration process like with illustrator Megan White?

Megan White, now Megan Rizzo, is such a gifted artist. She used to be an art therapist, so she brings this sensitivity to her art. We worked so well together. She really listens to what my vision is, and there’s never a lot of back and forth with her. She understood this was a fun story, an adventure, but she also picked up on the emotional nuances too, like the relationships. For example, I love the illustration of Johari hugging his dad. You can feel the love there.

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

It was important for me to have this story about an African American boy. Research shows that at the 3rd-4th grade level, there is a high risk of boys, and African American boys in particular, slipping in their reading skills. This is a critical time when students go from learning to read to now reading to learn. If those skills are missed, it’s an uphill struggle. So, I wanted to engage these boys and use an adventure that included school, teachers, families, friends, but most of all, how their imagination and effort could make them successful. Their imagination could help them discover just how great they really are, and what wonderful gifts already lie inside of them.

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

I’m very excited to share that my next book will be the second in the Johari The Great series. Johari will be off on a new exciting adventure, so there will definitely be another story he has to share. I can’t divulge the title yet, but I will say, the setting is quite unique! This story promises to be very appealing to almost anyone – young readers and adults too! Megan Rizzo and I are anticipating a Spring, 2023 release.

Author Links: GoodReads | Twitter | Facebook | Website

“Johari the Great” is an early chapter book with full-color illustrations. It’s an engaging tale about a clever boy named Johari. His teacher inspires him to use his imagination to write. So he does! A contest and a mystery follow, and a fun plot twist too! With a little humor and some help from his friends, Johari discovers his gift and the greatness he has within. It’s an inspirational story that celebrates diversity, learning, family, and the greatness that all children have inside, just waiting to be discovered. Emphasizing reading comprehension and vocabulary, the included questions enhance understanding and promote family discussion.

The Dragon’s Threat

The Dragon’s Threat is an absorbing mystery novel that follows Peter Holroyd, a professor of Maritime History who specializes in Ming and Qing Dynasty voyages. An international dispute erupts over Dejection Island, a small piece of land in the South China Sea. Britain owns the land, but Chinese ships arrive with the intention of taking the island and the Americans refuse to let them have it. Peter gets invited to investigate and establish who owns Dejection Island. He finds himself in a difficult situation when he realizes that digging into the island’s history is not as easy as he thought and he soon becomes a target. Peter is forced to choose between his own life and those of the Dejection Island’s residents.

Peter king has written an intellectually invigorating mystery novel that is a must read for anyone looking for a captivating mystery that is steeped in history. The author blends history, mystery and action in a unique way that feels authentic and fascinating. This was a book that was hard for me put down because I was always wondering what Peter was going to find next.

Peter’s character is well developed and he is fun to follow. He is an intelligent but lonely person and the author is able to convey his emotions so well that I found myself easily empathizing with him. I felt his loneliness and that was because of the sharp writing and the surprising focus on the emotional aspects of the story.

I enjoyed the mix of political and historical aspects in the story. This novel feels like a blend of Robert Ludlum’s Jason Bourne novels and Dan Brown’s Robert Langdon’s series. With vivid details throughout the story readers will be immersed in this intriguing world and feel like they are right alongside Peter as he travels. The story progresses at a steady pace, but once we get past Peter landing in China the tension and drama really pick up.

The Dragon’s Threat is one book that I highly recommend to readers who are looking for an entertaining read that is filled with mystery, action and history.

Pages: 326 | ASIN: B09T9BMXKF

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The Vast Corpus Of Poetry

Author Interview
Dr. C. A. Buckley Author Interview

Poems from Heartlands is an evocative collection of poetry that explores faith and contemporary life. What inspires you to write and publish this collection?

I have been writing poetry for a long time and finally felt I had to get the material published, I had previously published a collection, The Last Irish Romantic, which was launched at the Listowel literary festival and the response inspired me; it was described by Gabriel Fitzmourice, the noted poet as reminiscent of T S Eliot and Michael Hartnett , and the noted Dublin publisher Pat Boran who published it for me described it as a work of distinction. This inspired me to write a sequel that would draw on the vast corpus of poetry I had accumulated over the years.

What inspired you to create this Special Illustrated Color Edition?

The color edition – I was inspired to publish the special color edition, by the fact that I had so much art work interwoven with the poetry in my notebooks, and wanted to produce a unique distinctive collection with both printed poems and handwritten works within my own art work, I called the result art poems and it turned out beautifully

What were some ideas that were important for you to explore in your poetry?

The ideas that inspired the poems were as varied as my life that they embodied, my faith, my concerns with contemporary life, my memories of childhood in Ireland, my experiences in Oxford where I did my doctorate, and experiences as a lecturer in Israel and the Philippines where I worked, and above all my faith struggles as a priest; my whole life and soul went into the poems.

Are you working on more poetry that you’ll publish in another volume?

I am about to publish a new collection of “art Poems”, to be called “Journeys into Light: New Art Poems”, I think this collection is better than the two previous ones. I am also about to publish a novel call The Cottage.

Author Website: frconbuckleyssundaysermons.com

This second book of poems by Dr. C.A. Buckley has been five years in the making, but comes from a lifetime of dedicated writing of poetry. His first collection, The Last Irish Romantic was launch by Gabriel Fitzmourice, the noted Irish poet, in John B. Keane’s pub at the Listowel Literary Festival of 2015. He described the collection as a striking series of works reminiscent of T.S.Eliot and Michael Hartnett. The book was also praised by the legendary poet and publisher, Pat Boran of the Dedulous Press, as a “truly distinctive debut volume”. The prize-winning modern British poet Bernard O’Donoghue was more fulsome is describing it as “brilliant”. For those who have been patiently waiting for a sequel here is an even finer, more mature and more varied follow-up volume.

The Final Battle At The Mountain

Michael J Bowler Author Interview

Spoiler follows a young man who’s plunged into a deadly standoff and must choose between the torture of his loved ones or giving in to Ms. G’s monstrous demands? What were some sources that informed this novels development?

I’ve always been fascinated by choices we make and I believe we don’t ever really know someone (or ourselves, for that matter) until we’re tested in a difficult situation. Alex has always had a desire to heal, not hurt and he’s so empathetic toward the pain of others that he can’t see someone suffering without needing to help, and yet if he helps, in this case, he will hurt countless other people. I like putting characters into challenging moral quandaries to allow readers to ask themselves, “what choice would I make under those circumstances?” I didn’t have any special sources for the situational portion of the book except that it continues what began in books 1 and 2 and I took the premise to its logical conclusion. I felt the moral vacuum that is Ms. G must do monstrous things because that’s who she is, and the young heroes—particularly Alex—would therefore be forced to resist her in any way they could (without stepping over the line into her level of evil.)

This book is very creative. What scene in the book did you have the most fun writing?

My favorite scenes were the personal ones, the character bits that emphasized relationships and family, like the scene in the gym where everyone worked out together and bonded even more than they had previously. I also liked exploring the development of William and Francis and how they explored their innate humanity (despite having been told by Davalos and others they weren’t fully human.) The most challenging scene was the final battle at the mountain. I had to make a list of every character who would be present, what “team” each would be on, and an approximate outline of where each would be as the scenes progressed. Even then, I still forgot about some along the way and had to go back to make sure I showed what he/she was doing.

What challenges did you set for yourself as a writer with this book?

This biggest challenge was to wrap up and pay off all that had been set up in the first two books and do these things in ways that readers would find enjoyable and satisfactory. Series like this that have so many characters and so many threads sometimes stumble in the final book because some of those threads are left unraveled, and that has often frustrated me as a reader, so I hope I have resolved everything to my readers’ gratification.

Do you have plans to write more books in the Healer Chronicles?

I definitely leave the door open for more stories with these characters, especially with the promise Alex, Andy, William, and Francis made to the president that they are available in a national crisis. Of course, William and Francis are already special agents, and I’ve considered a spinoff series focusing on them. Time will tell. For now, I’m giving these characters (who are some of my all-time favorites) a much-needed rest.

Author Links: GoodReads | Twitter | Facebook | Website

Having barely survived the latest attack on him, Alex feels adrift at the loss of his twin brother, despite everyone’s attempts to console him. Officials from the Pentagon, the Vatican, and even a representative of the Native American Onondaga tribe descend on the Air Force base to mobilize against an imminent assault on humanity.

Despite losing Andy, Alex has a few fleeting moments of happiness, especially as he finds himself falling for Allison, Mr. Shaw’s spunky daughter. But he knows these moments of “normalcy” will be short-lived because Ms. G and her group need his power to fulfill their evil plans.

When on-base treachery leads to attempted assassination and kidnapping, Alex—along with Roy and Allison—is plunged into a deadly standoff with Ms. G that he knows will result in his death and that of his loved ones. Can he allow them to be tortured, or will he give in to her monstrous demands?

Colonel Walker gathers his troops around the location where Alex is held prisoner – the mountain housing a mysterious “gate” into another dimension. Should Alex be forced to open that gate and release the dark entities within, the human race will come to a swift and violent end.

As the final battle approaches, can Alex hold out long enough for rescue to arrive?

The Healer Chronicles conclude.

Adventures, Monsters and Magic

Wallace Briggs Author Interview

The Emerald Lake follows an orphaned alien living on Earth as he sets off to save an underwater race from flesh eating, fire breathing serpenta and save his first love. What was the inspiration for the setup to your story?

The original story arose from a need to keep a small group of youngsters (newfound friends of my five-year-old son) occupied (quiet) as they sheltered in our crowded beach tent during a holiday shower. Within the group was one ginger-headed boy, the smallest in the group, who was being ordered around (bullied) by the bigger boys. My story was intended to show that bullying is bad but can be overcome. I needed him to overcome the challenges. The story needed adventures, monsters and magic. And so Jimmy Crikey was born and among his friends were the four witch guardians of Earth’s realms.

What was the inspiration for the culture of your characters? Is it modeled after any particular society?

The inspiration was an idealistic concept of a race of people living together democratically in a caring environment with a minimum of antagonism.

What was one scene in the novel that you felt captured the morals and message you were trying to deliver to readers?

The way a small group of beings, the Aquamites, banded together in the Emerald Lake, to overcome a stronger, dangerous foe. The young Aquamites placed their own lives in danger for the benefit of their own peoples. There was no magic to help them. They had to act using their own skills before Jimmy and the witches could act.

Will there be another book in the Jimmy Crikey series, and when will it be available?

The Story continues. One of the characters, Jade, the young apprentice witch, pleaded with me to write her story. She was convinced that if I didn’t she would die if readers did not know about her.

Author Links: Twitter | Facebook | Website

This is a stand-alone, fourth in series, of The Adventures of Jimmy Crikey, the alien orphan who, despite cruel bullying, decided to make his home on Earth. He numbers among his friends the four witch guardians of Earth’s realms and the ancient Lord Oron, aka The Weatherman.
The underground Emerald Lake, the home of the Aquamites, is invaded by a flesh-eating, fire-breathing serpent, which is impervious to the magic of the four guardian witches. Matilda, the chief witch, asks for Jimmy’s assistance.
Jimmy accompanies Elwinn, witch guardian of everything associated with water, to visit the Emerald Lake. They arrive at a plausible plan to capture the serpents in a spider’s web net.
Their strategy is complicated because Jimmy cannot breathe underwater unless included in Elwinn’s bubble. Several of the strongest young Aquamites agree to act as live bait to entice the serpents into a lake in an extinct volcano’s caldera.
Once the serpents are lured into the volcano’s lake Jimmy, with the help of his starship SR3 and XRU, the intelligent computer/navigator, the reptiles are ensnared in a Golden Orb spiders’ web net, ready to drag the creatures into the cold depths of deep space. During the operation to rid the Aquamite’s world of serpents, Annison is seriously injured when one serpent takes a big bite out of her lower tail. She is dying from the loss of blood. The witches do not have the power to help. There is no time to get her to Jimmy’s home plane of Attalia for advanced surgery.
All appears lost until Lord Oron reveals his true identity. Lord Oron is one of the Lords who serve the all-powerful Master. The Master could save Annison, but he refuses to bring a subject back to life from the dead. Can Lord Oron persuade the Master to intervene and save the life of Jimmy’s first love, Annison?

Jodie’s Secret at Crater Cove – Book Trailer

Twelve-year old Jodie Jackson lives with her father above their boatshed in Serpentine Bay in Sydney. Jodie and her best friend Sarah are targeted at school by a bully. Jodie stands up to her but Sarah suffers from anxiety because of it. Jodie suggests that Sarah tell her parents about her worries.

Jodie misses her mother who has died the year before especially as there is a Mother/Daughter lunch at school. She works at her grandmother’s spiritual shop to earn money for an excursion and invites her grandmother to the lunch.

Jodie sails her little boat around the harbour, exploring islands and bush areas and goes to Crater Cove, where there are old shacks from the depression era that she wants to sketch for art class.

She discovers a homeless girl hiding there and learns that the girl is a vet student studying at university on a scholarship but with nowhere to live.

Jodie sees smoke in the sky and hears the news report about a fire near Crater Cove and worries about the girl. Jodie is unable to contact her father or her grandmother, so she takes her father’s runabout, even though she is unqualified.

Jodie tries to land but the smoke is too thick to see. Her motor dies and she drifts closer and closer to the rocks but the water police appear and start to tow her boat back to safety.

As they tow her away Jodie notices Serena waving for help from the shore and the water police rescue her. They take both girls back to Jodie’s house and her father is very relieved at seeing her, but also cross that she took out the runabout. Serena is invited to stay at Jodie’s house until they sort out her accommodation.

The next day Jodie’s grandmother falls and fractures her ankle and goes to hospital and Jodie is afraid she won’t be able to come to the Mother/Daughter lunch.

Jodie finds that she is missing thirty dollars when she goes to school to pay for the excursion. She confronts Serena who admits that she took it to buy some medicine for an infected cut from an oyster shell. She was planning to replace it later.

Jodie is angry but when she sees Serena’s infected leg, she understands.

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